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YMMV / Shortpacked!

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  • Anvilicious: Willis doesn't tend to be very subtle about his points.
  • Ass Pull: The resolution to Ultra Car and Malaya's relationship problems. Malaya wanted a sexual relationship whereas Ultra Car not only didn't feel sexual attraction but found human sexuality discomforting and disgusting. After doing some soul-searching and ultimately refusing to change herself to be able to have sex; Ultra Car realizes she can use her third pie-throwing arm to finger Malaya and the problem is easily rectified in two comics.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ken has had some divide between fans. They either feel he's a bland non-presence in the comic, or a grounding Nice Guy to contrast everyone's eccentricities. His attraction to Malaya and blindness to her faults makes get's him even more flak. Though, him abandoning his crush and cute relationship with Lucy has redeemed him in the eyes of some fans.
    • Manny, a one-off character who made a return much later to become Ethan's love-interest. Some like him for being an Understanding Boyfriend to Ethan as he encourages Ethan's hobbies and lets him be himself. Others feel Manny's a Satellite Love Interest brought in at the last minute to give Ethan a happy ending, and suffers from a lack of characterization.
  • Broken Base:
    • Amber/Mike was this at the start. One third of the readers thought they work together, one third thought one of them is emotionally abusing the othernote  or that they're just plain not right for each other, and one third thought Mike's just waiting for the right moment to give Amber maximum suffering. Sometime before Amber and Mike got engaged, though, the arguments began to slow down, and the subsequent pregnancy, marriage, and getting Put on a Bus has made the whole thing moot anyway.
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    • Ethan's collecting habit. Many in-depth discussions (read: arguments) were had over whether Drew is right and it's a harmful addiction, or whether it's an innocent hobby and Drew is being unreasonable.
    • The strip "David Willis: A slightly older cartoonist's advice" made fun of a Zen Pencils strip that was done in the Calvin and Hobbes fashion (it's even tagged as "things that will get me in trouble"). The original strip was a commentary on artistic integrity and money. Some appreciate Willis's parody and see the original strip as a bunch of condescending platitudes about how artists "sell out" and feel that the strip devalues artists making money off their work. Others see Willis's strip as a condescending attack on a perfectly valid point about how artists struggle to balance what they want to make vs. what will allow them to stay solvent.
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    • Then there's the backlash concerning his stopping the comic to use Roz as a mouthpiece to chastise the readers who were confused about the function of certain part of a dildo in a previous comic of Dumbing of Age. It's not so much the fact that the comic attempted to educate readers on the topic as it is the amount of condescension and calling them 12-year-olds for not knowing something that not all of them found useful (in-character or not).
    • The False Equivalence comic has fans divided. Some think Amber makes a good point about how both male and female characters alike are drawn to appeal to men, others feel that the bias she's supposing is nonexistent, and still others have raised other objections over how accurate the Batman Amber draws is to women's desires.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: While Shortpacked started out establishing its own story and setting without relying too much on Willis's previous work, this did eventually set in. This is due in part to the nature of the webcomic, as the it has a decade of story behind it, and the narrative arcs are frequently broken up by the one-off joke strips. It gets more difficult when the story does end up referencing the previous Walkyverse comics, with readers who just jumped on with Shortpacked wondering what the Giant Honeybun monster is. Rachel's return in particular would have been hard to follow, as her disappearance was within Joyce & Walky, a comic which at that time was behind a paywall note .
  • Crazy Awesome: Galasso. The man doesn't understand enough about biology to know the difference between a man and a woman, and yet he somehow managed to bring back Jesus Christ and Ronald Reagan from the dead purely to generate free publicity for his toy store.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: And several times after that. Unsurprisingly, Mike seems to spawn a lot of this.
    Mike: Oh, like you've never sung the Ninja Turtles theme while raping somebody.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: The messages and morals expressed in the strips aren't bad, they just seem delivered in a poor manner.
  • Dork Age: The "Coming of the Second Eton" plot was so widely reviled that even Willis himself mocked it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Fuckface the iguana, despite simply sitting around with one facial expression. (This is usually in contrast to Malaya, who is less popular.)
    • Arnold, one of Ken & Malaya's roommates, also gets a bit of this. His appearances in two strips — telling Malaya to get a job in the first and telling Ken to "stop barking up the bitch tree" in the second — were enough to make him far more popular than either of them.
    • Faz and Ninja Rick, because they're both absolutely hilarious.
    • Lucy, for both for her stance on superheroines and her chewing out of Malaya.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Panel 6 of this strip. Even though it's just a joke, it makes anyone who has the later strips cringe.
    • The punchline in the last panel of strip was made long before we found out about Amber's past.
