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Webcomic / The Adventures of Dr. McNinja

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The Doctor himself explains the premise.

Dr. McNinja: Could this boy's youthful innocence and exuberance be what I need to keep my dark and troubled soul in check?
Dr. McNinja's Inner Voice: (You're not a dark and troubled soul. You're a doctor who wants to be Batman.)


The Adventures of Dr. McNinja (alternate title: Rule of Cool: The Webcomic) was an action-comedy webcomic by Chris Hastings and Anthony "Nedroid" Clark,note  and the love child of the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny.

The story unofficially note  begins with the eponymous omnidisciplinary doctor, who is also a Ninja, discovering that the McBonald's restaurant chainnote  has created a burger bearing his name (marketed based on the burgers giving people "silent but deadly" farts). Naturally, he solves this copyright infringement by battling Donald McBonald himself.


The next arc, "Meet The Doctor And His Friendly Staff" introduces Dr. McNinja's gorilla receptionist, as the two of them race against time to save a patient with Paul Bunyan's Disease (an illness which turns children into giant lumberjacks) from both his lumberjacking tendencies and from some hunters who hunt giant lumberjacks.

"So What IS A McNinja?'' introduces the Doctor's family, who are very disappointed with him for not becoming a professional ninja. The McNinjas' origins are revealed, and of course there are pirates.

The next morning, the Doctor finds a raptor in his office ("There is a Raptor in My Office"). This turns out to be the tip of the iceberg, said iceberg being a conspiracy involving paleontologists-turned-banditos, organic jetpacks, MySpace and Fox News ChannelNewsCorp. At least the Doctor gets a sidekick out of the deal: a gunslinging, mustachioed 12-year-old named Gordito.


"D.A.R.E. To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence" begins with McNinja facing a hard choice: Will he help his father defeat 80's action movie star Frans Rayner and his army of drug-enhanced ninja mooks? Or will he help the clone of Benjamin Franklin create a medicine to cure death?

...And everything after that point simply must be seen to be believed.

What's interesting about the comic is Hastings' sheer commitment to the utter weirdness. Every bizarre twist gets a completely straight reaction from the cast, and can have repercussions that stretch over multiple chapters. The overall effect is like a geodesic dome of absurdity, where every time the authors throw in a killer weatherman or cyborg bears or zombie Ben Franklin re-enacting the "Thriller" music video with situationally-appropriate lyrics, the plot becomes that much more believable. In the words of Chris Hastings, "Dr. McNinja lives in a world that operates like a Mortal Kombat stage" (but Cumberland, Maryland is a real place), so if you're a stickler for scientific and historical plausibility and blow a gasket whenever you see Hollywood Physics, please stay far away from this webcomic.

And just to prove the series hasn't hit the peak of absurdly awesome yet, in Summer of 2010, Doctor McNinja took part in a crossover with Axe Cop. In addition, on November 7, 2011, the doctor faced down with Saxton Hale. He lost, but the very idea of such a fight was awesome.

On August 3rd, 2015, Chris Hastings announced that the current storyline would be the last. Hastings fulfilled this prophecy on January 19, 2017, with the comic's final page.

If you are looking for the trope named for the webcomic, see McNinja.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja provides examples of:

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  • Above Good and Evil: What Mitzi believes the ideal ninja should be. Somebody's got to be available to assassinate people on both sides.
  • Acceptable Targets: Diabetics, In-Universe, as far as the doctor is concerned. They're always whining.
  • Achilles' Heel: or, more specifically, Achilles' Right Butt Cheek Frans Rayner has one; and he has the ability to relocate it. note  What makes Dr McNinja particularly threatening to him is his ability to identify its location. In the "Army Of One" story, it was revealed that Rayner relocated his vulnerable spot to his leg before it was amputated, so he doesn't have one anymore.
  • Action Mom: Mitzi, a rare example who is entirely willing to sacrifice her children if necessary, although in the specific example in question it was to save him from a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Dracula.
    • King Radical could count as well. Sure, the guy's a crime boss, but he's so cool most normal people don't even mind.
  • The Ahnold: Frans Rayner, although his backstory actually hews closer to The Jean-Claude Van Damme or The Chuck Norris. Geographically, he'd be more like the Dolph Lundgren. Doctor McNinja himself (minus the accent) in the "Army Of One" story arc.
  • All Myths Are True: And will show up in certain arcs if they get so much as a passing mention.
  • Alt Text: Musings on the story, a pithy phrase, the punchline to the strip or even little stories are all stuck in here. It can generally be assumed that even if the strip itself does not contain a joke, the Alt Text will. Chris will also bitch about how hard pirate hats are to draw whenever there are pirates, because perspective is difficult with their odd shape. He hates trees too.
  • Alucard: Lampshaded. It's pretty easy for the Doctor to figure out who "Mr. Alucard" is. It's not as obvious for Benjamin Franklin II, which brings us to an arc that was almost 2 years long. Doc's reaction says it all.
  • And I Must Scream: The Mummy curse. Your body slowly and gradually turns to dust. Doc says all your molecules are still alive and sentient, so the cursed one would live eternally, but without body speak of, and his/her consciousness spread all over the world.
    • Sparklelord's fate was to be eternally trapped in a Stable Time Loop, repeating the same events for all time. Doc sprung him so he could stop King Radical.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: "Doctor McNinja's Final Thoughts" at the end of every chapter. Spoofed all to hell, as you may have guessed.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Gordito's father was assassinated by PETA. To be fair, his closing act was pretty brutal.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: After Dr. McNinja fakes his death, King Radical muses that he was one of the few radical things about Cumberland.
  • Anticlimax:
  • Anti-Hero: Doctor McNinja's a hero, no doubt about it, but he's kinda vicious about his methods. The unicorn motorcycle, Sparklelord, advanced those tendencies into outright villainy.
    • A good chunk of this ends up coming from his unhealthy obsession with taking down King Radical until Radical is finally beaten. His friends, especially Gordito, easily notice this, and after the Sparklelord incident, Gordito actively starts shunting Doc back on the right track whenever his obsession gets to him.
  • Anti-Villain: King Radical. Sure he's the head of a nefarious crime ring and he's definitely hiding something but all of his actions benefit the community, and he seems to be in it primarily for the fun of it. He's later revealed to be working on an actual Evil Plan, but even that has a bit of moral greyness in it, as in saving something at the expense of something else. By the end, though, he's become enough of an evil jerk not to count any more.
    "Ah, I remember when I got letters from readers defending King Radical. No more." —Alt Text to "The End, Part 2", comic 97
  • Anyone Can Die: Word of God is that as the Grand Finale is in motion, nobody is safe. Ultimately subverted though. Of the heroes, only Farmer McNinja dies and in a Heroic Sacrifice. All the heroes manage to make it out okay while the villains (save possibly for McBonald) are killed one by one.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • The residents of Cumberland, Maryland don't particularly care when the mayor installs a citywide anti-zombie system, and a rampaging Paul Bunyan is treated by the police as ordinary police work, not worthy of exceptional notice. Now dinosaurs, that is taking it too far. Which makes one wonder how they took it in the future when intelligent space dinosaurs have occupied Earth.
    • When Doc surfs out of the sky on a robotic laughing Dracula, the main reaction is being offended because he gives the finger while doing so.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 4 or 5 in the fourth time line. Played for Laughs.
  • Archnemesis:
    • Parodied with the "Birdosaurus", whom the Doctor considers one just for being so annoying.
      Doctor McNinja: I hate you. I hate you so much. I will hunt you down forever. When you die, my laughter will be so bright, it will be the last thing you will hear, see, smell and feel.
    • More seriously, Frans Rayner, movie star and professional ninja killer, could claim the title against the Doctor for a few stories. Later, he becomes a Degraded Bossnote , and King Radical steps in as a world-threatening greatest enemy.
    • Sparklelord and King Radical are also each other's arch-enemies. The Radical people invaded Sparklelord's lands and changed him physically against his will with magic, and in return he betrayed them and mostly destroyed the Radical Lands until being banished to another world by King Radical.
    • In the last stories, the Doctor becomes cursed and immediately gets most of his important old enemies and rivals so angry at him that they all decide killing him is their top priority, so basically he becomes the Archnemesis to all of them. Naturally enough, they form a Legion of Doom.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Sean calling Gordito out here
    • Sparklelord is described as a combination of "Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, atomic bombs and Seabiscuit."
  • Art Evolution: The comic has evolved from black and white to computer-shaded black and white to color. It has also gone through several colorists, and each change was noted in the Alt Text.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The much-mentioned motorcycle, which was actually a crazed unicorn warlord with mind-control powers. Can't forget the mind-control powers.
    • World-ending Mayan tennis machine, anyone? Averted.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • When the Vice President admitted to an assassination attempt on President Funkhouser because he wanted to be president she says he's going to be exiled for treason. To be found guilty of treason he'd have to either levy war against the U.S. or give aid and comfort to enemies of the U.S. Additionally they'd need two witnesses to an overt act or for him to confess in an open court. Dangling from the fist of a Humongous Mecha probably doesn't count as open court. Regardless, Funkhouser bypasses this particular problem by throwing him into space.
  • Artistic License – Military: Lampshaded when absolutely no attempt is made to accurately depict a submarine's operations.
    Submarine Captain: Do all that stuff we have to do to shoot at him and then FIRE TORPEDOES!
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Various dinosaurs appear on the scene. No attempt is made to make them faithful depictions of real dinosaur species. Alt Text reinforces MST3K Mantra to the fullest.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Bearclaw in the main webcomic, and Beeman in the back-up story for the third print volume.
    • Archibald, King of the Hobos, originally a character conceived for a t-shirt, became an In-Universe character and mayor of Cumberland.
  • Asshole Victim: Something of a running gag thus far is invoking this trope in an increasingly forced or unlikely way, after the good doctor becomes responsible for their death somehow.
    • Invoked by King Radical who has surrounded himself with an army of jerks because he intends to kill them and replace them with citizens of the Radical Lands.
  • As the Good Book Says...: "Physician, heal thyself!"
  • As You Know: "Oh. Thanks for catching us all up on that. We all knew it. But thanks."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Persons who contract Paul Bunyan's Disease turn into fifty-foot-tall lumberjacks. The disease is weaponized in "Futures Trading".
  • Author Avatar: Ron Wizard, Hasting's City of Heroes character, is King Radical's court magician.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Frans Rayner has a bionic laser eye, which is incredibly lethal. Unfortunately it lacks an external power source, and so burns his own calorie reserves for fuel. Even one shot is enough to render him unable to fight.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Did you not read the title?
  • Awesomeness Is a Force: In "A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court", Doc discovers that King Radical is attempting to channel the power of, well, "radicalness", to open the portal to Radical Land. The more "rad stuff" King Rad does, the stronger the portal becomes. This is in part being used as a means of seemingly killing the lamest people in Cumberland, the creeps serving under King Radical and using them as gates for the people of the Radical Land.
  • A Wizard Did It: What the Alt Text to the July 1st, 2011 news entry/fill-in comic implies.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Back from the Dead: Ben Franklin, via cloning; the Doc himself, via invoking Only a Flesh Wound; Frans Rayner, thanks to Never Found the Body.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Invoked as the only way to counter Frans Rayner's Inverse Ninja Law advantage during the Army of One arc.
  • Badass Bandolier: Ron sports two of these. Their only use seems to be to look awesome. That is sufficient.
  • Badass Boast: Doctor McLuchador woke up a giant crab monster from hibernation, and needed to put it back to sleep with a "large concussive blast". Unfortunately, it destroyed the tank and helicopter he had prepared to do that. So what next?
    McLuchador: I'm going to punch you very hard.
  • Badass Bookworm: How can a ninja doctor not be one? His brother Sean is also one of these, though he's still hiding it from his parents.
  • Badass Beard: Double Subverted by Frans Rayner, whose neckbeard caused everyone to laugh at him, but is capable of blocking attacks from ninjas.
  • Badass Creed: Gordito borrows Roland's from The Dark Tower, impressing Dan - but not Sean, who's also read the books (though he refuses to admit it).
  • Badass Labcoat: As worn by the good Doctor.
  • Badass Moustache: Both Dan McNinja and Gordito. Dan's 'stache is always visible through his ninja mask (it has a hole especially for the mustache). This is important, because the Badass Moustache is, in fact, the outward expression of tremendous badassery and commands instant respect. This is why Dan was made the leader of the group and Rayner was sent away humiliated. Despite years of study and experimentation, Dan still doesn't have a concrete idea as to exactly why or how this works.
