- I Am Not Pretty: Marigold. She goes on multiple sobbing rants about how bad-looking she is, despite actually being cute.
- I Am the Trope: Strip 743, with a Shout-Out to Batman.
- I Call Him "Mister Happy": Lil' Steve Ray Vaughn (NOT Lil' Stevie Wonder).
- Iconic Outfit: Marten's "TEH" shirt and Faye's bearmonster shirt, to the point that they are wearing those shirts on the cover of QC Volume 1.
- Identical Stranger: If Penelope is telling the truth, then the "Penny is Pizza Girl" theory is shot.
- I Did What I Had to Do: comic #2879, Dora fires Faye for drinking on the job. As she explains later, she knew that Faye was having troubles, but had to draw the line somewhere.
- Idiot Hair: Emily's shortened hairstyle sports one for a time after being cut.
- If I Wanted You Dead...: Spookybot's assurances of intent to help Bubbles:Spookybot: Child, if we wanted to hurt her, there would be nothing you could do.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Veronica warning Faye, Faye warning Dora, Dora warning Sven...Marten also pulls a silent one on Pintsize regarding Claire.
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Part of the love triangle at the beginning- Faye doesn't want her relationship with Marten to be destroyed even though she's unable to hold a relationship, and she doesn't want any problems to occur when Marten and Dora hook up shortly thereafter.
- Ignoring by Singing: Faye regrets taking her sister to work when the ensuing conversation leads to her yelling "La la la I am not hearing my little sister and boss talk about sticking things up their bottoms la lee loo la la!"
- I Have This Friend...: Played straight and then immediately deconstructed for laughs by Renee, when she finds out that Beepatrice's job is to product-test sex toys:Renee: Oh, nice! What's the best sex toy for a vagina-haver? I'm asking for a friend, which is me.
- I Just Write the Thing
- Ikea Erotica: Marigold's Harry Potter Slash Fic: "And then Harry kissed Ron and it was very sexy." Her other Slash Fic, Hermione and Ginny vs. the Space Wizards is an even better example, mainly because we actually get to see the whole thing.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Dale does not know World of Warcraft Kombat.
- I Know Your True Name: Averted, much to Faye's dismay, as she was trying to set Angus on fire with her mind at the time- knowing the name took her off-guard.
- I Love the Smell of X in the Morning: Hannelore uses this to describe how much she loves fabric cleaner.
- Imagine Spot: Used occasionally.
- Marigold fantasizing about being in a maid anime.
- Emily wondering what an "arms race" would look like.
- Marten and Angus defeating the Awkward Zone appears to be this, but it's a subversion, as the next comic reveals that it's not imagined at all, the comic's world simply is that bizarre.
- Hanners gets a rather violent one due to her desire for a peaceful sleep.
- Important Haircut: Faye gets one in a strip that consists of a Time-Compression Montage of her work in the robot shop. In the first panel she has her usual short mop, is wearing her trademark white tank top and is standing in her usual slouch; in each successive panel her hair gets longer and longer (showing how increasingly absorbed she is by her work) and her clothes get more practical, until by the final panel she's wearing an oil-stained hoodie with the sleeves ripped off, her arms are more muscular, her posture is straighter and her hair has been cut into a practical but extremely butch quiff, all of which will later send Dora wild with Les Yay.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Marten needs one "to throw in [his] EYES." More traditionally, though:
- Shortly after Marten vents his bitterness over his latest argument with Dora, Faye decides it's time for the emergency bourbon.
- Marten comes in intending to get drunk to take his mind off Dora; when he sees what Pintsize has done to help him with that, it requires the immediate application of liquor.
- After reflexively telling Angus she loves him too, Faye — who is still recovering from the trust issues from her father's suicide — needs a coping mechanism.Wil: I don't believe I know that drink.
Faye: It's easy. You put two ice cubes in a glass, then dump 'em out and fill it with bourbon.
