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Webcomic / Lackadaisy

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Lackadaisy (Webtoons mirror) is a webcomic created by Tracy J. Butler, chronicling the exploits of a criminal crew in The Roaring '20s struggling to keep their speakeasy up and running.

The place: St. Louis, Missouri. The time: 1927. The problem: With national prohibition laws in effect, the world of spirits and alcohol has been forced to move underground, starting a massive network of rum-running and speakeasies under the very noses of the authorities. One of the most successful of these speakeasies was the titular Lackadaisy, an exclusive club built within the limestone caverns beneath the unassuming Little Daisy Cafe and founded by one Atlas May, which may only be entered by those sporting Lackadaisy's unique Clubs lapel pin. For a while, Lackadaisy was the place to be for those wishing to partake in drink, but all this came crashing down when Atlas was violently murdered in 1926. Atlas' wife Mitzi May was left with the reins, but the controversy surrounding his death, including the rumor that Mitzi herself was involved, caused a sharp decline in both staffing and customers. Meanwhile, Lackadaisy's main rivals, the Marigolds gang, have started making their resurgence, aided by not only former Lackadaisy employees, but also several other unsavory characters who have no qualms getting their hands bloody.

Amid all this is our Lovable Rogue protagonist Roark "Rocky" Rickaby, a jazz violinist turned whiskey and gin runner for Lackadaisy. He's a bit eccentric, to say the least. Wild escapades abound as Rocky struggles to do right by Mitzi, the only person 'kind' enough to give him a job in these tough times. Joining him on these less-than-legal adventures are his young cousin Calvin 'Freckle' McMurray, a quiet, earnest youth rejected from the police force because of his, er, enthusiasm, and longtime Lackadaisy 'employee' Viktor Vasko, a surly, grizzled one-eyed Slovak with bad knees. Rounding out the cast are Sedgewick 'Wick' Sable, mining magnate and Mitzi's current paramour; Ivy Pepper, Atlas's goddaughter and Lackadaisy hanger-on; Mordecai Heller, an overly bookish (and equally sociopathic) Marigold triggerman; and Dorian 'Zib' Zibowski, the sardonic saxophonist.

Oh, and they're all anthropomorphic cats. But in spite of that fact, Lackadaisy is very much a tongue-in-cheek affair with a serious plot line and strong characterizations, accompanied by artwork of a high professional level, which has gotten more impressive throughout its run.

The comic has received physical print publications, so far receiving two volumes as well as an art book featuring never before seen material titled Lackadaisy Essentials, published by the Chicago-based Iron Circus Comics, with Volumes 1 and 2 also being published in Italy through ReNoir Comics.

In March of 2020, Iron Circus launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a online animated short to be produced by its newly founded animation branch, as well as the aforementioned Lackadaisy Essentials, reaching its goal within six hours. Featuring the talents of several well-known voice actors, most notably Michael Kovach as Rocky and SungWon Cho, aka ProZD, as Mordecai, it was eventually released on Youtube on March 29, 2023 under the title "Lackadaisy (Pilot)"

On July 25, 2023, Iron Circus launched a Backerkit campaign to provide funding for a five-episode first season of a full animated adaptation of the comic, with the season being fully funded within a week, tentatively set to start premiering in 2024. The campaign concluded on August 24, 2023, with $2,008,728 raised, with the promised stretch goals of including 3 mini-episodes, exclusive blu-rays and community plush polls. Since then, several vignettes have been published on the Lackadaisy Youtube channel, with the first mini-episode planned to come out in May 2024.

Now has a character page. Please put all character related tropes there.

