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Nip and Tuck is one of Ralph Hayes, Jr.'s webcomics (Goblin Hollow and Tales of the Questor are among his others).

The main focus is on Nip and Tuck Todd, two fox brothers of the somewhat loopy Malarky County, located somewhere (judging by the cast's accents) in the southern USA. Throughout the series, the brothers get mixed up in various hijinx, including babysitting a pair of rival budding evil geniuses, accidentally entering Tuck's girlfriend into a porno photoshoot, helping a rookie journalist try to prove the existence of the local lake monster to the world, training a junior boxer to fight the town bully, and even MST-ing Nip's movies.

The strip has started up again after a long period of hiatus (with a cameo from the characters in Goblin Hollow at one point), but the storyline regarding the financial problems of the Purloined Letters Studio has been put on hold for the time being. The first ones are also collected in three volumes.

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This comic provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Coot the turtle, who owns the military surplus store. (Turtles are literally the only species in any of the author's comics to get this trope, which is understandable given how much a turtle's shell covers and how hard it is to put clothing on.)
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • In strip #12, whilst Tuck is raving about how Redneck Rampage is built on offensive stereotypes about rednecks as dim-witted, inbred, violent, gluttonous, flatulent drunkards, Nip is giggling to himself over the ability to use exploding chickens as weapons.
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    • When Tuck responds to the sleezy reporter trying to mock him by pantsing the guy on live TV in strip #17, the reporter's own video crew find it hilarious.
  • A Degree in Useless: Deconstructed in post-revival strip #62, which points out that based on the timing of when you get it, any college degree can be useless in the practical sense.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Thelma dresses extremely conservatively. As in, Hortense, Malarkey County's resident "angry feminist", tells her she dresses down too much at one point, and hangs a lampshade that if she is criticizing Thelma's lack of sex appeal, then she is desperately overemphasizing her modesty. In the "lost strips" from the Nip & Tuck-The Funday Pawpet Show crossover, Thelma actually states at one point that she takes her wardrobe advice from her great-grandmother.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: A variant; in strip #752, Hortense apologizes for her wildly unusual behavior, in particular snatching Thelma's bathrobe away to force the possum into showing up her new bikini for Tuck, by explaining that the intense heat of the tropical Caribbean sun is so different to what she's used to in Malarkey that she was effectively drunk.
  • The Alleged Car: Zigzagged with Daisy, the Todd Brothers' jeep, which is initially presented as an absolute wreck when Nip buys it in strip #40, but which is ultimately patched up and made into a hard-running, reliable workhorse of a car.
  • All Muslims Are Arab: In strip #595, when one of the workers on the action movie asks if Schlepp the Camel is offended by the movie featuring so many Arabian and Muslim characters, Schlep corrects him that he is Arabian, but he is actually an Arabian Christian who fled his homeland to escape persecution by Muslims.
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: The unnamed local herbalist, who makes an appearance in strip #612; her remedies are effective, but they leave the victim in a coma for days.
  • Armies Are Evil: The initial plan for Moby's schlocky action film... until the decidedly pro-The War on Terror actors themselves find out, and remake it as a pro-America, pro-military movie.
  • Asleep for Days: The side-effects of taking the local All-Natural Snake Oil.
  • Author Tract: Taken to great lengths with various attacks on environmentalism, feminism and liberalism in general right from the first couple of pages.
    • And despite Nip and Tuck largely being irresponsible gun-loving pyromaniacs, Southerners are definitely not as portrayed in the media.
    • Transgenderism is treated as a mental deviance that should be corrected with physical pain and punishment, with the author commenting in the argument on the same strip that homosexuality is also a sin and should be punished as such in much the same manner.
  • Badass Preacher: Downplayed, but the Malarkey County reverend is a huge wolverine; in his introductory strip, Tuck notes that very few people are willing to refuse a request from him to attend services, whilst in strip #504 it's established that every church picnic has a tug-of-war consisting of every churchmember who wants to partake against the reverend alone. It's implied they've never beaten him.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Most of Malarkey County, though Gus Gunthry and Gilly are usually the ones who wear shoes. (Plus occasional guest characters, such as that crazy cat at the bus station.)
  • Beautiful All Along: Played straight with Thelma here, with help from Tuck. Then again, Tuck admits that he had feelings for Thelma from the very beginning and had no idea how to deal with those emotions.
    • A bit with Zelda Porcupine as well.
  • Berserk Button: Downplayed, because it doesn't come up much, but Tuck really does not like the stereotypical portrayal of "rednecks" in the media, and so really doesn't cotton kindly to media playing on those stereotypes. For this reason he has a particular distaste for the videogame Redneck Rampage, and he hates Deliverance — at the very least, it incenses him when Nip decides to play the infamous "Dueling Banjoes" music whenever out-of-towners happen to be around.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • The Todd brothers themselves, in a sense. Normally, they're affable and laidback jokesters, but the residents of Malarkey County have learned you don't pick a fight with them.
