Wall Banger/Web Comics

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Maybe the Web Comic author/artist(s) were just having a bad day. How else to explain the lapse in quality of some of these web-based scenarios?

  • The Consequences arc from The Wotch has been brutally criticized for its ineptitude. It's supposed to be about Anne dealing with the consequences of her past mistakes casting transformational magic. But all of these mistakes are dealt with swiftly (one in literally two panels), and there are no hard feelings...
    • The toughest case was supposed to be Ming. She was originally Mr. Sakura, a 40-year-old teacher; Anne had transformed him into a teenage animesque girl in a fit of pique, rewriting Ming's memory in the process. When Ming realizes who she used to be, thanks to the inconsistencies in "her past" being pointed out, she and Anne feel it's her duty to be switched back -- but no one else wants her to. Finally, she meets her inner original self; he tells her that he was a failure in life, and so she needs to seize the second chance she's been given. She happily does, only taking the time to write a note in her original handwriting so that people stop searching for her old self... Going from realization to acceptance takes only a couple of hours. Even a few fans of the comic found this moment squickful -- it borders on Mind Rape Is Love (platonic division).
    • While we're on the subject, Cheer: the Unfortunate Implications with the premise are bad enough, but Jo consciously deciding to hide the truth from the others?
  • Whether you loved it or hated it, there were multiple Wall Banger moments in Abstract Gender. The biggest probably was Brian claiming to have forgotten his mom had died the day he heard about it.
    • How she died was stupid enough. She was attacked by a purse snatcher. After fighting for about one panel, the purse snatcher pulled out a gun and shot her dead, all for a purse. Yes, this could happen in Real Life, but fiction is supposed to make more sense than that. And we only knew her for four strips before she was killed, and then not very well.
    • Ryan's mother finds out about her son turning into a girl. How does she react? She says she always wanted a girl and tells him to get a boyfriend (more or less).
      • It gets worse. She signed him up for Home Economics and got him babysitting gigs, which are stereotypical teenage girl things, without even informing him until they were confirmed. It's especially bad because she's not even subtle about the fact she's thrilled that her eldest son is now a daughter.
  • The whole Melna/Stonewater pseudo-Rape Is Love sequence in Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire. The characters had reasons for acting as they did, but there are still some things that should not happen. The matter remains a touchy spot for the fandom.
    • It went on to receive some major competition in sheer WTF-ery from the "Supergreg" story where a mage in a medieval-ish world turns into an overt knock-off of you-know-who. (One could dismiss this as just being intentionally silly, but attempting to inject silliness into a story line that tries to be serious doesn't always work well.) Probably even more confounding is the implications of the mindscape image of Dominic Deegan turning into a gargantuan near-naked barbarian with "D" on his chest and loincloth, menacing a naked woman with a part of her being reshaped into a phallic symbol, and a package half her size.
    • Also this one, which implies that the whole reason Dominic goes on adventures and helps people is that he enjoys the strain, and if not for that, he wouldn't have bothered with any of it. This strip seemed to enrage the entire fandom of the strip; the next strip rapidly backpedaled and reversed it. It's unknown whether the author planned this or if he was simply reacting to the strong hate for the strip.
    • Brian was the first character with any personality in Dominic Deegan for YEARS. The Keenspot forum adored him. Then it turned out that he was Rilian in a person suit. The fact that Brian is the real personality and Rilian's current self is the Jerkass Facade, which means Rilian has a real and interesting personality, could reduce the Wall damage a bit -- unless you take it as an appeasement, especially as it will color every subsequent interaction between that character and the protagonists (assuming Mookie brings it up again).
    • Szark's Heel Face Turn being accompanied by a Bi Gay Turn may not be as Egregious as some of the comic's other offences, but it did come first.
    • The conclusion of the Maltak arc has become an example of this for many. In the end, the characters who argued against the involvement of Callanians in an Orc problem either are dead or have been shown the error of their ways; the survivors now revere Luna as a divine savior figure, which carries all sorts of disturbing colonial implications. And Melna, who spent much of the early part of the arc refusing to buy into naive idealism about changing fate, suddenly decided that she can change fate if she damn well wants to. This proves that Dominic can never ever be wrong. Also, apparently Luna has earned the right to tell the orcs how to organise their society.
      • To hell with the conclusion,the whole arc was full of wallbangers!
      • Maltak was terrible for, among other reasons, the sheer length of it--it was over a year long--and how little happened during that time.
