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Webcomic / Achewood

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Achewood is a critically acclaimed and very adult comic by Chris Onstad. They detail the adventures of his stuffed animals: straight-man Teodor, refined Cornelius, sweet-natured young Philippe and violent boozer Lyle. Early into the comic, the neighborhood cats (ideas man Ray, and clinically depressed Roast Beef) were introduced and eventually became the central characters of the stories.

The main characters are:

The comic is confrontational on just about every level; very sexually explicit, laden with drug references and moments of harsh violence. It also features many episodes which are disturbing in a more psychological manner, such as Ray's and Roast Beef's bizarre encounters with freakish performance artist Cartilage Head, or an occasion where a character dies only to discover that heaven has burnt down. At the same time it can be surprisingly good-natured, and deals quite sincerely on such subjects as friendship, self-esteem and commitment, and is literate about matters like fine food, multi-lingual palindromes and gay porn. It's also, if you're in the right mood, often very, very funny.

A special mention must be made of the dialog, which is often downright poetic. Onstad seems to coin brilliantly memorable phrases on a near-daily basis at times, and every character has a unique and unmistakable speech pattern. It's helped make Achewood something of a darling among literary critics, receiving high praise from the likes of The New Yorker and Time. However, the wordplay often depends heavily on Genius Bonus, and Onstad occasionally seems to go out of his way to make his slang indecipherable. Whether this improves the comic or distracts from the story is debatable.

Has a much more expansive world than most webcomics. In addition to the comic, Onstad maintains blogs for twelve of the characters, runs an Achewood radio station, and puts out cookbooks with original recipes by the characters, many of which are completely edible.

Can be read here. If you'd like to skip the comic's Early-Installment Weirdness, start here instead. For the Wham Episode Cartilage Head storyline, read here. And for the Great Outdoor Fight, which was published as a standalone hardcover comic by Dark Horse, start here (and read on - the storyline takes a while to get going).

The strip went on a hiatus of sorts for much of 2011, returning in November and updating sporadically since, although Onstad has put several of the now out-of-print side materials, including Roast Beef's zine and the Achewood cookbook, up for download via an honor system-based shop. On February 25 2013, Onstad returned with the news that there will be an Achewood animated series in the works, although there have not been any updates on this front.

in 2016, Achewood recieved almost-weekly updates once again for a full year until Christmas, when Omstad decided to end the comic for the time being, directing the reader to the blogs. In May 2023, Achewood returned again, this time on Patreon with exclusive strips.

Achewood contains examples of:

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  • Aborted Arc: The "High School" arc. The only resolution is Roast Beef talking Nice Pete out of the whole High School thing; we don't know what happened to Lurquill — and few people mind. We will now never know if Téodor chugged Nathan's giant hog.
    • Also from much earlier is the "Possessed Banjo" arc, which was cut short when Onstad's child was born.
    • "Ray Goes to Rehab" has turned out to be this, as the webcomic has gone back to being about random events. Onstad said that he didn't think the storyline would work in the comic, and planned to move it to the blogs, but nothing came of it.
  • Accentuate the Negative: Roast Beef, whenever people try to cheer him up.
  • Aerith and Bob: On the one end, you have Ray and Pat. On the other end, you have Téodor Oreszcu, Nightlife Mingus and Lonis Edison.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Lyle is a devotee of hard liquor, particularly whiskey.
    "Why can't I wake up with the gin already in me?"
    • Ray is a somewhat downplayed version of this. He has an extreme fondness for Ketel One and Stella Artois (often referred to as "crispy Stellas"), and is generally portrayed with at least some kind of buzz going on. Unlike Lyle, however, Ray's alcoholism is Played for Drama, and his attempts at going cold turkey result in him needing to be hospitalized.
  • Alt Text: A major component of the comics humor.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Teodor is apparently low-key bi-curious.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Mexican Magical Realism camera, among other things.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Roast Beef calls out his grandmother when he's finally had it with her:
    "You god damn hag! It's YOUR fault I can't have a meal without thinking it'd give me cancer! It's YOUR fault I can't walk down the sidewalk without expecting a truck to jump the curb and kill me! It's YOUR FAULT I'M AFRAID OF CREEKS!"
