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Webcomic / Cucumber Quest

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Almond: Awesome! I've always wanted to fight a real monster.
Cucumber: I haven't!

Tomorrow's the first day of school at Puffington's Academy for the Magically Gifted and/or Incredibly Wealthy, and Cucumber's all packed up to move in. Before he can tuck into his last dinner at home, a letter arrives: Cucumber's father, Lord Cabbage, has been kidnapped and imprisoned by the henchmen of the evil Queen Cordelia, who plans to Take Over the World! Despite being meek and studious and having a little sister who probably would do a better job, saving the world is strictly the duty of Cucumber. Cucumber sneaks into the Caketown Castle dungeons to speak with his father, who tells him Cordelia's plan: to amass the Disaster Stones and awaken the Nightmare Knight! Cabbage tells Cucumber to meet with the Dream Oracle, who will grant him the legendary Dream Sword, an invaluable weapon against the Nightmare Knight.

And so begins Cucumber's quest.

Cucumber Quest is a webcomic by Gigi D.G. of Hiimdaisy fame, and reads like a snarky love-letter to classic SNES-era video games, presented with a Paper Mario-style sense of humor. It can be read here.

Has a slowly filling character sheet. Put character-specific tropes there.

Spinoff Works:

  • Cucumber Dressed (2015): A fashion artbook collecting illustrations of the characters in various outfits.
  • Game Masterz (2017): A zine about Noisemaster and Rosemaster running a Let's Play channel.
  • The Rise and Fall of Super Peridot (2019): A minicomic about Peridot and the Nightmare Knight.

The comic has spawned some detailed Fan Work, among them a (now discontinued) fan dub made by the same people who made Welcome to... and So This Is Basically... and complete with soundtrack(Rar file), a music album (made by the same person behind the Ruby Quest album), a fan game in the style of Ace Attorney, and a Spanish translation.

On July 3, 2019, Gigi announced a significant revamping of the comic's format, stating that due to a myriad of factors in their personal life, they no longer have the time or energy to continue the comic in its original form. Consequently, following a lengthy hiatus, the remainder of the comic's story will appear in the form of an illustrated script.

Cucumber Quest demonstrates examples of:

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    A to C 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Sir Tomato really fancies Princess Parfait, but she already loves Carrot and is disgusted by Tomato's behavior. Even Bacon agrees with her which got him kicked out of the BLT trio.
  • Abusive Parents: Cabbage sort of toes the line with this trope; while he does have a few kinder moments and helps the gang out on occasion, Cabbage does things to Cucumber that a good father wouldn't do, such as putting a drab cucumber flower on Cucumber in chapter 3 just to watch the beauty pageants (including his own younger daughter, Almond) beat him up, snidely dismissing Cucumber's wishes to go to magic school and pressuring him to go on a quest he doesn't want, and generally putting Cucumber down for not being the heroic son he wanted, while favoring Almond.
  • Accidental Misnaming: The Dream Oracle calls Cucumber a bunch of names other than his real name, Although she may have been confusing his name with the names of some of the previous Legendary Heroes.
    Dream Oracle: Listen, Zucchini—
    Cucumber: Cucumber.
    Dream Oracle: Camembert, that's what I said.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Every Disaster Master's defeat so far has been rather hard on them. Splashmaster loses a game he can't stand a chance in, Noisemaster plain gives up after his weapon fails and doesn't even try, and Mutemaster decides to follow Noisemaster, since they're always together. Rosemaster knows that the Masters' efforts are doomed to failure, but is at least able to end the battle on her own terms and Go Out with a Smile.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Parodied with Tomato, who whines over a paper cut.
  • Alternative Calendar: A glimpse at characters' journal entries shows that they list months and years with wingding symbols, although the days are numeric.
  • Alliterative Family: Cabbage and Cucumber, father and son. And possibly Calabash if they're descended from him instead of Walnut, of their great-great-unknown-greats ancestors / Legendary Heroes pair.
  • All There in the Manual: Gigi's Tumblr, formerly. Later, their (now deleted).
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Hocus Crocus is a type of flower rumored to multiply anyone's magical power by the number of years it took to bloom. Since a Hocus Crocus ordinarily blooms every year, this is effectively useless. But Cucumber happens to arrive in the Flower Kingdom at the same time a Hocus Crocus of 2 years has bloomed. Rosemaster sought its power to defeat the heroes, while Glitchmaster planned to use it to usurp the Nightmare Knight. Rosemaster initially agreed to give the Crocus to her, but upon obtaining it, decided to use it for herself.
  • And This Is for...:
    Almond: This is for sinking our boat! This is for kidnapping me! And this is for being a jerk! And this is... for being bad at limbo?
  • April Fools' Day:
    • Cuke or Die II: Cuke Harder.
    • The following year, not only was everyone in the current strip and the overhead banner altered into Bacon lookalikes, but all the portraits on the Characters page were redone and given new commentaries from Bacon's point of view.
    • 2014 gave us Kukobu Quest, the equivalent of the strip if it was done by a 14-year-old weeaboo girl (complete with painful in-text Unicode emoticons).note  Once again, the character profiles were redone to fit the new theme, and we got the first two pages and the Chapter One title page done in the same style as well (although page 2 is incomplete).
      "Welcome to Kukobu Quest, my new webmanga! n_n;; It follows the story of a boy named Kukobu who leaves his hometown of Cupcake to visit his father, only to learn that he’s been captured by the evil Lady Cordelia, who plans to take over Doughnut Island, and soon all of the Dream Islands! (Oh noes!!!1 XD)

      Kukobu learns that the only way (according to his father, who’s one pencil short of a Crayola pack in most cases, O_o) to stop Cordelia is to defeat her with a legendary sword. Kukobu’s quest lands him in the forest in search of the sword, but just as he finds it, it’s stolen by Satu, TEH MASTER THIEF wanted worldwide! And so the story actually begins. W007! XD

