Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Viz

Go To
A typically classy issue cover yesterday.

Britain's most famous "Adult" comic (it is the only non-porn title to be considered an "adult publication" by the British Professional Publishers Association), Viz began as a satirical fanzine in Newcastle and has grown hugely since.

Many of the characters and stories are deliberately exaggerated stereotypes, and there is a solid core of people in the UK who can't get enough of the sight of the word "fuck" in a talk balloon in what looks like a children's comic.

A typical issue will contain a few strips that appear in virtually every issue, a few more that are less frequent, and a few one-official strips that only appear once. The one-offs often feature celebrities or historical figures in ludicrous or obscene situations.

At its best, Viz can be well-written, witty and occasionally thought-provoking despite being crude and raunchy. At its worst, it's just crude and raunchy with little to no redeeming qualities. Think of this comic as MAD Magazine for adults or Cracked if it went to places that MAD didn't dare.


During the 1980s, Viz was repeatedly threatened with prosecution by DC Thomson, the Scottish publishers of famous British children's comics The Beano, The Dandy and The Broons, for copyright infringement over their coarse parodies of DC Thomson characters. Viz retaliated by printing a one-off strip featuring "DC Thompson", a cartoon Scotsman obsessed with intellectual property. DC Thomson responded with an issue of the Dandy that parodied the "war" in a strip featuring their recurring Scots vs. Sassenachs characters "The Jocks and the Geordies". More seriously, the publishers of Viz were threatened with criminal prosecution for incitement to racial hatred in 1990 because of the content of a one-off strip called "The Thieving Gypsy Bastards". Ironically, the Romani man who tried to sue the Viz for this comic was later found guilty of handling stolen property. They had also printed a strip called "The Nice Honest Gypsies" on the very next page.


Not to be confused with North American anime and manga publisher/distributor Viz Media.

Viz provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: There was a strip whose protagonist was cursed with the power of being a "Tranny Magnet". Women with facial hair (or men in drag) just wouldn't leave him alone. He got no attention at all from cisgender women.
  • Abusive Parents: Victorian Dad, Mutha and Fatha Bacon.
  • Affectionate Parody: There are many strips within the comic that are shout-outs to characters in classic British comics, with Biffa Bacon for example being loosely based on the Dandy's "Bully Beef". What's more difficult for younger readers to understand is that characters like Johnny Fartpants play homage to the "unusual child with special powers" trope of the classic British comic. Whereas a character like the Beano's "Billy Whizz" was capable of incredible running speed and so forth, Viz child characters had spectacular but sadly useless powers, like heroic flatulence or unfeasibly large testicles. Characters attempting to ignite fires after eating "really strong mints" or using a banana as a telescope were generally pastiching the real world consequences of attempts classic characters would have had. The spat with D.C. Thompson was over the Viz bunch including one of their characters in the background as a shout-out cameo and never intended anything other than to recognize their inspiration. With the demise of children's comics in the UK the source material is becoming more obscure. Ironically, it will probably end up that we recognize the tropes from Viz rather than the original in the same way most people think of a blue box with a light on top as a TARDIS, not a police box.
  • The Alcoholic: Eight Ace, The Drunken Bakers, Brown Bottle.
    • One of Roger Mellie's many vices. On one occasion in 2006, while requiring a liver transplant (due to chronic alcoholism), he became a hit-and-run driver: he ran over and killed a motorcyclist without stopping, later receiving the dead man's liver for himself, then celebrating the successful liver transplant with a booze-up at the nearest pub.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: First seen in Sid The Sexist, "Dirtyarse" nevertheless has made subsequent appearances and once gatecrashed a Christian rock festival to Ivan Jelical's chagrin.
  • Alliterative Name: Sid the Sexist, Biffa Bacon, Major Misunderstanding, Lawrence Logic, Billy Britain, to name a few.
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: "The Modern Parents"
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": invoked One strip titled "George Best Is a Cinema Pest" was about the late footballer George Best disclosing "spoiler" endings to certain films (all of which fit the trope, including The Crying Game) to incensed people in a cinema who didn't know the ending.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Malcolm and Cressida, Mutha and Fatha Bacon, Sid The Sexist's mother, the titular character in the "Scum Mothers, Who'd 'Ave 'Em?" strip.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Some long-running strips will occasionally switch focus to a supporting character - such as Ciderwoman (the enemy of Brown Bottle), Cedric Soft (a kid frequently bullied by Biffa Bacon) or Fixed Odds Betty (a customer of the businessman from "We ..."
  • Animated Adaptation
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The Male Online is the anthropomorphic personification of Britain's very right-wing, moral-panic prone, and hypocritically pervy Daily Mail tabloid newspaper.
  • Anti-Humor: Mr Logic from Viz was once best man at a wedding. Knowing that he would need some jokes for his speech, and being Mr Logic, he came up with these belters:
    1) What is the difference between a gnu and a gnostic? A gnu is a large even-toed ungulate native to the African savannah, also known as a wildebeest; a gnostic is a member of a first-century religious movement that advanced the moral primacy of the spiritual world above the material.
    2) Did you hear about the Irish hydrometer? It didn't know how to measure the moistness of the atmosphere.
  • Antiquated Linguistics:
    • A main comic element of "Raffles the Gentleman Thug" is the rewriting of familiar coarse exclamations in an antiquated style.
    • Also Victorian Dad.
    • Mr Logic. Most of the humour comes from the fact what he says is so outdated or technical sounding that no one else can understand him.
  • Apathetic Clerk: One issue had a comic strip titled Lazy Disinterested 16 Year Old Shoe Shop Girl, featuring a 16 year old cashier who showed more interest in her mobile phone and blowing bubbles with her bubble gum than she did in serving customers.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the "Eurosidney" episode of the Sid The Sexist cartoon, Sid makes the comment that "Only queers, lasses and southerners" don't go on holiday, to which his friend only disputes lasses.
  • Ascended Extra: Meddlesome Ratbag started out as a one-off character in a Gilbert Ratchet strip, appearing for just three panels where she mistook Gilbert's Guy Fawkes doll for a beggar and forced a policeman to arrest the Guy, thus being something of a Distaff Counterpart to Major Misunderstanding. This spun off into her own strip where she basically takes Disproportionate Retribution Up to Eleven.
  • Ascended Meme: The internet-ism "fap" being included in Roger's Profanisaurus.
    • In an example from the comic itself Finbarr Saunders' catchphrase of "fnarr fnarr" is a popular response in the UK to double entendres, even by people who don't know the character.
  • Asian Store-Owner: Mr. Patel, the turbaned and ever-smiling owner of "Patel's 24-Hour Nanomart", where Eight Ace gets his beer from. He seems a nice guy, although some might look askance at someone so willing to sell cheap booze to an obvious alcoholic.
  • Ass Shove: The "Tommy 'Banana' Johnson" strip always ends with Tommy's giant banana being shoved somewhere painful.
  • Autocannibalism: Miserly Norbert Colon was tempted by a special offer on tongue at his local butcher but was too stingy even to pay the reduced price. Instead, he had the idea of saving money by cutting off his own tongue and then cooking and eating that. The plan proved less than successful when he found that he couldn't taste it.
  • Baby's First Words: In "The Modern Parents", Malcolm and Cressida want their baby Guinivere's first word to be "dolphin", but (thanks to big brother Tarquin) Guinivere's first word ends up being "football".
  • Badass Biker: Dirtyarse is so unbelievably badass his mere appearance causes Sid the Sexist to literally crap himself. The crew who hangs around him is also full of hard cases, in fact the women in attendance beat him viciously and carve words into Sid's face - the implication being that the women are two leagues above Sid, never mind anyone else. In fact Dirtyarse is so antihero charismatic he makes Ivan Jelical's hardcore brainwashed Evangelical Christian date not only abandon abstinence and sexual virtue pledges instantly but even abandon her religion entirely to take off on the back of Dirtyarse's ride.
  • Bad Liar: Aldridge Prior the Hopeless Liar. Aldridge is a compulsive liar who lies about absolutely everything, however unbelievable his lies might be. This goes up as far as claiming that the Nolan Sisters live in his fridge.
  • Bat Deduction: Grassy Knowlington, a parody of Conspiracy Theorists, takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Beat Bag: Paul Whicker (The Tall Vicar) responds to his verger's suggestion that the forthcoming youth group disco would give them the chance to 'shift some Es and whiz' with a grin and "Or aspirins and Vim if the ugly truth be known" (Vim being a brand of scouring powder with a (very) superficial resemblance to powdered amphetamine).
