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Webcomic / Goblins

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Thaco: We are not jumping off this roof to our deaths!
[long pause]
Thaco: We're jumping off that roof to our deaths. It's got a tree.

Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes is a webcomic written and penciled by Ellipsis "Elli" Stephens, note  and colored by her wife, Danielle Stephens (and later by Cheyenne Wright of Girl Genius). It follows the adventures of a band of, well, goblins, as they fight off evil adventurers. It's a role reversal of the typical adventure RPG Dungeons & Dragons, though familiarity with the game isn't required to understand what's happening.

The main story follows five members of a cannon-fodder goblin tribe (Thaco, Chief, Big-Ears, Complains-of-Names, and Fumbles) who decide to stop being cannon fodder and become Player Characters. A side plot follows a sixth goblin (Dies-Horribly) who goes on a solo adventure arc quite against his will. It features detailed world-building (including quite a few whole-cloth, background creatures with detailed biologies) and characterization, particularly of the villains. One of the goblin characters, Big-Ears, is a rare instance of a truly gentle, heroic and noble paladin, while the paladin status of the most opaque and brutal villain, Kore, thus far is one of the most foreboding mysteries.

The comic doesn't give its characters very long to get used to their newfound abilities as heroes. Goblins thrusts its main characters in over their heads almost immediately, locks them into a course of action they can't possibly handle, and then calls into play a series of oddities, Deus ex Machina, coincidences, character-driven actions, more Deus ex Machina, and Chekhov's Guns that collectively get the heroes into a position where they might possibly be able to escape their impossible predicament. Because it didn't seem like they'd get into this much danger this quickly, the story instantly became edge-of-your-seat reading.

The comic is also known for its twice-weekly (usually) update schedule, juggling three plots at the same time, spending literally months on mook battles, and skipping comic updates to advertise products. Of course, this makes the comic sound far worse than it is, and it should be noted that the mostly wordless mook battles are often descriptive visuals.

The site also hosts a sub-comic, Tempts Fate, about a lone goblin adventurer facing various dangers each comic. This part is Elli's donation scheme and thus, people would have to stop supporting Elli's artistic endeavors to kill Tempts Fate off. So far, he's survived every death trap.

On October 23, 2017, a Kickstarter was launched for an animated adaptation of Goblins; the campaign was moved to Indiegogo the next month.

Not to be confused with the comic book Goblins (2007). For the completely unrelated computer game, see Gobliiins. For goblins in general, see Our Goblins Are Different.