      • There is also the reaction of the whole world to take into account here. This had a lot of people on the Domi Nation forums scratching their heads as to how the Deeganverse version of China or India would be able to help defend Maltak from attacks. For for what matter why.
      • Well, the "how" is easy enough: This is a setting where teleportation magic is fairly commonplace. The "why," however, remains uncertain.
        • Possibly because they realize the connection between thriving Maltak and weakened Callan. They all hate the Callanians (they probably hate everyone else too, this being the Deeganverse, arbitrary racism is really prevalent, but they also fear Callan for its large mage population) and don't want them powerful again.
  • The Sluggy Freelance storyline "Oceans Unmoving", which took Bun-Bun and moved him to an entirely new setting:
    1. where none of the other characters of the series were (making it All-Bun-Bun-And-New-People, All-The-Time), and
    2. which used an entirely different cosmology that required strip after strip of Expospeak to catch people up on.
    3. which was overstretched, and came on the heels of the popular "That Which Redeems" story arc. And then he did it again a few months later with "Oceans Unmoving 2" because he had made the plotline so complicated that he couldn't finish it without breaking it up with actual Sluggy strips. So, on top of everything else, there was a huge gap between the first and second half and an overwhelming sense of dread as the second half approached.
    • Readers who weren't immediately turned away by the focus on Bun-Bun and who managed to get past the Expospeak often enjoyed the storyline. The new characters were interesting once they got some Character Development; and if you understood the cosmology, then it was cool. But the initial period of throw-your-laptop-at-the-wall frustration still locks it solidly into this category.
    • The ridiculously named voodoo priestess in a following storyline was an eyeroller. Her revealing that you become a zombie by signing contracts with lots and lots of fine print (this during a drawn-out flashback, while back in real time one of the main characters' fates was hanging in the balance) was a huge wallbanger.
      • It gets worse. Turns out she wasn't in danger (it was an illusion caused by the priestess playing with the thermostat and the general discomfort that comes from getting bitten by very dirty teeth); when the priestess does try to kill her, she takes her down with some major telekinesis and goes home.
  • From PvP: Francis and Marcy's relationship from the time she joined the magazine up until the Relationship Upgrade. Marcy frequently has only minimal emotional investment in the relationship, every so often pondering ending things until Francis does something big to impress her again. She's positively eager to find excuses to compete with Francis and show that she's better than him at everything. She's tried at least once to spark his jealousy, and yet she gets jealous if he even glances sideways at another woman. Sure, Francis is generally the biggest Jerkass of the cast, but he carries their relationship almost entirely on his own. It's not even that Marcy herself is a bad character; it's just that their relationship is often unpleasantly one-sided.
    • Cole's almighty flipout after Francis and Marcy did the deed definitely qualifies. Okay, so they were only eighteen AFTER it happened, but he is still most certainly neither of their fathers and it's not his place to tell them what's right or wrong about what they did. And you'd think, given his attitude, that he'd be inclined to praise Rob's foresight in having condoms at all rather than include him in the flipout.
      • Mild Author Saving Throw at the end, with Robbie having enough of Cole's bitching and throwing the lot of them out.
        • Well since it seems their parents weren't there, Cole would have been the one responsible for them, so getting angry at teens having sex on his watch isn't exactly uncalled for.
          • Except that he wasn't mad they had sex "on his watch", he was just mad about it period.
          • Cole might have been justified, but Brent and Jade piled on right along side him.
      • But since they're at Robbie's mansion, shouldn't it be "on Robbie's watch."
    • Also, the reveal that Marcy and Francis broke up not because of any incident, but because Francis read an error message of a text as a breakup letter from Marcy. It has been months since this happened. He has the message still on his phone, so we can imagine he's read it more than once. That Francis of all people would not recognize the message ("Could not deliver message. Network not responding.") for exactly what it was not only makes him seem like an utter idiot.
    • Scott's handling of some of his plotlines is a little underwhelming. Several of them (for example the "Robbie's Brewing Company" arc, or one where a game company attempts to bribe the PVP staff) give a lot of buildup only to suddenly end on a disappointing raspberry noise and an anticlimax.
  • Lilah announcing her pregnancy and intention to marry Ethan in Ctrl+Alt+Del was already unexpected enough to cause a major outcry, not only from the comic's fans, but also from the entire online webcomics community. It occurred again only a few months later, when Lilah underwent a Convenient Miscarriage, which was a dumb enough move to cause even dedicated fans of the comic to stop reading altogether.