  • Bedmate Reveal: One Sid the Sexist strip has the lads go out for Sid's cousin's stag night in Blackpool. Everyone gets progressively more drunk and at the end of the evening Sid storms off to find a woman while his cousin is handcuffed, naked and protesting, to a street lamp. The next day Baz reads a newspaper with the headline "Youth Dies of Exposure in Blackpool". Sid, meanwhile, wakes up with a hangover and sees a head of curly blonde hair in the bed next to him. Thinking he has finally "pulled", he asks his "date" if she fancies another ride and is terrified when the owner of the blonde hair is a rather large man, who calls him "Sidney, my love" and tells him to "roll over".
  • Bee Bee Gun: "Barnaby's Spelling Bees", whose schtick is that he has a swarm of killer bees that attack on command... so long as their target begins with "B". Hilarity Ensues as normal.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: In a 2012 issue, one of the Pathetic Sharks actually killed and ate someone. While trying to eat a toffee. And he had to wash his mouth out.
  • Big Ball of Violence
  • Big Beautiful Women: The Fat Slags. It might not sound like it, but The Fat Slags is all about two heavily overweight women who nonetheless have sex several times a day, with a different man almost every time.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Defied by Baz in the Fat Slags strips. He is under-endowed but remains married and shags San regularly. Not that she's fussy.
  • Bigotry Exception: The Mrs. Brady strip has a Running Gag in which she will say something incredibly racist and then almost immediately fulsomely praise her (never seen) GP, "Dr. Chakraborty".
  • Biker Babe: Sid the Sexist once tried to pass himself off as a member the Hells' Angels so as to pull one, and ends up humiliatingly beaten up for his troubles.
  • Black Comedy: Many, many examples across all features of the magazine. Some of the best remembered examples include a strip about serial killers Harold Shipman and Fred West competing to be the first to murder a new neighbour; and a spoof advert for "Mummy, This Lemonade Tastes Funny!", a collectible china doll that comes with a bottle of bleach.
  • Black Comedy Rape/Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Has been known to happen to men who turn down one of the Fat Slags.
  • Bladder of Steel: One Sidd the Sexist strip has Sid and his mates gannin' doon the pub to neck a few pints o' Broon. The lads are seen in the pub chugging down pints of beer - eight or nine each, by the end - and getting visibly more uncomfortable as their bladders fill. But the Code of the Lad dictates that you hold it in, and that the first man to crack and run to the bog under the pressure of a very full bladder is, by inexorable logic, a poof and a lassie who cannae hold it in. All four are seen playing a desperate game of Bladder Roulette, each praying that one of the others cracks first, so he can take all the censure, allowing the rest to go for a piss with their honour intact. and all the time they are trying to put on poker faces and shrug off painfully full bladders as if this is nothing...
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: A "Nobby's Piles" strip has Devil's Brand Fiery Habanero Pepper Sauce Bang! Bang! Molto Explosivo. In a dark cupboard. Next to the pile cream.
  • Born in the Wrong Century:
    • Victorian Dad seemingly believes he is in the Victorian period and his strict ways cause a lot of embarrassment to his children.
    • Major Misunderstanding is a conservative war veteran who wishes for the good old days — but is evidently senile, frequently mistaking something for something else which he then criticises for being too politically correct.
    • Jack Black and His Dog Silver is similar to 1960s adventure comics, but the time period changes depending on the appearance.
  • Born Lucky: Spawny Get embodies this trope, typically having a piece of moderate bad luck that causes a piece of very, very good luck. In one strip, he is carrying a ten-pound note into a bookmaker's to place a bet when he slips on a turd; he lets go of the money and yells "Oh bugger, I've skidded on a dog dirt!" The ten-pound note flies into the hand of the bookmaker, who assumes Spawny Get is placing a bet on a horse called "Oh bugger, I've skidded on a dog dirt". Which wins. At odds of 1,000-1.
  • Bothering by the Book: Mr. Logic combines this with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. An example being upon hearing a shop assistant say "Everything's a pound", he immediately assumes that he could buy the entire contents of the shop for a pound, rather than costing one pound per individual item. He is told of his mistake, and then gets confused and tries to buy the cash register for a pound, only to be told it's not stock. He subsequently explains what the shop assistant should have said to him, before getting carried out by security.
  • Bouncer: Norman the Doorman is such an extreme example that he refuses to let his wife enter their fridge.
    • In the one-off strip Jason and the Lagernauts, the final enemy that the titular Lagernauts must face is a seven-headed bouncer, with each head shouting different stereotypical reasons for a bouncer to refuse entry to a nightclub.
  • Bourgeois Bohemian: John Fardell's most frequent strips, "The Modern Parents" and "The Critics" are caricatures of this type of person. The protagonists of both strips are smug, affluent cultural leftists with shallow, ignorant political views, who are actually huge social and intellectual snobs despite their professed ideals.
  • Brainy Brunette: Baz's wife Thelma in "The Fat Slags" fits this trope in appearance at least. Strangely enough, most of the time in "The Fat Slags" Tracey is almost the Brainy Brunette by default. She's no intellectual, but she's much smarter than Sandra, and appears to have more common sense than Baz.
    • Mind you, there are things growing on damp bread which are smarter than Sandra and Tracey put together...
  • Bridezilla: Wendy Haystacks, who appeared in a Sid The Sexist strip. Sid accidentally proposes to her when all he wanted to do was to ask her to give him a blow-job. Wendy then becomes a very horrifying Bridezilla, verging back and forth between Tastes Like Diabetes and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, while Sid becomes a Henpecked Husband even before they have got married.
  • Britain is Only London: This attitude is satirized in "The Critics", who are completely ignorant of the UK outside of London, to the extent they sometimes don't seem aware it exists at all. Even when they are aware, they believe large cities such as Liverpool or Newcastle are small villages and are very snobby and condescending about them despite admitting to knowing nothing about them. And of course, on the rare occasions they venture outside of London, their attempts to "go native" by adopting various outdated rural stereotypes make them look like complete lunatics.
  • British Teeth: Mercilessly turned on its head in a one-off strip called Crystal's Big Chance. This was about an American girl who wanted to become a cheerleader but was regarded as hideously ugly because one of her front teeth was just slightly out of line. She eventually got her happy ending and was hailed as beautiful at the end despite the enormous braces she now wore.
  • Brother Chuck: Several strips will add new characters who then never reappear. Examples include Spoilt Bastard's stepfather and stepsister (see below) as well as Biffa Bacon's new baby brother and Knacka the dog.
  • Bungling Inventor: Gilbert Ratchet. Played with in that quite a few of his machines have a harmful mode that he's deliberately given them for no explicable reason, but to which the machine will inevitably be switched.
  • Butch Lesbian: Millie Tant, a strident feminist who has all the stereotypical butch features.
  • Butt-Monkey: Sting and Bono are often ridiculed for being egotistical pretentious hypocrites who claim to help the poor whilst spending a lot of money on extravagant luxuries. In the 1980s, Shakin Stevens was the Butt-Monkey but he is considered a 'has been' nowadays, he is usually brought up in articles when someone wants to milk their connection to a minor celebrity.
    • Morrissey is a more recent addition, joining Sting and Bono in a troika of celebrity bell-ends.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm:
    Sid the Sexist: Well, I must admit...
    Big Dave: DIVVUN CAAL ME MUSTARD MITT! [punch]
  • Calling the Old Man Out: This happens with a lot of characters. Spoilt Bastard is constantly insulting his mother in order to get what he wants. Biffa Bacon often insults his parents and gets beaten up by them. In The Modern Parents, Tarquin is always insulting his parents because of their hypocritical beliefs.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Biffa Bacon is a parody of The Dandy's Bully Beef. His mother, who is rough-looking and masculine, bears a striking resemblance to Desperate Dan.
    • Spoilt Bastard is similar to a comic strip which appeared in Monster Fun and later Buster called Mummy's Boy.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Sid the Sexist, who, while not wearing a leisure suit, is very much a virgin despite his claims to the contrary and his attempts to change that situation. His friends could also possibly come under the same category - while they have occasionally been shown having success with women, usually they appear to look up to Sid for his 'studliness'. One strip even featured the brother of one of Sid's friends, who wore a leisure suit and claimed to be a massive hit with the ladies. Sid attempts to one-up him by getting several love bites - with the aid of a bicycle pump. He is, of course, caught and mocked by his friends. But then the last panel shows the friend's brother, alone in a tiny bedroom, doing the same trick, surrounded by porn magazines, used tissues, inflatable dolls and other sexual paraphernalia, making him possibly the only character to have ever been made to look even more pathetic and lonely than Sid in the strip.
