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Call Back / Webcomics

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  • In this strip of Holiday Wars, Labor Day makes a reference to some sort event that happened ten years ago in Venice. It's the first time in the webcomic that really hints that there is a large history between all the main characters.
  • Concerned has a lot of these. In one strip Frohman find out he can use the force (that's what he said, not me) to pick stuff up. For most of the rest of the comic, whenever he holds something it floats in front of him.
  • xkcd has one strip that connects to another from years earlier when a boomerang that a character threw in that strip returns.
    • Hoverboard has one to xkcd #150 Grownups with a man and a woman playing in a ballpit.
  • 8-Bit Theater
    • One of Brian Clevinger's related blog posts read this: Anyone confused by today's comic needs a history lesson. Also counts as Foreshadowing...
    • More recently, the aptly titled strip "Longest set up in webcomic history" has a Call Back to a throwaway line over 1200 pages ago.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Sept 26 1997 and Sept 15 2011, 4738 days later Bun-bun and Zoe are in the same spot they first met with the same dialog. Also a rare Pet the Dog moment for Bun-bun
  • El Goonish Shive
  • The Order of the Stick
    • At one point, Belkar suggests selling a captured female antagonist into slavery because he "knows a guy who knows a guy". Several plot-arcs later, the party runs into said guy-his-guy-knew, Buggy Lou, as he's out catching slaves in the desert.
    • V's raven familiar fails to recognize her/him when s/he is transformed into a lizard. 536 strips later, he learns of his mistake.
    • In an early strip, Durkon lectures Hilgya on dwarves, misery, and duty, telling her how his mother taught him to take feelings like love "and bury them inna a deep dark part o' my soul and nev'r ev'r talk about 'em again." over a thousand strips later, we see his mother teaching him just this lesson, and the circumstances of said lesson.
    • An early strip has a brief intermission gag about movie theater snacks killing each other. A decade later, it turns out that not only do said living movie theater snacks exist in (the past of) the main continuity of the comic, but their existence is a clue to one of the comic's bigger plot revelations about the nature of the setting.
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  • It's Walky! celebrated its tenth anniversary (and the birth of a new character) with a Call Back to its first two strips.
  • Girl Genius: Agatha and Von Zinzer meeting each other. And again.
    • Wooster's words to Agatha here reference the last time Wooster was with Gil.
  • Homestuck is absolutely loaded with Call Backs, from the phrasing of words to reused art panels.
    • Andrew Hussie discusses it here.
    • According to Doc Scratch, Call Backs are a rule of Paradox Space.
    • And Caliborn hates the frequent Call Backs and gets pissed off when Dirk notices that he's repeating phrases that other characters have used, which is a sort of meta-commentary on readers who find this practice irritating.
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl, This most definitely shows Justin remembers David.
  • A Wapsi Square strip from December 2009 featured a reference to the dialogue in the very first strip back in 2001.
  • In 5 Color Control, Vlad and Dave's match in the Pro Tour intentionally mirrors their earlier games from earlier comics.
  • In General Protection Fault, after Trent sues Fred for libel, Fooker proposes breaking into his house again, like they did to clear Trudy's name. Nick, however, refuses and points out that it comes off in a new light now that they know he's a secret agent. The "To Thine Own Self" arc is based around a universe in which an alternate universe's Nick and Ki enacted a scheme their prime counterparts dreamed about in a brief arc in the early comic and took over the world.
  • In Housepets!, in the 24th strip in the comic, Grape comments about how pets who look outside of their own species for romance are seen as strange. "It's just a tail or some whiskers now, but next thing you know, you wake up in a puddle of your own vomit from anise overdose, screaming 'I am one with the ferals!' at the top of your lungs." Seven years later, when Bino is trying to pass the wolf test to become a real ~~man~~ wolf, he shouts "I'll be one with the ferals!" only for the wolf who is testing him to comment that it sounds stupid and to never say it again.
  • The most recent, and furthest one in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: The McNinja Burger is back! Complete with Flat "What".
  • This strip of minus mentions several previous one-off gags.
  • Bob and George: Overlooking all the Running Gags, in an early strip Bob agrees to a suicidal plan with the phrase "Sure, why not, I was tired of living anyway." Fast-forward several years, and Alternate Mega Man and Bass cheerfully use the exact same justification for an equally suicidal plan. (Naturally, this being Bob And George, certain death...isn't as certain as you'd expect.)
  • Karin-dou 4koma: Seren makes a lighthearted promise to Mifi to let her meet Seren's captive demon lord; 88 pages and almost 2 years later, she finally does.
  • This strip of The Whiteboard gives a nod back to Sandy's first paintball game, where Rainman suggests reading a pamphlet titled "Coping with loss" after Sandy asks what to do taken out of the match by a hit, with Bandit offering one such pamphlet to a generic player he managed to sneak up on to tag out.


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