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Webcomic / VG Cats

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VG Cats is a video game-themed Funny Animal webcomic by Scott Ramsoomair. Rather than directly emulate the Two Gamers on a Couch format that was popularized by Penny Arcade, this comic instead does humorous parodies of video games and anime with the main characters, Cloudcuckoolander Leo and Snark Knight Aeris.

The comic follows a gag-a-day format focused on Deep-Immersion Gaming segments, along with some strips set in Leo and Aeris' world. The main duo are occasionally joined by a small cast of recurring characters that includes the hapless superhero PantsMan, the serial Fan Boy Ternaldo, Doctor Hobo, and Krug the demon.

Ramsoomair spun off two subcomics: Adventure Log (2007), based on Final Fantasy XI, and Super Effective (2008), an Affectionate Parody of the plot of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.

VG Cats was launched on 1 September 2001, averaging 25 comics per year at its peak. Updates fell off throughout the 2010s and the comic officially ended in February 2022.

Please note that the site does not use a permanent URL system for its archives, and so the links used in examples may no longer lead to the intended page. Ideally, along with a link, also give the issue number and title.

Provides examples of:

  • Alternate Universe:
    • Scott ran a brief (very brief - like, not even into double digits) comic called VGKitties, exploring the notion that Leo and Aeris were ordinary housecats interacting in housecatty ways, rather than a pair of funny animals.
    • Also used in one of the actual comics, which depicted an alternate universe where Sonic was more popular than Mario, Mortal Kombat (now "Minor Konflict") was family friendly, and the eponymous cats were now dogs with their roles in the comics swapped.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Early strips seemed to indicate that Aeris and Leo belonged to and lived with Scott, despite being anthropomorphic. Eventually it shifted to the two of them living independently as apparent college roommates, and in 2013-14 flashback strips showed them as children living in fully humanlike houses with their families.
  • Arbitrary Equipment Restriction: "Wardrobe" has Aeris as Penelo find out the hard way about Final Fantasy XII's License System, finding herself stupidly wearing it on her foot. Leo as Vaan says without the XP, it's a wonder they can wipe themselves. With the hat on her face, she just wants to kill cactaurs until she stops being retarded.
  • Arc Welding: #334 and #335 both take place in the same era (when Aeris and Leo were kids) but are unrelated. #336 ties them together and shows the aftermath of each story. Scott even says this was an arc weld, as he hadn't set out to do a three-parter, but changed his mind after writing the first comic.
  • Art Evolution: Here is the earliest appearance of Aeris and Leo, back in 2001. And this is their early-2010 appearance. Yeah. Character style varies wildly from strip to strip.
  • Artificial Stupidity: #277, Cheeseburger Apocalypse forces Leo, Aeris and Pantsman to play Left 4 Dead 2 with a bot playing as Coach, who proceeds to waste medkits on paper cuts, try to heal Aeris while she's standing in pools of Spitter acid or being punched in the face by a Tank, and generally make bad situations worse by ignoring Special Infected attacks outright or being easily distracted from them.
  • Ass Shove: Solid Snake's attempt at solving the "temperature sensitive" keycard
    • Also, from #76, the second appearance of Johnny Evilguy where he talks Leo into buying his "Orange Sapphire of Might", (some guy's testicle) as an insta-kill item. Leo's attempt at using it on a high-level enemy results in this trope.
  • Atomic F-Bomb:
    • This strip has Aerith setting up the apartment with speakers so she can get the best aural experience for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, legal release dates be damned. Turns out the cops are prepared for someone watching it as a 1015 and just as Cloud and Sephiroth are about to get to their climactic duel... the player gets a disc read error. That's when Aerith lets out a LITERAL use of the trope.
    • In a not so literal example, Aeris gets scammed into buying a key that unlocks a crate that contains the same gun that she already owns. She lets out an F-bomb that's as wide as the comic before bursting into a Cluster F-Bomb immediately afterward.
  • Attack Backfire: Used in this comic for using fire as a weapon in cold weather; pleasant for obvious reasons.
  • Author Avatar: Pantsman was originally this, but over the years he's become less prominent, and Aeris has stepped into the role of Ramsoomair's megaphone.
  • Author Tract: "Nerd Rage", an entire strip consisting of a tirade on how casual gaming is ruining the industry. Lampshaded here where other characters point out that flat out explaining your points makes a shitty allegory, though that didn't stop him from dedicating seven panels to it.
  • Brick Joke: The rat flail. Starts as a "weapon" during a D&D strip. Becomes a plot point when they re-enact Bleach as Ichigo!Leo's weapon.