      No critiques please!"
    • In 2015, the author posted fake character cards, among them being cards for the orange crabster, the Blueberry Mailman, and a joke Noisemaster card that had nothing on it but a grave stone inscribed with "RIP-So ill they put me in a hospital". Ouch.
  • Arc Villain: The Disaster Masters serve as these for every kingdom the heroes visit - Splashmaster was fought in the Ripple Kingdom, Noisemaster and Mutemaster in the Melody Kingdom, Rosemaster in the Flower Kingdom, and Quakemaster in the Crystal Kingdom.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: After Almond gets confrontational about a previous encounter that went south, Cucumber shuts her down:
    Cucumber: Almond, calm down—
    Almond: Shut up! I guess EVERYTHING is just MY fault, huh?!
    Cucumber: Yeah. I guess so. If you hadn't treated this like a game back when we had the chance to prevent it, we wouldn't even be here at all, so, yeah. I guess it is your fault.
  • Art Evolution: Compare page 12 to page 264 — and compare again with page 535. In general, the art started out as with more fluid characters, and rougher edges, almost crayon-like, and are now more streamlined and smooth. For another example, compare the old profile cards to the new ones, or even the old volume covers (see main image) to the newer versions.
  • Art Shift:
    • Cabbage's explanation of the background of the Nightmare Knight is accompanied by a shift to paper cutouts.
    • A presumably less deliberate example: some stylistic elements like the crayon-style outlines are used inconsistently from page to page.
    • The paper cutouts appear again in Princess Nautilus' explanation of the Disaster Masters.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: A lot of the characters have some kind of character design element that is perfectly in line with their name. For example, Bacon's hair is wavy and greasy and looks like bacon while Peridot's is boxy and resembles green gemstone.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite their constant sibling squabbles, Almond and Cucumber's reunion during the battle with Splashmaster is genuinely adorable and heartwarming. Later on, after Carrot convinces the Nightmare Knight to spare Almond and Cucumber, and Almond admits to Cucumber that she was afraid that he was going to get himself killed, it's absolutely heartrending.
  • Bad Boss: The Dream Oracle made Chardonnay her errand girl while she kicks back and watches TV, and she could do nothing but suppress her feelings. When she's far away from her boss, Chardonnay does not mince words.
  • Band Land: The Melody Kingdom, sporting features such as a treble clef tower and a range of harp-shaped mountains.
  • Beach Episode: Starting in earnest here, with all present cast members morphed into swimsuits for the duration.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A bear "attacks" Carrot when the baker sisters ask him to retrieve some special sugar. His name is Grizzlygum, and he has no teeth or claws.
  • Beary Friendly: Turns out Grizzlygum's actually just doing his job as Gumdrop Forest's guardian (Guarding the Oracle's "private woods"). He doesn't like to hurt people, he was only going to give Carrot a stern talking-to, and is quite welcoming after finding out that Cuco is the legendary hero.
  • Behind the Black: Somehow, the group failed to notice the real Commander Caboodle Bound and Gagged in the corner of his spaceship in the Chapter 2 interlude.
  • Be Yourself: In Chapter 2, Nautilus provides some helpful advice to Panpipe, who was bullied in school for being a nerdy kid.
    Nautilus: You can't make the world like you, Panpipe. All you can do is be true to your heart. And then, some people still won't like you! Ever! ...But if you like yourself, it's really not so bad.
  • Big Good: The Dream Oracle is touted as one for Dreamside as a whole, and appears to be the closest thing to a "God" that Dreamside has. She sealed the Nightmare Knight away thousands of years ago, and she sets Cucumber on his quest to get the dreamsword and collect the disaster stones. Though it's gradually subverted as she's revealed to be rather rude, dismissive, and lazy, which causes all who see her in person to lose faith in her. It's also saying something when Gigi herself sarcastically notes that purple would be a good color for her in response to the Dream Oracle lying about the purple shield that suddenly appeared over the Melody Kingdom, and purples are usually associated with Nightmare Knight.
  • Bigger Stick: Cucumber becomes significantly more helpful in a scuffle upon gaining a better wand.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Cucumber delivers one as Sir Tomato brings his sword down on him.
    • Carrot gets one when Splashmaster takes and snaps his spear.
    • All of the main characters (minus Nautilus) do so when it's revealed that Cosmo's driving the Sea Train.
    • Bacon when Tomato kicks him out of the squad.
    • Princess Piano when it looks like Nautilus has been blasted by Noisemaster.
    • Almond gives one when she is about to fall into the void Nightmare Knight created.
    • Hilariously, Peridot gives one in the Chapter 4 interlude, when Nightmare Knight makes her a warm purple jacket to wear before they leave for Silver Studios, and it completely clashes with her outfit.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Uttered by Peridot when accused of gatecrashing the Flower Kingdom beauty pageant just to see Almond.
  • Bloodless Carnage: While fighting the Splashmaster, Almond cuts off two of his tentacles, then slices his entire body in half. Instead of blood, there's an explosion of light and water.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The Dream Oracle rushes through the end of Chapter 2 and cuts off the narration after a rather unsatisfying ending.
    • In the prologue, Almond rushes to attack, exclaiming that "We haven't had a decent fight this whole chapter!"
  • Breather Episode: What Chapter 4 ends up being, thanks to Thebestmaster providing no real threat to our heroes and Cucumber and Almond beginning to patch things up with each other. It's also more lighthearted than the previous chapter.
  • Briar Patching: Splashmaster falls for it beautifully.
  • Broke the Rating Scale:
    • Cabbage's Jerk stat is at least 6 stars out of 5, and it shows in his character.
    • Splashmaster's Attack is also over 5 stars.
    • The Nightmare Knight's stats break the rating scale in EVERY category!
  • Broken Pedestal: The Dream Oracle is played up to be a wise and all-knowing mentor figure for the heroes, as well as the Big Good for Dreamside, but the more Cucumber's party interacts with her, the more her unsavory traits start coming out, such as her dismissive rudeness, her willingness to take credit for something someone else has done, and her using Chardonnay like an errand girl. As a result, everyone who meets her starts losing respect for her. Carrot speculates her involvement in the cycles, and Chardonnay leaves her job for good.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Cucumber and Almond, with Almond cutting everything in front of her while her brother supports her with his magic.
  • Burning with Anger: Peridot is so frustrated over her slip-up here, she appears to be breathing fire.
  • But Thou Must!: Everyone's response to Cucumber's attempts at Refusal of the Call. Played for drama, as it forces a lot of responsibilities and expectations on poor Cucumber (who only wanted to go to magic school), and it perpetuates the Vicious Cycle the Disaster Masters and the Nightmare Knight are trapped in. Cabbage and the laughably incompetent Dream Oracle aren't helping matters.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Cordelia in this exchange with the Nightmare Knight, in which she is so confused that she doesn't know anymore what she wants from him.
  • Call-Back:
  • Calling Your Attacks: Almond loves to do this, having been influenced by cheesy TV shows.
    • In chapter 3, Caboodle subverts this by calling an attack as a feint, only to not attack. "Just kidding."
  • Cardiovascular Love: Heart Symbols are used to represent love, like how Peridot's crush on Almond is represented by one.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Put on the Sea Train by Cosmo. It was hidden underneath the snack cart where Nautilus and Carrot were eating.
  • Celestial Deadline: Every 5000 years, the Nightmare Knight and his Disaster Masters will appear to terrorize Dreamside, necessitating a Hero to defeat them. There doesn't seem to be any particular reason for it; that's just when it happens.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While it's hard to pin the exact moment, Noisemaster almost destroying Trebleopolis after rejecting Cucumber's peace offering is when the series stops being a lighthearted adventure and both the heroes and villains start taking a critical eye to everything that's happening.
  • Character Development:
    • Due to being pushed into the "Legendary Hero" quest instead of going to magic school, Cucumber started off behaving quite meek and reluctant to fight, preferring to come up with logical solutions to things. Gradually, he becomes more assertive, and begins seeking to resolve the entire conflict through kindness and break the endless cycles that left the Nightmare Knight and the Disaster Masters trapped in misery.
    • Sir Carrot starts off as a chivalric and well-meaning Failure Knight whose common sense is often overridden by his crippling cowardice, causing him to become The Load as he's unable to contribute in most combat situations. But in Chapter 3, thanks to Parfait's letter, the Nightmare Knight's intervention, and receiving a boost of magical love and faith from Parfait, Carrot gains his courage and transforms into a Magic Knight who's able to impress Rosemaster with his newfound skills.
    • The Nightmare Knight was initially an Omnicidal Maniac that wanted to consume Dreamside during the first cycle, but seeing everyone celebrate his defeat caused him to develop feelings he didn't have before. In the second cycle, he tried offering peace to Calabash and Walnut, but Calabash's distrust caused the Nightmare Knight to give up and continue being the villain of Dreamside. Yet despite his deepest desires, he can't break out of it, causing him to become cynical and weary. He also grew too attached to his Disaster Masters, who he initially created to help him carry out his villainy, and needs the fear of Dreamside to keep them alive. The kidnapping and imprisonment of Princess Parfait led to Nightmare Knight befriending her, and is gradually opening up.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
  • Chiaroscuro: The night view of the castle
  • Color-Coded Stones: The 8 Disaster Stones have each a color, symbol and element.
  • Color Motif: Anything related to the Nightmare Master tends to colored with a starry purple such as the barrier that shielded the Melody Kingdom from the Noiseblaster, the chest containing Parfait's desserts and her letter, and the knocked-down gate at Intermezzo Wall.
  • Cooking Duel: Princess Nautilus challenges the Splashmaster to a limbo duel.
    Cucumber: Uh, Nautilus, I kind of think we have more important things to—
    Nautilus: NO, CUCUMBER
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Nightmare Knight's choice of punishment when Bacon stands up to him in the chapter 4 interlude? Make her deal with Peridot, who's in full Fangirl mode. Bacon doesn't mind in the least, though, and thinks it's touching.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Disaster Stones, which, if all gathered, can be used to resurrect the Nightmare Knight. Almond ignoring Cucumber's advice to destroy one of them in Chapter 1 caused the adventure in the first place.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Deconstructed. A lot of the events in the story happened because Almond decided to give Nightmare Knight's orb to Peridot in Chapter 1, ignoring Cucumber's advice to destroy it from the get-go. It's later brought up in Chapter 4, where Cucumber bitterly informs Almond that it is Almond's fault that the whole Nightmare Knight conflict started.
  • Crystal Landscape: The Crystal Kingdom, despite being a Hailfire Peaks land, is filled with and made out of crystals. Fittingly, its king, queen, and princess are named after gemstones.

