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Drawtectives is an Urban Fantasy whodunnit RPG campaign created for Drawfee by Julia Lepetit, who also serves as the DM.

It follows the adventures of the mismatched power trio of rookie detectives Gyorik "York" Rogdul the half-orc barbarian (Jacob Andrews), Grendan Highforge the dwarf druid (Nathan Yaffe) and Rosé the human rogue (Karina Farek) as they solve mysteries, catch criminals... and also make a surprising amount of drawings.

The show was put on hold after the 2020 CollegeHumor shutdown, which left the future of the series up in the air. However, after Drawfee reestablished itself as an independent production, the show has officially been Uncancelled, with new episodes premiering on the channel.

Season One — dubbed Murder on Crescent Hill — has our heroes trying to uncover the truth about the murder of Paladin Captain Sorin Justice, which was committed during a social gathering at the expansive Crescent Hill mansion. Following the end of this arc, a second season - titled The Celestial Spear - was announced and released it's first episode on October 5th.

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On August 23rd a special one-shot was live-streamed where the gang reunite to solve the dissapearance of Harper's dog.

The show can be watched on Youtube. For Drawfee's other art challenge-based RPG campaign, see Drawga.


Tropes:

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     General Drawtectives Tropes 

  • A Wizard Did It: This is basically the Hand Wave explanation for how Grendan's art book has all the tools and functions of a Photoshop program. It's all druid magic.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: There is a lot of this between the northern orc tribes and the more civilized world.
    • Notably, Harper Justice is understandably upset about York peeing right next to her. York, however, feels like it was more offensive to not pee right on her, as that is considered a sign of great respect in his tribe.
  • Excuse Plot: The premise of the show is essentially an excuse to incorporate Drawfee challenges into an actual story. To wit, our protagonists are tasked with solving a crime which has already been solved, and proceed to interview witnesses who inexplicably all want them to draw stuff.
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw: Inverted. Julia Lepetit essentially banned anthropomorphic animals from the setting as she felt that they would be too difficult to draw in her detailed style. Thus far, the only exception is Felix from Season 2, and even he turns out to be an animatronic, with the implication that Cat People simply don’t exist in this world.
  • Genius Ditz: York. He doesn't know what cameras are nor does he know his own age and is scared of trains (which may or may not be creatures), but he can do division and understands the intricacies of privilege.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The players openly state in their Q&A video that it will contain spoilers, and should ideally be watched after Season One. This also applies to the One-Shot Stream, which alludes to the events of said season.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: The orcs have a fairly primitive culture compared to the rest of this world, but they still produce some of the more popular soap operas around.
  • Narrowed It Down To The Guy I Recognise:
    • Julia Lepetit was well aware of this trope while making both Season One and the One-Shot Stream, deliberately Averting it by playing all of the suspects herself.
    • It was confirmed that Season Two would try to avoid it in a different way, namely by having multiple Special Guests with equal involvement in the show's production. then Julia Lepetit ended up playing the culprint anyway.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Harper starts off sounding like a Valley Girl but gradually slides into a Long Island accent. This is lampshaded in the livestream oneshot where it is Hand Waved as her getting progressively more drunk.
  • Power Trio: A few can be formed-
  • Robotic Reveal:
    • In Season One, the players agree that it would be cool if this happened, though they argue that this probably won't happen with the very sweaty Avis, at the very least.
    • Season Two brings back the idea, revealing both the Ticket Taker and the Conrad Uctor who seemingly died to be animatronics. There’s also one working at Club Vega, but he’s not exactly hiding it.
  • Scully Box: A virtual one. Because of the main characters' height difference, it was often necessary to artificially raise Grendan's image so that he'd fit into the frame, as if he was standing on a box.
  • Shared Universe: Defied. The players have made it clear — perhaps to allow for more creative freedom and to avoid Continuity Snarl and/or Continuity Lockout — that the series is not set in the same universe as Drawga, though they haven't completely ruled out the idea of portals opening up between the two universes. (According to a later Drawfee episode, York and Ryjinah are — if nothing else — part of the same online friend group, along with some other of Jacob Andrews's characters.)
  • Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters: Heavily on the character side, to the point that the plot is mostly an excuse to have eccentric figures interact with each other (and draw.)