    • Denise, the Cat Girl at stunt school with a crush on Charlie, looks like a sweet and innocent woman, with her oversized glasses and girlish twintails emphasizing her semblance of youthful innocence. When Charlie breaks her heart, she readily joins in on Nip's prankfest and plays the role of an Annie Wilkes style psycho fan with chilling realism. After they mend ties and hook up, she also shows herself to be a ruthlessly skilled agent for Charlie.
  • Big Beautiful Woman:
  • Black Comedy: In strip #645, a Jewish rabbi jokes that he likes to read the virulently anti-Jewish Arabian newspaper "Al Jazeera" because every other page talks about how the Jews are rich, powerful, and secretly rule the world — he finds it so hilarious that it puts him in a good mood all day.
  • Brain Bleach: Nip learns to take care when admiring photos from a time before you were born.
  • Brick Joke: Given the comic's length and love of comedic Call Backs, this happens a lot. One example? After the founding of "Purloined Letter Productions", strip #639 shows Tagger and Eugene being used as a focus group and blithely suggesting that Nip's next film "needs more ninjas". At the end of the "Rebel Cry" storyline, the second Nip movie that he previews is "10,000 Ninjas!", an action-comedy about a man being attacked by an enormous army of ninjas, each of whom is only granted 60 seconds to try and kill him in.
  • Brutal Honesty: After Nip brings up his woes about his dating life in strip #776-768, Tuck points out that Nip's main problem may be the fact that he's a natural risk taker who likes to do stupid stuff for kicks and then made a career out of it, which understandably tends to intimidate women.
  • Bullet Time: Parodied once here.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gilly Gopher.
  • Call-Back: As a comic with a strong consistent story, references to previous events happen all the time. One of the most far-reaching is during Nip and Zelda's second date back in Malarkey County; after Nip "sees off" Gilly Gopher and Zelda mentioning she sometimes thinks people like Gilly need a blow to the head to get the message, he mentions he's seen Gilly being hit with a 2x4 and not improve — referring to the time he smacked Gilly in the head with a 2x4 for arguing about subjective morality back in strip #8 — 859 strips earlier.
  • Camp Straight: Skippy, the lion hairdresser from The Funday Pawpet Show, is a flamboyant and at least mildly campy individual. He's also happily married to an enormous and very female gorilla, which comes as quite a surprise to Thelma. An annotation from the author on his introduction notes that this is a trait Skippy has in his native webshow, along with getting very angry when people insinuate that he's gay.
  • Can-Crushing Cranium: Played with when a drunken and belligerent Gus Gunthry picks a fight with Nip Todd by crushing his beer can against Nip's head.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: And according to Tuck, their pet cat is running up credit on some more.
  • The Cavalry: Nip is tied up and about to be beaten by a bunch of Gus's friends when the Ladies Division of the Indy Wrestling Foundation, whom he'd called earlier, show up.
  • Changing of the Guard: Played for laughs when Lil Bit tells Thelma she's taken up pester-flirting with Tagger to keep alive the spirit of Thelma's own pursuit of Tuck after their Relationship Upgrade.
  • The Chessmaster: Nip Todd and Eugene Possum have shades of this. Most notably Nip's plots to humiliate Gus, Charlie, and Michael Moby.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Toober the Otter, who is Malarky County's resident "special thinker".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Whether it's knocking Gilly out with a board or electrocuting a reporter, this is pretty common. Slightly subverted, in that Tuck doesn't approve of such methods.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded here during a Show Within a Show.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Deconstructed just before the final battle of Rebel Cry;
    It's easy to be a rabble rouser; to be admired and lauded when your trouble making amuses the crowds. Easy to live "wild and reckless and free," accountable to none. But it's an entirely different matter when the consequences track you down.
    • However, it's reconstructed at the end of the arc;
      A thousand years ago, a small island became a worldwide empire, but in its decay it chased away— and even threw away— its best and brightest. And when they rebelled—- they were too far away for the empire to tighten its grasp again. The empire crumbled, and its castoffs surpassed its glory a thousandfold.
  • Creepy Child: Tagger on occasion.
  • Crossover: In 2001, R.H. Jr. did a set of about 39 comics in which the cast of the online puppet troupe "The Funday Pawpet Show" wound up temporarily stranded in Malarkey County. He took it down, citing "ethical differences", but then reuploaded the strips into the archive after the Todd Brothers' wedding.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Zelda vs Moby here. A verbal rather than a physical beatdown, but no less overwhelming for that.
