The Adventures of Dr. McNinja

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The Doctor himself explains the premise.


Dr. McNinja: Could this boy's youthful innocence and exuberance be what I need to keep my dark and troubled soul in check?
Dr. McNinja's Inner Voice: (You're not a dark and troubled soul. You're a doctor who wants to be Batman.)

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja was an action-comedy webcomic by Chris Hastings and Anthony "Nedroid" Clark[1] that ran from 2004 to 2016, and the love child of the Rule of Cool and the Rule of Funny. It is the most awesomely epic / epically awesome webcomic ever.

The story unofficially [2] begins with the eponymous omnidisciplinary doctor who is also a Ninja discovering that the McBonald's restaurant chain has created a burger bearing his name. Naturally, he solves this copyright infringement by battling Donald McBonald himself.

The next arc, "Meet The Doctor And His Friendly Staff" introduces Dr. McNinja's gorilla receptionist, as the two of them race against time to save a patient with Paul Bunyan's Disease (an illness which turns children into giant lumberjacks).

"So What IS A McNinja? introduces the Doctor's family, who are very disappointed with him for not becoming a professional ninja. The McNinjas' origins are revealed, and of course there are pirates.

The next morning, the Doctor finds a raptor in his office ("There is a Raptor in My Office"). This turns out to be the tip of the iceberg, said iceberg being a conspiracy involving paleontologists-turned-banditos, organic jetpacks, Myspace and Fox NewsNewsCorp. At least the Doctor gets a sidekick out of the deal: a gunslinging, mustachioed 12-year-old named Gordito.

"D.A.R.E. To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence" begins with McNinja facing a hard choice: Will he help his father defeat 80's action movie star Frans Rayner and his army of drug-enhanced ninja Mooks? Or will he help the clone of Benjamin Franklin create a medicine to cure death?

...And everything after that point simply must be seen to be believed.

What's interesting about the comic is Hastings' sheer commitment to utter weirdness. Every Almost every Every bizarre twist gets a completely straight reaction from the cast, and can have repercussions that stretch over multiple chapters. The overall effect is like a geodesic dome of absurdity, where every time the authors throw in a killer weatherman or cyborg bears or zombie Ben Franklin re-enacting the "Thriller" music video with situationally-appropriate lyrics, the plot becomes that much more believable. In the words of Chris Hastings, "Dr. McNinja lives in a world that operates like a Mortal Kombat stage." (but Cumberland, Maryland is a real place), so if you're a stickler for scientific and historical plausibility and blow a gasket whenever you see Hollywood Physics, please stay far away from this webcomic.

In Summer of 2010, Doctor McNinja took part in a Crossover with Axe Cop. In addition, on November 7, 2011, the doctor faced down with Saxton Hale. He lost, but the very idea of such a fight was awesome.


Tropes used in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja include:
  • Acceptable Targets: Diabetics, In-Universe, as far as the doctor is concerned. They're always whining.
  • Achilles' Heel: or, more specifically, Achilles' Right Butt Cheek Frans Rayner has one; and he has the ability to relocate it. [3] What makes Dr McNinja particularly threatening to him is his ability to identify its location. In the "Army Of One" story, it was revealed that Rayner relocated his vulnerable spot to his leg before it was amputated, so he doesn't have one anymore. But his new laser eye tires him out with just one shot; what with no visible power supply, it burns a lot of calories.
  • Action Mom: Mitzi, a rare example who is entirely willing to sacrifice her children if necessary, although in the specific example in question it was to save him from a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Affably Evil: Dracula.
  • The Ahnold: Frans Rayner, although his backstory actually hews closer to The Jean Claude Van Damme or The Chuck Norris. Geographically, he'd be more like the Dolph Lundgren. Doctor McNinja himself (minus the accent) in the "Army Of One" story arc. Do we even have to mention how hilariously awesome it is?
  • All Myths Are True: And will show up in the current arc if they get so much as a passing mention.
  • Alt Text: Musings on the story, a pithy phrase, the punchline to the strip or even little stories are all stuck in here. It can generally be assumed that even if the strip itself does not contain a joke, the Alt Text will. Chris will also bitch about how hard pirate hats are to draw whenever there are pirates, because perspective is difficult with their odd shape. He hates trees too.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: "Doctor McNinja's Final Thoughts" at the end of every chapter. Spoofed all to hell, as you may have guessed.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Gordito's father was assassinated by PETA. To be fair, his closing act was pretty brutal.
  • Anticlimax: Discussed in the Alt Text twice. Here's an example. Here's another.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: After Dr. McNinja fakes his death, King Radical muses that he was one of the few radical things about Cumberland.
  • Anti-Hero: Doctor McNinja's a hero, no doubt about it, but he's kinda vicious about his methods. The unicorn motorcycle, Sparklelord, advanced those tendencies into outright villainy.
  • Anti-Villain: King Radical. Sure he's the head of a nefarious crime ring and he's definitely hiding something but all of his actions benefit the community, and he seems to be in it primarily for the fun of it.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 4 or 5 in the fourth time line. Played for Laughs.
  • Arch Nemesis: Amusingly, the "Birdosaurus" has become this for the Doc.

