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Manga / The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero's Journey

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An official, Tim Burton-approved sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, Zero's Journey is a manga released in 2018 by Tokyopop. It concluded in May 2020.

The adventure continues as Jack, now having knowledge of other holidays outside his own, tries to create a portal that will allow immediate access to any holiday. While trying to get it to navigate, Jack takes a break to play with Zero, where during an innocent game of fetch, a mishap with the portal sends the ghost dog through the graveyard, into the forest, and hurtling straight into Christmas Town!

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After a town-wide search for the missing pup, Sally realizes where Zero has gone off to, and rushes back to town to inform Jack. Jack wants to go get Zero himself, but being the Pumpkin King, he is needed to attend a large Halloween planning meeting to ensure this year's Halloween goes smoothly. After a suggestion from the Mayor to send someone else to look for Zero, it comes to light that Jack isn't the only one who's been to Christmas Town: Lock, Shock, and Barrel have too.

Promising to make it up to Jack after bringing Sandy Claws to Oogie in the original film, the trio head to Christmas Town to find Zero and bring him home. Fingers crossed for their success.


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The Manga provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The waitress.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Justified by Zero's small size, but this is how he finds the hidden room and One's memory.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Lock, Shock, and Barrel don't understand good and bad, just whatever's most fun to do in the moment.
  • Amusing Injuries: Often the result of Lock, Shock, and Barrel's mayhem.
  • Affably Evil: Lock, Shock, and Barrel.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Several elves do this after catching Lock, Shock, and/or Barrel in their antics.
  • Anti-Climax: Jack and his Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits have just entered Christmas Town as the toy factory goes up in flames, and Lock, Shock and Barrel stole one of Santa's spare sleighs to get some loot. You were probably expecting something a bit more exciting than Jack and Co. getting there just as the fire gets under control. Jack simply asks Santa if he's seen Zero, which he has, and at that moment, Lock, Shock, and Barrel lose control of their sled. Clementine and the reindeer catch Lock, Shock, and Barrel and assist Zero. The trickster trio doesn't even get so much as a lecture for taking the sleigh to begin with, and Zero is cheered on in both towns as he partners with Clementine to lead Santa's reindeer.
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  • Art Evolution: Lock, Shock, and Barrel become more refined from their first appearance as the series goes on.
  • Art Shift: The illustrations in Jouelle's Christmas book have a more realistic, classic, almost wood-carving feel compared to the rest of the stylized Burton-esque comic.
  • Ascended Extra: Zero is now the protagonist of the story. Lock, Shock, and Barrel become the deuteragonists in the B-plot, with Jack and Sally filling secondary/background roles with the rest of Halloween Town.
  • Beat Panel: Occasionally used for humorous effect. The best example is after Lock, Shock, and Barrel meet up again after their first round of trouble.
    Lock: *to Shock* What happened to you?
    Shock: No, what happened to you? What's that white stuff all over you?
    *Beat Panel as they both notice the lipstick on Barrel's face*
    Barrel: Wh...what?
    Shock: AHAHAHAHAHHA!
    Lock: What happened to you?!
    Barrel: Nothing.
    Shock: Looks like someone had fun!
  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt Myzer's gingerbread man.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Seven elves have to physically hold Santa back when he finally catches up to Lock, Shock, and Barrel.
    • Much like in the movie, Jack shows shades of this too, particularly when he gets frustrated that Lock, Shock, and Barrel still haven't returned with Zero.
  • Big Eater: Lock eats an entire candy cane that is bigger than he is. Barrel is implied to be this as well.
  • Big Fun: Santa Claus, especially when he's playing fetch with Zero.
  • Big "NO!": Myzer after One jumps out the window and into the street.
  • Big "YES!": After Santa catches up to them, Lock, Shock, and Barrel explain they like to have fun. When asked if that's why they love toys so much, this is their response.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In Japanese, Zero can be translated as "Rei", which can also mean "Ghost".
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The Creature Under the Stairs, on top of snake fingers and spider hair, also has flammable breath. This turns out to be pretty useful in a snowstorm.
