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  • 555: New character Annie Conda shows the usual response to DiDi by, umm, giving her a number. In this case, the use of the 555 number must be a matter of dramatic convention rather than a sign that the number is invalid in-story.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Amber tries to barricade Dillon into his room when she wants some privacy. As he reminds her later, bedroom doors generally open inward.
  • Accentuate the Negative:
    • Jung plans to review a play:
      Jung: Gonna blog about how horrible it was, the instant it's over!
      Gary: But what if it's good?
      Jung: If it's goo... Gary, that makes no sense.
    • The final verdict? Best. Play. EVER!!!
  • Accidental Misnaming: A common sign of distraction or dimness in this comic:
  • Adults Are Useless: While the characters in this comic are all legally adults, the twentysomething main cast mostly act like teenagers at best. The occasional older characters are rather a hopeless bunch, with one or two small exceptions (such as Gary's sympathetic boss). Some, such as Nathan or the troll's parents, are enthusiastic adulterers, and when the lead characters mention their parents at all, they usually turn out to have caused them problems such as Gary's puritannical religious upbringing or Yuki's childhood exposure to her father's tentacle porn work.
  • Air Voyance: Gary and Kiley race to the airport to prevent the unstable Yuki from flying home to confront her father — but fail, invoking the trope, with an added Big "NO!". This looks like the trope being played straight, but actually it's a Parody or at least an Aversion, as Yuki was never at the airport, her father is in Montreal, and anyway she calms down and has a fairly rational conversation with him rather than assaulting him as Gary and Kiley feared.
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  • All Guitars Are Stratocasters: Simultaneously averted and played straight. Zii's guitar is a Telecaster ... with a Stratocaster neck. This would actually make sense, since Telecaster necks are famously chubby and Zii is quite petite; it's also feasible, since Fender necks are bolt-on. There's even big-name precedent for it, since Eric Clapton played a Tele with a Strat neck while he was in Blind Faith. You can maybe tell that Giz is a musician.
  • All Issues Are Political Issues: Parodied in a flashback in which Yuki calls a banana flambé "oppressive" and the waiter who is trying to serve her this dessert a "patriarchal phallocrat". Later, she objects to the term "cowgirl position": "Oh, so we're like cows to them?! Waiting to be milked?" Note that she does this because of her phallophobia, not out of any genuine feminist conviction.
  • All Just a Dream: In one plot sequence — originally a Kickstarter/print bonus story — Gary is reduced to a quivering heap by the prospect of a blood test; he turns out to be very Afraid of Needles. He faints at the moment the hypodermic goes in, and the rest of the story is a fanservice-heavy dream he then experiences.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Ironically, given that the comic is comic is full of requited and actioned incidents of casual sexual attraction, anything longer-term or more serious, whether romantic or just infatuational, seems certain to be unrequited, or at least so unbalanced as to be doomed to failure — at least until the last volume of the comic’s run.
    • Zii's increasingly intense attraction to DiDi and Dillon's feelings for Gary hit problems of Incompatible Orientation.
    • Dillon and Matt's romance fails due to Matt's compulsive promiscuity.
    • Yuki and Sonya have stronger feelings for Zii than she has for them, leading them into Stalker with a Crush territory.
    • Zii seems to return Erik's romantic interest, but the relationship collapses because of her lesbian interests, especially in DiDi.
    • Even quite late in the comic's run, although Zii and Gary appear to be genuinely attracted to each other, Zii is too proud of being cool to admit to being attracted to a geek like Gary, and Gary assumes that she won't be and respects her feelings.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Somewhat taken for granted, this being a farcical Sex Comedy.
    • Men who aren't major characters are completely incapacitated if DiDi so much as walks past, let alone when she turns up (fully clothed) at a strip club.
    • Gary varies things a little, though. He does have mildly kinky thoughts, but given his Nice Guy status he is rather tame about these things. In fact, Sonya eventually discovers that he's far less kinky than she hoped, to a point that satirises or subverts the trope.
  • All Part of the Show: Jung seems to think this about all the off-stage drama at the play he reviews, and other audience members may well think the same. (In fact, the weird unplanned drama proves so popular that it is subsequently written into the play.)
  • All Women Are Lustful: While both sexes are generally quite lustful in this comic — and the men aren't as cerebral as this trope really requires — the lead female characters do tend to be interested in sex in ways that cause them trouble, so the comic could be said to at least play with the trope.
    • Zii might be called a poster girl for the concept here. Indeed, her enthusiasms sometimes cause her problems in ways that fit the trope. She tries to break these habits, but that only works until she gets drunk one night.
    • Zii apparently inspired Amber to go into the porn business for the sex.
    • DiDi's entire character arc eventually becomes a search for an orgasm.
    • Peggy is actually something of an Only Sane Woman by the comic's standards, but within seconds of her first appearance in a strip, she gets into a flaming row with her boyfriend over her desire for oral sex, drops him, makes a pass at Erik, and gets dragged into the comic's usual shenanigans.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
  • Amicable Exes:
    • Yuki and Gary manage to be remarkably amicable after they break up. But then, Gary is too passive to be mean to anyone, and Yuki initiated the break-up in a moment of unusual clarity after realising what a mess their relationship was.
    • Erik consoles Zii when Yuki and Sonya leave the band and offers advice on how to move forward. When Zii says he deserved better he brushes it off and says he prefers to think of the good times.
  • And This Is for...:
    Yuki: [kicks Gary in the shins] That's for lying to me, you jerk! [kisses him on the cheek] And that's for being my knight in spandex earlier.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: It's become taken as read that these headbands are beyond cute...
    • Zii is obliged to cosplay as an anime Cat Girl while at work. This may not initially be entirely to her taste, but she soon discovers that it has the pleasing effect of disabling most of the geek customers.
    • Then the cute kitten-ear headband becomes a prop in her seduction of Sonya and Sonya's boyfriend.
    • Then Sonya acquires more animal-eared headbands in order to seduce Zii.
    • Later, Jung incorporates this element into his designs for Zii's band's costumes, which makes Zii happy and scrambles Sonya's brain.
    • A few days after that, Sonya and Yuki are trying competitively to seduce each other. When Sonya finds that a striptease isn't quite working, she just digs out the kitten ears. They seem to have become the sexual nuclear option...
  • Animesque: Although the art style doesn't usually reference anime directly, hints of anime/manga influence are often visible in small details such as Gary's Nosebleeds when sexually over-stimulated — and also in plot elements such as his Unwanted Harem.
  • Anorgasmia: Strangely enough in a sex comedy, this trope appears and is played as much for drama as for laughs.
    • DiDi is unable to reach orgasm during sex for a large part of the comic's run. This is partly because men are overwhelmed with her beauty (and assets) and can only last a few seconds with her, but she does also have something of a block; on one occasion, Peggy performs cunnilingus on her until Peggy's jaw goes numb, without solving the problem. It doesn't help that she often fakes satisfaction to avoid disappointing her boyfriends. This is typical of her habitual niceness, but her desperate desire for an orgasm results in increasingly jerkish behavior. When Kiley finally manages the impossible, DiDi declares she's in love and ultimately stays unthinking and selfish on the subject.
    • Sandra also admits to problems reaching orgasm in an early strip, but this seems to be less of an issue for her; there are strong hints that she reaches climax okay when drunk, if only because that inspires her to bizarrely kinky sex. The problem hasn't been mentioned since she moved to Sandra on the Rocks.
  • Anticipatory Breath Spray:
  • Anticlimax: The writers like to keep a number of story options and character developments in hand at any time, some of which never come to much; they are also inclined to go for the quick joke rather than any sort of intricate long-term plot. As a result, some of their stories come to faster, less climactic resolutions than some dedicated readers expect. For example:
    • Amber mistakes DiDi for Yuki, and forms some kind of plot to save Gary from her. Then Gary shows up at her front door, so she just jumps him. Later, Zii simply corrects the DiDi-Yuki confusion in casual conversation.
    • Yuki, Zii, and Sonya wake up naked in bed together. Zii jumps to the conclusion that they've had sex (which many readers guessed would be wrong), then discovers that their clothes are missing, then finds the clothes in the bathroom with a smell on them that makes her think "Oh gawd!". Then it turns out that she was remembering that they'd jumped in a swimming pool fully dressed (so presumably the smell is chlorine), and the three of them simply dozed off after hanging the clothes up to dry.
    • It's perhaps more of a wild plot twist than an anticlimax, but — after three and a half years (real time — 2-3 months comic time) of Gary trying to lose his virginity, Kiley jumps him on a whim, with him barely registering what's happening. At least it's still a climax.
