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Is this the one you never mentioned?

215 thoughts on “Is this the one you never mentioned?

        1. Good call, but at least you used more than one word. So, would that make you less of a nerd since you copied the link that the response was made for in response to the one word response to the above mentioned entry?

        2. So… Lazy1, Pumpkin and Weirdy are either superfans or the meta is reaching overdrive levels. Either way I love it.

        3. I’m thinking that could they possibly be the real thing? But Meta? When did that term come into play for having a broken fourth wall?

          It’s kind of fun though. And until you mentioned it, I thought that Weirdy was just a “Rocky Horror” fan extreme.

          I was almost thinking that Lazy1 was a fanart, but it looks like one of the other webcomics that I read. Serious real life study in a comic from. So, Hi Art icon.

          But it’s fun.

        4. Saying meta overdrive is also fun. More people should try it.

          Picture it being said in the voice of the Unreal Tournament announcer. “Head shot!” “Dominating!” “Meta Overdrive!”

        5. The real thing? In the Roger Rabbit/Cool World kinda way? Or the Superfan(s) way?

          Given the attention given to Pumpkin’s tumbler, I’m guessing meta, but it’s really funny so far. Whoever’s doing it, keep it up!

        6. I love the Lazy 1 montage. I don’t know if I can use the “meta” description for this, but I like this breaking of the fourth wall. It’s so Matrix.


        7. I was kind of thinking about how former novels have framed the thought of the current mindstate and “How Bradbarian” popped into my head. It’s so 451.

        8. Anise could win the gold medal in Twerking AND beat Tarra in that competition. However, the haircut wars afterwards would not ben in Anise’s favor.

        9. I’m of the slight opinion that she went to that illegal place and had the pie subcutaneously injected instead of fix a flat. I hear that it uses more calories to displace said pastry afterwards, but it’s hell on the cholesterol and the kidneys.

    1. She warned you. She warned you all. She’s got to get her cake on. She just never told you WHEN SHE’D STOP!! Muuwahahahaahaaaa!

      1. Why in the ache hee double hockey sticks is everyone assuming that Pumpkin’s gay!? I have seen NO PROOF. Just fan assumptions and stuff.

        However, the sisters have someone new to play with. It’s like a ton of kittens and a way ward mouse now.

        1. Ambiguous orientation is a great hook for spurring fan discussion/speculation. And the fan assumptions have been spurred by the less than subtle allusions Chris has seeded throughout recent strips. Though they are definitely ambiguous I like the idea of shipping Pumpkin and Ashliii. Because I can totally see Pumpkin forcing Ashliii to dress as Launchpad McQuack which I find funny beyond description.

        2. I’d like to add a vote for wanting to see Pumpkin force Ashliii to dress up as Launchpad McQuack. Don’t care if it’s romantic persuasion, a lost bet, post-hypnotic suggestion, or whatever works best for the story.

        3. I think that it was generated more by Quinn’s sass than Chris’s intentions. And the fanservice generated by the self sustaining giant sucking sound of shipping fans in service of self gratuity just seemed to be so damn self sustaining, perpetual romance of egotistical proportions.

        4. No proof. Not yet.

          Although I’m curious as to why you seem to be so fiercely opposed to the idea of Pumpkin being attracted to Quinn. Does it really matter that much to you if a fictional character digs chicks? I mean, sure, this page on its own doesn’t prove that Pumpkin is interested in Quinn; it’s just a look. A vaguely interested look that – following suggestions from previous pages – might appear to be physical attraction. And there’s nothing wrong with assuming that. Lots of teenage boys look exactly like that around a new girl.

          You know, except for the boobs… wait, boobs?… Pumpkin’s a girl?
          Oh, total lesbian then!

        5. Personally, I would rather wait for the story to unfold rather than to go running about entertaining the whims of a lusty madman/woman in hopes of internet evidence for their decisions instead of having something for recreation and hopefully wanting to show fiscal remittance to the author and progenitor of said intellectual entity.

          Tis much better to sleep, perchance to dream than to listen to the self deluded whisperings of a deluded dork.

        6. I can almost agree with you, but not quite.

          My main reason is that I don’t think that speculation about Pumpkin’s sexuality, which was explicitly brought up and questioned in multiple comics, should be held to a higher standard than speculation about Blind Guy’s identity, which was pretty much entirely comment speculation (and author comments) that there was any connection past the obvious.

          While I don’t find speculating about Pumpkin’s sexuality as interesting as I did Blind Guy’s identity, I can’t fault someone else for finding it a more compelling mystery.

        7. I kind of can. I feel that it crosses a line, when….

          1) Chris wants this to be family friendly, some things don’t need to be said until a person reaches a certain age.

          2) and upon the mention of a certain age, which would be the age of consent, and in reference to some animations where people are paranoid about the age of the model in question when said model looks younger than they are, even if they are over 18, and brings about a totally crazy pandora’s box of issues moral, ethical, sexual, predatory and such.

          No matter, which way that the arrow of relationship chasing goes in terms of age, crossing the line that represents the age of consent is a definite no-no.

          That, and projecting upon an individual, what you want them to be, instead of what they are, is even worse. Now, what with that said, I say it in terms of the choices in which a person chooses to express themselves. And that there seems to be some reason that if one person of a pair enjoys it, then the transitive process should apply, and not in the sense of making puns. Well, it doesn’t.

