Concerned: The Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman is a Machinomic by Christopher C. Livingston based on Half-Life 2. An Affectionate Parody, it blurs the line between machinima and Webcomics: all images are in-game screenshots taken from Garry's Mod, which allows the user to pose ragdolls and play around with the scripted events of the game, that have had speech bubbles and whatnot added. The name of the strip comes from a letter from "A Concerned Citizen" read in the game by the administrator of Earth, Dr. Breen, which the comic provides an explanation of.
The story follows the misadventures of Gordon Frohman, happy-go-lucky if none-too-bright resident of City 17 and former file clerk at Black Mesa, as he precedes/follows in Gordon Freeman's footsteps and attempts to ingratiate himself to the Combine overlords, catch Dr. Breen's latest show, cleanse the city of evil Vortigaunts, find an apartment, survive the horrifyingly friendly residents of Ravenholm, get his trans-human surgical upgrade, and stop that crowbar-wielding jerk from ruining everything. As the comic's name suggests, Frohman dies at the end.
Despite the fact that Frohman did actually die at the end, an unofficial sequel titled ''Concerned 2: A Concerned Rip-Off-The Continuing Adventures of Gordon Frohman'' by Norman N. Black demonstrates that our loveable dumbass survived due to Frohman reloading a save point from before he died. Unfortunately, the unofficial sequel has not been updated since late 2010.
Concerned contains examples of:
- Abridged Arena Array: Parodied when Frohman ends up in Counter-Strike: Source. He gets stuck on de_dust for six days straight, and is only able to escape back to his own game when the map changes over to cs_office and everybody else immediately stops playing to complain and demand that the map be changed back to Dust.
- Accidental Aiming Skills: Frohman manages to take out three metrocops early on with three shots from a pistol, blind-firing from behind cover. He also manages to accidentally kill all three of the rebels in his squad at one point with a single launch of the pulse rifle's secondary fire.
- Action Girl: Sandy, Frohman's unfortunate temporary traveling companion, who wisely decides to abandon the sole being who might get them both killed in bouts of stupidity.
- Actor Allusion: Issue 030 has Dr. Breen note that an I Spy marathon is on TV later. Livingston's notes point out that this is a joke on how Dr. Breen's voice actor, Robert Culp, was the star of that show.
- Affably Evil: Subverted. A Combine Elite soldier sits behind a desk while he interviews Frohman for a job, with questions like What is your worst quality? and Where do you see yourself in 5 years? However, he's looking for answers like That I am a disgusting, pathetic human, barely evolved from ape level, and In an off world combine enslavement colony, or dead.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Frohman calls himself a "more synagogue kind of guy" when the fisherman from Lost Coast tells him about the church atop the cliffs, but otherwise shows no real signs or makes any mention of being Jewish; for all we know, it might simply just be an aversion to churches after the annoyance Grigori put him through telling him to meet up at the one in Ravenholm without actually telling him where it was.
- Amusing Injuries: Happens a lot, although it's still usually fatal to people besides Frohman.
- ...And That Would Be Wrong: Right after Frohman's detailed fantasy about turning on his Strider.Frohman: Heh, heh. That'd be awesome. [Beat] I mean bad! That'd be bad!
Ravenholm Resident: Good save. But we gotta trim those pauses down a bit.
- Animal Athlete Loophole: In a flashback to the first Half-Life, for Frohman's pet Gargantua:Frohman: There's no rule against having a Garg play soccer! This is gonna be the best season ever!
- Anti-Villain: Frohman is type 4 - no one really notices he is a villain because he's so incredibly terrible at helping the Combine. Anyone he does manage to kill is usually an accident... and more often than not a member of the Combine rather than the resistance.
- Anyone Can Die: Well, almost everyone.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Frohman quit his job at Black Mesa because ravenous creatures from the Xen borderworld invaded, killing nearly everyone in the complex. Soon the military arrived and they killed everyone else. Then the facility got nuked. "Plus, they were dicks about paying overtime."
- Art Shift: When Frohman has a flashback of the good ol' days back at Black Mesa, everyone and everything - except for Frohman himself - is using a model from the first Half-Life.
- Ass Shove: After Frohman tries to get Kleiner arrested by the Combine, Barney knocks him unconscious, and implies he's going to stick the stun-stick up his ass when he awakens.Barney: Okay, Frohman. Get ready to start a new chapter in your life. It's called "Point Insertion" and it features this stunstick in an unforgettable starring role!
