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Comic Strip / Jump Start

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Jump Start is a daily comic strip written and illustrated by Robb Armstrong, and syndicated by United Features Syndicate. The strip revolves around Joe and Marcy Cobb, a middle-class African-American couple from Philadelphia as they try to balance their professional lives and raising their young children.

Tropes used in this comic strip:

  • all lowercase letters: The young children, such as Sunny and Jojo, have this in their Speech Bubbles.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Marcus won the Heisman Trophy as a defensive lineman. Only three defense-only players have even finished as high as runner-up, as of the 2021 seasonnote 
  • Born in an Elevator: Joe and Marcy's first kid, Sunny, was born in a car on the way to the hospital. When Marcy was pregnant with Jojo, Joe was worried it would happen again. Luckily, they made it on time.
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  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Joe's partner, Crunchy, is clearly based on Edward Asner.
  • Comic-Book Time: Initially averted then played straight - Jump Start was one of a handful of strips that takes place in (relative) real time, until some time after the twins, Teddy and Tommi were born and the characters stopped aging.
  • December–December Romance: Clayton and Maureen.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Joe's mother.
  • The End Is Nigh: Sunny's friend Dexter starts joyfully carrying a sign saying "THE END IS NEAR" when he realizes it's almost the end of the school year.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Characters frequently have accomplishments and experiences added to their backstory to serve the current narrative; like Marcus being a former Heisman winner and Dana being an Olympic silver medalist in skiing.
  • Fountain of Youth: In one comic, Marcy and Joe are buying both their infant twins a toy. They comment that because they have twins they have to buy two of everything. They then mention they have four kids, and the next panel shows them and their two older kids as babies the same age as the twins. They then comment they are a family of sextuplets.
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  • Grammar Nazi: Joe's mother (she is a retired English teacher after all), much to everyone's annoyance.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Clarence and Charlene.
  • The Illegible: When Marcy comments to Doctor Appleby's mother how horrible Doctor's handwriting is, she beams with pride and proclaims that they're hoping soon it will be completely illegible.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Gender inverted. Ruiz and Crunchy decide to get married after a whirlwind romance, and he is shocked when she wants him to take her last name. They end up deciding to both keep their last names.
  • Medium Awareness: In one strip, the male characters are discussing women they consider attractive. One suggests Pocahontas. The others jeer because she is a cartoon character, only to be reminded.... so are they.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: Played with in a 3-comic arc where a perp managed to escape Joe and Crunchy, but they got a Philly Cheesesteak for the chief to soften the blow. When she orders them to get her another since they let the crook get away, they do so... and happen to spot him waiting in line to order ahead of them. After Joe and Crunchy manage to catch and apprehend the criminal, the police duo and the caught crook go back to the restaurant and place their cheesesteak orders together.
  • Mugging the Monster: Jojo intended to use a small, nerdy-looking kid as a living practice dummy for a martial arts demo during a summer camp talent show. Said kid turned out to be a viral sensation as a wrestling prodigy.
    Benny: Tap out, Jojo! Tap out!
  • N+1 Sequel Title: Discussed. Marcy reads in the news that a sequel to Se7en has been greenlit, and says it's going to be named 8ight.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Around the time Charles M. Schulz announced his retirement in light of his colon cancer diagnosis, a story arc occurred with Schulz being a patient in the hospital where Marcy works, and her friend, Dr. Wickie serving as his doctor. He ended up being the only one who had never heard of Peanuts.
  • Salt and Pepper: Inverted with Sunny and her best friend Dexter, since Sunny is definitely the most level-headed of the two. Played more straight with Jojo and his best friend Benny.
  • Shout-Out: One strip has a salesman try to sell Joe a new phone, claiming that it can time-travel. When Joe tries it out for the first time, he selects the year 1985 as a destination.
  • Soap Punishment: Marcy Cobb tells her husband Joe that she had to wash out their son Joseph's mouth for lying. Joe reminds her that washing out someone's mouth with soap is for cursing, not lying.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Clayton and Maureen.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: One of Sunny and Jojo's classmates is a kid named Doctor Appleby, who comes to school dressed in surgical scrubs. Guess what his parents want him to be when he grows up.note