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Webcomic / Cyanide and Happiness

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Orangeshirt: I wonder what twisted shit will happen to us in this comic?
Greenshirt: I bet a pedophile is going to come in and rape a dead guy.
Orangeshirt: ...or a superhero who has seizures will appear and try to save us from certain doom!
Greenshirt: Orrrrrr a guy will appear and treat his girlfriend like crap?
Orangeshirt: ...or one of us will mock the other for having AIDS!?note 

Cyanide & Happiness is a daily webcomic strip at drawn and written by three separate people. It was begun by Kris Wilson originally, but after showing his work to some members on the forum several others joined in the fun: Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, and Matt Melvin (who has since left). They have no shame in exploiting extreme Black Comedy, Literal-Minded-ness and affinities for the most hilariously controversially awkward situations known to webcomickind. Their comics involve the exploitation of simply-drawn stick figures for all they're worth.

Dark, cynical, offensive, irreverent... and we're just getting started.

After over six months of absence from the site, Matt Melvin finally announced on August 31st, 2014 that he was no longer a part of the comic due to unspecified reasons. A post (archived) from the Explosm site blog followed a couple days later providing further details, as well as expressing thanks for Matt's contributions to the comic and wishing him luck on his future endeavors. In October 2014, Matt started work on a new project, titled "The Last Nerds on Earth", although the only installments were uploaded that month. He has also begun streaming regularly on Twitch.

