Sluggy Freelance

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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    This here's my comic. Is it not nifty? Worship the comic.
    —Original tagline, later providing the titles for the first two compilations

    Sluggy Freelance is one of the longest-running (since August 25, 1997) and most popular Web Comics out there. It mostly revolves around the doings of a core cast, which conveniently form a Five-Man Band plus two cute talking animals.

    In its time, it has shifted from being a simple gag comic with rather short arcs to a complex tragicomic tale of friends living in a mad world and trying to find fulfilling lives in them. It has helped create or popularize a ton of web comic tropes, and it repeatedly hangs lampshades over every single trope it uses, and subverts a few dozen more.

    Since it has been publishing mostly daily for two decades (though less often as time went on), there is quite a bit of material to digest, but its continued popularity has never been questioned, even by those who don't make it a daily read. However, with 20 years of strips with very little interruption, it can be a prime source of Archive Panic for newcomers, so much so that even long-time fans can be a bit intimidated by the idea of an Archive Trawl.

    Tropes used in Sluggy Freelance include:
    • Adventurer Archaeologist: Tomb Raider gets a spoofing with the "Lara Kroft-Macaroni-And-Cheese" arc.
      • Riff's dad is also implied to be one.
    • Affectionate Parody: Most of the parodies the strip does. The long-running Torg Potter parodies are a bit more vicious about pointing out plot holes.
    • Air Vent Passageway: On the back of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, of all things.
    • All Just a Dream: Played with, of course, in this strip.
    • All There in the Manual: A moderate case. Many storylines almost require an Archive Trawl to understand what's going on, the story "bROKEN", required over a dozen archive links just getting started.
      • One of the strips even managed to top that - this one (major spoiler) asks you to check the forums assuming the other Sluggy readers will post them for you.
    • Alternate Character Interpretation:
      • This comic manages to do this by presenting Up... from the balloons' perspective.
      • Torg (as well as the viewers) see Aylee as a good character, and (mostly) not a threat, at least after she undergoes a little Character Development. Riff, however, continues to see her as a threat, much as he sees Sam. Riff's viewpoint isn't all that sympathetic... until this comic.
    • Alternate Universe: In John Ringo's The Legacy of the Aldenata, Hell's Faire features several Sluggy Freelance strips as if they were created within the novel's setting. This was possibly a favor in return for the Shout-Outs to Sluggy Freelance in the third and fourth books of the series.
      • Not to mention that the characters frequently visit alternate universes.
    • Alternate Universe Riff Is Awesome
    • Amusing Alien:
      • Kiki, although a talking ferret isn't too unusual in Sluggy.
      • Aylee, before she started becoming more of human-like anyway.
    • Anal Probing: The Greys show up in the "Oceans Unmoving" arc, apparently having arrived in Timeless Space from the game X-COM. They make continual references to probing.
    • Ancient Keeper
    • And Now for Something Completely Different: The "Torg Potter" stories; "Oceans Unmoving".
    • Anyone Can Die: There was at one point, a meme on the forum where certain characters were called Not Allowed to Die; when one of these characters was Killed Off for Real during a parody arc, the list was narrowed down to The Magnificent Seven Samurai. Then even some of them... Dead? Alive? Only Mostly Dead? Fate Worse Than Death? It got almost to the point of Zig Zagged Trope.
      • The entire purpose of the KITTEN arcs was to kill off some recurring characters.
    • Arc Words:
      • "Nosce te ipsum"
    • Art Evolution: Commented upon by Bun-bun here.
    • Ascended to Carnivorism: Played with; the cast always makes sure Bun-bun doesn't get hungry, fearing he might say "What the hell, let's give meat a try."
    • As You Know: Averted -- one of the major running gags is the comic is that recaps are never played straight, always Lampshaded, and often framed in a comedic way.
    • Author Appeal: ZHOAS, by Word of God.
    • Awesome McCoolname: Angel McDevil.
    • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The demons from the Dimension of Pain, who find things like flowers intolerable.
    • Badass: At some point or another, nearly all the main cast has moments of this. Bun-bun, Riff and Oasis have the most moments, and Torg's had quite a few chances to show off with his sword, especially since he Took a Level in Badass during "That Which Redeems".
      • Let's not forget the previous resident of the Kesandru House, who, upon being haunted for months by a pair of ghosts, killed himself so he could fight back effectively.
    • Badass Boast:
      • "My name is Gunman Stan McKurt. And I shoot evil in the face."
      • "But now you can call me Lord Bun-bun, Eater of Holidays!" And that was before he took over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    • Bad Santa: Santa Claus is Santa Claus; definitely one of the good guys by default. But when Bun-bun tries to kill him every Christmas and eventually blows up his workshop with an evil Furby, he begins to lose it and gets some evil-looking moments while planning to kill the rabbit. And then he catches an alien DNA virus while hiding from Bun-bun in orbit, and eventually turns into a malicious alien monster along with many of his elves, albeit one still bound to manufacture and deliver Christmas presents. He finally gets better, though.
    • Bald of Evil: Kesandru fits the trope, with a combo for Evil Goatee with his eyebrows.
    • Berserk Button:
      • "Override B-1!"
      • And God help you if you disrupt Torg's denial over what happened to Zoë.
      • Unless you really want to get on Bun-bun's nerves (hint: you don't), don't get between him and his Baywatch tapes.
      • And don't call him in the role of a telemarkter, either.
    • Better as Friends: Zoë said this to Torg once.
    • Between My Legs: In a rather bizarre fashion.
    • Big Bad: K'Z'K and Hereti Corp for the overall story. Sir John Jacobs in the "Oceans Unmoving" arc.
    • Bilingual Bonus: most probably unintentional, but the sorcerer's nuts in the 'Torg Potter' arc are acorns. In Dutch, 'the acorn' (de 'eikel') is a piece of the penis.
    • Black Comedy: Lots of it. Unimportant (and even, on occasion, important) characters dying or being maimed in amusing ways is a constant Running Gag of the strip, and normally horrific situations are often played for comedy. As a rule, anything involving the Dimension Of Pain will involve lots of black comedy - the "That Which Redeems" arc is notable for causing large amounts of Mood Whiplash by playing the atrocities going on for laughs one second and being quite literally deadly serious the next.
    • Black Magic: Gwynn. Also, a couple of one arc villains.
    • Bland-Name Product

    Riff: Hey! You're not really military!
    Soldier: How do you know?
    Riff: Your pocket says "United Stares Arny".

