- "I'd warn you not to make the same mistakes, but...I hardly remember how that young brain worked. It all kind of disappears. [...] You're such a strong lady. Probably the strongest I know? You're like Wonder Woman. Or the star of a skincare commercial. Powerful. Sorry if I'm kinda talking down to you. I've got way more finesse in person, as you know. But I really think you'll find success. Your 20s aren't the end. Even if it feels that way. My 20s were a complete waste. I promise you, there's more. Well, I better catch a plane. Good luck, Ning. And thanks."
Octopus Pie is a Slice of Life Web Comic written and drawn by Meredith Gran. It centered around the daily life of twentysomething Everest Ning (Eve for short), her stoner roommate Hanna, and their circle of friends. The story was set in modern-day Brooklyn, NY.
The stories mostly revolved around Eve's everyday life, dealing with her family's quirks, her roommate's bizarre antics, and trying to find romance, fulfillment, and a job that doesn't suck.
The strip ended on the 5th of June, 2017, after more than 10 years of run-time, and from March 19, 2018, the comic began reruns with author commentary. Furthermore, in The New '20s Gran has since released two sequels:
- The Other Side, which chronicles how the cast dealt with the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as entering their thirties.
- Octopus Pie Eternal, which focuses on how the cast enters married life and starts families.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Alt Text: Used inconsistently; it may be an actual bonus comment or simply the number and title of the page.
- Art Evolution: Jump-started by chapter 10 being drawn on paper (as opposed to via tablet) for the sake of averting Schedule Slip.
- Up until chapter 46, the strip is mostly drawn in black and white, with halftone gray shading. Then it switches to full (and often gorgeous) color.
- Art Shift: "Love Comics" is the stand-out.
- Hanna tends to be drawn in a more overtly cartoony style when compared to everyone else; her head is a bit wider, her face distorts more often, and she's prone to slapstick.
- Awesome McCoolname: America Jones. It even has stars in it when said out loud!
- A World Half Full: A significant portion of the cast are burnouts, college grads working part-time jobs as waiters, and a lot of them having severe emotional conflict. They still get better day by day though.
- Berserk Button:
- Eve has a burning grudge against hipsters and stoners, though this has eased off as the comic progresses.
- Hanna doesn't care for her pastries being likened to Twinkies.
- Beta Couple: Hanna and Marek are incredibly stable, happy, and sexually active together, in contrast to basically everyone else...until the subject of having kids comes up.
- Bittersweet Ending:
- The original run ends with Eve finally finding true love in Will and the two are looking forward to a bright future, but she's also out of a job after Olly's burns down. Hannah, meanwhile, has mostly worked her way through her post-break-up depression knowing she has the undying love and support of her friends and family, but she still has to contend with the consequences of her haphazard lifestyle and her destroyed friendship with Marigold, and is still unemployed and directionless.
- Octopus Pie Eternal has Hannah and Marigold finally start to bury the hatchet after refusing to even talk to each other for years, but this is small comfort when Marigold's marriage with Jane is falling apart, while Hannah may or may not later have an incredibly messy divorce with Sean.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The series starts out with shenanigans concerning Eve's Soul-Sucking Retail Job and her interaction with Hannah, but slowly introduces relationship drama that gets increasingly intense, culminating with Hannah and Marek, the most stable and loving couple in the comic thus far, breaking up, turning Hannah from a fun-loving stoner into a cynical Sad Clown on her best days, and starting a chain of not just broken hearts, but broken friendships in the cast.
- The Comically Serious: Discussed.Marek: But really, the deadpan is the key. You can essentially trick people into laughing at nothing.
Eve: Oh Marek, you card.
- Cool Shades: Hanna's "douchebag shades".
- Crystal-Ball Scheduling: immediately after being forced to watch trailers for tacky Spring Break softcore, Eve sees a number of girls casually discussing their drunk partying and promiscuity, prompting Eve to comment:Eve: Jesus, did they follow us out of the TV? It's like The Ring except I don't get to die.
- Disturbed Doves: Referenced in this strip.
- Easy Amnesia: One of the effects of Hanna's 'Brownout Biscuit'.
- Or so she says. It doesn't actually work.
- Even the Guys Want Him: At least one man bids on Marek at a bachelor auction.
- Expy: Will bears an uncanny resemblance to Scott Pilgrim when he's clean-shaven, which might partly explain the Perma-Stubble.
- Failures on Ice: Hanna breaks something important.
- Family Theme Naming: Eve and Mor. They were named after two of their parent's favorite mountains, Everest and Rushmore. They also conveniently shorten into the punny names Eve Ning and Mor Ning, matching their mother, Dawn Ning.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Marty Jayne.
- First Boy Wins: Eve gets back together with her first love.
- Only to break up again when he moves out of town.