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The webcomic provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Rocky's car (though technically it belongs to Lackadaisy, Rocky is the one primarily depicted driving it, besides, he lives in it anyway) is in pretty rough shape, sporting several bullet holes, is prone to stalls due to a worn-out clutch, and the interior is a mess. Not surprising, considering Rocky's haphazard, reckless nature, and the fact that the car doubles as his home.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of the back stories of the characters are only alluded to in the comic itself, while much more is elaborated on in supplementary material, such as Viktor serving in World War I, his partnership with Mordecai, etc....
  • Anyone Can Die: Tracy'sinvoked answered on her forum that yes, one of the main characters will die.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • Playing cards. The logo for the speakeasy is a club, and pictures in the gallery section of the site sometimes features cards. Later, a card game featuring the characters became available.
    • Rivers. In volume 1, Rocky composes an ode to the Mississippi River. Captain Kehoe pilots a barge along the river. In volume 3, Mordecai suggests that the Savoys dispose of the bodies of Gracie's henchmen in the river. While reciting a spontaneous poem, Rocky appears as a skeleton submerged in a river.
    • Scars. After the Arbogasts strike him with their vehicle, Rocky has a scar down the middle of his forehead. Serafine carves a scar into Mordecai's chest when he refuses to join the Maitre Carrefour cult.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played to a T in this quote:
    Lacy: "Headlamps, Mr. Sable."
    Wick: "Right, where would I be without you, Miss Lacy?"
    Lacy: "Hopelessly trapped in the twisted wreckage of your car. Mangled limbs. Probably on fire... With your tax records all out of order."
  • Art Evolution: Not that it even needed it from the start, but as you progress through the comic you see the lighting becoming more expressive and detailed (thanks to computer rendering) and the bodies becoming more proportionate and closer to human body types. Now every frame looks like an authentic 1920s photograph.
    • From a more stylistic standpoint, at the start, the art was purely sepia, however as the story continues, and the art and shadowing improved, it starts involving more color. It's still generally sepia, but things such as blood get colored and the more stylized/supernatural things get color as well. And starting with Volume 3, the sepia aspect is mostly gone, with the art regularly employing color, though still very washed out. It doesn't look like old photos anymore, but its not fully colored either.
  • Art Shift: "Expedition" depicts Viktor and Mordecai in human form instead of cat form.
  • Artistic Age: Don't be fooled by the big eyes and adorable faces, they just signify that Freckle and Ivy are the youngest of the cast — they're both eighteen. It's not even that big of a gap to the ones who look more adult; Freckle's cousin Rocky is twenty-two.
  • Artistic License – Medicine:
    • After receiving a serious head injury, Rocky is strong enough to walk around St. Louis the following morning and clear-headed enough to carry out a bootlegging run with Freckle and Ivy the following night. In real life, Rocky would have been out of commission for much longer than one night.
    • Rocky leaves his stitched-up head injury unbandaged the next day and repeatedly gets it wet in the rain. In real life, both of these would be huge no-nos with a stitched-up laceration, as they would greatly increase the chances of an infection.
  • Artistic License – Pharmacology: When Mordecai unwittingly sips Rocky's "space coffee", he immediately experiences dilated pupils and hallucinations. In real life, orally-administered hallucinogens take several minutes to absorb and produce hallucinations. Also, Mordecai takes one sip of the "coffee" and immediately spits it out, meaning that he only swallowed a few drops of the liquid at best. Unless the liquid contained a massive amount of a hallucinogenic drug, Mordecai wouldn't have consumed enough of the active ingredient to experience effects. Then again, given the gags about his consumption of mind-altering amounts of sugar, it might actually be that strong just to beat Rocky's considerable tolerance to whatever's in it, but that just begs the question of how Rocky consumes anything that powerful and isn't dead.
  • Aside Glance: Zib's response to Rocky being Rocky is an aside stare.
  • Author Avatar: Appears in a few "Chit-Chat Time" mini-comics interviewing some of the characters. Has been mistaken for some kind of monkey, some kind of leprechaun, a disheveled pixie, and an undercover gremlin.
  • Backing Away Slowly: When going to Ivy's school Rocky starts to realize Ivy is upset with him and slides behind Calvin, and backing away slowly with his arms raised as she runs at them claiming that "Whatever I did it wasn't me!" before she launches herself at him and starts hitting him with a magazine.
  • Badass Crew: Mordecai, Serafine, and Nico are each dangerous in their own right, but are even more formidable when acting as a team on behalf of Marigold. The trio kidnapped and murdered two lawyers in volume 1. In volume 2, they slaughter Gracie's henchmen, disable Gracie, and put the fear of God into Gracie's customers.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Mordecai frequently sports one.
    • Also Freckle's trenchcoat.
    • Panel seven of this page. The shotguns certainly don't hurt.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Calvin and Ivy get a small one of these at the end of "Liason."
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Rocky jokingly reading labels on whiskey bottles to Lackadaisy's patrons in this strip : the names he gives out are, respectively, "disgusting brown gunk" or "rancid rat water". Which, from the sound of it, is what the booze tastes like.
    • Most of Mrs. Bapka's dialog is in Slovak. When translated into English, it can be a source of humor. For example, in a side comic in which Rocky is testing the characters' huggability, Mrs. Bapka hugs his face while asking, "Who are you?".
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Nobody in this story is blameless. The protagonists can be nice, they can be funny, and they are certainly usually better than the villains of the story, but let's get a few things straight: just about everyone in the story (including every protagonist) is a criminal of some description, and over half of them have killed. Even Freckle. Especially Freckle.
  • Black Comedy: A lot of it, especially in the side strips, which take this up to eleven.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Noise noise noise.
  • Brick Joke: The first time we meet Mordecai, he's just chopped someone up with a hatchet:
    Serafine: De hatchet, cher. It was a joke.
    Nico: We didn' tink you was really gone to use it.
    • Eight years and more than 100 strips later, we get this exchange:
    Nico: What's dis work we supposed to be doin' tonight? You got annuder hatchet job in store?
    Mordecai: No. I've brought more precise instruments this time.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Mordecai uses one to block most of a shotgun blast.
  • Burial at Sea: After besieging Gracie Grombach's speakeasy, Nico wonders how the Marigold gang will dispose of his henchmen's dead bodies without the pig farmers' help. Mordecai suggests dumping the bodies in the river.
    Mordecai: It's time to behave like civilized professionals. Let the currents and bottom-feeders do their part with discretion. Which is to say, you have two very large, perfectly serviceable rivers at your disposal.
  • Buried Alive: Viktor and Mordecai once used it for interrogation. They likely killed the guy later, through gun and grenade.
  • Call-Back:
    • In volume 1, Mordecai murders a man with a hatchet. At the end of volume 2, Nico asks Mordecai if he has another "hatchet job" in store that evening.
    • In volume 1, Viktor likens Mitzi to a bear trap. In "Lackadaisy Wisenheimer", Rocky inquires about some bear traps for sale at the Defiance General Store, saying that they remind him of someone dear to him.
    • In volume 2, Bobby tells Ivy that years before, Atlas, Viktor, and Mordecai bided their time at Defiance General, playing chess until it was time to besiege their rivals' cabin. "Lackadaisy Wisenheimer" includes a shot of Defiance General's front counter with chess pieces in the foreground.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: Where do we start? Rocky was manic and reckless from the start, and his head injury in volume 2 has only exacerbated his mental instability. Freckle succumbs to murderous rage in dangerous situations. Mordecai is a sociopath who is devoid of warmth, empathy, or mercy. Serafine is another sociopath with a sadistic streak, and if she truly believes in Maitre Carrefour, is living in a fantasy world. Her brother Nico isn't much better. Wick is an insomniac who works too hard, drinks too much, and is haunted by the ghost of a dead duck.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The cats are all very distinct despite being, well, cats. It's highlighted even more on the current character page, where each character is portrayed in a distinct, period-appropriate art style.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Mordecai and the Savoys debut in the comic after Mordecai has dismembered a man with a hatchet. Readers assume that Mordecai murdered a rival bootlegger, and the scene is played for very dark laughs. Later, the comic reveals that Mordecai and the Savoys kidnapped an innocent lawyer who had no idea what he had done wrong and spent his final moments in terror and pain.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The humor in this story has always been rather dark, and it's always been violent and full of drama, but the first volume was much more comedic and had more emphasis placed on snarkiness and slapstick. Starting around the part where Mitzi steals a checking book from Wick, it's all downhill from there. After Rocky gets injured, things get real dark, real fast.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Rocky tends to pull these when people try to dig into his past.
    • In "Hallelujah" when Zib asks Rocky how he got into the rum-running business, Rocky appears to begin answering, only for him to suddenly call attention to a broken string on his fiddle.
    • In "Look-see," when Calvin tries to question Rocky over the latter telling Ivy about "the past", Rocky only says that he thought he only dreamed telling Ivy before commenting on the "Beflowered Malafactors from the Crossroad" (Fish and Wes).
  • Children Are Innocent? HAHAHAHAAA! No. No no no no no.
    • As if Rocky's Comedic Sociopathy wasn't bad enough, according to Tracy and Bobby, Mordecai started keeping books for grifters, loansharks, and other varied criminals in his pre-teens.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Zib really, really needs a freakin' smoke.
  • Coffin Contraband: One of their former suppliers was an undertaker who smuggled booze in coffins. Possibly a reference to something that happened in real life.
  • Color-Coded Characters: In the color piece Syncopators, the band is this.
    • Zib (saxophone, clarinet): Red
    • Rocky (violin): Blue
    • Sy (trumpet): Green
    • Ben (double bass): Yellow
    • Mozzie (piano): Black
  • Comically Missing the Point: Mordecai, in a side comic where he tries unsuccessfully to "make eyes" at a woman nearby:
    Viktor: Dark look like Valentino is different thing from dark look like, ehh, I vill like to murder your family...vith icepick, probably.
    Mordecai: That wasn't remotely like the icepick look.
    • And another one:
      Viktor: You just shoot Sniffles??
      Mordecai: That's "shot", Viktor.
  • Companion Cube: Rocky's Cactus Friend, which he keeps around since Mitzi (wisely) rejected it. It’s a fairly creepy one that shows up in occasional side comics, and may or may not talk to Rocky when they’re alone.
  • Construction Zone Calamity:
    • Downplayed and Played for Drama as Marigold Gang's Consummate Professional Mordecai armed with a pistol and Lackadaisy's Reluctant Warrior Freckle armed with a Little Useless Gun have a shootout in a maze of steel beams at Sable Stone and Quarry. Freckle has Roof Hopping and impetuousness, while Mordecai has patience and accuracy in Counting Bullets. Out of ammo and grazed by a ricochet, Freckle is only saved by the distraction of his cousin Rocky's Construction Vehicle Rampage.
    • That rampage then goes badly wrong when Rocky blindly tosses a lit stick of dynamite that bounces off a water tower support, right back into the dynamite-filled steam shovel bucket he was riding in. Rocky hastily drops out of it in slapstick fashion, but the shovel heads straight to the water tower. Rocky narrowly avoids being run over as the shovel makes impact, the dynamite blows, and the explosion ruptures and knocks the Water Tower Down, flooding the quarry. It does confound their Marigold Gang pursuers in equally comedic fashion just enough to aid Rocky and his runners' escape.
  • Cue the Falling Object: Seen in over on the right side of this mini comic as Viktor and Mordecai stand surrounded by a gang they just slaughtered, one of the bodies is slumping over.
  • Cult: Serafine leads a cult that follows a corrupted form of Voodoo and worships the loa Maitre Carrefour. She invited Mordecai to join, and when he refused, she forcibly carved a Voodoo symbol into his chest.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Mordecai always has to do things the creepy way.
    • In an interesting near-subversion, Freckle actually noticed Mordecai before Mitzi got in. It's just that nobody pays attention to the soft-spoken little guy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A few characters (see character sheet) and Tracy Butler herself is one; her artist comments and answers to reader questions are filled with snarks to rival Zib's.
  • Decade-Themed Filter: The comics filter the panels akin to authentic 1920s photographs.
  • Deconstruction: Of 1920s speakeasy life. Those fun, lively speakeasies were stocked by bootleggers who engaged in bloodshed. The liquor at speakeasies was sometimes adulterated with poisonous substances which could sicken drinkers.
  • Dig Your Own Grave: To a Chihuahua in this side comic.
  • Dirty Cop: The two who picked up Zib took the money that he had just gotten from Mitzi, and joked about using it to gamble at the next horse race in front of him.
    • They get called on this by Dom Drago, though. Not that his showing up portends good things in the future for Zib and the rest of our merry band...
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: Sort of. Zib grabs Mitzi's pearl necklace, but when she pulls away, the necklace breaks and the pearls scatter everywhere. He didn't do this on purpose, however.
  • Dreamworks Face: Described by Tracy in Expressions as "The Smarm Brow," implying that there are several unnamed characters in other works that need their eyebrow privileges revoked.
    Tracy: I can't think of a reason anyone who doesn't walk around in a smoking jacket with a pipe clenched in their teeth needs to make this face more than, say, 0.1% of the time...and yet it is everywhere. Always.
  • Driving Question: Who killed Atlas May, and why?
  • Dysfunctional Family: Oh boy, where to start...All is not well in the McMurray/Rickaby family. Even before Rocky took the blame for....something so bad that it caused him to be kicked out of the only place he truly considered home, there were still plenty of issues besetting them. Rocky's mother died at some point from tuberculosis, and Rocky mentions that his father is "working on the railroad" which pretty much is another way of saying he's out of the picture and is unable or doesn't care enough to return home and take care of his son. As a result, Rocky's only real parental figure is his aunt Nina, a dour and oppressively devout Irish Catholic. On top of this is poor Calvin, Rocky's cousin and Nina's son, who, while at first seeming an earnest and timid kid just trying to get into the police force, has a rather...violent side whenever he gets his hands on a gun, a trait that made him wash out of the police tryouts almost immediately. Still, despite all this, the family still seems to care about one another, with Nina allowing Rocky to hang out with Calvin and washing his clothes on request (if begrudgingly), showing that there is some silver lining behind all the trouble.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Rocky's a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Freckle's a bundle of anxiety and vague and lingering dysphoria, with intermittent outbursts of…something. Mitzi's perhaps not dealing with the grieving process in the healthiest of fashions, or she's trying to evade it altogether. Not that he's ever been the most jovial of fellows, but Viktor is doing some wallowing lately. Elsa scarcely ventures outside. Wick and Zib seem to be looking for chemical solutions to melancholia. Mordecai's a sociopath with a gaping hole where his soul should be.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Wick and Mordecai both appear during the flashback in the second page of the comic. They formally join the cast in pages 13 and 27, respectively.
    • Asa Sweet has a very early cameo as well. He isn't formally introduced until about 3/4s of the way through the first volume, but if you look closely you can see him in the crowd attending Atlas May's funeral in the first few pages.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Viktor regularly brutalizes Rocky, but Rocky continues to treat him as a friend and Mizti keeps him on staff. Viktor has also beaten up Ivy's boyfriends, and yet Ivy continues to be friends with him.
    • In a flashback, Mordecai shot his driver, Sniffles, because Sniffles' sinus problems got on his nerves. Mordecai never suffered repercussions for murdering a coworker in cold blood.