    • Blatant Lies: "No Content on Saturdays".
    • Blind Date: An early storyline has Sam setting up Torg on one of these.
    • Body Count Competition: Between Torg, Gwynn, and Riff while killing zombies. There is also an unofficial one by fans who keep kill counts for the characters.
    • Brain Bleach: Lau needs some.
    • Brick Joke: Played with in that it isn't a joke. 2016: "Believe me when I do, you're going to know." Three years later, we all know.
    • Broke Episode: Several Broke Arcs, actually. (Not "bROKEN", though.)
    • But for Me It Was Tuesday: When Squeakybobo comes back from the Dimension of Pain to kill Torg, he runs into Bun-bun. When Squeakybobo tells Bun-bun that he's next on the revenge list for killing him, Bun-bun can't remember who he is.
    • The Cameo: Whenever anyone visits an alternate universe, Abrams generally brings out alternate versions of a lot of C-list characters from storylines years before. Occasionally this even happens in reverse.
    • Card-Carrying Villain: The Minion Master (or so he desperately wants to be).
    • Cat Fight: A great one takes place between Sasha and Monicruel in this strip, complete with Clothing Damage and an appreciative male audience.
    • Catch Phrase:
      • "Let me check my notes." (This one made it into the 20th-anniversary strip.)
      • "My world is a crotch!"
      • "Ooo shiny..."
      • Ka-click
      • "Stay good, _____! Stay good!"
        • This one has even become something of a fandom/forum catchphrase itself. Whenever someone does or thinks something morally ambiguous, you can bet someone's going to say it, sometimes even Pete himself, and it pops up in non-comic related conversations occasionally as well.
      • "How evil."
      • "I CRUSH you!"
    • Cats Are Mean: Satanic kittens known as "The Evil".
    • Catgirl: Kitty-Girl Clowney-Devil!
    • Cavemen Versus Astronauts Debate: The axiom of food flavor.
    • Cerebus Syndrome: Perhaps the first webcomic to undergo this process.
      • Arguably, the series has always had tones of seriousness amidst humor, and it's not like one can't go for more than a few strips without finding something funny. Yes, even in Dangerous Days Ahead.
        • Though Fire and Rain had very few jokes. Although that was much darker then the usual tone of strip
          • Possibly the most serious point in the series, in terms of both story and art style, one character still managed to spend a good part of it as a camel. That says a lot about the overall content.
      • This has come to a head (so far) in bROKEN: Torg is going insane from grief (although he's done a good job of hiding it from his friends so far), Gwynn has forsaken the group due to Torg refusing to accept reality, Zoë was seen bursting into flame and is apparently dead, and Riff was gunned down by a group of dystopian Alternate Universe police (which he managed to survive through enormous luck, although he's found himself trapped and stripped of the will to escape).
        • "Perspective" perhaps ramps it up even more. Riff, now in with a 4U City Blue squad led by that universe's Torg, discovers that Zoë is alive... but only by the grace of intense life support, and she's so weak that she can't even be given drugs to ease the pain.
        • And now we have Bestseid, a formerly Public Relations Villain, (no, not like that) taking control of the Minion Master's organization and shrinking down his own minions to feed to a zombie head on a stick. All so he can gain immortality from said zombie head.
    • Character Arc: Everyone seems to be getting one.
      • For Torg it's That Which Redeems.
      • For Riff it's the 4U City series.
      • For Bun-Bun it's Oceans Unmoving (the Holiday Wars arc was centered on him too, but it wasn't really about character development).
      • Aylee gets the storyline named after her.
      • Zoe got hers early in The Storm Breaker Saga, but it was only partly about her, so she might get a full one later.
      • Gwynn's was The Bug, The Witch and The Robot.
      • For Doctor Schlock of all people, it's (Another) Year in the Life of a Villain.
    • The Chessmaster: Heavily subverted (complete with visual aids) at one point, and played straight several other times.
    • Chekhov's Gag: Several, but, in particular, EMERGENCY PANTS!
      • Ceiling Darts and the associated "WOH-PAH!". They also serve as a
    • Chekhov's Gun: Or more specifically... Chekhov's boom. Remember how many explosions seem to happen around Oasis? All of them were obscure hints to the Wham! Episode revelation. One particularly sneaky instance of this happening at what, at the time, the reader assumed was Gwynn activating her powers... was in fact Gwynn fending off a pyrokinetic explosion from Oasis. Bet you didn't see THAT coming seven years ago!
      • Recently, from that same arc, those bizarre nightmares that Glywnn had while possessed by K'Z'K way back when turned out to be visions of the future. And one them happened to be of Zoë burning alive...
      • This really should be renamed Chekhov's Flintlock in this instance because all those Plot Hooks are sometimes seeded years before the story arc dealing with them actually start.
        • See Brick Joke. Though Chekhov's Flintlock would be a better name for that trope...
    • Chew Toy: Squeekybobo the elf gets abused beyond belief... he somehow managed to come out worse for it when he was resurrected (partly because he was set up to become king of Hell right when it happened).
    • Claustrophobia: Zoë isn't claustrophobic, but is able to give herself a panic attack by picking a terrible time to think about how lucky she is not to be claustrophobic.
    • "Close Enough" Timeline: Torg at first thinks that the Dimension of Lame constitutes one (the only visible differences being that Riff has different glasses, Zoe has purple hair and has the hots for Torg, and that Bun-bun is nice while Kiki is nasty) but he soon changes his mind after he finds out they don't have beer.
    • Closer to Earth: It's official, this is the creator's stance on women. When Torg and Riff get transported to another dimension that turns them into women, Torg immediately feels that he's (she's?) more on top of things, if also more sensitive.
    • Cloudcuckoolander: Berk. See Shout-Outs below.
    • Content Warnings: During the "K I T T E N" arcs. Usually somewhat satirical in nature.
    • Cool and Unusual Punishment - For when Bun-bun thinks death is too good for you.
    • Crapsack World: Especially (but not limited to) the Oceans Unmoving storyline
    • Curse Escape Clause: A ghost is cursed to play solitaire with 51 cards until the end of time--or until someone breaks the glass in front of the 52nd card, in case of emergency....
    • Darker and Edgier: The Fire and Rain storyline is much darker then the usual tone of the strip, containing almost no jokes.
    • Dead Guy Puppet: Zombie-Head-On-A-Stick.
    • The Dead Have Eyes
    • Deadly Euphemism: Parodied in a story where Torg and Riff work for 'Mr. Middleman' doing jobs that sound like this, but turn out to be totally harmless, such as a vampire wanting a 'dirt nap' and someone actually wanting 'concrete shoes' for orthopaedic reasons.
    • Deadpan Snarker: Most often Chaz in recent years. Has been used by other characters throughout the years, though.
    • Deal with the Devil: Played straight and parodied multiple times (including the first week of publication).
    • Death by Cameo: Several fans of the strip have won the right to have cameos on it - and all of them die in various interesting ways within a few strips of appearing.
    • Death Glare: Zoë's mom is a professional at this. Turns out it has range.
    • Death Is Cheap: Oasis becomes the subject of a mocking parody for a FAQ week in this strip, before playing it straight. A lot.
    • Despair Event Horizon: Riff seems to have reached this at the end of Paradise.
    • Deus Ex Machina: Parodied and kind of lampshaded with the Deus Ex Ovum, an egg imbued with the power of Zeus that can set everything right in regards to the personifications of the holidays. It actually works rather like a pre-planned cut-and-paste Deus Ex Machina, in that it's introduced out of nowhere some time before it's used, and immediately heavily lampshaded, as if Pete Abrams could see his story writing itself in a corner before he actually got there. (Which would be unsurprising.)
    • Didn't Think This Through
    • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Riff's stake gun vs. the Mind Wedgier.
    • Dinky Drivers: Bun-Bun occasionally steals Torg's car, with Kiki working the pedals. In this instance, Torg accompagnies them - and instead of driving normally, he has to work the pedals, with Kiki on the gear stick.
    • Disproportionate Retribution: In this comic, Torg and Riff plan "Operation Orange Tomato," a plan to exterminate all chipmunks in retaliation for stealing tomatoes from Torg's garden.
    • Dissimile and Metaphorgotten: A LOT, mainly from Torg, e.g. his increasingly Innocent Innuendo-filled explanation of politics to Kiki involving balls, and his insistence on adding "WITH GHOSTS IN THE GAS TANK!" to every metaphor Riff comes up with for the Hellevator mentioned below.
    • Distracted by the Sexy: Seen in full effect during the introduction of Oasis in the appropriately named Game Called on Account of Naked Chick.
    • Distribution of Ninjutsu
    • The Ditz: Nearly everyone except Zoë.
    • Doom Magnet: Most random minor characters whom the gang gets acquainted with die in their current adventures (see the "K I T T E N" storylines, for instance). They really aren't the best people to know. Basically, any character the gang meets either joins the main cast (or at least the recurring cast), or dies; they can't just fade back to obscurity.
    • Downer Ending: The bROKEN arc.
      • More recently, the Paradise - 758449 arc.
    • Dramatic Irony: In the "bROKEN" story arc, Several characters mention Oasis' murder of the "innocent" Monica. Readers, however, know that Monica was far from innocent-she was a member of a K'Z'K cult sent to spy on the gang by her superiors. Of course, Oasis didn't know this-Monica's death was due to her unintentional triggering of Oasis' Berserk Button.
    • Dreaming of Things to Come: Both Gwynn and Torg have had symbolic, prophetic dreams of things to come, specifically about Oasis and Zoë.
    • Dude, Not Ironic: This strip.

