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Series / Dark Oracle

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"It's all the comic's fault..."
Cally Stone

Dark Oracle is a Canadian television series that aired on YTV for two seasons from October 2004 to June 2006. It follows twins Lance and Cally Stone, a pair of normal teenagers whose lives are turned topsy-turvy by the arrival of a comic book, the titular Dark Oracle, that can predict the future. In each episode, a new issue arrives, resulting in the twins scrambling to head off whatever disaster the comic predicts.

Dark Oracle provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: The best way to describe Lance and Cally. They don't go looking for trouble, but they're more than capable of enduring it, despite being a pair of Ordinary High School Students.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Played with in Season 2, as Cally is stuck between Nice Guy Emmett, and former enemy, Omen. It ends very badly.
    • Averted with Vern, who is unable to get a date with anyone who is not comic Sage, although Simone might be willing to do something about that.
  • Arc Words: "What just happened here?" This is typically uttered after someone's first encounter with the comic.
  • Art Evolution: Done deliberately between Seasons 1 and 2 as Blaze, Violet, and the other comic book counterparts come to more closely resemble their real world doubles. Most noticeable with Sage's twin who changes from looking like a shy, brown-haired girl to an almost exact, (if more aggressive) duplicate of her.
  • Badass Longcoat: Vern tries to invoke this, but his Harmless Villain status and general loser-dom means it ends up being completely subverted.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: Season 2 has Violet look this in the comics, though not in the real world.
  • Big Bad: Season 1, Omen. Season 2 went through Vern, Blaze and Violet before finally revealing the real mastermind to be The Puppet-Master, Doyle's Evil Counterpart.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Subverted twice over. Season 2 appears to be setting up Vern and Omen as an Evil Duo, but it quickly becomes apparent that Omen is simply using Vern for his own ends, and in any case, Blaze and Violet are in back of him. Blaze and Violet themselves look a straight example, but as it turns out, they're really Co-Dragons to The Puppet-Master.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Vern in Season 2. He's a Not-So-Harmless Villain for sure, but not nearly at Omen or Blaze and Violet's level.
  • Blank Book: The comic arrives with the majority of the pages blank. As the episode progresses, it fills in, eventually revealing whatever awful future is in store for the cast.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Cally's reasons why she hates camping:
    Cally: Rain, pitching tents, pitching tents in the rain.
  • The Bully: Lots of 'em. There's the creeper from the first couple of episodes who first stalks Cally, and then—along with some of his friends—mocks, and later eggs, Sage. Vern has definite traits of this as well, although it's combined with Loners Are Freaks. And then there are numerous random jerks who pick on Dizzy, Sage, or Lance.
  • Bully Hunter: Blaze and comic Sage, although it's got more to do with "how dare you do this to me" than with any sort of altruistic motivation.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dizzy, constantly.
  • Catchphrase: Lance says "Don't hit!" to Cally about once an episode. Blaze says it to Violet in the Grand Finale.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: This is what Dizzy wants with Cally.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Omen backstabs in order: Doyle, Lance & Cally (twice), Blaze & Violet, Vern, Lance & Cally again, and finally, Blaze and Violet again. Being a raging Smug Snake will do that to you.
  • Co-Dragons: Blaze and Violet are ultimately revealed to be this to The Puppet-Master, Doyle's Evil Counterpart.
  • Cool Loser: Lance and Dizzy. Though they get better.
  • Creepy Twins: Blaze and Violet.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 is notably darker than the already less-than cheery Season 1.
  • Dark World: The world inside the comic book shows all the signs of this. Decayed buildings, shadowy streets and alleys, rampant cult activity, gang warfare, a school system that more closely resembles a warzone, and a population that's at best apathetic and nihilistic and at worst outright destructive.
  • Dating Catwoman: Omen and Cally. Whether he's just using her or is genuinely interested varies depending on the episode and the season.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Simone, Vern's right hand girl.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Omen (and maybe Vern) to Doyle.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Dizzy in Season 1 to Cally.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • By Season 2, Blaze and Violet are somewhere between this and Lance and Cally's Evil Twins, with Blaze taking Lance's loner tendencies to their ultimate, reclusive conclusion and Violet showing what Cally would be like if she's completely uninhibited.
