Follow TV Tropes

Following

Webcomic / Concession

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Header_8444.jpg
Advertisement:

Concession is a Furry Comic centering on a group of movie theatre concession workers.

The series originally started out as smart remarks the author Immelmann could never make when they worked at a concession stand, but it gradually evolved into a complex story, with a fair amount of Mind Screw. The plot centers on a rather small cast, the main characters eventually being Joel (the Villain Protagonist), Artie, and Matt.

On October 8, 2010, it was announced that the comic was coming to an end. Immelmann cited the often nonsensical and convoluted plot as the main reason. They do have a new stand-alone gag comic titled Ballerina Mafia, which began about a month before the end was announced, and a storyline-oriented comic titled The Order of the Black Dog, which started in April 2012. The final comic was posted February 11, 2011, and a "ten-year anniversary" epilogue was posted in July 2016.

Advertisement:


This webcomic provides examples of:

  • All Gays Are Pedophiles: Inverted. Of the characters who are confirmed pedophiles, none are gay or bisexual, and the one who appears most often is a woman.
  • All Just a Dream: Immelmann's Author Avatar appears to Clarissa at one point. It turns out that it's just a hallucination thanks to Joel screwing with Clarissa's head.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of the relationships and character development and characters in general were shown in the "concession chronicles" blog. And then brought into the comic later without any warning for people unaware of the blog, which is rather easy since it for the longest time it had no links to it on the official site. Leaving many to wonder "Wait, who is that? Wait, when did they start dating?"
  • Alt Text: Present since #239 (though absent in a few of them even since, probably intentionally).
  • Advertisement:
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In one Story Arc, Artie is taken to a NAMBLA meeting after being Mistaken for Pedophile. The author had to assure people that it was a real organization and not something he made up for the comic.
  • Author Appeal: Immelmann's fetishes tend to pop up a lot throughout the series.
  • Author Avatar:
    • One that affects the plot very little, and indeed appears to be a Cloudcuckoolander, but very obviously Immy.
    • Joel is this early on as a representation of how the author wished he could act if not for fear of persecution or retaltiation at his movie theater job... until the plot shifts and Joel becomes more of a villian/anti-villian.
  • Bad News, Irrelevant News: As a doctor tells Artie, the bad news is that Artie's cancer has metastasized and spread to his brain — the good news is that the doctor saved a lot of money on car insurance by switching to Geico. Artie is not amused.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Joel attacks Father Tim in the confessional, and Artie in the hospital inside their minds using his Combat Tentacles. The latter doubles as a subverted "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, as that part only works for a little bit.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Artie has a couple of unpleasant ones:
    • First, with Chelsie.
    • Later, he's pleased to wake up next to Melusine and Palatyne (both women), but not so pleased to also find Ronin (another guy) in the bed.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Even anthro animals consider sex with non-anthro animals taboo — the Church of Gaia is looked down upon somewhat in-universe for its advocation of sex between furries and non-anthropomorphic animals, Artie's doctor is briefly mentioned to have a fetish for sharks, and after the incident with Chelsie, Artie claims that Joel has no right to judge him because of "that time you woke up with that feral dog". Artie references the same (probably) incident much later.
  • Best Served Cold: Joel's plan all boils down to getting revenge against his brother for killing their sister, framing him for the murder, and getting him sent to a mental institution where he was repeatedly raped by a doctor and/or orderly for years. Then it's revealed that the entire plan was pointless, as Julian was apparently innocent and unaware of any wrongdoing the entire time and Joel's just a deluded insane person.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The bloodline-obsessed Jansen clan and the Calley family. Raj Jansen, the good ol' Evil Matriarch of the clan, had one of her nieces raped in order to carry on her bloodline, and... Jesus Christ. Joel Calley is a Satanist with magical powers and one of the most massive and convoluted evil plans ever because his brother Julian murdered Joel's twin sister Miranda when they were kids and took over his late father's company rather than letting his mother have it (or so it seems at first; these particular details are later revealed to be a delusion on Joel's part). The aforementioned father was a religious douchebag, a "Well Done, Son" Guy and possibly an Abusive Parent. The only one who seems anywhere near normal is Lorelei Calley. Oh, wait, she's tried to seduce several of Joel's friends (including his boyfriend, unsuccessfully). Never mind. And none of this is to mention Chelsie's family... or Melusine's... or Kate and Rick...
