- Anvilicious: During the Bush era, Tajel constantly protested the war in Iraq. There were a few less-than-subtle Bush slams during that time as well.
- Archive Panic: The comics have run for more than 15 years (and still counting) and has accumulated 1000+ strips.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: this
- Vanilla Protagonist: The protagonist is simply a generic representative of a grad student who doesn't even have a name. Compared to The Slacker Mike, the constantly overworked Cecelia, the Granola Girl Tajel and his much more irresponsible sister Dee, his character really doesn't stand out and is often interchangeable with the sea of other grad students he shares a lab with. Probably the reason why he never gets a Character Development arc, and often gets Out of Focus in favour of the aforementioned side characters.
- The Woobie: Cecilia. She's constantly stressed out with her inability to write her thesis and is guilt-ridden with the increasing length of time she had to stay in Grad School, especially since her lack of progress puts a strain her relationship with her mother and boyfriend, whom she eventually breaks up with for this exact reason.
YMMV / PHD