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  • Aborted Arc:
    • Act 6 Act 5 Act 2, the Trickster Arc. Sort of. It actually was just "skipped over" (we didn't get to see it), but it still happened, and the ramifications of what just happened remain.
    • This conversation from Homestuck explains the abortion of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff's nacho party arc.
    • Discussed in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3 with the Alternian arc of Homosuck, which was foreshadowed (and partially seen in at least one timeline) but scrapped by Caliborn.
      Caliborn: "THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE AN ARTIST. SOMETIMES YOU CHANGE YOUR IDEA PLANS. BECAUSE THEY SUDDENLY SEEM TERRIBLE. DUE TO YOUR ASTRONOMICAL STRIDES IN CREATIVE MASTERY."
    • The mysterious item which could be alchemized by combining a hammer with a Problem Sleuth poster, which required an enormous amount of grist, was clearly intended as something relevant to the future plot. However, it has never been referenced again. It was probably a path to the Warhammer of Zillyhoo, a hammer related to Problem Sleuth.
    • Act 7 itself wraps up the majority of the plot, but leaves a number of threads hanging. However, an epilogue is in development.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game:
    • The story revolves around a game that ends the world. Not playing means dying, while playing means killing everyone else, and having the possibility of dying anyway. It's a rather large gamble.
    • A more minor appearance is when Terezi takes a gamble with everyone's life on the line in [S] Flip in the best way possible: a coin toss.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Invoked in-universe, from Karkat's POV when John sends him and the others a letter in a bucket. Buckets are used in Alternian society to collect reproductive material. Not helping is the line in the note saying "We all contributed to the contents of this bucket". Played with even a bit more before, as Jade chastises John and tells him to "throw [a bucket] through my mysterious portal"
  • Adults Are Useless: Played straight at first, as John's father seems to care more about baking then the imminent danger he is in, Rose's mother seems to be near insane, Jade's grandfather is dead, and Dave's parents are no-where to be seen. Later subverted however, as John's Dad *SINGLEHANDEDLY* escaped from his captors, with none of the advanced weapons the children have. Rose's Mother opens the door that allows Rose into the laboratory, which saves them both, and eventually also singlehandedly slays a large monster. Dave's Bro slices a meteor in half with a katana. Jade's Grandfather turns out to be alive, and is piloting a spaceship which carries John's Dad and Rose's Mother.
  • Adult Fear: Poor Jane's dad. It's hard enough that there have been attempts on his teenage daughter's life, but then he had to watch her get blown up by a letter bomb...
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Invoked when John tries to put out a fire in the salamander village with shaving cream. Needless to say, this doesn't end well for anyone.
    "OH GOD HOW CAN SHAVING CREAM BE SO FLAMMABLE"
  • Affectionate Parody: Of many different disparate genres and works, too numerous to list.
  • After the End:
    • If the White King is defeated in Sburb, a meteor storm will fly towards the game's center only to be sent through portals to the players' host planet. The planet is reduced to a desolate wasteland, with a few of the NPCs from Sburb being exiled to the wasteland in order to repopulate it. This scenario happened to Earth, leaving five NPCs exiled on Earth to discover how to rebuild civilization.
    • In the B2 universe, Dirk and Roxy live years in the future (but not many) in a world submerged underwater, ruled openly by the Condesce.
    • The lands of the B2 Session are all barren and filled with skeletons of the Consorts who died long ago.
  • Air Jousting: Halfway through Dave: Abscond, the Striders' ventriloquist katana rap-off sends Dave flying through the air and a good portion of the fight from there involves him fending off his bro's attack mid-air without losing any altitude.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite risking the fate of two universe for her own ego, Vriska still manages to make Terezi hate herself for killing her. Her extreme remorse leads Terezi undo her blindness, fall into Faygo abuse, begin a her hateromance with a juggalo, and with her dying breath, change history so that Vriska can live.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: A machine called an alchemiter makes various objects based on codes punched into punchcards. John explains a part of the logic behind it with this update.
  • Alien Blood:
    • The troll blood isn't a weird color; troll blood is one of twelve different colors (one for each Troll protagonist) that determine social status and a person's abilities. Three of the storyline trolls have special blood: There's Karkat's mutant candy-red which isn't even on the hemospectrum; Feferi has the most highly-ranked blood of any living troll, fuchsia, making her the future Empress. Kanaya's blood is pretty rare as well, and she comes with a number of exceptions to general troll rules. It's possible Karkat and Feferi and their ancestors are the only trolls of their blood colors on account of being created with ectobiology rather then being born the usual way, though with Kanaya we do get mention of other Jadebloods.
    • Cherubim are born with both lime and red blood and remain like that until they mature, when one blood color is overtaken by the other.
  • Alien Fair Folk: Alien species are Theme Named after legendary creatures: trolls, cherubim and leprechauns have all made appearances. They are generally odd mixtures of their namesakes and various alien traits. The trolls are a hermaphroditic species evolved from insects who live in a Hive Caste System, but they are violent Horned Humanoids with often superhuman strength. Cherubim are skull-faced reptilians whose life cycle involves a Split-Personality Takeover and a fight to the death next to a black hole, but they do look angelic and maintain a Balance Between Good and Evil in the universe. Leprechauns are an all-male species of Little Green Men who engage in Homosexual Reproduction and come in batches of fifteen, but they mate by doing jiggy little dances, their emotional states are represented by Lucky Charms Symbols, and they are made of felt.
  • Alien Geometries:
    • The final form of Skaia is certainly non-euclidean.
    • The Furthest Ring does odd things with both space and time. The longer you're in there, the more indirect your path becomes. The further you travel, the more backwards your timeline becomes.
  • Alien Invasion: In the future of the Post-Scratch Universe, The Condesce outright invades Earth.
  • Alien Landmass:
    • The Medium of Sburb creates a unique, distinctly alien planet for each player. Examples include the Land of Wind and Shade's glowing blue forests and rock formations and rivers of oil; the Land of Mounds and Xenon's planet-circling canyons, and the Land of Quartz and Melody's crystal mountains.
    • Alternia, the troll homeworld, has trees with blue bark and pink leaves.
    • Things get especially odd in the afterlife of the Dream Bubbles, as their geography is shaped by the memories of those in them. As a result, they end up being a mix of all other Alien Landmassess in the comic, with crystal formations and pink-leaved trees rubbing shoulders with rivers of fire, fleshy trees topped with brains, gold and purple gothic spires, landscapes patterned like chess sets, giant floating lilypads and regular Earth suburbs.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Every character, excluding Damara, who speaks in a "low-blood accent" (which is actually Japanese) seems to speak English. In the case of game constructs (Carapaces, Consorts, Denizens, etc.) it seems that a session is able to load the language (much in the same fashion as Quest Beds/Cocoons) from the players. In the case of Trolls, it's revealed that English is actually Trollish with a different alphabet, since the Trolls created the universe Earth exists in. And other characters, like Doc Scratch, or the Horrorterrors, are omniscient enough that it explains away the language.
  • Alliance of Alternates: The comic is full of these, given the number of offshoot timelines created by time travel. Notable examples include Aradia gathering thousands of doomed Aradiabots to help fight the Black King in the troll session, and the massive troll ghost army brought together near the end of the comic to fight Lord English.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Used several times for the characters' screen names: tentacleTherapist, gardenGnostic, gutsyGumshoe, timaeusTestified, apocalypseArisen, cuttlefishCuller, uranianUmbra, and undyingUmbrage.
    • Jack Noir becomes the Sovereign Slayer in the kids' universe, and the Scurrilous Straggler/Spades Slick in the trolls'.
  • All Just a Dream: Here, Doc Scratch reveals that, from the coin flip onwards, he had actually been describing a doomed alternate timeline in which Terezi let Vriska carry out her plan, and that, in the alpha timeline, Terezi had foreseen that outcome and stabbed Vriska to avoid it.
  • all lowercase letters: Jade, John, Dave, and quite a few trolls type (and speak!) like this, but they have different styles; see the dossier for more detail.
  • All of Them: Frequently used by various characters usually in the form "S/he X'd all (of) the Y. All of them.", Vriska uses this the most out all the characters.
  • Alternate Self:
    • Every player has at least one "dreamself," who usually begins the game sleeping in a tower on either Prospit or Derse. The dreamself can act as an "extra life" for the player, and once dreamselves have woken up at least once they allow a player to be in two places at once.
    • There can only be one "alpha" timeline, with all others eventually fading away. Time players can still travel through time, change history, and team up with themselves, though these "doomed timeline" alternate selves will be short-lived.
    • Ectobiologists in each session actively create themselves and a single family member and send them back in time to fulfill their history. In a post-Scratch session, roles are reversed. The pre-Scratch players become the pre-Scratch family members/background characters, and the pre-Scratch family members become the post-Scratch Sburb players.
  • Alternate Universe: There are five universes relevant to the plot. And Sburb/Sgrub takes place in another alternate universe for each session.
    • The first universe is the Kids's universe, containing Earth and humanity. It's eventually revealed that this universe was created by the Trolls in their Session.
    • The second universe is the Troll's universe, containing Alternia and the Troll race.
    • The third universe is revealed to the readers by Doc Scratch. The troll's universe was actually reset by an earlier Scratch, making it an Alternate Universe of an Alternate Universe, with the Trolls' ancestors as players.
    • The fourth universe is when the Kids do their own Scratch, resetting their universe. This universe also contains Earth and humanity, but things have changed a bit, and troll influences are a bit heavier. This universe's version of Sburb, the Sburb Alpha, is depicted with a horizontally-flipped logo colored red to demonstrate its creation by Betty Crocker Corp. The universe itself is associated with green, which serves as an inversion from the pre-Scratch universe, which was associated with red and the Sburb logo was green. Earth itself is more of less the same. However, there are a few differences:
      • Humans have or plan to have a Mars colony during 2011. Technology levels seem to be mostly the same however
      • A few celebrities have vastly different lives, like Harry Anderson and Guy Fieri.
      • There are populations of lusii on Jake's island.
      • Also, there's a live-action, feature-length Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff movie, and a Complacency of the Learned novel series.
      • The Condesce reveals herself to Earth on the day of Jane's entry, then systematically dismantles civilization and eventually floods the planet. Dirk and Roxy live in the far distant future on the Earth, contemporaneously with the Exiles from their session, and seemingly form a small phalanx of La Résistance.
    • The fifth universe is created at the end of the comic as a result of beating Sburb. There's no counterpart to Earth or Alternia, but when John and co. create this universe, they bring over the Post-Scratch Earth and re-populate it, until the sun they settle behind burns the planet billions of years in the future. From then on, the only inhabitants are a Cherub child who will grow into a time traveling villain who will retroactively claim responsibility for all the evils done throughout the six universe adventure.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Several of the offshoot timeline versions of the trolls managed to ascend to the godhood, something only Vriska and Aradia managed to do in the proper timeline. One of the most normal trolls, Karkat, is sincerely disturbed by this fact and wonders what the implication is that failure is part of the definition of his existence.
  • Alternative Calendar: Alternians measure time in "solar sweeps" rather than years; one solar sweep, at least as far as age is concerned, is equal to two point sixteen repeating years. (And two solar sweeps equals four and one-third years!)
  • Alt Text: The banners in Act 5's Doc Scratch arc starting here.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Homestuck plays with the dual meaning by having internet trolls turn out to be actual grey-skinned creatures with horns. Further reveals have shown that they're Humanoid Aliens, with Bizarre Alien Biology implying that they're closer to insects than humans, divided into varieties with different blood colors that to some extent determine traits, abilities, and lifespan. They're a Higher-Tech Species whose society runs on Blue and Orange Morality and lots of violence. They're almost all bisexual (because gender is vestigial) and have weird forms of romance(troll reproduction requires this), and many are either psychic, psychotic, or both. Most of the less-savory aspects of their culture are not natural, but were engineered by malevolent outside forces. Prior to the pressing of an in-universe Reset Button, trolls were a peaceful species. Personality-wise, there's a great deal of variation within the 12 trolls in the cast (and their ancestors): from Anti Heroes to Anti Villains, Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains to Smug Snakes, monsters to Messianic Archetypes. However, they are similar to mythological trolls in that they are nocturnal and sensitive to sunlight. As in, sunlight can blind them. Permanently.
  • Always Night: Almost every panel of Alternia is shown during the night, because the trolls cannot stand the BLISTERING ALTERNIAN SUN. The exception are panels featuring Kanaya, who is one of the few trolls who can stand the sun. She's a rainbow drinker (Alternian Vampire). It's complicated. The one daytime panel not featuring Kanaya shows why, as Terezi is blinded by the sun.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: When trolls are grubs their eyes and bodies are their blood colors. Once they pupate, their skin and eye colors become the same between all trolls, however they fill in with blood pigment as the trolls get older. The twelve main trolls are still young enough for their eyes to be uniformly gray-and-yellow.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: A plot point in the Midnight Crew intermission, but exhibited throughout. "DAMMIT. Your sprite was flipped the wrong way." Especially visible with the trolls Kanaya, Sollux, and Vriska.
  • Ambiguous Ending: While some of Act 7 was very clear, many parts were ambiguous (and it doesn't help that most of the segments cut away just before a critical moment). Most of the controversy is around Lord English's defeat, assuming he was defeated, and how it relates to Caliborn's "masterpiece" in Act 6.
  • A Million Is a Statistic:
    • The kids and the trolls are more broken up over their friends' and loved ones' deaths than the destruction of their respective races.
    • Virtually nobody brings up the fact that Vriska personally murdered thousands of trolls, or that Eridan murdered their lusi note . Feferi and Terezi likewise escape judgement despite being complicit in their murders for sweeps. The disinterest in bringing up how these trolls are mass murderers gives credence to Alternia's culture of violence, but this disinterest only holds for the trolls. Once Vriska admits to John how many people she's killed, John becomes uncomfortable and only keeps talking to her for the time because Culture Justifies Everything.
  • Anachronic Order: The entire storyline is fraught with flashbacks, flashforwards, different universes (which exist in separate timelines altogether rather than the past, present, or future), and everything in between. Good luck figuring out anything. The Intermission and Act Five take this even farther. This chart would help, but it's from five years before the comic ended, leaving it's timeline woefully incomplete. Hey, you know what you should do?
    > Attempt to understand mind-bending chronology.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The comic tends to change POV at extremely inappropriate times. It once showed the POV of a hat. For a few examples:
    • John turns around and face two ogres larger than houses. The narration sarcastically repeats how amazing the battle is about to be, only to cut to Dave climbing to the top of his own house, to cut away from that before he reaches the top. Instead, we see the (at this point) unnamed fourth Kid, who's name we still have yet to lear- oh, it just cut to that desert hobo John's been talking to, in a rare X2 DOUBLE PSYCHEOUT COMBO!!
    • The Midnight Crew has to take the cake for this. They have a chapter's worth of story, but have nothing to do with Homestuck. You're meant to think so, anyways.
    • Act 6 is in the same veins of the Intermission or Hivebent. It was however well predicted by the fans and Andrew has said it was meant to be obvious that the story would come around to the Post-Scratch Kids eventually.
    • This has become so prevalent that the narration decides to switch from the revelation of the secret treasure that will defeat the immortal Lord English to the cute adventures of a necromantic salamander. The author is eager to shift the attention, if only to spite the character who's eager to find English's weakness. After all, that character's an old flame of our dear old author.
      Andrew Hussie: So why don't we stop wasting everyone's time, shut the lid on this lousy MacGuffin, and be Viceroy Bubbles Von Salamancer.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Quite a bit, seeing as the Trolls are partially inspired by the Western Zodiac. Most of these are represented through their horns (Tavros = Bull, Aradia = Ram etc) while others show it through their actions (Karkat = Crab = Crabby, Vriska = Spider/Scorpion = Unpleasantness etc).
    • The kids have this as well: Dave is associated with crows, Rose with cats, and Jade is a dog. Dirk has a gull motif as well and Roxy is associated with cats like her pre-Scratch counterpart.
    • Downplayed on players' planets with the salamanders, crocodiles, turtles, and iguanas. It also goes for the small animals that come out of nowhere when a player dies on their quest bed, since the only moments the narrative connects John with fireflies is when he enters the game and when he dies (and it's even more disconnected with Jade and hummingbirds).
  • Animation Bump: Most panels have some sort of animation to them, but it's also used shamelessly in terms of Sound Pages (Marked with an [S]). In addition to usually having great sound, later ones tend to have a dramatically different art style - compare John's first STRIFE page with [S] Cascade and you'd think they were two different comics.
  • Anime Hair: Only hairstyles as such, nearly any hair color in comic is only black or white, but there are some pretty ridiculous hairdos. Karkat and John (Who have Shonen Hair) aren't as bad, but Gamzee's hair is just a mess. His dancestor Kurloz is even worse. And then the Empress's hair is just insane.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Hussie loves using obscure vocabulary, but it's taken to a ridiculous extreme with characters like Colonel Sassacre and Jake English. Sassacre at least has the excuse of growing up in the 19th century, but Jake talks like something out of the 1920s.
  • Anti-Climax:
  • Anyone Can Die: Played With. By the end of the story, nearly every major character is alive in some form. Emphasis on "in some form," because everyone alive in the ending died in a major timeline, forcing John and Roxy to Cosmic Retcons and the Power of the Void to merge the survivors of those disparate timelines. The implications of this bothers characters like Rose and Terezi, who both feel an enormous pressure to live up to the standards of their dead selves.
  • Apocalypse How: Lots.
    • A Class 3a variant (Dominant Species Extinction) occurred during the Vast Glub, which killed every troll in the galaxy from psychic backlash, save for the Empress.
    • A Class 4 (Extinction of higher lifeforms) happens during the Post-Scratch Human session due to the machinations of Betty Crocker's global takeover and eugenics campaign. She later alterniaforms the flooded Earth and colonizes it.