    • Making things worse, it had looked like it would be Lucas in the hospital suffering aftermath of the "Will it Launch?" incident. The comic immediately before the miscarriage arc was Lucas on a ladder fixing a hole in the wall of the house, and so it seemed obvious that something was gonna happen to him.
      • As expected, Yahtzee had a field day with this one. Tycho claimed it was the First Horseman of the Apocalypse.
    • This strip, which marked the end of a period of melodrama, pounds the Reset Button so hard that it may qualify as a Wall Banger in itself.
    • The comic dumped the entirety of Ethan and Lucas' relationship problems on their partners. Lucas and Kate had an open relationship, and it was just as much Lucas's fault as Kate's that she decided to make use of the "open" part. Instead, Kate is the one getting chewed out and forced to "apologize" and be "forgiven" even as other characters pointed this logic out to him. Then there's Lilah, who, on top of following an increasingly bizarre series of character derailments ("My boyfriend cheated on me? Well gee, why don't I run off to Italy with the last boyfriend who I broke up with because he cheated on me?"), ended up taking the entire blame for being too hard on Ethan...even though many of her complaints about his Anti-Sue nature made sense to the readers. In the end, the only thing Ethan got knocked for was not communicating. Oh, and right after all this relationship turmoil...they got married. Hello, Fridge Logic!
    • Ctrl+Alt+Del had Wall Bangers even before the miscarriage. For instance:
      • Lucas asks some religious strawmen why the Gods of Video Gaming can't be real and the strawmen are utterly confounded. It's a valid point but to think that the clergy don't have an argument for it is preposterous.
        • Let's talk more about this. The group of strawmen are mostly clergy -- Priests, monks, Rabbis, etc. They are usually Actual Pacifists. And they want to beat the hell out of Ethan.
          • There are few people in the world who would not want to beat the hell out of Ethan after interacting with him for more than ten seconds.
      • The way Lucas and Kate met implies that women are only worth as much as their appearance. Tim's backpedaling after being rightfully called out on it didn't help.
  • Chugworth Academy had just returned from a long hiatus and had only sporadic updates. Then the artist, David Cheung, drew a comic showing Jade Raymond (noted attractive producer of Assassin's Creed) as a Brainless Beauty giving head and being in the middle of bukkake with nerds. Then the artist whined on his deviantART journal about how dA was so unfair for deleting the picture when the deletion was enforcing the rules he agreed to to join the site. He said he was parodying gamers' attitude towards Miss Raymond, but he was clearly a little wide of the mark. More than a few feminist bloggers and, as it came out, Raymond's co-workers, did not take kindly to the implication that Raymond was implied to be so stupid as to be incapable of saying the word "creative" and noted that the comic said more about the artist's misogyny. In a completely unrelated development, Chugworth has lost most of its readers since that incident.

Q: What is a "moralfag"?
A: A moralfag is a person who's principals are so far wedged up their own backside that they believe that any any remotely derogatory commentary made on anyone else is unacceptable, unfounded, sexist, racist and, possibly, EVIL. That is, of course, unless they are the ones doing it. Moralfags are also utterly convinced that their view of morality is the ONLY view, and anyone who disagrees can GTFOTHX!
In summary, a moralfag is 99% of Deviant ART users. OH SHIT!'

    • Just as bad: One comic consists of two panels of one of the characters declaring to the readers that there will not be nudity in the comic. Two wall bangers in one:
    1. Cheung seems mortally offended that anyone would think he would include nudity. History lesson: David Cheung used to be known as "Scribblekid", a fairly popular Internet-based artist. What did he draw? Pornography. And several CA character designs come straight from his porn work. Even though Cheung seems to view this as an Old Shame, he comes off as far too surprised that people would expect nudity in CA given his history.
    2. The character delivering the message (in as insulting a manner as possible) is only wearing her underwear. Throwing Fan Service into a comic that's insulting readers for expecting Fan Service shoots your argument in the head.
  • Penny and Aggie hit this with the ludicrous nature of the "Dinner for Six" plotline. It stretched out far longer than it should have to make room for more "comical misunderstandings" than humanly possible, required previously smart characters' IQs to drop low enough to make these "comical misunderstandings" possible, and sidetracked more than once so that people could suffer through more physical slapstick - in particular, the worthless sidetrack of both Penny and Karen's subplots so they could go shopping and waste two weeks doing it! And once it ended, many fans realized that "Nick finds out Charisma is a bitch who hates her son, and he breaks up with her" was the only Character Development that came out of it. A teased plotline of "Penny thinks her father is having an affair" was dropped, eventually to be "outed" and downplayed and ignored, further making Penny look like a moron.
