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Serial Escalation / Webcomics

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  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: How far can we stretch Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny? What crazy-awesome foe can we throw at Dr. McNinja this time, and what over-the-top, adrenaline-soaked method can he use to bring it to its knees? How epic can a moustache be? Can a moustache get more epic if we put it on a dinosaur?
  • Casey and Andy: What madcap new invention will they come up with next? How many different ways can they find to blow themselves up? Will Bob be there too?
  • In 8-Bit Theater you can notch three arrows to one bow and then notch three arrows to ''two'' bows and then you can add more bows than a two armed human could possibly carry.
    • On a different note: just how much time can the author put between setting up a Brick Joke and having it come back? At first, they happen within about 350 strips or so. Now we're seeing jokes come back after nine years.
      • Particularly notable since THAT brick joke was from the first battle Fighter and Black Mage faced (a giant) TO THE FINAL BATTLE before it came back. Yes, almost literally the entire comic!
  • Effectively the premise of MS Paint Adventures:
    • Jailbreak starts with a guy trying to escape from prison. It starts simple enough, but gets progressively more bizarre and ridiculous until by the end said escape ends up involving teleportation, harpoon guns, and Elves.
    • The fight against Demonhead Mobster Kingpin in Problem Sleuth. How will our heroes top their last utterly ridiculous, over-the-top and incredibly awesome attack? Answer: Sepulchritude.
      • Let's put this in perspective: Problem Sleuth started with a detective trying to escape his office. It ended with an aerial battle against an invincible demon whose attacks are powerful enough to split the the universe apart, with a Humongous Mecha made out of candy, a giant sniper rifle extruding from a clock tower, and Death's Scythe all being used as weapons. And that's not even getting into the Comb Raves...
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    • Andrew Hussie has gone on to use Homestuck as a vehicle in which he can turn shit Up to Eleven, and then turn it Up to Eleven again without resetting it from the first time. Repeatedly. He's actually said that the entire ending of Problem Sleuth would be considered a regular Homestuck panel by now, and he's probably right.
    Andrew: There was only one sure thing I knew when starting HS. That was that this thing would go batshit insane in ways I couldn't begin to imagine. In fact, it was practically the mission statement.
    • In a more meta-example, there was the AlterniaBound Flash update on October 25, 2010. When it went live, the traffic crashed the site, which was expected given how heavily anticipated the update was. What wasn't expected, however, was it also crashing the mirror site Hussie uploaded it to.
      Andrew on Twitter: ok i quit putting stuff on the internet forever because THE INTERNET CAN'T HANDLE ME
    • The exact same thing happened exactly a year later with the End of Act 5 update on October 25, 2011. As much as Hussie and his team tried to be prepared for the inevitable, the Newgrounds mirror - not to mention the entire Newgrounds site itself - was torpedoed WITHIN MINUTES OF IT BEING POSTED.
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    • This trope also applies to the the flashes. First they were nothing more than simple short animations with catchy but basic music. Then walkaround games were introduced, and the flashes just kept getting bigger and more impressive (helped by very hard-working music and art teams), culminating in Cascade, thirteen full minutes long and containing quite possibly as many Crowning Moments Of Awesome as all the other flashes combined.
    • When it started, Homestuck was just a bunch of kids getting up to silly antics that made fun of video games. Now, the heroes have become literal gods powerful enough to create a hurricane that can drill through the surface of a planet, and a omnicidal demon powerful enough to destroy planets with ease is one of the LESSER villains.
      • The aforementioned Cascade involves the destruction of two entire universes, and a character shrinking planets to the size of tennis balls and driving a spaceship through the fourth wall.
      • Act 6 started off at noticeably slower pace. Then came an alien invasion, the Earth being flooded, and the main villain killing gods and destroying a chunk of the afterlife.
      • Note that "destroying a chunk of the afterlife" refers to destroying that area of spacetime.
    • Six words: Chekhov's Literally Every Single Story Detail. How many incredibly minor items or jokes from thousands of pages ago will suddenly become plot relevant?
