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"Where cognitive dissonance thrives! Cute furry little animal children will lead us into chaos!"
Precocious is a webcomic by Christopher J. "Chrispy" Paulsen built around a rather large group of "superintelligent" children who live in two separate neighborhoods, who just happen to be canines and felines. The main characters are known for being completely insane in one way or another. Not very serious, but very funny, the comic is about those children/mad scientists in their everyday lives.
- Actual Pacifist: Max, overtly. Yvette, possibly as well, though she is so timid it's hard to know what's in her head.
- Adults Are Useless: Both subverted and played straight. Many of the parents are at least as smart as their kids (with the exception of Kaitlyn Hu's mother).
- Alt Text: Used mostly for Lampshade Hanging (especially in regard to lacking backgrounds, Spoof Aesops, and incredibly Egregious puns).
- An Aesop: "Actions have consequences. Who knew?"
- All Love Is Unrequited: Vincent is in love with Autumn; she doesn't even know he exists.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Inverted and subverted. Jacob (as Target Man) takes down the Supervillain Union and takes control of the Fortress of Evil...only to be taken down by Suzette (as villain Mylytant Femynyst) three seconds later.
- Art Evolution: Compare Strip #1 to Strip #28. See a difference? Good. Now look at an even later strip, like #87. Big difference, eh?
- An even more dramatic comparison is at the bottom of this page.
- Recently regressing, at least in detail. In chronological order: eliminating color strips altogether; eliminating almost all backgrounds or inanimate objects; positioning all characters at the same depth (with few exceptions). Color is back, for now, thanks to a fan contributor.
- However, now backgrounds seem not to be as much of an issue anymore, and there's even some varied perspective.
- Ascended Extra: The other side of the class (a.k.a.: the cast of Copper Road).
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Chrispy states in his sketch blog that Vincent has an undiagnosed case of ADHD.
- And probably just the second-most visible of Tiffany's disorders, after her narcolepsy.
- Author Avatar: In his FAQ, Chris states that Bud was originally "a cartoony avatar of myself." However, a more straight example would be Kaitlyn Hu, especially in the Copper Road strips.
- Batman Gambit: "See?" A battle plan that depended on what the enemy was likely to do.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animals: The entire cast.
- Bedsheet Ladder
- Calvin Ball: It's called Suicide Kings. Don't ask. There's also this strip, the alt-text of which mentions the Trope Namer.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Most of the children, but a special mention goes to Dionne, who even freely admits her selfishness and evil intentions in a debate for class president.
- Cats Are Mean: Well, not particularly. Though it's probably no coincidence that the two nicest Gemstone kids are dogs (well, a dog and a wolf), while Dionne (said to have no soul) is a cheetah.
- Cat Smile: Makes Tiffany look rather menacing doesn't it?
- Tiff, Bud, and Autumn (despite being a fox) here
- The Chew Toy: Jacob. Pretty much everyone but Max picks on him at some point.
- Children Are Innocent: Ha ha ha ha ha! You're kidding, right?
- Autumn uses this trope to her advantage; she even wears a schoolgirl outfit in order to heighten people's perception of her innocence.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Tiffany. And how.
- Companion Cube: The On-Cue Ball, which is like a Magic 8-Ball...but talks! And makes fun of everyone! It even burps!
- Creator Career Self-Deprecation: Kaitlyn wants to be a cartoonist. Everyone else tells her it's a terrible idea.
Wen: So I thought you were supposed to be smart.
On-Cue Ball: All signs point to I don't give a--
"I'm sorry, I wasn't paying atten--I MEAN REPLY HAZY, TRY AGAIN!"
- Deep Sleep
- Deliberately Cute Child: Dionne when on the clock at pageants; Autumn to a lesser extent.
- Drinking Game: In-Universe. "With a little bit of creativity, anything can be turned into a drinking game!" so sayeth the On-Cue Ball.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Muffins of doom. (Their inverse appears to be cupcakes of bliss.)
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Copper Road is about the kids who live on, well, Copper Road.