    • The filler strip "Minjung" falls into this as well. Penny and Aggie filler strips, until then, had focused on developing the characters while giving the main artist a break. The author's only explanation for this comic was that it would, someday, tie into the Penny and Aggie storyline because it was still about teenagers. About a month was spent following two completely unrelated characters in South Korea that have no connection to the plot of the main comic or the characters in it. This killed all the tension from the cliffhanger of the previous storyline.
    • That cliffhanger didn't even happen until an entire month was spent inside Penny's head while she imagined a bunch of her future selves deciding whether she should go with Rich. It turned into a Shaggy Dog Story when Penny disregarded everything and left with Rich anyway.
    • A student was expelled from school because he wouldn't be able to afford tuition...for the following year. The school expelled him from school during a term he was already paid up for because they divined that he would not be able to afford the next one; either they know more about his finances that they ought to, or they are going way overboard on their tuition increases.
    • A character made a YouTube video dramatization accusing a fellow student of being a lesbian rapist. Then they post high-quality movie posters around school advertising "Invasion of the Snatch Snatchers" to further demonize her. This is right up there with Lilah's miscarriage for offensive story arcs, even considering that Penny and Aggie was never a gag a day strip.
      • So, the administration has expelled someone for failing to pay for a term that hasn't yet happened. They also lecture students about fighting in the halls. But they had no reaction at all to the advertising of one of their students being raped on-campus. They don't even appear in the storyline. The police aren't called, and the person accused of the rape is allowed to walk the halls freely without even so much as a guidance counselor pulling her aside (let alone talk of suspensions, expulsions, or even professional investigations). Again, there were posters on the school walls advertising the rape! Adults Are Useless? Try Adults Don't Exist when the plot would be ruined by their logical intervention.
    • After Penny and Aggie cause Karen's plans to come crashing down, Aggie insists that they have to help her because of the possibility of "death or juvie". Aggie's way of doing this? Lecturing Karen about how she's never known loss and completely missed the message that she and Penny were attempting to teach (it got lost in the rivalry/competition that led them to make over Karen in the first place). Forumgoers insisted that Aggie had to have a plan, that there was no way in hell she would be stupid enough to use a self-righteous rant as a method of talking someone who hated her guts down. Then came the next update, in which Aggie was still trying to lecture Karen even though Karen had her pinned down, was screaming at her, and was ready to beat the shit out of her. It turns out Aggie is that stupid.
  • The ending of Bob and George if you don't believe it falls under Rule of Funny. After a large build-up to a battle with Bob, the entirety of the arc turned out to be a five dollar bet between the Author and Helmut to see if George would be willing to kill Bob this time. But that wasn't nearly as strange as revealing the entire comic was just a way for Bob and George's mother to toughen George up and make sure Bob would know George was willing to kill him if necessary.

Bob: This ending sucks.
George: At least the ice cream was good...

  • Better Days: Fisk asspulling a grenade. Which he then set off inside a building. After murdering several people. All with no consequences.
    • This is the exact sequence of events that happens after Fisk learns where Persia's being held: Fisk kills two "mobsters" by shooting them while using a third one as a body shield; he defenestrates a poor schmuck who, for all we know, could have been just paying to have sex with Persia and unconnected to the mobsters; then he uses the asspulled grenade to blow up part of a house and kills at least two other mobsters in the process; he is then shown calling a hospital while he watches Persia eat. Then he's shown driving her back to Virginia from California. There are no consequences for his actions: no mention is made of law enforcement investigating the scene, no other members of the "mob" try to retaliate -- nothing. There's a reason that a Hatedom for Naylor exists, and this is one of the biggest examples.
    • After Fisk leaves the military and joins the anti-terrorism organization, most of the subplots from before are Left Hanging. Supporting characters just disappear without explanation.
      • The fact that he joins it at all is a wallbanger. The organization is itself, basically an American-based terrorist group. Then there's the fact that it's revealed that Fisk's father died working for them, which Fisk accepts without batting an eye, when he had accepted the fact that his father had died in Vietnam as his defining character trait his entire life.
    • Naylor dedicated an entire chapter of Better Days to two people who embarrassed him on a furry site by telling him to quit being a jackass. For 'dedicated', read 'he made them into genuinely unpleasant strawman characters in a frenzied Take That'.