- Author Appeal: The reason the strip exists is precisely because the creator loves a great deal of the things Half-Life 2 does. Read his notes for more in-depth information.
- Bad Liar: Frohman, in spades.
- Battle Couple: Frohman thinks of Sandy as his girlfriend. Sandy thinks of Frohman as a liability.
- Been There, Shaped History: Nearly everything that Gordon Freeman has to deal with in Half-Life 2 was directly or indirectly caused by Gordon Frohman. It turns out he's also directly responsible for the events of the first game, as he delivered a piece of cheese to the Black Mesa lab instead of the Xen borderworld sample.
- Berserk Button/Tranquil Fury: "He's... got... my... gravity... gun."
- Bilingual Bonus: Froh means happy in German.
- Black Comedy
- Black Comedy Rape: Frohman reminisces about a creepy old guy giving him the "Buddha" code, then having Gordon take off his pants.Gordon: Huh! Also forgot that guy totally molested me! Boy, was that awful!
- According to the comic note:I had no intentions of including a joke about Frohman being molested in this comic until after I'd posed it and was putting it together in Photoshop, when it suddenly seemed a little creepy that some dude on a train was offering the glassy-eyed bumpkin a cheat code. If I'd planned it from the start I'd probably have use the old wrinkly guy model, 'cos he looks kinda weird (apologies to the actual human being the old wrinkly guy is based on).
- According to the comic note:
- Black Shirt: Frohman is staunchly pro-Combine and an avid fan of Dr. Breen, but is fortunately such a screw-up that he ends up helping the good guys by accident. How big of a screw-up? He's so terrible at being pro-Combine that he's one of the Resistance's best assets.
- Blatant Lies:
- Used frequently by Frohman. See Suspiciously Specific Denial, below.
- Also in "The Combine Advisor" newspaper:NOVA PROSPEKT - Everything is fine here in Nova Prospekt, according to everyone here in Nova Prospekt, sources inside Nova Prospekt said today. There is absolutely nothing about the situation in Nova Prospekt that is anything but totally fine. "There have been no unusual events or circumstances inside the former prison, now a theme park for humans, with rides and candy and cute puppy dogs and soft pillows," said Doctor Breen, the very handsome, smart, and kind administrator of City 17 and Nova Prospekt. "Really!"
- Of note is that the obituaries run from pages 14 to 38.
- Bond One-Liner: You got Frohwned!!!
- Boss Room: Confused for "a perfect place to rest" by our hero.
- Brick Joke:
- In the very first comic, two members of Civil Protection comment that the train is running late. In the very last comic, the rebels comment that the train to Episode Two is running late, with one of the group commenting "again?"
- Lampshaded in The Rant of this strip, where he manages to go three-for-three in six panels.
- The T.G.I. Friday's is turned into one with the unofficial sequel.
- Call-Back: A lot, but especially #073, calling back to Frohman's continued shoot-on-sight response to Vortigaunts, his adventures teleporting into Counter-Strike, and ordering 100,000 of something all at once.
- Don't forget how at the beginning when Frohman leaves the train station, he cannot find any TGI Fridays. Then, in the sequel, he passes by a TGI Friday's as he's evacuating the city. Too bad it would explode even if Frohman got to stop in.
- In Half-Life 2, Barney implies that when they first tested the teleporter with a cat it...didn't go well. In Concerned, Kleiner tells Barney to get the cat for the test, insisting it will be fine.
- In the flashback to how Frohman activated the "Buddha" code, he eagerly talks about all the things he will do in City 17, such as having an antlion for a pet, visiting Counterstrike, and killing everyone in Ravenholm.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Wallace Breen fulfills this role basically.
- Chekhov's Gun: Described here. Or lampshaded. Or both.
- Cigar-Fuse Lighting: When Frohman meets his squadmates at the start of the revolt (who all introduce themselves by their character archetypes), one of them claims to be a demolitions expert who'll do exactly this. Not that he gets the chance before Frohman accidentally vaporizes the entire rest of the squad.
- Cliché Storm: Frohman's squad of rebels seems to be full of archetypal war movie characters whose character arcs reference various clichés of the genre. Said clichés never end up happening, because Frohmanaccidentally kills them.
