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The Final Con

138 thoughts on “The Final Con

      1. Ayup. Doesn’t help that second panel he seems less to be looking at her face and more at the rest of her, imagining the bikini.

        1. Well, I didn’t think that they were the experts, but I did have a grandmother straight from Belgium. And food is not the limit of their exports.

    1. I think you might need to double-check your dictionary. You seem to have confused “fun” with “soul-scarring terror”. Easy mistake to make though; I’m sure anyone could have done it.

        1. I’ve got the camera on you, missy. I’m watching Pirate’s Cover. Oh yeah, you ain’t goin– (Wait, what was that noise from the kitchen..?)

    2. *weeps bitter tears* It was just one night. ONE NIGHT! And now I have PTSD! I am ruined! *cry*

      I think Terra could have whooped them though.

      1. Maybe, but I hesitate to see why Caleb and Vu would be on the cast page if Ellie parts ways with Danny’s company here and now. This could just mean he has to come up with something useful. It is high time Ellie got doing something to develop a marketable skill or two.

        1. I’d bet that they do part ways but Caleb and Vu is angry that the smuck paid her money after they said they won’t pay for her.
          That creates the incentive for them to come after them and create a tentacle pron situation.

    1. Contemplating quitting reading the webcomic due to the paygate fiasco to the end of the Pumpkin arc… That comment seems rather apt as a result…

      … but still… just on the edge. Not quite over the edge yet.

    1. Hi. I’m Sarah McLachlan.

      Are you annoyed by commercials like these? Tired of sappy music playing in the background while images of adorable but clearly abused animals show on screen? So am I. That’s why I changed to a new charity: Victims of Chuck-E-Cheese. Help me raise money for people like Banena, who actually believe that horrible pizza, barely functional ten year old arcade games, and the constant screaming of undisciplined children can be entertaining. Please, help us today. Help people like Banena discover the joys of local pizzerias, Xbox Live, and well-behaved children. If we work together, we can stop Chuck-E-Cheese’s reign of mechanized terror, and give people like Banena a proper weekend’s entertainment. Thank you.

        1. *sigh* I’m off my game. I just realized the number of holes and references that could have been made with, “I just recovered from the natives slice migration of ’89.”


      1. You know theres no hope to fight against a Chuck-E-cheese right? There in cahoots with starbucks an there in cahoots with the U.S Government. :P

        1. Please. Starbucks would never be in cahoots with the U.S. Government!

          Powers like them only deal with major players.

    2. We all have our guilty pleasures, so fine to admit around friends. I do recommend not making that kind of statements in job interviews or when being granted a license to use dangerous equipment (most commonplace being driver’s license), though.

  1. *raises hand* Uh, I actually use to have fun at Chuck-E-Cheese, I was literally unbeatable at most of the games and I could rake in hundreds of tickets for $20 of tokens.

    1. Same here. You can play some of the exact same video games you find elsewhere for literally 5x cheaper (20 cents a token vs $1)

      1. Apparently I have more work than expected. Please donate to Victims of Chuck-E-Cheese and help people like Kenju and Zoom-Zoom. Thank you.

        1. Really? Star Trek models? Wow, you must have had a good Chuck-E-Cheese around. All the ones I’ve seen are broken-down squalid wrecks.

  2. Ellie’s expression of scorn is good but not quite to the “I just falcon punched Alex” level we’ve seen before. C’mon Ellie, warm you know you want to…


    *fingers crossed*

    1. This isn’t a physical violence situation. The telling off part is probably long overdue, but he hasn’t crossed any lines that make hitting him justified yet. Not to say that he doesn’t like to stretch out right next to the line or play jump rope with his toes on it, but he hasn’t quite crossed it yet, and while his reasons are creepy and he’s a bit disturbing for keeping it up this way, he has been doing Ellie a favor in some ways.

      1. Wait you would rather see her in the bikini than “see” her in the bikini as a blind guy? I’m thinking the blind guy gets the better part of that deal.

        1. Which is pretty impressive when you have no ability to see where their face is. Still, his inability to step up to the plate aside so far he’s been the only decent guy presented to Ellie, and the only one that she had any interest in as far as I can tell.

  3. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a Chuck-E-Cheese (I think at the time it might have been Showbiz Pizza), but I remember arcade games, pinball, and a ball pit. These are all fun things; anyone who says they aren’t is just plain wrong.

    So I’m sure by now all the arcade games have been replaced with soulless ticket games, and google tells me that the ball pits were removed a decade ago. So I guess I need to be reminded when this comic is supposed to take place before I can agree/disagree with Ellie.