  • Family-Unfriendly Death: A flashback shows Viktor shoving an injured man into a fireplace and then using his body to light the puddles of moonshine he's using to burn the place down.
  • A Father to His Men: Atlas is turning out to be dark subversion of this trope. According to Zib, Atlas had a habit of collecting strays and offering them work and relative safety as his employees. (He helped to get Viktor a lawyer and shorter prison sentence after his arrest and basically paid off Mordecai's angry pursuers from New York and gave him the shirt off his back, literally). However, as much he 'saved' his employees, Atlas did still indenture them into a life of violent crime.
  • Fed to Pigs: One of the uses of the pig farm...
  • Foreshadowing
    • After Rocky burns down the pig farmers' house, Freckle struggles to suppress his maniacal laughter. The laughter suggests that Freckle might have darker impulses that readers first thought. Later in chapter 1, Freckle's maniacal laughter returns when he kills three of the pig farmers.
    • In chapter 2, after Mordecai enters the Savoy's suite, Nico quickly slams the door shut. Readers later see why the Savoys wanted to make sure he stayed in the suite.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: In cat form, each character has three fingers and a thumb on each hand.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Tracy herself. As evidenced by her 08/23/2010 journal entry on her deviantArt page, Tracy "unofficially adopted" her neighbor's cat Luca after she found the poor creature barely alive with several serious facial injuries and a myriad of infections. She took Luca to the vet to have him humanely euthanized, but then found it in her heart (and wallet) to pay for his many many surgeries, antibiotic treatments, and pain medication. The result: Luca is now living happily with Tracy as a sort of bizarre IRL counterpart to Viktor, as Luca lost an eye to infection and is generally chewed up body wise.
  • Funny Animal: Everyone, but quite a few feline expressions are used (particularly with Ivy).
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw: A reason for why the cast are felines, according to Tracy.
    • Not that she can't draw humans. The cast as humans translate incredibly well.
    • And normal animals. It's not so much "easier" as "zanier for cartoon The Roaring '20s antics".
    • invoked Word of God is that she also thought cartoony cat faces were more expressive. She may have a point as when she draws the cast as humans, she shows an inclination to do so with stunning realism.
      • Proof the cat faces are more expressive? Check out "Lackadaisy Expressions" — Tracy's attempt to deliver advice on drawing a multitude of facial expressions, filled with examples utilizing a number of the strip's characters. The range of expressions and emotions is absolutely astounding.
    • Not to mention the option of fluffing up a cat's tail if s/he's frightened by something, or moving the ears to show interest or displeasure.
  • Furry Confusion: Averted. The only animals shown to be anthropomorphic are the cats, and there's never been a non-anthro cat. Likewise, other animals are never shown to be anthropomorphic.
    • "Pets? Who said there were pets? No one knows anything about any pets."
    • Tracy confirms that cats are basically just stand-ins for humans, and that as far as non-feline pets and animals, everything is the same as it would be normally. She also says that there won't be as much emphasis on this in the comics (other than the aforementioned pig farmers) so not to add another layer of absurdity to the series. In fact, when a fan asked for the cast's breeds, she only answered with "Cat". The closest would be Mordecai being a tuxedo cat as a pun on his attire. There's also speculation that Viktor is a Siberian because of his huge size.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    Zib: Indeed. These arms weren't designed for manual labor. I'm afraid I'm relegated to the arts.
    Rocky: But you're less like spaghetti. Besides, shouldn't we revel in this opportunity to suffer for our art?
    Mitzi: Zib, go suffer for your art.
    Cut to Rocky leading the band through the tunnels.
    Zib: Your enthusiasm for suffering is somewhat unsettling.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Being The Roaring '20s, we get everything from flapper dresses, three-piece pinstripe suits and some fashion holdovers from The Gay '90s. Then there's Rocky's zoot suit...
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: You can't have a story about bootleggers without this one. Viktor shows us how it's done.
  • Handbag of Hurt: After a tense meeting with Asa Sweet, Mitzi returns to her car, where Mordecai is waiting to speak with her. She smacks him in the face with her purse before she realizes who he is.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Averted. Mitzi and Wick try to have one, but Mitzi gets distracted by a picture of Atlas, and they both trip on floor olives.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Viktor and Ivy, respectively.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: The female cats have human-like head hair, and the males have only hints of hair. Justified; short hair for men was the standard back then.
    • As Nico's head fur is longer than that of the other male cats, we can assume males would have equally human-like hair if they'd just grow it out. The boys have hair of varying lengths in this side comic, for example.
    • It's not just the hair; Mitzi's facial features are notably less feline in appearance than any of the other characters'.
    • Recent pages has shown Rocky growing his hair out a little, ostensibly to hide the nasty scar he got from his encounter with the hearse.
  • Hypocritical Humor: While Mordecai is trying to find the Savoys, who are staying in a hotel under assumed names:
    Mordecai: Perhaps you'd know whom I was referring to if I described them as a pair of supposed siblings speaking a sort of Cajun-creole patois rife with francophone interjections and enough inter-dental fricative stops to stagger a New Yorker?
    Concierge: [blank look]
    Mordecai: Yes, they are a bit difficult to understand.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every page is titled "Lackadaisy [Something Multisyllabic]". "Sketchdumps" on the author's Deviant Art page are commonly labeled "Lackadaisy [Crazy Old-Timey Slang Word]".
  • Improvised Armour: Viktor uses car doors as a shield; nothing too ostentatious, that happens in real life as well. Mordecai also uses his accountant-esque suitcase as a shield at one point.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Viktor, naturally, is the undisputed champion of this trope in the comic. He's knocked out someone with a car door, whacked people with heavy whisky bottles, and laid the smackdown on a rival gang with only a crowbar, for starters.
    • Mordecai comes in a close second — he's thought quickly enough to kill someone with a fragmented wood bannister.
  • Incendiary Exponent: One early sequence showcasing Rocky's "logic" lets you know exactly what kind of comic this is going to be.
  • Indy Ploy:
    "Always be prepared to improvise, Freckle. That's rule number one for jazz players and vigilantes alike."
  • Intoxication Ensues:
    • Viktor is injured during the pig farmers' siege of Lackadaisy. Dr. Quackenbush administers anesthesia to Viktor before tending to his wounds. Ivy finds Viktor unconscious with a big smile on his face.
    • In a side comic, Rocky replaces Mordecai's tea with his "special coffee". Mordecai's pupils dilate, and he recoils in horror when he sees giant microorganisms on the table. The last panel shows a terrified Mordecai curled up in a ball, surrounded by hallucinations of eldritch abominations.
    • In a flashback, Mordecai sustains an injury and is taken to Elsa for treatment. He flatly refuses to let Elsa treat him, but consents once she injects him with morphine. The last frame shows Elsa holding a hypodermic needle, standing next to a sloshed Mordecai who has collapsed on an operating table.
    • In a side comic, Mordecai underestimated the strength of Bunny Hugs cocktails, got himself drunk, and fawned on Viktor.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Ivy combines this with Wrong Insult Offence during her confrontation with the Arbogasts in Defiance:
    Bobby: It's one less of you high school jellybeans I have to worry about, slinking around here, trying to raid our stores.
    Ivy: Hey! I'm in college!
  • Juggling Loaded Guns/Reckless Gun Usage: In a background extra strip, Rocky shoots himself in the ear when waving around his pistol, giving him the hole in the ear seen in the regular strip.

  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: Mordecai Heller isn't much of a Butt-Monkey... in canon. In the dubiously canon bonus strips, however, he suffers a lot, both physically and in the form of losing his precious dignity. Since he's a borderline sociopathic Professional Killer, it's hard to feel at all sorry for him.
  • Knee-capping: Mordecai did this to Viktor in the recent past.
    Mordecai: That is how one reasons with Viktor.
  • Kosher Nostra: The best hitman in St. Louis is a dapper little Jew. (Going by the name Heller, presumably German Jewish, though it would be a stronger presumption if he was native to the Midwest, rather than New York.)
  • Kubrick Stare: Considering that this is a cast of sociopaths, heroic, comedic, or those who are emphatically normal, just about everyone gets a panel like this. Even Ivy.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Let's not sugarcoat it. The Lackadaisy gang may be funny and lovable, but they're still murdering, thieving bootleggers. However, compared to the Marigold Gang, whose ranks include Mordecai Heller (who, let's face it, is the worst of the bunch — though it's worth noting he used to work for the former), they come off as much more sympathetic and easier to root for.
  • Little Useless Gun: When the pig farmers attack the Lackadaisy gang is unarmed save for a small "pea shooter" stashed in Mitzi's garter, thanks to Mordecai looting the armory on his way out. However, Freckle still manages to kill one of their assailants with it, and immediately trades up for his victim's Tommy gun.
  • Lost in the Maize: Subverted. Rocky attempts to use it as a means of escape when he and Ivy were found by the owners of some stashed liquor, but the corn was too low-grown to be of any use.
    Rocky: "No! Why isn't this corn tall enough? This is terrible corn!"
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Here, twice.
    The Band: "You gave [Rocky] a gun?!"
    • She actually didn't, but Mitzi's flubbed explanation of Freckle didn't help matters.
    The Band: "You gave him a child with a gun?!"
  • Mature Animal Story: A webcomic about a bootlegging gang in Prohibition-era St. Louis, with plenty of gunfights, killings, and several sociopathic characters. There is painstaking attention to period-appropriate detail, with one exception: all the characters are anthropomorphic cats.
  • May–December Romance: Although Mitzi's age is unknown, and the art makes everyone look younger than they are, it's pretty clear that Atlas May was significantly older than his wife, Mitzi.
  • Moe Couplet: Viktor and Ivy, whose relationship is not romantic but definitely cute. Discussed and practically lampshaded here, especially in the last panel.
  • Moment Killer: Drunken Vergil ruins a sweet, sad moment between Zib and Mitzi.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Nicodeme has barely done anything in canon and the fangirls are all over him. His previous character profile claimed he enjoys "a sort of effortless popularity with the lady-types."
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Viktor when the pig farmers attack. He effortlessly dispatches one, but when he goes to deal with the rest, he encounters stairs, which he has trouble walking down because of his bad knees.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Several characters betray their former associates for personal gain.
    • Asa Sweet was a close friend of the Mays while Atlas was alive. After Atlas' death, he has no moral qualms about trying to destroy the Lackadaisy or putting Mitzi and her staff in danger.
    • Mordecai was devoted to Atlas and worked closely with Viktor. After Atlas' death, Mordecai kneecapped Viktor, defected to the Marigold gang, and stole weapons on behalf of Asa Sweet from the Lackadaisy armory.
  • Noodle Incident: Used in a couple of gag comics.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Mitzi here, dear God.
    • In the two side comics asking Viktor and Ivy, and Viktor and Mordecai, what they think about their respective shippers, Ivy and Mordecai's reactions probably only serve to fan the flames (likely deliberate on Tracy's part). Ivy handles it gracefully, and cheerfully goes over why she and Viktor couldn't work; which is quite convincing, except that in each panel she's being just as much of a Cuddle Bug as usual: Grabbing his face to demonstrate how grumpy he is, trying (unsuccessfully) to put her arms around him to demonstrate the "logistical problems", and wrapping herself in his coat while saying "I just keep him around on account of he's warm in winter". While Mordecai's priceless reaction suggests that maybe he doth protest too much.
      Mordecai: [staring at Fourth Wall in horror] What? [staring at Viktor in horror] What? [at Fourth Wall] WHAT? [to Viktor] I don't — WHAT? [to Fourth Wall] So it – it's funny, is it? It's a joke? It's a joke. Okay, I get it. We're laughing now. Oh, light-hearted whimsy. Ha ha ha WHAT IS HAPPENING?
  • Offhand Backhand: Not exactly a backhand, but Viktor still pulls off something with the same sentiment. When incapacitated. Poor Rocky just can't catch a break.
  • Oh, Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: Mordecai, Ivy, and Viktor were made aware they have shippers. Ivy took it gracefully, Mordecai not so much, and Viktor's reactions ranged from stoic silence (when paired with Ivy) to uproarious laughter (when paired with Mordecai).
    • When it was mentioned to Rocky that he might have fangirls, he was thrilled.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Mitzi and Wick had one... sort of. And by 1920s standards, it was quite old-fashioned.
  • One Head Taller: Nicodeme and Serafine.