     Season One: Murder on Crescent Hill Tropes 

  • Aborted Arc: We never find out just why plants were missing from the conservatory. Word Of God is that Dr. Fontaine used them to make the tea she later shares with the detectives, but they never managed to figure this out.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • Pierce Steel has the Drawtectives give him their wild hunches of how Sorin died — with no information except for the fact that he was stabbed — then goes on to treat their (unsurprisingly inaccurate) guesses as gospel.
      • York believes that Sorin Justice died after falling and accidentally stabbing himself with a fork, while eating a human leg.
      • Grendan speculates that Sorin could have been cheating on Lotta with another woman — who may have been named Tulip or something — and was accidentally stabbed to death during their "lady duel".
      • Steel himself thinks that Sorin was killed by a knife-wielding rhinoceros. This eventually leads to a Brick Joke, where — during the party at Huck E. Heese at the end — one of the prizes available at the claw machine is a rhino.
    • The group quite reguarly talk about performing "Citizen's Arrests" while seeming to have no idea what it actually is.
  • Bad Ending: It luckily doesn't come to pass, but Word Of God is that had the Drawtectives arrested the wrong suspect, the season would have ended with them getting fired.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Everyone of course, but Sam is so deliberately unhelpful that Grendan has to use his ability to draw the truth out of someone on her.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Avis and Ogalvy, as well as York and Grendan.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Episode 3, in which kitchen intern Don Jovi wants to find the tastiest fictional animal which could possible exist, is based all around this trope.
    • Grendan draws dumpling creatures, which cook all food they eat within their own stomachs, essentially making them two meals in one.
    • Rosé draws a cake turtle, which the rest of the group don't find very appetizing.
    • York, being a bit self-absorbed, simply draws himself.
      • York himself is an example, as he reportedly has two stomachs and urinates and defecates at the exact same time.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The A-team seemingly can't spell the word "extraction", but they're still perfectly capable of performing one.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The key the detectives got from Buzz turns out to fit into the box Faucon is holding into. It turns out to be an empty knife box, or rather a "knife bed."
  • Constantly Changing Name: Grendan starts out as such, but on meeting Faucon (with a silent "N") he changes it to Grenda (actually "Grendan" with a silent "N"). Soon after, Harper can't remember his name but remembers it starts with a "G", so she calls him G-man, which Grendan takes to but then remembers the N in his name is now silent, so he says his name is now G-ma. Harper comments it sounds like "grandma", which is where his name has sat since then.
  • Cutting the Knot: This is generally the approach our protagonists take when inventor Larm Alassa asks them for help.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Sure, Rosé. Living cake creatures may sound like a good idea, but they are going to get really dirty running around in nature, and they're not exactly easy to clean.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During Episode 2, Rosé is tasked with drawing how she thinks Sorin died. However she is so absorbed in her sexy drawing of Sorin, looking as though he's on the cover of a tawdry romance novel, that she completely forgot Sorin died, prompting this gem of a line: "Oh right, he got killed".
  • The Dog Walker Was The Mastermind: Defied. Our investigators point out that the murderer could just be some random stranger — like the briefly mentioned Todd Walker the dog walker — who somehow avoided detection, but feel that this would be incredibly anti-climatic.
  • Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: Avis is the soft-spoken father to the energetic and noisy Ogalvy.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire 11 episode season — released over the course of almost two years — is set during a single evening, possibly in more than real time.
  • Faking the Dead: Grendan Highforge speculates that Sorin might be doing this, as part of some complicated Batman Gambit. This turns out to not be the case, however.
  • Faux Shadowing: Lotta seems to take the death of her husband far worse than anyone else present at the scene. Now why would that be so significant? It isn't. She genuinly had the most emotional reaction to it.
  • Foreshadowing: There is a subtle piece of enviromental storytelling in the design of the mansion. Other than the Justice family's private quartets, the house is very sparsely decorated. This hints both towards The Reveal that they are not actually rich and that the building serves more as a base of operations than a home.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Episode 9 has newspaper articles which are only shown briefly and not in their entirety.
    • JORGANS AND BORGANS FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY
      BY A. DAM WRITER
      When Jorgans and Borgans began, People flocked to their firm to help them save all of their shiny coins. However, it seems that the Jorgans and Borgans in fighting has made it's mark on the firms own coins and will be forced to close later this year. Jorgan is known for his ruthless "flap and claw" strategies while Borgan was known, more pleasantly, for his more low key tactic known only as "claw and flap". The two seemed unable to reach an agreement on whether or not they should combine the two ideas and call it "claw and claw" or "happy flappy".