    1. I was at a Showbiz Pizza once, but too long ago to remember. However, from the fruits of your research, I’m going to have to say that removal of ball pits from children’s play places does sound like a good working definition for spotting evil.

      1. Yeah Showbiz was basically the same as Chuck E, mostly just different characters.

        And yes, the ball pit was the last fun thing I can remember about those places. Which is why I need to remember when the comic takes place… If it’s pre-ball-pit-removal, sorry Ellie but you’re as dumb as your twin (at least regarding measurement of fun at establishments that have ball pits), whereas if it is post-ball-pit-removal, then I might just have to agree with Ellie’s comment.

        1. I remember Showbiz Pizza. I was only there a couple times, once the afternoon Return of the Jedi came out, and then a birthday party for a friend a year or two later. The only reason I remember liking it was because they had machines for Dragons Lair and Space Ace which were like pinnacle of early 80’s arcade games.

  4. Fun fact… You’re fun potential at Chuck E Cheese is inversely related to your age in relation to your ability to enjoy the ball pit without getting weird stares.

    However a strange phenomenon happens after 30, when you have kids AND can drink beer there.

  5. Fun fact: Chuck-E-Cheese was founded by Nolan Bushnell, who was also the founder of Atari. When he was with Atari, he ended up mismanaging the company to the point where it was bought out by a competitor. After leaving Atari and founding Chuck-E-Cheese, he mismanaged the company until it was bought out by a competitor.

        1. The 5200 and Jaguar came long after he left the scene. Bushnell was forced to leave the company shortly after the Atari 2600’s release due to his mismanagement.

          Another funny thing: in 1976, Steve Jobs approached Bushnell for a $50,000 investment with the offer of 1/3rd of Apple in exchange for the money. Bushnell turned him down.

    1. Na, her sister works there. It’s hard to have fun, when you are expecting disaster at any moment, and then blamed for it. Cinnamon still hasn’t figured out that they aren’t identical.

      1. That made me think of Cinn’s concern in comic “Because that’s how TWINS works!” (12 Mar 2014). I think that’s my favorite for her being dumb and thinking them being twins means IDENTICAL. PERIOD!

        @Gravatarless – Maybe, but Ellie’s intellect/aptitude does get a big increase when something threatens her comfort, so I’d suspect she’s able to quickly take them out of commission if so. Remember that she’s supposed to be Tarra infected with not-quite-terminal laziness.

        1. Yeah, Ellie’s not actually stupid, she just hates putting effort into things (though once she got her social media addiction under control she seemed to greatly improve on that part as well).

        2. Being kicked out of the house and not having access to a computer or phone. She’s got her Cloud-phone now, but it doesn’t seem like she’s fallen back into the same habits that she used to have.

        3. She has the habit of looking for a job, but we’re not sure just how she’s spending her free time past that. She may be only minorly reformed.

        4. It’s certainly positive growth, I’m just saying we don’t yet know how much growth it is. Could be a little or could be a decent amount, but we don’t really know yet. As far as we know, she doesn’t appear to have been investing in increasing her marketable skillset on her own yet, though, so I don’t think the growth counts as “a lot” yet.

    2. My kids pretty much ignore the animatronic singers (which is admittedly easier than it was in the ’80’s). On the rare occasions that we go there, the only thing they want to play is Spider Stomp (which is frequently broken at arcades), and skee ball. At other arcades, they find a game to badger my husband into playing 2 player, which varies, but typically involves plastic guns that sporadically stop working (which is better than guns that only work sporadically. We find a different game in those circumstances). Oh, and 1 game each of air hockey. I think that takes 15 minutes before everyone wants to go home from Chuck E. Cheese.

    3. I never really cared much about the animatronic singers at Showbiz Pizza / Chuck E Cheese until I saw the Itchy & Scratchy Land episode on the Simpsons. Now whenever I see animatronic characters*, I pray for an uprising.

      * Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence, although you could probably replace some of my co-workers with animatronic versions and nobody would notice.

        1. Can anyone make it through It’s a Small World without trauma? It’s one of the few times I’ve wished for tinnitus.

        2. Don’t bother. I’m sure that they’ve engineered it to be translated internally into pain searing diatribes that can only be solved by applying ascorbic acid to a surface of aluminated plastic inflated to a minimum of 30 p.s.i.