  • Bittersweet Ending: All the main characters fail in everything they intended to accomplish, the only main character with a chance to redeem the others (Matt) turns into a psychic addict. Both vengeful ghosts are still at large. However, what Joel "intended to accomplish" involved mass murder as a ploy to get power; Artie managed to stop that and Matt did save him from becoming another Joel.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The side-comic "At the Heart of It All" features a cute female alien who discusses another alien race with Immy, the protagonist: "Their females look much like us, but their males are giant room-sized beasts with twelve tentacles who only think with the most primal urges of eating and reproduction..." Cut to Immy zooming off in a rocket.
  • Black Comedy Rape: One of the randomly generated background characters is described as a "very frequent rape victim".
  • Bookends: The first comic is mirrored by the appropriately titled fifth-to-last comic. The Alt Text confirms that it is indeed the same customer.
  • Breakout Character: Joel, Nicole, Clarissa and Zoe (the latter two being introduced near the end of the comic's run) all still make appearances in Immelmann's new comic, despite the fact that it's his autobiographical Journal Comic.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • Rick and Kate (who are also a womanizing drug dealer and a pedophile, respectively). For a long time, it's just implied, but it's eventually outright confirmed.
    • Joel and his sister Miranda appear to have been very close when she was alive, her spirit form is usually shown wrapped around Joel's like a cloak, and she anally rapes him in one scene.
    • Melusine and her sister Palatyne are seen making out right before they have a foursome with Artie and their brother-in-law Ronin.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: A deep purple butterfly seems to be one of Miranda's spiritual forms.
  • Call-Back: Isn't this where we came in? Note the Alt Text — this is the same customer.
  • Camp Gay: Nicole is a fluttery crossdresser. Matt as well, though to a lesser extent, and he doesn't cross-dress regularly like Nicole does.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The comic slips in and out of this, in that it starts as a gag-per-day comic and then shifts into something with a story (albeit a very weird one), but it often switches back to its original premise every now and then. Joel and Artie even seem to forget that they're enemies every couple of months.
  • Cheeky Mouth: In the earlier strips, becoming less prominent after Art Evolution.
  • Child by Rape: Thonnen's daughter Naomi. However, her mother appears to genuinely love her, and the circumstances of her conception don't seem to have affected her negatively — she even becomes President in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Complexity Addiction: In the climax, it turns out that what Joel thought was a carefully-planned-out Xanatos Gambit really had too many loose ends. To add insult to injury, it's all for naught — the end goal of his Evil Plan is to gather enough spiritual energy to overwhelm his older brother's powers, but his brother actually has no powers whatsoever.
  • Confessional: Matt uses the confessional while looking for advice on his worries about his sexuality and his budding relationship with Joel. Father Tim warns him to stay away from Joel, but he doesn't listen. Later, in the first true battle, the anti-religious Joel casually walks into a confession booth and confesses his sins (murdering families, forcing a friend to commit pedophilia, etc.) before trying to kill Father Timothy with his alluded-to dark spiritual power. Oddly enough, the Father also has great spiritual power, and they fight to a psychic standstill while separated by the confessional wall.
  • Corruption by a Minor: In a sense, this happens to Artie, as Chelsie is revealed to be hypersexual, and Artie isn't capable of understanding what he's doing when he sleeps with her. However, Artie is under the psychic influence of Joel at the time, which probably has a bigger impact on his behavior.
  • Crapsack World: Joel randomly shoots up the crowd in the lobby and his boss's only comment is "How long are you going to keep this up? It's making a mess." They kidnap and torture the health inspector and are never punished. Kate keeps a harem of small children and nobody arrests her, and shady corporations seem to run everything.
  • Crawl: "Emperor of China to Become Empress", "Obama clone runs rampant, kills twenty".
  • Creepy Child: Chelsie Warner appears to be a cuddly anthropomorphic lamb-girl in a pink dress. On her first appearance, she stabs Artie Crowley in the eye with a crayon. Shortly thereafter, she has sex with him when he's too delirious to realize what he's doing. When he wakes up, he is horrified not only because of what he's done, but because "Chelsie is actually a boy." It's recently been revealed that Chelsie's hypersexual behavior is related to a form of childhood bipolar disorder. She became significantly less creepy with proper medication and hormone treatment, after being adopted by the local (quite definitely non-pedophilic) preacher. The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows her in her late teens, fully transitioned, apparently recovered from her unfortunate past, and calling Father Tim "Dad".