Goblins provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to D 
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Well, it is an RPG world, but a sewer with sculptures in it is pushing things a bit....
  • Absurd Phobia: Not-Walter the Pit Fiend, a very powerful demon lord, is afraid of... dolls. The information is put to good use by Greena the Demon Slayer.
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • Drowbabe misunderstands the purpose of the Mage Armor spell, thinking it lessens the damage she takes (when it actually makes it easier to dodge incoming blows). When Ears points out how the spell works, she realizes she should have taken more damage earlier in the battle, and promptly dies.
    • Minmax's oblivion sword is only able to exist because his mind can't fathom the concept of oblivion. In fact, Kin theorizes that his ignorance might make the weapon more powerful; his sword treats "nothingness" as a power source (somehow), so the more it is "nothing" the more powerful it becomes. To this end, the less concept its wielder has of what it is and how it works the stronger it gets. Minmax, naturally, and without realizing the implications, immediately names the sword "Oblivious".
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: A wall full of spikes makes one of the Maze of Many's rooms a Timed Mission. Kore may also qualify, since he's got a shield as big as he is.
  • Affectionate Pickpocket: Ruby steals Kin's necklace (that Minmax offered her) by giving her a parting hug.
  • All There in the Manual: There is a the Maze of Many Alts list that collects most of the different alts that have appeared so far.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Kin and Minimax; they are interrupted by Ruby.
  • Alone with the Psycho: In this comic, Kin is standing directly in front of Kore, who has a history of slaughtering "monsters" at the slightest provocation, and is only remotely safe because he hasn't yet caught on that she's a Yuan-Ti. As of the comic immediately after, he's starting to put it together...
  • Alternate Universe: The Maze of Many allows multiple versions of Kin, Minmax and Forgath to exist in the same place at once.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: "The bigger creatures always kill the smaller creatures, it's just the nature of the world!"
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • Although it's never said out loud, it's clearly a deconstruction of the trope. The Goblins (who are usually considered Always Chaotic Evil in RPG settings) and such are portrayed as creatures who are just trying to survive in a world where they are seen as mere XP Fodder.
    • It's also justified in the case of the Elite Guard: a cadre of people who've signed up specifically because they're more brutal and sadistic than the regular city guard. In one scene Thaco compares the Elite Guards' motivations to those of the standard city guard, and for the rest of the comic, it's presumably okay to assume that the Elite Guards are Always Lawful Evil. Ears the Paladin confirms this with his Detect Evil ability.
    • On the other hand, it appears to be played straight with demons and The Undead.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population:
    • The goblins have a wide range of skin colors, including various shades of green, yellow, orange, brown... and the Viper clan goblins are all chalk-white.
    • Hilariously lampshaded in one comic:
      Saves-a-Fox: Okay, now try a skin coloured one.
      Grem: You mean a white one?
      K'seliss: She means a green one.
      Saves-a-Fox: I mean an orange one!
    • Part of the backstory for one of the alt Kins in the Maze of Many includes the fact that, for some reason, all female humanoids in that world have pale, milky white skin, and males have what we would consider "normal" skin colour. This resulted in some confusion when she befriended another Kin.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: The only way to stop Mr. Fingers' flesh-melting effect once it takes hold is to cut off the affected area.
  • Analogy Backfire: While entangled in the vines of a monster plant, Thaco makes an analogy that is soon butchered by his son.
    Thaco: I don't mind dying, but having to wait for it like this is torture. It's taking forever, like watching paint dry in hell.
    [two beat panels later]
    Complains-of-Names: Wouldn't paint dry really fast in hell?
  • And I Must Scream:
    • If what we see will be infinitely repeated, Biscuit and anyone the guardian demon owns. (Even Dies.) Cruel and Unusual Death indeed. Fortunately, the souls the demon owns were apparently released when she was banished from the Material Plane.
    • In one of the Alternate Universes, any creature can survive being decapitated as a result of a hero's wish to save his wife that didn't go according to plan. The Minmax from that reality beheaded Thaco, Complains and a third goblin, and carries the still-living severed heads around on a length of rope, as a weapon. Because that thing became a kind of prestige weapon class, in that universe, after that wish happened.
  • Angrish: A mild case of it, in terms of speechless anger, when Chief has just prayed to his god that there'd be no guards around the corner; this is his reaction.
  • Annoying Arrows: Played completely straight at the beginning of the comic. Later averted with crossbows, though, and Dellyn's arrows.
    Chief: Fumbles, I want you to seriously work on your aim, OK?
    Goblin: [pincushioned by 5 arrows] Yes. Please do.
    Fumbles: Look, I said I was sorry.
  • Anti-Climax:
    • The end of the Maze of Many arc. Psion Minmax is back! And his body is made of nearly-invulnerable IME material! This promise an epic final fight between all the heroes and the villain... except, on the next page, Minmax just grabs him and throws him onto the exit of the Maze.
    • Played intentionally (and comically) when Biscuits unleashes the Switchbeast on the Vipers.
      Tul: [inner monologue] The others try to run. I am Tul. I do not run. This is my moment. My destiny. My story. This is where I will fight the Switchbeast. This is where I will win. Where a lifetime of combat training mixes with Viper bravery. Where I prove that goblin and legend are the same.
      [he hurls himself heroically at the Switchbeast with a fierce Battle Cry and Biscuit steps in and smashes him to the ground with a single casual blow.]
    • The Warped Klik is built up as a very big threat to the world and makes the Cursed Party get out of their trap. Bowst and Idle weaken it, the latter using a Taking You with Me, and Forgath curbstomps it... But this leads to Forgath's death.
  • Anti-Human Alliance
  • Anyone Can Die: No-one is safe from this; invokedas stated by the artist herself: "Even main characters can't live forever." So far, Chief, K'seliss, Klik (killed by his Evil Counterpart), and even Dies-Horribly, though it was subverted immediately afterwards.
  • Arc Words:
  • An Arm and a Leg: Present in all three variants for many characters, with Dies-Horribly only being the first. K'Seliss loses both of his arms to a flesh-eating disease; Biscuit is afflicted with the same curse and cuts off his leg in response. Kin's entire tail is liquefied by Psion-Minmax... and those are only examples for the main cast, minor characters rarely stay in one piece in the bigger battle sequences.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In real life, fusing a rope through Kore's neck should have taken out several of the vertebrae in his neck and paralyzed him through damage to his spine, not just caused him to choke. This may actually qualify as a foreshadowing that he's degraded into a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Arrow Catch: Thaco in his fight with Goblinslayer. He's a monk, so it's not too surprising... except to Goblinslayer.
  • Art Evolution: Elli's style and technique have both improved significantly over the course of the comic's lifetime, most recently adding shading to the strip. The difference is so stark that the first page of the archive, rather than being the first strip of the comic, is a page showing just how much the art has changed over time.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The Axe of Prissan, which is initially believed to be a prison to a demon of near godlike power. If the Axe goes 13 months in the hands of an evildoer, it will break free. In reality, the Axe is a means for that demon to cross into the mortal realm; it was designed to break. The only reason it attracts paladins is so that the Sacred would have something to snack on when it first arrives.
    • To a lesser extent, the Shield of Wonder. A localized example, but not a small one for those near it. Some of the results listed on its stats pages aren't even particularly localized. For instance, one effect is that the last person to verbally speak to the wielder is turned to stone, no matter where they are. Another is that the last creature the wielder killed appears in front of him. There are other examples, but perhaps one of the scariest is this: "No matter where he is, the 4th oldest dragon in the realm suddenly loses his wings as well as any ability to fly or teleport in any way." The dragon and the wielder both instantly know that if the dragon in question directly kills the wielder, these abilities will return.
  • Artificial Limbs:
    • Dies-Horribly has a metallic arm.
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer a wooden one.
    • An alternate Minmax also possesses crystalline arms that may fit this.
  • Artistic License – Economics: In-universe example, lampshaded by two guards discussing it.
  • Ascended Meme: While mocking the goblins' discussion on whether or not to sneak around trouble during their dungeon crawl together, Minmax mockingly says "Typical goblins. 'I don't want to do the dungeon battle! I don't want to fight for XP! I'm sad!'" That last one is a famous mockery used by those who feel the comic has descended into unpleasant angst.
  • Ass Shove: Weaponized against a demon, and it looks very, very painful.
  • As You Know: Psion Minmax feels the need to tell his version of Kin that he's killed her 817 times, and that she remembers them all, along with some other exposition that she really should know by now.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!:
    • Complains-of-Names is a barbarian, so he's prone to this. Like when truly pissed at Kore.
    • Minmax is an imbecile, so he's prone to it as well.
    • Goblinslayer just before he dies.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!:
    • Goblinslayer again.
    • Shortly afterward, Kin.
      Kin: Don't throw the spear!
      Chief: Why not?
      Kin: I can't keep them back for long! They're going to rush in here in a moment, and that's our only melee weapon!
      [Chief throws the magic spear, and it reappears in his hand]
      Kin: [after a beat panel] THROW THE SPEAR!
  • Attacking Through Yourself:
    • With a side of Exploited Immunity in this strip. Big-Ears is being grappled by Saral Caine and stabs through himself into Saral's chest, but his weapon, the Axe of Prissan, carries an enchantment that makes it incapable of harming a paladin, so it passes harmlessly through his body as though it were intangible.
    • Idle, who has once-per-day Resurrective Immortality, specialises in spells that deal heavy damage to both the target and caster. One of them involves summoned swords that materialise behind the caster and fly through them to hit the target.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Minmax is terribly prone to this.
    Minmax: Hey look! There's a version of me with a cool hat!
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Becoming the chief or fortune-teller of a goblin clan comes with automatic stat increases.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Kore fights with two of them.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Hilariously subverted by Dies-Horribly:
      Grem: I am a goblin prince. I know when to fight.
      Dies-Horribly: I AM A COWARD! I KNOW WHEN TO RUN! Come on!
    • Chief comes face-to-face with Kore:
      Kore: Begging for your life will do you no good.
      Chief: My name is Chief, member of the goblin adventuring party and leader of the clan of the Cryptic Fall. And I'm not here to beg for my life. I'm here to kill you.
    • Biscuit has a damn good one when the goblin queen threatened to kill Saves-a-Fox and him in retaliation for her son's death.
      Biscuit: It sure is a sunny day today. Forgive me, I'm not very familiar with sunshine. In fact, I'm far more familiar with pain and death than I am with sunshine. No matter how much sunshine there is, in my experience, there's always more pain and death. Always. [Beat] It sure is a sunny day today.
    • Big-Ears delivers one to a demon with some Ironic Echo mixed in:
      Big-Ears: He will scream my name. In this way, he will speak to me. But I will not answer him.
    • Complains and Big-Ears are trapped at the end of an alley. The Sargent of the Guards states that goblins are a measly 1/3 cr. Complains's response....
      Complains-of-Names: Redefining 1/3 challenge rating.
  • Bad End: Our group narrowly avoids the end an equivalent group gets.
  • Bag of Holding: Onyx owns several bags of "moulding" — bags of mini-holding.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Thaco stops Ears from the near-suicide move of rushing in after Complains and Fumbles:
    Ears: What is wrong with you!? How can you just let your son die!?
    Thaco: We are not jumping off this roof to our deaths!
    [He turns, and points to the building next to them]
    Thaco: We're jumping off that roof to our deaths. It's got a tree.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Defied. Forgath believes in this, but Kin tells him rather bluntly that, throughout the multiverse as a whole, Evil is winning.
  • Barbarian Hero: Minmax was already fitting the trope when a pure fighter (by D&D rules). As of the fight in the magic forest room of the Maze of Many, he has officially taken his first level of barbarian. (With the "extra rage" feat, as befits a good minmaxer.)
    Minmax: The strength bonus from raging is totally awesome!
  • Bar Brawl: Minmax and Forgath took on Goblinslayer in a tavern.
  • Batman Gambit: Lampshaded. When Thaco challenges Dellyn to a duel, both of them know that Thaco has some sort of trap planned. Nonetheless, Dellyn accepts when Thaco points out that the only alternative is for Dellyn to order his soldiers to kill Thaco, and bear the reputation of not being able to kill a single old, frail goblin.
  • Battle Aura: Called Individual Magical Effect (I.M.E.) in-story.
  • Battle Cry:
  • Battle in the Rain: The first fight between the goblin warcamp and the adventurers.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Part of the backstory for minor character Sticks involves him bluffing a Brassmoon guard into thinking he's not an orc, but a soldier who's been polymorphed into an orc to infiltrate an army of orcs who are besieging the city.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Kin, explaining about the Maze of Many's counter. She really, really would rather NOT be doing so.
  • Because Destiny Says So: In this setting, goblin children are named by the tribe's prophet. When the prophet can foresee a particular event in the child's life, the child is named after that vision. As far as anybody can tell, these prophecies are inevitably correct: Saves-A-Fox saved a fox, Dies-Horribly does indeed die horribly, and Complains-of-Names actually managed a twofer:
    Complains: [violently shaking a haggard-looking tribe member] What kind of stupid name is "Shaken-Unfairly"?!
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The trainer who "trained" Fluffles tries to invoke this trope by sending the owlbear at his enemies. He miscalculated.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge: In a tavern, Minmax says out loud that they don't need to buy any drink since they have the Anymug, with the barkeeper present. Forgath immediately elbows him for being rude.
  • Berserker Tears:
    • Kin, as she kills Dellyn Goblinslayer.
    • Complains after Chief's death. He starts drawing upon his Superpowered Evil Side, getting ready to fight Kore.
  • Best Served Cold:
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: During his fight against Kore, Forgath is grievously wounded and about to be killed by the cursed paladin, who at this point has lost his helmet and is revealed to be a Humanoid Abomination with the faces of his previous victims imbedded in his own. By now convinced that his very soul is in danger, Forgath choose instead to die by dropping from the very high bridge they were fighting on.
    Forgath: I'm willing to die, but you can't have my soul.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped by Dies-Horribly and Grem.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Scorpion-Kin from an alternate universe. She sees it as a major advantage over the fleshy, weak tails of all the Yuan-Ti Kins. Up until the 'main' Kin snaps her evil twin's neck using her constrictor tail.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: It seems a general rule that mild-mannered characters fight harder, smarter, and dirtier than the loud-mouthed ones.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Thaco's cane-swords.
  • Big Bad: Multiple of these, one for both of the major plot arcs, and another even bigger bad who seems likely to be a part of the comic's culmination.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • One example is when Ears comes back to save the other goblins from the plant-possessed orcs.
    • Biscuit. Period.
    • When Kin has had her tail liquefied and been left to bleed out on the floor, the alternate Kins the party had fought earlier come along and pass her the healing water, and go to help fight the Big Bad.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Big-Ears when he finds out that Chief is dead.
    • Psion Minmax when Minmax throws him onto the exit of the Maze of Many. Forcing him to return to his reality... unable to come back and enact his plan to send everyone into oblivion.
  • Bilingual Bonus: After the initial three Drizz't-clones get killed off, one of their players re-rolls a Japanese, samurai. The character's name: Baka...the Japanese word for "Fool".
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Minmax trying to judge the charisma scores of the ladies of Brassmoon. Hilarity ensues.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Kin's top half looks human enough, sure, but a discussion with Minmax proves that her insides are definitely different.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: When a goblin is enraged, his pupils dilate, making his eyes completely black.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Saves-a-Fox doesn't stop at defying fate.
    Saves-a-Fox: Duv... you and Maglubiyet can kiss my ass.
  • Blessed with Suck: One of the Brassmoon guards rejoices when the Shield of Wonder girds him in a formidable-looking suit of plate armor. His glee becomes terror when the armor continues expanding, inside and out, until it crushes him to death horribly.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: K'seliss views fighting, eating, and mating as aspects of the same thing... and therefore believes that fighting anything he can't eat or mate with is sickeningly perverted, and refuses to do so. He also thinks eating the fingers and limbs of a potential mate is an acceptable display of affection. It's implied that his entire race is like this, despite the fact that there's no more biological justification for it than there is for humans.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: The goblins can have this kind of problems with human expressions. Notably Dies-Horribly in the ad intermission:
    Dies-Horribly: How can a book knock clothing off an Amazon? Is it even possible? I mean, they hardly wear anything to begin with.
  • Blunt "Yes": When a stubborn Thaco literally guesses the answer to the Goblin Angel's test correctly because he refuses to play silly games, then demands she return him to the party.
    Angel: You command me?! You dare to command me, you insignificant mortal?!
    Thaco: I do.
  • Blush Sticker: Onyx, the pale alternate-Kin sorceress, has pink circles on her cheeks. They aren't natural; her face was permanently marked with them in a ritual sacrifice in her reality's Brassmoon.
  • Body Horror: Goblins is exceptionally graphic in depicting the sort of violence that most fantasy-themed comics sanitize...
    • One of the Shield of Wonder's favorite tricks is to inflict horrific transformations on those who strike it (or anyone around them). An unlucky accident causes it to try to transform Complains into a demon. It partially succeeds before Big-Ears stops the effect. Complains now has scales, clawed fingers and fangs.
    • For the sake of preventing this trope, DO NOT TOUCH MR. FINGERS!!! No, seriously. Bad idea.
    • Though hardly the worst seen, one of the goblins that survives the escape from Brassmoon is a young female who's missing all the skin along her back, leaving her spinal column and other bones completely exposed.
  • Brainless Beauty: Drowbabe and Yodette.
  • Breaking In Old Habits: After Dies-Horribly gets his prosthetic hand.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Fumbles, after being tortured and mutilated by Dellyn.
    • Saves-a-Fox, when Dies reveals she may have been a slave to fate all along.
    • Off-panel (and partly before the story begins), but Kin was regularly tortured and raped to the point where she has a phobia of human contact.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In March 2010, we discover that Minmax has Improved Unarmed Strike as a result of trading in his ability to rhyme on purpose. In July 2011, Forgath tricks him into reciting "I'm a Little Teapot", and sure enough, he can't even get the rhymes right.
    • A joke where the punchline comes seven years later: Summon Badger!
    • Minmax managed to guess Complains' name, calling it "spooky". He managed to pull the same thing with the large demon in an Alternate Universe.
    • Yodette says it all: "I know what's going to happen! You two are gonna die and I'm going to be that trope of a big-boobed bimbo running alone and panicked through the woods until I trip over something stupid and fall down and get eaten!" Two strips later, she indeed trips over something stupid... Baka's upper half.
    • In one of the earlier strips, Minmax was chastised by Forgath for rolling attacks against a tree out of boredom. It got justified in the Maze of Many.
    • The 7/21/13 strip goes so far as to copy and paste a panel from one of the first strips, detailing that Minmax "knows 38 ways to kill a guy with just his thumbs". At the time, it was just a joke to freak out Dies-Horribly, but the callback is intentional so the reader (who probably doesn't remember a one-off joke from years ago) knows exactly what's about to happen...
    • The ancient art of "spliying" — that is, Minmax reciting "I'm a Little Teapot" to find secret doors, originally a joke from Forgath — comes back in the 4/27/15 strip. Of note is the fact that Complains-of-Name has the exact same disbelieving expression on his face as the one Kin sported the first time.
    • While not particularly funny, "Maxo Kickaxo" comes back not long after in a Say My Name moment.
    • Minmax cursing at himself while trying to toss Oblivious comes back the next time he draws his sword, in a strip posted two years later.
  • Bring It:
  • Broken Pedestal: Minmax discovering his idol's tendencies (and the result). Go Minmax.
  • Brown Note: Since even the (fracking huge) weapon of a god's underling is powerful enough to fry anyone who touches the blade and maintain an energy portal leading to a magical dungeon, it's probably not that surprising when Kin mentions that seeing the weapon of an actual god would probably kill whoever was dumb enough to look.
  • Buffy Speak:
  • Bullying a Dragon: Fluffles's "trainer" thinks it can turn the owlbear into a mindless killing machine by torturing it repeatedly. When he lets it out of its cell to sick it on the goblins, it instead runs right past them and goes straight for him. He dies. Horribly.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Invoked. After their duel has finished, Thaco tells Dellyn that he intends to remember the fight as a "random encounter" and that it will definitely not become the subject of goblin legend.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Drowbabe and her replacement character have buxom figures. Lampshaded by Minmax to likely be the product of some lonely teenager who barely knows what women are like. Since Yodette isn't (literally and deliberately) falling out of her top, it's possible that Drowbabe's player is learning — a little. Maybe.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: A favourite effect of Elli's, used to great effect throughout.
  • Call-Back:
  • Calling Your Attacks: Calling your spells is not only done, but apparently required, since Kore is unable to Lay Hands on himself when his voice is impeded by the rope fused to his throat. This is an especially odd example, because by D&D 3.5 rules, there is no verbal component to Lay on Hands. It's a paladin special ability invoked mentally.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Forgath's helmet. It is a helmet, you see.
    • Chief announces stabbing himself in the eye by screaming, "Aaaah! I stabbed myself in the freakin' eye!"
    • Also, Dellyn:
      Dellyn: What's the matter, Thaco? You didn't think that I'd spot your trap? Didn't think I'd see it coming?
      Thaco: Sigh. Of course it's a trap, you moron. Stop congratulating yourself for noticing the obvious.
  • Cassandra Truth: See Don't Touch It, You Idiot!.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Kin...not surprising considering the likely nature of her dreams.
  • Censor Steam: Psion Minmax, after his resurrection, steps through the hole surrounded by handy wisps of smoke, with one hiding his privates.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Originally Forgath's helmet with "This is a helmet" written on it seems like a simple joke about equipment for dumb people. The very good reason it has that written on it and the tragic circumstances under which the helmet came into Forgath's possession are finally outlined and it's not funny any morenote .
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Initially the comic was mostly about making jokes based on various D&D tropes and conventions, and had absolutely No Fourth Wall, with the adventurers explicitly being characters in someone's role-playing game. Quite soon it grew way more serious in tone and began developing the fourth wall, although various D&D mechanics are occasionally referenced by characters.
  • Challenging the Chief: How The Goblinslayer got his job as captain of the town guard.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: There's a Beat panel after a pillar depicting someone's target of lust reveals that Big-Ears is gay, and Fumbles just continues to make fun of Complains' attraction to goblin females that have hair.
  • Character Development: After reading through the first couple arcs and noting how much of a supreme prick Minmax is, you totally wouldn't expect him to pull a moment of awesome later on. Given the title and how the strip started, one would be justified in expecting that it would be just a role reversal of the standard adventure comic trope: the goblins are the protagonists, the human adventurers are the mooks who show up as little more than walking XP. Instead, it quickly becomes a standard adventure comic with the twist that the main characters are goblins, and then a couple of the antagonists turn into protagonists. This is not a Heel–Face Turn, partly because they'd still like very much to kill the goblins and partly because after they become viewpoint characters for a while we find out they're really pretty nice guys and were never really "heels" in the first place, it's just Fantastic Racism all around.
  • Character Level: Invoked, as other monstrous races find the idea of goblins gaining adventurer levels to be perverse at best and a slap in the face to their heritage at worst.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: Being an RPG Mechanics 'Verse set in a Crapsack World with a Killer Gamemaster, the comic has been known to kill scores of named characters in a single major battle.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Spliying returns.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The random-effect magical shield.
    • The Anymug.
    • On a darker note, there was an obvious clue that Dellyn Goblinslayer regularly rapes Kin way back on one page — his bed in his room has shackles attached to it.
    • The Talking Wall of Brassmoon shows up in the background during one of the battles. It seems to have never appeared before and claims to have been created during a really long story arc. Word of God says it's a mundane wall that got transformed into the talking wall by the Shield of Wonder.invoked
    • Minmax's "I AM GREAT" belt buckle, after being thrown through the magical hole in the wall of the Maze of Many, turns into a giant rock disc that crushes the alternate versions of Minmax and Forgath.
    • The keys to the treasure chest Minmax got his new gear from in the Maze of Many would have been this, as (at least) one of them was a duplicate of the key needed to leave the maze, which was destroyed. But they left the keys in the locks on the chest. Fortunately, there were other duplicates throughout the Maze, and Onyx has one she's willing to give them.
    • Fans accused Ellipsis of making up new abilities for Kore when he rights himself from a prone position using levers on his tower shield. Ellipsis pointed out that the handles had been drawn on the shield for the last nine years of the comic's run.
    • Forgath's beard or rather, the psionically-created replacement made from Psion Minmax's machine, manages to break Kore's axe.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Deflecting arrows. Or catching them.
    • "It says here he knows 38 ways to kill a guy using only his thumb."
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Bowst found a cursed talking sword called Ward in the Cursewalk, and part of its curse is that it inflicts damage to him if they're separated. It was later devoured by one of the metal-eating Klik, though it didn't change the curse a iota: Bowst is now stuck where said Klik decides to stay.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • Kore tortured Chief to keep the rest of the Goblin Adventuring Party from leaving Chief behind.
    • Other examples are Dellyn Goblinslayer and Fluffles' trainer.
    • One rather sadistic version is what happened to Klik at the hands of the second Klik that was created from Dies's arm. That... thing was terrifying before it realized Klik's weakness, and became sadistic afterward.
    • 98-Minmax tortures his reality's Goblinslayer to death after he killed Minmax's friends.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: The alternate Kins are called Ruby (Kin 80), Sapphire (Kin 54) and Onyx (Kin 201) based on their coloring, since just calling them all Kin would get confusing.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness:
    • Sacred goblin tradition requires them to keep their few magic weapons in The Poorly Locked Chest in the middle of camp, rather than use them in battle. Complains-of-Names uses the weapon and gets banished because of it.
    • Minmax and Dellyn Goblinslayer have both complained about the main characters subverting this trope. Dellyn even calls Thaco's classing into a PC class the most perverted thing that he's ever heard of.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded once:
    Saves-a-Fox: This seems kind of contrived.
    Biscuit: Most dungeon crawls are.
  • Convenient Color Change:
    • Weapon auras depend on the wielder.
    • Minmax gets armor that changes to any color he says aloud.
  • Cool Old Guy: Thaco. Although not even 40, he's past his prime for a goblin before takes his first level in Monk, but that doesn't stop him from being a capable warrior in his own right.
  • Coup de Grâce: A semi-common way to kill. Also how Dellyn dies.
  • Covers Always Lie:
  • Crapsack World:
    • Implied.
      Minmax: A lot of them look really evil.
      Kin: The multiverse is predominantly evil.
      Forgath: What? I was always taught that good and evil were balanced.
      Kin: Nope. Evil is winning.
    • Special mention goes to Reality #37, where not being evil is punishable by death. That universe's Forgath, Kin, and Minmax aren't evil.
    • Another universe being shown features goblins as an Always Chaotic Evil race that tend to kill most of the adventurers they come across.
    • The main universe isn't particularly doing much better, mind. Humans Are Bastards following a flawed morality and led by people far monstrous and evil than the creatures they kill for sport, and are generally fine with supporting genocide or torture of "monsters" good or evil. The Goblin Clan our heroes are from was innocent, but the clan intent on rallying all the others to a golden age is a murderous and genocidal bunch with the same prejudiced mentality and brutal methods as the humans, who see all other goblins as lesser. Forgath and Minmax may be more enlightened now, but they weren't initially that way and could be seen more as an example of My Species Doth Protest Too Much. So it's very possible that evil is not only winning in the multiverse, but also in the realm of our heroes — if not for our heroes, that is.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Minmax is a god when it comes to fighting. He can't wink, read, rhyme on purpose, dress himself, think hard, or understand complex concepts. Most of these weaknesses he got in order to get more combat prowess and bonuses.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Complains lampshades this by pointing out that, even with just 1 hit point left, he's just as effective at fighting as he would be with full health, provided he doesn't get hit.
  • Cross Player: Forgath. Probably Drowbabe as well.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Quite a few of the deaths in the big Brassmoon fight. A few especially nasty ones are the guard who excruciatingly turns into a bunch of snakes, the guard who starts turning into an ogre, only to be cut down by his captain, and that captain, who gets the "honor" of having his armor grow until it crushes him.
    • Chief dies via Cold-Blooded Torture at Kore's hands.
    • K'seliss dies by having his body rot away at the "hands" of Mr. Fingers, while he's still conscious.
  • Cruel Mercy: Thaco leaves Goblinslayer alive, with the knowledge that the latter was completely and utterly destroyed by Thaco.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Roak orcs take away their children's most loved possession in order to teach them to accept loss as a part of life. The orc explaining this then tears off Duv's remaining wing, which has defined her turn toward villainy.
  • Crush the Keepsake: Ruby learns that Kin is in love with Minmax and trusts him because he once gifted her a handmade necklace. Believing that friendship between a human and a yuan-ti should not be possible and wanting Kin to stop being friends with Minmax, Ruby pickpockets the necklace and drops it into a hole in reality, erasing it from existence and with it Kin's memory of being given it.
  • Curse: Forgath meets two adventurers, Idle and Bowst, who by their own admission are covered in curses from having tackled a dungeon crawl called "The Cursewalk". Idle mentions that the rabbit ears she now sports are just a minor one among those. As for Bowst, he's compelled to hit himself in the face every time he says the word "what" (thus forcing him to wear padded mittens to soften the blows), and he's also linked to a cursed sword (a very rude Talking Weapon) which he can't get far away from without taking damage.
  • Curse Cut Short:
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • A possessor of a Ring of Undeath is unappealing at best, but is granted quite a few highly-useful bonuses.
    • Idle can resurrect once a day after dying. Downside — she has to die once a day, or else she dies permanently, forcing her companion to behead her every evening.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Saves-a-Fox, Kin, and Idle are drawn as attractive members of their respective species (or, in Idle's case, specii.) Yala, a minor character from the Brassmoon arc, is made appealing too, but in a more helpless-and-sad kind of way.
  • Cute Mute: Yala
  • Cutting the Knot:
  • Dance Battler:
    • Duv's attacks and dodges resemble dancing as much as they do combat moves.
    • Thaco's fighting style incorporates gymnastic style jumps, even before he started taking levels in monk.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Basically every good protagonist (save for Minmax and Forgath), but Thaco's is up to eleven.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: In Alternate Universe #114, Forgath, Complains and Big-Ears were killed during the battle at the goblin warcamp, while One-Eye (a minor character who died in the same battle in the main universe) survived and became an adventurer working alongside Minmax.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Mryorg the Ogre, who features in the backstory of the Axe of Prissan, has a demon carve a rune into this chest for this purpose.
    • Mr. Fingers was created when a farmer begged a devil to cure his son of nightmares; the devil successfully extracted the source of the nightmares from the kid's mind, but let them loose upon the world instead of destroying them.
    • Discussed by the demon who inhabits the Well of Darkness. Demons need souls for nourishment, but most of them aren't powerful enough to take souls by force and can only claim souls given willingly, which is why the phrase "Deal with the Devil" has passed into common usage on the mortal plane. Dies makes one, but since his metallic arm effectively gives him two souls, the demon gets dragged to hell for breaking the deal.
  • Dear Negative Reader: Ellipsis uses The Rant occasionally to level counter-criticism at reader complaints about her houseruled D&D mechanics. Most notable for "the axe and the rope".
  • Death by Looking Up:
  • Death Is Cheap: Subverted. Unlike the games it's based on, death tends to stick in the Goblins' world. There are loopholes when curses or magic is involved (Dies-Horribly and Idle are examples), but in general, '-10' means that character is gone for good.
  • Death or Glory Attack: Complains attacking Kore head-on.
  • Delayed Causality: The White Terror's razor-sharp blades.
  • Delayed Reaction: Minmax realizing how much damage a fall would cause.
  • Destination Defenestration: Minmax to Goblinslayer.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Every major plot arc so far gets resolved through randomness that just happens to save the hapless protagonists. Some of the situations they get into are so bad that these don't get them out of hot water entirely, though...
    • The Shield of Wonder spams Ex Machinas of both the Deus and Diabolus variety every time it blocks a strike.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
  • Disability Superpower:
    • Dies' arm is both a Morph Weapon and an Empathic Weapon.
    • Similarly, Goblinslayer's tree half can do some major damage and produce its own wooden weapons.
    • One of the alternate parties in the Maze of Many has a Forgath with a staff that allows him to wear unlimited magic rings, but he needs to sacrifice a still bleeding finger to gain this ability. He also parties with a mute Minmax who gave up the ability to speak for a +6 to hit.
    • Minmax's various penalty/bonus trades could be considered this.
  • Disaster Dominoes:
    • Fumbles is a master at this.
      Forgath: I just wanna know what kind of fumble chart he's using so I can avoid it.
    • The Shield of Wonder keeps getting hit, causing bad situations to get even worse.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • A previous owner of the Axe of Prissan tried to kill Kore this way. Obviously, it didn't work.
    • Later, Kin made an attempt too. Whether he lives is yet to be seen.
  • Distracting Disambiguation: Minmax versus the demons.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The goblins are barefoot for most of the comic, with a few exceptions.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Fluffles the Owlbear, instead of attacking the goblin group, savages his "master".
    • Kin the yuan-ti giving the Coup de Grâce to Dellyn, after Forgath let go of her magical leash in the fight.
    • Biscuit, having spent the past 600 years being tortured by demons, uses his first moment of freedom to decapitate one of his captors.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!:
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Mocked with the "Doom" spell.
    Forgath: Ya, but with a name like "Doom" I was expecting something grander. [...]
    Young-and-Beautiful: Well, "Very Annoying" doesn't really roll off the tongue as a spell title.
  • Door Stopper: Found in universe #219, also known as the Rothfuss reality.
    Alternate-Universe-Complains-of-Names: Wait, this isn't a brick, it's a book.
    Alternate-Universe-Fumbles: "Sequel to The Name of The Wind". Hey Dies, isn't that the book you're... um... wearing?
  • Dope Slap: Fumbles earns himself a double-whammie.
  • The Dragon:
    • Saral Caine; already dealt with.
    • Riss for Duv.
  • Dramatic Drop: The Goblin Angel drops Big-Ears' character sheet when Pawlush brings the argument that she can't kill Big-Ears now that her horn had him reborn as an half-angel, making him her child.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • The Drizzt-ripoff drow (two scimitars, par for the course);
    • Thaco (two sword-canes);
    • Dellyn (a wooden sword and sickle);
    • Kore (two crossbows at long-range and two axes in melee);
    • Borrl the hobgoblin chief (two longswords);
    • Duv (two razor-sharp steel shards);
    • One of the alternate-reality Minmaxes (two giant switchblades).
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • While Complains and Thaco overthink how they can get a prayer to their god when they have no chief to pray or teller to name one, Fumble points out they can just perform the teller ceremony and the new teller can then name a chief.
    • A retroactive case with Bowst; he's not the brightest bulb in the box, but he's proven right to have told Idle that it was stupid to hide the fact she is a transformed dwarf (and not an elf) to Forgath just because their clans are rivals, since Forgath doesn't care about dwarven politics.
  • Dumb Muscle:
    • Minmax, who (as befitting his name) has min/maxed himself to have ridiculous combat stats but cannot even read (he gave up literacy for a bonus). With the extremes he takes this to, it may count as a Disability Superpower.
    • Hobgoblins, as seen in Sarcasm-Blind, though averted by the hobgoblin met during the Brassmoon arc. It is pointed out that while hobgoblins are usually keen strategists, the Chorgrak tribe that attacked the Viper clan was known for its... lack of subtlety.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • The Viper clan couldn't open the main door to the Well of Darkness (the magic key being actually inside, with a group of dead adventurers), so they had their slaves dig a tunnel to circumvent it.
    • In the Maze of Many, Kin, Minmax and Forgath make use of a ceiling broken by an oblivion hole to reach a part of the dungeon crawl that they'd never reached before in their 1,982,771 previous attempts.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: K'seliss taking out Mr. Fingers.