    D to G 
  • Dating Catwoman: Almond (a hero) and Peridot (a villain) have a rivalry with romantic tension. After being bested by Almond in their first encounter, Peridot becomes fixated on beating her and develops a crush, which takes the form of Tsundere behavior and concern with looking cool in front of her. Almond, meanwhile, enjoys teasing her. They enjoy facing off against each other and become friendlier over time, while still maintaining their rivalry. Peridot's romantic interest is very blatant; she'll go beet-red and turn into a flustered mess. Almond's is usually a lot more subtle, but is also apparent, such as the two blushing at each other with hearts around them when bonding over a common interest. Also, the moment Peridot realizes Rosemaster's Unpersoning power has caused Almond to forget her, she immediately destroys its vessel.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gigi, constantly in their author notes. Also Peridot, Almond, what little we've seen of Saturday, the two cake ladies, Saturday's butler...
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the prototypical video game villain archetype: a scary monster that desires world conquest and constantly comes back no worse for wear no matter how many defeats or setbacks they suffer, such as Bowser and Ganon. Cucumber Quest takes that concept and applies realistic consequences to it: the Nightmare Knight and his crew have been defeated almost a hundred times by this point, and one of the main goals of the comic is examining the physical and psychological effects so much defeat can have on somebody. The Nightmare Knight simply doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore, and is stuck trying to make sure Dreamside fears him while secretly preventing his Disaster Masters from causing any real damage. The Disaster Masters, meanwhile, showcase varying reactions to their predicament (Rosemaster hates hurting innocents, Quakemaster worries about his physical health, Noisemaster has grown to resent the Knight for his failure to lead them, etc.), but there is one constant: they are sick and tired of losing, and are willing to do absolutely anything to finally score the sweet taste of victory.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • The heroes run into some trouble trying to cross over Intermezzo Wall after their blimp is attacked by an odd haze that washes out the comic's color and prevents the contents of their speech bubbles from being seen, symbolizing that everything has suddenly fallen silent. Later on we find out this is because of Mutemaster. His power is to freeze everything around him by turning them monochrome, and he uses it again against the heroes once Almond presses his Berserk Button.
    • A more comedic version happens to Peridot when they discover that Almond has no idea who she is, shattering her heart.
    • Red Filter of Doom version happens when Rosemaster absorbs the Hocus Crocus and attacks.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Has Saturday really managed to steal that much?
    Cucumber: Don't... tell me all of this [pile of treasure] was stolen from Caketown Castle.
    Carrot: Don't be ridiculous! All of that [even larger pile of treasure] was stolen from Caketown Castle!
  • Distinctive Appearances: The rabbit-people have different ear-styles depending on what kingdom they're from:
    • Doughnut Kingdom: Plain, rounded ears that stick straight up.
    • Ripple Kingdom: Rounded ears that are thinner at the base and bend outwards like a cartoon water splash.
    • Melody Kingdom: Bent at the top like a musical note.
    • Flower Kingdom: Round ears that typically have three round tufts similar to a blooming/fruiting cactus.
    • Crystal Kingdom: Squared-off ears, to resemble cut gemstones.
    • Sky Kingdom: Thick round ears that curl at the top like a stylized, swirly cloud. Gigi's concept art of Princess Sunshine also shows their pupils change depending on the time of day.
    • Space Kingdom (Assuming Cosmo's appearance isn't unique): Rounder/wider ears with crescent moons and stars.
    • Cordelia and Caboodle's have ears that are more cat-like, which is a tell that they aren't from Dreamside.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Peridot has a nightmare where Cordelia accuses her of being unable to be properly evil.
  • Double Standard: Satirized with the whole "Little sisters can't be heroes!" subplot. Traditionally, the younger sister of the Legendary Hero is the Damsel in Distress that he must rescue, but Almond decided to buck tradition and take up the sword, while her older brother, Cucumber, is the Non Action mage.
  • Driving Question:
    • What are the Nightmare Knight's motives? What is perpetuating the cycle? They were eventually answered in Chapter 3, when Glitchmaster reveals the truth to Rosemaster and the Nightmare Knight confesses to Princess Parfait in the Chapter 3 Interlude: The Nightmare Knight has been secretly sabotaging the Disaster Masters' efforts to take over Dreamside because he came to realize that he didn't have to be a villain, and that it was possible to change his ways and make peace with the people he was terrorizing. But he is forced to perpetuate the cycle because his own power relies on fear, and since the Disaster Masters were created by him, losing that fear would mean losing them, whom he came to see as his "children".
    • The Driving Questions are now: How will Cucumber end the cycle in a way that allows the Disaster Masters to continue on without thriving on Dreamside's fear of the villains? And how is the Dream Oracle involved in all this?
  • Drowning Pit: Splashmaster drags Nautilus and Carrot under the water, and even deflects the underwater breathing spell that Cucumber tries to cast on them to ensure that they drown.
  • Ear Ache: Page 442: Mandolin has his ears pulled by his mother, Lute for bullying Panpipe and causing the whole Legato situation to happen.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Almond's complaint of not having a decent fight for a whole chapter. While powerful characters still lean on the fourth wall (usually by Reality Warper powers causing Odd Shaped Panels or similar), it hasn't been outright broken like this since then.
  • Easily Conquered World: Justified; due to King Croissant's too-trusting nature and his low standards in knighthood, Cordelia was able to invade and conquer Caketown with the aid of a single Child Mage. Peridot turned the king and all the good knights save Sir Carrot to stone. The rest of the knights turned traitor.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Applies to every named character who lives in the Doughnut Kingdom, except for the Oracle. In a more specific example, Cordelia has a trio of goons named Bacon, Dame Lettuce, and Sir Tomato.
  • Elemental Powers: Zig-Zagged with the Disaster Masters: while each one of them is themed after elements (Splashmaster with water, Noisemaster with sound, etc.), they don't seem to actually have the elemental powers in question (we never see Splashmaster attack using water spells, and Noisemaster is only seen using laser blasts). Their Disaster Stones, however, do have these powers, as demonstrated when Cucumber uses the Stones with his wand.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Almost every single villain has at least one person that they genuinely care about and are adored by in turn, and noticing this is what gets Cucumber to start wondering if they can't come to a peaceful agreement. See Even Evil Has Loved Ones for specific examples.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Cordelia and Peridot seem attached, which can be noted when Cordelia is concerned if Peridot is hurt after she comes crying after being beaten by Almond, comforts her, and offers to watch some of her favorite show with her.
    • Noisemaster and the other Disaster Master of the Melody Kingdom, Mutemaster, were created at the same time and share a unique bond, a fact that's been amply demonstrated by their interactions, between how delighted Noisemaster is to see Mutemaster, the hugging, and how distressed Mutemaster looks when cradling an injured Noisemaster.
    • Out of the first four Disaster Masters, Rosemaster seems to have the closest bond with the Nightmare Knight, and expresses hope that he'll enjoy watching her latest scheme play out.
    • In Chapter 3, Rosemaster also expresses familial love to Glitchmaster. It ends up being an Armor-Piercing Response, as she's left with nothing to say in return, save for a relenting farewell.
    • As Princess Parfait learns, Nightmare Knight is only continuing to play the villain to keep the Masters alive, because they were all created by his power, which is fueled by Dreamside's fear of him.
    • In Chapter 5, Quakemaster is in a loving relationship with his right-hand man Obsidian.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the Chapter 1 interlude, even the Nightmare Knight is disgusted by the BLT trio's harassment of Princess Parfait.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The Nightmare Knight warns Cordelia that he is not one of her subjects, and advises her to watch her tone.
  • Evil Overlooker:
  • Evolving Credits: The artwork at the top of the comic's page has been changing as the story goes on.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: Parodied in The Rant on pages 381 and 390.
  • Expressive Accessory: The Oracle's wand-eyeball and turban-like head wear each make the same expressions her normal eyes do.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Cabbage. Well... not always, but he still fits the trope.
  • Face–Heel Turn: When Cordelia and Peridot took over Caketown and turned most of the knights into statues, the rest turned traitor and joined the villains' side, either out of fear or, in the case of the BLT trio, loose morals.
  • The Face of the Sun: Dreamside's Sun is Princess Sunshine's sentient hot-air balloon that has a really adorable face.
  • Failed Attempt at Scaring: The Forsaken Master is a Disaster Master who has the ability to make one's greatest fears manifest, but due to him constantly misinterpreting the fears of other characters around him, the attempts always fail to genuinely frighten people, and the protagonists treat him as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain.
  • Flashback Echo: Apparently this isn't the first time someone tried to make peace with the Nightmare Knight and a skeptic stopped them.
  • Flat World: Dreamside was revealed to be flat when we see a map of Dreamside in Saturday's hideout with the ocean ending off the sides like a cliff. When someone asked Gigi how this was supposed to work, they responded with "Wizards".
  • Fictional Counterpart: A bonus strip mentions a restaurant called Burg-N-Out, a punny reference to In-N-Out Burger.
  • Fission Mailed: Used as a joke to the audience in Page 375 on its website commentary and over twitter. The page depicts the Nightmare Knight tossing a wave of fire at Cucumber and Nautilus after Nautilus seems to provoke the final showdown early, with the author's note saying how much she enjoyed sharing the story. The following page shows that no, it isn't the end.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During Chapter 1, the reveal that Nightmare Knight has been resurrected and defeated 100 times before is foreshadowed by Splashmaster keeping tally of his boatwrecks. He says he's hoping to beat his record, referring to the 99 other times he's done this.
    • "Miracles tend to happen when you least expect them."
    • In Chapter 3, much of Rosemaster's plan relies on tampering with peoples' memories; several hints are dropped throughout the chapter pertaining to what (and who— namely, Aster, Sunflower, and Azalea) has been omitted. One case is a bit more subtle, and only pays off after the chapter's end; when Cucumber is asked where he obtained his wand, he can't answer, implying that he couldn't remember Saturday.
  • Freaky Electronic Music: Noisemaster is a villain who terrorizes the Melody Kingdom. Fittingly, in contrast to the kingdom's orchestra motif, he has the mannerisms of a rowdy DJ. His lair and weapons are covered in lights like those on a DJ's sound equipment.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Cordelia's wine is described in her second character portrait as "juice for grown-ups". This apparently extends to all alcoholic beverages in Dreamside, as Gigi even refers to beer as "malted wheat juice".
  • Functional Genre Savvy: Pretty much everyone besides Cucumber is this. They are all absolutely sure things must play out a certain way (ie. Cucumber being The Hero and using the Dream Sword to fight the Nightmare Knight) even when they make absolutely no sense (ie. Cucumber a rather rubbish hero and there are other, less exciting, ways to stop the Nightmare Knight).
  • Generation Xerox: Portrayals of past legendary heroes look nearly identical to Cucumber. A past legendary hero even had a little sister with the same Theme Naming as Almond. There are a few key differences however. All of the previous legendary heroes were courageous swordsmen. The current legendary hero, Cucumber, is a cautious wizard, whereas his little sister takes more after the role of the legendary heroes. Cucumber intends to avert this by breaking the cycle that's trapping the Nightmare Knight and the Disaster Masters in constant misery and defeat.
  • Glass Cannon: In Gigi's character stats, Almond and Splashmaster are each listed with 5 or more stars in attack, but only 2 stars in defense. It's justified with Almond, who's a little kid.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The semifinalists of the Princess R contest sport these when they're encouraged to "remove" Cucumber from the contest by Cabbage sticking a cucumber flower on him, despite Cucumber not actually being a contestant.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Saturday and her manservant Brambleby, who appear to be becoming recurring nemeses throughout the story.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Quakemaster, and possibly Mistmaster before him, when they discover that Nightmare Knight was sabotaging their own efforts.
  • Goth: Dahlia, semi-finalist in the Princess R contest, is called one on many occasions...
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Dahlia is also apparently a magician. She is the only one of the candidates who comes close to posing a threat to the rest when she's taken out by Peridot.
  • Growling Gut: Sir Carrot, and Nautilus, when looking at the snack tray on page 326. They forgot to eat before leaving on the seatrain. Staying behind was what allowed them to find Cosmo's bomb.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: A Lighter and Softer variant. The Nightmare Knight and Cordelia have shown that they are not as evil as a Spirit of Evil and a Tyrannical ruler should be. While the Oracle, the supposed Big Good, is apathetic at best, and several "heroic" characters like Cabbage have been portrayed as complete jerks.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Grizzlygum gets rather grumpy toward whippersnappers who trespass on the Dream Oracle's private woods. He doesn't want to hurt anyone though; just give them a good talking-to.