  • Curious as a Monkey: Hortense's niece
  • D-Cup Distress: Candy (a waitress at recently-opened bar "Green Chicks") is notably buxom, and she's only working there to save up for a breast reduction surgery. The backaches alone are making the expense worthwhile.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Todd brothers tend to take this attitude when dealing with things they find either utterly stupid or utterly hilarious — or both, as in the recent poke at the feminist slogan, "My Vagina Has A Voice". Hilarity Ensues, though radical feminist Estelle is starting to foam at the mouth...
  • Defictionalization: An In-Universe example; a mini storyline in strip #872 revolves around Solidus opening a sci-fi themed restaurant catering to the "nerdy" crowd, which he names "Green Chicks", after a bar that appears in the in-universe movie "Rebel Cry".
  • Department of Child Disservices: Tagger's family after their son aces an aptitude test. Oh, the torture.
    Tuck: Well, I s'pose you're learning all sorts o' new things...
    Tagger: Yeah. I learned tofu gives you th' scoots.
  • Description Cut:
    • In strip #748, Nip is confident that the notoriously shy Zelda will have no problems doing an interview with him for their radio station back home. Cut to Zelda having a panic attack in her cabin.
    • In strip #773, Nip thinks he's offended Zelda by asking her to be his date, but what's actually happened is that she's actually so dumbfounded that her shyness has made it impossible for her to say yes, despite desperately wanting to.
    • An unusual variant can be seen in strip #792; the first and third panels are Tuck opinioning that his parents must have retired for a quiet, relaxing soak, because they're too old to party, whilst the central panel shows they're actually having a naked game of chase before making love.
    • In strip #244, Tuck initially blows off the notion that he'll miss his twin brother whilst the latter is off at stunt school for 12 weeks. Cue the last panel showing Tuck up at night, looking very mournful.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Downplayed, but after the Harvest Dance, with Tuck hooking up with Thelma and having been shut down by Beebee because her then-beau Gus Gunthry has a pretty well-paying job, Nip finds himself questioning what he'll do with his life. Fortunately, fate intervenes and he finds himself on the road to being a professional stunt man.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Downplayed. Thelma (who is a porcupine) has her dangerous quills pulled so that Nip doesn't have to be so careful during their lovemaking (amongst several other reasons). Nip, too, is fairly pent up, and the couch does not fare at all well.
  • Determinator: Bandit during a boxing match against a pig a lot bigger than him. He gets beaten to a pulp and still refuses to drop for a while.
    • Gilly Gopher is also one. While others would have realized long ago that Malarkey County isn't too kind to Know Nothing Know It Alls, he just keeps on trying to convince his neighbors he has the right idea.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: To say that Nip is less than happy to hear that his crush Beebee broke up with Gus Gunthry whilst he was at stunt school... and then found herself an actual Nice Guy to hook up with whilst he was gone... is an understatement.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Tuck is on the receiving end of one that starts from strip #66 and lasts until strip #69; he gets covered in fire ants, chased naked across the paddock by a swarm of angry bees after he smashes a hive whilst trying to brush the ants off, unwittingly streaks in front of Thelma, and then dives into a pond full of crawdads that object to his intrusion whilst trying to escape the angry bugs.
  • Distressed Damsel: Subverted when Thelma Possum, trapped in a lousy contract with a porn studio, becomes a professional wrestler to pay it off (surprising the heck out of poor Tuck's rescue party). Averted when Zelda Porcupine, confronted by a studio-barging Gilly Gopher, turns him into a pincushion. And lampshaded to a fare-thee-well when Tuck winds up rescuing overly aggressive, dyed-in-the-scales, capital-F Feminist Hortense from a guy she punched in the breadbasket! (She takes it with all the "grace" you'd expect, too, something that Tuck calls her out on.) See Values Dissonance; as noted, female characters in this strip aren't likely to be the fluttery, useless type.
  • Domestic Abuse: Downplayed, but Gus' relationship with Beebee has some very unsettling overtones, particularly when he shows up drunk at the Harvest Dance and gets very angry to find she's been dancing with someone else. Fortunately, the closest he ever gets to hurting her is when he roughly grabs her arm, and Beebee breaks up with him afterwards.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted. Female characters who abuse male characters in this strip will receive a talking-to at least, a physical retribution at worst. Never subverted, though; males who abuse females get just as much of a smackdown.
  • Dramatic Wind: Wind, leaf blower, same diff...
  • Drives Like Crazy: Thelma and Nip both make for extremely crazy drivers, although Nip is so bad that he makes Thelma nervous. Strips #655 and #656 even contrast the two.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Subverted, which might come as a surprise given the author's rather blatant Southern American Conservative values on display in this comics.
