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Just a normal day
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Scary Gary is a Newspaper Comic written by Mark Buford, which debuted in several newspapers on June 16, 2008. Scary Gary follows Gary, a recently retired vampire who tries to live peacefully in the suburbs with his demonic henchman Leopold, a Bedsheet Ghost named Owen, and severed Head-in-a-jar Travis. The series is something of a Slice of Life that mostly runs on large doses of Black Comedy, which is often provided by Leopold, although he's not the only monster around causing mayhem & destruction.

The comic can be read online here.


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Scary Gary contains examples of:

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    A-J 
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Leopold calls his favorite lab rat Lab Rat.
  • Adolf Hitlarious: When Leopold asks Satan who will look after things in hell when he takes time off from work, Hitler pops up and asks Satan what his Wi-Fi password is.
  • Alternate History: One where monsters are a part of everyday life. At one point Leopold taunts Gary with the letter he keeps from when he was dumped by Joan of Arc.
  • Art Evolution: Gary starts out with misplaced eyes, but over time their placement evens out.
  • An Axe to Grind: One of Leopold's many murder weapons.
  • Anachronism Stew: It's not clear how technology progressed over the years, but Gary has home video recordings of himself as a five year old kid in 14th century Romania. There weren't any iPhones at that time though.
    Beatrice: What did you have?
    Gary: The Plague.
  • Ax-Crazy: Leopold. He will viciously kill & eat humans for pretty much any reason he feels like.
  • Bad is Good and Good is Bad: Leopold has this view in general; several times Gary does something that makes Leopold feel better, or calmer, which then makes him feel angry & upset, whereas when Gary points out that Leopold's lab rat doesnt make a good friend because he could just run off and never return, Leopold (with a smile) states that fact makes him like him more.
    • Another one: If Leopold sees cute kittens or puppies, he wants to eat them, but when a stray cat attacks him while he's out for a stroll, he takes it home and asks Gary if he can keep it.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Several times to several characters, usually caused by Leopold, sometimes the mummy throwing curses around.
    • at one point Leopold accidentally turns himself into something he finds repulsive: a human (well, what he would look like if he wasn't a genetic mutation anyways).
    Leopold: Don't look at me. I'm hideous.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Owen, much to his chagrin. He's even catches fire a few times like an actual bedsheet.
  • Black Comedy: The bulk of it is provided by Leopold in the form of his murders, the horrific experiments on people, his deadly "pranks" etc. The rest comes from various other monsters, and Beatrice.
  • Brain Bleach: Leopold is quite dismayed when he finds out his memory eraser cannot make him forget the details of Gary's underwear problems.
    Leopold: (To Owen) IT'S NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH!
  • Bullying a Dragon: A lot of people think it's a good idea to pick on the resident vampire and his demonic-looking henchman. Their survival depends on who they go after.
    • Gary is more than powerful enough to kill every human he meets with ease, but doesn't because he has changed his ways. That being said, he isn't afraid to remind people of what he is and what he could do if he was really pushed to his limits.
    • Leopold just kills and/or eats them.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: A good chunk of the humor comes from Leopold being terrible, although the others fall into this from time to time.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Pretty much every character has a turn miss-understanding what the others mean at some point, such as Leopold's dad congratulating him on the fantastic job he did on the head in a jar (the head being Travis) when Travis asks him if he has anything to say to Leopold about Travis' predicament.
  • Creepy Child: Around two or three "creepy little girls" in Gary's neighborhood, one is a ghost, another named Beatrice lives next door and has a crush on Leopold. At one point the latter sends Leopold a video "love note".
    Gary: Is she slaughtering a goat?
    Audio with no visuals: All for you, Leopold!
  • Didn't Think This Through: Twice Beatrice has tried to give the local, murderous zombie baby a playmate so he isn't lonely, and twice realized that it was a terrible idea. The first time was giving him a puppy, which she, Gary, and Owen barely save in time (then have to save again from Leopold), the second time she left the zombie baby at a day care. The screams coming from the inflatable bounce house when the group get there imply that they were just a little too late.