  • Pass the Popcorn:
    • What one young cat does after Mitzi and Wick spill out of a photo booth due to an impromptu make-out session.
    • While the Pig Farmers are angrily recounting how Rocky burned down their home, Asa Sweet impassively eats Nut Zippers and offers one to Mordecai.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Rocky and Freckle's wacky hijinks.
  • Pre-Violence Laughter:
    • In "Lackadaisy Scathefire" Rocky is giggling as he jogs towards a barn to burn it down.
    • In "Lackadaisy Doolally" Freckle starts laughing maniacally while staring at Avery's dropped submachine gun, before he scoops up the chopper to go gun down Avery's brothers.
  • The Reveal: A minor one: Rocky lives in his car, and took responsibility for some sort of family tragedy that strained relations with his remaining family, got him kicked out of the house, and started his life of wandering.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Viktor and Ivy get into this, during an argument.
    Viktor: Chad vas... bad.
    Ivy: And Claude? Was that your work too?
    Viktor: Claude vas...
    Ivy: Let me guess — flawed?
    Viktor: Yah.
    • Then subvert it:
      Ivy: And Cecil?
      Viktor: Cecil vas, uhh...
      Ivy: Oh, don't bother answering that. Nothing rhymes with Cecil anyway.
      Viktor: Terrible name. And also he vas no good.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ivy and Freckle as children. They might both qualify as adults too.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: During an argument Zib grabs Mitzi's pearl necklace, and when Mitzi pulls away, the necklace breaks, and the pearls go everywhere. The necklace was a cherished gift from her late husband — the first thing he ever gave her, in fact — so she scrambles to pick them up before they roll away in the street; and when a hobo tries to steal one, she wrestles him so hard for it that she ends up kicking him in the chin. Early the next morning she can be seen at her desk trying to put the necklace back together, looking like she hasn't slept a wink.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • The artist has a penchant for drawing Wick dramatically brandishing a revolver. She admits that he would have no idea how to use one, but it makes him look debonair.
    • The same happens to Rocky, who, in an attempt to look "pretty dashing" in one of the early comic previews, promptly manages to shoot part of his ear off.
    • Tracey admits that although Zib plays both the saxophone and the clarinet in the band, he is never pictured with a clarinet due to his own vanity at playing the "sexyphone".
    • Cast members sometimes wear zoot suits, despite those being slightly anachronistic.
  • Rule of Three: In "Lackadaisy Correspondence:"
    Freckle: "It's a three. It's my lucky number... I guess."
    Nina (first horizontal panel): "Oh, is it then? Well, it's a good number."
    Nina (second horizontal panel): "A holy number."
    Freckle (third horizontal panel): *cringe*
  • Scrapbook Story: Freckle has kept every letter his cousin has ever sent him-even the very few we're shown on this page paint a very descriptive picture of what Rocky's been up to since he left home (and explains a few things about his shenanigans as an employee of the Lackadaisy speakeasy).
  • Scenery Porn: Not just because settings are well rendered, but it's clear she put a great deal of research into it too.
  • Skewed Priorities: Emery was absent during Rocky's attack on the pig farm because he was playing checkers and shooting squirrels with a neighbor. One of his brothers smacks him with a bucket and angrily asks why he didn't react to the sight of smoke nearby.
  • Self-Deprecation: "For more lies and misinformation, read on to part 2."
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mordecai is prone to this every so often(see Hypocritical Humor above), being one of the most intelligent of the cast yet without the social skills needed to know/care that others (usually Viktor) might not understand the longer words.
  • Ship Tease: The artist made a few pages addressed to fans discussing the characters reactions to shippers. Specifically Ivy and Viktor and Viktor and Mordecai.
  • Shirtless Scene: Oddly enough, any time any of the male characters take off their shirt to reveal their sleeveless undershirts, they gain +5 sex appeal, whether they be in cat or human form.
  • Shown Their Work: Just try to find a historical inaccuracy besides people being anthropomorphic animals (zoot suits being the sole, and acknowledged by the author, exception).
    • It is virtually impossible to find a historical inaccuracy, unless the author draws attention to it specifically and explains the reason behind it. It turns out to be very, very minor.
    • Seriously, look at literally anything in the comic and try to see something that didn't look like lots of thought and knowledge was put into it.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Level 1, the only talking animals in the setting are cats. Level 0 when one considers that the characters are canonically human.
  • Sorry Ociffer: Zib starts trying to come up with an excuse for why he's laying across the sidewalk with a hip flask in hand, then gives up after stumbling on his words, downs the contents of the hip flask and mouths off to the officer instead. He is next seen beaten and in a jail cell, mumbling that if you're going to get arrested the least you can do is make sure you deserve it.
    "See? Now there's no problem left. Except the proximity of your ugly face son."
  • Sound Defect: Word of God has it that the sound of Viktor's fist hitting a face... is kind of bizarre. At least it is pre-Canon. Or maybe just that once.
  • Splash of Color: A few of the side comics, such as "Shenanigans" and "Tannenbaum," have color added in a few panels. "Haymaker" and "Powder-keg" have blood drawn in red, contrasting the sepia in the rest of the panels.
  • Stab the Salad:
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Mordecai discovers the downside of doing this here.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: (Possibly non-canon but) in this reply to a Tumblr query, Mordecai and Rocky.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Not in the comic, but by the fans. During the page Coercion:
    Ivy (about Rocky): "Will he ever talk sense again?!"
    • In the forums immediately after:
      At least a dozen forum-goers (independent of each other): "He talked sense in the first place?"
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • "ASYMMETRY?"
    • "NO FUN FISH!"
  • Take That!
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Lackadaisy's bootleg liquor has been adulterated with harmful substances. In one scene, Mitzi samples a bottle of liquor, winces, and jokes that if it kills her customers, she can steal their belongings. Ivy finds a bottle of embalming fluid in the Arborgast's funeral home and asks if they're adulterating their liquor with it, adding that one of Lackadaisy's previous vendors did so.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The female characters are drawn with humanoid, styled hair, but most of the males' fur is consistently the same length, like real cats. Possibly justified; see Humanoid Female Animal above.
  • Throwing Your Gun Always Works: Zib demonstrates. Though it was established beforehand that he's quite inexperienced with firearms.
    • Given that the pistol in question was a .25 caliber Beretta (and his total lack of gun-kata), Zib could probably do more damage by throwing it rather than firing it. Freckle, on the other hand...
  • Title Confusion: More than a few people have referred to the comic as "Lackadaisy Cats." The comic's title is pretty clearly just "Lackadaisy," but "Cats" appears in the web address — hence the confusion.
  • Toilet Humor: When a fan asked Tracy what kind of eraser she used, they got this.
  • Two Guys and a Girl:
    • Rocky, Freckle, and Mitzi seemed to be the first characters thought of and designed. The initial proto-sketches and artwork were mostly images of the three of them getting into wacky criminal hijinks together. Though Tracey now admits it would be dreadfully out of character for Mitzi these days.
    • Lackadaisy's current bootlegging team consists of Rocky, Freckle, and Ivy.
    • A team consisting of Mordecai, Serafine, and Nico carries out dirty work for the Marigold gang.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Discussed by Mordecai and Joey, a speakeasy bartender. Or, rather, by Joey — Mordecai just appreciates symmetry.


  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Highly subjective of course, but Elsa and Bobby are an example.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Lacy. Observe: regular, tidy Lacy versus mussed hair Lacy (especially panels 8 & 14).
  • The Unreveal: Rocky and Zib's conversation in Hallelujah:
    Zib: But before you hightail it out of here, humor me - just what made a lad like you volunteer to go running hooch around in the dead of night?
    Rocky: Well, I — oops. Did you see that? One of my strings is broken.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Asa Sweet is an overweight feline who wields a great deal of power in the St. Louis crime world. He's literally and figuratively a fat cat.
    • While inside Gracie's pool hall, Mordecai locates Gracie's hidden speakeasy when he noticed smoke escaping from behind a picture of two cabaret girls. The girls in the picture were literally and figuratively smoking hot.
    • In "Lackadaisy Preview 0029", Mordecai is wearing a tuxedo, which is fitting because he's a tuxedo cat.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The former dynamic duo of Viktor and Mordecai; while not exactly 'best buds', both had a tentative respect for each other's existence. Considering the kind of people Viktor and Mordecai are, a vague kinda-you-sorta respect is probably the closest thing to 'friendship' either one is capable of.
    • The two actually spent time together out of work, if this mini-comic can be trusted.
      Mordecai: "Wha was I saying? Oh, Viktor. Right. Viktor. Viktor's greeaat."
  • Water Tower Down: Rocky blindly tosses a lit stick of dynamite that bounces off a water tower support and, through a series of slapstick incidents, causes a shovel to hit the water tower and an explosion to knock it down. It manages to confuse Rocky and his cousin's Marigold Gang pursuers.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The thugs working for the Marigold gang are constantly at each other's throats. Wes punched Fish after Fish called him "Weaselface". Serafine forcibly carved a Voodoo symbol into Mordecai's chest, and readers can safely assume that Mordecai is plotting revenge. Not only that, but "Illumination" implies that his loyalty to Asa Sweet is showing to not be as solid as originally thought, given that instead of just killing Gracie, he instead brings him to a secluded location to question him as to why Marigold is cleaning house.
  • Webcomic Time: This is due in large part to the excessive amount of work that goes into the comic as time goes on, plus some Schedule Slip now and then. To list:
    • In at least one case, a span of six years equated to two days in-story.
    • A keen-eyed viewer would notice that the events of Volumes 1 and 2 lasted around 10 days, as shown with the start of the comic (2006) referencing the Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic flight (21 May 1927) and this page posted on 2016 near the end of Volume 2 shows that the date didn't even reach June 1927. This means that it took a decade to cover just 10 days.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Q: "Did Zib and Mitzi's gang have some wild adventures back in the day?" A: "They don't remember."
  • World of Funny Animals: With bootleg liquor. And car chases. And guns.
  • Wrong Insult Offence: Combined this with I Take Offense to That Last One during Ivy's confrontation with the Arbogasts in Defiance:
    Bobby: It's one less of you high school jellybeans I have to worry about, slinking around here, trying to raid our stores.
    Ivy: Hey! I'm in college!

