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Comic Book / Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

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Why are people so... unpleasant?

"Dear Die-ary. Today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm beginning to wonder if, maybe, there really is something wrong with me."

Six years before Invader Zim, artist Jhonen Vasquez unleashed his unique brand of Black Comedy and over-the-top nihilism upon an unsuspecting world in his very first comic series, Johnny, The Homicidal Maniac.

Johnny C. (Nny for short) is a serial killer with various psychological disorders who does bizarre and often nasty things to bizarre and often nasty people. He often has long, serious, intellectual monologues about the state of society, only to end them with non-sequiturs like "Tuesday is UFO day." When not doing that, Nny likes to draw a comic strip about a deranged, foul-mouthed stick figure named "Happy Noodle Boy." His only friends (if you can call them that) are Todd "Squee" Casil, the meek kid next door whom he unintentionally scares shitless, and Nailbunny, a dead rabbit nailed to the wall who is actually Nny's voice of reason.

Beginning as a segment in the art journal magazine Carpe Noctem, it later spawned a reasonably successful seven-book series published through Slave Labor Graphics, giving Vasquez a modicum of fame in the underground comic world. All seven books would later be compiled and reprinted as JtHM: The Director's Cut. There were also a number of spin-offs, including Squee, a four-book series which later was also collected and reprinted with filler from all eleven books in a separate section; I Feel Sick, which starred Johnny's ex-girlfriend and almost-victim Devi; and Fillerbunny, a deliberately half-assed trio of books spun off from some Squee filler.

In 2013, there was talk of a film adaptation.

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac provides examples of:

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  • Abusive Parents: While Squee's mother simply doesn't care about him one bit, his father actively despises him and blames him for ruining his life. Apparently, they also tell him to get kidnapped.
  • All Just a Dream: After Johnny's suicide and trip to Hell, Johnny contemplates whether or not it was all just a dream. After all, the universe ending with his death and being rebuilt with his resurrection? Moving Doughboys? A couple of escaped victims roaming his increasingly-labyrinthine house until they encounter and beat the snot from him? Said victims appearing free, without memory, and unharmed after he wakes up? Sure, he knows he's insane, but he knows he's not insane enough to believe that. (Now all he has to wonder about is how Devi heard a Doughboy screaming loudly over the phone...)
    • Additionally, Mmy commented on Nny's hair.
  • Almost Kiss: Johnny and Devi on The Date... which is odd because it's established early on how much the former dislikes contact with others, never mind bodily fluids (like spit swapping).
  • Animated Actors: Suggested, not by the characters, but by the author's notes that pop up every now and then. Often something like explaining how the "actor" was able (or not) to survive being attacked by Johnny.
    "To achieve THIS shot, we first made a plaster mold of the actor's head. We then filled it with cow parts. Then, for realism, we surprised the actor by blowing a hole through his head."
  • Anti-Villain: Depending on the story, Johnny is either a sympathetic villain with honest intentions or a straight-up Villain Protagonist
  • Anyone Can Die: Naturally, given the title of the comic, it's inevitable that quite a few people would end up killed even when their deaths are not easy to anticipate. Even the supposedly invincible homicidal maniac.
  • Art Evolution: Nny gets thinner and less mangy over the seven books, as does everything else, really.
    • Very very clear in the early drawings, beginning with Johnny The Little Homcidal Maniac, where his length around the middle is essentially cut in half every strip.
    • The art in general becomes cleaner as the series goes on, and the panels aren't nearly as squished as they are in the first two issues.
    • On the matter of Nny's sexuality, Jhonen had this to say: "He's a coward and I think it manifests itself in many ways. One of them being the fact that's he's disgusted with sexuality. I don't think he has a sex drive and if he does it finds its way out through other means, mainly a knife through the flesh." note 
  • Artists Are Attractive: This trope is mocked frequently. In particular, Tess admits to liking her boyfriend partially because he is a musician, although it is unclear if she finds musicians attractive or if she just wants to fit in.
