Triangle and Robert is a long-running Webcomic by Patrick Shaughnessy about the antics of a band of geometric shapes. It is deliberately poorly drawn and utterly absurd. Due to its length, Loads and Loads of Characters and use of Two Lines, No Waiting, there are numerous plotlines, but it has a central arc focusing on the heroes' struggle to Save the World.
Among the cast of characters:
- The Cartoonist: The narrator, and a terrible artist. (And he whines about the fact often, file that either under Self-Deprecation or Lampshade Hanging.) Despite his apparent status as the creator of the comic, the characters often refuse to listen to him, and several of them insist that everything was better before the Cartoonist showed up and started drawing everything poorly. Needless to say, there is No Fourth Wall in the comic.
- Triangle: The Chosen One (he's not happy about it) and the Only Sane Man. Later, his status as the Chosen One grants him Chef of Iron powers.
- Robert: A rhombus, Bunny-Ears Lawyer and Cloudcuckoolander. He has an amazing amount of Medium Awareness (his feats include starting a fire with his speech lines), and can accomplish impossible feats by Rule of Funny. He and Triangle are Wacky Scheme Consultants for hire. If you need to do something wacky, absurd, or impossible, give them a call.
- Cube: A cube (or a 2D image of one, anyway), and a secretive Adventurer Archaeologist. His subplots either uncover the history of the world before polygons became the dominant life-form, or parody spy dramas.
- The Cornersheep: A sheep mutated by electromagnetic radiation (Robert tried to hotwire it and steal it) who gained intelligence and telepathy. He employs various Mad Science gadgets in his quest to Take Over the World. (Sheep are beyond the Cartoonist's drawing ability, so they appear as black rectangles labeled "insert sheep"; following his mutation, the Cornersheep appears as a black rectangle labeled "insert super-intelligent telepathic sheep".)
- Orpuddex, the Pudding-Watcher: A ghost of pudding from beyond time and space, tasked with keeping lumps from forming in the pudding that makes up the universe (it's a long story). Triangle is supposedly tasked with destroying him, but he couldn't care less. A Harmless Villain with occasional flashes of competence.
- The Sentries of Food: Chefs Of Iron who embody the powers of the food groups (Vegetables, Meat, Grain, etc.). They tend to bicker a lot and go on sidequests, but they can be devastating when they team up.
...and many more supporting characters.
The comic began in 1999 and finished in 2007, running for 2,513 strips (and 31 ending pages of 12 panels each). It can be found here.
This show provides examples of:
- Adventure Duo: Triangle and Robert
- Alien Geometries: The Tater Fizz plant has a very strange corridor.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Memphis Barbecue Massacre.
- Amusing Injuries
- A Tankard of Moose Urine: Tater Fizz is the soda version.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The strip went from jokes about how a geometrical shape can eat to an epic fight to stop the universe from turning into pudding. Or something like that.
- Chef of Iron: Cuisine-magic, in any form.
- Cooking Duel: Cuisine-magic sometimes involves these.
- Deus ex Machina: Invoked by the Cartoonist a few times.
- Fight Unscene: Since the Cartoonist can't draw, most of the fights happen off-panel.
- Fate Worse than Death: After Linda Concarne went on a rampage, killing (nearly) all the gods of lightning on the planet and still not getting any answers as to why her mentor was killed, she escalated the issue by confronting the meta-god of lightning gods. Said meta-god promptly proved too much for her to handle by turning her into a pile of ashes that retained consciousness. And then...Meta-God: You have doomed your world, Sentry. Lightning gods do not exist solely to provide an anthropomorphic explanation for a natural phenomenon.Linda (narrating): The horror started then. The lack of artwork in this flashback is sparing you. The meta-god took advantage of my semi-deadness to... to talk about the weather. ALL the weather. Since the dawn of the Seventh Race. With diagrams. The meta-god of lightning gods had been rehearsing this presentation for millenia and finally had someone to inflict it on.
- Humongous Mecha: One at the Memphis Barbecue Massacre, and another at the Tater Fizz plant.
- Medium Awareness: Everyone knows whether or not they're on-panel (and some plans hinge on the Cartoonist not looking). Robert takes this Up to Eleven.
- No Fourth Wall
- Noodle Implements: An essential component of any of Robert's wacky schemes.
- Odd Couple: Triangle and Robert. Sane and crazy.
- One-Winged Angel: Orpuddex's Galactic Form. Naturally, it's always off-panel.
- Recap Episode: The Recapulon.
- Recursive Reality: The characters of Dot and Other Dot v2.0, a comic Triangle came up with to show the Cartoonist that anyone can do his job better than he can (see Stylistic Suck, below), went off and created their own comic, Cartoonist Guy. Besides somehow having better art quality than either Dot and Other Dot or Triangle and Robert, the main character there created his own comic, The Beforings. The Beforings wind up being the same Precursors who created the pudding-universe in which Triangle and Robert takes place...
- Fortunately, according to the Cartoonist (the real one), none of that really happened.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When the Fondue of Four Thousand Cheeses told the Sentries that they had to face down and overcome their pasts, Linda took that to mean she had to get revenge against the lightning god that she figured was responsible for the death of her mentor at the Memphis Barbecue Massacre. After she killed the Memphis god of lightning and got no answers, she continued on with killing all other lightning gods on the planet (including at least one employee who happened to work for a lightning god and one lighting (not lightNing) god who just blesses interior decorators).
- Running Gag:
- Ducks? Thanks.
- To mark the 150th strip, there was a series of character profiles of the main characters. These had two running gags: Every character's answer to "Favorite movie" was a different movie by Terry Gilliam, and every character's answer to "If I could offer you only one tip for the future" was a variation on 'Wear sunscreen.'
- Shout-Out: Numerous.
- The Smurfette Principle: Linda Concarne is the only female regular.
- Serious Business: Anything to do with cooking.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Discussed In-Universe with "Prozac the Setting".
- Stealth Pun: One of the plotlines involves Triangle fighting things to recover a series of "Dragon Circles", which are lettered A, B, C, etc. When he gets to the 25th one, Dragon Circle Y, he discovers that's the end of them, there are only 25.Triangle: Somehow, avoiding the pun makes it even worse.
- Stylistic Suck: In-universe too. You think that isn't possible with this series? Enter "Dot and Another Dot".
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Cube is very clear that he is just an ice cream man, that's all, with nothing interesting about him.
- Tempting Fate: Robert attempts to invoke the trope by declaring loudly that business opportunities don't just fall out of the sky. Nothing happens... until Robert gives up and repeats the sentiment, sincerely this time, at which point a plot device immediately falls out of the sky.
- Thunderbolt Iron: The Starham.
- Underwater Ruins: The city of Tetris.
- Wall of Text: At one point, an expository Wall of Text fills up an entire panel, driving out all the air and resulting in a character's death of suffocation.
- World Shapes: Triangle and Robert's world is not a sphere, but a four-dimensional hypertaco.
- Zany Scheme: Robert's speciality.