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: It's possible that the giant lobster who played leopards at Olly's Halloween event was in fact not a guy in a costume.
- Freudian Excuse: Humorous example—Puget Sean hates nerds because his father left for an anime convention and never came back.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Eve has both in this strip.Eve: I'm so glad I'm borderline paranoid schizophrenic!
- Green-Eyed Monster: Hanna's eyes actually turn green when Marek manages to incite a bidding war at a bachelor auction.
- Happy Ending Override: Octopus Pie Eternal has especially cruel ones for Marigold and Hannah, as it portrays how their hard-fought romances that they gained previously fall apart in very messy ways; Hannah's divorce, in particular, making her fallout with Marigold (who she ironically makes up with in the same story) look positively tame by comparison.
- Important Haircut: Marigold after she and Will break up.
- When Marek graduates, he loses the bangs obscuring his eyes, and it's a surprisingly poignant symbol of how all of the characters are changing as they get older.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Eve, Will, Hanna... most of the characters, at one point or another.
- Informed Attribute: Due to the art style, it's hard to tell Eve is Chinese until it's explicitly mentioned.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Eve is Chinese but people mistake her for being Korean or Japanese.
- I Resemble That Remark!:
- Will fights Bert at a Renaissance fair.Will: I don't remember a mob being part of this agreement!
Bert: With a temper like yours, I couldn't take my chances.
Will: TEMPER?! ...(beat)
- Mor and Eve discuss...something.Mor: I'll tell you when we get there.
Eve: Tell me now.
Mor: N-no...I don't want to upset you.
Eve: (sweating and clenching teeth) You couldn't possibly upset me.
- Will fights Bert at a Renaissance fair.
- Intertwined Fingers: Eve and Park do it in this strip.
- Literal-Minded:Marek: As soon as we have the time, we ought to travel.
Hanna: Where do you want to go?
Marek: Anywhere with you, my love!
Hanna: Oh, honey.
Marek: Some place low-pressure.
Hanna: The top of Mt. Everest!
Marek: A place where we can just chill.
Hanna: The South Pole!
- Malaproper: Olly says "coup d'etat" instead of "coup de grace".
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Hanna certainly fits the personality type, with her quirky mannerisms, unique business, and tendency to chase after adventure like a dog after passing cars. Played with in that she acts as this for Eve, since her boyfriend is the preternaturally well-adjusted Marek.
- Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: Hanna, a bit upset over Marek's charity date, contents herself with a vibrator.
- Midnight Snack: In this strip, Eve has one, and is concerned about her being embarrassed when a buck naked Marek shows up.
- Noodle Incident: Julia gets Brady to do something by reminding him about an incident involving chutney and a hollowed-out baguette.
- also, the peas thing.
- Nice Guy: Marek, paired with The Stoic. The only times he's been remotely off his stride is when he and Hanna thought narc agents were banging down their door, and when Hanna fractured her coccyx in a skating accident.
- Nipple and Dimed: Discussed by Hanna here.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Chapter 43 focuses on how everyone is slowly growing apart and how their group is fracturing.
- Pass the Popcorn: The employee at the laser tag place watches the stoners/nerds match with some popcorn and even recites some of the lines.
- Perma-Stubble: Will, as shown here.
- Punny Name: Everest 'Eve' Ning, her brother Rushmore 'Mor' Ning, and their mother Dawn Ning.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hanna and Marek.
- Remember When You Blew Up The Sun: Eve has some prestige at her workplace for swimming across the East River, catching an eagle chick, and sucker-punching Bloomy.
- The Rival: America Jones considers herself one for Eve. What she doesn't get is that this is a strictly one-way rivalry.
- Serious Business: the Guild of the Ristretto.
- Shipper on Deck: "Who would even ship us?" "I'M shipping us!"
- Shirtless Scene: We're led to believe that Chris is simply embellishing his physique on the strategy sheet, but he actually is pretty well-built.
- Shout-Out: Hanna makes a video to save Olly's Organix called "LEAVE OLLY ALONE".
- The Stoner: Hanna and Marek.
- Stupid Boss: Olly. Not only does he make blunders, he blames his employees for them.
- Take That!: Eve finds James with a girl in a The Decemberists shirt and a Livestrong bracelet carrying a copy of Angels & Demons. Eve reacts with equal horror to all these things.
- Unfortunate Names:Hanna: Everest? Her parents should be in jail.
- Unreliable Narrator: Dawn claims she pulled Eve out of figure-skating due to pressure from her father, who had wished Eve were a boy. The thing is, Eve was a tomboy on her own merits and would rather play hockey. And ended up quitting skating on her own because of her parents fighting.
- Unsatisfiable Customer: In the first comic.
- Unsound Effect: BKAM! ALTERCATE!
- You Never Asked: Marek was actually on the nerds' team in the laser tag match.
- "That's it?!"