Tropes A to D | Tropes E-H | Tropes I to L | Tropes M to P | Tropes Q to T | Tropes U to Z
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- Pintsize at one point claims his destructive, belligerent and annoying behavior comes from his American locale settings. He does become very civil and even kind when switched to British English language settings. The characters speculate as to how much of that is real personality change and how much is Pintsize being Pintsize.
- Frequently invoked by the characters, with more than a bit of Western-Massachusetts "alternative" condescension.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Reneé is probably the one mentioned in comic 1363. She is introduced in strip 1845, and still it takes 14 strips more to mention her relationship with Angus. Technically, her role in the beginning may be one, as she only gained importance and individuality much later in the comic.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- Marten of all people had the Lame Pun Reaction in strip 21.
- Oh, look, it's the debut of the OMG Turkeys! Except it's actually the second Thanksgiving since the comic started and Jeph seems apologetic at how weird it is.
- Both Hannelore and Marigold showed pretty stark contrast to their introductions once they settled into character.
- Momo, who grew into being kind of prim and schoolgirl-ish.
- Eldritch Abomination:
- Embarrassing Cover Up: Marigold tries to not tell anyone about how the head of security likes anime, but finds out a good lie for the circumstances of being gone for six hours is not "in the bathroom".
- Embarrassing First Name: Raven goes by her middle name because she despises her Welsh first name, Blodwyn.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Marten Tiberius Reed. Or it would be, if his father wasn't such a stick in the mud.
- Emotion Eater: The Shame Orb eats shame and excretes microwave burritos, Randy eats hope.
- Empty Eyes: Hannelore's eyes go flat when she is avoiding engaging with Roko.
- Entendre Failure: When Sven gives his jacket to Hannelore:
Hannelore: [laughs] It's so big!
Sven: I love it when girls say that.
Hannelore: It must happen a lot! You're so tall!
- Entitled to Have You: Sven doesn't really seem to understand Faye turning him down. In his mind, he loves her and he's being honest, so she should like him back.
- Epiphany Therapy:
- Discussed when Faye finally explains why she gets so defensive.
Faye: Therapy helped, but it's the equivalent of breaking your leg — you can walk when you get out of physical therapy, but you cant run a marathon right away. I can function as a human being right now, and even have friends, but I can't handle a relationship.
Marten: Couldn't we just make out now and worry about everything else later?
Faye: Sure, if you want to trade one night of fun for me freaking out, running away, and never coming back.
Marten: Well shit. I was almost letting myself hope that you'd be all "Man, it sure feels good to get all that off my chest! Let's go have sex!"
Faye: If trauma were that easily dealt with, psychologists would work pro bono.
- Played straight when Hannelore comes back from a journey to find herself and had an epiphany a week into shoveling yak poop that her OCD obsessions with cleanliness didn't matter—poop was poop, it needed to be shoveled even if she was grossed out, so being grossed out didn't matter.
- Ethical Slut:
- Dora Bianchi is an excellent example, albeit one in a committed, monogamous relationship until it ended. Still, this characteristic reveals itself by her willingness to address and discuss sexual concerns. Interestingly enough, her being an Ethical Slut doesn't stop her from having relationship issues, for example an almost pathological jealousy and suspicion of any woman who may appear to be trying to steal her man, the uber-example perhaps threatening Cosette with a broadsword for innocently revealing that she had a crush on Marten.
- Her brother, Sven, proves to be a counterexample to this trope, considering he had to be coerced to be honest with Faye.
- Tai on the other hand is a good example of an Ethical Slut, even if she's a bit forward when tipsy (and again and becoming more so with every cell).
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: The chibi-fied AnthroPC is, anyway.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Marten nonchalantly (and perhaps slightly too enthusiastically) agrees with the girls on this strip that Sven has a really great butt.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Faye and Padma kick off an improvised sparring match here. These are two young ladies who work in coffee shops and just met for the first time, you realise. Just don't try it when she's drunk.
- Everyone Is Bi: Nearly the entire main cast is extremely fluid with their sexual orientations. Even Steve, Marten's Alpha Male Best Bro, is apparently just three tequila shots away from making out with a guy - or at least, Marten.
- Everyone Knows Morse: Well, Hanners does (but then, Hanners knows R'lehian...) There's no indication anyone else understands what she's saying thoughnote .
- Everything's Better with Plushies: You can now buy plush Yelling Birds in the store. Plushies of Pintsize and Winslow have also been made.
- Explaining the Soap: Marigold to Hannelore and Angus with Magical Love Gentleman.
- Expy: Jeph has mentioned that he designed Marigold to be essentially "an Anglicized version of Konata from Lucky Star."
