- Abandon Shipping: Candace rejects Aaron's romantic advances, and later explains that she thinks they're Better as Friends. But her rejection isn't very thorough (in part because Aaron doesn't know the right questions to ask, and it's obvious that she still loves him as a friend. So is his suit hopeless? Maybe, because Aaron, Candace or both may be an Armored Closet Gay , and if even one of the pair is, it really is hopeless.
- Acceptable Hobby Targets: In-universe, this is true of some characters:
- Gabe is fascinated with anime and manga.
- Coach Gordon mocks Gabe for this and accuses him of an interest in Hentai, which (given Gabe's reaction, may have been Right for the Wrong Reasons (Gordon only knew Gabe was an anime fan and was reaching for an appropriate insult).
- Even Devin, who comes to like Gabe a lot, teases him on this issue. Of course, Devin enjoys needling everyone, including his best friends.
- A more serious contempt, tinged with considerable horror, is felt regarding Wesley's collection ofsnuff porn. Of course, snuff porn (if genuine) is illegal and quite immoral (because of the necessary murders in its creation); even if phony, it is considered a rather sick turn-on. Even Wesley's best friend, his sister is repulsed by the discovery.
- Gabe is fascinated with anime and manga.
- Acceptable Political Targets: Aaron thinks it's bad to be LGBTQ and okay to mock them. The authors (and the author of this page) obviously think it is okay to be LGBTQ and bad to mock them. Aside from this, the authors are remarkably even-handed in their presentation of characters with varying politics.
- Acceptable Professional Targets: Devin, who is the only one of the Journalism Club shown so far to be particularly political, dislikes the police, which causes some tension before Gabe admits that his father is on the Hearthbrook police force.
- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Aaron may be an Armored Closet Gay, inin denial about an original attraction to Devin. This would explain both hias initial violent hostility, and his hostility to both Cail and Josh, two characters to whom Aaron might plausibly suppose Devin to be attracted toward.
- Cail may well be a Death Seeker. She's suffering from gender dysphoria (which can make people suicidal) and at least playfully likes the idea of dying and becoming a ghost.
- Devin displays a tendency to think about, and even have sex with, inanimate objects. At first this is simply treated as a Running Gag, but we actually see him ogle the Perkovich lawn gnomes, and Cailin appears outright angry at Devin for doing this in front of Whitney. Has Devin turned to inanimate objects because — unlike Aaron — they can never turn on him and betray his friendship? (It's notable that the guy to whom Devin is really attracted — Josh — is exceptionally sweet and kind, and would never treat him so cruelly).
- Is Gabe misunderstood for his love of anime girls, or is he in truth a Covert Pervert?
- Are the misogyny and paranoia Wesley expresses in the final pages of his Dream Journal, as he starts to suffer serious Sanity Slippage, solely due to the baleful influences of the Big Bad? Or did he always have strong misogynistic and paranoid tendencies to begin with? Or did he merely have slight tendencies towards misogyny and paranoia which the Shadow exploited to take control of his mind? It's far from obvious which is true.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Cail. Probably a transgirl, and an utterly adorable Genki Girl who was once a Lovable Jock. Though this is partly averted in-universe, in that nobody seems to be sexually-attracted to her. Yet.
- Audience Awareness Advantage: It's easy to forget that the Journalism Club doesn't know that they're in a horror story, let alone a Cosmic Horror story set in Lovecraft Country. When any fan of H. P. Lovecraft sees Wesley's Miskatonic University shirt or hears Isaac discuss detecting transient wormholes, coupled with the apparent ability of the creatures to appear and disappear from areas at will, he has a good idea as to some of what's going on. This is not true of the story characters.
- Moral Event Horizon: Aaron crossed this when he pushed Devin into the lake because he found out Devin was gay and leaving him when Devin thought he was going to drown. Then he outed Devin to the whole school, causing him to get bullied.
YMMV / Dear Children