    • After entering a steady relationship with Tommy, Lucy confesses that she feels a bit trapped and wants to try to live a little more before settling down. Fair enough. What's irritating is that what she wants is to sleep around with other guys. Even though she fell for Tommy because he was a nice guy who was dating a slutty girl who cheated on him, and her entire appeal to him was based on the fact that she was a nice girl who respected him and was faithful.
    • The misogynistic undertones, especially at the beginning of the series. In particular, the Straw Feminist teacher saying that boys have to have their viewpoints "tempered" so that "women aren't defined solely by their backsides" and Sheila implying to Fisk that "feminist bitches" don't think it's important for men to be strong come across as the author being rather bitter. What, he really thinks women push down masculinity to make themselves stronger?
    • The chapter where Fisk asks if The Vietnam War was worth it. After a wall of blithering logical fallacies, the person Fisk is talking to concludes three things: (1) A country having a system of government another country doesn't like (Communism) is a legitimate reason to attempt to destroy that country. (2) The war was a moral victory for America, and (3) that yes, the war was "worth it." Reality check. Vietnam was probably the single most horrifically pointless war in American history, thousands of Americans lost their lives in the name of a fight that had nothing to do with them, and it was one of the single most brutally fought wars in American history. There's a reason so many men came back with PTSD. They were being put into (in many cases, drafted into) a position where they were forced to fight child soldiers, constant fear of ambushes or booby traps, and constant fear that someone in the platoon would lose their mind and murder someone else in it. As you can tell, people being ignorant about Vietnam is something of a Berserk Button with this troper, as his uncle served in it, and he has seen the effects of PTSD firsthand. Nevermind that the war was started on extremely shaky evidence. Almost sixty thousand men losing their lives fighting the deadly threat of communism? No, Mr Naylor, Vietnam was not worth that.
  • A lot of people were left groaning at the flashback story arc of Shortpacked! that reveals that Amber had an abusive father and that she and Ethan had sex at one point. The strip where Iron Man defends his near-fascist actions in Civil War by arguing from both in-character and out-of-character standpoints is another one that stuck in the collective craw of many fans.
    • Before that, there was the overlong holiday plot in which they discussed the Coming of the Second Eton and pretty much all funny stopped cold for a few months. At least Willis learned something from it; the above plotline remembered to keep telling jokes.
    • Fans refer to Second Eton as "The Forbidden Arc" and are to never mention it EVER AGAIN (ever). This was even Lampshaded in a recent strip.
  • Ralph E Hayes's inserting pages of unrelated Fourth Wall breaking political and theological ranting into Tales of the Questor, the only one of his comics which hadn't (until then) demonstrated any Anvilicious politics or real-world religion. It was eventually moved to its own spot when Hayes got his own website combining all of his series, thankfully, but... yikes. No other webcomic has ever featured such a blatant and out-of-place Author Filibuster.
  • In Goblin Hollow, Ben says that Beltane's Wiccan faith of being invalid because "that grab-bag of gods you 'worship' are some of the bloodiest in history" and they practiced human sacrifice. Because lording religious superiority over others is totally okay, regardless of whether yours has an equally bloody history which includes attempts to annihilate the religion you're claiming moral superiority over and its practitioners. Christianity does have an explanation for why the Christian God no longer requires (new) sacrifices of blood -- it's related to the Eucharist and the event it symbolizes -- but between this part not always being clearly explained (if it's even explicable) and Christians getting bloodthirsty in His name on their own, that isn't gonna be much comfort to any Wiccans reading.
    • We also have the storyline where Penny gives an epic Shut UP, Hannibal to a slicked-back Jerry Falwell-type preacher who'd all but called her out as an out-of-control delinquent. What should've been a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Penny becomes a Dethroning Moment of Suck for Lily: she demands that Penny apologize on the spot for "making a scene" in church (to the church's regular reverend, not the asshat.) When Penny says (in so many words) "F* ck that", she gets a slap ("for swearing") and a grounding (for making a scene). Apparently, RH Junior saw making a scene in church as horrific. He perhaps did not expect the readership to respond to Lily's actions with "What the hell?"
    • The subsequent explanation for Penny's anger was that her best friend killed herself while dealing with depression, and a radio preacher basically said it was her own damn fault and that she was bound for hell for it. Hayes Ben had a ham-fisted rebuttal: instead of saying "Some people believe that. Neither I nor my church do," he said "You were told a wicked lie."
    • The woman is a sobbing, hysterical mess who believes her friend is undergoing nightmarish torture for the rest of eternity. An authority figure deciding *not* to suggest that that might just be the case is the farthest thing from a wall banger.
  • Misfile has several.
