Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / Sticky Dilly Buns

Go To
"How can I possibly know more about being gay than a gay man? I've been in this house too long!!!"
Ruby (after approximately a week in the house)

Sticky Dilly Buns is a webcomic created, written, and drawn by "Giz" (Gisèle Lagacé) and "Shouri" (María Victoria Robado), collectively credited as "Dahling!". It started on January 7, 2013, and after a few minor Schedule Slips and one longer break, officially came to an end on January 17, 2019. Two of the main characters and many of the supporting cast come from Giz's earlier webcomic, Ménage à 3, and both comics are set in Montreal, Canada. Like its parent comic, Sticky Dilly Buns has a sitcom atmosphere with Slice of Life elements and a degree of (comedy) explicitness about sex — though maybe without quite so much Fanservice. Although Ménage à 3 is explicitly rated R, Sticky Dilly Buns didn't show anything really NSFW — but there was some quite explicit dialogue, some just-off-screen intercourse (straight and gay), and some nudity reflected very small. Word of God was that the lower level of explicitness made selling advertising on the site easier. The creators noted that the creative team was all female, and the comic may have been slanted slightly more towards a female readership than Ménage à 3, although the differences may be subtle.


The title character of the comic is the (very, very) Camp Gay aspiring actor Dillon O'Brien (no relation), and many of the strips concern his romantic life, and especially his new relationship with his neighbor Jerzy. However, much of the drama involves the second lead character, his room-mate and fellow actor, the ex-porn star Amber Larose, and especially the unexpected appearance of her younger sister Ruby, who moves into their apartment while searching for a job in the city. As they don't have a spare room, Ruby initially shares Amber's room, threatening to put a crimp in Amber's hope for a love life, which is already complicated by her difficulty in getting to know men outside of the porn business. A bigger issue soon turns out to be Ruby's personality, which can make her difficult to live with — and the history which explains this, and which occasionally makes the relationship between the two sisters quite soap-operatic. (Ruby certainly isn't going to treat Amber as a Cool Big Sis if she can help it.) Dillon sets out to make friends with Ruby, although this gets a little weird a lot of the time, leading Ruby to develop her capacity for snarkiness; they each end up learning something from the other.


Like the parent comic, this is constructed as a very traditional four-panel strip (the western equivalent of a Yonkoma); there are always four panels, or occasionally some double panels. Originally, they appeared online as a single row of four, but since a major Website redesign in early 2020, they have been posted in a 2x2 layout. (As the print collections have always been printed with this 2x2 format, any double panels are always located in positions 1 and 2 or 3 and 4.) Also, the great majority of strips end with some kind of comedy punchline, despite the fact that there is a continuing story.

The first strip is here. In mid-2016, the comic went onto indefinite hiatus, as the creators keep getting distracted by paying work. It returned in 2018 (with strips at that time cross-posted to the Ménage à 3 site, though eventually it was moved entirely to its own area as part of a site reorganisation), all entirely by Giz as Shouri had other commitments. It finally wrapped up at the beginning of 2019. Pixie Trix Comix, which started after the end of Ménage à 3 in April 2019 as a follow-up to that comic, may also be to some extent a sequel to Sticky Dilly Buns, sharing some characters and locations.

Sticky Dilly Buns contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A-H 

  • Aborted Arc: Volume 2 ends with Dillon and Jerzy restarting their relationship despite Jerzy’s relationship with Angel, and Zii seeing her enemy Angel kissing Richie... It looks like the setup for weeks of soap opera. But then the comic went on hiatus for a couple of years, in which time significant stuff happened to Zii and Angel in Ménage à 3. So when Sticky Dilly Buns returned for a short wrap-up run, all of those plot strands had apparently been resolved in fairly predictable ways off-screen, leaving the comic to focus on its more complex plot issues with Ruby and her relationship with Amber, and then to show that Dillon has achieved a little more maturity and some degree of closure in his plot threads.
  • Accidental Kiss: A classic type 1 occurs between Ruby and Andy here, despite the fact that it's their second kiss and they are more or less dating at this point. Ruby's awakening libido may have made it slightly less accidental.
  • Adults Are Useless: Appears to be the case with Amber and Ruby's parents, if only for comedy purposes. According to a line in Ménage à 3, they're wealthy doctors, but... Aside from their failure to bring up daughters able to handle adult life competently (one went into the sex industry, the other is screamingly neurotic), and the fact that they've never even heard that their older daughter has become a fairly famous porn star, they also failed to notice that Ruby felt that they favored Amber (a problem admittedly probably exacerbated by Ruby knowing Amber's secret). Nor did they point out to Ruby that the very short skirts that she wore (thanks to some malevolently bad advice from a teacher) were hardly appropriate for someone seeking a serious graduate-level job in business. Finally, they sent Ruby to live with Amber, only telling Amber she was coming by e-mail, despite the fact that, according to Ruby, she told her mother that Amber never checks her e-mails. They seem to suffer from acute Parental Obliviousness.
  • All the Good Men Are Gay: A trope perhaps likely to arise in a story about a gay man who the female writer/artist team evidently like.
    • Amber occasionally invokes this trope, usually when she's complaining about her dating problems in the presence of the Camp Gay Dillon, if only to flatter him.
    • Minor character Clara uses a variation of the phrase, again in relation to Dillon, here.
    • On the other hand, Dillon would probably say that the trope is frequently averted, given his capacity for falling for straight men.
  • All Women Are Lustful: At first, Sticky Dilly Buns looks to set to inherit a tendency to invoke this trope from Ménage à 3, with Amber and Chanelle discussing their interest in sex with considerable enthusiasm. (Note that Amber apparently went into the porn business for the sex, and, despite being quite a nice person a lot of the time, she couldn't resist tricking Gary into giving her — admittedly uniquely high-quality — oral sex.) On the other hand, men aren't shown as noticeably more cerebral, which means that the trope isn't truly present. In any case, Ruby shows up and apparently averts the trope with extreme prejudice.

    However, Ruby soon shows a tendency to sneak looks at gay men in sexual situations and interest in yaoi; she clearly has significant sexual impulses, under an increasingly flaky layer of repression and denial that eventually fails entirely. In fact, ironically, her relationship with Andy ultimately steers things closer to the trope definition than anything else in the comic; they both start out as shy and nervous, but as they move towards having sex, while Andy remains politely restrained and rather obtuse, Ruby becomes increasingly energetically enthusiastic.
  • All Women Are Prudes is parodied in this strip. Ruby, who is a prude (with a pretty good Freudian Excuse) when she first appears, wants to believe that most women are the same, aside from Amber. However, not only does she think that cats also mostly avoid sex (which would be news to a lot of cat owners), her own increasingly frequent yaoi fantasies are already playing havoc with her own prudishness.
  • And Here He Comes Now: Andy has a bit of a gift for turning up right behind Ruby just as she says something regarding him, as here and here. Neither quite represents an instance of Right Behind Me, because her comments aren't hostile to him, just embarrassing in various ways.
  • Appliance Defenestration: A variant is demonstrated here by Ruby, despite the fact that the item was (a) small and (b) not what most people would call a domestic appliance, and the window was open.
  • Artistic License – Art: In this case, the art in question is photography. Ruby, who doesn't mention having any training in the skill, is able to shoot a salable cheesecake calendar (and also some appealing video sequences) using just the camera on a handheld smartphone. Admittedly, smartphone cameras are pretty good these days, and the calendar isn't exactly high art, but one might expect her to use some kind of dedicated camera, with tripod; after all, she splashes out on props.