    • Also, while Dan just sort of gets his via the power of being a McNinja, Gordito grows his through SHEER FORCE OF WILL. Fuck yeah. And he's still early into his puberty, lest we forget.
    • The Ultimate Diplomat has one, which is impressive, considering he's a dinosaur.
    • Can't leave out Ron Wizard who has a mustache large enough to put even Gordito to shame.
  • Badass Pacifist: The Ultimate Diplomat, who makes hardened warriors and ninjas throw down their weapons with a single sentence.
  • Bad Future: The world's ruled by dinosaurs, humans get hunted for fun, and food for humans is definitely not made out of dead humans
    • There have been multiple Bad Futures, all averted thanks to Chuck Goodrich travelling back in time. Other ones include a Zombie Apocalypse caused by Ben Franklin's eternal life serum, and a Robot Uprising of vacuum cleaners. However, every time Chuck prevents one of these, it just shunts us into a new timeline where a different Bad Future will occur, and a different Chuck will come back to stop it.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Sparklelord. Lampshaded and handwaved in the Alt Text.
  • Batman Cold Open: Monster Mart begins with Doc and Gordito battling another giant lumberjack, this time with a giant blue ox. The book-only story Beyond Winter Wonderdome begins with Dr. McNinja battling fish-man Elvis impersonators.
  • Battle Couple and Badass Family: Dan and Mitzi; the McNinja family as a whole. Probably includes Gordito, who's basically Dr. McNinja's adopted kid at this point. And maybe Judy and Yoshi, which means that this Badass Family includes a deinonychus velociraptor, a gorilla receptionist, and a Mexican kid with a mustache and guns. Meaning the ninjas are the normal part of the family.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Doc gets dragged into one during his fight with the third NASAghast.
  • Beard of Evil: Victor, along with being Obviously Evil.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Lampshaded here.
  • Benevolent Boss: a plot point that foils the Mcninjas using stealth. In the sky pirate arc the captain's insistence that recapturing the doctor is worthy of a bonus causes him to start verifying the identity of the crew in front of him when he asks their names so he can make a note on the roster. He gives the benefit of the doubt that he simply can't find 'Johnson' the name given by one of the McNinjas, but finds Neville Johnson on the roster. Then the real Neville Johnson pipes up that that's him and he's the only Johnson on the ship.
  • Berserk Button: It's generally not the best idea to threaten the friends of an expy of The Hulk.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When the dolphins finally get you to land, don't stick around to thank them. (Of course, that's because they're getting revenge for this.)
  • Beware the Silly Ones: While King Radical's intentions have always been somewhat questionable, there was at least some wacky element to them. Then he blows up Congress.
  • Big Bad: One each arc. The Big Bads seen so far and the story arc they first appeared in: Donald McBonald (Issue One Half), Pirates (So what IS a McNinja?), the Jet Pack Man (There is a Raptor in My Office), Frans Rayner (D.A.R.E To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence Parts 1 and 2), Dracula and the Ghost Wizard (Punch Dracula), Robster (Monster Mart), Sparklelord (Doc Gets Rad), the President of the Human/Dinosaur Alliance (Futures Trading), King Radical again (A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Archibald's Mummy pulls one in "All The King's Dirtbikes and All The King's Men".
  • Big Entrance: Dr. McNinja makes a pretty good entrance here, mainly as a Shout-Out to Batman.
  • Bilingual Bonus: On this page, the first three lines of runes can be translated to "This sphinx will shoot fucking laser eyes if you". The rest of the sentence and text is covered up, though the next part might be "donat [sic] answer the question right," whereas the rest is too covered to read, though it has repetitions of the word "fat".note 
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: A Meta example. The comic tends to celebrate its anniversaries by inflicting some misfortune on the Doctor. The End: Part 1 finally subverts this by bailing him out of a nasty predicament instead.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dr. McNinja is estranged from his family, unable to trust them ever again, but his enemies are dead, his friends alive, and he is able to start a new life as a doctor, finally free from the obligation to kill.
  • Bland-Name Product: McBonald's angers Doc by selling the McNinja burger and are at it again when everyone believes the good Doctor to be dead.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The epic battle at the end of Army Of One. Due to there being many, many identical combatants, all of them being Dr. McNinja clones, it isn't necessary to keep them all alive and in one piece for the story to continue.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Gordito fails his skill check.
  • Blood Knight: Dan McNinja would even kill the little boy giant lumberjack and turn his body into a roof. Doc increasingly shows hints of being as Ax-Crazy as him but occasionally feels bad about it.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Citizens of the Radical Empire aren't concerned with our concepts of "Good" and "Evil". They just care about how cool something is. Invading a forest and twisting the forest creatures to fit their ideals of what's cool? Neat! Attacking the military with a ghost powered Humongous Mecha built from the city, killing huge numbers of people in the process? Totally awesome!
  • Body Horror:
  • Boring, but Practical: Doc invokes the trope during a fight with Radical when King Radical uses Chainsaw Good against a simple sword, saying that his sword is an actual weapon while King Radical's weapon is meant for cutting wood and that things don't have to be exciting to be better.
  • Brain Drain: King Radical and his Mafia prevent the brain drain from occurring in Cumberland, MD, by encouraging high school and college graduates to stay in the area. Very strongly encouraging.
  • Break the Haughty: The End is turning into this for Dr. McNinja himself. After so many years of arrogant behavior on the virtue of trying to be Batman and failing to learn any concrete lessons, his lack of tact and strategy has finally caught up with him.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: "Why a Gorilla" begins with a vampire, in mist form, entering the bedroom of a sleeping blonde woman. It turns out it's Doc in a wig, who promptly stakes the vampire and kicks him out the window.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Dr. McNinja's Final Thoughts," in which he often delivers An Aesop a Spoof Aesop on the events of the previous chapter.
  • Breather Episode: "Judy Gets a Kitten." Subverted. Then double subverted, so everything's okay.
  • Brick Joke: The "Birdosaurus" that the Doctor off-handedly punched keeps coming back at the most inconvenient times. It's getting close to being a Running Gag.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Martin Monster threatening a mobster with "psychic powers" while activating some Red Eyes, Take Warning results in this.
  • Bullet Catch: Rocket-propelled grenade catch, actually.
  • But Now I Must Go: In the end, Dr. McNinja saves the U.S President and the world. But since his family "turned" on him (Since they were willing to kill him at the behest of Franz who, at the time still having control of the military, threaten to shoot them otherwise), he estranges himself from them and heads off to parts unknown with no goodbyes as part of their ninja code. The upside though, he can now leave behind his life as a ninja and commit full time to being a doctor.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Doc. The man is a great doctor, but he'll wear a ninja mask the whole time he's treating you. As an aside, he has even "disguised" himself as another doctor with the mask still on. The administrators of the hospital in question have gotten tired of this routine.
  • Call-Back:
    • In one comic, a demon kills half of Gordito's classmates, their heads exploding as the result of a spell they were being used as Human Sacrifices for. The Alt Text says "Don't worry, all their heads grow back in the next story. (Honest!)". Sure enough, In All the King's Dirtbikes and All the King's Men, Gordito says that his classmates' heads have been growing back funny.
    • In "The End", Doc receives a call from his lawyer, Brad, who last appeared on the 4th page of the 0th issue, almost a decade prior.
    • In "D.A.R.E.", Dan sets himself on fire to escape the drug ninjas and says ninjas can't catch you if you are on fire. The comic's associated store page sells a t-shirt with the same phrase, depicting 3 ninjas standing off from a guy on fire. In "The End" part 2, a bunch of pirates get set on fire and die. But one turns out to be so tough that he survives and comes after the ninja family while still on fire. The ninja family then proceeds to express confusion saying that they can't catch him, while in the exact same pose as the t-shirt.
    • In "The End: Part 2", Doc finally lives out the moment in time he saw in Futures Trading, where he's hiding in a building while a voice from outside threatens to have it bombed if it doesn't come out.
    • Franz Rayner ends up becoming the president.
    • He survives the bombing by stealing a uniform from a guard named Jonesy. All the way back in the second issue he had stolen a uniform from a guard named Convery killing him, and after his cover was blown proceeded to kick another guard named Jonesy in the face. Convery and the second Jonesy both looked quite similar to each other (due to being based on the likeliness of Chris Hastings) and both ended up dead. Because of the Law of Conservation of Detail, it's possible that both Jonesy's were the same person.
    • From the last page, all the way back to the second: "We don't hire night janitors."
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Narcomancy, which isn't really a word, no.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Parodied mercilessly with Beeman in-universe.
    • Dr. McLuchador. Somewhat justified as he is actually McNinja in disguise, and the real McLuchador died a while ago. Somewhat less justified in that this meant there really was still a Doctor McLuchador.
  • Car Fu: As well as Bike Fu.
  • Cast from Calories: Frans Rayner comes back from the dead as a Hollywood Cyborg with a single laser eye. But this laser eye is powered by his organic body—and it uses so much energy that a single shot leaves him too tired to stand.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: "There is a raptor in my office."
  • Catch a Falling Star: Lampshaded here: "Thank you for saving me, Superman.". Played straight here, though.
  • The Cavalry: Several in "Futures Trading." First, the Nasaghast returns, and saves Chuck from certain death at the hands (er, claws) of a raptor. Then, a few pages later, who comes in to bust the Doctor and Sean out of a tight spot? Yoshi! Then, at the climax, Dracula and his moon laser.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: With the utter destruction of the US Capitol Building, King Radical jumped from "wacky alternate universe savior" to "brutal terrorist", and dragged the series into a very dark, very scary new light.
