Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good
She was very, very good
But when she was bad
She was horrid!"
When She Was Bad is a webcomic about Psycho Lesbian villain protagonist Gail Swanson, who gained superpowers when a mysterious cloaked man zaps her, in a magical girl story gone wrong. It's about her fights, her triumphs, her losses, her lackeys... And maybe her love life. If she can ever get the guts to ask the girl of her dreams out.
This show provides examples of:
- Animals Hate Him: Gail's cat Torq says Jasper gives him the creeps.
- Art Evolution: From this to this. The proportions are still weird, but you can't say it hasn't improved dramatically.
- Asexuality: Gail believes Jasper is asexual, as he has never shown interest in anyone.
- Attempted Rape: A flashback reveals that this is one of the reasons Gail hates Amber. Amber's boyfriend attempted to rape Gail. Gail suspected that Amber put him up to it.
- Axe-Crazy: Gail and Coyote
- Berserk Button: Gail and Sean appear to share one — sexual threats towards women
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Sean disarms a cop this way when breaking Jasper out of prison.
- Blessed With Suck: Amber gets super strength and Gail gets... to talk with her cat. At least, that's what she first thinks.
- Blood Knight: Coyote, Coyote, COYOTE.
- Breast Attack: During the armored car robbery.
- Car Fu: As seen here.
- The Chosen One: Amber is, according to the Order.
- Cursed With Awesome: Gail's secondary power always changes; This means she has all kinds of weird powers, talking to animals, disabling any technology she nears, telepathy and pyrokinesis.
- Disability Immunity: Anthony, who's been deaf since birth, is immune to Gail's mind-reading. She can't hear his thoughts because he doesn't associate words with sounds.
- Erotic Eating: How Gail ate ice, from Tabitha's perspective.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The group's reaction to Tabitha's horrible (drunk) sketch.
- More seriously on this page
- Later chapters establish that Gail and her team draw the line at murder, which is why she decides to send Jasper back to prison.
- Evil Laugh: Gail breaks out in one when robbing a bank for the first time.
- Faking the Dead: Max pretends to die after being shot in the chest by Jasper. However, it doesn't take long for his deception to be uncovered.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Jasper.
- Flying Brick: Amber has Flight, Super Strength, and moderate Super Toughness, explained as being necessary for her to use her strength without hurting herself. She also claims the Most Common Superpower, at least in comparison to Gail.
- Gayngster: Connor Hammond.
- Healing Factor: Max has one for his role as Amber's bodyguard. It's initially very powerful, but decreases over time as Amber becomes stronger and less reliant on him.
- Hypocrite: The Order turns women into heroines, yet refuses to allow women into their ranks. They let trans-women in, but constantly identify them as male.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Amber, at first.
- Impractically Fancy Outfit: Amber's first superhero costume. It got turned on her rather embarassingly.
- Jerkass: Amber is homophobic and a bully (mellowed out somehow later in the comic), Ben tends often to be an asshole towards people (he even provoked Tabitha, the nicest person of the gang, into throwing stuff at him and threatening to hit him with a chair). Jasper is just plain psychotic.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Sean to Gail once.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Max had has memories erased before joining the Order. Marisol tells him it was voluntary.
- Locked into Strangeness: When Amber gets her powers, her hair turns permanently blue.
- Morality Pet: Tabitha is usually the (ignored) voice of reason during Gail's For the Evulz actions and Jasper's psychotic episodes. Unfortunately, she's into bad men/women.
- Neck Lift: Jasper does this when interrogating a hapless member of Hammond's gang.
- Oh, Crap!: Max, when Gail is about to drop a car on him.
- One-Man Army: Jasper and Coyote.
- Orphanage of Fear: Gail grew up in an orphanage where "catching the biggest cockroaches was considered a fun past-time". She ran away from when she was eleven years old.
- Perky Female Minion: Coyote
- Perception Filter: Gail and Amber have this is part of their powers. No matter how public Gail's crimes are, no matter how many witnesses see her, no one can recall her face afterwards. Even when Amber tries to directly tell the police that Gail is the culprit, her calls end up being ignored or forgotten. The same power also protects Amber's identity: when a recording is made of her flying, her face appears as The Blank.
- Perma-Stubble: Sean
- Playing with Fire: Gail, for a time, due to her constantly-changing secondary power.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: One of the reasons Gail thinks Amber isn't as heroic as the Order proclaims is because she is homophobic and bullied Gail in high school for being gay. Amber manages to reason herself out of homophobia after fighting enough crime; Gail and other criminals aren't because they're homosexual - they're just greedy and violent thugs regardless of sexuality.
- Turns out, Amber's philanthropic doctor dad is a homophobe.
- Power Dyes Your Hair: Before Amber got her powers, she was portrayed as a blond dickwhaffle, but after the Order gave her her superpowers, her hair turned permanently blue.
- Power Tattoo: Members of the Order have mystic tattoos that allow them to track each others' locations.
- Power Incontinence: Gail. So far she has had the power to talk to animals, electronic disruption, telepathy and pyrokinesis.
- Psychic Static: When Gail gets telepathy as her secondary power, Jasper blocks her by thinking about the Mario Bros. theme song on a loop.
- Required Secondary Powers: Gail and Amber have Super Toughness so that they don't hurt themselves with their Super Strength
- Samus Is a Girl: Coyote, the fearsome gang enforcer, is revealed to be a woman.
- Satisfied Street Rat: Gail, who lived on the streets between being in an orphanage and being in a gang, and whose experiences during that time initially make her a much more effective fighter than Amber.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Gail, for a time, due to her constantly-changing secondary power.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Inverted: Gail has a "stupid sexy Javier" moment.
- Transgender: Marisol is a trans woman.
- Unwanted Assistance: In this strip, "Stop Helping Me" is nearly said verbatim.
- Walking Tech Bane: Gail, for a time, due to her constantly-changing secondary power.
- You Need to Get Laid: Anna says this to Gail early on. Gail actually agrees.