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Comic Book / Rat Queens

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Rat Queens is a Comic Book by Kurtis Wiebe for Image Comics, with artwork by Roc Upchurch. Stjepan Šejić replaced Upchurch as the main artist for issues #9 and #10, with Tess Fowler taking over issues 11-16. In response to fan backlash Wiebe pulled the series for a year, returning in March 2017 with artist Owen Gieninote . In April 2019 Wiebe and Gieni handed off to writer Ryan Ferrier and artist Priscilla Petraites.

Rat Queens follows the adventures of a typical adventuring party on a quest for gold and glory. The storytelling tone is light and playful, weaving between deconstruction and reconstruction freely, and tropes are played with, averted, inverted and turned inside out. The Queens themselves are beer-swilling, loudly foul-mouthed, destructive mercenaries operating out of the tiny town of Palisade. A fairly standard setup for a comic book that's not taking the Dungeons & Dragons world too seriously, but with the twist that all four (and a majority of their allies and rivals) are women.

There's also an Actual Play RPG by Hyper RPG.

Rat Queen provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: The basis of the book. Betty, Dee, Violet and Hannah are one of the two groups that completely fought their way clear of the assassins, and are quite capable of dishing out severe damage even when surprised or when one member of the group is disabled.
    • Braga definitely qualifies as this as well, capable of slaughtering legions of orcs on her own (though having the Queens as backup didn't hurt), while consciously lapsing into a some-what controlled blood-rage. That, and her reputation as "The Bastard" amongst the orc people precedes her.
    • Lola, Sawyer's right-hand lady, is a Bare-Fisted Monk who takes down eight guys at the same time in issue 7.
  • Action Mom: Morgan, of Clan Meldhammer, who participates in a melee tournament. She becomes Violet's inspiration.
  • Alpha Bitch: Hannah and Tizzie bicker in this way constantly, although neither of them seem to do it to other people.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Rat Queens themselves.
  • Amicable Exes: It is strongly implied that Hannah and Sawyer are this now. Not exactly "ex", and more like Friends with Benefits, as seen in Issue 6.
  • Arc Welding: The High Fantasies arc culminates in an encounter with illusionist Castiwyr. He is revealed as working on behalf of the villain for the Colossal Magic Nothing arc, Evil Hannah. The same villain claims to be behind the Once and Future King.
  • Art Shift: Inevitable when Stjepan Sejic took over art duties from Roc Upchurch (see the Trivia page), and then again when Tess Fowler took over from Sejic, and again when Owen Gieni stepped in for the retool.
  • The Atoner: Sawyer had a criminal past before he joined Palisade's law-and-order.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: "Betty Climber" is successfully executed. A "White Screamer" is also mentioned, but interrupted by the severe injury of Hannah before we can see what it looks like.
  • Babies Ever After: Played in the Colossal Magic Nothing arc's flash-forward. Violet and Mathias have five children plus Betty and Faeyri have two more. With domestic bliss in stride they dust off their equipment to go check on one small task for Violet's clan...
  • Badass Boast: Being a high fantasy comic, they abound.
    Braga:"Orcs know only one language. Blood. I'm the fucking alphabet."
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Played twice in quick succession: the Queens are sent to wipe out a goblin hold, which turns into an ambush by an elite assassin, who is himself squished by a troll, who then attacks the party.
  • Better than Sex: Explicitly invoked in Issue #2. "Dee, I'd seriously give up sex for healing spells." "Let's not go crazy, now."
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Orc Dave seems like a nice, laid-back fellow - quick to help out his fellow adventurers, and one of the side effects of his healing powers is a flock of bluebirds emerging from his beard. That said, he's a member of the only adventuring group that doesn't lose a member for a reason beyond his animal-friendly healing abilities. As shown in flashback, you don't want to be around when the red birds come out of his beard.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: The Slog Chimp is a legendary monster rumored to live in the swamp and used to frighten children. According to Betty he's a pretty chill guy.