    Beatrice: (As the group runs towards the daycare) What was I thinking?!
  • Doing In the Wizard: Leopold does this In-Universe to Travis when explaining to him how he is still alive as a severed head after Travis calls it a miracle.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: To an extent? Maybe? One of the things Leopold makes clearnote , is that he wishes his kind, caring parents would die. Despite this, he doesn't actually do much to try to kill them directly, and he's literally chased/torn apart/tortured/experimented on and/or eaten other humans for . . . just existing, honestly.
    • He seems almost pleasantly surprised by his mother's virology knowledge, and thanks her for saving his life after he contracts a deadly virus he was experimenting on in his lab. He clarifies that he still hates her, but she just playfully tickles his stomach as if he was just a grumpy toddler, which brings out what seems to be a rare, genuine, non-malicious smile from him as he laughs and tells her to cut it out.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Leopold is more than happy to kill and eat children, but when Beatrice gets a crush on him and shows an interest, he refuses to be in a relationship with a minor, no matter how impressed he is with her deeply disturbing obsession and the lengths she will go to to get his attention.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Gary's Uncle Zombie who is his uncle who is a zombie, The Fifty Foot Woman is a Fifty Foot tall woman, the creepy little girls, the list goes on.
    • Beatrice informs the group of her name when she notices that they keep calling her "the creepy little girl next door".
  • Fantastic Racism: Leopold makes his general hate for humans very clear. At one point he fires Beatrice as a lab helper because he can't get over his resentment for humans (she threatens to sue on the grounds of "species discrimination"), and when his mother saves his life, he thanks her, but informs her he will continue to treat her badly because he resents the fact his own parents are humans.
  • Fight Dracula: When writing his memoir, Gary includes a chapter about his "Epic battle" with Count Dracula. The actual encounter can be summed up in one sentence.
    Leopold: He slapped you, and then you cried.
    Gary: I garnished it a bit.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Leopold has a flamethrower. He occasionally uses it to "help" Gary do things like making toast when the toaster is busted, and claims it also does waffles.
    • One of Leopold's favorite phone apps is a mini-flamethrower.
  • Friendly Skeleton: On the occasion Gary is reduced to a skeleton but retains his mobility, he's still just as friendly.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Leopold is insanely smart, having built a death ray, shrink ray, numerous killer robots, and more. He is not amused when Gary asks him to do mundane tasks like fixing the microwave.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Gary is a good vampire, and doesn't want to kill or hurt anyone, but either his age, violent past, or inability to stop many of Leopolds murderous outbursts has lead to him being quite apathetic at times. A good example is when he took a sandwich down to one of Leopolds prisoners because he figured the poor man was hungry, but the thought of feeding him by hand (the man's own hands were restrained by chains) made it too weird for Gary so he just walked off with it.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: This is used often to imply Leopold (or another monster) has messily killed someone.
  • The Grim Reaper: Leopold appears to be on good terms with the Grim Reaper, as the latter is seen trying to fish something out of a toaster with a butter knife for Leopold after Gary comments on how dangerous it is for Leopold to do it.
  • Head Pet: Lab Rat's favorite place to be is on top of Leopold's head. Occasionally he will sit on Travis' jar instead.
  • Hidden Depths: When Leopold accidentally ingests a lethal virus that will kill him in 24 hours, his mother makes him a chicken soup "infused with the synthesized enzymes necessary to impede viral propagation" to cure him. When he asks how she knows so much about virology, she just tells him to save his energy.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's played around with; Leopold refers to himself as a monster, and eats humans, but according to his biological human parents, he is a genetic mutation.