  • Bringing Back Proof: Parodied in a strip ribbing on video games' tendency to assign quests around this theme, where Johnny Evilguy appears as a quest giver who tasks Aeris with assassinating Tommy Goodboy and retrieving one of his testicles as proof of the kill. Aeris gives him the requested body part, but it turns out that she didn't actually kill him for it — she just got him blackout drunk and obtained the quest item while he was unconscious.
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • Aeris's response to Leo when he makes an incredibly misogynistic joke about why girls like stories about vampires and feels the need to spell out what he's talking about. Leo does this a lot. "Recurring, if you will."
    • And again in #367 (Moostache), rather than letting it speak for itself Leo has to make absolutely certain we understand that the gag is that the guy doesn't just milk female Pokémon, but males as well.
  • Double Entendre: "That is the BIGGEST barrel I've ever seen, is it pump action?"
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In #155, after Leo mocks Aeris for playing an online MMORPG:
    Aeris: Online RPGs are about social interaction, damn it!
    Leo: Yes, social interaction, of course.
    Leo: "HEAL PLZ?"
    Leo: [turns to Aeris] "HAY A GRL LETS CYBER!"
  • Easter Egg:
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: As the Trope Namer, it discusses the terrible implications of the alien face-huggers that clamp to one's face and put their offspring in one's stomach.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Discussed in this comic.
    Starring a cast of two-dimensional characters no one cares about! With special guest stars the Transformers.
  • Hypocrisy Nod
    Yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy!
  • No Dead Body Poops: Averted. When Leo wants to learn "poop", he opts to forget "breathe". He suffocates and then uses "poop" to no avail.
  • Not Rare Over There: Used as part of a rant when Ash gets sick and tired of Team Rocket chasing after his Pikachu for ten years while it's not even special and he has about eight more of them, not to mention loads of other Pokemon as well.
  • Of Corset Hurts: Parodied with the belly slimmer from the Re-Invention channel, which squishes organs and disfigures the body for the sake of beauty. One woman even wears it around her neck.
    Ms.Dipshits: You don't need oxygen when you look this good...
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List: Strip #304, parodying Slender, has the Slender Man accidentally take one of the creepy pages to the supermarket and leave his shopping list pinned to a tree instead, where Aeris and Leo find it.
  • Orphaned Series: Not the main strip, but Adventure Log stopped at eleven strips and was deadlinked over a year later. According to Ramsoomair, the Adventure Log update schedule was directly tied to each release of the official Final Fantasy XI newsletter (which included the comic as an insert). The game always had rather shaky support from Square, and when they stopped making new newsletters, Scott stopped making new comics.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Aeris is literally pink. Leo is gray, but his preferred color of clothing is blue. Possibly a Genius Bonus, as there are certain breeds of cats - thanks to specific recessive genes - that have grey fur, and the technical term for this is a 'Blue' cat.
  • Poe's Law: It's really, really hard to tell if "Nerd Rage" is an Author Filibuster or a Stealth Parody, as people have voiced every one of those complaints without irony.
  • Oh, and the main characters are named Aeris and Leo... both of which are Final Fantasy characters who are killed by the main villain of their respective games.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • Leo, after Aeris "Aborted [him]... from time". Blatantly lampshaded, to boot.
    • Doctor Hobo as well. (Strip 327 That Show that's not Bob's Burgers)
  • Uninstallment: Inverted. There are many missing numbers in the archive, but you can find some of those in the "Misc Other Comics" section. Except for #200, which never existed to start with - for a time, there was an estimated release date next to the number, even as Ramsoomair released strips #201 & onward, but eventually he changed it to "TBA Never", suggesting he had some kind of blowout planned like the animated music video released in lieu of #100 but never finished it for some reason.
  • Vague Age:
    • Aeris's ID in the (very brief) Animated Adaptation simply reads "Legal". She might at least be going to college, given this strip.
    • The first published version of this strip indicated that Leo was 21 years old; Ramsoomair later edited the figure to the less precise "many years earlier", as Leo himself has yet to reach that age to begin with.
  • Vandalism Backfire: Aeris talks about how Leo had once been scammed into buying a console called Boxxors-O-Roxxors (really just a box of rocks) and had used Aeris money to pay for it. Aeris promptly beat the crap out of him with the box, and Leo has been attempting this trope as petty revenge. Unfortunately, Aeris saw it coming.
    Leo: So I've secretly been peeing in her coffee ever since!
    Aeris: So I've been switching our coffees ever since.
    Leo: [drinks coffee] Mmmmm!


VG Cats: Judgmental

Santa busy writing down the names of everyone on his List...

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