    H to J 
  • Hammerspace: Almond's pocket is where she keeps her sword, according to a bonus comic and page 333 of the comic proper.
    Cucumber: How...?
  • Heroic Second Wind: After falling off a cliff and going through a Heroic BSoD over his own cowardice, Carrot is given Princess Parfait's Love Letter by the Roselings. Reading how Parfait still loved him despite his faults gives Carrot the courage he needs, and he transforms into a Knight in Shining Armor just in time to fight Rosemaster and rescue Almond from her brainwashing.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Bacon takes over the website for April Fool's 2013, and modifies much of the site to resemble himself. Including the banner, the latest page, and the character page and their descriptions.
  • Hypocrite: Almond. She criticizes Cucumber's decisions to sympathize and help the villains, when the entire hero's quest happened because Almond willingly gave Peridot a Disaster stone, since she wanted to have an epic adventure instead of a quick solution that could get rid of the villains permanently. Cucumber eventually calls her out on her behavior, saying that if she hadn't treated the adventure as a game, no one would have to deal with the Nightmare Knight again.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Nautilus remarks that Cucumber has never been much of an actor. As The Rant points out, Nautilus isn't much of one, either.
    • In Chapter 3's bonus material, Carrot assures Cucumber that name-matching hair really doesn't matter, and reveals that King Croissant's "hair is actually a hat. Then Almond points out that Parfait's hair doesn't actually resemble a parfait, which gets Carrot on the defensive.
  • Identical Stranger: Steve, who looks oddly like the Nightmare Knight, but acts nothing like him at all.
  • Idiot Ball: The long-standing question of whether Almond's decision to simply hand over the last Disaster Stone because she felt the quest wouldn't be epic enough if they didn't was this, or simply the usual genre enforcement of the world. (Initially the latter, but boy did it get hammered in as the former.)
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Peridot refuses to give her name, but then immediately responds to Almond calling her by name.
    Queen Sapphire: Intruder! Who are you?!
    Peridot: Heh. I don't give my name to losers.
    Almond: [smiling and waving] Hi Peridot.
    Peridot: [taking off her hood and returning the smile] Oh hi Almond— [realizes] BAAAAAAH!!
    Almond: [smile unchanged] Loser.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue:
    Nautilus: I challenge you to a limbo duel!
    Limbo Group: Did someone sayyyyyyyyyyyy...LIMBO?!
  • Insistent Terminology:
    Nautilus: It's not a cell phone, Cucumber. It's a Royal Instrument of Summoning that's been passed down through my family for generations.
  • Instant Armor: The shiny suit of armor Carrot receives in Chapter 3 was the result of The Power of Love magically transforming his Caketown knight uniform into something else. It was intended to reflect his Character Development from a cowardly Failure Knight to a (literal) Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
  • Interrupted Cooldown Hug: Cucumber tries to just talk to the Nightmare Knight, and actually seems to be making some headway until Almond interrupts. Which also reminds the Knight of the last time someone tried to talk to him.
  • Ironic Echo: Are you not a knight?
  • It's Up to You: As much as Cucumber attempts to avert this, no one will let him off the hook about this world-saving business. Understandably, it gives him a lot of stress.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Lettuce has a crush on Tomato, but wants to help him win Princess Parfait's love because it'll make him happy. It would work better if Lettuce cared that Parfait doesn't want to be happy with Tomato.
  • Jerkass:
    • Tomato. He treated Bacon like crap and even kicked him out of the BLT trio for daring to suggest that Princess Parfait doesn't like him, and makes very unwanted advances towards Parfait, despite knowing her heart was already taken by Carrot. He nearly threw away Parfait's carrot pendant, but the Nightmare Knight stopped him out of disgust.
    • Cabbage, Cucumber's father. Despite having a few Pet the Dog moments, he borders on being an emotionally abusive father, considering how snide and dismissive he is towards his son for not being a hero like his ancestors, and constantly insults him in front of his favorite child, Almond. He also slapped a drab-looking cucumber flower on Cucumber during a beauty pagent, just so he could watch his son get beat up by Almond and the other contestants.
    • The Dream Oracle is gradually revealed to be rather rude, dismissive, incompetent, and lazy, and would not hesitate to take credit for others' actions to make herself look good. As a result, Cucumber and his friends in turn gradually lose trust in her and Chardonnay, her assistant, quits her job for good.
  • Jerkass Realization: In Chapter 4, after Cucumber gives her a What the Hell, Hero? speech about how the entire adventure was her fault, Almond realizes how hypocritical she is in dragging her brother into her actions and criticizing him for trying to make peace with the villains, so she makes amends with Cucumber and tells him that she'll support him no matter what he does.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Cucumber mentions it would make more sense to destroy the disaster stones twice. Sir Carrot even agrees with him. But the other characters think that's a boring idea, and are insistent on sticking to the genre. Almond even gleefully gives the last disaster stone to Peridot to prevent Cucumber and Carrot from breaking it, so that the villains can summon the Nightmare Knight. Cucumber eventually calls Almond out on this, pointing out that all the trouble in Dreamside could've been avoided if Almond hadn't been treating everything like a game or wanting to go on a fun, epic adventure.
  • Just Toying with Them: Rosemaster has the heroes outmatched for her entire battle, but never moves to finish the job. Only after the fight do we learn why: she never intended to win in the first place; once she's satisfied that she's given "the performance of her career", she concedes the fight and allows Carrot to put an arrow through her weak spot.

