Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Gunnerkrigg Court

Go To

  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Chapter 40 ("The Stone") drew just as many "we get it already, she's OLD" comments from the reader base as "oh wow, shiny". They mostly died down post-flashback sequence, though.
    • Chapter 51 ("The Tree") due to Anthony's return leading to major changes in Antimony's life, including new living arrangements and Annie cutting her hair. The over-arching story-line started in April 2015, and has been going on for more than two years real time; the entirety of the sixth volume, Dissolve, is essentially the fallout from this one chapter, with little overall plot advancement.
    • Advertisement:
    • Subsequently Chapter 52 ("Sneak") is continuing the trend, still with no hint of why Tony is doing all of this, not even when directly confronted by the Donlans, brushing off their questions with claims about not being able to discuss it openly, and then the very last page of the chapter showing Annie is up to something with her fire elemental form.
    • Annie's plan to team up with Kat, Parley and Smitty in order to release Jeanne's ghost from the Annan Waters and help her pass over, which might all be part of an Evil Plan by Coyote. At one point it seemed to be the comic's overarching Myth Arc, but what with Kat's coming out and her relationship with Paz, Robot's cult worship of Kat growing ever more sinister and Annie dealing with the return of her father, this plot was last left dangling in Chapter 35 and didn't resurface until chapter 59.
      • Lampshaded by Kat on page 5 of chapter 56: they "had to put a lot of stuff on hold" thanks to Anthony's return.
    • Advertisement:
    • Chapter 61 has Annie being given essentially a chapter-long "The Reason You Suck" Speech by Red for her actions in the previous chapter, which nearly resulted in the death of Smitty and Red's Friend, and it is painful to sit through. So many of the reasons she's giving the speech feel unjustified, on top of screwing up the naming of her friend makes it wince-worthy to sit through. The comic seems to be determined to become a Trauma Conga Line at this point, and inflicts it on the readers as well.
    • Most of this is due to the fact of the three times a week schedule of the comic, with the average chapter being about twenty-five to thirty pages, meaning it can take as long as ten weeks to get through some of the most painful portions of the comic, like Anthony's return if you're reading as they're released. Archive Binges exist for a reason.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Attempts to decipher Anthony Carver's motivations have yielded this, ranging anywhere between attempting to do right by Annie in the worst possible way to deliberately tormenting her for fun and/or plotting to kill her.
    • The Guides: Supernatural creatures of death who honestly run on Blue-and-Orange Morality, or shadowy schemers who wield an Omniscient Morality License and Exact Words to strongarm Annie?
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Anthony is proving to be a highly divisive character, as his stoic demeanor betrays little of his intentions or motives, causing some fans to try to find some kind of logic in his actions while others unconditionally condemn him.
    • Red and her friend, especially following chapter 61. Either they're a nice bit of comic relief that helps to lighten the darker moods of the plot, or they're utterly annoying and unlikable characters, and have been since they first came to the court. Some in the latter camp are actually hoping that they never come back to the comic, seeing their purpose in the plot as being fulfilled.
    • Surma, as of Chapter 64, has gotten a lot of flack for the revelation that she started her relationship with Anthony while still being in a relationship with Eglamore, and then breaking up with the latter in front of Donnie and Anja.
  • Broken Base:
    • Coyote and Jones' accounts of the original conflict between Gunnerkrigg Court and the Gillitie Wood has proven divisive, with some fans interpreting both parties' vague statements as "Freethinkers vs Luddites" while others suggest it's a case of "For Science! vs their victims". Considering these two accounts are the only information we have on it in the first place, there's lots of room for interpretation.
    • The chewing out Red gives Annie in Chapter 61: Either Red was in the right and Annie went too far, or Red's being a bitch and talking about things she's lacking context for, and thus being unfair. Kat believes in the second view and sees Red as thoughtlessly lashing out in an attempt to pass the blame to Annie. [1]
  • Creator Worship: Reached its most visible height when Tom opened a Tumblr account for GKC artwork and drawings he made. The first post was full of worshiping from other Tumblr users.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: When Annie cut off her hair to separate from her emotions, she didn't do a very good job, and had to get it cut by a robot designed for the task. While this was being done, and she could see the flames of her elemental spirit engulfing her, and everything else, she wore a completely unfazed expression. Jones has never been so funny.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • The instant canon showed that Anthony feels guilty over Surma's death, fans started claiming that this guilt note  justifies his abandonment of Annie and utter disregard for her feelings.