  • Celebrity Lie: From 2016 on "Tony Parsehole" was joined by "Pierce Dorgan", a vicious parody of Piers Morgan whose obituaries for celebrities always rapidly devolve into transparently-false boasts about how close he was to the dead person and what great friends he is with other celebrities.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: In one Sid the Sexist strip, Joe points out that Sid, if he had a new wardrobe and hairstyle, bears an uncanny resemblance to a pop star and girls flock to him after being made to look like the artist in question. So he goes along with this deception to pull women and invites them back to his house for a "rock'n'rurl orgy", only for it to be announced that the pop star in question has come out in the press as gay. The girls are disgusted, only for Sid's homophobia to be exposed when he's chased by gay men who fancy him (or rather, the pop star he's mistaken for).
  • Censored Title: The comic has a variety of creative ways to mention strips with sweary titles on the front page, such as Spoonerism, other creative misspellings, and even in a couple of cases Censor Steam.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "George Bestial" began as an occasional one-joke four-panel strip about a guy who looked like the footballer George Best and liked having sex with animals. After Best's real-world death, the strip didn't appear for a while. It then came back as a full-page strip featuring a character who looked a lot less like Best, and whose zoophilia was clearly just the most obvious sign of his pathetic and frightening psychopathy.
  • The Chew Toy:
    • Sid the Sexist.
    • Mr. Snodworthy from Tinribs, who can't seem to last a whole strip without being gruesomely disemboweled.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Parodied in a Goldfish Boy strip, where a hotelier demands that the Reverend Brown, the strip's actual main character perform the last rites on a dying guest. Brown points out that he's a Church of England priest and therefore has no idea how to do the Catholic last rites, but the hotelier is completely unable to grasp this point.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Jack Black, who regularly turns against Aunt Meg and/or PC Brown, and has even callously murdered them (though they are always resurrected in time for the next strip.) The ending of a Big Vern strip is very often triggered by Vern's belief that Ernie and/or Vern's wife has betrayed him to the police.
  • Classically Trained Extra: Luvvie Darling presents himself as an A-list actor but is only offered very minor (and ultimately humiliating) roles. His ludicrous ham acting style and overbearing personality result in him gaining only bit (walk-on) parts at best; at worst, his only theatre employment is cleaning the theatre's toilets. When he does get a part, he constantly forgets his lines.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Routinely done deliberately and for laughs in "Billy the Fish." Typically, the villain who is menacing the club will turn out to be a just a cardboard cutout with a tape recorder on the back or that one of the club had arranged for Jeremy Beadle to play a trick on his teammates.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Roger Irrelevant.
  • Clothing Switch: In one issue Sandra and Tracey after realising they had only one outfit each, decide to go to a swishing party, where women meet up to exchange clothes as a way of getting different clothes and getting rid of their old ones in one go. However there were no other women as large as Sandra and Tracey, so they had to swap clothes with each other. They then go and get new haircuts to go with their new clothes, and when they come out it looks like they've just swapped hairstyles as well.
    • The artists have admitted that it has sometimes been difficult to tell Sandra and Tracey apart as they look so similar other than their hairstyles. On at least one other occasion Sandra and Tracey were drawn wearing each other's outfits and it wasn't referred to in the strip, so the above example may well be a case of Lampshade Hanging.
    • Sometimes Biffa Bacon's parents have swapped each others clothes and pretended they are each other just because they find it fun to screw with his mind.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Letterbocks thrives on this. "These so-called speed bumps are a joke. If anything, they slow you down" and "This evaporated milk is a con. I bought a can and it was completely full" being just two examples.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Cockney Wanker is visually based on the actor and comedian Mike Reid, who tended to play that type of character.
  • Composite Character: A 90s strip "The Mrs Brady Bunch" introduced two friends for the title character, Dolly and Ena. After this the Ena character was renamed to Dolly and the original Dolly character was removed. This was likely done to simplify the plots, as Dolly is generally characterised as a Flat Character who always agrees with Mrs Brady's recollections no matter how absurd they may be.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Grassey Knollington. When his dad twisted his ankle on a stray walnut, Grassey realised that it was the work of the Bilderburg Group, and not just some ludicrous "lone nut" theory.
  • Content Warnings: All issues bear the warning "not to be sold to children" on the cover.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Regularly parodied in Spot the Clue, supposedly written by a different guest celebrity every month.
    • When Tim Westwood "wrote" the strip, the murderer gave himself away by referring to an album that hadn't been released at the time the strip was set.
    • When David Bellamy "wrote" the strip, the murderer revealed himself by giving a plant's botanical name in capital letters in his speech bubble.
    • When Hugh Scully "wrote" the strip, the thief claimed she had been cleaning an Edwardian bureau at the time of the theft, when the style of carving on the bureau clearly showed it be be from another period.
    • When Albert Camus "wrote" the strip, the murderer's lie was to say he enjoyed life, when in fact the inevitability of death renders everything we do meaningless and absurd.
    • When Alan Sugar "wrote" the strip, the murderer claimed to have sent a message on an Amstrad eMailer, forgetting that Amstrad eMailers are shit and never do what you want them to do.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Parodied by, among others, Spot the Clue. A whodunnit situation is shown, with the reader being asked to work out who the perpetrator is. Each time the villain is the one who made an innocuous error, ranging from incorrectly describing the era of a piece of furniture, to claiming to have been sending emails on a piece of hardware that everyone knows is too unreliable to work.
  • Corrupt Politician: Baxter Basics MP is an extremely amoral and sexually deviant Conservative (and later Labour) MP who first appeared at around the same time as John Major's Back to Basics campaign, and a transparent statement on the hypocrisy of politicians.
  • Crapsack World: Many of the strips comedically tend this way, but Barney Farmer's and Lee Healey's ones ("Drunken Bakers", Hen Cabin", "George Bestial", "Scum Mothers, Who'd 'Ave 'Em?", the "We..." strips about the balding businessman) are unbelievably bleak.
    • The one-shot Camberwick Greggs, a parody of the children's show Camberwick Green, was also noted for being exceptionally bleak and lacking the humour found in most strips.
  • Cyclops: Farmer Palmer is very proud of his cyclops grandson, the result of generations of first-class in-breeding.
  • Cheating with the Milkman: In one Postman Plod strip he competes with the milkman over who will have sex with a housewife first, only for the woman's husband to come home when he is trying to have sex with her.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Mrs. Brady, Old Lady's friend Dolly Earnshaw got her own one-off strip once, The Adventures Of Dolly Earnshaw which consisted of Dolly going to the corner shop to buy a scratchcard.
  • Death by Irony: Happens at the end of every Suicidal Sid strip after Sid regains the will to live.
  • Deconstructed Character Type:
    • Jack Black is a parody of the Enid Blyton-esque boy detective. Much like The Comic Strip Presents' "Five Go Mad in Dorset'', the strip highlights his negative traits - he's a xenophobic, classist, elitist, amoral bigot who gets well-meaning people, who have done nothing wrong, arrested (or worse) on a minor technicality or obscure law for his own benefit, often with another awful crime being committed right under his nose which he completely fails to notice.
    • Cockney Wanker is a parody of Frank Butcher and Del Boy, albeit with none of the sympathetic traits that made them lovable rogues. An embodiment of everything Northeners hate about Londoners, he's a sexist, racist, nationalist, greedy, wife-beating con man with no regard for others and values money above all else.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Roger Mellie, a foul-mouthed alcoholic and perverted TV presenter who in several strips lands a job on kids' TV and inevitably reverts to type in front of the horrified audience.
  • Dirty Foreigner: In one strip, a foaming at the mouth rabid dog enters Britain through the then recently opened Channel Tunnel, followed shortly by its French owner, who explains that the dog isn't rabid but ate some soap having mistaken it for cheese, because we do not have soap in France.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Victorian Dad would beat his son and daughter over little offenses that would be seen through his point of view as a big offence in Victorian Times. He once beat his son for Achieving "grade As" in all of his classes just to teach him to "Never rest upon his Laurels" (i.e. be complacent in your success)
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • Terry Fuckwitt, Ratboy and Suicidal Sid have all had girlfriends that look like female versions of themselves with Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. One issue of Spoilt Bastard had his mother dating a man who had a daughter. The daughter was a Spoiled Brat girl named Angelica, and the father was a Spear Counterpart to Spoilt Bastard's mother.