  • Artistic License – Film Production: Nathan's film productions, in which some of the other characters act, may not be depicted entirely realistically. For one thing, Nathan makes heavy use of the Casting Couch, which, aside from the fact that it isn't a great way of casting the best actors, would be asking for catastrophic public scandals these days. Also, the actors' personal assistants, and even people who have nothing to do with the production, are able to wander onto the set during shooting, inevitably leading to interrupted takes.
  • Assurance Backfire: Ruby makes the mistake of seeking reassurance about her sexual attractiveness from a gay man. Dillon is ineffective for the purpose. Actually, it turns out that he's joking there, but given Ruby's fragile state of mind, that's not very tactful of him.
  • Auto Erotica: Dillon and Jerzy have their first serious make-out session in the latter's pickup truck, which also reappears in the final strip.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: In a bonus story created following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Ruby dreams of directing most of the male cast in a Yaoi movie, and the dream culminates in her becoming a man and attempting to demonstrate a point in person. However, she is frustrated because her dream is drawing imagery from the fairly mild yaoi which she has been reading, which means that her male dream-body has no genitals.
  • Battle of the Bands: Zii and the Troublemakers get drawn into an informal but no less serious battle with Angel's Pretty Boyz with Electric Toyz during the crossover sequence with Ménage à 3.
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: This is the sort of tactic that works pretty well for most characters such as Amber (and for that matter for Dillon), but it ends up being averted in the case of Ruby. When she decides that she'd like to go to bed with Andy, Ruby attempts a series of increasingly blatant hints and offers (including borrowing Amber's quite respectable but pretty darned brazen Little Black Dress), but everything bounces off Andy. When she finally insists on discussing the matter, it turns out that Andy is nervous and slightly unsure of his sexuality, but prepared to be talked rationally into going ahead.
  • Betty and Veronica: Angel is increasingly torn between straightforward Nice Guy Richie and Jerzy, who acts as the Veronica in this situation because that relationship is intrinsically tempestuous and messy. Angel eventually settles on Richie.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Dillon and Jerzy go into "mother hen mode" when Andy presents a rather disconcerting gift (a cock ring) to Ruby.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: The virginal Ruby clearly instinctively assumes this; the first time she sees Andy's (apparently impressive) erection, she accelerates rapidly through trepidation to enthusiasm.
    Ruby: Whoa! Maybe you rubbed it too much! Can you... rub it back down?
    Andy: Euhh, I don't think s--
    Ruby: Oh, well, can't be helped then! Put me on the table!
  • Big "YES!": Ruby manages to embarrass herself with an overly flamboyant Big Yes even when she's alone in the house, for reasons related to her recent discovery of her Yaoi Fangirl nature.
  • Bisexual Love Triangle: The comic is happy to invoke this trope from time to time. The main example would be Jerzy’s interest in both Dillon and Angel (who is actually gender flexible but who Jerzy seems to see as primarily female).
  • Bishie Sparkle: Dillon's interest seems to generate this effect when he first sees an attractive man. See here with Jerzy, more noticeably here with Richie — or here with Gary.
  • Bookends: Pixietrix comics are usually organized in 150-strip volumes, with the last strip containing at least a minor echo of the first:
    • In the very first strip, Amber says to herself, "Dilly... never change". In the last strip of that volume, Ruby thinks to herself "Something's gotta change here".
    • In strip #151, Ruby and Dillon are platonically in bed together, and Ruby grabs Dillon in his sleep, so he complains that he can't breathe. In strip #300, Dillon ends up in bed with Jerzy, and the sex leaves him breathless. Note that volume 2 is eventually defined to incorporate the later wrap-up strips, spoiling this symmetry.
  • Boyfriend Bluff appears twice:
  • Call-Back:
  • The Cameo:
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: When Matt guest-stars in a crossover with the parent comic, readers are reminded that he and Dillon have trouble keeping their hands off each other, creating a barely-averted threat threat to Dillon's relationship with Jerzy at that point.
  • Casting Couch: Both Dillon and Amber had casting couch relationships with Nathan before this comic began (and also traded sexual services with him for the apartment they now share), but are trying successfully to prevent that from recurring. However, Ray falls for Nathan's approach — although he may be too naive to realise quite how much quid pro quo is involved.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Dillon uses the psychology behind this trope to demonstrate a point to Ruby here.
  • Comically Missing the Point: This is a recurring motif with Dillon, primarily when Ruby tries to underscore that he's got a bit of a case of Never My Fault. For example, when Ruby and Dillon are spying on Jerzy to determine if he has any faults, a conversation between Angel and Jerzy has Angel pointing out what a shameless flirt Dillon is, even when he's already dating someone. Dillon muses on how he doesn't deserve a guy like Jerzy.
    Dillon: Here's where you say stuff like "Of course you deserve him, Dillon! You're a nice, handsome guy!"
    Ruby: I don't like to lie.
    Dillon: You don't find me handsome?
  • Coming-Out Story: A minor instance appears when Ray re-enters Dillon's life, and Dillon, under moral pressure from his own conscience and from Ruby, has to come out to him despite some worries about how he'll react. (As Ruby comments, everyone else in the comic has long since noticed that Dillon is gay.) However, it turns out to be a fairly straightforward process; Ray is a little startled, but not hostile.
  • Continuity Nod: The pictures of Gary by Dillon's bedside, the references and flashbacks to Dillon's "bastard ex-boyfriend" Matt, and Amber's accidental Porn Stash, tie this comic back to Ménage à 3. Also, Dillon's reference to some straight men being "on the down low" is actually a nod to a much earlier strip in the other comic, as is then made explicit in the next strip (all of which also establishes that Dillon's source is far from trustworthy). The two comics also actually Crossover at least once.
  • Cool Car: Jerzy's pickup truck. At least according to Dillon.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: A process visible, in fairly mild form, in Ruby's character arc.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: A mother covers her child's ears here.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: When Ruby gets into trouble in the swimming pool (due to confusion caused by Dillon's antics) and is promptly fished out, Andy the swimming instructor immediately announces that she needs "CPR". So far as one can tell from subsequent strips, this actually means a little bit of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, rather than even Hollywood CPR, let alone anything realistic.
  • Crossover: When Zii's band in Ménage à 3, "Zii and the Troublemakers", get a booking, Zii invites all her friends to come and support her, triggering a crossover. See the notes on Gambit Pileup for some idea of the ensuing mess.
  • Cry into Chest: Parodied somewhat in the last panel here. (It's happened before with these two, but this is the most detail-twisting case to date.) Dillon (disguised as "Dilla") insists on crying into the chest of Ruby (disguised as "Rudy"). As Dillon is taller than Ruby (even without heels), the pose comes out wrong for the usual effect — and Ruby really, really doesn't want to play a "motherly" role. Given that Dillon's crying verges on Inelegant Blubbering, any heartwarming is ruthlessly averted.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Ruby is distracted by a kitten. A few strips later, she buys it, ensuring that she'll have many more such moments with "Minew."
  • Deconstruction: Like its parent series, this comic is still a sex comedy, but a lot of tropes that are Played for Laughs in Ménage à 3 come under serious scrutiny here. For examples:
    • Dillon's Drama Queen antics ultimately lead to a break-up with his boyfriend.