- Comically Inept Healing: When he starts impersonating a medic, Frohman initially tries to do surgery. Despite, you know, medkits existing - something he only takes advantage of just to get patients out the door faster so he can watch Dr. Breen's broadcast.
- Companion Cube: Gordon's *ahem* forward relationship with the gravity gun, coming to a head *ahem again* in strip #77.
- Boy, that's a pretty bad cough. Hope you get better!
- In Concerned 2, a "Breen Idol" and a Lawn Gnome play this role.
- Cool Ship: G-Man's magical hovercraft, apparently.
- Crapsack World: It wasn't great to begin with, and then Frohman helped make things worse. Especially Ravenholm, which, before our hero got there and told the Combine where it was, was nicer than most of the real world.
- Demoted to Extra: While Frohman quickly falls in love with Judith Mossman and a random female rebel, he casually pushes past Alyx Vance, who almost never appears for the rest of the series. Of course, when she does next appear, she gets caught by the Combine and it's Frohman's fault. The notes for that comic make note of this, saying that Livingston had originally planned for the final panel to be reversed - Alyx climbing up the side of a building in the foreground and Frohman plus captors far off in the background - but then realized that it would make no sense to focus so heavily on Alyx considering her complete lack of involvement in the rest of the comic.
- Developing Doomed Characters: Played for laughs in one strip, which introduces Frohman's new squadmates, each of whom gives a lengthy infodump on what they'll be up to: a youthful, optimistic recruit who has a picture of his sweetheart whom he'll marry when the war is over and will probably die tragically while cradled in someone's arms; a shifty-eyed and untrustworthy sort who will abandon the group but then return and sacrifice himself; and a Demolitions Expert who lights fuses with cigars and walks away from explosions without looking but skipped the class that teaches you the last wire to cut when defusing a bomb. Naturally, all of them die seconds after giving these infodumps when Frohman, who is busy trying to find how to work the pulse rifle's secondary fire, manages to find it.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Medical Doctor of Medicine".
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Frohman is not the least bit intimidated while making sure he got the Combine Advisor's orders right.
- Downer Ending: Read the title. Although, given Frohman and Dr. Breen both pretty well deserved to die, the ending could be seen as a subversion.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Frohman gets tired of getting shot at by the Combine, so disguises himself as one to get them to back off. This simply causes the rebels to start shooting him, so he switches back to a rebel disguise and promptly gets the Combine shooting at him again.
- Dumb Is Good: Sort of. Despite Gordon Frohman's incredible stupidity and desire to serve the Combine, his attempts to help them often end up making things better for the heroes.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Used here, here, and here. Made all the more jarring considering Frohman's utter stupidity.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: The truth behind the blue gravity gun revealed!
- Everything Fades: Lampshaded with the first medkit Frohman stumbles upon, which has a disclaimer claiming it is "eco-friendly and will completely and instantly biodegrade upon use".
- Evil Laugh:
- Grigori loves these so much he even puts them in print in a roommate-wanted ad:Roommate wanted for 2 bedroom, 2 bath home. Hardwood floors, tool shed. Close to church, schools, and public teleportation. Cats, robotic dogs okay. $325 a month. Ravenholm area. Contact F. Grigori.
Note: Non-smoker preferred. Must enjoy sermons and shotguns.
PS: Heh heh! Hah hah! HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!
- An earlier example, followed by Is This Thing Still On?:Welcome. Welcome to City 17... also known as... HELL! HELL! YOU'RE ALL GONNA DIE! YOU'RE ALL DEAD!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA!
- Grigori loves these so much he even puts them in print in a roommate-wanted ad:
- Evil Twin: Subverted with Norman Frohman, a former special ops agents working for the Resistance and who is actually effective in combat — the total opposite of his twin. The subversion is that, if anything, Gordon is the evil one given his love for the Combine.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There was a big outcry by fans when Gordon was Killed Off for Real. Christopher C. Livingston pointed out the name of the comic was Concerned: The Half-Life and Death Of Gordon Frohman.
- Exploding Barrels: And Frohman, being Frohman, is the reason there are so damn many of them all over the game.note Then there's Frohman's hilariously-inept attempt at one of the early physics puzzles involving barrels in Water Hazard.
- Expospeak Gag: A rebel successfully talks Frohman into not taking the airboat, in favor of "the latest development in personal occupant-propelled open-air semi-buoyant watercraft," with complimentary "client-enabled moisture-resistant watercraft-propulsion device." The former is a rickety old rowboat, the latter is a shovel being used as an oar.