The animated pilot provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Lackadaisy's doors in the Bookends, its stage in the opening, its cars and guns are CGI features in an otherwise consciously Retraux hand-drawn universe.
  • A-Team Firing: A lot of bullets are spent, on both sides, but nobody seems to hit anyone. Even all the dynamite thrown by Rocky causes nothing but property damage. The only significant injury anyone receives is when Mordecai grazes Freckle with a ricochet. Notably the characters all take immediately take cover when under fire, but the usefulness of this varies by the direction of fire (Freckle shoots alongside the side of the Marigold car, which the characters dodge but the bullets should have gone through the door.)
  • Acting Out a Daydream: The show begins as the curtain rises on a violin-accompanied Purple Prose poem by speakeasy violinist Rocky, who recites an ode to the Mississippi River on a golden Art Deco bridge with a treble staff for a deck, while his violin emits sparkles, and glowing daisies fill the sky. As he finishes, these filigrees fade away, and fellow runner Ivy waves a flashlight in his startled face and mockingly imitates him, to scold him for being off in his own head, rather than acting as team lookout.
    Ivy: Ahem! *melodramatically spinning* It's abundantly clear / *flatly* You forgot us down here.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Mr. Sweet, Mordecai's boss, finds it hysterical that a cold hardened professional would call him and ask for a ride, and asks "what am I, your dad?" He proceeds to layer on some 20's Dad-isms for extra effect.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Several elements from the comic's run have been condensed into the pilot's twenty-seven minute runtime, like specific exchanges of dialogue and characters present or alluded to.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: While still endearingly polite and soft-spoken, Freckle is much more vocal about his disapproval of Rocky's antics.
  • Affably Evil: Nico never loses his easygoing smirk or friendly tone, even when greeting Ivy three seconds before trying to shoot her.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • While talking to Ivy, Rocky refers to Freckle as "Baby-Face" as the latter makes a suitably infantile expression.
    • While talking to Freckle, Rocky - likely in jest - refers to Ivy as "Hotsy-Totsy", though the level of affection is arguable, as she rolls her eyes at his comment.
    • While tempting his cousin Freckle into the role of their Caper Crew's gunsel, Rocky calls him "Torpedo Boy," "torpedo" being period-accurate slang for a Hired Gun.
    • After finding Lackadaisy's car undefended, Serafine refers to the whiskey within as "Mes Amis" (French for "My friends").
    • Nico and Serafine both refer to Mordecai as "Cher" (French for "Dear") at least once each.
    • While fleeing the quarry, Ivy refers to Rocky as "Mudbug" due to her finding him face-first in the giant mud pit that resulted when he accidentally blew up a water tower.
  • All There in the Manual: To learn more about the characters, for bios, a gallery of bonus semi-canon and gag strips, and questions on the author's tumblr for a straight line to the Word of God.
  • All There in the Stinger: The first of two stingers begins as a seemingly comic opportunity to witness Mordecai humiliated over the phone by his superior for his and the Savoys failures, but it takes a very dark turn when Mordecai and Sweet agree its "time to tie up some loose ends".
  • Aloof Leader, Affable Subordinate: The Marigold gang's Consummate Professional Mordecai suffers the company of his underlings, genial Affably Evil Blood Knights Nico and Serafine Savoy, who spend a Car Chase Shoot-Out laughing, joking, and having the time of their lives while he sourly complains about being roped into unnecessary work due to their unseemly zeal.
    Mordecai: Let's not prolong this. This is a trifling matter. We have other business to tend to.
    Nico: Yeah, but none of it near as fun as this gon' be!
  • Alternate Continuity: The Pilot provides an alternative introduction to the world and its characters while also serving as a standalone story. In this canon, Rocky, Freckle and Ivy are already actively working together on gin runs, the Funeral Home has already signed on to deal with Lackadaisy, and Rocky's feud with the hillbillies is traded for a Car Chase shootout with Mordecai and the Savoys; the events also occur much later than where the comic currently is date-wise. The actual series will be a more direct adaptation of the comic with some minor changes and Adaptation Expansion.
  • Analogy Backfire: As Freckle grouses about the presumed sacrilege of the graveyard run, Rocky tries to reassure his cousin by comparing their antics to the murders committed by William Burke and William Hare a century prior, but Freckle points out a flaw in this example.
    Rocky: Hundred years past, Burke and Hare got up to much worse, and things turned out just fine for them.
    Freckle: D- didn't they ge- hang 'em?
    Rocky: Details, Freckle. Details.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of the webcomic of the same name, which went on hiatus as the planned short blew so far past its Kickstarter goals that a full-length Pilot went into production.
  • Angry Animalistic Growl:
    • When Rocky inadvertently starts swishing his tail in Freckle's face the second time, Freckle responds with a small, buzzing noise akin to the kind of "growl" you might hear from an angry housecat.
    • Freckle lets out a feral, pantherine growl at Ivy after she asks him if he's ok. Though in his defense, it was a knee-jerk reaction and not deliberate anger.
    • Viktor gives a low, rolling growl to a few Lackadaisy patrons when Mitzi asks him to smile.
    • Freckle growls at Ivy again shortly after Viktor's growl, though this time it's a more feline growl made in response to her offering him a glass of Sunset Rose Cocktail after she herself had spat it out immediately prior.
  • Art Deco: The era's bold, angular geometric motifs feature on the Lackadaisy Speakeasy logo, the bridge and buildings of Rocky's Fantasy Sequence, some of Mitzi's office decor, typefaces in and out of universe, and vintage ad-inspired character art sprinkled throughout the bulletin boards in the credits.
  • Aside Glance: While Serafine is telling Mordecai "What happened to you dat made you hate fun?", Nico gives the camera an incredulous "Is this guy for real?" kind of look.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The moment the Lackadaisy trio realize they're in danger, the rest of the episode is screened with black bars on top and bottom like a cinematic movie. It gets thinner as Mordecai lines up to shoot Ivy, then goes away when he relents.
  • The Bait: Double Subverted. Marigold driver Nico presumes that Rocky has climbed onto Lackadaisy car's trunk to bait them into a confrontation, when Rocky was knocked out on accident.
  • Bantering Baddie Buddies: Marigold Gang's Nico and Serafine, Siblings in Crime, tease and crack jokes at each other even after narrowly avoiding a Tommy Gun barrage that's blown their windshield during a Car Chase Shootout, while they were both in the front seat.
    Nico: Hoo! *Begins to cough while Serafine laughs* I think I swallowed a bug.
    Serafine: *smiling* You got a big fat bebette for dinner? No fair!
    Nico: *coughs, spits in his hand, and grins, showing her his palm.* Naw, jus' more glass!
    Both: *Laugh raucously*
  • The Bard: Rocky is Lackadaisy's house band violinist turned booze runner, prone to bouts of string-accompanied poetry.
  • The Bartender: Discussed and Subverted. Former tough Viktor's manning the bar at the Lackadaisy speakeasy, but his dour, grim demeanor doesn't help much with that. He patently refuses to play the role of confidante despite Mitzi's pleas, scowling and growling so the patrons are spooked, and even his attempt at Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping results in shattered glass.
  • Beleaguered Boss: Marigold Gang Professional Killer Mordecai Heller is saddled with a pair of thrill-seeking Overzealous Underlings in Siblings in Crime Nico and Serafine, who refuse to heed his (admittedly contemptuous) advice, largely ignore his orders, and accuse him both of Conflicting Loyalties and hating fun. The Stinger has him sourly informing his superior that their sidetracking into a Car Chase Shootout has resulted in a totaled car and muddied, sodden gang members
  • The Berserker: Thanks to deliberate provocation from Rocky with a tommygun, Freckle goes into a cackling trigger-happy frenzy and lays waste to the Marigold vehicle. He comes down from it after they crash their car, but not before reflexively clawing holes in the upholstery.
    Freckle: *strained* Sorry! Sorry. I didn’t mean to. It’s just that there’s a ho- a fire. A burning hot fire i- in, uh. In the e-engine compartment!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Double Subverted. When Nico and Serafine are seconds away from stealing the surviving whiskey and discovering Ivy hidden under the car, and Mordecai is advancing on a bullet-grazed, unarmed Freckle he has dead to rights, Rocky turns the tide and saves Freckle and Ivy by way of riding in the bucket of a commandeered steam shovel and using a cache of dynamite as bombs, all the while laughing and screaming an impromptu poem about a circus train and its Fighting Clown. Then he accidently drops a lit stick of dynamite in the bucket just as it hits the quarry's water tower. However accidental, the resulting explosive flooding does provide cover for their escape.
  • The Big Guy:
    • Inverted with the diminutive, baby-faced Freckle, whom his cousin Rocky claims "provides the muscle." Much to Freckle's horror, he doesn't just mean heavy lifting, as he presents Freckle with a tommygun stored in his violin case, exploiting Freckle's tendency to become The Berserker around guns, thereafter pressganging him into the role of team heavy.
    • Subverted on Marigold's side, as Nico is the largest, but shoots a comparatively tiny revolver, and serves as the driver during the chase scene, while his lithe sister Serafine shoots a Browning Automatic Rifle from the hip, and uses it near constantly.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Rocky does two during the car chase, one when Serafine shoots out the latch on their car's trunk, and again when she hits one of the bottles, causing its (former) contents to run out of the hole.
    • Freckle's Rapid-Fire "No!" ends with one of these.
  • Blind Shoulder Toss:
    • When Rocky is digging around in the back of Lackadaisy's car in search for a certain something, he tosses everything he gets his paws on over his shoulder, including the ever-creepy Cactus Friend.
    • When Nico nearly swallows a piece of glass, he promptly sets it aside upon identifying it.
    • At least half the dynamite Rocky throws out of a steam shovel bucket is done without the slightest care for where it lands, which is exactly how one stick comes back at him by way of bouncing off a water tower leg, necessitating a hasty leap from the dynamite-filled bucket, just before the shovel hits the tower.
    • Mitzi does this with the cork from a bottle she'd opened.
    • Inverted when Rocky takes his hat from Freckle, despite never looking at him the entire time.
  • Blood Knight: Marigold Gang's Hired Guns Nico and Serafine relish a good fight and gleefully anticipate and laugh their way through a Car Chase Shootout with the whiskey runners horning in on Marigold's territory.
    Nicodeme: Looks like we got some live ones tonight!
    Serafine: Yeah, c'est bon. The chase is the best part!
  • Bookcase Passage: Speakeasy Proprietrix Mitzi May is shown pushing a tall, bookshelf-sized glassware cabinet inward like a door to exit the Little Daisy Cafe and enter a small underground foyer where a doorman guards the entrance to the Lackadaisy Speakeasy.
  • Bookends: Multiple sets.