    • Class 6 (Planetary Extinction) results as part of the Reckoning. The hours leading up to the end go up the scale prior to it.
    • A Class X (Planetary Annihilation) is brought about by Caliborn in this update, culminating in him creating a large black hole.
    • Class X-4 (Universal Destruction) happens as a result of Lord English's machinations. Both the Beta Human Universe and the Troll Universe are destroyed, by Jack Noir and Spades Slick respectively, acting as Lord English's pawns.
    • Class X-5 (Multiversal Destruction) is the aim of Derse, although why exactly hasn't really been explained. Jack's destruction of the Human Universe was later revealed to be this, as his destruction of the Genesis Frog destroyed any and all parallel universes from the Human Universe.
    • Class Z (Total Destruction of Reality) has been hinted at, due to the unknown entity killing the Horrorterrors.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
  • Arc Number: "04/13", the date the comic began, has appeared quite a number times throughout the story, in obvious and obscure fashions. A compilation of the various instances can be found here. The trolls have their own arc number, 612, detailed in the act that began on June 12. A third number has been introduced, which is the sum of the first two: 1025. Its first major appearance was the release date of Alterniabound, October 25. A fourth number, for the post-Scratch session, appears to be 11/11/11, the date of the start of Act 6.
    • Lampshaded and parodied by John here
    • Several of the Homestuck album prices are variations on various arc numbers.
    • On Day 612, the 16th of December 2010 (12/16 backwards is 61/21), Hussie released the video of John ascending.
    • 11/11/11, aka 2x3PRONG DAY. Also extends to 11/11, 111, or simply just 11.
      • And with 4 Kids, 4 Trolls, and 3 Carapaces, 11 people escaped the Troll and Beta Human sessions (ignoring Jade's bringing of their lands, as apparently that was preordained in its own way).
      • Also has a minor bit of retroactive meaning; MSPA became the longest webcomic on record on 2/11/11
      • And Homestuck will resume regular updates on 11/1.
    • ONE ZILLION is the arc number of the short-lived act 6 act 5 act 2.
    • In [S] Cascade, the penultimate note in the music is exactly 10.25 seconds long.
  • Arc Symbol: Card suits and pool balls are seen often throughout the comic, usually in relation to The Midnight Crew and Troll romance quadrants for the former and The Felt and Lord English for the latter. Bec's face and the scratched record also qualify.
  • Arc Words: Lots, as part of Andrew Hussie's policy of self-references.
    • "Ascend" and its variations.
    • "Rise up" was common early on and still pops up occasionally.
    • "He is already here."
    • "Scratch": Used at various times to mean a Negative Space Wedgie, a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, the scratched side of Terezi's coin, and the scratched record on Dave's shirt, mirrored by disc 2 of Homestuck (not of Sburb or Sgrub), after Terezi tries to play it on a turntable, causing the game to glitch up briefly.
    • "Make her pay." and "Luck doesn't actually matter." are minor examples; the former eventually comes to represent the Cycle of Revenge that plagues the Troll's session, while the later is initially stated as a sort of Screw Destiny but eventually comes to mean You Can't Fight Fate.
    • "See you soon!"
    • "Vast [X]" makes a lot of appearances. So far the Vast Glub, the Vast Joke, the Vast Croak, the Vast Expletive, and the Vast Honk have been referenced, but there may be others. All of these are either implied or outright stated to be truly significant in some way. For example, Feferi's lusus is basically Troll Cthulhu, and if she ever raises her voice above a whisper, many of the lower-caste Trolls will die. If she gets really angry, or really hungry, Troll legend says that she may utter the Vast Glub which will kill all the Trolls in the Alternian universe with the exceptions of the Imperial caste, of whom there are exactly two at any given time.
    • In a meta example, "You can't escape the miles. No one can escape the miles," started out as something the Dignitary said once, but undyingUmbrage is trying to make them into Arc Words, despite resistance from other characters who don't think it's a thing.
    • There are lots of minor recurring phrases aside from the above, some of which pertain to subplots and themes of the story while others are just recurring jokes. "Magic is real", "All of them", "Bugging and fussing and meddling", "What's her deal?", "It keeps happening", "Okay with it", "An excellent host", and "Wake up" are just some of them.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The author's skill with flash has improved quite a lot since he started. Compare this early page with this one. Regular updates have the same sprite style since the beginning, and the "hero mode" drawings have a consistent style, although they appear much more often later in the comic. The author admits this is still well within his talent and he prefers the simpler style, though this has changed somewhat.
    • Inverted in terms of Hussie's skill—drawing the high-detail cover for the "Heir Transparent" album in fact took him more time than it would have before he started the comic, simply because he just doesn't do that kind of stuff lately.
    • He has an art team who make drawings for the flash cartoons, sometimes in different (he'll say better) styles.
    • It finally struck static pages itself, as Andrew is experimenting with more realistic art. This is the first example of it, which becomes more fine-tuned later.
    • He's also used EarthBound-style sprites, though those are the work of the art team.
    • The non-sound pages seem to be getting kicked up a notch as well.
    • Even if you compare instances of the normal sprite style, you can tell that he's constantly improving there. Compare John's design to, say, Jade or any of the trolls, or even John's original attire compared to his later outfits; the newer work is generally considerably more refined and eye-pleasing. Even among the trolls this becomes evident—compare Karkat (who we see way before any of the others) to pretty much every other troll.
    • While some of the above art styles were short-lived, faces in Hero Mode lately have gotten much more expressive.
    • In-Universe, Caliborn's art style has evolved from illegible scribbles to poor drawings and more recently, to amateur claymation. It's all still Stylistic Suck, but it's grown gradually more comprehensible.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • Rose alchemizes the Thorns of Oglogoth by first creating a pair of magical knitting needles ... and then tossing in a dictionary of Eldritch Abominations. The narrator openly states that any sane adventurer would hurl them into the Furthest Ring instead of even thinking about using them. They don't seem to have any actual drawback, though.
    • Doc Scratch's white orbs are scattered through the trolls' and the pre-Scratch kids' sessions. They work something like Magic 8 balls, but have an unlimited number of different answers and are always correct (provided you can figure out how to see the answer). Unfortunately, if you ask the wrong question, there will be consequences.
    • LIL CAL. He's a juju, which means he has no point of origin but came into being by means of a paradox. His power comes from the multiple souls trapped within him: Arquiusprite, Gamzee, and Caliborn, who together make up Lord English. Gazing into his eyes invites Demonic Possession — a fate that Dave only escaped because he wears sunglasses indoors.
  • Art Major Physics: Kanaya kicked Gamzee in the bone bulge, causing his hat, glasses, and shoes to be blown off. Then she punched Vriska and chainsawed Eridan in half before the glasses started descending on her face. AT A CONSTANT VELOCITY.
  • Art Shift:
    • The comic tended to shift into more traditionally drawn panels for suitably epic scenes, although by Act 5, half the pages are done in this style. It also switches into a more scribbled and sloppy style for silly or childish panels.
    • Starting from Act 2 and becoming the standard by Act 5, art contributions are being made, creating constant shifts between art. A major one found in this page has a style reminiscent of EarthBound.
    • Following that page, Andrew introduced some new styles into the main comic pages, including EarthBound-like sprites and more detailed styles in the traditionally drawn panels. See here and here, for instance.
    • Real Life people are usually represented using Photoshopped photos of themselves. When the Insane Clown Posse faces off against B2 Dave, though, they're drawn in both the normal and Hero Mode styles.
    • Act 6 Act 6 Act 5, also known as "Caliborn's Masterpiece," shifts into claymation.
  • Artistic License – Biology
    • Andrew doesn't understand biology very well. Troll reproduction methods (mixing genetic material for "strongly dominant and strongly recessive genes" sounds scientific but is just Techno Babble), as well as the high rate of significant mutations (Sollux and Vriska especially are never much explained despite being far beyond the genetic norm) and the nautical royalty race (which in reality is more or less a completely different species).
    • Act 6 opens with a shot of Jane's house from above in Washington state in November. All the trees shown have turned their leaves, since it's fall. However, forests in the Pacific Northwest are rife with evergreen trees which do not change color, but none are to be seen (except around the Lalonde house in upstate NY).
    • The kids and their ancestors are all created directly from genetic code, either copied from a past version of themselves or created by combining the genes of two people. Yet all of them are "born" with diapers, and the nearsighted even have glasses. Three-Month-Old Newborn is also in effect, with each child already being strong enough to crawl.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Post-Scratch Dave somehow manages to invent a way to manufacture unbelievably low-quality SBAHJ-inspired items at negative manufacturing cost, meaning that he just sort of miraculously gets money by making them. He made a fortune this way.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • The united trolls & humans plan to be sent at near light-speed on their asteroid to the new B2 session in a single push. When Karkat objects that they can't stay ahead of a pursuing Jack, Rose shuts him up by mentioning "Troll Isaac Newton," which is well and good except for two problems:
      1. Accelerating to near light-speed in a single short push would impart enough energy to render them instantly into a sub-atomic plasma.
      2. The Medium is breathable, so there's presumably air resistance. Hitting air at near light-speed would also more than vaporize them. It would also slow them down, gradually. Newton's 1st Law would only prevent this in a vacuum.
    • By the endgame, the houses that are a central part of Sburb form towers as wide as a regular 2-story residential house, and reach a height of a significant percentage of their planet's radius. Even supposing Baby Planets of only a few miles wide, there is no way to do that with any material or building technique known to man, and trying to do it by copy/pasting parts of residential houses together is just laughable. What is particularly odd is that the structural merit of different parts was discussed at an early stage of the game. However, it is possible that Sburb relaxes the laws of physics within the Incipisphere as they pertain to architecture, since building these towers is such a central aspect of the gameplay.
    • The trolls were able to move far faster than light-speed, meaning the g-forces are not an issue, at least when using troll telekinesis. The friction problem does still hold merit though, given that during the Reckoning, meteors light on fire before entering Skaia's gate, and the meteor is later shown having a fiery trail in the Furthest Ring.
    • Both apply to John and Jade in Andrew's study however. From their perspective they're moving at the speed of light through an environment with an atmosphere and gravity for 3 years. The time dilation for their journey is also the wrong way around: they should experience the journey between the windows in a shorter time than Hussiebot does instead of experiencing 3 years.
    • Caliborn's entry toys with the actual physics of a black hole for cinematic effect.
    • Averted with the eclipses of Derse and Prospit. Some fans have called this trope on them because of the rarity of eclipses in real life. However, the rarity is largely due to eccentricities in orbits, which don't seem to exist in the Incipisphere. Therefore it's perfectly reasonable for Derse and Prospit to have eclipses on a regular basis.
    • The moons of Prospit and Derse are held in orbit with physical chains which, when cut, send the moons flying. The moons, however, are nearly as massive as the planets they orbit. The gravitational forces between the two should be more than enough to keep the moons in orbit. If anything, there should be a structure to prevent their gravities from pulling themselves together.
    • All in all, the physics of the Medium have shown to make absolutely no sense at all, at least in relation to physics as we know them, so its better to just let Willing Suspension of Disbelief assume they work on a different set of rules entirely.
  • Ascended Meme:
  • Ashes to Crashes: John topples the SACRED URN, spilling his Grandma's ashes. The work is nothing if not Genre Savvy: "In retrospect, upon mulling cinematic tropes regarding ash-filled urns, this outcome was a virtual certainty."
  • Astronomic Zoom: All the time, most notably onto Earth at the end of Act 5 Act 1.
  • As You Know:
    • At one point, the narrative skips three months into the future, where Dave now has the best equipment in the game and mastery of time travel. He immediately calls up Rose and then explains how long the Time Skip was, the fact that John and Jade died during it, his plan to travel back in time, and the fact that they both have extensive knowledge of all this, so they shouldn't have to repeat it.
    • A few of the Troll conversations, since, unlike the kids, we don't see everything they do after starting the game.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Jade inquiring about all the rambunctious crows invading Dave's room.
    TG: i always keep birds in here its sort of my thing 
    GG: ohhhhhhh
    GG: kind of like all those silly naked puppets are your bros thing?
    TG: no no thats irony this is like
    TG: sincere honest to god psychosis
    TG: im training to be a lame gothy supervillain
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The inhabitants of the Land of Wind and Shade seem to have this, as evidenced by this bit of text:
    "Look at this! Another Cherished Idol profaned! Such sacrilege has become commonplace with the recent glut of the Underlings. It would bring a tear to my eye if I were not so clearly fit to be tied with these hyperactive mannerisms and severe attention deficit oh my god look a bug."
  • Author Appeal: For one, glasses. Seriously, over half the main cast wears glasses of some kindnote . Amongst other things, clouds, superpowers, and intricate plots are things Andrew enjoys.
  • Author Avatar:
  • Author Catch Phrase:
    • BLUH
      GC: 1 4M UNF4Z3D BY YOUR HUM4N BLUHS
    • You've gained all the levels. All of them.
    • THIS IS STUPID.
    • YES. FUCK YES. HELL. FUCKING. YES.
    • BOOYEAH!
    • That's really all there is to say on the matter.
    • "<Temporal noun> in the <Past/Future>, but not many..."
    • Be the other guy"
    • You cannot hope to beat <X> in a <Y>-off.
      • [He/She] is simply the best there is.
    • ALL THE <NOUN>S. All of them.
    • Oh nooooo
    • "Irons in the Fire"
    • Who's this douche bag?
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the alchemizations. The Fetch Modus by and large are this too (some more awesome than others), with a few exceptions being practical to use.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:
    • Jack Noir gets TWO. Here and here. PM gets one as well.
    • Warweary Villein's unification of the pawns
    • God Tier ascensions intentionally invoke this too, as the entire Incipisphere glows when someone ascends via a Quest Bed. The ones hidden in the moons of Derse and Prospit do not invoke this however.
  • Ax-Crazy: Trolls are basically an Ax-Crazy species, but most of the highbloods fall into fits of rage constantly. Feferi is the only exception to this, as Gamzee goes insane later on. Even the lower-blooded trolls are not beyond this, as the fits of rage from Kanaya showcase. Aradia also rages occasionally, but these occurred while she was in a robot fueled by blue blood.
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    B 
  • Baby Planet: All of the celestial bodies located throughout the Incipisphere.
  • Back from the Dead: Every single major protagonist (and a few antagonists) has died at least once. Except Gamzee. All of the alpha and beta humans died and then came back as god tiers. All of the alpha trolls died and then came back as ghosts. Of the beta trolls: Vriska and Aradia died and returned as god tiers; Tavros, Equius, and Nepeta died and returned as sprites, Karkat was killed and then revived by Crocker Tier Jane as a demonstration of her revival powers, Kanaya died and returned as a Rainbow Drinker, and Terezi died in the aftermath of [S] GAME OVER and then was revived via Cosmic Retcon. Gamzee also dies during [S]GAME OVER. Being sliced in half vertically WILL kill you.
  • Badass Family: When you've got a World of Badass where Everyone Is Related, this trope necessarily follows.
  • Bad Future: Many alternate bad futures get shown and discussed, almost all of which have direct impact on the main timeline due to time travel.
  • Bad is Good and Good is Bad: Caliborn tries to compliment Jane that way. She's anything but flattered, but mostly for other reasons.
  • Bad News in a Good Way: Rose tries to break this to prospective Sburb players gently in her FAQ: the moment you switch on Sburb, your planet is doomed. But hey, someone was bound to do it, right? And you can at least save yourself.
    "Since you are reading this, chances are you have already installed this game on your computer. If this is true, like many others, you have just participated in bringing about the end of the world. But don't beat yourself up about it."
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Again when it seems like Doc Scratch is expecting the Big Bad Lord English, but Spades Slick arrives at his door instead.
    • And again here, when Grimdark Rose and God-Tier John confront Bec Noir over the not yet cold bodies of their murdered parents. Much is made of John's reaction to the news, and the stage is set for an epic two-on-one battle with much dynamic music, badass poses, the title card 'Round 1', then—John is killed instantly.
    • Here, after heavy anticipation of Jade's first appearance, there is an abrupt shift to a different character.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Dirk unveiling his idea for an AI replica of his own brain.
    GT: Does that mean I'll have to deal with two dirks?
    GT One who is MORE MACHINE THAN MAN...
    GT And another who is a computer program you made hahahahahahaha.
    TT: That's a super joke.
  • Band Land: The meaning of the "Melody" in the Land of Quartz and Melody was not apparent until this panel, where it was shown to have giant insides of music boxes.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: the trolls even have a name for it: kismesis. You know your species is fucked up when BST not only considered normal and healthy, but is absolutely necessary for your species' reproduction.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Parodied. Stitch and Crowbar are found setting up a room with two rows of chest-high crates before a gunfight breaks out. Very thoughtful of them.
  • BFS:
    • All of Dave's swords are significantly longer than he is tall in the standard art style. While more proportional in the various art shifts, they still fall under this trope.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: The webcomic has seen various Big Bads antagonizing the different Cast Herds.
    • The Black King, who normally serves as the Big Bad in a normal Sburb session.
    • Jack Noir, of the pre-Scratch kids session, acts as Big Bad of Act 4 and Act 5 Act 2.
    • Doc Scratch, the Big Bad of Act 5 as a whole.
    • Lord English, the Big Bad of the whole webcomic, begins playing a direct, onscreen role in the story starting in Act 6.
    • The Condesce acts as another one for Act 6. In theory, she makes up duumvirate with Lord English since she officially works for him, but in practice, she wants to bring him down and free herself from slavery of him, so she and he serve as this trope throughout Act 6.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head:
    • John's exile advises him to go into his kitchen a grab some cake, but John's already had so much birthday cake that he's sick of it. His exile insists as John's stubbornness grows, prompting the Exile to resort to a tirade of preschool insults.
      JOHN YOU ARE STUPID 
      STUPID STUPID DUMB
    • John's GameFAQs entry reads, "dave probably won't read any of this because he's sort of this great big whopping stupid horse butt. whatever."