    • There's the way the Aiden storyline played out. The first few strips with him appeared interesting; after that, things went bad in a hurry with stupid plot turn after stupid plot turn, culminating in a nonsensical phantom thing that the story has never tried to explain. Thankfully, neither he nor his girlfriend has appeared since it wrapped up two books ago.
      • The supernatural stuff was taking a back seat to the genderbending Shojo stuff. This was an attempt to return to it. It didn't work well.
    • The way Ash and Missi's relationship turned out. They start going out. Missi keeps pushing to take it a step further, and Ash is reluctant. When s/he finally does give in and makes out with her, s/he freaks out and runs to Emily. There are a number of good, dramatic ways this could have gone, from Ash feeling uncomfortable getting into a physical relationship in his female body to Ash still holding a torch for Emily. The reason Ash uses for wanting to break up with Missi? Missi is being the "male" of the relationship by being more assertive. That just sounded... sexist.
      • That's the point. Ash was hoping for a manly scoring opportunity. Instead s/he gets the same weirdness hir life has become. S/he knows it's a screwed up reason to break it off -- but s/he's doing it anyway. S/he's telling hirself What the Hell, Hero?.
      • Ash seems to think of "male" and "female" as a dichotomy--you can be all male or all female, but you can't be in-between or be "male" in some ways and "female" in other ways. "Female," incidentally, involves being submissive and obedient to a degree that most people would find stifling. Take this as purely Ash's philosophy, and it explains the situation quite well. Take this as what the writer believes, and it makes things worse.
    • Ash's dad. Dear sweet fairy Moses, Ash's dad. An OB/GYN who greets patients in public by referencing distinguishing marks on their genitals is breaking HIPAA law, and possibly other laws.
    • The author makes occasional references to transmen and clearly intends Ash's condition to be a fantastic equivalent, perhaps so the audience can learn important lessons about tolerance. The problem is, the author doesn't know how transpeople think. Despite occasional nods toward Ash being disgusted by hir new body, s/he has no problem wearing feminine clothing; for transpeople, it's about as comfortable as straight guys trying to pass as women. And the whole thing reeks of standard transformation-fetish tropes. Eyeballing one's new sexy female form in the mirror? Check! The obligatory post-transformation boob grope? Check? Gradual acceptance that living as a woman is better (and sexy! so sexy!)? Check! There's nothing wrong with writing a transformation-fetish comic, and this one is far better-done than some. But there's no excuse for leveraging someone else's real tragedy to squeeze extra drama into reasonably well-done Fetish Fuel.
      • ... When was the last time you read the comic? Ash only ever wears feminine clothing when he's forced/guilted into it (Three times so far and he bitched through all of them) and absolutely hates anything that makes him realise he's becoming a different person, to the point where we get a Wall Banger in the form of Ash telling his old rival to piss off and then having a breakdown because he didn't challenge the guy to a race or throw a punch. Also, despite the fact that we're shown his life is better, it's clear Ash doesn't consider it that way.
  • The "Tarvek has a deadly disease" arc of Girl Genius, mainly because it suffered severe Arc Fatigue. The procedure to cure him was delayed for increasingly contrived reasons. They need Gil to help cure Tarvek? Oh wait, first they have to deal with an insane scientist and his battle mech; then Von Pinn shows up, prompting Agatha to go into a homicidal rage because Von Pinn had killed her parental figures that one time. Anyway, once that's settled, Gil joins the group, and they go to cure Tarvek. Oh wait, the disease is much worse then we originally thought, and the only way to cure it is incredibly risky. They decide to do it anyway. Oh wait, the machinery the group has is insufficient, and so they have to go to one of the more lethal areas of the Castle to get better equipment. Oh WAIT, it turns out Tarvek's disease is contagious! Now Agatha's been infected, meaning she has to go through the risky procedure too. Oh WAIT, now the Castle has chosen this exact moment to go completely insane. Agatha is forced to "kill" it so they can move on. Oh WAIT, it turns out the Castle was the lid on a Sealed Evil in a Can. GAAAAAAAH!
    • Earlier in the Castle Heterodyne story, Zola demands the prisoners chase Agatha into a dangerous section of the castle. When they refuse, she shoots one of them. This can only work if the entire group of hardened killers decide they're more scared of one girl with a gun than of the castle. Since Zola doesn't die there and then, apparently they are.