          And I will continue to gripe and complain until such a point in the story where the actual information comes from the character themselves instead of the fandom.

          Now, what with Mr. Stevens, we knew who he was from the get go, actually, when Ellie worked that night. But we didn’t have all of the pieces together. I will agree that trying to sleuth that information was fun.

          Personally, I see sex as an adult magazine sitting behind the counter, wrapped up in it’s adult wrapper, waiting for someone to come along. Minding it’s own business. It can sit there for all I care.

          Besides, some groups of people were all emotional during the Clinton administration while the President was being investigated. They claimed that what happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom. And for the most part, that’s right. And if someone lies to Congress, they should be impeached. Well, he was. The Senate just didn’t fire him.

        8. Then I guess you have Chris to blame for planting the seeds in the first place and continuing to cultivate them?

          1) Though I agree with you that the comic should be family friendly as also apparently intended by the author, I’m just not sure whose family it should be trying to befriend. Hopefully a family that is tolerant of each other’s individual attributes and loves each other in spite of others telling them what’s okay and not okay to think.

          2) I also agree that it is entirely unacceptable to talk about situations of a sexual nature between an adult (Quinn) and someone who is not yet of age (Pumpkin). Being that yours is the first comment I have read on this site to actually allude to such a scenario, I’d suggest you be ashamed of yourself, but I know you were only saying it to set an example to others of what not to do so I suppose I can let you off with a warning. This time. Next time I will sternly shake my finger at you.

          And speculating that Pumpkin might be gay and also might be attracted to Quinn “in that way” has about as much to do with sex as the Clinton administration has to do with this conversation. Which is to say, nothing until you brought it up. Personally, I see sex as this thing that people do with/to/for/at each other sometimes, and sometimes it’s hot and totally awesome and sometimes it’s nasty and gross, especially when ugly people are doing it, but as common as it has become in our society, generally the people who seem to talk the most about it are the people saying that nobody should talk about it.

          But I look forward to your continued griping and complaining and the flame wars that are likely to result. I’ll try to stay over on the sidelines with a bucket of popcorn, though I can’t say I won’t jump in if I see an opportunity to offer some insight or a silly comment. Of course, instead of griping and complaining you might find that just a silly comment once in a while would probably be more well-received (like when I used to poke fun at you shipping Quinn and DJ HoodieMcHooderson… haha, good times), but whatever you want; people like griping and complaining too.

        9. *sigh*

          No, I do not blame Chris. I blame the interpretations made by the commenters at the time that Quinn made her sarcastic remark in possible statistical error.

        10. But that was my point: the interpretations and assumptions aren’t entirely the fault of the commentators – Chris even said in another comment on this very page that the above panel of lurking-Pumpkin was to fuel the “is she or isn’t she” fire. I take that to mean that such commentators are interpreting things exactly as intended. Which is to say, not that Pumpkin is gay, but rather that Pumpkin might be gay. And interested in Quinn.

          Personally, I don’t predict either outcome over the other right now because – as Pumpkin’s moniker on the cast page suggests – it’s too soon to tell. Maybe she’s gay (and will make Quinn uncomfortable and awkward for the rest of the evening), maybe she’s not (and Quinn will put her foot in her mouth when she “shoots her down”). Either way, the outcome will be hilarious.

        11. Pat,
          The writing of Pumpkin is specific to my own interactions with someone I know personally. The cast-out-reel-back-in gags with Pumpkin (such as this) are a direct result of said person. There really is no proof if Pumpkin is gay or not. Just some speculative features and lack of boyfriends. Exactly what I’ve experienced, and maybe some readers experienced the same thing in their own lives.

          In real life, someone who’s gay has the absolute possibility of liking someone who’s 18 or over while they’re still 13, 14, 15, or whatever age. That’s just fact. And reasonable. There were plenty of 18+ women I crushed on when I was 12. Because I crushed doesn’t mean I was fantasizing sex. I don’t think anything revolving around Pumpkin has crossed the line. And none of this is done for any form of fanservice. I would hate it if you thought that.

          I rate this comic as PG-13. I’m never sure myself what to categorize my comic as, because I think it’s still kind of ‘out there.’ It’s borderline family friendly I guess. It’ll never be in newspapers. What is anymore? Golf comics? Cat comics? But it’s also not a comic I just unhinge myself with and let morals die in the dirt. I also don’t revel in pinup bonus art or fandom shipping.

          There are a few standards I hold myself to in terms of the comic, and they are as follows:
          i. No drug humor. No ‘getting high antics.’
          ii. No STD humor.
          iii. No ‘everybody gay!/had gay experience’ story telling. No ‘everyone eventually hooks up’ storytelling because I’ve run out of ideas. Sexual identities may change, but not like the wind. No drunken hookups unless there’s damn good reason. And there better not be one.

          iv. Have examples of men being men and women being women. Not modern cultures example of ever-merging or swapping gender roles. Some exceptions are okay sporadically.

          v. Parents have authority over their own children. And actually take an interest in them.
          vi. Hell, damn, bitch, and ass are about the only curse words I allow.
          vii. Nothing overtly sexually perverted.
          viii. No nudity (with exception to Titanic drawing)
          ix. Don’t be disingenuous. Represent with integrity those characters whose viewpoints and lifestyles I personally don’t agree with. Is someone a 911 truther? Well, I better write something they’d actually say, instead of making them complete morons because I don’t agree with them. I know plenty of truthers, and they’re not stupid people. It’s possible to lampoon their thoughts on the matter if I so chose, but not their person. This is a tragedy of modern writing.
          x. No Fladerization. God help me to notice it before it happens.
          xi. Not everyone can be redeemed. Some characters don’t deserve it.
          xii. Finalize every character.
          xiii. Always work towards the end of the comic.