    • Towards the end of the comic’s run, there are a number of hints that Gary and Zii are seriously attracted to each other, although neither can quite believe this. The plot thread even seems to be coming to a head one night... But then, DiDi and Peggy walk in, and Zii and Gary just drop the subject, which is never mentioned again.
  • Anything That Moves: Because the characters tend to Generic Cuteness, it's hard to say whether any of them manifest this trope or not. Some, certainly — especially Matt and Zii — are quite sexually omnivorous, but in practice, all their partners tend to be quite good-looking. Matt especially seems to be a sucker for good looks, and is a little sexually snobbish in his comments about Gary (who is actually far from ugly). Zii only shows a really strong aversion to Yvan, who does project an unattractive personality as well as not looking very appealing. It looks like everyone would certainly say that they had serious standards; it's just that a lot of other people meet them.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: DiDi was extremely frustrated (both sexually and ego-wise) that despite having spent days posing naked for Gary's drawing practice, he never noticed that she wants him badly.note 
  • Armor-Piercing Question: A trick occasionally used by various characters:
  • Art Evolution: The art style overall remains pretty consistent for such a long-running comic, though the series slowly shifts away from a straightforward Archie Comics style and occasionally incorporates a few manga features like enlarged eyes.
    • Compare Zii from early in the comic to a later incarnation. She seems noticeably younger now, although it's possibly due to her not wearing makeup in the second strip.
    • Lita (Zii's cat) has gotten decidedly less grumpy and ugly-looking since her first appearance. Maybe hanging out with Gary is having an effect on her.
    • Between Yuki's first appearance and her later depictions, there's an obvious difference in her eyes and facial shape.
    • DiDi is defined to be an impossibly statuesque and voluptuous sex goddess. In her early appearances (e.g. here), this means that she looks like a giant inflatable living Barbie doll. Artistic evolution eventually makes her much more plausible (as here), if still something of a fantasy figure.
    • In her earliest strips, Sandra appears gauche, with an emphasis on her freckles and bubbly curls. Her appearance soon shifts a little, if only to reflect her more confident (and kinky) demeanor when she's drunk, but her more recent appearances definitely make her new status as a trainee model fairly plausible (also, we should note that in the first strip linked to, she's being asked out by notoriously-snobbish Matt). (Her appearance in her own comic, with a completely different artist, is almost unrecognizable. This becomes particularly noticeable when the original comic and Sandra on the Rocks cross over and run in parallel, making it easy to compare the characters.)
    • Even Gary's had some work done. In early strips he's gangly and a little goofy-looking with shaggier hair, but now he's Adorkable and Grade-A Mr. Fanservice. Then again, part of that could be the audience (and a handful of characters) realizing that he looks pretty good naked.
  • Artifact Title: Insofar as it refers to this being a "household of three", the title becomes artifactual whenever friends stay over in the apartment for a prolonged period of time.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Played for Laughs in the form of Hollywood Psych with Kiley's various attempts to provide "therapy" for other characters. The only reason they aren't horrific breaches of psychological ethics is because she's not actually a licensed psychologist. In any case, sometimes they work implausibly brilliantly, in others they work more by luck than skill, and in others again, her approach verges on Cloud Cuckoo Lander territory. For example, the reason her work with Matt kind of works for a while is probably more because being in a stable relationship is good for both of them than Kiley having any idea what she's doing.
  • Assurance Backfire:
  • Atrocious Alias: When Matt draws Gary into a planned foursome in which the participants will use masks and code-names, he names himself "Fastlane Dangerous" and Gary "Lothario Cad". Even Gary can see that this seems silly.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most of the cast are creatures of (mostly sexual) impulse, and some of them know exactly which points to suck or nibble on others to override their self-control. For example...
  • Author Appeal:
    • Depending on your position on the sliding scale of prudery vs. perviness, Giz's id is either frighteningly skanky or Crazy Awesome.
    • The comic, and at least the language of one character, contains authentic French. Look at the name of the artist!
  • Awkward Kiss: Zii and Gary's First Kiss, late in the comic's run, is supposed to be businesslike, but is rendered awkward by the fact that they are attracted to each other, but Zii doesn't want to admit it and and Gary is a Nice Guy and respects the fact that she doesn't appear to be attracted to him.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy is generally averted; readers either get to see nipples, or after a certain date, a Scenery Censor or Speech-Bubble Censoring is used to keep advertisers happy. (See the notes for Nipple and Dimed for more details.) However, in strip #1179 (June 07, 2016, marginally NSFW), the art gives two female characters oddly nipple-free breasts.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Given the number of skimpy costumes seen in the comic, most of the women (and the men) inevitably end up flashing a little midriff from time to time. Deliberately midriff-baring designs come up less frequently, but are seen occasionally. A few examples:
  • Basement-Dweller: Played with.
    • Gary has many of the signifiers associated with the trope, but he's at least left home and got a job, and is presented as neither totally hopeless nor despicable. He still spends a lot of money on toys and collectibles that he may originally have meant to spend on things like art lessons, though.
    • Jung apparently does still live in his mother's basement, but sustains not only a job but a certain amount of snarky geek cool.
  • Battle of the Bands: Zii and the Troublemakers get drawn into an informal but no less serious battle with Angel's Pretty Boyz with Electric Toyz during the crossover sequence with Sticky Dilly Buns.
  • Beach Episode: The only visit to an actual beach is in a non-canonical guest strip. However, there is a park episode which serves a similar purpose, albeit with a little plot development (which isn't always part of beach episodes).
  • Beat Panel: Relatively rarely used — the comic goes for a fairly high density of jokes — but nonetheless part of the creators' toolkit, as, for example, here, where it emphasizes Zii's pensive mood.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Present fairly often in subtle forms.
    • Notably, Gary loses his unwanted virginity but remains a hopeless geek, and gets a more complicated and emotionally stressed life in consequence. For that matter, the girl who perhaps most resembles his fantasies, the daughter of his artistic idol, turns out to be an unstable bundle of bizarre psychoses.
    • Likewise, DiDi and Sandra get the experimental lesbian adventure that they've both fantasised about, only for it to be a disaster that threatens their friendship.
    • Zii, after lusting after DiDi for months, finally gets an offer, just in time for it to imperil her big serious relationship with Erik.
  • Bedmate Reveal:
    • Gary wakes up in bed with Dillon after a nightmare.
    • In strip #696 (January 17, 2013), Yuki calls Kiley, who's in bed. The last panel reveals that her bedmate is Matt.
    • One could consider that Sandra gets two non-bed variants of this type of event — first on a couch with Matt (yes, he Really Gets Around), and later on a beach with Senna.
    • In strip #901, after her band's first concert, Zii wakes up in bed next to Sonya. Then, the last panel reveals that Yuki is in her bed too. That's enough to freak even Zii out.
    • In #909, Gary wakes up to his phone ringing and a birthday wish from his mom. The last frame reveals he spent the night with Amber.
  • Bed Trick: Amber pulls a weird (and implausible, but hey, comedy) version when she first meets Gary and he mistakes her for Dillon in drag. She desperately wants to repeat the experience of having Dillon's "swirly-go-round" kiss applied to her crotch, and realizes that Gary has learned this technique — so she tells Gary that she (as Dillon) will give him another kissing lesson, blindfolds him, and lies to him about what he's kissing... Don't think about it too much.
  • Beta Couple: Various couples form and then split up in the course of the comic's plot, sometimes in the background as compared to other characters. However, any of them can move to the foreground for a while; there's no rigid "alpha/beta" pattern. For example...
    • Matt and Dillon start the comic as secondary characters who are shacked up at first.
    • Later, Zii and Erik fill this role in relation to Gary's relationships — though that coupling moves to foreground/alpha status at times.
    • Then, later, just as the three primary characters are going through various traumas and foreign trips, it turns out that Matt and Kiley have got together, maybe somewhat seriously, maybe not — a relationship which provided a few strips' worth of sub-plot. But they don't stay together, and the merry-go-round certainly doesn't stop there.
  • Bi the Way: It's practically a running joke that the entire cast are casually bisexual, with one or two exceptions (and even they may just need the right nudge). The joke is eventually explicitly lampshaded. At least twice. Some examples:
    • Zii and Matt definitely fit the trope definition, both being so relaxed on the subject that their friends and lovers don't tend to find out until the subject arises in passing.
    • DiDi and Sandra think at one point that they are bi, but change their minds after a bad mutual experience. After that, Sandra seems to be confirmed heterosexual until things get complicated in her own comic, but DiDi remains ambiguous, with stray thoughts hinting at bisexual impulses even before her drunken encounter with Peggy and weird "therapeutic" relationship with Kiley.