Doctor McNinja: I hate you. I hate you so much. I will hunt you down forever. When you die, my laughter will be so bright, it will be the last thing you will hear, see, smell and feel.

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Sean calling Gordito out here
    • Sparklelord is described as a combination of "Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, atomic bombs and Seabiscuit."
  • Art Evolution: Went from stark black and white to computer-shaded black and white. Now in glorious full color.
  • Artifact of Doom: The much-mentioned motorcycle, which was actually a crazed unicorn warlord with mind-control powers. Can't forget the mind-control powers.
    • World-ending Mayan tennis machine, anyone? Averted.
  • Ascended Extra: Bearclaw in the main webcomic, and Beeman in the back-up story for the third print volume.
    • And more recently, Archibald, King of the Hobos, originally a character conceived for a t-shirt and now an in-universe character and mayor of Cumberland.
  • Asshole Victim: Something of a running gag thus far is invoking this trope in an increasingly forced or unlikely way, after the good doctor becomes responsible for their death somehow.
  • As the Good Book Says...: "Physician, heal thyself!"
  • As You Know: "Oh. Thanks for catching us all up on that. We all knew it. But thanks."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Persons who contract Paul Bunyan's Disease turn into fifty-foot-tall lumberjacks. The disease has now been weaponized.
  • Author Avatar: Ron Wizard, Hasting's City of Heroes character, is King Radical's court magician.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Frans Rayner has a bionic laser eye, which is incredibly lethal. Unfortunately it lacks an external power source, and so burns his own calorie reserves for fuel. Even one shot is enough to render him unable to fight.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Did you not read the title?
  • A Wizard Did It: What the Alt Text to the July 1st, 2011 news entry/fill-in comic implies.
  • Ax Crazy
  • Back From the Dead: Ben Franklin, via cloning; the Doc himself, via invoking Only a Flesh Wound; Frans Rayner, thanks to Never Found the Body.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: DOC AND THE DANE: TWIN FISTS OF FURY
  • Badass Bookworm: How can a ninja doctor not be one? His brother Sean is also one of these, though he's still hiding it from his parents.
  • Badass Beard: Subverted by Frans Rayner, whose neckbeard caused everyone to laugh at him.
  • Badass Creed: Gordito borrows Roland's from The Dark Tower, impressing Dan - but not Sean, who's also read the books (though he refuses to admit it).
  • Badass Labcoat: As worn by the good Doctor.
  • Badass Moustache: Both Dan McNinja and Gordito. Dan's 'stache is always visible through his ninja mask. This is important, because the Badass Moustache is, in fact, the outward expression of tremendous badassery and commands instant respect. This is why Dan was made the leader of the group and Rayner was sent away humiliated. Despite years of study and experimentation, Dan still doesn't have a concrete idea as to exactly why or how this works.
    • Also, while Dan just sort of gets his via the power of being a McNinja, Gordito grows his through SHEER FORCE OF WILL. Fuck yeah.
    • The Ultimate Diplomat has one, which is impressive, considering he's a dinosaur.
  • Badass Pacifist: The Ultimate Diplomat, who makes hardened warriors and ninjas throw down their weapons with a single sentence.
  • Bad Dreams: In the "zombie ninjas" and "Doc Gets Rad" arcs.
  • Bad Future: The world's ruled by dinosaurs, humans get hunted for fun, and food for humans is definitely not made out of dead humans
    • There have been multiple Bad Futures, all averted thanks to Chuck Goodrich travelling back in time. Other ones include a Zombie Apocalypse caused by Ben Franklin's eternal life serum, and a Robot Uprising of vacuum cleaners. However, every time Chuck prevents one of these, it just shunts us into a new timeline where a different Bad Future will occur, and a different Chuck will come back to stop it.
  • Batman Cold Open: Monster Mart begins with Doc and Gordito battling another giant lumberjack, this time with a giant blue ox. The book-only story Beyond Winter Wonderdome begins with Dr. McNinja battling fish-man Elvis impersonators.
  • Becoming the Mask: Deliberately invoked in-world, from birth, for McNinjas. This gives them a means of escape if there is no other way out, since they can simply remove their ninja masks and slip into anonymity.
    • Frans Raynor knows McNinja's face as of Army of One.
  • Battle Couple and Badass Family: Dan and Mitzi; the McNinja family as a whole. Probably includes Gordito, who's basically Dr. McNinja's adopted kid at this point. And maybe Judy and Yoshi, which means that this Badass Family includes a deinonychus velociraptor, a gorilla receptionist, and a Mexican kid with a mustache and guns. Meaning the ninjas are the normal part of the family.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Doc gets dragged into one during his fight with the NASAghasts.
  • Beard of Evil : Victor
  • Benevolent Architecture: Lampshaded brilliantly here.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When the dolphins finally get you to land, don't stick around to thank them. (Of course, that's because they're getting revenge for this.)
  • Big Bad: One each arc. The Big Bads seen so far and the story arc they first appeared in: Donald McBonald (Issue One Half), Pirates (So what IS a McNinja?), the Jet Pack Man (There is a Raptor in My Office), Frans Rayner (D.A.R.E To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence Parts 1 and 2), Dracula and the Ghost Wizard (Punch Dracula), King Radical (Monster Mart), Sparklelord (Doc Gets Rad), the intelligent dinosaurs (Futures Trading).