    "The irony! Crushed by a giant gorilla... on my birthday!"
    "That's not ironic."

    • Dystopia: 4U City
    • The End of the World as We Know It: According to the Fate Spiders, the Great Tangle will cause reality itself to break down if its not fixed.
      • Also, K'Z'K's job description.
    • Minion Chatter: Every once in a while, used for fun. Typical instance here. Sometimes painful with the Mood Whiplash.
    • Everything's Worse with Bears: Invoked by Torg, to get a Killer Rabbit out of his house. Subsequently subverted by Bun-Bun, who literally skinned it alive.
    • Evil Is Not a Toy: Torg, maybe carrying around a Zombie Head on A Stick is not such a hot idea. Especially since said head is only mindless while starved. Once fed, it seems she returns to her original, vindictive, cruel self. And now the villain you wronged earlier has been doing just that, and they're about to team up and hunt down your unaware friends. Way to go.
    • Evil Overlord: "His Masterness"
    • Evil Versus Evil: The story "Another Year in the Life of a Villain" effectively sees Strom, Dr. Chen, Daedalus, Kusari, and Dr. Schlock all at each others' throats (mostly Schlock's).
    • Face Full of Alien Wingwong: How Aylee was born. Well, except for the "face" part.
    • Fake Kill Scare
    • Fate Worse Than Death: Zoë, if we believe Rammer. After the events of 4U City Red, we learn that she *IS* alive as a permanently comatose vegetable, since the nanites had no mental snapshot of her... and simply rebuilt her body... with no mind inside.
    • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: All sorts of legends from various sources are referenced, and parodied heavily.
    • Fan Service: Done and lampshaded here.
    • Fiery Redhead: Oasis is literally one.
    • Flanderization: Sam Sein. Once the stubborn, clueless guy who couldn't take a "no" from Zoë. Later practically incapable of tying his shoelaces and pathetically excited over even the slightest possibility that a woman might not hate him. Compare 1997 Sam to 2009 Sam.
    • Follow the Leader: Sluggy Freelance is cited as one of the most influential webcomics on the web. It helps that it started in 1997 and is still going (not daily any more, but at least once a week).
    • Foreshadowing: With hints and clues showing up in disguised form several years before the payoff. Possibly the biggest, most subtle example is the revelation that Oasis is a pyrokinetic, which makes earlier encounters crystal clear hints to this end.
      • Also, if you stop and think, Zoë being burned alive by Oasis had been hinted at since the second K'Z'K arc.
    • Formally-Named Pet: After surviving a horrible explosion, Bun-Bun temporarily loses his memory and is adopted by a family that renames him Mr. Fuzbutt.
    • Friend to Psychos: The Zalia family to Oasis.
    • Fun with Acronyms:
      • 'Notification of Unified Kindness' Envelopes as the ultimate weapon within the Dimension of Peace.
      • From this strip: Recording Editable Content Application Peripheral.
    • Gambit Pileup: Between the Dimension of Pain, Hereti Corp, the K'Z'K cult and the Fate Spiders, our heroes seem to get caught up in many different plots.
      • And now it looks a new demonic party has entered the fray.
    • Genre Busting:It started out as simply a Fantastic Comedy, then (while still keeping comedy a staple) started playing Genre Roulette with soap operatic drama, epic fantasy/science-fiction, spy stories, horror, film noir, and so on. However, thanks to the constantly accumulating continuity, story elements introduced while handling one genre will still be around when another genre takes the foreground, creating some weird combinations. Like sci-fi epic "Oceans Unmoving" having a lead character who's a Talking Animal that went to war with Santa Claus. Or the wacky adventure of "A Time for Hair-raising" drawing upon Torg's past as an action hero and Gwynn's past as a victim of Demonic Possession. Or the dark, brutal story told in "Fire and Rain" still having a Zoe-gets-turned-into-a-camel gag.
    • Genre Savvy: Torg, who recently realized that a "boss monster" wouldn't have such an obvious weakpoint.
    • Ghost Planet: The Dimension of Pain.
    • Gilligan Cut: A brilliant example early on in the strip (after Torg has been zapped into a random dimension by the DFA and Riff is trying to repair it):

