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The Order of the Stick provides examples of the following tropes:
- Game Breaker: The characters usually don't get a chance to take advantage of such, but strip #767, in which Haley uses a potion of Glibness, is an exception. Enterprising players have noticed that, according to the Rules as Written, a Bluff check roll of 20 or better can convince people of some really ridiculous things -- and Glibness gives a whopping +30 to Bluff checks! 
- Gannon Banned: In-Universe example. The misspelling "Zykon the sorcerer" remains a bone of contention not just for the forums, but for the dread lich himself, who can even spot his name being mangled in a speech bubble.
- Gender Bender: The Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity, or Belt of Gender Changing. Roy ends up wearing it starting strip #235:"Oddly, He Can Still Get Dressed in Under a Minute".
- Genre Savvy: Several members of the cast...
- Especially Elan. Though it's worth noting at times, he's predicted things to happen by genre, only for it to be subverted and not happen, such as here. Basically, he's Genre Savvy when it comes to standard fantasy but not so much when concerning his own story. Elan's Genre Savvy backfires when he realizes that his dad's plot will actually work.
- V recognizes that if Elan has someone tied up, he's likely a major villain, and if said villain is smugly blathering about a lengthy trial, he's going to drag down the comic. Thus, s/he simplifies matters. "Disintegrate. Gust of Wind."
- Even very minor characters can prove to be unusually Genre Savvy in this world.
Hobgoblin wizard: Oh, right. Forgot to mention. Whenever you start to whip an elderly slave, there's about a 60% chance that some sort of hero will show up to stop you.
- Tarquin doesn't stop at just being Genre Savvy, he even spreads the word to his guards, as seen on the manual he hands them.
- Gilligan Cut: "If you want to bring us before your liege, you'll have to drag us there in chains."
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: In strip #794, Elan mentions Haley can "make out with any of our recurring villains you want". The title of the strip is "We Recommend Tsukiko".
- Give Me a Sword: Horace Greenhilt to Roy in "The Grand Fighter".
Horace: ROY! Heads up!
- Gladiator Games: A main source of entertainment in the Empire of Blood, and part of the judicial system.
- "Glad to Be Alive" Sex: Roy and Celia, though it is more Glad to Be Alive Again Sex.
- The Gloves Come Off
- Notably done by Vaarsuvius, who reaches this point when unleashing a Super-Powered Evil Side by making a literal Deal with the Devil. As expected for this trope, the results are not exactly what anyone hoped for, and leads to some solid Character Development for all involved parties.
- Also shortly after played straight by Xykon when Vaarsuvius arrives in the middle of his Evil Tower of Ominousness. As "a challenge to his rep", Xykon meets him/her with everything he has, including taking advice from his minions.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: Sufficient belief can elevate anything to godhood, as first seen here, but -- as far as we know -- the world was created by gods who existed before mankind, and thus seem to be exempt from that rule.
- Godwin's Law: Evil is measured in kilonazis.
- Going to Give It More Energy: The party comes across a hydra on the way to the oracle. Belkar starts happily chopping heads off left and right. Vaarsuvius wants to just blast it with magic, but Roy says to wait, without explaining why. Just as V is about to let loose anyway, the hydra collapses due to its heart no longer being able to pump enough blood to all of its heads.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Discussed in "Welcome to the Arena".
Elan: I know that sometimes the hero has to play baccarat with the enemy, even though logically it would make more sense for them to just be trying to kill each other. What I don't know is how to play baccarat.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Used for Elan and Belkar, with plenty of twists.
- The Good Guys Always Win: Invoked.
- Good Is Boring: Averted during Roy's time in Lawful Good heaven. He gets to meet his deceased relatives, play blocks with his dead little brother, and the general attractions include a Tavern of Infinite One-Night Stands. It's also explained that this is only the first level -- once people get bored with the earthly stuff, they resume climbing the mountain, with "true perfect enlightenment" waiting at the top.
- Good Is Dumb: Lampshaded by the strip titled "Because Good Is Dumb".
- Good Is Not Dumb: "Improbable Causes". Even stated repeatedly.
Lien: Seriously, how many times do I need to go over the, "Good, not dumb," thing?
