Princesses of the Pizza Parlor is a series of novels by Maikel Yarimizu.
It starts when Helen, having seen a game on television, gathers her four friends for a fantasy role-playing Tabletop Game, with some similarities to Pathfinder, every Sunday over the course of the summer, to play a campaign where all five girls are princesses of one stripe or another.
And her uncle is the gamemaster.
The initial players are, by order of their princesses' introductions:
- Helen, playing Princess Gwenevrael, half-elf Forest Ranger princess.
- Shelby, playing Princess Selvi, half-orc barbarian princess.
- Claire, playing Princess Cassandrella, human moon cleric princess.
- Cynthia, playing Princess Flora, human druid princess.
- Katelyn, playing Princess Bianca, human witch princess.
The current stories in the series are, as sorted by omnibus:
- Princesses Don't Do Summer School
- Princesses Are Never Lost: (Everything Else Is Simply Misplaced)
- Princesses Don't Play Nice
- Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters
- Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances
- Banquets and Other Social Disasters
- Pasta and Penalties: The Redemption of Princess Isabel #1 (Also available by itself.)
- Princesses in the Darkest Depths
- Princesses on the Broken Sea
- Princesses on the Lonely Isle
- Pasta and Penance: The Redemption of Princess Isabel #2
- Cookies and Campers: A Pizza Princess Paralogue
- The Cutest Harpy On The Cliffs
- Pasta and Pupils: A Pizza Princess Side Story
- The Most Boringest Gnome in the World
- The Wickedest Witch in the Woods
- Pasta and Parties: The Redemption of Princess Isabel #3
These books provide examples of:
- Air Guitar: The sixth book has Cynthia doing it on the cover, although, more likely, Air Lute, given that that's what her character plays.
- Alliterative Name: Multiple:
- Cynthia's wanted spell, "All-out Animal Apocalypse".
- Gnomish enchantress, Penelope Penskill.
- Doña Dulcinea Delarosa de Rinconete y Cortadillo, daughter of the Cortes de Canellon, from Book 4.
- Lord Runcible Rubantaga, from Book 4.
- Alliterative Title: There's the series itself, then some other stories:
- "Princesses of the Pizza Parlor"
- Princesses Don't Do Summer School
- "The Redemption of Princess Isabel" sub-series, with its own Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
- Pasta and Penalties
- Pasta and Penance
- Cookies and Campers: A Pizza Princess Paralogue
- all lowercase letters: From Princesses on the Lonely Isle, Painting the Medium to reflect Soledad's voice that was "even-toned and colorless":greetings my sister i wish thee well this day
- All Witches Have Cats: The witch princess of the group has a cat as a familiar.
- Ammunition Conservation: played with. In the second episode, Bianca only has 5 bombs to use against enemies, so she is implied to conserve them unless needed.
- Ancestral Name: From Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances, the Overly Long Name-d Priscilla Adelle nic Mairead von Lingonberry, the Third, a.k.a Dell.
- Anchored Teleportation: Wayhouses are implied to be stone constructions that connect together in a Portal Network.
- Ant Assault: Human-sized ants are enemies seen in the first story, and keep reappearing, what with having 7 princesses and a queen for the protagonists to combat, along with making no headway of taking down said leadership for they keep escaping. May also be a Them! reference, given that they are announced with a "Them!".
- Anti-Magic: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, prisons that cancel out magic are used.
- Anti-Magical Faction: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, an "Anti-Magus cult" is mentioned from about "nine, ten centuries ago". Magus, being the Latin word for "mage".
- Animal Lover: The princess Cynthia plays, Flora, is keen to make animals like her and describes them as cute and cuddly. Cynthia herself is likely an animal lover too as she gives Flora animal-related spells and Flora seems like a self-insert.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Master Treich in Pasta and Penance: The Redemption of Princess Isabel #2 uses his analytic abilities to assist his party members in combat, picking out the weak points of the enemy's magic.
- Back-to-Back Poster: The players and their respective player characters are presented back-to-back in the covers.
- Badass Bookworm: Mistress Heyerwif, half-giant librarian with a mental library, with a formidable psychic presence that scares off an Enemy Mime that was Curbstomp Battling the party, and wields a "long-bladed polearm" that she summoned out of a book.
- Bad Mood Retreat: Whenever one of the girls feels really angry or sad, she goes into the ladies restroom, making these examples overlap with Bathroom Stall of Angst. One instance is in the second story, when Katelyn was Running Away to Cry:Katelyn turned bright red and, releasing her clutch from the tablecloth, ran off sobbing. The door on the ladies restroom slammed hard behind her.
- Baffled by Own Biology: In Banquets and Other Social Disasters, someone's biology has recently changed and when preparing for said banquet, they learn that they've gained an allergy to a common substance, metal.
- Bag of Holding: Dell has one, as seen in Princesses in the Darkest Depths:At first it seemed a simple, shallow pocket for the storage of potions, but at her command its interior deepened until no bottom could be seen at all.
