Sandra and Woo
A webcomic about friendship, life and the art of (not) eating squirrels.
Sandra and Woo is a English and German-language webcomic by Oliver Knörzer and Powree, about the adventures of middle-schooler Sandra North and her pet talking raccoon, Woo. It's drawn in a manga style with some western comic stylizations, and makes use of mostly unconnected story arcs. Basically, imagine Calvin and Hobbes aged up a few years and with some more serious plot threads.
Though the story most often focuses on Sandra and Woo's misadventures, the story will, at times, turn to focus on one of Sandra's two best friends, Cloud and Larisa, or Woo's adventures with his woodland friends, Shadow the fox and Sid the squirrel.
- Action Mom: Cloud's mom Ye Thuza is not only a loving mother and housewife, but also an urban ninja who single handily nails a tonberry (a dangerous monster in the Final Fantasy series) to a concrete wall with a wooden staff. Not to mention she's also a former Child Soldier.
- Aerith and Bob: We have believable names like Sandra and Larisa, and then we have Woo and Cloud. Justified Trope in that Woo is a pet and Cloud was named by Final Fantasy nerds and has a sister named Yuna.
- Alpha Bitch: Zoey and her best friend Michelle.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: The best kind. Also see Shipper on Deck. Ye Thuza is awesome.
- Amusing Injuries: Common
- An Aesop: Quite common. Occasionally border on Anvilicious Author Tracts, but so far the comic has never failed to return to lighthearted silliness very shortly afterward.
- Green Aesop: There's an arc of them.
- Spoof Aesop: Sandra theorizes where loot from a robbery is hidden, goes searching there with Larisa, Cloud and Woo, and after finding only an empty valise in an air vent, they go home having learned a lesson about fools' errands. Cloud's mother then shows up, lifts a loose metal plate under where they found the valise, and there's the loot.
- Also crops up at the end of the insulin ban storyline, where Sandra's dad gives the Incredibly Lame Pun of "ducks are bad for you," with a beer bottle in his free hand and something hand-rolled in his mouth.
- Animal Talk: Woo and all other animals, including Woo's friends Shadow and Sid, speak the same language, but only Woo is able to communicate with humans. However, he's not talking to anyone but Sandra since he is afraid of ending up in a laboratory otherwise.
- Anime Hair: Averted for characters not named Cloud, who has an Idiot Hair and this...
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Sandra and Cloud's favorite political slogan: "Freedom! Justice! Cookies!".
- Bad Liar: Averted with Sandra. She's a surprisingly good one. She also can do it with minimal preparation.
- Berserk Button: Coming off as a threat to Sandra's relationship with Cloud is unwise.
- Betty and Veronica: Sandra and Larisa, respectively, with Cloud as Archie.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When the "hand of god" replaces Woo with Tom the talking toast, Sandra first eats the toast. Then she makes the hand an offer it cannot refuse.
- The Bible: Subverted, Oh No! Not the apple. Oh, the snake is fine.
- A Boy and His X: A girl and her raccoon.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The text below this comic should give you an idea about the arc it's part of.
- A strip in tribute to Andy Warhol not only breaks the Fourth Wall, it takes a bite out of it.
- Larisa starts to tell Zoey "my big secret." The words fade away into empty speech bubbles, and then Woo holds up a sign asking the readers to bear with the loss of "sound."
- Bullying a Dragon: Ralph the bully makes this mistake with Cloud. In fairness, Cloud doesn't look particularly threatening.
- To be fair, Cloud isn't as obvious a dragon as most examples.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: Very expressive.
- Carnivore Confusion: Both averted and played straight. Woo is friendly with Shadow, a fox, and Sid, a squirrel. They regularly try to eat each other, but as the tagline says, fail. This doesn't stop Woo and Shadow from eating other woodland creatures, successfully.
- Catch Phrase: Woo's "Woo!" What Woo is named after, and his common reaction to pleasant surprises.
- Character Blog: Sandra has a YouTube channel, also going by her alter ego Sandy the Third, empress and supreme ruler of Northia, there.
- Children Are Innocent: Defied to the point of being a recurring Aesop. Larisa, in addition to being generally vindictive, is a pyromaniac, and one strip has her, confronted with sushi, casually pull out the lighter she carries to set fires and cook it. Cloud's mother is a former Shan Child Soldier in Burma, and he frequently deals with relatives being menaced or killed by the SPCD.
- Child Soldier: Cloud's mom was a Burmese guerrilla fighter in her teens.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: See Berserk Button
- Cool Old Guy: He's only appeared in two strips, but Mr. Miller, apparently from the bank, knows exactly how to respond to an unprovoked attack by a saber-toothed squirrel.
- Cow Tools: Parodied with this.
- Crossover: "I'd like to introduce Mr. Eglamore from our partner school in England."
- Crush Blush: Landon
- Cute but Troubled: Larisa
- Deal with the Devil: Parodied in this strip as Sandra accidentally sells her soul to the devil for a glass of lemonade.
- Death by Origin Story: Sid's mother, Hazel. We hardly knew ye.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Pain is painful.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Larisa grumbling.
- Don't Ask: "What the hell?"