    • One strip had Willis asking his readers to send him porn of Allison Mack. In 2018, Mack was arrested due to her involvement in recruiting for NXIVM, a cult accused of sex trafficking.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When Robin is elected to Congress, she insists on wearing her sombrero while in session. Fast forward to November 2010, and Frederica Wilson.
    • In April of 2006, a strip called Bingo was released, which was about Ethan showing a Internet argument-losing bingo featuring overused and illogical internet arguments, and one of these arguments was "Claiming to represent the fandom as a whole". Then, five years later, in December 2, which strip was released? The False Equivalence strip, in which Amber makes generalizations about male and female comic-book fans. Whoops.
    • In an early strip Ethan discusses re-run syndrome, and wonders which of the cast would stick around. Robin states it will obviously be her, but the strip suggests Ninja Rick. Cut to 2014, and Ethan and Amber have left Shortpacked, while Ninja Rick has faded into the background. Guess Robin was right.
    • During a 2006 arc where Galasso wants to have his daughter, Conquest, produce a grandchild to continue his empire, he goes to Robin. Robin responds by telling Galasso that she's "fairly confident that's impossible for me to do." Come 2014, and with the help of Rosenthal's technological skills, Leslie impregnated Robin.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Galasso may be a hammy wannabe super villain with loose ethics, but there is a sliver or regret and tragedy in him, especially when we learn about the loss of his wife.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: There are a few who only know of the comic's existence because it parodied Frank Miller and Batman (and that one of its Batman memes was subsequently acknowledged by one of the LEGO Batman games). They're often surprised that the comic has an actual plot and characters, and that most of the jokes in the strip aren't about Batman.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mike's proposal to Amber.
    • Mike IS this trope. He's capable of planning and executing extremely convoluted plans for the sole reason of pissing someone off and despite that most of the cast considers him a friend, with Amber and Ethan even up to a point of becoming a subject of desire. In fact, the above example is the only time his plan ends up not having the effect he expected, and even then due to actually trying to achieve something he thinks is good for her.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • More Popular Spin-Off: Shortpacked became this to the Walkyverse at large. The art style was refined and it became far more known than Willis's old work. By strips end, Willis admitted that Dumbing of Age had surpassed even this comic.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Buckets of Blood guy, a hilariously OTT parody of fans who want a Darker and Edgier, Bloodier and Gorier, and Hotter and Sexier upgrade to various franchises. He's gone on a few graphic lurid and disturbing rants about how franchises need more "adult" content. He later got to write Future's End. He's only sparingly used, but when he does appear he leaves an impression.
  • The Scrappy: Malaya for some. Some find her grating and annoying and hate her constant bitching while contributing nothing. The fact that she was created as the result of a fan's bitching doesn't help matters.
    • It really says something when her pet iguana, Fuckface, is a vastly more popular character despite doing nothing but sitting around with the same facial expression.
    • Roz also had this, with many of her appearances (Especially when she interacts with Jacob) causing fans to leave many negative comments for her.
    • Drew became this for treating Ethan's toy collecting as something more than a harmless hobby.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Lucy doesn't take Malaya's shit.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The famous "False Equivalence" strip has a female character putting a Straw Misogynist in his place. However, critics took umbrage with the fact that the strip generalized women to the point that it implied that all women prefer a certain body type. This is made worse by the fact that the mouthpiece for the strip used the phrase "female such as myself," which creates an air of "white knighting", considering the strip was penned by a straight male.
  • Villain Decay:
    • Though Mike was already showing a bit of a soft side in It's Walky!, his relationship with Amber sanded off more than a few of his rougher edges. He hasn't stopped being a jerk by any means, but his more manipulative, soul-crushing tendencies have largely disappeared. Not only was last big gambit only to convince Amber he was too big of a dick for her to be romantically involved with so she could be happy without him, not only did he need to be drunk to do it because "normal" Mike loved her too much to give her up, but it didn't even work.
    • Faz even moreso. A few months after his first appearance, he gradually lost any semblance of power and has been so thoroughly defanged that he can no longer plausibly threaten anybody. He's just a Butt-Monkey now.
  • What an Idiot!: In Ferdy and Gabe, Ken uses his Masterpiece Soundwave to homage certain G1 scenes where unsuspecting people would find Soundwave in his tape-recorder mode and take him into secure locations. Attempting to reenact this ends with a random person finding an unattended $250 toy and taking it home with them. Ken admits he didn't think that through.
  • The Woobie:
    • Leslie, especially during the time before she and Robin got together and during their break-up.
    • Ken usually gets a lot of pity for his unrequited crush on Malaya. When he's not getting slammed for it.

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