    • When Roast Beef is driving Trent Reznor's old car and the aura of utter despair overtakes him, he declares that he has nothing to lose and he might as well shoot a cop or buy a nose on eBay.
  • Author Appeal: Computer programming, apparently. And heavy drinking.
    • Cookery too; a couple of characters are shown to be fine chefs on more than one occasion, particularly Teodor
      • Onstad himself is a lover of fine food and cooking, and in one third-party article, prepares several dishes of testicles.
  • Author Avatar: Teodor, to a minor extent, particularly given his sarcasm, and interest in cuisine. Onstad himself once admitted to a fan that while there are small elements of him in most of the characters, Teodor gets the biggest share.
  • Badass Bystander: Spongebath and Emeril. They seem to know everybody and everything happening in the Achewood universe and how to immediately deal with whatever problems come up, though they mainly stand in the background and expound on bizarre conspiracy theories.
  • Berserk Button: Roast Beef is normally pretty calm and cool, and sure, he gets angry from time to time like anyone else - but gods help you if you skip out on his Moussaka. Being tied up is about the only excuse you have.
    • 'You diss my dog, you fluff my hog'
    • If Ray thinks you've hurt his dogg Roast Beef, he will pound you into cowboy sauce.
    • Making fun of Nice Pete's Bible fan-fiction is generally not considered smart.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Roast Beef.
  • Blatant Lies: You'd think people would get that a character named Lie-Bot is prone to these.
  • Black Comedy: Despite being extremely funny, it's a very dark webcomic with some rather horrifyingly sad undertones. According to The Other Wiki, it was inspired by 9/11.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: A couple of posts on contain the word "fuck*ng".
  • Born Lucky: Ray Smuckles can't seem to turn around without falling into a pile of money. Subverted in the Leon Sumbitches [1] story arc in which Ray receives a series of emails from a Nigerian prince offering a share of his fortune, mocks him as a scammer only to find out that Leon was, in fact, a genuine Nigerian prince sincerely wishing to share his fortune. Leon, very hurt, withdraws the offer.
  • Brains and Brawn: Roast Beef and Ray fit into these roles, but not until "The Great Outdoor Fight". (prior to that, while Ray is decently successful in business, losing a fight to him is just downright embarrassing).
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Pat has a bumper sticker that says "Didn't you get the memo? Don't eat in your car or use the phone it is not a God-damned phone restaurant".
  • Break the Cutie: When Philippe asks Lie Bot "What is the saddest thing?" he never holds back, and usually Crosses the Line Twice.
  • Breakout Character: Ray and Roast Beef are currently the main characters of the strip, with the rest taking supporting roles. They didn't debut in the strip for months, and took even longer to take over, but there they are.
    • Amusingly, Ray and Roast Beef were originally a trio, along with Pat, and the joke was that they were interchangeable and had identical personalities. When Beef was first named, the reader is explicitly told that his only character trait is that he's "Not Ray, and not Pat." Needless to say, this changed a LOT, with Ray and Beef quickly developing their own personalities and becoming the central characters, while Pat drifted away from their trio and remained a supporting player.
  • Call-Back: Girls like a guy who eats cheese.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Roast Beef frequently has this problem, usually because he's ashamed of where his train of thought is going and doesn't want to inflict it on anyone else. He does occasionally notice that honesty is the best policy, however.
    Roast Beef: (thinking) Man this is weird. It's like the more truthful you are with a lady the more she digs you for it. I wonder if there's a college study that shows how exposing my generation to Three's Company set gender relations back approximately 715 years.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Philippe often fails when he attempts adult humor. For example, his "Yo Mama is so fat" joke had the punchline of "she broke her leg and hot bloody fat sprayed everywhere! Some even got on the mayor!"
  • The Casanova: Vlad, King of the Make-Outs.