  • Blank Stare: Lock, Shock, and Barrel do this when Santa questions if it's possible for them to have not learned the difference between good and bad. This response leads him to believe them.
  • Blatant Lies: Par for the course with Lock, Shock, and Barrel, complete with a Lying Finger Cross.
    Jack: You'll go straight to Zero and not get distracted by anything else?!
    Lock, Shock, and Barrel: We promise!
  • Blind Shoulder Toss: The Big Witch tosses spellbooks and potions in this manner as she searches for Zero.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It's implied that Lock, Shock, and Barrel's troublemaking is legitimately how they play.
    • Issue 13 confirms that Lock, Shock, and Barrel actually don't know right from wrong, and think they're just playing.
  • A Boy and His X: Jack and Zero, but the comic also introduces Mr. Myzer and One.
  • Butt-Monkey: Barrel. He doesn't cause trouble. It finds him first.
  • Breath Weapon: The Creature Under the Stair's flammable breath + Igor's lighter = makeshift flamethrower.
  • Broken Tears: Myzer after One's Death
  • Call-Back:
    • Zero plays fetch with Jack's rib like he does in the movie. This is what gets him sent to Christmas Town.
    • Lock, Shock, and Barrel's initial betrayal in the original film. They also do the Lying Finger Cross when promising Jack they won't do anything else except find Zero.
    • In the movie, Santa places his finger at the side of his nose to go up the pipe connecting Lock, Shock, and Barrel's tree house to Oogie's lair, as is tradition to get back up a chimney. In Issue 13, he uses this same trick to get out of a present pit.
    • Zero joins Clementine in leading Santa's sleigh.
  • Chariot Pulled by Cats: Santa and his reindeer.
    • Jack's coffin sleigh and skeleton reindeer in some flashbacks.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The star candle is shown in a prominent panel when Zero first enters Christmas Town.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Clementine is shown among a group of reindeer in Issue 2 and becomes important in Issue 14.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Zero's love of fetch, and his ability to fly.
  • Chimney Entry: Santa is seen doing this while Jouelle reads the Christmas book to Zero.
  • Choke Holds: Barrel does this to Lock after finding out he had candy and didn't share. Shock breaks it up before he can do much damage.
  • Christmas Carolers: Seen throughout Christmas Town.
  • Christmas Elves: The denizens of Christmas Town.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Lock, Shock, and Barrel's favorite brand of humor.
  • Concept Art Gallery: Some of the individual comics have a page or two of character art and concepts. The trade novels have even more, along with cover art and variant covers.
  • Contagious Laughter: If Lock, Shock, or Barrel starts laughing, at least one of the other two will join in, primarily at the third one's expense, or if misfortune befalls someone else.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The citizens of Halloween Town still refer to Santa as "Sandy Claws," and this is further acknowledged by an elf named Jouelle.
    • Jack goes to the spiral hill to lament a problem.
    • Jack has learned his lesson about respecting other holiday traditions.
    • Oogie Boogie has a tomb in the graveyard.
    • In Issue 12, there's a panel with the teddy bear and the boat that replaced the vampire teddy and the bullet hole duck.
    • There are a few flashbacks that directly reference scenes from the film.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Of the present-wrapping variety.
  • Covered in Kisses: Barrel, much to his horror.
  • Creepy Child: Lock, Shock, and Barrel, of course. It's even more noticeable when putting them side-by-side with the Christmas Town elves.
  • Creepy Good: Most of Halloween Town, but Jack in particular.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: Jack.
  • Cute Monster Girl: The art style makes Sally even cuter. A few panels put Shock into this too.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mr. Myzer hates Christmas because he lost his puppy, One, on Christmas Eve.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Halloween Town as a whole may be creepy and scary, but they quickly band together to help Jack find Zero. Even Lock, Shock, and Barrel search Oogie's old casino to try to find him before they offer their services to Jack.
  • The Dead Have Eyes: Jack has no problem seeing and hearing, though he obviously has no eyes or ears.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shock has her moments.