          And that’s’s not to say I won’t break a rule here or there as long as the story benefits from it. But if you’re unnerved by the current goings-on involving Pumpkin because of her age, Pat, I wouldn’t be. There’s no malicious intent. Just my own past experience to draw from. =)

        12. Chris,

          That’s what I was trying to suggest, you actually have respect for the characters, and the characters say what they are saying.

          The speculation on Pumpkin did not start until after Quinn made her sarcastic comment while having to listen to Ellie’s description on her family.

          Now, with that said, and what you said above, Quinn’s remarks were supposedly her remarks based upon your observations of what similar people would have said in real life. I also believe that you are one hell of an artist and would not hack things up.

          To elaborate, one direction crushes and heart throbs are one thing, as long as the age increases towards the person being crushed or thought of as dreamy and such. As some of the age discussions went earlier, some people think that it’s weird for someone who is dating someone who’s age is less than the following formula: where x = age, ((x/2)+7).

          Generally, I would say that it was assumed that the lower age limit was based upon the median age of people who graduate high school, but I’ll just say 18. And with that said, remarks about what a person’s personality is, in my mind, open to interpretation by others and should be in some way able to stand to criticism, positive, negative and whatever.

          While Quinn and Ellie are roommates, there is some leeway in that dynamic, and the elasticity of the audacity is allowed because of the roommate situation. Having to share the comfort zone of the apartment allows for the spill over into portions of the other’s life.

          What I find callous and uncouth is the lack of respect people would have towards a person who is below that age, and therefore the aforementioned age of consent in determining what they think of someone’s personality and choices. Also, in making trite observations of such, could in my opinion be construed as an attempt to force an external point of view on a fledgling personality where it’s not needed, not welcome and could be detrimental in a time of personal development.

          And the above paragraph (or sentence) was aimed more at the comments that arose because of Quinn’s sarcastic statement about the playing of the odds.

          Besides, how in the hell can someone absolutely say that a newborn baby is gay or not? Save that junk until someone is legally recognized as an adult and then expose them to the world. Otherwise, why don’t we just clone Hitler, Nero and Fred “Omar” Kliene of 1634 Newport Lane, New York City, New York.

        13. I admit to not understanding your vehemence regarding the seperation of age and orientation or “the comments”. For one things, fans are going to ship (and have shipped with less provocation than this) and Chris willingly provided fuel for them to do so. For another, I don’t see that anyone has treated Pumpkin with any disrespect and I stand by my earlier statement, ambiguous orientation can be a good character trope/hook. Unless I’ve missed it no one has bashed Pumpkin and no one has posted slash fic featuring her. It’s about at the middle school level of “do you think she links x.”

        14. Probably too late for you to come back and notice, but on the odd chance, mentioning two things.

          1) Age/2 +7 is something that I use because at the time I realized, “Whoa, I’m too old for 18 to be old enough,” I hadn’t the slightest idea of a good rule of thumb. I like XKCD so I though, “good enough” and generally use that. In no way, shape, or form do I truly believe that someone Age/2 + 6 (which is still well over 18 for me) who showed me she was a good match would get a “Nope, sorry. Wait a year” from me (and so on, as far as ethical). It’s more of an, “I don’t have a better rule, and this one rolls off the tongue nicely.” As a side benefit, I managed to shut up a relative trying to hook me up with one of her friend’s kids by rolling it off the top of my head without a second thought. So I’m keeping it.

          2) As for speculation on Pumpkin, I don’t see it as a lack of respect. In my personal experience, I’ve known people who were gay, knew it well before they turned 18, and struggled with a socially imposed need to keep it to themselves. At least one ended up killing himself before turning forty (not sure why, we weren’t close, but he didn’t deserve that). I saw some of the shit that some of them dealt with. None of the comments about Pumpkin seemed in that vein, and frankly all seemed perfectly accepting. None of them seemed masturbatory or anything else particularly twisted, just “I’m guessing X on mystery Y” or “I’m attempting this pun/clever-remark/play-on-words/joke-in-whatever-form-you-like on mystery Y.” They all seemed to say, “Sure, it’s fully possible and that doesn’t make her a bad person in any way.” I honestly think some of the people I knew needed to hear that. I wasn’t mature enough to try to say anything back then, and God only knows if it would’ve helped if I’d tried.

          We all have different experiences though, and I imagine your strong feelings on the matter come from something in your own life, but causing an opposite conclusion in terms of helpfulness versus harmfulness.

        15. I was thinking of it being more like a gentleman cajoling miscreants or cads about the speculation of a lady, or in this case, a young lady.

          She’s still a kid, even though she’s shown that she can hold her own as well as handle cake at the same time.