      Asked if the firm expects to restructure and return in the future, Jorgan Said "I'm reevaluating on my own whether or not I should start another firm and I'm somewhere between yes and yes. If I do, I will make my firm up somewhere very high, round and with many sticks. Wait, what was the question?" Borgan said simply "no".
    • BIRDS OF PREY SINGER TAKES BREAK FROM BAND
      BY TOM BETTY
      The mysterious singer of Birds of Prey'' known only as Faucon has stated in a social post that she will be taking a break from her band. This comes as a surprise as the band landed at the top of the charts after a ground breaking album. Pushing out some other band that had been taking up the number one spot for the past few years, the band was expected the sour into everyone's everyday listening.

      Asked why she was taking a break, the singer stated "I just needed to take a break from the pressures of stardom to just wind down and relax with tiny cowboy". It is still unclear if this was part of a bizarre marketing campaign but fans are still speculating. Others suspect something to do with a paladin she has been in contact with recently. We are investigating who this...
    • GOVERNMENT DEBATES DISBANDING OF LAWLESS EASTERN FORT
      BY MARINA TRENCH
      A fort on the eastern boarder named "Travelers Beware Woods" is up for debate for closure as stories emerge. Bird smuggling, underground cupcake roulette, and gambling are only some of the things causing some of the soldiers to issue massive debt at the fort also known as "Travelers Be There Woods". The...
  • Hammerspace: Rosé somehow manages to fit an entire "knife bed" in her pocket. Granted, this wouldn't be the first time a Bag of Holding appeared in a Drawfee RPG...
  • Milkman Conspiracy: The Song Parody title A Weaver You Can't Out-Bet leads to the characters discussing how weavers keep winning at boker [sic] and concluded that they must have made deals with the casinos. Also, at least some of them are vampire orcs.
  • Mock Millionaire: Both Sorin and Lotta, whose "rich socialite" presentation is really just a cover for The Shadow Vault spy network, who are the true owners of the Crescent Hill mansion. It's implied that they didn't sponsor Emery's fort partially because they flat-out didn't have the money.
  • Mysterious Note: The Justice family received one, with the threat that one of them would die unless a sum was paid in cash. It's assumed that whoever wrote it also arranged Sorin's murder. It was written by Emery, who needed the money to cover his gambling debts.
  • The Nicknamer: Harper, albeit unintentionally. She's responsible for three of Grendan's new names, and calls York "Piss-boy". Emery shares this trait with his sister, although his crosses into Malicious Misnaming with York, whom he calls "Dork" even after being corrected.
  • Non-Indicative Name: According to Faucon, Grendan Fury — not to be confused with protagonist Grendan Highforge — is really a Nice Guy who isn't at all prone to furious behaviour.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Parodied. The world of Drawtectives doesn't have airplanes, but it does have songs about them. It's mentioned that trains are sometimes referred to as "ground planes", even though that would be rather redundant if there are no other planes.
  • Panthera Awesome: York claims that northern cats are eight feet tall and eight feet long. Yes, they are in fact cube-shaped.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Most of the B-squad, who are tasked with securing the mansion. For one thing, they cleaned up the crime scene before our investigators had a chance to look at it.
    • Also — as pointed out in the season finale — they didn't actually search any of the guests, so several of them were still carrying important evidence by the time they were questioned as witnesses.