- The Faceless: The shots are always taken so that Gordon Freeman's face is never seen, to the point where his picture on the character page is a broken jpeg.
- Face Framed in Shadow: Invoked by Frohman here.Dr. Kleiner: No, but you are making spooky shadow faces with your flashlight, and it's a bit troubling.
- Fatal Family Photo: Lampshaded to hell and back with Robbie Rauschenberg.
- Fatal Flaw: Gordon Frohman's flaw is his stupidity, especially when he fails to realize that people are trying to help him. Because of this, he ends up refusing a rescue from some Vortigaunts after accidentally disabling his invincibility code, because he still hasn't realized the Vortigaunts underwent a Heel–Face Turn after Black Mesa, resulting in him bleeding to death.
- Fauxtivational Poster: Frohman made a few in an attempt to liven up the Combine Citadel. Incidentally, if you save the comic JPG and crop them right, you can make some kickass custom sprays.
- Felony Misdemeanor: "There's nothing worse than having to pose the same scene twice. Well, maybe genocide. But posing the same scene twice is pretty lame, too."
- Flashback: Nicely lampshaded, as seen on this trope's page.
- He proves less than adept in actually relaying these, though.Laszlo: Uhh... Frohman? If you're having a flashback you've got to narrate it for us. We can't just see it in your head. I... I don't think he can hear me.
- He proves less than adept in actually relaying these, though.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Frohman brothers, Gordon and Norman, respectively. Gordon is spectacularly dumb, as you can see elsewhere on this page, while Norman has often had to bail him out of trouble.
- Fourth-Wall Observer: Early on in the comic, Frohman occasionally makes it clear that he's aware he's in a video game.Civil Protection Officer: Pick up that can.
Frohman: How the heck do I do that?
[hot-tip appears: "E Pickup object"]
Frohman: Oh. Whoah! I can pick up things in this game! I mean world. It's a little odd that I don't actually have to use my hands, though.
Civil Protection Officer: I was just thinking that myself.
- Funny Background Event: #120 will leave you in tears.
- Genius Ditz: When Frohman suddenly comes across something that does not make sense in terms of game logic, he suddenly launches into a long-winded explanation of what is wrong and how it could be fixed, and goes back to picking his nose in the next comic. Author Filibusters have never been so subtle.
- He also once built a fully-operational Strider (though he never turned it on) because he didn't have enough dystopian oppression in his life in Ravenholm. Which doesn't even make sense as Striders are modified alien creatures, and probably don't exist in their natural form on earth.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: This trope is the only explanation the author has for the battle "tactics" of the Combine soldiers.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: A literal example, as Frohman is convinced that Sandy is his girlfriend, when she can't stand Frohman's idiocy.
- Heal Thyself: Medkits are capable of not only healing everything and anything, but also instantly removing any blood stains from clothing. They are also Eco-Friendly and will completely and instantly biodegrade upon use. This doesn't stop Frohman from trying (and failing) to use surgery instead, only giving out medkits when he gets impatient because his favorite show is about to start.
- Hellish Copter: Some time in Bike Lane 17, Frohman attempts to discreetly dispose of his Combine disguise by tossing it off a cliff. The body gets caught in the rotors of a passing Combine Gunship, which then proceeds to cause a hilarious case of Disaster Dominoes.
- Here We Go Again!: The series' bookends are snide comments on Valve's missed release dates.
- Hope Spot: In the final comic, we watch from first-person as a pair of medics find someone at ground zero and manage to get medical aid to them just in time - and it turns out it's not Frohman. He's lying dead on top of Dr. Breen.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Frohman has a kill-on-sight response to the friendly Vortigaunts and wants to join the Combine.
- I Call It "Vera": Gordon becomes quite... attached to the Gravity Gun.Frohman: There is no Gordon, Judith...There is only...The Claw.
- Imagine Spot: Frohman imagines himself killing hundreds of the Combine, him abandoning Sandy, and later him carrying Judith Mossman. In reality, she's carrying him.Judith: He just staggered in, crying and bleeding, and fainted.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Norman gets speared from behind by a Strider.
- Improvised Weapon: As Freeman had his crowbar, Frohman wields a shovel.
- Informal Eulogy: "I'll never forget the day I met him. It was today. About a minute ago, when my head collided with his neck, breaking it. His neck, I mean. Not my head. My head is fine, not that anyone asked. Anyway. He seemed like a great guy with a lot of strong traits. Except for his neck, which was as brittle as glass. Amen."