  • Immune to Bullets: Gary, being undead, can be shot at with but not killed by guns.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Beatrice and Gary get along quite well despite being a little girl who can't be older than 10 and a 700+ year old vampire. Gary and most of the other characters he is friends with also count, as almost none of them come close to being over seven centuries old.
  • Jailbait Wait: Inverted. When Leopold tells Beatrice that he will not date her or anything because she is a child, her takeaway is that she just needs to wait a few years and then she can marry him.

    M-W 
  • Mad Scientist: Leopold spends a lot of time working in his lab on killer robots, genetic experiments, and crazy chemical concoctions. When some of them succeed, he even does an evil, manic laugh.
  • Mercy Kill: Travis often wishes he were dead, but Leopold has too much fun torturing him to let it happen. Owen also wishes he were dead, but he already is.
  • Mugging the Monster: Almost quite literally when a robber attempts to steal money from the convenience store Gary was working at. Gary politely explains to him why that would be a bad idea.
    Gary: Sir, I'm a vampire. If you rob me, I'll just laugh maniacally, drain all the blood from your body and then feed you to my flesh-hungry henchman.
  • Non-Humans Lack Attributes: Played straight with every monster without clothes except for Leopold. He is technically a heavily genetically mutated human who runs around buck-naked in every scene he's in, yet his privates are always private. Possibly justified due to the "genetically mutated" part.
    • The moment he accidentally temporarily un-mutates himself, he spontaneously gains a full suit & tie.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Gary, whenever he lands a part-time job. He also eventually joins his neighborhood's crime watch, although as Leopold points out, they are likely taking advantage of the fact he's awake at night.
  • Nonstandard Character Design:
    • Travis' head is way more detailed & realistic than the rest of his housemates.
    • Leopold's parents look like they are from a generic 1950's drawing of a happy family, and have the personality to match. When Leopold goes through a Baleful Polymorph, he temporarily turns into a human drawn in the same style as them.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: There's Creepy Child ghosts, Bedsheet ghosts, Poltergeists, etc.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: At one point Leopold fools a cop into thinking he is a potential witness to a murder (committed by Leopold) by wearing nothing but a hat and mustache.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Zombie Baby can tear an adult human to pieces in seconds.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Gary is a 700 year old vampire (well, around 703 or so when the series starts anyways) who was turned into one at 24 and doesn't appear to have aged a day past that.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Gary changed his ways and feels guilt over his past as a murderous ruthless vampire, but admits that he has to resist some of his urges from time to time, and he sometimes is quite apathetic.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Downplayed with Gary, as he tries to live a peaceful life, and not everyone he meets wants to kill him for being a vampire, but a good number of them do, and a (part-time) vampire hunter tracks him down from Romania to attempt kill him for what he did in the past, despite Gary's change of heart.
  • Retired Monster: A literal example with Gary, a retired vampire.
  • Rich Boredom: Gary sometimes falls into this. Occasionally he will get a part-time job and be Non-Idle Rich.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Almost. Leopold tries to batter and deep fry his parents for thanksgiving one year, but Gary catches wind of his plan and puts a stop to it. Leopold subsequently hates that year's thanksgiving dinner with Gary & his family because he wishes he was about to eat their severed heads instead.
  • Sexiled: Leopold's way of signaling he has a lady friend in his room is a noose hung from the doorknob. Going by Gary and Owen's deeply confused looks (and a comment from Leopold), his housemates keep forgetting what it means.
  • Shrink Ray: Among Leopold's many gadgets is a shrink ray. When he holds a yard sale to get rid of his excess lab equipment, he uses it to capture shoplifters.
  • Snarky Inanimate Object: The picture of a skull on one of Leopold's coffee mugs occasionally silently reacts to what Leopold and the others say and do.
  • The Soulless: Gary used to be this literally and metaphorically, but by the time the comic starts, he's already gone through a My God, What Have I Done? phase, and so tries to be the nicest soulless corpse he can be.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Occasionally Gary and Travis (to an extent) find themselves reduced to nothing but bones, sometimes because of something Leopold did to them.