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Lampshaded — Nicole's father has invented a mind control ray but would rather use it to be a supervillain (yes, really). That said, the debate on whether or not "converting" criminals with this is unambiguously good is still open, so he still has a point.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Joel has slept with/seduced several of the other characters, either to further his plans or for his own amusement. He also once uses his psychic powers to make a preteen child rape Artie.
  • Everyone Is Bi: A lot of characters — even characters that are supposed to be straight, like Artie — tend to have sex with the same gender. In Artie's case, he was being mind-controlled the first time (and the "guy" turns out to be a transgender girl) and really drunk the second time, but then he literally Mind Raped Joel seemingly of his own volition (though Melusine's ghost may have influenced him to do so). Then, of course, there's Thomas, who is described as heterosexual but is shown flirting with men and having sex with his own son. At one point, Rick admits to having gay sex with another fat model, which makes Angie jealous for some reason. This may be related to the fact that the author is also bisexual... or just an extreme case of coincidence.
  • Evil Gloating: Joel probably shouldn't have told Artie that he had powers while he was killing him.
  • Evil Plan: Joel has manipulated much of the overarching plot seemingly to destroy his older brother for taking their father's company and leaving, all on the behalf of his twin sister's vengeful ghost, who has deluded Joel into thinking that she was killed by their brother.
  • Expressive Ears: Clive's ears hang down, while his alternate personality Ernest's ears stick up.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Joel Calley has tried to have sex, consensual or otherwise, with practically anything sexually mature. A Noodle Incident with a feral dog has been brought up a couple of times.
  • Faceless Masses: Averted. Every background character is generated randomly with a complex formula and given a rather humorous backstory.
  • Force Feeding: In one strip, some of the characters secretly feed Rick fattening foods. While Kate and Angie are more subtle, Joel ambushes him in the night and slams a jug of lard into his mouth.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Originally just Joel, but it's later revealed to be a trait of all the spiritually aware characters.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: If you follow the secret game (see Nightmare Fuel on the YMMV page), you will receive notes from Father Tim about Miranda's monstrous nature. Throughout, he warns you that you will feel her presence, such as hearing her breathe in the dark. By the end, she is now inside you and Father Tim begs you to never look into her eyes. DON'T LOOK INTO HER EYES!
  • Freudian Excuse: Joel Calley has about three Freudian Excuses: he was treated harshly as a child by his father and his brother, said father left their company to his older brother Julian, his sister Miranda was killed by Julian when they were young, and their parents blamed Joel for the murder and put him in an asylum where he was sexually abused by a doctor and then released before he was ready to face the outside world again. There have also been a couple of throwaway gags which, if taken too seriously, could imply that his mother resents him for not being a girl. If there was a trope for Freudian Sue, Joel would probably be the poster boy. However, much (if not all) of this is ultimately subverted when it's later revealed that Miranda actually died in her sleep and that Joel was never "blamed for Miranda's death" but was rather driven mad by grief and by Miranda's ghost, who encourages Joel's sadism so that she can feed on the resultant suffering. In addition, Joel willingly helps her (albeit due to her manipulating his memory), and when confronted about this, Joel immediately notes that his and Miranda's real motives are to gain power.
  • From Bad to Worse: Both Artie's current life and Joel's childhood. After all is said and done, both are left feeling empty over how they invested so much effort, destruction, and hatred only to discover that it was for their grandiose self-delusions (though this is the point at which the comic finally takes a turn for the better).
    • Artie's father died of cancer and his mother killed herself after Artie was diagnosed with the same type of cancer. He seemed to get better, but then the cancer spreads to his brain. He suffers blackouts which he thinks are the result of the tumor but are actually the work of Joel, who has decided that Artie needs to be disposed of before his latent powers become a threat to Joel's own powers. He wakes up from one of these blackouts to discover that he had sex with a hypersexual ten-year-old child. He attempts to have a relationship with Kate, only to discover that she's actually a pedophile and is in fact sleeping with the same child, among others. She breaks up with him but gives him money for the operation he needs, during which he is attacked by Joel in the Spirit World. He tries getting help from elsewhere but breaks a major taboo of his new friends' society by impregnating one of themnote  and is apparently involved in the fire which burns their whole city down.