  1. love the comic. liking pumpkin in the last panel- “here’s someone i can finally beat in a haircut fight…”

  2. Tarra would have four gold medals for the same event, of course she would.

    Why wasn’t Anise “the one with the sweet tooth?”

    1. I’m actually surprised she doesn’t have a self-replicating gold medal. “Technically it’s still a countably infinite number of gold medals, so it could be more.”

        1. ha ha ha. A perpetual motion device for kick boxing. Maybe that’s what happened to wheelchair ninja, telecommunicative knockout.

        2. I think Steve’s just trying to make Tarra out as a bigger troublemaker than Cinn, which she would be if the laws of thermodynamics were hard and fast rules in the Buckingham household.

          (before anyone replies about it, yes, I recognize the Simpson’s quote)

      1. I took that as sugar coma on my first read, but looking back at it I can also see “caught” or “How can she possibly not know it’s me without asking?”

  3. So just how many of the comittee did she have to “Persuade”?

    (I think that still falls under the “other considerations” clause.)

        1. Scuse me? My “persuaded” was entirely violent. Surely not even Terra could render a man paraplegic with…oh my. That’s a disturbing thought.

        2. that’s the internet for ya. tons of people overly prepared to chastise others over thoughts that they themselves are having *rolls eyes*. If it makes you feel any better, my personal assumption of your “persuaded” was smooth talking them into confusion lol.

          Just like with the ninja. She smoothed talked him. With her fists. And the soles of her feet.

  4. Why do I sense a whole new level of awkward coming to Thanksgiving Dinner for the Buckingham family?

    Pumpkins face as she is lurking is adorable, btw

  5. Tarra seems to be someone who gets her way regardless of how she has to do it and how many bodies she has to leave in her wake…
    And i wonder why Pumpkin is so interested in Quinn, maybe Ellie told her about their fight?
    She looks really cute anyway :)

    1. I could see examining Ellie’s handiwork as Pumpkin’s motive. Another good “not what you’re thinking” reason would be if she pounced on Quinn with a wig or other cosplay accessories half-way through Thanksgiving dinner.

      1. That’s the way I saw it. Sure, as commented below, it’s fuel for the fire, but being logical about it, Pumpkin just found someone who is currently bound into her life because of a sister, and is new.

        Quinn’s next Halloween might not be entirely in her control.

        1. And thank you CoffeeFox. You two seem to be the sane ones in this possible relationship dynamic. I’m a bit sick of the ultra extrapolation of the co-efficient from the male centered ego centric libido of American mainstream stereotypical thought.

        1. To be fair, I just kinda’ want to see Pumpkin pounce and the harried/traumatized look on Quinn’s face as she staggers to her feet dressed as an anime character I probably won’t recognize.

          As for everyone talking about Pumpkin batting for the other team, Rusche very clearly and deliberately brought it up as a teaser in the comic Odds Are (11 Sept 2013). Now, while I haven’t read below on these comments yet, I haven’t seen anything from Rusche to give a firm indication if that’s foreshadowing or red herring, but he’s done much less obvious foreshadowing, so it’s fair for some people to believe that’s the way he’s taking the story.

          Though that brings up a third possibility for Pumpkin. Ellie might’ve mentioned the comment and they decided Pumpkin needs to screw with her a bit because of it. I could absolutely see Ellie and Pumpkin deciding that would be great fun.

        2. And closing the browser tab with that comic, I noticed that one of Quinn’s attempted euphemisms was:

          ‘You know. The one that “Made Thanksgiving really awkward”-or whatever.’

          Seeing this week’s comics I really do think that’s definitely foreshadowing for Quinn (not the sexuality part, but the specific description). Come on Quinn! I’m cheering for you to knock this holiday meal’s awkwardness out of the park!

        3. If that were the called shot, that would be hilarious.

          I think I can kind of see Pat’s point. It seems like all analysis of characters interacting these days gets reduced down to “Will they shack up?” Mulder/Scully, Booth/Bones, etc. are way better, and in my opinion, deeper without a forced romantic element. The whole “Will-they-won’t-they” dynamic gets in the way of real character development and seems like a cheap cop out.

          Luckily, nothing like that is happening here. Just conjecturing on why Pat might have that aversion.

        4. Mostly, my aversion, ironically he stated, is that too damn many of the fans are fanservicing in front of the damn TV.


          I’m old, and I want my stories where people shut their mouths with mayo, mustard, and vanilla shakes. I remember why my parents bought us McDonald’s milkshakes. It was to get us to shut up about when we’re getting there.

          WHY IF I COULD, I’d buy all these damn shippers a damn three day milkshake sucker that they would have to use both hands for. Then I could get back to enjoying the pureness of the comic, instead of all of these ________ conjectures.

          I realize that it may take half the fun out of the posting. But that’s what the forum is for.

        5. Pat – As I told a friend regarding Slashdot posts, it’s very important to cultivate the ability to look at a comment thread and then decide to follow absolutely nothing else in that thread and go on. Alternately, you could take an approach similar to what’s recommended in http://www.xkcd.com/1288/ using the FoxReplace Firefox add-on (or similar Greasemonkey script or whatever works with your preferred browser) and just replace ‘lesbian’ with ‘space emperor’ or ‘Pumpkin is interested in’ with ‘Chinese Checker world grandmaster Pumpkin is looking for a challenge from’.