- Eyes Always Shut: Dave, a supporting character who had a brief stint as Meena's ex-boyfriend.
- Face Fault: Momo, whose design is based on a generic "moe" anime character, is designed to replicate these; the classic "sweat drop" is achieved by emitting a viscous fluid from underneath the hair, and it's apparently a bitch and a half to clean out.
- Face Palm: Marten needs some Brain Bleach after the events of 1888. Possible NSFW
- Fan Disservice: When Roko takes May to the maintenance shop to get looked over so that Roko can build a case for May deserves a body that isn't falling apart all the time, May is sitting on the repair bench entirely naked...with one arm off, various cables plugged into parts of her body (including where her right ear should be) and a generally pissed-off expression on her face.
- Jeph gives us Dora-service as an apology for Fan Disservice three strips prior.
- This also occurs with Dora, Faye, and Hanners for Christmas '08 and Marigold roughly 300 strips later, with other occasions as well.
- Not all the strip's fanservice froms from the girls, though; Christmas of '09 gives us some of Marten and Steve, while Jeph posts some of Sven on his Tumblr account after getting 40,000 followers.
- Jeph is rather more fond of depicting post-coital nudity between female couples (e.g. Tai and Dora, Faye and Bubbles) than between couples of different sexes (e.g. Marten and Claire), although he meticulously deploys arm-bras, hairbras and discreet angles to avoid prurience.
- Fanservice Pack: Marigold has become more curvy and voluptuous as time has passed.
- Fantastic Racism: There is some against AI, e.g. May was refused a job, cause she's a robot, even though that was a violation of the Robot Civil Rights Act.
- Female Gaze: Early on, Faye tries to deny she was staring at Marten's arse.
- Fiction 500: Hannelore's parents, independently of one another. Her mother is a high-powered businesswoman with enough money that she could buy a restaurant on a whim just to fire a bad waiter (Hanners has to talk her out of it). Her father? Merely owns his own space station.
- Finger-Tenting: Dale pulls off a classic Gendo Pose, complete with Scary Shiny Glasses. It's even lampshaded in the title.
- First Period Panic: Hannelore Ellicot-Chatham spent most of her life living with crippling OCD and anxiety issues. When one of her friends asks her what her first period was like, she responds, "We don't talk about that day."
- Fishing for Sole: Invoked by Marten when cautioning Claire about fishing for compliments from Faye.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: Watch out for those stairs.
- Flanderization: A few members of the cast.
- Hannelore is considered to be the strongest case of this since it's combined with Characterization Marches On - the circumstances under which she was introduced would be out of character for her now. It's referenced later on when Dora asks Hanners, "If you have OCD, how come you have, like, ten earrings and you smoke?". Hannelore handwaves an answer by saying, "Well, a girl has to have some glaring inconsistencies in her life", but later says that she was on very powerful meds at that time, and can just about acknowledge that it happened on her current prescriptions. The piercings are better-explained here.
- Pintsize wasn't always /b/ personified. He used to just be kinda silly. This may be explained by the beginning of the comic, when Marten comments on that Pintsize finally has wifi and can browse the internet as he pleases... presumably leading to the discovery of 4chan and all of its horrors, leading to how he is today.
- Faye herself points out that she used to be a "bitch with issues", but now that she's in counseling and getting to the root of her issues, she's "just a bitch".
- Flash Step: Practiced by Hanners in this strip, to get out of the way of an impending barf.
Angus: I've literally never seen a human being move that fast.
- Flat "What":
- Flipping the Bird:
- Flock of Wolves: Minor example when Angus describes his job as a Strawman Political—he's paid to take a side in a political debate and lose. Unfortunately for him, one day...
Angus: The guy I was supposed to "debate" with was a strawman hired by the other side. We spent an hour and a half trying to lose to one another before realizing the rally had been double-booked.
- Flowers of Romance:
- Fluffy the Terrible: Bubbles the combat droid. Many of the details of her military service are still vague, but whatever happened greatly traumatized her.
- For the Lulz: Pintsize's usual MO, but taken to extremes in this guest-strip, courtesy of Randy Milholland.
Pintsize: BEGIN. 10 Print "Is this right?". 20 Input "N". 30 If "N" = "Yes", then LOL = none. 40 If "N" = "No", then LOL = Plenty. END.
- "It's pretty quiet, although the lady who lives in 226 vacuums at odd hours sometimes." This is an actually an error, as Hannelore apparently lives in 33. The mistake is the room number, as Hannelore's introduction has a Call-Back to the mentioning of her vacuuming at odd hours.
