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Take A Third Option / Webcomics

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  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, creator Chris Hastings chose a third option in regards to the question of whether or not to include shading in the strips. He hired a colorist.
  • In Ansem Retort, Xemnas asks Axel how he plans on stopping Xemnas and saving Sora at the same time? Axel's response? He's fine with one of two and kills Sora himself.
  • I would... pee on everything.
  • Collar 6 — Who does Sixx send into the contest? Herself!!!
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  • Parodied in a guest strip for Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, which presents a standard Good Angel, Bad Angel scenario regarding the purchase of an expensive colored pencil set with money earned from donations. By the time it's over, however, both sides agree on her alternative solution: "LARCENY WAS NOT THE ANSWER!"
  • From Darths & Droids #250:
    R2D2: What was the third option again?
  • Near the end of the "Snowsong" arc of Dominic Deegan, Oracle For Hire, Snowsong turns herself into ice and orders Gregory (to whom she's frozen herself) to make a choice - save her life via magic and give her ice golem time to destroy the city of Barthis, or smash her to pieces and kill her so he can stop the golem. Gregory merely smiles, removes the spells on himself (which turns her back to normal) and uses another set of spells to turn them into a kinetic force powerful enough to shatter the golem on impact.
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  • Sil'lice of Drowtales and her badly wounded and exhausted army were given two options by their enemies, live by surrendering, or die fighting. Sil'lice's gaze goes over her bloody and exhausted army and she makes the decision of live... By fighting and leads her army into battle. They defeat the enemy, but almost their entire force is killed off and they completely lose the war in the end.
  • In Erfworld, Vinny Doombats suggests two options for escaping an enemy trap, after warning Ansom that "You won't like 'em." because they leave the enemy with a free hand to finish off Ansom's siege train. Ansom chooses the third option of taking his chances with the trap and ordering a hunt for the enemy's raiding force.
    • This is Parson's MO. Faced with the decision between fighting a losing battle and surrendering the stronghold? Parson orders his remaining casters to cast Animate Dead... on the volcano the stronghold is sitting on, blowing away the stronghold and the enemy. Parson later wonders if the titular RPG-Mechanics Verse is designed to promote outside-the-box thinking.
    • Parson mentions that this was the entire point of the table-top campaign he was running when he got summoned: he was putting his players into a situation unwinnable by conventional means just to see if they'd come up with something else. He's clearly a big fan of this trope. When he's first presented with the hopeless tactical situation he asks himself "What Would Ender Do?"
  • In Freefall:
  • In A Girl and Her Fed, the Girl lists three unacceptable options for dealing with four hundred brainwashed human superweapons and wraps up the list with, "Sounds like the fourth choice is your only option."note 
  • Girl Genius: Tarvek's entire schtick, basically.
    Tarvek: If someone can't handle an unpleasant truth? Lie to them. If someone won't listen to reason? Make them. If people don't choose to live peaceably—don't give them a choice. If you don't like the rules—change the game.
  • Homestuck: The newly-revived Aradia is holding Bec Noir in place with her time powers. However, she can't hold him there forever, giving her the choice of releasing him and dying now or holding him in place and dying when she eventually runs out of power. Her solution? Release him, then use his own space-bending powers against him to run straight to his power source and the dream bubbles of her friends.
    • Typheus teaches John how to do this by drowning John in oil. John can't turn into wind in order to escape and using his new Reality Warper powers to teleport away would prove pointless to his objectives. So, he decides to teleport all of the oil (All of it) across the entire narrative up to that point instead. Thus, John comes one step closer to both learning to control his powers and completing his personal quest.
    • When John is using his retcon powers to fix the timeline he comes to a difficult impasse; Vriska needs to be kept alive to fix things, but if she isn't killed by Terezi when attempting to leave the asteroid than she'd lead Bec Noir to the other trolls and get everyone killed. So John decides to just punch the shit out of her. If she's unconscious she can't leave can she?
  • Ménage à 3 occasionally sees some weird third options taken:
    • Gary manages to take one on a very important decision, accidentally. The "sex contest" between Sonya and Yuki is over who will become his girlfriend, and hence, though they don't know it, will decide who gets to take his virginity. It ends in disaster, and Gary and Yuki's semi-professional therapist Kiley have to try and clear up the mess. Gary then ends up having sex with Kiley.
    • Later, in Paris, Senna and Sandra fall into an argument over which one of them Gary should spend time with, and whether this should involve "high culture" or "geek culture". Gary's third option involves all of them taking a trip to Brussels. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • "Vengeful" in morphE is given the choice of either fighting a young child to the death or both her and the kid being killed for refusing to fight. Her choice is to give the kid a shard of broken tile and order him to kill her so that he can live. Also serves as a character defining moment, as she recovers from being killed.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • The PCs try in #428 to determine which one of three identical-looking skeletons is the real Big Bad, and which are the decoys. They have only one shot at guessing. The answer is: they're all decoys. The fourth (and real) one is currently invisible and flying right next to them on his zombie dragon.
    • More stereotypically, in #327 they are confronted with two guardians: one always lies; the other always tells the truth. They both have said which is the "correct" path. The party is about to begin trying to ascertain whom to believe when Haley shoots one. The guards' instinctive reactions to this show who's telling the truth and who isn't.
    • Subverted when Therkla tries to take a third option.
    • The pacifist Celia is held captive by the Greysky City Thieves' Guild, and Roy is encouraging her to fight back, as in a D&D-esque world, it's kill or be killed. She opts for legal negotiation instead.
    • When a Huecuva and a ninja assassin start fighting over which one of them will kill Hinjo, he suggests a compromise called 'giant dwarf with a hammer.'
    • Thog pulled two in two strips. A fight broke out and Thog was unarmed, till he kicked the door in half and wielded it. The next strip, Thog did not want to hurt Elan (after the two had become "friends" and broke out of prison) so Thog just started to smash Haley instead.
  • Sinfest: Slick chooses power and bliss.
  • In Something*Positive, Fred is told by insane fundamentalist Christians running a hell house - a haunted house designed to scare people into accepting Christianity - that he either needs to accept Jesus as the fundamentalists see fit, or go back the way he came. Undaunted, Fred sits down and refuses to move. Fred himself is a devout Christian; he just refuses to accept the rantings of the fundamentalists on principle. When the fundamentalists still won't let him leave, Fred forces the issue by calling the police, and a cop has to force the fundamentalists to let him leave.
  • Emily spells it out in Spacetrawler.
  • Tailsteak's website has a series of comics called "TQ" (short for "tertium quid", "third option" in Latin) in which the titular character steps into a debate between a hippie and a rich businessman to tell them they're both wrong about such-and-such an issue, to the annoyance of both.
  • Comes up more than once in Tales of the Questor — in the story, the third option often is "hire a questor".
  • Underling: Lazarus sabotages the traps rather than take them, even if they are supposed to be tests.
  • xkcd:
    • In the ten year anniversary of The Matrix comic, Neo manages to screw the red and blue pills and take the third option.
    • A later comic shows a heated argument about whether there should be one or two spaces between sentences. Then someone suggests a linebreak after every sentence.
    • This comic has a guy who can't decide whether to report the day's temperature in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit. So he goes with radians instead.
    • In Decision Paralysis, the Alt Text mentions a third option: not to take a decision.
  • In Tower of God, the Ranker Quant is at one point put in a bind by his examinees, being told to either hand over the badge of the It or let the hostages, other examinees, die. He tells that they can try and draw blood, but the moment they do, everybody will die. By his hands.
  • Parodied in Two Guys and Guy: Frank says he needed to "think outside the box" to win a chess match. He chose to do something that landed him in jail.
  • A minor conflict arose in Kevin & Kell when both Rachel and Joan asked Lindesfarne to be her bridesmaid, to the point of bribery. Lindesfarne, who didn't want to choose between two good friends, started looking into holograms, but Rachel and Joan found their own third option: they asked her to officiate the ceremony instead.
  • During the climax of Misfile, Team Misfile finally has access to the Celestial Filing System and can restore Ash and Emily to their rightful states. Or they can leave things as is (Good for Emily, but would leave Ash stuck in gender dsymorphic mental anguish) Emily preemptively takes a third option, ripping up her file. She begs Ash to do the same, even though she knows how much it torments him to be stuck as a female. But they all know restoring him risks undoing all the good in Ash's life that came from the misfile. Then Rumsiel comes up with a plan. But we don't find out what he did until what amounted to a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: He made a copy of Ash's file, blanked out all the gender identifiers, stuck that copy back in the female file and restored Ash's real file. Result: Half Identical Twin Ashes, allowing the girl Ash do all the good things she did to get them all to that point. She even gets her own happy ending, having gotten back together with, and eventually marrying, James.

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