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Comic Book / Scott Pilgrim

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Get the hot girl. Defeat her evil exes. Hit love where it hurts. Easy, right?

"Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it. I would punch your life in the face."
Kim Pine


Scott Pilgrim is an award-winning indie graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley and published by Oni Press throughout the mid-to-late 2000s.

The series revolves around its namesake characternote , a Canadian twentysomething slacker who plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-Omb and otherwise lives a comfortable life mooching off his friends and roommate. Said life is thrown into chaos when American ninja delivery girl Ramona V. Flowers moves into town and starts using his dreams as a shortcut to other places, and Scott falls in love with her. However, to be free to date her, he has to defeat her seven evil exes in battle (they have a league) and — quite possibly — get a life.

Did we mention that it's set in a Video Game version of Toronto that runs based on the Acceptable Breaks from Reality used in River City Ransom?


The series runs through six volumes:

  1. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (2004)
  2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2005)
  3. Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness (2006)
  4. Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (2007)
  5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe (2009)
  6. Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour (2010)

The film version of the series, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, was directed by Edgar Wright, starring Michael Cera as Scott and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona, and released in summer 2010. A side-scrolling beat-'em-up game by Ubisoft, with sprite work by Paul Robertson and music by Anamanaguchi, was released a matter of days before the film's American premiere as a tie-in. O'Malley was heavily involved in both adaptations.

For those who prefer a more tactile gaming experience, a Deckbuilding Game called Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Card Game was published in 2017 by Renegade Game Studios, who also launched a Kickstarter campaign for a tabletop miniatures game, Scott Pilgrim Miniatures the World, in 2019.


The series now has a full-color Updated Re-release that began on August 2012, finally rendering all those black and white jokes completely meaningless.

Now has a Character sheet and Shout Out page. Feel free to contribute.


