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Trolls are a species from the far-off planet of Alternia, who have an entirely different system of class, sex, blood, and war than humans.


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    In General 
  • Alien Blood: Troll blood isn't one weird color; troll blood is one of twelve different colors (one for each Troll protagonist) that determine social status and a person's abilities. Three of the storyline trolls have special blood: There's Karkat's mutant candy-red which isn't even on the hemospectrum; Feferi has the most highly-ranked blood of any living troll, fuchsia, making her the future Empress. Kanaya's blood is pretty rare as well, and she comes with a number of exceptions to general troll rules. It's possible Karkat and Feferi and their ancestors are the only trolls of their blood colors on account of being created with ectobiology rather then being born the usual way, though with Kanaya we do get mention of other Jadebloods.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Homestuck plays with the dual meaning by having internet trolls turn out to be actual grey-skinned creatures with horns. Further reveals have shown that they're Humanoid Aliens, with Bizarre Alien Biology implying that they're closer to insects than humans, divided into varieties with different blood colors that to some extent determine traits, abilities, and lifespan. They're a Higher-Tech Species whose society runs on Blue and Orange Morality and lots of violence. They're almost all bisexual (because gender is vestigial) and have weird forms of romance(troll reproduction requires this), and many are either psychic, psychotic, or both. Most of the less-savory aspects of their culture are not natural, but were engineered by malevolent outside forces. Prior to the pressing of an in-universe Reset Button, trolls were a peaceful species. Personality-wise, there's a great deal of variation within the 12 trolls in the cast (and their ancestors): from Anti Heroes to Anti Villains, Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains to Smug Snakes, monsters to Messianic Archetypes. However, they are similar to mythological trolls in that they are nocturnal and sensitive to sunlight. As in, sunlight can blind them. Permanently.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: When trolls are grubs their eyes and bodies are their blood colors. Once they pupate, their skin and eye colors become the same between all trolls, however they fill in with blood pigment as the trolls get older. The twelve main trolls are still young enough for their eyes to be uniformly gray-and-yellow.
  • Ax-Crazy: Trolls are basically an Ax-Crazy species, but most of the highbloods fall into fits of rage constantly. Feferi is the only exception to this, as Gamzee goes insane later on. Even the lower-blooded trolls are not beyond this, as the fits of rage from Kanaya showcase. Aradia also rages occasionally, but these occurred while she was in a robot fueled by blue blood.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: the trolls even have a name for it: kismesis. You know your culture is fucked up when BST is considered normal and healthy.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Trolls reproduce by donating two samples of genetic material to the Mother Grub, with one sample coming from a loving pair and the other coming from arch-enemies. This works just as well between same-gender couples as it does between mixed-gender couples, rendering sexual preference meaningless to the entire species. They must be able to provide at least one pair of buckets, or they will be killed. Among other things, this also means buckets are morbid sex objects to trolls. Exactly how bizarre is unclear due to some vagueness.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Earlier on, all the Trolls seem to value violence and be at ease with death, even if they don't engage in killing themselves. At the very least, they don't want to obliterate all life, making them the Grey to Derse's Black.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Troll society takes killing relatively easily. Childhood on Alternia begins with a series of dangerous trials designed to off the weakest of them; once the survivors pass, they're introduced to an essentially lawless society where everyone has to fend for themselves, compassion is weakness and your frenemies are likely to stab you in the back. Arbitrary cullings are commonplace. They don't seem to have a huge problem with murder in its own right, just when it happens to someone they actually like, in which case it's okay to get bloody revenge on their fallen friend's behalf. Trolls who would qualify as dangerous sociopaths and serial killers on Earth are just thought of as huge tools, except for Terezi, who is well-liked (possibly because unlike Vriska, who kills indiscriminately, Terezi has a set of rules she follows). The actions of Vriska are more understandable given the culture she grew up in—and it's implied she isn't nearly the worst out there, just the worst given characterization. Trolls are so inherently violent that being someone's Morality Pet is an integral part of their culture.

    It is first implied then later outright stated to be due to Doc Scratch's meddling. The pre-Scratch version of Troll culture was too soft and the players failed hard at the game (because they were too weak and unprepared), so Doc Scratch (on Lord English's orders) manipulated their culture to bring about a brutal, violent, prepared group of teens the second time around. Another big part of it was the Condesce's insane ruling; it would seem that a murderous, bigoted sociopath who believes in a bastardized form of social Darwinism and apparently thinks that wild animals are better at child-rearing than adult trolls doesn't exactly make a civilized society.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: While a wave of meteors can explain the extinction of the human species pretty well, it's hard to believe the same thing would kill the trolls, since they managed to develop technologies that could save them, like spaceships, time machines, and the alien delicacy "cotton candy." To cover this, Act 5 establishing GL'BGOLYB, a sea monster maintained by the Troll Empress that could release a telepathic scream the would kill all kills except those with the blood of the Empress. When the meteors hit, Gl'bgolyb screamed as she died, killing every single troll in the galaxy except for the Empress, who was stranded 612 lightyears from her capital planet.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: The trolls live in a brutally Social Darwinist Crapsack World where, had SGRUB not taken place and destroyed the planet, most of them would've probably been culled for being disabled (Terezi and Tavros) or low-blooded mutants (Karkat). Daylight brings rainbow (blood)-drinkers, the undead, while they sleep in a tub of tranquilizers to make sure they don't get intensely brutal nightmares of blood and carnage. And this was all directly caused by a devil figure living on an unnatural moon.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Common buckets are, due to how Trolls reproduce, basically akin to porn stashes in Alternian culture, and leaving one exposed is a major faux pas.