    Shock: *after seeing the lipstick on Barrel's face* Looks like someone had fun!
    -later-
    Lock: I'm going to fall! HELP!!!
    Shock: *as she reaches down to assist* Against my better judgement...
  • Death Glare: Shock gets a great one in while trying to wrangle Lock and Barrel into getting back on target to find Zero.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Zero is unaware that the gingerbread man is alive when he takes a bite out of him. The gingerbread man then beats him up and traps him in a pot of boiling water. Good thing Zero's a ghost! Made worse in that the gingerbread man showed no indication he was alive until after he was bitten.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Barrel.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: What else would the weather be like in Christmas Town?
  • Driven by Envy: Clementine isn't happy that Santa's letting Zero light the star candle on top of the tree this year. She fights Zero for the match so she can light the candle, and sets not only the tree, but the banquet hall on fire.
  • Easily Forgiven: After kidnapping Santa, chasing him around the toy factory, getting him caught in the present-wrapping machine, and causing mayhem all throughout Christmas Town, Santa forgives Lock, Shock, and Barrel. It helps that they didn't actually understand what they were doing was "naughty"; in their eyes, they were just having fun.
    • In Issues 18, Zero works with Clementine to douse the fire and befriends her, despite her causing the fire to begin with out of jealousy.
  • Enfante Terrible: As to be expected, Lock, Shock, and Barrel. They start to cause mayhem the minute they enter Christmas Town.
  • Expressive Accessory: The face on Zero's pumpkin nose often reflects his mood.
  • Expressive Skull: Jack, at times even more exaggerated than in the movie.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The whole story takes place over the course of a week.
  • Face Plant: Barrel trips over a soccer ball while fleeing from some angry elves and gets a face-full of snow.
  • Fat Bastard: The Factory Boss.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Downplayed compared to the movie, but Lock, Shock, and Barrel occasionally do this.
    Lock: Too...much...
    Barrel: ...Candy! You pig!
  • Fire of Comfort: Jouelle has one burning in her fireplace as she reads to Zero.
  • Flash Back: Zero has some of his Christmas Eve with Jack while Jouelle reads to him. Jack also has one of Zero while looking for him.
    • There are quite a few that briefly reference the movie, particularly whenever Santa has a run-in with a Halloween Town citizen, and whenever Zero misses Jack.
  • Follow Your Nose: Downplayed, as Zero can actually fly, but he follows the trail of delicious baked goods in this manner a few times.
  • For the Evulz: The real reason Lock, Shock, and Barrel wanted to go to Christmas Town.
    Chaos, chaos, chaos in Christmas Town tonight!
    Lock, Shock, and Barrel wreaking havoc everywhere in sight!
    Chaos, chaos, chaos in Christmas Town today!
    'Til we get our fill of anarchy, in Christmas Town we'll stay!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Issue 0, Jack and Zero are playing fetch, which is what leads Zero to Christmas Town to begin with. Mr. Myzer had a similar game of fetch that lead him to lose his puppy, One.
      • In Issue 12, Zero gets Santa to come investigate the factory with yet another game of fetch. Zero even has a quick Flash Back to the first issue.
    • In Issue 5, a few careless elves knock Shock over with their sled. In Issue 7, this same sort of careless driving with a sled leads to the death of One.
      • In the same issue, a bit of mistletoe is subtly shown over Barrel's head before the waitress shows up a few pages later.
    • In Issue 2, Zero is shown flying around around the top of a Christmas tree. In Issue 14, Santa offers to let him fly up and light the star on top. This leads to Clementine, the lead reindeer, accidentally setting the tree on fire as she takes the match from Zero.
    • In Issue 5, Lock, Shock, and Barrel can't control their sled and end up crashing when they get to Christmas Town. Issue 18 shows they haven't learned their lesson when they steal one of Santa's spare sleds, try to make a getaway, and almost crash that one too.
  • Foil: Mr. Myzer is one for Jack.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: One wonders why Lock, Shock, and Barrel didn't bring their walking bathtub. It would have been pretty useful, considering they went into Christmas Town with the intent to take toys and candy.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Lock, Shock, and Barrel, some of the elves, and some Halloween Town citizens.