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  • Absurdly Long Stairway: Scott defeats Lucas Lee by convincing him to rail grind a huge stairway on his skateboard. After exceeding speeds of 309 kph, he wipes out and explodes on impact.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: At one point, Knives Chau's father cuts through a streetcar with his katana. Called back to in the 4th level of the game, with Roxy cutting through another streetcar, twice.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Everyone calls Neil Nordegraf 'Young Neil'. He doesn't actually gripe about it, but when Scott introduces him as just 'Neil', it is the best day of his life.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Scott in Volume 6.
  • Action Girl: Ramona, Knives, and Roxanne to name a few. Ramona even battled and defeated Gideon alongside Scott.
  • Adults Are Useless: There Are No Therapists. Or police, beyond the Vegan Police. Professors have long since faded into the background. Parents are useless, except for a vigilante ninja dad obsessed with "avenging" his daughter. Any sign of law, order, or stability is completely absent... which makes for a pretty entertaining World of Ham, until you consider its nightmarish implications... which manifest themselves on-page, several times over.
    • Well, during the fight with Scott and Knives, one guy does say he's going to call the cops, so there is at least SOME branch of police force in this world. Though a remarkably absent one, nonetheless.
  • An Aesop: The main lesson of the comic is that if you've made mistakes in the past, you shouldn't run away from them, but rather accept those flaws to become a better person and avoid making the same mistakes all over again. Scott learns this by admitting his mistakes in his relationship with his exes and Ramona does the same.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Lucas Lee (he caters his fight with Scott!) but not so in the movie. There he just offers to get coffee for his mooks while they beat up Scott, though not before telling Ramona that Scott 'seems nice'.
    • Gideon Graves can come off as this as long as you ignore the fact that his invitation to Scott was mostly to gloat.
    • Matthew Patel sent a nice email letting Scott know in advance that he was coming, and explaining the situation.
  • Alliterative Name: Gideon Gordon Graves, Stephen Stills, Wallace Wells, Neil Nordegraf, Lucas Lee, Roxanne Richter, Ken and Kyle Katayanagi. It helps that Scott seems to enjoy saying their full names.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • Scott and Wallace's "hole in concrete" apartment fosters much confusion in viewers/readers. Also, Honest Ed's was a real place (closed in 2016).
    • Think it's strange that a hardcore vegan would be so willing to secretly eat meat, magical powers nonwithstanding? Google "recovering vegans" and you'll find many stories involving vegans who realized they lacked the resolve to sustain their diet, and to avoid backlash from the vegan community, started eating meat in secret. Whether or not O'Malley was aware of this though, is up for debate; Todd Ingram's hypocrisy fits a little too well into his personality for it to be a coincidence.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Kim Pine feels this way about her parents.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield:
    • Scott's face-off against Gideon within Ramona's mind in Volume 6 is a parody of this trope.
    • Ramona's fight with Roxanne in Subspace in Volume 4 also has elements of this trope.
  • Anachronism Stew: Minor example, likely a result of Comic-Book Time: For exactly one panel in the fifth volume, released in 2009, Scott wears a shirt with the bassist icon from Rock Band, which came out in 2007, despite the series taking place in 2004 and 2005.
  • And That's Terrible!: "Gideon stole the Power of Love! What a dick!"
  • And the Adventure Continues: The end of Vol. 6 kinda gives you this feeling.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In Volume 6, Scott unlocks a new T-Shirt by leveling up. This actually works out pretty well, since he spilled booze all over the shirt he arrived in, and reluctantly put on a replacement shirt emblazoned with Gideon's logo right before his fight with Gideon. It was also covered in his own blood and had a hole in it from when Gideon stabbed him to death.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Knives gives one to Scott. His response is that he thinks they should break up.
  • Animated Adaptation: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation is a four-minute short adapting the opening of Volume 2, featuring Scott's relationship with Lisa Miller and Kim Pine in his high-school days. Michael Cera and Allison Pill reprise their roles as Scott and Kim, with Lisa Miller and Simon Lee (neither of whom appear in the film) being played by Mae Whitman and Jason Schwartzman (who play Roxy and Gideon in the film), respectively.
  • Animesque: The comic takes on this look after a while thanks to Art Evolution.
  • The Antichrist: Gideon's logo is an inverted, stylized triforce made out of G's. Yep.
  • Anti-Villain: The Evil Exes are mostly this (except for Gideon of course, and Todd), bordering between Type II and Type IV.
  • Appropriated Title: The adaptations take their name from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the second book in the series.
  • Arc Number:
    • 7. It becomes a little more obvious in Volume 6 (ironically) when Gideon is revealed to have 7 exes of his own — six of them innocent victims sealed away in tubes (Ramona being the seventh), but anyway... And when Gideon is finally defeated he explodes into $7,777,777.00 CAD (that's seven sevens).
    • Gideon's initials are also all Gs — G is the seventh letter of the alphabet. (Though co-incidentially all three of his names are six letters long.)
    • Rotate Gideon's Triforce clockwise and it becomes three 7s instead of three Gs.
  • Arc Words: Many variations of the phrase "precious little x". Starting from Volume 1, there are Precious Little Life, Precious Little Ho-Bag, Precious Little Wallace, Precious Little Nickname, and many more. It may be just a catchphrase between all the characters, but the phrase appears in at least one instance of every volume.
  • Art Evolution: Over the course of the series, O'Malley's style became streamlined, much more rounded and even more Animesque. Compare the cover for Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life to the new art O'Malley did for the hardcover re-release of the book.
  • Artificial Limbs: Lynette punches the highlights out of Knives' hair with her bionic arm. It's also the only thing left behind when she teleports away at the end of Vol. 3.
  • Art Shift: The story of how Todd and Envy grew up with each other in volume 3 is shown with the characters being drawn normally but with everything else being drawn in crayon.
  • Astral Checkerboard Decor: One room in subspace where Scott sees Ramona as Gideon's slave has this.
  • Auto Erotica: It's revealed in Volume 2 that Scott lost his virginity to Kim in the back of a car.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Near the end of Volume 6, it's revealed that Ramona spent her time away from Scott the exact same way he did — by moping, slacking, and sleeping all day. Scott's friends declare them a perfect couple.
  • Bag of Holding: Ramona's purse, elaborately lampshading the fact that it contains a hammer (+2 against girls), a titanium baseball bat (+1 against blondes), and even Scott himself. "Capacity: unknown." It also serves as a passage to Ramona's head in subspace, which contains a giant Gideon Graves, whom Scott Pilgrim battles.
  • Banister Slide: Scott does it and knocks out his brother, mistaking him for Gideon.
  • Basement-Dweller:
    • Sort of. Scott and Wallace's apartment is actually the basement of some house O'Malley was using as a model. Truth In Comic Books in the real Toronto's college burbs.
    • Scott begins playing this straight for a bit in Volume 6.
  • Bastard Boyfriend:
    • Gideon. And Todd.
    • Scott may have been more of this than he previously thought, due to Gideon tampering with his memories. Especially in the case of Kim, when he beat up her current meek Asian boyfriend in order to go out with her back in high school. Scott is also like this toward Knives, with him dating her for very shallow reasons, then becoming emotionally unavailable for her the moment Ramona skates into his life, and then finally cheating on her and dumping her in a pretty dickish way.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Scott and Ramona, particularly in Volume 6 with the defeat of Gideon.
    • It's shown in a flashback that Ramona and Matthew Patel beat up all the jocks at their school together when they were dating.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: When Scott battles the Katayanagi Twins' killer robots, nobody really seems to care for his well-being and just ignores it. He's later seen standing over one which he's just beheaded.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Part of the climax in Vol 6, with the fight moving to Ramona's head.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A few girls throughout the series.
  • Beach Episode: The intro of Volume 4, which is also the only event in the series that is illustrated in full color.
  • BFS: The Power of Understanding.
  • Big Bad: Gideon Graves, who is the leader of Ramona's exes that Scott must defeat in order to get her heart.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Boys and Crash show up to help out Scott in his fight with Todd Ingram using The Power of Rock.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • The first between Scott and Ramona in Volume 4 after their Relationship Upgrade. Totally epic.
    • Scott and Ramona's kiss after Scott gets killed by Gideon in Volume 6.
    • Knives gives Scott one, but it's for naught in that he's already met Ramona and doesn't want to date her anymore. Awkward.
    • Not to mention Scott and Knives' experimental kiss in Volume 6. It goes on for two pages. It may be horrible for everyone INCLUDING YOU, but it's the biggest kiss in the series.
    • A very out-of-nowhere one with Scott and Kim in Volume 6 that takes up two whole pages.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Scott gets one in after being informed by Wallace that his package will not be shipped until Monday.
    • Also Todd Ingram right after being deveganized and right before Scott headbutts him to oblivion.
    • Scott in Volume 4 after Ramona leaves him at a restaurant to drink with Kim.
  • Big "YES!":
    • Scott in Volume 4 after Dominique gives him a job at the Happy Avocado (a vegetarian restaurant where Stephen Stills works), although the job is being a dishwasher. In fact, Scott lets out two, and the second one is given something of a Distant Reaction Shot.
    • Scott lets out another one when Dominique re-hires him after he got fired for some commotion he sparked when he saw Ramona and Roxy eating together.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: It's pretty obvious from day one that Scott is kind of an asshole, but you still root for him, seeing as how his enemies, with one or two possible exceptions, are way more unpleasant than he is, and because the the trials he faces make him gradually grow out of being an asshole.
  • Black Bug Room: This is the true power of the Glow and how Gideon made his fortune (having mentioned as psychological warfare and working with the military). Anyone with the Glow have their memories tainted and distorted while their vices are amplified to self-destructive tendencies. In fact, it's described as being trapped inside one's own head, thus literally keeping people from connecting with one another and only able to obsess over their own actions and problems. Ramona has it and it's implied she learned to use Subspace from it while Scott himself ends up getting it. In fact, it's implied that this is how the Negascott came to be in the first place.
  • Bland-Name Product: Mostly averted since real Canadian brands are frequently mentioned, but there are exceptions.
    • The LG billboard in Dundas Square reads "LC".
    • In Volume 5, Knives is seen picking up a soda from a "Choke" vending machine.
    • Kim Pine's "Samsnug" cellphone.
    • The "Time Critics" arcade Neil Nordegraf is seen playing in Volume 6.
