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  • Abandon Shipping: Kent/Jack only lost followers as year 3 went on. Between Jack/Bitty becoming an Official Couple, the rise to popularity of Kent/Tater, despite the clear Ship Sinking when they finally meet, and some comments from Jack about Kent, a lot of fans left the ship behind.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Bitty's past is implied to be rather harsh, between the bullying he got through, to the point of being locked in a closet overnight, and his fear of coming out to his conservative southern family, most of it doesn't seem to get to him. This is justified, as he is shown to be a Stepford Smiler, and is likely repressing his feelings.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Any time Johnson actually speaks.
  • Broken Base: The fandom is split on whether or not Kent Parson was abusive, despite him only being shown in a few comics. It's probably the biggest source of fandom drama. Year 3.7 confirms that Jack didn't think that Kent was good for him and describes their relationship as mostly physical.
    • A lighter example: the fandom fell into the same divide as the SMH team in the Attic vs Cockroach debate.
    • There's a faction of the fans that are dissatisfied with how Jack and Bitty's relationship has progressed, and think a breakup would allow them both to grow before getting back together, since the creator has stated they'll be endgame. Many other fans are too happy to finally have an example of a healthy, loving gay relationship with strong communication to want anything to get in the way of that.
  • Crack Ship: Alexei "Tater" Mashkov/Kent "Parse" Parson came out of nowhere after Tater's introduction. They've only met once (on-ice, and Tater referenced Kent later in an extremely derogative way), but fans like them together, to have a ship mate to Eric/Jack.
    • Bitty/Kent has several devoted shippers.
  • Critical Research Failure: Ngozi didn't realize that it's illegal for people to play in the NCAA after QMJHL, which Jack does. She discussed it in her notes:
    You know how everyone has coffee shop AUs for things? Check, Please! is a people-can-play-in-the-NCAA-after-doing-junior-hockey AU. And Bitty’s a barista.
    • Kent being from New York means he should've played in the OHL, not the QMJHL.
    • As mentioned on the character page: Lardo's parents are from Vietnam. Her surname is not even remotely Vietnamese, unless it's supposed to be Đoàn.
  • Die for Our Ship:
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    • Bitty sometimes falls afoul of this because of Kent/Jack shippers. Bitty is portrayed as someone who gave up on Jack or that Jack never truly loved, or it's said that Jack never gave up on Kent. Due to Bitty/Jack being the Official Couple as of Junior Year unless you want an AU, Bitty got to go.
    • Sometimes it happens to Kent from Bitty/Jack shippers. Kent is often blamed for Jack's issues and often says or does something that ends up screwing up Jack's relationship with Bitty. At least one fic has Kent as a literal murderer.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Bad Bob and Alicia Zimmermann. They have little screentime, but they are a lovely couple and Bob is a Shipper on Deck for Bittle/Jack. They are often portrayed as Jack's supporters and eager to have Bittle as their son-in-law.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Bittle/Jack was this before they graduated to Official Couple status.
    • Dex/Nursey are popular enough to compete with the Beta Couple Shitty/Lardo.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
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    • Bitty's bunny costume sparked dozens of M rated fanfics.
    • Jack and Bitty's trip to Madison during the 4th of July, several people believe that they had sex for the first time there, in the back of Bitty's father truck.
  • Fanon: Frequently, there's confusion about fanon vs canon since Ngozi has been known to delete tweets about characters.
    • Eric will end up working in the food industry. Whether he opens his own bakery, works in one, or writes cook books varies though.
    • Kent/Jack shippers usually explain Jack not being with Bittle because Jack thought he was way out of his league and too good for him.
    • Lardo is often depicted in fanworks as bisexual. Holster, to a lesser level, also gets portrayed as such.
    • Chowder ends up playing in the NHL .
    • Alicia Zimmermann is a hardcore Shipper on Deck for Jack/Bittle, just like her husband.
    • Kent Really Gets Around, even though there's no evidence of that.
    • Shitty is known for being very open minded and informed about gender and sexuality issues. Fanfics tend to Flanderize his role to being a Jack/Bittle Shipper on Deck and Matchmaker who constantly rambles on about gender, sexuality, privilege and consent. It could be a lot worse, though.
  • Friendly Fandoms: The fandom grew to love Yuri!!! on Ice, another anime focused on Queer Romance and Ice Sports. The fact that the main character of YOI suffers from anxieties and insecurities similar to Jack and Bitty is a former Ice Skater helped greatly for the fandoms to connect.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Once you learn that Jack supposedly never considered his relationship with Kent dating and it was mostly physical, Ken's character goes straight into Jerkass Woobie territory. His actions appear to be the result of sadness and loneliness.
    • To be fair, Kent's a closeted professional athlete whose best friend/ex/former hookup? overdosed and disappeared from his life when Kent was seventeen; he's clearly still messed up over it half a decade later. Year 3 just confirms more of that.
  • HSQ: 3.25, which includes Bitty asking Jack to kiss him in the middle of the ice as soon as they are celebrating Jack's victory in the Stanley Cup.