    • So far, there are three candidates for the current arc: The Hobo King (with Mummy Prince), Dr. McLuchador, and some Demonic Armor...thing.
      • It's not McLuchador.
  • Big Entrance: Dr. McNinja makes a pretty good entrance here, mainly as a Shout-Out to Batman.
  • Bilingual Bonus: On this page, the first three lines of runes can be translated to This sphinx will shoot fucking laser eyes if you However, the rest of the sentence is covered up.
  • Bland-Name Product: McBonald's angers Doc by selling the McNinja burger and are at it again, now that everyone believes the good Doctor to be dead.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The epic battle at the end of Army Of One. Due to there being many, many identical combatants, all of them being Dr. McNinja clones, it isn't necessary to keep them all alive and in one piece for the story to continue.
  • Blood Knight: Dan McNinja would even kill the little boy giant lumberjack and turn his body into a roof. Doc increasingly shows hints of being as Ax Crazy as him but occasionally feels bad about it.
  • Body Horror:
  • A Boy And His Raptor: Gordito and Yoshi. If the reference here isn't obvious enough, Gordito actually does the Mario and Yoshi double jump at one point.
  • Brain Drain: King Radical and his Mafia prevent the brain drain from occuring in Cumberland, MD, by encouraging high school and college graduates to stay in the area. Very strongly encouraging.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: "Dr. McNinja's Final Thoughts," in which he often delivers An Aesop a Spoof Aesop on the events of the previous chapter.
  • Breather Episode: "Judy Gets a Kitten." Subverted. Then double subverted, so everything's okay.
  • Brick Joke: The "Birdosaurus" that the Doctor off-handedly punched keeps coming back at the most inconvenient times. It's getting close to being a Running Gag.
    • Acknowledged by the Doc himself, here
    • The very last gag of the comic We don't hire night janitors is a throwback to a gag from 11 years ago.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: The Doctor. The man is a great doctor, but he'll wear a ninja mask the whole time he's treating you. As an aside, he has even "disguised" himself as another doctor with the mask still on. The administrators of the hospital in question have gotten tired of this routine.
  • Captain Ersatz: Dr. McLuchador. Somewhat justified as he is actually McNinja in disguise, and the real McLuchador died a while ago.
  • Car Fu: As well as Bike Fu.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: "There is a raptor in my office."
  • Catch a Falling Star: Lampshaded here: "Thank you for saving me, Superman.". Played straight here, though.
  • The Cavalry: Several in "Futures Trading." First, the Nasaghast returns, and saves Chuck from certain death at the hands (er, claws) of a raptor. Then, a few pages later, who comes in to bust the Doctor and Sean out of a tight spot? Yoshi! Then, at the climax, Dracula and his moon laser.
  • Chainsaw Good. Chainsaw nunchuck, even better.
  • Chandler's Law: Problem: you have a whole family of ninja performing a rescue, but pirates aren't much of a challenge, and you can't send the ninja in because they're already there. Solution: send in the UBER-ninja.
  • Characteristic Trope: Rule of Cool / Beyond the Impossible / Serial Escalation
  • Charm Point: Moustaches are Serious Business.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The organic muscle jetpack. And to a lesser degree, almost everything the Doctor does, ever.
    • Frans Rayner, whose perfect body control allows him to move around weak points in his body and survive a fall onto rocks from lethal heights by rerouting vital organs out of the way.
    • Also, Bruce Lee, who jumped to the Moon.
  • Charm Person: The Ultimate Diplomat.
  • Chase Scene: But of course.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Too many to count, but this deserves special mention. (Don't spoil it if you haven't already read up to there - it's the sort of joke that takes years to mature.)
    • Eventually becomes something of a boomerang brick.
    • There's also an arc-long example in There Is A Raptor In My Office. "But I have diabeeeeeteeees."
    • In the Alt Text here, Chris mentions that he was disappointed with King Radical's entrance, and decides to have skateboarding trumpeters announce his presence next time. They do.
    • Dan McNinja boasts that he absorbed the poison from his wife's picked beets so that he'll later be able to shoot it from his eyes, "Like a toad." He does just that later on.
    • King Radical saying he was going to use a special warhead to blow up an orphanage. He was, just not with the kids inside because he was having a new one built on the old site. (The warhead is a special, non-atomic version which blows stuff up without the messy elements of radiation and half-life; instead, it gives beards to the people who behold the explosion).
    • There's a double at the end of "Revenge of the Hundred Dead Ninja". One is an in-story reference when he catches the baby launched by the anti-zombie system, the other in the alt text calls back to "There Is A Raptor In My Office".
    • In the alt text of this page it alludes to making Doc's brother the protagonist once Doc is dead. Cut to the current arc where Doc is thought to be dead...
    • A character invented as an alternate explanation of something McNinja said in the alt text here and here becomes something real here.