    K to N 
  • Kill the Cutie: Done with the villains funnily enough. Cucumber Quest has a tendency to make its villains into really adorable and playful losers, and the audience loves them so much because of it that they don't want the heroes to have to defeat the villains, or see them suffer.
  • King Incognito: Who would've thought that Princess Azalea was Saturday all along? And that Brambleby was Mr. R?
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • Carrot argues this; it's quickly undercut when Baguette retorts that the monster he was faced with had neither claws nor teeth.
    • Noisemaster admits defeat and gives up after having his base broken into, Mutemaster's ability being negated, being mangled by Liquus, and having his laser blocked by the Nightmare Knight's barrier. Quite the conga line.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The reason the ferry service wouldn't let them go by sea to the Ripple Kingdom. A giant squid (Splashmaster) attacked a cruise ship on the way there, and their boats were out of service because it was too dangerous.
  • Lady and Knight: Of the 'Bright Lady and White Knight' variety with Princess Parfait, the lady, and Sir Carrot, the knight. It's subverted in that while both Parfait and Carrot dearly love each other, Carrot is afflicted with crippling cowardice, which resulted in his beloved being captured and locked away by the villains. Eventually double-subverted in Chapter 3, when Carrot, after being encouraged by Parfait's love and faith through a letter, levels up to a literal Knight in Shining Armor, allowing him to become the knight he really wants to be.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The comic runs on this. Even the author gets in on it occasionally, when she isn't snarking.
  • The Last Of These Is Not Like The Others: With the set of things being visual and placed in a circle, it doesn't really fall specifically under any of the subtropes, but it's immediately apparent that the Disaster Stones have some sort of generic elemental theme, with the orbs having pastel colorings with symbols on them of a cloud, fire, water, flower, a music note, a musical "rest" symbol note , and... a pitch black orb with a bright red power on/off symbol on it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The Disaster Master parody in Punisher Pumice has three Masters with their identities hidden; Quakemaster with their form omitted, and the last two Masters devoid of name (due to the Punisher!Knight forgetting them) and a clear form. In-universe it can be chalked up to poor production, but at that point in the story three of them haven't been properly introduced.
    • From The Rant of Page 837 about both the comic and the Show Within a Show Punisher Pumice, because the comic had been going on for over six years by the publishing of that page on June 13, 2017. The comic had been running since April 3, 2011.
      Gigi D.G.: the real nightmare is this show running for 7 seasons.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Almond's solution to everything is run at it with her sword. Luckily for her, she has Cucumber and Carrot to keep her from running into danger. Eventually deconstructed when she unthinkingly interrupts Cucumber's attempt to reconcile with the Nightmare Knight, leading to them nearly getting killed.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: Nightmare Knight returns approximately every 5000 years and causes problems among the royal families, needing the current hero to stop him. And yet, the Dream Oracle and her servants are the only ones to remember this. Everyone else can only remember the very first time he attacked.
  • Level Ate: The entire Doughnut Kingdom is made of food. Even Princess Parfait's tea set is made of sugar!
  • Literal-Minded: The Forsaken Master takes common fears and interprets them extremely literally.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The main characters all have rabbit ears, but human bodies.
  • Loophole Abuse: Almond is allowed to enter the Flower Kingdom's competition because she's "technically a flower". She, Cucumber, and Carrot are susceptible to Rosemaster's influence under that same logic.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: How Cucumber's parents fell for each other. Cabbage tried and failed to protect Bagel from a group of bullies, who beat him up. But Bagel fell in love anyway because it was the thought that counted.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Carrot and Parfait love each other. Tomato loves Parfait, and Lettuce loves Tomato.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Page 313 shows off four diary entries written on the date [fish symbol] 18th, year ♥♪☺☆.
  • MacGuffin:
  • Mad Scientist: Cosmo is one, given that their inventions usually have pretty big consequences when put into use. They also point out people call them mad.
  • Magic Knight:
    • Despite being called the Nightmare Knight, the guy mostly uses magical attacks to intimidate and harm his foes.
    • Carrot post-Chapter 3 is a straighter example, using magical weapons in tandem with his fighting skill.
  • Make a Wish: On a shooting star. Accidentally.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
    • During the second interlude, Cucumber futzes around with his wand while the others are talking to the Dream Oracle—and with a "!" sees that he can equip the Disaster Stones to it for Power Copying. (He had done this by accident with Splashmaster's stone earlier, but this confirmed it.)
    • Cabbage can be seen taking the trophy and sneakily putting it in Almond's pocket on pages 590-591.
  • Medium Awareness: In the Prologue:
    Almond: We haven't had a decent fight this whole chapter! Put up your dukes, Grandpa!
  • Mega Manning: The wand Cucumber acquired from Saturday's stash of loot seems to absorb the abilities of defeated disaster masters, a fact which surprises even the Nightmare Knight.
  • Missing Mom: Princess Nautilus returns home to find that her mother was taken away by Splashmaster. Thankfully, she is rescued and returned.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The boss fight with Rosemaster is the darkest yet. She's much more powerful than the heroes, disables everyone but Almond, and then terrorizes Almond to the point where she starts crying and runs away. Then they see Carrot hiding and Rosemaster brainwashes Almond to attack him, driving him off a cliff. Then he falls into darkness, ruminating on being an utter failure. Then... he lands in the Guardener's garden, where the Guardlings are pigging out on the cakes, cookies and pastries left with Princess Parfait's letter, leaving Carrot totally dumbfounded.
      "hey dude"
    • The interlude after Chapter 3 has Peridot dreaming that she's finally marrying Almond, her totally-not-secret. Then it devolves into a nightmare as Cordelia appears and shames her for not acting like a proper villain.
    • Interlude 4 is mostly lighthearted, having the Nightmare Knight and Peridot visit the set of Punisher Pumice and some of the main cast finally catching up with Bacon, but the very end of it cuts to Carrot apparently defeated by Quakemaster.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
  • Never My Fault: When Cucumber calls Almond out for giving a Disaster stone to Peridot in Chapter 1 because she just wanted a fun adventure, Almond escalates the situation by trying to shift the blame on her brother, but Cucumber replies that yes, everything was her fault. She has no words for that.
  • no punctuation is funnier:
  • Noble Demon: Nightmare Knight doesn't approve of the BLT trio tormenting the princess when they're supposed to be guarding her room.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Peridot on this page.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The Guardener, whose nightmarish, nigh-Cosmic Horror-fying visage is a realistic rabbit's head. Funny, until the Guardener tries to use cartoony expressions with a realistic animal's face.
  • No-Sell: Rosemaster casually shrugs off Liquus' attack and Mutemaster's ability.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Extremely Specific and Pretty Much Completely Worthless Capsule Spell Machine grants Cucumber "the power to place a comically oversized bathtub drain on any surface." It proves surprisingly useful against Splashmaster, doubling as Chekhov's Skill. Zack Morrison of Paranatural demonstrates several potential uses for the bathtub drain spell in this guest comic, turning it into a Lethal Joke Item.