  • Chainsaw Good. Chainsaw nunchuck, even better.
  • Chandler's Law: Problem: you have a whole family of ninja performing a rescue, but pirates aren't much of a challenge, and you can't send the ninja in because they're already there. Solution: send in the UBER-ninja.
  • Characteristic Trope: Rule of Cool / Serial Escalation
  • Charm Point: Moustaches are Serious Business.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: The organic muscle jetpack. And to a lesser degree, almost everything the Doctor does, ever.
    • Frans Rayner, whose perfect body control allows him to move around weak points in his body and survive a fall onto rocks from lethal heights by rerouting vital organs out of the way.
    • Also, Bruce Lee, who jumped to the Moon.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Too many to count, but this deserves special mention. (Don't spoil it if you haven't already read up to there - it's the sort of joke that takes years to mature.)
    • Eventually becomes something of a boomerang brick.
    • There's also an arc-long example in There Is A Raptor In My Office. "But I have diabeeeeeteeees."
    • In the Alt Text here, Chris mentions that he was disappointed with King Radical's entrance, and decides to have skateboarding trumpeters announce his presence next time. They do.
    • Dan McNinja boasts that he absorbed the poison from his wife's picked beets so that he'll later be able to shoot it from his eyes, "Like a toad." He does just that later on.
    • King Radical saying he was going to use a special warhead to blow up an orphanage. He was, just not with the kids inside because he was having a new one built on the old site. (The warhead is a special, non-atomic version which blows stuff up without the messy elements of radiation and half-life; instead, it gives beards to the people who behold the explosion).
    • There's a double at the end of "Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja". One is an in-story reference when he catches the baby launched by the anti-zombie system, the other in the alt text calls back to "There Is A Raptor In My Office".
    • In the alt text of this page it alludes to making Doc's brother the protagonist once Doc is dead. Cut to "Futures Trading", where Doc is thought to be dead...
    • A character invented as an alternate explanation of something McNinja said in the alt text here and here becomes something real here.
    • We have Mikey, cured by Doc, but forever unable to grow a beard. 6 years worth of webcomics later, we visit Mikey again in the dinosaur infested future, where we see Mikey get dumped once again.
    • In the Alt Text of this page, Hastings comments "I think I'll have [the birdosaurus] stalk Doc forever now." Sure enough, four books later...
    • Dark Smoke Puncher hides all sorts of rocket launchers in his truck. Hee hee! On a related note, if it did explode, how awesome would it be?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Very frequent. If, early on in an arc, an ability is explained or an obstacle brought up that forces the protagonists to take a different route to solving their problems, you can bet the ability will be required and the obstacle will have to be dealt with in spite of all efforts to the contrary.
    • Doc's ability to punch ghosts by humming the Ghostbusters theme appeared several story arcs before again becoming vital in his fight with the Nasaghasts.
    • Paul Bunyan's Disease.
    • Remember way back here when we found out that Dracula has a moon laser? It just got important in "Futures Trading".
    • Remember the cloaking device King Radical used to disguise himself as a cop? He put it to better use.
    • The Inocktec technology was probably due to time travelers. Time travelers indeed.
    • Way back at the conclusion of DARE Part 2, Doc explains that one power hungry jerk couldn't become president and take over the whole government unless they also killed the legislative and judicial branches. President Radical took this advice to heart.
    • Doc's first name being a secret is mentioned a few times, including Why A Gorilla? and Army of One. This is later explained during the encounter with the ghost wizard (Mentioned in Army of One) during the First Generation Ninja American arc. We learn Dr. McNinja's true name, Patrick, is used to complete a the Wizard's Curse at the conclusion of The End: Part One with an assist from Sparklelord
    • The summoning device from "First Generation Ninja American" isn't actually used until two arcs later, where it's used to summon Sparklelord.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
  • The Chew Toy: Doc just can't catch a break some days.
  • The Chosen One: Every future so far has some disaster that will doom humanity, and every time Chuck Goodrich. is chosen to go back in time and stop it. Subverted, however, in that all he's accomplished is to create parallel realities where the disaster doesn't happen, not save his own. Up to and including the Radical Land.
  • Christmas Miracle: Katanakka Miracle, anyway.
  • Church Militant: The Roman Catholic church is surprisingly badass, hiring the McNinja clan as mercenaries to stop a ghost wizard and providing holy relics for them to use as weapons, including a substantial chunk of the True Cross, nunchaku made from the bones of Mother Teresa, the holy shurikens Doc uses against the Nasaghasts — and bullets blessed in the Pope's mouthwash for Gordito's gun.
    • Taken about as far as it can possibly go when Dr. McNinja is able to use Pope Francis as a weapon. Yes, really.
  • City of Adventure: Cumberland. Considering the town family doctor is a ninja superhero, this isn't too surprising.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: Dracula himself looks just like Bela Lugosi.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The evil horsie ridden by Ben Franklin after he turns into a Headless Horseman
  • Clone Army: Frans Rayner had a shoddily-made army of Dr. McNinja clones produced in order to invoke Conservation of Ninjutsu on the original.
  • Clone by Conversion: King Radical's plan turns out to be doing this on a massive scale (more specifically converting people into the inhabitants of the Radical Lands, where he came from).
  • Cloning Blues: Mostly averted with Benjamin Franklin II, who is basically a continuation of the original Franklin in a new body. Also averted with Dr. McNinja's own clones from college; they seem to consider themselves one person with multiple bodies and are happy to merge with him once their tasks are complete.
    • On the other hand, Old McNinja's clones show brief signs of individuality before they get slaughtered. But again, they were made with inferior cloning technology which is why they were both less clever than the doctor and Old as well as Made of Plasticine
  • Code Name: The McNinja family. Dan and Mitzi have since gone back to their original names; Sean's is "Dark Smoke Puncher."
  • Comes Great Insanity: According to the doctor, one side effect of possessing an organic jetpack is insanity due to lack of oxygen.
  • Compelling Voice: Tyranoman, the Ultimate Diplomat is capable of getting people to drop their weapons simply by disapproving. A mere compliment from him left the Doctor himself weak on his knees.
  • Computer Equals Monitor: Spoofed here.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: In one arc, McNinja's dual urges to kill and heal become externalized in the form of his father needing him to battle the greatest threat to all ninja kind while simultaneously being asked by his mentor to help him complete an immortality serum.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A law of nature in the arc "An Army Of One"
    • It was also referenced years earlier in a throwaway gag involving ninja zombies, but nonetheless established as a real force in the McNinja universe.
  • The Constant: There will always be a Charles "Chuck" Goodrich, who will always discover a time-space portal, and will always use it to try and prevent an apocalypse. Even in alternate universes, such as the Radical Lands.
  • Continuity Creep: Issues One Half, One, and Two are one-shot stories, and other than a throwaway line in Issue Two they certainly don't make any less sense if one doesn't read the previous issues. Issue Three makes brief mention of Issue Two, but then near the end of the storyline has a plot point that makes absolutely no sense without having read Issue One Half. With Issue Four, a more-or-less continuous storyline starts, and from that point on it's written with the assumption that the reader has read previous issues.
  • Continuity Nod: At one point in "So What Is A McNinja?" Doctor McNinja attacks a crew of pirates in the dark and (presumably) cuts off their faces. In "D.A.R.E To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence" he encounters pirates with peg faces, noting they must have been among the ones he fought.
  • Cool, but Stupid: The Alt Text for this strip (in which Doc focuses his energy to fight ghosts by humming the Ghostbusters theme) reads, "Very stupid ideas taken very seriously. Dr. McNinja."
  • Cool Pet: Yoshi the velociraptor.
  • Cool Shades: Many residents of the Radical Lands sport these, including the flying creatures and even the sun!
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Oh my yes. When your protagonist is as cool as Doc, your antagonists have to be pretty good to keep pace.
    • This is also King Radical's strategy for making the world more Radical.
    • Ron Wizard cranks it Up to Eleven, he realizes that the biggest problem with King Radical's robot built from the city of Cumberland—not manufactured in Cumberland, actually made from the buildings in Cumberland—is that there's nothing cool for him to do with it, other than swatting away annoying military vehicles. He uses his magic to take the U.S. army tanks and fuses them into a giant T-Rex robot, piloted by the eyepatched, jet pack wearing, badass President of the United States of America in a giant-robot-on-giant-robot brawl.
  • Corrupt Church: The location of King Radical's base. The reverend that runs it is essentially being bribed, trying to justify it by saying "Isn't it... God's wish that the world be more radical?". Needless to say, the superiors in his denomination are not pleased.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Mayor Chuck Goodrich, who set up a zombie defense system in his town.
    • Subverted in that he's from the future and went back in time to stop the Zombie Apocalypse
    • Dr. McNinja has his barber on speed-dial for no other reason except that life is craaaazy. (He's not wrong.) The good doctor also has a bullet-proof clipboard.
  • Crossover: With Axe Cop, a webcomic that matches this series in awesomeness.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Inverted with Doc, who could be better described as a Crouching Badass Hidden Moron.
  • Cue the Sun: At the end of Chapter 16, the Ultimate Diplomat's speech ushers in a new golden age of peace between human and dinosaur. As his oration comes to a close, the sun rises. To quote the Alt Text, it's symbolic as hell.
  • The Cuckoo Lander Was Right: When giving exposition on Goodrich's extravagant anti-zombie plans, a panel shows a man mentioning a rumor that Goodrich is from a future where zombies and robots took over. That managed to be much more accurate on both counts than expected.