    Riff: Torg should be fine as long as he didn't get zapped to a 'Dimension of Pain' or something.
    (Cut to Torg surrounded by a horde of demons with chains and bladed weapons)
    Lord Horribus: Welcome to the Dimension of Pain!
    Torg: Thanks! Can I use your restroom?
    Lord Horribus: Nope.

    • Girls' Night Out Episode: Coincidentally titled "Girl's Night Out."
    • Girls with Moustaches: The "A Time For Hair-Raising" arc starts with Zoe and Gwynn growing beards from a hair-growth spell gone wrong, as seen here.
    • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Played relatively straight by Zoë, heavily subverted by everyone else. Especially Riff, both of whose consciences are so apathetic and reticent they forget which side they're meant to take at times.
      • Torg's bad angel is Ax Crazy, with no subtlety for tempting. Conversely, Zoë's good angel is sufficiently adept at putting her foot in her mouth that the bad angel rarely has to say anything, really.
    • Gorn: So many, many sprays of blood in the "K.I.T.T.E.N." arcs.
    • Government Drug Enforcement: The alternate universe that Riff is currently trapped in takes this to a ridiculous level, to the point where none of Riff's chemistry class can't tell that they're having a staring contest with a balloon. Not just a balloon with a drawn on face, but a balloon wearing drawn on sunglasses.
    • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Aylee's humanoid incarnations. And parodied fairly early on, too, from back when Torg and Riff would holler at the ladies more readily.
    • Hammerspace: Half-lampshaded here.
    • Happiness Is Mandatory: In the arc "758449" — Riff finds himself in an alternate dimension city-state "4U City" which enforces perpetual happiness with knockout drug injections at the slightest hint of discontent.
    • Hellevator: An entire house (WITH GHOSTS IN THE GAS TANK!).
    • Heel Face Turn: Several characters, Sam and Aylee being the most prominent (though it's not exactly clear whether Sam was down with the whole "evil vampire" bit at all in the first place or if he was just pretending). Oasis temporarily becomes a sort-of good guy, at first due a sheer mental and personality breakdown, while the second seems to be an honest try to be a hero, unfortunately marred by her homicidal tendencies. Dr. Steve is implied to have quit Hereti-Corp because of this, and it's revealed Kesandru had pulled one in an alternate universe.
    • Heel Realization: Riff, when he realizes that Hereti Corp was an evil organization bent on using his friends for their diabolical ends, and discovers that his scientific reports back to them (which held little interest to them until he started talking about the several levels of crazy that happens in his life on a daily basis, including transdimensional travel and space aliens) were helping them do just that. In the end he's very bent on revenge.
      • 4U!Riff and 4U!Frog, upon finding out that Riff intends to risk his life to try and save a dying 4U!Mimi, laugh and insult him for his Chronic Hero Syndrome, only for 4U!Frog to admit that there is something seriously wrong with them.
    • He-Man Woman Hater: Dr Nofun, Lau, and the rest of his organisation, taken to comically ridiculous levels.
    • Heroes Want Redheads: Subverted. Oasis is the only major redhead in the strip, and though Torg's initial reaction to her was in those lines, now it is generally and for very good reasons "RUN. LIKE. HELL." It became more a case of Redheads Want Heroes, until "The Heavens and the Earth", when Oasis was debugged.
    • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dr. Schlock shot himself because his A.I. was too good.
    • Homage: In "Aylee vs. Bun-bun", Bun-bun, having been eaten by Aylee, bursts out of her chest in a clear parody homage to Alien.
    • Hope Spot: Riff is still alive! ...Seconds before he's gunned down by a group of armed soldiers.
      • It was extended a bit as he briefly fought against the drug control, but ended when he believes that he is the evil dictator, not knowing that Hereti-Corp has stolen his plans for the Dimensional Flux Agitator.
    • Horde of Alien Locusts: Aylee's species.
    • Human Outside, Alien Inside: Aylee in her humanoid incarnations.
    • Hurricane of Puns: Lampshaded like all get out.
    • Idiot Hero: Mostly Torg and Riff, though everyone falls into this every once in a while.
    • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Dimension of Pain.
    • I Have Nothing to Say to That: Zoe, in this strip.
    • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Almost happens in this strip.
    • I Know Mortal Kombat: During the "Storm Breaker" saga, a time-travelling Torg has to take on the role of Dark Ages warlord Lord Torgibus and attempts this, but falls afoul of Command and Conquer Economy.

    Torg: Alright, we'll need some of the townsfolk to chop down trees, mine for gold, and set up solar collectors in case we need to build more troops. Do we have any dragons yet?

      • Later, Torg appears in one of Gwynn's visions while she's possessed by K'z'k and thinks he's dreaming about being in a Fighting Game--and proceeds to kick K'z'k's ass.
    • In Vino Veritas: Bun-bun becomes quite a friendly rabbit once he gets enough booze in him.
    • Informed Attribute: Parodied with Torg and Riff's "tradition" of exchanging a beer every year for Christmas/Hanukkah. They have never yet managed to pull it off without something going wrong – it's almost Sluggy's equivalent of Peanuts` annual gag with Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.
    • Innocent Innuendo: Torg explains the political issues of the 2000 US presidential election to Kiki using balls painted with the Stars and Stripes to represent taxes. Riff can only take so many instances of Torg and Kiki talking about their balls before he snaps.
    • Intentional Engrish for Funny: "Fashion Rancher 2" is a parody of Blind Idiot Translation
      • Plus Torg's fighting game dreams

    Dream Oasis: You killed my fish!
    Dream Zoe: Why does that pickle you?
    Dream Oasis: My feet hurt... with DESTINY!