  • Catchphrase: The characters don't use as many in-universe examples (aside from great usage of the word "dogg"), but the fandom picks up very quickly on certain great lines. Expect to hear "do you think it's rad to have alcoholism?" more than a few times from Acheheads.
  • Character Blog: Almost the entire main cast have blogs, even relatively minor characters like Emeril and Little Nephew. In Fact, Todd is the only frequently recurring character who doesn't have one, though he is illiterate.
  • Characterization Marches On: Pat wasn't as big a jerk as he is in his first appearance as part of the cat trio.
    • Mixed with a bit of Early-Installment Weirdness, where Teodor and Cornelius had much simpler, more childlike personalities befitting their status as stuffed animals. Cornelius especially couldn't tell the difference between different types of alcohol in an early strip, something which clashes badly with his later characterization as a refined, experienced man of the world who, among other things, works as a bartender.
  • The Chessmaster: A very weird example with Cartilage Head
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Lie-Bot, Lyle, Little Nephew, Vlad, Todd and Pat have all been MIA for some time.
  • Comic Trio: Subverted in the form of Ray, Pat and Roast Beef.
  • Consummate Liar: No one seems to question Lie Bot's honesty.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Ray becomes this when stoned.
  • Cluster F-Bomb / Berserk Button: Roast Beef had no idea Leo was sensitive about his thighs.
  • Cool Old Guy: Cornelius Bear won the first Badass Olympics, unanimously. Cornelius Bear prepares remarks for a competition he thinks he won't win, just in case. Cornelius Bear writes closed captioning for pornographic films. Cornelius Bear was invited to join Mensa's Distinguished Lecturers circuit during a conversation in which he was turning down an invitation to join Mensa. Cornelius Bear is legally registered as a church. Cornelius Bear is so old school he drives a yellow bus with Gothic arch windows. Cornelius Bear is a mirror that normal men look into to realize they are but clowns.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Pat's meals are so aggressively vegan that they come off as tongue-destroying chemistry experiments. Teodor also flirts with this when he gets too ambitious with his cooking.
  • Crossover: With The Drinky Crow Show in this guest strip by Tony Millionaire
  • Curse Cut Short: On the menu at Friendly's: "Have you ever stuck your fingers up your own-"
  • Cyborg: Getting accidentally shot by Pat results in Roast Beef's cardiopulmonary system being replaced by that of an AIBO.
  • Deader than Dead: Effectively the fate of anyone who reincarnates into a dog, because all dogs in the mortal plane are non-sapient and, upon death, always reincarnate into other dogs.
  • Deal with the Devil: Ray, to get his amazing musical talent and 34 platinum records.
  • Direct Line to the Author: There is a conceit that Onstad is just representing actual events, and shares a house with Téodor, Cornelius and Philippe. This has become less central to the comic as time goes on.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A common event in the webcomic. Such as the guys savagely beating up the guy who created the Comic Sans font, or Todd shanking Pat in the ankle for insulting him.
  • The Ditz: Todd. Who is also a massive Jerkass and a more-fail-than-usual Casanova Wannabe.
    • Gets a little character development in the North Korean Magical Realism arc... but it doesn't stick.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Mexican magic realism is revealed to be the work of inventor Lonis Edison
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Averted by the alt text, which instead of ruining the joke often points out how ridiculous it is.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Originally the strip focused on Teodor, Phillipe and Lyle who were stated to be stuffed animals that never left the house. An early strip even has them trying to hijack a pizza delivery boy's car so they can go places. This was quietly abandoned as they are all considered to be fully alive animals with their own communities, homes, shops and (presumably) system of government.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Roast Beef was born "Cassandra".
  • Electronic Telepathy: An early storyline has Ray accidentally shooting Roast Beef, which leaves a bullet in his spine at just the right point to allow a wireless connection.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ray may be the baddest dude with a hell of an elitist streak, but he loves his mama. So much so that when she tells him to stop running for President, he stops running.
  • Fan Disservice: The series has a lot of penis shots for the sake of some dick joke (or sometimes, just because). And very few, if any, are something the reader will want to see.