  • The Big Guy: The Four Daves. All four of them.
  • Biomanipulation: The Flesher orcs claim to unleash the potential of the mind to reshape the physical form to match. The process is usually lethal but survivors are formidable soldiers.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Hannah gets this when she really loses her temper.
  • Bloodless Carnage: is mostly averted, but Hannah's nearly-torn-off arm in issue #2 is way, way less bloody than you'd expect.
  • Booby Trap: In the third arc goblins devour Betty's bag of candy and die horribly, revealing that it also contains deadly poison.
    Violet: I have eaten candy out of that bag! More than once!
    Betty: Why do you think I told you not to eat the green ones?
  • Breast Attack: "You put an arrow in my favorite boob, fuckwit!"
  • Buffy Speak: Violet and Betty both do this at various times. As does Old Lady Bernadette at the end of issue 3. "Can you please make sure that you kill them to fucking death this time?
  • Butch Lesbian: Betty's girlfriend Faeyri has a distinctly more masculine appearance.
Next Issue: Fuck You, Gary! +1 on all attacks against guys named Gary!
  • The Caper: First a failed one, then a successful one. Betty is considerably better at this than Hannah, for reasons that are probably obvious (namely, one's a thief and the other's a wizard).
  • Cain and Abel: The final villain of Wiebe's fun is Voon, master of the Flesher orcs, and the elder brother of Braga.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Much of the group's banter in combat is this.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The first arc of the retool is High Fantasies, a return-to-form heavy on jokes and quick conflicts rather than an overarching villain. In the Colossal Magic Nothing it's revealed that the closing conflict of High Fantasies was in fact a new villain probing the Queens for psychological weaknesses.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Starting with the third arc, which culminates with the party splitting and Hannah giving into the dark side and the others not wanting anything to do with her.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Cursing in this book is NOT censored, and all four of the girls have fairly foul mouths.
  • Colossus Climb: The Betty Climber starts as a Fastball Special and turns into this.
  • Crystal Weapon: Dee conjures them for the whole team when steel crumples against the armor of the Flesher orcs.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Evidently the cult of N'rygoth, while certainly creepy for its worship of a tentacled eldritch horror, is largely benign and its followers fairly decent people.
  • Dark Secret: Sawyer is apparently responsible for the death of the wife of the leader of the merchant guild, and is heavily implied to be a former member of the assassin group.
    • There is reason for Hannah's unique hairstyle.
  • Deconstruction: Of fantasy role-playing and High Fantasy comics. Or at least of worlds in which adventurers are commonplace, as Palisade is getting tired of their brawling and rowdiness spilling over into the streets and causing all sorts of property damage. To the point where one of the townspeople hires an assassin to kill them all.
  • Deity of Human Origin: All of them, supposedly. Per Lady Love a mortal ascends to godhood by viewing the world through ancient eyes, effecting some major change on the world, and hearing a prayer to themselves. Per Bilford Bogin if that major change is undone then the god reverts to mortality.
  • Destructive Savior: The Rat Queens have a bad rep for causing destruction and mayhem wherever they go. Were it not for Sawyer cutting them a lot of slack, they would've been booted out of the city long ago.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Smidgen Dave manages to distract a group of orcs by conjuring an image of a naked orc chick, leaving them ogling until they're impaled by arrows.
  • Distressed Dude: Sawyer is tied up and forced to watch in issue 7 as tentacle monsters descend on Palisade.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Violet to Orc Dave. She really doesn't give him an option.
    Vi: I want to get drunk. I want to get high. I want to have sex with Orc Dave. They can happen in any order or all at once. Any objections?
  • The Dreaded: Braga has this reputation among her fellow orcs, as seen in Issue #4. She's known as "The Bastard," and the mere sight of her is enough to make her opponents start quaking in their boots (or lack thereof). The reasons — and the nickname — are explored in greater detail in the Braga Special.
    Random Orc: We're fucked!
    He and his buddy's heads get bifurcated simultaneously by Braga.