    • When McNinja decides to make King Radical his nemesis, he has no actual evidence that the King is anything more than he appears to be - a generally decent, if legally unfettered, person trying to make the world a "more radical" (and overall better) place to live, and many saner characters call him out on this. Turns out Radical was up to something sinister after all.
  • Cure for Cancer: Dracula discovered it. And then he hid it on Mars as a private joke, thinking it will be hilarious when the rest of humanity figures it out for themselves.
  • Curse Cut Short: They're visually bleeped out now, but this happened early on whenever Dr. McNinja said "motherf—" HE SAID A BAD WORD!
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Parodied: Sean's ninja name is "Dark Smoke Puncher", and Doc mocks him for it at one point.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though not a complete, or even major, departure from the goofy setting and previous stories, ever since Doc Gets Rad the storyline has gotten considerably darker, with no overt victories and several significant defeats that would be played for tragedy anywhere else.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dr. McNinja is an interesting example. He's clearly good and heroic, despite being a ninja, but has also committed some decidedly antiheroic, if not downright evil acts. The Doc and his True Companions are certainly more willing to kill than most super heroes.
  • Dark World: The Negazone functions as both this and a Spirit World. It is a dark reflection of reality with considerable Mind Screw relating to the visitor's own psyche. The Dr. gets trapped there while attempting to rescue the president.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The AWOL MD arc gives us two, plus a subversion.
    • A demon is masquerading as a teacher at Gordito's school.
    • Dr. McNinja is impersonating Dr. McLuchador, who died some time ago, to infiltrate King Radical's gang.
    • To make that impersonation more believable, Chuck Goodrich impersonates Dr. McNinja in order to "fight" Dr. McLuchador and be defeated by him. It's a subversion because Dr. McNinja is not actually dead.
  • Deadly Doctor:
    • Dr. McNinja, who "heals with one hand and kills with the other".
    • Dr. McLuchador is a villainous example. Though he means well, his patients tend to end up worse off from his treatments, either due to toxic medicine or "unconventional" wrestling-based methods of applying it.
  • Death by Cameo: Two characters, a guard killed by Dr. McNinja and one of Radical's goons are based on Chris Hastings.
  • Death by Origin Story: Gordito's father
  • Death In All Directions: In the tennis temple. the Alt Text snarks "clearly he dies on the next page".
  • Death Is Cheap, but not necessarily easy. Lampshaded in the comic itself, where it complains about resurrections making death meaningless.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Dr. Knickerbockers.
  • Destination Defenestration: "Go everlive somewhere else!"
  • Determinator:
    • Gordito, who grew his mustache out of sheer willpower. Later subverted when it's revealed that he grew it out of panic, and uses it to hide his insecurities under a badass facade. He finally ends up Becoming the Mask, however.
    • The third Nasaghast. Able to deflect the holy shuriken, pulls his head through the sword that impaled him to the ground, launches himself into space, catches a missile and throws it straight at his target.
  • Devious Dolphins: Agent Bearclaw used to pretend to be drowning, just so he could kill the dolphins who came to rescue him. So when he falls into the ocean after a real plane crash, and more dolphins show up, he assumes they're here for revenge and panics. But in spite of his fears, the dolphins actually carry him to a nearby island. Relieved, Bearclaw thanks the dolphins for their mercy... and then the dolphins pull out guns and shoot him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Doc laying down the law on a Nasaghast.
  • Dirty Business
  • Dodge the Bullet: Played straight by the Doctor; subverted by Beeman.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Occurs in the story "There Is A Raptor In My Office". It turns out everything was engineered by the Fox News corporation to be an amazing, rating-boosting story. It was thwarted by their weatherman who, earlier in the story, was all puffed up to do a story about three hurricanes in the Atlantic forming a Mickey Mouse shape only to be deflated by a lead in story about velociraptor riding banditos. He stopped it in the end in order to prevent the story from going public just so that everyone would be excited about the weather.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: Gordito is reluctant to wake up Dr McNinja for this very reason. The good doctor's parents apparently ingrained it into him by attacking him in his sleep, because... well... he's a McNinja.
  • Exact Words:
    Dinosaur President: The Alpha Shield can't be broken by anything on earth!
    Dr McNinja's Message: Dracula, please fire your moon laser at this precise location.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • His family name is McNinja. He's a doctor. These are his adventures. Any other questions?
    • Issue #8: "Punch Dracula".
  • Expansion Pack Past: Dr. McNinja's flashback in Army of One.
  • Expy: The "Friend Bros." featured in the beginning of A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court are expies of the Mario Brothers, with special references to Mario Kart (mostly in the alt-text).
  • Eyepatch of Power: Frans Rayner. Lampshaded in the Alt Text: He went from being Johnny Cage to Kano!
    • Judy's kitten gets one too after its run-in with Yoshi.
    • US President Maria Funkhouser has one.
  • Eye Scream: Inverted. TWICE
  • The Face of the Sun: The sun of the Radical Lands wears Cool Shades and sports a smile on its face.
  • Fake Defector: The Doctor pretends to ally with Frans Rayner in order to negate his Reverse Ninja Law.
  • Faking the Dead: Doc and Chuck Goodrich after the time travel storyline. It ends toward the end of "A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court".
  • Fanboy: The one copilot astronaut to Chuck Goodrich. It doesn't end well.
  • Fanservice: the good Doctor himself, here... and much appreciated, by the way.
    • The cover of the fourth book has the doctor posing on his motorcycle with his shirt unbuttoned, showing off a patch of his chest hair.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Dan seems to have some prejudices against gorillas.
      Dan McNinja: Gorillas are cowards! Nowadays you're not allowed to say it, but it's true!
    • There also seems to be some racism in the Radical Lands. Don't tell Ron!
    • This page explicitly spells it out:
      Alt Text: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is proud to participate in the long history of fantasy stories being a place where characters can be completely unabashed speciesist jerks.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink:
    • Zombies, ghost wizards, vampires, resurrected Ben Franklin and Hitler, drugs that confer ninja skills, Headless Horsemen, superheroes, a disease that turns you into Paul Bunyan, and cloned dinosaurs, thieving lobsters and a mafia led by a radical dirtbiker (...and a world-ending Mayan tennis machine. Seriously.)
    • Of note: the radical dirtbiking mafia leader looks suspiciously like ''The Burger King'', though the author states that the inspiration of King Radical was actually King Boo on a Dirtbike.
    • A perfect example in Futures Trading: Dr. McNinja had Dracula fire his moon laser at the base of the President of the Human-Dinosaur alliance.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: One of Doc's many graduate degrees must be in this. Gordito is a quick study.
  • Fight Dracula: The "Punch Dracula" story is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, an opportunity for Doc to get into a fight with the lord of all vampires.
  • Flat "What": Used more than a few times, practically being a Running Gag. One instance is so flat it even lacks punctuation.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: What is the identity of the strange motorcycle that appears to brainwash the people riding it, and manipulated the Doc into bisecting the last rider and destroying the last known supply of True Dew? A unicorn. Named Sparklelord. Also...
    Dr. McNinja: I shall. Name you. Yoshi.
  • Footnote Fever: The dinosaur-riding banditos speak English with a sprinkling of Spanish, which is always translated in footnotes. Even when the meaning is clear. Even when the word appears multiple times in the same panel.
  • Foreshadowing: "And sometimes, they wore tank tops."
    • Doc seeing his younger self via time hole while chasing after King Rad through the caves.
    • Related to the above, Doc is jumping through time, reliving his memories in the past. But then he "jumps too far ahead," to a memory in the future, where he is a fugitive from the military.
    • In A Cumberland Ninja in Kind Radical's Court, Chuck tries to read a book, but gives up, throws it away, and announces "This is boring!". A couple of pages later, King Radical does the exact same thing with a pamphlet. The next storyline reveals that they are alternate versions of the same person.
    • In Space Savers, Chuck saw King Radical kill him, or a version of him, in the past. So he knew exactly what would happen when he jumped into the portal.
    • In I Told You That Story So I Could Tell You This One, Dan McNinja tells Gordito that they always wear their masks so that they can take it off and leave their lives behind if everyone turns against them. In Army of One, Frans Rayner clones the Dr. and through this gets to see his face, saying that someday, this will be very useful. Sure enough, in the final arc, the entire world goes out for the Dr.'s blood, and this leads to Frans Rayner ensuring the Dr. won't be able to use this last resort.
      • And at the very end of that arc, Doc is, in fact, betrayed by his entire family (though admittedly with no other options), and he does remove his mask in order to escape. Once he's saved the day, he takes advantage of the opportunity to start over as a plain old medical doctor. And since Dan finally killed Frans once the real President was brought back, Doc no longer had the threat of being exposed hanging over him. As Dan puts it, "early retirement earned."
  • Forgets to Eat: The titular Doctor. Low blood sugar makes him cranky, too.
  • Freudian Excuse: Parodied in "Monster Mart" where not only is stupidity of an alternate form used as an excuse but gets instant forgiveness granted once told.
  • Fugitive Arc: The final arc is this. The Big Bad, King Radical, successfully overthrows the U.S. government and has Dr. McNinja declared an enemy of the state.
  • Future Badass: Dark Smoke Puncher. And Gordito. And Yoshi.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Dark Smoke Puncher.
  • Gallows Humor: How do the creators celebrate an anniversary in their comic? By having something bad happen to the Doctor (year 1: Doc gets shot to what is apparently his death.; year 3: His office explodes in a fiery hellstorm.