    • Biffa Bacon's father and mother have exactly the same stubble on their faces, and on occasion the artist has accidentally drawn them wearing each others clothing and left it in for comic effect. They both enjoy hurting Biffa and both enjoy blaming him for doing something the other told them to do. The only difference between their personalities is that 'Mutha' tends to be much more violent than 'Fatha'. 'Mutha' is also a past master at hiding in improbably small spaces.
  • The Ditz: Sandra in "The Fat Slags" fits this trope well. She can be quite sweet at times, but she is always extremely stupid.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: Neotenous bank manager Playtime Fontayne once used this excuse to explain his failure to deliver a bunch of monthly reports to head office.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Jonny Fartpants once worked as a nail gun by having a load of nails inserted anally, which he the farted one-by-one at the relevant target. As the nails were funnelled into his bum, he pointedly warned readers to "be extremely careful when you try this at home".
  • Driver of a Black Cab: Cockney Wanker's appearance is based on a combination of a stereotypical London taxi driver. He once took the Knowledge, which included directions from two arbitrary points for Londoners (a straightforward journey) and out-of-towners (Up the M1 to Dundee, and back down again), and being able to do a stream-of-consciousness speech from any topic to "Enoch Powell, send them all back" (known as "The Ignorance").
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: "Drill Sergeant Jumbo", a parody of The Beano's General Jumbo, sees Jumbo ignore a crisis in favour of berating and bullying one of his soldiers.
  • Double Entendre: the whole point of the strip Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres. Fnarr Fnarr etc.
  • Downer Ending: Gordon's Grandad, which ends in the death of the Grandad. It's notably absent of the toilet humour of the usual strips and paces itself in such a way that makes the ending a shock.
  • Drunken Master: Parodied with the Brown Bottle, who undergoes his heroic transformation by drinking six bottles of Newcastle Brown and gains the ability to...slur incomprehensibly, stagger about and piss himself, albeit in a superhero costume. He ends up inadvertently saving the day anyway, usually because the villains leave in pity and disgust.
  • Dumb Blonde: Sandra. Except when she's a dumb redhead.
  • Eagleland: Type 2, obviously. Stock American stereotypes crop up now and again; cowboys, trigger happy gun nuts, cheerleaders, valley girls, frivolous lawsuits, etc.
    • The one off strip Yankee Dougal pokes fun at British kids who want to be American because of outdated stereotypes from old American shows they had seen on TV. The strip dates from 1990, when most British kids had never met an American in real life. With the internet, many have befriended them online and realised that there isn't that much difference after all. Also, his desire to have braces purely to be like an American is outdated as they are commonplace worldwide (and dentists will very rarely tell people they don't need them).
    • Everything Is Big in Texas: A one-off strip had the Pope get a visit from a Texan archbishop, who spent the whole time saying that everything there was smaller than what he had in Texas, including the Vatican and even when God himself appeared he said that they had fairies at the bottom of the garden bigger there. The Pope and God eventually team up to get rid of the archbishop using a clockwork dinosaur.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In the earliest Jack Black strips, Jack's aunt was named Jessie and was married to Jack's uncle, and the humour of the strips was based around his attempts to solve ridiculous "mysteries" such as why there was a cabbage lying in the roadside. The setup soon changed to its current format as a parody of Boy's Own-style adventures and middle-class hypocrisy, with his aunt named Meg and apparently a spinster. The art style was also very different until the current and best-known artist (Simon Ecob) took over the trip.
    • The comic's creator Chris Donald considers the characters of Billy Britain (a fanatical right-wing nationalist) and Eric Daft (a boy with very low intelligence) to be early prototypes of Major Misunderstanding and Terry Fuckwitt respectively.
    • Along these lines, the first annual features a strip called "The Lager Lads", who are students who will only drink a certain kind of lager. This was the prototype for "The Real Ale Twats", a group of middle aged men who similarly go into average bars and request specific beers to the confusion of staff. The Twats were introduced around 20 years after The Lager Lads appeared and disappeared, conceivably being the same people at older ages (particularly as they make reference to beer festivals as far back as the 70s). Amusingly, though the twats seem to hate lager, they have been tricked into ordering and enjoying it if it is presented as a blonde ale.
    • The first Sid the Sexist strip depicted the title character just going around and making misogynistic remarks to women, seemingly for the hell of it. It naturally didn't take the strip's artist long to figure out that this wasn't particularly funny in and of itself, but then he got the idea to remodel the character after a friend of his who had a lot of bravado around women, but whose attempts at actually chatting them up always went spectacularly wrong, leading to the more familiar version of the character.
    • Early on, "Mrs Brady Old Lady" had a different, more grotesque design, always travelled alone, and would usually annoy the general public with her inability to adjust to the modern world. As characterised since the late 90s, she is always seen with her friend Dolly, more family members are seen, and she will often explain medical problems to anyone much to their detriment. One point of consistency is her late husband Sidney, who is sometimes pictured via flashback in early strips, though expressly unseen in later strips. The strip is intentionally never clear as to how and when he died.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: Gilbert Ratchet often meets them, and they always have a ludicrously specific and relevant eccentricity.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Sid the Sexist once actually managed to persuade a girl to come home with him - only for his mother to intercept them as they enter the house, drag them into the living room and proceed to totally ruin the whole thing by showing the girl albums upon albums of Sid's baby photos.
  • Enfant Terrible: Timmy "Spoilt Bastard" Timpson, a horrible, fat, ungrateful and vicious-tongued little shit. One shudders to think what his life would be like for those around him if he were released after schooling on the rest of the world!
  • Europeans Are Kinky: Any time a German person appears in a strip, they will be into scat. No, not Skat.
  • Extreme Doormat: Cissy Timpson, Spoilt Bastard's mother.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Sid the Sexists attempts to chat women will always end in rejection, sometimes violently.
    • Whenever Luvvie Darling gets an acting gig, it will invariably end in disaster.
    • Ironically, Suicidal Syd's attempts to top himself fail, yet he dies anyway via unforseen circumstances.
  • Fake Rabies: One comic strip ran a story about the then recent opening of the Channel Tunnel. An apparently rabid French dog emerged on the English side, and the main character exclaims "Oh no! In a million to one scenario, a rabid French dog has made it through the Channel Tunnel!" The dog is shortly followed by its owner who explains that far from being rabid, it ate some soap, which it had mistaken for cheese because we do not have soap in France.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Invoked in canon with a strip where Roger Mellie goes to an SF fan convention to con money out of Doctor Who fans by falsely claiming to have been a Dalek operator. Even after they realise he's a fake and he insults them, what drives them to severely beat him is when he calls them "Trekkies".
    • Also invoked in a "Sid the Sexist" strip which abandoned the strip's usual subject matter completely to parody Novocastrian outrage at the relegation of Newcastle United FC from the English Premier League in 2016 - not so much at the relegation as at the fact that hated local rivals Sunderland had stayed up.
  • Fartillery: The eponymous Johnny Fartpants uses farts to various effect and can alter the effect by eating different things i.e. a tranquilizer fart made by eating 200 paracetamol or an electric fart to power a life support machine by drinking battery acid.
  • Farts on Fire: Johnny Fartpants, who on several occasions took terrible revenge by, for instance, eating a strong vindaloo curry, placidly waiting a while, then dropping his trousers in front of his foes and lighting a match... on one occasion, just to make sure, he was seen to drink petrol as a prelude to Flamethrower Madness.
  • The Film of the Book: The Fat Slags (already adapted into claymation shorts in the early 90s) received a critically-mauled live movie adaptation in 2004.
  • Firemen Are Hot: The following conversation appeared in a Sid the Sexist strip:
    Baz: What is it with women and firemen's uniforms? It's like fancying a bird just because she's wearing a nurse's uniform.
    Joe: What's wrong with nurse's uniforms, Baz?
    Baz: Well, nothing, but she'd have to be a cracker in the first place. The uniform's just the icing on the cake. Whereas you could put the Elephant Man in a fireman's uniform and he'd be fighting them off with a shitty stick.
    • All of which prompts Sid to join the Fire Brigade in order to get laid, with predictably disastrous consequences.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Victorian Dad even though his wife and son and daughter do not live by his Victorian Era viewpoints.
  • Flying Saucer: Johnny Fartpants is used by NASA as the propulsion system for an experimental spacecraft using the power of his flatulence to drive the vessel at incredible speeds.