          SlamShuffle – That’d irritate me if I felt confident of the outcome, as I tend to with TV shows. With the Pumpkin sexuality bit, I can see it being The Noodle Incident, shown in passing in the most anticlimactic way Rusche can manage, a sub-plot, or a major plot arc. From past experience, I expect it’ll be done in a way that’s either non-irritating or irritating in a “gotcha” vein, and I’m good with that.

        6. Like I said above, what bothers me is the assumptions being made by people on one side of the age of consent about a character on the other side.

        7. I don’t see that interest that isn’t acted upon by an underage person directed at an of age person is that controversial. Nobody thinks anything is amiss when there’s a grade school with a substitute teacher built like a Swedish bikini model and every guy in that class is drooling over her and hugely kissing up beyond the norm. Now if that teacher ever appears to reciprocate then that’s a whole different story and deserves indignation. But just the having a crush part with the older party having an, “I remember being that age, let’s hope they keep it to themself enough that I don’t have to embarrass them”-attitude seems 100% fine to me. I don’t think for a moment that Quinn would cross that line, regardless of what else she might do that I wouldn’t agree with. So I’m fine if Pumpkin’s crushing on Quinn, screwing with Quinn, or speculating how easy prey she’d be for haircuts or cosplay accessory additions.

        8. I suppose “screwing with Quinn” might’ve been a poor word choice, as are most other expressions I can think of. Mabye “playing mind games with Quinn” is the closest that isn’t easily misunderstood.

          Also, I’d been intending to set up the substitution filters in my browser for a couple of weeks from that XKCD comic and finally did so. I heartily recommend it.

        9. No, mostly my objections are of the following:

          Most people on the internet fall into two categories.

          1) People in high school
          2) People who pay for their internet

          Generally, people who pay for their internet and 1/4 to 1/2 of the people in high school are above the age of consent. Therefore, while playing the odds, I was generally aiming my comments at people who were speculating (and assuming that they are over the age of consent (herein know to be referred to as “AOC”)) on someone who is clearly under, or close to approaching said AOC. Especially if she’s friends with someone who only works for 15 minutes at a time, because she was described as being 15.

          Besides, too many kids these days are being pushed into being adults before they are even done being kids.

        10. I’d argue people are being pushed into half being adults too early and rarely pushed on the other half. I’ll agree that too many kids are having sex in middle school and never learning to take responsibility for their own actions even after they “grow up.” However, I don’t see the question of romantic interest as mattering for that. I remember a lot of us having a crush on the elementary school gym teacher, but I know for damn sure that none of us had a clue back then what that meant past kissing and “touching the things they say you’re supposed to get an adult if somebody touches, which is presumably pretty cool since the kids older than us who still don’t know anything about it yet say they do think it’s cool too.”

        1. My god… that’s so perfect, it’d actually work. That’s why no one suspects anything! But you and I know now- and we can get someone in on this! Quick- you go get James Bond, and I’ll go get Indiana Jones.

        2. Of course we will probably meet with unfortunate “accidents.” Perfectly untraceable of course.

        3. I can’t even apply “Miss Congeniality” here. She’s too much on the adorable plan to apply her knowledge for evil. I think that it’s much more plausible that the soon to be wheelchair ninja was the one who attempted to give the whole team food poisoning.

          I don’t see too many evil scientists working on their dissertations and/or thesis (for a possible PhD.)

          My scenario would have Tarra knowing the rules so well, that she ran rings around the Judges with her complete knowledge of the rule books and all rulings since the start of said games.

          And I would say, in order for her to win four medals, she would have to be manipulating four sets of oars, in synchronous systematic applications in order to get said four medals.

          That, I can believe as two attempts to challenge her, let alone the physical attempt of beating everyone including the country (assumed) that gave her team food poisoning.

        4. I’m more wondering the direction of awesome she would’ve taken. Rig up a system so she could control two oars with each arm and each leg, four with each arm, close her eyes and concentrate hard and manifest three more sets of arms, or just sat in the middle and did it with two oars.

          Usually Tarra reminds me of the Bill Brasky sketches on Saturday Night Live, but today I’m thinking more Weird Al’s song CNR as I could see her winning the Tour de France with two flat tires and broken chain.

        5. I’m also thinking of that one guy on “30 seconds of fame” who did the Village People Halloween costume dance for “YMCA”

      1. This is precisely what I was starting to think…. exactly HOW did all her teammates come down at the same time with food poisoning but she didn’t? What kind of persuasion was this? Why did mom lump her in with the slutty one with her ‘and who knows where the other two are’ comment at the birthday party? At first I thought ‘maybe just naughty’ but then I went back to wheelchair ninja- exactly what did Wheelchair Ninja do to deserve that kind of beating? On the heels of this mysterious ailment that sidelines her teammates? Starting to really wonder about this Tarragon….

        1. Considering Tarragon’s ability to give only passing lip service to the laws of physics, I’d say a “God only knows” mindset for where she is seems very appropriate.

          Also, a woman who kills a (bank?) robber with her hair and rescues a baby from a burning building while on the phone with her sister giving no clue of such things going on, is not someone I’d immediately assume would sit down and eat with her teammates as opposed to an, “I’ll catch you later, I’ve gotta go accept a Nobel Peace Prize, but I promise I’ll be back before the race starts.”