- Good Is Not Nice
- Roy, while Lawful Good, enjoys verbally lambasting both his friends and enemies a bit too much. He's prone to some moments of cruelty, for example, after bandits kidnap Elan during their quest for the Starmetal, he wants to leave him with them and continue on. Naturally, the rest of the Order (even the Chaotic Evil Belkar) disagrees. Although he changes his mind later and is shown to regret having done it.
- For a guy who's waiting for a place in the Lawful Good heaven, Roy's dad Eugene is a pretty sarcastic, selfish Jerkass. It's widely speculated among fans that Eugene has been shifting more and more toward Neutral over the years he's been stuck in the waiting area. But since he's been told by one of the Devas (who are, for the record, incabable of lying) that the only thing keeping him out of the Lawful Good heaven is his unfulfilled blood oath, it seems that actions taken after you die can't alter your afterlife destination.
- Miko Miyazaki is made of this trope.
- Most of the Sapphire Guard practically embody this trope, at least in Start of Darkness.
- The elven commander also says this about him(her?)self
- Good News, Bad News
- Good Powers, Bad People
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Celia, Sabine, and the Celestials and Devils seen from time to time.
- Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Elan's Rousing Speech prior to the Battle of Azure City.
- Grapes of Luxury: While "Checking In", Miko sarcastically suggests that the gang take in the luxury of being fanned and fed grapes. Haley tries to get that arranged, and is a bit annoyed to find that Roy gets the treatment later.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress
- In "Block and Tackle", Tarquin and Vaarsuvius can exchange a few words before V decides to use Feather Fall on Haley, and she has yet to hit the ground.
- In "Holy Enunciation", Elan has the time to rejoice having found Durkon, and then notice Sabine isn't holding him anymore ("Uh oh"), before falling.
- Green Around the Gills
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Roy breaks a potion vial in Thog's face during the gladiator match.
- Groin Attack
- Most noticeably in the "pin Roy's corpse" comic.
- Lampshaded, naturally:
Belkar: How about nut shots? Crowds love nut shots. Saget was on the air for like 8 years.
- Group Hug: Thog is denied one in "We All Just Want to be Held Sometimes". Poor Thog.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Unfortunately for Elan and Haley, Tarquin is Dangerously Genre Savvy and he makes sure they're not.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Lizardfolks in general.
- Hammerspace: Any of the weapons or gear that don't Stick to the Back.
- Harmful to Minors: Vaarsuvius' children are targeted by an enemy, their legs broken, and their parent crucified. And then their other parent comes in, possessed, and tears the enemy apart from the inside.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: Redcloak kills Tsukiko when she threatens to reveal the details of Redcloak's plans to Xykon.
- Head-Tiltingly Kinky: From #789, when the Order needs an excuse to confer in private without Tarquin listening in.
Elan: Uh, Dad? Haley and I need to go... uh... have sex.
Tarquin: Well, you'll miss the big fight, but you do what you need to do.
Haley: Come on, V. And bring the cat, just in case.
Tarquin: ... Huh.
- Hearing Voices
- Haley while her mind is fractionning into different aspects of her personality.
- Vaarsuvius under the Soul Splice hears the whispers of the three evil spellcasters.
- Heart Symbol
- A single red heart for Elan and Haley's first kiss, in "Your Ship Has Come In".
- Elan and Haley get another heart symbol for their first kiss after the group split up.
- When Kazumi and Daigo share their wedding kiss in strip #501, they each get a Heart Symbol. Like everything else from Azure City, the hearts are blue.
- Normal pink hearts accompany Belkar's seduction of a female bard in #611.
- Heh, Heh, You Said "X": "Delayed Gratification". Look at the bottom-left panel.
- Hello. My Name Is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die. All of which are invoked here as a Shout-Out to the original.
- Hereditary Curse: Eugene Greenhilt made a Blood Oath that neither he nor his descendants would be able to go into the afterlife until Xykon was destroyed. This curse binds him to his oldest offspring. Apparently the rules of the Celestial Realm give you credit for a good-faith effort, though, which is why Roy is able to get in.
- Heroic Team Revolt: Roy's refusal to go back and save Elan from the bandits has the team up in arms. Even Belkar goes back for him. Roy redeems himself after having a My God, What Have I Done? moment.
- He Who Must Not Be Named: Hilariously mocked in "Half the Elf, Double the Fun".
- Hey, That's My Line!: "Shhh! Principal's Coming!":
Tsukiko: "Gate"? What gate?
