That Deaf Guy is a Slice of Life webcomic about the daily life of Desmond, a somewhat nerdy, laid-back stay-at-home dad, his wife Helen, and their son, Cedric. Ah, and Desmond is the titular Deaf Guy, while Helen works as an ASL-English interpreter. Cedric is a CODA (hearing Child Of a Deaf Adult), enthusiastic about deaf culture and bringing it to the masses.
The comic is written and drawn by Matt and Key Daigle. It ran from 2010 to 2016, and restarted in January 2021.
- Abandoned Info Page: The link to the cast page just directs readers to the home page, where the newest strip is. Even before the creator stopped updating the strip, the cast page had been neglected, listing Cedric's age as four even after he had finished preschool and begun elementary education. It was updated in the 2020 relaunch.
- Acoustic License:
- One strip occurs at a Deaf Convention, so Cedric signs really small to ask permission to use the bathroom. He calls it "whispering" because he doesn't want other people to notice what he's saying. In an aversion to this trope, his father (who normally understands American Sign Language) can't understand him because the signs are too small (quiet)!
- One strip (June 14, 2015 is set at a beach, where the roar of the ocean makes it hard to hear distant conversations, so the characters have to sign instead.
- Art Evolution: The first strips (Feb 2010) are in greyscale, but the shading changed in June of that year, then colour was added in October. Aside from that first year, the style has remained consistent.
- Bilingual Backfire:
- In strip #347, Cedric is at a doctor's office and Desmond brought an interpreter so the Doctor could understand him (because he's Deaf and doesn't speak English). When the interpreter tells the doctor that Desmond gave permission for the shot, Cedric interrupts and claims the interpreter got the signs wrong and he doesn't need the shot. The doctor and interpreter look worried, but Desmond—who can also read lips—knows Cedric is trying to lie (in English) about the ASL conversation.
- In strip #398, the (Deaf) family is eating out at a restaurant and signing together. The first panel has people commenting about them, then the other panel has Helen turn to say that she can hear.
- Bilingual Bonus: While most strips have the hand gestures matching up with some of the speech bubbles, in this strip, Desmond's response in the last panel isn't translated (he's saying, "hahaha, okay, I'll go get some").
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In strip #370, Desmond tries to start a t-shirt business with his friend, with ASL references. When his friend points out that Handsay is a real company, Desmond just claims that it doesn't exist in this webcomic and you see his friend dodging a fine-point drawing pen in surprise.
- Broken Glass Penalty: Played with. The window's owner already knew about the window getting broken before it was broken.
- Bullying the Disabled: Very, very toned down, but Cedric is quick to jump to any child's defense when they're being treated badly for their deafness.
- Cursed with Awesome: "Benefits of Being Profoundly Deaf" strips, in which Desmond stays blissfully unaware of loud babies, karaoke contests, microphone feedback and such.
- Disability Immunity: It's hard to scare deaf people when they can't hear your haunted house's scary sounds.
- Disabled Means Helpless: An occasional source of annoyance. Observe the annoyingly proud of herself waitress, who mistakenly gives Desmond a Braille menu.
- Dreadful Musician: Stereotypical karaoke singers have no effect on Desmond because he can't hear their awful singing.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: A dive instructor is reluctant to bring Desmond on a scuba dive because Desmond can't hear. Helen asks him how they communicate with the hearing, and the dive instructor tells her about the hand signals—which he immediately realizes do not require a person to hear and is itself a type of sign language. He feels rather silly and apologizes to Helen.
- First Gray Hair: Desmond spots a grey hair on his wife with his eagle-eye vision.
- Gag-per-Day Webcomics: Most strips are self-contained, with a punchline. Some build on the previous strip for a longer storyline, but each installment still works on its own.
- Green Around the Gills:
- Happily Married: Desmond and Helen have a happy marriage despite the challenges that come with the former being Deaf.
- Ironically Disabled Artist: Matt Daigle—the artist of the comic—was born with Usher Syndrome, which is why he is deaf. That same condition is also causing him to progressively go blind.
- It Will Never Catch On: In this strip, Desmond doesn't believe that teleporters will be invented in the future. Helen points out that back in the 90s, he didn't believe that video calls would be invented either.
- Language Barrier: One of the main characters is an interpreter, so it's her job to breach it. The barrier itself features a lot in the comic, with a variety of misunderstandings.
- Like Father, Like Son: Cedric can be a bit rude. Desmond—like deaf people in general—tends to be very blunt himself.
- Motor Mouth: Or Motor Hands, in any case. Desmond can sign fast. Some of his friends run into this issue while talking with inexperienced ASL speakers.
- Mouthy Kid: Cedric is a wonderfully witty kid (more often than not he's the one delivering the punchline). His wit can turn a little mean when people are insensitive to their deaf peers, especially by asking stupid questions.
- No Indoor Voice: In a nonspeaking variation of this trope, Desmond—who is deaf—has no idea how much racket he makes. For example, Cedric writes a poetic description of Desmond washing dishes in this strip.The banging and slamming that you hear, after dinner far and near
Is it a meteor crashing down or a tornado hitting the town?
The sound that makes my eardrums need stitches,
...Is my Deaf dad doing the dinner dishes!
- Playing a Tree: In this strip, Cedric dreads playing a candy cane for the school's holiday show, but Ms. Fritz requests him to teach the class "Jingle Bells" in sign language. Cedric calls her out for it, saying that a Deaf consultant and hours of translation and rehearsal are needed to authentically teach the song in ASL, so he reluctantly plays a candy cane "until he sees social change".
- Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: A variant in his "Do's and Don'ts" on how to properly talk to Deaf people, which in includes things like gesturing to communicate instead of shouting (which does no good), and a light tap on the shoulder instead of a firm grab.
- Sabotutor: When a kid is rude to him about signing, Cedric shows him the sign for "I'm an idiot", claiming it means "I'm cool". The kid proceeds to sign this to everyone.
- Shout-Out: Somebody is One of Us...
- This strip, which heralds the comic's return after its hiatus in 2016, is a parody of The Empire Strikes Back, where Desmond discovers the carbonite slab of his past self signing "I love you".
- In this strip, Desmond has a dream where he and his wife are LEGO Minifigures learning sign language, which is easy for them because their C-shaped hands means learning only a few gestures.
- Slice of Life: The comic is about the life of a Deaf man, his interpreter wife, and their CODA child.
- Talent Double: Not done for filming, but similar idea. Cedric's friend wants to have Cedric over for the night, but doesn't know sign language, so he can't ask Desmond. Cedric comes up with an idea where he stands behind his friend, tucks his arms under his friend's armpits, and signs for him. Desmond is impressed with Cedric's ingenuity.
- Talking in Your Sleep: Well, signing, anyways, which Desmond sometimes does in his sleep.
- Technology Marches On: In-Universe - periodically, a strip will reminisce about old-fashioned hearing aids and how bulky and awkward they were.
- Unsound Effect: In this strip, Desmond drags a metal chair, it goes "Drag!" In contrast to the "SCREEECH!" it makes because he doesn't realize how loud it is.
- Written Sound Effect: Many sound effects are written out to emphasize that they're much louder than Desmond thinks.
- You Know I'm Black, Right?: People sometimes forget (or never know in the first place) that Desmond's deaf. Usually it's a setup for something witty or mildly rude for Cedric to say.Shop guy: He doesn't look deaf.
Cedric: And you don't look ignorant.