    O to R 
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: Glitchmaster causes this wherever she goes:
    • Even before she appears in person, she causes some ominous effects on, and seemingly outside of, Noisemaster's computer monitor.
    • And soon after, when she derezzes Cosmo.
    • When she reveals to Rosemaster that the Nightmare Knight has been helping the heroes the web address at the bottom becomes "cucumber.gigidigi.nononononononono", then it's in ALL CAPS, then it's "cucucucucucucucucucucumber.gigidigi.comcomcomcomc".
    • When Rosemaster decides to use the Hocus Crocus to fight the heroes herself rather than give it to Glitchmaster as planned, Glitchmaster is a screaming, glitchy mess, her speech font corrupting the comic pages themselves.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • This page actually uses the IPA phonetic alphabet.
    • All the Disaster Masters get their own custom-shaped speech bubbles. Splashmaster gets water drops hanging down from them, Noisemaster gets jagged ones (though they turn into regular speech bubbles when he drops his hype-man persona), Mutemaster gets cloud-like ones, Rosemaster gets flower stems around hers (that grow thorns when she gets angry) as well as the first letter of every speech bubble being in cursive (which get upgraded to a super fancy script when she's in her Crocus-powered giant mode), and Glitchmaster gets text boxes akin to old RPGs like EarthBound.
  • Parental Substitute: Cordelia is a loving mother to Peridot and spoils her rotten. Peridot loves her because she lets her do whatever she wants. Later on, the Nightmare Knight gets on it, acting like the stern father to counteract Cordelia's indulgence.
  • Perilous Play: Count Legato kidnaps the people of Organetto, and later Cucumber and company, and forces them to be extras in his "magnum opus", Prince Crescendo, which mainly consists of them singing his praises.
  • Perpetual Frowner:
    • Baguette's always frowning.
    • Brambleby's always silently frowning. He averts this with his 'Mr. R' alias.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Caketown's knights aren't exactly the proactive sort.
    Carrot: Oh, we in the Royal Guard have known about this tower for ages.
    Cucumber: You... have? Why didn't you ever come raid the place, then?
    Carrot: Well, it's such a long walk... And it's so hot...
    Cucumber: Never mind.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss: At one point Almond defeats Peridot by deflecting her petrification spell back at her with a sword, The Legend of Zelda-style, which she dodges, but falls off her broomstick/wand thing and is left disarmed in the process.
  • Pocket Dimension: The "Limbo Zone".
  • Poke the Poodle: Insulting Legato in any way gets you saddled with a bad role in his play.
  • The Power of Love: The catalyst for Carrot's Heroic Second Wind. The locket Carrot has is magically connected to Parfait's. When Parfait realizes that Carrot finally got her letter, she puts her faith in him, and the love they shared transformed Carrot into a Magic Knight with shiny, heart-shaped armor.
  • Prepare to Die: The BLT to Cucumber.
  • Pretentious Pronunciation: Peridot's name is Peri-DOH, not Peri-DOT.
  • Production Throwback:
  • Prolonged Prologue: The comic opened with a prologue and a "chapter zero" before finally starting chapter one over nine months into its run.
  • Pumpkin Person: Thebestmaster has a dark greenish jack-o-lantern for a head. Fittingly, his modus operandi revolves around scaring people, though he's not very good at it.
  • Punny Name: "Nautie". Don't call her that.
  • Puppy Love: Peridot's adorable fixation with Almond. She'll try to deny it.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The BLT Trio.
  • Rabbit Magician: The species of Bunny people featured possess magical abilities. Most notable is Peridot, who has the outfit and spellcasting abilities of a Witch Classic.
  • Rack Focus: Used in the first two panels of this page. As the Nightmare Knight turns to leave and Parfait turns to look at him, the "camera" appears to change focus from Parfait in the foreground to the Nightmare Knight in the background.
  • Rainbow Speak: Phrases occasionally show up in a colored font, adding to the video game feel.
  • The Rant: Each page usually has a facetious little comment underneath. When it's not there, you know things are serious.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Dream Oracle subverts this; as the Big Good of Dreamside, she's expected to be wise and all-knowing, but behind closed doors she's rather rude, dismissive, and lazy. The fact that she's disappointed about someone else defeating Nightmare Knight instead of someone from Cucumber's family implies something else.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Nightmare Knight's eyes glow closer to red when he's angry. They glow orange in chapter 2 when he's provoked by Nautilus, and they glow red when he was insulted by Cordelia. In the Chapter 2 interlude, Glitchmaster creates a hologram of the Nightmare Knight to communicate with the heroes; he has red eyes instead of yellow, and is significantly more ruthless than the real deal.
    • Rosemaster typically has Hidden Eyes but she shows one bright red eye while dragging her claws down the surface of a mirror.
  • Redhead In Green: Cucumber and Rosemaster, though the latter is a more literal example than most. Inverted with Peridot disguised as "Marigold" (actually orange but close enough).
  • Refusal of the Call: Cucumber thinks he's probably the least qualified person to save the world and wants to go to magic school and become a wizard. No one will have any of it.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder:
    • Cucumber absentmindedly wishes that he could know where Saturday is—and Saturday is immediately teleported right in front of him. Nautilus realizes what's up:
      Nautilus: We didn't see it, but a star must have passed by right when you made that absentminded wish just now!
      Cucumber: Huh?! If I'd known that, I would have made a good one!
    • In one of the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot segments, Cucumber is asked if he would ever act again, following his "performance" at Legato Manor:
      Almond: Picture this, Cuco: You and me on a big stage... me as the brave heroine, and you as the helpless damsel! It works, right?
      Cucumber: Wouldn't you have to carry me or something?
      Cucumber: That waSN'T A CHALLENGE
  • Role-Playing Game 'Verse: All significant characters have stat distributions on the site's Character page and Gigi had released inventories for Cucumber and Almond on their Tumblr. However, while the comic resembles an RPG in presentation and story, actual gameplay elements like stats or MP haven't made an appearance in the work itself.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Despite looking vaguely feline in appearance, there's nothing to suggest Cordelia is anything but an exceptionally pointy-eared rabbit, until Nightmare Knight outright says she's from another world. Cosmo, however, is a bit easier to recognize as being from the Moon.