- A Beast in Name and Nature: In Princesses on the Lonely Isle, said "Lonely Isle" is also known as the "Island of the Beast", and said Beast has other names:the Fallen Guardian, Lurraldea's Bane. It would rage and lay waste, then disappear for decades, then be returnink both larger and more powerfully. Time and time again it would come, to be causink despair and destruction.
- Beast Man: When most of the girls go to summer camp (minus two of their regular players) in Cookies and Campers, they start a new campaign where all the characters are anthropomorphic animals of some kind, including a buffalo warrior, a swashbuckling mouse, a fox monk who's a master of zen archery, and so on.
- Beat Them at Their Own Element: Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances: An enemy is scared off by the sudden appearance of help, because that help is much stronger in the same type of supernatural power. That is, Psychic Powers:experience was telling her this was a fight she could not win.
- Bookshelf Dominoes: The Academy's library, according to Book 1, it looked:like a children's game of dominoes. All it would take was one push and it would all come tumbling down. From the look of things, this may have happened in the past, on more than one occasion.
- Bottomless Magazines: Gwen's quiver that Helen chose, as said in Book 1 when discussing heirloom items:"I picked a magic arrow-holdering thing," Helen added.
"Yeah, that was it. Thanks, Uncle. It never runs out of arrows."
Uncle had been more than happy to let her have that one, too. There were enough things to pay attention to that he didn't want to add keeping track of arrows in a big fight.
- Burning with Anger: Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters says of gnomes anger as "fearsome forces to behold", with a displayed example:Mistress Penskill's hair had rised like a plume of smoke, fueled by the fire of indignation which even now stained her face and pointy little ears with a deep red hue. Lights whirled and spun in her eyes, and tiny bolts of lightning snapped over her head.
- Cast Full of Rich People: The titular Princess Protagonists are automatically high-class / rich due to being princesses, but they also meet up and/or fight with other current, former, and/or ancient and/or undead princesses / ladies of noble status on their way to a point approximately on the other side of the world from their starting point. Their other enemies mainly have forsaken civilization by being bandits or worshipping a God of Evil, or are following the orders of a ruling figure like a tribal leader.
- Chromosome Casting: All the players of the game that's being played, are girls.
- Common Tongue: Spoken by most characters, humans, orcs, giants, and elves, but others don't learn it, like the
- Cool Gate: The Wayhouse network Portal Network is referenced multiple times:
- In the first episode, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, a network failure is why the titular princesses can't go home for the summer.
- One of their installations are seen in the seventh episode, Princesses in the Darkest Depths, and some Teleportation Sickness is indicated:The Wayhouse of Bargoczy was among the newest wave of civic construction to wash over the city, [...] it was solidly built of quarried chalkstone fitted with dark mortar, then stained with strong primary colors. [...] the Wayhouse network's convenience was hampered only by its range. In order to go any appreciable distance, one had to suffer through a daisy chain of transfer points. Few people were willing to pay the cumulative costs, and a larger number of stomachs were unwilling to deal with the stress of so many transfers.
- Creatures by Many Other Names: Elf-related things, have also been called Fey, like a "fey-wood".
- Cute Witch: Katelyn, who always goes as a witch on Halloween, and her princess, who is a pretty witch princess.
- Curtains Match the Window: After Princess Rosalind gets Glowing Eyes of Doom and Red Eyes, Take Warning in Episode 2, to match her "deep red" hair.
- Death by Newbery Medal: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, a death is called "dropped a Newbery Award on".
- Disciplines of Magic: Magical Incantation seems to be common to the two human magic systems initially seen, but witches rhyme all the time for theirs and in the Common Tongue, while Druids use their Magical Language to define their spells, whose magic makes so only they can remember the sounds.
- Druid: There are multiple ones, with their own Magical Language, which they call the "druid tongue", but can also be used for communicating regular things like "hello", and not all druids are connected to Princess Flora's family:
- Princess Protagonist Flora, druid princess.
- Princesses in the Darkest Depths has two new ones, who were former friends of each other:
- Double-Edged Buff: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, a tabletop game that's similar to Pathfinder has mutagens, which are concoctions that apply an effect to the imbiber, and described as "stressful to body and mind, but they were useful in a pinch". One example allows its user to Sizeshift to larger sizes, leaving her "slightly addled for hours to come" in exchange.
- Ear Ache: Selvi's threat to Gwen, a half-elf, who has Pointy Ears, when Gwen snarked that the librarian might by afraid that Selvi, a half-orc would rip all the pages of their library books:Selvi: I prefer ripping ears. Pointy ones make for good handholds, too.
- Elemental Hair Colors: Flora gets green hair, as a Green Thumb magic user, and also due to being an Uneven Hybrid descended from Plant Person-s as said in Princesses on the Broken Sea.
- Enemy Mime: The Stalker in Silence of the fifth book, wielding Your Mime Makes It Real powers, and hunting Gwen, Dual Wielding "concentrated bar[s] of kinetic force".
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Princesses Don't Do Summer School: The princesses' animals are "on edge" right before they're attacked by ants and their stuff is stolen.
- Evil Former Friend: Princesses in the Darkest Depths: Alcyssa talks about how to treat an evil person who "used to be a friend":"Please, deal with Faram, and do so right. He... used to be a friend."