- After Faye invites Bubbles to a party and it goes incredibly badly, Faye invokes this trope, but in keeping with her Character Development, she doesn't actually have one.
- Later, when Faye is disturbed by the amount of change that's taken place at Coffee of Doom, she invokes this once again and goes to the liquor store to buy whiskey, telling Bubbles "If you don't like it you can fuck off." But Bubbles does not fuck off. And Faye leaves the bottle full after all.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Marigold uses this to get away from CoD's newest employee, Dale:Marigold: I...gotta go. Do a thing. Away. From here.
- Marigold has a habit of making these. When she realises that it's arguably a bit creepy for a grown woman to hang out with Sam, she devises an unfortunate reason to get out of it without hurting Sam's feelings:Marigold: I just remembered I have to give my boyfriend his butt medicine every two hours or his butt will explode I have to go I'm sorry bye!!! [runs off]Sam: Um, okay?Dale: Hey babe, what's—Marigold: I MADE UP A STORY ABOUT YOUR BUTT, I'M SORRY
- Marigold has a habit of making these. When she realises that it's arguably a bit creepy for a grown woman to hang out with Sam, she devises an unfortunate reason to get out of it without hurting Sam's feelings:
- I Never Told You My Name: Used in this strip.
- A variant is used here as well. Subverted in that there is actually a perfectly good reason he knows.
- In-Universe Factoid Failure: May attempts to create a clique of special pigeons by feeding them nothing but habanero nachos. She is later informed by Winston that all pigeons, like all birds, cannot taste chilinote and gets annoyed by it.
- Informed Attribute:
- Faye is supposed to have always been quite curvy and big-bottomed. The first hundred or so strips utterly failed to show this, with no discernible difference between her and Dora (though this might just be a case of Early Installment Weirdness). Currently she actually fits: made more notable by the fact that the rest of the main cast are built like bulimics (or at least your average indie concert-goer), with the exception of Marigold.
- After Marten is invited to dinner by Dora's parents, Dora remarks that, among other disasters on previous dates, one of her boyfriends was distracted by her mother's particularly substantial endowment — "Imagine my head on Heidi Klum's body", she tells Marten. When pressed for details after the meeting, Marten awkwardly confirms to Faye that Mrs. Bianchi's bust is rather generously proportioned. And yet when we actually see her during the date, her chest is at best only slightly larger than Dora's, and in some panels the difference is almost imperceptible.
- Also, for as notorious as Pintsize is about wreaking havoc, he almost never seems to do anything more than be a nuisance while on-screen. But then...
- Inherently Funny Words:
- Innocent Bigot: Emily asks Momo a number of extremely offensive questions about being a sentient machine, but she clearly doesn't understand that, and Momo hasn't been able to explain it to her.
- Innocent Innuendo: Hanners, Hanners, Hanners...
Tai: Emily! You'd sleep with Marten, right?
- In Strip 2482:
Emily: You mean like a slumber party?
Tai: No, I—
Marten: CAMPING. She means camping.
Emily: If you can pitch a tent, then sure!
Claire: [stifling laughter] PFFFFFFFFFF
- Innocently Insensitive: Faye is this when she sees Roko in her new body, and is so elated that Roko is okay that she forgets pretty much everything she knows about A.I.s, bodily integration and human-robot etiquette, even grabbing Roko's ears and telling Bubbles to check out the ear molding. Bubbles actually does a Facepalm. A sign of Faye's Character Development is that she immediately realises what she's done, and spends the next couple of strips feeling bad about it.
- Innocent Swearing: In this strip, after Pintsize tells Hannelore that robot swear words come from mashing on the keyboard, she asks him and Winslow what "qwerty" means. They're shocked.
- Insane Troll Logic: "Shall I make you a tinfoil hat?"
- Insecure Love Interest: Dora, in large part because of her jealousy of Sven. This becomes a major factor in her and Marten's break-up.