  • Flanderization: A rare case where the character in question didn't have much personality BEFORE the single trait was accentuated; Roast Beef was just one of the "dirtiest dudes in town" who didn't talk much (when he did his personality didn't seem too much different from Ray's.) It wasn't until The Famous Party Arc that he developed the persona of the put-upon, clinically depressed programmer from Circumstances.
  • Foreshadowing: Many years before we find out who Darlene was, Lyle is seen grieving her loss.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: 'Ray's Place'
  • Funny Foreigner: Vlad, who apparently is from Ruritania, ant ees font off talkeenk like thees.
  • Fun Personified: Ray, who's virtually imperturbable and uses his unlimited riches to throw parties with a frequency most people reserve for using the bathroom (which in one case was the cause for a party, in his mind.)
  • Gag Penis: Roast Beef was apparently "the longest guy in high school" according to Ray. This was the basis for a disastrously ill-advised attempt at comedy in his best man's speech for Beef.
  • The Gambling Addict: Ray again. Cornelius pockets a cool ten grand over several weeks just from winning pool bets with him.
  • Gargle Blaster: Some of the horrifying things Lyle drinks, such as Gusano Rojo mezcal.
    Ray: What if he actually likes this stuff?
    Roast Beef: Dude you don't LIKE Gusano Rojo / What you LIKE is that you're holding something the police will wrestle you for
  • Gender-Blender Name: Cassandra "Roast Beef" Kazenzakis.
  • Genius Ditz: Philippe, usually possessing the mindset of an extremely hyperactive and naive five-year old, has several moments of extreme savantry, such as being adept at polyglot palindromes, "leading a frog through a makeshift obstacle course using only a small tatter of yellow madras," and becoming a successful, Stephen Wright -esque comedian. This tendency both amazes and troubles Cornelius.
  • Gratuitous German / Gratuitous Spanish: Periodically there will be entire strips done in Spanish or German (Heute auf Deutsch/Hoy en Español) with no explanation why. Sometimes goes into Bilingual Bonus territory, such as one "Fuck You Friday" strip featuring a Mexican taco preparer telling Ray "Chupa mi pene, cabron" note  when Ray bemoans that the restaurant's chips are store-bought.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Pat and Nice Pete, though in opposite ways. Pat is constantly furious at something or another, but aside from having a shitty attitude he's mostly harmless. Nice Pete usually has the emotional range of a corpse, but replies to any slight, real or imagined (usually the latter) by killing the offending party and burying their body in the woods.
  • Heavy Mithril: Nice Pete wants his band (called Mister Band) to be like this; unfortunately, the only other member is Lyle, who thinks Pete's lyrics are hackwork — though he's also annoyed that Pete won't let him do more in a song than repeatedly strum one bass note while Pete shrieks about wizards. Later on, while stoned on Ray's roof and making fun of Pete's songwriting, Ray and Téodor stumble across the concept of Heavy Mithril rap. (Unfortunately, Pete is also getting stoned on the roof, and it leads right into another one of his unsuccessful attempts to kill the other cast members.)
  • Hellhound: The Magreaux dog is a portent of doom for cats.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ray has one when he thinks he's blown up Philippe with Airwolf.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ray and Roast Beef, but their phrase is Knuckleheads from Old Times.
  • Hidden Depths: Lyle is usually drunk well past the point of coherence, but his checkered past has left him with a bevy of talents, including cookery, calligraphy, and hairdressing.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Roast Beef's seesaws between this and just plain tragic.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: The exact nature of "blubbering" has been questioned; Teodor defines it as crying too hard to talk coherently. Ray himself has blubbered on two separate occasions.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The Friendly's restaurant in Hell is used by several characters to escape back to Earth, and it's suggested that every Friendly's on Earth similarly contains a portal to Hell.
  • Intercourse with You: Or, more specifically, with ya' face.
  • Jerkass: Pat. He's so insufferable that even his friends only tolerate him at best - with the exception of serial killer Nice Pete, who seems to be impressed at the sheer force of Pat's personality.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ray, especially where Roast Beef is concerned.