    • In strip #113, the first of a 3-strip mini-storyline, resident "idiot liberal" Gilly Gopher is dumbfounded when he finds out that hardcore Rightwing Tuck Todd actually supports the legalization of marijuana. Tuck subsequently explains in the next strip that he primarily supports the legalization of hemp - marijuana's non-drug cousin - although he does also believe marijuana itself should be legalized. The last strip, #115, has him explaining why he has this belief, telling Gilly that hemp can be used to make soap, cloth, rope, and string, it produces four times as much potential paper as an equivalent amount of wood pulp and without all of the nasty chemicals required as part of the process, it has the most clean-burning natural oil in the world, and its oil and seeds are highly nutritious. Marijuana, meanwhile, can not only do everything that hemp can do, but can also be used as a safe, effective treatment for the symptoms of chemotherapy, glaucoma and multiple schlerosis.
    • Nip's last planned movie before Purloined Letter Productions is foreclosed is an "anti-War on Drugs" themed action movie, in which a rural cop tries to fight off South American drug cartels who want to mule drugs through his territory, whilst regarding the government's anti-drug enforcement agents to be just as much of a threat. The protagonist's narration in the trailer directly compares the War on Drugs to Prohibition, particularly in how it has given people who would have been small-time criminals a chance to become ultra-rich crimelords.
  • Drunk on Milk: Cats in this universe can literally get drunk on milk.
  • Due to the Dead: The admiral in the Rebel Cry arc.
  • The Empire: The Big Bad of Nip's second movie, Rebel Cry, and literally called just that.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: During the opening stages of his plan to get back to Charlie, the resident Jerkass at stunt school, Nip asks Charlie about the girl who she thinks had sex with her whilst she was passed out drunk. Charlie reveals he took her home when she was absolutely plastered, and then when she fell asleep on the toilet, he put her in his bed and spent the night in the bathtub. He never laid a hand on her sexually... he just couldn't resist teasing her after she ran out the next morning rather than talk to him, leaving her panties behind in her hurry.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Hortense rants about this.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Thelma and a vixen in Halloween costumes find Jack-O-Lantern bubble gum in a bowl of Halloween candy; they both try it and see why it's called that when they both blow bubbles.
  • Fangirl: A canine teen has been awfully keen on Nip since he got into the movie business.
    • Earlier Charlie Bengal had a fan girl who joined in Nip's revenge scheme after he told her to shove off. She partly reenacted Misery.
  • Fanservice: And Fan Disservice, in the same comic here, and implied here.
  • Flashback: To explain why Tuck hates reporters so.
  • A Friend in Need: Nip to LilBit at the harvest dance. Beebee's friends after the fight at the dance.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Tuck averts one.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hortense gives one over strips #492 to #494; she's the only female lizard in all of Malarkey County, so she feels extremely insecure about her gender, because the only examples she has on what a "woman" is like come from the mammals around her, which she's biologically incapable of emulating. She clings to an aggressively independent form of feminism in no small part to try and comfort herself in the face of this insecurity.
  • Funny Foreigner: Both Mikhail, a Russian fox transfer student, and Schlepp, an Arabian camel immigrant convenience store owner.
  • Funetik Aksent: Skip this comic, especially the early years, if you have no patience for these.
  • Furry Comic
  • Furry Reminder: Whilst for the most part the character's species is aesthetic, reminders of their furry nature do pop up from time to time.
    • Zelda's quills, which routinely make themselves problematic, to the point that the punchline for one strip after Nip's film studio is shut down is the fact he's been distracted from losing his job because one of her quills is lodged in his earlobe.
    • Hortense, and by extension all female lizards, lack breasts, despite the female anthros from mammalian species all having prominent bosoms. Even the female opossums like Thelma have them.
    • The Lapin family's massive array of kids is somewhere between a nod to their status as rabbits and a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of the "rednecks have huge families" stereotype.
    • The first appearance of female possums in the Nip & Tuck world having pouches is way back in strip #36, where Thelma manages to sneak some of her mother's famous hard candy away by smuggling it in her pouch.
    • The Todd brothers get a reminder of what a possum's pouch is for in strip #47.
    • Thelma's pouch is visible as a scar-like line on her belly in strips #157, #439 and #745.
    • In strip #485, it's mentioned that Todd's "strong musky cologne" is actually his natural musk glands; in reality, male foxes do have musk glands, and produce a notedly strong odor.
    • In strip #492, Hortense has a Freudian slip about how being a reptile means she's hairless, coldblooded, scaly, and completely lacking in female mammalian sexual characteristics. This is followed by her asking Thelma to carry her back inside before the cold puts her into torpor two strips afterward.