      • She introduced herself as the Heterodyne heir in Castle Heterodyne; if they believed her, then they might have subconsciously organized themselves as her subordinates, just as the Mad Social Scientist explained to Agatha later. Shooting that one guy might have been needed to cement her status, as she is dealing with a bunch of sociopaths and possible Sparks and has yet to give the reader any explicit indication of having the Spark herself.
      • There is also that as a bunch of self-serving sociopaths, none of them are thinking 'If we all jump her, we can take her, and at most she can only kill one of us!' Instead, they're all thinking 'I 100% don't want to be the next guy who gets shot, so I'm going to wait for somebody else to move first'. And since they're all thinking that... nobody moves first.
  • Kevin and Kell's storyline featuring Lindesfarne's wedding devolved into a trainwreck. It's the wedding of Lindesfarne and Fenton. They've been dating since high school - and outside Comic Book Time, stories about them as a couple have been written for most of the strip's 15 years on the web. So naturally, the anticipation for their nuptials was quite high. Then the storyline took a strange turn - it completely ignored Lindesfarne and Fenton! Yes, that's right. A storyline featuring the nuptials of two main characters that people have been anticipating for years is instead focusing on a storyline about Fenton's mother, revealed to be a vampire bat, and the prejudice she receives. Okay, let's count the problems.
    1. Fenton's mother was introduced in this storyline. We're sidetracking a major storyline for two main characters to talk about a supporting character we just met.
    2. Up until this storyline, vampire bats have never been mentioned. We're supposed to believe that the prejudice against them is so strong that at least 100 of Lindesfarne's wedding guests refuse to attend the wedding. This is in a strip in which Kevin and Kell are a rabbit and a wolf respectively, had prejudice against their unconventional relationship from the get-go, and still had no problem getting their families and friends to attend their wedding even though there was a risk of half the guests being eaten.
    3. Fenton somehow never noticed his mom was a vampire bat? Especially when he says his mother never ate with the family?!
    4. How did everyone find out at once? A single strip declares that the secret cannot be kept any longer because of the digital society - simply because Lindesfarne asked. But Lindesfarne's own past remains a secret from general society, and the past of Danielle is secret, too. Why is this different?
    5. Lindesfarne's wedding features her getting up on a soapbox and preaching about the values of her guests standing up against bigotry. She's doing it for a character the readers don't know and against a prejudice we never knew about before this arc. We should be seeing a wedding here.
    6. A tree branch conveniently falls on Dr. Caduceus as he arrives at the wedding. He needs to have his fluids drained immediately (no broken bones?!). Oh by the way, did you know a big town like Domain has only one doctor? Naturally, the only person we're told can do this is the vampire bat. Yes, draining fluids from a massive internal injury is exactly the same as draining blood from a neck.
    • This is common with K&K. There are more contrived coincidences than "Animals Eat Food" jokes, and that's saying something. Other examples include the tree "just happening to be moved" in "just the right location" to survive due to the soil just happening to be happily fertilized, Kell just happening to get hurt just in time for her sister to show up, etc... You can usually tell when you'll be tempted to throw your laptop at the wall: the panels will be extra big.
    • Rudy conveniently took a cell phone image of Fenton's mother saving Caduceus via sucking out spinal fluid. Now the instant prejudice is replaced with instant respect. Prejudice doesn't work that way.
      • And then soon after, she was fired from her job for being a vampire bat anyway, so that rendered it pointless anyway. Note there were no objections to her being hired at Herdthinners even though supposedly vampire bat prejudice is so strong that she can't hold a steady job (of course, this was really done so Desdemona could become Kell's new co-worker.)
  • This Xkcd comic. A bizarre, unwanted interjection of Real Human Anatomy into the stick-figure world of the comic, bereft of an actual joke, with an awkward and forced set-up. Also, it got readers in trouble at their workplaces because of its nature. Neither the breast drawing (the one that wasn't censored) nor the second drawing are safe for work. (Not every dirty picture is sexual.) Implications of pornography behind text blocks fell flat.
    • There is a joke buried in the alt text, where no one would see it. It's not worth the effort.
      • "No one" is going to see an Alt Text joke in an XKCD strip? The Alt Text jokes are one of the comic's most well-known, and expected, features for any regular reader. That's like saying that "no one" is going to see a Footnote Fever joke in a Discworld book.
      • That said, it's exactly the kind of "bad surprises" that had begun spreading on Wikipedia's health pages at the time: Unsafe photographs without prior warnings.
    • Try "HDTV", where the author insults anyone who's ever gotten excited over entertainment technology while missing the point of High-Definition. For a bonus, he misses the point of film speeds in the Alt Text.