  • Blatant Lies: Ehhh possibly. Scott's often mentions he doesn't drink despite sometimes drinking. Granted, he is never seeing enjoying it and could be interpreting as only drinking become he's pressued. Granted, after some Character Development, he does admit that he does sometimes drink, but even the one time he does so willingly, he doesn't really enjoy it.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Oh boy, Volume 6.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Killing people is okay, but if you're a graduate of the Vegan Academy and consume gelato... well, you know the theme song to COPS. Then again, maybe Vegan Police lack juristication in that.
  • Blunt "Yes": Crash and the Boys aren't having any of Wallace's heckling.
    Crash: I'm Crash, and these are the Boys.
    Wallace: Is that girl a boy too?
    Crash: Yes.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Ramona's desire to get back together with Gideon is represented as an image of her kneeling next to him, wearing a leash and handcuffs.
  • Boss Subtitles: For Ramona's Exes.
  • But Not Too Bi: Despite the seemingly straight characters having same-sex relationships, all the characters are explicitly proclaimed to either be straight ("it was a phase") or gay, with no in-between.
  • Brain Bleach:
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Whenever someone asks how he and Ramona met, Scott usually says some variation of "it's a long story, go read Volume 1." Whenever a Chekhov's Gun from a previous book gets used, someone will usually refer to that book by its number. Scott has also referred to certain friends as "secondary characters."
    • During Scott's battle in book 3 when he's losing against Todd, Scott remarks that only a poorly set up Deus ex Machina plot can save him. It does.
    • In the opening of one of the books, two background characters are making comments about the titles.
    • After Todd psychically throws Envy into a wall in volume 3, Scott remarks, "I think it's time to end this volume."
    • When Stephen Stills sees that Joseph has a home studio in volume 4, he immediately asks if he can help Sex Bob-omb record an album, stating that Joseph saw them play "in volume 3".
    • After defeating Roxy in Volume 4, Scott notes to Ramona that Roxy had mentioned a pair of twins right before dying. After Ramona admits that she had dated twins at one point, Scott realizes that he will eventually have to fight them, and says this:
      "Aww, I gonna have to fight two at once in volume 5? Can this just be the last book?
    • At the end of Volume 4 at a Korean restaurant, Scott notes to Wallace that he can't believe Wallace has been secretly dating Mobile since volume 3.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Scott is walking somewhere at night in Volume 2, and in one panel we see the moon. But it doesn't look right; there seem to be two big holes in it. It just seems weird on the first read, and nobody in the book says anything about it at the time. Near the end of Volume 3, however, we find out why it looks like that and what it has to do with the story.
    • In the last volume, Scott asks Knives if she likes Stephen Stills, and she bursts out laughing for no real apparent reason. At the end of that book it is revealed that he came out as gay offscreen in Vol. 5.
    • In Vol. 5, Ramona asks for Scott to charge her phone. Later in the volume, she checks her phone to see that it's still at low battery.
  • Brown Note: "Last Song Kills Audience."
    "Actually, it only knocks most people unconscious for, like, twenty to thirty minutes..."
  • Call-Back:
    • Volume 5 has a dream that puts Scott in the same desert he found himself in back in the first volume, once again lamenting that he is "so alone".
    • When Wallace is first telling Scott about Lucas Lee, Scott confuses him first with Luke Wilson (the actor), and then with a guy who was in a band that Sex Bob-Omb played with (also named Luke Wilson). Some time later, Scott runs into the latter Luke Wilson, and asks if he is Lucas Lee (mind you, this is after Scott had met, fought, and defeated Lee).
  • Canada, Eh?: Written by a Canadian, so it averts most stereotypes, but has the occasional "eh?"
  • Captain Obvious: Wallace is actually helpful most of the time, but once a fight actually starts..."Scott, watch out! I think that guy might be Gideon!"
  • Cast Full of Gay: Wallace Wells (and his various friends and sexual conquests), his boyfriend Mobile, Roxanne Richter, "Other Scott," Joseph, Stephen Stills...
  • Cast Herd: The Loads and Loads of Characters are more or less divided into two camps: Sex Bob-omb and the League of Evil Exes, and their assorted hangers-on.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Scott wakes up from one in Volume 2.
  • Cat Fight:
    • When Scott hears about Ramona's fight with Knives in the library, he's in his bed and gets so excited he spills his cocoa everywhere. Uhh.
    • In Vol. 3, Ramona and Envy get into this kind of fight when their conversation goes south.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Scott's quirky high-school flashbacks turn quite glum with the revelation Kim gives Scott in the final book. Turns out the boy that kidnapped her was just someone she was friends with that Scott beat up when he saw the two together. There was no major confrontation or epic fight that was earlier described. It's later revealed Gideon "spruced up" the memory when he went inside Scott's mind.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The fifth book starts dipping into some pretty heavy territory (such as fidelity), compared to the lightheartedness of the earlier volumes. This is around the same time that Scott realizes he has to grow the hell up and stop being such a manchild in order to save his relationships with Ramona and the rest of his friends. Even more so in the sixth book, especially with scenes like Scott being killed with his own sword halfway through the book.
  • Character Development:
    • Scott is slowly — very slowly — growing from a complete slacker to a quasi-functional person. By the end of the series, he comes to accept the fact that he's been a narcissistic jerk throughout much of his life, and now strives to change for the better.
    • Also applies to Ramona Flowers and Knives Chau (especially in the last volume), and the secondary characters: Wallace is noticeably more care-free after he starts dating Mobile, Stephen Stills is somewhat more neurotic and self-conscious, and Kim is becoming less cold towards Scott.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The Boys and Crash's constant rehearsing finally pays off in the form of an advanced technique:
    We now have the ability to manipulate pure sound waves through hard work and willpower alone!!
    • Scott has superhuman speed and strength and insane martial arts skills without any justification other than he's the main character of a video game.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The extra life Scott gained in book 3 brings him back to life after Gideon runs him through. Lampshaded by Scott's mom, pointing out the extra life after Stacey notes that Scott just came back.
    • It always seemed odd how the Lucas Lee movie Scott and Ramona watch in Volume 2 was curiously similar to Scott's rescuing of Kim back in high school... until Vol. 6.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Nega-Scott, Scott's mysterious doppleganger from Volume 4, reappears in Volume 6, turning out to be a personification of all the problems Scott wants to get away from.
    • The Boys and Crash in Volume 3, along with their Chekhov's Skill (manipulating sound waves), which is lampshaded by Kim.
    • In the movie, Roxie attacks Scott for the first time before he meets Todd.
    • Gideon Graves at the end of Volume 3.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In book 2, it's shown that Scott is an exceedingly good cook. When he gets a job at a restaurant in book four, he's relegated to a dishwasher.
    • Played straight at the end of Volume 6. Scott Pilgrim, greatest prep chef in the world. And he still botches the order.
      Stephen Stills: Whatever, they ordered dinner at 10:55. They're getting a salad.
    • Played straight with Stephen Stills, who had his cooking moment with the vegan shepherd's pie scene in book 2, and is seen later working at the same restaurant as Scott and being complimented by customers for his cooking.
    • After Scott earns the Power of Love and goes up to fight Roxy, he says, "Now I'm glad I picked that longsword proficiency in grade five!"
      • This was actually foreshadowed in Vol 2, when Scott said that he didn't take the skateboard proficiency.
    • Headbutting. Scott uses it to kill Todd in Volume 3, and then uses it in Volume 6 with the Glow to break Gideon out of his giant, twisted, godly form.
  • Christmas Cake: Played straight in a bizarre fashion. In Vol. 4, Scott is sitting on a bench looking for some drink money right before he meets Lisa. Two girls walk by, one remarking that Scott is kind of cute, and the other responds, "Ew, he's like 25."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Scott has shades of this from time to time.
    Wallace: Can you be serious for one second?
    Scott (drooling): I like elevators.
  • Combination Attack: How Scott and Ramona finish off Gideon. It's a slash in the shape of an "X". An X-Slash if you will. The twins Kyle and Ken also do this with techniques like the Double Hurricane Kick, and Simul-Punch. Also known as the "Ex-slash" if it's possible not to notice.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Vegan Police rush in to remove Todd Ingram's vegan superpowers for eating gelato. Envy notes that Todd also ate chicken parmesan, but the police aren't sure whether parmesan is an animal or not, so they don't punish him for that one.
  • Comic-Book Time: Lampshaded and mocked in the fifth volume, as the Real world and the Scott Pilgrim world take on the last Sex Bob-Omb show collide with hilarious results.
    Sandra: A whole generation of bands have come and gone since you guys opened for the Demonheads in '05!
    Scott: That was this May!
  • Continuity Nod: Scott's love of the X-Men, shown in Volume 1, is shown again in Volume 5 in full force. He tells Ramona the storylines of the demon Belasco kidnapping Colossus' sister Illyana and the time the X-Men set up base in Australia.
  • Continuity Porn: The series is loaded with little details, some of which speak to each other over separate books.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Knives leaps and attacks Envy right before she's about to finish Ramona. Subverted in that it doesn't accomplish much and Knives ends up hitting the wall.
  • Cosmetic Award:
    • Scott unlocks an achievement for defeating the Katayanagi twins at the same time.
    • They also give a $2.00 "twin bonus"... no, wait, that's likely independent of the achievement.
    • Gets a Shout-Out in the video game, where defeating both of them at once earns you the 'Twin Dragons' Achievement/Trophy.
  • Cranky Landlord: Scott and Wallace's landlord is a jerkass of the highest order. Considering the boys don't seem to actually pay him rent and he still lets them stay until their contract lapses, at which point he offers a per month deal...
  • Crapsaccharine World: The entire World of Ham looks playful and fun at first, until you realize just how selfish, violent, and lawless most of the main cast actually is. Even the heroes. Lampshaded several times. For example in Volume 2, when Ramona rips a metal pole off the ground to fight Knives, Stacey exclaims, "Are you crazy? You can't just tear up giant metal art objects like that!"
  • Crazy-Prepared: Gideon: "Yes! I had a sword built into Envy's dress in case of emergency! THAT'S JUST THE KIND OF GUY I AM!"
  • Critical Existence Failure: Scott gets thrown through brick walls, beaten up by a giant robot, etc. and manages to come out relatively unscathed.
  • Crossover: Scott makes a one panel cameo in another Oni Press graphic novel entitled PENG (which is NOT by Bryan Lee O'Malley, but rather by Corey Lewis, who also did the graphic novel series Sharknife, which takes place in the same continuity as PENG).
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Scott Pilgrim may be an idiot, but he's also the "best fighter in the province".
  • Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: Ramona's "three or five evil exes".note 
  • Cue the Sun: At the end of Volume 3.
  • Cutaway Gag: In Volume 5.
    Scott: Well, we've got something like 48 hours, dude [Stephen Stills]...what's our plan?