  • Asshole Victim: Quite a few of Nny's victims were horrible people who were asking for their deaths, especially those that wind up in the Torture Cellar. Edgar Vargas is an exception who was specifically identified as being a decent person Nny took no satisfaction in killing, but far from the only one — basically, Nny'll kill you for being an asshole, but he'll also kill you for being friends with an asshole, being somewhere in the same general vicinity as an asshole, for triggering his Hair-Trigger Temper, for catching him in a bad mood, for wearing bell bottoms...
    Tess: The fact that I'm here is a sign he's fucked up enough to have blurry aim!
    • Nny himself could be this, for those who feel some sympathy for him.
  • Ass Shove: During Johnny's rampage at a Taco Smell:
    Victim 1: Oh dear God!
    Victim 2: My eyes!! I can't see my eyes!
    Victim 3: Aaagh!
    Victim 4: Noooo!
    Victim 5: Eeek!
    Victim 6: Somebodeee! Pull this churrito out of my ass!
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Johnny attempts to commit suicide over not getting a slushie, then is distracted by soda. This sort of thing happens a lot.
  • Ax-Crazy: The words "Homicidal" and "Maniac" are the title, after all, so it's clear as day that Johnny isn't right in the head.
  • Black Comedy: As one might expect from a comic book about an insane killer, there are a lot of dark jokes.
    • Babies're nutritious!
      Johnny: "A man can only take so much, and being tied up and made to wear your gutted infant as a hat goes way past that. Still, he looked ADORABLE."
    • The aforementioned notes on how Nny's victims were able to "survive" an attack:
      "Parents, don't get upset - it's a fake brain. A gelatin mixture was poured into a brain shaped mold. We then filled it with the blood of a homeless man. No one will miss him."
  • Badass Bookworm: Devi, who successfully beats the shit out of Johnny before he could kill her.
  • Badass Longcoat: Johnny gets one when he goes to Hell. To his consternation, he doesn't get to keep it.
    • In fact, he's so upset about it that he completely misses his chance to learn why his life sucks so much.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ever call Johnny "wacky." Or, according to one of his victims who went to hell, "faggot." Also, don't be rude, careless or inconsiderate to him in any way. And don't insinuate he drinks the blood of his victims. And don't talk during movies he likes. Of course, even if you don't do any of these things he'll probably kill you anyway. Because he's a homicidal maniac.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Johnny tries to help Squee more than his parents, anyway. Then again, so does the Antichrist.
  • Bond One-Liner: An odd one in that it was directed at Squee (who wasn't the victim) and didn't really comment on the death, but was still a super badass way for Johnny to reveal himself.
    Squee: Todd.
    Pedophile: Why'd you tell me your name? I didn't want to know your name!
    [Pedophile gets his head caved in with a pipe]
    Nny: [wielding pipe] Todd? I liked 'Squee' better.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: A convenience store clerk who Johnny decides to rope into a murder-suicide attempt soils himself in fear when Johnny threatens him with a gun. Johnny mocks him for it, blows his brains out, fails to blow his own brains out, then leaves.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': Deconstructed. At the beginning, Nny never gets caught. If he's reported, the cops will never remember who he is. It doesn't matter how public his sprees are, or how many victims, or even if he confesses directly to somebody's face at length. Once he returns from Hell and stops being a wastelock, this ends, and he's forced to go on the run.
  • Captain Ersatz: Squee's father owes a lot to the fact that Vasquez is a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Character Blog: Johnny has a Twitter.
  • The Chew Toy: Squee, far more so in his spinoff. Also Wobbly Headed Bob, which is compounded by the fact he's aware of this and aware that he's powerless to stop it.
  • City of the Damned: Hell is a seemingly ordinary city with a gigantic eye where the Sun should be, staring down at people all the time. This renders them obsessively paranoid, vain and violent, as each person thinks the eye's watching him alone and the smallest personal slight or accidental faux pas is rendered unbearable.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
    • Happy Noodle Boy is very odd in behavior, also a Talkative Loon.
    • Also, Devi's friend Tenna, though to a much lesser extent than Happy Noodle Boy.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mr. Eff goes off when Johnny manages to kill himself and the Moose is about to be released.
  • Co-Dragons: The Doughboys could be this for that thing in the wall. Whatever it is.