  • Gambit Pileup: Let's see, we have the Doctor himself, King Radical, and Sparklelord. Dracula, of course. Victor the plumber, who is most definitely not the tiniest spy in the world. Rayner, who can't seem to stay dead. And whatever Chuck Goodrich is planning.
  • Genius Cripple: The father of Dr McNinja's college friend Martin is a scientific genius confined to a wheelchair. Who also bears a fairly good resemblance to Stephen Hawking. His name? Professor Birding.
  • Genius Loci: The Radical Lands are capable of determining the most radical of them all and crowning that person king.
  • Genre Shift: A momentary one, invoked by the Doctor. At one point, Franz Rayner cloned an army of Doctors to exploit the fact that when they all turned against him, Conservation of Ninjutsu would take effect and even the original Doc would become totally useless. Doc rescues himself by "switching sides" and teaming up with an unwilling Rayner so as to treat the whole situation like a Buddy Cop Show until the clones were slain.
  • "Get out of Jail Free" Card: Because he so often helps the police, the mayor made a deal with Doc that he could get away with any of the laws he broke while doing his ninja thing if he got to his office before the police did and said "Base!"
  • Giant Mecha: Part of King Radical's master plan involves turning all of Cumberland into this by installing haunted wood in every house in the city and using magic to merge them into one of these...because it's RADICAL.
    • Washington D.C. was designed to be this, but due to budget restraints it was never completed.
  • Girls with Moustaches: A prank by King Radical results in a bunch of kids, girls included, ending up with bushy beards.
    • Girls can contract Paul Bunyan's disease, which may overlap with Gender Bender.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In The End Part I, Dr. McNinja makes a bid to stop Radical's world shattering plans by using the device he got in his youth in First Generation Ninja American to summon Sparklelord, an Omnicidal Maniac and the only one King Radical truly fears. That and he had to reveal his real name, freeing the Ghost Wizard with a vendetta against him that his grandfather sacrificed himself to seal away.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Since Mitzi and Dan didn't know how to raise a kid to be a ninja, when Doc was a kid they introduced him to Batman comics to inspire him. Doc's obsession with being Batman hasn't let off the gas since.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Doc... sometimes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: This page, as explained in the Alt Text.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: "Damn," "ass," and "hell" are about as bad as the profanity gets. Anything stronger is visually bleeped out or amusingly censored (i.e. "You have got to be [flarking] [pooping] me.")
    • Additionally, the Doctor's standard expression of surprise or dismay is the exceedingly mild "Oh my goodness."
  • Gratuitous English: The Great Dane himself, Frans Rayner, especially in the older days.
    Frans Rayner: Hey, Dan, come on. You are just the baby school, and I am the Big League Chew. Why do you try?
    Dan McNinja: Frans, I can't wait to see how much worse your horrible English will be once your skull is concave. It'll be hilarious.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Parodied with the paleontologist banditos.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Sparklelord ascended to this after smashing King Radical's space shuttle. He's still out there enjoying the world's "slide into entropy," but he could return at any time he pleases.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Dan's fatherly advice covers this subject with regard to alligators.
    • Also, Frans Rayner rips an arm off an Old McNinja clone and uses it to bludgeon another clone.
    • Dr. McNinja picks up Dracula by the legs and uses him as a weapon against King Radical. Bonus points for being an Incredibly Lame Pun: He turned Dracula into a bat.
      • And follows that up by throwing Pope Francis at him, destroying the now-vampirized King Radical. Furious and revenge driven though he might've been before, Radical dies with a smile because of how radical his death is.
  • Groin Attack: "Hahahahah. He kicked you in your genitals. Ninjas have no honor."
  • Gullible Lemmings: King Radical's main motive is to save his own people by sacrificing billions of lives from this world, who he doesn't care about due to being boring. Despite this, the entire country still loves him and supports his efforts.
  • Gun Kata: Gordito is seen practicing these outside the office here.
  • The Grim Reaper: In Doc's world, Death is a skeletal maitre d' with a tidy little moustache.
  • Hellish Horse: Between Ben Franklin's ghostly equine stalker and Sparklelord the evil unicorn, horses are typically villains in the McNinjaverse.
    Alt Text: I think horses are never not scary in this comic, because they are never not scary in my life.
  • Hero Antagonist: King Radical, From a Certain Point of View.
  • Heroic Dolphin: The story Death Volley has the implication of dolphins getting revenge on Agent Bearclaw. His story: "One time I swam out to sea, and pretended to be injured so that dolphins would swim up to rescue me. I did this so that I could kill them with my bare hands."
  • Hero Insurance: "Base!"
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Bearclaw, an NSA agent who makes a hobby out of slaughtering animals with his bare hands.
  • High Concept: The entire webcomic is summarized well in this Alt Text.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Rayner's mooks. Averted with Old McNinja, who is very competent at staying hidden.
  • Hired Guns: In "Death Volley", the doctor is constantly harassed by a gun-toting masked assassin. It turns out the assassin is his ex, Hortense, and the client is the doctor's parents King Radical.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Implied in one strip, when the police runs away from the dinosaurs:
    Mayor Goodrich: The police won't deal with this?
    Driver: Yeah, we're all pretty used to waiting for Dr. McNinja to handle the weird stuff.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Played with. Dan's response to seeing King Radical's giant robot formed from all the buildings in Cumberland and powered by planks of wood harvested from a haunted forest? Tell Sean to "Hack it." Later on, Dan himself tries to do it, by throwing a keyboard and mouse at the mech.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick:
    • Judy, the gorilla receptionist.
    • And Gordito:
      Dr. McNinja: Do you think I run around with a twelve year old boy just because I like his inferior grasp of girls and higher level math? Do you think I left him with my psychotic parents because I wanted him to die? No, you undead pale ponce! Gordito is the effing badass kid. So go ahead and finish up your masterful scheme to make me let you kill me, because Gordito's going to slap around whatever ghost lackey you have like he was a pinata on the Mexican day of the dead."
    • The Mummy that accompanies Archibald King of the Hoboes, which grants him immortality and protects him from assassination attempts.
  • Hypothetical Casting: In this interview, creator Chris Hastings said that his casting choices for a Dr. McNinja movie would be Sam Rockwell or Will Arnett as the Doc, Sam Elliot or Hulk Hogan as Dan McNinja, and Anjelica Huston as Mitzi McNinja. The villains would include Williem Dafoe as Donald McBonald, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frans Rayner, Phil Fondacaro as Knickerbockers, and Bela Lugosi as Dracula, "The Crow style."
  • I Am One of Those, Too: Subverted — Sean calls Gordito out on his inner geekiness, only to backpedal rapidly as he realizes he has just revealed his own.
  • Identical Panel Gag: The comic where Gordito and Judy take care of Victor, the evil half plumber half spy. The four panels have the characters in exactly the same pose with only the narration and dialog changing.
  • Impossibly Awesome Magic Trick: There's a flashback to Gordito's father, the Great Flying Shooting Juan (a sharpshooting trapeze artist magician) performing a card trick. The volunteer chooses a card, places it back in the deck, and throws the entire deck into the air. Juan shoots the card in midair... but the volunteer can't find the card afterwards. Then he gets a call on his cell phone...
    Volunteer: That was the police. The man who robbed my house... they finally caught him because he was shot in the upper thigh... There was a queen of diamonds in his pocket.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Where do you think Gordito got it from?
    • Doc too. He hit a pirate on a ship from a plane in motion, despite not having any way to see his target. Especially impressive, given what his payload was.
  • Improvised Weapon: The razor-sharp frozen shamrocks used by the Irish proto-ninjas.
    • In the big finale, Doc weaponized Dracula to turn King Radical into a vampire. Then he throws Pope Francis at him. Radical's last words are about how cool his death will be.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Doc claims to have trained his skills with Batman. In reality, though, he's just learned from reading his comic books and watching his movies.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
  • I Know Your True Name: Doc never tells anyone his real name because of "the wizard." Due to his grandfather sacrificing his name in order to seal a powerful ghost wizard, he can never utter his own name without freeing him.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: A Running Gag in the Space Savers arc involves (who knows what KINDS of) crazy space radiation causing weird things to happen. It is speculated to be how some dinosaurs became sentient and how the Nasaghasts became the vengeful ghosts they are.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Lampshaded.
  • In a Single Bound: Taken to the ultimate extreme — with enough skill one can apparently jump from the Earth to the Moon, or vice versa.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Jefferson Airplane.
    • Also here
    • Also, Dr. Birding.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink, with Drowning My Sorrows: Jose Cuervo: 1; Dr. McNinja: 0.
  • Incendiary Exponent:
    • Ninjas can't catch you if you're on fire.
    • In the Monster Mart story, Marty tries to threaten some thugs, it doesn't work, he piles up some barrels of flammable liquid behind him, smashes them and tries again, framed by the firey explosion. It works.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Doc manages to turn Frans Rayner from a One-Man Army to one of these by invoking 80's buddy martial-arts movie rules.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Normally, diplomacy is awesome but not quite this effective.
  • Infant Immortality: Parodied. A demon kills all of Gordito's classmates, causing the Alt Text to say that their heads will grow back after a day or two. And, due to the skills of Doctor McNinja, they do.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Purgatory is a restaurant. With really, really slow service.
  • Inner Monologue: Often. Doc has been known to argue with his inner voice.
    • (And lose.)
    • You hush.
    • (No.)
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • The Axe Cop crossover proves that, yes, there are some things too crazy to make sense even in this comic.