    Tropes E to H 
  • Ears as Hair: Big-Ears usually ties his namesake ears back in combat situations.
  • Embarrassing but Empowering Outfit: Minmax objects to Forgath making him wear a suit of magical armor, because it's pink. Subverted when it turns out the armor can change color in response to spoken commands.
  • Emotion Eater: Demons can feed on negative emotions and suffering. The stronger the suffering, the better the meal.
  • Empathic Weapon:
    • Dies' artificial arm.
    • The Axe of Prissan and the armor it makes.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Inverted with the doll Fumbles tries to return to the elf girl Aldyria in Brassmoon.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • All of the remaining alts band together to stop Psion Minmax from permanently killing them.
    • Forgath and Minmax put their feud with the GAP on hold when Kore attacks them.
      Big-Ears: I'm going to help the dwarf!
      Thaco: Which one, the paladin who wants you dead or the cleric who wants you dead?
  • Escaped from Hell: After narrowly escaping hell due to his green arm technically having a separate soul from him, which invalidated a Deal with the Devil for his soul and his soul alone, Dies-Horribly becomes noticeably more competent in combat.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dellyn may be a sadistic psychopath who enjoys torture, rape, and murder, but he genuinely weeps when he is shown Saral Caine's dead body.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Minmax may be a powergamer, a jerk, and have all the mental prowess of a brick, but bragging about raping female monsters in front of him may just get you thrown through a window. Even if you're Dellyn Goblinslayer.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies:
  • Evil Hand: Odd non-evil example: the living-metal replacement arm Klik gave Dies-Horribly. When he gets scared, the arm grows blades and spikes to defend him. Unfortunately, the (many) situations in which he gets scared tend to go downhill fast if you start brandishing spiky things (and when it goes south he gets even more scared, and the arm gets spikier, and...). Although Dies's hand can also form non-violent images.

