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For a webcomic starring stick figures, The Order of the Stick has quite a lot of these. For the sake of the servers, please refrain from marking everything that happens as one of these.
Also, expect massive unmarked spoilers.
- Roy recruiting Vaarsuvius into the order in On the Origin of PCs. Specifically, he uses Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness to prove to the elf that, far from being just another fighter with intelligence as his Dump Stat, he's got a formidable mind that can rival any wizards.
Vaarsuvius: Bah!! You are clearly only hiring me because I intimidated you intellectually, to the point where your masculine pride requires you to establish your dominance over my superior mind.
Roy: Maybe. Or maybe I'm hiring you because I require the creation of a managed spherical energy release with a thermal signature no less than 1850° Kelvin, which can be manifested at specific X, Y, and Z coordinates from verbal cues. I require this specific temperature because it is the minimum level at which necrotized epidermis has been proven to combust and I have reason to believe that my mission will require the incapacitation of multiple post-organic hostiles.
Vaarsuvius: So... you need Fireball spells to toast the undead you expect to fight?
Roy: Did I stutter?
Vaarsuvius: A pleasure to serve under you, sir.
Roy: Welcome aboard. Now get me a new table.
- This editor still finds "YOU! BROKE! MY! SWORD!" to be... pretty darn good.
- "Oh. Oh no. I wouldn't touch your skinny uptight ass with a standard-issue 10-ft. pole, you overbearing self-righteous bitch"
- The whole Roy vs. Miko final battle is a notable one for Roy, showing off some of his best wit and badassery so far. "Treasure type O "indeed... The page right after that one is awesome cubed times awesome squared to the power of awesome. POW!
- This. Yes, he failed; yes, Azure City was taken; and, yes, this still counts as a CMOA. Roy risked (and lost) his life to avenge a man he never knew for a father he never loved, but more importantly for the lives of friends and thousands of innocent people. He did this from a sense of courage and honor that makes most Paladins seem like cutthroats in comparison, and even though he lost, we'll always know that he tried.
- Ending his fight with Thog by making the raging barbarian destroy a portion of the arena seating and bring it down on his head.
Roy: Cross-class... skill ranks in... *huff*... Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering)...
THAT'S how I use my Intelligence score in combat, DUMBASS!
- Just to be perfectly clear: Roy goads Thog into using Roy's own body as a battering ram to damage the pillars supporting the roof...
- This fight is so awesome that Elan's father congratulates him on it even though he destroyed part of the arena and one of the guards asks for an autograph.
- His Awesomeness By Analysis moment during the fight with Tarquin-disguised-as-Thog, when he deduces that their opponent isn't the real Thog, something the rest of the Order completely failed to notice.
- Haley decides to take a decidedly physical approach to passing a stereotypical test of the mind. Just look what happens when she drops by again.
- Three words: "SNEAK ATTACK -- BITCH!"
- Haley renders Belkar speechless.
- *Knock Knock* "Who's there?" "Roland".
- Haley achieves a feat of trickery greater than any previous by stealing a diamond from herself to resurrect Roy. Note the page of the comic she stole it from.
- Behold, the power of lying.
- "You'll excuse me, of course, if I just go fix the world while you rot!"
- Elan's very first Awesome Moment, chronologically, is when he meets Roy in On the Origin of PCs. Roy's having trouble recruiting adventurers, so Elan sets him straight by having him dress as a Mysterious Stranger and sit in the corner of a tavern. Just when Roy's ready to pack it in, a line of adventurers are at his table! That's right, if Elan hadn't used his Genre Savvy to help a complete stranger, the Order of the Stick might never have been formed.
- Strip #61:
Nale: No one denies me brother, not father, not you, no one.
Elan: (spits in his face) Deny. Deny. Deny! (stab) Deny the psychopathic egomaniac!
- Elan got one after Taking a Level in Badass. Directly after that entrance he starts cutting up his brother, who wasn't expecting a fight at all. When his brother regroups and attacks him with reinforcements, Elan manages to duel his brother (an expert swordsman) and creates an illusion to scare Thog (a Teletubbie!) at the same time.
- This one:
Kubota: What are you doing?!? You'll sink us both, you fool.
Elan: Gosh, really? Good thing I'm not wearing any armor!
- Elan manages to pull off an Awesome Moment and a Heartwarming Moment with a single headstone.
- Elan might be a bit smarter at using his skills than we've been led to believe. Bonus points for having done so on a succubus, of all creatures.
- Try try try not to get too much in anyone's way! Hooray, I did it!
- V beating Nale with genre savviness.
- V at the Battle of Azure City: "Paper Beats Rock!" and "MASS ENLARGE PERSON!"
- V recognizes that Kubota is evil and blasts him away in one shot, thus saving the crew time in dealing with yet another villain. Also, that mustache did not do him any favors.
- V's second chance: although defeated, terrified, beaten to within an inch of his/her life and with no spells that can help against an Epic-level Lich... giving up his/her chance of Feather Falling out of the tower to safety to go back to heal O-Chul.
- Immediately following that: "Guess what spell I cast before giving this to the bird." and the strip after it. Bonus points for the fact that V actually takes Xykon's advice to heart and uses it against him -- it's not how powerful your spells are, it's how you use what you've got.
- This is even more apparent in his rematch with Zz'dtri, who's tailored his entire build to defeat V. After spending the majority of the duel blasting away to no effect, V realizes that by focusing on him exclusively, he'd exposed a huge weakness to archers. So V brainwashes the Linear Guild's current Belkar counterpart, who has dual crossbows and has him go to town. Keep in mind he starts his counter attack with Haley's three favorite words and finishes by keeping control of his temper and resisting Zz'dtri's taunts.
- "... weathercontrolweathercontrolweathercontrolweathercontrolweather--"
- It must be something about Leeky, because he gets another one against him here.
- Pretty much any time Durkon uses Thor's Might is a clue that asskicking is coming, but this one is acknowledged as awesome in-story (fitting, as it's his third against Leeky).
- Belkar is being attacked by Miko but he can't fight back. What does he do? He mocks her.
Miko: At least I will be able to finally execute you for your crimes before I leave.
Belkar: Funny. I always figured I'd be killed by a paladin.
- "I AM A SEXY, SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!"
- Just when you think he couldn't top it, he undergoes a fullblown Vision Quest, and recovers from his coma just in time to kick simply ungodly amounts of ass. In short order: he slaughters half the Thieves' Guild (aided by Mr. Scruffy and the cleric), seduces the Guild's bard/rogue/sorceress mid-battle, saves Haley, and shows a more refined level of cruelty by not killing Crystal or Old Blind Pete (instead leaving him to the cleric who Pete just betrayed). In Belkar's own words: "Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime."
- It was Belkar's idea to save bounty hunters Gannji and Enor from being executed in the gladiator arena by unleashing the Allosaurus normally kept to devour gladiators to shield them from the arrows fired at them. But he lets Ian, the one who picked the lock to the dinosaur's cage in the first place, take the credit.
- In Start of Darkness, Xykon defeats Dorukan while giving an evil World of Cardboard Speech, followed by his brutal crushing of Redcloak's will.
- One line that stands out in light of some of Redcloak's recent claims of being the one who is manipulating Xykon: "Oh Redcloak. Don't confuse not caring with not knowing."
- Xykon ends the rather one-sided duel on the zombie dragon by explaining three things Roy failed to consider... Brutal, yet awesome.
- Xykon's Moments of Awesome tend to be things that would cross the Moral Event Horizon if they weren't so... stylish. Particularly the bouncy ball (especially with his ending line), the crown, and casually snarking at Soon mid-battle along with other more brutal moments in the prequel book Start of Darkness, particularly his slaughtering of Lirian and Dorukan.
- Xykon mops the floor with V, ending the fight by crushing the elf with a rock. Followed by this monologue.: that's a Hannibal Lecture.
- "That eye? That's your individual Idiot Tax."
- Redcloak got passing grades in Chem. So far we've seen him use titanium, chlorine and osmium elementals.
- Made better by the Demon Roaches: "He besieged me with SCIENCE!"
- Redcloak's finest moment comes in this strip. Also interesting in that it's a rare villainous example (as in, not leading to a Heel Face Turn) of a My God, What Have I Done?.
- Redcloak's casual anti-humanism:
Redcloak: Oooo, I'm sorry, this party is invitation only, and you? You're not on the list. If you have any questions, you'll have to take it up with my assistant. His name is "15d6 Points of Whirling Death for Humans".
Tsukiko: Fine. Where can I find him?
Redcloak: Right here. Blade Barrier.
Tsukiko: AAAH! HEY! I am SO telling Xykon about this!
Redcloak: Yeah? Don't forget to mention the elemental.
Tsukiko: Huh? Mention what about the elemental?
Chlorine elemental: kill all humans.
- Handing Hinjo his ass with one spell is a huge heads up, not only to the party but also to the readers, that for all the bowing and scraping he does for Xykon, Redcloak is not someone to underestimate.
- "We stand on the precipice of a new Golden Age of goblin civilisation, my friends, and it all starts right here, right now." The subversion of Know When to Fold'Em is an added bonus.
- Redcloak's effortless defeat of the resistance, with "implode" as additional Nightmare Fuel.
- Directly followed by his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Tsukiko and the Nightmare Fuel that follows. And the real kicker here? Redcloak controls Xykon. Not the other way around like the entire rest of the comic would have you believe. Every insult, humiliation, and frustration Redcloak has suffered is one he allowed to happen so he could maintain his subtle control over Xykon's actions. And then he goes and proves it by outright telling Xykon he killed her and basically manipulating the truth so that he leads Xykon to the conclusions he wants him to make without even having to lie.
Monster in the Darkness
- Tries to hit lightly.
- Worries about O-Chul (also a Heartwarming Moment).
- And lets him escape.
- These two probably count as O-Chul's CMOA as well, reaching the heart of such a creature.
- O-Chul's performance in the episode of "Dead or Alive?" made an instant Memetic Badass out of the last survivor of the Sapphire Guard. On top of the events in that comic, his captors have apparently been doing this to him for months, and upping the ante each time -- and he's still going.
- Even when he completely fails, he inspires heroism in others.
- His ability to inspire friendship in the Monster in the Darkness, and his speech to it/him, and his escape and almost-Final Dance that followed. Not that escape had really crossed his mind.
- Also, in the same sequence, taking out Redcloak's eye.
- Comic #670 shows just how awesome O-Chul is with the following exchange:
O-Chul: It's Xykon's spell list. Or most of it, anyway.
Roy: Are you kidding?!? How did you get this??
O-Chul: One saving throw at a time.
- Meaning that O-Chul has seen or experienced every single one of those spells and lived to tell about it. Or, to put it another way: he was tortured for months on end, and still managed to collect and retain all this information in case he managed to escape. O-Chul is awesome.
Azure City Citizens
- Miko Miyazaki
- "I heard you the first time."
- Miko may be a crazy bitch, but you've got to respect how badass she is. She not only kicks Jirix's head so hard it decapitates him, but it hits another hobgoblin with enough force to kill him too. Then she casually snaps the last hobgoblin's neck while walking past him.
- And then there was the fact that she beat all Order of the Stick guild members (minus Durkon) off panel, even after getting a full burn on by Roy's Reason You Suck Speech.
- Lord Shojo's final words are definitely awesome. Satisfied deadpan snarking on the now fallen paladin who killed you? Awesome beyond words.
- He will stand between any two murderers he wishes. That's what a paladin is.
- "Arise, my children. Only the honor of a paladin is unbreakable -- even by death itself. Ghost-martyrs of the Sapphire Guard -- ATTACK!" Man, does Xykon look scared, or what? The way it is delivered adds gallons of extra awesome. It's like something out of The Lord of the Rings.
- In a comic where the fourth wall is broken on an incredibly frequent basis, Tsukiko gets her Moment of Awesome by using Electric Orb to break the third wall for a change.
Haley: Hey, that's not a core sp-- *ZZZZZZZZZZ POW*
Kazumi: So what are the rest of you spineless mother%$@ers waiting for? I'm a goddamn baby-making, life-taking MACHINE! Why should I care how many people I have to kill? I can just make MORE in my TUMMY!
- During Redcloak's attack on the Resistance's headquarters, Thanh tells Niu to escape and get word to Hinjo. He then kills The Mole and singlehandedly charges Redcloak, and even after he's captured by one of the goblin's elementals, tries to goad him into fighting one on one by insinuating that he's afraid of the paladins. It doesn't work, and Redcloak has him killed, but it was still pretty Badass.
More importantly, he distracted Redcloak long enough for Niu to escape. Sure, Redcloak killed him, but the taunt did make Redcloak pause long enough to monologue at Thanh about how the taunt won't effect him, not realizing that Niu is escaping.
- Nale manages to lure the Order to Cliffport under the pretense of kidnapping Roy's little sister, while in reality the whole trip and ensuing battle is an elaborate plan to isolate Elan, steal his identity (Nale and Elan are twins), frame him for the mass homicides Nale himself had been committing for several weeks prior, have him imprisoned, and supplant him among the Order as they leave town for another country. Just so you know, it's executed to perfection. Here's the definitive scene.
- And he was going to kill Haley too, after seducing her. He almost pulled it off, even after Elan came crashing back to save the day, by magically manipulating Elan to think that she was the Linear Guild's spy, temporarily turning them against one another.
- After Belkar attempts to kill him (and nearly succeeds), Nale hits Belkar with a Suggestion spell. However, there's a snag with getting Belkar to do his bidding: He can't make Belkar do anything that he would vehemently object to, such as giving him his teammates' magical items. So, instead he persuades Belkar to kill his teammates and to keep the magical items for himself so that he can take them later, while singing Meet Me At St. Louis. He obliges.
- Tarquin laying it all out: even if Elan defeats him, overthrows his empire, and slays him, Tarquin wins, by sheer virtue of the awesome story that will result that will immortalize him as a legendary villain remembered for all time. And the real kicker is that once Elan runs away in horror at the realization, the final panel is of Tarquin calmly sipping his drink, basking in the moment.
Tarquin: If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend.
- That is arguably the most awesome line in the entire comic.
- Various scenes showing how Genre Savvy he is, including having actually competent guards. Awesome Moment with a side order of hilarity, there.
- #819 contains two: First is him revealing he knew the Order was an adventuring party all along, but put the band back together for his benefit... but not catching Nale, since he would never leave the city. How does Tarquin know this? As the strip's title says, Parental Insight... and because he got a Ring of True Seeing for his birthday. Cue an invisible Nale shitting himself as Tarquin smiles at him.
- Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny too.
- It's been topped. It's pretty much established that Nale's basically as awesomely evil as any James Bond Villain, and yet Tarquin makes him look like a complete newb caught in an inappropriate level encounter in the next page, only sparing him because he tells Tarquin about the gates and such, while revealing he's known every single thing happening in his city. Holy shit, if O-Chul is Chuck Norris and Nale is from 007, what level of awesomeness is Tarquin at!?!
- Guessing since he's so old... Sean Connery?
- Tarquin's response to having to take on the entire Order (short of V) singlehandedly?
- And yes, Tarquin has the chops to back up that attitude. And if Elan hadn't totally baffled him, he would have kept on going.
- And while Roy is Genre Savvy enough to know Tarquin fights too differently and intellectually to be Thog, Tarquin anticipates his ploy to remove his mask by wearing a purple face mask under it saying "Nope!" written over it. Two days in advance. The guy is Dangerously Genre Savvy to the max. What else would expect from the father of Elan and Nale?
Welcome to the village of Lickmyorangeballshalfling -- Founded: Last Week -- Pop.: Just Enough
- You have to have been reading it for a while to understand just how awesome the Oracle really is. Explaining it just cheapens the experience.
(Picture of the Oracle on the sign) "No, seriously, give 'em a good once-over!"
- And then he tops it by using his foresight to pre-arrange a wizard/cleric duo to show up right after he gets killed and resurrect him.
- When Celia intimidates members of Greysky City's Thieve's Guild... into legally reinstating Haley into the Guild.
- The Ancient Black Dragon gets one of these during her very first appearance.
Ancient Black Dragon: I am curious, however... what would happen if we turned the magic off?
Fascinating. It appears you cease to be a mighty wizard and become a fragile pointy-eared monkey. While I? I am still a dragon.
(seizes V in mid-fall and slams the elf into a cliff)
- V's mate, after seeing him/her/it take down a dragon with ease, stands between V and the children armed only with a stick.
- The IFCC (Inter-Fiend Coordination Commission)'s entire lineup so far. Basically singlehandedly getting a character to cross the Moral Event Horizon, have him/her know (s)he's doing so by taking this, and generally reached full Magnificent Bastard status in a rather short time... And while the temptation itself is all about a very nasty goal, they then proceed to pull out an interdimensional TV set and watch what transpires -- revealing how deep their Magnificent Bastard status really is, while quickly becoming a comic foil to the very dramatic scenes to follow.
- One word: HARM. Awesome because this is the closest Nale had ever been to death, and that single spell completely changed the dynamic of the fight.
Kickstarter Project a.k.a.: The Fans
- Rich Burlew wanted to do a fundraiser on Kickstarter to see if he could raise enough money to fund the reprint of War And XPs. He wasn't expecting much, thinking that he wouldn't even get the $57,750 he needed, and joking that at least he'll have an excuse as to why he doesn't do another print run. What happened instead blew him, and countless others away. He made the $57,750 within a day and a half, before finally coming to a grand total of $1,254,120 by 14,952 backers. Put in perspective:
- That's an average of about 83.87$ per person.
- That's an average of about 40,455.48$ per day.
- That's 2,127% funded from the initial goal of $57,750.
- That's the second most funds pledged to a completed Kickstarter drive at the time (caveat: it has since been surpassed by Double Fine Adventure, Wasteland 2, and Shadowrun Returns, and will be surpassed again by the Pebble: E-Paper Watch drive).
- That's only the third project to surpass a million on Kickstarter.
- That's the most funded project by a single person (rather than a company), ever, on Kickstarer.
- That's enough to fund a size increased print run for 7 books (whatever a print run is, plus 2000 extra), plus all the included swag.
- That's enough that after taking into account all the swag funding, the print costs, the local taxes, and the postage, Rich actually ran out of ideas on what to spend it all on. He opted for site and comic maintenance, plus some extra for funding assorted projects.
- For more information, check for Rich's Kickstarter updates (plus an entertaining graph). For details on the amount raised, check to get an in depth look at the funds raised.