  • Football Hooligans: In one Billy the Fish story, rival boss Gus Parker and his henchman Wilf try to get Billy's team Fulchester kicked out of the European Cup by dressing as Fulchester fans, getting drunk and smashing up the city where they're playing their next match. Unfortunately for them Fulchester are playing in a People's Republic of Tyranny, and no sooner have they stepped off the boat than they get a thirty year prison sentence for insulting a local police officer.
  • Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: "Bertie Blunt (His Parrot's a Cunt)".
  • Funny Foreigner: Finbarr Saunders's Russian friend Sergei, who keeps providing him with obscene mispronunciations of English words.#
  • The Gambling Addict: Just one of Roger Mellie's vices. One strip had him avoid loan sharks chasing a debt. He borrows Tom's holiday money to pay them off, only to bet it all on a horse that loses. The strip ends with Roger, having been beaten up, getting a job hosting a gameshow that turns out to be late night poker, where he predictably does badly enough to throw his watch and car in.
  • Gargle Blaster: The "Cuntbuster," which is the Fat Slags' cocktail of choice. The exact description of it tends to vary from issue to issue, but basically it's pretty much every spirit (and a few different mixers) you can think of all put into the same drink.
  • Gasshole: Johnny Fartpants and Farting Dilemmas with Archie McBlarter.
  • Generation Xerox: Biffa Bacon is a bully, but who himself is bullied by his parents constantly, and occasionally his uncle too. The character was based on a father joining in a fight their son was having with someone (it was never clear whether what this person had done to make the person fight them, or if it was a random assault).
  • Gentleman Thief: Parodied in "Raffles the Gentleman Thug", in that Raffles isn't (usually) a thief but just a gratuitously violent and bullying Jerkass.
  • Gossipy Hens: Meddlesome Ratbag and her friends. A one-off strip depicted The Daily Mail as a farm, with editor Paul Dacre as a millionaire farmer putting Richard Littlejohn in charge of looking after Daily Mail readers, who were shown as old biddies who acted just like hens, clucking and living in a chicken coop.
  • Has Two Thumbs and...: A Sid the Sexist strip from back in the 1990s had "What's got two thumbs, speaks French and likes bler jobs?" (The answer, of course, was Moi, and the speaker was injured by the recipient of this chat up line.)
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": The whole point of Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres (catchphrase: fnarr fnarr). There is literally an example of this in EVERY PANEL, except the last couple where the whole premise is inverted.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Cockney Wanker sometimes trades used cars. Playing upon the stereotype of the indigenous population of London being fantasists, he often buys a car, sells it back to the same person, for the same amount of money, then declares the transaction to have been "A nice little earner!"
  • Hot Scientist: There was a spoof science column by their sexy scientist Dr Verushka Vavavoom. She had a habit of spilling chemicals over herself while writing the column, and then asking the readers to hep her out of her wet clothes. But they'd have to promise not to look....
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: The writers get quite creative with their synonyms. The recurring feature and spin-off book "Roger's Profanisaurus" is built on this.
  • Improvised Sail: Felix and His Amazing Underpants often does this with... well, guess.
  • In the Style of...: The Broon Windsors, a satire of the Royal Family in the style of The Broons.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Subverted in a way Viz is particularly fond of. Mickey's Minature Grandpa only thinks he's tiny, but he is actually normal size.
  • Informed Obscenity: Sweary Mary invents a new swearword. "Fitbin" is both (we are informed) obscene, and also obscure enough to put on the front page of a comic.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Many of the "top tips" run on this. For example: "Why waste money on expensive binoculars? Simply stand closer to the object you wish to observe." Or "A small coniferous tree in the corner of your living room is an excellent place to store Christmas decorations."
  • Internet Tough Guy: The bimonthly "letter columns on ridiculously mundane subjects" spoofs at first included a spoof Twitter thread in which a completely banal and inoffensive tweet was followed by multiple graphic death threats in response.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Mr. Snodworthy in the Tinribs strip.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In one strip of the Drunken Bakers one of the bakers meets Clarence, his guardian angel. Who shows him that because he was never born that his foster parents had a better life, and because of that they adopted Roy, who now runs the bakery much more successfully.
  • Jerkass: Easily half or more of the various strips' characters.
  • Jizzed in My Pants:
    • Happens to "Billy No-Mates: the Antisocial Teenager" when a female shop assistant measures him for a new pair of trousers.
    • Whenever Sid the Sexist appears to have got lucky, he's actually having a wet dream and is revealed at the end to have done this. Usually in public, or at least in front of visiting relatives who've popped round while he's been asleep on the sofa.
  • Joke of the Butt: Any given issue will have bum jokes aplenty, especially in "The Bottom Inspectors", which is built around them.
  • Just Pennies a Day: Parodied in a letter - "A donation of just £2 a month supplies an African village with water says my water company, yet they charge me £10 a week, the robbing sods"
  • Kavorka Women: The Fat Slags. They're tremendously overweight and eat a buttload of food, yet they still manage to bed some studs.
  • Kid Detective: Parodied with Young Jack Black, who is an extreme-right-wing Jerkass who often inflicts Disproportionate Retribution on people who, in some cases, weren't even doing anything legally or morally wrong.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Biffa Bacon, but that's nothing to how he's treated by his Mutha and Fatha.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Finbarr Saunders was a parody of this. He would react to any even marginally suggestive line with spluttered laughs (written "Fnarr fnarr") eyeball rolling, nudges ("Eh? Eh?"), and silly catchphrases ("As the actress said to the bishop"), but would put innocent interpretations on the words of his mother and Mr Gimlet the lodger as they went off to have sex at the end of the strip.
    Mrs. S: How about a little shag, Mr Gimlet?
    Mr. G: Righto, Mrs. Saunders, I'll just get me pipe out.
    Finbarr assumes she's offering him some tobacco.
  • Lethal Eatery: "Hen Cabin", whose proprietor's rule is that anything can be covered up with batter and anything that doesn't need to be covered up with batter is too expensive to make a profit on. Also, the unnamed bakery in "Drunken Bakers", due to the proprietors' crippling alcoholism rather than malice.
  • Literal Genie: Mr. Logic had this role at least once. The Critics also encountered one who was more of a Jackass Genie as he misinterpreted their wish out of spite, but it should be noted that he only did so because they were rude to him first.
  • Literal-Minded: Mr Logic takes everything said literally. For example when he is asked to boil the kettle he points out that the kettle is made out of stainless steel and he can't produce a temperature high enough to boil stainless steel.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: As well as the infamous Fat Slags movie, Jimmy Nail had been in talks to star in a Sid The Sexist Sitcom.
  • London Gangster: Parodied with Big Vern, who ends every strip by massacring everyone around him through a paranoid misunderstanding, and blowing his own brains out so "the bastard cozzers" won't get him.
  • Long-Runners: Been going strong since 1979.
  • Luvvies: Luvvie Darling, a melodramatic and self-important thespian who is always "Resting Between Jobs" (out of work), principally because he is completely talentless. He's depicted as an exaggerated parody of old-school British Shakespearian stage actors: pompous, bombastic, profligate and pretentious in his use of literary quotes, and habitually referring to famous, real-life actors in familiar terms (such as "Dear old Larry" for Sir Laurence Olivier). Darling's name is a pun on the insincere and over-affectionate terms, "luvvie" and "darling" that actors and actresses are stereotyped as employing with each other. He's in his forties, dresses in a Hamlet-style period costume with embroidered tunic, frilled collar and cuffs, high boots and short ornamental cape. His appearance is based on stereotypical images of William Shakespeare.
  • Male Restroom Etiquette: Often referred to in Sid the Sexist, which also makes up some rules:
    Can't use the urinal until you've drunk 10 pints of beer.
    Anything more than three shakes is a wank.
  • Manchild: Playtime Fontayne. (Plus, it later turns out, all of his colleagues).
  • Momma's Boy: Sid the Sexist - also a grown-up virgin and ashamed of it, hence constant crass attempts to get laid
  • Moral Guardians: The lefty liberal variant of this is gleefully skewered in "The Modern Parents".
  • Murphy's Law: Gilbert Ratchett routinely ignores this, to the extent of actively giving his devices harmful modes for no sane reason.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In "The Modern Parents", Malcolm, Cressida, and Tarquin visit Kaftanistan to persuade a local warlord to stop hunting endangered mountain goats. Malcolm has prepared a speech that is supposed to go along these lines: "You should be happy to let the mountain goats breed in peace," "You and your men should not upset the natural balance of the soil," or "If you are irresponsible now, your children will inherit a twisted and barren environment." However, after translating it into Kaftanistani, it comes out as:
    "You enjoy mating with goats."