- Eats Puppies: Ruth claims to eat wolf pups. She's already proved surprisingly adept with a gun despite being a squirrel.
- Engaging Conversation: Probably. And this.
- Evil Poacher: "She makes Elmer Fudd look like an animal rights activist."
- Face Palm: Digging Yourself Deeper
- Fille Fatale: Larisa likes to dress sexy to appeal to boys, has already smooched with around a dozen of them and doesn't mind being called a bad example for this sort of behavior... She's also digging more conservative family values, though.
- She was a bit annoyed about being called a slut. Sorta.
- Flirty girl. Leading to this gem by a commenter.
The New Larisa 500:
- First Kiss: After three attempts were broken up--the first by Cloud's sister and mother, the second by a soccer ball, and the third by Larisa--Sandra and Cloud got fed up and made sure nobody would interrupt them again.
- Of course, Sandra doesn't count this one.
- Genius Bonus: Parodied mercilessly; in response to claims that the webcomic wasn't challenging enough, the two introduced a simple 4-panel strip that, to read, one would have to solve a crossword puzzle, speak a certain Malay language, carry out a series of word puzzles, and have a bit of knowledge regarding coding, ASCII, and RGB values.
- Give Geeks a Chance: Larissa starts going out with Landon after he helps her get a B- on a math quiz (Note that her affections come about more because he was the only one kind enough to actually help her, instead of just lusting after her but unwilling to help her like everyone - except Cloud - does, than simply because she got a good grade - i.e. he treated her like an actual PERSON rather than just a hot babe).
- Go Look At the Distraction!: Look!! A talking raccoon!!! Said by a talking raccoon in front of the guy.
- Goofy Print Underwear: The link for Bullying a Dragon.
- G-Rated Sex: Averted. OH SO HARD.
- Happily Married:
- Cloud's parents.
- Shadow and Echo
- Hidden Depths: Larisa asks deep questions, though she hardly seems stupid.
- Hot Mom: Ye Thuza.
- Hypocrite/Double Standard: The principal gives Larisa an earful about drugs while smoking.
- Ill Girl: Larisa is diabetic, suffers from allergies, and has some other medical condition (or possibly drug habit) she hasn't told her friends about, which may explain her Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: See Bullying a Dragon above, he can slash you with a PLASTIC KNIFE.
- Look at his mom and say his skills don't make sense.
- Innocent Innuendo: Brutally Subverted. After a recent adventure, Lily suggests Woo relax with "eating, sleeping and...cuddling". When they get to the "cuddling" strip, they show a tree and make it sound like Woo's having difficulty. The comic shows they're playing billiards. But then comes this:
- Intellectual Animal: Shadow might be the most prominent example for this trope since he's for example able to come up with a rhyming carnivorous anthem.
- Woo is no slouch intellectually, either. He can speak to humans and attempted subliminal cookie acquisition.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Sandra thinks that Jesus was a swell guy, but she can't stand his fanboys.
- Jumping the Shark: Inverted, and taken literally.
- Kids Prefer Boxes resp. Raccoons Prefer Bubble Wrap: Sandra gives Woo a cardboard box full of bubble wrap as a gift.
- Kissing in a Tree: Yuna sings this while embarrassing Cloud and Sandra.
- Literal version implied with Woo and Lily.
- They were doing more than kissing...
- also played with in First Kiss above: Sandra and Cloud are kissing, Larisa is in the tree.
- Literal version implied with Woo and Lily.
- Layman's Terms: Inverted in this strip. "These are management consultants. From IBM. They don't understand your "Techno Babble"."
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A brief gag with Cloud's parents
- Like You Were Dying: Larisa's antics get more disturbing as the reader gets more hints about her condition.
- Limited Wardrobe: Averted: the characters obviously wear the same clothes when comics takes place sequentially, and change to hint a new day happens.
- You Fail Logic Forever: How is taking food about to be given to a hungry fox not your fault when said fox angrily chases you?
- Videogame characters will soon be indistinguishable from real life, therefore, we are video game characters.
- Loves Me Not: Played with here
- Madness Mantra: Can't trap them, raccoon will shoot me! Can't trap them, raccoon will shoot me!
- Major Injury Underreaction: The eagle here is only mildly annoyed that Woo is eating her offspring.
- Matter of Life and Death: Food, necessary to maintain the art of not eating squirrels.
- Medium Awareness: The characters apparently know the comic's update schedule.
- Memetic Mutation: In universe, a video of Cloud taking down a thug was "more popular than free bacon." It turns out that this was all part of Larisa's Batman Gambit to help out her dad's website.
- Missing Mom: Sandra's mother Julie died of an yet unknown cause two years before the comic began.
- Mistaken for Junkie: Larisa, who is diabetic, is caught by a teacher when giving herself an insulin shot during recess. She's then sent to the principal who informs her that taking this "dangerous drug" violates the school's zero tolerance policy against drugs. The plot was inspired by a similar incident on a U.S. middle school in the 1990s. Start reading here.
- Moment Killer:
- Money Spider: Lampshaded.
Cloud: Seventeen dollars?