  • Karma Houdini: Nice Pete, who never really gets any comeuppance for the horrific stuff he's committed since he escaped jail with Pat (save for his attempt to kill Ray and Téodor with a knife device that just ended up incapacitating him).
    • Played straight and subverted with Ray depending on the occasion. Sometimes, he gets away with morally questionable acts because he's rich. But then you have times such as the arc when Ray gets pulled into Hell when Satan wants him to pay up for their previous agreement that made Ray rich.
    • It's just easier to say that the cast gets away with a lot of morally questionable acts. Another really obvious example would be Todd who engages in theft, attacking people, and so forth. Though his Butt-Monkey status might null it a bit.
  • Lack of Empathy: Pat definitely shows signs of this. All the more notable in his blog where he tries to have any "offender" to his sensitivities greatly punished. And their families and businesses too. (In one case, he shows no sympathy for his attorney who was Driven to Suicide by manic depression, calling him a "damn idiot".) Fortunately, these attempts generally go nowhere. He'd be an example of The Sociopath were it not for his few genuine Pet the Dog moments.
  • Le Parkour: sort of, in this strip.
  • Magical Realism: The storylines were already fairly surreal before Magical Realism became an actual in-universe quality of goods imported from Mexico, along with (possibly) the UK and recently North Korea.
  • Manchild: Téodor is a non-comedic example. He's a talented guy and one of the most well-adjusted members of the cast, but he's shiftless, unemployed, and liable to mess up big whenever he's given responsibilities of his own.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: When Beef comes back from heaven, he somehow has the receipt from the Chinese takeout food he ordered there.
  • May–December Romance: Cornelius and Polly. May count as Interspecies Romance of even Cargo Ship depending on if Cornelius is still considered to be an animated stuffed animal or not.
  • Messy Maggots: One strip has Cornelius about to make breakfast when he notices what looks like shredded coconut in the skillet. It turns out to be maggots that fell off the corpse of a rat in a trap.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Nearly every character in Achewood has tried their hand at writing fiction at some point. Most notable is Cornelius, who writes for Harlequin Romance. There was a series of strips in which some of the characters wrote Harry Potter fan fiction.
  • Resident murderous psychopath Nice Pete take the concept one further by having the murder be tied to an automatic device controlled by web poll.
  • My Beloved Smother: Sondra towards Ray to a degree, especially demonstrated by this chart.

  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Balthazar Murder Stonefield Accalum and all his brethren.
    • Nice Pete. When a guy has such a pleasant adjective in his name, you should always assume it's a warning (unless they are Good Guy Greg). Also many of the contestants in the Great Outdoor Fight.
  • No Ending: Averted — though it probably wasn't planned this way, the final full-length story arc (not counting 'high school' arc cut off by the hiatus) was a poignant, fitting conclusion to the series.
  • Noodle Incident: Averted in the already-nightmarish Transfer Station arc with Zell and Cory.
    • In the Great Outdoor Fight arc, something happened in Ted's past that made him need to "stuff his trousers"
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Apparently, Philippe. As of the final full-length story arc, this may no longer be true.
  • Old Shame: Ray pays hush money to cover up the existence of a series of embarrassing videotapes of him as an underground hip-hop dancer. Subverted with Lyle, who is open about having done porn. invoked
  • Overly Long Name: Todd Todd Todd Todd Todd T. Squirrel.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: is "quite possibly the worst men's discount-apology e-service on the market today."
  • Painting the Medium: Dang you know how Roast Beef uses hell of a small font to talk in with his speech balloon all crowded like the Dickens plus the dude has got No Punctuation Period so his sentences run like they are on rails
all comin' back with another speech balloon if Beef is gettin' a second sentence on to make sure his sentences end all vague and lacking the definition brought about by your common or garden period or full stop
  • Pet the Dog: Quintessential asshole Pat has his moments. He's reserved and sympathetic when Ray spots a Magreaux dog (a catastrophically bad omen among cats), and, in the Achewood cookbook, shows genuine affection for Philippe, and even finishes writing the kid's recipe when Philippe drives himself to tears after remembering that his old house burned down.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Or could have if things had gone on for a few more... dozen... hours. Everyone keeps calling Ray to tell him that Little Nephew is in danger... but they don't actually tell him that, they just keep insisting he turn on the news, which just keeps getting Ray more annoyed and stubborn at feeling bossed around.
