Rich Burlew and Keith Baker seem to have what could be described as a friendly rivalry, so this is probably more of a Shout-Out, especially considering that Baker himself got a cameo in the second prequel book, Start of Darkness. See also this article by Baker, on Burlew's website.
The swipes at Harry Potter taken in "Larry Gardener and the Angry Half-Orc", on the other hand, are somewhat less friendly. In his commentary in the compilation book, he took a parting shot at the people who sent him hate mail over it: "...hey! Harry Potter fans who can't take a joke! I have a spell for you: developus sensus humorous!" In that same commentary, Burlew wrote that he likes the Harry Potter movies, and he makes fun of stuff he likes — see D&D and The Lord of the Rings.
Penny Arcade took a swipe at Ctrl+Alt+Del with the side character L.H. Franzibald, a self-obsessed litigious pseudo-intellectual who writes books based on ideas plagiarised from Tycho. He talks in a slimy, needlessly wordy manner, often explaining the joke of a strip in the last panel, or indulging in acts of pointless violence — once, a comic with him in even imitated the four-panel format◊ of CAD. He wears a large pair of B-shaped sunglasses and his mouth is always only slightly open to give him the distinctive B^U look. To Penny Arcade's credit, it's used as self-deprecating humour, too — according to the lore, the accusations of plagiarism are very tenuous, and Tycho's resentment of Franzibald is repeatedly shown to be pointless since Franzibald is still very successful.
In fact a lot of people have, and for the sake of not turning this article into one, long CAD rant, we won't be posting any more.
Not to mention the Memetic Mutation that sprung up in the wake of his miscarriage storyline of people and other webcomic artists inserting the last panel where appropriate for maximum funnies. That was a small industry of Take Thats.
Several Penny Arcade strips make Take Thats at bad video games. One of the recurring Take Thats in earlier strips were directed towards John Romero, creator of the widely-panned Daikatana. Earlier strips also made fun of the PS2's launch (one E3-related strip even showed Gabe urinating on PS2 equipment), but around the 2001 mark, they started to be more kind toward the console.
Perhaps Penny Arcade's most famous Take That! was aimed at Jack Thompson, who offered $10,000 donated to charity if anyone who would follow his specifications for an over-the-top violent video game targeting the video game industry itself. Someone did. Thompson reneged on his offer and Penny Arcade stepped up to the plate, donating the $10,000 to the Entertainment Software Association Foundation charity in Thompson's name. Was accompanied by a short but sweet blog post generally seen as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the comic and its creators:
You know what, Jack? We’re going to be the men you’re not. You said that your insulting, illusory ten thousand dollars would go to the charity of Paul Eibeler‘s choice. We’ve got a good guess that he’d direct your nonexistant largesse toward The Entertainment Software Association Foundation, a body that has raised over six point seven million dollars over the last eight years. We’ve just made the donation you never would, and never meant to. Ten thousand dollars’ worth. And we made it in your name.
Then again, pretty much the entire comic is an Affectionate Parody of games like Final Fantasy VII and their various clichés, so pinpointing one strip seems to miss the big picture.
In The KA Micsthis comic gives the doomed guard the same name as another cartoonist who had done a comic trashing other comics characters & authors.
In Dark Legacy Comics, after there had been on storyline about NPCs overthrowing PCs for several weeks, the author got enough of forum-goers complaining about the unrealism of such a concept and did this strip.
ThisPvP strip was similarly levelled at people who complained about the then-current Story Arc. Specifically, the strip was a response to this earlier Take That! from the webcomic The Whiteboard regarding his disappointment in the wasted potential of that Story Arc.
minus. had a fairly gentle Take That against most of the criticisms you'd expect to hear aimed at the idea of a comic about someone with infinite power. For extra points, imagine it as a Superman comic.
8-bit Theater once did a comic in which is, effectively, Black Mage making a pee joke and everyone else reacting with confusion and mild disgust. The name of the strip? "VG Mages".
It also had a joke about Red Mage's outrageously idiotic plan which included "the grossly suspect part" where Thief had to dodge explosions while he's in them. That's exactly how D&D3 Reflex Save works with Rogue ("Thief" in all previous editions) Evasion ability: it allows them to dodge completely unscathed being caught in any area effects with "Reflex for half" save, such as Fireballs and explosions proper (even somewall type effects).
A plan to deceive Fighter by telling him that he needs to win a race in 0.0 seconds to get his ultimate weapon is considered too stupid. This is actually what you need to do in Final Fantasy X to get a key component of Tidus's ultimate weapon, although at least there are balloons that lower your time. It then moves onto taking potshots at another FFX cliche, namely the underwater sport of blitzball, or as Clevinger has it, "Drownball".
The ending of Brian Clevinger's Nuklear Age was meant to be a massive Take That at Cerebus Syndrome.
Two Lumps has taken several pot shots at Garfield.This is one of the more blatant examples.
Well, this one is more of a Take That! against people who link to us as opposed to forming their own opinions, as well as Unpleasable Fanbases and the pure distilled awfulness of One More Day. It's hard to tell exactly how effective it is to "puppet" the opinions of a wiki, which, after all, can be changed by anyone. note And in any case, he wasn't aiming it at this site, but someplace with the url tvtropes.com.
This isn't the only case of Take That! that Milholland has ever done, of course. For example:
Sluggy Freelance once had the cast go to war with Dilbert and kill off every single character from that strip. Their reasons? "Dilbert just really ticks us off!" The news media also came in for a lampooning in that one.
The Good Witch is an extended Take That! against aspects of The Wotch'', mostly its rampant abuse of male-to-female genderbending and such transformations being "good for the victim"; this strip in particular gives the idea.
Better Days artist Jay Naylor once frequented FurryMUCK, an online roleplaying environment for furries; during his time there, there was a specific section that he visited regularly, but when his behavior started to get on people's nerves, the owner of the "building" called him out on it in a rather public manner. So what does Naylor do? He leaves FurryMUCK and makes an entire chapter of his comic a prolonged Take That!, turning D'anna into what is essentially the Big Bad of the chapter.
The Wotch was at one point attacked by Something Awful. A few weeks later there came a minor plotline where Anne was besieged by a giant troll; Miranda West saved the day by banishing it to a dimension named Sapoe.
"I sent it to a troll dimension, he'll like it, full of trolls"
The Finale of The Authors Fatman Returns saga is a blatant TAKE THAT at another website that accused the creator of plagiarism. The other "Fatman" site accused the creator of stealing ideas, and posting them on his site before they got a chance to post it on theirs. The (hilarious) accusation was unfounded since the other site was set up 5 months after The Author started his Fatman sagas.
Calliope and Caliborn of Homestuck are widely believed to be jabs at two sectors of the HS fandom. Calliope represents the fans who obsess over it, doing fanart etc. and trying to drag their friends into reading HS. By contrast, Caliborn represents the impatience and rage of fans whenever Hussiedares take more than 24 hours to update, as well as spluttering intolerance of the fans represented by Calliope. Taken Up to Eleven in a series of updates which have Caliborn living out many of the complaints: He removed the pesterlogs, gets right down to action, introduces characters much sooner... all in the most shitty way conceivable.
Problem Sleuth: While trying to sort out a four-way conflict between elves, clowns, hogs, and weassles, Problem Sleuth opens an "Allegience Mesh," a confusing grid that supposedly shows that alligence of the four groups. The page in question has two suggestions: One is a "dead-end" gag page, the other being the story cutting away to a different plotline. The gag page is for him to press ctrl, alt, and del, which results in him getting the memetic "B^U" face from Ctrl+Alt+Del, as well as a caption that reads "GAME FUCKING OVER" and links to their site. Unlike most of the "dead-end" pages, this one does not have a link within the text itself to go back (suggesting that this action really did break the "game"), but it's easy to either click the link back below or just go back a page.
He can fairly be judged as not Socrates's greatest fan, given that every appearance of his is as an annoying gadfly. While even his fans and Socrates himself would probably agree with that to some degree, this isn't shown as really being used in a meaningful or substantive way. Sartre is also shown mostly using his "radical freedom" concept for an excuse to do inane things, and ignoring reservations others have at his advice.
In one comic, he calls Sartre's account of "bad faith" in Being and Nothingness "the worst example in the history of philosophy", citing how poorly it illustrates his actual point, and how it seems like he's criticizing a waiter for properly doing his job while he writes books and drinks wine. In a similar vein, he loves to make fun of how incoherent Hegel's philosophy is, with every single appearance and reference to him having something to do with that.
Whenever Ayn Rand is featured in a comic, the afterword explanation can always be summed up as a subtle way of saying "her philosophy is obtuse and her books aren't very good" - assuming, of course, that he even calls it philosophy rather than train fanfiction. In a similar vein, he loves to make fun of how incoherent Hegel's philosophy is, with every single appearance and reference to him having something to do with that.
This comic about Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir using their views to attract customers at a bar compares this with the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia thus: "instead of a gang of nihilistic, uneducated narcissists it is a gang of nihilistic, educated narcissists."
Corey's personal Berserk Button appears to be people who don't think philosophy is a worthwhile field. There are a number of examples throughout the comics' run, but in particular, see this comic. Even more, also see The Rant beneath it. It appears Corey is... not a fan of New Atheism.Someofhis unofficial Comics had mocked Sam Harris in particular as well.
So it turns out that Existential Comics actually started out as Corey drawing comics for friends of his on a particular subreddit, /r/badphilosophy. These comics actually predate him doing the webcomic seriously and were the impetus that moved him towards webcomics in the first place.
Half the point of Consolers is doing this towards various game companies and their actions. Konami, from 2015 and onwards, seem to be an especially popular target.
For non-game company examples, there have been a fewagainst game analyst Michael Pachter regarding his general opinions on Nintendo.
Nintendo's investors also get hit with these from time to time, like in this page.
Sonichu, just... Sonichu. Half the reason the comic's become so controversial is that it's devolved into a vehicle to relentlessly bash anything its author doesn't like. Or anything that pisses the author off. Internet trolls have had a field day with this.