  • Potty Emergency: York leaves for the mansion garden mid-investigation because he really has to pee. Jancy points out that there is a bathroom, but he's never used one before.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: York claims that "wild trains" are a real threat up north. Though given that wording, tracks may not actually be involved...
  • "Rashomon"-Style: One of the biggest tasks our protagonists face is trying to figure out which witness are lying and which are telling the truth when their stories don't line up. For instance, neither Harper nor Emery Justice admit to having seen the knife case they found before, but Dr. Susan Fontaine claims that it's been in the house for decades.
  • Revenge: Harper Justice makes our protagonists draw themselves in embarrasing situations as a collective punishment for York pretty much peeing on her and ruining her shoes.
    • Grendan is forced to draw himself losing a "dog-walking competition" against some bloke named Todd Walker. (Harper didn't quite understand what dog walkers actually did.)
    • Rosé has to draw herself as a middle-aged accountant Lady in a Power Suit (and a tacky one at that). She really doesn't mind the idea.
    • She tries to make York draw himself as a cute kitten, but he refuses, simply writing "Eat my butt". Rosé picks up the challenge instead.
    • Having to talk to Harper is itself revenge from Jancy, who is tired of the antics of her new hires.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: After concluding that Ogalvy didn't steal the jewels after all, the Drawtectives make certain to tell him that someone else did, knowing that he will track down the culprint to take them for himself.
  • Right Hand Vs Left Hand: The police have a real problem with this, as Jancy sends in our protagonists to solve the crime before the arrival of the more experienced policemen who will then solve it properly, and the crime scene has been cleaned up before any of them has had a chance to look at it. What's more, Jancy claims to have already solved the crime but has for some reason not shared her conclusion with anyone.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Ogalvy asks the Drawtectives to draw characters from his favorite (In-Universe) cartoon, upside-down no less.
    • Rosé draws a rad, giant Bayonetta-esque woman riding a Cool Train, armed with tons of swords.
    • York draws a buff cowboy wearing a "gun hat", riding a "gun horse", while dual wielding guns.
    • Grendan, meanwhile, is forced to draw a Cerberus-inspired three-headed dog with six legs, riding a bicycle.
  • So Proud of You: At the end of Season One, Jancy admits that — despite earlier frustrations — she is proud of her detectives for solving the case.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Sorin, Ogalvy, and Faucon are the official spellings. Grendan as well when he becomes "Grenda", as he doesn't lose the N in his name, it's just silent now.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Grendan speculates that Tulip — Sorin's hypothetical mistress — can shape-shift into a shadow and a rhinoceros, to explain why they all drew different culprits.
  • Weird Currency: Bones are apparently accepted currency among orcs, the bigger the more valuable.
  • Wham Line: Delivered by Avis of all people in the final episode:
    Avis: I was invited by Emory.
  • Wish-Fulfillment: In stark contrast to his sister, Emery has the Drawtectives draw him in positions he would like to see himself in.
    • Grendan draws him avenging his father's killer (who is still portrayed as a rhinoceros.)
    • Rosé portrays him as an old man, surrounded by riches and — reluctantly on the real Emery's part — feet pics of York.
    • York draws Emery taking on a wild train, which he doubts the guy would actually manage.
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     Drawtectives One-Shot Stream Tropes 