        2. It’s also possible she got a quintuple dose but the poison was sufficiently in awe of her that it had sufficient respect for her prowess that it teleported out of her body (refusing to make her suffer the indignity or normal evacuation procedures) from microbial self-preservation instincts.

          With Tarra, we can’t rule ANYTHING out, after all.

  6. “Is this the one you never mentioned?” I take it that Pumpkin’s lurking and cat smile is more fuel for the “is she or isn’t she” fire, right?

      1. In my mind, the next strip has Quinn in another part of the house, talking to someone else, with the last panel exactly the same.

    1. I’m waiting for Ms. Cynical vs. Ms. No filter between brain and mouth. That will likely end with Quinn violently removing limbs from Cinnamon as the rest of the family shrugs and are all, “well, she totally had that coming, now someone pass the stuffing this way.”

        1. I still don’t think Quinn stands a chance against Cinn. Cinn is dumb, but cunning and soullessly malicious.

          Now that you mention the tattoos, I’d like to see Ellie step in to stop it and then after she pins Cinn yell for Anise that she thinks Cinn needs a note to herself on her hand to help remember not to mess with her older sisters.

  7. Wait, pumpkin is Lesbian??? Also, i..is Tarragon looking at us? Is she so perfect that she can break the fourth wall!?

    1. As mentioned above, see the comic Odds Are from 11 Sept this year. Rusche put in either foreshadowing or red herring in the direction of Pumpkin’s sexuality there.

      As for Tarra, she’s not breaking the fourth wall looking at you, she’s breaking several more dimensions of walls and looking at your great-grandchildren.

    1. I don’t think Tarra ever competes any more. I think she just wins before she even notices there was a competition.

  8. Anise is getting cuter and cuter. So she has a sweets addiction going on here.

    Wondering about Pumpkin, and whether Pumpkin is wondering about Ellie what Ellie was wondering about Pumpkin. I wonder. She may be gay and interested, or she’s thinking she’s finally got some evidence about Ellie’s sexuality. Is she going to ask if Quinn is Ellie’s girlfriend in the next strip?

    And Quinn is showing a good amount of skepticism here. Tarra’s accomplishments are ridiculous and often probably impossible, so you could go and wonder just how much of it is true, and how much she can be lying through her teeth about. Tarra is a bit perfect, but she could have a sneaky sense of humor and throw out what should be obvious bullshit to see exactly how far she could go before someone questions her.

    1. Tarra has no bullshit going, just perfection and an amazing alignment of probability, like Longshot or Domino. (If you’re a Marvel comics geek you would get that, if not I don’t know what to tell you.) Unlike Chuck Norris, no Tarra fact is too outlandish, all are true. Tarra fact: Tarra has two more gold medals she won but she does not display them because they are for events she did not compete in. They are the games only honorary gold medals.

      Also it would crack me up if at the dinner table Pumpkin just flat out asked Quinn if her and Ellie are dating. I can picture Ellie and Quinn both being shocked enough at the suggestion for everyone to assume their reaction is corroboration. Hijinks of course would then ensue. Possibly even hijinks with a body count, which we’ve already established are the best kind of hijinks.

      1. See, now I was thinking that Tarra just finds additional Olympic gold medals the same way other people lose socks. I heard it got to the point she was trying to see if she could find a good use for them, but she hasn’t quite been able to use them to replace the tears of girls whose hair has just been cut off in her cure for cancer (general cure for all known and yet to be discovered types of cancer).

        As I said in last comic’s comments, Quinn deserves that speculation going her way since she’s the one who originated the idea that one of the seven must be a lesbian.

    2. @Jamilee,

      This confirms my fears. Ashliii was talking about this one day while walking after school. I was describing my other sisters when she said to just hurry up and tell her about the one that has a bunch of girl friends but never any boyfriends. D:

      1. Personally, I don’t think so. Cinnamon has a multi layered stripe shirt of several colors. A few steps down from Joseph’s dreamcoat. However, the girls are all of the same height. We saw that in the flashback to the monopoly game.

        So, I’m going to say -3.

        1. But your analysis is based on the clothes Cinnamon was previously seen wearing. While each sister appears to have an iconic or signature outfit they are all so wearing something different in this story. Going strictly by height and hair color it is most likely to be Cinnamon.

        2. Well, after seeing the latest addition to the serial epic, I have to say that it’s Cinnamon. However, with the coloring and the hair looking like a fabric and a vest. Or a headband, I was less likely to say that it was Cinnamon and more likely to say that it was a guy who could put Duck Dynasty to shame. Beard wise that is. And therefore, Anise’s steady.

        3. I’m still hoping Rusche makes Mike show up in similar colored clothing with similar hair color too. Granted, I’m expecting to be disappointed now, but I’m hoping nonetheless.

    1. I’m gonna go with Mike. Not the one she originally tattooed on her hand to remind herself to call, but someone else named Mike who eventually ended up with the same phone number as the first one. Both have beards, of course.

  9. I get more”sizing up” or maybe guessing sizes from pumpkins expression than, say, “Dayumm, she fine!”. I’m thinking either I misunderstood the expression, or she’s planning on selling Quinn a wig/costume.

    1. She should talk to Tarra about that. I hear she’s the one who taught Gordito from Dr. McNinja how to grow facial hair by sheer force of will.