  • Contemplate Our Navels:
    "Sometimes... you can cry until there's nothing wet in you. You can scream and curse to where your throat rebels and ruptures. You can pray, all you want, to whatever god you think will listen. And, still it makes no difference. It goes on, with no sign as to when it might release you. And you know that if it ever did would not be because it cared. —(Written on the wall in blood before everything went black)"
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The embryo in the jar that averts Johnny's first on-panel suicide attempt by informing him the commercial where the whole family gets diarrhea is on never appears again, despite being one of the voices.
  • Crapsack World: Par for the course with Vasquez.
  • Creator Breakdown: In universe example: Happy Noodle Boy, drawn by the increasingly insane Johnny.
  • Creepy Child: Though a misunderstood child, Squee's conversations with his teddy bear Shmee show he's clearly not a mentally sane kid.
    Squee: No, you're wrong, Shmee. They aren't bad people. They love me. They don't really mean it when they tell me to get kidnapped.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Nny has a weakness for puppies (if you consider the Twitter account canon). Possibly the only living things he won't kill.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Johnny hates to even touch guns and thinks people should only use them on themselves. The only time he used one on another person was an attempted murder-suicide. (Well, the murder part was successful.) In the Carpe Noctum strips, he had no qualms with killing using a pistol, probably due to Early-Installment Weirdness.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Not quite as much as Invader Zim but noticeable. It's still Jhonen Vasquez.
    Satan: God, I love that word — doom!
  • Driven to Suicide: Johnny decides not to follow through with his intention to commit suicide in the end, and loudly proclaims his taking back control over his life. Then he ends up accidentally killing himself.
  • Drop the Hammer: Nny kills a woman by beating her with a hammer in a strip from the fourth issue.
  • Dutch Angle: Vasquez makes use of many extreme angles, but especially notable are the many Dutch angles used to portray the state of Johnny's mind, as well as the sense of unbalance and bizarre nature of his environment.
  • Dying Alone: Johnny attempts a murder-suicide to avert this trope. It doesn't work (well, the suicide doesn't; the murder part works just fine).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The early comics make no mention of the Wall Monster, and suggest that Johnny repeatedly repaints a wall in his house with blood because he himself can't stand the thought of it drying.
    • The first appearance of the voices inside of Johnny's head features an unnamed fetus character that is never seen or heard from again. This fetus is ironically the voice that ends up winning the ideological debate the others are having by telling Johnny that a commercial he likes is playing on TV and making him completely forget about the argument.
    • The series lacks the futuristic Cyberpunk elements that would come to typify the Jhonenverse, with the small exception of some of the more inventive devices in Nny's (implied to be supernaturally created) Torture Cellar. This may be the result of the universe that got "reinstalled" after Issue 6 being slightly different from the previous one.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In one scene Pepito and his mum can be briefly seen.
  • Easily Forgiven: Hell no. When anyone successfully holds onto the realisation that he's a murderer, they're always frightened and disgusted.
    Nny: Yes, yes, I'm the one that's been killing all those people. But I'm also the creative force behind Happy Noodle Boy, so forgive me and shut up.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Wall Monster. Though, as it turns out, despite its Eldritch appearance and somewhat enigmatic origin, it's actually the antithesis of the typical Lovecraftian monster. While Eldritch critters are meant to represent the truly alien, inhuman and incomprehensible nature of the universe, the Wall Monster is just the opposite: a grotesque creation of pure, distilled, and entirely human hatefulness.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: For all the evil he performs, Johnny hates rapists and pedophiles, though this is more due to issues with physical contact.
    • Actually, he seems pretty upset that anyone would want to hurt the easily-terrified child in question. His attempt to reassure said child unfortunately goes about as well as you would expect, especially because he kind of ripped the pedophile's brain out in front of him.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Johnny versus the Doughboys.
  • Extreme Mle Revenge: Johnny invokes this way too many times to count.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: When it's not like an Earth full of small-minded assholes.
  • Forgets to Eat: Because by the end of the comic, a somewhat vaguely sane Johnny is seeking complete freedom, including from his own body's needs. Mocked by new head voice Reverend Meat.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Inverted. The devil assumes the form of a cheerleader because it's one of the things Johnny despises.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Halfway into the series, There are strips exclusively starring Anne Gwish. Although it is heavily implied to take place in the same universe as JTHM, it's irrelevant to the main plot.