  • A Hero to His Hometown: The Drawtectives all get a fame boost for solving the murder of Sorin Justice in the last season, and at least York and Grendan have managed to push their non-detective careers along as a result.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Our protagonists speculate that Dax Hund may be Harold transformed into a human, but this turns out to not be the case.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Harper claims that this is how she got her hands on Harold to begin with. She just walked in, claimed to be his dog walker, and simply never returned him.
  • The Bus Came Back: Harper Justice and Ogalvy both return from Season One, the former as the ”victim”, the latter as a witness.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Having last seen each other during the events at Crescent Hill, Harper and Ogalvy just happen to be at the same park when the former loses Harold. The Players point out how unlikely this is.
  • Enemy Mine: While they did not come off on the right foot during their last meeting — and she is a small-time criminal herself — Harper agrees to work with the Drawtectives to find her lost dog.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: The Players themselves feel like this campaign doesn’t work as one, and that they weren’t given enough clues to properly solve the mystery.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Harper justifies her own dognapping of Harold, but finds the idea of somebody stealing him from her unacceptable.
  • Informed Attribute: Ogalvy’s description of Harold makes him sound like — as the Drawtectives put it — a very old ”Boopy Shoe”, and very little like the strong dog Harper insisted that he was. Probably because Ogalvy confused him with Dax Hund, a rather doglike man.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The events of Season One — including the solution to the mystery — are strongly alluded to.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Season One. The crime is theft rather than murder, and we get a straightforward Happy Ending were Harper is reunited with (and allowed to keep) her dog.
  • Mistaken Identity: It’s heavily implied that Ogalvy confused Dax Hund for a dog.
  • Phantom Thief: Noah Crimnall, who somehow manages to rob the Drawtectives of the fashion accessories while they’re wearing them, and is behind a lengthy series of similar thefts.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Sort of. The trio have a quite hard time solving this mystery, forcing Jancy to more or less tell them the solution.
  • Police Are Useless: Really, the only reasons the detective agency gets brought in at all is — again — because neither the witnesses nor the crime scene were properly searched beforehand.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The plot of the episode only happens because Harper became unnecessary paranoid about Norm’s true intentions, started arguing with him, and stopped paying attention to Harold the dog as he became frightened by an explosion and ran off on his own. And because the cops searching the crime scene Failed a Spot Check and failed to notice that Harold was still hiding in the nearby bushes.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: The facility Harper originally stole Harold from very much fits into the mold of this trope, to the point that it reminded her of her own time as a convict. Also a hint towards The Reveal that Harper didn’t actually steal an award-winning dog.
  • Real After All: Considering how much confusion there is around Harold the dog, the Players start speculating that maybe he doesn’t exist at all. Harold turns out to be very real though, meeting our heroes towards the end of the episode.
  • Self-Deprecation: Jancy — voiced by DM Julia Lepetit — admits to her detectives that this wasn’t a very good mystery. Out of character, she also mentions thinking that The Reveal ended up being pretty lame.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Played With. It turns out that nobody stole the dog from Harper! It just got scared and ran off into the bushes. However, the investigation wasn't a complete waste of time, as it led to the arrest of the man behind a major, tangentially related crime spree.
  • Time Skip: While the players are somewhat confused as to how time even works in the Drawtectives universe, Jancy eventually decides that the campaign is set two months after Season One.
  • We Need a Distraction: It’s eventually revealed that the car accident was rigged by Noah for this purpose, giving him the opportunity to carry out his robbery.