"So we go easy on him?" Gwen asked with a skewed frown on her face.
"Cut him down like an old tree trunk," came the reply.
- Expy: From Princesses Don't Play Nice, Princess Isabel Cœur de Lion Solaire, who, before a few edits, is effectively Wonder Woman:celestial heritage [...] flying unicorn mount, the bridle of invisibility, the lasso of truth
- Eyelash Fluttering: In Cookies and Campers, after revealing unimportant but humorous Now You Tell Me information, one girl does this to her conversation partner:A pale eyelash fluttered in a teasing wink.
- Familiar: Witch princess Bianca has a cat for a familiar.
- Family Theme Naming: For those of the Rose Throne of Baragoccia, as said in Episode 3:Most women in my family had names that were a variation on rose
- First-Name Basis: Max of "Max's Pizza" where the stories take place, is referred to as just that, or more rarely, Maxine, until referred to as Maxine Tolliver, by Senora Hernandez in Episode 4.
- Flavor Text: In the first episode, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, when talking about index cards of spells to be selected:It had taken Uncle most of an afternoon and evening to fill out the necessary information in a way that was clear, and he'd tried to make it funny as well, with descriptions like "Makes a magic snowball that you can stuff in someone's ear, down their pants, whatever. Good for getting people to chill out." He'd hoped their giggles were for the jokes he'd actually intended.
- Flipping the Bird: As a non-verbal "[expression of] annoyance", from Shelby in Book 5.
- Floral Theme Naming: From the Plant Persons of Episode 2, Thistle, Sweetbriar, Princess Rosalind
- Flying Broomstick: Katelyn's character, a witch princess, has one of these.
- Garden Garment: From Episode 2, multiple, due to multiple Plant Persons:
- Thistle wears nothing so much as a mass of old leaves that, if one were in charitable mood, might be called clothes.
- Sweetbriar wears a dress made of ragged leaves.
- Princess Rosalind wears only a robe of white rose petals fixed together through unknown means.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Well, Shelby's Boyfriend, as the trope is mentioned in Princesses Are Never Lost: (Everything Else Is Simply Misplaced), when Claire is wanting Gwen and Shelby's princesses to "kiss and make up". As seen in Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances, he actually exists, and is named "Tim":"I've got a boyfriend, yanno." Shelby glared at the three of them.
"A boyfriend we've never met," Cynthia pointed out.
"He goes to a different school!"
"Are you sure he doesn't live in Canada?" As expected, none of the girls got the joke, but Uncle felt obliged to make it.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: In Episode 2, in combination with Red Eyes, Take Warning when Princess Rosalind is enraged:Princess Rosalind's eyes glowed brightest, in a deep bloody scarlet.
- God of the Moon: The moon itself is a god, worshipped alongside the sun by the people of side-by-side cities Selunika and Solastria.
- Good Princess, Evil Queen: The protagonists are princesses, and at the end of the first story, an antagonistic force known as the Red Queen is mentioned.
- Green Is Gross:
- One of the potions in the first main story of the series is a green potion of jumping boosts:The stuff tasted like pure, concentrated awful.
- In the ninth main story, the color is connected with clouds of magical stink.
- One of the magical items is a wand that shoots out stinky gas, the light of its casting is green, and the wand itself is painted green.
- A stink cloud of green gas is emitted from a staff.
- One of the potions in the first main story of the series is a green potion of jumping boosts:
- Green Thumb: In Episode 2, Thistle, and the other Plant Persons:Clumps of undergrowth that would defy any number of swords parted at the touch of the girl's hand, and even heavy branches seemed to turn away.
- Groin Attack: As one described use in the Flavor Text of a magical snowball spell, said in the first book:It had taken Uncle most of an afternoon and evening to fill out the necessary information in a way that was clear, and he'd tried to make it funny as well, with descriptions like "Makes a magic snowball that you can stuff in someone's ear, down their pants, whatever. Good for getting people to chill out." He'd hoped their giggles were for the jokes he'd actually intended.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: Selvi, half-human, half-orc princess, orc father, human mother, who also was "looked down [...] for her mixed blood", as said in the first book.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Multiple:
- Selvi, half-human, half-orc princess; orc father, human mother
- Gwenevrael, half-human, half-elven princess; elven father, human mother, as said in Book 1, and described as from a "natural liaison between [her] parents", in Book 5.
- The Stalker in Silence of Book 5, created by a human couple, whose liege changed "their child in the womb" as said in Book 5.
- Mistress Heyerwif is assumed to be a half-giant, due to her small size of three yards, and confirmed by narration.
- Hand Gagging: From Episode 3, along with Speak in Unison, to prevent Bianca from saying something that would get them in a fight, after she inquired about Rosina and Rosalind's similar names:Why do you ask?
"No reason!" Flora and Gwen shouted in unison, their fingers firmly engaged around the witch's face.
- Hedge Maze: In Episode 2:a little path appeared beneath their feet. Pale green bricks fitted together in a complicated blocky pattern that led them through twists and curves. Without it, Gwen realized, they would be in trouble. The garden was a maze of hedges, with splits and forks leading every which way.