- This strip and this one foreshadow the VespAvenger.
- This exchange:
- Note the record that Faye is checking out in this strip. It foreshadows into this strip, which foreshadows this strip. Which Toto song a character likes most, or indeed, whether a character likes Toto at all, seems to indicate compatibility. Thus, Marten and Dora have broken up due to their incompatible personalities, while Angus and Faye broke up for a different reason.
- A dream foreshadows Momo's new chassis, right down to the pigtails.
- Angus disappears from Coffee of Doom a while, then reappears in strip 1363 after breaking up with a girl with a grudge against CoD who "practically has a doctorate in belittling people." She turns out to be Faye's Secret Bakery doppelgänger.
- There's also this strip that foreshadows Faye and Sven hooking up.
- The introduction of the bizzaro coffee shop has a guy despairing on a girl he's in love with that seems to just be part of the whole 'alternate universe Coffee of Doom' design, but since the shop isn't just there for a few joke strips, the characters participate in an actual story arc, it is foreshadowing for said arc.
- Note Dora's worry in this strip. Now, who does Marten hook up with later? Claire, a trans girl.
- Dora's reaction to Marten getting a haircut brings up the issues which eventually end their relationship.
- In this strip Raven warns Faye that Dora will kill her for drinking on the job. Faye is fired for drinking on the job 2237 strips later.
- Faye was not listening. She herself advises Cosette and Hanners "You'll get fired if you keep fuckin' up so much." 1120 strips later, she will herself be fired for fucking up so much.
- Claire complains about the universe's decisions here, and we later see her use swimming trunks in the water. She's trans.
- When discussing Tai's secret pastime, Pintsize mentions his own "universe of porn". Dora asks about access to that database, but Marten remarks that wouldn't be good for their relationship. Much later, Dora goes through Marten's porn archive after he asks her not to. The resulting argument is the one that ultimately ends their relationship.
- In this strip Faye asks Marten which intern he's "going to bang", to loud protests from Marten. Doubly loud because he had fielded the same question from Tai in the previous comic. Turns out it's Claire.
- This event was foreshadowed multiple times:
- Forged Message: Played for Laughs in this guest strip, which might double as The Unreveal and definitely doubles as a parody of Hostess Fruit Pies ads. (You'd probably need to have some context of QC history to that point to understand it. There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it line at the end that makes it fall into this trope.)
- Formula for the Unformulable: Hannelore's father asks Marten how happy she is on Earth and then hands him a giant book which will apparently show him how to calculate this. It is not shown if it works since Marten couldn't understand it.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Faye (choleric), Hannelore (melancholic), Marten (leuquine), and Dora (sanguine).
- Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Done to an extent with Dora and Raven, who are both more goth (and emo, for Raven) in dress than in mentality.
- Friendless Background: Marigold and Hannelore. The former was just a loner, and the latter spent a good deal of her life scared of everything and without a proper social life...up in space.
- Friendly Neighborhood Spider: The webcomic has Gordon the AnthroPC, a congenial AI who doesn't quite understand that his cartoonish mini-Spider Tank chassis is pure Nightmare Fuel to a lot of his clients.
- Friends with Benefits: Sven and Faye have a thing like this for a while. Ultimately, Faye got too attached, and Sven went back to his smarmy ways.
- Full-Name Ultimatum:
- Marten's mother calls him Marten Tiberius Reed when she gets mad at him, even though Tiberius isn't really his middle name.
- Hannelore calls Marigold by her full name when she's upset with her.
- Funny Background Event:
- Momo tends to be part of silent gags, such as here and here.
- Often the title of the strip points out or creates a funny background event out of something that was just scenery.
- Dora tries on a tail at an anime con.
- Funny Sideground Event from Hanners here.
- Faye and Pintsize have a Funny Foreground Event here.
- Padma poking a passed out drunk guy at a bar.
- Momo is still capable of these in her new chassis. Here she is finding some questionable content of her own.
- Sweet-Tits reading a book on bird care in her first canon appearance.
- This entire comic is about the background event.
- Frequently, the specials in the coffee shop act as one. Either they read like something out of a Lethal Chef's cookbook ("ghost pepper mocha, buffalo scones, really shitty granola", for example) or they contain items that aren't even food. In one random strip, Affogato is listed precisely in order to specify that they don't have it ("NO") and other specials include "Advice", "Good Advice" and "Blood Pack".
- Similarly, the menu in the sandwich place where Steve and Meena meet is an interesting read: The "Berlin" sandwich is made with ham, bacon, pork and techno, for example.
- Gag Penis: Dora regarding Marten, albeit jokingly. "It's roughly as large as my forearm and fist and about as dextrous." Raven, however, takes her seriously.