     Season Two: The Celestial Spear Tropes 

  • Afterlife Express: On waking up on the train the trio almost immediately begin to suspect they're actually dead and that "getting their tickets punched" is actually a metaphor for being visited by the Grim Reaper.
    • In Episode 6, the trio discover a receipt for train tickets, which outlines how one "boards" the train. They recieve a Celestial Spear coin, put it into their mouth, and wait for the train to come pick them up afterwards.note  If the train isn't the afterlife, the creators of it are certainly making it out to be one!
    • Ultimately, Gareville is indeed revealed to be an Artificial Afterlife.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • Our heroes find what appears to be a drawing of a constellation on the backs of several papers and a disposible coffee cup.
    • The same general shape appears as a winnable necklace at Club Vega, apparently made by the owner herself.
    • It then appears again as a piece of wall art in Gareville proper, which makes the constellation out to be in the shape of a dragon. It turns out to show the way to the Ticket Taker’s living quarters.
  • Art Evolution: The Drawtectives were given a redesign for this season, with not just their outfits but also their proportions being deliberately changed to make them more consistent with one another.
  • An Astral Projection, Not a Ghost: While Gareville was built for the spirits of the dead, our protagonists and most of the NP Cs they interact with still have very-much-alive bodies to return to in the world of the living.
  • Betting Mini-Game: Anna Log’s Club Vega contains a number of these.
    • York tries a Test Your Strength game. Normally it wouldn’t be this, but since there’s no Gameplay and Story Segregation here, the results are just decided by dice rolls even In-Universe. Seeing his frustration, Anna allows him to add an advantage of 2, leading to York scoring a scale-breaking 7/6.
    • Grendan tries out a slot machine. They don’t particularly like it, as it’s about as hard to win on as the real thing.
    • Rosé plays a game of “Dice Ball”. Like York, she claims to be much better at the real thing... despite winning the game!
    • Eugene plays a Wheel of Decisions game. It mostly works like a normal lucky wheel, except two of the spaces are respectively marked “bankrupt” and — rather ominously— “death.” Eugene has the bad luck of landing on the latter. It seems to have no immediate effect.
    • After playing and winning far less points than they wanted to, the Drawtectives offer Anna Log one newly designed game each in exchange for two prizes.
      • Grendan draws a mix between a claw machine and a duck shooting gallery, where the player has to use a drone to catch the ducks with a magnet. Its theme song is rather familiar.
      • Rosé creates a game called ”Don’t Cry”, in which Anna’s animatronic continually insults the player, who will only win if they — well — don’t cry.
      • York — probably still disappointed by the fake Test Your Strength game — designs a genuine one; a giant log players can attempt (likely unsuccsessfully) to lift.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Gareville being built in space turns out to be a non-issue, as the entire population consists of spirits and animatronics.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The Big Bad turns out to be Conrad Uctor, a character believed to be dead for much of the season.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Cliffhanger of episode 1 has the Drawtective trio entering the next train car, only to happen upon Sorin and Lotta Justice's private study at Crescent Hill manor, which needless to say is much larger than your average train carriage.
  • Breakthrough Hit: In-Universe. Anne Daction is an indie director who hopes that Death of a Paladin will be this for her.
  • Breather Episode: Episode Four. The setting is a cozy bar, the guest character is a familiar face and their pleasant colleague, the Drawtectives actually get some clues to what’s going on without even having to draw anything, and the Cliffhanger is more mysterious and exciting than the rather disturbing endings from earlier in the season.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Once again, the villains seem to be motivated by capitalistic greed. The Drawtectives reason that Gareville is run like a big, expensive theme park, with the ”employees” all being missing people who have been kidnapped and had their memories altered. Things go From Bad to Worse when it turns out that it also uses the spirits of the dead as a power source.
  • Cool Train: The titular Celestial Spear Express, a locomotive that seems to be (judging by the view outside the window) riding through space.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In-Universe. The player characters of the video game Gods Punisher Final Quest: Tales of Stratus apparently brought a jump rope to the battle field just in case they would need it.
  • Cruel And Unusual Punishment: The losers at the Joust House tournament have to sit in a kettle filled with whichever soup they hate the most, with the biggest loser also having to drink it.
  • Dating Sim: Our heroes try to play through one in Episode 7, but when it glitches out, they have to settle for Gods Punisher Final Quest: Tales of Stratus... which also turns out to be one, as the players have to seduce Evil Overlord Villainius in order to end the ongoing war. They all get to draw a potential future date.
    • Grendan has themself and Villainius playing board games together, while York and Rosé look on in confusion.
    • York draws himself and Villainius make a Two Gamers on a Couch video, becoming the In-Universe inventor of the concept (though not quite the name) of a Let's Play.