- Head Pet: A Justified Trope, from the first story, Bianca's cat, Jinkies, lands on Selvi's head, and specifically her head, because it smells nice:Bianca looked up to find her kitty dangling from the parlor's unlit chandelier. "Jinkies! Get down from there this instant!"
"Yes, right now!"
The witch would later claim that the cat's choice of landing spots was completely out of her control, but Selvi still didn't forgive her for a long time after. If anyone had asked the cat - which of course no one had - they would have learned that the little feline liked the smell of the half-orc's hair. That's why he'd aimed directly for her braided scalp with all four sets of claws leading the way.
- Holding Hands: From Princesses Are Never Lost: Gwen and Selvi's Relationship Reboot to settle their issues, they never let go of the ending handshake on-screen, instead it's during a scene transition:[Selvi] took [Gwen's] hand in her own and shook it.
"Well then," Gwen said, not yet letting go,
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: A more accurate trope name than usual, as each book is called an episode, in the text.
- The first three books have titles that start with "Princesses" and are phrased negating something: Princesses Don't Do Summer School, Princesses Are Never Lost: (Everything Else Is Simply Misplaced), Princesses Don't Play Nice
- The fourth, fifth, and sixth books have a "[X] and Other [Adjective] [Z]" pattern: Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters, Boyfriends and Other Minor Pests, Banquets and Other Social Disasters
- The seventh, eighth and ninth books have a "Princesses [Verb] the [Adjective] [Noun]" pattern: Princesses in the Darkest Depths, Princesses on the Broken Sea, Princesses on the Lonely Isle
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: From the second episode, a map of the party's current location is mentioned that has place names like a "Pond of No Return".
- In and Out of Character: The stories swap between segments of in-game events and segments of the players discussing their next action, when in-game events reflect and impact the players' mindstates, or when there's a food break for pizza, lasagne or pasta.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters: After Burning with Anger, Penelope got some medicinal herbs in wine, but also needed the alcohol stuff to deal with the craziness that she had witnessed before she burned:To protect those girls, she was going to have to suck up her pride and figure out just what was happening.
But first, wine. A whole lot of wine.
- Innate Night Vision: From Princesses Don't Do Summer School, which comes up due to needing to do some night-fighting, certain half-humans: Half-orcs and half-elves, can see in the dark, but since regular humans can't, it's probably inherited from their non-human halves.
- Invisibility: From Princesses Don't Play Nice, as part of Princess Isabel Cœur de Lion Solaire, who, before a few edits, being effectively a Wonder Woman expy before a few edits, she has:flying unicorn mount, the bridle of invisibility
- Invisibility with Drawbacks: From Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances, Priscilla has:a ring of invisibility, but one of the cheaper ones, probably made [...] as a practice run. [...] there was a catch. The darn thing only worked right when no one could hear her.
- Kaiju: The ultimate boss monster of Princesses on the Lonely Isle — the Beast, aka Lurraldea's Bane — is deliberately created as a Shout-Out to Godzilla and described by Uncle as a kaiju.
- Kissing In A Tree: From Darkest Depths, between the second couple of the story:Helen: "Uncle and Maxine, sitting in a tree..."
"K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" shouted the chorus.
- Living Figurehead: In Princesses on the Broken Sea, the protagonists' Tabletop RPG brings them to cross the sea aboard the Princess Ouragonea, which has a mermaid as living figurehead. She likes to play the lyre. Presumably, its sister ships the Typhonea and the Kyklonea, which are also living ships, have similar figureheads.
- Living Mood Ring: The only ceelie-girl seen as of the ninth main story has skin like this, with Color-Coded Emotions. Among other colors, yellow is implied to stand for fear or worry, orange shows embarrassment or an apologetic mood, and red signifies exertion.
- Living Statue: The creature represented by a Tao-tieh figurine in Darkest Depths, which is a reference to Pathfinder.
- Lunacy: Cassie, the moon princess, has powers that can only be used when the moon is full.
- Lying by Omission: In "Boyfriends and other Minor Annoyances", Selvi says Starsinger disappeared, when asked about its location, the narration notes "honestly if not accurately", because while it did disappear in the previous Episode, she knows where it ended up.
- Made of Magic: As said in the first story, apparently how Gwen's endless quiver of arrows works, by making the arrows from magic:The magically produced arrow shaft flickered and disappeared, no longer necessary.
- Meaningful Appearance:
A single oversized bow stuck out from the back of her dark brown hair like a pair of floppy bunny ears.
- In the first book, in the description of Claire, who plays a Sailor Senshi Send-Up, using Sailor Moon, whose Japanese name means "Rabbit / Bunny", and from Princesses Don't Play Nice onwards, it also indicates her character's ability to transform into a rabbit-based melee attacking form:
- Princess Bianca's lock of white, magically Prehensile Hair, among her otherwise black locks.
- Modest Royalty: Princess Flora, which has been mentioned twice:
- As said in the first story, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, she wears:homespun cotton and simple leather, not looking a bit like a lady of high birth.