    Whether or not it still can be called "non-evil" is debatable after the incident with the demons. Perhaps this is why what Klik did is considered forbidden by his species. There's no more debate once the hand tries to kill Saves-a-Fox (twice) and Dies has to struggle for control with it, going as far as taking a blade to cut it off....
  • Evil Twin: The majority of the alternate versions of Minmax, Forgath and Kin in the Maze of Many.
    Minmax: A lot of them look really evil.
    Kin: The multiverse is predominantly evil.
  • Evil Weapon: Inverted with the Axe of Prissan. It's a container for an archdemon capable of destroying the world, but is itself a good-aligned Empathic Weapon that will only give its full power to a Paladin, and refuses to harm one.
  • Exact Words:
    • Fox gets her words turned on her:
      Saves-a-Fox: Go ahead, touch anything. I won't care.
      [K'seliss gooses her]
    • The Demoness in the Well of Darkness says that she's the guardian of the Blue Orb of Bloodlight, and offers a trade of "one soul for one orb". When Dies-Horribly offers her his soul, she gives away... an orb of ordinary blue stone. Leads to a Karmic Death when it turns out that Dies has two souls (presumably the second one is in his arm), which goes against the very Exact Words contract that the Demoness was manipulating, causing her to be banished into the deepest plane of hell which even demons themselves fear.
    • Biscuit after he chops his own leg off and reaches for a bag full of healing potions.
      Grem: No! Don't let him drink the healing potions!
      Biscuit: [inserts most of the potion bottles into his mouth and eats them]
    • Shows up again when Kin reappears in search of Minmax. She knows he chose one door, not realizing that he'd been overridden by the Goblin Adventuring Party.
    • Dies Horribly ends up living up to his name, dying quite horribly in the Well of Darkness. However, nothing about it said he had to stay dead, and he ends up resurrected when the demoness he offers his soul to is dragged off to the deepest parts of hell.
  • Extreme Omnivore: K'seliss, as well as Eats-Anything.
  • Eye Scream:
  • Face Death with Dignity: Dies
  • The Faceless: Kore's helmet only reveals one eye and some beard, and so he was this until the 10/24/14 strip, which finally revealed his face... and the eerie, horrific mass of souls and glowing wound covering the right half of it.
  • Facepalm: Plenty often.
    • Most notable is when Forgath facepalms with his newfound stone fist weapon from Minmax being thick.
    • Kin facepalms hard (with her prosthetic metal arm) after managing to slip a note to Minmax while stuck in a Silence zone, but realizing that she forgot to write her name on it.
  • Facepalm of Doom: Forgath casts inflict light wounds on Young-and-Beautiful.
  • Facial Horror: Alt Forgath.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: K'seliss
    K'seliss: I... told ya... I... do... the... eating.
  • Failure Knight: Chief feels a large amount of guilt over his clan's fall from glory.
  • Fan Disservice:
  • Fanservice Extra:
    • Alternate Kin. Wearing a tight-fitting corset which gives her an Impossibly-Low Neckline, we can even see the start of a humanoid rear before it goes down to her snake tail. And unlike Kin, she also feels the need to wear a loincloth covering her front...
    • The other alternate Kin has a Navel-Deep Neckline with a small bit of Les Yay.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Psion Minmax.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry:
    • The White Terror
    • Besides her Peek A Bangs, Saves-a-Fox's pants only cover one leg.
  • Fastball Special: This trope feature prominently in the backstory of Boulder the Ogre.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • For Dellyn Goblinslayer — ignominy.
    • Kin the yuan-ti begs for death upon being recaptured by the guards.
    • There's a group of demons living in the Well of Darkness, who have enslaved an orc and continually resurrected and killed him in order to nourish themselves on his suffering. He's been resurrected and killed once every few hours for the last 600 years.
    • There is a circle of hell reserved for anyone foolish enough to attempt to break a Deal with the Devil; it's so horrible that even demons fear its torture. Since Dies has a second soul in his arm, the Demoness is sent there after trading "One soul for one orb."
    • It's revealed that Kore doesn't just kill his victims, he absorbs their souls.
  • Fed to the Beast: The Vipers try to feed Biscuit to the Switchbeast. That doesn't turn out well.
  • Fetus Terrible: Dies' arm, which believes Dies belongs to him.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Dungeons tend to bring every Ragtag Band of Misfits together. Dies-Horribly and Saves-A-Fox are one example, while Forgath and Minmax formed a similar bond with Kin (though now, only her connection with Forgath remains).
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: From here. "… is that Thaco the goblin? What is he doing?" Dellyn squints at Thaco in the distance, and then realizes with dawning dread... "How many guards were left at the dungeon?!" he demands of his second-in-command. Just two, the second-in-command admits. Dellyn screams for the west gate to be closed, having realized what is then revealed: Thaco took advantage of the guard force's absence to get the dungeon keys and free all the prisoners.
  • Flipping the Bird: K'Seliss's flips off Grem in Panel 4. Strange, considering he only has two fingers and a thumb on each hand.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    • "Fluffles" is a mutilated and psychopathically enraged owlbear.
    • "Biscuit" is a massive and exceptionally effective orc warrior.
  • Foil:
    • Thaco and Complains are foils; old and wise vs. young and hot-blooded.
    • Forgath is shaping up to be one for Kore.
  • Follow the Chaos: Thaco catches up with Complains during the battle of Brassmoon City. When Complains asks how he found him, Thaco points to the nearby magical chaos caused by the Shield of Wonder.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Early in the series, Young-and-Beautiful the goblin fortune teller predicts that Forgath will die in battle with another dwarf. "When the serpent becomes your prey, friends will become enemies and love will fuel hate." Now consider that he and Minmax have befriended Kin the yuan-ti and Kore kills anyone who even associates with the monstrous races... Eventually subverted. Kore isn't the dwarf who eventually kills Forgath (though he nearly did during their fight) : Idle is, as it is revealed that she actually was a dwarf before getting cursed and lied about it because her clan and Forgath's clan are rivals. She does not kill Forgath out of malice however, she does so to prevent him from getting corrupted and tearfully begs Ward to resurrect him immediately afterwards.
    • "I'd want you to leave me and escape."
    • When we see the alternate parties in the Maze of Many, one window has an alternate Minmax standing alone. The next comic shows why. It isn't pretty.
    • The fact that Dies' arm has a mind of its own was first displayed during his sleep.
    • Also, whenever Minmax let go of Oblivious, the sword is caught again by his hand in a hole through time. You can get very small glimpses of the future through these holes. Notably, the future shade of his color-changing armor, or sometimes a bit of background hinting to a change of location.
    • Kin's mentioning of True-Seeing. Yep, it probably happened. In the worst possible way.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Big-Ears, here. He seems apprehensive about being revealed, but the rest of the group simply don't care.
  • Forced Transformation: A good reason not to use the random-effect magic shield Complains picks up. Alternately, a good reason TO use it if utterly and hopelessly outnumbered.
  • Forest Ranger: The Goblinslayer was presumably this (ranger class, bow and sword, half-tree), but moved into Brassmoon when it was a more direct path to what he really craved — the power to rule over his little fief of sadism.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Thanks to her magical tattoos, Sapphire, the blue archer Kin alt, can't remember anyone who has died, including her Minmax and Forgath and four of her friends in Brassmoon.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The goblins, and just about every non-human race (including elves and dwarves — though not the demons). Reptiles (like kobolds, yuan-ti, or lizardfolk) tend to have three-fingered hands. All of them (well, those with legs anyway) also have three-toed feet.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Since the initial attack on the Goblin Warcamp that kicked off the plot, There are, essentially, three main plotlines in the comic. The story will follow one for a while, then put it on hold and switch to one of the others, and sometimes it will switch to a villain perspective for one or two strips. The main threads are:
    • The Goblin Adventuring Party (GAP), consisting of Chief now deceased, Thaco, Complains-of-Names, Big-Ears and Fumbles.
    • The (somewhat misnamed) Human Adventuring Party (or MFK), consisting of Minmax, Forgath and Kin.
    • The Well of Darkness party, consisting of Dies-Horribly, Klik, Saves-a-Fox, Grem and K'seliss now deceased, and later Biscuit the orc. After the party emerges from the well, their plot is further divided into three more lines, with one or two strips following each before switching:
      • Saves-a-Fox's duel with Duv.
      • Biscuit's one-orc assault on the Viper tribe and Grem.
      • Dies-Horribly's battle against his Viper captors and his sentient arm.
  • Fridge Logic: An in-universe example. When Dies is told that his clan isn't responsible for their failures (instead being the will of the Goblin God Maglubiyet), he points out that this means that the Viper clan shouldn't be proud of their achievements, since it's simply the will of Maglubiyet. The Viper shaman isn't happy with that thought.
  • Funny Background Event:
  • Fun with Homophones:
    • The summon guide appears any time his name is spoken outside of his presence. If he is summoned more than three times, he will just kill the summoner(s). His name is "Noe". You can certainly see where this is going. Though it is also subverted quickly.
    • The argument between Minmax and Forgath about Minmax's "racist axe".
  • Game Master: One of the Player Characters encountered early on is a Cleric of the Dungeon Master, Herbert.
  • Genius Bruiser:
  • Genre Savvy: Several characters.
    • With the PCs it comes with the territory of course, but many of the monster and NPC characters are also aware of the tropes controlling their life.
    • Special marks go to a PC who predicts exactly how her party will die when trying to kill something they don't know about. It's practically lampshaded.
      Yodette: Well... I... I know tropes!
  • Giant Spider: Not shown, but Dellyn tells an anecdote about him and Saral fighting a spider the size of a horse.
  • G.I.R.L.:
  • Giver of Lame Names:
    • The ironically-named fortune teller Young-and-Beautiful. Most of these are played for comedy, but Dies-Horribly's name has basically ruined his entire life.
    • The naming ritual is apparently a sacred rite that cannot be interrupted or redone. This results in names like "Piss Off I Have A Headache" (Hava to his friends).
      Hava: There's a goblin in my clan called "Stop The Ceremony I Swallowed A Bug". Yeah, our teller really sucks at naming ceremonies.
  • Glass Cannon: According to his posted stats, Mr. Fingers has an extremely low hit point total for a creature his size. This does nothing to make him less terrifying.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Gods don't need followers just to exist, but it's extremely painful.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Kore heals Chief. He does this in order to keep him alive for Cold-Blooded Torture in an attempt to lure in the rest of his party.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings:
    • Duv has a single white angel wing that marks her out as the savior of all goblinkind (she used to have two, but one was burned off in a fire). Then again, Light Is Not Good...
    • Kore's I.M.E. creates a a pair of Angel wings... made from chains and severed heads.
  • Gorn: This comic is notable for its almost savage aversion of the Gory Discretion Shot, most significantly during the Battle of Brassmoon City, and Kore's Cold-Blooded Torture of Chief.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Kore kills a dwarf child in his Establishing Character Moment, it cuts away, only showing a sound effect for the bolt being fired.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Kore with "evil" creatures. Also see Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: K'seliss the lizard man considers it "perverted" to fight creatures he can't eat. When he's on the brink of being overwhelmed by metal constructs, he avoids the repugnant course of action by picking up one of the insect-like attackers, proclaiming that it is so pissed at its fellow-constructs that it's going to kill the rest of them, and then using his mechanical captive as a club.
  • Graceful Loser: The Goblin Angel isn't mad at all when Fumbles escapes from her after failing her test. Probably because she never liked having to kill the failures in the first place.
  • Groin Attack:
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The Maze of Many. The characters don't remember each attempt, however, but they get a counter. Which is nearing two million loops for the protagonist party.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted with the Brassmoon City guards.
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • Readers believe, due to his appearance and the implications on one page that Saral Caine is one. Likely, he's a Stonechild: Somewhere along his family line, the primal element of Earth was fused with one of his ancestors, or him.
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer is one as well; from his appearance, he looks like he might be a treant/human hybrid. The yuan-ti Kin declares he was changed into his present state by a wizard. Given the most recent evidence, he might be a Half-Human Hybrid only in the same way a cyborg is — he looks to be a Half-Golem (a D&D template where an existing creature has golem limbs grafted onto it, kind of a Magitek cyborg).
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
  • Happiness in Slavery: What the White Terror thinks the fellow goblins she enslaved ought to feel as they carry out this "service to their god and all of goblinkind".
  • Hates Being Touched:
  • Headbutt of Love: Minmax touches his forehead to Kin's before jumping down to retrieve the keys in the Maze of Many.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Anymug can create any mundane liquid. It later comes in handy when something needs to be set on fire.
  • Hero Antagonist: Despite both parties being good-aligned, Forgath and Minmax are these, opposite the Goblin party. Minmax's alignment doesn't really become obvious until he beats Dellyn within four hit points of his life for being so damn evil all the time.
  • Heroic BSoD:
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • During the battle of Brassmoon City, one monster urges his fellow escapees to go on while he holds off the city guards. A couple pages later, he's seen being stabbed to death by the guards.
    • K'seliss dies fighting, but it's not clear whether he does it to save his companions or to avenge himself against his killer.
    • Chief, on the other hand, unquestionably dies to save his companions.
  • Hero Killer:
    • Kore
    • Dellyn and Saral murdered the previous wielder of the Axe of Prissan before the current events.
  • Hero of Another Story: The player group that dies often and shows up with new characters, only to repeat the cycle.
  • He's Back!: Kickass'o is back to kick some ass.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker:
    Big-Ears: It just occurred to me that I'm not comfortable attacking someone from behind.
    Orc: HISSSSSSS [spins around]
    Big-Ears: Thank you. [axes it in the face]
  • Hit Points: Only mentioned when people are close to zero or in the negatives.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The guard who "trained" Fluffles.
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer was beaten and humiliated by a goblin, and later, coup-de-grâce'd by Kin, who he'd beaten and raped nightly.
    • The whole of Brassmoon City for allowing the Goblinslayer free rein over their defense against the "evil" races. Apparently, locking up and torturing a whole army of monsters, quite naturally bent on revenge, within the walls of the city wasn't that great an idea.
    • In a non-sentient example, the Shield of Wonder is eventually destroyed by one its own random magical effects.
    • And the demoness guarding the Bloodlight Orb got Dies to agree to giving her his soul for "the orb", which was NOT the one he thought it was, and in turn, got tricked into taking TWO souls — Dies' and the piece of Klik, banishing her to a portion of Hell that even demons are afraid of.
    • The Viper Goblins dispose of prisoners by feeding them to a captive monster called the Switchbeast. When Biscuit provides it with a way out of its enclosure, it kills and devours many of its former captors in a bid for freedom.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Big-Ears. He doesn't attack from behind. Not even people who do. It's pretty much his Badass Creed.
      Big-Ears: NEVER tell me to quiet my heart again!
    • Fumbles makes his way to Brassmoon City to return an elf child's doll, alone, despite knowing full well the danger involved, because he "has to make this right."
    • More-or-less sums up why Minmax attacked Dellyn. Of course, wisdom is his Dump Stat.
  • Hope Spot:
    • During the escape from Brassmoon City, Kin is hit by a bolt and slips off the wagon. Complains catches her hand, but his arm acts up, forcing him to let go. Next, Big Ears breaks a hole into the wagon floor to pull her up that way, but misses her as she slips past.
    • In the Maze of Many, Kin and her alts have found the Big Bad's weakness. Although they can't apply it to our Minmax, they can apply it to another one who is present, Minmax #38. 38 then attacks Psion Minmax, and scores a hit! And another! And... then gets ripped to shreds by another Minmax, who Psion Minmax then liquefies.
  • A House Divided: While our Forgath, Minmax, and Kin are working towards eventually being True Companions, an alternate reality version could barely get a sentence out without starting an argument.
  • Humanoid Abomination: There's a reason Kore wears that helmet. Underneath it, his own face is a composite of many smaller faces with glowing eyes, permanently twisted in expressions of pain or horror. Presumably, those are the souls of the many victims he killed, if Forgath's conclusion is correct. "Cursed" doesn't even begin to cover it.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Humans in general are portrayed in one of three ways: outright evil (Dellyn Goblinslayer and the Elite Guard), dumb (Minmax and the three Player Characters), or ignorant and prejudiced (the townsfolk of Brassmoon). Forgath is a decent (dwarf) Player Character, but this is a stretch.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Most discussions of the goblins concerning the humans.
  • Hybrid Monster: K'seliss is speculated to be a cross of ogre and lizardfolk.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Kore has dedicated himself to destroying all evil, and will even kill young children just because they've been exposed to evil. He doesn't see the contradiction.
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer defines the term legendary by how much your enemies hate you. He prides himself on the fact that the goblins "would sacrifice anything for a chance at [his] throat." He denies any possibility that Thaco could be considered legendary, but at the end of the comic, states that he "would sacrifice anything for a chance at [Thaco's] throat."
    • Psion Minmax, after apparently killing Kin states that his plan is to remove his existence completely from the universe, although in order to do so, he must wipe out all of the alt versions of himself in the dungeon. When Forgath calls him out on killing Kin, Psion Minmax asks what makes her so important. Forgath responds by saying she was his friend. Psion Minmax asks how that makes her more important than anyone else, and asks, "I wonder what it's like to see yourself with such omnipotent importance." He says this without irony, even though, for his own agenda, he is willing to nullify the existence of hundreds of alternate versions of himself and his comrades, all of which would probably prefer he did not do so.
    • One of the Alt kins' claims that Kin wearing Mixmaxs' birthday necklace controls her just like dellyn did, then she steals it and throws it into an oblivion hole, essentially forcing Kin to forget about her love for Minmax, essentially controlling what Kin feels and acts undoing what is essentially years worth in real time of character development.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Bowst calls Forgath "Mr. Can't Wait to Brag About His Level", when he's the one who couldn't wait to state his own (a whopping level three) and Forgath was just responding to this. He's clearly too dumb to notice the irony.