    • When a mongoose door-to-door salesman shows up at the Todd household, he instinctively attacks the lawn sprinkler when he mistakes the sound of it turning on for a cobra.
    • In strip #731, Thelma pulls out her cellphone that she's been keeping in her pouch, with Tuck admitting that he keeps forgetting about it, and Nip dumbfoundedly asking how when she's developed a liking for wearing belly shirts.
    • In strip #752, Hortense explains her unusually chipper behavior of the last few strips has been due to being effectively "drunk" on the heat, as she's from temperate Malarkey County and is now in the distinctly hotter tropical Caribbean.
    • In strip #754, a couple of male gators that take a liking to Hortense's traditional lizard swimsuit respond by letting out belch-like mating calls. Hortense even mistakes what they are at first, and has to be corrected by an embarrassed Thelma.
    • In strip #780, when Zelda's personal assistant Charlotte gently asks if a backless dress isn't a little racy for Zelda's first date with Nip, the porcupine actually forgets about her pre-date nerves to snarkily point out that all of her dresses are by necessity backless, or end up that way after she's worn them once, since her back is covered in needle-sharp quills.
    • The gag of this strip from The Funday Pawpet Show crossover is that, as foxes, Nip and Tuck have a much higher hearing range, so the high pitches of the singer's are absolutely unbearable for them exclusively.
    • Played for laughs in strip #87, where Pa Todd loses a log-sawing contest as part of their annual pioneer's day celebration to a beaver for... obvious reasons.
    • In strip #247, Thelma is shown hanging upside down from a tree branch by her tail, with Tuck implying that this is normal behavior for her and other possums.
    • Arguable, but the Malarky County's Reverend going unbeaten in the church picnic tug-of-wars is a little nod to the legendary strength and stubbornness of wolverines.
    • Hortense uses her lizard's prehensile tongue to snag the wedding bouquet in strip #434.
  • Gasshole:
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Thelma Possom, hand's down. She seems like a sweet Southern gal, all shy and polite and demure... and, for the most part, she is. She's also a huge wrestling fan, to the point that her idea of a romantic date, as seen in strip #290, is to get front row tickets to a match featuring one of her favorite wrestlers. She's also a skilled wrestler herself; first displaying it when she blatantly threatens Toober into bringing his band to the wedding of Corporal Bo, she later wrestles as an indy female fighter under the name "The Hillbilly Hellion" during the "beauty contest scam" story arc. Tuck walks in on her manhandling a hulking bruiser nearly twice her size in strip #522, and in the next strip, she effortlessly pounds on that same wrestler when he foolishly interrupts her conversation with Tuck. Then there's her solution for a replacement romantic activity when Tuck strains a groin muscle and can't dance with her: skeet shooting. Or the fact that her husband gets her a pistol for her birthday, to her delight.
  • Glory Hound: Nip's friend, Charlie, his initially annoying roommate at Stunt School, introduced in strip #291.
  • Gonk: THIS guy.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Ma and Pa Todd. Much to Tuck's displeasure.
    • And then played completely straight when the boys are grown, especially between Nip and Thelma.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Deconstructed in post-revival strip #77, when Tagger argues that Wolverine is a terrible superhero, because he's constantly being hurt quite badly, whereas other superheroes like Spider-Man take far less damage and are much more adept at avoiding it.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Subverted on maybe one or two occasions, both times, surprisingly, by Nip Todd.
  • Gossipy Hens: Malarkey County is apparently full of them. To the point that, when Thelma wants to spread the word about Corporal Bo and his fiancee needing a hand to pull off a wedding, all she has to do is quietly call out into the air that he's getting married, and her mother rings her 3 seconds later.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: In Rebel Cry. Carries over to a non-space version outside the film.
  • Groin Attack:
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Found in the very first strip when Nip knocks his own and his brother's dress clothing in the river right after throwing their old clothes in.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After hearing Nip's explanation about the importance of movies presenting a realistic view of the world as much as possible, and the other actors commenting on how horribly it would hurt the people who have family in the Armed Forces, the script producer breaks confidentiality and reveals to them that the movie they're working on is a sleazy cashgrab of a picture hoping to cash in on the apparent market for anti-American Armed Forces sentimentsomething that made the original lead star of the movie walk out in protest, which is how Nip got the position of star. She then works with them to help remake the movie in a more pro-military light, which helps them get off the ground as an indie movie company.
  • Heel Realization: Charlie undergoes this over his behavior at stunt school in strip #329.
  • Heroic BSoD: Both Todd brothers tend to do this when sexually aroused.