    • This trope is pondered by Roast Beef after deciding to move out of his grandmother's trailer and start talking to Molly again.
    Roast Beef: [thinking] Man this is weird / It's like the more truthful you are with a lady the more she digs you for it / I wonder if there's a college study that shows how exposing my generation to Three's Company set gender relations back approximately 715 years
  • [Popular Saying], But...: Eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away... but throwing it at him works better!
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Roast Beef and Ray, and later Little Nephew. Granted, they are cats and the traditional concepts of "race" don't apply, but their speech patterns and interests do borrow pretty heavily from African American hip hop culture.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I.... Am... Rude!"
    Ray: Dear. God. I. Am. Not. A. Religious. Man. But. Please. Help. Me. See. The. Connection. Here.
  • Purple Prose: Cornelius' descriptive and tasteful writing style can make even the basest Harlequin Romance novel (or even Spice Channel caption) sophisticated.
  • The Pig-Pen: Lyle.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Philippe — he's five, but judging from his parents' age he should be at least as old as the other cast members.
    • If you look closer he also has a bit of Creepy Child going, as he's simply more knowledgeable than most other 5-year-olds due to this — it doesn't really stick out in the cast, though. Example: we see him type out some stories, and the only problem they have are plotting.
    • There's a pair of strips that show snapshots of Beef, Ray, Téodor and Philippe from the comic's beginning through to 2052 or so; Téodor apparently dies before Ray, somehow, and Philippe remains 5 forever.
  • Real Men Cook: Played with. Téodor is the resident cook, and probably the least traditionally "manly" male character. On the other hand, nearly every character is shown to care about food and cooking to some extent, with all of them sharing recipes in the cookbook. And Ray plays it completely straight during the Badass Games.
    Ray: Nothing is more old-school than baking your own damn staff of life! A dude who can walk into any kitchen in the world and make bread is COMPLETELY RAW!
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: If it weren't for Ray's borderline-supernatural luck, he'd probably be bankrupt and in jail. On one hand, he has a pretty canny entrepreneurial mind; on the other, he has a crush on getting high, the wealth to realize any idea he comes up with while stoned, and ideas like a party themed around tequila and machetes (which goes about as you'd expect).
  • Running Gag: Roast Beef is developing a thing for corpulent women.
    • "Tomorrow's Recipe Is Chicken".
    • Roast Beef gets shot quite a bit.
  • Satellite Character: Sondra, Ray's mother. Her life as portrayed in the strip revolves completely around Ray. Heck, just look at her flowchart; not one branch deals with anything other than her son.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Cartilage Head arc. He proved himself a coward who would desert a dying man. Both Ray and Roast Beef have run-ins with him, and both are technically cowards, albeit for different reasons.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: In spades.
  • Serious Business: Being a breast man earns you free karate lessons, a Corvette ignition ringtone, discounts on candy, and a secret menu at Taco Bell. Also, a special, breast man-specific drink... that requires you telling the barman a password entropy9.
    Ray: Man, our drink has a PASSWORD? That is JAMES BOND IN A TOWEL!
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Cornelius and Emeril are particularly notable for talking in such a manner.
  • Shipping: Philippe, of all people, indulges in shipping an Original Character with Harry Potter in one issue of his newspaper. invoked
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Vlad, despite legitimately being The Casanova, is prone to this sometimes. He plays up his sexuality, and when he loses the challenges of the Badass Games one by one, he believes that it is either bad luck or that the contest itself is flawed.
  • Small Reference Pools: Averted, as Achewood makes references to many facets of pop culture, cooking culture, and other social constructs. However, this also can make the comic inaccessible to readers who aren't as savvy.