- Gale-Force Sound: Yelling Bird is very insistent.
- Garage Band: Deathmøle.
- Gargle Blaster: The vintage whiskey they bought once. Delicious as it was, it glowed and came with a health warning. A guest strip is also centered around one.
- Generic Cuteness: Most of the cast is quite young: early to mid-20s., and the parental characters are somewhat unconvincing. For instance, Marten's mom has facial characteristics similar to the core cast, but with a single wrinkle and an older-woman's hairstyle. Dora's father only manages to look his age because he's portly and bald. Faye's mom looks like Faye with gray hair. Lampshaded when Dora meets Marten's dad, who looks just like Marten with gray hair and tiny lines under his eyes for wrinkles.
Beat Panel looking at Marten's dad Beat Panel looking at Marten Dora: OH MY GOD YOU ARE GONNA BE SO HOT WHEN YOU GO GRAY Henry:
Hear that, Maurice? I'm still hot. Maurice:
- When Claire is introduced to Henry, she also finds him very handsome.
- Genius Ditz: Raven.
- Genki Girl: Randy the Bandicoot.
- Genre Blindness: Hannelore, of all people, gets a weird case of this here, when she asks Winslow how his day was: he informs her that he was licked by a reindeer and saw an invisible emu, and she immediately assumes that he must be hallucinating, in spite of the fact that this is a strip that takes place post-Singularity and features sentient A.I.s inhabiting robot bodies, in a town which features an underground robot-fighting ring and a random girl wandering the streets who acts like a fairy, and Hannelore herself grew up on a fricking spaceship and was basically raised by a computer.
- Gentle Giant: Elliot, in spite of the fact that he also works as a bouncer. As the latter, he prefers defusing situations to using violence.
- Girlish Pigtails:
- Momo-tan, in a scene where otherwise she's all grown up now.
- Momo-tan's new chassis.
- Marigold has had her hair in pigtails as of late as seen here.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot:
- Giving Up on Logic: Marten is apparently no longer able to tell what is weird and what isn't because he's given up on anything making sense.
I'm sorry, is it weird to come to you for dating advice about your ex-girlfriend? Marten:
Dunno. Every other aspect of my life
has thrown off my weirdness calibration.
- Glasses Curiosity: In this strip, Faye and Marigold choose to try each other's glasses. Faye's prescription is so strong, it shocks Marigold. Faye jokes that Marigold's glasses make everyone look like anime characters...
Marigold: That's not what my prescription is like. (starts to whisper to herself) I wish that was what it was like.
- The Glomp: Tai lays one on Marten.
- Godiva Hair: Claire manages to have a pretty full amount of hair from behind, but at the same time enough to cover up her chest.
- Godwin's Law / Hitler Ate Sugar: Invoked and lampshaded in strip 1020. The only thing dumber than an argument on the internet is the same argument in real life.
- Going Cosmic: Following the comic's Cerebus Syndrome, the comic delves into how the AI work in this world, bringing up philosophical points about their individual personalities, how they view and perceive the world compared to humans, and even romance.
- Good-Looking Privates: Invoked by Faye when Bubbles is trying to praise her for leaving Tai and Dora's engagement party rather than give in to her desire to have a drink:
Bubbles: You accomplished your mission and made a tactical retreat before the situation got out of hand. If I were your commanding officer, I would be—
Faye: You can be my commandin' officer, if you want.
: [Massive Crush Blush, vents coolant with an audible "Fweeee" noise
] Ve...very well. Let us go home, and I will debrief you.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Invoked with "racist murdercult" in That's My Backup Plan. "Piss-Horse" is also brought up as an idea for a Southern doom-metal band.
- Good Ol' Boy: Jimbo...who writes trashy romance novels.
- Goofy Print Underwear, often off screen:
- Gorgeous Period Dress: For rent at a local theme bar; it's also the reason Wil got hired at said bar.
- Grapes of Luxury: Dora considers amending her employees' contracts with this proviso.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Dora admits that she's been very jealous of Sven for a long time because of how everything seems to come so easy to him with minimal effort, which factors into her emotional insecurities.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: When Clinton's robotic hand detached and stuck itself onto Faye's chest, Faye was understandably upset.
Marten:I can't believe you smacked him with his own hand.
- Groin Attack:
- Guy-on-Guy Is Hot: Faye and Dora seem to think so.
- Hacker Collective: The "Sympathetic Party" who offers to help restore Bubbles' sealed memories is an A.I. version of this, with Word of God confirming that several of them share the physical body they appear in at one time (thus the Ambiguous Gender of the chassis and use of "they" as a personal pronoun). They offer to help Bubbles no strings attached but apparently aren't always so benevolent.