  • History Repeats: Invoked by the Empire Commander in the final strip of the Rebel Cry storyline, likening the dissidents of the Empire and the rebels of Promethia fleeing to colonize a remote star system beyond the Empire's reach to the founding of America (not explicitly, but the subtext is obvious). In particular, he muses that, given how "that colony of rebels of old" went on to surpass its parent empire "a thousandfold", it's possible the same thing will happen again.
  • Humiliation Conga: Nip's elaborate revenge on his Jerkass roommate, complete with a Shout-Out to Misery.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: Zelda uses one before interviewing Nip on the radio. He's her crush, you see. And it's a Pool Scene.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Gilly, the Todds' next-door neighbor. He's not really stupid, but he has a tendency not to think beyond the liberal philosophies he's been taught and follows and the inconsistencies therein, and has issues not putting his foot in his mouth when trying to get his points across, as he is basically parroting what he's been taught.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: Subverted when Zelda Porcupine is having to face Nip as her interviewee... And ends up getting an eyeful of Nip (complete with Bishie Sparkle) at the Pool Scene! Not that she's complaining about the sight of him in his swimwear, mind you...
    Zelda's friend and assistant, Charlotte: "You put his clothes back on right this minute, young lady!—-"
    Zelda (blushing & grinning hungrily): "No. Go 'way."
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Tuck after seeing Thelma in a bikini.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Thelma, in the early days of her relationship with Tuck, is extremely uncertain that she's physically attractive enough. She grows out of it as time passes and Tuck very amply demonstrates he desires her, with the biggest step towards it coming in strip #543.
  • Interspecies Romance: Whilst there's certainly plenty of same-species couples, the "current generation" is full of attractions across species lines:
    • Tuck (fox) and Thelma (opossum) are a case of Childhood Friend romance that ultimately ends up with them getting together, even getting married.
    • Nip is very attracted to all three of Pop's Auto Girls; Beebee (rabbit), Janine (mouse) and Sasha (squirrel), leading to his efforts to ask all three out for the Harvest Dance.
    • Beebee the rabbit is initially dating Gus Gunthry (pig), and crushed on by Nip (fox). After she breaks up with Gus, she ends up getting together with Gary, a mountain lion (or possibly a bear).
    • An Interspecies Love Triangle can be seen between Zelda (porcupine), who is attracted to Nip (fox), and at the same time desired by Gilly (gopher). She very decisively ends it by getting married to Nip, after he proposes at Tuck and Thelma's wedding.
    • Lil Bit the girl rabbit has a crush on Tagger, a male beaver. They get to go on a date after aging to be more in their teens. Things end on a humiliating note when she accidentally farts whilst he's doing the gentlemanly "pull out her chair" routine... though they get back together after she learns that Tagger went the extra mile and claimed responsibility for it, in order to lessen her humiliation.
    • Bandit (raccoon) has something for Sierra, a female tiger.
  • In the Blood:
  • Irony: In strip #650, Beebee explains that "Magical Princess Usagi" was Cut Short at twelve episodes because an executive complained that she didn't have enough appeal for teenage boys. She promptly grew up into one of Malarkey County's most notoriously gorgeous women.
  • I See Them, Too: Captain Walker's sidekick in Rebel Cry at the memorial.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: In "Man On The Border", Nip's character at one point uses torture to force a captured jihadi to tell him where the others took the bio-weapon, jabbing a lit cigarette into his eye and telling him that he will not let the Geneva Conventions prevent him from stopping a terrorism attack.
  • Jerkass:
    • Gus Gunthry, who is the most hated man in Malarkey County for a reason. He actually provokes the normally mild-tempered Tuck to attack him in a rage when he brutally mocks him for hooking up with somebody as "ugly" as Thelma.
    • Gus' buddies aren't any better than he is, as you'd expect.
    • Micheal Moby, before and after his stint in Malarkey County.
    • Charlie Bengal. Downplayed in that he was acting that way because he thought he was supposed to, and didn't consider that the prima donna actors he was emulating didn't get good roles anymore, if any BECAUSE of said attitude.
    • Given how the protagonists and supporting characters are often shown running roughshod on anyone whose opinions the author disagrees with, verbally or physically, it's safe to say that even the protagonists can come off like this at times.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Hortense may be an annoying, opinionated prick of a woman, but... she's not exactly wrong when she calls out a pair of women for being blatant skanks.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hortense the lizard. She's a smart-mouthed asshole who practically goes out of her way to pick fights, especially with the Todd brothers, and is pretty much angry towards the world, but does have a good heart under it all and is ultimately shown to be motivated more by uncertainty, insecurity and a lack of a good role model.
  • Just the First Citizen: In "Rebel Cry", the obvious absolute monarch (and Royal Brat) is "Madame Chairwoman."
  • Karma Houdini: "Sweet Momma" Smith in the "Model Search / Finding Thelma" story arc.