  • Freeze Sneeze: The Creature Under the Stairs upon getting caught in a snowstorm.
  • Friendly Ghost: Zero, to the point he decides to help Myzer come to terms with One's death, despite the cruelty shown to him prior, and teams up with Clementine to save Christmas.
  • Friendly Skeleton: Jack, of course!
  • Friend to All Living Things: Jouelle, the blonde female elf that gets Zero started on his way home.
  • Funny Background Event: While Jack's picking out other monsters to assist him, the Creature Under the Stairs sings and dances with glee at being chosen.
  • Ghost Memory: This is how Zero finds out about One, and later helps Myzer heal from his loss.
  • Giant Food: The candy cane Lock goes after.
  • Gigantic Moon: It's full on Christmas Eve this year.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see One's body immediately after he gets hit. We simply see Myzer and the sled drivers at the scene, then Myzer from behind with his arms clearly positioned as if he's holding something. A few later panels show One's head and ears when we see Myzer from the front again.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Clementine, the lead reindeer.
  • The Grinch: The aptly-named Mr. Myzer.
  • Group Hug: Lock, Shock, and Barrel do this when they find Zero.
  • Grumpy Bear: Myzer, again. A cynical elf with a dark past living a world of brightness and cheer, he feels he'll fit better in Halloween Town.
  • Halloween Town: The original film was the Trope Namer, so of course it'd be featured here!
  • Hammerspace: Lock, Shock, and Barrel are shown to have only brought a sled to Christmas Town, but are later seen with sacks for their troublemaking. Fridge Brilliance might account for the fact that Santa uses sacks to deliver toys, except that Lock is seen with one to take candy long before they decide to rob the toy store.
  • Handshake Substitute: Shock and Barrel do a sideways fistbump upon regrouping. All three of them also do a three-way hi-five.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Jack and Sally are still together (they're simply meant to be, of course!), and she even joins him this time in his second trip to Christmas Town.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Zero lets one out along with a Single Tear when trapped in Myzer's home.
  • Huddle Shot: Used when Lock, Shock, and Barrel plot out their first round of Christmas Town mischief.
  • Instant Bandages: All three of the tricksters get this during rounds of trouble, but Shock is particularly prone to getting one on her nose once or twice an issue.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Zero quickly befriends Howly the Owl upon arriving in Christmas Town. Issue 9 shows he also has this with Lock, Shock, and Barrel, as when they find him, he immediately joins them in their fun, and follows them down the hole they fall into.
    • Mr. Myzer and his gingerbread man, as well as Mr. Myzer and One count too.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Mr. Myzer.
    • Lock, Shock, and Barrel at times show shades of this, like when they finally find Zero and immediately hug/play with him, join in on the fun with the underground factory elves without causing trouble, and are just as horrified as the elves when they realize what the Factory Boss is capable of. Issue 12's teaser tagline for Issue 13 even alludes to this by asking, "Have Lock, Shock, and Barrel been more naughty than nice?"
      • As promised, Issue 13 answers that question: they're neither. They actually don't understand what they're doing is wrong. They just do whatever they think is fun.
  • Karma Houdini: Lock, Shock, and Barrel try to steal a sled of toys. They're stopped, but aren't punished for it.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Lock, Shock, and Barrel are a given, but a bunch of elf children tackle Zero, pull on his sheet, and push him around an ice rink. One elf girl even calls attention to this.
    • When Barrel Face Plants in the snow, the elf children nearby make fun of him and call him a weirdo.
  • Killed Off for Real: Oogie Boogie.
  • Large and in Charge: The Factory Boss is the biggest of the workshop elves. Santa's bigger than he is, and the ruler of all of Christmas Town.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick: Lock, Shock, and Barrel do this a few times. Lock even does it literally, as he laughs at Barrel's misfortune, then proceeds to throw up some of the candy he scarfed down earlier.