- The second time is in the sixth story, Banquets and Other Social Disasters:The usual homespun clothes had been replaced with a medley of green and tan satin embrodiered with the outlines of leaves from many different trees.
- As said in the first story, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, she wears:
- Multistage Teleport: How the Wayhouse Portal Network of Cool Gates works, for any useful distance, coupled with high costs and Teleportation Sickness, as said in the seventh episode, Princesses in the Darkest Depths:The Wayhouse of Bargoczy was among the newest wave of civic construction to wash over the city, [...] it was solidly built of quarried chalkstone fitted with dark mortar, then stained with strong primary colors. [...] the Wayhouse network's convenience was hampered only by its range. In order to go any appreciable distance, one had to suffer through a daisy chain of transfer points. Few people were willing to pay the cumulative costs, and a larger number of stomachs were unwilling to deal with the stress of so many transfers.
- Naked People Are Funny: To Cassie's audience in her nightmare in Episode 4, as part of her "Not Wearing Pants" Dream:she'd been about to make a presentation for her final exam at the Moon Temple's seminary, only to realize halfway through that she was completely naked. When she'd turned to run and hide, everyone had seen the bunny-tail right over her royal bottom, and had laughed even harder.
- Named Weapons: From Episode 3:
- From the knight Selvi duels:this is the blade Starsinger
- Selvi's scimitar:"...Wityula." Selvi said. "It means 'Whistler'. No one's ever asked before."
- From the knight Selvi duels:
- Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: The kobolds, who appear in Princesses in the Darkest Depths, have names like Tukhara-ara-bada-bunki-mali-tali-Jaka-hila-laki, which, for that instance, is implied to mean something like "Clan Tukhara's Jaka of the fast feet", with the last words being a descriptor, such that Tukhara-ara-badi-bunki-mali-tali-Kuarl, is just "Clan Tukhara's Curls", with bada / badi, as "male / female" indicators.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Defied, as said in Episode 1:You can't decide a few hours in that she knows kung-fu or anything, just because it's convenient.
- Night and Day Duo: The third book has the paladin of a religion based around the sun, travelling with a priestess of a religion based around the moon. Both had powers that could only be used during the day or the night, respectively. It's Moon Princess Cassie and her cousin, Natalie's character, Solar Paladin Isabel.
- Noble Tongue: From Banquets and Other Social Disasters, Baragocci has been conquered by the Palachkit, who have their own language, that's not the Common Tongue, called "East Palach", presumably because other directions have their own variants.
- No Fathers Allowed: Part of Witch culture, as said in the third episode:"I didn't know wi... your people had fathers." said Cassie. "You all seem to be girls." The cleric blushed with embarrassment.
"Oh, we got fathers," said Bianca. "We just don't have much to do with them. Our moms pick guys with good magic backgrounds, have us, and then they're gone."
- "No. Just… No" Reaction: In Banquets and Other Social Disasters, when Penelope had a chance to voice her rejection of possibly being assigned a task, she just rejections it without giving an explicit reason, unlike the other two rejectors:"No. Just no," said Penelope.
- No Name Given: The gamemaster, usually called some variant of "Uncle", but in Episode 3, we learn he's not named "Rob".
- No Poker Face: Princesses Don't Do Summer School: When springing a trap on his players, the narration notes the game master's obvious tell and how he's been told to never play poker:It was a huge smile, a massive grin plastered across his face. His friends had often told him to never play poker, which was fine by him. [Tabletop Roleplaying] was more his game, and it was time to pull the ace from his sleeve.
- "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Cassie's nightmare in Episode 4, combined with Naked People Are Funny:she'd been about to make a presentation for her final exam at the Moon Temple's seminary, only to realize halfway through that she was completely naked. When she'd turned to run and hide, everyone had seen the bunny-tail right over her royal bottom, and had laughed even harder.
- Omnibus: The first nine ebooks have been collected in sets of three into paperback books, called Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: The [Ordinal] Collected Episodes.
- Once Upon a Time: How the blurb at the back of the paperback collection of the first three episodes starts:Once upon a time,
a niece asked her uncle to manage a
fantasy game for her and her friends.
The girls had no idea how to play;
the uncle had no idea what he was getting into.
- One Cast Member per Cover: There's at two patterns to the series, one after the other
- Each of the first seven Episodes' covers are Back-to-Back Poster-s featuring one players and their respective game characters presented back-to-back on the cover. The player character pairs by book, are: Helen-Gwenevrael, Shelby-Selvi, Natalie-Isabel, Claire-Cassandrella, Tim-Dell, Cynthia-Flora, and Katelyn-Bianca.
- From the eighth Episode on, each cover features a new game character with partnered with the game character from the first pattern. The eighth and ninth books are: Gwenevrael, paired with Ouragonea, and Selvi paired with Sally Slickskin.
- Our Elves Are Different: They have some hierarchical society, and they have Pointy Ears.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Fairies are at least referable in the imagination of the game's world:
- In Episode 2, Dryads are described as "fey tree-women", and woods with a Year Inside, Hour Outside, are called a "fey-wood".