    • Subverted in the case of Gus Gunthrie, the town bully.
  • Kick the Dog:
  • La Résistance: The heroes in the movies Man on the Border and Rebel Cry.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After Gus insults Thelma and agrees to a race to settle the fight, Nip goes out of his way to ensure that karma comes back to bite the Jerkass pig big time. Firstly, Nip sets the course of the race, deliberately stacking the deck by picking a route that goes through terrain where his brother's jeep will have the advantage. Secondly, he gives the route an obvious "short cut"... that happens to run right through the battleground of the annual Malarkey County demolition derby. Which also happens to be running on the day that the race takes place. Sure enough, Gus tries to cheat, and winds getting his beloved truck absolutely wrecked, to the extent that when the storyline finishes in strip #270, Tuck adds insult to injury by refusing to take Gus' truck, despite the wager, because he reckons it isn't worth the effort of hauling away.
  • Last Request: Captain Walker gets a free meal in the bar "Green Chicks" during Rebel Cry because this was the last request of the bar's original owner, who died fighting for the rebels and made it his last will and testament that all rebel veterans get a free meal and pay half-price.
  • Leave No Survivors: One of the villains in Rebel Cry.
  • Little Stowaway: The sidekick in Rebel Cry.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the "Man on the Border" film gets made to Nip's specifications; they can't allow Moby's version of the film to air, because he ends up with money and they end up with their names smeared by association with an anti-War on Terror film either way. But, as Nip points out, it's the film's editors who decide what the finished version of a film actually looks like...
  • Love Triangle: There was one between Zelda, Gilly, and Nip.
    • Triang Relations: Either Type 4 or Type 5. Gilly has a crush on Zelda, while Zelda has a crush on Nip, and it's unsure at what point he starts to reciprocate. Ends when Nip proposes to Zelda.
  • Luminescent Blush: Nip when he is told something... rather explicit.
    • And let's not forget Thelma... right here!
  • Magical Girl: Turns out that Beebee used to be a voice actress and model for a short-lived Magical Girl anime called "Magical Princess Usagi", which is revealed in strip #548.
  • Malicious Slander: Invoked in strip #597, when an outraged Nip objects to a "joke" in the movie's script likening the Ku Klux Klan to the National Rifle Asssociation. As he points out, the statement that they "go together like peanut butter and chocolate" is completely fallacious, given that the NRA was founded by Union officers (in contrast to the KKK being founded by Confederate soldiers), its 8th president was Ulysses S. Grant — the man who would use the KKK Act and Enforcement Act to arrest over 5000 Klansmen, and in the 1950s the NRA was responsible for founding entire chapters of African-Americans to assist them in defending their communities against KKK lynch-squads. This "one line joke" would have had the NRA's lawyers up in arms if it had gone through. He then follows this up by explaining the importance of movies subverting Reality Is Unrealistic, since so many people derive so much information about the world from the media that they take in.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Lapin family, being that they are redneck rabbits, naturally has a huge army of kids, with at least 14 children at the first count given in the series.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Missing Episode: In spirit if not in actual media; in 2001, the author did a prolonged storyline crossing over Nip & Tuck with the cast of The Funday Pawpet Show, having the cast be an in-universe show of actors who get stranded in Malarkey County when their tour bus breaks down, and so they need to broadcast their show from there until it gets fixed in a fortnight. The author took it down after it was initially posted, citing ethical differences and interpersonal issues, but then reuploaded it and made it canon to the comic again on February 18, 2014. Various annotations were added to these strips to explain the strips return, in particular confirming that this strip and its follow-ups was the canonical reason behind Thelma's art upgrade from her super-frumpy original dress and twin pigtails to the slightly more modern outfit and two loose tails she began wearing in strip #157.
  • Missing Mom: Gus Gunthrie's mother left his father for being abusive, and his grandmother did the same to his grandfather, as he admits in strip #573
  • Motor Mouth: Thelma turns into this when she gets selected for the Top 20 in the beauty contest.
  • MST: The strips presenting the movies that Nip makes as part of Purloined Letter Productions are presented in this format, with scenes from the movie making up the bulk of the strip's imagery, and with the Todd brothers and Thelma at the bottom of the bottom-most strip, in shadow, commenting on what they've watched.
  • My Defense Need Not Protect Me Forever: Invoked; when Toober and his brothers arrive to perform as the band at Corporal Bo's wedding in strip #430, Thelma declares that if he does a good job, she'll forget about him getting drunk and fouling things up at her 16th birthday, and if he ruins it, she'll hunt him down to the ends of the earth. Toober's brother's suggest they make a break for it, telling Toober that they don't need to outrun her, just him.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Why Hortence opted for the wig; it was a less humiliating way to convey her femininity to mammal men then getting fake breasts implanted.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Just see the icon. Plus, Tuck once accidentally streaks Thelma while she's taking a picture.