    Other Media 

Cyanide & Happiness contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parent: The kid in strip 905 gets slapped by his dad after making a Dr. Seuss reference. In addition, the dad also yells at him to eat his food, and reminds him that his name is Billy, and not Sam.
  • Accidental Athlete: The "Waiting for a bus" short. This being Cyanide & Happiness, the trope is Deconstructed. It starts out with a man running for a bus that he missed, but the bus driver reveals that he can't go under 50 mph, lest the bus explode. The man then realizes that he's running at 50 mph, and that he doesn't need to take a bus since he can run that fast. He starts a successful career as a track runner, but gets in over his head when he signs up for the Indy 500 and loses. He goes into a depression afterwards, eventually dying. The bus driver comes to his tombstone to pay his respects only for his bus to explode.
  • Adult Adoptee: Defied in this Depressing Comic Week strip. A man and a woman ask a middle-aged man how they can adopt orphans, and he says that he's not an employee, he's one of the orphans. He asks them if they'll adopt him. They just leave without another word, much to his dismay.
  • Alt Text: Zig-Zagged. If you look at the URL for the images, many have fairly mundane names like "Bear" and "Debate" but several have jokes in the names.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: This comic. Green shirt describes Freud's theory that "every man wants to sleep with his mother", to which blue shirt comments that Freud's mother must be over a hundred years old, and thus, undesirable to every man.
    • It also happens here. Green shirt says he'll "tear [blue shirt] a new asshole", but he instead ends up crying into blue shirt's butt.
  • And I Must Scream: Played literally in this strip, even having the Alt Text reference the Trope Namer. It starts with green shirt running up to yellow shirt, revealing that he's somehow missing his mouth. Yellow shirt then says this in response.
    Yellow shirt: "Come on, man. Just say it."
    • Poor Larry just so happened to be in the hospital with a full body cast at the time that the Delberry Dismemberer went on a killing spree through said hospital. Since he was in a full body cast, the Delberry Dismemberer didn't bother killing him like Larry wanted.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: In this strip, a member of "The Goldfish Liberation Army" comes and smashes a fishbowl into the ground. He cries tears of joy thinking the flopping fish's flopping is "beautiful"
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In the video short "Junk Mail", the protagonist becomes rich and popular when the spam e-mails he responds to turn out to be legitimate. Then he gets a chain letter about a vengeful poltergeist, and he bizarrely assumes that this particular e-mail must be fake. Predictably, he dies.
  • Art Evolution: Yes, in a stick figure comic:
    • Kris's figures started out as being tall with has generally gotten shorter in height with relatively large heads in comparison (see first comic). By 2008 the body has shortened considerably (such as this comic) and has remained largely remained unchanged as of 2013.
    • Rob's figures in his first comics (example) had more of a rhomboid face before steadily becoming rounder and flatter with time. As with Kris's drawings, Rob's had largely developed into his signature format by the end of 2008 remaining the same for the next five years or so.
    • Matt's first comics started out in a similar fashion to those of Kris's. Diverging occurred within the first two year, with the dot eyes becoming short vertical dashes by mid-2006. The bottom of their torso's turned from round to square in November 2008 (before/after), have a few changes (before/after) and progressively shortened afterwards. For the record, this is the last comic he drew for the site.
    • Dave's initial comics could be considered a mixture of the first three at first. However his figure's torsos turned square in August 2005. The comic style at the topic of this page (done in 2007) and more modern comics (such as this one in 2013) have remained largely unchanged, although the eyes got a bit larger around 2010 and have gotten smaller since then.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Implied in this strip, where the last panel shows colored orbs in space two billion years in the future while the first two showed humans
  • Ass Shove: Taken just about as far as it's possible to go in "Pull My Finger". After pushing someone's finger in, the man's ass sucks in the entire building around him.
  • Ate His Gun: Played literally in this strip. A man on death row asks to eat the assault rifle to be used for his execution
  • Bad Boss: Ted bear's producer fires him because he refused to eat his own penis.
  • Balloon Belly: Literally. After getting a tattoo of a deflated balloon on his belly, he eats a lot to inflate it.
  • Bathtub Mermaid: Parodied in one strip, where a mermaid dies after being put in a bathtub due to it not being saltwater.
  • Beat Panel: In this strip, it is used to sell Blue-shirt processing someone cloning themselves just for a pun.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: An attempted costume fails when the sheet isn't clean.
    • There are some bedsheet ghosts that aren't even costumes are in these comics like 4097, 4081, Don't Go To Space, 3341, 4090, and 2693.
    • A trick-or-treater can be shown wearing it in strip 4093. The costume reminds a woman of her son who died of an overdose.
    • Played with in 706, where someone dresses up as a vampire wearing a ghost costume.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: A man on death row asks for a peanut butter sandwich for his last meal. He yells "PEANUT ALLERGY, BITCHES!" as he dies.
  • Black Comedy: Pretty much every other strip deals with this.
  • The Blank: After being told "not to make any faces" for a family photo, the child's face disappears in this comic.
  • Blessed with Suck: One of the resident superheroes, Seizure Man
    • And Mind Fuck. All he does is ejaculate whenever he sees a woman.
    • Sword arms aren't as great as you might think. He mutilates his penis trying to pee.
  • Body Horror: A man gives birth to piranhas, bleeding all the way with fins sticking out of him
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: After learning that Hitler was secretly gay and Jewish, a man buys a Dreidel Butt Plug for his birthday here.
  • Breast Expansion: In 1198, a woman's breasts slowly expand while giving a long monologue.
  • Brick Joke: Waiting for the Bus begins with a bus that must always go over fifty miles per hour or it will explode. A man accidentally learns that he can run over fifty when trying to keep up with it and becomes a famous jogger. After his death, the bus driver slows down next to his grave and explodes.