    Gola: Prepare to launch a Cascade Missile at my command!
    Trooper: What is our target Lord Gola?
    Gola: A small puppy.

    • Knight of Cerebus: The vampires in the "Vampires" arc marked the strip's first real foray into more dramatic territory. Later, the presence of Oasis, K'Z'K, or HeretiCorp is likely to signify a darker storyline.
    • Kudzu Plot
    • Laughably Evil
    • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: A few years into the strip, technology started being referred to in this way (like the Hogtendo SuuWii and Playstayshun 2 consoles). Initially, though, things like Torg's Sega Dreamcast were given their proper names.
    • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Subverted, averted, played straight, messed with, and sometimes just plain ignored.
      • Or, Bumping into the Fourth Wall. Ouch.
    • The Legions of Hell: The inhabitants of the Dimension of Pain, who are more inept than most. "That Which Redeems" displays what happens when they get their act together.
    • Living Legend: Torg makes quite the name for himself in the Dimension of Lame during That Which Redeems.
    • Living Shadow: For a while the Groundhog's shadow was bound to Bun-Bun. Originally it could just talk and change its shape, after he defeated a few holidays it became able to take 3-dimensional and physical form.
    • Loads and Loads of Characters: God save us...
      • In terms of supporting cast, Sluggy Freelance is to webcomics what The Simpsons is to animated TV.
    • Lotus Eater Machine: 4U City. Doubles as Crap Saccharine World.
    • Love Potion
    • Low Speed Chase: "Girls' Night Out" features a chase on "Smegway" personal transporters, which a human could easily outrun.
    • Mad Scientist
    • Magic Missile: The "Torg Potter" wizards. Gwynn generally avoids this trope.
    • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: During the "That Which Redeems" Story Arc, Torg tries to set one of these up after the Dimension of Lame summons/kidnaps him into protecting them from Demonic Invaders. Unfortunately, all the people he recruits come from the Dimension of Lame and ... well, it's called that for a reason.
    • Mailer Daemon: K'Z'K slowly tried to convince Gwynn to fully give in to her powers and come over to help him, all through "chatting" on a word processor.
    • McNinja: Kusari, most likely.
    • Mechanical Evolution: The Dig-Bots keep on reproducing for several years, until they've created several variants like the Brain Dig-Bot, Bouncer Dig-Bots, High Priest Dig-Bots, and even Trash Can Dig-Bots.
    • Metamorphosis Monster: Aylee has gone through this over a dozen times, eventually turning into a fifty foot tall dragon and finally into the most dangerous creature of all ... a woman!
    • The Minion Master: The protagonists are currently working for a (wannabe) super villain known as The Minion Master, but he isn't really an example because he only has four or five minions and they're really good ones (they even seem to be making the plans).
    • Mirror Universe: The Dimension of Lame was initially portrayed like this in some ways (with a nice Bun-bun and a nasty Kiki) but when it appeared again, this was subject to a Cerebus Retcon (everyone from this universe are Perfect Pacifist People, and the nasty Kiki is an immigrant from a Crapsack World universe).
    • Misblamed: A lot of the fanbase didn't like what Ian Mcdonald did with his "Meanwhile in the Dimension of Pain" strip and would regularly complain about it. Mcdonald has said he basically started ignoring the criticism when those same fans bashed Mcdonald for a 'Meanwhile' strip that had been drawn by Abrams, reasoning that if they couldn't even tell the difference between his art style and Abrams', they weren't worth listening to.
    • Mistaken for Terrorist
    • Mobile Suit Human: Bun-bun and Kiki's Riff and Torg costume robotic suits. Also count as a Strangely Effective Disguise, as they are obviously more angular in look than the real thing yet seem to fool everyone.
    • Mood Whiplash: The tone can shift from funny to dramatic to heartwarming to heartrending to terrifying whenever Pete feels like it.
      • "Does this affect our upcoming date?" Note that Sam asks this to Sasha after she survives being shot.
    • Mrs. Claus
    • Ms. Fanservice: Val. Oasis. Sasha.
    • Muggles Do It Better: Used for laughs here.
    • My Name Is Not Durwood: Dr. Hot-Chick... Hot-Cheeks... Hoochie... Er, we mean Haught-Shiek.
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: CRUSHESTRO.
    • Naked People Are Funny: Two of Aylee's forms have been humanoid (and naked) women. She's shown Innocent Fanservice Girl-ness in both forms, the first time during which Torg just stood back and enjoyed the view, and the second time he downed a large amount of alcohol and taught her about clothing after she revealed her built-in cloak was really wings (accidentally flashing him with disturbingly-human naughty bits in the process). Outside of Aylee, Zoë's clothing usually doesn't survive her transformation into a camel, and one storyline had every scrap of clothing in the house being eaten by evil moths.
      • Not really the nudity itself so much as the reaction to it, but Torg's attempt at having a cohesive flashback while Sasha is changing is too funny. Played straight when he finally does turn his back and Sasha continues to let him think she's changing after she's fully dressed again.
    • Never Found the Body: Oasis was played like this at first. After she resurfaced unexpectedly and apparently died again without her body being found, the main characters hung a lampshade and the unspoken consensus was that they hadn't seen the last of her.
    • Never Recycle a Building: Kesandru House; justified since it's infested with ghosts. Luckily, our heroes are used to dealing with worse.
    • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Fate Spiders' attempts to undo the Great Tangle turned out to only make it worse.
      • More of a Nice Job Breaking It Villain, but Dr. Schlock reinstating Dr. Chen in Hereti Corp, who then takes back his place as CEO and orders Kusari to kill everyone in the building.
      • Riff learns that Torg's attempts to bring down Hereti Corp are likely to result in a chain of events that will turn their world into a replica of 4UCity's world, and it might already be too late to stop it.
    • No One Could Survive That: Lampshaded with extreme prejudice multiple times.
    • Noodle Incident: Just what did happen between Bun-bun and Santa that necessitated the use of the first Deus Ex Ovum and Bun-bun's ejection from the time stream? And more importantly, when did it happen?
      • Also, Operation Red Durango...for now.
    • Not So Harmless: The demons of the Dimension of Pain are comically inept and prone to petty bickering...and are also absolutely deadly, as seen in That Which Redeems. This results in a lot of Mood Whiplash.
      • Dr. Schlock, too. He serves as a Butt Monkey from his very first appearance, yet can still be a potent enemy.
    • The Nudifier: What to do with a swarm of clothes-devouring moths? cCe the meeting of the Young Republican Women's Assembly...
    • Older Than They Look: A major reveal here. The details still haven't been revealed.
      • This really applies to the entire cast to some extent. Given the comment made in the first year about Torg and Riff having a tradition of giving each other beer for Christmas, they had to be at least 23 when the story started in 1997. Adding in the fact that due to holiday related events we know that real time and Comic Book Time roughly line up, that would make them at least 37 in 2011. They haven't noticeably aged at all, much less appear to be approaching 40.
    • Ominous Multiple Screens: Hereti-Corp's offices. Lampshaded with comments about why the room is so dark if it has so many bright screens in it.
    • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Several over the years, but Hereti Corp's executives is the most common.