    Tropes I to L 
  • I Call It "Vera": Minmax creates a sword which is paradoxically made of oblivion, and Kin theorizes it draws power from his ignorance. Minmax christens the sword "Oblivious".
  • Idiot Ball: By all means, let the Barbarian with the improperly healed arm tend to the almost dead Chief, it's not as if there's a fairly skilled healer, say a Paladin with lay-on hands ready to use, less than twenty feet from him. This is because Thaco divided up the duties for that fight and they had no plan, while Ears easily could have taken a quick round to heal Chief while Thaco and Complains fought Kore.
  • I Know Your True Name: Houseruled in, meaning the pit fiend can be forced to serve any mortal who speaks his true name. Incidentally, his true name is definitely not Richard, Francis, Leslie, Winkypoop the slippery monkey, or Walter. Turns out it's Grinnorarcen. They encounter him again serving an alt-Minmax who's really good at guessing names, and Kin convinces the demon to reveal his name so she can order him to return to Hell, freeing him.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Triggers a Wrong-Name Outburst in this scene:
    Big-Ears: Well I'm not abandoning my friend! I am not letting One Eye die!
    [astonished looks]
    Big-Ears: I mean... [buries his face in his hands] You know what I mean.
  • I'm Melting!: What touching Mr. Fingers does to you. More contact speeds it up and spreads it.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
  • Implacable Man: Kore's armor is virtually impenetrable; he shows no mercy or remorse; and he will never stop hunting you. On top of all that, he's also a paladin (somehow, despite his wholesale slaughter of everything even potentially evil), which gives him all of the powers inherent in one. Seriously, getting a rope fused through his freaking neck only slowed him down long enough for him to cast Lay on Hands.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon:
    • Chief's spear, when thrown, flies incredibly straight and fast, and splits into several additional, equally deadly spears mid-flight. It also returns to the user's hand once it lands.
      Big-Ears: No offense to your short sword, but that is the coolest weapon in the whole damn party.
    • Kore's automatic crossbows. They fire several bolts in one go, lock into his tower shield for cover-firing, and automatically reload themselves in seconds from bolt caches hanging from his side.
    • Duv's two razor-sharp shards. They're short, and they don't even have handles. Watching her fight with them is epic, but how she is able to even hold on to them in battle and not slash her hands open in the process is anyone's guess.
    • Minmax's new sword — Oblivious! The blade is literally nothing, and can't be affected by anything that's not Minmax — not even time!
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Displayed by one of the alternate Kins.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • There was a goblin named Runs-with-Scissors, apparently...
    • Minmax has Weapons Proficiency: Furniture. It is surprisingly awesome.
    • He's also figured out a way to crush his foes with a giant stone belt buckle.
    • Duv's primary weapons are a pair of razor blades held between her fingers. It looks like they'd be impossible to use without slicing your own fingers to ribbons, but she makes it work.
  • Info Dump:
    • One of the overpowered artifacts is introduced out of the blue with a large wall of text. Justified since this information is instantly telepathically communicated to Big-Ears when he takes the axe.
    • Duv, the White Terror, is also introduced with epically sized speech bubbles.
  • Informed Ability: It's repeatedly mentioned that Goblinslayer is a high level adventurer, yet the highest-level ability he ever uses is Magic Fang (fourth level?) and he loses in a mostly-straight fight against an enemy of his favored target species. Taking Dellyn's cockiness and need to prove his superiority into consideration, it was likely a combination of bad luck, a Critical Hit, and his lack of decent sight within the battle, not to mention underestimating his opponent. After all, he survived being impaled through the chest and everything from his final fight. Then Kin...
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Well, Insane Lizardman Logic with K'seliss...
      Saves-a-Fox: So if I had never taken adventurer levels, you'd kill me for taking adventurer levels?
      K'seliss: Damn right!
    • In Minmax's worldview, monsters are fit only to be killed for XP. He decides to make an exception for Kin... if he can find something normal about her. He can't. At all. She doesn't know her birthday or her father's identity, because of the way yuan-ti mate. He really doesn't want to kill her though, so he gives her a birthday. So she'll have something normal.
    • As a general rule, Minmax's logic tends to fall into this category.
      Thaco: Watching him think is like watching ice melt.
    • Psimax hopes to use this to prove that one equals zero and make the (artificial, pocket) Universe disappear in a Puff of Logic. Not so insane though since it's heavily implied that, with a bit more effort, it would have worked.
  • Instant Armor: The Axe of Prissan comes with a free suit of full plate.
  • Insufferable Genius: WizMax. The description of his reality says that if a rogue backstabbed him, he would point out that with his Intelligence, he would have predicted easily that a Rogue would backstab him and therefore covered his back with armor to prepare for it.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: Complains suggests going through the Depths of the Dragon's Maw to avoid dangers such as "all the stupid hobgoblins out for our blood," then tells one of their fellow escapees, a hobgoblin, "No offense."
  • Interface Screw: When the Axe of Prissan breaks and its contents start leaking, the borders between comic panels become covered in blood.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence:
    • K'seliss has stated that in Lizard Folk culture, fighting, eating and mating are considered different forms of the same thing. In one scene he expresses disgust over fighting a swarm of metal monsters because they're inedible and fighting them would be a sexual perversion, and he also considers eating the fingers and limbs of potential mating partners to be an acceptable display of affection.
    • A darker take on this trope is Dellyn's thing.
  • Interrogating the Dead: Kore uses Speak with Dead on Young-and-Beautiful's corpse.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Most likely why Kore's vision of good is so skewed and how he manages to be a Knight Templar while still being immune to the Axe of Prissan.
  • Ironic Echo:
  • Ironic Name: Young-And-Beautiful, the fortune teller, is old and ugly. Her name is due to the fact that all goblins are named by the fortune teller, including the fortune teller herself, so she basically chose her own name.
  • Ironic Nickname: The ogre who died to give the others a chance had "COWARD" carved into his face.
  • Irony:
    • Dellyn's obsession over Thaco, to the point where he pulls an Ironic Echo on himself!
    • According to Psionic Minmax, "our" Kin, Minmax and Forgath usually die in the tower room. It's only because of his attempts to force everything inside the Maze into Cessation of Existence that they were able to find a Dungeon Bypass and find the final room in defiance of his calculations, and because of that they are able to defeat him by forcing him into the winner's circle.
    • Kore has a completely black-and-white view on the world, but tortures Chief in order to lure the goblins back. The fact that this tactic worked means the goblins have compassion appears to be completely lost on him.
  • It's All About Me: The Viper Clan has an entirely self-aborbed philosophy - they claim their tribe was destined by the goblins' god to lead the rest, that other tribes and all other species are inherently beneath them while they are inherently above, and thus that they are morally entitled to take what they wish and do whatever they like. When Dies points out that by their philosophy they aren't truly responsible for their successes, as they are only such because their god willed it to be so - and that they thus should not be prideful (nor prejudiced) because of it - they are not amused.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down:
    • Subverted for laughs in Brassmoon City.
      Complains: We don't have long before the remaining guards notice us. Ears, I can't move in the state I'm in and you're already pretty much carrying Fumbles. So I want you to listen very carefully...
      Ears: No! I am NOT leaving you behind, Complains!
      [Beat Panel]
      Complains: ...Are you high?! I was GOING to say that we should find a board or something to put me on, and you could maybe drag me out of here! Damn right you're not leaving me behind!
    • Said almost word for word in this strip, but gets subverted one page later when it's revealed that his spine isn't broken and he can fight Kore briefly.
  • Jerkass: Takn might well be the first completely unsympathetic monster character shown so far in the comic.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Duv's son Grem.
    • Minmax is shaping up in this direction as well.
  • I Think You Broke Him: "Cool, I think you broke Baka."
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The various groups work separately, without a shared goal, but the reader gets the impression that they are leading eventually to an overall resolution.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: When the goblin party is in a room with a pearl that's about to explode, Big-Ears covers it with his armored body to absorb as much of the damage as he can.
  • Karma Houdini: It's almost completely impossible that Ruby could face any direct punishment at least for stealing the necklace Minmax made for Kin and throwing it into an Oblivion Hole, leading to the destruction of Kin and Minmax's relationship because of the simple fact that the instant she did it, it had never happened and no-one, including her, even remembers that the necklace existed in the first place.
  • Karmic Death: See Hoist by His Own Petard, among others.
  • Karmic Injury: When Thaco was a prisoner of Dellyn Goblinslayer, Dellyn cut off one of Thaco's ears, and had it framed as a trophy. When Thaco defeats Dellyn in a duel and has him at his mercy, he cuts off Dellyn's ear and throws it away in a display of both Cruel Mercy and But for Me, It Was Tuesday.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: The magical key to the Well of Darkness was actually inside it, with a group of dead adventurers. The Viper clan had to tunnel a Dungeon Bypass to get inside.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: The goblins that Dies-Horribly's psychopathic left arm killed. Their deaths were creatively brutal and horrific, but they kinda had it coming — they had just been trying to beat a fellow goblin to death while he cowered in fear, simply because they were too cowardly to stand up to their Viper Clan captor who gave the order. The one who survives is, appropriately, the only one who refused the order.
  • Kill the Lights: Thaco attempts to exploit the fact that he can see in the dark by luring Dellyn into a sewer before fighting him, and blocking off all the manholes so the sewer is pitch black. Dellyn, however, subverts this by casting a spell that provides him with a light source, rendering Thaco's advantage moot.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence:
  • Killer GM: Herbert, the GM running the entire campaign. The protagonists are consistently faced with inappropriate encounter ratings. They only manage to survive thanks to Deus Ex Machinas, luck, Munchkining, and really quick and clever thinking. And all too often, they don't. Tuck of the Human Adventure Party dies on GM fiat alone, while Baka gets killed complaining about broken rules.
  • Killing Your Alternate Self: The Maze of Many. Which apparently has an alt-on-alt bodycount in the millions, if not more. Since every time the maze resets every team bar one gets to go again, and at the time of writing there were over 200 teams of alternates, almost definitely more.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • How Thaco reacts to Dellyn's using his ear as a trophy.
    • How Forgath deals with Dellyn. Being part-wood and covered in fuel...
  • Knight of Cerebus: Each time Kore appears, the series gets darker and more serious.
  • Knight Templar: Kore, to the extreme. This is a guy who's willing to kill anyone who has had contact with the monster races, even if the contact wasn't voluntary. Specifically, if the encounter may lead to said person (including children...) sympathizing with monsters.
    Kore: I am regretful that you were forced from your homeland and held here by these evil creatures. You see, evil is like a seed. And although you did not choose to interact with these lower beasts, by socializing with them, that seed... has been placed within you. As a result, you may one day grow to empathize with their evil ways. I cannot allow that risk to exist. All evil, even potential evil, must be eradicated.
  • Knuckle Cracking: Mr. Fingers is doing this kind of sound with every move. Every freakin' move. Revealed to be because the thing breaks and re-breaks its own bones to move.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A lot of this goes on about D&D rules.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • One of the alternate-reality Kins has magical tattoos that wipe all her memories of death, given to her by the Forgath from her universe when he learned that Goblinslayer forced her to murder four of her best friends. She believes that she has never killed anyone nor known anyone who has ever died; if she regained those memories, it would be too much for her to handle.
    • In the Maze of Many, when something enters an oblivion hole, it and all memory of it are erased from existence. This means then when Kin's necklace Minmax made is dropped into one, she loses the memory of receiving it, which was why she trusted Minmax. Thus, she immediately questions why she's been trusting him. Minmax, whose feelings for Kin weren't tied to the necklace, is confused and distraught by this.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A number of Viper clan goblins who "freed" a bunch of non-goblin slaves to a switch beast which promptly ate them end up getting attacked by it themselves when Biscuit gives it a route to reach them.
  • Lean and Mean: Psion Minmax is almost-skeletal thin.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "And that, boys and girls, is how a lady without legs can kick a guy in the gut."
  • Leave Him to Me!: Dellyn decided he had to kill Thaco by himself.
  • Leave No Survivors:
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
  • Lethal Joke Item: The Anymug. It can create any liquid — so long as that liquid isn't magical or normally non-liquid and can be held by the relatively fragile stone the mug is made out of (so not too hot, not too cold, and not at all acidic). The most obvious use is for infinite free drinks, but you can also use it to set a guy on fire.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision:
    • Biscuit cuts off his own leg with an axe after being infected by Mr Fingers' flesh-rotting curse.
    • Well, more like Someone Else's Life-or-Limb Decision, but Dies-Horribly cuts his metal arm after it goes out of control and tries to kill Saves-a-Fox.
    • Big-Ears cuts off Complains' hand when Complains has a pearl magically stuck to it that's about to explode.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • Kore, after he demonstrates his Paladin powers.
    • Saral Caine's IME is bright white, making him look pretty good or neutral. He's a psychopath's best friend and Dragon.
  • Literal Cliffhanger:
    • A whole hut full of slaves, including Dies-Horribly, Saves-a-Fox and K'seliss, hangs from a cliff during the hobgoblins' attack of the Viper clan.
    • Fumbles during the fight against Kore.
  • Lizard Folk:
    • Lizardfolks, like K'seliss.
    • Kobolds, like Takn or Yala.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Forgath has two different beard colors, after part of his beard was re-created in the Maze of Many.
  • Loincloth:
    • Most of the men in the Goblin camp at the beginning wore loinclothes. Thaco wore one until he was ordered to put on pants for the groups' sake.
    • Fox apparently has a Magic Skirt enchantment on hers and her crop top also.
    • Also Minmax prior to their visit to Brassmoon City.
      Forgarth: You promised me you'd buy pants, Minmax.
  • Lovable Coward: Dies-Horribly is a quivering mess. It's easy to sympathize: his life sucks.
  • Love Triangle: Dies-Horribly and Grem both seem to be vying for Saves-a-Fox's affections.
  • Luke Nounverber: Dellyn Goblinslayer; Forgath Bladebeard
  • Luring in Prey: Treasure plants are enormous Venus flytraps that grow buds resembling precious gemstones, created by a wizard who hated trespassers on their property. Fortunately, they only pose a threat to the dumbest of individuals... unfortunately, this includes Minmax.