  • Darkest Hour: In Volume 6, ironically titled "Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour"; the entire first half of the story is devoted to the aftermath of Scott's breakup with Ramona and his attempt to forget about his past and move on. The finest hour comes at the end of the story.
  • Dark Is Evil: Both Roxy and Envy dress in a dark, somewhat gothic-inspired style, the latter to accentuate her Femme Fatale persona.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Nega-Scott. He is the Enemy Without personification of Scott's mistakes: he exists because Scott refuses to face up to them, obsessed with his narcissistic, Never My Fault attitude. Every time Nega-Scott shows up prior to Volume 6, it's when Scott is being an absolute ass, serving as Foreshadowing of Scott's inability to learn from his past, and Scott never acknowledges it. He tries to destroy Nega-Scott in Volume 6, insisting that he's doing it to protect Kim (who is shouting at him to stop fighting and running away from his past and is in no danger), and only by accepting that he's not a good person is he able to realize that he's had a horrible negative impact on his friends and himself. He gets better as a result.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone, but especially Kim Pine and, to a lesser extent, Wallace.
  • Death Glare:
    • Everyone in The Clash at Demonhead gives one to Knives when she tells them what a huge fan she is of them.
    • Ramona gives one to Kim in volume 4 when she brings up a poster of two girls kissing. It's even accompanied by "GLARE" being shown in big text, probably considering Ramona was wearing opaque glasses that obscured her eyes from the reader.
    • Kim to Scott in Vol. 6 after Scott fails to continue to not be her mom.
  • Deface of the Moon: Todd Ingram punched two craters in the moon with his Vegan powers, one for Ramona and one for Envy.
  • Delayed Causality: Roxanne takes a few seconds to fall apart after being cut up by Scott.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Some of Scott's insults take the form of Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs.
    • Volume 4's inside cover has a character guide to help readers potentially catch up to what's happening in the story. When it comes to Wallace, two of his characteristics are "the gay roommate" and "is gay".
  • Designated Girl Fight: Ramona's only female to male brawl would be Gideon. That's okay though, since the chick fights are awesome.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Parodied in the third volume (even more hilarious when you realize it was actually a Chekhov's Gun):
      Scott Pilgrim: I can't even get near him! I need some kind of... like... last minute, poorly-set-up Deus Ex Machina!!
      Vegan Policeman (to the villain): FREEZE! Vegan police. You were caught eating gelato this morning.
    • The Boys and Crash, just moments before.
    • Just as Envy is about to kill Ramona with her own hammer, Knives comes in with a flying kick.
  • Diagonal Cut:
    • Roxanne, after her battle with Scott.
    • Both Scott and Gideon, in Volume 6.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The League of Evil Exes consider controlling Ramona's love life by killing anyone who tries to date her is a justified response to her dumping them.
  • Distressed Damsel:
    • Kim Pine is found captured by evil-doers twice. They are keeping her trapped, in shackles or otherwise, and waiting for a contender to show up. Although the first time, she may not have been captured at all, considering she was dating the guy. Scott is just an Unreliable Narrator. Given the constant references to video games, it is natural that Scott Pilgrim has to Save the Princess.
    • This trope is subverted with Ramona. It's not often in a work of fiction that the girl being fought for is a more capable fighter than the guy fighting for her, but Ramona just might be. She's a true Action Girl, at the very least, though this isn't really revealed until Volume 2.
  • Don't Try This at Home:
    • Near the end of Volume 4:
      Julie: Are we letting [Knives] drink beer again?
      Stephen Stills: Hell yes we are, and it's hilarious.
      NOTE TO MINORS: He is lying. Underage drinking is not at all hilarious.
    • In the bonus comic Free Scott Pilgrim:
      Scott Pilgrim Says...
      Just remember: in real life, you should never punch a girl. Unless it's a serious emergency.
  • Double Standard: Ramona chews out Scott for dating both her and Knives Chau at the beginning of their relationship, despite the fact that she cheated on several of her evil exes in the past, and making out with Roxie while Ramona and Scott were going out in Volume 4 (not to mention her dating Kyle behind Ken's back and vice-versa). Ramona is aware of the double standard, and everything that it implies about her, and most of her story arc is trying to distance herself from the bad stuff she's done in her past.
  • Downer Ending: Volume 5. Scott and Ramona's relationship shows signs of getting stale, Knives reveals to Ramona that Scott cheated on both of them, Ramona abandons Scott, Kim leaves Toronto, and Sex Bob-omb ends.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?:
    • After Scott is told by Wallace to get with a girl at the start of Volume 6, he winds up dramatically asking Knives for her hand in sex. It's pretty hilarious.
    Scott: Do you want to have sex? I think we should have sex! Casual sex!
    • He ends up re-attempting this on Envy. While she turns him down, she doesn't seem completely put off by it.
    • He also attempts this on Kim, though it's more downplayed as he simply tries to make out with her. Kim initially goes along with it but quickly stops, and the two finally settle their otherwise unresolved feelings.
  • Dramatic Wind: When Scott goes to find Ramona in subspace in Volume 6, complete with tumbleweed.
  • Drop the Hammer: Ramona and Envy's fight in Volume 3.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Psychopathic Manchild stalker Gideon keeps his ex-girlfriends locked away in People Jars. He spends the better part of the story trying to add Ramona to his Living Doll collection. Think about it.
  • Dynamic Entry: Knives jumping down to fight Ramona in the library. With knives, appropriately enough.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Scott's circle of friends is... not full of the healthiest people. Kim Pine has self-esteem issues masked behind her mildly misanthropic nature, and Stephen has lots of neurotic moments and a knack for entering unhealthy relationships with abrasive individuals. This isn't counting for lesser-known characters like Neil, who we know little about. We see glimpses of them when they're not around Scott and they're usually not happy. In fact, many of the happy moments tend to be when they are together with Scott. Even those like Wallace Wells could be considered as Wallace seems to drink alot and occasionally seen as a hedonist. To say nothing of Scott and Ramona themselves.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • In Volume 3, Gideon slips in a cameo (shrouded in shadows) during Todd's flashback sequence at Honest Ed's and right after Scott defeats Todd. He also slips in another one in Volume 4 when Scott crashes Ramona's subconscious.
    • The colour version sort-of confirms that Envy has an Early-Bird Cameo in Vol. 1. Scott writes a white-washed version of her into his dream of Sex Bob-Omb being an actual famous band. She's the redhead on the keyboard (the same instrument played by the real-life Envy).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Scott and Ramona definitely do.
  • Eldritch Location: Honest Ed's, described as an "existential horror" (it was a dollar store). It causes a Heroic BSoD in Scott and a Superpower Meltdown in Todd.
    • Subspace, if you really think about it.
  • Enemy Mine: Wallace and Ramona become friends because of their shared hatred for Envy.
  • Enemy Without: Nega-Scott. Has the "fusion" resolution, as Kim points out that if Scott killed his darkness and forgot about it, he would just make the same mistakes over and over again.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: For all of her insults towards Scott & Ramona in the preceding five volumes, Julie is visibly shocked & horrified when Gideon kills Scott & runs Ramona through with a katana, a reaction shared by Envy. Averted with Joseph, as he simply doesn't seem to care.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Everybody except Wallace.
  • Everyone is a Super: An odd example. Subspace allows people to use superpowers, and it's implied that everyone can do it. The reason why not many people are shown using Subspace is because it isn't taught in Canada.
  • Evil Counterpart:
  • Evil Diva: Envy Adams.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Possessiveness and jealousy are the main motivations driving the League of Evil Exes. Especially Gideon, who just happened to have founded the group in the pettiest of ways: by posting an angry rant on the internet.
    • And the reason why Gideon had six girls in People Jars and wants Ramona to be the seventh? He wanted to go on a date with all of them at once.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Matthew Patel.
  • Expressive Shirt: Scott's Dragon Quest slime T-shirt changes its expression as he does.
  • Extradimensional Shortcut: Subspace is used this way (among other things). Ramona uses it to make fast deliveries.
  • Face, Nod, Action: Envy to Lynette before she punches Knives.
  • Facepalm: Kim Pine does several variations of this.
  • Fade to White: When Scott gets stabbed by Gideon in Volume 6. It goes on for three whole pages.
  • Fangirl: Knives Chau towards Sex Bob-Omb and Scott, especially Scott.
    Knives: I'm a Scottaholic!
  • Fanservice: A few to count, namely the saucy romantic sessions Scott has with some of the girls as well as some fanservice scenes. The rather hot and heavy moment in Volume 5 and not to mention the part where he jumped into Ramona's mind. Although pre-art change Scott Pilgrim had at least one sex scene per volume, relatively work-safe of course.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The evil exes have mystical powers, Psychic Powers, Ninjas, and Robots.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Gideon. He calls Scott buddy, and compliments him on his shirt (both sarcastically). Also, when he kills Scott, he buys everyone a drink. Gideon's compliment on the shirt relates to the fact that it bears Gideon's initials: GGG.
  • Femme Fatale: Parodied with Ramona, Envy and Knives. Scott seems to be a magnet for the type. Though it should be noted that Envy and Knives didn't fit the trope when they first started dating Scott and only became that way later.
    "What kind of idiot would knowingly date a girl named Knives?"
  • Fetish:
    • Wallace has a big fetish for guys wearing glasses.
    • Gideon also tells Envy something along the lines of "you know putting you in those outfits is sexually fulfilling for me". Envy replies that that's all that he finds sexually fulfilling. See Living Doll Collector.
  • Finger Gun:
    • The Vegan Police fire their de-veganizing beams out of them.
    • Kim mimics shooting herself in the head whenever she's feeling bored or exasperated.
  • Flaming Sword: Of Love. That comes out of the heart on Scott's shirt.
  • Flipping the Bird:
    • In volume 1, when we are introduced to Crash and the Boys, Trasha flips off Wallace when he questions there being a female drummer.
    • In volume 3, Scott flips off Stephen Stills while leaving the bathroom when he sees him vomiting into a toilet.
    • Julie has a penchant for doing this.
  • Forceful Kiss: Played with in volume 6. Being the most emotionally vulnerable he's ever been, Scott kisses Kim in a desperate attempt to reconnect their lost relationship. Kim is clearly surprised by the kiss, but is initially receptive of it... But soon breaks it off. Kim's expression immediately after the fact indicates that she was scared of how effective it was, but the two finally resolve the lack of closure in their relationship soon after.
  • Foreshadowing: The free comic (released after Volume 2) features posters animated by ninja magic, presaging Roxie's appearance in Volume 4.
    • In the same comic Ramona warns Scott that he'll have to learn to hit girls eventually.
    • Scott asks Wallace where he got a certain shirt from in one volume. Said t-shirt has a Wild West theme to it... guess who comes out in Volume 6?
    • Related to the above point, when Ramona bumps into Young Neil at a party, she asks him why Knives isn't with him. He says she left him to hang out with "Captain Homo". It seems mostly like just a jerk comment by Young Neil who is going through a dickish phase, but then we learn that Steven Stills came out as gay offscreen sometime during Vol.5, so the comment isn't exactly wrong.
    • Throughout the first few volumes, whenever Ramona is feeling jealous, her head starts to glow. When Scott catches Ramona's ex-girlfriend at her house after they had an argument, Scott's head starts glowing too. This is one of the earliest signs that Scott and Ramona really aren't that different emotionally, despite outward appearances.
    • Very subtle foreshadowing: "Scott, if your life had a face I would punch it". Guess what he obtains in the third book?
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Gideon.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In volume 3, Michael Comeau is introduced as "knowing everyone including you".
    • Similarly, Knives and Scott's kiss in volume 6 is described as being "horrible for everyone, including you".
  • Freudian Excuse: One of the things that flashes through Todd's head during his Superpower Meltdown in Honest Ed's is his father's doubt of him. Papa Ingram, coincidentally, looks a lot like Dr. Freud.
  • Full-Name Basis: Stephen Stills.
  • Funny Background Event: Scott fighting Robot-01 at the Masquerade Ball in Volume 5 serves as this throughout two scenes, with the second culminating in the Robot-01 finally being bested.