    • Ysengrin became the villain after Chapter 66, abusing Coyote's powers to kill him, destroying the bridge between the forest and the court, and even laying waste to parts of the court using his powers. Despite this, there are many fans who are willing to forgive his actions just because of everything Coyote put him through, despite doing far more harm than Coyote ever did and Ysengrin acknowledging Coyote was nowhere as evil as he could have been. Of course this becomes muddled when it turns out that Ysengrin is technically dead, Loup is his own person, Ysengrin had no intention of attacking the Court, and that the reason Loup attacked the Court is because they are doing something so vile and/or terrifying that the Ysengrin part of Loup had a massive freak out.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Zimmy and Gamma, and Red and Ayilu, are all well liked characters- expect forums to explode in squees anytime they show up.
    • Jack was very popular with fans until his Kick the Dog moment. And now that it's been revealed that it wasn't really him doing the kicking, he's starting to regain said popularity. And judging from a lot of fan reactions, some fans were pretty much cheering Jack on after he glibly and handily told off Annie for trying to set him up just to shoot him down.
    • Parley started as a minor character, one of Annie's classmates in Jones' medium training class, but she's since gained prominence as a part of Annie's plan to save Jeanne.
    • For all of his terribleness, Boxbot has a noticeable following. He even got an entry in the GKC wiki before Tom himself!
    • Shadow and Robot are pretty popular for being Those Two Guys and being an apparently Straight Gay couple.
    • Paz was already a pretty popular character but no more than Kat and Annie's other classmates. Catalyst shot her popularity through the roof for being Kat's Closet Key.
    • Ironically despite being a new character and in direct opposition of a popular ship, Jenny the teenage witch (Jack's new girlfriend) has become very popular.
  • Epileptic Trees: Half the reason for posting on the forum. So common that Tom occasionally calls them out in The Rant.
    Tom: In my mind I am picturing a dart board with every available space riddled with darts.

    Tom: Those guys in panel 4 are not Aly, and they are not Annie's dad in disguise, nor are they the girl from the photo, or transgendred clones of Annie's mom sent back in time to act as spies.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Chapters 69 and 70 added a duplicate of Annie to the story—one who apparently had returned to the Court while the Annie followed by the narrative was in the Forest. Forumgoers began referring to them as "C!Annie" and "F!Annie", which then evolved into "Courtnie" and "Fannie," though some prefer "Frannie" or "Sylvie" for the latter.
    • Zimmingham (also Birminghell, Zim-city or Sunny Brimingham) for Zimmy's Dark World.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The name of one of the faeries in City Face #4 is named Mustard Seed. One of fairy queen Titania's servants is also named Mustardseed. Coincidence?
    • These details are everywhere in this comic. Apart from the myriad alchemical symbols and Meaningful Names around the story, several times there have been cameos of mythological characters who briefly drop in, but are never formally introduced. The fanbase has invariably managed to discover their identities from tiny hints of their appearance and behaviour.
  • Growing the Beard: Somewhere around Chapter 24 the quality of the dialogue and story get much better.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Any mention of just how much Annie resembles her mother seems a bit more tragic given The Reveal in Chapter 31.
    • This adorable page- has been becoming aggressively harsher with the increasingly alarming robot cult that's sprung up as a result of Robot's preaching through the chapters since, among other things resulting in Robot and the Seraphs being responsible for the terror and violence in The Torn Sea, and declaring it 'worth it'.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Depending on your view of Reynardine's reaction on page 111, considering Kat's relationship with Paz thirty-nine chapters later.