  • Drunken Song: We read what is presumably the ending of either a verse or the chorus. "And the old wizard fumbled in the gloom, As he reached out for his trusty broom/But he was in for a vulgar shock, When he firmly gripped his horse's cock, OHHHHHHH!"
  • Dual Wielding: The way Betty wields her daggers is this; also Violet with her twin wakizashis.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Dee Dee used to be in a cult that worshipped N'rygoth, a tentacled elder god. And as of issue 7, an entire army of tentacled horrors has been summoned to destroy Palisade.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Violet is resigned to an unhappy life trapped by family conventions until she meets a woman who escaped by rejecting the same conventions and realizes that's an option.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Hannah and Sawyer. Betty and Faeyri. Violet and Orc Dave. Braga and Human Dave. Even Hannah's parents put the romance in necromancy.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Four Daves. A mercenary group made out of four men called Dave.
  • Explosive Breeder: Smidgens, apparently.
    Betty: So true. We like pushing things out of our bodies as much as we like putting things in 'em!
  • Extra Eyes: N'rygoth has two primary eyes, each surrounded by a circle of smaller eyes.
  • Eye Scream: Betty kills a giant troll by stabbing him through each eye. Gets the eyes as spell components for Hannah, too. Hannah does the same thing with magic wands when she goes berserk during the big battle in issue 5.
    • Bernadette on the last page of issue #6, in a big way.
    Next Issue: FUCK
  • Facial Markings: the followers of N'Rygoth get facial tattoos above and below their eyes as they advance in the cult.
  • Fair Cop: Sawyer.
  • Family of Choice: While some of the Queens have surviving family members, it's stated at several points that they consider the Queens as family. Braga explicity chooses them over her birth family.
  • Fanservice: Sometimes.
    • Deliberately averted in daily adventuring. The female characters who are the focus of the party for the most part dress like you would expect professional killers-for-hire to dress. Hannah and Dee's costumes are light, Betty's is cut for maximum freedom of movement, and Violet wears fairly reasonable body armor. They also all have quite distinct and plausible body shapes.
    • Embraced whenever a Queen has a sexual encounter.
    • There's also the "Sexy Men of Rat Queens" fanart images Kurtis and Roc have been posting on the comic's Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter pages when they receive it as a response to the overwhelming prevalence of stripperific female armor you usually see in fantasy art. Well, maybe not that one of Gary....)
  • Fan Disservice: The giant troll. Just, the giant troll.
  • Fantastic Drug: The Rat Queens are habitual drug users who consume mushrooms. Hannah has a hookah used to smoke pure magic and Betty takes bits of humanoid Mushrooms for this purpose after killing them, despite the others questioning this.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Betty is a Thief, Dee is a Cleric, Hannah is a Wizard, and Violet is a Fighter.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hannah and Violet engage in a round of Elves Versus Dwarves at an inopportune time.
  • Fastball Special: The "Betty Climber" is a modified version of this - rather than throwing any member of the party, Dee crouches with Violet's shield and is used as a launching platform for Violet and Betty to attack the enemy.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Of a particularly crude and foul-mouthed variety.
  • Fiery Redhead: Violet.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Averted with Dee. Dee is an atheist but she seems to be reasonable in why she doesn't believe in the gods (explicitly citing the god she was raised to serve as ridiculous), and the world has not given particular reason for either belief or disbelief in any gods. In Dee's words, "I'm Goddess enough for me." She also retains some cultural traditions even if she doesn't believe in the religious component of them, such as showing respect to the dead with a prayer position—she tells her husband that she doesn't need to be a believer to find such things important and comforting.
  • Flipping the Bird: Hannah drops several as expressions of defiance, often while leaving.
    • She throws a double while storming through the magic mirror at the end of the Demons arc.
    • Another double when she is attacked by the Colossal Magic Nothing.
    • And her bird is the last thing shown when she makes a quick exit near the end of Once and Future King.
  • Foreshadowing: Wiebe likes to drop bread crumbs while writing.
