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Tropes A-C | Tropes D-F | Tropes G-I | Tropes J-L | Tropes M-O | Tropes P-R | Tropes S-U | Tropes V-Z

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! [1]
  • 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.

 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.

 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.

 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.

 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.

 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!

  • 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.

 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
    • Tsukiko.
    • 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
  • 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.


  1. 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.
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