  • Let Me at Him!: It takes seven elves to keep Santa from storming after Lock, Shock, and Barrel. They convince him to go easy on them, given the trio weren't being malicious.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Twice. The first time, Lock, Shock, and Barrel split up for separate adventures around Christmas Town. When they meet up again and rob the toy store, Shock suggests this as a tactical maneuver to evade the toy shop owner. It works, for the most part.
  • Light Is Not Good: The further we delve into Christmas Town, the more it contrasts Halloween Town's Dark Is Not Evil theme, from the aforementioned Kids Are Cruel, to Myzer's past, to Mind Controlling the factory elves to work faster.
    • Even the citizens themselves contrast each other: a lot of Christmas Town's denizens seem bright and cheery on the outside, but many of them have dark pasts, are working unwillingly, or are just overall unpleasant. Most of Halloween Town's citizens look scary, but are actually very nice.
  • Lighter and Softer: Almost a given, since we're in Christmas Town this time, though like the original film, it's not without its dark moments.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The citizens of both towns seem to wear the same thing year-round.
  • Living Crashpad: The Creature Under the Stairs.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Unsurprising for a comic based off a Tim Burton movie, but Mr. Myzer, with his dark brown hair, pale skin, black coat, and bags under his eyes, evokes this trope in a more light-hearted manner, given his status as a Christmas Town resident.
  • Lying Finger Cross: Lock, Shock, and Barrel's trademark gesture.
  • Made of Iron: Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Must be a benefit of being a Halloween Town citizen.
    • Their initial venture into Christmas Town has them crash their sled into a pine tree.
    • None of them have an issue with the snow, despite their thin costumes. Extra points to Barrel for his bare feet.
    • Lock climbs a Christmas tree to get a candy cane that is bigger than he is at the top of it, with expected results. He falls, it lands on him, and a second later, he's happily munching down on the pieces.
    • Shock hijacks a sled and ends up driving it off a hill that leads into a ravine. She's easily over fifty feet in the air before a snowman cushions her fall.
    • All three of them slide down a hole, crash through a door at the end, and land on hard ground. Barrel belly-flopped while Lock and Shock want to do it again.
  • Mind Control: The elves in the underground toy factory. Lock, Shock, and Barrel get caught up in the spell.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The underground toy factory elves, as well as Lock, Shock, and Barrel, have these when the Factory Boss hypnotizes them.
  • Misery Poker: This:
    Lock: *clutches his stomach* The pain...it hurts!
    Shock: I'm the one who crashed— it's me who hurts!
  • Mood Whiplash: Issue 7 details the death of One. Issue 8 immediately goes back to Lock, Shock, and Barrel's plot and kicks up the humor, then Issue 9 resolves Myzer's subplot.
  • Modest Royalty: Jack and Santa are the leaders of their respective holiday worlds, but don't wear crowns or fancy clothes or insignias.
  • Monster Clown: Clown With the Tear-Away Face appears in some Halloween Town panels.
  • Motivational Lie: Lock, Shock, and Barrel get Zero to help them with the sled by telling him Jack said to do it.
  • Mr. Exposition: Jouelle's main purpose is to give a history of Christmas Town and tell Zero to find Santa to get home.
  • Mrs. Claus: To whom Santa toasts his gratitude.
  • My Hero, Zero: Zero, of course. He's even the protagonist this time, and saves Christmas!
  • No Antagonist: The main drives of the plot are Zero getting lost in Christmas Town, and Lock, Shock, and Barrel being sent to find him. While the latter three certainly cause more than their fair share of trouble, they aren't malicious about it, and while some of the elves aren't the nicest characters, the comic takes place on Christmas Eve, the busiest night of the year. They're understandably upset at their lives being upheaved.
  • No Escape but Down: Of the accidental variety, but Lock, Shock, and Barrel evade an angry mob by falling down a hole.
  • No Name Given: Concept art shows the head elf is just called the Factory Boss.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Mr. Myzer's gingerbread man.
    • Santa's reindeer
    • Zero himself, when paired with Jack.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Four times:
    • Shock hijacks a sled and accidentally drives it off a cliff. A snowman cushions her fall.