  • Gainax Ending: Volume 6 features this in spades, what with Gideon's ultimate plan, his powers, Scott and Ramona's exit, etc.
  • Geeky Turn-On: Possibly why Scott used to date Envy, as she started out as a nerdy chick who loved anime before she became a Femme Fatale.
  • Generation Xerox: If you take Word of God in account, Scott's dad has also fallen in love with enigmatic girls. His friend even looks quite like Stephen Stills.
  • Get a Room!: When Scott and Ramona kiss at the end of Volume 4.
  • The Ghost:
    • Scott's brother Lawrence and Wallace's psychic boyfriend Mobile until the end of Volume 5. Both of whom are mistaken for Gideon by Scott.
    • Gideon himself in Volumes 1-5. He is mentioned quite often, but doesn't appear (except as a voice on the phone) until the final book.
  • Girl of My Dreams: Quite literally.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Discussed.
    Scott: So, have you ever kissed a girl?
    Ramona: Yes.
    Scott: (shivering with delight)
    • Scott's reaction when he learns Ramona and Roxie dated: "YOU HAD A SEXY PHASE?!"
    • Subverted when Scott finds Knives and Kim drunkenly making out. He's rather disturbed about it.
  • GIS Syndrome: The books proper don't contain this, but the Free Comic Book Day issue contains a lampshaded example.
    "Okay, this background looks really hard to draw and I don't think I'm getting paid for this comic, so enjoy this stock photo."
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: This happens at least once every volume, and each main character's probably done this at least once. It's even on the first volume's cover!
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Sex Bob-Omb. The Clash at Demonhead. Crash and the Boys. Sonic and Knuckles. Shatterband. Every band is named after a video game reference.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking:
    • Parodied when two clubgoers remark "Oh my god, she's evil!" when they see Lynette lighting up. Though when Ramona's attitude starts changing, she starts smoking more than she used to...
    • When Envy starts smoking, it's a sign of her Start of Darkness.
    • All the girls except Kim Pine smoke at some point in the book, but the one time Young Neil smokes, it represents his absolute low.
    • When Lisa smokes in front of Scott, she offers him a puff but he refuses, saying that "smoking is evil".
  • Go Through Me: Parodied. One of the jocks holding Kim hostage says this to Scott, but he simply wipes the floor with him and continues on his way.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: The premise of the series. In order for Scott to start building a real relationship, he's got to deal with her seven exes — and by "deal with", he means annihilate.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Todd (evil ex #3) proclaimed his love for Ramona by punching a hole in the moon. He also does it for his current girlfriend Envy — since she thought he'd only done it for her, this comes back to bite him in the ass.
  • Gratuitous French: It is Canada, of course.
  • Groin Attack: Envy knees Todd in the crotch after finding out he was cheating on her behind her back with Ramona and Lynette.
    Envy: "Let's both be girls!!"
  • Grumpy Bear: Kim.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Parodied; Roxie is a "half-ninja".
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Happens in Volume 6 to Scott while he's inside Ramona's mind.
  • Halloween Episode: The beginning of the 5th book is at a Mexican Day of The Dead party with everyone dressed in some vague skeleton motif.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Wallace is a male version. Pun not intended.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: While we do see Wallace kissing quite a few guys, some readers got a little tired of him being referred to as Scott's "cool gay roommate" constantly. But that's the joke, and Scott's an idiot.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power
  • Heroic BSoD: Starting Volume 4, the development of Scott's relationship with Ramona turns him into a poster-boy of this trope as he suffers from this repeatedly with increasingly brutal aftermath every time. This is also what summons Nega-Scott. By the end of Volume 5, there are many hints of Scott turning clinically insane, and finally in Volume 6, the half of, if not, the entire storyline could be summed up as "Scott's quest to get away from the increasing brink of Despair Event Horizon".
  • Heroic Resolve
  • Heroic Second Wind: Scott catches his a few times, such as when he defeats the twins.
  • He's Back!: Essentially the general theme of Volume 6. Also explains the volume's subtitle.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners/Incompatible Orientation: Scott and Wallace; not only does Wallace jokingly flirt with Scott, he remembers his birthday, buys all of his things and even shares a bed with him. Even Ramona points it out on a few occasions.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Gideon, at least until Volume 6.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Lynette punching Knives.
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns: One of Ramona's many hairstyles invokes this. Obviously, she doesn't have actual sideburns.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When Ramona gets annoyed about Scott staying with Lisa for a night, it turns out that Roxanne stayed at her place for the night. She defends herself by saying that they didn't even make out that much.
    • When Wallace is complaining about Scott calling him at work. You can see that he is playing solitaire on the computer.
  • I Can Not Self Terminate: Zig-Zagged. According to Word of God, there is no friendly-fire in the Scott Pilgrim canon.
  • I Just Want to Be You!: Kim drunkenly says this to Ramona, however given Kim's self-esteem issues and her love of Scott, it's probably not far from the truth.
  • Idiot Hero
  • If I Can't Have You…:
    • This is the basic principle behind the League of Evil Exes.
    • According to O'Malley, Knives got her name because when a friend of his broke up with his girlfriend, said girlfriend pulled a knife on him.
  • Ikea Weaponry: Todd assembles an assault rifle out of household items at Honest Ed's.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of Scott's dreams in Volume 6 has Ramona as an angel descending from the skies with the Power of Love to plunge it right through Scott's chest and simultaneously pin him to the ground.
  • Important Haircut:
    • Knives after getting dumped by Scott. Inverted with Ramona, who gets her hair done all the time and only lets it grow out when she and Scott start actually getting closer.
    • Played straight with Ramona in Volume 5. An entire page is used to further show the importance of the action.
    • Scott also tried to pull something similar to this when things with Natalie were looking bad. He thought the new hair would bring them back together. It didn't.
    • Subverted with the haircut that Ramona gives Scott in Volume 3, since he doesn't look any different afterwards.
      Scott: Check out my rad haircut! Totally ready for the show now!
      Stephen Stills: Yeah... great.
      Kim: That's a haircut? You got a haircut?
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: Scott's fairly ridiculous impression of Italy. For one thing, he seems to think the Leaning Tower of Pisa is in Rome.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • "Chau down!" "Did you really just say that?"
    • In Volume 5 at the Happy Avocado, Stephen Stills says that he only wants to discuss Knives and the band...only for him to then say that he's referring to the knives that he's currently using to chop onions.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Scott and Ramona. Several characters have the hots for them - including each other - but due to the art style's Generic Cuteness they don't look any different from everybody else in the comic.
  • Insistent Terminology: Ramona corrects Scott each time he refers to her evil ex-boyfriends as "evil exes, yes." There is a very good reason for that.
  • Insult Backfire: In Volume 6, Gideon tells Scott and Ramona they're their own worst enemies. They both conclude he's definitely worse.
    Scott: No, I'm pretty sure you're worse, dude.
    Ramona: You're definitely worse!
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Mr. Chau, a Chinese ninja who wields a katana. If it helps, the author is himself Asian, so Mr. Chau is probably a spoof of this trope. Or maybe he simply abides by the Rule of Cool, like everybody and everything else in the series. And to be fair, other characters (including Scott) use, if not actual katanas, then katana-esque swords.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Scott gives Gideon a variation of this before defeating him once and for all.
  • Invincibility Power-Up
  • Ironic Echo: Ken Katayanagi's "I don't think we've been properly...introduced" line in Volume 5 first appears at the Masquerade Ball when they first run into Ramona and Kim, and then returns for much more sinister effect when the Katayanagis kidnap Kim.
  • Item Get!: When Scott defeats Lucas Lee and gets a skateboard. He can't use it though, because he never acquired a skateboard proficiency.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Defeating enemies causes them to explode into coins. Also, being a vegan gives one telekinesis.
    Stephen: Uh... Hey. How does not eating dairy products give you psychic powers, anyway? I've been wondering.
    Todd: You know how you only use ten percent of your brain? Well, it's because the other 90 percent is filled up with curds and whey!
    Scott: That's the stupidest thing I ever heard!!
    Todd: Maybe if you knew the science...
  • It's All About Me:
    • Gideon lives this trope. His mania doesn't just stop at acquiring things (and people), it's all about injecting some aspect of himself into it like he's marking his territory. See: his triple-G inverted Triforce, dressing Envy in costumes according to his tastes, implanting a fragment of himself in Ramona's head, and in The Movie, retooling the newly-professional Sex Bob-Omb from a quirky garage rock band to a generic gothic My Chemical Romance-style punk band.
    • Scott himself is another good example; although he eventually grows out of it. It adds a serious case of Unreliable Narrator to the preceeding five volumes when it's confirmed in Volume 6 that Scott has a self-serving memory and world view.
  • It's Personal: Scott's Heroic Second Wind in Volume 6.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Knives claims to be this for Scott. Kim is possibly this for Scott as well.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In the Free Comics Day comic, Scott tries to select drinks based on their stat boosts being complimentary.
  • Jerkass:
    • Todd Ingram is very insensitive towards people, claiming that because he is a rock star, he is better than other people. He even cheats on his girlfriend Envy Adams with the drummer of their band. To top it all off, he telekinetically throws Envy across the room when she confronts and lashes out at him over his infidelity. (Although to be fair, she did successfully Groin Attack him immediately before he did that.)
    • Gideon Graves. A manipulating, sexually domineering creep. His first subtitle is even "Gideon Graves (31 Years old) Occupation: Asshole".
      Gideon stole the Power of Love! What a dick!
    • Played with in the case of our almost Jerkass protagonist. Scott is undeniably likable and sympathetic, but a big part of the story is exposing and dealing with the fact that he's also kind of a dick.
    • Julie Powers. Her main personality quirk is being an absolute bitch to everyone.
    • Minor character Monique is one too. Her behavior is kind of like what Julie would be if she were an extra.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie:
    • Envy. Especially in Volume 6 after she reveals that her and Scott's break-up was a mutual occurrence and Scott simply whitewashed his role in it out of the flashbacks seen by the reader in Volume 3.
    • And Scott himself.
  • Jerk Jock: Subverted with Lucas Lee, who turns out to be quite the decent fellow, and is easily the nicest of Ramona's evil exes, going so far as to offer to throw the fight (for a fee) when it becomes clear that Scott is completely outclassed. However, played completely straight with Todd (who, if he isn't a jock, at least dresses like one...). Until Scott accidentally pressed Lucas' Berserk Button, that is...
    Lucas (calm): Okay, look. Give me all your money, and I'll let you live. I'll tell Gideon you beat me up.
    Scott: Wow. You really are a sellout.
    Lucas (advancing threateningly): Kiss Ramona's sweet ass goodbye, Pilgrim.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Scott Pilgrim himself, of course. Being charming and sweet in a dorky way doesn't hide the fact that he's shallow, self-centered, a shameless mooch to everyone of his acquaintance, and willfully oblivious to the damage his "precious little life" causes others. Through Character Development, he... doesn't exactly rise above this, but undeniable that there's a little less Jerk and a little more Heart of Gold by the end. Kim Pine turns out to be one in Volume 6 as well.
    • Also Ramona, who admits to being a bitch in the past and also tries to downplay her own responsibility in the failure of her relationships, but is actively trying to be better since moving to Toronto.
    • Envy too turns out to be one towards the end of the story, as she starts talking to Scott again and the events of their break-up are revealed not to be entirely her fault - at least, not so much as in it was Scott who started their argument. In the end, after realizing the kind of person Gideon was ("He was an asshole" - her words), she mends her fences with Scott for good.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: Used in Volume 5 twice:
    • With the Katayanagi twins during their fight with Scott. Of course, it works perfectly.
    • In the mirror with Scott and Nega-Scott.