    • Joel, meanwhile, watched his twin sister murdered by his older brother when they were very young, and their parents assumed that Joel did it. He was put in an asylum, where he was sexually abused by a doctor, and released back into the outside world while still unstable. His father then left the entire company to his older brother, leaving Joel with nothing, which motivated him to become a mass-murdering psychic manipulator to take back his company and make his brother suffer. Then Artie brainwashes the older brother into giving him the company and reveals that Joel's twin sister wasn't murdered — Joel is legitimately insane and delusional. Joel and Artie have a climactic final battle using their literal inner demons, with Artie winning and on the verge of mind-raping Joel into realizing what a monster he has become, only for Matt to call Artie out on his holier-than-thou hypocrisy and how not so different they are because of his girlfriend's Sanity Slippage caused by his actions.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": During Mariam Jansen's funeral, Roland complains about the boring food: "The old lady may be dead, but my taste buds aren't!" When a guest says that she wants to say to her "ey, c'mon now... Just get up already...", Angie shouts "That's what SHE said!" — Roland high-fives her, and Thonnen is visibly angered. Things take a turn for the dark later as that night Roland's clothes get stolen somehow, leaving him naked outside, while Thonnen is raped to continue the family line.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Artie's cousin worked in the closed-caption department at CNN and has handed in her notice, so she takes the time to mess with the subtitles. She'd just had an unhappy affair with one of the newsreaders, so that person's speech is subtitled as "I'm a lying whore who likes to beat up the homeless".
  • Furry Confusion:
    • Discussed in this comic when Artie and Melusine go fishing and then cook their catches for dinner.
      Artie: This feels weird. It's like I'm about to watch cannibalism.
      Melusine: Dolphins are mammals, Artie.
      Artie: I know! I know. But it's still weird, you know?
      Melusine: You know what's weird? Furries that have dogs for pets. I think that's weirder than anything we do.
    • Joel, an anthropomorphic dog, once had sex with a non-anthropomorphic dog... and Artie will never let him forget it.
  • Gambit Roulette: Deconstructed. Joel's plan is complicated and relies on a series of things happening just so, but there are so many variables that it falls apart pretty easily when someone acts in a way other than what he expects.
  • Ghostly Goals:
    • It initially seems that Miranda has devoted her afterlife to using her twin to get revenge on Julian for killing her. It's later revealed that Miranda died in her sleep, and her true motivation is to feed on the suffering caused by Joel's actions.
    • After Melusine is killed by her own brother (and this time, it clearly happens, on-page), she too becomes a vengeful ghost. At the comic's end, it's noted that she isn't really Melusine anymore, and the same was true of "Miranda".
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Partway through the comic, it becomes obvious to Artie that Joel is the 'villain' of the story, yet the two still work together and even hang out sometimes. It becomes odd at times that these two are supposed to be trying to stop the other but still are still on "good" terms otherwise.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Matt's first hangover is made particularly unpleasant by his boyfriend's mother yelling at him.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: Subverted. On Matt's first day at his new job as a physical therapist, a client asks if he'll be getting a "happy ending" — Matt reaches for the acupuncture needles.
  • Healthcare Motivation: This is how Thonnen's rape is "commissioned". Ironically, the ill girl dies that very night.
  • Heroic BSoD: Parodied in this strip, in which Matt (post-destupidification) seemingly goes into a Heroic BSoD when he learns that The Internet Is for Porn.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Artie commits genocide to avenge his girlfriend's honor killing after learning to use his powers. Defied by him later after Matt gives him a What the Hell, Hero? speech.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Joel is an open atheist who hates religion, going so far as to say that it "suppresses free will and punishes scientific progress", among other things. Whether Immelmann shares Joel's views on religion or not, or if it's simply a part of the story, is best kept hidden to prevent Flame Bait. Technically, Joel is listed as Spiritual/Satanic on the cast page, but he does share many traits with a Hollywood Atheist (hating religion, a dead sister, a highly religious abusive father).
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Melusine is murdered by her brother-in-law for getting impregnated by a land-dweller. Said land-dweller (Artie) reacts rather badly, willfully causing a disaster that destroys her community's entire seaside city, while she comes back as an insane, vengeful ghost (who, in retrospect, may have influenced the former).
  • Hypno Ray: The sub-plot villains use mind control for villainy, although they state the possible practical applications, much to the chagrin of the mind-control wielder.
  • Hypocrite:
    • A minor example with Matt. While Artie may or may not have intentionally committed mass murder with his powers, Matt's really in no position to preach the higher road when he's aiding his boyfriend and turning into a monster of the like himself. Artie realizes that this doesn't make his warning wrong and learns to keep away from revenge.