    • The trope may be subverted (or Jossed) by Gary. At one point, everything seems to be conspiring to put him in situations with Dillon. However, an ad hoc analysis session with Matt brings him to the conclusion that he isn't bi, he just has an artist's eye for anything beautiful, which can include attractive guys. He's relatively unworried by sexual contact with men, though.
    • It's far from By the Way with Yuki. Zii, who knows her well, categorizes her as bi, but not actively so because of her psychological issues (which Yuki subsequently sets out to resolve).
    • Sonya initially defines herself as straight with an exception for Zii. It seems that she just doesn't want to identify as "lesbian" in any way. When someone finally mentions the word "bisexual" in her hearing, she decides it might suit her perhaps reinforced by the fact that she's in close proximity to DiDi's boobs at the time, though she then seems to forget the idea. Oddly, she has never thought of this for herself — but she's not the brightest character in the comic.
    • Amber had a lesbian relationship with Zii in school, and certainly did whatever was required in her work as a porn star. She appears to be limiting herself to men for a while, in this comic and in Sticky Dilly Buns, but then she starts a Friends with Benefits relationship with Zii. Her attitude seems to be "women for fun, but men for something more serious."
    • Amber's friend and former colleague Chanelle defines herself as "Not Picky", though exactly where her off-duty preferences run remains unknown.
    • Angele is a suburban wife and mother ... who proves very happy to have a one-night stand with Zii.
    • The Cast Page has Senna down as bi, but all of her sexual activity seen so far in the comics has involved men. (Which, given her self-identification as female, counts as heterosexuality.)
    • The Cast Page claims that Erik is "Straight, but cool with MMF threesomes". But in one Sticky Dilly Buns strip, Angel claims that he is bi, and he doesn't deny it. Choose your own definitions.
    • Kiley is usually functionally straight, but implies to Matt that she maybe only avoids bisexuality because of her body image issues. (She's probably just paying Matt a subtle throwaway compliment there, though.) Later, a rather confusing encounter with DiDi ends up with the pair of them in a "therapeutic" sexual relationship, though that is traumatic for Kiley, and she follows this with a similarly bizarre "therapeutic" relationship with Sonya and Yuki, together...
    • Peggy generally prefers men, but admits to lesbian experimentation in college, is quite happy to switch back for DiDi, and isn't at all discomfited by the idea of sex with Sonya or Jane.
    • Zii might be considered presumptuous for treating Isabelle's offer of a drink as promising, except that Isabelle soon declares that she is potentially interested in both Zii and Gary (together if necessary). Her focus on Zii is at least partially motivated by an interest in sleeping with a "famous" rock star, though, and she does call her attraction to Zii a "girl crush" even at that point, so she may actually be straight with Zii as her one (possible) exception, and she doesn't actually end up in bed with anyone. She subsequently claims to be a virgin, and may well be telling the truth.
    • James launches into an enthusiastic relationship with Tracy — but subsequently cheerfully admits to some possible interest in a sexual offer from a guy. Later on, he receives what he thinks is mind-blowing oral from Gary, but is actually a clever bit of subterfuge.
    • At first, Jane is only shown as responding to women (specifically Peggy), and even her work partner Vince thinks that she's a lesbian. However, it turns out that she's bisexual — allowing an in-joke that involves a little Lampshade Hanging. ("You know everyone's bi in Montreaaaalll!!!")
  • Big "NO!": Happens on multiple occasions, such as:
  • Big "WHAT?!": Bilingually:
    Zii: I'm gonna sleep with Gary.
    DiDi: Oh! He will vraiment like th— QUOI?!!
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Many of the cast seem to assume this, but much more as a source of comedy, with various characters taking a lecherous interest in others' gag penises, than as a serious law of sexuality.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Some of DiDi's Gratuitous French, although the majority is easy enough. (If you have a high-school knowledge of French, you should understand almost everything she says. Heck, any Romance language (Spanish, et al.;) will get you close enough to giggle.)
    • The title of the story Yuki's father wrote for her, "Yuki's First Snow", is a pun as "yuki" is the Japanese word for snow.
    • The comic's title itself, which can also rate as Gratuitous French. In case you don't get it, "ménage à trois" literally means "household of three," referring to three people living together — but the term often carries erotic connotations, referring specifically to Three-Way Sex, which can be taken as a reference to all the sex being had in this comic. Giz has said in an audio interview that the title was indeed intended to tease English-speaking readers who'd assume sexual implications, when it's a bit less of a loaded phrase in French.
    • In an early appearance Yuki shouts "触手 (shokushu)!" This, of course, means "tentacles". She produces more Japanese speech bubbles in later strips, usually when in a psychotic rage.
    • Senna can speak five languages, and most of her dialog before she reveals she can speak English is in Brazilian Portuguese. Later, she occasionally throws Portuguese phrases into some mostly-English dialogue (although the comic doesn't always get this right first time, leading to updates after bilingual readers offer corrections).
  • Bishie Sparkle: The kind of thing that comes up in manga-influenced comics...
  • Black Bra and Panties: Judging by the (frequent) lingerie scenes, pretty much the default (though not universal) choice of underwear for female characters in this setting. The trope traditionally indicates a very sexually active character, and most of these characters fit that description, but they don't seem to dress this way solely for purposes of seduction — it's just normal for them.
  • Bland-Name Product: Shortly after taking up wrestling, DiDi gets noticed by major-league promotion WW3, which has a weekly TV show called Beatdown.
  • Blank White Eyes: Sandra after being kissed by DiDi.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Nathan the dubious producer attempting to explain away the fact that he's in a Transparent Closet:
      Dillon: You know ... it's none of my business ... but someday you will have to tell your wife you're gay.
      Nathan: Ho-ho-ho! Don't be silly! I'm not gay! That's why I have you wear the wig!
      Dillon: I think it might be a little bit gay.
      Nathan: Dilly... Straight married men have secret gay sex all the time!
      Dillon: That sounds made up.
      Nathan: It's true! It's called "being on the down low". Saw it on Oprah.
      • And the best part? Not only does Nathan seem to buy it, but Dillon thinks it's credible because it was said by an in-denial guest on Oprah.
    • Sonya’s persistent claims that she’s “not a lesbian” could also qualify, though Sonya seems to have convinced herself they're true (which technically they are — she’s actively bisexual).
    • A later and less comedic example is Sonya telling Zii that they’re having no-strings-attached sex, and that Sonya doesn’t mind that it’s not a serious relationship. Zii wants to believe this, and so remains wilfully blind to Sonya’s continuing obsession.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Yvan, the manager at the Montreal office of Dark Matter Games who interviews Gary for an artist job, finds out a little about Gary's dating history, concludes (correctly) that it's impressive and hence (very incorrectly) that Gary is an expert at dealing with women — and hires Gary on condition that Gary helps him with his own, unsuccessful dating life.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: The tongue part only is demonstrated by Sonya and Yuki. No, neither of them is terribly mature.
  • Body Sushi: In one guest omake, Zii and DiDi are eating sushi on a nude girl, when Zii realizes that something's wrong: The girl they're eating off is not Japanese but Korean!
  • Bomb Disposal: Used as a metaphor for a... delicate situation... in which Kiley finds herself in strip #1082 (October 15, 2015; NSFW).
  • Bookends: The comic makes a point of this trope; each volume begins and ends with strips that echo each other in visual composition (until things fall apart a bit at the very end of the comic's run). In some but not all cases, one or more of the same characters appears in both, and there is sometimes some kind of narrative irony involved, if only by accident.
    • The first volume opens with Gary coming home early from work, having a soon-to-be ironic thought just before opening the door, and walking in on Matt sodomizing Dillon, which is when he finds out that they're gay. Matt and Dillon move out shortly afterward. It ends with Dillon coming home early from rehearsal, having a soon-to-be ironic thought just before opening the door, and walking in on Sandra sodomizing Matt. Dillon moves back in with Gary shortly afterward.
    • The second volume opens with Gary having an Erotic Dream about Zii, which turns into an erotic nightmare when it's revealed it's a male version of Zii, because of the influence of Dillon's presence in the bed. It ends with Yuki in bed with Zii and having an erotic dream about a female Gary.
    • The third volume opens with Sandra waking up on DiDi's boobs, and ends with her waking up on Senna's.
    • The fourth volume opens with Yuki surprising Kiley in the shower, and ends with DiDi surprising Yuki in the shower.
    • The fifth volume opens with Dillon stunned to be called into a room where Chanelle is sitting naked and with thighs apart (apparently requesting oral sex), and an also naked Amber is standing around; he then gets kissed on the cheeks by the two women. The penultimate strip of the volume has Erik and Jim walking in on several naked women, notably Peggy with her thighs apart (receiving oral sex from Sonya); the last strip has Gary stunned to be called into a room which contains a naked Senna and clothed Sandra, both standing around, before he gets kissed on the cheeks by the two women. This breaks the pattern a little, in that the echo is spread across two strips, and none of the characters from the first strip recur (although Gary is mentioned in the first strip and appears in the last), but it's close enough.