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Lampshaded, of course.
- Is This Thing Still On?: See Evil Laugh above.
- Jerkass: Gordon Freeman ends up looking like this, mercilessly killing an innocent Combine soldier, and later taking all his fellow rebels' ammo because he assumed they were dead.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Frohman was more than a little miffed that Freeman had left him and an NPC for dead, prompting the NPC to try shooting him for insulting Freeman.
- Lampshade Hanging: Damn near everything.
- Lethally Stupid: Frohman demonstrates his lethality in the Bike Lane 17 chapter, where he stumbles into the lost Counter-Strike server. He injures a teammate while adjusting to the most powerful weapon, pushes another into the line of fire, guns down the hostages, and frags his own team.
- Locked Door: Lampshaded.Frohman: He's using my Gravity Gun to punt a car out of our way. But a wooden door, well. Let's just run 8 miles through soldier infested, mine-littered streets to avoid it.
- Magically Regenerating Clothing: Lampshaded.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Currently provides the page image, and is the last straw for Sandy.Sandy: I'm ditching you, idiot, before you get me killed.
Frohman: At least I think it's broken. Or did it always bend this way?
- The Millstone: Frohman tries to help the Combine at every turn, but fails at all of said turns - and more besides.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Frohman himself, as seen above.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Frohman is fascinated by the Combine Elite outfit that somehow renders everything in 2D. He then exclaims things are 3D again when he stares at Judith Mossman's breasts, causing Judith to state the trope.
- Mythology Gag: Frohman, at the beginning of Sandtraps, states that "jumping puzzles are for effeminate Italian plumbers". This is a reference to the author's original site, Not My Desk, where he once wrote an article suggesting that Mario was gay.
- New Ability Addiction: When Frohman gets hold of the Gravity Gun, he starts using it for everything (parodying the way a lot of players became obsessed with it). Eventually, everyone at Black Mesa East gets sick of this and takes it away. This becomes a Brick Joke when it turns out that he was the one who caused it to become the dark gravity gun near the end of the game, because he tried to stop a confiscation field from deleting it."There is no Frohman, there is only...THE CLAW!"
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Where to begin...?
- Ravenholm. It used to be a peaceful sunny community, with only one whackjob priest who is ignored as a loon. Then Frohman comes by...
- Frohman gets rebels killed by ignoring the radio cry for help, and then proceeds to broadcast the location of their hideout to all rebels. Not only are the combine listening in, they approve of some ideas for weapons that Frohman mentions.Dr Breen: Headcrab Rockets? Now there's an idea.
- He takes a short break from thoroughly screwing up the world of Half-Life to ruin the only good Counter-Strike server.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Subverted."Working with live seagull spawns is no picnic, either, as they're very fragile. Brush them with the physics gun beam or an object and they squawk and die immediately. Many, many seagulls were killed in the making of this comic."
- No Bikes in the Apocalypse: Averted. Frohman uses a bike more than any other vehicle. Even when he's disguised as a soldier.
- Not the Fall That Kills You…: It's evidently the ruptured organs and internal bleeding.
- Of Corpse He's Alive: Well, he tried.
- One-Paragraph Chapter: No Prospekts, a parody of the chapter Nova Prospekt is one strip; Frohman finally arrives at Nova Prospekt to get his Combine surgery. He is denied access because he does not have an appointment, and promptly leaves.
- Only Six Faces: Parodied here in reference to Half-Life, and there's even a duplicate Frohman in the present-day for good measure.
- Orphaned Punchline: "So anyway, I said to Tony, 'Strider? I hardly KNOW 'er!'"
- Ow, My Body Part!: Ow! My health points!
- Paper-Thin Disguise: A Combine soldier sees a fellow soldier on a bike talking about rebels as very suspicious. Somehow this doesn't blow Frohman's cover.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Gordon's brother Norman is an expert.Gordon: [thinking] Same old Norman, still thinks he's some bitter, world-weary action hero, spitting out sardonic, overly dramatic responses, and acting like a camera is doing close-ups on him. Hm... bet I can trip him up. [aloud] Golly! I've got terrible hemorrhoids! All up my butt! What say you?
Norman: You think it's painful sitting down? Try taking a stand.
Gordon: [thinking] Damn he's good!