    • Barring The Stingers, the story opens and closes on Lackadaisy Speakeasy's doors and stage, preceding and following characters' glamourous Fantasy Sequences. It begins on Lackadaisy's doors opening to reveal its empty stage, with the curtain rising on violinist Rocky performing a glittery, golden, lavishly staged Disney Acid Sequence, eventually revealed as his Daydream Surprise while neglecting lookout duties on a bridge. It ends with the band beginning to play as Lackadaisy's owner Mitzi shuts her eyes, envisions her husband's hand on her shoulder, then opens them to real they've filled with stars. A wash of glitter reveals her gold-hued fantasy of the stage and speakeasy filled with people, and the camera pulls out until the speakeasy doors shut.
    • The Stingers also mirror the opening in different ways. The first has sparks from Asa Sweet's cigar float downward during a Fade to Black to the sounds of smouldering ash, while the earliest moments of the opening have glowing dust motes floating into a darkened frame as a distant train horn blows. The second, a double-still of a horrified Wick Sable, mirrors the sepia-tint and faux-scratched film initially seen on the Lackadaisy stage before color fades in and the curtain rises on Rocky.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Played straight for Serafine's rifle, which is fired full-auto for almost the entire pilot without running dry, despite having a pitiful 20-round magazine. In fact, during the cemetery scene alone, she clearly fires way more than 20 rounds without ever reloading, and if she does reload at any point, we're never privy to it.
    • Averted for both Freckle's Thompson and the tiny pistol he digs out of their seat, which both run out of ammo relatively fast.
    • Unknown for Mordecai's pistol and Nico's revolver, which are never fired enough times to deplete their ammo to begin with.
  • Brick Joke: A Freeze-Frame Bonus shows a sign outside the quarry (before Rocky, Freckle and Ivy smash through it) that says 'Sable Stone & Quarry Inc'. Later in the pilot, Wick is disturbed to hear of Rocky using dynamite in a quarry, while Rocky eventually refers to him as Mr. Sable, revealing that he owns the place. At the very end, there's a double-still of Wick discovering the copious damage done to his property, utterly horrified.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: While moving the Canadian Whiskey to the car, Freckle gets spooked by the hooting of an owl, prompting Rocky to jestingly claim that they're disturbing the ghosts of the dead, going on to loudly tell the 'spirits' (read: the owl, which promptly takes off in fright), in a hilariously thick Irish accent, that they're powerless to stop the pair.
    Freckle: (Hears the owl hooting and gasps.) What was that? Did you hear something?
    Rocky: It's all these unresting spirits. We're trespassin' on their turf. [To owl:] BUT THERE'S NAUGHT YE C'N DO ABOUT IT, YE FEISTY DEVILS!
  • Brother–Sister Team: Marigold Gang's Hired Guns are Louisiana Cajuns Nico and Serafine, genial, chatty Blood Knights who love chasing down whiskey runners that encroach on Marigold's turf. They are also shown to be really close as Nico dives to save his sister from one of Rocky's dynamite sticks.
  • The Caper: The plot revolves around a Caper Crew of Venturous Smugglers executing a whiskey run for Lackadaisy Speakeasy, with several complications presenting themselves. Firstly, their funeral home supplier operates via Coffin Contraband which they must dig up on the outskirts of a cemetary after decoding an obituary's Cypher Language. Secondly, they're operating in the territory of rival Marigold Gang and poaching that supplier, necessitating stealth and discretion to avoid getting caught on enemy turf. Thirdly, they fail rather spectacularly at that last part, and find themselves on the wrong end of a Car Chase Shootout with Marigold's top three Hired Guns.
  • Caper Crew: Ragtag Bunch of Misfits they may be, but Lackadaisy's trio of booze-runners manages to just scrape by
    • The Leader and senior booze-runner is Rocky, flighty and prone to exploiting his two New Meat compatriots for labor, but nonetheless a canny improvisor and The Scrounger, good for finding what his fellows need just when they need it, especially weapons.
    • The muscle and team gunner is his babyfaced young cousin Freckle, The Drag-Along who becomes The Berserker when given a gun.
    • The Getaway Driver is Ivy, a self-taught driver and amateur Wrench Wench who's inexperience actually serves her, since when she Drives Like Crazy it throws their pursuers for a loop.
  • Car Chase Shoot-Out: The Lackadaisy booze runners turn their panicked flight from Marigold Gang's trigger-happy Hired Guns into a fairer fight once The Berserker Freckle assembles the Tommygun hidden in his cousin's violin case, making short work of Marigold's windshield and defeating Marigold's driver Nico's ramming attempt. With Rocky maneuvering the dissociated Freckle to the side window and telling Getaway Driver Ivy to Dodge by Braking, Freckle's next barrage sideswipes Marigold's car to Pop the Tires.
  • Car Fu:
    • Subverted. Marigold driver Nico tries to ram the Lackadaisy car while Rocky is precariously perched on its unlatching trunk, but is forced to back off thanks to Freckle appearing at the rear window with a tommygun to blow out their windshield.
  • Cats Hate Water: When faced with a sudden tsunami from a ruptured water tower, Consummate Professional Mordecai, heretofore The Straight Man and thoroughly above the hijinks surrounding him, gives a comically extreme Furry Reminder complete with goggle-eyed hissing, rearing backward and rigidly pressing against a shed to avoid the waves.
    • Played With though, as the comic makes it very clear that he’s just obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness and order.
  • Caught Monologuing: Implied. During Rocky's self-indulgent workshopping of his lengthy Purple Prose poetry when he's supposed to be on lookout duty, he yells loud enough for his voice to audibly echo ("To challenge titans come before!") while playing a loud flourish, just as a car can be seen and heard passing under the bridge. If the Marigold enforcers weren't already patrolling the cemetary, Rocky's resonant bellowing as they drove by just provided incentive to do so, with the headlamps off.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: As The Trickster of the cast, an uncannily overbroad grin is Rocky's signature expression, and can be seen both on the Youtube thumbnail, and as a cheerier, sketchy disembodied expression preceding The Stinger.
  • Clocks of Control: Consummate Professional Marigold triggerman Mordecai has a Signature Sound Effect of a ticking clock that cues when he scans his surroundings or focuses his aim on a target when wielding his pistol. (This is implicitly from a pocketwatch, the chain of which can be seen on his vest front.)
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lead runner Rocky is a wistful, romantic musician who gets lost in his own head and sees the world through a tinted lens of poetic beauty and is prone to speak in impromptu poem. He also becomes a dynamite-hurling maniac during his Construction Vehicle Rampage, also an impromptu poetry rehearsal.
    Rocky: *gesturing with lit dynamite* Come gather, gather all around.
    * A gunshot ricochets off his perch*
    Rocky: *Screaming while hurling the dynamite* See them rain their fire down! AHAHAHAHA!
  • Coffin Contraband: The Lackadaisy runners are on a late night mission to the outskirts of a cemetery to dig up a coffin full of Canadian whiskey. (Their funeral home supplier posted an obituary in Cypher Language as a map to its location)
  • Cold Sniper: In contrast to his comrades, the trigger happy and boisterous Savoys, Mordecai is a cold and sardonic professional who approaches each of his shots with ruthless efficiency. He only hesitates to shoot Ivy, and ultimately lets her go.
  • Commander Contrarian: Highwaymen Nico and Serafine treat their superior Mordecai as a mere obstacle to the exciting parts of their job, and most of their interactions are suspiciously astute rejoinders that serve to challenge his authority and steamroll him into letting them do what they want anyway.
    Mordecai: *As Serafine fires on a shed* This is going to take longer if you scatter them.
    Serafine: *As Nico rolls his eyes* What happened to you dat made you hate fun?
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Played straight during the car chase. As Freckle opens up on the Marigold team's car with a tommy gun, and all three duck below the door line for cover, the doors take bullet holes, the windshield and windows are all shattered, and the right-rear tire is shredded, but none of the Marigold torpedoes are hit.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: When Mordecai shows reluctance to join the Car Chase Shootout, his underling Serafine lightly accuses him of getting sentimental on the job, which he proceeds to prove wrong by shooting at Rocky. But when he finally lines up another, better shot at Lackdaisy's rear window and locks eyes with a frightened getaway driver Ivy, he doesn't take the shot.
  • Construction Vehicle Rampage: Rocky's contribution to the quarry fight is to commandeer a steam shovel, put a sack full of dynamite into the bucket, jam the controls, then climb up in the bucket and start randomly lobbing lit sticks onto the ground below. Unfortunately, his rampage is cut short after one of those sticks ends up bouncing back into the dynamite-filled bucket, just as the steam shovel heads toward the quarry water tower.
  • Construction Zone Calamity: The steam shovel, explosives, and the wrecked water tower force every participant to either flee or brace the torrent of mud and water. The final stinger shows that the quarry is effectively ruined.
  • Consummate Professional: As Marigold Gang's triggerman, Mordecai Heller's reputation as a serious, straight-laced Professional Killer precedes him. If only he weren't stuck as The Straight Man and Commander Contrarian to "profoundly unprofessional" Blood Knights Nico and Serafine, a pair of Overzealous Underlings who sidetrack him into an unnecessary Car Chase Shootout in the name of "fun."
  • Cool Car: By dint of merely existing in The Roaring '20s, the cars are cool by association. The Lackadaisy runners' Fordor is modeled after an (admittedly slightly anachronistic) 1928 Ford Model A while the Marigold Gang rides in a 1927 Cadillac Series 314A Though Marigold's is appropriately swankier and has more horsepower, they're both considered classics.
  • Counting Bullets: Mordecai verbally whispers a count of the latter three shots of Freckle's six-round pocket-pistol, (implying a mental count beforehand) and waits for the sound of Freckle dry firing before grazing him with a ricochet. He very well could've killed him if not for Rocky's timely arrival.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Rocky's steam shovel rampage indirectly saves Ivy and Freckle from their respective demises by being so grand and distracting that the Marigold trio immediately turn their attention toward him, allowing Ivy and Freckle to repair their car in (relative) peace. Heck, if not for the water tower, Rocky very likely could've killed - or at least routed - the Marigold trio.
  • Death Glare: After the Lackadaisy crew crashes their car into a shed, and a slightly less sane Rocky cackles off into the night, Ivy asks Freckle - who is currently in his Berserker state - if they're safe. His "response" is a downright feral glare, albeit one driven more by instinctive rage than conscious anger.
  • Dodge by Braking: At Rocky's command, Ivy brakes their car while evading the Marigolds' car. Notably, this isn't so they'd fly past the Lackadaisys' car, but to force the two cars to run side-by-side, allowing Freckle, whom Rocky had moved to the side window, to rake the Marigolds' car with his tommygun, ultimately shredding one of the tires and forcing the Cadillac into a ditch.
  • Epic Fail: Rocky's absurd attempt at a Big Damn Heroes moment does save his friends' lives, but he almost blows himself up, blows up the steam shovel, blows up a water tower, and causes an impromptu tsunami that completely wrecks the quarry. The events of the short also leave the Lackadaisy team with only three surviving Canadian whiskey bottles to sell out of several dozen.