- Insistent Terminology: Marten doesn't think he's a townie. Of course, being Marten, that doesn't last long.
- The Insomniac: Hannelore is a mix of all three types thanks to her OCD, which is occasionally played for laughs.
- In SPACE!!!: Comic 2105 is the intro to a storyline involving this.
- Insult Backfire: When Momo meets May. Zigzagged because Momo is insulted by May, but May fails to be insulted by her counter-insult.Momo: It is the end of your shift, correct? Please, come in.Dale: I, uh, o-okay.May: [who thinks Momo can't see or hear her] And she's so POLITE! KAWAII DESU! Excuse me while I shit my skirt.Momo: [glaring at May] And please inform your degenerate, criminal hitchhiker that I am fully aware of her presence, and if she attempts any mischief I will ensure that her storage medium has an unfortunate reassignment to the Robot Jail incinerators.Dale: Can—can she do that?May: [beaming] I dunno, but I like her moxy!
- In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: Pintsize (himself an AI) attaches a rocket drive to an actual Roomba. The Roomba flies off through the window, only to return several strips later - together with a family of little airborne kids!.
- Intimate Healing: Faye invokes this after she's humiliated by her failure to last an hour at a bar without craving 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: [looking away] You can be my commandin' officer if you want.Bubbles: [eyes open wide, Luminescent Blush, vents coolant from her neck with an audible Fweee sound.] ...Ve-very well. Let us go home and I will...debrief you.Faye: I'm not wearin' briefs.
- Invisibility Flicker: Whatever it is that dropped Hannelore off at the lakehouse does it here.
- Issue Drift: The series has slowly swapped out music references and wacky plotlines for tackling more overtly political topics like the concept of privilege. This is generally connected back to an incident in 2012 where Jeph stabbed his hand over internet criticism (and alcohol).
- I Take Offense to That Last One!:
- It Amused Me: Hannelore is up front about being crazy, but she's also more than willing to pretend to be even crazier if it would be funny — much to the confused horror of her friends.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": The "avant-garday" street musicians.
- It Meant Something to Me: After Faye dumps Sven for sleeping with Gina Riversmith, it becomes pretty clear that it had meant something to both Faye and Sven.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
- I Will Show You X: When Angus compliments his shy, socially awkward roommate Marigold on her haircut, then slips in an affectionate insult:Angus: So does that mean you're gonna wash it more than twice a year now?
Marigold: (not amused) I'llI'll wash you more than twice a year! B-because you're a stupid jerk! Who smells!
Angus: O venom-tongued maiden! Stay your barbs, I beseech you!
- Jerkass Has a Point: Some readers would side with Pintsize here.
- Jerkass Realization: The redheaded library grad student (whom we soon learn to be Claire) has one.
- Jet Pack: An unusual use of it on Hannelore's Roomba. Held on by what appears to be scotch tape no less. And yet, it seems to be inheritable...somehow.
- Juggling Armed Tasers: Marten doesn't observe taser safety and accidentally shocks himself. Of course, he was drunk.
- Jump Scare: This strip opens with a (thankfully fake) announcement about the website being blocked by the Protect IP Act.
- Jumping the Shark: In-universe, Pintsize lampshades and parodies this by name.
- Just Friends:
- Angus and Marigold, though Marigold doesn't take it well at first.
- Marten/Faye settles into this after the conversation started in strip 500, and then becomes more set once she starts dating Angus.
- Elliot/Padma, though he'd prefer otherwise.
- As well as Marten and Dora after their breakup, though she's been the only one insisting it would be an easy thing to do. It took Marten weeks before he could properly deal with it.
- Just Smile and Nod: Hannelore, Hannelore, Hannelore... In fact, it's how she got through college.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Momo can do this.
- Knight of Cerebus: Faye's father, (probably) unintentionally. His suicide marks the first Wham Episode and the beginning of the serious elements in the comic.
- The Klutz: Cosette couldn't have had worse luck if she tried. Then Marten hooked her up with Steve, but before she could meet him she fell down some stairs and ended up in a hospital with a broken leg. Later she managed to accidentally meet him and things finally turned for a good side for her. When they finally got to it, the fire alarm went off. On the second try, she got back into the hospital. Yeah...
- Kwyjibo: "Yarwhal"
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Raven likes to feel SCIENCEY.
- Lame Pun Reaction:
- Lampshade Hanging: Self-aware humor? That would never happen.
- Lap Pillow: Marten, here.
- The Last Straw: Dora hits hers with Faye when she catches Faye drinking at the cafe and makes it clear that that's the case after firing her.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Marten takes 500 strips to find out Faye's tragic history. Angus gets two jokes. Marten isn't pleased at all about this, but Faye's explanation makes sense and smoothes things over.
- Leaving You to Find Myself: Wil does this to Penny. He does return, however.
- Left the Background Music On: Winslow meets Roko for the first time and is immediately smitten. As we zoom into Winslow's enraptured face, the song, "What is Love?" comes on. It turns out to be from the crappy radio station that May's boss won't let her turn off.
- Let Me Get This Straight...: second panel.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Played straight and later averted when Roko meets Beepatrice for a job interview and they end up oversharing about Roko's bread fetish and Beepatrice's job at a sex toy factory. Beepatrice begs to rewind and start over, to which Roko emphaticaly agrees. After some inane chatter and an awkward silence:Beepatrice: Can we go back to the first draft? It was more interesting.
Roko: I have to admit I am curious about the hydraulic press.
- Lethal Chef: Inverted. Faye's cooking is fine; she's more of a danger to herself when she is in the kitchen.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: The most obvious difference is the presence of intelligent robots and androids. Others include:
- Low-level superheroes.
- SSTO space travel.
- Quasi-civilian space stations.
- Occasional hints of the supernatural (witches, voodoo dolls that work for ass-grabbing).
- Whiskey so fine, it literally glows.
- Metal sculptures that can teleport through time.
- Cloaked aircraft of some sort. (As in, invisible from 20 feet away.)
- Really bitchin' cybernetic hands.
- One character was allegedly eaten by an allosaurus.
- Space owls are apparently a plausible lie.
- (The filler strips with talking animals and the Shame Orb are probably not canon, even though Sweet-Tits has been seen in the main continuity.)
- Limited Social Circle: Lampshaded.
- And again here. "Oh lord, we've adopted another one."
- Living Emotional Crutch: Station to Hannelore as a kid. Inverted later on, as Station didn't count on her moving to Earth permanently, and it made him realize how much he needs her.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: A strange example, as it started out as very self-contained with four main characters. Since then, Jeph has had at least twenty be in focus at some point, and several major characters have been Put on a Bus.
- Lampshaded when Emily invites Marten and "all of his friends" to a party.
- Local Hangout:
- The coffee shop.
- The 19th century dress bar seems to be becoming this at night.
- LOL, 69: Pintsize commissions Faye and Bubbles to make a giant metal penis for him. When he specifies that he wants balls to go with it, Faye says it'll cost extra — 69 bucks, to be specific.Pintsize: DAMN it, you KNOW I can't resist the funny sex number! Also, NICE
- Long Runner: Started in 2003, and went to 5 comics a week a year or so later.
- Loose Canon: The filler comics, which have their own characters and could be said to exist in a world outside of the main comic, seeing as they have Medium Awareness. Although Sweet-Tits did make a cameo once.
- Love at First Sight: Winslow is totally smitten with Roko the moment he meets her. With "What is Love" by Haddaway playing in his imagination... except actually the store manager Left the Background Music On.
- Love Dodecahedron: Now conveniently illustrated here.
- Lysistrata Gambit: Natasha threatens to withhold sex from Amir for a month if he doesn't agree to name the band Deathmøle.
Questionable Content / Tropes I to L