    • Doyle gains his own evil counterpart in The Puppet-Master.
  • Evil Duo: Blaze and Violet, with Blaze as the angry, impulsive one, and Violet as manipulator.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Blaze, Violet, and comic Sage are far more over-the-top than their real life counterparts.
  • Evil Makeover: As noted under Art Evolution, Violet, Blaze, Sage, Dizzy, and Doyle's counterparts all look very different post-Face–Heel Turn.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Omen, Vern, and The Puppet-Master. Blaze and Violet might count as well, given that they at least dabble in magic. Subverted with Doyle: they repeatedly imply he's evil but he's anything but.
  • Evil Twin: Blaze and Violet became these to Lance and Cally whenever they emerged into the real world. Comic book Sage was a straighter example, having no other name and being utterly psychotic during her one appearance in the real world.
  • Eye Recall: Happends on almost every episode, always happends to Cally sometimes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Violet and Blaze, between Seasons 1 and 2. They progress from being slightly more extreme counterparts to Lance and Cally to a pair of psychos out to kidnap the twins and force their way into the real world. Same thing happens to Sage and (presumably) Dizzy's counterparts.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the first episode, just before they receive the comic book, Lance tells Cally this:
    "You know, you can learn a lot about life from a comic book."
    • In the second episode, Lance and Dizzy are discussing gaming techniques. Lance insists repeatedly that the Power of Three "works every time". Guess how they defeat the Big Bad at the end?
    • In "It Happened at the Dance", Lance tells Dizzy the comics can appear anywhere: in the garbage, in the fridge, etc. Dizzy almost immediately finds the comic in the trash. In the next episode, the comic appears in the refrigerator.
  • The Ghost: Dizzy's cousin, Harold. Despite never appearing, he is described as wearing mascara, looking like a girl/mannequin, and having spy gear.
  • Goth: A number of characters affect (or are supposed to be affecting) this style of dress. Seems to be fairly popular at the school, especially among Vern's group of whackos.
  • Grand Finale: "Redemption" which kills off Omen and The Puppet-Master, has Vern's Heel–Face Turn, returned Lance to reality and Blaze and Violet to the Dark World, and wipes the comic from existence.
  • Grand Theft Me: Blaze, Violet and the other comic book denizens intend to pull a variant of this on Lance, Cally and their friends: they plan to drag the twins into the comic, allowing themselves to escape into the real world and take over their identities.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Blaze after a guy bumps into him on the stairs:
    Dizzy: "Lance, what're you doing?"
    Blaze as Lance: "Oh, just breaking this guy's arm."
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: You need a pen and paper to keep track of Omen's sideswitching.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Omen and Vern in the last couple of episodes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Omen performs one in the final episode, taking a hit meant for Cally.
  • High-School Dance: A few times. They inevitably end badly, too.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Lance and Cally will do anything to get rid of the comic and go back to a nice, normal, boring life. This is also the case for Sage and Dizzy once they get drawn into it.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Vern, and to a lesser degree, Dizzy.
  • In the Hood: Vern's comic book counterpart, who's always shown in a green hood and cloak.
  • Insistent Terminology: Nemo/ Omen is a frog, not a toad.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Nemo/Omen does not have any control over how often he shifts into a frog. It happens every time someone kisses him in Season 1.
  • Jerkass: Omen, Vern, Blaze and Violet are extreme examples.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The bullying, petty cruelty, and cliquism at Lance and Cally's high school is pretty bad. Poor Sage probably suffers the most from it. If the images in the comic are any indicator, Blaze and Violet's version is even worse.
  • Lack of Empathy: Omen displays signs of this in Season 1, easily manipulating, lying to, and threatening others without ever appearing to feel any remorse, while suffering from delusions of grandeur and persecution. Prolonged time in the real world lead to his eventually getting better, ultimately pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to save Cally. Blaze and Violet head into this territory in Season 2, gladly destroying the lives of Lance, Cally, and anyone else who inconveniences them as they try to get loose from the comic. Comic Sage may well be the best example though, manipulating Vern and hurting Lance just for kicks, screwing with the cast's heads, and going so far as to loose a poisonous snake on a pair of girls who mocked real-world Sage, and damaged her Evil Twin's locker. Essentially anyone from the comic is likely to be a full blown sociopath. As Cally points out in an argument with Omen, they're just ink on paper: they can't actually feel.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Dizzy and Sage in Season 1. They become secret keepers in Season 2.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Played with. Lance is a somewhat antisocial gaming geek, forming a sharp contrast with his more popular sister. He's still one of the heroes and a fairly pleasant, if intensely private guy. The same goes for Sage, his very odd girlfriend. It's played straighter with Vern, Simone, and their group of misfits who are generally strange and antagonistic, though not outright evil, and done totally straight with Blaze and comic Sage, who both push towards Loners Are Freaks territory.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Blaze and Violet are in back of Omen, who in Season 2 is in back of Vern. The Puppet-Master is in back of all of them, though his role is not revealed until the finale.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Blaze and Violet both.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Just ask Cally. Her relationships and would-be relationships are repeatedly torpedoed by her efforts to avoid the comic's predictions. Dizzy's luck isn't much better, his relationship with Rebecca being seriously strained, and even Lance and Sage's relationship is put under pressure. Conversely though, there's a good chance that Lance and Dizzy wouldn't have dating lives if the comic hadn't forcibly pushed them and their respective girlfriends together.
  • Meaningful Name: Omen. Nemo too, given that Doyle slapped it on him and it means "nobody." The protagonists are named "Stone", meaning they have strong sturdy personalities. Justified trope with Dizzy, as he chose his nickname.
  • Mirror Monster: Constantly. It's the only way that the characters from the comic can enter the real world and vice versa. One notable example had Violet and Blaze chasing Omen through a hall of mirrors during the grand finale. A variant had Violet appearing on a baby monitor while Cally was babysitting.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Omen, Emmett and Lance. The latter even gets a funny Shirtless Scene.
  • Mysterious Past: Omen and Doyle's history is never fully elaborated on. All we know is Omen went too far and ended up as a frog.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Omen, The Puppet-Master.
  • Nice Guy: Emmett, Cally's Season 2 Love Interest.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Vern, for a couple of episodes anyway.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Lance and Cally (as well as Sage and Dizzy of course). They don't deal well with the comic's intrusion into their lives.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Cally and Lance. Blaze and Violet too, although their shared sociopathy and aggression tended to outweigh their other personality traits once Season 2 kicked in.
  • Redemption Equals Death: It's up to the viewer as to whether he'd actually redeemed himself, but Omen's decision to help Cally leads directly to his death in the appropriately titled "Redemption."
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played with. Doyle (when under the comic's influence) and his Evil Counterpart frequently use a snake to threaten people. Sage on the other hand, finds the same snake very cute (attempting to name him "Giggles" of all things), and Cally thinks Nemo (an amphibian) is adorable (Lance would disagree). Then Evil Sage shows up and tries to use Giggles to poison a couple of girls who damaged her locker, only a few episodes after Nemo is shown to be Omen in disguise.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Simone to Vern.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Doyle refers to Omen's frog form as Nemo.
  • Shadow Archetype: Violet and Blaze to Lance and Cally, comic Sage to real-world Sage, and arguably, the entire world of the Dark Oracle comic to real-world setting. We don't really see enough of The Puppet-Master to determine if he is this to Doyle.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cally ships Lance and Sage. Since they're the Official Couple, she doesn't really have too much work cut out for her.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: Lance is twenty minutes and thirty five second older and will never let Cally forget that.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Sage and Lance. To the point where it disturbs Cally.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Omen and Vern, who both believe Doyle has it in for them because they threaten his position as leader of the cult. Both are convinced they are far more talented then they really are (see Smug Snake below).
  • Smug Snake: Omen, and to a lesser degree, Vern. Of the two, Omen is the more high-functioning, although Vern is more dangerous than he looks. Both tend to overestimate themselves though, often with disasterous results.
  • The Snark Knight: Simone. She's got the utterly emotionless demanour, biting sarcasm, and exasperation with everyone around her, not least of all Vern, that one expects from this.
  • The Sociopath: Blaze, Violet, comic Sage. Villain of the Week Claudia might count as well.
  • The Stoic: Simone.
  • Tattooed Crook: Violet has a small tattoo on her arm, and Sage's Evil Twin has an entire sleeve of them running down one of hers. Needless to say, neither of them is very nice.
  • There Are No Therapists: Justified. As Lance puts it when warning Cally not to tell anyone: "Best case senario, they think you're lying. Worst case scenario, Mom hauls you to a shrink." The effects aren't as bad as in some shows, but by series end, Lance and Cally (given that they react like "normal" teenagers and not badass action heroes) are both nervous wrecks with some serious trust issues. Sage and Dizzy aren't much better off.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Doyle never leaves home without it.
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: The titular comic book.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: Deliberately used to creepy effect once an episode, whenever the comic began directly influencing the real world.
  • Villainous Friendship: Vern and Simone are a Type III. She thinks of him as a friend. He, however, doesn't seem to care about her at all, beyond having someone to talk to.
  • Weirdness Censor: Fully in-place. Excepting Lance and Cally no one notices anything weird at the school.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Annie. She doesn't appear in Season 2.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Violet tried doing this to the kid Cally was babysitting while she was stalking Cally.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Frequently. Attempts as Screwing Destiny rarely work out for the Stone twins.

Episodes of Dark Oracle provide examples of:

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Season 1, Episode 9, "Idolised". Cally wishes for popularity in order to get her ex-best friend Annie back. She almost gets mobbed to death by students who now worship her as though she were a rock star.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Season 2, Episode 3, "Through the Glass Darkly". Combined with Kiss of Life in Lance's attempt to resuscitate a drowned Sage (well, actually her Evil Twin pretending to be Sage). The jury's out on whether Sage revived because it worked, or because Evil Sage switched places with her again, thus undoing the damage from the drowning.
  • Driven to Suicide: Season 1, Episode 10, "Ticking Clock". Blaze attempts suicide after the apparent death of his girlfriend. Thanks to Cally/Violet tampering with time, he/Lance and she/Sage both make it out unscathed.
  • G-Rated Drug: Lance's gaming addiction comes to the fore in "The Game" (Season 2, Episode 4). Previously just a hobby, it slowly starts eating away at his life until almost nothing is left. May actually be Justified of all things as his online partner was Blaze, and it was all part of a plot to get him to walk through the mirror in the museum.
  • Hall of Mirrors: In the Season 1 finale, Blaze and Violet chase Omen down a hall of mirrors, stalking him through the glass. It's damned creepy.
  • Kiss of Life: In "Through the Glass Darkly." See CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable for the details.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Dizzy and Rebecca in Episode 6, Season 2, "Stalker".
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Season 2, Episode 4, "The Game." Gee, Lance, if your comic book alter-ego is named Blaze, then maybe it is a good idea so stop spending so much time with an online partner called "Firestorm."
  • Red Right Hand: Comic book Sage's eye when she escapes into reality.
  • Riddle Me This: Season 1, Episode 9, "Scavenger". All the clues in the scavenger hunt take the form of riddles.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Cally's Fashion show in Season 1 Episode 5, "Fashion Queen". The comic prophecisises that Violet's will be a disaster, so Cally tries to do the exact opposite of whatever Violet does. Unfortunately, Violet keeps changing her mind, so Cally does as well, leading to this trope.
  • Sinister Shades: Season 2, Episode 3, "Through the Glass Darkly". Used by Evil Sage to cover up her heterochromia.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Dizzy gets one of these in the appropriately titled "Stalker" episode in Season 2. A crazed student named Juniper has a huge crush on him. They hit it off while working in the school cafeteria. She then becomes jealous everytime he talks to another girl. This, along with Dizzy finding her secret shrine of him in the cafeteria's freezer, ultimately leads her to lock him and Rebecca in said freezer. Ironically, her efforts only serve to get Dizzy and Rebecca together. There was also The Bully who stalked Cally in the pilot.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Evil Sage in "Through a Glass Darkly" as a way of hiding her Red Right Hand.
  • Sword Fight: Season 2, Episode 4, "The Game". Lance and a Violet-posessed janitor briefly engange in one, with Lance nearly being killed by the katana-wielding janitor.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Omen and Doyle during the last episodes when trying to bring Lance back and stop The Puppet Master, Blaze, and Violet.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Claudia to Cally in one episode. Justified by the fact that Cally was all but friendless after Annie and the popular crowd dropped her, and saw Claudia as a strong person deserving of emulation.