"And so it begins..."
Stuck is a planned episodic novel by Lyle Terry (aka the troper User:Tre). The story focuses on a 13-year-old guy, also named Tre, and his posse of friends (aka The Crew) as they grow up in a sprawling metropolis called Greyson City, a place known for being rather strange in comparison to other cities like it.
Okay, that's not even half of it.
The books also have crazed night guards, insane teenagers, odd teachers, blossoming teenage love, root beer that has, ahem, interesting effects, karate-kicking young ladies and a bit of coming-of-age sprinkled in just for fun.
The series has three planned entries:
- Stuck at the Galleria, in which Tre gets himself stuck in a mall, meets The Crew, and gets hassled by the rent-a-cop there named Carl Weisberger (a.k.a. Cow),
- Stuck at School, in which Tre and The Crew get themselves into hot water with the start of their high school years,
- and Stuck at the Wheel, in which The Crew become fugitives.
After numerous delays, Terry has finally declared the books' official releases will be "whenever I get around to it", but until then, the first drafts of the first and second episodes are available online:
- Action Girl: Most, if not all, of the girls, Nora and Allison in particular.
- Action Survivor: Tre.
- A Day in the Limelight: The switching point of view leads to a few of these for the other members of The Crew.
- Arc Number: 3.
- Arc Words: "I'm sorry, Nora."
- Afraid of Blood: Tre, though he overall gets pretty lucky on that front.
- Author Avatar: Terry's admitted that Tre is one, though he eventually became different enough to be his own character.
- Tre finds out Lyle used him as a self-insert in the third episode. He was displeased.
- Battle Couple: Nora and Tre, though the former does most of the battling. At first, anyway.
- Buffy-Speak: There's quite a bit, even from the usually eloquent Cale.
- Book Ends: The trilogy begins and ends with the words "And so it begins."
- Cerebus Rollercoaster: It happens within the books themselves as well, but in general Episode 1 is funny and ridiculous, while Episode 2 is grounded and a bit less focused on the humor. Episode 3 is a blend of both styles, making it a frenetic dramedy.
- City of Adventure: Greyson
- Classical Anti-Hero: Tre.
- Cock Fight: Tre and Todd butt heads over Nora in episodes 2 and 3.
- Cool Loser: The entire Crew, and Cale and Allie too.
- Ditzy Genius: Tre.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Come on, who would want to deal with the name Cow?
- Evil Is Petty: Carl, who more often than not is rude, interrupts people while they talk, and overall is just a dick.
- Todd isn't as much of this at first, but he definitely adopts this approach in Episode Three.
- Extremely Short Timespan: Episode 1 and Episode 3, with the latter taking place over a week and a day and former being over a single night.
- Fourth Wall Observer: Of the whole cast, Nora shows the most Medium Awareness; however, it's implied that everyone knows except Tre (and even so, he eventually deduces it, and his Author Avatar status).
- Call Back:
- The last fight Tre has against Todd in the final episode is a Three Round Deathmatch, similar in vein to the ones he had in his fighting games with Jake half a year before. The main difference is that in the last round he wins.)
- In Galleria, Tre takes the giant pinkbot's tractor beam for Nora before she can get out of the way, and gets a bruise on his lower chest because of it. A year later, in Wheel, the same thing happens but he doesn't live through it at first.
- In another reference to Galleria, Tre lands on top of Nora after the Whatever implodes in the same way she landed on top of him in Galleria.
- Gadgeteer Genius: There are two: the more hardware-centric Grassy and his software counterpart, Cale.
- Heel Face Turn: Carl, of all people, has a change of heart after Todd berates him for being incompetent at being bad. He isn't by any means fully redeemed, but he manages to get the Crew's charges cleared before he's arrested.
- Jerkass: Todd is one for the record books.
- Damon and Q are also pretty jerkish, but even they pale in comparison.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Max is very much one, and Nora has shades of it.
- Make Up or Break Up: Two cases, Allison and Cale, and Tre and Nora.
- Both of them end up breaking up, but Nora and Tre get back together in the next book, and Allie and Cale decide they're better as best friends.
- Mood Swinger: It's subtle, but Nora shows traits of it sometimes.
- Oddball in the Series: Episode 2, which is basically a straight-up teen drama... sandwiched between the campy adventure Episode 1 and the less-campy-but-still-funny adventure Episode 3.
- Post Cyber Punk: Has a few elements of it, though it's subtle.
- Rage Against the Author: When Tre finds out he's an Author Avatar and that the whole fugitive brouhaha and Nora's breakup with him happened because Lyle Terry made it happen, he doesn't take it well.
- Romantic False Lead: Todd.
- Salt and Pepper: Tre and Nora, sort of.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Cale falls prone to it quite a bit.
- Sequel Escalation: While Stuck at School averts this, the other two episodes wallow in it.
- Serial Escalation: And all three do this.
- Socially Awkward Hero: Tre.
- Stepford Snarker: Nora, to a T. She's much snarkier when pissed or sad.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: When Todd tries to come up with a snappy nickname for Tre, he ends up going with "Trevor Whatevs".
- Interestingly enough, Tre actually refers to himself as the more rhyme-y "Trevor Whatever" multiple times before that.
- Switching POV: The books are divided into "acts", each narrated by the protagonist of the act. Tre does the most, though he never tells the entire story.
- There Is Only One Bed: During Episode Three, Tre, Nora, Grassy and Max have to figure out their bedding situation with two mattresses and a couch. Despite just being friends after their tough breakup in episode 2, Tre and Nora end up sharing a bed.
- They Do: Tre and Nora, after dealing with stalkers with crushes, their big misunderstanding and breakup, and their Will They or Won't They? stage during Episode 3, finally reunite at the end of the book.
- A smaller one with Grassy and Allie. When Grassy finally musters up the courage to ask her out, she just replies with the three words we all were waiting for:
It's about time!
- Took a Level In Badass: Tre takes quite a few over the books.
- Tomboyish Name: Allen Silverburgh, Jr. She ends up turning her name from "Allen's son" into "Allison", but Allen is still her legal name.
- True Companions: The Crew.
- Where Da White Women At?: Tre gets a bit of disapproval from his peers because of his relationship with Nora.
- Where The Frak's Greyson City?: Somewhere in the USA, as far as we know.
We're done here.