MitD: Hey, that's my line!
Roy: Excuse me. I just wanted to let you you know that this in no way reflects my views on the differently-abled.
- High Altitude Interrogation: Roy and Durkon dangling the kobold oracle upside-down by a window to get a third prediction, the first two being less than helpful.
- High-Class Glass: Ambassador Gourntonk is a lizardfolk with a monocle.
- Highly Visible Ninjas: The Goblin Ninjas are wearing black against a white background, but the atrocious spot and listen checks of the main characters cause them not to notice them. Even when the ninjas say things like "We're standing right here."
- Hilarity Ensues: Played straight most of the time, but also subverted. When Xykon describes how he got his crown, he says "I stole it from a librarian in Cliffport who -- oops! -- also turned out to be an archmage. Needless to say, hilarity ensued."
- Hilarity Sues
- Used when lawyers abduct a squid-thingy for breaching copyright.
- Later invoked by V to deal with a troublesome opponent who was also a ripoff of Drizzt.
- Afterward, Belkar sues Miko to prevent her from trying to Detect Evil on him. Since she's Lawful Stupid, she cannot help but comply to the restraining order.
- Rodriguez then tries to serve another restraining order... on Belkar. It goes about as well as you could expect.
- Hit and Run Tactics
- A half-ogre with a flail tries this against high-level fighter Roy. Unfortunately for the half-ogre, Roy manages to take advantage of his predictability.
- Belkar wisely takes this approach to fighting Miko after breaking out of jail. Bear in mind that Miko had successfully taken the entire party alive when they attacked her head-on.
- Hitman with a Heart: As seen here, Female!Roy calls out the dwarven hitman on his threat to blow up the inn, noting that all of his behavior so far indicates a Never Hurt an Innocent mindset. He backs down and admit he would never cause the death of innocents. Unfortunately, the inn gets blown up anyway after Belkar, intent on some mindless slaughter, bumps into the hitman.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: Used every now and then.
Tarquin: There's no need to run around like a cockatrice with its head cut off.
- Hollywood Tactics: Averted. The invasion of the Azure City is based on attrition warfare, but Redcloak employs some finesse by using elementals as heavy units to destroy the main wall, as well as a ninja infiltrator to open the main gate to the throne room.
- Hook Hand
- Hope Spot: Awesome! The Azure City Resistance has recovered Xykon's Soul Jar! Now all they have to do is get it back to their base... oh. Oh dear.
- Horrible Judge of Character
- Tsukiko, no doubt, notably falling for Xykon's Evilly Affable charm. The poor deluded soul seems to believe that he's hiding a caring heart under a tough exterior. Even the Monster in the Darkness has worked out Xykon's status as an unredeemable villain. She also believes Redcloak to be a spineless wimp which is proven false when he kills her with minimal effort..
- Going the other direction, things would have gone a lot better for Azure City if Miko hadn't concluded that the Order of the Stick and Lord Shojo were in a vast evil conspiracy with Xykon and Redcloak based on a series of deductive leaps that would leave a logician weeping.
- Elan is immensely reluctant to admit that his dad is a Lawful Evil general serving (or rather, running) a brutal dictatorship.
- Celia as well. See "A Seller's Market" and "A Dish Best Served With +1d6 Cold Damage".
- Ian Starshine starts out seeing Elan as evil to the core and doubting any of the Order have redeeming features. He goes on to bond somewhat with Belkar, who he seems to consider less evil than the others.
- Hot Mom: We have two examples:
- Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action
- Hinted at with Belkar and Elan's comments about Owlbears.
- Maybe alluded to with Enor, but he could be just as well a magical hybrid.
- The Draketooth family ancestors.
- Hulk Speak: thog most prominent example, but anyone with low enough intelligence score (like most orcs, ogres and a dwarf barbarian) tend to talk this way. Leading to the ultimate example, not nale, not-nale. And, being OotS, lampshaded.
- Hurricane of Puns
- Hypocritical Humor: Roy asks the half-ogre in "Perfect Combo" if it is unwise to try the same tactic turn after turn. If you don't get it, Roy has been charging, and taking damage for no effect from the spiked chain/combat reflexes/stand still combo, 5 times counting the panel he asks it on. Judging by his expression in the last panel, though, he knew the cliff was there and purposely tricked the half-ogre into leaping off it.