  • Escape Route Surprise: Lackadaisy driver Ivy, trapped in a garage and about to be discovered by gun-toting mercenary Serafine, bolts for the nearest side door, only to find Serafine's brother Nico right behind it. He offers a smug "Hi." before she slams it shut, puts two bullets in the door where she was, then kicks it open.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mordecai has no qualms with chasing and killing Rocky and Freckle, but ultimately lets Ivy live.
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • While he's not "evil" per se, Freckle's dark side has a noticeably more aggressive voice, which is best shown when, after he accidentally scares Ivy, he apologizes to her in both voices one after the other.
    • Asa Sweet, Mordecai’s boss and the leader of the Marigold gang, has a deep rolling voice to complement his stature and authoritative presence.
  • Eyebrows Burned Off: Averted. When the Lackadaisy trio flee the quarry, Rocky half-jokingly asks if his Big Ol' Eyebrows are intact, which Ivy verifies.
    Rocky: Are my eyebrows still on?
    Ivy: [Concerned] Uh... Yep.
    Rocky: [Whisper-shout] Aces!
  • First-Episode Twist: The suppliers who provided the fake obituary for the whisky’s location aren’t just selling to Lackadaisy, but to Marigold as well, and by double-dealing they’ve all inadvertently crossed Mordecai and his boss, with some vague but ominous repercussions on the horizon.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • In the cemetery, the arrival of Marigold's car is hinted at a few seconds earlier when the car's darkened silhouette appears in front of Lackadaisy's car.
    • In the quarry, Rocky discovers an unattended steam shovel and a massive cache of dynamite right before using it to rescue Ivy and Freckle from Marigold.
    • When Rocky imagines (hallucinates?) the explosives shed as being a circus tent, the unseen barker shouting "Watch the world's most idiotic stuntman ride an elephant through a flaming gauntlet of-" references Rocky's near-future rampage. note 
    • As Rocky's manic, carnival-themed pseudo-poem reaches the "you can brandish up your whip and chair" line, a water tower can be seen in the background. Right as he finishes said "poem", a carelessly thrown explosive bounces off said water tower and comes back at him, cutting his rampage short there and then.
  • Foreshadowing: During Rocky's poem at the beginning of the pilot, a car can be seen travelling under the bridge. Said car later appears in front of Lackadaisy's car as they're loading their purloined whiskey into their trunk.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The fake obituary is basically impossible to read in time before the scene changes. If one pauses the video, they can read the unfortunate tale of how the recently deceased was untangled from the steel propeller of a steamboat, all a lie of course.
    • Rocky's failed cactus gift for Mitzi (which was first seen in a one-off comic and later in the main comic) makes a cameo in the short. The disturbing cactus can be seen briefly, while Rocky is digging around in the car for a gun.
    • When taking his first shot, Mordecai’s glasses show Rocky, showing who he intends to kill. Ivy gets the same treatment before he lets her go.
  • From Dress to Dressing: Ivy tears the sleeves off her jacket and blouse to use for her makeshift repair work on their getaway vehicle's engine.
  • Funny Background Event: During the "train jumpscare" bit, as Rocky and Freckle simply freak out in the foreground, Ivy leaps into the air in the background, and likely could've had an even bigger reaction if she wasn't carrying two shovels, a violin, and the latter's bow.
  • Furry Reminder: In addition to the common sights like ear movements and tail floofs, the pilot gives us plenty of more overt moments:
    • After the main trio uncover the coffin full of whisky, when Rocky (seemingly unknowingly) starts swishing his tail in Freckle's face, the latter bats at it like a cat, even making a perturbed meow. And when an incidental change of position causes Rocky to let off, Freckle looks at him with a suitably feline "how dare you" kind of look while holding his hands (paws?) close to his chest like he's about to "bat" Rocky in the face.
    • As they're carrying said coffin to their car, each individual swish of Rocky's big, fluffy tail is realistically audible.
    • Immediately after the above, the untimely passing of a train causes Ivy to leap four feet into the air, not unlike a frightened housecat.
    • As they're loading the whisky into their car's trunk, Rocky "swishes" Freckle again, though as the latter has an armload of bottles, his only response is to wave off Rocky's tail like a bug while growling to himself.
    • When Rocky, in an attempt to locate a stray bottle, tries to slip under Freckle, the two get into a brief cat-fight (no, not a Cat Fight, an actual brawl) that's only halted when Ivy notices that their "spotlight" is another car.
    • At the quarry, Mordecai reacts to an impromptu tsunaminote  by hissing at it before taking cover behind a shed.
      • Mordecai also does a little tail flip every time he doesn't land a shot as successfully as he wanted, and his ears twitch when he's annoyed.
    • After Ivy does a Spit Take, then offers her drink to Freckle, he responds with a short chirp, then steps back with a low growl, which the captions refer to as "cat trill" and "upset cat trill", respectively.
  • Gargle Blaster: The "Sunset Rose Cocktail" is this, judging by Ivy's reaction - as is the Canadian whiskey it contains.
  • A Glass in the Hand:
    • Played straight when Viktor accidentally crushes a glass he was trying to clean after Mitzi tries to get him to lighten up.
    • Downplayed when Mitzi and Ivy (attempt to) taste their newly-acquired whisky, as their "reactions" are accompanied by a subtle cracking sound that makes it seem like they're crushing their glasses without completely destroying them.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
    • After the "train jumpscare", the first thing anyone says afterwards is a relieved "Beggorah!" from Rocky, "Begorrah" being an Irish amalgam of "By God".
    • Ivy uses a few era-appropriate euphemisms like "Holy Simolean!" and "Raspberries!"
  • Gratuitous French: Serafine uses both "C'est bon" (It's good) and "Allons" (Lets go) near the end of the cemetery scene, "Bonsoir, mes amis" (Good evening, my friends) after discovering the presumed unattended whiskeynote , and both she and Nico call Mordecai "Cher" (Dear) at different points.
  • Gun Nut:
    • Serafine spends most of the pilot firing a Browning Automatic Riflenote  from the hip, and is almost never seen without it. Even when Nico tackles her away from imminent death, she manages to hold onto her gun, and is later seen with it slung over her shoulder during the stinger.
    • While he's still apprehensive about it, Freckle still has his "other side", and it's because of "Gunsel Freckle" (via a fully-loaded tommy-gun) that Marigold's car is disabled.
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: Double Subverted, as Lackadaisy's car had to be in reverse to begin with to evade Marigold's car, but then spends the entire first half of the subsequent chase still in reverse. Made worse by the fact that it's Ivy that's driving, despite never properly learning how to.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A literal example (albeit with dynamite and not a petard) gets zig-zagged near the end of Rocky's Construction Vehicle Rampage. First, a stick of dynamite Rocky threw bounces off a water tower and lands in the cache of dynamite below him, which he avoids by bailing out. Then, the still-running steam shovel nearly runs him over, before getting caught under said water tower. Finally, when the dynamite detonates, the blast breaches the tower and causes the water to come down on top of Rocky like a makeshift tsunami, which hits him full-force, but he keeps himself from being washed into the quarry proper by grabbing one of the tower's concrete foundation pedestals.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: During the chase when Rocky’s trying to get Ivy to turn left. Slightly downplayed in that he prefaces his desire with what he means to say, and one of the expressions actually contains the word "left".
    Rocky: Turn here! Make a left!
    Ivy: What? What turn?
    Rocky: (grabs Ivy’s shoulder and points with his other hand) Hang a Louie!
    Ivy: (shakes him off) Let go!
    Rocky: Left hook! Sinister! Port!!
    Ivy: (indicating the lack of valid turnings) There’s no left here!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Ivy's attempt at tasting the newly-christened "Sunset Rose Cocktail" is denied by Viktor (what with her being underaged and all), Ivy uses the chaos that was their efforts in retrieving it (and the fact that she is missing both jacket sleeves and one sleeve from the shirt under it) as reason for her to have it anyway.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong:
    • At the speakeasy, when Rocky mentions out that "the car is fine", then Ivy chirps "[she] fixed it!", the camera cuts to said car in the Little Daisy garage... which promptly collapses entirely, with a small fire starting in the engine compartment a mere instant before the camera cuts away. note 
    • Shortly thereafter, when Rocky points out that his violin survived their "adventure" unscathed, one string promptly snaps.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: When Zib tastes the drink brought back by Rocky and the gang, he says it's better than radiator fluid. Mitzi May claims it might start your engine but also says it's better than being shot. Wick compares it to coffin varnish. note 
  • Jump Scare: While the main trio are hauling a coffin full of whisky to their car, they're frightened by the untimely passing of a train hurtling by on the trestle above them.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: Downplayed, in that there's only one person and no clear dividing line, but when Rocky hands Freckle the disassembled pieces of a tommy-gun, the right (viewer's left) side of freckle's face shows the apprehensive uncertainty of his normal self, while the left (viewer's right) side shows the angry snarl of his "gunsel" self.
  • Large Ham: Rocky, in true fashion, bombastically recites some form of poetry (that he may've made up there and then) during his Mad Bomber moment.
    The sudden circus comes to town!
    The behemoth and the top-hat clown!
    Come gather, gather all around.
    See them rain their fire down!
    You can brandish up your whip and chair,
    But the circus train's a blazin' tear!
    Said the clown with daring air,
    We'll make our three rings ANYWHERE!!
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: As Freckle is griping about the presumed sacrilege of digging up the coffin and supposedly cheesing off spirits in the process, Rocky tries to set his mind at ease with a bit of wordplay on spirits, chuckling slightly at his own wordplay.
    Freckle: (while lugging the coffin along) This is why you don’t go rilin’ up spirits, and diggin’ up graves, and sacrilegin’, and-
    Rocky: Settle down, cousin. The spirits are all bottled up. (chuckles)
  • Laughing Mad:
    • While wielding a tommy-gun, Freckle starts laughing wildly as his Gun Nut side takes over.
    • After the Lackadaisy team crashes into the quarry, Rocky spends the first half of the scene cackling and snickering insanely as he darts around, looking for some kind of weapon. After finding an unattended steam shovel (basically the precursor to the modern excavator), then eyeing a cache of explosives, he really goes off the deep end.
  • Leitmotif: Mordecai gets a ticking clock whenever he's taking aim at someone.
  • Left the Background Music On: J.J. plays a Losing Horns sting and/or Taps at "appropriate" points. Much to the chagrin of the other Lackadaisy members, who promptly chastise him.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Not quite said word for word by Asa Sweet when Mordecai calls him in the stinger, though it still fits the trope.
    Sweet: Let me see if I have this right. Ruthless, infamous hatchet man Mordecai Heller is calling me to… ask for a ride?
    Mordecai: … Yes.
  • Little Useless Gun: After Freckle empties the drum of his Thompson, he and Ivy look for any spare weapons to defend themselves from the Marigold members. Finding only a small pocket pistol that was wedged into the seat.
    Ivy: Well, I guess that's a gun.