    "You and your men perform unnatural acts in the dirt."
    "Because of your evil wickedness, may your children be born deformed and barren."
  • My Little Panzer: The comic has done many parodies of General Jumbo and featured one-off strips about evil living toys and similar things. Regular strip "Tinribs" is based around a young boy's "robot" (actually glued together from random parts and unable to do anything mechanical) which is typically used to mutilate or kill the boy's teacher in every story. Another recurring strip using the trope was "Tommy Salter's Chemical Capers" about a boy who would perform horrifically dangerous, and usually fatal to others, experiments with his chemistry set.
  • Naughty Nuns: Subverted with the one-off Topless Skateboard Nun as she isn't naughty at all, just topless.
  • Nephewism: Jack Black is always shown spending every school holiday staying with his Aunt Meg. The "Ferdinand the Foodie" strip includes Ferdinand's nephew Jamie as a regular character. The trope is used in an interesting way in "The Modern Parents". Malcolm and Cressida's sons find their parents so irritating they wish they would disappear forever so they could be adopted by their Uncle Eddie, and in fact they end up staying with him and his family quite often after the parents have got themselves into trouble yet again. When Eddie's wife appears she makes no secret of the fact she hates Malcolm and Cressida and would rather their kids came to see them on their own.
  • Never My Fault: Spoilt Bastard. He usually blames his poor put-upon mother if anything goes wrong because of his actions. On one occasion he picked a fight with a bunch of other kids and at the end claimed "Everybody else started it!"
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The Modern Parents.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The comic regularly runs one-off strips showing celebrities in ludicrous or vulgar situations, or starring in parodies of cheesy old-style action-adventure strips. 2000s issues include a longer-running strip depicting Sir Elton John engaging in petty crime. Sometimes it is very much a Take That!, such as in the early '90s when radio DJ and TV presenter Danny Baker was depicted as Danny Wanker.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Originally, most of the comic's strips were set in Fulchester, a stand-in location that was meant to be just a generic British town, with some occasional similarities to Newcastle, the comic's hometown. In more recent years though, most strips actually are set in Newcastle, the main exceptions being Roger Mellie (mostly set in London), The Fat Slags (set in Mansfield, according to Word of God), Mrs Brady Old Lady (Somewhere in Yorkshire), Farmer Palmer (somewhere in the rural Westcountry) and The Boy Scouse (set, as you'd expect, in Liverpool). The only strip that seems to still be regularly set in Fulchester is Billy the Fish.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In universe, Roger Mellie lives by this rule. Put it this way, he's faked his death a couple of times just to sell some merchandise. Whenever a scandal involving him is reported in the media his first thought is usually to use it to plug whatever product or show he is doing at the time.
    • A Real Life example was when an advert which had licensed The Fat Slags received complaints, and a journalist wrote an article trying to ban the Fat Slags from the comic. But in the comic itself, the Fat Slags hadn't appeared for over a year at that point, and as a direct result of that article they appeared on the front cover of the next issue, in a confrontation with Millie Tant.
    • One Gilbert Ratchet strip had the titular inventor create a literal giant arsehole to run the local orphanage's social media presence; unfortunatley, the machine turned "edgy" and started proclaiming its support for Hitler. However, this just increased the orphanage's media presence and before too long they got sponsored by a ridiculously rich businessman.
  • Nominal Hero: Jack Black and his dog Silver. He's an amateur detective who gets people punished often using legal Loophole Abuse to see if they have accidentally committed a minor technical crime, and he usually commits worse crimes in order to do this, up to and including murder. Sometimes the people he is investigating are people who are doing good for the community, such as one case where he had a man who was giving soup to homeless people arrested for a tax error. Other times they are actual villains who are using their own Loophole Abuse to make sure their apparent crimes aren't really illegal, forcing Jack to find some alternate way of getting them convicted. In any case, they will suffer Disproportionate Retribution often at the hands of a Torches and Pitchforks mob. A 2012 issue took it even further by having Jack and Silver flat-out murder some The Famous Five Captains Ersatz just because he wanted to be the one and only Kid Detective around.
  • Nostalgia Filter: A running joke in editorial columns and cover tag lines is that it "isn't as funny as it used to be".
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: An unusual case with regard to two of the adaptations, as they did bother with accents, but not the correct ones. As mentioned above, Fulchester is based on Newcastle, where the locals usually have a Geordie accent. However, the Billy the Fish animated series had everyone speaking in Scouse accents, while the Fat Slags film had the Fulchester locals speaking with a Lancastrian accent. The latter was doubly wrong since the Fat Slags don't even come from Fulchester to begin with, but Mansfield (the locals of which don't speak in Lancastrian accents either).
  • Older Than They Look: You would expect Biffa Bacon to be in his late childhood or early teens, but he's actually shown as adult on more than one occasion - for example in one strip he is depicted as old enough to go to a pub and buy a pint, and in one from later on, his family are visited by a social worker concerned that Biffa has not attended school for the last 14 years.
  • Old-Timey Ankle Taboo: Viz has published Victorian era editions of the contemporary Razzle magazine (which they would euphemistically describe as an Art Pamphlet). They call this Enrazzlement and it largely consists of old time photographs of ladies desporting their delicate between-foot-and-calf areas.
  • One Steve Limit: Fully averted by Roger Mellie and Roger Irrelevant, and averted in sound, but not spelling, by Sid the Sexist and Suicidal Syd. Also worth mentioning here is the fact that the Fat Slags and Sid the Sexist both have a mustachioed friend called Baz.
  • Oop North: In the 30th Anniversary issue they lampooned the way London based media tends to present the whole of northern England as one place by having The Critics comment on Viz's anniversary. They referred to Newcastle as a "tiny Lancashire mill town" (a jab at the Fat Slags film, where Fulchester was depicted this way even though it's meant to be an Expy of Newcastle) and having "Merseyside Docks".
    • Cockney Wanker, a portmanteau of everything northerners hate about London. Money-obsessed, trendy, greedy, materialistic, selfish, having the financial/political power to ravage the North purely to enrich themselves, as anyone who gets hurt is two hundred miles or more away and probably brought it upon themselves anyway.
    • The animated cartoon of Roger Mellie characterises Roger as a pompous Londoner and his assistant Tom as a soft-spoken Yorkshireman. This is not specified in the strips themselves, though it works very well to contrast the characters.
    • It's not uncommon for Viz to lampoon the Northern seaside resort of Blackpool, and its many seedy attractions, such as palm reading. On one occasion, Cockney Wanker travels to Margate, a southern seaside resort. It is portrayed in virtually the same way as Blackpool (right down to its infamously long traffic jams to enter), except for the fact that most of the people who come to it behave much like Cockney Wanker himself.
  • Paper-Bag Popping: In one Baxter Basics strip, Baxter loses his seat in a general election, and his plan to be re-elected involves murdering an elderly Tory MP by popping a paper bag behind him to cause a heart attack and getting selected for his safe Tory seat in the by-election.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Cockney Wanker is established as a royalist, especially supportive of the Queen Mother, spouting received wisdom such as "Ninety Free she is. Ninety Free. Wahn the bladdy war for us she did!"
  • Pedophile Priest: There was a Jack Black strip where Jack teams up with the local priest to frame someone as a pedophile by planting the priest's supply of child porn on him.
  • Pink Mist: The ending of any Big Vern strip.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: A Running Gag in the "Fat Slags", in which Sharon and/or Tracy will offer sex to just about any delivery man or tradesman who visits them, because they are perpetually broke and horny, and usually get taken up on it.
  • Poe's Law: In one Sid the Sexist strip, Sid managed to score a bird on Blind Date because she thought he was a comedian and only pretending to be a perverted Geordie stereotype.
  • Potty Emergency: A one-off strip in Viz entitled Doctor Poo (sic) featured the Fourth Doctor in a pan-galactic quest for somewhere to defecate.
  • Pregnancy Test Plot: Played for Laughs in The Fat Slags. Sandra takes a pregnancy test and pees on the stick while she's still in the aisle at the chemists'. She makes a huge puddle of urine on the floor and says "Aw, fuck it Tray, it's gone all ower me knickers!" (She does turn out to be pregnant, by the way.)
  • Preppy Name: Many of the John Fardell strips, as they tend to satirise pretentiousness in the upper middle class. There's "Ferdinand the Foodie" and "The Critics", Crispin and Natasha. "The Modern Parents" family includes mother Cressida and sons Tarquin and Guinevere. The exception is the father Malcolm, who ironically comes from a very upper class family, not that he'd ever admit it.