    • We have Mikey, cured by Doc, but forever unable to grow a beard. 6 years worth of webcomics later, we visit Mikey again in the dinosaur infested future, where we see Mikey get dumped once again.
    • In the Alt Text of this page, Hastings comments "I think I'll have [the birdosaurus] stalk Doc forever now." Sure enough, four books later...
  • Chekhov's Gun: Very frequent. If, early on in an arc, an ability is explained or an obstacle brought up that forces the protagonists to take a different route to solving their problems, you can bet the ability will be required and the obstacle will have to be dealt with in spite of all efforts to the contrary.
    • Doc's ability to punch ghosts by humming the Ghostbusters theme appeared several story arcs before again becoming vital in his fight with the Nasaghasts.
    • Paul Bunyan's Disease.
    • Remember way back here when we found out that Dracula has a moon laser? It just got important now.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Well, lookie here.
  • The Chosen One: Every future so far has some disaster that will doom humanity, and every time Chuck Goodrich. is chosen to go back in time and stop it. Subverted, however, in that all he's accomplished is to create parallel realities where the disaster doesn't happen, not save his own.
  • Christmas Miracle: Katanakka Miracle, anyway.
  • Chuck Norris Facts: Frans Rayner. Every Chuck Norris movie was one that Frans Rayner turned down first.
  • Church Militant: The Roman Catholic church is surprisingly Badass, hiring the McNinja clan as mercenaries to stop a ghost wizard and providing holy relics for them to use as weapons, including a substantial chunk of the True Cross and nunchaku made from the bones of Mother Teresa -- and bullets blessed in the Pope's mouthwash for Gordito's gun.
    • So does that make them literal Nun-Chuks?
    • Presumably, this also includes the holy shurikens Doc uses against the Nasaghasts.
  • City of Weirdos: The residents of Cumberland, Maryland don't particularly care when the mayor installs a citywide anti-zombie system, and a rampaging Paul Bunyan is treated by the police as ordinary police work, not worthy of exceptional notice. Now dinosaurs, that is taking it too far.
    • Which makes one wonder how they're taking it now that intelligent space dinosaurs have occupied Earth.
    • When Doc surfs out of the sky on a robotic laughing Dracula, the main reaction is being offended because he gives the finger while doing so.
  • Classical Movie Vampire
  • Clean Cut: Subverted and lampshaded.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The evil horsie.
  • Cloning Blues: Mostly averted with Benjamin Franklin II, who is basically a continuation of the original Franklin in a new body. Also averted with Dr. McNinja's own clones from college; they seem to consider themselves one person with multiple bodies and are happy to merge with him once their tasks are complete.
    • On the other hand, Old McNinja's clones show brief signs of individuality before they get slaughtered. But again, they were made with inferior cloning technology which is why they were both less clever than the doctor and Old as well as Made of Plasticine
  • Code Name: The McNinja family. Dan and Mitzi have since gone back to their original names; Sean's is "Dark Smoke Puncher."
  • Comes Great Insanity: According to the doctor, one side effect of possessing an organic jetpack is insanity due to lack of oxygen.
  • Computer Equals Monitor: Spoofed here.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A law of nature in the arc "An Army Of One"
    • It was also referenced years earlier in a throwaway gag involving ninja zombies, but nonetheless established as a real force in the McNinja universe.
  • Continuity Creep: Issues One Half, One, and Two are one-shot stories, and other than a throwaway line in Issue Two they certainly don't make any less sense if one doesn't read the previous issues. Issue Three makes brief mention of Issue Two, but then near the end of the storyline has a plot point that makes absolutely no sense without having read Issue One Half. With Issue Four, a more-or-less continuous storyline starts, and from that point on it's written with the assumption that the reader has read previous issues.
  • Continuity Nod: At one point in "So What Is A McNinja?" Doctor McNinja attacks a crew of pirates in the dark and (presumably) cuts off their faces. In "D.A.R.E To Resist Ninja Drugs and Ninja Violence" he encounters pirates with peg faces, noting they must have been among the ones he fought.
  • Cool but Stupid: The Alt Text for this strip (in which Doc focuses his energy to fight ghosts by humming the Ghostbusters theme) reads, "Very stupid ideas taken very seriously. Dr. McNinja."
  • Cool Pet: Yoshi the velociraptor.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Oh my yes. When your protagonist is as cool as Doc, your antagonists have to be pretty good to keep pace.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Donald McBonald.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: "We pray they ignore us, and we try our best not to attract their attention."
  • Crazy Prepared: Mayor Chuck Goodrich, who set up a zombie defense system in his town.
    • Subverted in that he's from the future and went back in time to stop the Zombie Apocalypse
    • Dr. McNinja has his barber on speed-dial for no other reason except that life is craaaazy. (He's not wrong.) The good doctor also has a bullet-proof clipboard.
  • Crossover: With Axe Cop, a webcomic that matches this series in awesomeness.
  • Cure for Cancer: Dracula discovered it and hid it on Mars.
  • Curse Cut Short: They're visually bleeped out now, but this happened early on whenever Dr. McNinja said "motherf--" HE SAID A BAD WORD!