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Used in an interesting way. The troll alphabet is actually the Daedric Alphabet from The Elder Scrolls, rotated 180 degrees. The first name suggestion translates as "Turdodor Fuckball." The "real" name, however, translates as "Trollplanet", which is obviously just a joke since the real name is "Alternia". The attempted insulting name for Karkat translates as "Bulgereek Nookstain". During their fight scenes, the word "GRIEF" appears instead of the kids' STRIFE. Much later, we discover that the name of the Fluorcite Octet's ultimate attack translates as "Ancestral Awakening."
    • With the introduction of "Caledfwlch", it is suddenly a good time to be able to speak Welsh (it's the Welsh name for Excalibur, and pronounced "Caledvoolk"). Caliburn, another name for Excalibur, is derived from this, meaning Caliborn's name may or may not be a Meaningful Name.
      DAVE: what are welsh things doing in this game
      DAVESPRITE: thats an awesome question
    • Starting from this page Serenity narrates WV's dream in Morse code, and it is not gibberish—actually it's a Call-Back to this scene with Jade. And a bug is involved in both of them.
    • Serenity's giant help message roughly translates to this:
    Serenity: Help, my friend is stuck inside the big can building. You must hurry. He's not very bright and he doesn't understand when I blink. Are you watching me? Oh no, don't blink me, you don't understand blinking either. How do you people even exchange ideas without luminous rear ends?
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Aranea sure seems nice, but she's actually a self-centered Smug Snake Knight Templar. Inverted with Mom Lalonde; she seems like a bitch, but it becomes clear later that she's actually one of the sweetest characters in the comic and that her so-called "passive aggressive" behavior was actually her trying to connect with Rose.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The kids win the game and gain their new universe. Most of them continue their lives happily. However, it's unknown what condition Lord English, Vriska, and the ghosts are in. Terezi leaves to find Vriska and doesn't come back. John is left on his own without a goal while his friends move on in life. Caliborn taunts 20-year old John into attacking him with the future kids which results in the alpha humans being trapped in the Homestuck Juju only for them to later be freed by Vriska offscreen for an unseen final confrontation with a weakened Caliborn. More dire is the implication that the Green Sun must eventually be replaced or the multiversal black hole could wipe out all of creation some day.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The players houses are built up basically by copy-pasting bits of the architecture they already have.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction:
    • Trolls reproduce by donating two samples of genetic material to the Mother Grub, with one sample coming from a loving pair and the other coming from arch-enemies. This works just as well between same-gender couples as it does between mixed-gender couples, rendering sexual preference meaningless to the entire species. They must be able to provide at least one pair of buckets, or they will be killed. Among other things, this also means buckets are morbid sex objects to trolls. Exactly how bizarre is unclear due to Rule of Funny, Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp" and Teasing Creator.
    • Cherubs at first blush seem to be a little more sane in their boning, due to having two distinct genders and a simple enough pairing between two opposite-gendered individuals. Except, all reproduction is fueled by intense hatred between wildly conflicting morals and the beginning of courtship has both turning into 1 AU (or 149,597,870,700 m (92,955,807.3 mi)) long invincible serpents who duke it out until one wins, upon which the winner assumes the insemination position. Either gender can wind up carrying the egg, which they then lay upon a planet orbiting a red giant soon to be a black hole. Then the spawn will hatch and quickly generate two conflicting, in morals and gender, personalities.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: The comic plays with this. After Terezi lost her normal eyesight, she learned how to taste and smell colors to compensate. But when she contacts the human protagonists, she messes with them by claiming that all Alternians share her abilities.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Earlier on, all the Trolls seem to value violence and be at ease with death, even if they don't engage in killing themselves. At the very least, they don't want to obliterate all life, making them the Grey to Derse's Black.
  • Black and White Morality: The conflict in Sburb itself boils down to this. This is physically represented in the Chess Battlefield through the armies of Prospit and Derse (though there are exceptions through the Wayward Vagabond and Aimless Renegade, both of which represent Derse).
  • Black Screen of Death: To be exact, the variant that has slice marks showing up on the (generally red, not black) screen, but nothing else; generally used for faster animation.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Played straight with Gamebro magazine and the chat client Pesterchum.
    • John's shirt is pretty clearly supposed to depict Slimer from Ghostbusters, but due to copyright, it's only officially referred to as "Green Slime Ghost".
    • Averted with Betty Crocker-brand baked goods, Terezi's Crayola chalk, Tab soda, and Faygo soda.
  • Blatant Lies: Dave claims the reason that evil Jade can smell John in his room is because he sprays it with nerd smell and is totally because he didn't just teleport in and disappear again.
  • Block Puzzle: In Terezi's room in the interactive AlterniaBound segment. Mercilessly lampshaded, as Terezi complains bitterly about the pointlessness of putting such a simple block puzzle here.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • Troll society takes killing relatively easily. Childhood on Alternia begins with a series of dangerous trials designed to off the weakest of them; once the survivors pass, they're introduced to an essentially lawless society where everyone has to fend for themselves, compassion is weakness and your frenemies are likely to stab you in the back. Arbitrary cullings are commonplace. They don't seem to have a huge problem with murder in its own right, just when it happens to someone they actually like, in which case it's okay to get bloody revenge on their fallen friend's behalf. Trolls who would qualify as dangerous sociopaths and serial killers on Earth are just thought of as huge tools, except for Terezi, who is well-liked (possibly because unlike Vriska, who kills indiscriminately, Terezi has a set of rules she follows). The actions of Vriska are more understandable given the culture she grew up in—and it's implied she isn't nearly the worst out there, just the worst given characterization. Trolls are so inherently violent that being someone's Morality Pet is an integral part of their culture.
      • It is first implied then later outright stated to be due to Doc Scratch's meddling. The pre-Scratch version of Troll culture was too soft and the players failed hard at the game (because they were too weak and unprepared), so Doc Scratch (on Lord English's orders) manipulated their culture to bring about a brutal, violent, prepared group of teens the second time around. Another big part of it was the Condesce's insane ruling; it would seem that a murderous, bigoted sociopath who believes in a bastardized form of social Darwinism and apparently thinks that wild animals are better at child-rearing than adult trolls doesn't exactly make a civilized society.
    • When Rose tries to ask if the Horrorterrors are evil, she "goes off the deep end in every way".
    • Sburb/Skaia itself counts. It casually destroys whole civilizations and planets to protect/propagate itself so that it can create new universes.
  • Body Motifs: Missing eyes and missing limbs recur in tandem, sometimes justified, sometimes not.
  • Bond One-Liner: Spades Slick attempts one here (complete with an emoticon-based Glasses Pull), but even he admits it was terrible.
  • Bonus Boss: John can fight a Uranium Imp during the Enter Village interactive segment.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The story begins and ends on April 13, both in real life and in-universe.
    • Act 5 Act 2 begins and ends with the words "see you soon!"
    • Meta, but the first song of the first Homestuck album ("Showtime") is a prominent part of the last song of the last Homestuck album ("Conclude").
  • Bootstrapped Theme:
    • "Sburban Jungle" and the drumline from "Upward Movement (Dave Owns)" are more or less the main themes at this point.
    • Also, "Doctor". It was originally used for John's land, then for his ascension to God Tier, then Jade's ascension to God Tier, and by now it is the most heavily remixed song in the entire Homestuck discography.
  • Boring, but Practical: The array fetch modus is by far the most conventient, allowing the user to store and retrieve items with no catches... and this is exactly why John refuses to use it.
    "The ARRAY MODUS allows you to store and retrieve any item from any card at any time. It seems exceptionally serviceable, albeit difficult to weaponize. BOOOOOOOORING."
  • A Boy and His X: After her grandfather's death, Jade was essentially adopted by her dog, who formed an unbreakable bond with her. This sounds pretty typical of the trope, except that Jade's dog isn't just a dog; Becquerel is also a billion-year old omnipotent designed to be the First Guardian of Earth.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: "Gosh you love movies. Almost as much as you love skulls. And movies that have skulls in them? Oh my god."
  • Breaking Bad News Gently: Dirk dropping the bomb that he's from the future. Jake debates sitting down for this news, then realize he's already sitting. "Maybe I should stand up."
  • Brick Joke:
    • During [S] Wake, when Tavros and Vriska face off, he holds up the decapitated head of one of Vriska's dolls and makes a throat slitting gesture, she replies by holding up HIS SEVERED LEGS AND TORSO and making a waist cutting gesture. In AlterniaBound, you can find Tavros' severed legs while playing as Vriska.
    • Dave alchemizes an Unreal Air skateboard in late act 4. It promptly floats away to Skaia. Over a year later, late in act 5, it is finally seen about to land on the Battlefield.
    • When WV is first introduced, he marks parts of can town with motor oil. Quite a while later, Slick puts it to use.
    • Relatively early on, Terezi helps John get the captcha code for a non-functioning rocket pack that he creates on accident so that he can create a functional version. A bit later, in Act 5, Vriska retrieves her rocket boots from one of her loot strongholds so she can give her paraplegic Sgrub client, Tavros, the captcha code for them so he can make his own pair. The rocket shoes code looks a little... familiar.
    • Jade's pumpkins have been disappearing her whole life. So when we see WV steal one with a teleporter, mystery solved, right? Except that only explains one pumpkin. A few thousand panels later in Act 6, we finally find out what Jake has been stealing the rest of her pumpkins, and her intense efforts to grow pumpkins that she can use have created some kind of super-pumpkins that have completely overgrown his version of the island.
    • "You will however contemplate bleating like a goat for IRONICALLY HUMOROUS purposes at a later date." Nearly 4000 pages later...
    • Colonel Sassacre breaks even this record when the book big enough to kill a cat, 4468 pages later, finally does.
    • One of the random things alchemized by John early on is a hat with bunny ears.Many, many pages later...
    • When Jane first meets Gamzee, Gamzee sells her several "potions" (actually Troll blood) against her will. Later, while under the control of her Tiaratop, she resells them to Kanaya at an incredibly high markup.
    • Spades Slick originally wants to get rid of the Felt for destroying one of his favourite casinos. He still gets his opportunity for revenge later. Much later. Lampshaded: 'That didn't stop from being a thing.'
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Karkat briefly imitates Kanaya's way of speaking:
    KARKAT: THAT SOUNDS SUPER! DOESN'T THAT SOUND SUPER KANAYA?
    KANAYA: No
    KARKAT: I THINK I SPEAK FOR KANAYA WHEN I SAY IT SOUNDS Really Fucking Super.
    • Earlier Kanaya claims to have done this during an instant-message conversation with Eridan. She also does it in text, by imitating Eridan's typing quirk.
    GA: Has It Occurred To You She May Have Blocked You Because You Are Vvery Ovverbearing
    GA: I Just Said That Aloud Now In Your Silly Accent And Had A Private Moment Of Enjoyment
  • Broken Bridge: John comes across one here. As the Pesterlog on that page notes, the only way to the Denizen's palace on the other side is through the Seventh Gate.
  • Buffy Speak: The planet-wide hurricane John creates, and his powers in general, are called "the windy thing."
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Inverted in troll society, where clowns are in charge of repression. Justified in act 6, where The Condesce complains about how "proper dudes" assigned for the job in Derse get distracted by damaged hats.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • One of the inhabitants of the Land of Wind and Shade asks John to sell him his dapper suit. At many other such choices in the segment there are two buttons to click, "Yes" and "No", but this time "No" is the only option.
    • When the friendly clown offers to be Jane's guide, your choices are "No" and "fuck no." When he starts offering potions for sale, she ends up buying some regardless of which option you choose.
    • In AlterniaBound, the choices when Gamzee asks Karkat to sleep on his horn pile are "No" and "Hell No".
    • in A6I4, when Gamzee meets up with Caliborn, you're presented with two choices just like with Jane. The choices are Caliborn's face, and Caliborn's face. Either one ends in Caliborn shooting Gamzee for panels and panels straight.
    • In Act 6 Act 5 Act 2, after playing a mini-game in which you move Dirk away from his drug-adled, hyperactive friends by pushing the right key 1,111 times, the options to "Play again?" are "no" and "fuck no." However, if you roll over either button, a bigger button will appear saying "YES," taking you back to the beginning of the game.
    • Subverting the comic's use of select screens to offer readers the chance to read part's of the story in their own order, a select screens from Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1 is introduced with lengthy praises of the freedom brought by "Web 2.0," only for you to realize the screen is glitched so that only one option at a time is available. The author's praises of internet freedoms over the course of the next four times the screen comes up, because each time the screen is glitched so only one option is available. At the end, he gets so fed that he just decides to copy and paste some lengthy exposition on leprechaun sex instead, only for that to get censored by glitches.
      "You know what was cool, you ask your computer rhetorically? WHEN STORIES USED TO BE ON FUCKING PAPER."
    • A shrewd cyborg offers to sell a vampire the blood of her friend in a shopping mini-game. The options are "Yes" and some other form of yes, differing with each bottle, although the vampire does have enough shame to hide the bottles from her friends.
    • For the penultimate "CHOOSE YOUR CHARACTERS!" screen on page 9572, the story tries to give ten different pathway options at one time, only for the pure freedom to cause the thing to crash, ensuring that only one of the options actually works. The page after the end of that option will be a copy of the character screen, only the next storyline can be clicked instead of the first. This trend continues for all ten storylines, and notably, hovering your mouse over pathways you've taken will show an image of what the characters from the path are doing after said storyline.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: While a wave of meteors can explain the extinction of the human species pretty well, it's hard to believe the same thing would kill the trolls, since they managed to develop technologies that could save them, like spaceships, time machines, and the alien delicacy "cotton candy." To cover this, Act 5 establishing GL'BGOLYB, a sea monster maintained by the Troll Empress that could release a telepathic scream, which would kill all trolls except those with the blood of the Empress. When the meteors hit, Gl'bgolyb screamed as she died, killing every single troll in the galaxy except for the Empress, who was stranded 612 lightyears from her capital planet.

    C 
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Health Vials surrounded by Vitality Gel. As a character takes damage, their gel is forced out of the vial, and when it's fully out (i.e. completely depleted) it shatters on the ground. As a character levels up, their Vitality Gel gets more viscous, meaning it's harder to push out, which effectively increases the character's HP.
  • Call-Back: There's an in-universe explanation for events resembling other parts of the continuity, a phenomenon called circumstantial simultaneity. For some examples:
    • John makes a new COSBYTOP after remembering he lost his old one in the End of Act 3 animation. It gets a lampshade hung on it by the narration.
    Remember how that happened? That didn't stop being a thing that happened or anything.
    • Tavros reminds us why children should not be allowed to dual-wield flintlock pistols; he makes Jade kill Grandpa Harley with the same pistols an infant Harley used to kill Colonel Sassacre.
    • At one point, Dave does a "flying pirouette off the handle," literally fulfilling a Running Gag, and begins to think that the entire point of his existence is to make call backs, wondering aloud whether he should bleat like a goat for ironic purposes, which he mentioned doing during his introduction.
    • Doc Scratch rhetorically explains Rose's powers by comparing her relationship with the Horrorterrors to Kanaya's tutelage under Scratch and Eridan's connection to the angels, implying the Horrorterrors have been using Rose for their own ends.
    • During Doc Scratch's second narrative takeover, he stops narrating for a time before returning and revealing that he was doing his first takeover during his brief absence. It is incredibly strange.
    • Dirk Strider describes puppets as awesome in his introductory page, and says "thats really all there is to say on the matter." This marks an important distinction from his brother, Dave Strider, who said the same thing about puppets as Dirk, but with sarcasm to show his extreme disdain for the creepy things.
    • Rose and Dave's B2 counterparts were killed, respectively, by being impaled by the Condesce's 2x3dent and run through with their own sword. In [S]Game Over, both Rose and Dave are killed in the exact same fashion, albeit under very different circumstances.
  • Call-Forward:
    • "TROLLING ME FROM THE FUTURE, HOW JUVENILE CAN YOU GET" - oh, you are so right there, Karkat. You would never do such a thing.
    • Doc Scratch to Terezi: "I'm not going to tell you my name. But if you wish, you may refer to me as Mr. Vanilla Milkshake. It is perfectly in keeping with a habit which you will develop in the future."
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Jake entreating Dirk not to make any more slime appear over his head.
    GT: The last thing i need on my bday is another installment of and i quote manbro bukkake theater.
    TT: You still don't actually know what that means, do you.
    GT: Not really? Its your friggin figure of speech man. I gathered it just meant getting slimed like in ghost busters or somesuch.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Extraordinarily powerful attacks will appear named in a Final Fantasy styled blue window.
  • The Cameo:
    • The Parcel Mistress has a letter addressed to a Dr. David Brinner at one point.
    • During Aranea's expositive monologue on cherubs, two fantrolls from the people who managed to hit the $10,000 donation mark on the Homestuck Kickstarter made an appearance. The two are then immediately annihilated by a cherub.
  • Captain Ersatz: Averted with Grampa Harley's Iron Man suit, but the Iron Lass suit somewhat plays with it, and references it during Jade's crafting frenzy.
    "If you are going to adopt a new regular outfit, you'd prefer something a little comfier and less ostentatious, and if possible, in less flagrant violation of copyright laws."
  • Cartesian Karma: Done so to a more general sense. Vriska is controlled essentially by her civilization's violent culture and expectations, her own insecurities/ego, self-destructive actions, and the rules of paradox space itself. She 'over-comes' it eventually, but by then it's rather too late for her to change. She even acknowledges she can't change what she's done by any means, but accepts it and any karma facing her because she believes she needs to do the right thing.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • After Eridan and Gamzee have a Face–Heel Turn, Karkat puts out a public memo about it, which past Feferi and Eridan refuse to believe, mainly due to how ridiculous all of Karkat's other memos are.