    • When Angie explodes at Rick for having a gay hook-up with another heavyset model, he rightfully calls her out that she's always been a perv and based on everything prior to this should be giddy over the fact her boyfriend had a homosexual rendezvous. Turns out he's right, what Angie's really upset about is they've grown apart with Rick being a model and going off the Paris when she's the one who wanted to be involved in that lifestyle and feels left out.
  • I Am Who?: Artie is told at a key moment that he has powers which he was never aware of and manages to use it in self-defense (prompting a Fourth Wall-breaking complaint from Joel).
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: Kelly is asked by a theatregoer if she's seen World Trade Center. She says that she hasn't and doesn't plan to; the customer gets angry, saying that "I bet you'd watch it if there were snakes on that plane!" Cue two panels of internal shots of the planes crashing into the Towers, while filled with snakes, and then a cut to the artist with his sidekick/muse yelling "You're going to Hell!"
  • Important Haircut: Artie starts out refusing to tie his waist-length hair back on the grounds that it makes him look like a girl. When in a relationship with Kate, she braids it for him, and he keeps this style for a short time, then goes back to wearing his hair loose after he breaks up with Kate when she reveals herself to be a pedophile and tries to get him to join in a NAMBLA meeting. After he undergoes successful treatment for his cancer, he cuts it short and adds red streaks.
  • Incest Subtext: In a Halloween special in Immy's other webcomic, Joel has a sudden fantasy of his brother's "shapely ass"... and then has a heart attack.
  • Interspecies Romance: Word of God is that species segregation has only recently officially stopped, but the cast seem to be making up for lost time. The Official Couple are a wolf and a cat, and other relationships include lemur/dinosaur, zebra/fox, and pangolin/skunk, even a briefly appearing human customer with a guinea pig girlfriend. It's mentioned that the "Church of Gaia" are looked down upon for their advocation of sex between furries and non-anthropomorphic animals. Thonnen, the last of an important bloodline of African dinosaurs, intentionally dates outside her species to annoy her family.
  • Karma Houdini: All Joel gets for his machinations, rapes, murders and attempted mass-murder is the knowledge that it was all pointless and a few days in a coma. In addition, Artie destroys a small city and essentially gets off scot-free.
  • Kudzu Plot: The reason why Immelmann decided to end the series; the plot just got completely out of hand, and nothing made sense anymore.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility:
    • Thonnen getting pregnant from the rape.
    • Melusine getting pregnant with a land-dweller's baby, which is a taboo punishable by death in her culture, even though Artie used protection.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Word of God is that furry/human segregation has only been stopped in the past decade, and they still don't interact much ("Yeah, for most humans it's a bit of a culture shock. Not to mention the allergies..."), but they show up sometimes. A human customer at the movie theater claims to be there to "pick up some fine, fine pussy", and then reveals his girlfriend to be a guinea pig. ("You were expecting—" "A cat, yes, would have completed the joke...") Joel's mother Lorelei is annoyed that her boss, the mayor, is human, and says that she half-expects him to "chain me up in the backyard".
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: Matt and Joel do this near the end, which means that everyone is now aware that they’re in a webcomic, as evidenced on occasion on Ballerina Mafia.
  • Mean Boss: Dave, to an extent. Millicent pretends to be one, but in reality, she's just there to watch over the strip's pet murderous sociopath.
  • Medium Awareness: "...Why are your memories all sketchy?" "I don't know, to show mental unrest? Be quiet and pay attention."
  • Mile-High Club: In one comic, Angie and Rick try to have sex in an airplane bathroom but find it a bit too cramped.
  • Mind Rape: Joel tends to enslave or attempt to kill people by bringing them into the astral plane, where he and his sister's ghost have tentacles that wrap around their victims' astral forms and invade orifices. One of the cleaner examples.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Joel is mistaken to be having sex with Chelsie by Artie after he hears both of them giggling from behind a counter, but it turns out that he's just coloring with Chelsie.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: An incredibly disturbing variation with Artie and Chelsie (link is not worksafe or brainsafe). Technically, there was no need for the modesty bedsheet, either.
  • Mood Whiplash: Immelmann (the author) admits to using this trope by name in this comic's Alt Text. The comic takes an abrupt turn from ridiculous and comedic to gravely serious.
  • Mooning: Joel does this to Artie over Xbox Live video chat after seeing him online despite saying he couldn't hang out due to "family things". As it turns out, those family things were babysitting younger relatives no older than five years old, meaning Joel showed his naked ass to small children. His reaction to his mistake and Richard's response really sells it.
    Richard: HAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Joel: How many were there...
    Richard: Three!