  10. Tarra is the type of girl Ellie never got to be.
    she’s smart, and and very proud of herself, and seems to be able to get away with pretty much anything and even if she would screw up(witch is like a unique event) she would probably getting forgiven and rewarded for it…
    She everything i hate in a girl…. and envy..

    1. Tarra’s a caricature, not a character. She’s there as a contrast piece, an accent, the 100 point score on a test that only has a possible 90 points. She’s what you think someone else is in real life who beats the pants off of you in something you care about and you never notice the things you beat them at without trying, but without the dose of reality.

      That makes her fun. You can make up the most outlandish think you like as a “Tarra did it” sort of story.

      I’d originally thought Tara would evolve into a character, but after the phone call strips I’m starting to suspect she’ll stay in her current form. It is starting to get to the point that for her to become a character she’d have to have near crippling mental issues to explain why she’s telling all these stories (though there have to be some true for her to have the cash to come up with the props for them). I suppose she could also be a genetically engineered experiment on the most superior possible human being from ten millenia in the future sent back as an experiment, but that doesn’t seem like the type of reality license that this comic takes (the Omega level pestilence is a different flavor).

      1. I don’t see her as the kind of character that just beats you at the things you care about, or is so perfect she’s basically an overachiever and proud of it to the point she’s trying to rub it in your face… or even that it might come off that way… if that were the case I would understand people hating her.

        Given Chris’ description of her (and his description of the real life person who inspired her), I tend to think she’s the kind of character that’s perfect at everything, but in a good way – not the kind of person that is envied but (like her real life counterpart) the kind of person that inspires. As in, people tend to just adore her, and everyone knows they can depend on her if they really need her.

        It’s interesting that the character can actually be interpreted in either way – as a sickeningly-perfect goody-goody or as just one of the best human beings you will ever meet – yet so many readers strangely tend toward the former option. Maybe people just like to hate things?

        1. I don’t think she’s a person who beats you at things you care about on purpose. I think she’s the person who walks in the room when you’ve been struggling to get something working for four hours who exclaims, “Oh, I haven’t seen one of those in years!” picks it up and has it working in 90 seconds or less and then looks at you somewhat confused at why you’re pissed off.

          It’s not trying to make someone feel bad, it’s just being so damned good that it happens on accident.

          I’ve seen a lot of people feel at least somewhat jealous of others who have a natural talent for something that they’ve had to work for.

          I happen to have an excellent memory for the type of facts that get asked on tests in school and a good intuition for reasoning things from first principles. As a result, I got very good grades with very little effort. I know people who worked their butts off to get a B where I was getting an A with no effort. I wasn’t trying to upset anyone or make anyone feel bad, and some of those people really were somewhat jealous that I didn’t have to study all night. Some people thought I was malicious, and others were friends and realized it was just easy for me and didn’t hold it against me. In other areas of life, I’ve found myself on the other side of the table. To my interpretation, Tarra is like that one area for me, but in all areas and has never even seen the other side of the table.

          I think that’s why I kinda’ like her, enjoy making up ridiculous feats that she obviously did with no effort, yet consider her more of a plot device or background object than a character.

        2. I wasn’t actually concerned with whether her perfection was intentional or accidental, moreso with how there are two ways to interpret her perfectness (something to be jealous of or something to inspire) and that I choose the latter (based on Chris’ description of her real-life counterpart) while so many seem to choose the former, though your comment seems to address that so I’ll just let the issue rest. :)

          And I too enjoy making up random feats of hers, but yes, I agree that she seems like more of a plot device / comedy relief / background character, like if this were a video game she’d be the NPC that stays back in town and repairs your weapons and tells you stories if you chat with her. Though who knows, she could become more interesting later – so far we’ve seen her what, 3 separate times?

        3. I’ll agree she hasn’t shown up enough to be sure, but the other characters all have room to grow, and the story is generally about that growth. I have a hard time seeing how she could be more than background primarily for that reason. I suppose she could have something in her life she’s struggling with completely orthogonal to everything else (for example from the comments about Pumpkin, Tarra might be gay and in the closet and struggle with coming out), but that’d seem a bit of a stretch with how much she’s built up otherwise. Although I suppose getting to see that even The Perfect One has an insecurity or two, and supporting her through it, might be a growth point for Ellie (or one of the others in the comic).

    2. Tarra is not barred by law or manufacturer from owning an iNimbus, she just chooses not to. However, if she did have one, she would be able to take real pictures of the planet’s in the solar system in less than five years. And a decent portrait of the galaxy in 20.

  11. I’m beginning to get the sense that this strip takes place in a perhaps more fanciful and heightened reality than our own.

    I mean that is the only way I can explain the M&Ms in the cookie being in such neat rows and columns.

    1. Shhhhh,

      It’s secret code to the NSA on the suspicious behavior of Cinnamon. Their mother was sworn to secrecy, and had to have something to say before Anise ate the technology.

      1. With the awesomeness of Terra’s Lara Croft outfit, plus the”perfect one” style, I totally think the sexy stare into the “camera”is perfect. Like she’s going, “I know, even you want it.” Just another example of Rusche’s awesome joke placement.

    1. I noticed it but just thought it was part of her perfect thing. Like a whole “yup, I know there are readers out there. I’m that good.”