    • Post-Scratch George Washington had prophetic dreams of the Insane Clown Posse being installed as Presidents, and tried to amend the Constitution to exclude "unruly jesters", but everyone assumed that he was high on the colonial cannabis.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Everyone but the Pawn Armies are distinctly different. Even the three main Exiles, who are all Pawns, have slight differences that differentiate them from each other outside of their wardrobe; AR is taller and squatter than WV, for example.
  • Catch a Falling Star:
    • After being thrown out a window by Rose, Lil' Cal is rescued by a passing hoverboard. Dave too, when he gets pecked off tower by his own kernelsprite at the beginning of the 5/31 update.
    • Nannasprite catches John by telekinetically moving his bed after pranking him off the side of his house.
  • Cats Are Magic:
    • Rose, who might be the most magical of the four kids, prototyped her dead cat Jaspers to her kernelsprite, and also made a genetic sequence using the letters MEOW (instead of the typical GCAT) which can be spliced with other DNA to create godlike entities.
    • And now the Post-Scratch Kids universe has the God Cat, or GCAT for short, which is a literal magic cat, being created with an alternate version of the above code.
    • Jasprosesprite^2, for some people:
      TAVROSPRITE: tHANK YOU SO MUCH, mAGIC SORCERESS CAT WOMAN, fOR YOUR ENSORCELLED CURATIVE PLACEBO BUTTON,
      TAVROSPRITE: tHIS IS GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE! }:D
      JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes I thought you wouldn't understand what that meant, and that the button would continue to do the trick.
  • Cats Are Mean:
    • God Cat is seen as kind of a nuisance by the kids, and is also susceptible to the Empress' animal controlling abilities. For a certain type of mean, Vriska basically tricks Tavrosprite into merging with GCAT even though Tavrosprite is allergic so she can KO him/them with her powers and prevent GCAT from interfering with the upcoming battles.
    • Jasprosesprite^2 has no filters and is particularly mean to Jake, greeting him as "Jade's unintelligent father", calling him boring when he's too stunned at her appearance to say hello, and says he's a prop at her Alice In Wonderland-themed tea party for Nepetasprite. She also calls Dave and Dirk boring for being too awkward to speak and "helps" Tavrosprite by, well see above. She attributes her lack of social graces to her cat-half...
      JASPROSESPRITE^2: I used to be quite guarded about my feelings as a girl.
      JASPROSESPRITE^2: But cats do not have complicated thoughts about what should be expressed and when.
      JASPROSESPRITE^2: What to convey about your current state of mind is everything. When to do it is now.
...but Jaspersprite was never this rude.
  • Celestial Body: Bilious Slick, who contains/is an entire universe.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Several.
    • Jade's comedic narcolepsy in Act 4 was caused by Vriska testing her psychic powers through the viewports as part of her plan to screw with the human timeline.
    • Karkat's arguments with his time-shifted selves start out hilarious but then fuel his descent into acute self-loathing and self-recrimination.
    • Gamzee's clown honks become Nightmare Fuel after he snaps.
    • Foiled double-example when Rose and Dave meet Roxy and Dirk: Rose discovers Roxy genuinely loves wizards, meaning what Rose interpreted as emotionally abusive mindgames on the part of her mother were sincere if misguided displays of affection. Meanwhile, Dave reveals to Dirk (after a very long and awkward silence) that his eccentric Training from Hell life with Bro was actually so traumatic and devoid of affection that physical danger, blood, and metallic noises are now PTSD triggers.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: It used to be a comic about some kid trying to get to his computer to play a game, then shit gets real and it turns out the game destroys entire planets. As of Act 6, the body count is astronomical, everyone's had at least one mental breakdown, and even a best-case ending can't restore everything the main characters have lost in the course of the story. Though despite its descent into complex drama, it still remains relentlessly lighthearted.
  • Cessation of Existence: Doomed timelines that are fixed by the time player simply cease to exist a few moments after the Alpha Timeline is rerouted. Those still alive in the timeline don't go to the dream bubbles, as they never existed in the first place. Lord English is also capable of invoking "double death" upon doomed ghosts.
  • Character Class System: Not surprising, considering that the setting is a co-op video game. Sburb players' "[Class] of [Aspect]" titles define their aptitudes and intended roles within the game (via class), as well as which objects and forces within the Medium they can interact with in service of that role (via aspect). Aspect seems to be largely innate (all the dancestor troll pairs have the same aspect, the pre-scratch/post-scratch human pairs have thematically related aspects), while class depends more on acquired personality traits (Knights tend to be compulsively protective and self-sacrificing, Thieves are pathologically narcissistic). The underlying mechanics of the classpect system are left mostly unexplained until after the Scratch. Calliope's elaborations on Rose's research suggest that classes are structured in passive/active pairs (active Thief and Prince vs. passive Rogue and Bard), that some classes are gender-specific or gender-biased (Bards are all male, Muses are all female, Rogues are usually but not always female), and that class is based partly on a player's assessed competence (Pages start out essentially useless but have the greatest improvement potential if they can unlock it, Princes are exceptionally dangerous even at their starting levels). It's worth taking Calliope's statements with a grain of salt, however, as all of her data has come from 5 tightly connected sessions, and it's always possible for a player to corrupt their assigned Myth Arc or mimic the powers and behaviors of another class.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies:
    • Hussie has said on Tumblr that the unofficial title of Act 5 Part 2 is 'Jack Noir Kills Everyone.' Aside from Jade's Grandfather, WV, and PM, it is hard to think of anyone he hasn't directly or indirectly killed at least once.
    • Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3, over the course of twenty pages, kills off Karkat, Gamzee, Dave, Jane, Jake, Kanaya, WV (off-panel), Aranea, and leaves Rose and Terezi bleeding to death.
  • Character Blog:
  • Character Development: Noticeably during the Act 6 Intermissions (especially for the kids), since the previous acts were only about a day long. The characters are in their early teens, after all.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Very many things. This comic is big on continuity. This line from Homestuck Book 2 sums it up:
    Chekhov's Literally Every Single Story Detail plays a key role in the future as well. Keep an eye out for it.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Grandma Nanna's ashes end up Tier 2 prototyping John's sprite when the urn falls off of the mantle again.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Almost every update contains some sort of Call-Back joke. It would take far too much effort to list them all.
    • One Running Gag has a character expecting shaving cream to put out fire, only to learn it actually makes it worse. This is largely inconsequential until the Courtyard Droll attaches explosives to a pack of shaving cream and uses it to kill Jade right as she was supposed to save the Kids from being wiped from reality.
    • John's hatred of Betty Crocker is based on his distaste for cake; little does he know she's an alien bent on taking over the Earth and re-creating Alternia.
    • Biscuits useless oven turns out to be actually very useful, just not for timetraveling. It actually functions as a sort of portable, oven-sized Hammer Space.
    • A Running Gag is that "if you believe hard enough in something it might become slightly less fake". With Jake English, it turns out this is literally true for him as a Page of Hope. Then in Act 6 Act 6, Jake gets to use his Page of Hope powers to make Brain Ghost Dirk, Jake's memory splinter of his best friend Dirk, become real, by believing in his existence hard enough. The first thing Brain Ghost Dirk does is try to kill the recently-turned-evil Aranea, distracting her enough for Roxy to escape with her life.
  • Chekhov's Gift: The stuffed bunny from Con Air. Thanks to weird time shit, John receives the same bunny three times over. Dave sends him the original as an ironic birthday present. It goes back in time with baby Rose, grows ratty over the years, and is then given to John again after Rose repairs it with knitting. This version of the bunny is sent back in time with baby Jade. She eventually upgrades it into the autonomous and heavily-armed robobunny that allows Jack Noir to overthrow the Black Queen and devastate the Medium— but also protects John from Jack at a critical moment. Which was why she made it for him in the first place.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Discussed.
    • Chekhovs Juice is name-dropped when Dave realizes his apple juice is responsible for making him pee just as his toilet is destroyed. It's not a trope, but it damn well should be.
    • Remember the sarcophagi and mummies Jade's Grandpa collected that creeped her out? Watch the second intermission. Yeah. They'll scare the crap out of you too.
    • As discussed under Cosmic Retcon, there's actually an Aversion as well. At a point during Act 6, John's arm shows up in many different panels across the history of the story; these panels have been permanently edited so his hand is in the original update as well. So while this may appear to be a Chekhov's Gun to new readers, it was added in a Cosmic Retcon.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Gamzee was called the most important character in Homestuck, but he does relatively little outside of killing two very minor characters. Turns out, Gamzee manages to create a large portion of the code that created Doc Scratch and made the doll that spawned Jack's hatred for harlequin clothes. He's practically the indirect cause of a lot of the bad things in the comic.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • John's dubiously obtained "Fear No Anvil" hammer. It's shown in the John: Enter Village flash to freeze even the ludicrously unhittable Uranium imps, implying the same could be said of timestopping powers on any Green Sun-powered being. With John's real body dead, we're left to believe that this is a red herring...but then, the long-discounted Aradia manifests herself as the Maid of Time and freezes the rampaging Jack dead in his tracks. Both of these skills are used again in [S] Collide to momentarily freeze the villains they are fighting.
    • In act one, it is established that John can play the piano. Later on, John needs to play the pipe organ for his quest.
  • Chess Motifs: The conflict between the light and dark kingdoms is represented with chess imagery. Wayward Vagabond also plays a game of chess by himself to pass the time. Black wins, foreshadowing the fact that the Dark Kingdom will win the battle.
  • Chest Burster: Full body-burst, as an Alien/Pokémon parody, and used on a plush toy. Complete with a face hugger coming out of a suspiciously pokeball-like egg. No, really.
  • The Chosen One(s): "A realm where four will gather, the Heir of Breath and Seer of Light, the Knight of Time and Witch of Space, and together they will Ascend." Apparently, players who successfully make it to the Medium are Chosen. Turns out they're chosen because the game creates them.
  • Christmas Episode (although it's April 13th): Very much played for laughs in conjunction with Webcomic Time with John and Jade's alchemizing bonanzas.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Dirk's robots, Sawtooth and Squarewave just disappear at the end of the Trickster arc and are never mentioned again.
      • Sawtooth and Squarewave can actually be seen sparring with Jake, Dirk, GCAT-Tavrossprite, and Lord-English-bot on Earth C during the 6/15 snapchat update!
    • In a similar vein, the B2 Courtyard Droll is left at LOTAK after getting pulled along with the Trickster mode characters.
    • The B2 Draconian Dignitary simply leaves the story after the Condesce requests the Ring back.
  • Clockworks Area: Land of Heat and Clockwork, natch.
  • Clock Punk: Land of Heat and Clockwork.
  • Clone Degeneration: The mutated paradox clones created from Jaspers' Paradox imprint ghosts. To elaborate, Paradox clones are clones of themselves, through stable time loops. Mom and Rose attempted to paradox clone Jaspers the cat, but since Jaspers was not born through any such stable time loop (at least as far as we've seen), two failed paradox clones were produced.
  • Clown Species: Prototyping the kernel with an item causes all of the denizens of the players' planets to take on the characteristics of that item. When John prototypes his kernel with a harlequin doll, this populates his planet with clown-themed monster mooks. These come in a shapes in sizes but share a clown-like appearance and a propensity for japery and visual gags.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Ironically, Gamzee, who's the nicest of the trolls until he goes insane, probably has the foulest mouth in the entire comic, including some variation of "motherfuck" in almost every sentence.
    • Dave and Karkat both drop F-bombs liberally as well, which naturally makes interactions that they have with each other even more full of these.
    • Jane here.
  • Colony Drop:
    • Jack cuts the chain keeping Prospit's moon in orbit, causing it to plummet towards the massive Battlefield planet nearby, creating a crater that envelops a third of the planet and kills the body one of the four main characters (Jade) controls in her sleep.
    • The meteor set to land on Jade's island is about half the diameter of the moon. So massive, just the crown fire from the blast required to destroy it was enough to wipe off whatever was left of Earth's civilization.
    • In Game Over, Aranea uses telekinesis to crash another planet into the one she was on in an attempt to crush Betty Crocker. The Batterwitch manages to survive Aranea's attempt, and uses her own telekinesis to stop the second planet Aranea threw at her... by throwing another planet into that one.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Most of the characters have a corresponding color assigned to them.
    • In Doc Scratch's case, it's more like Color Coded For Your Inconvenience - his text is in all white, forcing readers and characters alike to highlight it in order to read it easily. The annoyance of this is repeatedly lampshaded.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience The zodiac signs on the troll's shirts (along with their text color) match the color of their blood, with the exception of Karkat.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: Hoo boy. The alchemy system ostensibly allows any object to be combined with any other object to create a new one, and there's at least two methods of combination (perhaps as many as there are logical operators). As lampshaded here, the number of possible objects (over 280 trillion) suddenly doesn't seem so big when you realize that it's supposed to allow any possible object, excluding "key" items like Sburb discs.
    • Although since the game controls time, it's entirely possible that it knows everything the players will try to make, meaning it only has to prepare for a few hundred combinations.
    • Of course, then we learn about the Intellibeam Laserstation, and that there are apparently codes unreadable by players. Meaning that the vast majority of objects not used commonly by players could simply be laserstation captcha codes, which for all we know have additional characters not seen in normal codes and perhaps not even percievable to anything but the Laserstation, i.e. the Sburb disc or a pumpkin, for some reason.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For all the timespace shenanigans, alien monsters, mystical elements, and other weirdness of Homestuck, Hussie has said repeatedly that this is the true central theme of the comic.
    It's hard.
    Being a kid and growing up.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • The trolls live in a brutally Social Darwinist Crapsack World where, had SGRUB not taken place and destroyed the planet, most of them would've probably been culled for being disabled (Terezi and Tavros) or low-blooded mutants (Karkat). Daylight brings rainbow (blood)-drinkers, the undead, while they sleep in a tub of tranquilizers to make sure they don't get intensely brutal nightmares of blood and carnage. And this was all directly caused by a devil figure living on an unnatural moon.
    • In "[S] Jade Wake Up", Jade meets Feferi and they both meet the Noble Circle of Horrorterrors. Jade is disturbed while Feferi thinks they're nothing to be scared of since the creature that is effectively her foster mother was an Eldritch Abomination too.
  • Continuity Nod: You notice there aren't any examples of Continuity Nod on the trope page. "Outrageous," you yourself independently think, "Homestuck loves continuity than I love my wife!" First of all, "ex-wife", and second of all, reading every single pointless self-reference in Homestuck is a task only someone with extreme determination and unemployment could undergo.

    You were made for this.
    > Nod to established continuity.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The Land Of Heat And Clockwork. Not only is the entire place running with magma but the only platforms appear to be metal gears, which would either melt, or conduct the heat right to the people on them (Conduction Shmonduction?). Justified, as the game wouldn't want to make itself unbeatable by killing all the players that touch one of the planets.
  • Cool Mask: Jake and Dirk sport gas masks to protect themselves from the seemingly toxic atmosphere on Dirk's planet in the Act 6: Act 4 flash.
  • Corrupted Data:
    • Partway through act 5, the Homestuck game disc gets a nasty scratch, so the next several pages are marred by visual glitches and corrupted text. Eventually it causes the story to freeze just before a climactic fight, so the reader takes the disc to Doc Scratch to fix it.
    • In Act 6 Act 6, when the story switches from discs to console cartridges, the cartridge in question is jammed with special stardust and candy corn, producing similar effects.
  • Cosmic Flaw: It's revealed that the creation of our universe was rushed and mishandled (they were on the clock and one of the people who were supposed to do it didn't want to), and as a result, it has cancer, which apparently comes in the form of Physical God Big Bad Jack Noir.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: While it had elements of this for a while, it becomes a pretty major part of the story as of [S] Jade: Wake up. Warning: may cause gibbering.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Even though it's stated that the protagonists are unnamed until their thirteenth birthday, flashbacks seem to indicate that a character's name is applied retroactively.
    • The Scratch also functions as this, changing some of the parameters and resetting the universe itself from an earlier state.
    • In a more true to the sense of the trope, when John touches the Weapon in Act 6, his arm is shown in many panels from previous parts of the story. All the panels were edited to show his arm in the original panel, adding a retroactive Chekhov's Gun for future readers.
      • As John begins to alter the past further, new choices appear in old pages. These new choices are protected by a password system, so that new readers can't just skip ahead.
  • Cosplay: Invoked for shenanigans by Vriska and Tavros. This seems to be something of a theme for Vriska, as she later takes issue with John's peppy green outfit, and smoothly pressures him into cosplaying as her. Later we find out Terezi has her own set too.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Except, in this case, Vriska uses Mind Control to make someone else write a message in her blood, since she's not telepathic. They get in an argument, and the color being used starts to change.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Beforus (a.k.a. Pre-Scratch Alternia), going by what Kankri and Aranea say.
  • Crapsack World: Every planet other than Earth, and it gets worse after the players enter too.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Common buckets are, due to how Trolls reproduce, basically akin to porn stashes in Alternian culture, and leaving one exposed is a major faux pas.
  • Creation Myth: This is one of things Homestuck was supposed to be from the start. Universes are created when people play Sburb/Sgrub, and the new universe is based on the players and their actions. The trolls "created" our universe, and the constellations of the Zodiac represent them, not the other way around.
  • Creator's Apathy: In-Universe. Vriska's bizarre "Pupa Pan" cosplay runs into its own Fridge Logic when she wonders why he would need to teach a fairy to fly. This is because a) she is confusing Tinkerbell with Wendy and b) she just didn't care.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: Snowman's leifmotif Three in the Morning is a cool jazz motif that enhances her sophistication and ominousness as a villain.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: Subverted. Karkat thinks he's going to have to apologize to Vriska in order to get her to join the Red Team. When he finds out that Vriska's been kicked off the Blue Team, he instantly rescinds his apology, and apologizes to himself for even making it in the first place.
