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The comic strip

  • Anvilicious in its free-market capitalist propaganda. Warbucks "died" when FDR was re-elected because the New Deal was so bad for self-made men, but reappeared after FDR died as the USA was now worth living in again.
    • The scene in The Movie where a stereotyped Bolshevik tries to kill "Daddy" with a bomb because Mr Warbucks is "living proof that the American System works and the Bolsheviks don't want anyone to know about that." is subtle by comparison!
  • Arc Fatigue: Gray would let storylines go on for quite a while in order to make the resolution more satisfying. This usually didn't result in this trope, since he'd include some subplot for the readers to follow or at least have the story develop, though it did so slowly, but the arc from 1933 in which Annie and her new friend, blind violin-player "Uncle" Dan, make a living as professional musicians and get cheated of their profits by their manager Chizzler spends a couple of months with every strip just pointing out that they're getting cheated, showing them performing, or having Chizzler laugh in private at Annie and Dan. This is one arc that definitely could have been shortened without any loss in quality.
  • Archive Panic: IDW have been publishing collections for a couple of years. So far, thirteen years of Little Orphan Annie have been collected.
  • Fair for Its Day: Wun Wey, the clever Chinese man who is a friend of Warbucks, wouldn't be acceptable in our time with his secret planning, but in the thirties he was a very progressive and unusually non-racist portrayal of a Chinese-American individual, mainly because he was a Chinese good guy who wasn't an Ethnic Scrappy. It's noticeable that the Chinese people in the strip aren't universally good or bad; it varies from person to person. There's Wun Wey and his friends, they're good people who help Annie out. There's the Tong men who at one point are after Annie, horrible criminals. Like all other people, the Chinese in the strip are individuals, some of them good, some of them bad. In other words, Gray actually suggested that a person's value wasn't determined by their race.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: In one World War II strip, Annie sees a man physically attack an obnoxious war-profiteer simply for expressing an opinion and stops a cop from intervening saying "It's better some times to let folks settle some questions by what you might call democratic processes."
  • Magnum Opus: It's unquestionably Gray's greatest work.
  • Tear Jerker: A robber who's kept Annie with him so that the police can't shoot at him because of the risk of hitting her decides to send her away.

 The robber: "I'm not going to take any more chances o' letting you get hurt. I'm not that bad. I'm still man enough to meet my finish alone."

  • Uncanny Valley: Everyone's eyes are completely white. Gray did it this way because he felt that it helped get the readers more out of adventure strips if they had to imagine part of it or themselves.
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