Questionable Content

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Marten Reed, an indie-rock fan living in Northampton, Massachusetts with an adorably sociopathic little robot, runs into a girl at a bar, Faye Whitaker, a barista who's just moved from Savannah and needs a friend, but adamantly no more than a friend. She then accidentally burns down her apartment building while making toast and needs a place to live— namely, Marten's couch. Before long, he meets Faye's sultry, gothy boss Dora Bianchi, and they have fun, hang out, and joke around.

Then, beginning at strip 500, everything changes. The strip eventually got to the point where it shifted from having Marten and Faye as the main protagonists to having a full-fledged Ensemble Cast. And then just when you thought everything was safe, everything changes again at strip 1800. Only this time, where the comic is headed next is even more uncertain.

One of the most prolific webcomics out there, with 3000 installments and counting, QC has evolved into a humorous ongoing chronicle of the lives of a group of twenty-somethings, as they deal with life, fall in and out of love, and maintain a healthy level of sarcasm. Would almost be a Slice of Life comic if the cast didn't include a handful of cute lil' robot sidekicks.

QC updates every weekday, with remarkable consistency considering that Jacques has no buffer whatsoever and usually draws the comic--on live webcast--that night. The comic itself can be found here.

Five print collections are currently out, the first ones featuring re-lettered and sometimes re-drawn versions of the first arcs.

Tropes used in Questionable Content include:

Clinton: JUST YOUR DAD? He helped develop the first true AI! He invented the quasiperpetual myomer! He's the Henry Ford of intelligent machine design! He pioneered sustainable AI-controlled orbital habitats! He designed the microsatellites that keep earth's albedo stable! HE INVENTED THE ROBOT HAMSTER!

Jeph: The entire Holopony concept may have been a set-up for this gag.

Faye : You're my boafregh. My boyfremb. You're my borthreim. You're... you're my boyflingDAMMIT I'M SORRY
Angus: No no, keep trying! This is way cuter than I was expecting.
Raven: I want a boyfling!

Steve: What am I doing here?!? I have been locked in the hall closet for months! Didn't you people notice I was missing?!? Why didn't anyone come looking for me?!?

"When did we get a souffle pan?"

    • Padma is always mistaking Marten's emotional crises for more mundane complaints about the quality of service at the bakery.
    • Marten has his moments:

Steve: Lemme get this straight - you EXPLAINED to her that this whole Elliot drama bomb was basically your fault.
Marten: Yeah.
Steve: And that turned into a depressing conversation about how much she misses her poor, sick grandmother.
Marten: Uh huh.
Steve: But then that somehow inspired her to ask you to go dancing.
Marten: *sigh* Yeah...
Steve: And for SOME GODDAMN REASON, you're SAD ABOUT THIS.
Marten: I don't know how to dance!

Luna: I saw... I saw a tunnel of light, with my granddad waiting at the end, waving to me...
Marten: Jesus, I thought she was going to go all Temple of Doom on you and pull your heart out through your chest!

Hannelore: (laughs) It's so big!
Sven: I love it when girls say that.
Hannelore: It must happen a lot! You're so tall!

Angus: I've literally never seen a human being move that fast.

Angus: The guy I was supposed to "debate" with was a strawman hired by the other side. We spent an hour and a half trying to lose to one another before realizing the rally had been double-booked.

Faye: That is just one of the many funny stories involving my father.
Marten: You'll have to tell me the rest sometime.
Faye: Bribe me with ice cream and I will!

Beat Panel looking at Marten's dad
Beat Panel looking at Marten
Dora: OH MY GOD YOU ARE GONNA BE SO HOT WHEN YOU GO GRAY
Henry: Hear that, Maurice? I'm still hot.
Maurice: Smoking, darling.

Hannelore: There could be a crazy person living RIGHT IN MY BUILDING!

Angus: So does that mean you're gonna wash it more than twice a year now?
Marigold: (not amused) I'll—I'll wash you more than twice a year! B-because you're a stupid jerk! Who smells!
Angus: O venom-tongued maiden! Stay your barbs, I beseech you!

Pintsize: I'm always naked!

Dora's shivering violently.
Dora: Eesh, I feel like a goose just walked over my grave.

Faye: That's not so-
Hanners: Out of a cannon, into a volcano.
Faye: Oh.

Dora: (listening to music) Why do I suddenly want to dance around giggling like an idiot while a smiling man in a white suit throws confetti at me?
Faye: That feeling is what we non-goths call "happiness". This record is its most condensed form. It is like a crack-rock of pure joy!

No one is quite sure who decided it would be useful for artificial intelligences to posess [sic libidos, but it is generally agreed that it would be more trouble than it is worth to remove it. Besides, the horny little buggers would revolt.]

Don't worry, this isn't a setup to hire a new CoD girl. The last thing my comic needs right now is another female character!*

  • watch- having said that, I'll introduce one tomorrow.

COMING MONDAY: SIXTEEN BRAND NEW FEMALE COFFEE OF DOOM EMPLOYEES, EACH WITH HER OWN ADORABLE QUIRK!
j/k
I hope

Sven: Oh, and if you need some meaningless rebound sex, I know TONS of slutty chicks who'll-
Marten: OKAY THANK YOU BYE

Marten: "You're really dead set on that "reasonable number of babies", huh?

Pintsize: I know it's a little soon, but-
Faye The entire universe could have undergone HEAT DEATH and it'd still be too soon.

Pintsize: Actually, we put that on indefinite hiatus.
Faye: Damn. Okay, okay, how about if you ever lose your morality programming and go berserk, she's the first one you kill?
Pintsize: I think I can do that.

It's also an open question when robots got full civil rights since it's the first thing the first AI asked for. However, earlier in the strip Pintsize and Winslow shrug off the idea of equal rights since it would mean equal responsibility. There was also Linux-based AnthroPC PT410x, who was a robot parody of the minority revolutionaries and who rejected any name other than his serial number as a "slave name." A Is can also voluntarily end up in menial jobs as appliances like toasters, humidifiers, and trash cans, which would seem more like an And I Must Scream situation to a human.

Hannelore: It actually doesn't. My mom never woulda gotten where she is if she thought she was responsible for her actions.

Dora: Yes, I realize that projecting my internal dialogue onto my cat is probably not the healthiest way of dealing with stressful situations.
Mieville: Meow.
Dora: No, murder is not the answer. You always suggest that.


Okay, I like one thing about TV Tropes, and that is the quote at the top of the page for QC.
Jeph Jacques

Notes

  1. It says "Sincerely, Marten."
  2. Now, if the plot wasn't Marten-centric, and Marigold and Hanners weren't background characters, we could count this as a Story Arc, but as this isn't the case, it counts as as a Brick Joke instead.
  3. it's "Sincerely, Marten" -- there's no excuse for rude telegraphy.
  4. She also meets xkcd's author, Randall Munroe, in this strip... probably.
  5. If your screen resolution isn't up to it, they're the word "beta".
  6. For more information, see The Other Wiki