    Joel: How old did they look?
    Richard: No older than five, dude!
    Joel: Think they'll bother with a lawsuit? Or will Artie just shoot me?
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted in this panel; Dave protests Angie walking around topless, while Angie feels that she's justified in not wearing anything above the waist because of her reptilian biology.
    Angie: What's there to reveal? I don't have breasts! I don't even have nipples!
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: When Kate takes Artie to a NAMBLA meeting, Immy assures the audience in The Rant that it's a real association (emphasis his), though he tweaked the version in the comic slightly.
  • Noodle People: Everyone is drawn very tall and lanky, unless they are drawn as chibis.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: In one strip of the side-comic "At the Heart of It All", the Author Avatar exclaims "Not again!" upon being bodily carried away by an FBI agent as he's slowly turning into a Martian.
  • One-Shot Character: Immelmann made a "random character generator" in Excel for making these (name, gender, species, sexuality, religion, and a humorous bio he came up with). Oddly enough, a couple of randomly generated characters end up as recurring or even major characters, most notably Nicole. Immy's ex-boyfriend Quetzadrake uses the same generator for his own webcomic, Furthia High.
  • Only Six Faces: At first, pretty much all the characters look the same, with cat, mouse, wolf and pangolin looking almost exactly alike. After being called out on this several times, the artist initially excused it by saying that a more realistic pangolin face would look ugly, but later redesigned the characters to look more distinct from each other.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Combined with a Fourth Wall breakage:
    "... and that's how I saved Christmas."
    "What an interesting and well-told story! Sure am glad I didn't miss it thanks to a scene transition!"
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts are usually after revenge and can bond to a living person (like a relative or lover) and give them enhanced psychic powers. They also seem to be Always Chaotic Evil and prone to committing Mind Rape. Recent hidden pages suggest that the body protects the spirit from a form of radiation, and the longer a ghost refuses to pass on, the more like an Eldritch Abomination they become. Also, Miranda feeds on despair.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: This happens to those using spiritual energy (except to Joel, who wears a black cloak, which is actually the ghost of his sister Miranda). Barbie Doll Anatomy goes even further than usual for dolphins — their legs also disappear.
  • Overreacting Airport Security: When the cast go on a trip, the TSA's reactions might be justified, what with Rick hitting on a female agent, Matt having a baggie of something green (catnip, and not his), and Joel packing a whip, handcuffs, and a bunch of dildos.
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: In this comic, Artie is the victim of this at the hands of Richard, while Matt acts as a distraction. Unfortunately for Artie, he's left naked from the waist down.
    Joel: Wow, Artie, I didn't know you were uncircumcised. Good to know.
    Artie: [not even bothering with Hand-or-Object Underwear] Very funny, guys. What if a customer saw?
    Kate: [taking pictures of Artie's crotch] We'd charge admission fees.
    Joel: Aren't you going to pull your pants up?
    Artie: ... They don't pay me enough to pull my pants up.
  • Parental Incest: Nicole and his father, Tom. Also, Joel's mom won't stop sneaking a peak and taking photos of her son's naked ass, so... Let's just say, if there isn't some kind of incest going on in a character's family, they just haven't been revealed yet.
  • Plot Tumor: The comic starts off as a comic strip about a bunch of anthropomorphic characters working at a concession stand at a movie theater (the author actually based it around the stupidity he experienced; working in customer service is a good way to get material for comic strips), then alternating between concession-stand gags and Joel's life in college, a subplot about a dinosaur family... By the time the comic ends, it's almost the original comic In Name Only with how little the concession stand has to do with the actual plot. (Naturally, the author is aware of this and stays so in the "About" section.)
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Parodied along with Casino Royale (2006) (by way of Goldfinger):
  • Post Apocalyptic Gasmask: Roland's art thesis is a post-apocalyptic fashion exhibit heavy on gas masks, including a performance.
  • Powers via Possession: The reason why Joel has spiritual powers greater than most who have them is due to his sister's vengeful spirit, though which one is more in control is debatable. Later on, the same becomes true for Artie, who channels the spirit of his dead girlfriend.
  • Put on a Bus: Pretty much half the cast of the concession stand. (Again, Immelmann is aware of this, and has even joked about how some characters will never get any arcs.)
  • Rage Against the Author: In one comic, the Author Avatar gets into a fight with one of the characters over a particularly awful pun.