    S to V 
  • Scenery Porn: Gigi's done some pretty, captivating backgrounds during their run of the comic so far. It really adds to the fantasy world the characters live in.
  • Schizo Tech:
    Gigi: Well...the people of Dreamside have television, electric lighting and space travel, but they’re still fighting with swords. I probably decided on this because I’ve always liked cartoons and comics that blend old-timey fantasy stuff with modern technology for the sake of humor or whimsy or whatever.''
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: "Puffington's Academy for the Magically Gifted and/or Incredibly Wealthy" would imply that to get in you need either magical skill or enough money for lack of skill to not matter.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Nightmare Knight. Being summoned and defeated again and again took a toll on him.
  • Serious Business: Limbo in the Ripple Kingdom. Heck challenge someone to a Limbo Duel, and they have a limbo dimension prepared so that they can "battle for limbo supremacy".
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: On the rare moments when the comic takes a more serious tone, Gigi has been known to stop providing witty commentary in The Rant, such as here and here.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • Cucumber and Almond (also a case of Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy)— Cuco is a thoughtful, somewhat cowardly mage, while Almond is a rash and headstrong swordswoman. For a more subtle comparison, look at their handwriting: Cucumber has very neat script handwriting, while Almond's looks like she used crayons.
    • Baguette bakes bread and is cynical and brash, while Tartelette bakes pastries and other sweets and is polite and pleasant.
    • Gherkin and his sister, Peanut, had the personalities of Cucumber and Almond, except reversed. In a flashback, Gherkin distrusts the Nightmare Knight and believes his offer of peace was a trap, while Peanut was willing to believe that the Nightmare Knight genuinely meant what he said/
  • Show Within a Show: Pretty Protector Punisher Pumice, a Magical Girl show that Almond likes. She's also a fan of Hyper the SpeedSword (a Captain Ersatz of Sonic the Hedgehog), but that one was cancelled after two episodes.
  • Similar Squad: Gherkin and Peanut, the original brother/sister pair who fought the Nightmare Knight, to Cucumber and Almond.
  • Single Tear: Shed by the pizza guys when Cucumber and friends reject the pizza guys' arrival.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Justified by the fact that Nightmare Knight created them in that order as he himself grew in power. Perhaps further justified by the fact that someone is manipulating events to make sure the heroes win.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: The heroes' travels through the various kingdoms of Dreamside seem to be following this order to a tee, at least so far. (Which is appropriate, since the comic is an affectionate tribute to the sort of games that traditionally employ such algorithms.) To date, they've started in their home village, traveled through the Donut Kingdom and its candy woodlands, then visited (in order) the Ripple Kingdom, the Melody Kingdom, and the Flower Kingdom. After a slight detour, they moved on to the Crystal Kingdom, and they seem to be headed for the Sky Kingdom and the Space Kingdom, before presumably facing the final one sense or another.
  • Speech Impediment: Grizzlygum has a lisp.
  • Spiritual Successor: Minus the fact that it's not a video game, the comic's tone, humor and plot make it a classic Paper Mario game in all but name. Gigi has stated that the first two Paper Mario games were a major influence.
  • Squee:
    • Queen Cordelia and Peridot share one after Peridot brings her the last Disaster Stone. It's surprisingly adorable after Cordelia had finished chewing out her henchmen and threatened to turn them into stone.
    • After she first meets Cucumber, Nautilus is elated when she gets to fill the role of his Mr. Exposition.
    • Peridot gets really excited in the Chapter 4 interlude when she gets to meet Bacon, who starred in her favorite TV show, Punisher Pumice.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • Cucumber suggests that he simply destroy the Disaster Stones instead of going on a long-winded quest. Cabbage panics and says it would make him the most boring legendary hero ever.
    • Cucumber does this again when he, Almond and Carrot are exploring Saturday's hideout for the Dream Sword and discover the last Disaster Stone. Cucumber considers holding onto it and not even bothering to grab the sword. Surprisingly, Carrot agrees with him, putting the safety of the kingdom over the adventure. Unsurprisingly, Almond finds that idea boring, which later proves disastrous in the long run, and earns her a bitter What the Hell, Hero? from Cucumber, who blames her for treating everything like a fun adventure.
    • Cordelia asks the Nightmare Knight why he doesn't just "defeat the hero yourself? Right now?" She narrowly escapes being punished for her insubordination.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Regarding Almond and her desire to be a hero: "When's the last time you ever heard of a little sister becoming a legendary hero?"
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Grizzlygum is a bear with no teeth, just gums. In short, he's a GUMMY bear.
    • The limbo zone. It's made for playing limbo, obviously. It's also a state of limbo.
    • Nautilus's Instrument of Summoning isn't a cell phone - because it's a shell phone.
  • The Storyteller: Princess Nautilis, as part of her role.
  • Stunned Silence: Happens in Chapter 3; after waking up from a nightmare about Cordelia, Peridot hears strange noises and wanders into the kitchen, where she finds the Nightmare Knight dressed in a pink cooking apron, making cookies. Cue awkward silence.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Legato's truly awful play Magnificent Prince Crescendo, most of which revolves around how beautiful the character he wrote for himself is.
    • The fourth Intermission has the Nightmare Knight and Peridot watch Punisher Pumice together again, and like the last times we see glimpses of the show it's everything you'd expect from a subpar Magical Girl Warrior series. But then the apparent Big Bad appears, and he's a terrible parody of the Knight himself and his Disaster Masters, with all of them Flanderized into hilariously stale caricatures of themselves (save for Splashmaster, of all people) and instantly defeated by Pumice. That fact that this kind of scene could happen at all makes the Nightmare Knight want to travel to Silver Studios.
  • Subverted Trope: Many, since Cucumber Quest is built around the idea of poking fun and even satirizing many hero fantasy tropes.
    • The Dream Oracle subverts the idea of a person being an All-Powerful Bystander and the Big Good who mentors the heroes and keeps the world safe. She's played up to be all-powerful and wise, but it turns out she's rather dismissive and rude, and constantly uses her assistant Chardonnay as an errand girl which causes her to quit the job for good in Chapter 5. She's also willing to let the heroes do the world-saving for her, and take credit for things others had done, and would rather watch TV instead of doing things herself. Her behavior causes her to become a Broken Pedestal for Cucumber and his gang, who gradually start to distrust her and her motives.
    • The Nightmare Knight, being the final villain the heroes must face in the end, subverts the Big Bad trope. He was once an Omnicidal Maniac, only caring for power and destruction, but seeing the people of Dreamside celebrate their first hero's victory caused him to gain a conscience. He tried giving the Legendary an offer of peace in the second cycle, but the Hero's distrust caused him to assume that there's no hope for him or the Disaster Masters. Countless cycles of being summoned and defeated again and again made him grow sick of it all, but he must continue being the villain because losing Dreamside's fear of him would result in the Disaster Masters dying, as they thrive on fear in order to live.
  • Sugar Bowl: The comic's world is notably VERY reminiscent of Candy Land.
  • Suicide by Cop: How Rosemaster goes out. Even with Carrot's love-powered transformation, Rosemaster could've chosen to wipe the floor with him, but instead takes a magical arrow to the chest to spite Glitchmaster.
  • Supreme Chef: Later, Nightmare Knight is revealed to be one, having taken up the hobby after he became curious about Dreamside. Discovering this is what allows Peridot to bond with him.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Almond gets hit with this hard at the end of chapter 3 and throughout the beginning of chapter 4. Sure, a grand adventure to save the world might sound fun from an observer's perspective, but actually being in one requires the person to experience the suffering of all the hardships that those people have to go through. This especially gets hammered in when Cucumber bluntly states that Almond could have avoided all that suffering if she actually considered this from the beginning, instead of just giving the villains the Artifact of Doom that they needed to kick start their evil plan just because she wanted to go on a "fun" adventure.
      • Similarly, her criticizing Cucumber for trying to make peace with the Nightmare Knight comes off as hypocritical when she's already on friendly terms with Peridot, who's also a villain. After Cucumber calls her out, she has a Jerkass Realization and later tells her brother that she'll stop nagging him about sympathizing with the villains and she'll support him no matter what.
    • As mentioned above, Nautilus spent so much time reading and studying history that she often forgot crucial information until it's too late, exasperating her friends. To counter this, Nautilus keeps a diary with her so she wouldn't forget what she learned.
    • Carrot's cowardice caused his friends to lose faith in him a few times, and came to a head in Chapter 3 when Rosemaster exploits Almond's shock and heartbreak at seeing Carrot cowering behind a bush by manipulating her into believing that cowardice made Carrot a villain, so she could brainwash Almond. Fortunately, a sweet Love Letter and The Power of Love gives him the confidence he needs and transforms him into a Magic Knight.
    • The Count Legato incident in Chapter 2 happened because Mandolin, the mayor's son, bullied the nerdy Panpipe at school behind his mother's back, driving Panpipe to try taking revenge against his tormentor when he finds the original Count Legato's contact lens. When Mayor Lute finds out, she is furious.
    • Being defeated again and again by the heroes can inflict a severe toll on one's psyche as shown with the case of Nightmare Knight and the Disaster Masters. The Nightmare Knight wants the cycles to stop, but can't because not being feared means the Disaster Masters will die, so he results to sabotaging the Disaster Masters' plans in secret so no lasting harm could come to Dreamside. The Disaster Masters themselves end up taking desperate measures to take over or destroy Dreamside, either because they lost faith in Nightmare Knight as a villain, or they also want the cycles to stop.
    • Heroes often take their time on their quests, only saving the world and defeating the villains at the last minute. Noisemaster decides to do things differently and destroy Trebleopolis with his Noisecannon right then and there before the heroes could do anything... until the Nightmare Knight directly intervenes by summoning a protective barrier.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Nautilus tells Cucumber to be on his guard, as Splashmaster could be anywhere. Gigi's end-of-page text discusses it:
    But you haven’t hit a save point yet, so I think you’re okay.
  • Take That, Audience!: The footnote at the bottom of this comic is likely a subtle jab at the kind of people that pester Gigi Digi about continuing Hiimdaisy.
  • Take Your Time: The Timed Mission to stop Noisemaster's Kill Sat is played with in two ways:
    • Parodied:
      I'm so very sorry, but there's really no time left! The Noise Blaster could fire at ANY SECOND! what I've been saying for a few hours... but the truth is it seems to have stopped charging at 99%.
    • Deconstructed:
      Heroes, man. Think they can mess around, maybe take care of some sidequests, roll in here at the last second like it's all cool. This ain't new. Know something, Cucumber? You were right. I am sick of the same thing. That's why this time, there's gonna be some changes.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Cucumber tries this on Noisemaster. It doesn't work.
  • Talk to the Fist: Tomato wastes his time boasting at Almond. She takes the opportunity to whack him in the face.
  • Theme Naming: The theme varies based on the kingdom.
    • Doughnut Kingdom: Foods. Princess Parfait, King Croissant, Cucumber, Almond, Carrot.
      • The names of the known Legendary Heroes and their sisters also have a theme: The hero is named after a gourd (Cucumber, Gherkin, Calabash), while the sister is named after a nut (Almond, Peanut, Walnut)
    • Ripple Kingdom: Sea life. Princess Nautilus, King Kelp, Queen Conch.
    • Melody Kingdom: Music and musical instruments. Princess Piano, Queen Cymbal, King Clarinet, Lute, Panpipe.
    • Flower Kingdom: Flowers and other plants. King Aster, King Sunflower, Princess Azalea, and Rubus Brambleby.
    • Crystal Kingdom: Gemstones and other minerals. Princess Ametrine, Queen Sapphire, King Ruby, Peridot, Obsidian.
    • Sky Kingdom: Weather and types of clouds. Princess Sunshine, Cumulo Puffington.
    • Space Kingdom: Presumably celestial bodies and other space-related terms. Cosmo is the only citizen of the kingdom known so far.
    • The only character this doesn't seem to apply to is Saturday, and it's implied that's not her real name in her character profile on the comic's website. Her real name, Azalea, fits right in with the theme of her home kingdom.
  • This Cannot Be!: Cordelia pulls this one off after Splashmaster's defeat, and the Nightmare Knight lampshades it.
  • Threshold Guardian: The BLT squad. Grizzlygum.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Bacon gets a standing ovation! And why wouldn't he? His performance as Witch-Queen Xylophonia was amazing!
  • Timed Mission: The entirety of Chapter 2 quickly turns out to be one after Noisemaster reveals his plan to destroy Trebleopolis with a space cannon he calls the Noise Blaster. It's already charged to 33% by the time Cucumber and his friends even know it exists.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The fourth Intermission has the crew of Silver Studios immediately raise them in fear against Gary, the actor portraying the Nightmare Knight, after his costume breaks and he reveals himself as the Guardener from the Rose Kingdom.
  • Training from Hell: How Nautilus became a "limbo master"
  • Trapped in Villainy: The Nightmare Knight. He doesn't want to be a villain, but he has no choice but to perpetuate the cycles because he doesn't want to lose his "children", the Disaster Masters.
  • Twinkle in the Eye: The contest contestants here.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Here and here.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Princess Azalea and Mr. R turn out to be the real identities of Saturday and Brambleby, respectively.
  • Unsound Effect:
    • Doors closing with the sound effect "shut" appears to be becoming a minor Running Gag.
    • Readers of Hiimdaisy will already be familiar with the all-purpose sound effect "PFFT."
  • Unusual Ears: The Dream Oracle's resemble membranous wings.
  • Vague Age: Gigi has stated a couple times that pretty much all the characters have vague ages. Cucumber and Almond are "just kids", Almond's "a slightly younger kid", Carrot is an adult, etc. You can read all about it on Gigi's Tumblr and on the trivia page.
  • Valley Girl: Arguably Lettuce, and Tulip of the Princess R contest.
  • Verbal Tic: Baguette has a tic, man. Tartelette does too, hon. Lettuce, like, probably counts, too. As does Crabbro, bro. As well as the Crabsters, see?
  • Verbal Backspace: Cucumber does an impressive one while being introduced to Princess Nautilus:
    Cucumber: Oh, or how about I call you Nautie for sh—
    [Nautilus glares at him]
    Cucumber: about I call you Nautilus.
    Nautilus: That would be wonderful!
  • Vicious Cycle: It's revealed that the Nightmare Knight has been summoned every 5000 years or so. His legend is 500,000 years old, which means he's been sealed and summoned again 100 times.
  • Villain Decay: In-Universe and related to Vicious Cyclethe Nightmare Knight's constant resummonings have left the heroes despairing with no known way to permanently stop him, but the villains also take it as a sign that they can never win. Demonstrated with the Disaster Masters:
    • Noisemaster had lost faith in his leader because of this trope, and tried to leave some mark on the world, only to be foiled by the Nightmare Knight himself.
    • Rosemaster's conversation with the Nightmare Knight is about how they seemed so powerful when they started, but now they were just going through the motions. Rosemaster herself lost her drive for victory (finding it pointless to torment innocent Dreamside denizens whom she had no personal quarrel with), but pushed herself anyway under the assumption that it would help the Nightmare Knight get out of his Villain Decay.
  • Villainous Crush: A rather obvious one from Peridot, on Almond. Supported by Word of God, and lampshaded by Cabbage very publicly here.
  • Villainous Friendship: An apparent type I between Cordelia and Peridot, as well as an Intergenerational Friendship.
  • Violence is the Only Option:
    • Double Subverted with Saturday in chapter 1. It seems like they're going to have to fight her for the dream sword - then she hands it over, because she thought it was fake when the sword wouldn't come out of it's scabbard. Then she gets upset when she learns that she's stranded far from home and starts attacking, only to be flattened by a spaceship out of nowhere.
    • A tragically straight example with the Nightmare Knight. He doesn't want to terrorize Dreamside and be defeated over and over again, but he has no choice but to keep doing it because he needs the fear to keep his Disaster Masters alive.