    • The sixth volume begins with Sonya getting home after an interesting evening and thinking about her situation, then being interrupted on the doorstep by Peggy, who has followed her home looking for a bed for the night. It ends with Gary getting home after an interesting evening and thinking about his situation, then being interrupted on the doorstep by Amber, who has followed him home looking for a bed for the night. The requirement for characters to be repeated has evidently been scrapped (except that both Sonya and Gary are thinking about Zii), but the visual and thematic echoes and contrasts are strong.
    • The seventh volume begins with Zii waking up in bed and finding Sonya sleeping next to her; then, she's shocked to find Yuki there too. It ends with Kiley waking up in bed and finding Yuki sleeping next to her; then, she's shocked to find Sonya there too.
    • The eight volume begins with a wrestling brawl between DiDi and Roxie; it ends with a wrestling... something... between Yuki, Sonya, and Gary, with three-quarters of the strip having near-identical pictorial composition.
    • The ninth volume opens with Zii wincing in pain and mentally complaining as she listens to Isabelle trying to play guitar, before Isabelle suckers her into kissing Isabelle's guitar; it ends with Angel wincing in pain and mentally complaining while auditioning a nameless and hopeless bass player, before Sonya shows up and more or less claims the bassist spot by force of personality, planting a kiss in Angel's lips to seal the deal. Both Zii and Angel experience heart bumps as they are effectively seduced with a glance, and once again, the two strips have very similar visual composition. No characters are repeated, although Zii is mentioned in the end strip.
    • The tenth volume opens with Tracy and James discussing the idea of a threesome, and then Tracy asking Gary to be the third person involved. Strip #1500, which under normal circumstances would have been the last of that volume, has Peggy negotiating a threesome with Vince and Jane (actually as a way of taking her mind off Gary). The echo is much looser here, though — the comic is winding down.
    • The actual final strip of the volume and the comic (#1512) has Peggy pegging Gary when Matt and Dillon walk in. The comic began with Gary walking in on Matt sodomizing Dillon.
  • Bound and Gagged: Used occasionally for humor, as when Zii's shoulder devil gets the drop on her angel, or shortly thereafter when Matt and Dillon want to punish Zii for causing them trouble.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: This line from Zii:
    Zii: Man, I miss those days. Music, sex, and music... and sex... and music while having sex!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Dillon finds Amber in the room where he's supposed to meet Nathan, he says "DID I SKIP A PAGE?!". Though this may not be breaking of the fourth wall so much as Dillon seeing his life as a drama, and looking for a metaphor for his confusion.
  • Break the Haughty: The crossover arc between Ménage à 3 and Sandra on the Rocks proves painfully aggravating for Senna.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Jung's review of Dillon's play.
    • Kiley reading a pamphlet about breast enlargement when she first meets Yuki, after her A-Cup Angst when she saw DiDi.
    • Whisper whisper badminton racket Whisper whisper Tabasco sauce Whisper whisper Paddington Bear...
    • Gary's "Giant-Size Man-Thing".
    • In strip #27 (July 16, 2008), Gary visualizes DiDi as a videogame princess, tied up with game controllers. 585 strips later (i.e. in #612, 12 June 2012, borderline NSFW)...
    • Early in the comic's history, Zii tells Gary that he'll be "up to his armpits with nekkid girlies" by his thirtieth birthday. As of #909, July 17, 2014 (just about safe for work), Gary makes thirty, and his birthday celebration actually involves that promise more or less literally coming true, though not through any direct effort on Zii's part, and not fully satisfyingly for Gary.
  • Broken Aesop: Zii's little speech about consent to sex would have all been well and good, except that she was lecturing Gary on it when he had just been TRICKED INTO GIVING A WOMAN ORAL SEX. Zii apparently did not think that Amber pretending to be Dillon to trick Gary into this was a problem at all. Frankly, though, the comic isn't big on morals; the characters are prone to situational morality at best. Anything that looks like an Aesop will probably be broken, subverted, or highly debatable.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker:
    • Zii ends up in bed with both Erik and Adrien the waiter — together — after a stint of shared Drowning Their Sorrows over DiDi.
    • Sonya tries to use this technique on Erik. It doesn't go as planned.
    • The technique is also used accidentally by Senna on Gary when they're flying to Paris. She doesn't seemingly set out to get him drunk — his demolition of several cocktails is the result of a misunderstanding — and she is probably too vain about her appearance to think that she needs to get a man drunk to have her way with him (and he has indeed previously shown multiple signs of finding her attractive). But given his confused but very conventional tastes, Senna's non-standard anatomical arrangements might have proved a problem when the clothes came off, if he hadn't been too drunk to care. (This arguably is close to Black Comedy Rape, except that Gary is not only a willing and active participant at the time, he shows no signs of unhappiness over the incident later.)
  • Call-Back:
    • The creators are fond of using a callback to the beginning of a volume to wrap it up. See Bookends above for more detail.
    • Spin-off comic Sticky Dilly Buns actually features callbacks to events in Ménage à 3, as when Dillon's throwaway boast about having seduced 27 straight men away from their girlfriends is repeated — but then challenged as morally dubious by Amber's sister Ruby (and Dillon's excuse extends the callback). Similarly, after Gary hands his stash of Amber-Amber porn over to Amber in the parent comic, it's still there to be embarrassingly discovered by Ruby in Sticky Dilly Buns.
  • Calling Your Orgasms: The characters are rarely quiet during sex, and occasionally get specific — notably here.
  • The Cameo (note that some of these may be shout-outs rather than canonical cameos):
  • Canada, Eh?: The comic is set in Montreal, and DiDi is francophone Québecois (hence the accent). Beyond that, it doesn't play much with ethnic stereotypes about the country — but Yuki deliberately invokes the "politeness" part, in conjunction with Japanese Politeness.
  • Cannot Spit It Out/: The comic depicts a wacky-hijinks world where characters are frequently prone to misinterpreting each others' motivations, and most of the time it's simply because they can't or won't take the thirty seconds necessary to clear up misunderstandings.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Pretty much the default assumption when romances break up in this comic. Zii finds it difficult to reject Yuki, who never accepted the break-up in the first place; Dillon can't refuse Matt, despite their breaking up due to Matt's infidelity; Yuki sacrifices her relationship with Gary because of her psychological problems, but then keeps yearning for him, while he still finds her cute despite her dangerously erratic behaviour; Erik breaks with Zii after catching her with DiDi, but weeps over the memory of her...
  • Cast Full of Gay: For a while, it seemed like every major character who wasn't explicitly gay or bisexual was at least very deeply uncertain. This was scaled back somewhat when DiDi stopped identifying as bi, Sandra and Gary stopped questioning, and Kiley and Erik became more important as characters — but then things got more complicated with all those characters in different ways. In any case, there's still a substantial majority of non-heterosexual characters. This is mostly Played for Laughs (and a fair bit of Fanservice), though; a modern Sex Comedy, in which characters actually have sex on a regular basis, has more options for jokes and surprises if almost anybody might end up in bed with anybody else.
  • Casting Couch:
    • Used by Nathan to get both Dillon and Amber into bed. Dillon is initially too naive to realize that he's being used; Amber, the former porn star, is surely cynical and worldly enough to know from the first (she later says that Nathan was her Sugar Daddy). When they learn exactly what's going on, they are able to turn things around and come out well ahead on the deal.
    • It's revealed in flashbacks that Zii had sex with many of the people who auditioned for her earlier bands before the comic's story began. She may not have thought of this as a casting couch process; whether any of the other parties involved did so is less clear. She does at least look embarrassed at the recollection when she's accidentally reminded of this while auditioning Sonya for her new band, but that's because she's trying to avoid being seduced by Sonya.
  • Casual Kink: It's at least hinted on occasion that several of the characters regard a little light BDSM as a perfectly normal part of sex.
    • This is certainly true of Yuki, who positively enjoys being tied up at least once (strip #212, October 14, 2009, NSFW), and talks about candles in a way that worries Gary (strip #645, September 13, 2012, NSFW) — and Zii doesn't seem to have been unhappy with that side of their past relationship.
    • A more complicated instance appears when Yuki ties DiDi up and spanks her, for (supposedly) non-sexual reasons; to judge by her facial expressions and subsequent reactions, DiDi comes very close to discovering a submissive side there. (See strips 613 & 614, June 14 & 16, 2012, NSFW.)