  • He's Just Hiding: After the Wham Episode of Chapter 66; a significant portion of the Fanbase still believes Coyote can't be dead and it has to be some sort of trick somehow.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Parley's complaints about Annie being the potential new medium of the Court in Chapter 23. Up to Chapter 41 there was a lot of evidence that this was going to be the case. Come the aforementioned chapter, the chosen one turned out to be her boyfriend Andrew, with her being Eglamore's successor as the Dragon Slayer.
    • On page 402, in the chapter S1, Kat scoffs at and dismisses the notion that Jones is a gynoid (note: Jones is not a robot) simply because the thought of making artificial bodies that realistic is absurd. A few books later, she's making tons of bodies for the "new people".
  • Ho Yay: Oh the volumes and volumes of Les Yay between Annie and Kat.
    • "Super hot! You'll knock 'em dead!"
    • Taken up to eleven in the Year 9 chapters thus far, which have had Kat acting like a scorned lover, getting concerned about a potential boyfriend for Annie, and being Mistaken for Gay by Paz and Renard both.
    • Chapter 38 takes it even further by not just teasing Kat and Annie a lot (that's Annie's hand at the top) but also Zimmy and Gamma.
    • Taken to new heights in Catalyst when Paz reveals that she was the one that sent the love letter to Kat, having apparently changed her mind since Chapter 34. See here. And in the same chapter we find out Kat has changed her mind too as well.
    • Then there's this page of "Annie in the Forest" side story.
    • In Chapter 45, Annie runs off in shock after seeing Kat kissing Paz, and a stunned Kat runs after her. Out of context, her reaction could very easily be mistaken for a girl either 1) being heartbroken after seeing her lesbian crush kissing someone else, or 2) seeing her girlfriend cheating on her (even though neither is the case.) Afterwards, the two of them have a very emotionally charged conversation where Annie admits that she's terrified of what will happen when Kat leaves her. Kat reassures her that she won't, and the two of them hug it out and even share a Headbutt of Love.
    • Jenny's constant use of the British euphemism "My love" when referring to Annie.
    • And going in the other direction, Shadow and Robot end up being a Beta Couple by Chapter 41.
    • Coyote and Ysengrin as well, sort of. Ysengrin repeatedly declares his love and loyalty for Coyote, and then there's the affectionate, almost cuddly scene when Coyote steals his memory.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Zimmy: an obnoxious and abrasive person whose only friend is Gamma. Considering she has Reality Warper powers she can't control and strongly dislikes, which makes her an outcast to everyone not named Gamma, you can hardly blame her for her harshness.
    Jones: Zimmy keeps people at arm's length because she knows she is a danger to those around her. She can hardly be blamed for what she is.
    • Ysengrin: a proud wolf with a strong hatred and harshness towards anything resembling humans or former Forest creatures who is being slowly consumed by his own boss and has seen better times.
  • Memetic Molester: Anthony Carver, with him stating that Surma's makeup looks sexy, has raised all sorts of questions as to how he feels about his daughter's makeup, considering he told her to take it off upon seeing her for the first time in several years... Kinda fixed by the fact that he feels like he killed Surma. First, he impregnated her which is a death sentence for halfbreed fire elementals. Second, he couldn't use medical science to save her, so he blames himself for that. Three, he almost killed his daughter by using magic to bring Surma back since he didn't understand that Antimony sorta has Surma's soul inside of her. Hence, the reaction was due to being reminded of his guilt, not attempting to suppress uncouth desires.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Mystery solved", an Author Catch Phrase frequently used in the description text for pages that either answer no questions whatsoever or add even more layers onto the comic's Kudzu Plot. The fandom has taken to making use of it themselves.
    • The chickcharney from Chapter 42 has been reinvisioned as a colossal Troll on the comic forums and photoplasties of his antics have been dubbed as "charndickery".
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Diego (and the rest of the Court) crossed it in Chapter 25 with the revelation of what was done to Jeanne.
    • Some felt that Jack crossed the line somewhere in Ch 27. Not Himself applies, however. In fact it may be more accurate to say the Whitelegs possessing him was the one who crossed the line.