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: When Frohman's applying for a job at the Combine tower.Guard: "Stick-to-it-iveness" isn't a word.
Frohman: Irregardless, can I set up an interview?
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Frohman nearly succeeds in assassinating Gordon Freeman and saving Dr. Breen, but takes so long coming up with one of these that their battle is over by the time he's ready.
- Product Placement: Parodied in the notes for this comic.
- Propaganda Piece: One edition has a rebel newspaper report on Freeman's rampage through Nova Prospect. The Combine response? EVERYTHING IS FINE!
- Punch-Clock Villain: Most of the Combine. As is Gordon while he's working for them.
- Quip to Black: Gordon's brother Norman is fond of doing these.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Norman gives one to his brother Gordon after Gordon complains about Norman "shoving him" to save him from danger, showing that Gordon's too stupid to realize that Norman has been saving his life since they were children.Norman: For the last time... I didn't push you. I saved you. And if you're too stupid to realize that, then it's pretty damn obvious I shouldn't have even bothered. You're not worth saving. You're not worth anything. You... are worthless. I should have let you die.
(Gordon stares at him)
Norman: Oh, what's this? Did your face register a brief flicker of comprehension? Amazing. Did something get through to that tiny pea brain of yours? It's about time. Rise and shine, Gordon. You're not a doctor. You're not a hero. You're a helpless dope. Truth hurts. Life sucks. But it's time to wake up... and smell the ashes.
Norman: You need to cry? Fine. Take a minute. Take five. When you're done, join me in the real world.
- Redemption Equals Death: The rebel Clay introduces himself thusly (though being a squadmate of Frohman's, he doesn't make it long enough to do any of it).I'm shifty-eyed and untrustworthy. I'll probably ditch you guys when the combat gets too intense, which is in keeping with my selfish, cowardly nature. Of course, I'll redeem myself later, after being wounded, and telling you to go on and leave me behind. Then I'll detonate a grenade, killing myself but taking out some Combine soldiers too, allowing you to escape safely.
- Reliably Unreliable Guns: Several pulse rifles, with both Mr. Henderson and later Frohman accidentally triggering the secondary fire and killing several people.
- I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday: In #132, Laszlo and Sandy wonder what's made the antlions so aggressive. Frohman starts on a flashback, saying that it feels like it happened an hour ago, "probably because it happened an hour ago". Laszlo and Sandy are then left in the dark because Frohman forgets to actually narrate his flashback.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Dr. Breen decides that Gordon Freeman is "a complete idiot" for climbing into a metal coffin in the Citadel, and asks how long complete idiots survive. Gordon Frohman chimes in with an idiotic comment, and Breen realizes that yes, idiots can survive for a long time.
- Robbing the Dead: Frohman and some other rebels get separated from Freeman after a hopper mine goes off near them, and Frohman begins complaining that he assumed they were dead and left them to die. One of the other rebels finally has enough of his constant bashing of Freeman and pulls his gun on Frohman... only to promptly discover Freeman assumed they were dead, stole all their ammo as such, and then left them to die.
- Running Gag:
- Shoot the Medic First: Tired of being shot at by both sides, Frohman attempts to adopt neutrality by dressing as a medic, figuring that the Rebels will love him for his healing skills and the Combine won't shoot him due to the Geneva conventions. He takes a shotgun blast to the gut almost immediately.
- To Ferris Bueller's Day Off.Townsperson: You're not Gordon Freeman.
Townsperson: You're... Gordon Frohman.
Townsperson: The Sausage King of Chic—
- Another one:
- Gordon Frohman's grandfather, who fought in World War II, was apparently named Morgan Frohman.
- Also, a Metal Gear Solid reference in #100 and a The Legend of Zelda one referencing the cuccoo catching sidequest in Ocarina of Time in #82.
- To Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- Shovel Strike: Frohman acquires a shovel in #60, or rather a "client-enabled moisture-resistant watercraft-propulsion device" to power the "occupant-propelled open-air semi-buoyant watercraft" he's upsold on over the airboat. It shows up several more times across the rest of the comic, though the only striking Frohman does with it is trying to open up a chopper mine he mistakes for a supply drop, and it hitting him on the head after he's fallen out of the Citadel and landed on Breen.
- Something Only They Would Say: By virtue of one in every nine citizens of the city sharing their features, Gordon asks this of his twin brother Norman regarding his birthday. Gordon, being Gordon, then decides Norman needs to ask him a question to verify he's really Gordon.Norman: Fine. When's my birthday?
Gordon: June sixth! Uh, no! It's in May, right? March? I know it's on a Thursday... damn, ask me something else!
Norman: No need. It's definitely you.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Frohman's letter to Breen about the Combine's anti-reproduction field is filled with excessively casual language, idioms, and slang, up until he actually asks the question, which is exactly as it appears in-game: "Why has the Combine seen fit to suppress our reproductive cycle?"
- Spanner in the Works: From the abundance of medpacks to aid the resistance, to the surplus supply of Exploding Barrels the Combine is forced to take cover behind, Frohman is his enemies' greatest ally.
- Speak of the Devil: Subverted.Kleiner: What choice do we have? I hardly expect some dim-witted dolt will show up and volunteer to test our highly unstable teleporter!
Kleiner: Hmmm. I was sort of expecting some dim-witted dolt to show up and volunteer to test our highly unstable teleporter.
- Springtime for Hitler: When ordered by Barney to order a shitload of guns online for the Rebels to use in their uprising, Frohman attempts to fake said order and surreptitiously send a distress call to the Combine... only to accidentally place a real order for guns. A hundred-thousand of them, even.Frohman: Why oh why can't I ever do anything wrong?
- Sprint Meter: Lampshaded, particularly the fact that it and the Ten-Second Flashlight somehow work off the same battery.note
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Sometimes Frohman gets the better of the G-Man, and sometimes he doesn't.
- Suspiciously Specific DenialJudith: What? What? I don't know Dr. Breen! Who told you I know him? I don't! I've never met him! I've never even heard of him! I don't sleep with a picture of him under my pillow!
- Frohman does this. A lot.Frohman: No need to come here and look over my shoulder or anything! Even though it looks like I'm just slapping my hands randomly on the keyboard, I'm actually placing the order! For GUNS! You're not being duped or lied to like you might think! Ha ha! Hey, everyone, I think Barney here thinks I'm not actually placing the order for guns! Okie dokie, the real order is placed and isn't fake at all! If the guns never show up then I don't know who to blame except that it's not me because I ordered them and didn't fake-order them like you seem to think for some reason!
Computer: Your real order for guns has been placed. Thank you for using Citadel purchasing. [Gilligan Cut]
Barney: (standing amidst several crates overflowing with guns) Wow! Sorry I doubted you, Gordon!
Frohman: Why oh why can't I ever do anything wrong?
- And Frohman again.Frohman: At any rate, I'm definitely NOT a rebel in a combine uniform, if that's what you're accusing me of!
- Frohman does this. A lot.
- Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Lampshaded.Rebel: And if you come across a huge cache of ammo, weapons, health packs, and armor chargers, what does that mean?
Frohman: That I'm about to get my ass kicked?
- Take That!:
- Tempting Fate:
- When Frohman leads a CP to Kleiner's hideout.Frohman: Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I hear a stun stick warming up...
[CP removes helmet, revealing himself as Barney]
Frohman: And for once, I won't be the one getting hit by it!
- Narrowly averted by Dr. Breen rejoicing over Freeman's capture.Dr. Breen: Then it's over. Sheez, that was easy. Take the men off high alert.
Henderson: Is that such a good idea, sir?
Dr. Breen: Freeman is clearly an idiot, Henderson. How long do complete idiots usually survive? [Beat as both look at Frohman babbling semi-coherently about his nicknames for things] ...Keep the men on high alert.
- When Frohman leads a CP to Kleiner's hideout.
- That Cloud Looks Like...: Hmm, that thing in the canal looks like a guy in a little boat.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Referred to by name.
- Title Drop: Frohman's a fan of Dr. Breen and writes a long, rambling letter about dating and sex to him, concluding (for a given value of "concluding" given it has two post-scripts) with "I guess my question is this: why has the Combine seen fit to suppress our reproductive cycle? Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen." He then wonders if Breen edits the letters before reading them on-air.
- Too Dumb to Live: Frohman, who bypasses a puzzle by flinging himself and his boat over an obstacle via exploding barrels, nails boards to his feet to cross sandtraps without alerting antlions, and gets the "take pictures of you" and "chop you up with a whirling blade of death" flying drones mixed up at every turn. Also done with the first Counter-Strike server Frohman's accidentally launched into. And again, surviving zombification by having the headcrab starve to death on his head. It's revealed late in the comic that he's only survived to the end of the game due to a cheat code. He even literally fulfills this trope by being so dumb he turns off the code because he thinks "Buddha" is a funny word. And even that wouldn't have been enough, since the Vortigaunts make an attempt to save his life... only for him to screw it up because he is completely incapable of realizing they're not still hostile, causing them to quickly give up on him. Frohman dies soon after.Sandy: I feel like every time I turn around you're doing something stupid, like holding a live grenade while standing knee-deep in radioactive sludge and setting yourself on fire.
Frohman: For the record, I'm only ankle deep.
Sandy: So noted.
- Lampshaded here.Rebel: Well, I spent the morning lugging a chest of infinite rockets up these stairs. Do you have any idea how much those things weigh?
Frohman: I don't have any idea about a lot of things.
- If someone unironically praises Frohman for his insight, they likely qualify as this too.
- In a rare non-Frohman example, one of the notes by Livingston questions Gordon Freeman's decision to enter a "steel coffin" for no reason.Well, really. Would you have climbed into that steel coffin? I probably would have looked around a bit more for an escalator or something.
- Lampshaded here.
- Tranquil Fury: "[Freeman]'s got. My. Gravity. Gun."
- Ungrateful Bastard: Gordon complains about Norman shoving him, when Norman was saving him from a Strider. Gordon doesn't even realize that Norman has been saving his life since they were children.
- Unhand Them, Villain!: In Concerned 2, Frohman threatens a barnacle with a lawsuit unless it lets go of his Breen Idol. Upon finding out that it's inedible, the Barnacle complies by dropping the bust...on Frohman's head.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist/Villain Protagonist: It's easy to forget because he's such a lovable goofball, but Gordon Frohman is actively trying to be the best traitor-to-humanity he can be. He's just terrible at it. Though he's managed to cause just as much of a mess for the other side as well, also through sheer incompetence.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Constantly, though of particular note is the fact that Frohman http://www.screencuisine.net/hlcomic/index.php?date=2006-08-04 almost-directly caused the events of both games by accidentally swapping the Xen sample with cheese.
- Vertical Kidnapping: Poor Sandy.
- Voiceover Letter: Frohman "voices over" his various letters to Dr Breen (if you consider writing outside of the letter to be a voice over). He doesn't seem to realise Breen's the bad guy.
- Walking Disaster Area: Gordon, in spades. Everyone, everyone who comes in contact with him ends up ruined or killed. A rebel he's interested in, the entire town of Ravenholm, his brother...Laszlo: No, it isn't... it can't be. It couldn't be! It might be! IT IS! We can't go with him! There's gotta be someone else!
- Webcomic of the Game: Frohman ends up following almost the exact same path Freeman does, though until the uprising starts in the last quarter or so of the strip, the events of Half-Life 2 are happening in Frohman's wake.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Unintentionally deconstructed with the "Frank Tangent" quartet of comics. Giving a faceless mook a life, family, goals and dreams, and a sympathetic point-of-view was intended for comedy, due to "the ludicrous concept of it all". It didn't really work out as expected. The final strip of the tangent doubles as a Mook Horror Show as Frank's friends head to the next outpost down the road in hopes of stopping Freeman's rampage, only to arrive after he's passed through.
- Wreaking Havok: There's a reason Frohman loves the Gravity Gun so much.
- You ALL Look Familiar: Lampshaded repeatedly, especially in Frohman's flashback.
- In a meta-example, the same character model used for Frohman (male_07) was also used in the machinima of Full Life Consequences as John Freeman who was Gordon Freeman's brother.
- You Have Failed Me: As much as Dr. Breen wants to, he doesn't actually have this power.Frohman: Well, my throat is sorta scratchy. But it could be all those SunChips I just ate.
- Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: After Gordon walks away with a headcrab on a head for the better part of a chapter, it eventually falls off, having died of malnutrition. Gordon provides a Lampshade Hanging in the background.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The idea of shelling beautiful, isolated Ravenholm with headcrab-filled artillery came from, you guess it...
- Zombie Infectee:
- Frohman actually becomes one in Ravenholm, but survives thanks to Buddha mode, so he just waits till the headcrab dies of malnutrition and heals himself (including cleaning the blood off of his clothes) with a medkit.
- He also suggests using a headcrab to revive a patient he killed.