      Axe Cop: If bad guys steal this book [that forces you to be on their team]... I'll chop your head off. After I kill all the bad guys you can heal yourself with your doctor power.
      McNinja: Just... Just protect the book, okay?
    • Then there's the pirates.
      Captain O'Shay: For each one of my men ye touch, I will kill five members of yer family.
      (Dr. McNinja glances at the three other members of his family, tied up and on the edge of the plank)
      Dr. McNinja: ...that math does not work out at all.
      Alt Text: The point that you're a total dumbass, Captain O'Shay.
  • In Spite of a Nail: No matter how many alternate-universe counterparts Chuck Goodrich helps, another one will appear.
  • Instant Chucks: Chainsaw nunchucks
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Subverted with Judy. Her sign language is translated for the reader, and Ben Franklin II understands it, but Doc doesn't know sign language.
  • Inventional Wisdom: "You just cut the elevator?! What are you doing?!" "Why is there even a button for that?"
  • Kill the Host Body: The McNinjas are hired to assassinate a Ghost Wizard, which includes killing the guy it's possessing so they can fight the exposed spirit with holy weapons. It re-possesses Sean, Dan and Mitzi are fully prepared to kill their own son, but Gordito stops them and shoves a blessed bullet down his throat before it fully takes hold of him instead.
  • King of the Homeless: Archibald, King of the Hobos.
  • Klingon Promotion: Frans Rayner plans on becoming President this way.
  • Knight Templar: King Radical just wants to make the world radical... even if it means killing billions.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Doctor's special anti-ninja drug, which he created to stop Frans Rayner and his personal army of "drug ninjas". After getting a lot of flack for hoarding the drug, he defended his actions by stating that he had "created his own Kryptonite" and therefore wasn't going to let it out of his control.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: When Sean McNinja is possessed by the Wizard Ghost he sees his father giving him a highly uncharacteristic hug while saying "computers are kinda cool", embracing his nerdy side. This was a part of the Ghost's possession process.
  • Love Bubbles: When the Ultimate Diplomat pays you a compliment, you know you've been complimented.
  • Made of Explodium: Averted, Doc actually settles for "two of three" since nothing will explode if he throws the Big Bad off a cliff onto sharp rocks. He's satisfied with the end result.
  • Made of Plasticine: The clones of Old McNinja, as they were made with low-quality cloning technology.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In "Army of One."
      Dan: Who would call us on Katanaka?
      Mitzi: Your father's still dead, right?
      Dan: Well, we'll never be sure, but I don't think he'd just call.
    • Un-noodled as of "First Generation Ninja American."
    • Where Dan got the skeletons in "The End: Part 1" to fake the deaths of Gordito (a child), Judy (an adult gorilla), and Yoshi (a velociraptor), though judging by the look in his eyes when he says that where he got the latter two skeletons was more interesting, he clearly enjoyed it.
  • No Name Given: Lampshaded with "Now I know you've never been to my office, so you've never seen the degree that hangs by my desk. So I will let you know — it's made out to Dr. McNinja, not Judas McNinja." Later handwaved when talking to his clone, "You never told anybody our name, did you? 'Cause, you know... the wizard."
    • The reason is later shown in "First Generation Ninja American." As a kid, he and his grandfather got in over their heads when a simple assassination turned into a fight against a really powerful ghost wizard. His name and his grandfather's life were the price paid to seal the ghost wizard.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Despite glaring Death in the face, Frans Rayner survived falling off of a cliff and landing on sharp rocks. When the rocks pierced his head, he swallowed half of his brain to prevent damage to it.
  • Not So Different: King Radical, not unlike Chuck, is just trying to save his own universe (albeit in a manner that'll kill millions). Justified, since he's the Radical Land counterpart of Chuck (when he was pronounced Sicknasty of Spades is supplanted his old name).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Dark Smoke Puncher, who tries to hide his Gadgeteer Genius tendencies and general geekery behind a facade of bad slang and acting cool.
  • Obstructive Bureaucracy: Whoever decides the budget for Washington D.C. The city was designed to transform into a Giant Mecha but the project was never finished due to budget restraints.
  • Obviously Evil: Victor.
  • Off-Model: "So long, pirate ship I drew slightly differently in every panel."
  • Offscreen Teleportation: pulled by Mitzi on Gordito with a Stealth Hi/Bye here
  • Oh, Crap!: "Rayner, party of one, your table is ready."
    • King Radical provides a priceless example here.
    • Happens three times in a row: Once with a space dinosaur and twice more with Doc and Chuck.
    • When Doc, undercover as Dr McLuchador, has to take the ninja drug from D.A.R.E. He's internally freaking out over the fact that it was never tested on a life-trained, natural born ninja. And then he gets a double dose.
    • Franz Rayner, when he sees Maria Funkhouser return, and all his men stop listening to him, as he's no longer the real President.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In a particularly strange way, too. Sean/Dark Smoke Puncher uses a lot of slang to try and conceal from his parents that he's a nerd. Occasionally, he'll forget it, or in the case of this strip, he forgets, and tries to tack it on at the end.
    Sean: Yeah, this is a prototype. It's designed to set off a contained chemical reaction so that whatever it's blowing up immediately converts to harmless fiber. It's a way to limit collateral damage... dawg.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The Nasaghasts have shown an almost single-minded devotion to their Ghostly Goals of avenging attacked astronauts, to the point that they will endanger other astronauts and even the entire planet if necessary. And yet, when Doc points that out, the nasaghast actually responds with Shrug Take, which prompts a Big "WHAT?!" from the Dr.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist:
    • Ben Franklin cloned himself to enable a much longer than normal lifespan and has made quite a few scientific advancements in the process.
    • With Ben Franklin II's help, the Doctor split himself into a number of clones, each of which went off and got a degree in a specific field. After a few years, the original and all of the clones rejoined into one body, the Doctor we know today, with all of the knowledge acquired from the clones — except for one, which is why he doesn't know agricultural science.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Usually played straight, but averted at a critical moment. Doc's many injuries missed his arteries and vital organs, but they were clearly life-threatening because he'd lost so much blood. Doc immediately left the field of battle and didn't return until he'd patched himself back up.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Smoke Puncher revealed himself to be a Nerd when he called Gordito out for trying to impress his father with a line he ripped from The Dark Tower, which Gordito quickly realises he would only know if he read the books.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Vengeful spirits that don't avenge themselves but any other astronauts who could be harmed. With an impressively Nightmare Fuel design to boot.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires can be created through using The Dark Arts for Immortality Immorality, or by being drained of blood by an existing vampire. Vampires cannot be photographed or reflected. As far as weaknesses are concerned, they are compelled to count fallen grains of rice, are vulnerable to holy symbols, and they can be killed by wooden stakes or sunlight. Sebastien's coven is comprised of languid, gothy vampires; Dracula has very evident strength, intelligence, and resourcefulness.
  • Overly Long Gag: Almost - Chris Hastings originally planned to do an entire week of Dr. McNinja falling down stairs. Instead, it became just one strip. Of course, who knows if he was telling the truth?
    • Played with again in the Alt Text to this strip: six more pages of bodies getting disintegrated and mashed together!
    • Eventually Played Straight with the second panel of the "Judy Gets a Kitten" story arc, in which the good doctor is still going on about what to get at the supermarket from before.
  • Papa Wolf: Dan
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Gordito has been donning a couple lately.
    • Also here. Keep in mind that our protagonist is already a doctor and is already dressed in full medical garb, so his disguise consists of a nametag. It is apparantly not the first time he's done this. To that particular doctor either.
    • Lampshaded here. The nasaghasts believe Doc was trying to fool them by putting on another astronaut's suit. This just annoys them further.
  • Parental Abandonment: Gordito's parents are dead.
  • Pirates vs. Ninjas: The McNinja clan and a specific group of pirates have their own personal feud. But pirates and ninjas in general are rivals because ninjas think it's funny.
  • Police Are Useless: "It's the mayor's job to deal with weird stuff. Look it up."
  • Poor Communication Kills: Responsible for every major problem in both "Space Savers" and "Futures Trading."
  • Post-Victory Collapse: After jumping from the moon, once the adrenaline is out of his system, Doc just collapses. "Ohgodmylegs"
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "We are on Eastern Pain Time, and it is Dan O'clock."
    Alt Text: From Dan O' Clock to Dan Thirty, all mixed drinks are half-priced.
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: At the beginning of D.A.R.E To Resist Ninja Drugs And Ninja Violence:
    Dan: Ha. Alright kids, not bad. Not bad. How about a drink in honor of all your beginners luck? Here. I'll pour you a Molson. It's got a higher alcohol content than most American beers. And maybe that will help sterilize all those cuts on your face.
    Punk: Uh, what cuts, my man?
    Dan: I have no idea.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
  • President Evil:
    • The President of the future. He's a dinosaur too.
    • Later, King Radical.
  • Pressure Point: "Your turn to go to sleep."
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Dark Smoke Puncher, though he does it so his parents won't find out how nerdy he really is (though Doc does remark that it sounds like he stole the name from someone he beat in Counter-Strike).
  • Product Placement: In this strip as an April Fool's Day gag. The page was edited back to normal on April 2. For those who missed it, Dr. McNinja was wearing a red t-shirt of himself instead of his labcoat.
  • Professional Killer: Being a ninja at least theoretically implies being an assassin for hire. The Doctor isn't having any of that, and his parents see it as a serious defect.
  • Properly Paranoid: Doc was right to be suspicious of King Radical.