    • When Matt, Gary, and Peggy end up in a threesome, Matt takes it upon himself to teach the other two about the use of strap-ons, treating this as sophisticated bu not excessively weird.
    • When Brandy meets DiDi, she instantly starts flirting (well, it is DiDi), and within minutes, she happens to mention the fur-lined handcuffs in her nightstand.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • DiDi suffers one when her over-active conscience notices her interest in Gary. (January 12, 2009, strip #96, NSFW.)
    • Yuki has two regarding "Garii". (May 13 & October 29 2010, strips #300 & 370, NSFW.)
    • Zii has one (actually two, in a Dream Within a Dream) after Peggy comprehensively messes with her head. (February 06, 2014, strip #847, NSFW.)
  • Cat Fight: Dillon and Sandra when Sandra taunts Dillon about her relationship with Matt. Not a real catfight, of course, but it looks like one, since Dillon is dressed, very convincingly, as Black Canary.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: A persistent danger for a sex-mad cast who never seem to have discovered door locks, although Interrupted Intimacy is actually more common.
  • Celebrity Paradox The authors of the comic show up as the authors of their other comics and selling associated merchandise.
  • Censor Suds: These may show up occasionally throughout the comic, but Amber puts on a truly astonishing demonstration of the trope in strip #662 (October 23, 2012), which probably has to rate as NSFW, despite the fact that nothing is actually showing. Similarly, Maura uses them to implausibly full effect in strip #1183 (June 16, 2016), and Tess does likewise in strip #1325 (July 22, 2017).
  • Chandler's Law: Applied in comedy soap opera form at the end of chapter 5 and beginning of chapter 6, when the story had perhaps fallen into a bit of a rut (or maybe the writers had got a little bored with things). First, Erik came through a door (and into the middle of a lesbian orgy) with a startled expression, and then, one strip later, it turned out that Gary had just come through an international plane flight with a transgender woman, and now he came through a door — in Paris.
  • Chekhov's Gag: DiDi's ability to lift heavy weights easily is used for minor gags in two early strips, and then comes back when she lifts Zii out of the way so she can offer herself to Gary.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Swirly-Go-Round, a kissing technique which Dillon teaches Gary early on, later turns out to serve as an amazingly effective form of cunnilingus. It helps Gary satisfy various women, and then becomes crucial to several plot strands, to the point of causing Gary some difficulties due to the sheer number of women interested in experiencing it.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: In 2018, with the comic coming to an end somewhat earlier than had perhaps been previously expected, a number of (more or less romantic) character arcs were wrapped up rather briskly. To start with, Maura and Tess get jobs with the WW3, with Maura paired off with Lynn and Tess with Damien, while Sonya collides with Bianca, and sees the latter's dangerous Spy Fiction lifestyle as a possible source of adrenaline rushes to replace her interest in Zii.
  • Cliffhanger: The comic throws in a few of these, at the comedy/soap opera level. Two guys discover their girlfriends in a lesbian orgy, with one of the girlfriends just achieving orgasm and the other professing her undying love for one of the other two women present? Naturally, the next strip cuts to three completely different characters on a different continent...
  • Closet Key: Three slightly variant versions:
    • When she first appears, Sonya thinks that she's straight, but Zii rapidly seduces her. She continues to insist that she's "not a lesbian" with an exception for Zii, but it's obvious to anyone who knows what the words mean that she's bisexual, with Zii as her closet key.
    • Sonya's previously-straight boyfriend Jake has a homosexual encounter with Matt (at Zii and Sonya's instigation, to give their relationship some closure for Sonya) in a print volume bonus strip. He's subsequently seen (briefly) getting a new girlfriend to peg him with a strap-on while she complains that he keeps calling her "Matt", and much later, he has another one-frame appearance — with Matt himself again. Evidently, Matt was his closet key.
    • At the start of volume 10, Gary turns out to be James' closet key — the twist there being that Gary himself is basically straight. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Coitus Ensues: Some of the sex in the comic does come rather out of the blue — notably Kiley jumping Gary and Zii's night with Angele. However, by and large, there's a bit of foreshadowing or character consistency involved. Whether Sonya and Yuki's hate-sex was foreshadowed to the point of inevitability, or completely unpredictable, might be an interesting question.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Most or all of the cast are pretty shameless at times, or have weird priorities. Some examples:
    • Gary and Yuki walk in on Jordan while he's receiving a blowjob from an understudy backstage at the theater. Unfazed, he says: "Oh, hi! You must be Gary!" Then Yuki has one of her moments.
    • Matt answers the phone while getting a blowjob from Jordan.
    • DiDi calls Sandra to ask her to meet for a talk, and Sandra takes the call... while she's having sex with Matt.
    • The cabin crew interrupt Senna and Gary having sex on the private 'plane to tell them to return to their seats for landing. Senna tries to insist that the 'plane should circle while they finish.
    • Porn star Becca takes a phone call from Tracy while at work.
    • To illustrate the unwisdom of dividing one's attention: Zii answers the phone while with DiDi (and so ends up talking with, ahem, her mouth full). However, this means that she's distracted when Yuki is voicing serious concerns about the band, and so Sonya is able to pull off a three-word masterstroke.
  • Comedic Spanking: During a disagreement about access to Gary, the somewhat deranged Yuki hogties DiDi with NES controller cords and tells her she'll only be released when she admits that Gary is Yuki's boyfriend; she doesn't, so Yuki spanks her. When DiDi seems to be getting into this, it perhaps becomes more Kinky Spanking. (See strip #612, June 12, 2012, onwards — NSFW).
  • Comically Missing the Point: An occasional source of comedy in this comic, especially perhaps with Gary in the early days.
  • Comic-Book Time: The comic has been running since 2008, but only a few months — perhaps a year — have passed within its universe. Mostly, the dates of events in the story are unstated and ambiguous, but there are occasional hints that the current date is close to the real-world date. For example, Gary is a "brony" — a fan of comics that weren't being published yet in 2008 — while one 2018 strip features a Donald Trump joke that only really works if one of the characters knows that he's U.S. president.
  • Comic Sutra: The comic approaches this trope a couple of times, although there's little attempt to disguise the general nature of what's being discussed. The Swirly-Go-Round (a kissing technique re-purposed for cunnilingus) is the chief example; also, Amber offers Gary the "Amberlux Vacuum", a fellatio technique "never used on camera".
  • Compliment Backfire: Gary's line to Kiley is more of an Assurance Backfire, but he's trying to be nice:
    Kiley: MY IQ IS SMALLER THAN MY BREAST SIZE!
    Gary: Uh... Don't cry... I'm sure your IQ's much bigger than your breasts!
  • Commonality Connection: Matt and Yuki initially pair up because she thinks he can help her work through her violent fugue state problem, and he feels sorry for her, having had weird issues of his own. The idea is to render Yuki able to start a functional relationship with Gary. However, as Gary eventually points out, these two actually work rather well together, because Yuki can only ever partially repress her problem, and Matt enjoys danger, especially during sex. So they start with one commonality, and end up paired off because of another.
  • The Conscience: Mostly notable by its absence, as most of the cast are a little too frenetic and amoral (though not usually downright immoral) to either play this part or accept a Conscience's advice. Certainly, none of them act solely as the Conscience. However, during her first appearance, new Only Sane Woman Peggy suddenly if briefly starts acting as a Conscience.
  • Contempt Crossfire: When Yuki and Sonya are fighting over which one is his girlfriend, Gary makes the mistake of suggesting both. The girls instantly turn on him instead.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It's the kind of comedy that isn't afraid of this trope. This fact is, finally, lampshaded to hell and back.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Zii promised to watch all the Transformers cartoons after breaking one of Gary's most valuable Transformer models... except that it isn't broken.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Given that many characters in this comic are enthusiastic about sex and a bit amoral, while some others are cute but less experienced or more confused, it's not surprising if this is a fairly frequent source of character motivation, especially for one of the lead characters.
    • Zii's offer to get Gary laid could be a case in point. It's not that Gary needed corrupting, exactly, but he needed help in getting to act on his impulses — and Zii occasionally fantasised about him becoming rather more bisexual than he himself seemed to want.
    • Zii also has hopes about DiDi early on, although her actions there are perhaps less systematic. In fact, it soon comes to seem that DiDi has been hanging out with Zii for too long, as her capacity for good-natured mischief increases, followed by her less good-natured active pursuit of an orgasm. Admittedly, given things like her pre-existing love of cross-dressing guys and horror movies, it may not have taken much.
    • Zii probably barely thinks of her seduction of Sonya as "corruption"; she is just encouraging Sonya to express her bisexual side. However, the effects are more dramatic (and less fun for Zii) than she expects. Sonya not only takes to bisexuality and group sex, she becomes obsessed with Zii, and uses increasingly amoral tactics to catch her.