    • To make matters worse (or better), Hussie has stated that Homestuck is but a warm-up to something else. Speculation implies this might lead to the Singularity.note 
  • How many Shout Outs can Second Empire cram into this Comic? Into this chapter? into this page? Into this panel? Into This. Single. Sentence?
  • Schlock Mercenary did it here, which invokes this trope once you realize that the object they were intimating would be used to ram the Andromeda Galaxy was THE MILKY WAY GALAXY! That's not impressive at all, they're already on a collision course! In a few billion years or so, without intervention.
  • Irregular Webcomic! has just taken Wolverine's Badassness and Coolness Up to Eleven here (read the annotation just how crazy this is). A lot of the idea originates from xkcd.
  • The entire run of Sam & Fuzzy is one big long chain of how much weird stuff can fit in one story line. We start with an anthropomorphic teddy bear and a demon possessed freezer. Then add a secret agent taxi driver, a ninja mafia, an alien invasion of a major US record label (WTF?!?). Oh yeah, and The King is alive on a remote island somewhere. It starts getting into Mind Screw territory pretty quickly.
  • Warbot In Accounting: Just how hilariously depressing can Warbot's life get? Arguably, this early one.
  • Sluggy Freelance: What can we reference from our 10+ year history in this story arc? What character did we forget to give a month's worth of development?
  • Mob Ties: How drunk can Sidney Burns get? How strong can Sidney Burns' punches be? What insane, awesome, or funny antics will the cast be up to this issue? How many Shout Outs can the author fit into an issue? How big is this Issue's Wham Episode going to be?
  • Sonichu: How blatant mixed messages about minorities and women can Chris make? How much more will the schedule slip?
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl, How much of a beating can Alejandro take and still be okay? Confrontation did not answer the question.
    • Daisy has 18 extracurricular activities while being an "A" student in a schedule full of Honors courses.
  • Looking for Group: How many lines can Richard cross?
    • How can we make Richard maim/kill/fwoosh his enemies this time?
  • VGCats: Leo and Aeris had an argument that resulted in Leo being aborted from time. However, this is immediately trumped in the next strip he comes back.
  • From Bug Martini: "Hey, check it out. 7 girls 5 cups."
  • Annual villains in Bob and George. How overcomplicated will their Kill 'Em All plans become? How long setups will they have? How much people will they kill, only to get rebuilt? How long will the fights get? How impossible-to-win will the battles become, only for the heroes to get saved by random plot devices, caused by the ultimate omnipotent force?
    • Also how little will the game parodies have to do with the games?
  • User Friendly: How hard will Stef fail at Quake this time?
  • Toward the end of Girl Genius's "Castle Heterodyne" arc each strip was grasping to outclimax the last. How many new weapons and/or traps does the Castle have, and how much bigger in scale and scope can they get? How many native Mechanicsburgers are suddenly ready to start stomping around, and how much more crazier and badass and Crazy Awesome can they get than the last? This was a welcome break from Arc Fatigue until it became another source of it.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Super Saiyan 2 Vegetto, followed quickly by Super Saiyan 3 Vegetto and his colossal "Final Dragon Shine" finishing move. He became so strong his mass increased to roughly that of a moon. And even that didn't kill Broly!
    • Super Saiyan 3 Vegetto really isn't, it is known that Goku has access to the Super Saiyan 3 form, so when you take a Goku and a Vegeta and put them together , it makes sense that the result of course would have access to the form. The anime and manga didn't go far enough to necessitate Vegetto even needing those forms.
    • Something more interesting might be how the Vargas constructed a room that completely blocks out Ki signatures, allowing Cell to produce a second, stronger Cell Junior while murdering his previous one in cold blood. Although this may count as Crazy-Prepared.
      • They also constructed energy shields that can withstand energy blasts from Broly and Cooler.
    • The U19 fighters claim that, in their war armor, any one of them could kill Broly with one strike. While it's never revealed if this was quite accurate, it's clear they aren't bluffing: only 1% of Broly's murderous rampage penetrated the energy shield that's protecting the spectators. Xeniloum's Z-slash, however, went through 100%... and he didn't seem to be even trying. The Vargas are naturally freaked out.


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