  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Ramona dyes her hair every two weeks, causing Scott to freak out.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Scott seems to get away pretty clean in regards to him dating Knives Chau and Ramona at the same time. Until Volume 5.
    • Todd Ingram, however, thinks he should be one because, in his own words, "I'm a rockstar!"
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Can be combined with Rule of Cool when Knives' dad uses one to slice through a streetcar.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Kim and Knives at the start of the fourth book, to Scott's amazement.
  • Lame Comeback: Scott is a master of this trope. "I... but... it's... not... it's totally... it's...'re not the boss of... me?"
    Scott: At least I... wait... something... you... insult...
    Ramona: Scott, that was not a good comeback.
    Stephen Stills: That was actually not bad for Scott.
    • And then in Volume 6:
    Scott (to Gideon): Shut up, you...guy!
    Wallace: Better comebacks, Scott!
  • Lap Pillow: Scott does this with Ramona.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The Reveal that one of Ramona's ex-boyfriends is actually a girl is rather obvious to anyone who has seen any promos for the movie.
    • Later issues begin with recaps of the plot, which would completely spoil the previous issues for anyone who hadn't read them yet.
  • Let's Dance: Said by Roxy to Scott before their big battle near the end of Volume 4.
  • Let's Wait a While: The love scene in Volume 1.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again!: Quoted, word-for-word, after Scott accidentally walked in on Knives and Kim drunkenly making out unnoticed at the beginning of Volume 4.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • Gideon is glitzy, glamorous, and wears a snow white suit jacket. He's also a major dick.
    • Todd exudes white Vegan energy.
  • Limited Social Circle: Highly averted, as the characters have a subclique of main characters and then they each have their own little circle of friends, and you've got friends and friends of friends — most of which add some realism, but don't really contribute anything aside from confusion. Because of the black and white art, it can be hard to tell all the Loads and Loads of Characters apart. Luckily, we get little captions reminding us of names on a regular basis, and in the front of the third book, there is a helpful graph explaining the characters' relations to each other. Lampshaded a number of times: Some minor characters have captions like "I don't know this girl" or "Who cares?" In Volume 4, when Scott walks into Wallace's apartment, he finds Wallace in the company of two friends - a male and female - neither of whom are named and instead have giant Question Marks floating over their heads.
  • List of Transgressions:
    • "Things That Are Not Cool About Scott's Apartment."
      Scott: What does "Not girl-friendly" mean?
      Ramona: It means it's a sucky little hole in the ground, Scott.
    • The Vegan Police listing Todd's crimes against veganism.
      Todd: Gelato isn't vegan?
      Vegan Cop: It's milk and eggs, bitch.
  • Living Doll Collector: Gideon keeps all of his ex-girlfriends in People Jars and plans for Ramona to be next. A big part of the reason the reader is still cheering for Scott in spite of his occasionally dysfunctional personality.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are a lot of tangential background characters who are "friends of friends", who pop up for a panel or two or are discussed but have no impact on anything and then disappear. This was lampshaded in one cast scene where the captions pointed out a few minor background characters, and one had "I don't know this girl" over her.
  • Logic Bomb: Joseph to Scott in volume 6: "I'm just saying if we die out there, I'll murder you."
  • Long List: Ramona rattling off tea blends.
  • Look Behind You: When Scott is on a pay phone and gets creeped out when Knives starts describing his outfit to him. Turns out she happens to be standing nearby.
  • Love Chart: The third book opens with one.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Let's just say it would take more than half the page to properly explain everything.
  • Love Hurts: With all the cheating and broken hearts that go on in this series, it's a given. Scott, Ramona, Kim, Knives and others have all gone through it at some point.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • As evidenced by Ramona's seven evil exes. This almost happens to Scott as well, but was averted through some Epiphany Therapy in Vol. 6.
    • Subverted with Knives, who in Volume 2 appears to make a Face–Heel Turn by ambushing Ramona in a jealous rage, but she later settles down and goes back to being simply a little bit Yandere.
    • Also, it might be hinted that Ramona's other six exes weren't really evil so much as Gideon manipulated them into singling her out as the sole culprit of their failed relationships (though the episode with Kyle and Ken was a dick move on her part, if we're to believe them).
  • Love Redeems: The reason Scott undergoes Character Development at all is because of his newly discovered love for Ramona, and his journey- dare I say "pilgrimage?"- to attain her love, and Ramona develops once she reciprocates these feelings too. By the series end, although both are still far from perfect, they resolve to be better people to each other and to their friends.
  • Magic Skirt: Averted. Ramona's skirt flies up and reveals her tights in one panel.
  • Made of Evil: Comeau's skull ring, which he apparently got "from the future".
  • Magical Realism: All over the place.
  • Magikarp Power: The reason Scott didn't have a Skateboard Proficiency? He has a Sword Proficiency instead. Convenient when one actually shows up.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: A disproportionate number of events of worldwide importance seem to involve the core cast of characters in some way. For example, apparently the reason why there's holes in the moon is because Todd Ingram punched them into it with his bare fists to impress Envy.
  • Manchild: This is Scott's principle character flaw. While the first few books seem to embrace and even flatter his childishness, it's only upon looking back after reading the whole series and witnessing his entire character arc that you realize how harshly it was actually mocking his immaturity.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: There is a debate on whether Ramona is a straight example, deconstruction, or subversion. See this blog post, which lists Ramona as being similar to Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is one of the more famous subversions of the concept.
  • Masquerade Ball: The party at Julie's apartment in Volume 5.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Kim Pine is pining for Scott. In the appendix of volume 1's color edition, Bryan Lee O'Malley also states that he chose "Pine" as in "porcupine" due to her prickly personality. (O'Malley originally conceived her as a character for a different series, an X-Men-style comic where she literally developed spikes when people got too close to her.)
    • Knives Chau fights with knives.
    • Scott Pilgrim is another: the book is all about his pilgrimage from self serving slacker to... well, someone approaching a responsible adult, anyway.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The first two robots the Twins deploy against Scott.
  • Mechanical Monster: The third robot the Twins send after Scott.
  • Medium Awareness: Scott apparently learns that Knives has turned 18 the same way that the reader does: by reading the caption above her head. He also refers to Ramona's caption listing her age as "unknown." Also, Scott will often tell another character to read a previous volume when they express confusion about something that happened earlier, and at one point Envy comments that an event has lasted for "a quarter of this book."
  • Miniscule Rocking: Crash and the Boys' forte
    Wallace: It's not a race, guys!
  • Minus World: Spoofed in the video game.
  • Mirror Match: Scott versus Nega-Scott.
  • Missing Steps Plan: The "Vegan Shepherd's Pie" scene in Volume 2 has a variation:
    Stephen Stills: Five! Add the fake meat stuff! Six! Add the gravy stuff! Eight! Add some soymilk and stir so everything's a bit saucy!
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Zigzagged. Thanks to Roxie, Ramona becomes increasingly suspicious that Scott is cheating on her with Lisa. She's only half-right, he cheated on her with Knives (and vice versa), not Lisa. When Scott spends the night in Lisa's apartment, he mistakes himself for cheating the following morning. Despite Lisa offering him the chance to do so, she tells him that he refused.
  • Mistaken for Gay: When Ramona first visits Scott's house, she notes that he and Wallace sleep in the same bed. He's quick to note that only because There Is Only One Bed.
  • Mistaken Identity:
    • Mr. Chau goes after Scott because Knives' aunt mentioned that she saw Knives dating a white guy (Young Neil) and he drew the wrong conclusion from her Stalker Shrine.
    • Scott keeps mistaking various people, even his own brother, for Gideon and attacking them.
  • Money Spider: The villains explode in a shower of coins, for no apparent reason other than that's what happens when someone gets killed. Lampshaded when people comment on how it ends up being barely enough to handle cab fare, a coffee, etc. But only for Patel. The other ex-boyfriends give out much more after defeat. Gideon's death rewards $7,777,777. Still spoofed, as the characters lament on how it's all in coins. Gideon's coin shower actually hurts the audience due to sheer volume and the height from which they drop.
    "That guy left behind like 30 bucks in coins!" "What a dick!"
  • Mook Chivalry: Discussed.
  • Motivational Lie: Kim tells Scott one to help him beat the twins.
  • Mundane Fantastic: The story is a pretty normal, funny comic about relationships, until someone busts out the mystical powers or implausible kung-fu skills, or uses your dreams as a travel shortcut.
  • Mundane MacGuffin Person: Ramona Flowers. The protagonist must go through several obstacles to be with her, but we are shown very little about the relationship, or even Ramona herself, except that we are assured of her awesomeness.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: The Boys and Crash. Used to be Crash and The Boys. The band went through a bit of a hostile takeover, apparently.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: When Knives dyes her hair after breaking up with Scott, it turns bright red.
    Knives: It looks like my head is bleeding!
  • Mysterious Past:
    • Ramona, though each volume fills us in on things, she never really explains exactly what happened between her and Gideon in New York. In a way her mysteriousness makes sense in light of what she reveals in Volume 6, how she's afraid of becoming "stuck" in her life, so she constantly reinvents herself and keeps her past at arm's-length in order to try and outrun her fears. Her past is a mystery because even she would prefer it that way.
    • Interestingly, Scott is the same way, though in his case, it's less about being stuck than simply not liking his past self, so he constantly reinvents himself in an effort to be a better person. Except he's actually kind of a terrible person, which he eventually comes to realize and deal with.
  • Named After Somebody Famous:
    • The real life Stephen Stills is a famous guitarist, and the S in the famous band CSNY. The Y is for Neil Young, for whom Young Neil is named.
    • Most of the characters are named after a famous song or band, as the bonus materials at the end of Volume 3 show. Scott's name is taken from a song by the band Plumtree (which was the inspiration for O'Malley to write the series in general).
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • As Ramona herself puts it: "What kind of idiot would knowingly date a girl named Knives?"
    • Possibly Envy Adams as well, but in her case it's only a nickname, though a self-applied one... which might make it worse). Her real first name is Natalie and her middle initial is V. N-V Adams. Ramona Victoria Flowers jokes that she should change her name to RV for the same reason.
  • NEET: For the first few volumes, Scott Pilgrim meanders through life with no job and no effort to get the training or experience for a job, to the ever decreasing patience of the friends on whose generosity he depends.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A fairly minor case. The trailers (particularly the early ones) seemed edited to make it less apparent that Michael Cera was Playing Against Type (making Scott Pilgrim look a bit more like George Michael).
  • Nightmare Sequence: Scott's had several throughout the series, but his scariest one was in Volume 6 when he got impaled through the chest with the Power of Love by an angelic Ramona, pinning him to the ground and leaving him alone and stuck in the middle of a desert. Sharp-toothed monsters start circling around him, which are revealed to be Envy, Knives, and Kim. They then proceed to eat his limbs while he is completely unable to do anything.
  • 90% of Your Brain: Filled with curds and whey, which is why Todd's veganism allows him psychic powers.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Tie-In game. Even on the easiest mode. Try to pass the whole game without saving and without continuing on single player. Unless, of course, you actually purchase some stat upgrades at (un)reasonable costs.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Stephen Stills and Julie have a pretty vitriolic relationship. By book five, they've broken up "for like the fiftieth time!" Stephen Stills continues to be an example of this even after he comes out as gay — his new boyfriend, Joseph, is, if possible, even more bitchy than Julie.