    • Matt may initially hope to "corrupt" Sandra, though he soon discovers that she becomes every bit as kinky as he wants when she's had a few drinks.
    • Senna made it plain from the first that her aim with regard to Gary involved making him question his sexuality — by getting him into bed. Her problem for a long time was getting to be in the same city as him, and by the time she managed that, he was a little less inexperienced than at their first meeting. But he was still cutely confused by her, and not long after she caught up with him, she was semi-accidentally getting him drunk and then getting hot and heavy with him.
  • Cosplay:
  • Creator Cameo: Giz and Dave Zero1 appear as artists at Otakuthon, due other comics they create, Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks, existing (and apparently being popular) in the Ma 3 universe. There even appear to be fans cosplaying Magick Chicks characters at the con.
  • Creator Provincialism: Gary's favorite porn star, the daughter of Gary's favorite manga artist, and the troll screwing with Zii, all happen to live in or fairly near to the same neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec.
  • Crossover: Two substantial instances with the spinoff comics:
    • The June 4, 2013 strip (#750, NSFW), the Cliffhanger ending of volume 5, drops Gary into the context of Sandra on the Rocks. The crossed-over story then really gets underway with a double image of the same moment here and here. For a while then, alternate strips from each actually begin with a re-drawing of the last panel from the other — though either comic can be read on its own and still make sense. Subsequently, the plot strands sometimes diverge a little more, though still running in close parallel for a time.
    • Late in volume 6, Zii's band ("Zii and the Troublemakers") have their first booking, and Zii invites all her friends. This sets up a crossover with Sticky Dilly Buns; see the notes on Gambit Pileup for some idea as to the consequences.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Another stylistic trick occasionally borrowed from manga here:
  • Crushing Handshake: Demonstrated competitively by Zii and Angel.
  • Cut Apart: A trick that the comic occasional exploits for comedy. See, for example, strip #209, October 7 2009 (NSFW), with Gary apparently expressing understandable amazement at a naked DiDi — and then turning out to be in a different room.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Most of the female characters in the comic have good legs and aren't ashamed to show them, although as this isn't an action-oriented comic, they don't usually have to worry much about unintended flashes. Tatiana may evoke the trope most blatantly; she's supposed to be a quiet, reserved personal assistant, but she always wears a (very mini) miniskirt — giving a large hint that there's a side to her personality that she's trying to keep hidden.
  • Date Peepers: After Zii has fixed Gary up with his first-ever date, with Sonya, she naturally wants to see how it goes - and she brings DiDi along. (Their disguises leave something to be desired.) By coincidence, Yuki and Kiley are also in the same restaurant.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: It sometimes seems that when any character in this comic isn't having sex, they're missing it, and often looking for some kind of substitute (though it's taken as read that it's a poor substitute at best). Examples:
    • Gary, several times.
    • Zii, watching all-male pornography while calling DiDi's name. She doesn't notice the contradiction there (probably being too horny). Later, she acquires an electrical massager with a view to relieving her tensions after a (brief but passionate) kiss from Yuki.
    • Then there's Yuki and DiDi's discussion of batteries when both are suffering some degree of frustration, and Zii's suggestion to Sonya when she's got the same problem (though Sonya soon has a better idea)...
  • Death Glare:
  • Deconstruction: Two distinct instances so far, both involving Kiley:
    • The conclusion of the Matt-Kiley Will They or Won't They? arc deconstructs the fundamental nature of the comic's wacky sexual hijinks, showing that they only work when the characters don't know what's going on behind their backs. Kiley enjoys casual sex with Matt, but the moment she finds out he's using her to prove that his sexual prowess is greater than Gary's, she storms out and drops him like a hot potato.
    • The arc involving the strange relationship between DiDi and Kiley slowly deconstructs DiDi herself, coming to a head in strip #1272. As the arc shows, the comedic aspect of DiDi's character and the storylines featuring her only work if the other characters involved haven't gotten over her body. Once they do that and the comic actually looks into her personality, you realize that it's actually rather boring and shallow, and overall, she's toxic to be in a relationship with. In real life, wise people would stay away from such a person, or head out the door as soon as they were done having sex with her.
      Kiley: Your next step toward becoming a complete human being is to step away from me.
      DiDi: I... I cannot leave you.
      Kiley: OKAY, I GUESS I'LL HAVE TO LEAVE THEN! BYE, GOOD LUCK!
  • Delayed Reaction: Gary suffers several hours' worth of delay ending in strip #784 (August 29, 2013, NSFW), when he realizes that the gorgeous woman he had sex with (admittedly while he was drunk) the night before was Transgender, and still had her penis. He was actually fully aware of this all along, but only now does he suffer the sort of confusion that this would cause many men.
  • Description Cut:
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?:
  • Did You Just Have Sex?:
  • Digging Yourself Deeper:
    • Zii demonstrates the trope while trying to reassure DiDi about her feelings for her.
    • Kiley sometimes suffers from this problem when she's nervous, as in the first panel here.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Zii gets trolled on the internet, so she drives to the kid's house, has sex with his mom, and convinces her to break up with the troll's father. (Note that the father had, as it turns out, been having affairs with his secretaries for years, so the break-up wasn't just Zii.)
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
  • Dominatrix: Any of the characters may imagine others into this role in moments of fantasy — see, for example, Zii's idea of what Sonya might have done to Gary in strip #467 (June 20, 2011, borderline NSFW) — but for one who's actually committed to the image, readers had to wait for the crossover with Sandra on the Rocks and the guest appearance of Tatiana from that comic. However, when Tatiana attempted to cast Sandra in the role (while Sandra was sober), Sandra proved somewhat inadequate (strip #809, October 29, 2013, NSFW if Gary in minimal leather worries you).
  • Don't Look Down: Invoked in highly unusual circumstances, as the thing on which Kiley tells herself not to look down is DiDi's bust. Actually, symbolically, Kiley has it right; she's walking one heck of a tightrope in that scene.
  • Dope Slap: DiDi's Good Angel gives her one when she fantasizes about punching out Yuki to get Gary to give her an orgasm.
  • Double Standard:
    • Zii calls Gary out for offering her up for a threesome without asking, but this is not very different from many things Zii has done to other people over the years. This also comes just a couple panels after Zii didn't call out Amber for tricking Gary into giving her oral sex.
    • After hearing Gary slept with Kiley instead of Yuki, Zii is ready to tear into him for cheating, despite the fact that Zii has had no apparent problem with breaking up established relationships before.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Read over Tracy's attempt at getting Gary to perform on her cam show and see if it still qualifies as comedy if the genders are reversed.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: How would the "sensory deprivation" strip have been received if the genders were reversed?
  • Dramatic Drop: Being around the main characters can be a bad idea when you're holding something fragile. Allie for one has demonstrated the trope more than once, thanks to Sonya.
  • Dramatic Irony: Exploited for comic effect during Gary's visit to Paris early in volume 6, mostly at the expense of Senna and to a slightly lesser extent Tatiana. Senna's initial sense of superiority over Sandra depends on her ignorance of the plot of Sandra on the Rocks, and her delusional belief that Gary is setting Sandra up for failure as a model depends on her ignorance of Gary's deep cluelessness — all things well known to most readers. Likewise, Tatiana is slow to understand Sandra's Internet popularity, and her attempts to experiment on Gary's submissive nature depend on Sandra being less naive than Tatiana should know.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Zii suffers this effect after Peggy comprehensively messes with her head. (February 06, 2014, strip #847, NSFW.)
  • Drink Order:
    • Sandra will take Absolut vodka, often in large quantities. Though she's not especially picky; her characterization involves a dangerously close relationship with hard liquor.
    • On a date, DiDi regularly orders chardonnay, the drink of a fun-loving girl out on the town who isn't out to get drunk quickly.
    • Gary is unsophisticated and stuck in a pre-adolescent emotional state, so he not only tries to avoid booze (being happy with a slush puppy instead), he even hates coffee; he'll have a hot chocolate instead. Though he later develops a taste for coffee, apparently thanks to Zii exposing him to it, and after Sandra has taken him through her boss's drinks cabinet, he's no longer a virgin to booze either — all part of his Character Development.
    • Yuki is also not a coffee drinker; she'll take a cup of tea. How Japanese. Oh, and when she does ask for alcohol, it's an "ichigo daiquiri" — half-Japanese for "strawberry daiquiri", but with a bonus geeky reference.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After Erik and Adrien the waiter discover their shared experience of DiDi's casual unintended cruelty in relationships, they end up drowning their sorrows together. They also encounter Zii on a similar mission, after which things get complicated.