- In Episode 4, Bianca's headache is described by involving fairies:Behind her forehead, a tiny little fairy with a whomping big hammer was ringing her skull like a bell.
- Our Gnomes Are Weirder: They've had civilization for at least 2000 years, since they had a city destroyed that long ago, they're shorter than humans, and they literally emit sparks and possibly burst into flames when angry:There was a funny thing about gnomes, something which few books about them ever mentioned. They were smart, yes; clever, undoubtedly; but their tempers once roused were fearsome forces to behold.
- Our Kobolds Are Different: Kobolds appear in Princesses in the Darkest Depths, and have their own language, which "resembled a mix of barks, yips, and yelps" and is revealed to have lost some words in their ~3000 year long history, parts of which they've forgotten. In the past, they've interacted with the gnomes, and destroyed one of their cities about 2000 years ago. Their children start with birth order names, like "Third of Six" and only get names that aren't numbers, when they do something spectacular and get a full Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom from that.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Never stated in-story, but the cover of the eighth episode features a Living Figurehead as a mermaid.
- Our Nymphs Are Different: Dryads are connected to elves, appear to be Plant Persons with plant manipulation powers, and are called "fey tree-women". In Princesses on the Broken Sea, it's revealed that elves exploit them by turning them into items.
- Our Orcs Are Different: They have a fantasy version of soccer traditionally one of the Severed Head Sports, but now it's a weighted ball of rags; tusks, and a Warrior Heaven called Gronyard.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Described in the fourth book. It's implied they're created though special spells and potions. Some of Bianca's great aunts "went that route with their magic." The end of the process is described:"drank some concoction with a name like Eternal Rest or Big Sleep, and then woke up after your heart stopped."
- Our Witches Are Different: Witches are Witch Classic, but with Blood Magic and Alchemy Is Magic.
- Out of Character Is Serious Business: When the shy Katelyn shouts, everyone takes notice.
- Overly Long Name: The kobolds, who appear in Princesses in the Darkest Depths, have Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom, like Tukhara-ara-bada-bunki-mali-tali-Jaka-hila-laki, which, for that instance, is implied to mean something like "Clan Tukhara's Jaka of the fast feet", with the last words being a descriptor. It's long enough that the narration uses the short names after a few uses of the long ones.
- Painting the Medium: Katelyn, who is shy, has her soft speech done in a smaller font.
- Phlebotinum-Proof Robot: When the titular princesses are in trouble due to a mind-magic-using foe, they get backup in the form of constructs, which are immune to mind magic. Probably because they don't have minds.
- Plant Person: The dryads first mentioned in Episode 2, "fey tree-women", with the implication that they are this trope, as green-skinned Garden Garment wearing females are discussed, with plant manipulation powers.
- Plot Armor: Referenced in book 8, to assuage worries that Selvi was going to die from falling into the rough seas.
- Pointy Ears: Elves are marked by them, even half-elves, as Gwenevrael has "lightly pointed ears", as said in the first book.
- Policeman Dog: In Cookies and Campers, the first and only Maen'gida guard seen, right before the story leaves civilization and its police and guards behind, is a Kyun'hela, a dog person.
- Portal Network: The Wayhouse network of Cool Gate is referenced multiple times:
- In the first episode, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, a network failure is why the titular princesses can't go home for the summer.
- One of their installations are seen in the seventh episode, Princesses in the Darkest Depths, and some Teleportation Sickness is indicated:
- Portal Picture: The paintings in the mansion in the fourth book, take the princesses to other parts of the mansion.
- Post Tantrum Sleep: At the end of the third story, Penelope Penskill has a fit of apoplexy about a disliked aunt that leaves her too exhausted to have another one three sentences later.
- Pun: In the first episode, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, when talking about the Flavor Text of a snowball spell to be selected, using a double meaning of "chill" as in "calm down" and "be cold":"Makes a magic snowball that you can stuff in someone's ear, down their pants, whatever. Good for getting people to chill out."
- Prehensile Hair: Princess Bianca's skunk stripe, which appears to be a reference to Pathfinder's white-haired witches, except for a single lock only, when she infuses it with her magic, like in the first story:the singular lock of pure white that hung down the front of her face. There was a trick her grandmother had taught her, a way to focus a bit of her magic through that lock of hair and make it stretch, extend, and reach
- Princess Protagonist: The stories is about a group of girls who play a fantasy role-playing game together. Every girl that plays in the game has a princess for a character. These include:
- Princess Gwen, daughter of King Artundus of the Fifth Court.
- Princess Selvi, played by Shelby, is the "youngest daughter of the Great Khan of the high plains of Dungivadim"
- Proud Industrious Race: The Shesepankh aren't well known, but the information that is provided gives them the title "The Monument Builders".
- Punny Name:
- In Cookies and Campers: When the game setting is being explained, a hypothetical Felitzfeleenan is named through cat puns. "Neko" from Japanese, "Gato" from Spanish, and there's the Meow sound, and Ronron is French Onomatopoeia for a (cat's) purr:"Felitzfeleena", [Helen] said. "City of—"
"Kitty cats!" squeaked Claire. "I think he got that name from Spanish. Oh! I bet they all speak like Spanish kitties and say stuff like 'Hola, my name is Señor Eneko Gatista de Meowtonya y... y Ronroneos! You killed my father, prepare to die!'"
