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Cyanide & Happiness is a daily webcomic strip at explosm.net drawn and written by three separate people. It was begun by Kris Wilson originally, but after showing his work to some members on the sticksuicide.com 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.

In 2013, a full animated series based on the comic, named The Cyanide & Happiness Show, was successfully funded on Kickstarter, and began airing in 2014.

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A top down apocalyptic Battle Royale Game developed by Galvanic Games and Explosm Games, Rapture Rejects was released in 2018.

Kickstarter campaigns were held for games with 63,758 backers giving $3,246,588 for Joking Hazard and 55,024 backers giving $3,538,065 for Trial By Trolley based on the Trolley Problem.

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 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. Matt has since started work on a new project, currently titled "The Last Nerds on Earth", and has also begun streaming regularly on Twitch.

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A Cyanide & Happiness video game, titled Cyanide & Happiness - Freakpocalypse, is set for release in summer 2020 on the Nintendo Switch.


Cyanide & Happiness contains examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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..."
  • 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: Hey Naked Guy With A Shotgun! What're you doing?
    Naked Guy With A Shotgun: Hunting crickets.
    First Guy: Isn't that a bit much?
    Naked Guy With A Shotgun: Nah, they only come out during awkward silences. Now, grab my ass!
    Naked Guy With A Shotgun: AARGH! *fires shotgun several times*
  • 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 awake with their counting.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ted Bear is willing to do a lot of revolting, embarressing 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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 ask's why they don't just use effects. The producer demands he do it live on camera or he's fired.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Wardrobe has the pedophile expressing this when the kid remove his disguise to show a lion(another costume/disguise).
  • "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.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The 50 Mph Man and his wife dress accordingly, as do their children (one son and one daughter).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...

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