  • Naughty by Night: Invoked in strip #221, when Nip teases Tuck that the normally very prudish-acting Thelma may turn out to be quite the little bundled of repressed desires now that they've gotten a Relationship Upgrade. Turns out to be foreshadowing; through Character Development, Thelma does go on to be much more uninhibited in the bedroom, with the girl who couldn't initially bare to partake in a lingerie party and had to be forced to show off a new bikini to her boyfriend gravitating to buying some Victoria's Secrets products for her husband.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Subverted in Rebel Cry. The chairwoman, having been advised by her general to refrain from humiliating their defeated foes, asks her handmaiden what she thinks. When the handmaiden agrees, she reveals it was to show that she cared no more for what he thought than what the handmaiden did.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Invoked in strip #818, when Nip and Tuck explain to Bandit that Gus's Good Ol' Boy buddies will ambush Bandit after the fight and give him a good old fashioned curb stomping if Bandit does win in the ring.
  • No More for Me: A variant; after his groggy early-morning encounter with Carrot as part of The Funday Pawpet Show crossover, Nip muses he shouldn't have bought coffee off of "that goofy-looking frog".
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Subverted with Hortence the lizard, who wears a wig.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Played straight for the most part, but averted for Hortence the lizard.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Anything that Nip does that causes an explosion, but being a stuntman helps.
  • Not Quite Dead: Nip's character in Rebel Cry fakes his own death
  • Not So Above It All: Tuck Todd is usually the Straight Man to his brother's crazy antics, but he can get involved in weird or stupid stuff too from time to time. Like when Corporal Bo visits and Tuck switches from scolding them for using his ordinance to wanting to give it a try himself in mid-sentence.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • There was a period of comic strips early in the series' run, titled Redneck Rebuttal, that pointed out that many redneck stereotypes can also be applied to numerous Democrats, yuppies, city slickers, Hollywood elites....
    • The "family tree not branching" joke was applied to European Royalty. The Hapsburgs come to mind.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Nip, despite acting like a moron with no sense of self preservation, ends up outsmarting quite a few people and delivering a few of the Aesops. Although, in a way, this isn't completely his fault, as outsiders often assume he is an idiot based on his accent and looks.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: For dreams and flashbacks.
  • Open-Minded Parent: To Tuck's surprise, their parents congratulate Nip on deciding to pursue a career as a stuntman, pointing out he was always being a crazy Thrill Seeker anyway, so at least now he can make money off of it.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick:
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Deconstructed in two strips, where this proves a bad idea even if the man is a pervert.
    • In strip 536 Thelma beats the ever loving tar out of a man for his sleazy attempt to trick women into starring in pornos. She destroyed multiple pieces of film equipment in the process and ends up in debt. There is also the implication she has to pay his medical bills.
    • In strip 759, Hortense punches a large gator man in the stomach for catcalling her all day. Within five strips it is clear that a man around three times her size is now pissed off at her and she needs Tuck to bail her out when it is clear he and his friends are going to retaliate.
  • Pet the Dog: The admiral in Rebel Cry laughs admiringly at the hero's victory, right in front of his boss.
  • Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: Nip's first big break into movie business is as the star of an action movie with this motif. The director plans to cast it as a film opposing The War on Terror; the actors learn this and shoot their own pro-war version instead.
  • The Prankster: Tagger and Eugene both relish in pulling off elaborate pranks on people they don't like. They were initially enemies because Tagger provoked a prank war between them, but they call a truce after each learns the other has an embarrassing hobby — Tagger is into "Bitty Pretty Pony", and Eugene into "Magical Princess Usagi".
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: The stunt man school that Nip attends apparently has the motto "Exos Integro, Sugilato Curatio, Y Femellas Amo Cicatrix", which Nip translates as meaning "Bones knit, bruises heal, and chicks dig scars".
  • Punny Name: The naming tradition of the Whehthehekawee tribe of Native Americans. A famous chief was called "Doggonifeyeno" ("Dog Gone If I Know"), whilst the modern heir to the tribe who reclaims the tribe's land (a half-acre or so of the Todd farm used for pole beans, which Pa Todd was happy to get rid of) has a name that translates as "Runs-with-Scissors".
  • Rage Against the Author: Not rage so much as confusion, but Bandit Ringtail's owner was somewhat let down by the way that his comic commission ended (no closure, didn't adhere to his script).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The producer who was originally bankrolling Michael Moby, who, upon seeing Moby's original version of "Man On The Border", immediately sides with Nip and his fellow actors, legally punishes Moby as much as he can, and helps them found Purloined Letter Pictures.

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