  • Raging Stiffie: There are multiple comics with visibly tented pants, though the only erection-based humor is here.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • Thonnen Turunen is raped by order of her Evil Matriarch grandmother Rajah Jensen in order to preserve the Turunen bloodline. The rapist, Valae Jensen, only does it because he needs the money to save his daughter, who is dying of an unknown disease. When his daughter dies, he reveals himself to the family elders, Rajah is disgraced, and the family falls apart.
    • In an arc of the author's other comic "At the Heart of It All", Joel is institutionalized for apparent schizophrenia and sexually abused by a doctor. Recent revelations in the main comic show that this is in fact his canonical backstory.
    • Then there's Artie's incident with Chelsie — technically, since Chelsie is a small child with bipolar-related hypersexuality and Artie was in a trance, both of them were raped by Joel, who arranged for the incident to happen. Borderline example, since Artie is clearly traumatized by the incident and it turns out to be related to the Evil Plan, but the deeper implications on his psyche aren't brought up in much detail and it's often brought up again for a gag strip.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Valae
  • Remember the New Guy?: Characters just seem to sort of appear out of nowhere with the presumption that we should know them, with no proper introduction at all except for them being suddenly added to the cast page — Joel's ex-girlfriend from France who suddenly exists, the purple-haired crossdresser, the guy with multiple personality disorder, Nicole's dad, the girl who wants to be a human. Some of them are cases of All There in the Manual; Joel's ex Chloe was introduced in a "Concession Chronicles" blog entry, Zoe, Clarissa, and Clive had this trope lampshaded in their introduction. The fact that "Concession Chronicles" is no longer linked to on the site makes this more difficult, especially for new readers, who don't exactly expect to go searching off the site to read blog posts to catch up with stuff that isn't properly mentioned.
  • Right Through the Wall: Artie and Kate engage in one of the few explicit sex scenes in the comic and are heard by Artie's very Squicked grandmother (page 146).
  • Salt and Pepper: Parodied with a fake advertisement for a movie titled The Black Guy, starring Chris Tucker as loose-cannon cop Tom Black and Bruce Willis as hardened ex-Agent Alex White. "So when they're teamed up, the results are surely hilarious! And not racist at all!"
  • Sex by Proxy: A rather horrible version happens when Artie uses his spiritual powers to literally Mind Rape Joel while having sex with Millicent.
  • Sociopathic Hero:
    • Joel, for a given value of 'hero'.
    • Later, Artie gives in to it after his girlfriend's murder, though afterwards he still works hard to save lives (especially from Joel). Getting called out by Matt helps him realize that he's on a dangerous slope, and that Melusine's ghost is not so different from Miranda's.
  • Slasher Smile: Joel sports a prime example here after being told by Millicent to smile to customers.
  • Snacksploitation: Naturally, being a webcomic initially about the staff of a theater concessions stand. In one comic, the manager stops a customer trying to sneak in a can of soda, and then three off-duty employees come in to see a movie carrying large grocery bags of food and he lets them pass, along with one employee's sister who doesn't work there.
  • Spirit World: The astral plane has been compared to the internet; locations within it seem to be created by the spiritually aware. And considering that most of the time it's shown so that the Villain Protagonist can Mind Rape someone...
  • Split Personality: Somewhat minor character Clive/Ernest. Clive is passive and straight, while Ernest is gay and rather assertive, which naturally makes for some rather awkward morning afters.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The comic has managed to shift the focus more towards characters who have little to do with the movie theatre, and towards Joel's ambitions and college life rather than stupid customers and the stuff at the concession stand. Admittedly, Immelmann knew of this, and actually put an arc that takes place at the concession stand back in, while still putting emphasis on Joel's revenge scheme as well. He also admits that most characters won't get arcs, and even jokes about it a few times. (It even says so in the "About" section to show you how aware the author is of the spotlight-stealing Plot Tumor.)
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Nicole hands over "Certainly not incriminating photos!" to Joel in exchange for "Not a dildo".
  • Tendrils of Darkness: Joel's astral form fights with shadowy Combat Tentacles.
  • Title Drop: Comic #200 is titled "Concession", though it's probably not the definition you might expect.
  • Trans Nature: Species change surgery is mentioned as a one-off joke. Much later, the minor character Clarissa is introduced; she considers herself a human trapped in an anthro hamster's body, so she shaves her fur and blunts her claws. She is on medication for depression, like many transgender people.
  • Transparent Closet: Matt. "You've been in denial. Everyone else has figured this out and has grown to accept it. Everybody but you." He has since accepted it, what with Joel and him being boyfriends and all.