  • No Bisexuals: Ramona's relationship with her ex Roxy is described as a "phase", Kim and Knives make out when they're drunk with no further teasing or resolution, and Stephen dates Julie in a tumultuous off-and-on relationship before dating Joseph. Scott declares Julie turned Stephen gay, with the possibility of bisexuality not even considered.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Lucas Lee is based on Jason Lee.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted. Punching those holes in the moon did cause about 30 pages' worth of tidal waves and chaos.
  • No Social Skills: Scott, initially.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When Ramona confronts Scott after finding out that he's been double-timing between her and Knives, she asks if he's been cheating on her with Knives. He immediately replies, as if it would help things, that he's been cheating on Knives with her. And that's the straw that breaks the camel's back. Good going, Scott.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Scott realizing he shares a lot of the petty qualities (such as infidelity) that Ramona's Evil Is Petty exes had. Comes to a head in Volume 6 when he finally fights Gideon, and realizes that he does a lot of the things that Gideon does (self-serving memory, Never My Fault-isms, and Protagonist-Centered Morality). Scott thankfully comes to realize he doesn't like it, and that he doesn't want to be that way anymore because of how it has hurt his friends.
      Scott: Gideon...I think I understand you, man...And now I have to kill you.
    • It doesn't really hit home until the end but Scott and Ramona are very alike. They both casually dumped their girl/boyfriendss when they were done with them, they both have jealousy issues (represented by their head glowing whenever they feel jealousy), and they both run away from their issues and flaws rather than confront and deal with them. And to top it off, after Ramona left Scott at the end of Vol. 5, we later learn that she spent her time afterwards the exact same way Scott did: by spending all her time moping and watching TV. As one character states, they deserve each other.
    • Knives dates Young Neil for shallow reasons and then dumps him abruptly, just like Scott did with her, and Ramona did with almost all of her exes.
    • Hinted at with Scott and Mr. Chau. After finding out that his daughter has been going out with a white guy, Knives said that his mind cracked open into a machine of mechanical revenge. This same visual metaphor is used for Scott after he realized that Ramona had a sexy phase.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Scott tries this multiple times when his past transgressions with other girls are brought up. He's lying, every time.
    • Todd tries to claim this when he and Lynette come out of the bathroom, but it doesn't work (first of all, he has her panties on his head).
  • N-Word Privileges: Knives casually mentions that the Asians at her school are "fobbish".note 
  • Obviously Evil: The Big Bad appears in silhouette in the first four volumes, and his last name is, of all things, Graves. His 'emblem' is also the video game equivalent of an inverted cross, and his three names each have six letters. Yep.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The "Knives Chau: 17 Years Old" joke lead many to believe that something important had to occur when her eighteenth birthday finally happened. Turns out, it happened a week before Volume 6 started.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Young Neil is the biggest offender of this, and the Running Gag makes a huge deal out of the fact that Scott finally acknowledged him as simply Neil in Volume 6; however, thanks to the art style, every single character in the series can be mistaken for mid-to-late teens unless you've read the comics or their bios. The Art Evolution doesn't help this.
    • Even more noticeable is when we finally meet Scott's parents, late in Volume 5. We only know Scott's dad is supposed to be older because his hair is receding a little and he has some lines on his forehead; otherwise, he'd be nearly indistinguishable from Stephen Stills.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Lucas Lee/Lucas Wilson/Luke Wilson, much to Scott's confusion. There's also "Other Scott" and Ramona's cat Gideon, although his name is not a coincidence.
  • 1-Up: Shaped like Scott's head, which creeps him out immensely.
  • One-Winged Angel:
  • Onion Tears: Near the end of Volume 5, Scott is shown solemnly chopping onions with a completely stoic face while his eyes have turned into Ocular Gushers. A fellow worker comes and comforts him, to which he retorts by stating that it's the onions, not him.
  • Only Six Faces: Many characters look very similar. Possibly lampshaded by Knives when she says she only went out with Young Neil because he looks exactly like Scott. This gets confusing when Ramona cuts/dyes her hair every so often (the book is in black and white).
  • On the Rebound: After being dumped by Scott, Knives dates Young Neil, as he looks kind of like him.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Gideon spends the first five volumes of the series doing very little. He only appears briefly in a few scenes, until he contacts Scott at the end of the fifth book.
  • Overprotective Dad: Knives' dad.
  • Papa Wolf: Mr. Chau.
  • People Jars: Gideon keeps his ex-girlfriends cryogenically frozen and hooked up to some sort of ominous-looking machine that he draws his power from. There are seven tubes attached to the machine. Six are occupied, one stands empty and waiting for Ramona.
  • Phrase Catcher:
    • "Gideon Graves: What A Dick."
    • "I don't have to answer [to] that!"
  • Player Inventory: What Subspace bags are supposed to be the equivalent of, considering that the world of Scott Pilgrim runs on video game logic.
  • Plot Hole: Subverted in the video game; Ubisoft presumed the source material's plot was a Foregone Conclusion, and thus included subtle references only people familiar with it are likely to get. The biggest example is if a solo Scott playthrough is completed: because one of the bosses is Nega-Scott, if Scott finishes the game without any friends, he successfully defeats Nega-Scott and therefore fails to learn from his past mistakes (in the novel, he loses to Nega-Scott and finally confronts his past). Therefore, Scott's ending has him becoming the next Gideon, with Ramona, Kim and Knives as the first girls of his harem.
  • Police Are Useless: Played straight, most of the time. Then double subverted with Todd Ingram, when he gets taken out by the Vegan Police, who charge him with eating gelato while ignoring the fact that he was trying to kill somebody.
  • The Power of Friendship: Scott defeats Matthew Patel with help from his band, while stating:
    Scott: You think you're so great, but you're missing the point. You gotta have friendship and courage and whatever!
    Matthew: That doesn't even rhyme!
    Scott: Shut up!
  • The Power of Love:
    • In volume 4, the "Power of Love" manifests In the form of a flaming sword... but the trope is Subverted because loving Romona isn't enough to surmount the last Evil Ex-Boyfriend. That requires the far more important Power of Understanding, which allows Scott to see how similar he is to Gideon, and how that is a very bad thing.
    • In volume 1, this protects Wallace, Jimmy, and those in the immediate vicinity from the effects of "Last Song Kills Audience", although they weren't in as much danger as the name implies.
  • Precision F-Strike: Perhaps surprisingly for a series about the relationships of a group of twentysomethings, there's almost no swearing in the series. When somebody does swear, you know that things are serious.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Scott dishes a pretty badass one before defeating the twins.
    "I've a message for Gideon, you identical turds...he's next."
  • Prepare to Die: Roxy to Scott in Volume 4 after she gets punched by him in the boob. However, her presentation of the phrase is a bit...unconvincing.
    "Prepare to...*cough* die."
  • Product Placement:
    • Scott Pilgrim's three months of depression, brought to you by the PSP Go.
    • Let me offer you a drink. Coke Zero, right?
    • Pizza Pizza, Second Cup, Shoppers Drug Mart, CIBC, Honest Ed's, and many other well-known Canadian brands. Note that these companies didn't actually pay to be advertised in the book; O'Malley included them to add local color to the story.
    • A Flight Centre storefront also shows up in The Movie. The "l" in flight quickly flickers out turning it into a Fight Centre.
    • Jose Cuervo tequila.
  • Prolonged Prologue: Not so much in the books as in the movie, where books 2-6 took between 10-25 minutes apiece of screentime, whereas book 1 was a good 45 minutes.
  • Property of Love: Gideon keeping Ramona as his bondage slave.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: This actually becomes a plot point around Volume 5.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend:
    • The League of Evil Exes, the antagonists of the series, are male versions of this trope (Except for one girl!). Gideon in particular seems to take rejection really badly, what with the whole plot to cryogenically freeze his ex-girlfriends so that he can date them at his leisure later.
    • Knives gets a little psychotic for a while after Scott breaks up with her.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Gideon. His psychopath and manchild sides are quite firmly divided, and it's only near the end, after he reveals his ex-girlfriend-containing People Jars, that they start to bleed together.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Lucas Lee. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, engages in small talk with the group, and even offers Scott some baby carrots and Ritz. Right after throwing him into Casa Loma's tallest tower.note 
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Scott to Gideon in Volume 6, spread across 4 pages.
    "Would you LOOK AT YOURSELF?!"
  • Pyrrhic Victory: At the end of Volume 5, Scott defeats the Twins but Ramona still leaves him.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Bryan Lee O'Malley was dating an American woman (cartoonist/comic book creator Hope Larson, to whom he was married from 2004-2014) and in a garage band when he started the series.
  • Really Gets Around: Scott is actually Ramona's ninth boyfriend. Aside from the evil exes, she once dated a guy called Doug, who wasn't evil, but a jerk, so she dumped him.
  • Red Herring:
  • Reference Overdosed: The comic, the film, and the video game all embody this trope magnificently.
  • Refusal of the Call: Scott deletes all the messages that Matthew Patel sends him. Big mistake.
  • Relationship Upgrade: The source of the page image; Scott and Ramona near the end of Volume 4, when the two confess their love to each other.
  • Retcon: Simon Lee looks remarkably like Gideon in Volume 2. Later, this is explained away as Gideon messing with Scott's memories... except that he looks exactly the same in Kim's dream in the same volume, which never gets explained. Looks like the author's original intention was to make Simon and Gideon the same person, but he later changed his mind.
  • Retraux: The video game, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is a curious case. It's about as old-school beat'-em-up as you can get. Featuring chiptunes (by Anamanaguchi), 8-bit spriting, and so on. So much so that it's frequently likened to River City Ransom, and/or Streets of Rage/Final Fight, almost to the point of looking like a Spiritual Successor of them. This on a PS3 (and Xbox 360)... only. As a downloadable game. With none of the annoyances of a NES/SNES-era games. There is good reason to why a lot of people are interested in this one game. It's very much an old-school gamer's love letter.
    • And now it's gotten a retail release with all DLC packaged on the Nintendo Switch!
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: Scott himself is notoriously unable to remember things that happen from issue to issue (and even further back), and since we see everything through his eyes, things that are easy to look up in a past volume clash with whatever Scott says about what happened back then. At first, this is thought to be because of his rather selfish personality and Self-Serving Memory, but it actually turns out that Gideon has been in his head pretty much since the moment Scott started dating Ramona, and has been "spicing up" Scott's memories this whole time.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: At the end of Sex Bob-omb's performance at Sneaky Dee's (although we barely get to see any of it), Scott smashes his bass guitar.
  • Roommate Com: It opens as a fairly traditional version, being about Scott and his cool gay roommate Wallace as Scott has a comic love life and hangs out with the people in his band. However, things swiftly take a turn for the surreal every time a fight breaks out and Scott has to battle his love interest's evil exes in order to date her.
  • RPG Elements
  • Rule of Cool: For one thing, we're never told how or why Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting.
  • Rule of Funny: Oh yeah.
  • Running Gag: Lots.