  • It Was His Sled: The two major revelations of Year 2 are commonplace knowledge by now: Bitty and Jack kiss at Jack's graduation and Jack and Kent dated when they were younger.
  • Iron Woobie: Jack, see Woobie below. Started out as Jerkass Woobie before Bitty got to know him.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kent, specially after 3.7 revealed that while he is in still love with Jack, Jack claims that their relationship was never anything more than physical and was not good for him. We get a glimpse at what happened on Jack's room during Epikegster: Kent clung to Jack, and Jack told him to leave. Kent even cries in that update.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Bitty has been shipped with the entirety of the Samwell Hockey Team (and Lardo platonically), plus Tater, Kent and even Bad Bob, besides various Original Characters. Sometimes even more than one at the time. There are even ships including the entire Samwell Hockey Team/Bitty.
    • You can find a lot of material of various characters with Kent and Jack, though Bitty still outdoes them.
  • Memetic Badass: Lardo. Her skills in beer pong made her one in-universe, even, she is talked up by everybody, and her tendencies as Only Sane Man makes many think that she is the real leader of the Samwell Hockey Team.
  • Memetic Mutation: Fistbump Of Lovenote 
    • Bitty Booty.note 
    • Lardo knows.note 
    • Where's Dex? note 
    • "Jack Zimmerman found dead, suspect is cute boyfriend". note 
  • OT3: Bitty/Jack/Kent has a sizeable fanbase.
    • Polyfrogs (Chowder/Nursey/Dex) has a lot of fans
    • Ransom/Bitty/Holster has a surprising fanbase.
  • Ship Mates: Bittle/Jack has Shitty/Lardo most of the time, but Nursey/Dex and Ransom/Holster are also options. Year 3 saw the rise of Kent/Tater.
  • Ship Sinking: Comic 3.8 and the accompanying notes put a damper on the Kent/Tater ship by way of Tater shouting at, insulting, and trying to fight Kent.
    • To be fair, Kent and Tater never really had any canon basis to begin with, so many shippers haven't taken this as discouragement.
  • Shipping Bed Death: Averted, Jack and Bitty's relationship made for some of the most heartwarming, tearjerking and intense moments of the comic.
  • Signature Scene: Bitty and Jack kissing in "Goodbye to Summer II".
  • Stoic Woobie: Jack may be a grouch sometimes, but he could really use a hug.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Downplayed, but some people think this happens to Bittle. The 2 first years of the plot heavily focus on Jack's issues, his past and his plans for the future, while Bittle only got focus on his coming out and his crush on Jack during year 2. A lot of things about Bittle end up never really being talked about or explored, such as his relationship with his father and his conservative family, his bullying-filled childhood, the origin of his fear of checking, which seems to expand on most forms of physical contact and his romantic life. However, Word of God is that most of these will be addressed during Year 4, so there's still time for an Author's Saving Throw.
    • Kent Parson's implied narrative is super compelling, which is how he's ended up with such a dedicated fanbase, but since he's not the main character and Bitty isn't a fan of him, we don't get to see much of that.
  • The Woobie:
    • Bittle started out the comic as their resident Woobie. Now, he tends to share the role with Chowder, after adopting some Mother Hen characteristics with the Freshman. Comes back after he gets a concussion in the playoffs and returns sophomore year basically the same as he was freshman year, checking fears and all. The coaches worry about his health and performance and warn him that he might get cut from the team, leading to, well, tears. He also struggles with hiding his sexuality due to bullying when he was younger, but grows more confident at Samwell, but a lot of those insecurities remain during his relationship with Jack. First when having to hide the relationship from everyone and later on with struggling to tell his parents about Jack
    • Jack is the woobie above woobies in this comic.
      • He struggled throughout childhood to live up to his (NHL star) father, eventually leading to full-blown anxiety disorder, which he had to take medication for.
      • Said anxiety stuck with him until his teenage years; he then became addicted to his medication and began to abuse alcohol, as well, which eventually resulted in him going to rehab, while his best friend/former hookup/romantic partner was drafted first and went on to win both the Stanley Cup and the Calder Memorial Trophy.
      • He then returned to study at Samwell, a tiny school in Massachusetts, for which the media frequently criticizes him, though not as much as they do for his history with addiction and alcoholism.
      • And of course, he continues to struggle with anxiety; his initially rocky relationship with Bitty smooths out, but is then nearly ruined again when Bitty manages to get a game-winning goal in front of Jack's dad.
      • The anxiety, etc., damaged Jack's self-esteem so much that he's been elected team captain three times, the third unanimously, and he didn't understand why or expect it. Despite all of this, he genuinely loves hockey and cares for his teammates. The guy never did anything to deserve all of this, and it's mostly because of his inability to communicate his feelings properly and see himself as something more than the son of Bob Zimmermann. Oh, baby.
      • And for the icing on the cake? It turns out that he was not only in a relationship with the same best friend who was first draft pick when Jack instead went to rehab, but said relationship was apparently not all that healthy. There are not enough words in the world to describe how badly this poor boy needs a hug.
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