    • Obfuscating Stupidity: If Crushestro is to be believed, Minion Master has this trait, pretending to be manipulated by Torg while really using Torg to knock down other evil organizations so that Hereti Corp can pick them up.
      • It seems not, as we now know that it's Izzy (at least according to what she said) who is in contact with Hereti Corp.
    • Only Known by Their Nickname / Only One Name: Torg and Riff. Riff prefers it, since his one name doubles as an Embarrassing Middle Name (Hellooooo Riffington..!) The Un-Reveal of Torg's last name is a running gag in the Harry Potter spoofs.
    • One Steve Limit: There isn't one. In fact, we have Dr. Steve, Steve Uozin, and Steeeeeve.
    • Orphaned Punchline: In the third-to-last panel of this strip, Bun-bun (who is narrating this arc) guarantees that the comic will not end with a punchline. The next panel then has him being handed a "breaking news bulletin", which contains the punchline to a well-known joke, whereupon Bun-bun states in the final panel, "I stand corrected."
    • Our Vampires Are Different: Different clans have different strengths and weaknesses, in part because they were originally parodies. For example, vampires from the Lysinda circle shrivel up and stop moving when they're staked through the heart, but immediately come back to life if you pull the stake out.
    • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombies are immortal beings who rely on regeneration. The catch is that their regenerative state is highly selective and completely dependent on what they consume. For example, eating eyes will keep their eyesight from deteriorating while eating brains will allow them to retain their intelligence and cognitive abilities. In addition, being bitten by a zombie will not turn a person into one.
    • Overly Long Gag: Dr. Viennason explains the dimension of timeless space by illustrating what happens when you run out of time supplies. By standing perfectly still for thirteen panels. Although he breaks it to surreptitiously glance at the camera if you look carefully in the tenth panel. The same trope is used for a whole sixteen panels in this Gofotron battle.
    • Paper-Thin Disguise: Here.
    • Pass the Popcorn: Aquired by Torg from the Wondrous Ladies' Room to watch Sasha and a nearly naked Monecruel duke it out.
      • Also note that one of villians had been stopped cold by the door of the same ladies room.
    • Paste Eater: Zoë does it here. "Pashe ish yummy!"
    • Perfect Pacifist People: Mocked with the inhabitants of the Dimension of Lame, who think food fighting is immoral and crumble over the slightest bit of external pressure.
    • Perfectly Cromulent Word: In trying to come up with his new name, You-Probably-Don't-Know-Who ends up anagramming his name to "I'm a slorddly tampon". Lucius says that slorddly's not even a word, but William Wotcherclaws says that if the master says it is, then it is and then uses it in a sentence one comic later.
    • The Pie Is A Lie: This strip.
    • Pirate: Heavily subverted in one occasion, when they all turned out to be highly intelligent scientists stuck in a space between dimensions after failed time travel experiments, and roleplaying as pirates kinda became traditional because so many of the people trapped there were massive nerds.
    • A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: Kiki, Bun-bun, and a little girl play at being pirates in a small boat. Unfortunately Bun-bun, being Bun-bun, tries actually thieving and murdering.
    • Planet Eris: One of the earliest instances, if not the origin, of the trope.
    • Please Put Some Clothes On: in this strip,Sasha casually takes off her clothes in front of a hot and bothered Torg. "I'm looking the other way while you get naked but throwing your bra at my head is not helping!"
      • And in the aftermath of the "Aylee" chapter, when Aylee reveals that a) that's not a dress, it's her wings wrapping around her, and b) she's become so human she now has "human female naughty parts" underneath.
    • Punctuated Pounding: "I! CAN'T! LOSE! HER! AGAIN!"
    • Punny Name: Everyone apart from the main cast. Particular mention goes to the inhabitants of the Punyverse and of Torg Potters' wizarding world.
      • The book of E-ville [Elizabethville, Pa.]
    • Real Men Wear Pink: Bun-bun once wore a lavender dress. And it was awesome.
    • Reassigned to Antarctica: When Riff tried a "normal" 9-to-5 job he was transferred to Nome, Alaska because he'd threatened to sue them if fired (beats getting transformed into a gnome).
    • Reckless Gun Usage: Alt-Bun-bun invokes this trope, enough that Torg yells, "Quit pointing that empty gun at me, it's not really for making points in conversation!" Justified since Alt-Bun-bun comes from a dimension without guns (or much in the way of violence at all).
    • Red Herring: Often, due to the serpentine plots.
      • Early on, the viewer was meant to think that Bun-bun had been killed when Santa blew up his booby-trapped workshop, and his vengeful spirit had come to the Dimension of Pain. It turned out that the spirit was in fact the elf Mr Squeekybobo, who had died in the same attack, and Bun-bun was in a cage somewhere with Laser-Guided Amnesia.
      • The dimension where Torg flees with the giant Aylee is infested with zombie-like creatures who, we are led to believe, are the result of Kesandru's Deal with the Devil Rithuly. The Reveal has Torg realise that they have nothing to do with Rithuly - they're Aylee's race.
      • The letters 'ROKEN' behind Oasis in the photo made most readers think it was a cutoff of 'BROKEN', which was indeed the name of a later arc...however, said arc revealed (in a slight cop-out) that it was in fact a cut-off of PYROKENETICS - misspelled by an illiterate sign painter.
    • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Oasis and Kusari.
    • Red Shirt: When you hear that there's someone named Bitparte in K I T T E N I I, you just know he won't survive until the end.
    • Rent-A-Zilla
    • Replacement Frog: Hereti-corp has a rather long-standing account with the local petshop don't they.
    • Reset Button: An epic one. Torg spends literally years being in love with Zoë with her not reciprocating. Then finally she realizes she loves him too, and wants to tell him. Then the mecha she is in is blown up by Oasis; she and Riff do an emergency escape to another dimension; Riff loses sight of her and thinks she's dead, is later told she's in endless agony, and finally realizes her body is healed by nanites, but not her brain, making her a vegetable. Finally, Riff returns to his own dimension and pulls off a Batman Gambit to return Zoë and restore her memory, but it is restored to the day before she realized she loves Torg. Aaand we're back to square one.
    • Romantic False Lead: Leo.
    • Running Gag: The Long Runner status has given rise to lots of these.
      • "Spleen!" (at least for a while).
      • Torg's "alternate" names: LeTurg the vampire, LeTurg the human warrior, and his ID in the 4U dimension is LETURG on a phone keypad.
      • "Run away!" (especially from Torg)
      • Torg had a coupon.
    • Sadistic Choice: Torg to Crushestro here.
    • Saw a Woman In Half: Doesn't quite go as planned for Riff...
    • Schmuck Bait: Riff's inventions are usually covered with them, despite having a ferret that loves to mess with such things.
    • The Scream: Here.
    • Sealed Evil in a Can
    • Sealed Good in a Can: The Goddess of Good, former ruler of what became the Dimension of Pain, was sealed inside a gigantic Zip-lock bag by the Demon King until Torg released her millennia later.
    • Ship Tease: Uh... No.
      • A few times between Torg and Sasha, while Riff was in another dimension.
    • Shout-Out: Most notably, Torg is named after Torgo from Manos: The Hands Of Fate, Riff after Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    I'll most likely reboot you in the morning.