  • Say My Name
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Ramona and Roxanne, in the past. "You had a SEXY PHASE?!" Also Knives, who is still in high school, and Kim, who is still taking college classes. Of course, out of the four of these girls, three are bi and only one is a lesbian.
  • Secret Test of Character
  • Self-Deprecation: Scott performs one during the early records of the disc ("I know a guy who owns a car?") and the author managed to do it, with Ramona's "It's official, nothing cool ever happens in Canada." Remember, the author is Canadian, so he broke the fourth wall and did some self depriciation humour very subtly.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Some of the evil exes end up doing themselves in rather than Scott actually defeating them. For example: Scott challenges Lucas Lee to perform an impossible skateboard trick in the middle of their fight. Lucas would rather take on the challenge than lose face. The trick ends up killing him, as he goes too fast and bursts into coins. Another example is when Todd Ingram is about to defeat Scott (who acknowledges that he could only win via some Deus ex Machina), and right on cue, the Vegan Police shows up to take away Todd's powers for eating gelato the day before. Could also be a Karmic Death in the second case.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Scott's memories are not accurate thanks to Gideon mucking around with them.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: All the characters showcase signs of these throughout the series. Special mention goes to Natalie (also known as Envy).
  • Sex Slave: Gideon's ex-girlfriends, by implication. The fact that they're imprisoned and brainwashed doesn't help.
  • Sexy Spectacles: In-Universe; save for Other Scott, Wallace only goes out with guys with glasses.
    Knives: Do you want to know who in my class is gay?
    Wallace: Yes. Does he wear glasses?
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Scott and Ramona's sex scene in Volume 5. And even then, only two panels of it is shown.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Issue 4 has Wallace introduced as:
    Wallace Wells
    • [Scott's] gay roommate.
    • Lives with Scott.
    • Is gay.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Scott's battle with The Negascott.
  • She Is All Grown Up: "L is for... Lisa?".
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Scott insists this about Knives after breaking up with her.
  • Shipper on Deck: In Ramona and Envy's battle in volume 3, the crowd that gathers starts yelling out various things cheering on Envy. One of these things happens to be "MAKE OUT!!"
  • Ship Tease:
    • Here and there, what with Scott's previous exes never having proper closure until about the last volume.
    • Knives also probably had a short crush on Stephen Stills, seeing how he usually doesn't treat her like crap and even lets her drink with the folks. Young Neil even says "she's obsessed with Captain Homo these days".
    • This exchange from Volume 4:
      Ramona: (drunkenly) Where'd Kim go? She seemed pretty wasted...
      Scott: Why are you always so interested in Kim?
      Ramona: I like Kim.
      Julie: Are you gonna marry her??
      Ramona: Tooooooootally.
  • Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
  • Shoryuken: Scott to Matthew Patel.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gideon attempts a very short Hannibal Lecture just before Scott and Ramona defeat him:
    Gideon: Getting rid of me... won't save you. You're your own worst enemies! Both of you!
    (Beat Panel, with Ramona and Scott looking at each other)
    Ramona: No, I'm pretty sure you're worse, dude.
    Scott: You're definitely worse.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Ramona gives one to Scott on more than one occasion.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: Scott and Ramona can be this at times, at least to the other characters.
  • Sigil Spam: Gideon's triple G inverted Triforce logo appears all over the place in Volume 6. Scott even ends up sporting a triple G shirt (much to his chagrin) for the first round of his fight with Gideon.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Kyle and Ken. A deliberate choice on their part; Ramona played them against each other, and they vowed to work in tandem forever after that.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: At the end of the fourth book.
  • Sky Face: The part in 6 where Kim's face shows up magically from a distance in the final scene. It's signifying that she's in there in spirit, and it's sort of related.
  • The Slacker: Most of the characters, but especially Scott a slacker amongst slackers. He starts to change his ways, though, particularly in Volume 4, "Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together".
  • Slasher Smile: Near the end of Volume 5, Scott's reflection in the mirror while brushing his teeth at Stephen Stills's place is split into a normal, tired-looking Scott, then this... Even better, that half is Negascott, an embodiment of Scott's tendency to repress painful memories instead of learning from his mistakes.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Messed with, severely. It slides back and forth all over the place throughout the course of the series.
  • The Smurfette Principle: One of Ramona's evil ex-boyfriends is actually a girl. Justified by the fact Ramona is mostly heterosexual and only became bisexual during her "phase", so it's actually a surprise the group even includes a girl to begin with.
  • Snow Means Love: Scott and Ramona are caught out in a sudden snowstorm (it is Toronto, after all) in the middle of deciding to date each other. This also has the convenient side effect of forcing Scott to crash at Ramona's place...
  • Spiritual Successor: The video game adaptation could be considered as a love letter to Technos Japan Corp's Kunio-Kun games.
  • Spit Take: Scott does it after chugging an (alcoholic) drink at the Chaos Theatre when he sees Julie, Sandra, and Monique staring at him.
  • Splash of Color: Volume 4's intro at the beach is in full color, although it quickly shifts back to regular monochrome once the actual story begins.
  • Stalker Shrine: Knives has one for Scott.
  • Stalker with a Crush: A very common theme in this series.
    • Most prominently displayed by Knives "I'm a Scottoholic!!!" Chau.
    • And Scott.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: In order to date Ramona, Scott must battle her seven evil exes. At the climax, they defeat Gideon with "Power Of Love".
  • Start of Darkness:
    • Envy's plays out through flashbacks in Vol. 3. It begins with her selling all her Anime paraphernalia and culminates with her asking Scott to start calling her "Envy" rather than Natalie. Then she breaks up with him and turns completely evil, showing the reader the exact moment she crossed the Moral Event Horizon that she'd been living on the other side of since she first appeared in the comic. Though she wasn't as bad as Scott made her to be. In Volume 6, it is implied that Scott "wasn't a paragon of virtue either" and the big fight on New Year's Eve was a fight that he started rather than her just dumping him. It's true that she sold out and didn't return Scott's affections when he said he loved her, it's not clear that she was pure evil after Volume 6.
    • The part in Volume 4 when Scott sees Nega-Scott, a darker, more malevolent version of himself, after he learns that Roxanne, Ramona's evil ex-girlfriend, had been staying over at Ramona's apartment could have been this, but gets subverted as he quickly disperses it and goes back. He confronts it again in Vol 6, realizing it's his own repression working against him and trying to fight it only makes it worse. After he comes to terms with himself and decides to stop running from painful memories, it stops attacking him.
    • Gideon's is exposited near the end of Volume 6. He always was a bit of a brilliant but psychologically-stunted prick, but when Ramona dumped him, he went right out of his mind. He then went on a bender and posted a drunken ranting ad on Craigslist, which was then discovered by the other six exes.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • How can one describe Scott's fight with Matthew Patel? An Indian versus a Pilgrim.
    • Ramona's mental subspace is a subspace, as in a room where she wears black leather and Gideon keeps a chain around her neck.
    • Ramona's Bag of Holding. Gee, you think this girl's got a lot of baggage? It's destroyed in the climactic showdown with Gideon, showering its contents everywhere. Afterwards, Ramona isn't interested in gathering up her old stuff. It's hard not to interpret it as a good sign for her relationship with Scott.
  • Stopped Reading Too Soon: Matthew Patel sends Scott an email explaining the basic plot of the series. Scott skims it before declaring it boring and deletes it, thus Scott is completely blindsided when the first fight over Ramona starts.
  • Straight Gay: Wallace (who is the most prominent gay character shown) but also his boyfriend Mobile, his friend "Other Scott", Hollie's roommate Joseph, and his new boyfriend Stephen Stills.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • Ramona going on a "wilderness sabbatical." Though in truth, Ramona spent most of her time at her dad's house, watching old The X-Files episodes on the internet.
      Wallace: You see, Scott? WILDERNESS!
    • The entire gang of evil exes all agreeing to the idea of killing Scott so that they can have Ramona is a darker version of this trope. This could be the result of Gideon's manipulations, though.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The Rule of Cool moment of Gideon's defeat where he explodes into 7 7/9th million dollars worth of Canadian coins is quickly derailed when ...7 7/9th million dollars worth of Canadian coins come raining down on everyone's heads and mass panic ensues.
    • Ramona alludes a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome moment in Vol. 3 when telling Scott about the time Todd punched a hole in the moon for her.
      Scott: And then what happened?
      Ramona: Uhhh... About thirty pages of explosions and tidal waves.
  • Stylistic Suck: Scott's terrible song that he writes for Ramona and sings for her on the bus. Most of the lyrics are ... "Ramona".
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: Subspace is some kind of realm that connects different locations in the world as well as providing pathways into peoples' dreams. They don't teach it in Canadian schools.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion:
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Vol 4 has this when Scott earns the Power of Love, before exclaiming "Now I'm glad I picked that longsword proficiency in grade 5!"
  • Sudden Musical Ending: Volume 6 ends with Shatterband playing "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees.
  • Summon Backup Dancers: The Demon Hipster Chicks that Matthew Patel can call on.
  • Super-Deformed: In some background panels, the characters are drawn in a cutesy animesque style.
  • Superpower Meltdown: The sheer volume of cheap, random crap in Honest Ed's causes Todd to have a Villainous Breakdown to the point where he ends up imploding the store with his Vegan powers.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ramona "didn't even string [Lucas Lee] along or cheat on him with any cocky pretty boys."
  • Sword over Head: Envy does it to Ramona with her hammer.
  • Take Our Word for It: In Volume 6, Scott's trying to woo Envy at a party gets so cringey that in the middle of his wooing a text prompt appears that states that the reader has been spared the ugly sight of the rest of Scott's feeble attempts.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Every single fight in the series.
  • Taxidermy Terror: The evil-looking stuffed moose head mounted to a clock at Honest Ed's. It really freaks Scott out, especially when it seems to hiss, "Ssscottt..."
  • Terrible Trio: The Clash at Demonhead: Envy, Todd, and Lynette.
  • There Is Only One Bed:
    • Scott and Wallace share a bed because they can't afford another.
    • Scott does this to his friends a lot in Volume 5, particularly when when Ramona disappears and he bedhops at Stephen Stills's and then Kim's.
  • There Are No Therapists: It's Volume 6. Scott is devastated from Ramona leaving without an explanation. He is moping around, playing videogames, goofing off on the internet, staying isolated, and trying to forget he has a life to live. What does he do? Go into a wilderness sabbatical and fight Nega-Scott!
    • And Ramona's time apart was not very different.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    • Played straight at the end of Volume 3.
      "No vegan diet, no vegan powers, bitch."
    • A hilarious example at the end of Volume 6.
      Stephen Stills: You got my green beans?
      Scott: Word, bitches!
      (flips green beans into air, they fall onto floor)
      Stephen Stills: ...Whatever. They ordered dinner at 10:55. They're getting a salad.
      Scott: W-word, bitches!
  • Those Two Guys: Julie's friends, Sandra and Monique. Lampshaded in that they're not nearly as popular or cool as they seem to think they are.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Very much averted, as Scott has absolutely no issues with causing humans to explode into coins, even ones who are at his mercy. Considering that Scott Pilgrim runs on video game logic, it makes perfect sense. Has Mario ever felt guilty about stomping on Goombas?
  • Threesome Subtext: In Volume 5, while Kim, Ramona, and Scott are all drunk together, Kim says she loves them and Ramona wonders where Kim has been all her life, kissing her on the head. Scott encourages them to make out. Then, as all three leave, Ramona encourages Kim to come sleep in their bed, but she declines.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Scott does this literally, gaining a new level, new stats, and a new sword each time.
    • First he does it in Volume 4, when he mans up and confesses his feelings.
    • Then, after he is killed in the middle of Volume 6.
  • Training from Hell: Played for Laughs. Before Scott goes to fight Lucas Lee, he studies up on his moves by watching his movies and does push-ups on the floor while Wallace sits in an armchair playing video games.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Scott and Envy do this.
  • The Unfair Sex: Ramona becomes incensed when she learns that Scott was dating her behind Knives' back when she herself dated the Katayanagi Twins behind each others' backs. Not to mention the fact that got angry at Scott for staying at Lisa's sister's place when she let Roxie stay the night at her place. (And actually made out with her, unlike Scott, who remained totally faithful).
  • Unreliable Narrator: Scott Pilgrim. We find that most of his flashbacks are a mixture of his own repression, to avoid his mistakes and past pain, and Gideon 'spicing up' his boring highschool memories. The big fight where he 'rescued' Kim Pine in high school and won her heart? Scott beating up her current wussy boyfriend. Envy also implies that Scott may not have been as blameless in their breakup as his flashbacks made it seem.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • Between Kim and Scott. It's pretty subtle at first, but starts becoming more visible by the third volume and comes to a head by the end of the fifth. In volume 6, Scott attempts to reconcile his relationship with Kim, and Kim is initially receptive to it, but breaks it off because Ramona is who he loves, not her.
    • Lisa and Scott. They almost hook up after Lisa questions why they never did. Scott puts a stop to it because he realizes that he's in love with Ramona.
  • Unseen No More: There's a Running Gag of Mobile and Lawrence barely being off-screen but often mentioned. Both of them finally appear in-person at the end of Volume 5, and Scott briefly confuses them both for Gideon.
  • Unsound Effect: All over the place, like STARE! and CLUTCH! and NOD. NOD.
    • ~pause
    • ~unpause
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Scott has shades of this when you first read the series, due to his extreme manchild tendencies. Fridge Brilliance sets in when you realize that this is actually Scott's main character flaw, and him realizing this is essential to his character development.
  • The Vamp: Inverted. Envy Adams seems to prefer dating evil guys rather than corrupting good ones.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • ...or whatever.
    • None of the characters have verbal tics when they're in denial. Yes they do.
  • [Verb] This!: Envy while fighting Ramona.
    (Wallace has just left after continously cheering on Ramona)
    Ramona: But...but I'm enjoying your company!
    Envy: ENJOY THIS! (kicks Ramona in the chin, launching her upward)
  • The 'Verse:
    • Kim Pine started out as a character in series of comic strips that started years before Scott Pilgrim debuted. Bryan Lee O'Malley did three short comic strips called "Style" which featured characters named Kim Pine and Lisa Miller. You can read them at his site under "Best of My Online Comics" here. The Kim Pine and Lisa Miller in the "Style" strips look NOTHING like their Scott Pilgrim namesakes, and aren't really given distinct personalities, so they are probably better classified as Proto-Kim and Proto-Lisa, much like rabbits from Warner Bros. cartoons from the late 1930s predating the 1940 Tex Avery directorial effort "A Wild Hare" are considered prototypes for Bugs Bunny.
    • Also, Scott made a cameo in Corey Lewis's graphic novel PENG, which is in continuity with Lewis's series Sharknife.
  • Villain Song: Matthew Patel gets to sing one when facing off against Scott, complete with his fireballs and demon hipster chicks. S-L-ICK!
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Lucas, Envy, and Gideon.
    Ramona: What the hell is this?! Why are they all rooting for you when you're obviously a huge bitch?
    Random Guy: You're a huge bitch!!
    Envy: Ramona, sweetie, I'm famous.
  • Visible Invisibility: Roxie appears as blurred lines when teleporting. She is only half ninja, after all.
  • Visible Silence: On occasion.
  • Wall Jump: Ramona does one to chase after Knives during their fight.
  • Warp Zone: Subspace.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Scott's quoting of the Backstreet Boys at the end of Volume 5.
  • We Can Rule Together: This offer is made by Gideon to Scott when it's revealed that Scott qualifies to join the League of Evil Exes, on account of no longer being with Ramona. Scott declines vigorously... and is dead three pages later.
  • Weird Trade Union: Of Ramona's evil exes.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Ramona's cat is named Gideon. A fact that shocks even Gideon.
  • Wham Episode:
  • Wham Line:
    • In Volume 5.
      Knives: He cheated on us, Ramona. Both of us.
    • Volume 5 ends with Scott getting a call from someone, and Scott asks who's on the other end..
      Gideon: This is Gideon. When would it be convenient for you to die?
  • Wham Shot: Gideon stabbing Scott with the Power of Love in Volume 6, complete with a very nasty blood splatter on the page.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Various Deadpan Snarker characters question how Scott attracts these girls. Honestly, it's a good question. He's hot, that's what they see. Only ''we'' don't get to see it in the comic and in the film the character was played by Michael Cera; but it's explicitly stated, mostly by Wallace.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Averted with Scott gaining a flaming sword from the power of love and the power of understanding, a frigging big Bleach-like sword.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    Scott: Are you okay now?
    Envy: Am I...? You just headbutted my best friend so hard he burst, Scott.
    • Scott gets another one with Envy in Volume 6. Becomes more apparent and embarassing when he breaks it down in front of a thousand quiet fans staring at Envy in awe.
    Scott: Envy Adams? Partying with mere mortals?
    Envy: *glare*
    Scott: Why don't you go back to... to... Montrealhalla.
  • White Void Room: When Ramona gives Scott a haircut in chapter 16, they are depicted in a completely blank-white room as a text prompt reads "time passed".
  • Why Don't You Marry It?
  • Widget Series: Never before has Canada's most populated city been this quirky.
  • Wingding Eyes: In book 3, Scott's pupils turn into starry asterisks when Ramona offers to cut his hair in chapter 16.
  • World of Ham: So many tasty, delicious moments of ultra-ham.
  • World of Weirdness: The best example of this is that learning that a character is psychic is no more shocking than learning that someone is vegan—in fact, in this world, it's often the same thing.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Todd shows his true colors in volume 3 when he psychically throws Envy into a wall, and then retorts that he's not afraid to hit girls because he's a rock star, losers.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Played straight with Scott.
    Roxie: Is that a moral high ground thing, or are you just a pussy?
    • If she's one of Ramona's evil exes and trying to cut him to pieces, he will use a sword on her, though. Well, after leveling up.
  • Yandere:
  • You Are Fat: Knives to Ramona, multiple times.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Ramona says the line, verbatim, in a fight with Knives.
    Knives: But look at your face! I totally grazed you!
    Ramona: How appropriate. You fight like a cow.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Played with in Ramona's case. Her regular changes of dye and hairstyle hint at her constant drive to run from herself.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Wallace says this to Scott when he's moping around playing too many video games at the start of Volume 6. Hilarity Ensues when Scott tries to take his advice.
  • Your Mom: Scott uses insults like these a few times, since he's terrible at comebacks.

Alternative Title(s): Scott Pilgrim Vs The World


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