- Pasta and Parties has the town of Lunary-on-Clyps, a pun on Lunar Eclipse.
- In Cookies and Campers: When the game setting is being explained, a hypothetical Felitzfeleenan is named through cat puns. "Neko" from Japanese, "Gato" from Spanish, and there's the Meow sound, and Ronron is French Onomatopoeia for a (cat's) purr:
- Quieting the Unquiet Dead: As seen in Princesses Don't Play Nice, ghosts are formed by Unfinished Business and finishing it frees them into their afterlives.
- Rebellious Princess: As said in Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances, Princess Priscilla ran away to avoid going to school.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In Episode 2, when Princess Rosalind is enraged and gets Glowing Eyes of Doom:Princess Rosalind's eyes glowed brightest, in a deep bloody scarlet.
- Relationship Reboot: From Princesses Are Never Lost, after being split from the party and having to rely on each other to survive an Enchanted Forest, Gwen and Selvi forge a better relationship over their similarities so they can peacefully coexist in the party and find the rest of their companions:Here we are, she thought as the silence deepened. Two little girls who just want their fathers to come and rescue them, though we'd never admit it. Child of elves and child of orcs, but still the same beneath it all. She sighed and stood up. Quickly she tugged her right glove off and presented the bare hand to the barbarian.
"I think we got off to a bad start, back at the Academy," she said. "So let me introduce myself properly now. Hello, my name is Gwen, and I'm half human."
The khan's daughter stared another moment longer, then took that hand in her own and shook it. "Hello," she answered, a little slower and slightly confused. "My name is Selvi, and I'm half human, too."
- Rhyming Wizardry: Magical Incantation seems to be common with the two human magic systems initially seen, but witches always rhyme for theirs and in the Common Tongue."Open locks, whoever knocks!"
- Rock–Paper–Scissors: In the fifth book, Cynthia, Shelby, and Katelyn play a game to decide who goes first, in relating what happened with their characters, Flora, Selvi, and Bianca, respectively.A three-way bout of rock-paper-scissors resulted in a happy whoop from Cynthia.
- Runic Magic: Kobolds use runes on tiles for magical attacks like "trap runes".
- Running Away to Cry: Katelyn, to the Bad Mood Retreat of the ladies restroom, when emotions from events that occurred between games, comes to a head, and she needs a place from everyone else, to calm down:Katelyn turned bright red and, releasing her clutch from the tablecloth, ran off sobbing. The door on the ladies restroom slammed hard behind her.
- Sailor Senshi Send-Up: Princess Cassie. She's a princess with moon powers who fights for "love and justice and happiness and the future of the Moon Kingdom!". Her creator, Claire, is mentioned to like Japanese cartoons, making her a fairly obvious send-up.
- Sapient Ship: In Princesses on the Broken Sea, the protagonists' Tabletop RPG brings them to cross the sea aboard the Princess Ouragonea, which has a mermaid as Living Figurehead and where she tends to speak to passangers from, unlike the crew which are communicated to usually by magical crystals dotted inside. She likes to play the lyre. Her sister ships the Typhonea and the Kyklonea, are spoken of as similarly sapient.
- Secret Message Wink: In Princesses in the Darkest Depths, Tim is given a wink and a thumbs up by Uncle while everyone else is distracted, to indicate what action he should take.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Uncle's description by Claire when he calls her over to discuss her princess's abilities:Claire: Yes, o inimitable maestro of the grand game of the imagination?
Uncle: ... save it for the roleplay, kid.
- Severed Head Sports: Mentioned multiple times in the first episode, Princesses Don't Do Summer School, all relating to how Our Orcs Are Different:
- Princess Selvi, half-orc princess, is described by her creator, as "Strong, tough, and plays soccer with the heads of her enemies."
- êl-sakhar, a sport of the high plains played traditionally with the severed heads of one's enemies, though nowadays, it was usually a weighted ball of rags instead.
- School Forced Us Together: The titular party comes about because they were stuck at school and left together, as the only students there.
- Shipper on Deck: From Princesses Are Never Lost: In the game that Helen, Shelby, and their friends are playing, their respective characters, Gwen and Selvi, had a heartfelt conversation to settle the issues between them, that ends with a handshake where they hold hands longer than needed for just the shake. Claire, a fellow player, wants to "have [the characters] kiss and make up", but nothing else indicates there's romantic feelings between anyone, in-game or out.
- To Quidditch from Harry Potter, from the first story, explaining how Princess Bianca got her broom locked away:there was an incident a couple of weeks ago involving some silly game with enchanted, weighted balls, and a fellow princess got sent to the infirmary with a concussion, so the broom's currently locked in a closet in the teachers' lounge.
- To Quick Draw McGraw with Flora's magical lute that does something when she says "El Kabong!". A.k.a turning into a spiked club.