  • Crutch Character: Time players seem to be this for their group: they are able to Time Travel and sense changes in the timeline before they ascend to God Tier, whereas everyone else's powers are locked off, or at least harder to use, until they die on their Quest Bed. All of the Heroes of Time shown so far have been incredibly badass, Dave and Aradia especially, backing this up.
    • The sprites serve this purpose as well. When the first player enters the medium, the sprite can both heal them and blast the underlings attacing them, in addition to being Mr. Exposition. However, they can't initially leave their house, so their help is limited to getting through the first gate.
    • Space players are an example as well, being the ones crucial to the creation of the new universe; they are tasked with spawning the Genesis Frog.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The Trolls' refusal to be helpful or coherent at all (even to past versions of themselves) tends to result in Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
  • Culture Justifies Anything: Vriska's defense for killing Tavros and feeding all those young trolls to her lusus.
    • Caliborn uses this to argue that Jane shouldn't be offended when he insults her, because his species expresses attraction through hate instead of love.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Very few fights in the series are even. Most result in one side getting beaten rather badly rather quickly.
    • One of the few subversions of this can be seen on the first flash segment after the end of the gigapause, in which, in between all the other stuff happening on LOFAF, there's also the fight between John and Caliborn, which goes back and forth, until the end in which John gains the upper hand shortly before being teleported away by his canon defying powers.
  • Curse Cut Short: There's a Running Gag where each player character has an insult appear in the text box where their real name is supposed to go, only for them to get upset and have it changed. When Dave Strider gets introduced, "Insufferable Prick" gets typed halfway in the box, only for Dave to scowl and cut the box with a shitty katana.
    • Karkat Vantas does the same in his introduction, thus removing the gag from it's invocation with all the other beta trolls.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Jack Noir finally gets tired of Dad's busy fists. "Here, (flicks switchblade) stick this in your pipe and bleed to death slowly."
    • Spades Slick casing an all-green mansion belonging to Lord English. He looks forward to "painting this ugly house red with the blood of those miserable green motherfuckers."
    • If anyone tried to steal Boxcars' set of wax lips, he "would eat their eyeballs and deliver an angry lecture into their empty sockets."
    • Later in the story, when Hearts Boxcars tries to command Tavros to get up and kiss Vriska (unaware of his disability), he threatens him among other things to rip his horns off and put 'em through his eyes.
  • Cute Kitten: Refuse to acknowledge the absurd kitten.
    • You fail miserably.
  • Cute Monster Character: Most of the trolls count, especially Tavros, Nepeta, and Kanaya. The exception would be Equius.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Many, most notably the one between Vriska and Terezi, which led to 4 of the trolls being crippled or worse by the end of it.

    D 
  • Darkest Hour:
    • On the meteor with the trolls, they all reach this once Eridan, Vriska, and especially Gamzee start flipping their shit.
    • For the Kids' session of the Beta, just prior to Cascade, where Dave and Rose are set to die destroying the Green Sun, Jade is dead and there's still no plan to save everyone left from the Scratch.
    • The darkest hour of the comic as whole comes in the aftermath of [S] GAME OVER: Only two protagonists are left alive, the Medium is littered with the planetary debris, the session is glitched beyond any recognition and winning Sburb has become impossible.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Post-Scratch Kids' session looks a lot more grim than the others, with all the worlds having a post-apocalyptic vibe (with all of the consorts long-dead) and populated by Dem Bones versions of enemies.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In every session, roughly half the players' dream selves live on Derse, most of whom are unambiguously good (Feferi and Nepeta being two prime examples). The Horrorterrors as well, who don't seem to be as malevolent as suggested.
  • The Day the Music Lied:
    • John and Rose find Noir by their dead parents bodies, take out their weapons, a big Round 1 appears on the top of the screen, suitably awesome music starts to play - only to stop when Noir stabs John through the chest. Again.
    • A later update begins as a Call-Back to Jack's ascension by playing "Black"...and then Draconian Dignitary makes a Record Needle Scratch, abruptly ending the flash.
    • "Dirk: Synchronize" ends abruptly when Dirk cuts off his own head. Subverted when "Dirk: Unite" picks up where it left off.
    • The Colors and Mayhem: Universe A song "Gold Pilot", supposedly a theme for the Psiionic (Sollux's ancestor), is used in the Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1 flash, which does not include any mention of any of the three Captors.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart:
    • It features a ridiculous amount of dead alternate selves for nearly every character that has been introduced so far. This is due to the rules that characterise SBURB: the only successful way to beat the game is following the so-called "alpha timeline", and the game will eventually punish whoever makes a choice that is different from what's predetermined in the alpha timeline, thus generating a "doomed" timeline in which failure is the only option. Dead alternate selves are also an important part of the plot, as players have access to where they reside in the afterlife, the "dream bubbles", through various means and they usually aid the players and at times even influence the plot in a significant way.
    • Other than doomed selves, one could also consider guardians to be actually alternate selves, since they are the same characters but with their roles switched (for instance, grandfather and grandson, or ancestor and descendant, or even older and younger bro). And guess what, "alternate me is dead" is true for each and every one of their kids version. In every universe so far.
    • Being a Time player, Dave has the power to go back and forth in time. When the Draconian Dignitary steals his copies of Rose's Journals from his room, he considers the idea to go back in time and stop the thief, only to discard the idea after noticing the corpse of his doomed timeline self lying on the floor of his very room, proof that he has actually already tried that.
  • Deader Than Dead:
    • There are varying levels of Deader Than Dead. A player can die once normally and revive as their dreamself. If a god-tier player dies a just or heroic death they lose their immortality.
    • Lord English demonstrates that even in Homestuck, the worst kind of Deader Than Dead, the Cessation of Existence, IS possible, and that not even those in the afterlife are safe.
      • Those caught in a Scratch have the same fate; Meenah managed to avoid this for her team via Loophole Abuse.
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: Vriska messages John, telling him they'll talk more when they actually meet up in person, right before Terezi confronts and kills her.
  • Death and the Maiden: Deconstructed. Lord English, the monstrous skeletal being who is known as the apocalypse-bringer and lord of the angels of death, always has a beautiful woman as his chief enforcer. It's made clear however, that both of the ones we see loath him and what he uses them for, and it's implied that the reason he chooses beautiful women to serve him in destroying reality is because an incestious complex stemming from his murder of his sister.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: Watching the flowers on Jasper's casket slowly decay is certainly sad.
  • Death Is Cheap: Boy howdy is it ever. Between alternate selves, Resurrective Immortality, and potent healers, the main characters do not stay dead for long. Most ways of coming back to life have costs or limitations, but they include:
    • If they die in the real world while their dream self is still alive, any player can be revived once by a kiss.
    • If your dream self dies while your real-world self is still alive, you just wake up and continue, dream-self-less.
    • Dying on your Quest Bed in the real world while your dream-self is still alive revives you as a God Tier automatically.
    • Dying as your dream self while on the Quest Bed sarcophagus in the center of your respective moon (even if only one version of you remains) not only revives you but makes you a God Tier.
    • Time travel allows deaths to be reversed, although it tends to create doomed timelines; and any duplicates created by unstable time loops are doomed. There's ways around this, though, like prototyping yourself, and methods of time travel apparently exist which bypass these restrictions entirely.
    • Prototyping any corpse resurrects them as a sprite.
    • Any God Tier automatically resurrects if their death was neither just nor heroic.
    • A God Tier Maid of Life can resurrect any given person once with no other (known) limitations.
    • Felt member Die carries a voodoo doll that lets anyone who has it shift to a timeline where given people are alive or dead by adding or removing pins, though it's (apparently) limited to affecting people it has pins for.
    • It's also possible to produce clones or alternate versions by various means (including scratching a session to hard-reset it), but these aren't the same people as the original. Any of the core 'session' characters (like the respective kings and queens, or their underlings like Jack Noir) is guaranteed to continuously reappear in new copies like this as long as the game is still played anywhere.
    • Even if all other methods fail and someone actually stays dead, they continue to exist as a ghost who can interact with the living under a wide variety of situations (and can often use telekinesis or robots to affect the physical world directly.) And only one character (the Big Bad) is capable of killing ghosts permanently. When he does, most people have massive numbers of alternative ghosts on account of dying in different timelines.
      • Of course, the true cost of being in the bubbles is becoming Static Character and losing the possibility of growth (only (Vriska) and Tavros have managed to greatly change).
    • The Ring of Life can bring any ghost who wears it back to life.
  • Death of a Child:
  • Death World:
    • Alternia. HEINOUS BROODS OF THE UNDEAD rise during the day to feast on the living, terrible MUSCLEBEASTS roam at night, and the Alternian sun is invariably described as "blistering", to the point that it permanently blinded Terezi after mere seconds of staring into it, driving most trolls to nocturnal behavior out of sheer necessity.
    • Eridan turned his planet, Land of Wrath and Angels, into one when he started to kill the consorts there to the point where they started to go berserk. Even the most powerful troll players don't want to go there.
    • Dirk's Land of Tombs and Krypton, aside from being populated with particularly large skeletal minions, has a poisonous atmosphere.
    • Earth after The Reckoning. After getting bombarded with thousands of meteors, and a World-Wrecking Wave of First Guardian Power, Earth has turned into an irradiated, scorched wasteland with just some Exiles scraping by among the ashes of human civilization. Oh, and the oceans have evaporated. And the fact that it doesn't rain constantly means the planet is still hot enough to keep them in steam form.
    • Post-Scratch Earth in 2422. Having suffered an Alien Invasion, a worldwide genocide seeing billions of people dead, mass import of Alien Animals, several horribly failed attempts of the invaders to alter humanity's biology, and the resulting ecological catastrophe, Earth has turned into a deserted waterworld only populated by floating colonies of starving Exiles, a total amount of two humans, and enormous hordes of Imperial Drones swarming over the sky, killing anything that moves.
  • Decapitation Presentation:
    • Dave presents Bro with the severed head of one of his puppets during their fight.
    • Gamzee constructs a mock jury consisting of the severed heads of Nepeta, Eridan, Equius, and Feferi, with himself as the judge, during the showdown between Vriska and Terezi.
    • After cutting off the head of the Hegemonic Brute, Dirk impales it on a pike in a public place to let the Dersite leadership know he's awake and dangerous.
      THE PRINCE IS AWAKE.
      YOUR SHIT IS WRECKED.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: A couple of years after Dave German-suplex'd Karkat into a table (and made him doodle a bunch of human dicks), the two of them are close friends.
  • Déjà Vu: This is a telltale symptom of entering a Dreambubble. The sense of Dejá Vu only increases until the dreamer realizes that they were merely recalling a memory.
  • Dem Bones: All the enemies in the post-scratch kids' void session are skeletal versions of normal enemies, reflecting the fact their session cannot produce a new universe like other ones and is for all intents and purposes, void.
  • Demonic Spiders: Angels once Eridan pissed them off. Fast, angry, and takes a full minute of sustained firepower from a legendary weapon just to kill one. There are thousands.invoked
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Wayward Vagabond is the most pronounced example; WV is the central focus of Act 2 and continues to be plot critical throughout the next three acts, even if he begins to fall Out of Focus with the expanding cast. Come Act 6, WV's thoughts and dialogue are entirely off-panel and he does nothing until the last five pages of the comic.
    • Equius, Eridan, and Feferi have an acceptable amount of spotlight during Act 5 Act 1, and Tavros but all of them were killed off midway through Act 5 and have been left to mull around the afterlife.
    • Tavros and Vriska have vowed to fight their demotion to extra, in not so meta words.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Here, "A big gust of wind conveniently comes along and blows out all the fire. It is really convenient."
    • Once John & Jade learn the "gift of gab," we're treated to our first Dialoglog, a log for dialogue.
    • Referencing a gag from Problem Sleuth, the Dignitary shows off his lack of imagination by using the same figurative image twice in a row.
    • "The SPRITE finds the DISTRACTING MANNER in which you FLAIL ABOUT to be rather DISTRACTING."
  • Developers' Foresight: Subverted. Sburb has lots of errors and is incredibly easy to be set Off the Rails. Most sessions are Null for just this reason.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Really there are a lot of these. Justified perhaps in that You Can't Fight Fate, but just for example:
    • Jack Noir emerges from the Lotus time capsule at precisely the correct moment to dismantle WQ's plans; which also only fell apart because WV hit the caps lock button at the wrong moment.
    • Bec's prototyping and Jade's entering the medium, both happen at the exact worst possible time. Even a few seconds later and Jack Noir might have been dead, sparing the entire known universe from destruction. Justified because Vriska was actively trying to bring it about, of course, and because any timeline where it didn't happen exactly right was doomed.
  • Difficulty Spike: After Becquerel prototyped himself to save Jade, which gave some of the Imps (and the Big Bad) Bec's Teleport Spam and immunity to bullets.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Equius punches a robot through a wall for "judging" him. The robot's head falls and activates the Catentative Doomsday Dice Cascader... which fails... but becomes dislodged and causes a piece of Equius' hive to break off and fall, killing his lusus and grievously wounding Vriska's. The whole thing starts here and goes on for about ten pages.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Jade's present, a killer robot made from the Con Air rabbit with miniaturized versions of extremely powerful weapons, intended to be received by John way before he (or any other player) would have been able to make the big versions legitimately. It wound up in the wrong hands and caused a lot of trouble first.
    • Vriska and Eridan both had the most powerful examples of their respective kind abstrata before they even started Sgrub.
    • Future-Dave, who had been as far as the Fifth Gate, brought Dave and John some cool gear. There's also Rose's Thorns of Oglogoth.
  • Discount Lesbians: For Trolls, sex is unimportant when it comes to romance. It manages to sidestep most of the unfortunate implications from this trope. Troll romance is much more complicated in so many other ways. This is just one area in which it is simpler. It also means Discount Yaoi Guys, meaning a lot of the unfortunate implications are eliminated in one fell swoop.
  • Discovering Your Own Dead Body: Dave discovers the body of an alternate Dave and while he at first acts nonchalant about it and shoves it out a window he stares at his blood covered hands for quite a while after.
  • Discussed Trope: Dave voices his opinion on Arbitrary Skepticism and Not Now, Kiddo:
    TG: just once id like to see dad crap his pants when a kid says theres a vampire in his closet
    TG: "OH SHIT EVERYONE IN THE MINIVAN"
    TG: be fuckin dad of the year right there
  • Disney Death:
    • Davesprite was implied to have been killed, but later turned up alive.
    • Spades Slick should presumably have been killed when his universe was destroyed, but he later shows up being nursed back to health in Hussie's apartment.
  • Dissonant Serenity:
    • When Jane is seemingly killed by an explosion, the wind chime music continues playing, though the wind itself goes silent. The flash then cuts to an animation of autumn leaves falling.
    • In [S] Caliborn: Enter, Caliborn has a look of serene bliss on his face as everything around him is sucked up by the kernelsprite. This not long after tearing off his own leg with his teeth.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A fairly mild example in the first meeting between John and Roxy. Roxy asks him to tell her about his adventures so far (i.e., practically the whole comic) but winds up listening to none of it because she's too busy evaluating him as boyfriend material (and liking what she sees).
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: Rose struggling to build an exit before a number of flaming cyclones consume her house.
  • Doing In the Wizard:
    • The reason why pumpkins keep disappearing is finally given an explanation by Roxy that they're specifically unhinged from reality, and easy to teleport.
    • Subverted more broadly. Doc Scratch outright says there's no such thing as magic, but there are things such as gods, sentient concepts, superpowers, and unexplainable technology. Several characters like Aradia, John, and Rose continue to refer to their powers as spells anyways. And Doc Scratch himself teaches the Handmaid time majycks.
    • Zig Zagged Trope: the Arc Words "Magic is real" are brought up many times, and there is a constant back-and-forth as to whether or not they are true, and whether or not it matters.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: From the first Intermission, when Hearts Boxcars and Spades Slick are on walkie-talkies:
    You tell him you asked Deuce for backup but surprise surprise he's nowhere to be found. Big surprise, you tell him. You tell him that was sarcasm. He says he knows.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: The Auto-Responder explicitly tells Jane and Jake not to use those transportalisers. They don't listen and arrive on Derse, which is about to be destroyed by the Red Miles.
    Dirk: And what in the name of Jesus H. Dick is SHE doing here!?
    AR: I am blameless in this debacle.
  • Doorstopper: The comic itself is currently > 800k words long, which makes it longer than many translations of the Bible — and that's not even counting the fact that it's actually a multimedia work encompassing > 7k comic panels, > 3 hours of Flash animation, hours' worth of Flash and HTML5 minigames, etc.
  • Double Entendre: Hearts Boxcars delivers a great string of these while drooling over his Porn Stash during the Intermission:
    The saucy imagery is hard to beat. Harder than what you beat inside your chest now. Your heart is what you're beating.
    You beat it to RED CHEEKS MAGAZINE pretty regularly, you'd say.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: Andrew Hussie tries to shoot Lord English when the latter shows up to kill him, only to realize that he didn't think to reload the "deadly magnum" he lifted off Doc Scratch's body.
    Andrew Hussie: Think it over... WHILE YOU DIE SHIT SHIT SHIT, OH SHIT. FUCK. SHIT SHIT FUCK, I FORGOT.
  • Dramatic Irony
    • During Act 2, when Rose is in danger and needs Dave to get her into the Medium, the story jumps to his point of view... earlier that day. The player commands Dave to get the damn beta and save his friend's life, but he sees no reason to.
    • Kanaya gets a hold of Rose's FAQ. Impressed by the wealth of knowledge, she assumes the person who wrote it succeeded with flying colors, not realizing Rose and her friends nearly lost their game in a single day and earned the scorn of the trolls, including Kanaya.
    • Jane reads the inscription on her Poppop's tome and wonders who about who this "Nanna" of his is, not knowing she is Nanna, at least in an alternate universe.