    • The punchline of "Dorm Poster" consists of a visual pun on the extremely famous cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon wall poster. The only problem is, the author unwittingly duplicated the album's original back cover, which was an integral component of the artwork. A definite case of Did Not Do the Research, which is sad coming from a supposed scientist.
    • Can't be bothered with an actual joke? Blatantly rip off Repo Man! Come on, Randall... Worse yet, that film was mocking a design trend popular at the time, and yet the author appears to believe he's genuinely come up with something new and original.
  • Pictures for Sad Children What the hell happened to Paul (who is a ghost)?
    • Or every other plot, for that matter?
    • John Campbell often aborts arcs on a whim. If he gets tired of a storyline, he will stop writing it. This is exemplified in his "notebook phase" after his art show, where he adapted sequential art into a notebook format. He views Pictures for Sad Children as very author-centric, and if he is fed up with something, he will stop. In a way, this prevents Arc Fatigue, but he does it even if the reader base is on board with the idea, which can upset some people. The real wall banger is why Campbell either fails to recognize that, or is intentionally rejecting his reader base, both of which can seriously alienate it.
  • The Foxfire Chronicles started out as a interesting, if cliche, take on the whole people-turned-animals story. Establishing itself as a near-future sci-fi, the author took a bizarre turn by introducing more and more fantasy elements until he just turned the entire series into a full out fantasy, stopped using most of the established heroes and villains because the male lead was the new magical Jesus Christ on a different world.
  • Penny Arcade had a comic strip about the Game Boy Advance SP, with a boy having purchased it and then realizing that the headphone jack costs extra. The punchline actually compared the extra price to child molestation. As if that wasn't galling enough, please bear in mind that the peripheral they are complaining about was just a headphone jack. Not only was it completely unnecessary to play any of the GBA games, but it only cost $4.99 brand new. Paying an extra five bucks for something you don't need is like being molested?! Readers reacted accordingly to this, and thankfully Gabe and Tycho soon got the message and pulled the comic from their archives.
    • In the same vein, several people took offense to a strip about a character in World of Warcraft that refused to save a slave who was raped by dickwolves. The whole thing would have passed fairly quickly, had Gabe and Tycho not responded in a manner that was considered less than sensitive. Or sold a Dickwolves shirt. To say the matter blew up in their faces would be an understatement. The entire thing escalated to the point where both supporters and critics were sending real world death threats to the creators and people who had spoken out against the strip (such as activist Courtney Stanton, who kept a detailed record of them). In the end, the Dickwolves shirts were removed from the store, the creators apologized, but the strip remains in the archives.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse had an alternate universe Bojack murder Universe 16 Pan in their fight. Later on, Universe 16 Bra was to fight against Zangya who was Bojack's girlfriend. Universe 16 Vegetto takes her aside and tells her that if she kills or even hurts Zangya in their fight, he'd pull her from the tournament as she needs to control her anger after nearly killing him when they fought Broly. Their fight starts and Bra IMMEDIATELY flips her lid, goes Super Saiyan and murders Zangya in one punch. After Zangya is announced dead, Bra tells Vegetto she did her best and he agrees. Apparently to Vegetto, murdering your opponent in one hit is adequately controlling your anger if you didn't want to kill them. One more reason Bra is the author's personal Jerk Sue.
    • The limiters placed on the older Saiyans of Universe 18 (Goku and Vegeta) are based on age. The French novel implied that Vegeta is a little stronger than Goku without including his Super Saiyan 3 form. How could Vegeta be stronger than (or on par with) Goku (with the limiters considered) if Goku started off stronger than Vegeta and HE'S AT LEAST TEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN HIM?
  • Goddamn Liz from Cool Cat Studio. All the way through the comic's final chapter she acts like a manipulative, self-absorbed asshole. Your lovers see in you what they want to see after you deliberately project an image of a mysterious sexy woman so you can emotionally protect yourself? Dump them without a second thought because they don't know the 'real you'. You know the woman you're dating has a husband in Iraq? Fuck it, not your problem. Your friend's boyfriend has a temporary Freak-Out when he sees his newly born child has a 'condition'? Tell him you plan to use your friend's desperation to get into a relationship with her because she's close enough to the person you really want. The woman you love is having a rough patch with her de facto partner? Sleep with her! But when the story finally comes to a close, does Liz ever get any sort of come-uppance for the way she's been acting? Oh sure, just a great tearful send-off where she lovingly parts with her friends and finally starts coming emotionally close to a lover. Just what she deserves, right? *WHAM*