  • Broken Echo: In this strip, a man notices the cave he's in has an echo and eagerly shouts "I love you!", expecting to hear it back. After a moment of silence, the cave instead replies "Echo... echo... echo..."
  • Bungled Suicide: Sad, Sad Larry is chock full of them. He first jumps off a building only to land in a pillow truck. He then tries to suffocate himself in the car, but his parents walk in on him to have sex. Finally, he ties a noose to a ceiling fan causing the roof to collapse on him. He survives with everything in his body broken.
  • Burn the Witch!: In 3694, people burn a witch by roasting (ie: making fun of) her.
  • Calculator Spelling: In this strip, a news presenter announces that a nuclear bomb has killed more than five million people, with a counter displaying the text "5138008 DEAD". Then the sign rotates and the presenter is amused at how it spells out "BOOBIES".
  • The Cameo: The most brief of ones. In Barbershop Quartet Hits On Girl From Taxi, pay very close attention at the 6 second mark - a bus goes by, and the 50 MPH man is running beside it (he's on the far side, but if you pause at exactly the right time, you can see the top of his head).
  • Canon Character All Along: The time-traveling best friends along with their original counterparts end up having to fight every single iteration of themselves from 2008 to 3000, most of which are simple copy-pasted characters and nothing more. When the fight ends in 2019, there is only one survivor in blue, heavily implied to be the purple-shirted eye stabber sent back in time after his shirt has been completely soaked in blood.
  • Chirping Crickets: Exploited by one guy who wants to kill those crickets.
    First Guy: What's up, naked guy with a shotgun?
    Naked Guy With A Shotgun: Damn crickets are keeping me awake, so I'm gonna find and kill every last one of them.
    First Guy: I can see why the shotgun would help. But why are you naked?
    Naked Guy With A Shotgun: They only chirp during awkward silences. Grab my ass really quick.
    Naked Guy With A Shotgun: DIE, BITCHES!! *fires shotgun several times*
  • Comically Missing the Point: Stick-figure ignorance is how most of the other squick-related tropes come into play.
  • Continuity Nod: The guys in this comic are the same as the ones who found Jesus here.
    • In season 2's 'Too Many Superheroes," all of the superheroes from previous shorts are brought back.
  • Counting Sheep:
    • A variation in this comic: an angry punk calling people "sheep" ends up putting himself to sleep.
    • Another comic has someone misinterpret their friend's suggestion of counting sheep due to Ambiguous Syntax. Naturally, the sheep end up keeping him awake with their counting.
  • Darker and Edgier: "Depressing Comic Week", a week where the guys take a more serious approach to subjects they would usually play for laughs.
  • Dinner Order Flub:
    • In one strip, a character orders some "lesbian cuisine." The waiter informs him that they have Lebanese cuisine. He needs some time to cope.
    • In another, the character points to a sign and requests his "free wife." The waiter informs him that it's "free Wi-Fi."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ted Bear is willing to do a lot of revolting, embarrassing and cruel things (such as letting people think he died) for the sake of his show, but even he is horrified when he is ordered to 'eat his own penis' on camera.
  • Exact Words: In one strip, a man discovers a magic lamp and frees the genie inside, who promises to grant him three wishes. The man immediately requests more wishes, and the genie explains that each djinn can only give three to a the man happily wishes for more genies instead. Cue several lamps and color-coded genies manifesting, while the first one curses at his own stupidity.
  • Fright-Induced Bunkmate: Here, we see a ghoulish cyclops appear over someone's bed... because it had a bad dream and needs someone to sleep with.
  • Go Fast or Go Boom: The short Waiting for the Bus is framed around this concept. 50 MPH Man discovers his abilities after the bus driver explains that his bus is in the exact same "Bus rigged to blow if it moves slower than 50 MPH" scenario featured in Speed. After his death, the bus driver from before stops at his memorial field to mourn him... only for the bomb to finally go off.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Purple Shirted Eye Stabber finds himself homeless and without meaning in life...then aliens with massive eyes land on Earth attacking humans. He got to work immediately.
  • The Hero Dies: several shorts (like ''Drunk", end this way) The 50 Mph Man, the protagonist of "Waiting for the Bus". How he died? After his life spirals out of control, he goes to a jogging track, brings himself up to full speed and runs headlong into a wall .
  • It's What I Do: In this strip, a woman mentions that she's a full-time mom. The person she's speaking to asks "Who'd you fuck to get that job?", which normally is an insult, but here there's a perfectly good response to it — "My husband."
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Characters reacting badly to silly puns is the basis of a few strips, like this one.
  • Last Request:
  • Lighter and Softer: To a degree, the Uplifting Comic Week series is a counterpoint to the Depressing Comic Week series, with themes also being dark and serious but delivered in a wholesome and heartwarming manner such as this strip.
  • Literal Metaphor: In this comic, a depressed burglar hears that "every cloud has a silver lining" as encouragement not to give up on his dreams. He then goes and steals the silver linings from clouds.
  • Loser Protagonist:
    • Sad Larry of the Sad Larry shorts. Nothing ever goes right for him, he's constantly depressed, and he wants to die but can't.
    • The protagonist of the Depressing Bowling Ball week too. It gets to the point the entire universe gets rid of him.
  • Kinky Role-Playing:
    • Parodied in a strip where a man named Charlie wants to try role-playing with his wife... but he wants to bring in a woman named Sophie to role-play as his wife.
    Charlie: C'mon, Sophie's career really needs this.
    • In one strip, a woman role-plays as a nurse with her lover being her patient. She promises to make him feel "all better," and he asks if he has insurance. She assures him, "Full coverage." This is enough to make him climax.
    • A woman wants her lover to role-play as a bus driver who slows the bus down to a stop... because it's the only way she can get off.
    • One woman has her husband act out her ideal fantasy: he role-plays as a doctor telling her that her husband is dead.
    • A man tells his girlfriend to act out the scene from Return of the Jedi with Leia and Jabba the Hutt. Much to his displeasure, instead of dressing up in Leia's gold bikini, she dresses up as Jabba.
  • Manly Facial Hair: In one strip, two characters are comparing their manly mustaches. One of them has a mustache that is so manly, it can flex itself like flexing arm muscles.