- I Always Wanted to Say That
- I Am He as You Are He: Elan manages to (finally) use his twin situation to his advantage when he tricks a prisoner of his father into attacking Nale by making said prisoner believe Nale was him.
- I Am Spartacus: Parodied in "Under the Arena".
- Idea Bulb: In "Armor Begone", Elan gets a half-witted idea, represented by a candle. Later, in "The Cliffport Redemption", a (better) idea is represented by a lantern.
- Idiot Ball
- Elan carries this constantly for laughs because he's the bard. All of the other characters alternate between carrying the Idiot Ball, carrying the Smart Ball, and behaving normally.
- Lirian in Start of Darkness goes through more or less every power she has that WON'T work on a lich in her second duel with the newly lichefied Xykon. It's most likely a way for non-D&D players to be brought up to speed to all the powers and immunities of a lich, but still you'd expect an epic level ex-adventurer would not try using Poison on an undead creature.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Perilous Path of Crushing Doom.
- I Don't Pay You to Think: Subverted when Belkar says this to Vaarsuvius. S/He retorts by angrily saying s/he's not paid to do anything but think.
- I Fell for Hours: Judging from Roy's monologue, his famous fall takes at least a few minutes.
- Ignored Enemy: A ninja and a huecuva try to kill Hinjo at the same time, but end up fighting each other instead over who gets to claim the kill.
Ninja: HEY! You got your hatred of all that's good and pure in my contract killing!
Huecuva: Well, you got your contract killing in my hatred of all that's good and pure!
- Ignore the Fanservice: Roy for Sabine, although he wasn't entirely unfazed by Haley's.
- The Igor: Giro. He isn't a real hunchback, though.
- I Have Nothing to Say to That: Frequently used for punchlines. See "A Is Always A" and "Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud!" (spoilers).
- I Know You Know I Know
- I'll Kill You!
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder:
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Well, a post-death version, anyway, in Start of Darkness. The previous bearer of the Crimson Mantle manifests in spirit form to his newly-minted acolyte, asking him to wear it and learn from it. The acolyte is reluctant to do so at first, because he's not qualified, but his master says (amid the carnage of scores of goblins being wiped out by the Sapphire Guard) that the acolyte is rapidly moving up in the church's hierarchy. The acolyte takes it, and gains powerful knowledge from it. He later adopts the nickname, Redcloak.
- Improvised Weapon
- Xykon kills the wizard Fyron Pucebuckle by beating the man to death with his own Wizzie Award.
- "thog improvise!"
- O-Chul takes out a Demon-Roach, Jirix, and Redcloak's right eye with a bar of his cage.
- Belkar makes an angry mob back away from him... while armed with a pebble.
- Potions aren't just for drinking.
- I'm Thinking It Over: In the second strip, the party is split into two teams, by the traditional method of Roy and Haley taking turns choosing someone. Eventually, Elan is the only one left, and it's Roy's turn to choose.
Elan: Ooh! C'mon! Pick me!
Durkon: Are ye gonna...
Roy: I'm thinking.
- Inconvenient Summons
- The fish in the Lawful Good afterlife.
- In a Dragon Magazine strip, a celestial dog is summoned by Durkon just before it could finish the cure for all diseases.
- Incredibly Lame Pun
- I Need You Stronger: During the siege of Azure City, Xykon offers to postpone his fight with Roy so that Roy can get strong enough to pose a bigger challenge. Roy refuses. He shouldn't have.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Belkar tends to consider any threats to his life as this (and to be snarky about it, too), since he has a high opinion of his fighting skills. To tell the truth, he's been right thus far. There's notably the instance with Crystal:
Crystal: You little twit, I'm gonna kill you!
Belkar: Yeah, and I'm gonna drop a house on you and sing about how I represent the Lollipop Guild. C'mon, let's keep our threats realistic, shall we?
I mean, if you said, "You little twit, I'm going to temporarily inconvenience you!" I'd think, hey, she might really mean it!