    • Some humans theorized that Earth's subjugation by Juggalos was an attempt on the part of the Condesce to revive her previous model of governance. Even Dirk thinks that's far-fetched, going so far as to say "Who the fuck ever heard of an alien juggalo?"), not knowing that the most important character in Homestuck is an alien juggalo.
    • Dave assures Karkat that Jade will be happy to see him. The same Jade under mind control right now...
  • Dreams of Flying: Referenced; a Sburb player's "dream body" is naturally able to fly. It's also noted that Tavros Nitram (a big fan of his universe's version of Peter Pan) has fantasized about flying for years. This is one of the reasons why, upon entering Sburb, he spends more time in his dream body than his waking body.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come:
    • Players whose dream-selves are on Prospit can catch glimpses of the future by looking through the clouds of Skaia.
    • Any player whose dream-self is on Derse has The Horrorterrors of the Furthest Ring whisper prophecies of the future to them. A lot of Derse dreamers however (Dave included), find this very creepy, and choose to ignore them.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Every player is messed up in some fashion. Compared to how badly it usually is in narratives centered on teamwork, the B-1 kids actually avert this in their session, which is especially obvious when comparing them to trolls who play this straight. They are good friends, believe each other easily, their joking insults are actually regarded as joking, and even major screw-ups are easily forgiven. Unlike the trolls, they refuse to get entangled in romance issues, focusing on what's actually important instead. It is, however, back in play during the Intermissions of Act 6 before they arrive to the B-2 session, due to severe cases of Cabin Fever. And then subverted again when they arrive: aside from a few Mind Control based problems, they work together surprisingly effectively, easily setting aside their issues.

    E 
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After three in-universe years of hard struggles, turmoil, and deaths, the new universe is successfully created and the surviving heroes are shown happily living in their new home.
  • Earth All Along:
    • Parodied when Calliope's planet is revealed to be covered in shitty jpeg Statues of Liberty.
      You have always had the feeling that whoever used to live on this planet had a really strange sense of humor.
    • Played straight in that Calliope's home is revealed to be the Troll's asteroid base, and later on, it turns out the Cherub planet really is Earth All Along.
  • Easily Forgiven: After a failed attempt at Hello, [Insert Name Here] with Jane, "she is not the sort to hold a grudge, and she will let it slide this time."
  • Easter Egg:
    • Trying to visit the url displayed on this page leads you here, which foreshadows the Midnight Crew intermission between Act 3 and 4. You can also enter Problem Sleuth's office through use of Trickster Mode in the Flash segment that opens Act 2, and there's a hidden page accessible from this page, which shows a somewhat... different side to Rose.
    • You can also play as Dave in John: Enter Village in the mushroom farm.
    • The Trickster Room in the Alterniabound flash. In it, you can make Gamzee play the unfinished version of tons of really cool songs, such as MeGaLoVania and Horschestra.
    • The above and many more can be found on the MSPA wiki entry for Trickster Mode.
    • Try right-clicking and selecting play on this branch-point page and the next three after it. (Sadly the first two in the series have nothing.)
      • Also, this more easily missed than Easter Egg, but the banners starting at this page have alt-text.
      • Starting around that time, you can now use Scratch and SBAHJ mode.
    • This page contains a hidden animation, which can be viewed by itself here
    • Going to the URL on the echeladder in this page sends you here. (It's a redirect to Jake's introduction page.)
    • Another hidden page is accessible from here. It's the sequel to an earlier hidden page.
    • On the character select screens, right-clicking and selecting play twice without mousing over the character buttons will let you see the "panels aren't done yet!" animations.
    • Try clicking the four corner buttons on Dave's sampler on this page, and deselecting them when the four new buttons show up. Clicking the first plays "Harlequin", but the third...
  • E = MC Hammer: E=mc2 backgrounds show up when Eridan uses his "science" wand.
  • Epic Fail: When John hands Wayward Vagabond his dad's wallet, Jade tries to message him. John doesn't respond because he left his only computer in the damn thing. And John's just waving as WV, Liv Tyler [Uber Bunny] and the Courtyard Droll head to Derse while having the most derpy face imaginable.
  • Exponential Plot Delay: It's been heavily telegraphed that the comic will have 7 acts. Act 5 ended up being split into 2 very long parts, the first of which quadrupled the player cast, and Act 6 consists of six sub-acts, five intermissions, seven sub-sub-acts, five sub-act intermissions, and six one-page sub-intermissions.
  • Expospeak Gag: At least when it comes to household fixtures, on Alternia the "normal" names are high-falutin' Blue Blood terminology, whereas the Expospeak ones are low-class slang, e.g. "bath tub" vs. "ablution trap."
  • Extra Lives: Dream Selves, although they serve different purposes if your normal self isn't dead.
  • Extremely Short Timespan:
    • John's session, which spans Act 1 to Act 4 and most of Act 5 Act 2, took place over a day, discounting time shenanigans.
    • The first three acts of Act 6 span a single day, and Act 6 Act 6 takes place on 4/13/12.
    • The hours Jane has been spending brainwashed can be counted on one hand.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In the Midnight Crew intermission, Snowman stabs her cigarette holder into Spades' eye.
    • After Rose enters the Medium, she is accosted by a LIME OGRE, who she stabs in the eyes with her knitting needles. She then uses the yarn attached to the needles in the LIME OGRE's eye sockets as reins.
    • Terezi's eyes burned out after Vriska forced her to stare into the sun.
    • Guy Fieri got an eyeful of sewing needles, courtesy of Roxy's mom.
    • Caliborn makes B2 Jack stab his own eyes out and replace them with Lil Cal's.

    F 
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: A core component to playing Fiduspawn. Fortunately, or unfortunately performed on HOST PLUSHES.
  • Face Palm: A recurring gag.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Dave mistaking the Apocalypse-in-progress for an abnormal heat wave.
      • That was justified by the fact that April in Texas is usually hot as balls anyways.
    • Jake not noticing the crabdad on monster island.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Psyche!" is a bit of a Running Gag.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The opening flash montage of Act 6 cleverly disguises the fact that some of the scenes take place hundreds of years apart.
  • False Start: For the comic itself. At the beginning, Hussie planned Homestuck to be done entirely in flash than how it is now. After three days, he rebooted it to be more gifs than flash, and he lampshades the False Start here.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Many and complex, due to ectobiology and time travel shenanigans.
    • In Universe B1, Dave's adoptive older brother is also his genetic father. John's long dead grandmother was his genetic mother and Dad Egbert is his half-brother (it's not 100% clear that Dad is Nanna's biological son, he could be adopted). Jade's late Grandpa Harley was her genetic father. Only Rose averts the trope, as adoptive parent Mom Lalonde IS ALSO her genetic mother. The switcheroo makes sense for John and Jade, as their ages relative to their guardians would make the genetic relationships sound impossible. It makes a lot less sense for Bro to tell Dave they're siblings, given that Bro's as old as Mom Lalonde, decades older than Dave. Of the four kids, Jade is the only one who might have been aware of the deception before entering SBURB.
    • In Universe B2, Jake was raised by his adopted Grandma Jade, who was his genetic daughter. Roxy refers to her genetic daughter Rose as her mother, and Dirk refers to his genetic son Dave as his older brother. But no one else quite equals the weirdness that is Jane being raised by Dad Crocker, who is certainly John's non-ectobiological son and probably her genetic grandson (we don't know for sure that Dad Crocker wasn't adopted).
  • Fandom:
    • Some of the trolls are nods and parodies of various fandoms and internet subcultures: Kanaya for Twilight; Gamzee for the Insane Clown Posse; Nepeta and Equius for Furries (Terezi to a lesser extent with dragons, though she is mostly enthralled by courtroom dramas); Sollux for hackers; Vriska for LARPers; and possibly Eridan for hipsters and Harry Potter.
    • The Pre-Scratch Ancestors are various types of Tumblr subcultures; for example, Kankri is a social justice blogger and Latula is a gamer... but unfortunately, the former never shuts up and the latter comes off as a Mascot with Attitude.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The trolls' caste system is based on blood color, with the "cool" colors (as in purple, blue, and green, known as "highbloods") at the top and warm colors (yellow, orange/brown, red, known as "lowbloods", or "rust bloods") at the bottom. Trolls can use the color gray (their skin color) as a form of blood-anonymity, but it raises a few eyebrows. Trolls in the low blood castes tend to have psychic powers. The high blood castes tend to be almost completely immune to psychic attacks, but far more prone to mental instability and insanity.
  • Fantastic Racism: Vriska, Equius, and Eridan use their noble blood colors to belittle the other trolls, especially Tavros and Aradia, the two lowest in the entire Caste System.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Each SBURB/SGRUB player has a classpect, comprised of an aspect (their ruling "element" or component of the universe) and a class (the way they relate to their aspect). This determines everything about them: personality, history, interests, role played in SBURB, special abilities, powers, and eventual fate. Some combinations (such as Tavros' Page of Breath) manifest more passively, seemingly nothing more than just character traits while others (such as Jade's Witch of Space, Vriska's Thief of Light, or Dirk's Prince of Heart) have dangerous, aggressively active powers.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Trolls have a lot in common with dictatorial regimes, most especially Sparta.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Time travel, imps, ogres, human cloning, dark magic, aliens, alchemy, parallel universes, astral projection, spaceships, psychic fortune telling, genetic engineering and elder gods from beyond the universe are just some of the things to make an appearance and have a significant effect on the plot.
  • Fauxshadow:
    • Marquise Mindfang's journalog hints at an upcoming fight Subjugglator/Gamzee defeating Orphaner/Eridan and a later fight between Mindfang/Vriska and Redglare/Terezi where Mindfang kills Redglare. It doesn't happen. Kanaya returns from the dead and thrashes all of them while Terezi and Vriska engage in a battle of wits. Terezi wins but allows Vriska to leave to battle Bec Noir... in an alternate timeline. In the alpha timeline Terezi kills Vriska to prevent Bec Noir from finding the trolls, at least for a while.
    • Jake English has been given so many ham-fisted references to Lord English that much of the fandom half-expects that this is going to be a Red Herring. There is also an available canon explanation: Jade was taunting the Condesce by reminding her that she's merely Lord English's underling.
  • Female Gaze: After the B2 kids ascend to god-tier, what's the first thing that both Jade and Jane notice about Jake? His conspicuous lack of pants. The trope even becomes literal when we see Jake's crotch reflected in Jane's glasses.
  • Fetish:
    • When Dave is talking to Terezi, he's contacted by his Exile (which is Aimless Renegade) for the first time. Dave accidentally starts reading what the Exile says to him, which revolves a lot around law-enforcement. Terezi tells Dave that it '1S COM1NG D4NG3ROUSLY CLOS3 TO G1V1NG M3 4 C4S3 OF TH3 V4PORS'.
    • Not soon after Kanaya's introduction it is revealed that she has feelings for Vriska, who doesn't reciprocate. However, after Kanaya awakens as a rainbow-drinker, goes on a violent rampage that involves kicking Gamzee in the groin so hard he flies off the platform, sucker-punching Vriska and sending her flying, and sawing Eridan in half before erotically applying a smeared mix of lipstick and purple blood to her lips... Vriska is suddenly very, very interested.
    • Both Jade's grandpa and Jake English (who are genetically the same person) have a thing for GALS OF CERULEAN COMPLEXION.
  • Filler: Most of OpenBound counts as this - it introduces a number of characters that have little impact on the plot for no other purpose than to carry out a Fandom Nod, while a few bits of plot-important information are sprinkled throughout the dozens of conversations that occur. However, it does allow for Meenah to get a bit of character focus.
  • Final Boss: The Black King is this within Sburb, being the final obstacle the players have to overcome before being granted entry into the newly created universe. Having usurped Derse's monarchy, Her Imperious Condescension and Jack Noir ultimately end up being the final opponents Sburb throws at the Kids.
    • [S]Collide is basically this for all the heroes, with them splitting up to fight the villains. Due to all the superpowers being thrown around, the exact combatants shuffle around but in general:
      • John, Rose, Kanaya and Roxy face off against Her Imperious Condescension to foil her plans for the new universe once and for all.
      • Dave, Dirk and Terezi fight against both the Lord English-infused Jack Noir and the robotized Spades Slick in a hectic Mêlée à Trois.
      • Jake fights against near the entirety of the Felt (except Clover who fights Karkat, and Cans who fights Dad Crocker and Arquiusprite).
      • PM and Bec Noir finally decide to settle the score and fight for ownership of both their rings.
      • Caliborn fights against Yaldabaoth in order to complete his session.
      • The ghost armies fight against Lord English in order to Hold the Line long enough for Vriska to unleash the secret weapon.
      • Vriska fights against Hussie because he wants to kill the cast.
  • First Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics: With the introduction of the trolls, the mass of the cast exploded exponentially while the energy of the story hobbled (which naturally contributed to their Scrappiness.) Conversely, the pace raced ahead when bodies began dropping.
  • Flaming Meteor: Meteors look like normal asteroids when floating in the Veil, but as soon as they're summoned to various locations, they become flaming rocks. Since players can breathe in space, it's safe to assume the Medium got oxygen, allowing the meteors to look cool despite rock and ice being inflammable.
  • Flanderization:
    • Quite a few of the pre-Scratch trolls are exaggerated versions of their post-Scratch counterparts (like Nepeta's shipping and Eridan's Jerkass nice guy tendencies). This (along with all the Tumblr and Image Board Take Thats) is eventually lampshaded by Karkat when he talks about them seeming more like caricatures than actual people.
    • WV and his desire to become a Mayor utterly consumes his personality. While he played a part in rebuilding civilization with a full real-life Can Town in Act 7, we never get to follow his perspective after [S] Cascade, and as a result all of the development and dimension he used to have as an ex-revolutionary traumatized by the loss of his army and dreading what he may become in the future gets utterly forgotten. He's nothing more than "that cute mayor guy that Dave loves so much" for the entirety of the rest of the comic.
  • Flat "What": Often; this gem stands out:
    KARKAT: WHAT HAPPENED TO VRISKA? WHY IS SHE PASSED OUT ON THE FUCKING FLOOR?!
    JOHN: because i punched her in the face.
    KARKAT: WHAT
    JADE: oh yeah by the way dave...
    JADE: youre a pretty good kisser!
    JADE: even when youve got cat lips ;)
    DAVE: WHAT
  • Flashback: The story often shifts back to show earlier events from different characters' views.
  • Flying Car: Well, it's really just an ordinary car that John is "flying" with his wind powers.
  • Flying Cutlery Spaceship: Her Imperious Condescension, the supreme ruler of the trolls, has a starship shaped like the prongs of a trident. The resemblance is deliberate, because she also uses a trident as her weapon of choice.
  • Foil: The Post-Scratch trolls are a bunch of assholes or otherwise dysfunctional people. Despite this, most of them have a heart of gold or get Character Development of some kind, showing that they're good people deep down. Their Pre-Scratch dancestors (especially Aranea) put on a show of being more well put together, nicer, and more skilled than the Post-Scratch trolls. However conversations with them and their actions later reveal that most of them are actually sociopaths or even more horribly dysfunctional than their descendants.
  • For Want of a Nail: It's quite common for apparently innocuous actions to be the root cause of truly massive consequences. Especially notable is the chain of events starting with Gamzee placing a harlequin doll in John's bedroom on Derse, which ultimately leads to Jack Noir destroying the Kids' universe. To clarify: the doll placed by Gamzee haunts John's dreams, causing his (and Dad's) obsession with harlequins; this leads to John's kernelsprite being prototyped with a harlequin, which causes the Black Queen to enforce a harlequin dress code in Derse; this causes Jack to go (even more) crazy, kill the Queen and steal her ring, which gives him enough power (after Bec's prototyping) do destroy an entire universe; which he promptly does.
  • Forced Meme: Caliborn is determined to make "you can't escape the miles" into a "thing". Amusingly, the fact that Draconion Dignitary uses it in Act 6 implies that in-universe he actually succeeded.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • In Act 5, Sollux prophesies that all the trolls will die. Complacency of the Learned supports this. Shortly after [S] Game Over, Terezi dies and leaves no trolls left with the rest of the heroes. (Aradia is alive, but spends most of her time in the dream bubbles with other ghosts, and is physically very far away from the rest of the cast). This quickly becomes subverted by John, who changes the narrative so all the trolls but two are alive in some form.
    • A whole bunch of other stuff is inevitable due to stable time loops.
    • Subverted in some regards where Mr. Expositions have blind spots. For example, 
  • Foreshadowing: Too many examples to list. "Retroactive Foreshadowing" is a common occurrence in this story as well, where the author re-interprets past events as foreshadowing of present events. The comic is so foreshadowing-heavy that when the MSPA website went down due to Hurricane Sandy, fans began claiming that it was foreshadowed by Rose's similar issues way back in Act 2. Seriously.
    • Dirk referred to the label "gay" as "antediluvian". Later it was revealed that he lived in a flooded future Earth.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Between the Loads and Loads of Characters and Anachronic Order, cliffhangers tend to accumulate rather quickly.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: Jade turns it off. ...oh, wait.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Lord English gets into Andrew Hussie's home in the during the second Act 6 Intermission and kills his own author.
  • Freudian Slip:
    • Karkat, while talking with John about Jade, accidentally says "making out with herself to be" rather than "making herself out to be". His earlier Imagine Spot of Jade making out with her self-prototyped avatar probably has something to do with it. He follows this up with the even-more-awkward "get herself off" instead of "let herself off [the hook]".
    • Later, Dave does this as well, combining it with Shutting Up Now, when he calls Jane "johns hot mom" instead of "johns evil mom".
  • Freud Was Right:
    TG: i just want your professional take on how many things in my dream symbolize dicks
    TT: We've already established that all of your dreams are packed with enough homoerotic symbolism to lift Freudian theory from the ashes of discreditation.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • Discussed in this conversation. invoked, and this one.