    • All three tricksters fall down a hole and after a quick splat upon landing, are otherwise safe and uninjured. Lock and Shock even want to do it again!
    • The Creature Under the Stairs lands with a hard thud in the snow, with Igor landing similarly on top of him, and Batboy clinging to Igor's collar. Averted with Jack and Sally: Jack lands gracefully and catches Sally.
    • Lock, Shock, and Barrel, again. They hijack a sled and trick Zero into pulling it since he can fly. The plan goes awry when they start to lose toys and try to catch them, which throws the sled off-balance, which in turn means Zero loses control, so they fall. Clementine leads the other reindeer to catch them.
  • Off-Model:
    • Shock sometimes has lace on the cuffs of her sleeves, and sometimes she doesn't. Lock's pants also seem to occasionally alter between separate from his shoes, or all one piece.
    • Behemoth is missing his axe.
    • Creature Under the Stairs sometimes has actual hair instead of it just being a spider. He also goes from light gray in the movie to dark brown in the comic.
    • The steps to the Halloween Town door change from pumpkins to skulls within the same issue.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Each of the trickster trio gets this look during their first round of mayhem in Christmas Town:
      • Lock right before he gets pummeled by a giant candy cane.
      • Shock when she realizes the brakes on the sled she hijacked don't work properly.
      • Barrel right before he gets a smooch from a waitress.
    • When the tricksters get caught stealing toys.
    • The factory elves when the Factory Boss bursts in. Lock, Shock, and Barrel get this look right before they end up Mind Controlled with half of them. Zero gets it too when he realizes the tricksters are under the spell and nothing he does can wake them from it.
  • Old, Dark House: Downplayed, but in Christmas Town, of all places! Even with its bright red bricks and candy cane lining, Mr. Myzer's house, with its dead trees, cracked windows, and sagging chimney evoke this. The interior is even more depressing.
  • Only Sane Man: Downplayed. While she's just as troublesome as the boys, Shock is the only one trying to keep the trio on target to find Zero.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The Lying Finger Cross is pretty much Lock, Shock, and Barrel's trademark gesture, so it's telling that they don't do this when they tell Santa they're not naughty, they just like to have fun.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: The residents of Halloween Town.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: An unwitting example, but Lock, Shock, and Barrel put on elf hats when they join the elves in their fun. When the Factory Boss comes in, he notates they look strange for elves, but otherwise doesn't question it.
    • Santa certainly does, though!
  • Perky Goth: A whole town of them, but most noticeably Jack.
  • Power Trio: More explored here than in the movie, with Lock as the quickest thinker and most impulsive one, Shock being the smartest, snarkiest, more distinct as their leader, and aloof at times, and Barrel being the most naive, prone to having trouble find him instead of causing it first, and a bit of a party animal.
  • Pretty in Mink: Jewel, Dr. Finklestein's new creation, sports her fur shawl from the movie in one panel.
  • Pumpkin Person: Jack asks a pumpkin-headed scarecrow if they've seen Zero.
  • Punny Name: Mr. Myzer is, well...a miser.
  • Ragtag Bunchof Misfits: Jack has Sally, Igor, Bat Boy, and the Creature Under the Stairs accompany him to Christmas Town.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Santa Claus.
  • Red Alert: When Zero goes missing, the entire town quickly organizes to find him.
  • Redemption Quest: How Lock, Shock, and Barrel convince Jack to let them go to Christmas Town.
    Lock: We also learned our lesson, Jack!
    Shock: Oogie Boogie's long gone!
    Barrel: We'll redeem ourselves!
    • As of Issue 9, they kept their promise to find Zero...before immediately getting into more trouble.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Zero. And One.
  • Rolling Pin of Doom: An elf sports one as he chases Zero out of his bakery.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Jack and Santa are both pretty hands-on when it comes to running their holidays. Jack is building a portal to connect all the holidays for this year's Halloween plans, and Santa is hard at work in the toy factory. He also personally handles Lock, Shock, and Barrel when he catches up to them.