- To Quidditch from Harry Potter, from the first story, explaining how Princess Bianca got her broom locked away:
- Sibling Team: In Princesses Don't Do Summer School, out of the three-bandit group fought by the princessess, at least two of them are brothers, an older one and a younger one.
- Signature Instrument: Flora has a magical lute as a gift from her Uncle. In a First-Episode Twist, it turns into a spiked club, with a trigger phrase. This is also a Shout-Out to Quick Draw McGraw, using "El Kabong!" as the trigger phrase, a.k.a By the Power of Grayskull!.
- Small Reference Pools: Subverted. In Episode 2, Uncle sets up a topiary monster for the heroes to fight, declaring "you must deal with ... a shrubbery!" But the Monty Python and the Holy Grail Shout-Out that would be second nature to most roleplayers flies completely over the heads of the 12-year-old players and gets swallowed in The Generation Gap.
- "We should do a movie night for you ladies sometime soon."
- Speak in Unison: From Episode 3, along with Hand Gagging, to prevent Bianca from saying something that would get them in a fight, after she inquired about Rosina and Rosalind's similar names:Why do you ask?
"No reason!" Flora and Gwen shouted in unison, their fingers firmly engaged around the witch's face.
- Sue Donym: Shelby's princess that she's roleplaying as, is called Selvi. Selvi is a distortion of Shelby, with the removal of the 'h' and the /biː/ sound turning into a /viː/.
- Symploce: From Princesses in the Darkest Depths: "I have [x] them""There are wonders in this world," the cook explained, "things that were brought to life by this secret [Spice of Life] and roam the world still. I have met with them; I have studied them and been instructed by them.
- A Tale of Two Cities starts with "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
- Target Spotter: From Pasta and Penance: The Redemption of Princess Isabel #2, only one member of the party can See the Invisible enemies via Awesomeness by Analysis of the environment, but they don't have the right attacks. But, they can use that to guide the other party member that can Light 'em Up with beams of magical energy:Natalie:: [A] special point thingy just for figuring stuff out? This is what you were using to help Amelia aim?
- Teleportation Sickness: The Cool Gates of the Wayhouse Portal Network seem to induce some, as said in the seventh episode, Princesses in the Darkest Depths:the Wayhouse network's convenience was hampered only by its range. In order to go any appreciable distance, one had to suffer through a daisy chain of transfer points. Few people were willing to pay the cumulative costs, and a larger number of stomachs were unwilling to deal with the stress of so many transfers.
- Transferred Transformation: In Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters, when Flora is about to undergo involuntary Transflormation due to a spell-casting accident, an enemy steals the spell, and undergoes that transformation instead.
- Transflormation: Can happen involuntarily with some spells, as seen in the fourth episode, Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters, when Flora is affected, but leads to a Transferred Transformation to an enemy that stole the spell.
- Transformation Sequence: In The Redemption of Princess Isabel #1, when one happens and the players are surprised, and the gamemaster explicitly calls it a "transformation sequence".
- The Trees Have Faces: In Grandmothers and Other Fearsome Encounters due to some Transflormation:Upon the the trunk of the newly grown tree, the bark was formed in the shape of a face, with blind eyes and a mouth set into a silent scream
- Unicorn: They seem to exist, in the game's world, as Gwen thinks about them when she hears deer.
- Unspoken Retort: Pasta and Pupils: Investigator Konstantin interrupting his superior's meeting with a pretty woman, and Konstantin has some thoughts regarding how this was all of his superior's making, but those stay in his head:The look on Abbot Selixi's face left no doubt in the investigator that something had been interrupted, if only the old cleric's hopes and dreams. Tough toenails, as his own father would say; the Abbot had asked Konstantin to come as soon as he had details, and there was no point in sulking over the results.
- Vampire Vords: From Vilhemina Natasha Badinova von Volmorten, of book 4, and promptly lampshaded. It's deliberate, and made up on the spot to engage Senora Hernandez:"Vell," said the woman with an odd, thick accent. "It vould seem zat you are varriors of greater wigor zan I had zought." She smiled, baring fangs almost as long as a pinky finger. "I am Vilhemina Natasha Badinova von Volmorten, and you shall be a delicious snack—"
[Transition to outside the game]
"Ridiculous! What sort of accent is that supposed to be, Russian? Transylvanian? And that name! Really, is that complicated rigmarole the best you can do? And the entire "I vant to suck your blud" schtick..."
- Warrior Heaven: The orcs have one, called Gronyard, based on Norse Mythology's Valhalla.
- Wedding Episode: In Banquets and Other Social Disasters, the titular party are hiding out in a church, where, coincidentally, there's a wedding being planned. The book then has them create a Wedding Smashers situation as the bride isn't as she seems.
- When Trees Attack: Princesses Don't Play Nice has the final battle involve a big undead tree attacking the players.
- "World's Best" Character: The Most Boringest Gnome in the World of the titular episode.
- The X of Y: The series title, which is also a Team Title mixed with Protagonist Title, talking about the Princess Protagonists.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: In Episode 2, a "fey-wood" is discussed, but, it's revealed to not actually be true:Time runs faster here, so a few years may only be a matter of weeks to my Marti.