    • A popular series of threads on the forum dedicated to fridge-based revelations are the "Obvious Things You Missed" threads, currently on the eighth thread.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Trolls don't have funerals, so when Aradia hears of them, she thinks of them as a "human corpse party" and is eager to try them out.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Land Of Little Cubes And Tea, Nepeta's planet.
    • When Karkat sets up his bulletin board using Trollian, those communicating from the past have a "P" preceding their abbreviated trolltag, and those communicating from the future have an "F". So when future Vriska (arachnidsGrip) responds to one of Karkat's memos...
    CCG: LATER, FAG.
    CCG: TOO BAD THE ACRONYM WASN'T "HAG" INSTEAD, IT WOULD HAVE SUITED YOU MUCH BETTER.
    CCG: INSTEAD OF THAT NONSENSE WORD
    CCG: MAYBE ITS ASSOCIATION WITH YOU WILL COLLOQUIALLY CAUSE IT TO TAKE ON A NEGATIVE CONNOTATION, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  • Funetik Aksent: All of the typing quirks are exactly indicative of how people talk. More abstract ones come across as accents, while ones that are loose on punctuation and capitalization are Motor Mouth mumbling.
  • Funny Background Event: More or less the point of the site-layout change during Scratch's narration, but pay particular attention after he pulls the fire alarm: Matchsticks turns up with a fire extinguisher, and way to the right, Spades Slick's hand is reaching back to steal more liquorice terriers. *GRAB*
  • Funny Octopus:
    • The Squiddles, adorable octopuses that star in a disgustingly cutesy cartoon. They're actually humanity's subconscious representation of the Horrorterrors, which take this trope and kick it all the way over to the "bizarrely and terrifyingly alien" side instead.
    • Also, Feferi's cuttlefish.
      You capture and cage CUTTLEFISH by the thousands for their own good, and also because they are funny and colorful and you love them. They often swim through the bars of their cages, but that is fine.
  • Fusion Dance: Gamzee tossed Vriska and Tavros' bodies into Jane's kernelsprite and created "Tavrisprite", a being so unstable it was barely able to say how much it "h8tes" itself before exploding. Gamzee later throws Sollux and Eridan's bodies into Jake's kernelsprite, Feferi and Nepeta's bodies into Roxy's sprite, and finally Dirk's AR and Equius's body into Dirk's kernelsprite. All of these end up being wiped from existence after John's retcon with the exception of Arquiusprite, who Vriska decides to recreate.
    • Much later, Rosesprite and Jaspersprite become Jasprosesprite^2 while Davesprite and Nepetasprite become Davepetasprite^2.
  • Futureshadowing: Too many times to list. For example, Dave and Jade are introduced at around the same in-universe time as John, so while they're catching up with the "Present" their pesterlogs foreshadow things that they'll eventually get into. A simple example: Dave messaged John about finding some Apple Juice, so we eventually see him find the Apple Juice when he becomes playable and then pesters John about it.
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    G 
  • Gainax Ending: Act 7 gets accused of being this. This is because it's a largely symbolic animated sequence that ultimately shows the consequences of the journey at large as opposed to tying up every loose end, and as such, it comes across as a bit jarring given the sheer amount of exposition that occurred in the entirety of Act 6 to build up to the sequence. It's actually been compared to the Trope Namer in this regard. However, a credits sequence was added that either cleared or acknowledged some loose ends, and an epilogue is still being made.
  • Gambit Pileup: Several plot lines are presented as this, but they ultimately all are puppet gambits or results from the machinations of Lord English or Paradox Space.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Every time Dave fails to resist the urge to play his Bro's Xbox, he gets caught in a clipping glitOH GOD DAMMIT!
    • Sessions marked for a visit by Lord English suffer from a glitch where the pre-Scratch players' ectobiology clones are created by the post-Scratch players. Such sessions are disastrously Unwinnable.
  • The Game Plays You: A textbook example, in that Immersive Simulation apparently means that machines appear in your house and that you get sent to the Medium.
    • The game's NPC's, Agents and Exiles, take some degrees of control over players.
  • Gaslighting: John accuses Rose of this when we discover what his room really looks like... and Bro does this with Lil' Cal to make Dave (and the readers) think he was actually alive.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: All cast groups save the Felt and Midnight Crew are split equally along gender lines.
  • Genre-Busting: Equal parts comic, novel, game, animation, and more.
  • Genre Savvy: Most characters are varying levels of Genre Savvy or Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Genre Shift: Hivebent had elements of Teen Drama, and the Darkest Hour on the Troll's asteroid has elements of a Slasher Movie. Also, Homestuck has gradually gotten darker in tone from act to act.
  • Geodesic Cast: Homestuck turns it Up to Eleven with four kid protagonists, four other kids protagonists, four corresponding guardians, four other corresponding guardians four exiles, four sprites, and yes, four other sprites. And then there's twelve trolls, who turned out not to be counterparts at all- but they also each have a corresponding lusus and exile along with a counterpart from another group of trolls... and some of their exiles are alternate universe characters from the kids' session.
    • Also, four of the trolls took a role as a "patron" for each of the kids. Vriska is John's, Terezi is Dave's, Kanaya is Rose's, and apparently Karkat is Jade's.
  • Giant Mook: The Crude Ogres are giant versions of the Shale Imps, and the Copper Giclops is even bigger.
    • Some of the Trolls' enemies dwarf them easily, after Feferi Prototypes with an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • Dave claims "i dont cry" in a flashback. The next panel switches to the present day... and he's crying in a cauldron of onions.
    • A particularly cruel text version marks Fedora Freak's final moments.
    fedorafreak: donned tall pant.
    fedorafreak: confidence in martial prowess perplexingly swells.
    fedorafreak: venturing out; powering down gray, serviceable hand-held computing device to preserve battery.
    fedorafreak: additional updates to be submitted in a frank and forthright manner for judicious appraisal within a reasonable timeframe.
    fedorafreak: tia for patience.
    fedorafreak: turning on hand-held device for brief report.
    fedorafreak: severe injury sustained in skirmish with undersized, sportive rascal.
    fedorafreak: tall pant unremarkable in protective utility. damaged; badly bloodied.
  • Goddamned Bats: invokedIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMPS!!!!!
  • Godwin's Law: Apropos the Condesce's world takeover and humans being herded into aquatic slums. Jake quips about "Sea Hitler".
  • Godzilla Threshold: By the end of Act 5, the threat of Bec Noir is so severe that Rose and Dave are both willing to take part in a suicide mission to destroy the Green Sun, even though both of them have already used up their dream self resurrections, meaning that (as far as they know) there's no coming back from this mission. Rose also knows that killing Doc Scratch (the goal of blowing up the Sun) would unleash his master Lord English, but is willing to risk it on the grounds that Jack is the more immediate threat.
    • On a less cosmic scale, Roxy calls Her Imperial Condescension and asks to be put back in prison in the face of the spectre of the virus that is Trickster Mode. (She gets rebuffed.)
  • The Goggles Do Nothing: Referenced by name in A6I3 by Meenah's hash-tags, in reference to Kanaya's bright glow. With a fish pun, of course.
  • Good Bad Bugs: invoked "Blue Slimer", where GIF compression sometimes turns the Slimer on John's shirt blue. This became a minor meme, even appearing on Jade's shirt, before being forgotten.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Terezi, here.
    • Also seen here, when John is ironing his pants. Though they appear to only be green blobs, they are presumably green slime ghosts.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The last few sessions of the SBURB haven't been going well at all: Beforus' trolls didn't finish and had to scratch their game; Alternia's trolls didn't become the gods of the new universe and gave it cancer; Earth's Beta kids had to scratch their game; Earth's B2 kids game is "void" and won't produce a new universe, and because Caliborn killed Calliope's dreamself (not only making a solo session but dooming him to being an "emotionally stunted little tool" forever) the Cherub's game is "dead".
  • Gone Horribly Right: Beforus' trolls were too weak and distracted with teen drama to finish the game and had to scratch their session, so Doc Scratch ensured that the new players would be aggressive enough to finish; Alternia's trolls then bulldozed their way through the game and ignored its finer points.
  • Gonna Need More X: "You're going to need a bigger safe.", and "We're going to need more wands."
  • Gorn: Act 5 brings lots and lots of blood. Most of it in weird colors.
  • Grand Finale: Act 6 Act 6, to Act 6 and Homestuck as a whole
  • The Great Flood: Future Post-Scratch Earth evokes this.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: The doomed version of Calliope is essentially the Good Counterpart of Lord English, with a passive obedience to the greater good replacing English's unending selfishness.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Lord English, the biggest bad (in both size and threat) of them all. He empowers Doc Scratch and the Condesce, enabling them to terrorize Alternia and ensure the failure of the Kids' session, in order to secure his existence. Lord English never tackles the Kids head on and is only dealt with after the final battle has already been won by the heroes.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Boxcars tries to distract Cans by throwing Eggs' severed torso. It doesn't work.
  • Grim Reaper: Discussed by Terezi and Dave.
  • Groin Attack:
  • Grounded Forever: After Jane blows up trying to get the mail, her dad sics this on her.
  • Guardian Entity: Becquerel acts as this for Jade.
  • Guide Dang It!: invoked All players in a session must prototype their respective Kernelsprites at least once before entering the Medium; failure to do so renders the game Unwinnable. The game comes with no documentation, and there is no guarantee the players will figure out that "prototyping" is even a thing they can do, let alone a thing they must do within a certain timeframe. The Kids only realized this after their session was nearly complete.
    • It's worse than that. After realizing the sprite will help you on your quest, the logical thing would be to throw the most powerful thing/person you know in there, right? Wrong. All the enemies get stronger with your prototyping and if you used something powerful (like Becquerel or Feferi's lusus), you are screwed. Worst of all, there's absolutely no way to know any of this until it's too late, so the logical sequence of events is for kids to prototype really powerful things early on (before they realize it's empowering their enemies), then completely halt prototyping altogether for people who join later (after they realize it's empowering their enemies, and without realizing that if anyone skips a pre-entry prototyping, the game is immediately Unwinnable.)
    • In-setting, the Trolls were lucky enough to have access to the guide written by Rose via Timey-Wimey Ball shenanigans.
    • When you get your first Cruxite dowel, a countdown starts, which you may notice is associated with the meteor about to destroy your house. If you assume that getting the dowel summons the meteor, you may want to tell your other players to hold off on that part to buy them some time. Except the meteor is coming no matter what, and by putting it off, you are just shortening the window of opportunity to get through it.

    H 
  • Hailfire Peaks: Pretty much every land is some combination of two stock video game settings, expressed as "Land of X and Y." All lands have ruins as well.
  • Hair-Trigger Explosive: Unsuccessfully invoked in the Midnight Crew intermission by Clubs Deuce, who once wears a lump of C4 on his head before charging with his cane (apparently made from bovine attribute skin) in hand:
    Stitch says drop the livestock knob and settle the hell down. He says you do realize C4 is a stable explosive and won't detonate with gunfire, right? You say oh.
  • Hammerspace: The Sylladex can can hold some enormous things without weighing down the owner. However, there's a limit to the number of things it can hold, and managing it can be frustrating.
  • Hanlon's Razor: Played for laughs during the Intermission when Fin is aghast at what a diabolical mastermind Clubs Deuce is, when in reality the little guy is just wandering around admiring clocks with no clear plan of action.
  • Harder Than Hard: Doomed sessions are eventually described like this, with dead sessions described as playing on extreme difficulty.
    • Dead sessions aren't just Harder Than Hard. They're a complete departure from the standard rules of the game.
  • Harmful Healing:
    • Terezi is talked into letting Aranea heal her eyes, when her blindness is a major part of her persona and isn't even a handicap to her due to being able to see in other ways. She considers it a big mistake the instant her vision is healed, and it severely damages her confidence and self-esteem. Luckily, John retconning the timeline undoes this for the new alpha-timeline Terezi.
    • Aranea also "heals" Jake's mind against his will; this causes the enormous "Hopesplosion" that does significant damage to Derse and LOFAF and makes Jake a danger to his friends, since he has no control over it.
  • #HashtagForLaughs: During the "Openbound" segment, Meenah uses hashtags in her conversations (it's implied that everything she says is also posted to the Homestuck equivalent of Tumblr).
  • Have a Nice Death: BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME
  • Having a Gay Old Time: Jake convinces Caliborn to use "gay" by the older definition.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Most of the aspects are rather straightforward, but a handful seem sucky, initially at least. For instance, the Heart aspect actually translates to souls. The two Heroes shown with this aspect (Dirk and Nepeta) respectively can destroy and steal souls.
  • Heaven Above: The Game Within a Game, Sburb, requires character to build towers starting from their houses that rise miles and miles and miles through the skies and deep into space. Only by ascending this self-created tower can they complete the game, fully master their abilities, reach the mystical realm not-so-subtly named Skaia, and become the gods of a new universe.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The initial introductions of some of the main characters prompts the player for their name. This continues to its logical conclusion, naming a planet.
  • Hell Is That Noise: honk. HONK. honk.
    • As if that wasn't enough to establish it as Hell Is That Noise to the characters, then came "[S] Equius: Seek the highb100d". After you enter the vent as Nepeta, it's dark, you have no idea where Gamzee is, and all the music stops save for... this. And you can hear the honking.
    • The honking also turns out to be the noise Lord English made to announce his birth into the universe. And his sole purpose for existing is to ensure a universe's destruction.
  • Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: The reason Rose gives for not killing all of John's imps for him. Rose justifies this by pointing out John can only level up upon killing the Imps, so she would only be limiting him by taking them out.
  • Hereditary Homosexuality: After Act 6 shows Bro/Dirk is a homosexual, Rose and Dave begin to engage in their own same-sex relationships; Dave with Karkat, and Rose with Kanaya.
  • The Hero's Birthday: It was John's thirteenth birthday when the adventure began, and it remains his birthday until the end of Act 5.
    • And during his three year travel in the Act 6 intermissions, the narration always cuts to John in one year intervals, meaning it's always his birthday when we see him. The second time it's lampshaded.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Lost Weeaboos appear to live in one of these. At least it's safe enough for Rufioh, a mutant, to live without getting any attention from the other trolls.
  • Hijacked By Cthulhu: The comic (surprise!) becomes Hijacked By Cthulhu by [S] Jade: Wake with the revelation that the Horrorterrors do, in fact, exist... and is then more-or-less hijacked away from Cthulhu when it turns out the true villain is Lord English, a more traditional demon.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: The comic has Her Imperious Condescension, who has reproduced the bronzeblood's animal empathy power and mind-controlled the GCat. GCat just so happens to be the alpha universe incarnation of Becquerel.
    • Far earlier, Tavros mind-controlled Becquerel and made him teleport a speeding bullet from "towards Jade" to "towards the adult intruder on her lawn". Unfortunately, Troll culture is unfamiliar with the concept of children being raised by their parents, and the "intruder" was actually her Grandpa.
    • In a more tangled example, Her Imperious Condescension also mind-controls a sprite-fusion of Jade and Becquerel.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: Dave mediates on this trope upon hearing about the meteors. He later dispenses with the analogy entirely, since a meteor the size of a bus would kill him anyway.
  • Homoerotic Dream: When discussing Dave's dreams, Rose insists that they are simply bursting with phallic imagery.
  • Hope Spot: The alpha kids were disorganised and pitted against each other after Dirk and Jake's breakup, but reconciled after the end of the Trickster Mode. Then, they are killed by Prospit and Derse's moons exploding and ascend to god tier. Then, they are confronted by an overpowered Jack on Prospit and the Condesce on Derse, and seem almost powerless to stop them. Then, Jade comes to the aid of Jake and Jane, and things seem to be in their favour. Then, the Condesce uses her double mind powers to make Jade go grimdark, and then controls her into retrieving Jane's tiaratop, also putting her under the Condesce's control.
  • A House Divided: The Trolls degenerate into this. By the time they stabilize, only 5 and a half are left among the living, only 4 stay on the meteor (as the remaining one and a half go off on their own journey), and one of the four is actively plotting to murder another (not that he doesn't deserve it.)
  • Human Shield: AUTO-HARLEY!
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Traits that the Troll culture regards as unusual - and exhibited by the protagonists - start to seep into their behavior the longer they interact with the humans. In Vriska's case, she gets Perverse Sexual Lust for one of the characters in one of John's favorite movies. Also, though it was previously established that the concept of marriage does not exist in Troll society, Kanaya gets married to Rose in the end credits.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The exiles and the agents are two-armed, two-legged, and have endoskeletons and exoskeletons. The Trolls look mostly human, save for their grey skin, yellow eyes, and horns.
  • Humans Are Special: In this eon spanning tale with cherubs, trolls, leprachauns, ghosts and more, it is ultimately a group of human kids who must break the cycle of mayhem.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Nepeta talking to Equius in [S] Equius: Seek the highb100d. She's making her characteristic cat puns, he's making horse puns.

    I 
  • I Am A Humanitarian: It's ambiguous if Trolls eat their infants, as some evidence suggests they do.
  • I Hate Past Me: Recurring; people are rarely happy to encounter the future or past selves. Karkat even provides a page quote.
  • I Have My Ways: Rose avoids discussing her conversations with Doc Scratch by referring to him in the vaguest way possible.
    TT: My perception of the future has been informed by other sources.
    EB: like what?
    TT: Informants.
    EB: durrrrr.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: "This is exactly why babies should not be allowed to dual-wield flintlock pistols."
  • I Know Your True Name: Inverted: Caliborn can be put to sleep by waking up Calliope, and vice versa. Unfortunately, both times the B2 kids tried that they failed, since her dreamself had been killed already.
  • I Want My Jet Pack: Mentioned here.
  • Imagine Spot: A few characters indulge in these from time to time.
  • Imagine Spotting: When Aranea begins her story about "two legendary rings," the next page has John with an imagination bubble above his head that shows the four-orbed queen's rings worn by Bec Noir and the Peregrine Mendicant. Aranea shoots down that train of thought immediately.