  • Drunken Montage: Gary runs through one of these in a single strip, without getting up from his seat.
  • Dysfunction Junction: As per Rule of Funny, everyone is screwed up in some way or another. If someone appears normal and well-adjusted, that just means that they haven't had enough screen time yet.
  • Ear Ache: When DiDi insults Kiley, Zii drags the former away by her ear.
  • Easy Amnesia frequently appears in one specific form, pretty much as a recurring joke: whenever any character gets seriously drunk, which happens moderately often, they're likely (but not certain) to wake up the next morning with few or no memories of what they did the night before. (They're also likely to be in bed with someone else, which in this comic does mean that they probably though not definitely had sex with them.) Details vary, based on comedy requirements rather than anything else:
    • All-too-experienced drinker Sandra never remembers any of the eye-wateringly kinky things she does when drunk.
    • Conversely, Gary comes round from a fairly heavy bender with what appear to be dim memories of what he did with Senna.
    • Likewise, Zii, Peggy, DiDi and Sonya all apparently remember their four-way drunken orgy...
    • ...Whereas Zii, Sonya, and Yuki apparently remember nothing the morning after their band's first gig, until a significant odor triggers complete recall for Zii at least.
  • Ecchi: The comic is probably slightly too explicit, too often, to qualify as a western version of ecchi. But anyway, Yuki specifically invokes the term in strip #905 (June 28, 2014, NSFW).
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: A "splash" effect around a male character's speech bubble is used as visual shorthand for "has an orgasm while saying this".
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The trope-naming structure appears in strip #750 (June 4, 2013; NSFW) to confirm that a (very surprising) sudden scene shift is, in fact, to Paris.
  • Embarrassing Cover-Up: When Yuki wants Gary to take a day off, she calls his boss and tells her that Gary needs to have a foreign object removed that he had inserted into his butt. ("Who'd make that up?") This eventually gets Gary into trouble when he ends up in a hospital for completely different reasons — and meets his boss there.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • A three-sided conflict brews up over Gary during his trip to Paris (the crossover with Sandra on the Rocks), from about strip #795 (late September 2013) onwards, involving Sandra, Senna, and Tatiana. Everybody needles everybody else at some point, without any stable alliances forming.
    • Yuki and Sonya can't stand each other, but when Angel challenges Yuki's ego, Sonya's competitiveness, and the woman they both love ... Angel's mistake very quickly becomes clear.
  • Erotic Dream:
    • Gary has several about Zii and DiDi over time.
    • Yuki has recurring ones about Gary at one point. Granted, he's a woman in those dreams.
  • Ethical Slut: This generally seems to be assumed. Most of these characters may be promiscuous, may have sex for selfish reasons, and may even use it for manipulative purposes, but they usually seem to have some kind of ethical limits somewhere, even if they're dim and distant. Which said, the trope is played with quite a lot:
    • It's clear that DiDi genuinely does not want to hurt anyone, but she frequently does stupid things like double-booking dates and accidentally dumping people. (This may be because no guy will ever call her out on her behavior, so she assumes they feel as casually about relationships as she does.)
    • Amber's ethics are a little confused — she sexually scams Nathan into giving her and Dillon an apartment, and later tricks a blindfold Gary into giving her oral sex — but quite powerful when they surface; she is outraged by Yuki's treatment of Gary, and resolves to do something about it. Her colleague and friend Chanelle presumably has similar attitudes.
    • The trope is ultimately averted with Senna. She seems fairly ethical at first, but a later strip shows that she's fully capable of casual boyfriend-stealing, and her approach to Gary proves flatly amoral at best.
    • Sonya is determined to be a manipulative seductress. Still, even she seems to want to have a mutually satisfactory good time with her partners.
  • Euphemism Buster: Thanks to Gary's intermittent lack of an indoor voice, when he busts Tracy's euphemism for the second job she does to pay the bills, he triggers an understandable Face Palm.
    Tracy: I do a little, ummmm, crowdfunded R-rated video performance.
    Gary: You're a SEX CAMGIRL?!
  • Even the Girls Want Her: The sheer attractiveness of most of the female cast seems to have quite an effect. Two cases in particular:
    • DiDi not only gets keen attention from open bisexuals like Zii and Yuki, and the slightly more confused Sonya, she causes the seemingly straight Sandra to at least contemplate going gay. Furthermore, she is given her first orgasm by the straight Kiley, who earlier said that that the thought of sex with a woman scares her.note  Gay men certainly notice her, too. Peggy makes the point completely explicit in strip #741 (May 14, 2013, NSFW):
      Peggy: I guess I could fall on a one or a two on the Kinsey scale. But I mean, look at you! You can easily make any girl into a three!
    • Zii is an extremely skilled seductress who sometimes seems able to get practically any woman into bed, regardless of whether or not they've ever shown any lesbian or bisexual tendencies before. Though she may just have an unusually good sense for repressed bisexuality, which seems to be rather widespread in the setting.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex throughout the comic, aside from Gary's initial problems. Characters may suffer occasional dry spells, but they rarely last very long.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The comic draws most of its humor from the fact that most of the cast are self-absorbed and sex mad. However, they almost all retain some sympathetic features, and it's clear that they have lines they won't cross. For example:
  • Everyone Is Bi: Suffice to say that the "Orientation" notes for the characters in the cast pages in later volumes of the print collection are often a flippant extended description, and rarely just one word. It often seems that every single character who shows any sexual tendencies at all — yes, even Dillon — shows hints of of being attracted to both sexes. However, sometimes the hints remain just hints, and Dillon's one hetero-experiment was a bust, as it turns out. There are some quite solidly heterosexual or gay characters, but enough flexible or open-minded types that the trope can apply to a first approximation. However, this being a Sex Comedy, this pervasive bisexuality is sometimes lampshaded, perhaps in acknowledgement of increasing fan comment on the subject, rather than just being taken for granted, as the trope definition strictly requires.
    • The trope is somewhat (hilariously) subverted by Sandra and DiDi when they agree that they are just two straight girls with poor boundary issues. Ironically, though, DiDi later revises that position in her desperate quest for an orgasm, and Sandra later experiences more twinges of experimental curiosity over in her own comic; it seems that she's functionally straight when she's sober, but potentially energetically bi when she gets drunk enough — or by the end of her story, more than that.
    • The assumption is also subverted by Gary. Matt helps him realize that he isn't really sexually attracted to men, though as an artist he does keenly appreciate beauty in general.
    • The trope is also lampshaded in the last panel of this strip, and the third panel of this one (borderline NSFW).
  • Exact Words: In strip #1079 (October 06, 2015, NSFW), Matt's vow to himself that he won't so much as look at another woman until he wins Kiley back would be a bit more authentically noble if he wasn't bisexual.
  • Eye Take: Rather beautifully demonstrated by Zii.
  • Faceless Masses: How large groups of anonymous people are drawn.
  • Face Palm:
    • Zii demonstrates a resounding example, inspired by her own carelessness.
    • Gary's tactlessness inspires an even better example from Tracy.
    • Gary also manages to inspire the less common nose-pinch version of the gesture from Peggy. As he is acting as the primary idiot of an Idiot Plot at this point, some readers declared that she spoke wordlessly for them there.
  • Failed a Spot Check: DiDi completely overlooks the labeling and color of a bottle of Tabasco sauce before pouring it on Matt, in an intimate situation.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Subverted. It seems like Gary never will lose his virginity...and then he has sex completely out of the blue. Which said, having actually had sex with more than one woman, he faces another problem: experience. He lasts all of 43 seconds his first time, and 45 seconds on other occasions not long after. Sonya even breaks up with him due to his complete satisfaction with doing almost nothing in bed but fondle her. Whether and how he — or someone else — can resolve this remains to be seen. He does appear to last longer when he has sex with Senna; being drunk may actually have improved his stamina there.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Action Girl Spy Bianca uses the trick with Sonya, who's a complete stranger to her, to lose a couple of pursuers. Perhaps fortunately for her, Sonya's drama addiction instantly kicks in...
  • Family Business: The wrestling promotion for which Lynn seeks to recruit DiDi turns out to be run by GiGi, who says that she’s shortly going to inherit it from her father.
  • Fan Disservice: A minor case: DiDi's first orgasm, which she achieves via manual stimulation by Kiley. Her O-face is grotesque, and she crushes Kiley's hand with her thighs. Still, readers on the comic's discussion boards generally implied that they found the expression more funny than anything else.
  • Fanservice: Pretty much one of the driving forces of the comic, and quite often Played for Laughs. Note also that much of the Bonus Material generated for the comic includes some distinctly fanservice-y Side-Story Bonus Art.