  • The Production Curse: Invoked by their spoof article on the Curse of Dad's Army where they implied all the cast were under a curse of death after being in the show. note 
  • Pun: The one-frame Crap Jokes. Good puns need not apply.
    • Also a regular source of Gilbert Ratchet punchlines. As an example, he once drank a huge bottle of pop and then went of to what he was told was a "public toilet". On entering, he was given a rental lease for a stuffed teddy bear that was rubbing it's tongue against a licensed drinking establishment. In other words, that sort of "pub-lick-toy-let".
  • Purple Prose: The comic regularly runs spoof obituaries for celebrities written by "Tony Parsehole" (a vicious parody of real tabloid newspaper columnist Tony Parsons). They are always incredibly sentimental, badly researched, reliant on repetition to bulk out the word-count, repetitive to make the article longer, and padded out with constantly repeated sentences with slightly different word order. They usually cut off in mid-sentence as soon as the word-count is reached to make it clear that Parsehole is only writing for money and doesn't really care at all about OK that's enough, pls send cheque soonest.
  • Pushover Parent: Timmy "Spoilt Bastard" Timson's appropritately-named mother Cissy. Timmy manipulates his weak-willed mother into satisfying his hollow and selfish desires, usually with serious health-threatening, or financial destroying, or both, consequences for her.
  • Pyromaniac: Some 2000s issues portrayed boy band Busted as pyromaniacs/arsonists who would set anything on fire "for a laugh"
  • Reality Ensues: "Biffa Bacon" began as, and often still is, a parody of Naughty Is Good children's comic strips, in particular "Dennis the Menace". It takes the graphic violence to gory extremes, but still uses it as comedy.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In one Sid the Sexist strip, Sid and his friends get ensnared by a clip joint — a club which lures you in with attractive women, then charges you an extortionate amount for otherwise inexpensive drinks — and are then charged £1,400 for four pints of beer. Although it was intended to be an exaggeratedly huge amount, the artist later found out that £350 per drink is actually normal for a clip joint, and that the only unrealistic thing in the strip was that most clip joints don't actually bother serving any real alcohol, and just serve various mixtures of fruit juice instead.
  • Reality Warper: Terry Fuckwitt is such a stupid twat that he forgets how the laws of physics work, leading to Mind Screw stories.
  • Religious Robot: There was a General Jumbo parody called Jimbo Jumbo's Robo Jobos about a boy who controlled an army of tiny robotic Jehovah's witnesses. He uses them to destroy a blood bank because blood transfusions weren't mentioned in The Bible.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Most of the characters and strips have rhyming names, often lampshaded with absurdly contrived rhymes like 'Tony Slattery and his Phony Cattery'.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Roger Mellie strips sometimes follow current or recent events:
    • In a parody of the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, Roger is kidnapped in Beirut but after eight days it turns out to be an attempt to seek publicity. Tom discovers that the BBC is in on the deception and reluctantly takes part by being a fake phone-in contestant on BBC Radio 4.
    • In 2011 (due to recent news stories revolving around celebrities taking out super injunctions in an attempt to protect themselves from scandal), Roger goes to his crooked solicitor attempting to silence his ex-wife from releasing a book about their violent marriage which also details Roger's 'questionable' hobbies. However it emerges he isn't trying to quiet his wife to protect himself, but is actually releasing this information himself in a new autobiography and he doesn't want her to cash in before him.
    • In 2015, following the high amount of media attention over Jeremy Clarkson punching a producer (memorably referred to as a 'fracas'), the strip showed Roger entering his office just before he is due to renegotiate his contract to present Roger Mellie's Skidmarks and punching Tom in the face. As Tom attempts to recover, Roger organizes the ensuing scandal and his recovery to ensure a lucrative contract. When meeting the Director General of FTV in the cafeteria, Roger turns up drunk and is delighted to be told his show is being recommissioned for five years alongside a huge salary increase. However Roger then is told there is no hot food available (another reference to the incident with Clarkson), causing him to fly into a rage and then punch the Director General too.
    • In another strip, Roger finally finds mainstream success by presenting Bargain Hunt only to have it ruined when a dead body is fished out of his swimming pool, in reference to the scandal that ended Michael Barrymore's career.
  • Robot Buddy: Tinribs. Well, he's described as a robot, anyway. He's actually some tin cans, rubber gloves and a cardboard box on a skateboard, and the only thing he can say is that his name is Barbie and he loves you very much.
  • Roguish Romani: A comic strip titled "The Thieving Gypsy Bastards" features a family of gypsies, who look like stereotypical Romani but have an Irish name, suggesting they were intended to be Irish Travellers. They move into a middle-class area and steal and vandalize everything in sight. The next issue contains a cut-out apology to all Romani and travelers, subtitled "what every gypsy's been waiting for!"
  • Running Gag:
    • Tommy "Banana" Johnson was a strip that appeared in the very first issue, featuring a boy with a huge artificial banana that he keeps putting forward as an unlikely solution to other peoples' problems, until an annoyed policeman shows him where he can shove it. The strip has repeatedly appeared, often in anniversary issues, with exactly the same events and dialogue but with the art altered to parody new developments in comics (photographic fumetti, manga-style, bad Poser-style digital art, etc...).
    • The prose tabloid news story and listicle parodies frequently mention Calvin Phillips, the smallest man in the world.
    • In the reader submissions to the "Profanisaurus" column, readers who noticed some accidental Double Entendre claim that they smashed their TV/computer/whatever and sent [someone distantly responsible] the bill. This is a reference to the notorious Sex Pistols/Bill Grundy incident, where a viewer claimed to the press to have been so outraged by the swearing on live TV that he kicked in the screen of his set.
  • Satire/Parody/Pastiche: many, of the most heavy-handed kind!
    • Billy the Fish was a parody of Roy of the Rovers and other football comics, intentionally playing up the bizarre situations and contrived coincidences used to create drama.
    • Roger Mellie sent up the 'nice on screen, horrible person elsewhere' television presenter by not even pretending to be nice on screen.
    • Even Doctor Who wasn't safe; a one-shot had Dr. Poo - "He flies round the universe looking for somewhere to have a shit". More affectionate than the rest, it featured the Fourth Doctor and enough Shout Outs to choke a Sea Devil.
  • Self-Deprecation: The computer game by Virgin Interactive has "You'll never play a bigger load of crap" on the game's cover.
  • Shown Their Work: One Suicidal Syd strip has Syd trying to get a group of Doctor Who fans to kill him by calling them all gay. They enthusiastically agree.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Mr Logic, Cedric Soft, The Real Ale Twats to name a few.
  • Snowlems: In the '90s the comic would feature a seasonal parody of The Snowman, in which the snowman is a violent, drunken pervert who takes the young boy drinking and gambling with him.
  • Sold His Soul for a Donut: God offers Terry Fuckwit eternal life in Heaven in exchange for taking his cakes out of the oven. The Devil interrupts and offers him an alternative deal: "why not sell me your soul for this dried up piece of dogshit?" Terry Fuckwit accepts the Devil's offer.
  • Sommelier Speak: The Real Ale Twats (or at least the one who speaks) use this to describe their beer. He is particularly fond of the phrase "a hop on the nose".
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Raffles the Gentleman Thug is noted for its substitution of formal language in common slang phrases. For example:
    • "Kick the little bastard" becomes "Lapidate the little illegitimate".
    • "Tits oot for the lads" becomes "Kindly remove thy decollétage from its corsetry for the delectation of the gentlemen here assembled".
    • "Fanny magnet" (when describing his new car) becomes "Vaginal lodestone".
    • "You big girl's blouse" becomes "You sizable ladies chemise".
    • "Rat's cocks" (a frequent vulgarism used by Viz writers) becomes "Rodents' penii".
    • "There's plenty more where that came from" becomes "There's an elegant plenitude from whenceforth that originated".
    • "Run like fuck, it's the filth!" becomes "Run like coitus, it's the putrescence!"
    • "Fuck my luck" becomes "Fornicate my fortune".
    • "Stitch that" becomes "Embroider that".
    • "Eat my dust" becomes "Consume my pulverulence".
    • "You cheeky cunt" becomes "You insolent vagina".
    • "Wanker!" becomes "Onanist!"
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: As in the Unusual Euphemism example below, visual Sound Effect Bleeps (not always involving actual sound effects) are often employed on the cover so it can be displayed in shops, or simply for humorous effect. One recent cover featured the word "bollocks" partly obscured by a smoke cloud. And then there's the "Continental Europe" poster, in which the first O quite possibly certainly wasn't an O but had a seagull hovering over the top of the letter.