  • The Treachery of Images: Parodied with Roland's art piece "This is a penis" — a painting of a pineapple.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Chelsie Warner suffers from gender dysphoria and was born "Charles" until her parents allowed her to start dressing and living as a girl. This itself isn't what's troubling, but she displays violent tendencies in her very first appearance by stabbing Artie in the eye with a crayon. She then rapes him when he's too delirious to know what's going on. It's later revealed that her hypersexual behavior is related to a form of bipolar disorder, and she joins a harem of preteen boys run by the practicing pedophile Kate, who specifically seeks out children with this disorder because she believes that allowing them to give in to urges which are already there doesn't count as abuse. The author points out that he knows that it does count, but Kate does not know that or refuses to believe it. Luckily, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows that by the time Chelsie's an adult she's transitioned fully to female and is much more mentally stable under the care of her adopted father, the local priest Father Tim.
  • Twincest: Rick and Kate, though this is not by any means the only way they are messed up. Joel's connection to his sister's ghost also seems to border on this, though she died too young for anything to really happen.
  • The Un Favourite: Joel's father preferred his older brother Julian and left him the entire company in his will. While the author claims these implications were just meant as gags, there are hints that his mother would have preferred a daughter; Joel's twin sister Miranda died when they were young, so it's possible he feels his mother would rather he had died. According to Joel, the situation is even worse; he was so traumatised by the death that he was put in a mental hospital. While there, Joel became convinced that their older brother Julian had killed Miranda and their parents thought Joel had done it. Understandably, he's severely messed up by the time the main storyline starts.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal:
    • Artie wakes up to discover he has engaged in inappropriate acts with hypersexual preteen Chelsie Warner while in a brain-tumor-induced — or, as it turned out, Joel-induced — trance, and confides in his boss:
      Artie: But honestly, I'm not sure what disturbs me more... the fact that this happened, or the fact that Chelsie is actually a boy.
    • The appropriately named "It's a Trap!" happens during an occasion where Joel, Matt, and Aaron "Nicole" O'Connor meet with a crude ursine associate of Matt's who initially believes Nicole is a girl after Joel introduces them. Needless to say, said ursine friend is moving to kick Joel's ass when he finds out the truth of Nicole's gender.
  • The Un-Smile: Joel. Millicent really should have seen it coming when she told him to smile for the theater's customers.
  • Vagina Dentata: Predator is invoked with the resident ghostly abomination here.
  • Vapor Wear: There are a few cases of miniskirts without underwear (not necessarily worn by females), as well as some evidence that Artie goes commando (#90 and #150, links mildly NSFW).
  • Vengeful Ghost: A good part of the plot appears to be influenced, directly or indirectly, by the ghost of Joel's sister Miranda. After Melusine's murder, she too comes back as a vengeful ghost, probably influencing Artie avenging this "honor killing" on the entire Dolphin community.
  • Villainous Incest: Nicole's dad Thomas is a supervillain and also regularly has sex with his son. In an odd variation, the comic shows this as if it's a positive thing.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Joel. Artie is just some secondary character that just happens to be in the way of his Gambit Roulettes. Joel later develops into more of an Anti-Villain due to Matt's influence.
    • After recent events, Artie may very well be one as well. While there's no evidence that he caused that oil tanker to crash into the dolphin city (just motive), according to Matt, he did.
  • Virginity Makes You Stupid: Matt almost seems to gain 20 IQ points after hooking up with Joel. Most likely related to how badly closeted he is before then.
  • Wham Line: Revealing not only that all spiritually aware characters (not just Joel) have Medium Awareness, but also that the comic's events will soon reach a climax.
    Father Tim: Is the webcomic coming to an end?
    Joel: ...Yes.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Finally delivered to Artie by Matt. It helps him realize that he's treading a dangerous path.
  • Where Are They Now: According to the epilogue, Kelly will become the first furry mayor of the city, and Thonnen's daughter Naomi the first reptilian President. Also, Nicole takes over his father's supervillain career. Closer to home, Chelsie is officially adopted by Father Tim and fully transitions by the age of eighteen, and they dedicate their lives to stopping the evil spread by Joel and Matt.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Some aspects of Joel's plan fail, but not all of them, and he has back-up plans — until the climax, that is, at which point the loose ends of the plan make it all fall apart.
  • You Got Spunk!: In this episode, Joel compliments Millicent this way after she slashes at him with a knife while he intimidates her: "I love a woman who puts up a fight."

Top