    Tropes M to P 
  • Made of Bologna: Characters are drawn in this style to soften some of the Gorn moments.
  • Made of Iron: As a result of playing D&D Hit Points straight. Important characters can be run through by several spears and swords, but still survive, and injuries rarely have any lasting effect. However, it's worth noting that the author has developed a custom set of critical hit and fumble tables that can indeed result in lasting or permanent injury, incapacitation, and many other things. These are highlighted with Complains' broken arm and during the sewer fight between Thaco and Dellyn Goblinslayer.
  • Made of Plasticine: Most low-level characters, due to their low hit points, can die to being breathed on harshly.
  • Magical Sensory Effect: Powerful characters gain an "Individual Magical Effect" that manifests when they cast spells or use Charles Atlas Superpowers. It's just a glow in a character-specific colour at low levels, but becomes an elaborate visual display at higher ones, like a fallen paladin gaining "wings" of white chains tethering the ghostly heads of his victims.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: K'seliss tries to be this to keep up appearances when his arms start melting off.
  • Manchild: Minmax. Sometimes bordering on Psychopathic Manchild.
    Forgath: Yer an infant, you know that?
  • Masochist's Meal:
    • Yumyuck moss, though apparently dwarves are usually really drunk when they eat it. The goblins later explain that the trick is to swallow it before the taste changes.
    • Lesser finger horrors are a "last meal" sort of deal.
  • Meaningful Echo:
  • Meaningful Name: Pretty much every single goblin of the protagonists' tribe; names are given by the tribe's fortune teller and supposedly prophetic, which isn't much of a comfort for poor Dies-Horribly. (The Viper tribe's fortune teller pointedly doesn't follow this custom, but it still seems common practice among other goblins.)
    • In fact, the main characters of the Goblin Adventuring Party can be said to have doubly meaningful names, as the plot later reveals:
      • Big-Ears does, in fact, have very large ears. However, the name can also be a reference to his inability to ignore suffering.
      • Thaco's name is a reference to an outdated D&D combat mechanic (To Hit Armor Class 0), which relates to his age (he is quite old for a goblin, and much older than the other members of the party). However, it also hints at his extraordinary combat skill, as demonstrated in his fight against Delynn Goblinslayer.
      • Fumbles' name is a reference to his Cloudcuckoolander status (he tends to trip over himself a lot during his shenanigans), as well as a "fumble", otherwise known as a critical failure due to an extremely bad roll of the dice. Which becomes tragically appropriate when he has the bad fortune of running into Dellyn Goblinslayer.
      • Complains-of-Names likes to complain about the naming system of his goblin clan. He's also the first one to suggest taking adventurer levels, thus casting off the fate foretold by the clan prophet as well as all of the goblin traditions tied to it. Or maybe not.
      • Chief is a subversion: he was never supposed to be the chief, but he was given that name anyway so as to avoid a civil war. As a result, he constantly tries, and fails, to live up to a role he was never supposed to have. Is it any wonder that he's the first of the main characters to die?
    • Inverted, amusingly enough, by the protagonists' tribe's fortune teller herself: Young-and-Beautiful is an ancient Gonk. Of course, she was young once, and may have been beautiful then.
    • Non-goblin examples are also not uncommon, such as a player character resembling a Japanese samurai named Baka. Or for a less subtle example, Minmax. Or the hardcore Kore. And Dellyn Goblinslayer.
    • And then there's "Duv", who might well be able to bring peace to the goblin tribes, as well as being born with white-feathered wings...
    • Meanwhile, the Viper Clan as a whole seems very keen on murdering people who have helped them.
  • Medium Awareness: Intermittently throughout, since the characters are aware of the nature of their universe, and the rules by which it runs. The adventuring party appear to actually be players, who occasionally break character and even reroll when they die, despite the whole thing, RPG mechanics and all, being very real to everyone else.
  • Mêlée à Trois: In the Maze of Many, "our" Forgath-Kin-Minmax team vs. three alternate-universe Kins vs. a pack of undead made from many other dead AU counterparts. In retrospect, attacking a rival party that is fleeing from a lot of zombies may not be that wise.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Maglubiyet evidently buys into this trope, as it's apparently a divine mandate that no females (spellcasters excepted) are allowed in a goblin warcamp. As warcamps are essentially decoys to lure adventurers away from the women and children, this means a lot of goblin males die to deflect danger away from their families. Especially notable as Young-and-Beautiful, the only female in the warcamp, hides whenever adventurers approach.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Brilliantly parodied by a filler strip.
  • Mercy Kill: Stellar example.
  • Mermaid Problem: Alluded to with Dellyn and Kin, but largely handwaved away. Of course, all things considered, that's probably for the best. It works, but involves healing potions. Given who we're dealing with, it might not have to though. Since, in one of the alternate realities, Minmax and Kin have been having near-constant sex since the birthday scene, it's a pretty safe bet there's a less squicky way for that to happen.
  • Minion Maracas:
  • Min-Maxing: Minmax, of course. His player has apparently talked the GM into allowing him to trade various ordinary abilities for extra combat feats.
  • Mirror Match: Minmax vs. Minmax.
  • Miss Exposition: Kin
  • Mistaken for Gay: Minmax's favorite way of riling up Forgath.
    Forgath: That's it! From the waist down, you're mine!
    Minmax: Okay, that is the gayest thing you've ever said.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Minmax shouts to a girl that she is "13 and hot," by which he means she has a Charisma score of 13 and is therefore physically attractive. The people in the crowded city around him unfortunately don't know he's talking about ability scores.
    Forgath: Yeah, we're gonna get lynched...
  • Moment Killer: Forgath does it quite intentionally here, interrupting a Held Gaze between Minmax and Kin about Yuan-Ti "trueseeing" by casting Cure Light Wounds on Minmax.
  • Monochrome Past: Every flashback since the comic started to be colored is in grayscale.
  • Monty Haul:
    • Forgath mentions at one point in Brassmoon that they shouldn't expect to find magic items in a blacksmith's shop since "even Herbert isn't THAT Monty Haul." It's clear from some of the other things that they DO find that they're playing a campaign where all the cool stuff they get is going to be necessary later.
    • One alternate universe apparently has so many magic rings that Forgath needs a special staff just to use them all.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Minmax pulls this off when he finds Dellyn's sword.
    • In the other direction, the comic goes from arguing about the rules to tear jerker in about three pages.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family:
  • Morph Weapon Shapeshifter Weapon:
    • Dies-Horribly's metal arm;
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer's wooden arm;
    • Klik himself.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Mr. Fingers
  • Munchkin: Minmax is, in all likelihood, a subversion of this — while his character design is heavily minmaxed, he roleplays the disadvantages he took in exchange for all that combat potential to the hilt.
  • Mutual Kill:
    • K'seliss vs. Mr. Fingers.
    • Two of the characters in the 28/3/2013 strip impale each other simultaneously and fatally.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Forgath, after the slaughter of the goblin warcamp.
    • Fumbles, too, after accidentally injuring an elf girl. That's why he goes to Brassmoon, after all — despite having been rather explicitly warned that it's the home of the Goblinslayer, and having witnessed Thaco's reaction to the idea of anyone in the party going there.
    • Minmax, after thoughtlessly grabbing Kin's mind control leash during a fight.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: One alternate Kin has an Organic Bra that gives her a v-shaped plunging neckline.
  • Neck Snap:
  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Unintentionally done by Dies-Horribly. But it was a Senseless Sacrifice anyway, so it's all good.
  • Neverending Terror: Dies-Horribly's Prophetic Name leaves him spending most of his time shivering in fear, since he firmly believes that You Can't Fight Fate. Once he dies and is resurrected, he starts getting over it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Mryorg, after almost releasing the demon in the Axe of Prissan intentionally, his quest for the greatest pain lead to him choosing to end his time with the axe and give it to a paladin. He chose the demon's pain in the end.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Psion Minmax believes that life is torment and only Cessation of Existence can provide relief.
  • Noble Shoplifter: Thaco does this in Brassmoon, although he and the other goblins haven't much clue on the value of human coins.
  • Nobody Poops: Parodied, subverted, and then inverted in an Enemy Chatter conversation the audience is allowed to listen to.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Klik grafting a part of himself to replace Dies-Horribly's arm is considered forbidden by his species, but he did it anyway to save Dies' life. In the end, the arm becomes sentient and evil, Dies cuts it off, and it kills Klik.
  • Non-Combat EXP:
    • It features one conversation between two city guards in Brassmoon City about a time when a DM granted someone roleplaying XP for taking a dump. This granted him just enough XP to level up. Needless to say, things got crappy real fast.
    • Minmax and Forgath discuss this early on, as well.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: On meeting for the first time, Forgath comments Kore probably wants to give a monologue about the nature of evil. Kore fires a volley of crossbow bolts at Forgath mid-sentence.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Thaco: So there I was, surrounded by penis monkeys...
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Mostly played straight.
    • Humorously lampshaded at one point by Complains-of-Names.
      Complains-of-Name: Damn right you're not leaving me behind!
    • Then averted with Kin.
    • And again with Chief.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • Someone conveniently left a lot of broken rusty pipes sticking out of the water in the sewers.
    • The Well of Darkness is much worse.
      Grem: Wow. The guys who built this place sure had a thing for long drops.
  • Not So Above It All: Minmax accuses Big Ears of enjoying seeing him land painfully when he cut him down from the ceiling. Big Ears denies it, and when he's accused of lying, he claims that paladins never lie, or they lose all their paladin levels. Moments later, he admits to Thaco that he was lying and that he did enjoy Minmax getting hurt.
  • Not So Omniscient After All:
    • Psion Minmax knows nearly everything about the Maze of Many. However his plan was hindered by what he believes is our Minmax and Kin being in love. Later, he is perplexed to find that something is drawing on the power of oblivion to punch holes in time, but he doesn't know what (it's Minmax's sword). He remains determined, however, and notes that only an idiot would say that these happenings are impossible. Then he finds Forgath and Kin, when according to what he knows 1) they should be dead, and 2) nobody should make it to that room for another 8 minutes.
      Psion Minmax: Impossible.
    • After using his trump card, Psion Minmax tells the survivors that there is absolutely no way they can stop him, as he will simply adjust his calculations with the next reset. Minmax throws him into the winner's ring, forever banishing him from the Maze and ending his quest for oblivion.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Averted by Klik. Just because he can fly doesn't mean he can completely stop the momentum of a falling goblin. He later shows that he did learn from the experience, though.
  • Not Worth Killing: Dellyn to Thaco, which is a Fate Worse than Death for the former.
  • Obliviously Evil: Kore and his lovely shade of denial.
  • Obviously Evil: The alternate-universe goblins.
  • Officially Shortened Title: The full title was originally Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes. Nowadays, though, this subtitle is rarely ever mentioned, including on the official website, where the comic's title is simply Goblins.
  • Off-Model: The artstyle is extremely loose, leading to many instances of this and the frequent, derisive description of the character designs as "lumps of plasticine filled with ketchup".
  • Off with His Head!: The fate of two demons in the Well of Darkness.
  • Oh, Crap!: There are many moments of epic dismay in this series.
    • Dellyn's reaction when he realizes just what Thaco has been doing during the battle.
    • Thaco on this page.
    • Any character, especially from one of the Monstrous races, upon the realization that Kore is on his way.
    • Also, if a character utters "Sonova crap", it's probably paired with an Oh, Crap! face.
    • "Hi Names. Remember me?" The whole GAP.
    • Mr. Fingers invokes this in all who look at him as a game mechanic, by means of a fear-causing aura (forcing a Will save against panic). Dies fails his save here, while Fox blows hers soon after. Grem can handle the saves until Mr. Fingers uses an alternate method on him.
    • Said outright by Alt Minmax when Kin banishes Alt Not-Walter to Hell, depriving him of his only ally and ensuring he has a really bad time in the afterlife.
    • "You look shaken."
    • Psion Minmax gets this expression when the 11 minor variables he thinks he can easily deal with turn out to be 11 alts all looking at him with sheer bloodlust.
    • He gives another one later when he finds that his weakness has been changed, so that Minmax #38 is immune to his powers, and is now able to hurt him.
    • Forgath has one when he and Minmax finally find the GAP. This isn't at all surprising, considering that the source of this moment is Kore.
  • Old Master: Thaco again.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Psion Minmax. He's hoping for a Class Z, but the best he can do is to localize it within the dungeon.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Kore is said to have wiped out entire armies of orcs and ogres by himself, making him a One-Dwarf Army.
    • Biscuit rapidly proves himself to be a One-Orc Army.
  • One Size Fits All: Generally averted; size modifiers have been mentioned, and human-size gear has occasionally been rejected as unusable. The Axe of Prissan and Big-Ears' armor play this trope straight, justified by them being magical and designed to reshape and suit the needs of whoever uses them.
  • One-Time Dungeon: The Maze of Many, Minmax uses this to foil Psimax since his plan requires him to use its power.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: K'seliss fighting with his teeth after his arms literally fell off.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Dellyn insists on duelling Thaco so he can kill him personally, rather than letting his soldiers kill him. Thaco uses this to his advantage.
  • Orwellian Retcon: the punchline of this page. Uncertain if the original punnote  was replaced because it was too forced, or because it was kind of risque.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They feed by inflicting suffering on the souls of other creatures, they enslave mortals by trading their souls for goods and services, and if a mortal speaks their true name, they can be forced to do their bidding until the mortal dies.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The goblins are the good guys this time around. Well, at least some of them. The only way to consider Duv even remotely sympathetic by this point is to take her backstory (told in the first person) as the whole truth. Even then, she behaves awfully like a beginning Evil Overlord, with a self-admitted sadist, Riss, as her Dragon. Either way, though, it's more character development than goblins usually get.
  • Our Gods Are Different: They don't need followers just to exist, but their existence is painful without them. Gods feel the suffering of their followers. They are Non Linear Characters, simultaneously existing at all points from the beginning to the end of time. They are also The Omniscient, though they are not necessarily intelligent or wise enough to use their omniscience proficiently.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Klik's green offspring is technically a vampire. It doesn't drink blood so much as absorb it through contact, and heals when it does so. Its vampire qualities are made especially apparent when it kills the halfing archer instantly by stabbing him with its claws and draining him of every drop of blood.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Minmax expects the zombies to be the slow, shambling type. When they charge towards him at running speed, he accuses them of being "cheater zombies".
  • Overused Copycat Character: Mocked, roundly.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: After this page when the Axe of Prissan is broken, the lower right hand corner of the page begins to darken, crack, and even bleed due to the effects it's having.
  • Papa Wolf: Pan's relationship with Yala.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The logic behind an early plan (dressing everyone in the war-camp in fake moustaches) isn't so sound... But is temporarily deemed the least idiotic plan of the bunch.
    • In alt-reality #20, Kin, Forgath and Minmax are on the run from the elves. Learning that the elves are hunting a bald human and a dwarf with a horned helmet, Forgath and Kin shave their head and Minmax starts wearing Forgath's helmet. Also, Kin throws away all her clothes because a naked snake-woman is the last thing the elves would expect... incidentally, the defining trait of reality #20 is that the trio are all really, really stupid.
  • Parasite Zombie: The Yellow Musk Creeper, and the Thornback clan it has enslaved.
  • Peek A Bangs: Saves-a-Fox has a hairstyle that keeps one eye covered.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Psion Minmax only seems capable of a disgruntled sneer or, on rare occasions, a snarl of hate.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Minmax believes that monsters should be killed for XP and treasure. However, when he finds out that his hero, Dellyn Goblinslayer, has been repeatedly raping a yuan-ti... his first reaction is to promptly throw him out of a window.
    • Then, he gets another one, which may qualify him for a true Heel–Face Turn, here.
    • When he found Saral Caine's corpse, Dellyn was, quite startlingly, reduced to tears. That was his best friend and sidekick.invoked
  • Planning with Props: In this strip, Complains is explaining the difficulties in getting to Hell, drawing in the dirt to illustrate, when Fumbles and Minmax stick in objects to represent themselves. Fumbles uses his mustache, and Minmax slams down a rock with a face drawn on it and a crude crown.
  • Plot Device:
    • The Orb of Bloodlight. Duv thinks it can regenerate her wing and allow her to take her place as the White Terror and ruler of all goblins. Dies-Horribly finally uses it to gain a new magical arm in replacement for the one Klik granted him.
    • The Jade Teapot for Kin & Co. Its power is clearly stated as a form of teleportation aiming at individuals rather than places. Forgath and Minmax plan to use it to find the GAP.
  • Pocket Dimension: The Maze of Many.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Fantastic Racism is one of Goblinslayer's defining traits.
    • Kore refers to his targets as "evil", "monster", and "lower beasts". In his first appearance, he made his views clear.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Apparently, a raging barbarian is completely unaware of injuries. Names has collapsed or screamed in pain the moment the rage ended on multiple occasions.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Kore's Individual Magic Effect is a pair of glowing wings made of chains with his victims' heads attached.
  • Power Glows: One of the oddities of the setting's magic is that magic reacts differently with every person. There's almost always a glow (and sometimes additional, phantasmal effects), which has a color and quality varying according to a person's "individual magical effect." The IME can thus be used to identify the caster.
  • Power Limiter: Kin's collar suppresses her magic and prevents her from hurting anyone if the attached leash is being held.
  • The Power of Love: Kin and Minmax's love actually prevents their own annihilation. It's justified - the maniac attempting to reduce the entire situation to math (so he can divide reality by zero) completely overlooked the possibility of a deep emotional bond. It threw off the math just enough.
    Psimax: I've run the Maze of Many eight hundred eighteen times and had one thousand nine hundred ninety one encounters with other multiversal variants. You're the first to surprise me.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Thaco, near the beginning.
    Seth: Well, well. Three goblins who are too old to fight back. Easy XP.
    Thaco: You know, in the old days, we depended on ingenuity, rather than feats, the strength stat used a forward slash as a decimal point... and there were no such thing as drow. [pulling his cane into two swords] I miss the old days.
  • Precision F-Strike: After explaining that he chooses not to swear, Big Ears throws his axe across the river while it's tied to a rope so that they can use the rope to cross. Unfortunately, he underestimates the effects of the Bull's Strength spell Chief cast on him, and the axe and rope go sailing out of sight.
    [Beat Panel]
    Ears: Shit.
  • Prophecy Twist:
    • One example is Saves-a-Fox. She was prophesied to save a fox on a specific day. She decided to Screw Destiny by killing it instead. Eventually it's revealed that she DID save it... from terrible suffering due to an incurable illness.
    • Another example is Dies-Horribly. He died horribly at least once in the comic - he performed a Heroic Sacrifice, and he didn't stay dead as he should have.
    • A third example: at the start of the comic, Young-And-Beautiful the Goblin fortune teller predicts that Forgath will be killed by another dwarf. He thinks it's going to be Kore but survives his encounter with him. Later on, he's forced to attempt a Thanatos Gambit (after his Klik parts are corrupted, his only chance to avoid becoming a monster is for him to die and for Ward to try and reconstitute him like it can with a dead Klik), and Idle, who had just admitted to being a transformed dwarf rather than a transformed elf, gives him a poison lethal to dwarves for his suicide.
  • Prophetic Names: Lampshaded, Subverted, Averted and generally played with by the various Goblin tribes mentioned.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Big-Ears has one a first time, then later again when he detects Saral Caine's approach — more specifically, the Axe of Prissan.
  • Psycho for Hire:
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer, a sadist who justifies his brutality through the fact that he's doing it to supposedly Always Chaotic Evil creatures and that (his idea of) Utopia Justifies the Means.
    • Riss, maybe — he doesn't even try to deny taking the interest in suffering of others.
  • Puff of Logic: Psion Minmax is trying to do this to the entire Maze of Many.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
  • Punctuation Shaker: K'seliss
  • Punny Name: A few.
    • Kore is hardcore.
    • Noe, whose name is a plot point; see "Who's on First?" below.
    • Thaco is an old guy, and the term THAC0 hasn't been part of the rules set for over fifteen years.
    • Baka, or "idiot" in Japanese, seems to have a rather fitting name. And he's somehow Japanese.
    • Minmax, the minmaxer.
    • The Hammer of Prissan and another unnamed weapon are prisons, made to capture good and the damned respectively. The Axe of Prissan makes its wielders believe that it's also a prison made to contain evil, but it isn't.
  • Puzzle Boss: Implied with some golem monsters in the Maze of Many.