    1. Imagine a renovated warehouse divided into thirds that’s been reupholstered with a space-decorated carpet that smells like rotten cheese. In one third there are actually-somewhat-ok arcade games, which range from DDR and one creaky old box game from the 70’s that steals your coins. In another third, there’s a huge sprawling jungle gym filled with screaming kids with at least one accident (spilled food or otherwise) in it. In the final third, there’s a huge stage where animatronic animals sing and play instruments while kids have birthday parties and parents slowly slip into madness as they eat from the wilted salad bar.

  6. I feel like there’s been another art shift (a good one). Or maybe I’m just not used to seeing Ellie looking and behaving this grown-up. Her relation to Ginger is showing a little.

  7. Hmmmm, I think I may have to end an argument with someone next week with Ellie’s last statement here. Very loudly and someplace I can walk away fast enough that they can’t challenge me on not defending Chuck-E-Cheese as other people will start to look at them funny.

  8. I went to a Chuck-e-Cheeze, prior to the buyout, when I was around 12. It was fun. There was a room with about a wall full of stand up arcade games, A handful elsewhere. Some ticket/prize machines, including skeeball somewhere about, Four rooms of “jungle gym”, one a ball pit, one a zip line, I don’t recall what the other two were. Two rooms with animatronics.
    And terrible pizza.

    Over a year ago, I attended the birthday of a nephew.
    There was one large room, like a showroom, divided into 1/3 dining area/party room, (with animatronic band,) a jungle gym thing that was smaller than what McDonalds now has, and a mixture of arcade and ticket games.
    Oh, and terrible pizza.

    Would I gladly go back? No. I’d “save” everyone by taking them somewhere with more and better recreations.
    And good hamburgers.
    I remember a place a couple hours from here that had go-carts. Unfortunately, I think that place is now closed.

    1. Oh, I understand the reason ball pits fell out of fashion was the tendency of the very young to lose their diapers in them.
      Which, when you think about it, is probably a very good reason not to have one.

      1. I’m sure posting no children in diapers in the ball pit would go over perfectly well with parents. You’d even get an extra two visits out of parents having trouble potty training their kids (one to show them that they aren’t allowed in there in diapers and once as reward after).

      1. The only Chuck E. Cheese within 100 miles of my house was only put in about 7 years ago (removing a fairly decent arcade in order to do so). It lasted for maybe 3 years before folding. Now it’s another empty store in a dilapidated mall.

  9. So, anyone else notice that we haven’t seen much of Quinn lately? I always wanted to see the Quillie…..wait a sec, that’s it! “Yeah….Danny? I’m leaving you for my roommate.” that would actually make a lot of sense here. I mean, broad shoulders, prone to violent catfights, which we’re kinda overdue for one of, and then there’s the fact that she keeps attracting assholes.

    1. Yeah, I’ve been wondering too how much of this is “If you want to spend time with me, just admit it already”. I’m sure this is starting to feel pretty insulting. She’s stuck around because she needs the money, and that’s a shitty position to put someone in.

  10. So was Ellie just now getting around to ending her job with Danny because, as The Lazy One, it hadn’t quite passed the annoyance threshold of doing interviews for a new job?

      1. I suspect partially that, but I think Rusche also suggested that possibly she wasn’t good at finding jobs that were hiring either. I seem to recall Rusche saying something along those lines somewhere in the time after O’Jack’s closed and before the arrival at the con. I may be misremembering the statement and it was that there were jobs available she wasn’t qualified for as opposed to that she didn’t know how/where to look, though.

        1. It’s not entirely clear how often she’s doing these fabricated events with Danny, but there’s also the possibility that they cut into her time for job-hunting on top of the job market and her qualifications. When you really need the money, it’s hard to justify putting off a sure payment in favor of an interview that may or may not lead to a paycheck down the line (that, if the rate Danny is paying her has stayed the same since the first convention, probably isn’t going to pay as much).

        2. Ok. So, you are in all of the “dumb and dumber” movies. They, what ever their names are just pay you $75 a day, with expenses, to just hold (Harold and Floyd, just remembered) whatever item has been left behind by the person they are trying to get it back to.

          You don’t get to have a say in driving, dressing yourself, dining habits, drinking anything except for that drink you hate, and having to get out of the car to catch snowflakes in July.

          How long would you stick around, before you jump off that gravy train.

        3. Realistically? If that’s my only regular income source, probably until something else will pay the bills (or I’ve built up enough of a nest egg to live off of while I look for jobs).

          I’m not saying I’d feel good about it, but not having the rent or grocery money feels pretty bad too. When you know there aren’t a lot of job prospects to be had, stepping away from even a hostile or abusive work environment is a big risk to take if something else isn’t already lined up.

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