  • Pseudo Crisis: Played for laughs. When the Doc is trying to infiltrate NASA, a cop gets the drop on him. The next comic reminds you that "HE IS A NINJA." and cuts to him driving the cop's car.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The White House uses one called the Negazone as a security system. Since most of its victims are super villains or the mentally disturbed, they succumb and lose their sense of self rather quickly. This also has the consequence that the visions used by the keeper of the Negazone are less than effective against a heroic character, at least beyond freaking him out briefly.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Not so much "punch" as "sword swing", as when Doc desperately swings at the final Nasaghast's head but is horrorstruck when his sword simply passes through it without doing any damage.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Done quite frequently, usually by separating the words in different speech bubbles.
    Mitzi: That. Was. Pathetic.
    Dr. McNinja: Please. Don't. Stabmeintheeyeballs.
  • Punny Name: Gordito Delgado. Translated from spanish it roughly means "Slim Fatty".
  • Purgatory and Limbo: While Ben Franklin is dead (again) he spends his time in Purgatory, which resembles a ritzy restaurant, waiting for meals representing his sins. After two hundred years he's still on the bread.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: "Doc Gets Rad". Doc defeats Sparklelord... but learns that said bike was the only way he could find to defeat King Radical.
  • Quip to Black: The Doctor pulls this off when he gets the opportunity to try out his new bike.
    Dr McNinja: Judy!
    Judy: Ugh. [tosses sword and motorcycle helmet to Doc]
    Dr McNinja: [catches and puts on the sword and helmet] Let's practice.
    Alt Text: Then Horatio jumps out of the bushes and puts on his sunglasses.
  • Ramprovisation: These three examples.
    Doc: Man is only separated from heaven by that which he will not ramp.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Beeman, a Batman wannabe, faces several bank robbers with guns. They open fire on him, he gracefully flips through the air....and then flops across the floor, riddled with bullets. It's been the Trope Image for a long time for a reason.
    • The only ones who can defeat a powerful, self-resurrecting demon are those of the Belstein family's "pure" bloodline. So, to keep the bloodline pure, they engaged in inbreeding, resulting in the last of the Belstein line being a crippled invalid.
    • When a bunch of "bad dudes" get in the way of determined pizza delivery guys and their tooled out truck....
    • At the end of the "D.A.R.E" story arc, Doc flat out admits to the audience that the villain's plan to take over the world wouldn't have worked out for a large number of reasons because just to take over America he would've had to have somehow murdered and replaced every single person in both the Judiciary and Legislative branches of government, including the President himself. Not that it would matter due to the massive amounts of constitutional red tape keeping him from going much further than that. King Radical makes efforts to get around these problems by becoming Vice President first, not being seen as directly responsible for the President's disappearance, killing much of the Legislative branch, and fostering public goodwill.
      • And for a moment, it looks like the trope will work against him when he ends up at a hearing to discuss the fact that both his being responsible for the president's disappearance, and him impersonating his alternate-universe self to be become vice president, are highly illegal. Then explosions ensue.
    • Doc uses frozen shamrocks to save his family, just to call back to the story about the origin of the McNinjas he scoffed at earlier. He notes how stupid it is. When things settle down, they ask why he didn't just use the regular shurikens he still had in his coat.
    • Doc hopes that he can fly a spaceship just by winging it. When confronted with the ship's control panel, his tune changes pretty quickly.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: After a time-traveller from a dystopian future sits down with Cyberdyson to explain how their robotic vacuum cleaners eventually become sentient and take over the world, Cyberdyson makes sure the culprit chip is never put into production. Later on, the President is shown to be a decent, reasonable person who just wants to save her country during the events of "All the King's Dirtbikes and All the King's Men." She does get a little overexcited at the prospect of piloting a giant raptor-eagle robot, but who wouldn't?
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Frans Rayner's prosthetic robot eye.
  • Redshirt Army: The future rebels are not terribly bright. Lampshaded in the Alt Text, where they're referred to as "La revolution incompetente."
  • Retcon: On January 30 2012, the return of the McNinja burger in-comic, Hastings went and changed all "McDonald's" references to "McBonalds" so that he wouldn't have any legal issues printing the book later, including a modified logo and renaming Ronald McDonald to Donald McBonald. The protest signs on this page only had strokes added over the D's to change them to B's, rather than the letters being redrawn.
  • The Reveal:
    • About what King Radical is actually planning: The world of Dr McNinja was created when bleed off from our universe and the Radical Land mixed together. King Radical's master plan is to merge the two universes completely, replacing all the Muggles (including his Army of the Common Man) with Radical citizens, but leaving everyone already Radical (like most of the main characters) untouched.
    • Of King Radical's identity: King Radical is the version of Charles "Chuck" Goodrich from the Radical Lands!
  • The Rival: Doctor McLuchadore is this to Dr. McNinja. Apparently the former's tendency to treat his patients via insane wrestling moves got on the latter's nerves and the ninja-doctor ran the wrestler-doctor out.
  • Robotic Reveal: Played straight with Robot Dracula, inverted with Hortense
  • Rocketless Reentry: In the finale of "Punch Dracula", Doc grabs Dracula and jumps off the moon hard enough to take them both on a collision course with Earth. But "Dracula" turns out to be just be a robotic duplicate. So Doc uses the robo-Dracula as a heat shield and safely surfs it down to Earth's surface.
  • Rule of Cool and
  • Rule of Funny: Together with Refuge in Audacity, these rules cover everything that happens. Everything. There's considerable overlap, such as blocking a sword swing from Dracula with a stethoscope. In the words of the creator, "Dr. McNinja lives in a world that operates like a Mortal Kombat stage."
    • King Radical defies this with his office, it's completely normal and bland with a plain desk loaded with paperwork and a water cooler (albeit one filled with Mountain Dew) against the wall; it's because he hates paperwork, so he made his office as lame as possible so that he doesn't want to spend time there.
    • This actually gets an in-universe explanation. The McNinja universe is crammed in-between the Radical Lands and our universe in the multiverse, and there's some bleed-over from both due to the vortex below Cumberland.
  • Running Gag:
    • Charles "Chuck" Goodrich: *Insert title here*
      • The Most Radical Man in the Radical Land.
    • It's Dr. McNinja's birthday? He's going to die. Spectacularly.
    • In the early days of the comic, an ad had the scene in which Doc punches a snake in the face as a selling point. Having dramatic scenes where he punches increasingly awesome beings in their faces has become something of a requirement for each story since then.
    • The seemingly unkillable "Birdosaurus" stalking Doc.
      • At least, until "Paleontologists, Politicians, and Prologue".
    • Why a gorilla?
    Doc: "Because she is a PROFESSIONAL, and she BEHAVES like one!"
  • Run the Gauntlet: In The End: Part 2, all of the Dr.'s enemies seek Revenge and trap him in a magic maze with the intent of causing him emotional trauma then killing him. They fight him with new tricks meant to counter how the Dr. beat them before. The Alt Text outright Lampshades that yes, it's a Boss Rush.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While fighting Paul Bunyan, the cops see Yoshi. They draw the line at dinosaurs.
  • Screw Yourself: Dan suspects it of the Doc and his clone. "It's what any of us would do!"
  • Seadog Peg Leg: As the Doc gleefully slaughters a pirate ship, he proclaims, "Oooh, sorry. You're going to need a second peg leg. Woaah! And you're going to need a peg face! Haha! Peg faces for everyone!"
    • The next chapter has a Call-Back when some of the same pirates reappear—and do have peg faces.
  • Secret Stab Wound: Doc spends over an hour being pummelled by a gorilla before knocking it out with Pressure Point technique. He then nonchalantly says he "needed a nap", (having been unconscious for most of the fight), and retires to a private room to "clean up". He then leans over a nearby washbasin and pulls out the bottom of his mask, causing blood to pour out.
  • Send in the Clones: Frans Rayner's plan once he learns about Old McNinja.
  • Serious Business: Tennis, and with damn good reason. Misunderstood reason, anyway.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The good Doctor. "Pirate, you have got some straight up testicular elephantitis, comin' in here, and sittin' next to a ninja."
    Alt Text: He's saying the pirate has major balls.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The entire "Death Volley" arc appears to have been one. Or not?
  • Shaped Like Itself: Used in this strip.
    Alt Text: There's a hilarious joke that I snuck into panel 1753.
  • Signature Laugh: Dr. Knickerbockers, the evil midget doctor: "Eeeheeeheheheheheh!".
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Subverted
  • Sky Face: At the end of the "DARE to Resist Ninja Drugs and Violence" arc, Doc explains to the readers that Frans Rayner's plan (to become the US President by killing the President) would have failed even without Doc's intervention.
    Dr. McNinja: You see, we were safe from Frans all along... Thanks to the real hero of this story... Ben Franklin. Thanks, Ben... wherever you are.
    [The face of Ben Franklin appears in the clouds. Doc's eyes grow wide with shock.]
    Ben Franklin's sky face: I didn't come up with those parts of the Constitution.
  • Sky Pirates: Kidnapped the Doc. Thought they kidnapped the Doc, but it was actually his clone. Later, Gordito singlehandedly kills them all because he gets stuck behind on the ship.
  • Slow Clap: Dan McNinja thinks the first recorded Slow Clap was delivered by the ninja who witnessed the ancient McNinjas staving off a Pirate attack. Then the Alt Text informs us that this is incorrect: the first Slow Clap was Peter's reaction upon seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead.
  • The Slow Path: Taken by Mayor Chuck Goodrich after his plan to sabotage the McNinja clones goes wrong.
  • Smoke Out: Played straight more often than not. Subverted once, when Doc deployed a smoke bomb as a startled response to encountering someone in public he was trying to avoid.

Should anyone need the services of a ninja or doctor, my office is always open.

Alternative Title(s): The Adventures Of Doctor Mc Ninja, Dr Mc Ninja


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