    Tropes Q to T 
  • Queer Colors: The goblin angel has a sword in the colors of the transgender pride flag. She also wears pink, white and teal bracelets and rings on various parts of her body.
  • Queer Establishing Moment: The goblins and Minmax encounter a magical pillar that shows images of what you lust after. For Fumbles it doesn't change, implying that he is asexual, and for Big Ears it shows a muscular male goblin, revealing that he is gay.
  • Randomized Transformation: In the cursewalk, Idle spun a wheel with various species written on it. The first spin transformed her into a goblin, the second adding rabbit into the mix.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Minmax considers Goblinslayer his hero until he learns exactly what the sicko has been doing with his yuan-ti pet. This was the first hint Minmax got that Goblinslayer was much happier with things like vivisection than just killing his enemies. Thus Minmax isn't happy to find out and gives Goblinslayer a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Goblinslayer didn't see that one coming.
  • Razor Floss: What Dies-Horribly's metamorphic arm amounts to when it gets thin enough.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Fox gives one to Duv when, after having been saved from drowning by Fox, she then attempts to kill Fox. It gets to her.
      Fox: Any adventurer will tell you that you need to be level 1 before you can reach level 2. In that same way, you need the power to kill before you can have the power to choose not to kill. It's the lesson I was supposed to learn the day I met that fox. It's what my name means. I just didn't know it until now.
      Duv: But as I've said, you're obviously wrong. You're going to die. You've lost.
      Fox: I'm going to die, a goblin. You're going to live as... something else. And since your entire purpose is to celebrate and represent all of goblin kind, I don't think it's me who's lost.
      [Duv drops one of her razors]
    • Shortly after this, Duv gets another one from Biscuit, who suggests that, while he has been taught to accept loss, and knows not to let it burden him, she has let her desire to regrow her lost wing warp her into something weak and insane. Then, to prove the point, he rips off her other wing.
    • An example of dueling speeches:
      • "You've been taking levels as an adventurer, haven't you? That's the most perverted thing I've ever heard of."
      • "You're some random human I fought in the early levels of my adventuring career. You're a random encounter."
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: Psimax seems to be attempting something like this. He seems to think that the rules of the pocket dimension they are in will allow it, as opposed to the universe at large.
  • Rebel Relaxation: K'seliss, second panel.
  • Red Herring: Thaco defeats Dellyn but leaves him alive and humiliated. Cue "what an idiot!" reactions from the fans, because Dellyn is still a high-level ranger, which means he has tracking skills. And now he has a motive to hunt Thaco down, and after being fired as captain of the City Guard, he has nothing keeping him in Brassmoon. However, none of this ends up mattering, since Dellyn is taken down shortly thereafter in a meaningless barfight, before Kin administers the Coup de Grâce.
  • Red Right Hand: There is no explanation why Psion Minmax's arms are skeletal, colored black and purple, and ending up in clawed hands. One thing it tells us for sure, is that he's bad news.
  • Released to Elsewhere: The Viper Clan let all their non-goblin slaves leave through the "South Exit" of their territory, a arena-like pit containing the Switchbeast.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: Minmax tries to remind Kin of this when she seems to be keeping something from him. It's then horrifyingly Inverted when the necklace Minmax gave Kin, the reason she started trusting him in the first place, is dropped into an oblivion hole. At that moment, she becomes even more distant, and a distraught Minmax tries to grab her and demand that she stop this and listen to what he has to say... only to realize that he mistakenly has grabbed her magical enslavement leash, destroying whatever trust she may have had left in him.
  • Ret-Gone: When Psion Minmax opens holes of oblivion, anything that falls in is not only destroyed, but erased from the memory of everyone, including the fact that they fell in. Kin is tipped off when Minmax throws his boots in, and she's left wondering how no-one ever noticed that he only wears one boot... er, he walks around barefoot...
  • The Reveal: Of Kore's true face. On second thoughts, maybe it would have been better if we hadn't found out...
  • Rip Tailoring: Thaco with the halfling outfit.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Complains is prone to them. Now, he's a Barbarian and becomes stronger with them. Chief's death leads to the ultimate one against Kore.
    • Remember that orc who's been repeatedly dying for 600 years to nourish the demons in the well of darkness? He's loose.
  • Role-Playing Game 'Verse
  • Rousing Speech: One guard gives one to his men right before battling the party as a rare villainous example.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: The comic uses a heavily houseruled D&D ruleset. The author has even gone out of her way to state that all the combat results that may seem like an Ass Pull are indeed legitimate. The system the comic uses undoubtedly relies on circumstance bonuses and penalties derived from good tactics, role-playing and the various in game circumstances. Called shots are likely factored in as well. It's also possible that certain effects like being doused in oil and lit on fire have been tweaked to be more realistic.
  • Running Gag:
    • Minmax can't keep a weapon. Specifically, he lost the sword he started with to one of Not-Walter's minions, the one foraged from the one-legged, blind orc he plunged into one of the eyes of the Lake's tentacle monster, but it was recovered by Forgath, just to be destroyed by the Shield of Wonder's Entanglement Effect, and the replacement they got in Brassmoon was broken in half by Goblinslayer. Even an alternate version of him is prone to this. Later, Minmax acquires a weapon that mimics whatever material it touches. Within minutes, he stuffs it into a hole in spacetime, which renders said weapon made of nonexistence. Fortunately it stops moving through time when he lets go of it and comes back when he needs it, which means that it's impossible for him to lose it.
    • Whenever Minmax is about to do something life-threateningly stupid, Forgath tackles him to the ground. And it's always the exact same frame composition.
    • Also, Minmax's color-shifting armor — whenever he says a color, it shifts.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Minmax is the master of this. Among the skills he's sacrificed are the ability to read, the ability to start fires, the ability to dress himself, the ability to rhyme on purpose, and the ability to wink. Net result: far better combat skills than any first-level fighter ought to have.
  • Sadistic Choice: The teller of one goblin tribe, when confronted with the need to pick the successor to their deceased chief, had to choose between the rightful chief, whose leadership would provoke a civil war, and the son of the previous chief, whose poor leadership would doom the clan to obscurity.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: The hobgoblins of the Chorgrak clan.
    Duv: No, I'm that other one-winged goblin.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
  • Save Scumming: Effectively what occurs in the Maze of Many, as every unsuccessful attempt by every iteration of the party is rewound to the beginning again and again until each one succeeds. This has already happened to Minmax's group almost two million times, which Forgath is flumoxed to find out about. Presumably that also means that exact conversation has taken place pretty close to that many times. And Minmax has kissed Forgath that many times.
  • Schizo Tech: The comic is set in a fantasy European medieval setting, with all that entails. Dellyn gets thrown through a plate glass window.
  • Schmuck Bait: Treasure Plants.
  • Scorpion People: One of the alternate versions of Kin encountered in the Maze of the Many, instead of being a yuan-ti like other Kins, is a member of one or another of D&D' varieties of scorpions centaurs.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: In the bonus side-story "Not-Walter Screams Like a Little Girl", the title pit fiend... screams like a little girl from his Absurd Phobia of dolls.
  • Screw Destiny: Saves-a-Fox's motto to the point that she deliberately killed the fox it was foretold she would save. Unfortunately, it seems that the fox she was supposed to save had a disease that ends in a horribly slow and painful death, so she was saving it by putting it out of its misery.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Invoked by name by K'seliss... only to be just as quickly subverted by K'seliss's return.
  • Screw Yourself: Alluded by Kin and Scorpion-Kin. It's a trick by Kin to get her prehensile, sensitive tail wrapped around Scorpion-Kin's tail and throat. With the tail disabled, Neck Snap ensues.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Axe of Prissan is a powerful paladin weapon that contains a nigh-unstoppable demon. The axe needs to be recharged regularly (by being used to kill evil things) or the demon will escape and probably cause The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: There's supposedly a first Prissan out there somewhere, the Hammer of Prissan that has a being trapped inside that's even more pure than Ears and is meant to be wielded by pure evil. The Axe of Prissan is actually a lesser, inverted copy of it.
  • See You in Hell: "Not-Walter" says this to the Minmax who enslaved him, promising to get a bunch of his friends and dog-pile the man's soul when he finally dies.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Saves-a-Fox fell victim to one of these. She was given the choice between saving a fox from a trap, or killing it — and thereby saving it from a horrible, lingering, invariably fatal disease.
  • Senseless Sacrifice:
    • Chief goes to fight Kore knowing that he'll fail, but hoping to delay Kore. Kore simply incapacitates Chief and starts torturing him, knowing that Chief's screams will bring the rest. And then, when they do return to rescue Chief, he dies from his wounds before they can get him healed.
    • Dies-Horribly accepts a Deal with the Devil, believing it will free Duv's slaves from suffering, but the demon used Exact Words to give him a worthless stone orb instead of what he expected. This is immediately subverted when Dies' sacrifice causes the demon guarding the stone to be Dragged Off to Hell thanks to its own Exact Words trick turned back against it, freeing Biscuit the uber-badass orc and resulting in him and our heroes butchering the remaining demons and getting the Orb (since Biscuit knows where it was).
  • Sequence Breaking: Minmax, Forgath and Kin take a shortcut through the Maze of Many opened up by one of the oblivion holes.
  • Series Continuity Error: When Minmax lets go of his sword here, his future self is grabbing it with his left hand. Later, Minmax reaches for his sword... with his right hand.note 
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Kin's first speaking page; high intelligence causes her to use unnecessarily long words when nervous. Or that's her excuse, at least.
  • Sexiness Score: When Minmax and Forgath first arrive in Brassmoon City, Minmax keeps rating the women he sees based on their Charisma stat. This leads to some unfortunate confusion between Minmax and the locals:
    Minmax: Let's ask her! She's only 13, but still cute! I'd totally do her.
    Forgath: Uh Minmax, I don't think the locals know you're talking about Charisma...
    Minmax: [shouts] Hey! 13 and hot! I love it!
    [everyone stares at Minmax in shock and disgust]
    Forgath: ...Yeah, we're gonna get lynched.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Forgath lamenting how difficult the Oracle (a stone face in the city) is, remarking that "It's like talking to a..." before Min-Max finishes "You were gonna say 'brick wall', weren't ya?"
  • Stealth Pun: The gargoyle Pawlush gains the nickname "Plush" as a result of the goblin angel mispronouncing his name, but when he is resurrected his body becomes squishy and dry "like cloth stuffed with cotton" - in other words, he's turned into a living plush toy.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Thaco attempts to exploit the fact that he can see in the dark by luring Dellyn into a sewer before fighting him, and blocking off all the manholes so the sewer is pitch black. Dellyn, however, subverts this by casting a spell that provides him with a light source, rendering Thaco's advantage moot.
  • The Stoic: Orcs of the Roak clan are taught to accept loss without pause or regret, so they aren't weakened by the pain of losing things. When Biscuit escapes from 600 years of demonic torture, only to find out that the rest of the Roak clan was destroyed 200 years ago and he may be the Last of His Kind, his response is "Meh, oh well."
  • Stripperific:
    • Played straight with Drowbabe and Yodette.
    • Subverted/deconstructed: The first thing Kin the Yuan Ti does after being freed from Dellyn (besides murdering him horribly) is put on the most conservative coat she can find. She was only dressed this way in the first place, it seems, because Dellyn forced her to be. Which makes sense, considering what Dellyn used her for.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Chief looks a lot like Kills-a-Werebear. Only lacking his look of confidence.
    • Forgath's father looks pretty much identical to Forgath, except with a russet beard instead of brown, as seen in the "This Is a Helmet" side-story.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Dies-Horribly gives his soul to the demoness in the Well of Darkness in return for... an orb of ordinary blue stone. Fortunately, he gets out of it due to Loophole Abuse.
  • Suddenly Obvious Fakery: Complains is explaining something by drawing in the dirt when Fumbles and Minmax chime in, sticking in objects to represent themselves. The next strip, the other goblins have returned to discussing plans when Fumbles and Minmax react to something off-screen and prepare to fight. Minmax starts to summon his sword, Oblivious, and Fumbles sticks his hand through the summoning portal and draws his own copy of Oblivious. Minmax puts on a "crown of plus a schwillion charisma". The two are arguing about whether he has the crown when Complains yells at them to stop playing with toys, and the next panel reveals that Minmax and Fumbles are still playing with their prop items and that the preceding sequence had been their imagination.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Grem: You seem to know a lot about dungeon crawls. Have you ever done this before?
    Saves-a-Fox: What? No. I'm not an adventurer.
  • Swallowed a Fly: One goblin tribe with a particularly inept fortune teller (and even more inept scribes) has a member named "Stop The Ceremony I Swallowed A Bug".
  • Sword Drag:
  • Synchronization: Minmax claims that he and Kin are linked in a way Kin described her people do. Kin corrects him saying it only works for her people. However, Minmax is later proven correct when Kin is shown feeling the same pain as Minmax when he punches glass, and going through the same motions.
  • Talking Weapon: Bowst found a cursed talking sword called Ward in the Cursewalk — a really rude one. It was later eaten by a Klik, giving it the power of speech as well as its Jerkass disposition.
  • Take a Third Option: How Minmax defeats the psionic Minmax in the Maze of Many. He forces him out by causing him to win.
  • Take My Hand!
  • Taking You with Me: Due to his body rotting, K'seliss to Mr. Fingers. Due to a passive rotting effect, Mr. Fingers to K'seliss.
  • Talkative Loon: Asks-Nonsense. Even if some of his questions are actually rather puzzling... (how do you know?)
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Probably the case of homebrew rules, but when players are knocked into negative hitpoints, they are still able to carry on full conversations, in spite of the fact being in the negatives usually means they should be unconscious.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: In one of the Alternate Universes, Minmax uses a crystal ball to learn the torture techniques Dellyn used against Kin and Forgath (who was also tortured by Dellyn in this particular universe), and decides to try them out on Dellyn.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Not a toxin per se, but the disease Mr. Fingers inflicts with a touch is definitely... flashy.
  • Tele-Frag:
    • Big Ears has an axe which is enchanted so it will pass harmlessly through paladins rather than harming them. When the party fight Kore, Thaco has him throw the axe at Kore with a rope attached to it. The axe pulls the rope through Kore, but Thaco cuts the rope before it passes through completely, removing the enchantment and leaving part of the rope trapped painfully in Kore's body.
    • A true Tele-Frag is narrowly avoided when Onyx tries to teleport Minmax to the psionic engine room. Ruby thankfully stops her in time to explain that "position 0" is the one she's occupying right now.
  • Tempting Fate:
  • Terminal Transformation: Complains-of-Names carries a magic Shield of Wonder, which causes random effects to occur whenever it is struck with a weapon. During the battle of Brassmoon City, two of the city guards suffer this trope as a result of the shield's magic - one is transformed into an inanimate glass statue, and another is polymorphed into a ball of snakes that break apart and slither away. In both cases no indication is given that the guards survived or can be restored to their original form.
  • Textplosion: It sometimes has filler in the form of a single panel depicting another one of the previous paladins who wielded the magic axe and a long description of how they got it.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Seth and Drowbabe.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: Fully justified (and oh so satisfying).
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: There are three groups that share screen time: the Goblin Adventure Party, Dies-Horribly and Saves-a-Fox's group in the Well of Darkness, and the (mostly) non-monster party of Minmax, Forgath, and Kin.
  • This Cannot Be!: Mocked and then played straight by Psion Minmax:
    Psion Minmax: I'd be tempted to say that this is "impossible", but that is a word used only by idiots who lack the patience and reason to consider their own surroundings.
    [Kin and Forgath unexpectedly arrive eight minutes early]
    Psion Minmax: Impossible.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
  • Three-Point Landing:
    • Minmax landing on top of the tower in the Maze of Many's final room.
    • Big-Ears after some fancy moves while fighting Forgath.
  • Throat Light: Deliberately invoked by Big-Ears to scare off a crowd of human civilians, by putting the Axe of Prissan through his head and aligning the glowing yellow orb on top of the magic weapon with his throat. Behold.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Triply subverted humorously: the GAP try to distract the Brassmoon City gate guards by throwing a rock, but instead of going to investigate the noise, one of them shouts "Someone's throwing rocks at us from the woods!" and they go to investigate the place from whence the rock was thrown. However, the goblins manage to slip away, and when the guards don't find anyone in the bushes, they start arguing there. Being distracted, they let a couple goblins enter the city (a double subversion). But then, the distraction doesn't last long enough, and the last two members for the GAP are spotted while trying to get in (a triple subversion!).
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Check.
    Minmax: HA HA! Looks like your useless, crappy shield isn't good for anything!
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Grem vs. Mr. Fingers.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Minmax's smarter traveling companions eventually work out he's too dumb to confuse as he can't see what's wrong with what they're saying... right as they need him to become bewildered or they'll all die. Almost Too Dumb to Live before Kin manages an alternative — which doubles as a Ship Tease.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Fumbles
    • "Fluffles"' trainer
    • Minmax at times. Fortunately, he travels with smart people.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entire plot of the webcomic is that a bunch of goblins start taking levels in adventurer classes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Minmax, first through his interactions with Kin, but his later interaction with Fumbles showcases that it's not just an If It's You, It's Okay situation.
  • Torture Technician:
  • To the Pain: One alternate version of Min Max described from the Maze of Many resulted from a universe in which Kin didn't kill Goblinslayer. 'Slayer later caught up with them and killed Kin. Somehow, Mimmax subdued him again, brought him back to Brassmoon, tied him to a chair and gagged him. He then tells him that he found a crystal ball at some point which showed him, among other things, all of the horrible things he'd done to Kin. Minmax produces drawings of each of these acts (not being able to write), then begins performing each one on Goblinslayer. Somehow, he survives... but then Minmax produces drawings of Forgath, who was separated from Minmax at some point and found by 'Slayer. He dies seven torture sessions later.
  • Tragic Keepsake: One alternate dimension Minmax wears a necklace whose pendant says "This Is a Helmet"... and Forgath is nowhere to be seen...
  • Tron Lines: A magical version. Whatever shape it takes, the Axe of Prissan and the armor that goes along are adorned with such glowing motifs, the color of the I.M.E. of the wielder.