    W to Z 
  • Wall of Blather: Grizzlygum, complaining, gets this.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 2:
      • Noisemaster's plan to destroy the Melody Kingdom is sabotaged when the Nightmare Knight directly intervenes by erecting a purple barrier to protect it.
      • Glitchmaster shows up in Nightmare Knight's form and nearly kills the heroes by hurling them towards Dreamside's sun.
    • Chapter 3:
      • Rosemaster usurped the true rulers of the Flower Kingdom, King Aster and King Sunflower, and put everyone with a flower-related name under her Mass Hypnosis.
      • Rosemaster actually doesn't want to be the villain because she didn't want to hurt innocent people who had no grudge wit her, but is bound to her role and wanted to defeat the heroes to break the Nightmare Knight out of his funk. While she's angry her "father" betrayed them all, she's mostly pleased that he did so.
      • The Nightmare Knight was initially an Omnicidal Maniac driven by instinct to destroy, but seeing everyone celebrate his first defeat caused him to develop feelings he hadn't before. When the hero Gherkin refused his offer of peace, Nightmare Knight gave up and continued terrorizing Dreamside because he felt trapped in his role. He also grew attached to his Disaster Masters, but because they're living extensions of his own power, they will cease to exist if Dreamside no longer fears the Nightmare Knight.
  • Wham Line:
    Chardonnay: We just have to be sure every hero is clear on this stuff, y'know?
    • Also done straight from the author herself:
    • When the Nightmare Knight reveals that he's only playing the ultimate villain so he can have enough power to keep the Disaster Masters alive.
      Nightmare Knight: Losing my reputation, giving up this role as Dreamside's enemy ... would mean losing the power to sustain them.
    • During Intermission 3:
      Mr. R: Listen darling. People here know me as Mr. R — but the "R" is short for my real name, Rubus. Rubus Brambleby.
  • Wham Shot:
    • From Page 470: The blast from Noisemaster's cannon being stopped by a starry, purple force-field...
    • Page 637: Carrot has finally gained his courage, and has upgraded into a Magic Knight with a shiny set of armor.
    • Page 680: The strange noises Peridot heard in the kitchen was actually Nightmare Knight making cookies.
    • An in-universe example in Page 840: Bacon's character, Pancetta, performs a fatal Heroic Sacrifice for Punisher Pumice by Taking the Bullet with "Nightmare Knight"'s attack, and all hope seems lost... until Pancetta is revived through The Power of Love as another magical girl, Punisher Pancetta. Peridot reacts as one would expect.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • The Nightmare Knight gives one to Cucumber in Chapter 3 after Rosemaster is defeated, assuming that he and the heroes would treat Rosemaster's Disaster stone like a trophy to parade around like one would a corpse. This influences Cucumber's decision to give it to the Roselings instead, who are happy to look after her.
    • Cucumber gives Almond one in Chapter 4. As much as it pained him to say it directly, the entire hero's quest could've been avoided if Almond hadn't treated everything like a game by giving Peridot the last Disaster stone or messing up Cucumber's attempts to offer reconcilation to Nightmare Knight. But nooo, she just wanted to go on a fun adventure. When Almond escalates the situation by trying to shift the blame somewhere else, Cucumber replies that yes, it really is her fault. It makes Almond realize what a Hypocrite she was, so she resolved to stop it and support Cucumber in breaking the Cycle no matter what.
  • Widely-Spaced Jail Bars: Cucumber's dad's cell. Lampshaded in the description text.
    What do you mean, I could probably slip right through the bars? I know you can’t tell, but I’ve gained a lot of weight in here, son.
  • Weird Sun: The sun of Dreamside is basically the cheerful sentient envelope of a hot air balloon piloted by a princess.
  • Wine Is Classy: Cordelia in this bit of artwork.
  • A Wizard Did It: How a flat planet physically works.
    Wizards, wizards, wizards, wizards, wizards, wizards, wizards, w
  • World of Snark: Pretty much every named character has some snarky moments, whether it be as a Deadpan Snarker or another type of snarker.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Exotic hair colors are commonplace among Dreamsiders. Their hair will often be the shape and color of the thing they're named after; for example Cabbage's hair resembling a cabbage, or Peridot's box-shaped hair resembling green gemstones.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Tomato threatens Almond, saying he has no qualms about hitting a girl. Almond never gives him the chance.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: On the other hand, Carrot refuses to fight Almond even if she did nearly kill him, because he recognizes that Rosemaster made her Brainwashed and Crazy. So he only restrained Almond with a magic arrow to keep her from fighting before moving on to Rosemaster.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Carrot's spear was bent by Splashmaster when he tried to rescue Almond. He apparently found it again, and fixed it, or he got a new one before they left the Ripple Kingdom since he had it again later.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Cuco would very much like to avert this trope by preventing the Nightmare Knight's summoning, but the enemy—and even some of his allies—are determined to have it played straight. The fact that Cucumber is the only one who even considered the possibility of this trope being averted really plays into his role as Only Sane Man. Apparently averted in the past, when Cabbage was nearly named the hero.
  • You Mean "Xmas": According to Word of God, Dreamside has some of the same holidays as our world, but by different names. For example, Halloween is Candy Corn Day, Christmas is Candy Cane Day, and Valentine's is Bouquet Day.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope: Many, since Cucumber Quest is built around the idea of poking fun and even satirizing many hero fantasy tropes.
    Gigi: I don’t think Cucumber Quest is subversive in any revolutionary way; I’d just call it a story about people who are bad at filling the roles they’ve been assigned by others. Sometimes in funny ways, sometimes in difficult ways.
    • Both Cucumber and his sister Almond play with the Kid Hero trope. Cucumber wanted to go to magic school, but his parents and the Dream Oracle forced him to go on the heroic quest solely because of his Heroic Lineage, and spends most of the story feeling understandably freaked out by the things he encounters. Almond on the other hand is enthusiastic with going on an adventure and being a hero, but despite her skill in swordsmanship, she's still a naive kid who's way in over her head, and her strong Black-and-White Morality foiled Cucumber's attempts to reconcile with the Nightmare Knight, and nearly got herself, her brother, and Carrot killed. Not to mention, as Cucumber pointed out, the only reason why they're all going in the first place was because Almond was dumb enough to give Nightmare Knight's orb to Peridot, for the sake of having an epic adventure.
    • Sir Carrot plays with the Knight in Shining Armor trope, in that while he has the behavior and chivalric ideals, he's actually not cut out to be a knight because of his crippling cowardice, and all of Caketown's knights are little more than glorified servants of the king anyway. His cowardice even led to Princess Parfait's capture and imprisonment. He knows what his fault is, but he ends up running away more than he fights, causing a lot of problems for himself and his friends who are counting on him, and making him develop self-loathing for who he is. It's eventually played straight in the climatic battle against Rosemaster in Chapter 3; having been encouraged by Parfait's love and faith through a sweet Love Letter, Carrot gains the confidence he needs and lets The Power of Love transform him into a courageous knight, upgrading to a shiny suit of heart-themed armor and giving himself the ability to wield magic.
    • Nautilus plays with Ms. Exposition by often forgetting crucial information until it's too late.
    • Princess Parfait plays with the Damsel in Distress trope. Being betrayed by her own knights and having her father turned to stone by Peridot was bad enough. While in captivity, Parfait had to deal with constant, unwanted advances from Tomato and harassment from the BLT trio, which made her feel lonely and wanting for companionship as she waits for her true love, Sir Carrot, to rescue her. It results in her befriending the Nightmare Knight, who gradually grows fond of Parfait the longer he interacts with her.