    "No, not those rings!"
  • Immune to Mind Control: Vriska finds out that humans are immune to her mind control powers. Instead, attempting to control John and the others just makes them fall asleep. This ends up being used as a gag a few times, and turns out to be the source of Jade's narcolepsy.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Warhammer of Zillyhoo.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A fair number of deaths occur this way.
  • Implausible Deniability: Jade comes across the crow Dave accidentally skewered.
    GG: but isnt this your sword? 
    TG: that could be anyones sword
    GG: :|
  • Improbable Weapon User: Most Strife Specibi are completely ridiculous, with a special nod to FNCYSNTAKIND, wherein one battles using ornate figures of Santa Claus.
  • Improvised Weapon: During the first Intermission, Clubs can't find any rope, so he ties his prisoner up with a Stretch Armstrong doll.
  • In Which a Trope Is Described: The title of Troll movies are In Which a Trope Is Described applied to the entire movie.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Quite a few puns are groan worthy.
    CC: I )(ave... w)(at was it? Orca vu?
    GG: XO
    GG: feferi that one was a stretch even by your fish punnery standards
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Rose doing a Richard Kimble into the waterfall attached to her house.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Dad Egbert and Dad Crocker may be an example, since they seem to not be clones of each other but still appear identical. On the other hand, their appearance is not entirely literal, so it's not certain that they are in fact identical.
  • Info Dump: The three recaps ended up confirming and clarifying a lot of info throughout the first five Acts.
    • Later in the story, Recaps are phased out and replaced by (equally long-winded) in-universe exposition, by characters like Doc Scratch, Rose, and Aranea.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Caledfwlch, the sword that Dave's quest centers around. By the time he gets it, he already has an upgraded version from the future, and the present day Caledfwlch is repaired and upgraded into the Royal Deringer...until combining the Deringer with a magic cueball produces Caledfwlch all over again (showing that while it is not as strong as the Deringer, it is still the most useful sword for opposing Lord English).
  • Insistent Terminology: The Green Sun is always written in green with flickering letters (using an image file).
    • Similarly, The Tumor is always written in black, at least until its appearance is known to be black and white, then it's "Black-and-whitened for giant yin-yang bomb."
    • On the other note, all supernatural mindfuck of Homestuck is not magic. Even when it's done with wands, called a spell, and definitely has nothing to do with laws of physics, it's still not magic. Magic is fake.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Trolls initially keep verbally dismissing humans as insignificant creatures from a small planet. Then it turns out humans are both the source of their problem and its solution, and are actually a lot more smart and competent overall. And anything but insignificant, seeing how they created the source of all energy in the Universe(?).
    CG: MORE OF THIS NARCISSISM. 
    CG: YOU ALWAYS THINK EVERYTHING REVOLVES AROUND YOU.
    CG: WE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR DUMB LITTLE WINDY PLANET OR YOUR PETTY LITTLE QUESTS.
    • As a subversion of the usual trope, the insignificant planet being discussed in this specific bit of dialogue is not Earth, but John's game planet, LOWAS (the Land of Wind and Shade). It is mainly blue (which is sort of John's Arc Color), though.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: Fenestrated walls. Normally they're used to observe faraway places, but smashing through the wall allows one to travel to the location. Andrew Hussie breaks through one of these walls to get from his house in Real Life to Doc Scratch's house in the trolls' universe. Later, Jade and John use another of these walls to escape a universe that's being written out of existence.
  • Interface Screw: Disk 2 of Homestuck is damaged because Terezi tried to use it with a record player. The result is... odd.
    • The results of Caliborn taking a crowbar to a computer tower is possibly even odder.
    • Caliborn manages to hijack the narative prompt, and sabatoge the Act 6 cartridge, causing it to become glitchy like when Disc 2 was scratched.
  • Interface Spoiler: Meenah's name is initially revealed not by anyone saying it but as a property of the "dialoglog", where her spoken lines are displayed after her name. John and Roxy aren't made aware of her name at the time, but the reader is.
  • Interspecies Romance: Rose/Kanaya and Dave/Karkat. Dave and Terezi also date and then break up, though we don't get to see much of their relationship. There's also lots of Ship Tease for other pairings.
  • Intoxication Ensues: While seemingly under its compulsion, Jane licks the Spiral Sucker juju and engages Trickster Mode, which turns her into a mind-numbingly saccharine Stepford Smiler with extreme Green Thumb power.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Part of the humor of early acts was the increasingly ridiculous Fetch Modi that characters have to deal with. This recurs briefly at the start of Act 5 and Act 6 before fading again. Earlier ones take after data structures such as Stack, Array, and Tree. Later modi shy away from this to be more in line with a character's theme, such as 8Ball for Vriska, Ouija for Aradia, Recipe for Janenote .
    • And then we have Jake's Fetch Modus, Puzzle, which acts much like a classic inventory puzzle in that objects captchalogued will be of various sizes, and they must be organized to maximize space efficiency.
  • Ironic Echo: Much like Hussie's fondness for foreshadowing, he also loves to have lines recur in various Running Gag or Wham Line contexts. Far too many examples to list.
  • Isometric Projection: Part of early acts, though it faded over time.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Homestuck usually makes sense in context (emphasis on usually). Showing nearly any panel outside of that context however...
  • Item Crafting: Just put two punched cards in the TOTEM LATHE at the same time. John's since thought of punching a card twice, each time with a different code. As an amateur programmer, he's become about as aware of the possibilities, quirks and limitations of the system as the readers in the forum. It turns out that if combining items via stacking cards combines a pair of items one way, double-punching their codes will combine them in an opposite way.
  • Item Get!: You got the server copy of the SBURB BETA!

    J 
  • Jet Pack: All rocket-based means of transportation in the comic have the same red-and-yellow flame pattern.
    • John has a standard issue jetpack.
    • Bro has a rocket board.
    • Vriska has Rocket Boots. Vriska handed out the code for her boots to her teammates, allowing Terezi to make a pair of wings and Tavros a Flying Car.
    • Since Robo Jack had no way to get to the final battle, he spontaneously develops a "rocket ass."
    • Gamzee has the Unireal Air: A unicycle with rockets attached to it. It's about as useless as it sounds.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Hussie has described Homestuck in its current form as "a webcomic that is also a puzzle".
  • Joke Weapon: Quite a few alchemizations are completely useless.
  • Joker Immunity: Gamzee has this, specifically because he's a clown. No matter how you kill him, or when you kill him, he will survive. Somehow.
  • The Joy of X: Data Structures for Assholes, a vitriolic sendup of the For Dummies instructional book franchise.

    K 
  • Kangaroo Court: "On Alternia, there is no such thing as a defense attorney, or a defense. In a courtblock, the word defense itself is offensive."
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The most powerful sword in the comic is the UNBREAKABLE KATANA, which Dave's Bro wields in all universes. Unlike every other sword Dave touches, it doesn't break and it can apparently be used to get a meteor the size of Houston clean in half.
    "It was said to be forged by an ancient Otaku Master over the heat of a roaring manga fire. It was cooled in an enchanted spring where virgin horses nicker and bathe, and was said could be used only by one whose pointy anime shades were deemed sweet enough, and whose hair existed in a perpetually sculpted state of looking completely fucking awesome. All of those things were said by you."
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: Jack needs to cut open a pumpkin, but he's without his knives. After some improvisation, he pulls off the lid to reveal... a whole bunch of knives.
  • Kill ’Em All: Spades Slick forces Lord English's Time Vault open, releasing a wave of temporal energy that kills every character who appeared in the Intermission besides Slick and the Snowman. Soon after that, the Snowman rips Spade's arm off and leaves him to bleed to death in the fault as the Intermission ends. (Although Slick later gets a robot arm and escapes to the Moon, somehow.)
  • Kill the Cutie: Both of the "cute" trolls, Nepeta and Feferi, die very quickly when the killing on the meteor starts. Feferi is one of the very small number of characters who doesn't get resurrected in some form in Earth-C.
  • Killed Off for Real: Several minor characters have been killed completely, beyond even Dreambubbles. The introduction of Dreambubbles is all that keeps some segments of the cast in regular panel time. A few characters have very uncertain final fates, though.
    • It's actually really hard to get absolutely, finally Killed Off for Real in the Homestuck universe — there's only two known ways. You either have to die normally (usually at least twice, on account of dream selves), then get your ghost killed again, personally, by the Big Bad, who is the only one who can kill ghosts permanently; or you have to be alive and not a ghost inside an exploding universe when it gets Scratched. And even those two things don't keep you from being brought back by Weird Time Shit or by having an identical duplicate created by a Scratch, new session or the like.
    • Nonetheless, the B1 Guardians (Mom Lalonde, Dad Egbert, Bro Strider) all stay dead, and while most of the trolls are at least partially alive in some form in the new universe at the end (being either half-alive like Sollux, or alive as part of certain sprites like Davepetasprite^2 or Arquiusprite), Feferi and Eridan are the two exceptions, as they remain completely dead.
  • Kiss of Life: If a player dies while they still have a viable dream self, a kiss to the dead body will cause the dream self to become their new body. This comes up in recurring fashion, often with several kisses coordinated at once.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In [S]: Synchronize, Dirk kisses Roxy to wake up her sleepwalking dreamself, but just before he does, the kiss is covered by a speech bubble blurted out by Squarewave.
    SQUAREWAVE: YEAH, DOGG!!!
  • Kitsch Collection: Quite a few cast members collect bizarre, mostly useless items.
  • Klingon Promotion: In troll society heiresses to the throne (like Feferi) were expected to challenge the Empress for the throne once they reached maturity.
  • Kneel, Push, Trip: After Vriska is retconned back to life, her montage shows her do it behind Gamzee so Terezi can push him.
  • Kudzu Plot: Very much so! And Andrew is extremely good at keeping plot holes from happening. note 
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  • Lampshade Hanging: Thanks to the series's Post-Modernist mannerisms, there's a lot of lampshades throughout the story. Aimless Renegade provides one of the best here.
    Hold that thought.
    You need to take a moment to wear something ridiculous before you continue your spiel...
  • Language Equals Thought: "It should be noted that in troll language, the word for friend is exactly the same as the word for enemy."
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The Trolls becoming major characters is a major spoiler, but they appear as far back as Act 3, and were heavily hinted to be fairly important. On the other hand, the mere existence of the B2 Session is a huge spoiler for Act 5.
    • Also, many pictures can be massive spoilers. In particular, any picture of Jack Noir in his final form contains massive spoilers for the entire first half of the story, revealing not only Jack's ascendance to Big Bad but also all four of the kid's pre-entry prototypings (especially Bec.) Likewise, pictures of anyone in God Tier clothing can be a spoiler, though there's enough fanon pictures of people who never ascended (and even canon pictures of alternative dream selves that ascended) that it's not always telling. For that matter, Jade's name is a spoiler — everything about her was kept completely secret for the first few acts.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Slimer shows up as the icon on John Egbert's t-shirt, but rendered in Super-Deformed anime style, and only referred to as "Slime Ghost". However, John makes blatant references to Ghostbusters II, and the comic doesn't pretend it isn't Slimer.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Kanaya's description of Rose here could be seen as this — specifically, the part about her skin being "white as a ghost".
    • Here, when Jake asks Dirk's Auto-Responder if he deliberately arranged things so that Jake would have to kiss Dirk's severed head to save everyone. The Auto-Responder replies that he would have to be moderately sociopathic to deliberately arrange something so unsettling, not to mention a genius.
  • Left the Background Music On: "Well, whenever you shoot the clown, I play the elevator music."
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator isn't at all above lampshading when the characters make a stupid decision or something ridiculous happens. He's later revealed to be Andrew Hussie himself, commenting on the story and taking the player commands.
  • Leitmotif: Most characters have not only a song (or several!) associated with them, but also an instrument. Two whole albums were dedicated to Character Leitmotifs: ColoUrs and Mayhem Universe A and Universe B.
    • The Trolls in general are associated with the track Alternia, and primarily have different varieties of synths as their associated instruments.
    • Major plot events will typically be accompanied by riffs from Upward Movement and Sburban Jungle.
    • Time in general is associated with a clock ticking, whether that's with the Heroes of Time (Dave, Aradia, Damara, and Caliborn), or the Felt.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: Many of the trolls do this as part of their typing quirks, usually in a way that fits into some sort of Numerological Motif. Terezi, though, deserves special mention, since with as many as three letters constantly numberised, turquoise color and all-caps H3R T3XT C4N B3 N1GH UNR34D4BL3.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: "Let the Squiddles Sleep (End Theme)", the song used for "[S] Jade: Wake Up" seemingly does this, but it's subverted after it fades out and is taken over by a corrupted version of the Squiddles theme, which then further devolves into a mess of static and noise.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The narrator requests this of the reader with regards to Act 6 Act 5 Act 2.
  • Level Ate: The Land of Little Cubes and Tea.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: A key aspect of the interactive segments at the beginning of Act 6 Act 3, wherein Jane explores the Land of Crypts and Helium. Four colored lanterns at a shrine emit beams of light that reflect off mirrors in different directions depending on the color of the light. (Must be a wavelength thing.) There are TONS of mirrors around to reflect the light, and several switches that can only be flipped when one of the beams is shining on the switch. By having Lil' Sebastian rotate the lanterns, Jane can change which beams shine in which directions, and therefore which way the mirrors reflect them, and therefore which switches are flippable.
  • Light Is Not Good: Similarly to Dark Is Not Evil above, the other half of players are placed in Prospit, some of whom can be considered anti-heroes at best, and wholehearted villains at worst (Gamzee and Vriska being prime examples).
  • Lighter and Softer: Though Act 6 still has dark tones throughout, it is still more lighthearted than both parts of Act 5 were.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: If you copy down the GPS coordinates that appear in one of the videos, and type them into google maps, you'll find real-life locations corresponding to John's neighborhood and Rose's house.
    • The coordinates for Jade's island correspond to an area of the Pacific Ocean with nothing... except a small underwater rise that looks as if it could have been an island with just a little more volcanic activity...
  • Limited Social Circle: John, Rose, Dave, and Jade aren't shown talking to any other kids their age. Except for the trolls, they literally have no one else on their Chum List. It is also not known if they even attend school. The only exception is Jade's penpal who claims to be her own grandson.
    • The post-Scratch kids aren't any different, although to be fair Roxy and Dirk live After the End, so they don't have much choice.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Trolls (except Kanaya) think fashion is stupid.
  • Literal Disarming: In the final battle, PM disarms Jack by cutting off the arm on which he's wearing the Queen's ring, thus de-powering him.
  • Loading Screen: First when John installs Sburb here, and later when Dave does the same here.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: See the character sheet. Oh, sorry. Character sheets. To give a quick rundown:
    • 8 Kids, 10 Guardians, 24 Troll kids, 12 Troll ancestors, 19 Carapacians, 14 Leprechauns, 2 Cherubim, 3 First Guardians, 8 named Denizens, 20 Kernelsprites, and Andrew Hussie. Without counting doomed timelines, that brings us to 121 characters.
  • Lord British Postulate: It seems Eridan wasted a lot of time killing the NPC-equivalents on his planet, and they were "fast and angry as shit".
    KARKAT: THEY DIDN'T EVEN GIVE YOU ANY GRIST, YOU IDIOT. THAT WAS YOUR FIRST CLUE.
    • Also Lord English, an indestructible demon that has to be defeated by exploiting Stable Time Loops and various glitches. Note that this was a retroactive reference.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: At the Price of Oblivion is used only in the flash immediately after ''[S] Seer: Descend'', and gets cut short right at the end of its introduction.
    • Later on, in [S] ACT 6 ACT 6 INTERMISSION 1, glitches cut the flash animation short and the text even points you to the Bandcamp page to see how much of the music (and therefore the flash) you missed.
  • Long Title: Apparently all of the troll's movies have these, due to having run out of short ones in their longer-running society.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Imagine how complex things can get for the trolls, who have four different kinds of romance. See this for an example.
    • Karkat makes fun of this when he creates a Shipping Grid for the prescratch human players; since they are the only four humans left in the entire world, and they consist of two pairs of male-female siblings, there is exactly one and only one way to pair them up at that point in the story.
  • Love Triangle: A LOT, partly due to the nature of troll romance. See Love Dodecahedron above.
    • WV and AR are both infatuated with PM. PM has not demonstrated a real preference for (or interest in) either so far. Smashed with AR's death but revived with Noir's crush on PM.
    • Karkat and Terezi have some nebulous relationship...but Terezi seems to be cultivating something with Dave. Then again, Dave calls his talks with Terezi an "interspecies partnership in incredibly shitty cartooning".
      • It's later revealed that between intermissions Dave did date Terezi offscreen, but when she "secretly" became Gamzee's kismesis, Dave quietly stopped seeing her, mostly (he says) because he can't wrap his head around the idea of "black romance," and would have no idea how to behave because he can't tell whether something is "fucked up but normal for trolls" or "fucked up because it's just plain fucked up."
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Part 1 of Act 5 is one for the Trolls, as it focuses on their session of Sburb without input from the Kids, and an "intermission" between acts 3 and 4 focuses on the Midnight Crew, with no indication that they're even connected to the main story until the very end, when Spades contacts Karkat (who the audience could not even recognize in person yet) in the same way WV did John.
    • Inverted later; for most of Act 6, the intermissions in Act 6 are the only times John and Jade show up, while the cast on the Troll's meteor appears in the normal acts as well. Once we get to the sub-sub-acts of Act 6 Act 6, these actual sub-sub-acts feature and are told by Caliborn, while the sub-sub-intermissions focus on our main characters.
  • Luminescent Blush: Played with in that so far, it's only the trolls who have had this, meaning that it's anything but red.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Squiddle Song" sounds like a folk music version of a kids' cartoon theme... until it starts mentioning "all your friends are dead" and "buckets of blood" without changing tone.

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