    • Rosé simply lets Villainius and all of the Drawtectives drunkenly sing songs together.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Apparently, somebody thought it was a good idea to send Rosé an anonymous note telling her to meet them on the Celestial Spear Express... which causes memory loss in all of its passengers.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: To keep the Drawtectives from having access to Jancy’s detective skills (with more of a justification than in the first season) it’s quickly established that she’s gone off on her own. By the time they find her, she’s suffering from amnesia which they have to cure before she can be of any help.
  • Elvish Presley: There are mentions of a ”Belvis Bresley”, head of an order of knights in ”Ren Fair Las Vegas”. They all dress like him as a sign of veneration, down to his funny-looking helmet.
  • Faceless Masses: The crowds of background extras are all depicted as black silhouettes. which may or may not be Foreshadowing the fact that they are no longer alive.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the signs and text around Harvey Hornswoggle's circus require closer reading.
    • On the complimentary tickets Harvey gives to the Drawtectives and Eugene:
      "A high flying delight for the senses in people of all ages. Be in awe at what the masters of the magical arts can accomplish. Just hold onto your seat because Harvey might make it disappear with his feats of wonder!"
    • The ticket sign above Checkers is rather amusing:
      "Children: $5
      Adults: $10
      Annoying Children: $50
      Inattentive Adults: $100
      Annoying Adults: $200"
  • Gone Horribly Right: Stage Magician Harvey Hornswoggle has somehow managed to make his own acts disappear, while also losing his memories about them, forcing the Drawtectives to draw his performances from his descriptions to help him get his show ready for the waiting audience.
    • York draws the opening number; a performance by Harvey’s cubic, tap-dancing tiger, Wendahl (who looks suspiciously like Garfield).
    • Grendan draws the middle act, where Harvey’s Lovely Assistant — a grandma — gets sawed in half, revealing a smaller grandma inside.
    • Rosé draws the final act, where Harvey stays underwater — or rather, in a large glass box filled with 7 Up — for thirty seconds while simultaneously participating in a hot dog-eating competition. (He manages this with the help of air pockets in the buns.)
  • Good-Times Montage: Once the Drawtectives find Jancy, they each draw one of their favorite memories of them together in order to jog hers.
    • York draws a Scene from when he had his first catwalk modelling gig and she sat in the audience.
    • Grendan draws her taking them to the zoo to look at — what else — the rhinos.
    • Rosé draws that time Jancy brought her a cupcake for her birthday during an intense intern shift.
  • Hammy Herald: Ms Squire serves this role at the Houst Joust.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The knights at the Joust House are allowed to ride on just about anything, including bikes, horses, vywerns, motorcycles, mopeds, kites, mites, or a motorcycle made of flies. Their mounts are literally drawn into existence by a “Infinity Stable” with the power of making people’s fantasies come true.
    • Eugene draws ”Flash”, an unintentionally undead-looking steed which is dubbed a ”horpse”. It looks significantly worse than Julia Lepetit’s other drawings.
    • Grendan draws ”[We Love A Visit From] The Corn Rhino”, Call-Back to the theory from the first season that a rhinoceros had killed Sorin.
    • York draws a pair of mechanical legs for himself, feeling like he can’t truly rely on any other being in combat. He ends up naming them ”Legzi”.
    • Rosé draws ”Bobster Bisk”, a tamed infernal wild train, something York doubts is even possible. Being a brainchild of Karina Farek, it is of course rather cat-like.
  • In Medias Res: The first episode starts off with the trio already on the train with no memory of how they arrived there. The trope is actually lampshaded by Nathan after he requests a Flashback scene to clarify how they came to be on the Celestial Spear, which Julia denies.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Most if not all inhabitants of Gareville seem to suffer from this to varying extents, with some merely not remembering how they got there and others having completely forgotten their previous lives. Rather worryingly, the contracts they all sign allow their employees to alter their memories as they see fit.
  • The Little Detecto: Harvey Hornswoggle gives the Drawtectives a Spirit Detector as thanks for saving his show. Rather alarmingly, it starts bleeping immediately. This implies that either the Drawtectives have been Dead All Along, or they’re surrounded by invisible ghosts, or the device is just broken. Turns out that aside from being home to many ghosts, the city is also powered by them.
  • Lovely Assistant: Harvey Hornswoggle has two main ones, as well as a just about endless amount of Expendable Clone grandmas who tend to get sawed apart.
  • Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio: The main trio become this in Season Two. York is a masculine man, Rosé is a feminine woman, and Grendan is an androgynous enby.
  • Media Adaptation Tropes: In-Universe. Some of these happen with Death of a Paladin, the Very Loosely Based on a True Story film based on the events of Season One.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Having left Club Vega, the Drawtectives find that somebody has put up a poster of Eugene, with devil horns drawn on (which has some Fridge Logic to it in a setting where Horned Humanoids actually exist.) There’s also text written on the poster, where whoever defaced it claims Eugene ”stole [their] crowd”. Worse, Rosé realizes that since the poster wasn’t there when they entered the arcade hall, the culprint must still be on the train with them.