- Inferred Holocaust: Invoked. Vaarsuvius uses "Familicide" on an Obviously Evil Black Dragon. This spell kills everyone who shares the blood of the subject, regardless of their distance from the subject, along with all who share their blood. Dragons are Color Coded for Your Convenience, so nobody really cares about the death of about 1/4th of the planet's black dragon population. The problem is, "the propensity for both dragons and humans to breed outside their species is well-documented." Order Of The Scribble illusionist Girard's surname is Draketooth for a reason. V's Familicide spell killed every one of the Draketooth family. And as the Draketooths propagated by seducing random bystanders and absconding with the resulting children, all those bystanders, along with their families, are dead as well. And there's no reason to believe Draketooth was an isolated case...
- Infinite Canvas: Occasionally.
- Informed Attribute: A few, due to the art style.
- For example, Samantha or Haley are supposed to be very beautiful, despite having the same basic design as every other human character.
- Similarly, Elan has an 18 charisma in a system where an 18 represents the peak of human perfection. He is incredibly attractive. Not that we can tell.
- Also, nobody is aware that Haley is wearing long pants until she points it out.
- In Its Hour of Need
- Innocent Innuendo:
MitD: Your screws have thumbs on them? Neat! I wonder if they can screw themselves...
- Insane Troll Logic
- The Empress of Blood also gives a good example of Cum hoc fallacy.
- And of the Artistic License Economics variety: The couple that owns the potions store where V goes to buy once doesn't understand how economy works... they always charge less for one potion than what it costs. They believe that, by selling in volume, they compensate, but since the only thing they sell is potions, all of them at a loss, they do nothing but lose money. And when V points this out... they start a sale.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: When the gods were rebuilding the world, guess what the Monkey god wanted in.
- Instant Ice, Just Add Cold
- Cone of Cold.
- Haley's +5 Icy Burst bow.
- Instant Runes: "I See a Red Robe and I Want to Paint it Black". (Über spoilers!)
- Internal Retcon: Forms the conclusion to the Greysky City arc, though how long it will last is unknown.
- Interrogated for Nothing: Redcloak tortures O-Chul for weeks after the capture of Azure City to get him to reveal details of the guardianship of the remaining Gates, details that O-Chul doesn't have because his order put Honor Before Reason and never violated their oaths to find out. Later, it is revealed that Redcloak has known for a long time that O-Chul really didn't know anything, but has been continuing the torture anyway as a ruse to keep Xykon in Azure City long enough to solidify the hobgoblin regime.
- Interrogating the Dead
- Played for laughs; Xykon needs Redcloak to cast Speak with Dead so he can ask a dead goblin where his keys are.
- Later, the Order of the Stick tries the same spell on a deceased Draketooth clan member. Just as Durkon warned, though, corpses are rather poor informants.
- I Resemble That Remark: In the prequel On the Origin of PCs, after Roy claims that wizards put too much faith in magic, his father Eugene immediately proves his point by asserting loudly that magic is perfect and all-powerful.
- Ironic Echo
Xykon: Meh. As last words go, I've heard better.
Miko: Meh. As indignant speeches go, I've heard better.
- Ironic Name: The prequel book, Start of Darkness, gives us a fat demon lord named "Xyklon the Consequential". He is of no consequence.
- Irony: Girard believed that Soon would betray the oaths for some self-appointed authoritarian reason and booby-trapped the location he gave. Given what he says about Serini and the backdoor summon clause in Dorukan's Cloister spell, Soon was the only one who didn't betray the oath.
- It Got Worse: Things get continually worse throughout the prequel book Start of Darkness, especially for Redcloak. And considering that the book starts with his parents, mentor, and younger sister being massacred by paladins, you know it's going to get pretty bad.
- I Think You Broke Him: The last panel of "Easy Come, Easy Go".
- It's Personal
- It's the Best Whatever Ever!
- Elan has a habit of saying this, usually shortly before the other shoe drops.
- "It was the best adventure EVER!"
- "Woooooo! Wind Walk is the best cleric spell ever!!!"
- "That was the best day EVER!" Wait for the surprise, Elan, wait for the surprise...
- Because you and your dad are going to tell "the best story EVER."
- The Monster in the Darkness can get into this too: "This is the best tea party EVER!!"
- Elan has a habit of saying this, usually shortly before the other shoe drops.
- I Want Grandkids
- ↑ For those who don't know the rules: The penalty to a Bluff check for a lie that is literally impossible to believe is -20. Glibness, again, gives +30. A character under its effects and with even a single rank in Bluff can claim to be the moon and will, more often than not, be believed. Haley has a lot of ranks in Bluff.