    • Just because a woman is the sister of a ex-porn star and live with a raging Camp Gay does not mean that she has a "loose" attitude regarding sex.
    • Zii's habit of taking pictures of naked gay pairs without asking their permission first is called out.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Comedy characters should never think out loud just because they think they are alone, because they never are. Ruby discovers this here, although she suffers an even worse case here, complete with a classic stock phrase.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Dillon suggests, painfully plausibly, that this was the true nature of Professor Conried, Ruby's favourite teacher, who had an unfortunate influence on Ruby's wardrobe choices. Actually, he initially suggests that Professor Conried was a Dirty Old Man, until Ruby corrects him as to the Professor's sex. But as he points out, in this setting, that doesn't make much difference.
  • Disappointing Older Sibling: Ruby's stated view of Amber. They seem to have been close when Ruby was very young, but the teenage Amber evidently found more mature interests and started keeping Ruby at a distance just when Ruby needed a friend — and when the teenage Ruby discovered that Amber had become a porn actress, well, "disappointment" doesn't cover it. Ruby eventually admits that she was jealous of Amber's perceived sexiness (and presumably of her general social success), but Amber failing to be what Ruby wanted in an older sibling was clearly a big part of the problem.
  • Disguised in Drag: Dillon is experienced at passing as a woman for theatrical purposes, but also uses that skill for disguise when he wants to spy on Jerzy. He also brings Ruby with him, disguised as a man.
  • Dramatic Irony: Used for comedy effect here, in a small but effective joke. Ramona comments that she doesn't think that the customers in the comics shop have much sexual experience. The customer visible in the background when she says this is Gary. Readers of the parent comic will be very aware just how wrong she is.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Demonstrated briefly here by Dillon, for reasons that he explains.
  • Dysfunction Junction: This is basically a Roommate Com with three room-mates, but the key is that each of them has their own specific problem. Dillon needs to control his drama queen tendencies, Amber needs to get out of a weird porn-oriented mindset, and Ruby needs to overcome her repression. Each of them is looking for love, whether they admit it or not, but their routes to the same goal involve different obstacles.
  • Easily Overheard Conversation: Ruby and Dillon manage to eavesdrop a crucial conversation between Angel and Jerzy, without being noticed and while discussing what the other two say between themselves.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: Dillon thinks that Julian has come to seduce him into sex, which for various reasons squicks him out. It then turns out that Julian was just looking for kissing lessons — but if sex is on offer, he'll take it ... leading to some Verbal Backpedaling. Dillon does end up being persuaded to kiss Julian, which he actually enjoys for a moment before the whole situation traumatizes him.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Dillon may tend to screw up his relationships, but he has little apparent difficulty finding partners. Amber may complain about her difficulty finding a man, but she's shown having multiple partners. Most of the adult minor characters are shown in relationships or having multiple flings. Sex on the first date (or sooner) is treated as the norm (with Ruby and Andy are the one big joint exception).
  • Family Theme Naming: Implied with sisters Amber and Ruby, both names of gems, although there's no confirmation in-universe.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: Andy, who doesn't seem to be very bright and who certainly doesn't get out much, lands a date with Ruby. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, a colleague then convinces him that Ruby is a porn star, leaving him unsure how to act. First, he gives Ruby a cock ring as a gift at the start of the date, but fortunately she doesn't recognise it; then, trying to find something to talk about, he drops this verbal faux pas.
  • Filth: Although this comic mostly treats sex as a source of drama rather than sniggering comedy, it does get a lot of jokes out of Amber's past career in, and connections with, the porn business. Also, Ruby's growing and eventually monetized interest in Yaoi sets up a number of sitcom-style jokes.
  • Freudian Couch: Improvised by Dillon and Ruby here, as they play at patient and therapist for their own various reasons.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • It's a little bit of a stretch to fit this to the three inhabitants of the apartment, especially as they don't really function much as a trio at all, but the trope is in fact inverted there; each of the three is missing one part of a well-adjusted personality. Dillon initially lacks any detectable superego, acting purely on instinct and desire; Ruby has repressed her id, and needs to learn to relax and enjoy her instinctual, physical side; and Amber needs to learn how to behave like an ordinary human being away from the weirdness of the porn world — to operate with a normally functional ego.
    • The trope does actually fit the core group of the yaoi fan-club which Ruby creates. She provides its organizing, business-oriented superego, Zii provides people skills and contacts, becoming its ego, while Dillon, its mascot, functions as usual as its id.
  • Gag Penis: A comedy trope which the comic occasionally exploits:
  • Gambit Pileup: When Zii's band in Ménage à 3, "Zii and the Troublemakers", get a booking, Zii invites all her friends to come and support her, triggering a crossover and potential pileup, as multiple characters in both comics put plans into motion. In the end, the pileups are less severe than they might have been, but little goes exactly to anyone's plan:
    • Pretty Boyz with Electric Toyz also happen to be playing, and it turns out that Angel has an old feud with Zii, who once slept with Jerzy back when Jerzy was Angel's boyfriend, at least in Angel's eyes. Angel wants to crush Zii, who isn't the sort to back down; the relationship between the two is now totally hostile. An informal but serious Battle of the Bands ensues.
    • Angel summons Jerzy, to provide moral support as a friend.
    • Dillon also has an invitation, works out that Jerzy will be there, and wants to find out what he's up to with Angel, if anything. He comes along dressed as a woman, and brings Ruby, dressed as a man, to provide some kind of cover as his "date". (She initially protests at the idea, but seems to enjoy playing detectives; she enjoys some ensuing embarrassments and revelations rather less.) He is also prone to being distracted by his long-running crush on Gary, who's also there. In the end, though, it's his own poor impulse control that causes him disaster.
    • Amber regards the gig as an opportunity to seduce Gary. Initially she hopes that Dillon will be absent, clearing the way for this; later, Zii just points out to her that Dillon really should be over his own crush on Gary by now. When she bumps into Dillon and Ruby, she instantly recognizes the former (having seen him in drag before) but not the latter. Funnily enough, she actually achieves her own objective when all the possible obstructions clear themselves out of the way of their own accord.
    • Gary was planning a guys' night out with his friend Jung, and is largely oblivious to others' intentions.
    • Matt has brought Kiley to meet his friends (neither of them knowing how many of them she's already met, sometimes in complicated ways), and gets talking to Ruby (Male Restroom Etiquette notwithstanding) and then Dillon in the restrooms; then he disappears with someone else, while Kiley who ran away in an attempt to avoid an embarrassing revelation, gets distracted.
    • Erik is now managing Pretty Boyz with Electric Toyz (his feelings for Zii since their recent traumatic break-up are uncertain, but he's clearly still not entirely over her). He mostly remains in the background.
    • DiDi, Sonya, and Peggy from Ménage à 3 are also there, two of them with seductive designs on Gary, and get a little tangled up with some of the other events.
    • Jung is there to deliver the band's stage costumes, hang out with Gary, and be snarky. He will maybe never realize how good the opportunity was for the last.
  • Gaydar: Dillon seems to have fairly reliable though not supernatural gaydar, despite his initial confused belief about his ability to turn straight men gay; he uses tests, as when he gets Ruby into a pair of well-cut jeans (any passing man who gets distracted by her can't be gay), or assesses men over time rather than instantly, as when he acknowledges that Andy doesn't seem to be gay. Likewise, Ruby reaches the same conclusion about Andy, despite not claiming any great understanding of sexuality, because she's fairly confident in her ability to assess people generally.
  • Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: Dillon's relationship with Ray has hints of this trope; Ray was an amiable jock type, and Dillon fell for him while discovering his own sexuality, to his frustration in that Ray identified as straight. In the comic's present, the situation is complicated by Ray's discovery that he may have a hint of bisexuality in his nature.
  • Generic Cuteness: Most of the characters are meant to be attractive young people, but even given this they are pretty well all noticeably decorative. This is inherent in the character concepts of the likes of Dillon, Amber, and Jerzy, but the nerdy Ruby has a great slim figure, a random pet shop owner will turn out to be the sort of cute guy who can distract Dillon and Angel, and even very minor characters like the plump middle-aged lady handing out free chocolate samples at the mall look good for what they are.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Amber (the beautiful sister) and Ruby (the smart sister) have rather a textbook case going, apart from a moderately substantial age difference. Admittedly, Amber doesn't want to fight, but she doesn't have a clue how to talk to her sister, while Ruby mostly tones things down a little after her first appearance; she presumably realizes that she has to live with Amber (though she can't always resist a chance for some harsh jabs). However, until the comic’s last few strips, Ruby isn't ready to stop fighting, her aggression could be quite enough to reignite the war at any time, and she keeps finding new grounds for resentment.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In one strip, Dillon’s angel takes the form of Amber (dressed notably sexily for an angel, but she is a former porn actress), representing his good sense and restraint, whereas his devil looks like himself, as it represents his old bad habits of thought. To confuse the issue further, Ruby (who might under many circumstances represent his conscience) shows up as an angel-devil, representing Yaoi addiction (or, perhaps, his amoral libido).
  • Guy-on-Guy Is Hot:
  • Hero of Another Story: Zii and Gary, who make occasional guest appearances in this comic, mostly acting as supports in Ruby and Dillon's character development arcs, are lead protagonists in Ménage à 3.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Dillon seems to attract hero worship, for no clear reason:
    • It's seen in parody or maybe just plain weird form with Jacob here. However, Jacob, possibly a Deliberately Cute Child, may just be trying to manipulate Dillon there.
    • It takes a less ambiguous but distinctly weird form when offered by naive straight guy Andy (who knows full well that Dillon is gay); see, for example, strip #104 (February 14, 2014, somewhat NSFW).
    • Dillon's old school friend Ray shows up in Montreal to ask him for acting lessons. While Dillon is implied to be a pretty good actor, he's not hugely successful as yet; Ray's admiration seems slightly excessive.
  • Home Porn Movie: In the variant "collection of stills" version, more than once:
    • Zii collects pictures of her past sexual conquests on her phone, including pairs of men she's drawn into threesomes. Ruby finds these very appealing, but comments on the ethical problem of consent.
    • Despite her moral code, Ruby can't resist photographing Dillon teaching Ray the art of cinematic kissing. She later nervously admits to this, and is pleased when everyone just tells her that she has a good eye for such photography.
    • Likewise, Ramona photographs Dillon when he's explaining the art of oral sex and illustrating with a popsicle.
    • Dillon too has a collection of snaps of attractive men on his phone, though most of them are probably relatively innocent images of clothed men in public — but taken more or less surreptitiously.

    Tropes I-P 

  • Idealized Sex:
    • Dillon and Jerzy's first time goes spectacularly well, with any condom use happening between panels and both parties very happy. Well, it does until plot starts happening. So the idealization there may be deliberate, to maximize the contrast.
    • It's all off-screen, but both Jung and Ramona and Ruby and Andy manage really good first times, given that they're all virgins. Benefits of good preparation...
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • Dillon for one is capable of fixating on any good-looking guy, whatever their orientation.
      • He retains at least a latent interest in straight guy Gary from his time in Ménage à 3.
      • One of his many recurrent flirtations is with Andy, who both he and Ruby conclude is entirely straight (though amazingly oblivious).
      • When is Old Friend Ray re-enters his life, it turns out that Dillon has an unrequited crush going back to their school days, which was in fact what first made him realize that he was gay. This is complicated when Dillon uses the excuse of an acting lesson to kiss Ray, and the passion of the kiss awakens bisexual tendencies in Ray — though Ray's rather confused view of sexuality still prevents him from doing anything with Dillon.
    • Meanwhile, Amber would almost certainly express her fondness for Dillon sexually given half a chance — especially as she knows from events in the other comic that he's the master of an exotic oral sex technique.
    • Dillon's good looks also tend to attract the attention of women who don't know that he is gay, a problem that first emerged in his school days; it was revealed in one Ménage à 3 strip that, at a later date at school, he had an experimental and totally unsuccessful threesome with two (very willing) women. In the comic's present, he has to deal with minor character Clara at work.
  • Innocent Innuendo:
  • Inspiration Nod:
  • Intimate Healing: The comic plays with some implications of this trope when Ruby, unconscious after nearly drowning in a swimming pool, is revived by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from lifeguard Andy — and Dillon not only tells her about this, but produces a video recording. She is subsequently confused and stressed about the incident, believing that she's just had her first kiss while unconscious; Amber has to try and reassure her that "mouth-to-mouth isn't exactly a kiss".
  • I Resemble That Remark!: The trope is demonstrated in the classic form by Ruby when Amber says that she's uptight.
  • I Think You Broke Her: Angel explains some sexual practicalities to Ruby, and then comments "I may have broken her."
  • Kids Are Cruel: A flashback shows that Ruby was casually bullied at school.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Booze leads Jerzy to bad decisions here. Angel’s exploitation of the situation verges on But Liquor Is Quicker territory.
  • Kiss of Life: Andy fishes the drowning Ruby out of the swimming pool and revives her with CPR. She doesn't recover consciousness before he's finished — but Dillon has obligingly filmed the process on his phone. This causes the virginal Ruby some confusion, as she's unsure if she's just had her first kiss, until later reassured otherwise. And she ends up on a date with Andy.
  • Last Het Romance: Jerzy describes himself as having passed through a bisexual phase before concluding that he was gay. It's not clear who his last het romance was with, but it may have been Angel, or possibly even Zii.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Apart from being able to reference the gigantic tangled mess in Ménage à 3, this comic has its own romantic chaos. The major players:
    • Dillon has had sexual relations with Matt, Nathan, Jerzy, and for that matter Amber. He regarded the first three as actual romances at the time. He also has a massive crush on Ray from way back, and has tried passes at the oblivious Andy in the past.
    • Amber had totally non-romantic sex with Dillon one time, has an on-off Friends with Benefits relationship with Zii, previously had Casting Couch sex with Nathan, and is getting into a possibly-serious relationship with Ray.
    • Ruby is physically attracted to Dillon and for that matter Jerzy, but is sane enough to ignore that. She also lets Andy become her boyfriend, ultimately quite happily despite some initial resistance to the idea.
    • Jerzy has been entangled with Dillon, Angel, and (briefly, in the past), Zii.
    • Angel is fixated on Jerzy but is also attracted to Richie.
    • Andy clearly likes Ruby quite a lot, but is totally oblivious to all the other people who are attracted to him.
    • Ray is unaware of Dillon's interest, but has had Casting Couch sex with Nathan and is in a relationship with Amber.