  • Mad Bomber: Rocky becomes this during the quarry fight, blindly lobbing sticks of dynamite from the bucket of a steam-shovel, and only stopping when his own idiocy causes one stick to bounce off a water tower and land in the bucket, causing the improvised siege engine to effectively self-destruct.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In the end, as Ms. Mitzi begins to reminisce, we see a ghostly figure of her deceased husband appear behind her and place a comforting hand on her shoulder. Is it wishful thinking on her part, or her dead husband secretly reassuring her?
  • More Dakka: Serafine and Freckle make use of a Browning Automatic Rifle and Thompson Submachine Gun respectively, both weapons that can let out a lot of lead.
  • No-Sell: While Mitzi, Zib, and Ivy react with disgust at the nigh-unpalatable whisky the main trio brought in, Wick seemingly doesn't react at all, even treating it like a proper tasting that ultimately leads to him declaring that the aftertaste originated from coffin varnish without a hint of negativity.
  • Oh, Crap!: Even discounting the myriad of times the cast's fur bristles when faced with minor spooks, there are still tons of moments that truly frighten them. And while they're likely too numerous to find every instance, most of them are listed below, grouped by scene:
    • Cemetery: Freckle after hearing the hooting of an owl; said owl after Rocky scares it off with a loud Irish brogue; Rocky when Freckle wishes his mother (whom Rocky calls a "force of nature") was there to halt their grave-robbing; the Lackadaisy trio when a train passes by; Ivy when she realizes that the light that allowed Rocky to find a stray whiskey bottle came from the Marigold trio's car and not her flashlight; the Lackadaisy trio as they attempt to flee a gun-toting Serafine; and the Lackadaisy trio again when they see the Marigolds' car coming after them following an initial "confoundment".
    • Road: Freckle when Rocky shoves a half-built tommy-gun into the former's arms; Rocky four times in a row when Serafine's continued shots break the latch on the Lackadaisy car's trunk, after Marigold's car rear-ending Lackadaisy's car throws him onto the latter's trunk, when he realizes at least one bottle had been hit, and when Nico tries to crush him with another rear-ending; and Nico and Serafine twice when "Torpedo Freckle" first brings the freshly-assembled gun to bear on the former's windshield, then rakes the side of their car with a volley that ultimately shreds one of their tires.
    • Quarry: Ivy after "Torpedo Freckle" shoots a feral Death Glare at her; "normal" Freckle after realizing he'd just scared Ivy; Freckle and Ivy (repeatedly) as the Marigold trio attack them; Freckle, Ivy, and the Marigold trio during Rocky's Construction Vehicle Rampage; Serafine when a lit stick of dynamite Rocky threw lands at her feet; Nico moments before tackling her away from said dynamite; Rocky when another stick bounces off a water tower and lands back in the steam shovel bucket he was standing over; all six of them when the entire cache of dynamite in said bucket going of all at once demolishes said water tower, unleashing a torrent of water across the entire quarry; and Freckle as he hurls a (thankfully unlit) stick of dynamite out their car's window after Rocky brazenly slaps it onto the former's chest.
    • Speakeasy: A trio of unnamed patrons when Viktor's attempt at smiling comes of as an angry growl; Mitzi, Zib, and Ivy when they (attempt to) taste the whiskey the main trio brought in; Ivy and Freckle when Rocky reveals the "incidences" that constituted the quarry scene; Wick when Rocky mentions "dynamite and heavy machinery"; and Freckle when Wick asks Rocky to elaborate upon the latter's mention of "dynamite and machinery".
  • Surprise Jump: Ivy leaps into the air after being startled by a passing train.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: After Freckle rescues Ivy, she asks him what the source of the Bad Vibrations and repeated explosions are, to which he simply responds with a tired "Rocky." As if on cue, Rocky's purloined steam shovel promptly trundles by, the man himself still cackling like a madman from atop the bucket.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Nico is all smiles and nonchalance, even during a car chase and subsequent gunfight with Lackadaisy. When he sees Serafine directly in danger thanks to a dynamite-chucking Rocky, however, he shouts her name in audible panic before tackling her out of harm's way.
  • Percussive Therapy: Dowplayed. When Ivy's car stalls after crashing into a shed, then refuses to restart, her frustrated "Raspberries!" is accompanied by her hitting the steering wheel.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Viktor wears a permanent scowl 24/7. When he tries to smile, it gets worse.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The trio survives their battle with the Marigold gang, but their car is badly damaged, as is their haul of bottled spirits, and any drinks they do salvage are all tainted by being stored in a coffin and taste disgusting.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Freckle reacts this way when he hears Ivy’s screams of fright and turns to see Nico kicking in the door to where Ivy had been trying to restart the car.
    Freckle: No! No no no no no! NO!! (starts shooting in Nico’s direction)
  • Retraux: Deliberately preserves Line Boil and painstakingly reinserts visible construction lines over digital paint to evoke the hand-made, low-budget look of Disney's xerography animated films produced in The '60s and The '70s.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: While they're already red to begin with, Freckle's eyes are normally drawn as flat discs, but grow wider with black pupils when his Gun Nut side is out.
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    • Rocky does this twice; first during the opening poem, and again during his Mad Bomber moment.
    • After his first poem, Ivy mockingly chimes in with a melodramatic "It's abundantly clear, you forgot us down here."
  • Robbing the Dead: We open the short on the Lackadaisy crew unearthing a coffin, given directions from their Funeral Home supplier in the form of a fake obituary. They express concerns that they might have to apologize to the family of a disinterred corpse if they've gotten it wrong.
  • Senseless Violins: Rocky hides Freckle's Tommy gun in his violin case, stashing his violin under his coat instead (where it gets "slightly" damaged.)
  • Shown Their Work:
    • One for the animators: Near the beginning, when you see a car pass under the bridge, if you pause at just the right moment, you can actually make out Nico in the driver's seat, with the biggest hint being his burly, white-furred arm appearing as a small white line along the bottom of the window.
    • When Mitzi reads a news report to (a picture of) Atlas, the report talks about the death of Isadora Duncan, which happened on 14 September 1927. The means that the events of the pilot takes place during the latter half of September 1927.
    Done in by a scarf. The comic end that makes the tragedy, doesn't it?
  • Slasher Smile: Rocky’s expression as he steers the car towards the sign to Sable’s Quarry.
  • Soft Glass: In spite of so many car windows being shot out during the chase, neither the Lackadaisy crew nor the Marigolds appear to have been injured by any of the shards. Not even Freckle, whose clinging to the open door during the getaway must have brought his arm into contact with the shattered door window, nor Nicodeme who actually got part of his windscreen in his mouth (see Swallowed a Fly).
  • Sommelier Speak:
    • After apparently being unaffected by the "less palatable" elements of the Lackadaisy's newest acquisition, Wick then subsequently uses a downplayed form of this to deduce the origin of the aftertaste.
      Wick: Hm. Crisp, full-bodied, um, reminiscent of oak wood... Coffin varnish!
    • While she could just be trying to save face after an unintended Spit Take, Ivy describes it as having a "sophisticated flavor" before offering it to Freckle, who growls at the notion.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • While dragging a coffin full of whisky to their car, Freckle complains about "rilin' up spirits" (read: ghosts), to which Rocky stating "the spirits are all bottled up" references the aforementioned whisky.
    • A twofer when one of their whisky bottles "escapes". First, Rocky uses "the spirits are afoot", which normally refers to ghosts, to refer to the stray bottle, then when Freckle accidentally grabs Rocky's actual foot, the latter is quick to lampshade this fact.
  • Stealthy Colossus: Rocky's steam shovel gets remarkably close to the gunfight before the first explosion gives him away. Justified, unlike their modern counterparts, steam shovels from the era were rather quiet.
  • The Stinger: Mordecai dials up Asa Sweet and lets him know about Lackadaisy's increasing activity. Recognizing that their antics could bring down a lot of heat, especially with the Feds in town, Mr. Sweet resolves to "tie up some loose ends."
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • Rocky bellows in an exaggerated Irish brogue to scare away the owl that has his skittish Irish Catholic cousin spooked during a whiskey run in a dark cemetery.
    • He does it again minutes later with an exclamation of "Begorra!" when they're startled by a train.
  • Swallowed a Fly: Subverted. Nico thinks this happens when Freckle shoots out his windshield, but it turns out to be a piece of glass, which he promptly discards.
    Nico: [coughs] I think I swallowed a bug.
    Serafine: You got a big, fat bebette for dinner? No fair.
    Nico: [coughs and spits] Naw. Just more glass. [laughs]
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: As is standard for something set during prohibition, the "Canadian whisky" the crew digs up apparently has an aftertaste that Wick describes as "coffin varnish".
  • There Was a Door: Two examples back-to-back:
    • When the Lackadaisy crew first reach the quarry, they're initially on-course for the entrance, only to turn toward the "Sable Stone and Quarry" sign right next to it.note 
    • Mere seconds after demolishing the sign (and the fence it was attached to), Ivy crashes their car into a shed in which the only available entrance isn't even on the same wall as the one the car hits.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: Given a twist in the end credits.
    The stories, institutions, and characters in this talkie are fictional. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Any resemblance to cats living or dead is entirely purposeful.
  • Twitchy Eye:
    • Freckle, fearful of his other side, gets one when Rocky gives him the partially-dismantled components of a tommy-gun.
    • As the Lackadaisy trio are leaving the quarry, Rocky slaps a (thankfully unlit) stick of dynamite onto Freckle's chest, to which Freckle responds by frantically throwing it out his window as if it was about to explode at that very second, then gives this look as he tries to calm down.
    • Mitzi's "reaction" to a shot of tainted whiskey includes a small eye-twitch.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Downplayed, in that they're only unusual from a modern standpoint, but were quite common in the era portrayed:
    • Rocky breathes a relieved "Begorrah!" after the train jumpscare.
    • Ivy shouts "Holy Simolean!" when Serafine shoots out the former's back windshield.
    • Ivy exclaims "Raspberries!" when their car, which had stalled after crashing into a shed, refuses to restart, necessitating the use of a hand crank.
    • Ivy used "Skedaddle" (synonym for "leave") when the trio flee the quarry.
    • Rocky whisper-shouts "Aces!" under his breath when Ivy verifies the continued existence of his eyebrows after his Construction Vehicle Rampage goes awry.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Several of the cast catch a case of this during moments of panic and alarm.
  • Your Mom: A subtle example, while Freckle and Rocky are moving the coffin.
    Freckle: I wish my mom was here.
    Rocky: What? Blasphemy! That force of nature, she'd stop us dead!
    Freckle: I know.
    (a train blasts its horn as it passes on a nearby bridge, startling them and Ivy)
    Rocky: (laughing nervously) Begorrah! For a moment there, I thought it WAS your mom!


Video Example(s):


Rocky + Excavator + Explosives

During a fight between the rival employees of the Lacksadaisy Speakeasy Rum Runners & The Marigold Gang the energetic Rocky finds an Excavator and a Demolitions Shed. He uses it to turn the fight in his favor.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThrowDownTheBomblet

Media sources: