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"Lady, you have no idea how hard it is for guys like Kratos to reintegrate into everyday society."—Commander Badass
Created as an entry for a webcomic contest in 2010 for The Escapist, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things (MGDMT) is a comic about a temp agency to help "ludicrously macho guys" find work in the real world when they no longer have work as popular fiction characters. How well they actually integrate has... mixed results.
Sadly, the comic lost out, but was by far a favorite among those paying attention to the contest, making it popular enough for its creator, Coelasquid, to keep it going. It can now be viewed at here in all its MANLY glory.
Manly Guys Doing Manly Things makes MANLY use of the following Tropes:
- Abnormal Ammo: An action figure's gun accessory that shoots smaller guns. Which possibly shoot little deep-fried beer cans.
Jared: Where are they coming from?
- Achievements in Ignorance: Only someone as clueless about Pokemon Training as Jared would start with Magikarp but only someone who doesn't even understand simply battle mechanic could make it work. See Shamu Fu.
- Adult Fear: Commander becoming a bishonen carries the disturbing subtext of a parent becoming unrecognizable and frightening to their kids.
- Affectionate Parody: While it does take shots at the concept thereof, this strip is a parody of the classic Charles Atlas cartoon ad.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: In Universe example, this happens to Ryu of Breath of Fire II, turning a fairly normal (if blue-haired) sixteen year old kid into a muscle bound roid raging hulk. This is meant to be a Take That by the author at the trope, which happened to the game in Real Life.
- Amicable Exes: Commander gets along reasonably well with his ex-wife Maddy. They even had a barbecue together.
- Anything That Moves: The comic's version of The Warden is this.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: the Commander complains about Canadian Guy since he comes to work drunk, cranks up the AC, field dresses deer in the lunchroom, breaks various office equipment, and beats all of the Commander's Robot Unicorn Attack high scores.
- Author Appeal:
- While the comic exists mostly to mock over-the-top "macho" characters, Coelasquid has said that she likes drawing this body type.
- Given that the Commander has been a heartwarmingly good father, the idea that real manliness is being a good man inside seems to also appeal to her. But it appeals to everyone.
- One recurring theme in the comic seems to be that "manly man" and "loud obnoxious jackass" are not the same thing.
- Coelasquid hates Chuck Norris and LOVES Marlon Brando.
- Coelasquid also hates the bishification (going on an Author Tract on how she really dislikes bishification in fanart, since the result does not resemble the original design) of characters and the flipside of the trope.
- She had a special brand of venom for Nie R's Japanese design and motivation, saying it was far weaker and much more prissy than American NieR trying to find his daughter.
- Awesome McCoolname: Commander Badass. Not that he uses the second part much.
- Badass: Most of the characters. Usually parodied (often in a deconstructive fashion) - the premise of the comic is to show how this character trait isn't exactly the best way to deal with Real Life.
- Baby Talk: Jared, whenever talking to Mr. Fish. Most apparent in this page:
Jared: Roll over! Roll over, Mr. Fish! Mr. Rolly Fish! Mr. Rolly Polly Fish!
- Berserk Button: Commander Badass worships Marlon Brando. No, we mean literally worships Marlon Brando. Do not mention Chuck Norris in his earshot.
- Beware the Nice Ones: It turns out that Canada's niceness as a whole is just an act to throw people off. According to Coelasquid, Canadian Guy is a Palette Swap for Commander Badass, which has the unexpected result making him look like her dad.
- Big Bad: Gackt is shaping up to be the Big Bad of the Nomura Syndrome arc.
- They are not welcome in this comic.
- Nier spread Nomura Syndrome that turned everyone into a bishōnen. In the case of Volt he's been living with it his entire life, but when told that he'd never be able to bench-press his own weight he took it as a challenge. And then there's Gackt, who secretly is every single Square Enix protagonist.
- Body Horror: Say hello to our guests, Simon!
- A Boy and His X: Jared and Mr. Fish (his Gyarados).
- Brick Joke:
- Cerebus Retcon: A minor one. Turns out soldiers like Commander Badass aren't cloned from American soil and steak, they're just regular soldiers who get randomly chosen to become badass as the army can make them out to be, undergoing painful procedures, fighting pointless wars, and wearing ridiculous outfits to become 'badass'.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Canadian Guy. To Commander's chagrin.
- Colonel Badass: Commander Badass, more specifically.
- Combat Pragmatist: Commander Badass, as seen here.
Commander: Import'nt t' draw that fine line between fightin' dirty an' fightin' stupid.
- Compensating for Something: Used as an insult at Dante and his BFS.
- Cool Car: The Commander has a red one which we occasionally see.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Discussed when Jared puts on "Any Way You Want It" as the soundtrack for the first fight of an arc.
Commander: That's a straight-up end credits song, gotta hang ont' it for th' victory lap. Do something like "Wheel in the' Sky."
- Crying Little Kid: Commander's kids do not take the transformation well.
- Darkskinned Blonde: Commander Badass.
- Deconstructive Parody: Of many video game tropes.
- Designer Babies: Commander Badass mentions that in the future, soldiers are synthesized from steak and American soil.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Commander Badass actually got AM from I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream to leave GLaDOS alone after they broke up.
- Doting Parent: Commander Badass adores his two kids.
- Double Standard: Duke Nukem (of all people) has a problem with it when he's not allowed to play "Capture The Babe" (here). He points out he's allowed to hit Marcus Fenix without a problem but people get angry when women get slapped. The Commander shows that there isn't really a double standard when dressing Fenix up as the Babe would cause people to complain as well.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: The bishonen versions of Sten, Ganondorf, and Sandor Clegane are very effeminent and almost appear to be dressed in drag.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Commander Badass admits that a Room Filled with Bubbles does sound pretty fun.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The main character Commander, full name/rank being Commander Badass. He says soldiers can be made from American soil and triple-A steak in the future, so are named by rank, but it's quite possible he was joking. He was.
- Fantastic Racism: Link tells Ganondorf that all Gerudo are dirty thieves. Okay, most of them are, but Link called him that after after smashing Ganondorf's flowerpots in search of rupees.
- Five-Token Band: The Commander's old squad.
- Flat What: Jared's reaction when his bean dip begins talking to him.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Fish.
- Forceful Kiss: When the Commander kisses Sarah in this strip.
- Formally-Named Pet: Jared has a pet Gyarados named Mr. Fish.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Commander Badass in this old concept art, although never in the comic itself.
- Friend to All Children:
- Goggles Do Nothing:
- Lampshaded, when Commander Badass wears sunglasses and then puts his goggles over them.
- This comic shows Commander Badass wearing them while burning down a shed, and claims in the panel after they enhance his night vision. But, being him, who knows? Word of God says that they do all kinds of things, just not protect the eyes. (Or at least not very well)
- Going Commando: The Commander, appropriately.
- Good Parents: Any strip in which Commander Badass spends time with his kids is bound to elicit gratuitous Squee in the comments. He even indulges his daughter in making the world's most ludicrous muffins.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Mr. Fish's (or rather, Jared's) primary attack before Mr. Fish evolved from Magikarp to Gyarados. Now that he's too big to be swung as a blunt weapon, Mr. Fish mostly just eats his enemies.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Commander Badass' ex wife had red hair, and his new girlfriend Sarah has auburn hair.
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Commander Badass is actually a member of the Navy TIALS (TIme Air Land Sea), an elite group of time travelers founded in the future to hop through time righting wrongs, some of which aren't righted, for whatever reason. While they haven't done anything to Hitler (besides punching him in the face), Commander Badass was once sent to Vietnam twice. Once to try and win it for America, and a second time to stop himself from succeeding, because a world without the Rambo movies is just too bizarre to contemplate.
- Ho Yay:
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Jared insists his high Call of Duty scores make him an expert marksman. He doesn't know anything about how to actually hold a gun.
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: Nie R, who unwillingly shapeshifts from his gruff old Papa Wolf form seen in the western version of his game to the Bishonen version seen in the Japanese version.
- I Regret Nothing: Jared, after The Commander regrets trusting him with a power washer.
- Just Eat Him: Jared's approach to Pokemon battling after Mr. Fish evolved. This got him kicked out of Pokemon League.
- Kid with the Leash: Jared.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Link, natch.
- Know When to Fold'Em: The "Gay Chicken" contest between Kratos and Leonidas ends when Leonidas surrenders so he can go back to his wife and son.
- Limited Wardrobe: Averted with Jared.
Coelasquid: Jared has a new t-shirt every day, he may be a teenage boy, but at least he changes his shirt.
- Literary Allusion Title: Coelasquid recently confirmed that the title is an allusion to Soccer Practice.
- Magic Pants: Everyone who gets infected with the bishonen virus changes their outfit to fit.
- Magikarp Power: Mr. Fish is a Magikarp. This obviously occurs. Although while Mr. Fish is devastating as a Gyarados, Jared still was able to defeat trainers when it was only a Magikarp. By beating their Pokemon to death with it.
ARE YOU AFRAID OF MY FISH CHUCK NORRIS
- Man in a Bikini: Marcus Fenix, believe it or not, though not by his own choice.
- Man in a Kilt: The Commander, here.
- Manly Tears: It's open mic night, and John Marston teach us badasses have feelings too.
- Marlon Brando:
- Most Writers Are Male: A meta-example, as most users on the site debate back and forth as to Coelasquid's gender. The response is, "Why does it matter?"
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Between Coelasquid's Grey Warden character and Sten.
- My Future Self and Me: See Stable Time Loop below.
- My Little Panzer: ED-209s. They come in "Authorized to use physical force" or "Loyal as a puppy" versions.
- Never Live It Down:
- No Sense of Personal Space: Jared, by the author's own words.
- Not What I Signed on For: When Mr. Bubbles realizes he actually has to give the children BACK to their parents when daycare is over. Hilarity Ensues.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When the Commander stops dropping his g's, you know you're in trouble.
- One of Us: In-universe:
- Duke Nukem, if you think about it... due to his constant Shout Outs and references from obscure places is shown to be a huge nerd.
- Also Lobo, The Heavy, and Sten join Duke and The Commander for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. However, since all of them insist on being fighters and barbarians despite the Commander voicing that he has reservations about how will work out that work, it can be assumed the Commander is the only one who really gets the game.
Heavy: ROGUE IS COWARD.
Sten: Where I come from, we cut the tongues out of sorcerers.
- Original Generation: Commander Badass, Jones, Canadian Guy and Jared (sort of).
- Press O To Show Off The Better Features Of This Product: Kratos beats in some poor customer's face via this.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Kratos, Sten, and War, sharing an emotional moment.
- Mr. Fish is never seen with anything other than a massive frown. Of course, it's a Gyarados. Can ANY of those things smile? It's also Coelasquid's attempt at drawing a Gyarados with its mouth closed, which almost never happens. The one time it did, it looked like this, so Coelasquid was right on the money.
- And, of course, Commander Badass most of the time.
- Poe's Law: The very first question on the comic's About page is about which game Commander Badass is from. Despite being a blatant parody of this style of character, it's still easy to mistake him for the genuine article, noting particular similarities to characters like Jack and Simon Belmont.
- The Power of Rock: The fellows from Dragon Age know that there's only one way to win after all else has failed...
- Pyrrhic Victory: Kratos wins at Gay Chicken... because Leonidas wanted to go back to his family. This reminds Kratos that he doesn't have a family anymore, making the victory less than appreciated.
- Rated "M" for Manly: This and Testosterone Poisoning pretty well the reasons it exists.
- Real Men Wear Pink:
- More like real men aren't assholes, but the principle is the same.
- Kilts are the manliest way to be pantsless.
- Turns out that the Commander watches Jem and The Holograms, The Care Bears, and My Little Pony with his daughter, and has developed strong opinions about the characters and their relationships.
- Reference Overdosed: The cast list would qualify this comic alone, but that's not the end of the Shout Outs.
- Relationship Upgrade: The Commander and Jonesy are as of this strip a thing.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Apparently how The Expendables was made.
- Shamu Fu: This is how you make Magikarp useful before the Magikarp Power sets in.
- One comic basically equates Kratos's motives with the prom scene in Carrie.
Kratos: That's not how it went...
Commander Badass: That's pretty much exactly how it went.
Jared: They still have my Xbox! With my save files! And all of my achievements! How am I supposed to show everyone online that I'm beating games without it?
- The Halloween strip is basically a huge Shout-Out to A Song of Ice and Fire, with Canadian Guy showing up to work dressed as Robert Baratheon "because he's Canadian Guy."
- Jared got obsessed with Hatoful Boyfriend at one point.
- While infected with the Nomura virus, the Commander sports Kamina's sunglasses.
- Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Commander Badass does not like Canadian Guy.
Commander Badass: Whadda ya mean, "don't fight Canadian Guy to death on the front lawn"? Why else would I invite Canadian Guy over?
- Small Reference Pools: Referenced as the reason that the Commander didn't go as Tywin Lannister for Halloween.
- Stable Time Loop: The Commander is attacked by himself while he's having coffee. His future self steals his coffee, then disappears. The Commander then proceeds to travel back in time to beat himself up and get his coffee back... Which means he beat himself up for no reason. Although since the comic is titled "We all peacock in our own way," it's pretty obvious why he did it: he was trying to impress Jonesy. That and keeping himself on his toes ("Watch your back and maybe this won't happen, candy-ass!").
- "Stop Having Fun!" Guys: In-Universe, Jared's parents consider Pokemon training such Serious Business that they yell at him for being proud of his Gyarados, because Gyarados sucks in the metagame.
- Stop Helping Me!: In the author's opinion, Fi is worse than Navi.
- The Swear Jar: Not for swearing, but for saying the word "Epic". According to the that strip's description, there are seperate jars for saying "WIN" and "FAIL" as well. Commander's not a big fan of Internet slang.
- Take That:
- Against bishounen boys, and the fans that keep suggesting they appear. Best. Spite comic. Ever.
- In the commentary, the author notes that the entire comic is also one to overly manly characters that their creators think are badass, but aren't, and that fans who insisted on the bishonen are missing the point.
- Talking Is a Free Action: The Commander and Jonesy forget that it isn't.
- Testosterone Poisoning: The point of the comic.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Marv is the only one enthusiastic about being a bishonen. But then again, he had the luck to turn into a more muscular Marlon Brando whereas everyone else turned into overly feminine pretty-boys.
- Title Drop: Sort of, it's more of a URL-drop.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Defied. Sten gets tired of the cookie jokes real fast.
- Uncanny Valley: Discussed here.
- Unflinching Walk: Commander Badass got to experience one of these with his friends and got it on camera... just before they were blown away by the explosion and were hospitalized for it. He thought it was Worth It.
- Unreliable Narrator: Commander Badass admits you can't be sure that any of what he says is true.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Poison to Jared. Commander's more amazed that Jared honestly thought he had a chance with her, male or not.
- The Virus: Nomura Syndrome. Patient zero was Nie R. There's also an inverse version of this that Ryu of Breath of Fire II suffers from, as well as a poison that turns Walter into a pony.
- The Voiceless: Pyramid Head. He plays charades with Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees every Wednesday, but nobody ever makes a guess. This bugs the hell out of Commander Badass:
"For chrissakes, it's Pride and Prejudice!"
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Bishonen Marv.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
- Averted by Commander Badass gunning down a Slime rather than turn based battling it.
Jared: Well that doesn't seem sporting...
- And against the Frankenstienish mess of Simon Belmont and Light Yagami
Commander: Nice call, Indiana Jonesy.
- Wimpification: Parodied with the "bishonen" virus, but it doesn't appear to affect the victim's personality.
- ↑ For those who will die of a spontaneous heart attack if they can't know for sure, the answer is "female, now get on with your life, for crying out loud."