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Frans Rayner
    • Before that, there is the helicopter pilot in the D.A.R.E. arc, who wisely advised one ninja not to fire a rocket launcher at Dr. McNinja, because he would dodge it.
  • Dark Action Girl: Hortense.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Parodied: Sean's ninja name is "Dark Smoke Puncher", and Doc mocks him for it at one point.
  • Darker and Edgier: Though not a complete, or even major, departure from the goofy setting and previous stories, ever since Doc Gets Rad the storyline has gotten considerably darker, with no overt victories and several significant defeats that would be played for tragedy anywhere else.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dr. McNinja is an interesting example. He's clearly good and heroic, despite being a ninja, but has also committed some decidedly antiheroic, if not downright evil acts. The Doc and his Nakama are certainly more willing to kill than most super heroes.
    • It's attributable to Early Installment Weirdness, but in the first story he killed a security guard in cold blood (for no good reason).
  • Dead Person Impersonation: In the AWOL MD arc, there are two. McLuchador died some time ago, and Doc is using his identity to infiltrate King Radical's gang. Meanwhile, a demon is masquerading as a teacher at Gordito's school. Gordito thought it was either the Gym teacher or the English teacher, but it turned out the Math teacher was a victim of this.
  • Deadly Doctor: McNinja himself.
    • Dr. McLuchadore is a more villainous example. Though he means well, his patients tend to end up worse off from his treatments, either due to toxic medicine or "unconventional" wrestling-based methods of applying it.
  • Death by Origin Story: Gordito's father
  • Death in All Directions: In the tennis temple. the Alt Text snarks "clearly he dies on the next page".
  • Death Is Cheap, but not necessarily easy. Lampshaded in the comic itself, where it complains about resurrections making death meaningless.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Dr. Knickerbockers.
  • Determinator: Gordito, who grew his mustache out of sheer willpower. Later subverted when it's revealed that he grew it out of panic, and uses it to hide his insecurities under a badass facade. He finally ends up Becoming the Mask, however.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If a Myspace page is mentioned in the comic, it will not only exist but have been created well in advance.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In "Judy Gets A Kitten", Chris notes in the Alt Text that he doesn't even know if kittens even prop themselves up against the side of the cage as their shown, and he drew it as if it were a dog.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Doc laying down the law on a Nasaghast.
  • Dirty Business
  • Dodge the Bullet: Played straight by the Doctor; subverted by Beeman.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Occurs in the story "There Is A Raptor In My Office". It turns out everything was engineered by the Fox News corporation to be an amazing, rating-boosting story. It was thwarted by their weatherman who, earlier in the story, was all puffed up to do a story about three hurricanes in the Atlantic forming a Mickey Mouse shape only to be deflated by a lead in story about velociraptor riding banditos. He stopped it in the end in order to prevent the story from going public just so that everyone would be excited about the weather.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: Gordito is reluctant to wake up Dr McNinja for this very reason. The good doctor's parents apparently ingrained it into him by attacking him in his sleep, because... well... he's a McNinja.
  • Dracula: The entirety of "Punch Dracula".
  • Don't Try This At Home: "Please do not pour beer on your wounds and tell your legal guardian that I was the one who suggested it."
  • Dressed to Heal: The Doctor always wears a lab coat and stethoscope, in addition to the ninja mask and katana.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Doc, to the point of reducing his younger brother to tears
  • Droste Image: "There's a hilarious joke I snuck into panel 1753."
  • Dynamic Entry: King Radical does this with a dirt bike.
  • Enemy Mime: Donald McBonald, even though he's a clown and not a mime. He even mimes a working parachute after jumping from a window.
  • Epic Hail: "Ha ha! We just sent a distress signal....to DRACULA! KING OF ALL VAMPIRES!"
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Hank the pilot.
  • Every Car Is Rear Wheel Drive: Dr. McNinja's Honda Accord in this strip almost qualifies, but in gravel a front wheel drive car can drift.
  • Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana: Averted. Doc's sword is clearly a ninja-to.
  • Everything Fades: Starting about here, the bodies of McNinja's many clones gradually disappear.
    • Justified; in "Dr. McNinja's Final Thoughts" for that issue, Doc even points out that those particular clones were created using inferior, outdated technology, and were so unbelievably shitty that they literally melted after they died. Then he plays a video showing how they were going to start literally falling to pieces at any minute anyway.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: It really is.
    • As of Space Savers and Futures Trading, not so much. (Awesome, yes, but not better.)
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Judy, the Gorilla Receptionist.
  • Cute Kitten combined with the above is what we can expect from the aptly named story arc, "Judy Gets a Kitten"
  • Evil Overlord: Sparklelord.
  • Exact Words:

Dinosaur President: The Alpha Shield can't be broken by anything on earth!
[...]
Dr McNinja's Message: Dracula, please fire your moon laser at this precise location.

Dan McNinja: Gorillas are cowards! Nowadays you're not allowed to say it, but it's true!

  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Zombies, ghost wizards, vampires, resurrected Ben Franklin and Hitler, drugs that confer ninja skills, Headless Horsemen, superheroes, a disease that turns you into Paul Bunyan, and cloned dinosaurs, thieving lobsters and a mafia led by a radical dirtbiker (...and a world-ending Mayan tennis machine. Seriously.)
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: One of Doc's many graduate degrees must be in this. Gordito is a quick study.
  • Flat What: Used more than a few times, practically being a Running Gag. One instance is so flat it even lacks punctuation.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: What is the identity of the strange motorcycle that appears to brainwash the people riding it, and manipulated the Doc into bisecting the last rider and destroying the last known supply of True Dew? A unicorn. Named Sparklelord. Also...

Dr. McNinja: I shall. Name you. Yoshi.

Benjamin Franklin: But the excitement does get to you! I suppose this lifestyle isn't so bad.
Gordito: Ah, don't! Dude, in "this lifestyle" if you say something like that it's pretty much like pushing a "make the situation worse button". It's the opposite of what they have at the office supply store. [A helicopter appears] See? That's Schrodinger's helicopter right there.
Benjamin Franklin: Well it can only be more ninjas and we've had no problem with those so far.
Gordito: Oh please keep talking.

Benjamin Franklin: I need to see the Doctor immediately.
Judy: [signing] He's seeing patients. You're going to have to wait.
Benjamin Franklin: Judy, I am being stalked by a horse. A spooky horse.
Judy: Oh, just one second! I'll get the Physician's Desk Reference! I'm sure "spooky horse" is covered in there! Hm. Doesn't look like it. But this is the 2006 PDR. Maybe it's in the 2007.
Benjamin Franklin: Why don't you look up "witch gorilla"?
Judy: Nothing. Sorry.
Benjamin Franklin: It might be spelled with a 'B'.

  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: BASE!
    • To elaborate, because he so often helps the police, the mayor made a deal with Doc that he could get away with any of the laws he broke while doing his Batman ninja thing if he got to his office before the police did and said "Base!"
  • Girls with Moustaches: A prank by King Radical results in a bunch of kids, girls included, ending up with bushy beards.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Doc... sometimes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: This page, as explained in the Alt Text.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: "Damn," "ass," and "hell" are about as bad as the profanity gets. Anything stronger is visually bleeped out or amusingly censored (i.e. "You have got to be [flarking] [pooping] me.")
    • Additionally, the Doctor's standard expression of surprise or dismay is the exceedingly mild "Oh my goodness."
  • Gratuitous English: The Great Dane himself, Frans Rayner, especially in the older days.

Frans Rayner: Hey, Dan, come on. You are just the baby school, and I am the Big League Chew. Why do you try?
Dan McNinja: Frans, I can't wait to see how much worse your horrible English will be once your skull is concave. It'll be hilarious.

Do you think I run around with a twelve year old boy just because I like his inferior grasp of girls and higher level math? Do you think I left him with my psychotic parents because I wanted him to die? No, you undead pale ponce! Gordito is the effing badass kid. So go ahead and finish up your masterful scheme to make me let you kill me, because Gordito's going to slap around whatever ghost lackey you have like he was a pinata on the Mexican day of the dead."

Axe Cop: If bad guys steal this book [that forces you to be on their team]... I'll chop your head off. After I kill all the bad guys you can heal yourself with your doctor power.
McNinja: Just... Just protect the book, okay?

Captain O'Shay: For each one of my men ye touch, I will kill five members of yer family.
(Dr. McNinja glances at the three other members of his family, tied up and on the edge of the plank)
Dr. McNinja: ...that math does not work out at all.

Newspaper: It is Oct 4th, 1979! That's it. Nothing is going on. Slow day. No one even died.

Dr McNinja: NO! It can't be! I was pretty sure you were dead!

Dan: Who would call us on Katanaka?
Mitzy: Your father's still dead, right?
Dan: Well, we'll never be sure, but I don't think he'd just call.

  • No Name Given: Lampshaded with "Now I know you've never been to my office, so you've never seen the degree that hangs by my desk. So I will let you know -- it's made out to Dr. McNinja, not Judas McNinja."
    • Later handwaved when talking to his clone, "You never told anybody our name, did you? 'Cause, you know... The wizard."
  • No One Could Survive That: Despite glaring Death in the face, Frans Rayner survived falling off of a cliff and landing on sharp rocks. When the rocks pierced his head, he swallowed half of his brain to prevent damage to it.
  • Note From Ed/Clue From Ed: Initially parodied, with jokes like "policía"[4] being given multiple times in a single page or the editor asking why you haven't read the previous story yet after being told about it multiple times. Eventually the comic started including some straighter examples.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Dark Smoke Puncher, who tries to hide his Gadgeteer Genius tendencies and general geekery behind a facade of bad slang and acting cool.
  • Off-Model: "So long, pirate ship I drew slightly differently in every panel."
  • Offscreen Teleportation: pulled by Mitzi on Gordito with a Stealth Hi Bye here
  • Oh Crap: "Rayner, party of one, your table is ready."
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In a particularly strange way, too. Sean/Dark Smoke Puncher uses a lot of slang to try and conceal from his parents that he's a nerd. Occasionally, he'll forget it, or in the case of this strip, he forgets, and tries to tack it on at the end.

Sean: Yeah, this is a prototype. It's designed to set off a contained chemical reaction so that whatever it's blowing up immediately converts to harmless fiber. It's a way to limit collateral damage...dawg.

  • Old Shame: Issue One Half. It's on the site, even listed in the archives, but the reader is begged not to actually read it first.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: The Doctor and Ben Franklin II.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Usually played straight, but averted at a critical moment. Doc's many injuries missed his arteries and vital organs, but they were clearly life-threatening because he'd lost so much blood. Doc immediately left the field of battle and didn't return until he'd patched himself back up.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Sebastien's coven of languid, gothy vampires; Dracula's very evident strength, intelligence, and resourcefulness
  • Overly Long Gag: Almost - Chris Hastings originally planned to do an entire week of Dr. McNinja falling down stairs. Instead, it became just one strip. Of course, who knows if he was telling the truth?
    • Played with again in the Alt Text to this strip: six more pages of bodies getting disintegrated and mashed together!
    • Eventually Played Straight with the second panel of the "Judy Gets a Kitten" story arc, in which the good doctor is still going on about what to get at the supermarket from before.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: "WHCRUNCH".
  • Papa Wolf: Dan

Dan McNinja: OH YOU SONS OF SEA COWS WILL WISH YOU HAD NEVER BEEN BORN WITH LIMBS ON YOUR BODIES! BECAUSE I'M GOING TO COME ONTO THAT SHIP AND SHOW YOU HOW MANY DELICIOUS STOCKS AND BRAISES I CAN MAKE WITH THEM!

Dan: Ha. Alright kids, not bad. Not bad. How about a drink in honor of all your beginners luck? Here. I'll pour you a Molson. It's got a higher alcohol content than most American beers. And maybe that will help sterilize all those cuts on your face.
Punk: Uh, what cuts, my man?
*SMASH*
Dan: I have no idea.

  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner
  • President Evil: The President of the future. He's a dinosaur too.
  • Product Placement: In this strip as an April Fool's Day gag. The page was edited back to normal on April 2. For those who missed it, Dr. McNinja was wearing a red t-shirt of himself instead of his labcoat.
  • Pseudo Crisis: Played for laughs. In this comic, the Doc is shown being caught by a cop, which would derail his mission. The next comic reminds you "HE IS A NINJA." and skips entirely over how he dealt with the cop.
  • Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: Not so much "punch" as "sword swing", as when Doc desperately swings at the final Nasaghast's head but is horrorstruck when his sword simply passes through it without doing any damage.
  • Punny Name: Gordito Delgado. Translated from spanish it roughly means "Slim Fatty".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: "Doc Gets Rad".
  • Quip to Black: The Doctor pulls this off when he gets the opportunity to try out his new bike.

Dr McNinja: Judy!
Judy: Ugh. * tosses sword and motorcycle helmet to Doc*
Dr McNinja: * catches and puts on the sword and helmet* Let's practice.
Alt Text: Then Horatio jumps out of the bushes and puts on his sunglasses.

"The babies hate the steaks."

T-Rex: I GOT OPINIONS.

Doctor McNinja:I shall... name you... Yoshi!

Dr. McNinja: I'm really sorry, but it looks like the test confirmed it, and your cancer is back. But I do have some good news.
Patient: "Didja save a bunch of money on your car insurance, Doc?"
Dr. McNinja: ... "If any doctor were ever to say that they would lose their license immediately. Do you really think that's funny?"
Patient: "It's a funny commercial on TV!"
Dr. McNinja: "Is cancer funny to you? Is cancer funny to you?!"
Patient: "I'm sorry."
Dr. McNinja: "You should be."

  • Tap on the Head: Includes both the 'neck chop' and Pistol-Whipping variants. Still, you know... ninja.
  • Take a Third Option: After running a poll to determine whether to shade the comic or only use line drawings, Hastings decided to hire another person on to the McNinja team to do the coloring.
    • In AWOL MD, Gordito has to figure out which teacher at school is actually a demon. Since the demon only showed up recently, he checks which teachers are new, and finds that there are only two new teachers; the Gym teacher and the English teacher. He ends up being wrong either way, because the demon actually pulled a Dead Person Impersonation of the Math teacher.
  • Take That: Jack Chick was right!
  • Taking You with Me: Dan and Mitzi to the Horrorsaurus.
  • Technical Pacifist: The Doctor takes his Hippocratic Oath seriously, most of the time.
    • Mongo, who has since learned the value of life and refuses to kill (he also learned that fire: bad).
      • And Gorilla + Bazooka > Mongo
  • They Fight Crime: Played with here:

Dr. McNinja: I wouldn't say necessarily that we fight crime so much as we... take care of problems that need to be solved with violence.

Mitzi: "That. Was. Pathetic."
Dr. McNinja: "Please. Don't. Stabmeintheeyeballs."

Dan McNinja: "Come on! Let's go bust some asses! What, are you too cool to bust ass with your old man?"
Dr McNinja: "Dad, that means farting."
Dan McNinja: "What, are you too cool to blast ass with your old man?"
Dr McNinja: "Diarrhea."
Dan McNinja: "Damnit I want us to go injure people!"
Dr McNinja: "That would be 'kick' ass."

"That was... the most menacing promise of dine and dash I've ever seen."

  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Subverted and played for gallows humor: The Doctor thinks (almost) nothing of occasionally killing security guards and drug-enhanced ninja mooks, and he gets chewed out for this, big time.
    • And the church is probably cool with it, too!
    • This is a major plot point in the first arc, where the Doctor actually has nightmares of all the mooks he killed coming back as zombies to get him. When the zombies actually DO come, he truly believes they wanted to came back to life just to get revenge.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Doc has no moral conflicts about unleashing his awesome-fu on anything the Hippocratic Oath doesn't cover (robots, zombies, etc.)
    • Bearclaw is haunted to the point of paranoia by his previous treatment of dolphins when a group of them rescue him. It Got Worse.
  • What Measure Is a Non Unique: Subverted when Doc insists that they save his clone ("He's just as much your son as I am!") Then played straight to help Doc justify killing all of the clones to himself.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In addition to the above,. "You know you've been a pretty terrible doctor lately, right?"

Gordito: You blew up his helicopters. You blew up the train car. You knocked out a crowd of McDonald's customers. You wrecked a pharmaceutical lab. You cut the faces off several pirates. You stole a shipment of potato chips. You chloroformed me and left me on top of a mountain to fight a robot bear in the rain!

Dan McNinja: Boy, I didn't understand a word of what you said back there, and it made a man's head explode.

Notes

  1. Kent Archer inked the comic from its beginning until he left in 2010; Carly Monardo colored the comic for about a chapter and a half
  2. The author recommends starting with "Meet the Doctor" rather than this one due to Early Installment Weirdness.
  3. It was in his left butt cheek when he battled Dan for the leadership of the Ninja school they both attended. In "D.A.R.E. To Resist Ninja Drugs And Ninja Violence Part 2" Dr McNinja discovers that Frans has moved it to his left eyebrow.
  4. police