    • The revelation that Coyote has been inflicting Laser-Guided Amnesia on Ysengrin for an unspecified amount of time can be considered this. And if this wasn't enough, the revelation that he also convinced Reynardine to possess Daniel in his bid to court Surma despite his (wholly accurate) concerns that this might kill Daniel, leading to the chain of events that would leave Reynardine a prisoner of the Court thoroughly confirms that Coyote is not anyone's friend.
  • Narm:
    • Chapter 43 focuses on the character development undergone by Renard, as he talks about his past actions and how much he regrets them. Referring to how his actions have directly lead to him being trapped in his current form, he declares with a grave expression: "This body is my shame." He delivers this line while in the form of a cutely scowling animal plushie (which, to be fair, might be the point as he certainly looks pathetic).
    • The events of Chapters 51 and 52. Anthony returns and just starts tearing Antimony's life apart for no readily apparent reason, with every new page just piling it on and piling it on. At first one might call it a compelling example of emotional abuse, but after a certain point it stops having any real meaning and just becomes a joke.
    • Lots of scenes throughout the comic often have characters use simplistic Art Shifted facial expressions. When the tone is light, it can be forgivable, but if you're supposed to actually care about the effects of what's happening on the characters, it kills the mood.
    • In Chapter 54, Antimony attempts to explain why she's upset to Ysengrin. Okay, sure, but the things she chooses to focus on are that her father made her take off her makeup and that he punished her for cheating and she makes no attempt to provide context for them, merely insists that Ysengrin just doesn't "get it" when he fails to understand why these things would motivate her to cut out her anger. A number of fans have humorously compared the scene to typical teenage wangst.
    • Chapter 66: The first appearance of Loup is... underwhelming, if not completely ridiculous. Doesn't help that this scene is immediately preceded by Ysengrin viciously devouring Coyote, which created Loup in the first place, and followed by Loup using his newfound power to assault the Court, both of which are rendered in appropriately horrifying fashion.
  • Never Live It Down: There are readers who will never seem to be able to live down not recognizing Eglamore when he showed up in Chapter 17. Now, almost every time he shows up, Tom feels the need to specifically explain who he is.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hetty only appears in one chapter, but she makes quite an impression.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Chapter 53 seems to have started to redeem Anthony in the eyes of some readers, as he blames himself for Surma dying, and maims himself to try and bring her back, almost killing Antimony in the process as the psychopomps were "economical with the truth", as Tom puts it. Some people think that this makes him worse, however, as this seems to remove any justification for the fact that he treats Antimony with a cruel, borderline contemptuous attitude.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Due to how divisive a Base-Breaking Character the character is, Anthony has also been subject to this despite also being a Draco in Leather Pants to some. There are even contentions to how he is worse and more evil than Coyote despite the fact that Coyote subjected Rey and Ysengrin—two people he claims to "love"—to harmful manipulation that even caused the premeditated death of an innocent on Rey's part, literally for amusement. And continues to do so unrepentantly. As bad as Tony is (and, yes, what he did was still exceptionally bad), he is clearly not doing it with the intent to purposely harm anyone and feels terrible about everything.
  • Seasonal Rot: Between several instances of Arc Fatigue and Trauma Conga Line inflicted on the protagonist, as well as the quite frankly confusing characterization of local Knight of Cerebus Anthony Carver, several people on the forums have been bemoaning a decline in the comic's writing since Chapter 52 or 53. It got to a point that some people thought Chapter 66 was going to have an All Just a Dream ending.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Anthony Carver, not starting with, but most prominently following, Chapter 51, Page 2. He may be possibly the most hated character in the comic. His status was not at all helped by the amount of Character Shilling he got from the other adults, who responded to Kat and Antimony's other friends trying to get them to protect Antimony by basically shrugging and saying "you've just got to get to know him better and understand how hard things have been for him." Even the Gunnerkrigg Court Wiki temporarily put him under the "terrible" character tab alongside Boxbot.
    KatPaz: You.... I will.... burn his face off. Now. Immediately. Kat. Go. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    Ayana: I want to strike him so viciously at the moment... so very viciously. I don't think I've ever felt this sort of very real anger at a comic character before. Well done Tom. I also enjoy the expression on Williams face.
    spiritdragon: Christ on a cracker, that guy needs another punch to the face!