  • Mood Whiplash: The New Year's time travel series of comics is usually humorous, but one of them is part of a Depressing Comic Week. It's fairly jarring. The next strip we see them in still has the dog's blood on the time machine.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: This strip involves Blue shirt showing off the apps on his smartphone to Green shirt. Green shirt asks if there's an app that can "make [him] shut the hell up," to which Blue shirt says that there is, demonstrating it on Green shirt. Green shirt's mouth is then stitched up, and Blue shirt keeps showing off his apps.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Subverted. Two men fighting over a girl kill her to solve the problem instead.
  • No Mouth: Comics drawn by either Kris or Dave feature characters with no mouths when they're not talking.
  • No Sympathy: Ted Bear doesn't want to bite off his penis for the sake of his show. Nobody else cares. He asks why they don't just use effects. The producer demands he do it live on camera or he's fired.
  • Not His Blood: Played for Bloody Hilarious in this strip where a character throws up blood only to add that it's not his.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Wardrobe has the pedophile expressing this when the kid remove his disguise to show a lion(another costume/disguise).
  • Origami Gag: In this comic, a blue shirted guy confronts a green shirted guy for destroying his origami swan. Green shirt threatens blue shirt by saying he'll "rip him a new one," to which blue shirt thanks him. Green shirt then holds up a new origami swan in the last panel, which blue shirt admires.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • "Ow, My Dick" has a guy screaming somebody hurt his dick for the entire duration of the episode (four minutes) and there isn't even a satisfying punchline.
    • Mocked in "Ted Bear 3", where he suddenly appears and shows the entire video, and then again in slow-motion. All as an April Fool's joke.
  • "Pulling Out Scarves" Trick: One strip plays this for Black Comedy by having a clown go for a proctology exam that involves the doctor pulling a long string of scarves out of his anus. A few scarves in, they turn red, which from the doctor's reaction appears to be the clown equivalent of a bloody stool (i.e. not a good health sign).
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The 50 Mph Man and his wife dress accordingly, as do their children (one son and one daughter).
  • Prisoner's Last Meal: A prisoner about to be executed requests a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as his last meal. As he eats, the officer presiding calls him a monster and says he's going to enjoy pulling the lever that kills him. The prisoner says that's not going to happen, yells, "PEANUT ALLERGY, BITCHES!" and dies, much to the officer's outrage.
  • Prosthetic Limb Reveal: Parodied in a skit about an old sailor who tells a tale about how he wasted his life hunting for the elusive buttshark. He claims that the buttshark took his butt, among other things. When the listener mockingly questions this, the sailor turns around to reveal... peg legs in place of his buttcheeks.
  • Reincarnated as a Non-Humanoid: In this strip where a man finds a genie and wishes to be reincarnated as Jessica Alba's panties. Whilst he gets his wish, things don't exactly go to plan.
  • Right Through the Wall: Subverted - despite his neighbor's assumption and complaint, this guy just really liked the ramen he was eating.
  • Running Gag: Tons.
    • Every depressing comic week contains something getting killed by a car.
    • "Did someone say [X]-off?" Followed by two characters trying to outdo each other at whatever [X] is. Inevitably led up to this.
    • Random superheroes with unusually specific powers/themes.
  • Sailor Earth: Parodied using Captain Planet and the Planeteers as an example here. Looks like adding Death to the five-element ensemble wasn't a good idea, after all.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Said verbatim to a man in this strip, regarding his family. Subverted in that the implied threat goes completely over his head and he instead treats it as a sincere compliment, despite the obvious shadiness of the man who said it.
    "What a nice thing to say!"
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: In this comic, one character gets distracted by the implications of the expression "a bat out of hell".
  • Stable Time Loop: A dark example in this comic where a character goes back in 2019 to prevent the COVID pandemic, and start coughing as his machine starts.
  • Take That!:
  • Tempting Fate: Played with in one strip where a man is warned that chewing ice is "super bad for you", and replies in an over-confident manner that "nothing bad's gonna happen". In fact, nothing bad does happen... to him. The nineteen soldiers killed in an IED explosion on the same day, on the other hand...
  • Trivial Tragedy: A cellphone dying was deemed worthy of a drop-to-your-knees-crying-and-rage-at-the-heavens level of grief, followed by a funeral and burial surrounded by mourners (and in the rain for added pathos).
  • Too Dumb to Live: A guy finds out that every spam email on his phone was real, including the ad that allowed his penis to instantly grow as long as he was tall. After enjoying wealth, finding out he has an African prince for a brother, and having his new endowment, he gets a chain mail saying it will kill him. However this one is not beneficial to him so he deletes it thinking its fake. Despite everything that just happened to him, with predictable results.
  • Unishment: A father, annoyed at his children's repeated "Are We There Yet?", threatens to turn the car around. When he actually follows through with his threat, it's revealed they were heading home from Disneyland... so now they're heading straight back there.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal:
    • In this comic, a guy's date rips off "her" own wig to reveal their identity as "Secret Man" and fix a flat tire. Secret Man's date then drives the car, leaving Secret Man alone.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: These guys aren't terribly excited about catching a glimpse of Superman.
  • Visual Pun: In this comic, a guy laments the lack of beer with "Aw man". In the next panel, a superhero with 'AW' emblazoned on his chest touches down...
  • "Wash Me" Graffiti: In this strip, a vandal writes "wash me" on a dirty car, but gets caught in the act by the owner, who proceeds to wash the vandal in the shower.
  • Who's on First?: This strip, a direct reference to the original sketch, beginning with "Whoa! Who's over there getting to first base with your girlfriend?"
  • Wishing for More Wishes: In this strip, a character successfully bypasses the three-wishes-per-genie rule by wishing for more genies.

"Oh crap! Are we late!?"
"Quick! Think of something offensive!"