  • Stylistic Suck: Early strips featured a great deal of "anti-humor," with jokes constructed only to deliberately fall flat. This extremely dry sense of humor would eventually evolve into something more accessible.
  • Take a Third Option: At the very end of the Great Outdoor Fight, only Ray and Roast Beef are left. Ray can either A) beat Roast Beef until he "can't crawl, see or cry" or B) not do anything (which means they'll both get killed by the Jeeps). They go with C) hijack a Jeep, demolish the Fight, and then set fire to it.
  • Take That!: The Chick Tracts are referenced and deflated here.
    • There's also the aforementioned savage beatdown of the guy who invented the Comic Sans font.
    • One strip of the toilet party storyline features Ray and Roast Beef insulting other webcomic characters, including one who resembles a Jay Naylor-esque cat.
      • Achewood also goes after newspaper comics as well, such as Ray antagonizing Dilbert into threatening to sue (an act he'd never win with Ray) with ending numerous words with "-bert", purely for a laugh.
    • The entire "Fuck You Fridays" premise exists purely to engage in (often rather unnecessarily crude/cruel) sessions of this.
  • The Slacker: Téodor is an accomplished cook and has a few other talents besides, but he always sputters out when he tries to seriously apply them.
  • The Voiceless: We never see or hear Spongebath speak on-panel, although Emeril will occasionally be seen responding to something he said just before the scene began.
  • Those Two Guys: Emeril and Spongebath.
  • Toilet Teleportation: At one point, this is how the characters get out of hell.
  • Took a Level in Badass: For the first half of the Great Outdoor Fight arc, we know than Ray is a pretender, a claimer of false descent, a coward who would desert a dying man. And then another sees right through Ray, beats him to the ground and claims his army - and Ray rips the man's face off and claims his rightful place as the Son of Rodney.
  • Tournament Arc: The Great Outdoor Fight. To a lesser extent, the Badass Games.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: For Ray, Galaxy Nachos. There was also an arc in which Philippe got addicted to Subway sandwiches.
    • Crispy, crispy stellas.
  • True Companions: Say what you will about the characters of Achewood, they have a great deal of camaraderie. If one of their number goes missing, they will organize a massive search-and-rescue party, and even literally go To Hell and Back.
    • Well, most of them. Apparently Todd had been dead for something like a few months when Ray and Roast Beef found him in Hell, and no one really noticed (or cared). But then, it's Todd, so.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Ray, after his record deal.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Ray to varying degrees given his recklessness and smartass nature. Other characters can count as well, but overall this has decreased and the general population of Achewood has become more sympathetic over the course of the story.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ray and Beef, but pretty much everyone in the cast.
  • Wainscot Society: The earliest strips operated under the loose conceit that all the characters (including the cats) were owned by humans. This quickly developed into the notion that animals had their own society quietly operating alongside human society, with places called "Undergrounds" wherein they could enjoy animal run businesses and so forth. If animals wanted to, say, openly drive cars in the human world, they needed to wear disguises. This, too, was eventually dropped, apparently in favor of always having had humans and animals living side by side on equal standing.
  • What the Heck Is an Aglet?: A key ingredient in Fool's Meth.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Philippe will outlive everyone else in the comic and be eternally five years old. It doesn't seem to affect him too much, but his father is already dead (and, judging by apparent age, may have fought in WWII) and 'home' is no longer where his mother is.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: typically averted with Philippe, who displays all the wisdom an average 5 year old would.
  • World of Snark
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Philippe finds this out. When he does manage to visit his mother, the house looks different, the bed is uncomfortable, and his mother doesn't remember how to make his favorite dish the way he likes. The ghost of his father explains to him that leaving your parents and consigning your memories of home to the past is part of life. When he returns to Achewood, the characters speculate that this trip was necessary because Philippe originally left home by accident; he couldn't truly leave it until he went back to say a proper goodbye.
  • You Say Tomato: Teodor's pronunciation of helicopter.