    • Sissy Villain: Zorgon Gola from the Punyverse arc. Many other villains of the Not So Harmless variety can sometimes slip into this as well.
    • Slow-Loading Internet Image: An April Fool's day comic made good use of this trope here.
    • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Bun-Bun when he's in one of his relatively good moods.
    • Snowball Fight
    • Snowy Screen of Death: In this strip.
    • Soul Cutting Blade: The sword Chaz actually seems to have an easier time killing spiritual beings than physical ones.
    • Southern-Fried Genius: Clem
    • Status Quo Is God: Subverted repeatedly, especially for a comic of its length. The main cast has moved from living in an apartment complex, to living in an old house, to losing the house and living in yet another apartment, to living in yet another house. When they're not trapped in the past/future or another dimension. Not to mention the fact that the only dating combinations not explored by the human central cast at this point are the ones which involve Ho Yay or Les Yay.
    • Stealth Pun: The four alien Greys are named after the members of the A-Team, but the obvious pun "The Grey-Team" is never specifically spoken.
      • Actually, it is at least once.
    • Sudden Anatomy: Bun-bun's mouth has only appeared three times.
    • Sudden Videogame Moment: In this strip, Torg mentally pictures conversation options as though he were playing a Dragon Age Origins.
    • Sue Donym: Torg's alias "LeTurg". Subverted in that he keeps using it for later situations.
    • Suicidal Pacifism: The residents of the Dimension of Lame.
    • Super Loser: Sam.
    • Take That: Many, over the course of many different storylines.
      • A rather giant Take That to "social media" in general and Zynga-style "social gaming" specifically in the Hamster Nom arc. "Luckily [neglecting Kiki was only because of hidden images in the social media programs controlling our minds and not our own personal failures."] (meaningful Aside Glance)
    • Talking Weapon: Unholy Evil Death Bringer a.k.a. Chaz, who can only speak when powered by the blood of the innocent or in the spiritual world. " blade?!"
    • Team Pet: Played straight up when Torg bought Bun-bun because he was "a cute talking animal" and "every strip needs one". But Bun Bun was a bad ass, and Kiki was later brought in and she fills the role in a more traditional manner.
    • Teleport Spam: Alt-Riff: "Of course it's real hard to corner someone who can move through time, space, and dimensions."
    • Tempting Fate: Heavily lampshaded, played with, and deliberately invoked on a number of occasions.
    • Tenchi Solution: Proposed by Torg's shoulder devil to solve the Zoë vs. Oasis issue, with the added twist of sampling their DNA to create a harem of Zoë/Oasis hybrid clones.
    • Thoughtcrime: 4U City enforced mandatory happiness with involuntary drugging. And mandatory efficiency with mandatory drugging. And so on. The alternative was to be thrown down a judgement chute.
    • Timeless Space Is An Ocean: Which is, of course, traversed in pirate ships with time bubbles
    • Time Travel
    • Timey-Wimey Ball: While generally glossed over for the sake of a good story, Time Travel has worked differently in different circumstances - "The Storm Breaker" saga resulted in Zoë and Torg actually changing history (which then gave Zoë problems on a history test), but we also learn that Valerie was turned into a vampire as the result of Torg's actions in the past, even though she was a vampire before he traveled back in time. Also, Dr. Schlock from the future watched his younger self die, but he's still around because he's from an alternate future that was averted in the current timeline thanks to some of the technology he sent back in time to stop K'Z'K, as he mentioned in Kiki's Virus, here
      • And Timeless Space, being Exactly What It Says on the Tin, can be accessed from any point in time, simultaneously. One who manages to escape may not necessarily return to the time stream where they originally came from. It's heavily implied that Bun-bun originally came from a time long before the rest of the cast was born.
      • Lampshaded in this comic.
    • To Hell and Back: For two different versions of "hell".
    • The Tokyo Fireball: Lampshaded by Santa in the Mecha-Easter Bunny arc.
    • Those Two Bad Guys: Blinky and Clyde.
    • Title Drop: A couple times - for instance, Torg and Riff were both freelancers when the strip began, and Riff's ID in Paradise is how to spell SLUGGY with a phone keypad.
    • Too Dumb to Fool: Torg. At least this is usually how it's played; the first Kesandru House storyline has a medium say he genuinely has a resistance to psychic influence, though.
    • Torture First, Ask Questions Later: Hereti-corp does this to Torg (or more accurately, torturing Gwynn while Torg is forced to watch) when trying to find out where Doctor Steve's lab is.
    • Totem Pole Trench: "Dr. Bunwig McTwodudes", consisting of two adult men (though they sure aren't acting like it) and a bonus rabbit. It Makes Just As Much Sense in Context; they really don't have much of a reason to use a disguise like that. Since they're not short, the "doctor" ends up being very tall, though at least Riff is sitting on Torg's shoulders, not standing.
    • Trash the Set: The comic often marks the beginning of a major shift by destroying the group's current lodgings.
    • Trap Is the Only Option: In "Dangerous Days Ahead", Riff and others go Storming the Castle at the AyleeOrgNet.Com/HeretiCorp offices in spite of the extremely Suspiciously Specific Denial on a memo that indicates that the place is armed like a fortress and it's a trap. They don't have any other choice with their friends being held there, and they have a few surprises up their own sleeves.
    • Trope Maker: Often called "the one that started it all," effectively set the tone for webcomics in general - at the very least, most of those that are candidates for Cerebus Syndrome.
    • True Companions: The core cast. Occasionally subverted when one of them truly messes up... Which has happened at least once to Zoë, Gwynn, Bunbun, Aylee and Riff where one of the previous was NOT considered this by anyone in the core cast but Torg. Truly, it's Dysfunction Junction when the Cloudcuckoolander is the glue holding the team together.
    • Tsundere: Monica ( deliberately, because it keeps Riff off balance). Zoë and Gwynn also qualify very easily (one for each type) during the times when Torg and Riff have had relationships with them. Subverted by the alt-Zoë.
      • Subverted by Sasha. She is very much not, and is easy-going to a fault. But Riff and Torg keep expecting her to flip to tsuntsun, and are kinda creeped out when she never does.
    • T-Word Euphemism: "F-word!" (1), (2).
    • Undefeatable Little Village: It's revealed that a small town near the Canadian border ended up playing this role for a crime-syndicate who had, previously, used it as a center for their smuggling-operations. The reason? Knife Nut Tyke Bomb Quasi-Immortal Oasis, whose most recent reincarnation had turned out unusually sane and kindhearted, had made it her Protectorate. Wearing a red hoodie, she turned into the vigilante 'Red Riding Hood' and basically stabbed any criminal who dared enter the city. The syndicate finally sent a top-tier, highly-paid Career Killer - a master assassin. He managed to kill her, but obviously didn't know about the 'Quasi-Immortal' bit, and wound up getting stabbed anyway. He sought alternate employment with great rapidity at that point.
    • The Unpronounceable: K'Z'K; he mostly gets called "Kizke".
      • Also parodied; one of the aliens goes by the name "Face" because he claims his birth name is unpronounceable to humans and the high frequency could possibly break their recording devices. It's Steeeeeve.
    • Unreliable Narrator: Compare this strip to Torg remembering what actually happened.
    • Vampire Monarch: Lysinda, leader of the Lysinda circle of vampires; and later Philinnon, leader of the Vrykolakas circle of vampires.
    • Verbal Tic: Bert and "crotch".
    • The Voiceless: Aylee at the end of bROKEN, due to a still healing neck injury.
    • Was It Really Worth It?: Schlock seems to be wondering this at the end of bROKEN.
    • Wasn't That Fun?: This strip.
    • Weapon as Familiar: Torg's sword, Unholy Evil Death Bringer, powered by the blood of the innocent, AKA Weeping God, AKA Chaz, is actually a fairly decent fellow.
    • Weird Currency: A bonus story reveals the Dimension of Pain demons actually use forms of pain (such as 'skinned knee') as a currency when betting on card games.
    • Well-Intentioned Extremist: One of the Fate Spiders seeks to prevent reality from breaking down by causing several coincidences to fire off in a row, which costs several people their lives.
    • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: In the futuristic city of 4-U City, injury, disease, and unhappiness have been wiped out. Aggressively. With nanobots and copious amounts of drugs.
    • Wham Comic: 12/06/09 reveals one of the biggest pieces of information about Oasis to date. She's pyrokinetic and many, many of her explosive exits earlier in the series that were previously assumed to be the results of things like Gwynn's magical powers or bombs going off were Oasis' pyrokinetic abilities exploding.
      • bROKEN is basically a wham arc. This becomes apparent when Dr. Schlock has Oasis's father-figure executed while she watches helplessly, for no reason other than to show he means business. As the arc ends, Torg is losing his grip on reality and becoming increasingly unstable, Oasis is paralyzed from the neck down in the clutches of HeretiCorp, Aylee is clearly dying from a massive neck wound (she thankfully gets better), Zoë's cursed necklace has been found (which currently has no possible explanation other than her being dead), and Riff is trapped in a dystopian alternate dimension and was seemingly shot down by a squad of armed goons while cradling Zoë's burnt corpse.
      • The 4U City arc has more than its share of whams as well. Particularly the conclusion of its most recent (and presumably final) segment, where Riff goes back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
    • Where's the Kaboom?: Happens to Torg as he attempts to detonate an EMP in Dr. Nofun's lab. Turns out the remote had a child safety lock.
    • Word Salad Title: Very, very much so. Lampshaded a couple times; even the characters don't know what "Sluggy" means.
    • A Worldwide Punomenon: Abrams loves puns of both the funny and groan-worthy varieties. There's a little background sketch Running Gag known as the 'pun demon'. Notably Torg and Riff once even weaponised Incredibly Lame Puns against K'z'k.
    • Wrong Genre Savvy: In this strip, Torg gives Sasha advice on how to kill a mutant monster based on his experience with videogames. Fortunately, Sasha disregards the advice.
      • On the other hand, she did remember to Go for the Eye, so maybe she has the right genre.
      • Much earlier in the first alternate dimension arc the captain thought they were in a macho action movie (seriously, his last words).
    • Xanatos Speed Chess: A short example between Dr. Schlock and Markus Chen: first Chen tricked Schlock into reinstating him as a CEO, thus allowing him to give Kusari the order to kill Schlock. Schlock responded (after looking up a few things) by having the board of command (him, given the rest of the board was either "running for their lives or slaughtered") fire Chen as CEO.
    • Yandere: Oasis. Oh, so very much.
    • You Already Changed the Past: Lysinda was able to tempt Valerie because her husband Torgamus died in battle, which was the result of Torg going back in time to fight K'Z'K. See here for details.
    • You Can't Fight Fate: This is the job of the aptly named Fate Spiders
    • Your Vampires Suck