  • Spoiled Brat: Timmy "Spoilt Bastard" Timpson. In every strip he bullies and emotionally abuses his rather weak-willed mother, blaming her for whatever problem he's caused (and what's more she always believes it's truly her fault) and leading her to spend money she doesn't have to cater to her son's every whim. In one old strip he pretended to be sick to get out of school and kept implying that it was his mother's fault. The doctor then tells Timmy's mother that "There's nothing wrong with your son that a good smack on the bottom wouldn't cure!". In the annual he runs away from home because his mother put two sugars on his Weetabix when "She knows!" that he only has one and three quarter sugars.
  • Spoonerism: Often used on the cover to refer to strips whose title includes swearwords, like "Boilt Spastard" or "Wockney Canker".
  • Sports Dad: The one-off strip Larry Ladd and His Ambitious Dad - the first two activities into which the titular Larry Ladd is pushed by his father are boxing and ice-skating.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Baxter Basics finds out that he'd make more money as an ex-MP than he would if he won his seat. So he tries his best to not get re-elected, openly saying he hates the voters, pissing on war memorials and vowing to close down the only hospital among other things. However he is re-elected in the end. It's implied that his plan would have worked, had his only opponent in the election not been TV presenter Noel Edmonds.
  • Straight Man: Tom from the Roger Mellie strips. Sometimes he's Roger's agent and at other times he's Roger's producer, but he's always Roger's straight man. One strip featured a sign on his desk that had "straight man" as his job title.
  • Straw Critic: "The Critics" is about a pair of stereotypical avant garde art critics who despise anything vaguely accessible to people outside the avant garde clique, love anything "shocking", and see themselves as politically revolutionary while being ludicrously intellectually-snobbish and class-prejudiced.
  • Strawman Political: Millie Tant (lesbian feminist), The Modern Parents (trendy liberal/environmentalist), Victorian Dad (reactionary), Major Misunderstanding (reactionary), Billy Britain (racist/fascist), Meddlesome Ratbag (right-wing Moral Guardian), Young Jack Black (leans towards fascism), The Male Online (far-right-wing Anthropomorphic Personification of The Daily Mail). All are buffoons and/or hypocrites.
    • Actual politician Baxter Basics isn't an example of this, as his strips tend to be more about his corruption than partisan politics.
    • In fairness, those strips started out as parodies of people who claimed to hold a certain political stance while not actually understanding anything about the stance in question, and they tended to make some very valid and well thought out points. Unfortunately, Flanderization set in afterwards...
  • Straw Feminist: Millie Tant, a fat, ugly and possibly lesbian extreme feminist who spouts a lot of S.C.U.M.-esque nonsense and many strips end with her turning out to be a hypocrite.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In the Sid The Sexist strip, the siblings of his friends look very like each other. Joe's brother is identical to Joe, in fact the only difference in appearance is that his brother is unshaven! He is also only referred to as "Joe's brother". Bob's sister Bobette resembles Bob but with Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.
  • Stylistic Suck: Due to its' roots as a self-published zine made by a group of teenagers, the comics in the early issues of Viz were rougher and much more crudely drawn.
  • Subverted Kids Show: The art style owes a lot to British children's comics. The content... less so.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The one-off strip "Tubby Tucker the Big Fat Person".
  • Suicide as Comedy: Suicidal Sid
    • Occasionally occurs with Terry Fuckwitt as well, but something always stops him succeeding.
    • The majority of Big Vern strips conclude with him blowing his own brains out.
  • Take That!:
    • Practically every strip featuring a celebrity is a crude Take That against the person involved.
    • The notorious "Gypsy" strip was based on an individual who had stolen something from one of the artists and the character of Postman Plod was based on a bus driver who had been rude to another artist (as well as being a parody of a popular children's show.) Similarly, Farmer Palmer was inspired by a farmer who had been rude to one of the artists.
    • As mentioned above, the response to D.C. Thomson's copyright complaints, the full title being D.C. Thomson the Humourless Scottish Git.
    • A strip with Roger Mellie visiting an SF fan convention repeatedly mentioned "the fat Doctor Who that nobody remembers".
  • Tar and Feathers: In "Jack Black And His Dog Silver" in one issue, a palaeontologist is tarred and feathered for believing in evolution.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Anna Reksik instantly bloats up when she eats anything even slightly fattening, usually going back to normal via liposuction or vomiting.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Suicidal Sid, along with Big Vern and friends.
  • Toilet Humour: Where to start?
  • Torture Technician: Parodied in a "Big Vern" strip, where Vern is summoned to see "the Dentist", who he believes to be some kind of terrifying underworld Torture Technician. He continues to act this way throughout what turns out to be a perfectly normal dental examination. "The Chiropodist", on the other foot...
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Anna Reksik's friend and fellow model Belle Emia is an enabler.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: It's fairly common for there to be strips where the characters are out of their usual setting and in other scenarios such as Victorian times or the far future, or are used in parodies of other work. Examples include The Fat Slags in a parody of Batman and Jack Black in a parody of manga.
  • Unmoving Plaid: A striped version is used for Roger Mellie's jacket, and occasionally for other characters in other strips.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Most characters curse explicitly, but Sweary Mary had to invent a new oath ("fitbin", apparently really rude, if it meant anything) in order to appear on the cover which would be displayed in shops. Raffles the Gentleman Thug renders all obscenities into Edwardian English, "Fornicate this ordure!", "It's micturating down" "Onanists!" etc.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: It's easier to name the characters who don't fit this description.
  • The 'Verse: Drunken Bakers and Hen Cabin appear to be set in the same universe as well as having similar premises and being drawn by the same duo.
  • The Vicar: Parodied and inverted to the nth degree in the person of Paul Whicker the Tall Vicar, a violent, dishonest, lecherous, foul-mouthed hypocrite.
    • Somewhat also with Reverend Brown in Goldfish Boy. He once spent a strip getting hugely annoyed with his parishioners for interrupting him when he just wanted to spend the day drooling over a Calendar Girls video.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Inverted by Roger Mellie; the TV executives are usually the ones insisting that viewers want to watch highbrow material, whereas Roger's pornographic retoolings of popular shows inevitably end up being massive hits.
    Roger Mellie: Why bother feeding the pigs cherries when they are happy with shit?
  • Violent Glaswegian: Occasionally, although violent Geordies are more common.
    • Sometimes you get both. One of the strips featuring Biffa Bacon had him at a restaurant, where he thought the chef was insulting him by giving him such a small amount of food, which Biffa decided to respond to with violence. Unfortunately the owner of that particular restaurant happened to be Gordon Ramsay, who promptly beat the crap out of Biffa and tossed him out on the street.
    • Another Biffa strip had them going on holiday to an old fashioned B&B. One of the conventions of these establishments is sharing a breakfast table with another family staying in there the same week. Unfortunately the Bacons were sat with the McBasher family from Scotland. It didn't end well...
    • 2016-on issues introduced "Wee Radge Joe", who is a Violent Glaswegian with a Hair-Trigger Temper, the Running Gag punchline of all the strips being whoever he is provoking or threatening turning out to be a better fighter than he is and beating him up.
  • The Voiceless: Only one of the Real Ale Twats ever has any lines, though its possible that the other can never get a word in due to the leader's long-winded nature.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In pretty much every Anna Reksik strip.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: "The Modern Parents" is a satire of an extremist "green"/New Age couple and their antics, while their young son is the Only Sane Man.
  • Weight Woe: The whole basis around Anna Reksik.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Most of the recurring strips are set in a fictional town called Fulchester, which based on accents and references is thought to be based on or near Newcastle Upon Tyne. The town gets its name from the setting of the ITV drama, Crown Court.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: In Tasha Slappa's first appearance, the strip was titled Kappa Slappa, after the low-budget sportswear brand. It was renamed afterwards for easily-guessable reasons.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Tommy "Banana" Johnson, a strip featured in the comic's first issue and given various remakes in the years since, features the title character suggesting that other characters use the gigantic banana that he carries around with him for various purposes (i.e. as a hair dryer or telescope). Were he appearing in a children's comic, the banana would doubtless be magical and able to do whatever the plot demands. In the world of Viz, however, it's just an otherwise-normal banana that happens to be freakishly oversized, resulting in the other characters treating his suggestions with the derision you'd expect.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After his failed attempts to kill himself, Suicidal Syd's faith in humanity will be restored only for him to die in random circumstances soon afterwards.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: