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Webcomic / Manly Guys Doing Manly Things

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Left to right: Commander Badass, Jared and Mr. Fish.

"Lady, you have no idea how hard it is for guys like Kratos to reintegrate into everyday society."
Commander Badass

Created as an entry for a webcomic contest in 2010 for The Escapist, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things (MGDMT) is a comic about a temp agency to help "ludicrously macho guys" find work in the real world when they no longer have work as popular fiction characters. How well they actually integrate has... mixed results.

Sadly, the comic lost out the contest, but was by far a favorite among those paying attention to the contest, making it popular enough for its creator, Coelasquid, to keep it going. The series carried on, on a fairly punctual weekly basis, for years, until Coelasquid went on an indefinite hiatus.

It can be beheld here in all its manly glory. note 

Manly Guys Doing Manly Things makes manly use of the following Tropes:

  • Absurd Phobia: The Commander's weak point is an irrational fear of millipedes. Sure, they're harmless, but you can easily reach your lifetime capacity for millipedes.
  • Abnormal Ammo: An action figure's gun accessory that shoots smaller guns. Which possibly shoot little deep-fried beer cans.
    Jared: Where are they coming from?
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Only someone as clueless about Pokémon Training as Jared would choose Magikarp as his starter, but only someone who doesn't even understand simple battle mechanics could make it work. See Shamu Fu.
  • Action Politician: The comic's rendition of Mike Haggar is the trope picture.
  • Affectionate Parody:
    • While it does take shots at the concept thereof, this strip is a parody of the classic Charles Atlas cartoon ad.
    • The Nomura Syndrome arc is one for JRPGs.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: In Universe example, this happens to Ryu of Breath of Fire II, turning a fairly normal (if blue-haired) sixteen year old kid into a muscle bound roid raging hulk. This is meant to be a Take That! by the author at the trope, which happened to the game in Real Life.
  • Amicable Exes
    • Commander gets along reasonably well with his ex-wife Maddy. They seem to have zero custody friction of their kids and the Commander always speaks well of her to other people. They even had a barbecue together. (He also thinks she'd be flattered that his squad kept one of their ships decorated with nose art of her; "just because we're divorced doesn't mean she isn't beautiful...")
    • Commander is also still generally on good terms with both Spider and Tank (both of whom are his exes), which is quite impressive considering that Spider is a full-body cyborg and Tank's sister, and Tank is... well, Tank.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Commander Badass and June are making muffins, June wants to put in a whole bunch of things such as blueberries, strawberries, bananas, etc. When Badass says that you can't put all of that in a muffin, June asks "Why not?". Cue Badass offering Jonesy an Oatmeal Banana Strawberry Carrot Blueberry Raspberry Chocolate Chip Apple Cinnamon Lucky Charm Muffin.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: the Commander complains about Canadian Guy since he comes to work drunk, cranks up the AC, field dresses deer in the lunchroom, breaks various office equipment, and beats all of the Commander's Robot Unicorn Attack high scores.
  • Art Shift: This comic was drawn to be more evocative of The Dover Boys, which the comic was parodying/mashing up with Dream Daddy.
  • Artistic License: In reality it was Brother!Nier who was altered to Father!Nier instead of the other way around. Logically he should have had reverse Nomura but then the whole plot wouldn't kick off.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care:
    • In-Universe: Jared becomes a Pokémon Professor for his shocking new discoveries that a) animals like it when you pet them, groom them, and feed them treats, and b) Gyarados is carnivorous and should not be raised on a sweets-only diet.
      Jared: [to Lysandre] Who gave you your science license?!
    • Oddly enough, while Jared is good at taking care of animals, he knows very little about Pokemon in general. For example when given a free Pokemon he opens the pokeball by breaking it, and is surprised when the Gengar inside runs away.
  • Author Appeal:
    • While the comic exists mostly to mock over-the-top "macho" characters, Coelasquid has said that she likes drawing this body type.
    • Coelasquid doesn't care much for Chuck Norris jokes, but LOVES Marlon Brando.
    • If you follow her Tumblr, you can see that many MGDMT strips are based around whatever Coelasquid was playing/watching/reading that week.
    • Pigeons.
    • She's a big fan of Ganondorf, which may be why he (and Link) are just about the only recurring non-original character who aren't from an FPS, WRPG, action movie, fighting game or comic book.
    • Overwatch in more recent strips.
  • Author Tract: A couple.
    • The idea that real manliness is being a good man on the inside, and that "manly man" and "loud obnoxious jackass" are not the same thing.
    • Coelasquid also hates both the bishification of characters and the flipside of the trope.note 
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Looking like Rambo might be cool and everything, but in a jungle lousy with poison ivy, you're gonna want some sleeves
  • Awesome McCoolname:
  • Awesome Music: invoked Discussed when Jared puts on "Any Way You Want It" as the soundtrack for the first fight of an arc.
    Commander: That's a straight-up end credits song, gotta hang ont' it for th' victory lap. Do something like "Wheel in th' Sky."
  • Baby Talk: Jared, whenever talking to Mr. Fish. Most apparent in this page:
    Jared: Roll over! Roll over, Mr. Fish! Mr. Rolly Fish! Mr. Rolly Polly Fish!
  • Bamboo Technology: Commander manages to fashion a television out of a coconut during the Survival Exercise. Which he uses to watch SummerSlam.
  • Batter Up!: Jared does this with Mr. Fish until he evolves. He later uses an actual bat on the Fazbear's mascots.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted. Bishie Commander and Gackt are both bloodied and swollen before an out of control Mr. Fish Hyper Beams the walls down.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Zordon wanted "Five teenagers with attitude." The Commander got him just that.
  • Behavioral Conditioning: The Commander, his siblings, and the other future Supersoldiers all received this to fill certain stereotypes (i.e. Ace being a suave superspy with a British accent). The Commander himself was meant to be conditioned to become a rogue agent (like Batman!), but to his handlers' horror, instead became a well adjusted member of society.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Commander Badass worships Marlon Brando. No, we mean literally worships Marlon Brando. Do not mention Chuck Norris in his earshot.
    • The Commander is extremely proud of his charcoal and wood barbequing abilities. Don't imply he uses propane.
    • There's a very short list of things they can have around Kratos, and half of the things on it have been scratched off. This includes, but is not limited to: Roombas, LOLCats, frozen yogurt, and in one memorable instance, bubble tea.
  • The Berserker:
    • One of the Commander's squad mates, Tank, was purposely (and unwillingly) turned into one of these after an accident. Normally he's pretty chill but it's generally a good idea to give him space.
      Commander Badass: He's basically a science project in seein' how volatile an' antisocial you can build a super soldier before they start doin' more damage T' their own guys than th' ones you point him at. He an' Spider had a big accident a while back an' they used it as an excuse t' rig him up with all those tubes full'a aggro juice. We jailbroke his chassis a while back so th' Brass couldn't flip the Berserker switch without warning, but he ain't exactly what you'd call "Well-adjusted".
    • And Kratos, of course.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: It turns out that Canada's niceness as a whole is just an act to throw people off. According to Coelasquid, Canadian Guy is a Palette Swap for Commander Badass, which has the unexpected result making him look like her dad.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In-Universe. As the Yautja are real they're able to translate the language when they watch the movie.
    Jonesy: So why's this guy clicking to himself all the time? Is he just talking to himself the entire movie?
    Commander: He's actually droppin' some pretty good one-liners. Just told Jesse Ventura he's about to get a "hole" lot of free time.
    Jonesy: Huh, I'm surprised puns translate that well.
    Commander: It's a surprisin'ly compatable language. Prob'ly part'a what made the Yautja some of our biggest trade partners.
  • Big Bad: GACKT is the Big Bad of the Nomura Syndrome arc.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Commander Badass spent "two tours 'a duty on th' Millipede Planet in millipede season". Where being surrounded and often covered by literally thousands of millipedes a day left him with a phobia of millipedes.
  • Big Eater: Deconstructed in this comic. Not because Commander Badass and Ganondorf are embarrassed, but because between the two of them and the rest of the agency they've run huge numbers of all-you-can-eat buffets out of business due to their dietary needs.
  • Bishōnen Line: Gackt's ultimate form is a massive tentacled winged bloated monstrosity. His ULTIMATE Ultimate form is colorful and winged, but still distinctly humanoid.
  • Body Horror:
  • Bookends: Both the first and last comic joke about Kratos' main method of interacting with things being pressing the circle button.
  • Boring, but Practical: Hanzo pulls this off here. How did he kill his brother? Some ancient sword move? Some dragon-based technique? How did Genji get so badly hurt that most of his body was cybernetics? Simple: he removed the batteries in his brother's carbon monoxide detector. The cybernetics were something that Genji did himself, Hanzo had nothing to do with it.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Jared's list of what he feeds Mr Fish includes, among wildly varied but normal foodstuffs, vagrants and stray cats.
  • Brick Joke:
  • Call-Back: When Mr. Fish learns Hyper Beam, we see that he still remembers how to roll over.
  • Can't Take Anything with You: Discussed. Apparently, early on, it was true, until Commander noted that his body hair didn't disappear in time travel. Upon the Commander's squad hearing that animal hair could pass through, they demand clothes at the very least. The scientists, annoyed, make them wear whole-body Christmas sweaters made of wool.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: the Commander and Jonesy wondering if there is any real potential for audience overlap between K-pop and J-rock while Gackt's horde of Jung Ji-hoon "Rainbots" is bearing down on them. It's a deconstruction because the conversation distracts them from the matter at hand.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Sandor Clegane rescues a cat from a tree. He's quite Tsundere about it.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In one comic, the Commander theorizes that Jared's ability to get an internet girlfriend is because gamers are impressed by his selfie with Captain Falcon.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • Commander Badass's original off-the-cuff joke that he and his fellow generic-space-future soldiers are "cloned from American soil and steak" turns out to make light of a rather grim future in which artificially created soldiers are custom-built to sell "War Is Glorious" propaganda and fight pointless wars against enemies whose only offense is to look evil. It's all a way to keep generic-space-future recruitment high and prevent generic-space-future military budgets from being slashed.
    • The "explosion picture" becomes a bit less funny once you realize that they may have done that for just such reasons.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Canadian Guy. To Commander's chagrin.
    • Jared, which Commander actually lampshades at one point.
    • As it turns out, among his own teammates the Commander himself becomes this.
  • Colonel Badass: Commander Badass, more specifically.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Commander Badass, as seen here.
    Commander: Import'nt t' draw that fine line between fightin' dirty an' fightin' stupid.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Jared's specialty. One example was his disbelief that Commander would actually trust Jared with his car in order to pick up Commander's kids. Commander pointed out that it was a bit more significant that he was entrusting Jared with his kids in the first place.
  • Compensating for Something: Used as an insult at Dante and his BFS here.
  • Compliment Backfire: Invoked when Ganondorf tells Little Mac that he fights like a woman ... thing is he is the King of the Gerudo, an Amazon Brigade race, so he meant it as a compliment. Turns out Little Mac wasn't actually insulted by the compliment (he probably didn't even think about it or hear it), and in fact is more confused when Ganondorf tries to explain that he actually holds women in high regard.
  • Cool Car: The Commander has a red old-fashioned 1958 Chevrolet muscle car, which we occasionally see. It was even used to transport Mr. Fish around once, because Jared didn't carry any Poké Balls.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Jared. He's irresponsible, overly childish, and has a ridiculously short attention span. He is, however, an incredibly competent trainer, taking excellent care of Mr. Fish and able to capture hundreds of Magnemites and Magnetons without any pokeballs, and has earned the respect of the Manly Men around him by developing into a respectable PA in spite of his lack of manliness.
    • Just how good is he at taking care of Mr. Fish? Mr. Fish is twice the size of the Gyarados that Lysandre brought with him! Lysandre even states that he never saw one that big before.
    • The Commander expresses genuine concern that Jared could become a supervillain without proper guidance in this strip. And just to remind everyone, during the brief period where the Commander was in the future Jared started a cult.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Nomura Syndrome turns Marv into a young Marlon Brando lookalike. Needless to say he's pretty excited about it... until he has a chat with Johnny Bravo and realizes that maybe looks aren't everything, after all.
  • Cyborg: The Commander's superiors would "improve" him and his siblings while they were getting "routine" surgery after being wounded in battle mainly because it's cool and makes the soldiers more marketable; others would voluntarily get implants to the point of RoboCop-ization because "they're addictive" (though apparently not soul-eating).
  • Damage Cap: Every punch thrown in the Commander vs Gackt battle does 9999 damage.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Defied- the Commander's superiors attempt to invoke this trope by letting him (falsely) believe his entire family was dead for two years. But instead of getting dark and broody (like Batman), he decides to hire a therapist. And a lawyer.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Of many video game and masculinity tropes.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
  • Designer Babies: Commander Badass mentions that in the future, soldiers are synthesized from steak and American soil.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Commander Badass's superiors were expecting him to go on a murderous rampage after he found out that They were responsible for the Nomura syndrome outbreak so they could gun him down and legally turn him into a cyborg without his consent. They didn't take into account him being so well adjusted and stable that he would calmly wait for a chance to speak with his commanding officer.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Commander Badass actually got AM from I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream to leave GLaDOS alone after they broke up.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Commander becoming a bishonen carries the disturbing subtext of a parent becoming unrecognizable and frightening to their kids.
  • Double Standard: Duke Nukem (of all people) has a problem with it when he's not allowed to play "Capture The Babe" (here). He points out he's allowed to hit Marcus Fenix without a problem but people get angry when women get slapped. The Commander shows that there isn't really a double standard when dressing Fenix up as the Babe would cause people to complain as well (namely, Fenix himself).
    Duke: Yeah, I can see people complaining about this.
    Fenix: I'M complaining about this.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: The bishonen versions of Sten, Ganondorf, and Sandor Clegane are very effeminate and almost appear to be dressed in drag. Pyramid Head is in drag, dressed in a sailor fuku. Kratos is so androgynous, that he hides his nipples with his arm to be safe.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • Commander Badass admits that a Room Filled with Bubbles does sound pretty fun.
    • Jared (to Lysandre when he compliments Jared on making "groundbreaking discoveries" about Pokemon affection and companionship): "Wait, you mean you just figured out that animals like it when you pet them and give them treats? Who gave you your science license?" Later, he's the only one who picks up on the fact that Lysandre's talk of "cleans[ing] the world of this filth" sounds just a bit villainous.
    • Jared may not be the best pokemon trainer, but when he meets Lysandre, Mr. Fish is MUCH larger than Lysandre's Gyarados, to the point Mr. Fish could swallow Lysandre's Gyarados WHOLE. Because Jared feeds him a somewhat more balanced diet (pretty much everything Jared deems to be food). Lysandre feeds his Pokepuffs, which are basically macarons. note 
  • Easily Forgiven: Now granted, given the circumstances behind it it was technically a Mercy Kill, but still, Simon Belmont brushed off Jonesy putting an arrow through his neck with the reasoning that it wasn't the first time it happened and Romania has good healthcare.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Gackt's ultimate battle form has countless arms, wings, heads, tentacles, and several horns and giant mouths with razor-sharp teeth.
  • Equippable Ally: Jared used Mr. Fish to bludgeon other trainers' Pokemon until it evolved into a Gyarados.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The main character is generally just known as "Commander". Justified because his name actually is "Commander Badass." Yes, his name was legally changed, no, it was not his idea.
  • Expy: Lampshaded; all the possible expies of Snake from Escape from New York are kept in the aptly named "Kurt Locker".
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Coelasquid's Warden "had sexually harassed his entire team by the end of the game" and is first seen in a half-naked pile of various genders and species after stealing Sten's clothes.
  • Facial Horror: What one woman suffers after Kenshiro rapid-fire punches her. Her face then snaps back to normal a second later, completely undamaged. And somehow, she's full. As in not hungry anymore.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Link tells Ganondorf that all Gerudo are dirty thieves. Okay, most of them are, but Link called him that after smashing Ganondorf's flowerpots in search of rupees.
    • Then there's the Enfant Terrible Princess Zelda and her father.
      The King of Hyrule: Now Zelda, don't be silly, I can't just order the execution of a Gerudo dignitary on the suspicions of a ten-year-old. I need at least two corroborating suspicious ten-year-olds to execute a Gerudo.
    • Solas goes on an extended rant about how the Qunari are savages that are only kept in-check by their totalitarian faith... right before telling Stan the Inquisitor that he respects him. Stan isn't sure how to take the compliment.
    • Coelasquid's (Dalish) Warden is apparently a racist, but that doesn't stop him from sleeping with everything.
    • The Commander's sister Angel is a little annoyed that Jonesy said they're "not real people" after finding out they're clones, but when Jonesy leaves she tells her she's pleased she only said it once, which is a lot better then they expected.
  • Five-Token Band: The Commander's old squad.
  • Flat "What": Jared's reaction when his bean dip begins talking to him.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Jared. Aside from Mr. Fish, he managed to tame a couple of facehuggers and keep them as pets.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Fish.
  • Foreshadowing: The Commander's name is hinted as early as in this strip.
  • Formally-Named Pet: Jared has a pet Gyarados named Mr. Fish.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Commander Badass in this old concept art, although never in the comic itself.
  • Freudian Excuse: Implied here.
  • Friend to All Children:
  • Fridge Logic: A number of examples occur In-Universe. Why does Belle never call the Beast "Adam"? It's kind of insensitive.
  • Full-Conversion Cyborg: Past a point, it's more convenient for a Super-Soldier to convert to "five pounds of flesh strapped to a robot" than to work around the limitations of their organic parts. The Commander's ex-girlfriend Spider switched to a full machine body with tons of bonus features.
    Jones: Oh man, was she okay, what happened to her?
    Angel: Oh nothin', she volunteered for it, she just wanted to be a badass cyborg. Those upgrades can be super addictive.
  • Full-Name Basis: Whenever anyone mentions Rain, they always refer to him as "world-renowned pop star Jung Ji-Hoon."
  • The Future: Commander Badass is, in his own words, from a "nondescript spacefuture." Said spacefuture has eventually an arc dedicated to it.
  • The Gadfly: Ganondorf has evolved into this towards Link. He's done with the whole "take over Hyrule, get killed by a reincarnation of The Hero" routine, but he still feels the need to mess with Link's head.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Lampshaded at one point when Mr. Fish, who is drawn to be the size of Gyarados as seen in the Pokémon anime, is fighting against a Gyarados shown as the size it's described in the games. Mr. Fish is somewhere between twice and three times his opponent's size. Jared claims it's because he feeds Mr. Fish... well, anything that isn't nailed down or on fire, to be honest, while Lysandre just feeds his Gyarados Poképuffs (AKA Cookies).
  • Glory Days: Commander Badass says you don't have to pine over those if you're always seeking to better yourself.
  • Goggles Do Nothing:
  • Going Commando: The Commander, appropriately.
  • Good Parents:
    • Any strip in which Commander Badass spends time with his kids is bound to elicit gratuitous Squee in the comments. He even indulges his daughter in making the world's most ludicrous muffins.
    • This one says it all.
      Commander: Well, just 'cause I hate millipedes doesn't mean she should haff'ta.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: The downsides to regeneration are shown once - Kratos and Wolverine spar, and they have to stop and get help when Wolverine heals too quickly and Kratos' blades get stuck in him.
  • Goofy Feathered Dinosaur: The trained velociraptors are chubby-cheeked, tropical-coloured, fluffy, and friendly. Justified in that it was a side effect of the genetic engineering and breeding that made them trainable, while the unmodified velociraptors had sleeker plumage.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Commander Badass' own superiors from the future. They ordered Gackt to inflict Bishonen Nomura Syndrome on Badass and his friends because hulking musclemen like Badass are obsolete in the future.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Mr. Fish's (or rather, Jared's) primary attack before Mr. Fish evolved from Magikarp to Gyarados. Now that he's too big to be swung as a blunt weapon, Mr. Fish mostly just eats his enemies.
    • Stan the Inquisitor decides to recruit Movran the Under, the goat-chucking Avvar chieftain to his party so that he can toss goats at dragons. When that doesn't work, he has Dagna magically enchant the goats with elemental damage.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: When Kratos is hit by the Nomura Syndrome he becomes so androgynous that he covers up his nipples to be safe.
  • Hand Wave: The... difficulties... surrounding the Mysterious Affair of the Omanyte and the Time-Travellers were tidily resolved in a manner that shall probably remain a Noodle Incident forever.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: A few cases, but none so blatant as Kratos. The Commander keeps an ever-dwindling list of things that won't set Kratos off, even Wolverine snarks about the likelihood of Kratos flipping out, and one comic even uses it as a joke when Kratos just calmly walks away instead of going on a rampage. However, after growing out his beard, he becomes a much calmer and even-tempered person.
  • Head Smashes Screen: The first strip of has Kratos working in a computer store and giving a customer an up-close look of a computer screen's resolution... by repeatedly slamming the customer's head into it. The Quick Time Event reads "Press Circle to show off the better features of this product".
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Subverted.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Commander Badass is actually a member of the Navy TIALS (TIme Air Land Sea), an elite group of time travelers founded in the future to hop through time righting wrongs, some of which aren't righted, for whatever reason. While they haven't done anything to Hitler (besides punching him in the face), Commander Badass was once sent to Vietnam twice. Once to try and win it for America, and a second time to stop himself from succeeding, because a world without the Rambo movies is just too bizarre to contemplate.
  • Ho Yay:
  • I Can Change My Beloved: Hinted to have been a reason the Commander once dated Tank.
    Tank: It makes a lot of sense when you remember I'm about as close as people get to being project cars.
  • I Don't Know Mortal Kombat: Both the Commander and Master Chief are terrible at First-Person Shooters; they get demolished by Jared and his internet girlfriend.
  • I Have Brothers: Ganondorf credits his mastery of Compressed Hair to his large number of sisters. Which is itself a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, in which he was the only son born to the all-female Gerudo tribe in 100 years.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Jared insists his high Call of Duty scores make him an expert marksman. He doesn't know anything about how to actually hold a gun.
  • Implausible Deniability:
    Stan the Inquisitor: (while standing next to a bashed-down temple wall with Iron Bull, weapons in hand) ... we basically found it like this.
  • Improvised Weapon: Jared, much to his delight, finds out that picking up your otherwise-useless Magikarp and using its infamous thickness to brain rival Pokémon to death isn't technically illegal.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    Fem!Hawke: Well, one day I had to wake up and realize Fenris was probably the closest I would ever get to scoring with a Qunari [...] It's kind of like promising yourself a triple chocolate cake and settling for a funsize Snickers.
    Fenris: Come on, I'm right here.
    Fem!Hawke: You heard me.
    • Kratos get's a variation when Marv keeps complaining about how his looks and violence prevents women from liking him. Commander keeps pointing out that Kratos has the same problems.
    Commander: Kratos gets girls.
    Kratos: Stop using me as an example!
    Commander: Stop being an example.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: The commander does this as a very realistic response to being told by his commanding officer that all his siblings were dead, and requests a therapist to help him cope. The commanding officer berates him for not bottling his emotions up and becoming a brooding anti-hero like Batman. The author has said in the commentary for this page that she considers characters who show and deal with their emotions more badass than those that bottle them up and try to look cool.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: Nier, who unwillingly shapeshifts from his gruff old Papa Wolf form seen in the western version of his game to the Bishonen version seen in the Japanese version.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Time travel works best if you don't think about it too hard.
    Comander: Look, anyone who watches as much Doctor Who as you do gotta know the technology more 'r less runs on bullshit.
  • I Regret Nothing: Jared, after The Commander regrets trusting him with a power washer.
  • Just Eat Him: Jared's approach to Pokémon battling after Mr. Fish evolved. This got him kicked out of Pokémon League.
  • Kavorka Man: The trope is discussed between Jonesy, Marv, the Commander, and Kratos. Marv is convinced the trope is bullshit. Jonesy tries to convince him that it's not, and he could be one if he had better self-esteem. The Commander's only argument is "Kratos gets girls."
    Kratos: Stop using me as an example.
    Commander: Stop being an example.
  • Kid with the Leash: Jared to Mr. Fish.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Link, natch.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The "Gay Chicken" contest between Kratos and Leonidas ends when Leonidas surrenders so he can go back to his wife and son.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "way meta," indeed.
    Jared: If I was collecting a book about the stuff we do, I'd probably make this the end of the first volume or something.
  • Like Brother and Sister: The Commander and his team:
    Angel: They sequenced out custom soldiers individually then grew teams of us in th' same bell jar based on what made strategic sense for a team. So your series is basically your family.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Averted with Jared.
      Coelasquid: Jared has a new t-shirt every day, he may be a teenage boy, but at least he changes his shirt.
    • Jonesy's Limited Wardrobe is explained by her buying shirts and such in bulk then donating them to charity, and jeans are meant to last forever anyway. She explains that she hates doing laundry cause she doesn't own her own washer and dryer and it's a pain to find quarters for the laundromat.
    • Commander looks like he's usually got a limited wardrobe, but that's because he's typically wearing his red jacket over common clothes, typically a wife-beater. He changes outfits when he's off duty, in the past, or doing things with his fellow soldiers.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Coelasquid recently confirmed that the title is an allusion to Soccer Practice.
  • Long List:
  • Made Myself Sad: Kratos winds up doing this at the conclusion of "Gay Chicken", when he taunts Leonidas' forfeiture due to his wife and son.
  • Madness Mantra: Parodied (and combined with Room Full of Crazy). Jared thinks Jonesy's doing this, but the Commander says that she's just trying to boost her NaNoWriMo count.
  • Magic Pants: Everyone who gets infected with the bishonen virus changes their outfit to fit.
  • Magikarp Power: Ironically subverted with an actual Magikarp. While Mr. Fish is devastating as a Gyarados, Jared still was able to defeat trainers when it was only a Magikarp. By using it as a club.
    "Remind me why you were kicked out of the Pokémon League..."
  • Man in a Bikini: Marcus Fenix, believe it or not, though not by his own choice.
  • Man in a Kilt: The Commander, here.
  • Manly Man: The Comic. Discussed, played with, or subverted almost every week.
    Commander: If you live yer life right, you reach a state of nirvmana where th' whole universe is in complete recognition of yer masculinity.
  • Manly Tears:
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: The Commander thought that Ganondorf was the one who married the princess he kept kidnapping, only to be corrected and realized that he mixed him up with Triple H.
  • Min-Maxing: Played with, when Jared plays Pathfinder for the first time, he proves to be an immediate natural. However, he's using this to maximize the efficiency of a very poorly designed race/class combo (an elephant centaur rogue). Riddick is less than amused, while the Commander thinks it's hilarious.
  • Mon: Jared has Mr. Fish (his Gyarados).
  • Most Writers Are Male: A meta-example, as most users on the site debate back and forth as to Coelasquid's gender. The response is, "Why does it matter?"note 
  • MS T3k Mantra: An in-universe example. The less you think about the impossibilities of time travel the more effective it is. As they say, a watched cheetah never bevels. Whereas when you start specifically trying to work out its causality when you're in mid-transit... things go badly.
    Commander: Dammit Jones I told you not to think about time travel!
    Jonesy: What did I do oh my God what happens when you think about time travel?!
    Commander: [looking at a rampaging Lord Helix] This does!
  • Mundane Solution: Commander Badass went on an epic quest to beat the hell out of Gackt to cure his Nomura Syndrome. In the meantime, Canadian Guy went to the doctor.
  • Mundane Utility:
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Between Coelasquid's Grey Warden character and Sten.
  • My Future Self and Me: See Stable Time Loop below.
  • My Little Panzer: ED-209s. They come in "Authorized to use physical force" or "Loyal as a puppy" versions.
  • No Backwards Compatibility in the Future: Conversed. Another character suggests that, since the Commander is from the future he must be able to fix a modern-day computer like it's nothing. He responds by pulling out a broken abacus and demanding that the other character fix it for him. He later reveals he carries that broken abacus around everywhere he goes specifically because this conversation happens to him so often.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Subverted, the Commander thinks that defeating Gackt will cure Nomura Syndrome. It's pointed out by World-Renowned Pop Star Jung Ji-Hoon that punching someone in the face to make yourself healthy isn't very likely.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Jared, by the author's own words.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Roombas, lolcats, and frozen yogurt can't be kept around Kratos. Nor can corn flakes.
    • When the Commander tells Jared the story of how he finally got six-pack abs, he mentions off-hand getting captured and put to work rowing on a Viking slave galleon. Apparently this happened multiple times.
  • Nose Art: The Commander's ex-wife is a pinup girl on his old ship. When asked if they should change it, he refused, saying that just cause they divorced doesn't mean she isn't hot, and besides, she'd be flattered by it. Word of God invoked confirms that yes, she is...especially since the art outlasted his command of the ship.
  • Not What I Signed on For: When Mr. Bubbles realizes he actually has to give the children BACK to their parents when daycare is over. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Obviously Evil: Like in the games, Lysandre openly monologues about wiping out the filth of society among his peers. No one but Jared seems to actually realize what he's saying. Then again, they consider Jared a genius for figuring out that animals like to be petted and fed more food than cookies, so their standard of intellect is... skewed.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted by all the Snakes.
  • One-Winged Angel: Gackt. And he keeps doing it again afterwards, because a final boss has to have an ULTIMATE ultimate form.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Usually, the Commander. There's a reason why he's able to reign in all the psychos and badasses of the Temp Agency (aside from his own combat skill, of course)...
    • Jared, in comparison to other people in his homeland.
    • When with his team, Commander, a.k.a. Rock Lobster chills out and is more likely to get into crazy trouble. Ace or Angel typically becomes the sane one in these situations (mostly Angel because Ace is plenty melodramatic in his own right, and Angel's better at rolling with the crazy). As Jonesy puts it in a shocked epiphany...
    "Oh my god. Commander is Angel's 300 pound fuzzy Jared."
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When the Commander stops dropping his g's, you know you're in trouble.
  • Open-Minded Parent (or parental substitute): When Jonesy expresses surprise that the commander hasn't done anything to whip Jared into shape, the Commander replies the inside of Jared's head must be a "one 'a th' most bizarre an' interestin' places anyone can live."
    Commander: If someone's gotta take that away from 'im, it ain't gonna be me.
  • Original Generation: Commander Badass, Jones, Canadian Guy and Jared (sort of).
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids in this universe look like ugly, mutant manatees, prompting Jared to ask what's wrong with them. The commander points out that (in this universe) mermaids are frequently mistaken for manatees and Kratos implies the myth they look like pretty ladies is because of sailors desperate for a woman after months at sea.
  • Outclassed at the Gym: When Jared decides to work out for the first time, he goes straight to the Commander, a "300lb juggernaut" Super-Soldier, for tips. He gets some sound advice on setting reasonable expectations and avoiding Testosterone Poisoning, even though their weightlifting routines are a few orders of magnitude apart.
    Jared: How much do these weigh? I want a frame of reference for how feeble I am.
    Commander: Don' worry about what I'm doin', worry about what yer doin'.
  • Palette Swap: Canadian guy looks exactly like the Commander, but with black hair, plaid vest, and unshaved.
  • Parental Substitute: Commander Badass is doing better job being Jared's father part-time than his real father did full-time.
  • Perpetual Frowner
  • Poe's Law: The very first question on the comic's About page is about which game Commander Badass is from. Despite being a blatant parody of this style of character, it's still easy to mistake him for the genuine article, noting particular similarities to characters like Jack and Simon Belmont.
  • Power Incontinence: Mr. Fish can't seem to stop using Hyper Beam.
  • The Power of Rock: The fellows from Dragon Age: Origins know that there's only one way to win after all else has failed...
  • Press O To Show Off The Better Features Of This Product: The test strip used God of War's cutscene commands... to show Kratos beating in a less-than-sold customer's face against a TV.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Kratos wins at Gay Chicken... because Leonidas wanted to go back to his family. This reminds Kratos that he doesn't have a family anymore, making the victory less than appreciated.
  • Raptor Attack: Averted, the velociraptors seen are turkey sized, feathered, plump, and brightly colored. Jonesy mistook them at first for "toothy roosters" and is more than a little stunned to find out what they actually are. They're also so non-threatening that they can be picked up and scolded.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: This strip shows how that plan would really pan out.
  • Reference Overdosed: The cast list would qualify this comic alone, but that's not the end of the Shout Outs.
  • Relationship Upgrade: The Commander and Jonesy are as of this strip a thing. Maybe. Sort of. Now cleared up.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Jet's velociraptors are adorable and a complete aversion of the Raptor Attack trope.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • While much of the strip runs on this (as well as Rule of Funny), it's implied that the Rule of Cool may be an actual law in the Commander's time.
    • It's also often averted to show when following Rule of Cool may not be the best option- for example, when told that his family was alive (despite being told that they were dead for two years), instead of going berserk at the military-industrial complex, the Commander asks for a therapist and a lawyer. The fact that he's now working at the agency and that he and his siblings no longer have to fear being turned into cyborgs or get psychologically manipulated prove that he made the right move.
  • San Dimas Time: Not required to be in play, but the experienced time travelers warn that it's a good idea to use it at least a little bit, so you don't leave for months and come back five minutes later.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Apparently how The Expendables was made.
  • Shamu Fu: This is how you make Magikarp useful before the Magikarp Power sets in.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Except when showing a scene from one of the games, Ganondorf hasn't been depicted in anything other than than a three piece suit with an occasional black overcoat.
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: When the Commander kisses Jonesy in this strip.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
  • Skewed Priorities: The management of the restaurant that Jared briefly worked as a security guard for are more concerned about how he destroyed all the animatronics and less about how said animatronics first tried to kill him, and fire him for it. Commander says he's better off without an employer like that.
  • Sleeps with Both Eyes Open: Canadian Guy doesn't sleep, he sits in a rowboat in the middle of a pond with a buttonbox concertina and a blank, empty stare. Somehow, this causes a stack of beaver pelts to appear in Commander Badass's office every morning.
  • Small Reference Pools: Referenced as the reason that the Commander didn't go as Tywin Lannister for Halloween (the strip was written when Game of Thrones was a middling-famous fantasy series, not a hit TV series).
  • Stable Time Loop: The Commander is attacked by himself while he's having coffee. His future self steals his coffee, then disappears. The Commander then proceeds to travel back in time to beat himself up and get his coffee back... Which means he beat himself up for no reason. Although since the comic is titled "We all peacock in our own way," it's pretty obvious why he did it: he was trying to impress Jonesy. That and keeping himself on his toes ("Watch your back and maybe this won't happen, candy-ass!").
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-Universe, Jared's parents consider Pokémon training such Serious Business that they yell at him for being proud of his Gyarados, because Gyarados has a 4x weakness to Electric-type attacks. Keep in mind that Gyarados has been considered a top-tier 'mon since the very first generation, so even the other "Stop Having Fun" Guys would see this as unnecessarily harsh criticism.
  • Stout Strength: The Commander, in his younger days, was a bit tubbier than he presently is, but being a genetically engineered Super-Soldier, he still passed all the fitness requirements.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Beating up the one who caused your disease will not cure it.
    • The commander crying when told his whole family was dead rather than bottling up his emotions to become a dark and brooding avenger like they wanted.
      • When his superior berates him for this, he gets offended and demands a lawyer.
    • The initial premise of the series as a whole. Overly masculine testosterone junkies finding difficulties living in a world where not everything is trying to kill them all the time.
    • The Commander is facing off with Tank, a super-cyborg with extremely volitile emotions created to be a berserker. Jonesy thinks he'll be trying to fight him man-to-man, but the Commander points out that the man is extremely emotionally unstable, not to mention very strong. Antagonizing such people never ends well. When they do meet, the Commander is extremely patient, and tries talking Tank down from his rage.
      • When that fails, the Commander retreats to water. Tank's machine components are not waterproof, and he's very heavy.
    • At one point, the Commander lends Jared his car so he can do some errands while looking after his kids. Jared freaks out, worried about what might happen to the car with him driving it... only for the Commander to point out that more importantly, he's asking Jared to look after his children.
    • Jet's brightly feathered, toothy turkeys resemble actual velociraptors far more than the kill machines from Jurassic Park. That said, they're only tame because they were specifically bred to be, non-modified raptors shown later are depicted as being as aggressive as any wild animal would be.
  • Real Men Wear Pink:
  • The Swear Jar: Not for swearing, but for saying the word "Epic". According to that strip's description, there are separate jars for saying "WIN" and "FAIL" as well. Commander's not a big fan of Internet slang. Amusingly, it's almost set up as an actual swear jar (Jared swears in the same sentence he uses "epic"), but then it turns out to be the Epic Jar. Commander later uses the cash to get Jared a new 360.
  • Take That!:
    • Against bishounen boys, and the fans that keep suggesting they appear. Best. Spite comic. Ever. In the commentary, the author notes that the entire comic is also one to overly manly characters that their creators think are badass, but aren't, and that fans who insisted on the bishonen are missing the point.
    • It got to the point where it turned into an entire story arc about a bishonen virus turning men into wimps.
    • Look, anyone who watches as much Doctor Who as you do gotta know that technology more 're less runs on bullshit.
    • Coelasquid was not amused by Lobo's new design not in the least.
    • A mild one at Chuck Norris, since Coelasquid believes Marlon Brandon would make a much better Memetic Badass. invoked Chuck first appeared in a guest comic... in his real life, 74-year-old form, and was understandably terrified by Mr. Fish. He later showed up complaining about the "liberal agenda" to an unsympathetic Commander.
    • Word of God invoked states that this comic is one for Mars Needs Moms.
    • Another one against Hank Hill, when the Commander's sister compares the two:
      Commander: You know how long I worked perfectin' my charcoal an' woodchip game fer flawless smokehouse barbeque. Don't you dare compare me to some propane peddler.
    • Against how poorly the military treats veterans in real life after the Bishounen virus debacle:
      Jonesy: But... If they're in th' future why would you have to wait at all? Couldn't they just contact you like immediately after the dust settled?
      Commander: Kind've a testament t' just how backed-up an' awful veteren's services are, aint' it?
    • Though the Commander's bosses are aware of how bad treat him if not for the right reasons:
      Lab Guy: I'm becoming increasingly unconvinced that this plan to frustrate [the Commander] until he flips out and makes a gunblazing one-man stand against the military industrial complex is going to work. But there's no way we can legally rebuild him into a cool cyborg soldier without his explicit consent if he doesn't do something stupid and get his body blown apart.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The Commander and Jonesy forget that it isn't.
    Commander: SHIT!
    Jonesy: Oh yeah! The Rainbots!
  • Tempting Fate: In the plotline that deals with the aftermath of Nomura Syndrome, the Commander decides that he wants to punch his commanding officer in the face over the whole thing. Said commanding officer is about to tell him off, starting with "We can all surmise how that would end for you..." when it appears that not everyone thinks the request is unreasonable.
    Scientist: Marketing says that would be "mad bitching." They want to get legal in here.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The point of the comic.
  • Theme Tune: Guile's theme plays every time he walks into a room. It's apparently a medical condition and he doesn't appreciate people using it for their amusment.
  • Time Traveler's Dinosaur: Jet, a time-traveling Super-Soldier, has a flock of very fluffy pet velociraptors. Though they're as genetically engineered as their owner, apparently the wild-types are untrainable.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Subverted. Commander Badass owns a lovingly restored '58 Chevy. He at one point lends it to Jared, who dents it. Jared freaks out, but the Commander is completely cool with it. He then explains that having a "fixing up" car is no fun if there's nothing on it to fix up.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • Marv is the only one enthusiastic about being a bishonen. But then again, he had the luck to turn into a more muscular Marlon Brando whereas everyone else turned into overly feminine pretty-boys.
    • Commander Badass is much more concerned with Jared's well-being, and tolerant of his Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies, than Jared's own parents appear to have been.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: When the Commander has to explain to Jonesy why he has to wait for things to happen in the Generic Space Future:
    Commander Badass: Look, anyone who watches as much Doctor Who as you do gotta know the technology more're less runs on bullshit.
  • Title Drop: Sort of, it's more of a URL-drop.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Evidently, Ganondorf's trolling isn't limited to just Link.
    Ganondorf: Look in my defense I'm from the desert, I had no idea it worked that fast.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jared, of all people, destroys the Five Nights at Freddy's gang. With a baseball bat. Apparently, the manly guys have rubbed off on him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Defied. Sten gets tired of the cookie jokes real fast. Doesn't stop him from playing Cookie Clicker when he's got free time, though.
  • Tsundere: Invoked in "The Adventures of Tsundere Clegane," in which Sandor "The Hound" Clegane retrieves a Cat Up a Tree while attempting to cover up with invective.
  • Ukefication: invokedParodied with the "bishonen" virus, but it doesn't appear to affect the victim's personality.
  • Unexplained Recovery: How did Simon survive getting decapitated by a crossbow bolt? Romania has good healthcare! And "it's not the first time this has happened."
  • Unflinching Walk: Commander Badass got to experience one of these with his friends and got it on camera... just before they were blown away by the explosion and were hospitalized for it. He thought it was Worth It.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Commander Badass admits you can't be sure that any of what he says is true.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Poison to Jared. Commander's more amazed that Jared honestly thought he had a chance with her, trans* or not.
  • Unsound Effect: "TIME!!!"
  • Unusual Hiring Practices: Seems to hire people for, among other things, their pectoral girth. The only person who has avoided this so far is Jared, by virtue of the Commander's interest in his story and making Pokemon battles interesting to watch.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda (In-Universe): Apparently there was a Mew hidden under the truck in Vermilion City!
  • The Virus:
    • Nomura Syndrome. Patient zero was Nier. There's also an inverse version of this that Ryu of Breath of Fire II suffers from, as well as a poison that turns Walter into a pony.
    • Volt was also born with this since his mother read too many yaoi fanfics while she was pregnant with him. He takes it as a challenge.
  • The Voiceless: Pyramid Head. He plays charades with Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees every Wednesday, but nobody ever makes a guess. This bugs the hell out of Commander Badass.
    Commander: For chrissakes, it's Pride and Prejudice!
  • Troll: Ganondorf's method of fulfilling his narrative and magical requirement to make life difficult for Link, with minimum effort, while leading an otherwise normal and healthy life.
  • Watch the Paint Job: When Jared parked the Commander's car after using it to pick up his kids, he accidentally backs into a wall and dents it. The Commander's okay with it though, noting it's an easy fix and the fun's kind of gone if you finish a project car, so you might as well lend it to a teenager once in a while to create a bit more work.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: MR. FISH forgot how to use SHAKE! ... and... MR. FISH learned HYPER BEAM!
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The high command in Commander Badass's space-future do this regularly to their popular artificial soldiers... in order to justify the release of new toy designs. This kind of involuntary, unnecessary surgery is just another reason he prefers to remain in the present day.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Subverted by Commander Badass. He doesn't like bugs but doesn't panic too much because of it.
    • Parodied herewhen mail for Snake arrives.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • Averted by Commander Badass gunning down a Slime rather than turn based battling it.
      Jared: Well that doesn't seem sporting...
    • And against the Frankenstienish mess of Simon Belmont and Light Yagami.
      Commander: Nice call, Indiana Jonesy.
  • Wine Is Classy: When Miles Edgeworth shows up at the bar to drown his sorrows, he does it with red wine, of course. The Commander orders him a round of Jager shots. Miles is also shown drinking it with Maxamillian Pegasus.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Much to Tuxedo Kamen's eternal annoyance, Sailor Moon keeps falling for the most obvious, overtly narrow traps...
  • Why Won't You Die?: Commander to Ultimate Ultimate Gackt.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Racist Grandpa Solas may eventually come to respect you, but it is hard to respect him back.