  • Freudian Excuse: Completely averted, even for the Villain Protagonist himself (Johnny makes vague mentions of people making fun of him when he was younger, but it's never used to justify what he does). Nailbunny's rant about Nny formally being a great artist also qualifies as an aversion, though it's similarly vague. Vasquez intentionally left Nny's origins unwritten to avoid this. Eventually, though we don't get the full details, the sequel spin-off I Feel Sick implies that he was corrupted by the same force that created the Doughboys. It's always clear that nothing really excuses Johnny's actions, however.
  • Freudian Trio : Two within the main cast:
    • Johnny, Squee, and Devi as the Id, Ego, and Superegom respectively
    • Reverend Meat and the Doughboys, Johnny, and Nailbunny as the Id, Ego, and Superego, respectively
  • Girls Like Musicians: Mocked; Tess outright admits that she puts up with her boyfriend because he's in a band, though whether this is because she actually likes musicians or because she wants to look cool is unclear.
  • Godly Sidestep: Johnny meets God. God is a sleeping fat man who, upon being woken up, refuses to answer any questions and insists he's earned a break after creating the entire universe.
  • Good Is Boring: Heaven is ridiculously boring to an outsider like Johnny or to the employees, who are actually the damned. This is because Heaven consists of everybody sitting down in chairs doing nothing — they're utterly content, and thus utterly unmotivated.
  • Hair Antennae: Apparently hair loss is a side effect of being rejected from Hell and returned to life.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Johnny tries to kill himself with a gun-toting robot that will shoot him if he tries to turn it off or answers the phone. After an indignant conversation with some of the voices in his head, he changes his mind and decides he wants to live after all, switching the robot off. As it turns out, the robot didn't work, and Johnny exclaims that he was extremely lucky. The moment after, the phone rings and Johnny, happy to be alive, turns to answer it. The robot then shoots him. He forgot to turn it on in the first place and only did so when he thought he was switching it off.
  • Hates Being Touched: Johnny doesn't like being touched.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Averted with Johnny. "Even with headphones, the highly sensitive asshole-detecting gland functions."
  • The Hedonist: Reverend Meat wants Johnny to give into emotion and his own body's wants. Johnny, seeking freedom from everything, including his own body, is less than receptive.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Johnny on a good day.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Squee's parents ignore him and make it blatant how much they don't love him to hilariously ridiculous levels.
  • Hope Spot: Occasional; Edgar Vargas (Nny kills him anyway), The Date (until Nny tries to kill Devi), Nny's Shut Up, Hannibal! moment to The Doughboys (he finally dies by accident), Nny coming back from Hell, in control (and still crazy), and so on.
  • Hot as Hell: The Devil taking the form of a horned demon doesn't scare Johnny; he thought it was pretty cool. So Satan then turns into a cute, perky cheerleader, which squicks him right out.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Johnny scoffs at the self-absorbed, over-dramatic residents of Hell losing their shit over trivial annoyances - then proceeds to throw his very own epic tantrum over it.
  • Identity Amnesia: The more Nny questions the situation and Motive Decay, the more he mentions remembering barely any of his past to the point of wondering how he came to be in the house in the first place. It turns out to have been caused by the Doughboys and Wall Monster holding More than Mind Control over him, but even with them gone, his memories don't return.
  • Important Haircut: Nny either sleep-shaved himself during a stupid dream, or it burned off when he went to Hell. Either way, he's left with two Hair Antennae and the meager trade-off of freedom and semi-sanity.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Nny has killed and/or maimed people with an automatic screwdriver, a live snake, a loose circular saw blade, a Cheeto and salad tongs. And that's just the beginning of it.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Jimmy develops an infatuation with Johnny when he witnesses Johnny's killing spree at a Taco Hell Outlet. It doesn't end well.
  • The Insomniac: Nny dislikes sleeping; it further distorts his perception of reality. This means he stays awake until he loses consciousness, at which point his body usually continues doing unspeakable things of its own accord. According to his Twitter, he once woke up on the beach trying to paddle a hollowed-out corpse like a canoe.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Of a different sort. In one strip, Nny discusses his current attempt to commit suicide to the Doughboys. Before he goes through with it, Nailbunny tells him that a TV show he likes is on. Cut to him laughing uproariously at the TV. In Jhonen's notes in the Director's cut, he says he found the idea of someone failing to commit suicide then losing interest in it to be funny, with a strip showing a proto-Johnny trying to shoot himself with an empty gun, and then going to watch TV.
  • I Will Show You X!: Nny's response to being called "wacky" by a woman in a Taco "Hell":
    Nny: I'll show you wacky! I'll show you wackeeeeee!
    • Then he disembowels everyone in the restaurant with a spork, going so far as to squish all the roaches in the kitchen.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch:
    • Johnny's murder of Jimmy was quick and incredibly brutal. It was also pretty damn deserved.
    • Johnny's idea of ending a relationship with no hard feelings is killing his date, Devi, before things between them can go south. There is a reason why the fandom lauds her as "The One Who Got Away."
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Johnny sees himself as this. The degree to which this is true... varies.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Johnny, who often comes off as the world's most psychopathic stick figure. When he's not drawing it, anyway.
  • Lunatic Loophole: Throughout the series, Johnny manages to avoid being arrested for or even suspected of any of his crimes, up to and including draining the blood of a flower vendor, on a crowded street in broad daylight, with numerous horrified witnesses present.

  • Mad Artist: Johnny... if his creative murders and Happy Noodle Boy comics actually count as art.
    • Apparently, he can also knit shovels. Not a functional shovel, but yes, a shovel.
  • Mad Eye: Johnny is depicted with one eye huge and staring, the other slitted as a marker for insanity. Well, greater than normal levels of insanity.
  • Moment Killer: Johnny and Devi Almost Kiss. Cue knives. Cue Devi's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Cue Nailbunny Lampshading this months later.
  • Mood Whiplash: Johnny's very susceptible to this, which makes sense, given that he's a total lunatic.
  • Morality Pet: Despite the repeated trauma he inadvertently inflicts, Johnny's kindly (although misguided) treatment of Squee is about as close to petting the dog as he gets.
    • Devi acts as this, too. Almost any interaction between them has Johnny acting much closer to sane than usual, be it the three months before she asks him out or even after she beats the crap out of him.
  • More than Mind Control: The Doughboys seem to have this over Johnny, through the wall-monster. Helped by the fact that the duo used to be part of him and have been slowly invoking Identity Amnesia. It takes Johnny a good helping of Villainous Valour to fight back.
  • Motive Decay: Purposely invoked in the story and discussed by Johnny, who finds it harder and harder to remember why he kills people as the thing behind the wall and the Doughboys gain more control over him.
  • The Movie: Maybe.
  • Mr. Exposition: Nny, on several of his usual rants.
  • Mundane Afterlife: Heaven is... people sitting in chairs. Hell is... living with all the people who go to Hell and living with the reason you went to Hell in the first place. There are actually good reasons behind this. In Heaven, the people there are truly happy, entirely contented, and thus lack the desires of living people, who spend their lives looking for happiness. Hell's pretty self-explanatory. Even Nny says that at least in life there are some nice people mixed in with all the jackasses.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: Averted with Johnny, but played straight with Jimmy.
  • Mysterious Past: Nny. As in, even Nny doesn't know it. Which makes it easier for the Doughboys to do their thing.
  • No Ending: The main series and Squee!
  • Non Sequitur: After horribly killing a pedophile for threatening Squee, he informs Squee at the end of his rant that it's Tuesday, "U.F.O. Day!" and runs off.
  • Noodle Implements: "I've done horrifying things with salad tongs. It's really eaten into my social life."
  • Noodle People: Everyone's got long, spindly limbs.
  • Only Sane Employee: Meet Nailbunny, Nny's conscience and voice of reason. Yes, the bunny nailed to a wall.
  • Only Sane Man: Squee is probably the closest thing to "sane" that this universe is ever going to have, and given how often Johnny accidentally scares the hell out of him, he might not stay that way for long. In the odd little world of House 777, Nailbunny certainly qualifies, as he attempts to keep the Doughboys from totally screwing Johnny over, and Johnny in a state slightly resembling a decent human being. His job is less than desirable.
  • Papa Wolf: Johnny bludgeons a pedophile who threatens Squee. He even tries to teach Squee not to be afraid of such people. His method was, uh, flawed, but his intent was genuine.
  • Pet the Dog: Johnny may be a remorseless murderer, but there are several circumstances that show that Johnny isn't entirely evil, and he is willing to protect Squee above all else.
  • Poisonous Captive: Much of Nny's degeneration could be attributed to the thing behind the wall, who wound up creating the Doughboys with the intent that they could push Johnny into suicide. In order to keep it trapped, Nny also had to make sure the wall was continually coated in wet blood, meaning he wound up killing at least one person he otherwise wouldn't have.
  • Police Are Useless: Of course, competence from anyone in a Jhonen Vasquez work might be expecting too much. The police are no different.
  • Pollyanna: Squee, on his better days, comes off as unrealistically optimistic in spite of the troubles he goes through.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Johnny himself even provides the page image.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Nny tortures people for the fun of it, and because he feels he has to. He finds the suffering of the ones he is killing something pleasuring and incredible... yet, he is highly disgusted with the idea of raping his victims before killing them. However, this seems to be less because Nny is morally opposed to it and more because he finds the idea repulsive. He even says that this standard doesn't grant him any absolution.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The horrible thing trapped behind Johnny's wall, which Johnny keeps imprisoned by painting the wall with the blood of his victims.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: The Devil explicitly doesn't do anything to the denizens of Hell. They make their own afterlife miserable through all their petty obsessions.
  • Self-Insert Fic: Completely, completely averted. Jhonen has debunked claims of this many times, including several Take That! strips targeted at people who believe this.
    • In-universe, it's somewhat implied that Happy Noodle Boy is this. Apparently kids used to call Nny Noodle Boy as a child because he was so skinny.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Don't worry. We get Johnny back.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A lot of the borders contain hidden subliminal messages, and can be easy to miss. For example, at the top of the page with the massacre in the taco place in Issue 1, it says "LV 426."
    • In the bookstore, there is a stack of several books by H. P. Lovecraft. This foreshadows the appearance of the Wall Monster.
    • One of the Wall Monster's heads looks like Snoopy.
    • The cockroach is named "Samsa."
    • Lampshaded at least once.
      Nny: No, mine is a penetration beyond the veil of the flesh.
      Tess: The Fly?
      Nny: What?
      Tess: You're quoting The Fly?
      Nny: Sure, why not?
    • Not stated explicitly, but: Hell is other people.
    • A recurring in-universe band is Nine Inch Heels, likely a stand-in for Nine Inch Nails (especially considering the comic began about a year after the band's breakout album, The Downward Spiral, was released).
  • Show Within a Show: Happy Noodle Boy is supposedly drawn by Johnny himself. As the series goes on, Noodleboy gradually starts making less and less sense, reflecting the protagonist's own mental degeneration. Though Happy Noodle Boy never made much sense in the first place.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Devi to Nny in the final book.
    • Nny himself to the Doughboys, once he gets an idea of what they've been up to.
      Nny: I want out of this. Nailbunny stopped talking yesterday - I know you know why. You've stolen too much of me... I'm through with being used.
  • Slasher Smile: It really wouldn't be Nny without disturbing grins.
  • Spin-Off: The main series spun-off into Squee, which focused on Johnny's grade school neighbor, then later into I Feel Sick, which centered around a young female artist Johnny once tried to kill. I Feel Sick itself was then spun-off into Fillerbunny...sorta.
  • Spree Killer: Whilst more commonly depicted as a Serial Killer and a Mass Murderer, the titular Johnny or Nny has gone on several successful killing spree's, with the heavy implication that he has done more offscreen.
  • Squee: Todd makes this sound when he's scared, leading Johnny (being Johnny) to actually think that his name was 'Squee'. Johnny also has a Squee moment when after he's informed in Heaven that, while there, he can blow up a person's head by thinking about it.
  • Stalker with a Crush: After Nny fails to kill her, Devi becomes convinced he's following her, and her fear of him drives her to agoraphobia. JtHM implies she's just being paranoid, though he does show up in silhouette outside her workplace in I Feel Sick, so perhaps he was stalking her after all.
    • Jimmy, sans the crush - he's closer to Stalker With A Fanatic Obsession than anything.
  • Status Quo Is God: No matter what, Johnny will be a homicidal maniac. He can have a Love Interest, a Morality Pet, or a Heel Realization, and still be a homicidal maniac. He can die, visit Hell, and come back with control of his own mind and still be a homicidal maniac. (Albeit less of one, but he still shot a "Kick Me" sign into some guy's back.)
  • Straw Nihilist:
    • Johnny tends to have a rather dim view on life and at least partly uses it as a motivation for his murders.
    • To another extent, Wobbly-Headed Bob, who spends every one of his appearances complaining about how pointless and horrible life is.
  • Stylistic Suck: Happy Noodle Boy is drawn in a deliberately crummy style.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Though by rights he shouldn't be, especially starting out. (Then we learn about The Doughboys, The Moose, their collective More than Mind Control... but he's still killed countless people, For the Evulz at least as often as a response to Asshole Victims, and this doesn't exactly stop.) Vasquez himself has been rather squicked by fan responses.
  • Take That, Audience!:
    • Jimmy, or Mmy, from Issue 7 was is clear mockery of people who only liked the comic before Johnny started contemplating what he was doing, and those who found Johnny someone they could relate to as a person.
    • Anne-Gwish is another mockery towards people who considered JtHM a goth comic because of its art style and its anti-conformist views.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: The scene where Devi and Nny are on a date. Devi jokes about killing Nny and leaving his dead body. Both fall silent, but after a moment they both laugh.
  • Thought Caption: Used in several points as an Inner Monologue for isolated gags.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: Than suicide.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Many an Asshole Victim got themselves killed because of their stupidity. Also, the bulk of Hell's population.
    Nny: YOU STINK! Focusing on the mundane! Money! Fashion! Cream cheese! YOU'RE IN HELL AND YOU'RE TOO STUPID TO KNOW IT!
  • Torture Cellar: Johnny's house has one several stories deep that seems to shift around and give itself extra rooms (with devices in them). Even he doesn't know how it came to be there.
  • Tranquil Fury: Nny's major reaction to Jimmy. Justified by how horrified he was, along with the somewhat return of his sanity, but it was as terrifying a sight as an awesome one.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Fook!" though Jhonen usually just uses the regular f-bomb.
  • Verbal Tic Name: Squee, who's real name is Todd. He never said his name was Squee, it's just a sound he makes when he's scared. So when Johnny asked what his name was, that was all he could manage.
  • Villain Protagonist: Johnny is the main character of the comic and he constantly tortures and kills people.
  • Villainous Valour: Johnny against the Doughboys.
  • Vomiting Cop: Not a cop, but an angel in Heaven vomits after looking at a list of Johnny's crimes.
  • Walking the Earth: The series ends with Nny traveling the world without ever staying anywhere permanently. Of course, when you think about it, he probably had to. An Admirer, of Sorts implies that now that his duty as a Waste-Lock is completed, he's no longer immune to getting caught, so staying in one place for too long isn't the wisest thing for him.
  • Wham Episode: The one where Johnny actually dies.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Pretty much the only line Johnny won't cross is killing children.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Johnny briefly gains the power to explode people's heads in Issue 6, when he finds out that those who are in Heaven have powers that vary from person to person, though his guide tells him to refrain from the thought of doing so, lest he'd explode someone's head. He almost immediately turns this power onto a guy and blows up his head a grand total of three times — three, because his head regenerated every time. After the third time, the man gets irritated and does the same to Johnny, who retaliated and... well. The end result is a head-explody war among all of the residents. And a lot of free-floating brain matter.
    Guide: No! No! Stop! STOP! You'll ruin everything!
    Johnny: My God! Are you kidding!? I've always dreamed of having super powers! This is just too much to resist! I have head-explody!