- Haiku: Delicious bourbon
Finest of all the spirits
A drunken haiku.
- Half-Identical Twins: Marten asks if Claire and Clinton are this, and they angrily object in unison (Claire is actually older).
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: Or cat, as it were.
- Handshake Refusal: On being introduced to Dave, Steve refuses to shake his hand because immediately preceding the introduction, he heard Dave watching porn. Yeaaah.
- Happy Dance: Steve and Ellen, Marten (offscreen), Dora and Marten, Marigold, and Angus twice.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Partial deconstruction. Faye adopts many of the traits involved (funny accent—her original Southern one, a more comical, boisterous attitude, etc.), but then comes deconstruction—others become concerned for her alcoholism, and parts of her personality are much more reserved. The rest of the cast are better matches—being college-town musicians and young adults in general, they partake in the booze with great regularity. It's pretty much their token "This is how we introduce people to the group" scene now.
- Has Two Mommies: When Marten's dad proposes to his partner, Marten says he's going to call his stepfather "Dad 2: Dad Harder". With the possibility of Jim getting together with his mom, he embraces the chance to have three dads.
- Hates Being Touched: Hannelore initially, though she's slowly grown out of it. She's a total pokeslut now, and even hugs Marten when she gets a job at Coffee of Doom. Reverts back to it briefly when a fanboy of her father's goes creeperiffic on her to the point where Marten has to kick Clinton out via a broadsword. She is eventually able to hug her father for the first time as his birthday present.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: Sven doesn't exactly fit the trope because he's a. young, and b. a writer, not a performer; but he has the mindset of writing music for Money, Dear Boy.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: First Marten, then Tai.
- Heart Drive: In the underground robot fighting ring, the combatants have specially reinforced hard drives.
- Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: The "Ø" used in Deathmøle's title falls into this trope.
- Her Boyfriend's Jacket: Hannelore and Sven go on a fake date (because she never has), a the end of which she looks absolutely adorable wearing his hoodie against the cold.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Hanners and Marigold.
- Hidden Depths: From Jacques' comment "Pintsize has hidden depths. Unfortunately they are full of porn."
- High-Pressure Emotion:
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Hannelore when she was with her mother.
- Hilarity Ensues: despite not being an example of this trope by itself, this strip references the trope's typical use in sitcoms.
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted (mostly) with Penelope.
- Hollywood Provincialism: The newspost below this strip implies that Ellen's about to turn 18. The age of consent in Massachusetts is 16.
- Hollywood Pudgy: Jacques has a tendency to draw all his "overweight" characters as merely Hollywood Pudgy.
- Faye is arguably an aversion — she's regarded as a very attractive woman in-universe, but is a bit self-conscious about her weight (her rear end is quite large, but this is seen as a plus by many). Many real people have the same hang-ups, so it's a kind of deconstruction of the trope. Oddly enough, Jacques drew Faye with the same build as Dora early in the comic's run, though this has gradually changed due to Art Evolution.
- Marigold considers herself fat as well (despite being thinner than Faye — she has really low self-esteem), so it counts in her own mind.
- Even Gabe Newell gets this treatment.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Steve, according to Marten.
- Home Nudist: When Dora and Faye get lost en route to a friend's family cottage, they end up at the doorof a rather large, very naked elderly man. They stop in for a game of cards and some home-baked cookies, so clearly they're not much bothered
- Homosexual Reproduction: One member of an all-girl Love Dodecahedron gets pregnant "somehow", but we never do find out the actual cause...
- Horrible Judge of Character: Wil.
- Hug and Comment: Your armpits smell like daffodils.
- Hulk Speak: DROID 06 EXHIBIT THIS SPEECH PATTERN.
DROID 06 SEE CAT STUCK IN TREE. DROID 06 KNOCK TREE OVER TO SAVE CAT. CAT BITE DROID 06 AND RUN AWAY. DROID 06 SAD.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: EUPHORIA FLUID.
- Hypocrite: Hannelore going apeshit about having "a crazy person" living in the same building as she.
- Hypocritical Humor:
It's not like Wil's some Jesus-freak. Can't you just agree to disagree? Penelope:
I shouldn't have to! I'm right
No offense Penelope, but that sounds like the kind of argument your parents would use
Yes... but see, they're wrong
. Dora: I think you're missing the point.
- Another great example here.
She didn't even get my name right. Steve:
Aw, that sucks bro. Cosette:
What was her
name? Beat Marten:
Hang on, hang on, I know I know this. Cosette: Uh huh.