    • Zii has that Friends with Benefits thing with Amber, had a one-off fling wth Jerzy, and attempted a minor pass at Ruby, which just bounced.
  • Magical Queer: Andy apparently attempts to evoke the trope in this strip, and Jerzy promptly and sarcastically averts it.
  • The Makeover: Deconstructed, possibly accidentally, in Dillon's offers to help Ruby.
    • First, he offers to help her in her efforts to find a job. She accepts, and he takes her clothes shopping. However, what follows isn't a makeover - she ends up looking like the same person, just better dressed.
    • Then he declares that he's going to help her find a boyfriend, and offers her an actual makeover. She rejects the offer, and he bursts into tears at having his friendship rejected. When she then offers to do something to stop him crying, expecting to have to endure that makeover, he chooses instead to go swimming so he can hang out or flirt with the guys down at the pool. The impression given is that the makeover was never for the benefit of the person receiving it; it was for the amusement of the person applying it.
  • Male Restroom Etiquette: The disguised and naive Ruby shows her ignorance here. Fortunately, the other guy present is Matt from Ménage à 3, who proves as smooth as ever. This incident also provides the current image on the trope page.
  • Manga Effects: Giz is known to have an interest in manga, and while this comic is mostly drawn in a realistic western style, it includes some distinctly manga-style touches such as Cross-Popping Veins and the odd Luminescent Blush.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Gender-inverted and reconstructed. Dillon plays the manic pixie role toward Ruby, but aside from the fact that their relationship is entirely platonic, Ruby has just as much of an effect on Dillon, making him consider the consequences of his actions more, as he does on her.
  • A Man Is Always Eager mostly applies, this being that sort of Sex Comedy — but that means that Andy’s aversion of the trope makes him look downright freakish. Ruby, who starts out cynically assuming the worst of men but works round to the idea that she’d quite like to try sex, finds him confusing and frustrating. It turns out that he’s borderline asexual, making him exaggerate his natural obliviousness, but fortunately they’re able to talk things through to a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: The flaming Camp Gay actor Dillon is paired with the strong Manly Gay construction worker Jerzy. The equally hunky and manly Julian also has a crush on Dillon, and Jerzy is also romantically entangled with the androgynous, genderfluid Angel.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Ruby and Andy grow into something like this pattern. Andy may be a well-muscled professional lifeguard, but people respond more to his looks than his personality in a way that would look classically sexist if he was a girl, and turns out to be borderline asexual, while Ruby, despite being something of an introvert, is more proactive (eventually being the one to initiate a sexual relationship), can look aggressive because of her insecurities and touchiness, and usually dresses in a relatively plain but smart style (once she's over her early bad choice). In the end, although they have genuine mutual affection, she's using him for stress relief while he just wants her to be happy.
  • Meaningful Name: A minor case; Amber and Ruby are sisters, and their matched gemstone/color names may also refer to their contrasting hair colors; Amber is blonde (although it was established in Ménage à 3 that her hair is naturally dark, so she presumably changed it for professional reasons), while Word of God, confirmed by the color cover art on the first print collection, is that Ruby is auburn-haired.. And Amber the eye-catching blonde is overtly sexy (amber means "ready"); Ruby's prim bob marks her as reserved and businesslike (and red means "stop").
  • Modesty Towel: Ray shows up with just a skimpy towel round his waist the morning after his first night with Amber. It's a little distracting for both Ruby and Dillon, even before the Stripping Snag.
  • Mr. Fanservice: One might say that both Dillon and Jerzy take this duty at times, especially during some of their scenes together — which tend to have an effect on Ruby. Other male characters (such as Andy and Ray), being subject to Dillon's gay version of the Male Gaze and Ruby's embarrassed Female Gaze, may also be assigned this role sometimes.
  • Naked Apron: Amber and later Dillon both use this for a specific purpose (January 18 2013 and January 25 2013 strips, borderline NSFW).
  • Naked First Impression: Ruby's first substantial encounter with Dillon and Jerzy involves them being naked (and in fact having sex). It doesn't then help that Dillon neglects to put his clothes back on when he gets the chance.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The occasional (and generally scenery censored) nudity in this comic is largely down to realistic treatment of characters having sex, but is also used for comedy, as when Dillon forgets to put any clothes on before talking to Ruby for the first time, or when he and Amber both barge in on Ruby in the shower.
  • No Periods, Period: The trope is present in full force here as in other comics set in the same universe, as the often sexually hyperactive cast are never inconvenienced by the issue. It's been established that menstruation exists, because in one strip, Amber asks Dillon to fetch her some tampons from the store — but he gets his brain scrambled, and the subject is never mentioned again.
  • Not a Date:
  • Not What It Looks Like: For various reasons, Ruby's double date with Andy, in company with Dillon and Jerzy, is mistaken for her dating all three by various bystanders, much to her embarrassment.
  • Ocular Gushers: The Animesque, waterfall-of-tears, take is notably displayed by Dillon in the second strip, and by Ruby when Zii calls her "friend".
  • One Degree of Separation: Aside from all the character coincidences that this comic inherits from Ménage à 3, such as Amber being Zii's old school friend(-with-benefits) and also Gary's favorite porn star...
    • Dillon (who used to room with Gary) sometimes dates their neighbor Jerzy, who has slept with Angel, who is Zii's old musical partner turned bitter rival after she too seduced Jerzy.
    • Zii also remembers Ruby from their hometown, of course, and happens to work in the comics shop where Ruby goes to buy yaoi.
    • So Ruby and Zii collaborate to create a yaoi fan club, with Dillon as the club mascot. Zii's first recruit for the club is Ramona — who turns out to be the sister of Angel, who Ramona also brings to the club.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Angel attempts this tactic here. Jerzy demonstrates how an Only Sane Man counters it.
  • Overcome with Desire: The trope is present in its mildest form in the flashback to the Ramona and Jung's first time, but the crucial consequences turn out to have been comprehensively averted. The sudden passion kicked in in the privacy of Ramona's own home, and Jung, having anticipated the possibility, was well prepared; he may have been studying The Joy of Sex in advance, certainly understood Ramona’s turn-ons very well, and managed to get a condom on without Ramona even noticing. In any case, they subsequently realized that the condom wasn't required, as they were both previously virgins and Ramona, being intersex, is infertile.
  • Painted-On Pants: Dillon takes Ruby clothes shopping (in his best Gay Best Friend style), and buys her a pair of designer jeans as a gift, showing any readers who'd somehow missed the fact previously that she has an excellent figure. It then turns out that he has his own reasons for this...
  • Parallel Porn Titles: The Sisterhood In Each... Other's... Pants.
  • Parental Favoritism: A theme that crops up a couple of times in the comic:
    • [[ Ruby claims that Amber is their parents' favorite.]] However, Amber denies this, and it's possible that Ruby exaggerates the problem, because she knows about Amber's porn career but this is a secret from their parents, making the contrast between what their parents say and the truth as Ruby knows it glaring and painful.
    • Jacob's mother (Richie's stepmother) won't allow Richie to fire Jacob from his job in the pet shop, without even asking about Richie's side of the story.
  • Perverted Drooling: Demonstrated by Zii (along with Wingding Eyes) here.
  • Porn Names: Amber previously worked as Amber-Amber, though she and Dillon both seem to regard that as a symbol of her past life, and discourage others from using it. Chanelle is Chanelle Numberfine, and this strip mentions Maxx Deep and Humpy Nastee. ("They're really nice!")