  • Cute Monster Character: Most of the trolls count, especially Tavros, Nepeta, and Kanaya. The exception would be Equius.
  • Discount Lesbians: For Trolls, sex is unimportant when it comes to romance. It manages to sidestep most of the unfortunate implications from this trope. Troll romance is much more complicated in so many other ways. This is just one area in which it is simpler. It also means Discount Yaoi Guys, meaning a lot of the unfortunate implications are eliminated in one fell swoop.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Trolls are almost exclusively bisexual, to such an extent that Karkat had difficulty understanding why John would see their respective genders as a barrier to attraction. Word of God states that a minority of trolls have an exclusive gender preference (including Kanaya, who is only interested in other women) but orientation isn't as central to troll sexuality as it is to human sexuality.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The trolls' caste system is based on blood color, with the "cool" colors (as in purple, blue, and green, known as "highbloods") at the top and warm colors (yellow, orange/brown, red, known as "lowbloods", or "rust bloods") at the bottom. Trolls can use the color gray (their skin color) as a form of blood-anonymity, but it raises a few eyebrows. Trolls in the low blood castes tend to have psychic powers. The high blood castes tend to be almost completely immune to psychic attacks, but far more prone to mental instability and insanity.
  • Fantastic Racism: Vriska, Equius, and Eridan use their noble blood colors to belittle the other trolls, especially Tavros and Aradia, the two lowest in the entire Caste System.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Trolls have a lot in common with dictatorial regimes, most especially Sparta.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Beforus' trolls were too weak and distracted with teen drama to finish the game and had to scratch their session so Doc Scratch ensured they the new version would be aggressive enough to finish; Alternia's trolls bulldozed their way through the game and ignored its finer points.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Lost Weeaboos appear to live in one of these. At least it's safe enough for Rufioh, a mutant, to live without getting any attention from the other trolls.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: It's ambiguous if Trolls eat their infants, as some evidence suggests they do.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Imagine how complex things can get for the trolls, who have four different kinds of romance. See this for an example. Karkat makes fun of this when he creates a Shipping Grid for the prescratch human players; since they are the only four humans left in the entire world, and they consist of two pairs of male-female siblings, there is exactly one and only one way to pair them up at that point in the story.
  • Morality Pet: The troll concept of "moirails": particularly unstable trolls naturally gravitate towards nicer trolls that can keep their worst behaviour in check: examples include Equius and Nepeta, Eridan and Feferi, Vriska and Kanaya, and rather surprisingly, Gamzee and Karkat. Can be awkward if one member of the moirallegiance would rather it was matespritship (e.g. Eridan, Kanaya)
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: Alternia. Not surprising, since the trolls are very human.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Despite the fact that Troll reproduction and life cycle has more seemingly in common with insects than primates, including a very insectoid larval stage, female trolls have breasts. Andrew has confirmed this is mostly so readers can identify with them. Arquiusprite starts to explain that female trolls' breasts do have some important biological function, but Dirk tells him to shut up because he thinks the topic's gross.
  • One-Gender Race: Played with. The trolls' reproductive cycle simply involves the mixing of two individuals' genetic material in a bucket, then dumping the resulting slurry into the womb of the Mother Grub to be amalgamated with countless other couples' DNA. This means that reproductive couples need not be of the opposite gender (see Everyone Is Bi). So, theoretically, all trolls could very well have the exact same reproductive organs. However, they still have genders and physical sexes, which according to Word of God are simply vestigial.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: All trolls have High-Pressure Blood and can bleed for frankly ridiculous amounts of time and come out okay. Averted for humans, who bleed a realistic amount.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Trolls grow wings if they hit their god tiers as well.
  • Psychic Powers: Lower castes trolls (Maroon to Gold bloods) are noted to have various members with these, though the occasional cerulean mutant can also have this, as well as some purple bloods.
  • Psychic Block Defense: As a troll is higher up in the caste, the more resistant they are to the above psychic powers, with Fuschia bloods being completely immune.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Purple-blooded trolls are the most powerful of the highblood aristocracy and Fuchsia-blood Empresses are the most powerful of all: they (or at least Her Imperious Condescension) are incredibly long-lived and can possess powers from the whole hemospectrum.
  • Raised by Wolves: All of the trolls aren't raised by their immediate ancestors, but by a random monster called a "lusus" who chooses them after they go through several trials in the "brooding caves."
  • Superior Species: Played with and subverted. Karkat in particular lords over the kids claiming the trolls are innately better than them in every way possible. Act 5 reveals that, although their level is technology is much higher than Earth, the younger trolls on Alternia get almost none of it. Their society also seems to be rather behind where people's rights are concerned. Even Karkat hates troll society, until he decides that humans are worse because of something the four protagonists have done.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Trolls have yellow sclera and black/gray irises as juveniles and eyes the same color as their blood as adults, meaning that every one of the trolls would have a different adult eye color—except Terezi, whose irises are permanently red after being damaged by the Alternian sun, and Sollux, because of his unusual red and blue eyes.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: While all trolls have black lips (as stated in Kanaya's introduction), the boys and Nepeta are depicted with lips the same color as their skin, i.e. grey. This is because all the other girls apparently do care about fashion enough to wear lipstick. Also, only the female trolls are drawn with eyelashes, and many of them wear eye makeup.
  • Troll: Since these trolls have developed the internet, they are bestial, hateful, and violent off-line and on.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Alternian Trolls consider friendship a disease, and are unfamiliar enough with humans that the Kids can prank them into thinking friendship is a human emotion. Trolls also use the same word for "friend" as "enemy."
    CG: IT'S REALLY WEIRD.
    CG: THIS HUMAN EMOTION YOU CALL FRIENDSHIP.
    EB: friendship isn't an emotion fucknuts.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Buckets. Also, it's considered pretty bizarre for a troll to be raised by a member of his or her own species instead of a lusus. Inverted with the trolls wondering why incest and sexual orientation matter to humans.
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    The Twelve Alternian Trolls 
The main characters of Act 5 Act 1 and major influences beyond there, these twelve aliens hate each other, but come together to win Sgrub and win the Ultimate Reward. Something goes wrong, so they take their frustrations out on some humans over the internet.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The Trolls refusal to be helpful or coherent at all (even to past versions of themselves) tends to result in Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Many, most notably the one between Vriska and Terezi, which led to 4 of the trolls being crippled or worse by the end of it.
  • A House Divided: The Trolls degenerate into this. By the time they stabilize, only 4 are left among the living, and one is actively plotting to murder another (not that he doesn't deserve it.)
  • Letters 2 Numbers: Many of the trolls do this as part of their typing quirks, usually in a way that fits into some sort of Numerological Motif. Terezi, though, deserves special mention, since with as many as three letters constantly numberised, turquoise color and all-caps H3R T3XT C4N B3 N1GH UNR34D4BL3.
  • Munchkin: The trolls. In their session, they pretty much only cared about gaining levels and skills, and killing all the monsters, while ignoring side quests and game lore. This is ultimately deconstructed when they get to the end of the game, since failing to create the Genesis Frog led to the creation of Bec Noir, who prevented them from winning the game.
  • Neglectful Precursors: The Trolls created the universe where the Humans live, but they made some critical mistake while doing that because they thought frog breeding wasn't such a big deal. The resulting universe was thus doomed to fail.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Trolls. Averted, for their first names, at least. Hussie gave pronunciations on his old Formspring account, though he says that he doesn't care if other people pronounce them differently. Incidentally, in several cases, the fans who originally suggested the names have specified pronunciations based on the actual etymology - and often times they're completely different (Terezi, for instance, is, according to the original suggestion, pronounced tuh-REE-see. Really.)
    "When in doubt, be sure to pronounce everything in the least affected manner possible, from an American perspective. note "
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The trolls didn't come up at all until early in Act 3 with Jade's trollslum and Karkat's one angry rant at her. Then Act 4 featured a few conversations between them and the kids. Then they got the first half of Act 5 entirely dedicated to them while becoming major players in the second half.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: All the trolls. All of them. By the end of Act 5 it's pretty hard to remember that they are all 13. Yes, Vriska too. And this is the reason Terezi keeps playing with her scalemates and wears her ridiculous cosplay suit when she goes to kill Vriska to prevent her from dooming them all. She's freaking 13, and she's the only kid behaving remotely her age. To put it into perspective, in Act 6 they meet their counterparts/ancestors from the pre-scratcg universe, who are 6 years older than them - as in, 13 vs 19 - and the post-scratch trolls consistently feel older and more mature.
  • Western Zodiac: Each of the twelve Trolls take their handles from a symbol of the Western Zodiac. For example, "carcinoGeneticist" for Cancer. Their actual names are also based on their sign (for example, Tavros is derived from Taurus), and use the symbol of their zodiac sign as their associated symbol. A lot of the trolls' various quirks and interests (although not necessarily their personalities) are also related in some fashion to their representative sign. For example, Sollux (Gemini) is obsessed with bifurcation and duality, Equius (Sagittarius) has a thing for horses and archery. Even the monsters that raised them follow the motif. It even turns out they created the constellations of the Zodiac, and thus the astrology itself. They're not patterned after the Zodiac, the Zodiac is patterned after them.
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