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Some of the debates between Kat/Annie and Annie/Jack shippers have gotten pretty nasty, never mind that only very opaque hints have been given for either possibility in the comic itself, and romantic relationships have never been a significant focus of the story.
    • Kat/Paz vs. Kat/Annie is in full swing now and getting pretty vicious.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Anthony (actually the Court manipulating Anthony's love for Annie and vice versa) is portrayed as an abusive asshole for (among other things) barring Antimony from going to the forest because it's dangerous. While one may argue that that doesn't mean he's not an abusive asshole, this decision in particular gets reversed as soon as Coyote shows up and starts destroying stuff because he doesn't get his way, and this is portrayed as a righting of wrongs even though it just proves Anthony right. Moral of the story: Given the choice between a Psychopathic Manchild who destroys buildings if he doesn't get what he wants and a father who acts like a jerk when making unilateral decisions, the father is the one in the wrong.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
  • Ugly Cute: Zimmy with her "many, many fine sharp fangs", gunk-covered red eyes and so on, can be adorable to an absurd degree. Tom even made a wallpaper with Zimmy and a male avatar for him self in the same style.
    • She's especially adorable here and here.
    • Mind you, this only counts for her with the dark matter in her eyes. Zimmy with her normal red eyes is not Ugly Cute, it is just Cute.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The final word on Anthony in Chapter 80, which functions as a character summation for him, is that he is a flawed but sympathetic man who has made many terrible choices but his most persistent and obvious character flaw is the result a mental illness he can't control. Annie understands and accepts this and, while she's far from happy about some of the things he does and has done, she loves him as her father regardless. Many fans consider this far too generous to Anthony, noting the lack of any sign of him seeking therapy or taking other steps to combat his illness and viewing Annie's acceptance of him as her glossing over his abusive behavior.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Shell from this page is so androgynous that some readers only noticed she was female from the (very) slight curves of her body and from the female cut (right lapel over left) of her suit.
    • A number of readers have mistaken Cvet for male, even though the commentary referred to her as female when she first showed up.
  • The Woobie:
    • Antimony has pretty much qualified from the whole series. Her mother died when she was young, her father is away for unspecified reasons while she's at the Court. Then we find out that the reason her mother died is because of Annie - owing to a distant ancestor being a fire spirit, when a woman in her family has a child some sort of "inner fire" that keeps them alive in passed from mother to daughter. Chapter 51 has gotten Annie a lot of Woobie points in the eyes of many fans, as her father's return and his installment as a teacher has him hit a 9.9 on the Jerkass scale by being unnecessarily cold and asshole-ish in dispensing punishments.
    • Jeanne. First she was separated from her lover, then she was imprisoned in some manner in the Court, then her first bit of hope was crushed by seeing her lover die, and, when the story begins, she's trapped in an afterlife of nothing but stewing in her own rage and despair.
    • Ysengrin, especially in light of the events in Chapter 39, where we find out that his diminishing sanity is at least partially the result of Coyote forcibly extracting his memories for some unknown reason.
    • Jones, in light of Chapter 40. She's as old as the Earth itself and remembers nothing before that. She considers herself neither dead nor alive. She's spent billions of years either swallowed by magma, encased in rock, and then forced to watch as everything and everyone around her dies, and never being allowed to stay in one place too long until she found the Court. And to top that, even she has no idea why she is like that.
    • Adam, the young boy who was Hetty's owner before she was destroyed in chapter 43. Adam's sister was Hetty's previous owner, and she secretly dictated that if anything happened to her, Adam would become Hetty's new owner. With the blatant implications that Hetty killed Adam's sister in order to free herself, Hetty did everything she could to avenge herself on her "terrible new master." This included all sorts of twisted pranks and torture, including putting fiberglass in Adam's bedsheets, with future plans of poisoning him with arsenic and doing anything else she could before finally killing him. And for all his trouble, Adam had no idea Hetty even existed. He had no idea why any of these things were happening to him, but he did notice that his bad luck began a little bit after his sister died. One has to really hope things got better for this kid after 43 ended.
    • Boxbot can come across as this, given how terrible everyone thinks he is.