    Dillon: Sorry, Amb! I don't know why nobody gives Humpy a chance!
  • Porn Stash: Amber's was essentially the result of an accident (and its existence actually represents a callback to an earlier incident in the parent comic). It still caused an uncomfortable moment, though.
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: Well, on tables in the workplace, at least; it turns out, late in the comic’s run, that Jung and Ramona have been making use of the backroom in the comics shop. (It’s a table which has seen some action, in fact; Zii and Amber made their own use of that same room in Ménage à 3.) And a few strips later, when Ruby tries to proposition Andy, they end up using a table in a borrowed or rented room at the movie studio where Amber and Dillon work.
  • Pronoun Trouble: A slightly unusual instance; faced with the problem of how to refer to the gender-flexible Angel, Dillon turns up the gender-neutral pronoun "zie". However, because someone named "Zii" already features in the comic, this just leads to more confusion. As ever, Ruby resorts to Google.

    Tropes Q-Z 

  • Questionable Consent: Discussed when Ruby, the strip's resident Honest Advisor, finds out Zii has been taking pictures of naked gay couples while they sleep. While Ruby doesn't exactly find this habit of Zii's disturbing, she's not at all amused by it either. A Yaoi Fangirl she might be, but she'd "aim for consensual" when she looks for a sex show to watch.
  • Really Gets Around:
    • Definitely part of Amber's past, and still part of Chanelle's present, if only for professional reasons. Amber is trying to live a little differently nowadays, having got out of the porn business and expressed a readiness to find one good man and stop there. However, she still enjoys sex a lot, and sees little reason to pass up opportunities; for example, she ends up in bed with Gary and Ray on consecutive nights. Her problem may be getting the hang of slowing down.
    • Ménage à 3 had lines implying that this was Dillon's style too, but he seems to be more romantic and monogamous, if still flirtatious, these days. Assuming that he's not likely to carry through with those flirtations, of course. He has certainly had a lot of one-off flings in the past, though Ruby points out that these make him look less impressive than he likes to think.
  • Recurring Extra: A cross-comics example; there is a French-speaking mother and daughter pair who are also seen in Sandra on the Rocks in Paris, and in Ménage à 3 (here); the young daughter has a talent for seeing or hearing embarrassing incidents, leading to similar verbal exchanges each time.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • When they are together without Amber around, Dillon and Ruby tend to fall into a rough-and-ready, low-key version of this trope. Dillon, the red oni, is certainly an extrovert with the lust for life; Ruby, the blue oni (despite her name) is concerned with control and observance of authority, and is also more intellectual, proud, traditional, and definitely introverted (and is a mystery to Amber), although she is only intermittently respected.
    • The pattern recurs when Ruby recruits Zii to help her set up a commercial yaoi fan club, as Ruby has apparently unconsciously recognized that the complementary pairing makes a good business team; red oni Zii has the life experience to judge what will work and useful social connections; blue oni Ruby has the focus and organization to carry through on ideas.
  • Right Behind Me: Ruby suffers a classic instance here, but is insufficiently Genre Savvy to guess what's happening. Actually, she's rarely shy about insulting Amber, but she usually does so in ways that go over Amber's head; this time, she's being blunt about what annoys her.
  • Right Through the Wall:
  • Romantic Comedy: Played with. It's a comedy, and all three of the lead characters acquire romantic prospects of a sort along the way, which are generally central to the plot. However, most of the characters are much more casual about sex than typical romantic protagonists — except for Ruby, who isn't sure that she's interested in any sort of relationship at all. By the last strip, they do all mostly reach some kind of romantic goal, but it's not 100% clear that any of this represents "true love".
  • Roommate Com: Ruby's arrival makes this a three-roommate version. None of the lead characters is actually in a band, but they know people who are.
  • Saying Too Much: Ruby initially doesn't want to admit that she has a libido (and the stress of the denial pretty clearly gets to her), but Dillon manages to draw her into discussion of the book of yaoi manga which she recently gave him. She soon lets slip enough to show that she has been reading it.
  • Sci-Fi Ghetto: Well, "Comics Ghetto" — invoked in-universe by Ruby's comments here ("Books shouldn't have pictures!") Note that this is a panicky defensive gambit, not a serious critical opinion; Ruby definitely likes certain graphic novels, and while she's embarrassed by her taste for erotica, she doesn't really seem to think of comics art as inherently inferior or childish.
  • Security Cling: Played for laughs — even within the comic — here.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: A minor theme/sub-plot emerging late in the comic's run, when Julian feels slightly embarrassed by his virginity and eager to get a boyfriend, and Ruby, having acknowledged to her friends that she's willing to have sex with Andy, is mortified to have to admit that it hasn't yet happened.
  • Sex Comedy: Dillon has sex with Jerzy while being an idiotic romantic about it, Amber wants sex but has difficulty finding opportunities, Ruby says she isn't interested in sex but keeps blundering into sexual situations...
  • Sexiled: When Ruby thinks that Andy has proposed that they have sex, which will be her first time, Ramona advises her that she'll be most comfortable in a familiar environment. Unfortunately, the bed she's currently using is the one she shares with Dillon. He's a bit annoyed to be thrown out of what's actually his own bed for the evening — especially as he's offered at least one other bed for the night that he wants to avoid — but he eventually acquiesces. For added twists, this is all the result of a misunderstanding between Ruby and Andy, while Dillon ends up having unexpected Sex with the Ex.
  • Sex Is Good: The general assumption of the comic, albeit with some complications and light and shade. Dillon is very happy when he gets into a sexual relationship; Amber and Chanelle are all in favor of sex (despite having worked in the porn business, which might conceivably make someone jaundiced or cynical on the subject), and Ruby seems to be uptight and unhappy in her prudishness. However, mishandled sexuality can have negative consequences in the setting; Amber's porn-tinged perceptions make it hard for her to manage relationships, Dillon is more than capable of messing up his relationships with bad decisions, and not only was Ruby damaged by exposure to one of Amber's films, when she starts getting interested in sex, it leads her to some unthinkingly selfish behavior.
  • Sex Is Interesting: The major drivers of the comic's plots are (a) Dillon's pursuit of love and sex, and eventually his problematic relationship with Jerzy, (b) Amber's wish for a boyfriend, leading to her energetic sexual relationship with Ray, and (c) the initially prudish Ruby's growing interest in yaoi, and her eventually-sexual relationship with Andy.
  • Sex with the Ex occurs between Angel and Jerzy, at the former's instigation, rekindling their relationship — and then between Dillon and Jerzy at the end of volume 2 proper.
  • She Is All Grown Up: A couple of scenes feature minor variants of this trope:
    • When Zii encounters Ruby for the first time in years, having last seen her as a child, she remarks that Ruby has "grown into a very fine young woman." While the bisexual Zii shows no signs of active sexual attraction to Ruby in the ensuing conversation, she's happy to talk to her as a sexual being — and later, she does venture a pass (unsuccessfully).
    • The teenage Dillon used to babysit a little boy named Julian. When Julian turns up to visit in the present, he turns out to have grown impressively; Dillon's first response is "Oh, my!". As it turns out though, Dillon can't forget his image of Julian as a child.