- Mood Whiplash: Particularly where Ye Thuza is concerned. Also, the last strip of the "insulin" storyline, when Larisa sneaks off to take some kind of pill.
- Name and Name
- Nerf Arm: Cloud has a wooden katana.
- Never Live It Down: One of Cloud's fears regarding a love letter.
- Noodle Incident: Do we really want to know how playing "Truth or Dare" with Larisa can cause psychological trauma?
- Open-Minded Parent: Cloud's mother seems to have no problem with having her son explore abandoned factories for treasure, unless he forgets to pack the rope. Of course, these are the same parents that sign him up for sword training.
- Overprotective Dad: Subverted. Landon clearly thinks he's about to get the If You Ever Hurt Her speech, but then Ivan gives him advice on the kind of gifts and outings Larisa likes. "Better you as her boyfriend than some thug."
- Please Wake Up: Predator-eating squirrel Ruth finds it puts her off her meal to have seen two cubs crying "Mommy!" over the body of the lynx she just gunned down (and took a few cuts of leg meat from).
- Precision F-Strike: Done by someone less than ten.
- Followed immediately by an apology when she learns how rude it was.
Yuna: Freedom for the peoples of Burma, motherfuckers!
Yuna: Mommy, what does "motherfucker" actually mean?
- Product Placement: Oreos, saving squirrels from being eaten since 1912.
- Pyromaniac: Larisa.
- Read the Fine Print: On the payment contract of the North's internet provider.
- Refuge in Audacity: Get snatched by an eagle? Eat its eggs!
- Retired Badass: Ye Thuza.
- Rousing Speech:
- Running Gag: Sid is friends with Woo and Shadow which does not stop them from trying to eat him on a constant basis.
- Scenery Censor: This one, censoring Woo's thoughts with shrubbery.
- Shipper on Deck: Cloud's mother and sister, much to Cloud's annoyance. (And yes, that is him hanging a lampshade on it.)
- Not even sure which ship they want. That Larisa mention is just confusing.
- Frequently to Calvin and Hobbes, and many more to video games, namely Final Fantasy. A couple even named their two younger children Cloud and Yuna after the game.
- Probably not an intentional one, but Sandra could be a dead ringer for Roll.
- Often wearing Penny's shirt, no less.
- Several characters have been seen watching Wallace and Gromit and WALL-E as well.
- Many of the posters and filer strips give to an artist, movie, television series or other comics.
- This strip is a nod to this famous Penny Arcade strip.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Would be played straight, but is avoided by the fact that the writer decided to legally give the spotlight to Cloud and Larisa instead, officially elevating them to Woo's level of focus.
- Stock Animal Name: Woo is initially christened 'Rascal'. He isn't pleased.
- Stuffed Into a Trashcan:
- Take That:
- In regards to the Show Accuracy, Toy Accuracy of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic merchandise.
- And the Genius Bonus comic that required programming knowledge, understanding of a foreign language, extensive knowledge of the comic's history and comments and solving several word puzzles to figure out? All for a zinger at newspaper comic Marvin.
- A certain bird thought he was safe in his cage and could insult Woo with impunity. Raccoons have lockpicks for claws. Reader commentary was overwhelmingly favorable.
Sandra: I have no idea what you did, but it was as if one voice was suddenly silenced, and millions suddenly cried out in joy.
- Talking Animal:
- Woo, Shadow, Sid and all other animals. (see Animal Talk above)
- Might just be Woo, since he can understand talk to humans.
- Theme Naming: The Williams family named him and his sister after Final Fantasy characters. One is Cloud and the other is Yuna.
- The Un-Reveal: We never find out what Cloud wrote that caused Sandra to pounce on him, remove half his clothes, and beg him to marry her.
- They Fight Crime:
- This Is My Human: And he'll find her.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: Lily here
- Too Dumb to Live: Yes, Tom the Talking Toast. Play yourself up in front of a girl who can't decide what she wants for breakfast.
- Took a Level in Badass: Woo. One year he lets two of alpha raccoon Tibor's mooks have a girl he was courting uncontested. The next year, when he courts Lily (Tibor's daughter), he runs them out of the forest.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour:
- Larisa carries a lighter just to set random fires, jokes about being a "junkie" when she injects insulin, accuses a teacher of molesting her to get out of a homework assignment (and has to be warned against molesting her guide on the camping trip), and flirts with the boys at an... adult level. Apparently, all the girls have been warned about her. Suggestions that she's got bigger problems than diabetes put this in a more disturbing light.
- "You're still a virgin, right?" And remember. This is her mother.
- Vague Age: Art Evolution and giving them signs of Averted Not Allowed to Grow Up have been our only clues as to the main cast's numerical ages. In 2011, we got this clue as well.
- Larisa is explicitly stated to be twelve here.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: This page takes it as a given that the reader knows why running blindly through tall grass and bushes is an unsafe idea. Unfortunately, most of those readers don't seem to go outside very often, as it went over everyone's head.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: In the vein of Calvin and Hobbes, albeit further away from the family-friendly end.
- Write What You Know: The writer of Sandra and Woo is very interested in raccoons and wrote several Wikipedia articles about the species.