  • Fanservice Extras aren't really required, as the lead cast are happy to handle that duty, but the scene backstage in a strip club, and the morning when Gary entertains a whole bunch of porn stars, both feature a bit of anonymous pulchritude. There are also flashbacks to a few incidents of group sex with multiple nameless participants.
  • Fanservice with a Smile:
    • DiDi and (originally) Sandra work in a restaurant that may deliberately offer Hooters-style experience — or it may just be that those two would generate that effect wherever they worked.
    • Zii works at a comic book store where she is obliged to cosplay as various characters. She is told before she starts that she'll be acting as "counter candy".
  • Fembot: Aaron imagines a nonexistent fembot model he’d like to see. One can’t blame a young geek for dreaming.
  • Fiction Isn't Fair: A trope that's mainly Played for Laughs in this comic, but which is certainly present:
    • Several of the characters are routinely described as Karma Houdinis by outraged readers.
    • Yuki suffered weird emotional traumas in childhood that her family apparently never really noticed and certainly never had effectively treated, leading her in turn to commit a series of violent assaults on both friends and strangers, without ever being locked up.
    • Nor did Gary ever seek treatment for his emotional problems.
  • First Kiss: Zii and Gary finally get to kiss late in the comic's run, for strictly businesslike, friendly reasons. However, it ends up being rendered awkward by the fact that they are attracted to each other, but Zii doesn't want to admit it and and Gary is a Nice Guy and respects the fact that she doesn't appear to be attracted to him, making it far more of a dramatic moment than most first kisses in the comic's run.
  • Filth: Although the comic is basically open about sex rather than treating it as a subject of sniggering comedy, it does get a lot of jokes out of things like Amber's past porn career or Gary's Porn Stash.
  • Flash Step: When Erik walks in on Sonya seducing Zii, Sonya not only executes a flash step, she takes Zii's jacket to cover herself on the way.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Present, and eventually interestingly resolved, between Sonya and Yuki. They get on very badly from the first, but it is always clear that Yuki recognizes that Sonya is very attractive; she mostly just treats that as another reason to hate her. Conversely, Kiley suggests quite early on that Sonya may feel some attraction to Yuki, although Sonya denies this. But eventually, for various reasons involving alcohol, the two wake up naked in bed together, and start fighting — and end up kissing while pulling each other's hair. Not that this stops either of them from insisting that they hate the other, even in the middle of subsequent sexual scenes.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: When DiDi gets mad at Yuki for not listening to her, she finally explains that she wants to borrow Gary by saying "I want sa queue in my plotte!". The translation should be pretty obvious.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The comic develops personal plots for several characters over time, and often features a bit of cutting back and forth, but sometimes, several plots are running very much in parallel,
    • The trope really kicks in at the start of volume 6 (strip #751 onwards). There's a certain amount of interweaving, but at one point at least, there are four geographically distinct scenes/locations for the story to cut between, before the focus finally shifts firmly to just one for a while:
      • Gary is in Paris with Sandra and Senna.
      • Zii has just broken up with Erik and is worrying about her now-publicly known infatuation with DiDi, while DiDi is worried about the same and about her possible bisexuality.
      • Sonya just starts thinking about her next move with regard to Zii when Peggy shows up asking for somewhere to sleep for a few days.
      • Kiley and Matt are working on mutual "psychotherapy" when Yuki comes along showing some progress with her problem and wanting more help.
    • Similarly, by the end of the concert at the end of volume 6, the cast have scattered to four different locations, each with some kind of plotline running as volume 7 begins, and some fairly rapid inter-cutting — although the geographical spread isn't quite so vast this time.
      • Zii, Yuki, and Sonya are at Sonya's place.
      • Gary, Amber, and eventually others are at his apartment.
      • Matt and Peggy are having a night of passion in a motel room.
      • DiDi and Kiley are making confused attempts at mutual therapy — in what turns out to be a room in the same motel.
      • There are also other consequences of the night before playing out for Dillon and Ruby in Sticky Dilly Buns.
    • In the aftermath of the above, several longer-term plots run in parallel, albeit with occasional cross-connections:
      • Gary is pursuing a new job, which involves dealing with new character Tracy and then turns out to come with an unusual condition attached. This brings him back into contact with...
      • Zii, who meanwhile is distracted by confusion over the idea that his reputed sexual talent can be greater than hers.
      • DiDi is pursuing a weird relationship with Kiley, who is feeling cornered.
      • Sonya and Yuki are engaged in a relationship based on very good hate-sex. Sonya tries to avoid mentioning this to...
      • Peggy, who may also become entangled with Matt's attempts to prove himself sexually superior to Gary.
      • The band's career may also be a concern for some characters.
  • Frame Break: At one point, in a struggle to stop Zii from stripping him, Gary tries to get away by grabbing the edge of the panel and trying to pull away so hard it bends.
  • Freudian Couch:
    • Appears occasionally in routine use, if only in Kiley's fantasies about her future career as a therapist, as here.
    • Played with and somewhat lampshaded in the June 13, 2013 strip (#753, NSFW), which appears at first to show a classic Freudian therapy session, complete with couch. But it turns out that the characters have ... other uses for that couch.
  • Freudian Trio:
  • Fridge Logic shows up periodically in-universe in this comic, as a source of humor:
    • Zii ponders who to bring to Dillon's play, and imagines Sonya, who would likely be very angry with her, having a blow-up and trying to strangle her. But then Zii stops and wonders aloud "Wait... why would she wait until we got to the play to get mad?"
    • An example that some readers didn't pick up on for days: in strip #489 (August 20, 2011, NSFW), Gary thinks his gay ex-roommate is giving him kissing tips. Instead, he has just used the "oral technique" to give three of the greatest orgasms ever to his favorite porn starlet. The comic had recently started titling individual strips, so if you read the name of the strip before you read the comic, it dawns on you before you even see it.
    • When DiDi is trying to seduce Gary so that he uses the "Swirly-Go-Round" technique to give her an orgasm, she tells him that she will be showering alone and naked. Gary asks her how she normally showers.
  • A Friend in Need: Matt cynically invokes this principle to ensure that Gary will agree to come back to his place to have sex with two attractive women. Umm... It's a long story, but what Gary doesn't know is that Matt is attempting to restore his own self-confidence by humiliating Gary.
  • Friendly Enemies: Yuki and Sonya, sort of and perhaps increasingly. Their acquaintance started with their fight over Gary, they can't stand each other, physical violence is not unknown — but they play together in the same band, and if anyone insults the woman they both love (but who they don't, oddly, get to fight over much), they'll snap into a casually sexy embrace like a shot, and make their priorities clear. That relationship gets even more complicated later.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Justified in that the series takes place in Montreal, which is a better city for rents than some — there's a lot of space.note  Two examples:
    • The lead trio are a call center worker who spends most of his spare cash on geeky collectibles, a comics shop assistant (hired without negotiation as "counter candy"), and a waitress. The apartment they share looks pretty nice, though, even if the landlady is a serious hard case, and the lease apparently permits her to enter the place any time she wishes, and apply surcharges to the rent for arbitrary reasons.
    • Waitress Sonya can afford an apartment of her own, in a block with its own swimming pool.
  • Friends with Benefits is a pretty common basis for relationships in this setting, but there are a few particular cases:
    • Zii and Amber get into a specific friends-with-benefits relationship after Zii calls Amber in desperate need of stress relief. When Amber then gets into possibly-more-serious relationship with Ray (in Sticky Dilly Buns), she cools things with Zii, who starts getting punch-the-wall frustrated as a result.
    • Matt and Kiley refer to their rather passionate sexual relationship as a process of mutual therapy between friends; Kiley wants to think of herself as a cool, objective therapist, and Matt doesn't see himself as a one-woman man. However, it then becomes clear to readers that they are potentially becoming a couple, with strong hints of real mutual affection. Matt and Kiley, however, develop a bad case of shared Selective Obliviousness, leading to disaster: Kiley breaks up with Matt over some stupidity on his part, leaving him with the unhappy realization that he had feelings for her, and her in a set of messy and confused "therapeutic" interactions with other women, despite her own heterosexual preferences.
    • Zii's attempt to use Matt as a friend with benefits then and thus becomes a bit of an emotional disaster.
    • Peggy calls on Gary for stress relief. Surprisingly, although she's using him as an outlet for her pegging fetish despite his (initial) discomfort with that, their subsequent conversation is not only friendly but unusually thoughtful and constructive. They develop an amicable pegging-with-benefits relationship.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: "Desirée Chastel! Were you spying?"
  • Fur Bikini: Jung obliges Zii to wear what's basically a fur-trimmed bikini (plus Animal-Eared Headband), and she discovers some specific advantages.


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