  • Shirtless Scene: Most of the men are good-looking to borderline Mr. Fanservice levels, and the comic isn't averse to having them get their shirts off, with excuses ranging from drinks spillages through swimming pool visits to straightforward sex scenes. It even lampshades the ease of the shirt removal a little in strip #36 (May 13, 2013, marginally NSFW); "Now where did their shirts go!?!"
  • Shout-Out: The coupling of "Matt" and "Dillon" is a rather arbitrary shout-out carried over from the parent comic. However, nobody in the setting ever seems to notice the coincidence until Ruby, who seems to have a fondness for old television, lampshades it instantly.
  • Shower of Awkward: A variant of this trope appears here, as characters who are used to sharing a shower blunder in on someone who isn't, assuming too much about why the shower should be running. It is, incidentally, a measure of how quickly Ruby is adapting to life in the apartment that she is merely angry at this, rather than incoherent with embarrassment. She's less brittle than she initially appeared.
  • Shower Scene: Probably to be expected semi-regularly in this sort of comic — especially as, in common with most private dwellings in this universe, Dillon and Amber's apartment has a shower large enough to hold three people comfortably. (Dillon and Amber like sharing showers for purposes of platonic fun; Ruby is more private.) See Shower of Awkward above.
  • Shown Their Work: When Ramona's intersex condition becomes a topic of discussion in the story, she and Angel have a brief exchange that demonstrates that the writers have some grasp of the technicalities. It also shows that Angel has done the reading in-setting, out of a desire to help Ramona. The nerdy Ruby digs out more such information via Google during the same conversation.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Part of the background to the clash between Amber and Ruby, although the problem has gone way beyond simple rivalry. In fact, given the fairly substantial difference in their ages, they don't seem to have come into much conflict before Amber left home, although there have been small hints that Ruby sometimes deliberately reminded Amber that Ruby was smarter. Ruby wanted to be friendly with Amber at one stage, but Amber locked her out of her room, leading Ruby to see Amber as her Aloof Big Sister; in one strip, Ruby realizes that this was because Amber was having sex with Zii in that room — just one step on Ruby's Trauma Conga Line.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • Amber — blonde, bisexually active, extrovert, long since left home — is contrasted with Ruby — dark, virginal, cerebral, emotionally tied to their parents. Ruby herself makes a point of emphasizing how different they are. They have trouble getting on.
    • Then, for real yin-yang contrast, the comic introduces the tall, skinny, anatomically simply female, psychologically gender-fluid, perpetually angry, emo/goth Angel, and her sister, the short, plump, medically intersex, psychologically solidly female, placid, fluffy-girly Ramona. These two, however, remain affectionately close.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Dillon and Angel rapidly develop a hostile rivalry that can even lead to actual violence when they collide. Then it turns out that Angel also has an ongoing hostile relationship with Zii, and although Zii seems to class this as Angel being foolish, she's not above hitting back if provoked.
  • Slapstick: The comic has moments of blunt physical comedy; see, for example, this bit of bumbling from Andy.
  • Sleep Cute: An extremely variant version; Dillon and Ruby occasionally end up sharing a bed, for various reasons, completely platonically. (Dillon really is very gay, as Ruby realises well enough to trust him.) On the first occasion, though, Ruby has a dream involving Dillon and Andy, and wakes up to find herself draped over and kissing Dillon. Neither of them likes this, and the situation has no feeling of romance whatsoever — but the sight of Ruby having an Erotic Dream shows both the readers and Dillon that her denial of any sexual feelings is pretty thin.
  • Smash Cut: Used in three successive strips when Ruby finds tenuous excuses to get assorted attractive men to appear in her Ho Yay-laden calendar shoot. Apparently, she's mastered startling powers of persuasion.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: The psychology of this trope is invoked when Ray pretends to be Dillon's boyfriend to save him from a girl who's trying to chat him up. The twist is that Ray doesn't know that Dillon really is gay.
  • Speech Bubbles: The comic plays occasional games with speech bubble design. Notably, on at least two occasions when characters get coldly angry, their speech bubbles start dripping icicles.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Angel's approach to Jerzy may not involve actual stalking, but is often seriously obsessive. Dillon's is arguably as bad, if subtler, and does involve an incident of actual stalking.
  • Stripping Snag: The slightly ditzy Ray suffers an accident with his skimpy Modesty Towel, to distracting effect for both Ruby and Dillon.
  • Super-Deformed: The comic occasionally shows its manga influences by featuring "chibi" versions of its cast in fantastical or very comedic panels — as here, for example.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: It's only a denial by implication, but when Ruby discusses her problems with sleeping with Andy (or not), she ends up describing the exact model of motorcycle involved in her metaphor, suggesting that despite her previous denials, her fantasies are running amok.note 
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver:
    • While no straight man has yet been shown actually falling in love with Dillon's female persona, the undeniably statuesque and convincing "Dilla" gets "her" full share of lecherous glances.
    • Angel complicates the trope, being anatomically female but intensely gender fluid, and identifying as a straight woman on some days and as a gay man on others. Jerzy, a man who identifies as gay with a bisexual past (but who may be fooling himself about the "past" part), finds Angel confusingly attractive, enough to get into a relationship; Richie, a straight man, apparently sees Angel as male when they first meet, and doesn't show any immediate signs of attraction, but is evidently attracted (and confused) when he interacts with Angel-as-woman, enough to accept the offer of a date.
  • The Talk: Ruby is on the receiving end of a weird sort-of-variant. She’s a sensible young woman who knows perfectly well where babies come from, but she’s also a nervous virgin who gets frantically tense when she thinks that Andy is suggesting sex. She ends up getting a lot of (eventually) reassuring explanations from her friends at the yaoi fan club, including a detailed demonstration of oral sex techniques from Dillon — on a popsicle, one hastens to add.
  • Talk About That Thing: Dillon declares that he and Ruby both have to go feed Minew in the kitchen when he needs to explain his situation with the recently-reappeared Ray to her.
  • Tempting Fate: Jerzy, desperate to cheer Angel up, says that Zii's band aren't much good. As they're standing in the middle of an audience which is already going wild for that band, this isn't so much tempting fate as sheer desperation.
  • Their First Time: The conventional TV view of first-time sex as working best with the least preparation is heavily averted in this comic, twice. (It may be relevant that the couples involved aren't naive teens.)
    • The first time between Jung and Ramona is seen only in a partial flashback, but it's very clear that Jung's preparation (he may have been reading The Joy of Sex beforehand, and is certainly deft with a condom) and thoughtfulness (he knows Ramona’s turn-ons well) make the sex about as good as it could get for Ramona, and presumably for him, too.
    • And when Ruby thinks that Andy is proposing sex, she is initially nervous, but talking to friends and thinking about the best way to handle things calms her nerves. (Ruby has only recently acquired this many friends, and now they can help her.) Unfortunately, the whole thing arises from a comedy misunderstanding at this point, and actually negotiating a first time for the pair of them proves complicated, but ultimately very successful.note 
  • Thicker Than Water: Ruby kept Amber's secret from their parents for years, despite the fact that it would have been simpler and less stressful for her not to. Amber provides Ruby with a place to stay, despite Ruby giving her a lot of ill-tempered attitude. It would seem that the Larose family have a code of mutual loyalty that transcends any question of mere liking.
  • Three-Way Sex: As anyone who reads Ménage à 3 would know in advance, Zii is shown to enthusiastically pursue threesomes from time to time.
  • Title Drop: The meaning of the strip's title (which had previously seemed a bit of a Word Salad) was finally made clear in a strip three-quarters of the way through volume 2.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ramona tends to play the girly-girl role next to her sister Angel, who isn't so much a tomboy as very gender fluid, admittedly becoming highly feminine in her female moments. Ramona does tend to "girly" details such as hair bows, whereas even at her most feminine, Angel adopts a more restrained Little Black Dress look.
  • Transparent Closet: Back in his time in Ménage à 3, Dillon had a relationship with Nathan (who eventually signed over the apartment to Dillon and Amber in exchange for a threesome of sorts with the two of them). Despite repeatedly having sex with Dillon, Nathan insists that he isn't gay, just a straight man "on the down low." Dillon, being Dillon, believes him, until Ruby explains how nonsensical that is.
    • One reason Dillon gives for believing Nathan is because Nathan said he heard it from Oprah; Ruby, who has begun to understand how Dillon's mind works, has to remind him that Nathan isn't Oprah.
      Ruby: How can I possibly know more about being gay than a gay man? I've been in this house too long!!!
    • When Nathan reappears in Sticky Dilly Buns and hits on Dillon, Dillon, having slightly more of a clue by now, turns his back, and reminds Nathan that he has his wife's phone number.
    • Unfortunately, Nathan does succeed in bamboozling Ray.
  • Two Decades Behind: Pretty Boyz with Electric Toyz appears to be made up of twenty-something musicians, but their primary stylistic reference seems to to be '70s Glam Rock. Perhaps they just have slightly retro tastes. Then there's Ruby, who's in her early 20s — but whose television references are things like Three's Company, Magnum, P.I., Columbo, and Kojak. Okay, she doesn't get out much in the evenings, but stays home watching reruns — but still... One might guess that the writers may be older than their characters.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: Well, unproblematic sex work, anyway. Amber and Chanelle seem completely comfortable and mostly happy about the work, though Amber does clearly regard getting out of the field as a matter of turning respectable.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Shortly after they met, Dillon starts elbowing his way into Ruby's life, despite her initial resistance. She is grateful when he offers to help her get a job and gives her good advice on her wardrobe, as she acknowledges despite her touchiness, but he's often more pushy than she likes, especially in matters such as her love life. (By the second day of their acquaintance, he's declaring her job search "boring" and talking about helping her find a man, apparently not recognizing her psychological issues in that area.) They eventually achieve a degree of mutual respect, especially once she starts helping him with his problems, but Dillon is always prone to letting his enthusiasm run ahead of any sort of tact, as for example when Ruby is worried about the prospect of having sex for the first time.
  • Wall of Text: Mostly, this comic avoids large speech balloons; it's driven more by the art than by intense use of dialogue. Hence, Ruby's unleashing of a wall-of-text speech bubbles here and here works as a deliberate bit of comedy and characterization. (Neither rates as a Wall of Blather because the speech bubbles aren’t interrupted or overlaid by others, but are fully readable. The implication is presumably that Ruby speaks too loud and fast for others too get a word in.)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A small moment but well deserved on Dillon's part. He comes up with a scheme to drag Ruby along (while wearing drag) to spy on Jerzy during a concert to see if he is faithful, despite the fact that A) They haven't been together long, B) Dillon has said several times that they are only casually dating, and C) he himself has hit on several different guys. Jerzy proves that he is committed, despite Angel bringing up overwhelming evidence against Dillon. Dillon ends up feeling (rightfully) guilty, while Ruby takes a jab at him. Unfortunately, the lesson doesn't seem to stick.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Dillon mostly drags up for theatrical purposes, or as a disguise when spying on people, rather than because of any sort of kink — although there are hints of sexual games at times. (Dillon's actions can never be assumed to be 100% "wholesome".) Ruby's evening passing as "Rudy" is purely for purposes of disguise, although it leads to some comedic complications.
  • Wicked Stepmother: It's a very mild case, but Richie's off-screen stepmother won't let him fire her biological son Jacob from the shop, and seems prone to yelling at him to make such points.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Used somewhat parodically by Ruby when Dillon inveigles her into a scheme that requires she be disguised in front of some people who know her. Given that she doesn't seem likely to have much talent for acting, she's probably wise to adopt a heavy prop-based disguise.
  • Wild Teen Party: Alluded to somewhat by Ruby when she mentions how she first found out about Amber's porn career. As this involved a bunch of teenage boys showing what turned out to be one of Amber's films, this wasn't the most enjoyable of parties from Ruby's point of view. Word of God is that this happened when she was about 14.
  • Wingding Eyes occasionally appear as a comedy art convention. For example:
  • With Friends Like These...:
    • Early on, Dillon sets out to make friends with Ruby, because that's the kind of "cute" thing he does, and does give her some good advice on dressing for success, as well as helping her in other small ways from time to time. However, to begin with, he keeps trying to organize her some kind of romantic life despite her saying that she doesn't want one, throws tantrums when she tries to keep him at a distance, and confuses her so badly with his flirtatious-gay antics that at one point she nearly drowns in a swimming pool. The "friendship" thus tends to be a mixed blessing from her point of view. He, though, is too ditzy to accept that there may be problems, and throws one of those tantrums if she does get through to him at all.
    • Later, they achieve a more equal relationship with a bit more mutual understanding. After that point, though, Ruby may sometimes meddle unwisely in Dillon's romantic or professional life.
  • Word Salad Title: From the start, fans usually assumed "Sticky Dilly Buns" to refer to Dillon's butt in some way, but nobody knew for sure; it seemed to verge on a Word Purée Title. However, one strip some way into the second volume featured a partial Title Drop, confirming that "sticky buns" can indeed refer to buttocks (or to patisserie), and another shortly afterwards finally gave the title a meaning (as the name of Ruby's commercial Yaoi fan club, when it could recruit Dillon as its mascot).
  • Yaoi Genre:
    • The comic isn't full-on yaoi, but it can be considered a lightweight western version, with Dillon and numerous male crushes.
    • The concept is also invoked within the comic here, and Ruby goes on to develop an overt interest in yaoi (starting by sneaking a look at Dillon's collection), despite some feeble attempts at denial.
  • You Are Grounded!: Parodically invoked by Ruby here, when she gets annoyed by something Amber does and flips into pseudo-parental mode.
  • You Are Not Alone: Ruby is upset, confused about her relationship with Andy, and sexually frustrated, and has burned a bunch of bridges with Dillon and Amber. She has gone looking for someone to talk to, and ends up in the comics shop — one of the few places in town where she's previously found any kind of moral support — despite not thinking that she'll find anyone there. When Jung approaches her, she snaps at him and then embarrasses herself with a Wall of Text apology. But then, Jung goes away — and fetches Ramona, who provides Ruby with the sympathetic ear that she needs. It seems that Ruby has gone from her Friendless Background to having a circle of friends who can help her.
  • You Just Told Me: Dillon bluffs Ruby into admitting her interest in yaoi fairly easily. She’s really not a good liar.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Something of a recurrent (if not always fully stated) theme of the comic:
  • Zany Scheme: Dillon is prone to zany thinking. Showing up at a concert in disguise — with Ruby, also disguised (and both of them cross-dressing) — to check on Jerzy's fidelity is notably over the edge. As zany schemes are want to do, it backfires — twice, in fact, first when Jerzy proves his faithfullness while Angel exposes Dillon's flirtatious nature, and second and much worse when Dillon loses the plot in a fit of temper.