    • Atheist cleric Dee is asked how she's able to do divine-derived cleric spells despite not believing in gods. She answers, "I'm goddess enough." In the Infernal Path arc she ascends to godhood herself.
    • Violet acquires a sword from a dragon's hoard in the Demons arc that gives her a vision of combat with an evil sorceress. In the Colossal Magic Nothing arc that vision pays off with evil Hannah.
  • Friends with Benefits: Commonplace. Hannah and Sawyer can't seem to stay out of each others' beds despite knowing it's a bad idea. Braga and Human Dave have a much, well, friendlier friends-with-benefits situation going on.
  • Funny Background Event: The big fight at the end of the second arc shows Braga swinging a man by his feet as a weapon.
  • Gargle Blaster: The Betty Special, which is mostly drugs and alcohol, because she hasn't worked out how to make an orgasm into an ingredient yet.
  • Girls With Mustaches: Female dwarves in general grow beards, if they don't shave like Violet (who is shown with a magnificent one in flashback).
    • Although, in defiance of the trope name, they seem not to grow hair above their upper lips, and will usually have a full beard without a mustache.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Hannah's eyes glow white whenever she's casting, unless she's really pissed off.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Inverted with the cult of N'rygoth where humans invoking the god's rituals drain that god's ability to act of its own volition, or even wake up.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Well... more like "Protagonists are not Nice," but the Rat Queens are at least good in theory.
  • Gruesome Goat: Referenced in a couple places.
    • Half-demon children grow goat horns. The more evil the person, the longer and more curled the horns become.
    • N'rygoth itself is pictured with horizontal pupils like goat eyes.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Issue 3 reveals that Violet has a twin brother, who calls her out for shaving her beard and telling dwarven tradition to go fuck itself.
  • Hand Wave: A shocking murder of questionable motive is changed in flashback to the first skirmish in a townwide doppelganger attack.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Explicitly invoked in the preview and issue #2
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Every member of the party can very definitely hold her liquor.
  • Healing Factor: Not exactly, but Dee's magic can repair an arm that's nearly been torn off of the person it's (barely) attached to, and bring someone back from the brink of death.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Violet carries the traditional heroic sword-and-shield to signal that she's the moral leader of the group.
  • Heroic Resolve: Hannah goes absolutely berserk when Violet gets shot in the throat.
  • Hobbits: Smidgens. Betty was actually referred to as a hobbit in the promotional material. Presumably, the Tolkien estate's lawyers dusted off the speech they gave to Gary Gygax back in the day.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bilford Bogin claims he died intentionally to unite the better angels of smidgens. Worship has spilled out to other races also.
  • Horse of a Different Color: A couple noteworthy examples.
    • The Once and Future King rides a giant dog named Professor Fudge.
    • The same king's army uses giant crows for long-distance scouting/assassination.
  • I Have No Son!: Braga was the recipient of this back before she transitioned and was the heir to an orc clan. For the most part, she likes it better that way.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: A brief one in the Underpit among the Queens when they are turned into People Puppets against each other.
  • Identically Named Group: The Four Daves are an adventuring party composed of men all named Dave. To tell them apart, they're referred to by their species (Human Dave, Orc Dave, etc.)
  • Insistent Terminology: Old Lady Bernadette would like to remind everyone that she's thirty-nine years old!
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Violet has this opinion in-universe regarding clean-shaving for Dwarf women. She started shaving her beard as an act of social defiance, but when facial shaving became popular among young dwarves she let her beard grow back.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted in a big way. Violet has a pair of wakizashi in her arsenal but mostly uses them as a backup weapon.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The assassin at the end of issue #1, in a tremendous way.
  • The Lad-ette: All of the Rat Queens (except maybe Dee) and most of the other female characters.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A furniture store could make a great deal of money with all the lampshades in this series.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: There's a major character reveal in the second arc where Hannah shows her demon horns to Sawyer. By the retool run a couple arcs later that's routinely shown on the cover art.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Betty.
  • Local Hangout: The Black Satyr is popular with all the adventuring parties in Palisade. It's run by Maestro, a former adventurer bard, and his daughter Maddie.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The Queens are drenched in them by a poor assassin Killed Mid-Sentence.
  • Magitek: Hannah uses a necromancy-based cell phone. It's powered by souls and can only reach her dead mother.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Sawyer in issue 7.
  • Meaningful Echo: Retool issue #14 sees a desperate Betty praying for the first time since her childhood. Uncertain of divine intervention she reassures herself with Dee's adage.
    • Betty: Goddess enough.
  • Meaningful Name: The Four Daves are a party of four men, all of them named Dave.
  • The Medic: Dee, to a certain extent; also Orc Dave.
  • Missing Child: Played oddly with Orc Dave. A one-off reveals he had a child. Several issues later the child is discovered and revealed to have been kidnapped in front of the father, who never mentioned it nor took any action to seek out said child.
  • Moral Myopia: Voon believes Braga has to pay for her betrayal of him, and how dare she go after him when he's family. The fact that Voon tried to murder her before her transition, murdered her lover and has no compunction trying to torture Braga to death is kind of lost on him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Sawyer. (Also see the Fanservice entry above.)
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The character descriptions: Hannah the "Rockabilly Elven Mage," Violet the "Hipster Dwarven Fighter," Dee the "Atheist Human Cleric," and Betty the "Hippie Hobbit Thief".
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Sadie. Head of an owl, talons for hands and feet, and wings, but a humanoid torso with large breasts. Which the comic shows off completely in Volume 2, Issue #15.
    Hannah: Fuck me, I bet Braga ten gold those would be covered with feathers.note 
  • Not Worth Killing: In #19 the king arrests the Queens for a show trial and execution but boots their junior member Maddie aside entirely.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Early in #19 Maddie the bard gets kicked offscreen by the king. She reappears in the same issue covered in the blood of the king's army she slaughtered without taking a scratch herself.
  • One Last Job: In the flash-forward of the Colossal Magic Nothing arc, Violet leads the gang to dust off their equipment to run down some troubling reports at the edge of her clan's territory...
  • One-Steve Limit: The Four Daves explicitly avert this.
  • Origins Episode: Issue 8 for Violet.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Explicitly invoked. Violet is noteworthy because this mindset is exactly what drove her to leave her people in the first place. She also notes how ridiculous it is whenever someone talks about something like "dwarven ale," as if dwarves would only make one type of beer and call it dwarven ale.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elves Hannah and Tizzie are just as aggressive, alcoholic, violent, and shallow as the others surrounding them. Hannah's father appears grey-haired and wrinkled, indicating that they age just like any other race. The only obvious physiological difference between elves and humans is their pointy ears.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Moondogs look like the typical wolfman style werewolf, but they have the personalities of frat boys. They also don't appear to have any specific resistance to being harmed with weapons that aren't made of silver.
  • Overused Copycat Character: The Obsidian Darkness appear to be an entire party of Drizzt clones. They all get quickly and summarily slaughtered in the first issue.
  • Path of Inspiration: A bizarrely inverted example in the N'rygoth cult that started as a straight Religion of Evil, but the worshippers got less fanatical and stopped being evil. In fact, the cult's rituals are designed to slowly kill the chained Eldritch Abomination. Only the High Priest knows the full truth.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: The Queens have a rough time in the Demons arc. When one member's history of violence is exposed by an outsider, she cops to it but claims that part of her life is over. She's then countered by another Queen proving that it's not, then rejects their help while claiming they're rejecting her. All this building to the end of issue 15 with the remaining Queens sailing away.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "To the slaughter, my Rat Queens!"
    • Braga has a one of the best ones ever; see Badass Boast, above.
  • Precision F-Strike: At the end of issue 2. "Ahh... fuck buckets."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The assassin in Issue #2 fails at this miserably.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Averted. Betty is an unhinged little bundle of murder but that's pretty much par for the course for adventurers in this world. Outside of battle she's as sweet and cute as you would imagine a halfling to be.
  • Punched Across the Room: Maddie is subject to these due to her youth and inexperience. Two examples are on Violet's treasure hunt and in combat with the Once and Future King.
  • Punished with Ugly: Castiwyr claims his fishy appearance is due to a curse. As a favor Hannah kisses him to break the curse and he transforms into a drop-dead gorgeous human male. He claims the new form is his true one and equally disgusting. But maybe he was just messing with her.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth arc has reality-bending monsters invade Palisade. Participants in one attack warp from charging into the fight to dragging their wounded and dead to cover with no memory of the actual combat.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sawyer tends to negotiate between the law-abiding citizenry and rowdy adventurers instead of cracking down.
  • Religion of Evil: Subverted with the worshipers of N'rygoth. Dee's family seem quite nice, but Kiah is aware that the religion's relics and incantations can be twisted to evil by a man with malicious intent — much like any religion that doesn't worship an Eldritch Abomination. Later revealed as an inversion: N'rygoth is an evil alien god, but the cultists' worship and spellcasting drains its power.
  • Retool: In 2016 Wiebe put the series on hold for a year. He came back with a new artist in March 2017 by just ignoring the least popular parts of the third arc and bringing everyone back to base.
    • Later arcs reintroduced the axed elements as an alternate timeline now making an attack on the retooled timeline.
  • Revenge: Several villains.
    • Bernadette hires assassins to kill the mercenary adventurers of Palisade for brawling in the streets and destroying property.
    • Gerrig Lake is driven to kill his wife's murderer.
    • Evil Hannah seeks vengeance against the Queens for perceived lack of loyalty.
  • The Rival: The Peaches introduced in the first story arc may be this for the Rat Queens, but more likely it's just that Hannah and Tizzie, the leader of the Peaches, get under each other's skins. A flashback shows that (unsurprisingly) they used to be close friends when they were in school, and in times when things get too dangerous for them to remember that they hate each other they have exceptional teamwork abilities.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The first two issues leave about half the adventuring parties in Palisade assassinated, including the Brother Ponies and the Obsidian Darkness. Only the Rat Queens, the Four Daves and half the Peaches survive the cull.
  • Secret Relationship: Dee is married, something the other Rat Queens were not aware of.
  • Sherlock Scan: Betty is really good at these, which makes sense considering her role as "the thief" of the group. In Issue #3, she only needs to give Gerrig Lake (a merchant the Queens suspect in having a hand in the attempts on their lives) and his office a cursory glance to determine that he had returned from Denval (a location two weeks away by boat) that morning, that he had recently stopped wearing his wedding ring, that his office was booby-trapped via magic, and that he had a wallsafe behind one of his paintings.
    • Later in the series: she wakes extraordinarily hung over to find an assassin standing on her bed, Violet busts in about 30 seconds later, and Betty already knows exactly where the assassin was from.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Similar Squad: Violet's brother Barrie draws from her playbook and forms the Cat Kings: an elderly male mage, an outdoorsy extrovert druid, and a silent sentient fungus of questionable utility.
  • Sir Swearsalot: All the Queens drop obscenities, but Hannah incorporates them into almost every social interaction she has.
  • Sixth Ranger: As of the first issue the Rat Queens are one of several adventuring parties competing in Palisade, also including Braga of the Peaches party. By the High Fantasies arc Braga was officially inducted into the Queens.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Lola, Sawyer's second-in-command, wears a sleeveless watch tunic. She's got some impressive muscles, too.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Dee definitely counts as one of these, primarily during things like parties. When the Queens host a party in celebration for royally trouncing orc ass, she sinks into a chair near the back of the room and buries her nose in a book. It should be noted that Dee is also married, a fact she had kept a secret from the rest of the Rat Queens.
    Dee: Okay, Dee. Just, breathe. You love to party. You love strangers. You love mingling and small talk.
    Random Douche: Hey, look at you hiding away by your—
    Dee: Go away.
    Random Douche: Pardon?
    Dee: This is my party. This book is good. It asks no questions. The book lets me engage it on my own terms.
    Random Douche: Okayyyy. [leaves]
    Dee: Social Dee strikes again.
  • Square Race, Round Class: Orc Dave is a massive Orc, but is the party healer.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Violet's dad and brother have this kind of mentality. It's one of the reasons why she fled home. It's also one of the reasons why she admires Morgan Meldhammer, because her attitude is "Fuck tradition", while also simultaneously kicking ass.
  • Sweet Tooth: Betty ended up packing the party's rations full of candy and drugs in the first issue. During a Mushroom Samba, she began to hallucinate Violet as made of candy and started munching on her.
  • Take That!: The Brother Ponies are killed without even a single panel showing their fate. Also, the Obsidian Darkness, a parody of goth high fantasy characters and Dark Fantasy in general.
  • The Bard: At least three of note.
    • One member of the Chorus.
    • Maestro, proprietor of the Black Satyr tavern.
    • Maddie, Maestro's daughter and the Black Satyr's waitress.
  • Title Drop: Since the title of the comic is also the name of the adventuring party including the main characters, it happens fairly regularly.
  • Tricked to Death: Betty carries a bag of candy mixed with poison just in case her stuff gets stolen. It pays off when she's captured by goblins who immediately gorge themselves and die.
  • Trickster God: Castiwyr is introduced as an immortal illusionist jerking mortals around out of boredom. His presence in the gods' domain shows he is a technical god just like Lady Love and Bilford Bogin.
  • To Absent Friends: "To the lucky dead, who will not be feeling this hangover tomorrow." "To the lucky dead."
  • Toxic Friend Influence: One of the reasons Betty's ex-girlfriend broke up with her is that she considered all the Rat Queens to be toxic influences on one another and didn't want to stick around long enough to see what happened to Betty. (The other reason being that Hannah punched her in the boob.)
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Nrygoth's ballsack!"
    • Ending issues 1 and 3.
      • "Son." "Of." "A." "Kitten."
      • "Oh poop."
      • "Ahh...fuck buckets."
    • "Bilford Bogin" is another one that gets thrown around quite a lot as well. For reasons yet to be made clear, it's considered especially vulgar in this world.
      • It's revealed in the third arc that Bilford Bogins was a religious figure whose named entered into use as an exclamation similar to 'Jesus Christ'.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Hannah and Violet, more than anyone, get to shouting at one another often. Played with, as it's implied that Hannah fails to realize she might be more hurtful than she intends.
    • Hannah and Tizzie, too. They might hate each other and swap insults at every chance, but half the time it just ends with the two of them laughing, and any time the situation gets dire enough that they forget their rivalry they become violently protective of each other.
  • Warts and All: Violet comes to admire one the fighters in a melee tournament, because she realizes this lady is pretty much everything she wants to be.
    Violet:"You shaved your beard... your clan, they allow it?
    Morgan:"Fuck no. I just felt like doing it."
    Violet:"But... what about tradition?"
    Morgan:"Tradition? Fuck tradition. (beat) Can we hurry this along? There's enough boob sweat to fill a flagon up in here."
    Violet:"Marry me."
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Brother Ponies, The Obsidian Darkness, and half of The Peaches.
  • Wedding Finale: Played for Wiebe's departure from the series at the end of Infernal Path.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Issue 8 is this until the very last few panels. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Wild Child: Dalen was taken very young from his father by the Flesher orcs. He's a rare case that survived the biomanipulation process but didn't actually transform. Needless to say growing up around an army of violent monstrosities did nothing for his social skills. His father rescued him and is trying to repair the damage with mixed results.
  • World of Snark: The Queens trade barbs with each other, allies, enemies, passersby...
  • Writing Around Trademarks: As described above, between the pre-publication publicity and the actual comic "hobbit" was replaced by "smidgen". Which is generally assumed to be for this reason.

Did you seriously pack candy and drugs for dinner?