  • Rule of Three: Games of fetch.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Most of the dialogue.
  • Santa Claus: But of course, given where most of the comic takes place. Zero's trying to find him so he can ride in his sleigh and see the Holiday Doors from above to get back to Halloween Town.
  • Saving Christmas: The plot turns into this when Clementine, the lead reindeer, becomes jealous of Zero being asked to light the star candle on the Christmas tree, tries to take the match from him, and sets the tree - and through it, the banquet hall - on fire.
  • Say It with Hearts: Technically, Zero doesn't speak, but anytime he gives another character a lick, it's accompanied with a heart and indicates the tone of this trope.
  • Scary Scarecrows: One appears in the pumpkin patch. They shrug when Jack asks if they've seen Zero.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Myzer gets them when he declares he'll fit better in Halloween Town.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: We don't see One's death. We see the front of the sled, Zero's horrified reaction, and, -YEEEEELLLLLPPPP- to represent the impact.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While Lock, Shock, and Barrel are robbing the toy store, an Ariel doll can be seen sitting on a shelf.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Shock takes just as much abuse as Lock and Barrel when it comes to the end results of their troublemaking. Oddly enough, she hasn't taken a direct hit from either Lock or Barrel, but has certainly smacked some sense into both of them.
  • Single Tear: Jack sheds one on two occasions while looking at a picture of Zero.
    • Zero gets one along with a Howl of Sorrow when trapped in Myzer's home.
  • Snot Bubble: Zero has this in his very first appearance while sleeping in his doggy bed.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Zero gets one at the Christmas Eve banquet.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Zero can pull a sled with a sack of toys and Lock, Shock, and Barrel by himself - in the air!.
    • Lock, Shock, and Barrel count too. They pushed/pulled one of Santa's spare sleds away from the toy factory and up a hill by themselves before they reined Zero in to assist them. It's what Jack would have wanted.
  • Sweet Tooth: Not surprisingly, Lock, Shock, and Barrel all have this, with Lock taking the cake with his candy heist, the giant candy cane, and going straight for the donuts first at the Christmas Eve feast.
    Lock: Candy's what I love the most!
    No need to brag or even boast!
    I'm the best, the whole world knows
    At trick-or-treatin', coast-to-coast!
    • Zero shows shades of it as well, as he's shown drinking eggnog and cider, getting into cake and cookies, and trying to get a nibble is what leads him to his unpleasant encounter with the gingerbread man.
    • All of Christmas Town has this to some extent. There are several scenes of elves making and eating sweets. It's no surprise that the smell of cakes and pies are absolutely everywhere.
  • Terrible Trio: Lock, Shock, and Barrel.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Shock's body language pretty much says this as she's falling from her first sled crash.
  • Too Hungry to Be Polite: Lock, Shock, and Barrel at the Christmas Eve banquet.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Downplayed to brooms in this case, but the toy store owner manages to gather a sizable mob to hunt down Lock, Shock, and Barrel with pretty much this mentality.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: After a talk with Lock, Shock, and Barrel, and finding out they're not really naughty children, they just truly don't understand right and wrong, Santa offers to help them and invites them to the Christmas Eve banquet.
  • Tropey, Come Home: The entire plot involves Zero getting lost in Christmas Town, and Lock, Shock, and Barrel are sent to find him.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Lock, Shock, and Barrel.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Barrel is an unfortunate recipient of this tradition.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: No matter the combination of the three, Lock, Shock, and Barrel are just as keen on starting fights with one another as they are working together.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: The result of Lock's candy cane binge.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Lock and Shock's reaction after falling down an open manhole.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Lock, Shock, and Barrel crash into a tree because they can't control their sled.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Neither Jack's portal nor the mind control subplots ever get resolved or explained further.
  • Written Sound Effect: Most often used when Lock, Shock, and Barrel are getting into or running from trouble. The sound effects occasionally get strange, such as "dash/zip/scamper".
  • You Remind Me of X: Zero reminds Myzer of his deceased puppy, One.

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