Basic Instructions (2006- ) is a cut-and-paste web comic by Scott Meyer, which offers, well, basic instructions on modern living. And how to deal with moon invaders. Features cartoon/traced versions of Meyer, his wife, his boss, his friends and co-workers, random annoying strangers, moon invaders...
- Abstract Scale: A ruler that measures disapproval
- Author Avatar
- Badass Normal: Rocket Hat. Played with with The Knifeketeer: he's effective, but nowhere near badass.
- Blessed with Suck: Omnipresent Man. He's everywhere. EVERYWHERE ELSE.
- Butt Monkey: Almost bordering on Cosmic Plaything, the universe seems to have it in for Rick. Noteworthy example in this comic.
- The Chew Toy: Again, Rick. Explained in this comic.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Rocket Hat.
- Comically Missing the Point
- Conservation of Competence: At the one end you have Mullet Boss. At the other, Rocket Hat. Which end is which? Rocket Hat can beat the Moon Men handily, frequently, single-handedly, and silently (strangely). Mullet Boss... can kick a dog in its junk.
- Delicious Fruit Pies: Scott once suggested that superhero movie stingers could end with hero stopping the villain from stealing Hostess Fruit Pies.
- Description Cut: Pretty much every panel of every strip, with the "instruction" text clashing with the depiction of events.
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?
- Doesn't Like Guns: Parodied with the Knifeketeer- his sole power is stabbing, which has actually left all his nemeses dead. Rather than being praised, he is a laughing stock due to his lack of worthy foes. Well, that and his boxing glove knifes.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Scott Oscar Meyer.
- Enemy Mine: How to Unite Against a Common Foe
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Discussed in-universe.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Parodied.
- Evil Twin
- "Faux To" Guide: The advice is generally good, but the characters don't quite follow through...
- Fleeting Demographic Rule: It only took three years to accidentally remake this comic.
- Flipping the Bird
- Goldfish Poop Gang: The Moon Men. THE DETAILS ARE UNIMPORTANT!
- Good Angel, Bad Angel
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: How To Name Your Band.
- Good Is Not Nice / Affably Evil: That's why I suggest doing the right thing in the most evil manner possible.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "How to X"
- I'm Standing Right Here: Said twice by Rick. Not that anyone cared.
- Invincible Hero: Rocket Hat.
- Jerkass: Jenkins.
Scott: Poor Jenkins. Everyone he talks to is always angry.
Smitty: That's Jenkins' curse. He only deals with people who are, at that moment, dealing with Jenkins.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Word for word.
- Just Between You and Me
- Martial Arts and Crafts: "Macramayhem, master of the martial crafts!"
- Metaphorgotten: "There comes a time in every father's life when he has to fire one of his kids."
- Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe example in how to give constructive criticism:
Scott: You shouldn't write a book for the title.
Mullet Boss: I'm not. I'm writing it for the money.
Scott: Oh. That's okay then.
- This probably means there's another Basic Instructions book coming out soon.
- My Friends and Zoidberg: The Legion of Super Heroes, and the Knifeketeer, a collection of the world's mightiest crime-fighters. And the Knifeketeer.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever "the unpleasantness" of Sunnyside was, it made national news.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Conversations between Scott and Mullet Boss often involve this. Perhaps exemplified best here.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Scott's boss qualifies in every way. He even has a terrible hairstyle.
- Product Placement: Parodied here and played with in the last panel.
- Right-Hand-Cat: Here.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: A frequent issue of Scott's - the comment pages typically have a number of corrections in them, and he fixes misspellings as they are pointed out to him. Lampshaded in the comic.
- Self-Deprecation: A few comics break the fourth wall to mention Scott's drawing ability:
Scott: I got sucked into a vortex this morning.
Rick: What'd it look like?
Scott: Like something only a skilled artist could draw.
Rick: It's a shame I'll never see one.
- Shout-Out: Frequent.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Scott explains the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.
- Streisand Effect: Invoked when relating a story he'd heard from someone involving their having removed the keys from a handicapped woman's scooter and thrown them as far away as they could. But as he puts it in the last panel...
Scott: To the person who told me the story in panel one: I have not told anyone your name, nor have I drawn any likeness of you. You can never sue me, or even act offended without identifying yourself. I win.
Rick: In the most cowardly way possible.
Scott: I'm sorry, what was that?
Mullet Boss: My bag.
Mullet Boss: Wags.
Scott: Uh, okay.
Mullet Boss: WAG SING! WAG SING, MY BAG!
Scott: I still don't know what you're talking about, but I'm begging you to stop explaining.
- Technical Pacifist: The Knifeketeer has several special knives for defeating a foe harmlessly, most prominently the "Fist-knife". It's actually very effective, as foes collapse from laughing too much.
- The Un-Smile: A classic - "Your hide will make a fine poncho!"
- Trick Arrow: The Knifeketeer uses a Boxing Glove Knife, being a parody of Green Arrow and other superheroes who have to rely on inventive stupidity to remain useful and nonlethal at the same time.
- Video Wills
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Scott and Rick spend half their time insulting each other... and they're basically each others' only friends in-comic.
- The Voiceless: The resident superhero Rocket Hat. Lampshaded within the comic as well. Sorta. And subverted in a guest strip.
- Win Your Freedom
- World of Snark
- Writer Revolt: Scott Meyer got several comments asking him to make his wife look hotter, and 'less like a lesbian'. He responded by replacing her with pictures of Portia de Rossi.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: How to Learn The Error of Your Ways From Three Ghosts that Visit You On Christmas Eve.
- Your Answer to Everything: Getting kicked in the groin, apparently.