Bobwhite

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Bobwhite is a completed webcomic by Magnolia Porter, author of Monster Pulse, running from 2008 to 2011. It stars three girls attending Bobwhite University, a college in Providence, Rhode Island, with a strong art program.

Tropes used in Bobwhite include:


  • Accidental Aiming Skills: In a flashback, young Lewis kills a number of animals on a hunting trip without even trying.
  • Art Evolution: The comic's art has developed from sketchy and rough to smooth and cartoony.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Near the end of her first internship, Ivy hears what the other employees really think about her.
  • Bling Bling Bang: A gold-plated, jewel-encrusted bullet features in Marlene's six-minute noir parody.
  • Brainless Beauty: Ben. In the strip where he's introduced, he admits that he broke his nose by accidentally kicking his own face in the shower. That's about the level he stays at for the rest of the comic.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Ivy. More lazy than brilliant, really, which hasn't stopped all of Ivy's teachers from telling her how much potential she has.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: When Ivy is serving as a teaching assistant, she cows her students into submission by threatening to be completely honest in her evaluations of their artwork.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: One of Cleo's prominent traits, and one that gets her much grief from others.
  • Epic Fail: Discussed. Cleo thinks it would be funny if her clothes folding was so bad that it set her clothes on fire.
  • Erudite Stoner: Frank, though he does a better job than most of being discreet about his smoking.
  • Le Film Artistique: Marlene's ambition is to create these.
  • Foil: During their third year, the girls run into their "evil reverse-gender doppelgangers" from a rival university.
  • Gilligan Cut: Cleo refuses to do summer work at Gameplace. Dad asks how she plans to pay for anything this summer. Cut to Cleo working at Gameplace.
  • Godwin's Law: Marlene deliberately invokes it here in order to end a conversation she thinks is stupid.
  • Goth: Ivy and Cleo briefly debate what is and isn't considered gothic. Marlene is convinced that real goths haven't existed since the early 2000's.
  • Happily Married: Cleo's parents are one of the only parents in the comic still together.
  • Heel Realization: Cleo. "I'm such a terrible employee that I made a child cry."
  • Hippie Teacher: Frank, Ivy's drawing teacher.
  • Hot Dad: Cleo's mom is quick to point out how hot her husband still is.
  • I Resemble That Remark: "Why would you say I'm lazy?" Ivy asks, at the end of a conversation she spent lying on the couch.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: Ivy worries about getting enough credits to graduate in time, stating that she can't put up with an extra semester, and--heaven forbid--what if she has to keep coming back to school for the rest of her life. Then she remembers that she's talking with a teacher.
  • Intercourse with You: Discussed. One of the side effects of losing your virginity is that you realize how many songs that you thought you knew were actually about sex.
  • Kavorka Man: Lewis's sexual history is implied to be rather extensive.
  • Just One More Level: Cleo buys a videogame for Marlene, who doesn't even like games. Marlene decides to try the game out for five minutes. 72 hours of non-stop playing later, Marlene beats the game.
  • Lame Comeback: Ivy is capable of some real zingers. But sometimes she isn't.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Georgie's girlfriend Shoshanna is a cynical take on this. Georgie loves her because she's an energetic, free spirit. Everyone else can't stand her because she's a drug abuser with zero tact or inhibition.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Marlene thinks she and important indie film director Jen are kindred spirits. Jen kisses her, and then realizes Marlene didn't mean that kind of kindred spirits.
  • Mushroom Samba: In one holiday break, Ivy eats so many chips that she has a fever-dream of being visited by Bootsy Collins. Much later, the three girls get lost in the woods, and their hunger causes Marlene and Ivy to hallucinate Spirit Advisors--Marlene hears the voice of Alfred Hitchcock from a fossil fern, and Ivy sees a fish wearing Bootsy Collins' glasses. Cleo had no hallucinations, much to her disappointment.
  • Oblivious to Love: Ben is the last person to figure out that Cleo is crushing on him. Later, Cleo herself doesn't realize that Bruce was flirting with her until Ivy points it out.
  • Oh, No, Not Again: A bowl of fish dies within seconds of being left with Marlene. Marlene wishes she could say that's the fastest a pet has ever died in her care.
  • Older Than They Look: Ben is nearly 30 at the start of the comic.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Upon seeing Cleo in metal shop class, Ivy and Marlene are briefly shocked into respecting her.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: In her senior year, Cleo suddenly realizes that she's the only "privileged white person" in her circle of friends, and freaks out over the possibility of unintentionally oppressing them. Said friends find her attempts at political correctness more annoying than her usual behavior.
  • Power Trio: Marlene, Ivy and Cleo. They tend to rotate their roles in the trio, though.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Marlene, during the production of her six-minute film. She waits to come up with a story until after filming is over, then she doesn't finish editing until the party where the film is supposed to premiere.
    • Ivy, all the time. She consistently leaves her art projects until an hour before they're due. (Once, she left it until ten minutes before class.)
  • Scrabble Babble: Marlene convinces the others to let her play "toastery".
  • Secret Shop: Cleo and her sister Adelaide visit a secret videogame shop, hidden behind a decrepit internet cafe.
  • Shallow Parody: Cleo attempts an ironic ukelele cover of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", and gets a few lines in before admitting that she's never actually heard the song.
  • Shrinking Violet: Georgie Boray, Marlene's best friend, seems unable to express himself without Marlene nearby.
  • Slice of Life: College life, that is.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: First, Cleo and Tony. Later, Ivy and the Redding student (i.e. Marlene's male doppelganger). Both times, the Alt Text or the characters themselves lampshade this.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Discussed. In a "Rejected stories" filler strip, Magnolia jokes about retconning Ivy to be a lesbian. "Also I've always had a crush on Marlene, all of a sudden."
  • Suspect Is Hatless: Marlene describes her rabbi as "Eastern European male, aged 50-70, bearded. [...] Hee hee. Because... because that's what a stereotypical rabbi looks like."
  • Stealth Cigarette Commercial: Marlene tries to pull this off when assigned to film an anti-smoking Public Service Announcement for a class. Naturally, everyone sees through it.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Ben2, who is just a typical college student with a nerd streak. His own romantic interests are almost never touched on, so his sexuality is virtually irrelevant.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "I wasn't lying to pad my resume or anything..."
  • Tempting Fate: Marlene states that, given enough time, things naturally fall back into their proper order. At which point Ivy calls to say that she got a position as an RA so they can't room together next year.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Cleo is the child. Marlene is the Mother. Ivy is the Seductress.
  • Tzadikim Nistarim: Marlene discusses this with Cleo, and she's certain that Cleo can't be one of them.
  • Word of God: Kathy and Ivy's teacher Frank are dating. I just made this up, and now it is canon.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Marlene believes Dan Figley to be the ideal man. No one knows why.
    • Later, Marlene can't understand what Georgie sees in Shoshanna. When Ivy points out that this is remarkably similar to Marlene and Dan's relationship, Marlene misses the point: "But Dan is perfect!"
  • Word of Gay: Magnolia stated after the comic ended that Cleo is bisexual, but never fully realized it until after leaving college.