  • Take Over the World: World domination is one of Leopold's goals, although it seems to be more of a side project given he spends most of his time out of the lab drinking at The Hammered Henchman, hunting down people to eat, going on dates, or having a beer with Satan, and time in the lab torturing Travis.
  • There Are No Therapists: Downplayed. The main cast is in need of some serious therapy, and there are therapists around who could help them . . . with the key word being "could", as them being various monsters (and a decapitated living head in a jar) tends to scare people away.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When Gary finds that Leopold set up a very big mousetrap just to catch a normal mouse, he has one reaction.
    Gary: (To Leopold) You frighten me.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Leopold and the 50 foot woman (or her sister). Also any human woman he goes out with.
  • Toilet Paper Trail: Leopold mistakes mummy wrappings stuck to Gary's shoe for toilet paper.
  • Undead Child: The Zombie Baby who wandered into Gary's neighborhood is, well . . . a zombie baby.
  • Unexplained Recovery: This happens to several characters, although their recovery is likely due to their supernatural nature, or some other reason.
    • Gary frequently, although since he is an undead vampire, the list of things that would kill him for good is pretty small.
    • Owen is sometimes reduced to a pile of ashes and a pair of glasses, but as a ghost, he's already dead, so it doesn't stick.
    • Travis is sometimes reduced to a skull, but since Leopold seems to enjoy keeping him in a tortured existence as a living head trapped in a jar of formaldahyde, it's unlikely he would let Travis die to avoid a Mercy Kill.
    • Leopold should have died a few times too, but he seems to be Made of Iron, and probably has a fix for whatever ails him in his lab.
    • Leopold's parents drive off a cliff (he cut the brakes in their car), but when we next see them, they're fine. Given that Leopold is their kid, and says he grew up near a nuclear waste dump, along with their Nonstandard Character Design, they're not exactly that "normal" to begin with.
    • possibly Leopold's lab rat (the one often seen riding on his head), although it's not clear if it's the same lab rat, or one of the many rats in his lab.
  • Urban Fantasy: All sorts of monsters are known & accepted parts of modern society, there's a bar whose target clientele are evil henchmen, Gary was able to buy a house in the suburbs but has to deal with angry mobs & vampire hunters as well as unhappy neighbors, and zombie attacks are so common that there's at least one "pest control" company that specializes in killing zombies, among other things.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: As one of his vampire powers, Gary can turn into a bat at will.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Played with. Leopold laments the fact Gary reformed, and wishes he would go back to being an evil ruthless vampire. When Gary's possessed by a violent, blood-thirsty demon, Leopold tells Owen that in that state, he doesn't hate Gary. He's also obviously thrilled to see Gary go Ax-Crazy because of it, but eventually uses his shop-vac to get rid of the demon for Gary without even being asked to, when Gary laments how expensive an exorcism would be, and afterwards just tells Gary to buy him a beer sometime as payment.
  • Would Hurt a Child: On at least one occasion, Leopold has been shown to chase children with just as much gusto as he chases adults, and when Gary asks him how he would feel if Gary ever had kids, Leopold tells him he likes kids just fine - with a little hotsauce.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Gary's neighbors don't seem to be able to bring themselves to kill The Zombie Baby for their safety (and they really should if they want to increase their already slim chances of survival in that neighborhood), since the one time they apparently got him, all they did was chain him to a tree so he couldn't hurt anyone. It also seems to extend to indirectly killing him, since the "Zom-Begone" company is only a phone call away if they they really wanted the little guy exterminated.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Despite the male-female "Killed by Leopold" ratio being almost comically one sided towards the former, he can get just as excited to messily kill & devour ladies as he does the men.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Downplayed with Leopold. With his ethical and moral standards being next to nonexistent, the only reason he has a higher kill count for men than women is that when it comes to the latter, he prefers dating to dismemberment.
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