    2. While it’s fun to make Tarra impossibly perfect, when reading through it at first, I just assumed there were other people in that line of sight (she is sitting on a couch up against a wall and the one person Quinn knew when walking in the house is not on said couch with T, Q, & P).

  12. … My thoughts on Pumpkin in the last panels is just seeing a new cosplay model and all the characters she could portray.
    I mean, brand new girl with a unique figure… the possibilities are endless.

    1. Her figure isn’t that different from Juniper’s, and if Ellie’s boobs started coming in fifth grade, then Pumpkin has a decent chance to be a similar figure too (could go either way).

      Now I’m only arguing with the unique part. I can absolutely see Pumpkin thinking one of her cosplay outfits would look better on someone a bit taller but still slimmer in the chest than most of her other sisters (and Juniper probably gets vomit stains on the outfits even when she is coherent enough to put them on). Also Rusche’s comments about Quinn’s indignation taking flight before it begins when she sees Juniper suggests that she’ll probably look somewhat visually different when we see her for Thanksgiving.

  13. Catching up from the last few days and want to say that I really like the art in the last few strips. Today is great. So much meaning being conveyed without words. However, I think my favorite is Ellie dragging Quinn from her chair. I don’t know what it is, but that scene is so perfect, it should be Tarra dragging Tarra (from her Tarra).

    Excellent work.

  14. Well, I’m disappointed that Pumpkin may like girls. I was hoping that she was diggin’ Quinn’s hair clip. Or wanted to switch it out for something sparkly.

      1. eh, there’s no understanding some people. “I don’t understand it so it must be wrong” and all that :( not much you can do.

      2. I wanted Quinn and Ian to hook up. Won’t apologize for that. And my preference (or yours) doesn’t really matter. It’s Mr. R’s world. We’re just people that he allows to watch.

        And I prefer hotdogs. Won’t apologize for that, either.

        1. Just pointing out that just because a character likes another character doesn’t mean the latter has to like the first back. So, Quinn and Ian could still become a thing, and Pumpkin’s feelings just go unreturned for a little bit until she moves on.

          Or is that too crazy of a plot twist?

        2. As far as we know Quinn is firmly in the hot dog camp with no storyline hints anyone’s pointed out to suggest otherwise.

          Also, I’ve known people who like both. A girl liking tacos doesn’t mean she can’t have an appreciation for the finer points of sausage as well.

    1. Rusche mentioned that Black Friday shopping was going to be a Buckingham tradition, so if there’s room in the pacing (I believe I recall he said something about wanting a certain part of story arc for Christmas season to match up) for the trip there or back, that could fit soon.

      1. We’ll be going well into Christmas still in the middle of Black Friday shopping. You can only do “Quinn meets the other sisters” once, so if I miss an interaction now, I can’t get it back unless I put it in the book or something. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not hitting a checkout line until after Dec 25th. lol

        1. Talk about needing to go to Milliway’s in order to get your post Christmas shopping done in time to wrap the presents to get under the tree for the Christmas you missed while shopping and then have a cup of coffee and watch the kids wake up on that missed Christmas morning and tear hell through that wrapping paper that survived the grand cold death of entropy.

        2. Please tell me the nephews are coming back for Christmas. I know I have no right to demand it or anything, but the oldest one looking at Terra’s… Face… In the cast page makes me love those kids for some reason.

      2. I wouldn’t want to get between the Buckingham ladies and a bargain. Between the ninja crippler and the inventor of the “Stop, That Hurts” board game, that’s a scary prospect.

        1. As someone who’s done Black Friday shopping in the past and intends to do more in the future (currently planning to this year), I tend to adopt deliberate and easily predictable movements, so anyone too rabid will be more likely to successfully jump around me as opposed to attack me.

          (joking aside, never seen anyone rabid enough that it was an issue, though.)

  15. So anyone else making it head-canon that Pumpkin whispered the “lurk” as she snuck up onto the couch? You can’t make me un-think that!

        1. A ballet dancing elephant is a force to be reckoned with. Especially if you have any possessions in the same room you care about avoiding being crushed.

    1. They are Kirby cheeks. Does that mean she consumes her prey whole to gain their abilities? Right now she is wheel-chair-ninja Tarra?

    2. Tarra’s skin is so perfect, it will not allow mere human made makeup to be applied to itself. That’s why it radiates a low level, high intensity force field, with a decent enough static coefficient to allow for the adherence of terrestrial makeup and cosmetics to it without marring the natural perfection of a health Tarra Glow. Soon to be marketed and trademarked in a century near you.

  16. huh…I’m more focused on the fact that she seems to have Strabismus…

    or for those who might not know what that is, her eyes seem to be slightly out of alignment in focusing, one eye seems to focus on Quinn, the other seems to be staring off elsewhere…it’s actually kinda creepy, because her eyes just…don’t line up I guess. Either that, or she’s not even looking at Quinn, even though she’s facing Quinn.

  17. She’s not looking at Quinn, she’s looking at us to see if we got the joke. Fourth wall discussed earlier.

    The O’s are there; you’re being to picky. Would anything be gained by taking them away?

    1. She can’t believe that you’re wearing that outfit, that’s what she’s looking at.

      That shirt, those shoes. And that poster on the wall.

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