  • Mysterious Employer: Whoever is running the Celestial Spear Express is very secretive about both themselves and how the train actually functions, with even their employees only being told the bare minimum. Conrad Uctor claims that the boss is some guy named Barry. It’s eventually revealed that he’s lying. Conrad is the mastermind running the whole operation.
  • Mysterious Note: Rosé finds a note in one of her pockets addressed to her, saying:
    "Rosé, if I do not contact you within a week, get G and York. Contact Eugene. Find me on the train."
  • Not-So-Phony Psychic: Terry / Madame All / Madame Alm relies mostly on hoaxes, but does in fact have three legitimate visions which our heroes have to draw out with their eyes closed. Pretty much all of said visions seem to be Call Backs, though in the post season Q&A, Julia confirmed they were almost completely misinterpreted.
    • Grendan draws a rhinoceros, which was a hypothetical suspect in the first season, and something they rode on earlier in this one. According to Julia, it was SUPPOSED to be the Ticket Taker, possibly combined with a cat, but she couldn't change course once York and Rosé had decided it was a rhino.
    • Rosé draws a bizarre-looking animal which somewhat resembles York’s ”pissboy” look, or possibly Barfield. According to Julia, it was meant to be a clue at the Ticket Taker's identity as a cat.
    • York draws a strange collection of shapes which vaguely resemble items and symbols he and his friends have already collected. Specifically, it was a coffee mug, Jancy's pin, and the dragon of Gareville, which Julia meant to point the detectives to their next two goals.
  • Ontological Mystery: The season starts with the Drawtectives finding themselves on a train with no idea where they are, how they got there, or who the amnesiac man standing beside them is. The season's mystery revolves around answering these questions.
  • Portal Door:
    • The ”cabin doors” of the train seem to actually be this. Also, as our protagonists journey deeper into the train, it seems to first transform into a city street and then into an open town.
    • The door to the Ticket Taker's quarters turns out to also lead to Eugene's office if a different code is entered.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Passengers who have completed the tour have their souls harnessed to power the so-called train.
  • Punny Name: The citizens of Gareville generally have names conspicuously relevant to their occupations. It’s eventually implied that they’ve all gotten them changed as part of their memory alteration process. Apparently their Mysterious Employer is quite a Pungeon Master.
  • Shout-Out: Aside from being based on Garfield, Wendahl the Tiger has a tattoo of "Sneppy", and dances to the cantina theme from A New Hope.
  • Small, Secluded World: Gareville, the locals have seemingly no way to contact the outside world, and the town itself is possibly only accessible by Portal Door.
  • Space Compression: Brought up once Gareville is ”properly” visited. If all locations seen so far turn out to be right next to one another, what’s the point of even having more than one Portal Door? However Joebeans does claim that there is more to the town that we have yet to see (and might never.)
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Optimus and Liticus do this on their date. Though since Mario’s Meatball Manor literally only serves meatballs, this is accomplished with an unusually long, hot-dog shaped one.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: Local Cat Wanted, by Patrick Luhrs on YouTube. (Warning, contains some spoilers!)
  • Tarot Troubles: “Madame Alm” does a tarot card reading for the Drawtectives, somehow getting “Death” every time (while ignoring Rosé’s insistence that this doesn’t mean a literal death.) It turns out that her deck is full of nothing but death cards, which she tries explaining away with a "Just Joking" Justification.
  • The Tourney: The Joust Houst is a large tournament arena where the contestants ride magically spawned steeds of their choosing to joust against each other... as well as a pair of dice placed on pillars. It implied that several participants have been injured and killed, as sometimes happened during real tourneys.
  • Time Skip: Julia clarifies that this season is set four months after Murder on Crescent Hill, and two after the one-shot stream.
  • Thriller on the Express: This season takes on another classic mystery setting in the vein of Murder on the Orient Express.
  • You Just Ruined the Shot: The recreation of the Justice family study turns out to be a movie set, where an adaptation of the investigation is being filmed.
  • Welcome to the Real World: The second episode has the Drawtectives visit a place where they are — or are at least believed to be — fictional characters. Played With in that this only applies to the people themselves. The Urban Fantasy setting is never questioned.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: Kingston has horses for every imaginable purpose. There’s a towel horse made out of towels, a hose horse wrapped in so many hoses the actual steed can’t be seen, a prize horse which carries the prize box, and a reading horse which can read texts out loud.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: All the places the train visits are supposedly located in the town of Gareville, but none of the inhabitants are quite sure where exactly that is, geographically. Nor do they remember actually traveling there.

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