    Tropes U to Z 
  • Understatement: After Goblinslayer told Minmax what he did with Kin, Minmax justified his response as follows:
    Minmax: He was being a dink.
  • Unflinching Walk: Dies-Horribly after singlehandedly killing a demon multiple times his own size.
  • Unfortunate Names: C'mon, "Dies-Horribly"?
  • Unholy Holy Sword: Inverted with the Axe of Prissan. It detects as evil, but that's really the demon it contains — the Axe itself is a Lawful Good Empathic Weapon meant to be a paladin's weapon because the demon can only be contained if the user does acts of good and the only people the makers considered capable of consistent acts of good were Paladins.
    • And then played completely straight when it turns out the Axe was forged in Hell and that the demon is not being contained, it's being transported. The Axe is not a seal, it's a portal for a demonic invasion masquerading as one.
  • Unpredictable Results: The Shield of Wonder is a very nasty artifact that causes them whenever struck in combat. See the Nightmare Fuel subpage for some of these.
  • The Unreveal: Kore took his helmet off?! We'll finally get to see what the true face of evil is... oh, guess not.
  • Unwanted Assistance: In the Maze of Many, Kin is struggling with an alternate version of herself, and their snake-bodies are tangled together. She says "stop helping me" to Minmax after he stabs her because he can't figure out which body goes with which Kin. Twice.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: The fight between Klik and Evil Klik is this trope to a T; with an older model facing off against a stronger, more violent, evil model. The underdog doesn't win in this one, though.
  • Use Your Head: Minmax tries this with a locked treasure room door. All he manages to do is lay himself out on the floor.
  • Verbal Backspace: When a guard lets Dellyn know that the appearance of Thaco might be a trap specifically for him, he initially says, "That's impossib—" pauses, then decides to go with six bowmen rather than three.
  • Verbal Tic Name: Klik
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dellyn's really got started after he saw all he worked for being taken apart, then he found Saral Caine's corpse, shortly followed by his loss against Thaco, finally ending with his loss of position, being left as an angry drunk at a bar. And then came his Karmic Death.
  • Villainous Face Hold: When Duv is about to send Fox and Dies into the Well of Darkness, Fox starts threatening her and has to be held back by guards. While she's restrained, Duv moves closer and cups her face, saying that as the chosen one, Fox should be willing to make any sacrifice she asks for.
  • Villains Never Lie: Subverted with the flea demon that gives exposition on the Axe of Prissan. Big Ears realizes that its explanation doesn't add up and that it is lying about the nature of the axe.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Dellyn Goblinslayer, known by the town as Captain of the Town Guard, who is nonetheless confirmed as having an evil alignment.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Forgath and Minmax. They lash out at each other goodheartedly at every opportunity.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Minmax. Much to Forgath's chagrin, he started out not wearing pants either.
    Minmax: Face it. I'm too much man for pants.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: One of the many traps in the Maze of Many. Manages to kill Barbarian Forgath and Kin.
  • Wangst: invoked Touched upon.
    K'seliss: Oh for the love of meat, SHUT UP! No one wants to hear your emo character background! My hands are LITERALLY melting away and I'm complaining less than you are!
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Poor Klik.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Ordinary blood burns Klik like acid.
  • Webcomic Time: Lampshaded by Thaco and Complains here.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying:
    • The Finger of Hell, a knife which Dellyn custom-designed to inflict excruciating pain if used against goblins.
    • The Racist Axenote , which gives a considerable bonus to both accuracy and damage if the wielder and their target are the same race.
  • We Meet Again: For once, it's actually a good guy who says it:
    Forgath: Psionic Minmax. We meet again. But this time, I'm not bolted to a wall.
    Psion Minmax: Clichéd dialogue is fun, isn't it?
  • Wham Episode:
    • The page in which Kore finally demonstrates that he has paladin powers, jossing a huge number of fan theories in the process.
    • Continued a few pages later, demonstrating that Kore isn't vulnerable to the Axe of Prissan.
    • Minmax, desperate to talk things out with a suddenly distrusting Kin, unthinkingly grabs her leash while demanding she listen to him.
  • Wham Line: Said by Minmax, as he unthinkingly grabs Kin's leash.
    Minmax: Stop! And Listen to me!
    • When the Axe of Prissan is broken and Names accidentally aggravates the situation by touching it, a truly nightmarish demon appears, and says something that turns the goblin party's situation on its head (while also explaining a lot about some of those Wham Episodes listed above):
    Demon Parasite: I see a paladin soul, ripe for suffering and holding the second Prissan. But not the paladin soul I was expecting. Where is the creator of the axe? The one we cursed. Where is Kore?
  • Wham Shot: No. How?! For those who don't get it, read the long backstory.
    • The end of 'Why Not?'. After a nearly page-long pointless argument between Minmax and Complains, the party go through a random door, only for a swirl of jade flecks to appear in the room they just left and materialise into Kin, who calls out for Minmax.
  • What Have I Become?: Complains, after the Shield of Wonder's handiwork.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The comic is largely built on deconstructing the typical concept of goblins and other Always Chaotic Evil creatures being slaughtered without remorse by humans. This deconstruction is then inverted upon the Elite Guard of Brassmoon, who are always evil (they're selected for it) and are killed without remorse by the goblins.
  • Who Dares?:
    K'seliss: Who dares to wake K'seliss?
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: ... to fall for the Treasure Plants trap?
    Kin: They're only a danger to the dumbest of individuals.
    [beat panel as she shares a look of horrified realization with Forgath]
    Kin & Forgath: MINMAX!
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: The guards end up discussing how Dellyn's obsession with personally killing Thaco is a liability.
  • Why Won't You Die?:
    • Said by Saral Caine to Big-Ears while trying to kill him with the Axe of Prissan, not knowing the weapon can't hurt paladins.
      Saral Caine: How many times do I have to kill you before you die!?
    • Later echoed by Minmax, similarly fighting against an alt-universe paladin Forgath, and turning his version of the Axe of Prissan against him.
  • Winged Humanoid: Duv is marked out as the chosen one of Maglubiyet and rightful chieftain of all goblins by being born with wings.
  • With Friends Like These...: Though there have been examples in the Maze of Many previously, one specific trap has a good team contrasted with the bad one.
  • Wizard Beard: Wizard Minmax.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!:
    Seth: How the hell can I stabilize if I only get a lousy 10 percent per round? It's the lamest rule ever!

    Chief: This has got to be the worst spear I've ever seen.
  • Written Roar: Done frequently. The goblins (especially Complains-of-Names) often say "Raaa!" when attacking, an owlbear says "Roo-Ah!" and the Switchbeast's cry is just "Roo!"
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Dellyn Goblinslayer thought he was, at the very least, a legendary "boogeyman" figure to goblins. He's defeated by Thaco, and then told he's Not Worth Killing.
    • A Viper clan goblin psyches himself up to fight a huge monster that another goblin had just said is basically unkillable. He tells himself that "This is my moment. My destiny. My story." He charges it, dodges its first attack... and is immediately one-shotted by Biscuit the orc, who isn't even looking at him.
  • Wrong-Name Outburst: See I Let Gwen Stacy Die above.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When, during the ceremony to make him a fortune teller, Fumbles absorbs the "imprints" (souls) of several past goblin clerics, his flesh turn translucent and his skeleton show up.
  • Yandere: From the look of it, Dies' arm has this attitude toward Dies himself.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • Subverted after Kin falls off the wagon the goblins are using to escape Brassmoon and is recaptured by Dellyn. After a bar fight, she not only manages to escape, but she also gets the opportunity to stab her tormentor to death as well as two adventurers to assist her in locating the Jade Teapot.
    • Played straight in the aftermath of the Maze of Many. After everything Kin and Minmax went through, Ruby destroys their relationship purely out of prejudiced spite. The arc ends with Ruby bitterly destroying Kin's necklace that symbolized her love for Minmax.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: All souls trapped in Kore's body are subject to torture that seems like years when only days have passed outside.
  • You Are Number 6: Psion Minmax somehow enumerated the various realities present in the Maze of Many, and often referred to the characters by the numbers of the dimensions they come from. "Our" reality (the reality that the group the comic follows is from) is dimension #156.
  • You Are Who You Eat: Most Kliks eat metal for nourishment and healing; when it happens to be a cursed Talking Weapon, though, the magic doesn't go away and you get a cursed, talking Klik (with the shape of the sword embedded over its face).
  • You Can't Fight Fate: It's a predominant theme in the webcomic. Goblins are supposed to follow the path their seers saw for their future. As a result, there have been attempts to circumvent that fate.
    • See Screw Destiny for Saves-a-Fox's case. She later learns her belief that she triumphed over her fate was mistaken.
    • Played with in Dies-Horribly's case. He certainly did (die horribly), he just didn't stay dead.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Minmax at the sight of Not-Walter.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: Minmax at one point uses the word "monster" derogatively in regard to Dellyn, to which Kin responds "...but I'm a monster."
  • Your Head Asplode: The Psion Minmax seems fond of doing this to his "comrades"...
  • Your Mom: Subverted;
    Complains-of-Names: Thaco, what are you doing over there?
    Thaco: [staring at an image of his late wife inexplicably carved on a pillar] Your Mom.
  • Your Other Left: Forgath tries to deliberately confuse Minmax by telling him to look up. "No, your other up." Unfortunately, Minmax is Too Dumb to Fool and just simply looks down.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: K'seliss, of all people, and Grem send Fox, Dies and Klik away while they guard the door against Mr. Fingers. Possibly gearing up for a More Hero than Thou moment.
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Ears' response to Thaco saying that the only way to get though a crowd of innocents was to attack them. He launches into an overdramatic speech about how he is going to kill them all, which prompts them to run screaming and leave an open path.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One of the alternate worlds whose Kin, Minmax and Forgath entered the Maze of Many. It's described by Saral Caine, who outlived Dellyn in this world. The story goes that someone known only as "After" was Patient Zero, who, through an obscure loophole of magic, became a deity-level entity by infecting a demon from another world. Saral decided to capture some zombies — who turned out to be Kin, Minmax and Forgath — and shove them into the Maze of Many, hoping they would achieve something similar, and use the powers they would gain to help fight back against the zombie hordes. The chilling thing is that there is at least one alternate world demon in the maze, so they could actually pull it off eventually.

    Tempts Fate