- Face Palm: Courtesy of Ms. Monster.
- Five-Man Band: Doesn't fit perfectly; for instance, all of them are technically The Smart Guy, but since specific effort was put into lampshading their roles, it's worth noting that there are not one but two separate bands in play, one featuring the main cast and the other their Copper Road counterparts.
- Flanderization: Inverted (sort of). Most of the minor characters are introduced pre-Flanderized. Played straight, however, for Shii Ann Hu. Mentioned by trope name in the alt-text for strip 237.
- For the Evulz: Dionne's impetus to do pretty much anything. Example. Not that the Gemstone Estates kids usually cite any other reason..
- Funny Animal
- Furry Confusion: One of the many reasons Chrispy made all the characters either cats or dogs was to avert this.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Bud and Tiff during Autumn's paranoid delusion about their museum trip. Tiffany again after consuming an entire pot of coffee.
- Guest Strip: During the "Party crashers" arc, while Chrispy had a broken finger. The guest artists included Matt Dawson (Sometime Alone), Brooke Eggleston (Also Bagels), Irene Pitcairn (Sun Elves), Robert McConnell, Carl Sjostrand (Ginger's Bread), Terrence and Isabel Marks, John Peters (Gypsygirl Press), and Roman Utkin (who does a Russian translation of Precocious).
- Hands-Off Parenting: Bud's parents, to the point where Autumn even forgets at one point that he even has parents.
- Hard Head
- Has Two Mommies: Yvette.
- Heavy Sleeper: When she is not causing destruction and chaos or finding an addiction, Tiffany can normally be seen sleeping in the background
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: In the main comic, Vincent was formerly given this treatment. He appears more often in voting incentives and in the Copper Road strip.
- Also, the Rights, the Hus' neighbors (mentioned only as another Who's on First? gag).
- Home, Sweet Home
- Hurricane of Puns: Occurs whenever Kaitlyn Hu (or anyone in her family) appears in the comic. (Hu's on first?) Lampshaded in this Copper Road strip.
- I Know You Know I Know: Autumn's plan.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Autumn tosses a dictionary at someone. The victim says, "Your words have hurt me."
- It's All About Me: Could definitely be the worldview of most of the kids.
- Jerkass: Dionne Crup, a pageant girl who despite hating pageants enters them to see the look of hopelessness on the losers' faces. She seems to have the whole process down.
- Blondes Are Evil: as evidenced by her appearances in the colored strips.
- Lampshade-Wearing: Tiffany sports a lampshade at Kaitlyn Hu's birthday party.
- Large Ham: Bud Oven.  Large Ham is his normal method of speaking.
- Look Behind You!: Kaitlyn, watch out! ...
- Medium Awareness: Ms. Monster apparently has a rule against students saying her name in Chiller font.
- Ivy Pingo can also hear when her daughter uses an asterisk in her speech.*
- There's also a gag involving the script in this guest strip.
- Nice Guy: Max Zeit is nice to a fault. Though he does have enough of a self-preservation instinct to know when to go along with everyone's schemes.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever the Sapphire kids did preceding their hiding out at Kaitlyn's birthday party. One by one, supporting characters learned the details in tiny whispers indecipherable by the audience.
- Or how about the time they set the lake on fire?
- Almost all of the children's unseen escapades are treated as Noodle Incidents unless the joke or plot specifically requires otherwise, as well as wealth of Noodle Implements in play when their schemes have yet to come to fruition.
- Subverted with Tiffany's aging. Strip 893 presents the accident that halted Tiff's aging as a Noodle Incident, but strip 896 provides an explanation.
- Older Than They Look: Tiffany in this request strip showing the kids as teenagers.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Buddy Champ Oven...sorta. That's actually his full name. Blame his dad Joseph.
- Only Sane Man: Kaitlyn. Her time spent observing the others has built up remarkable insight into the social dynamics of the class. She employs this to great effect starting in this strip. The ensuing conversation provides her with justified time in the spotlight.
- Pilot Movie: The "Disorganized Sports" arc was partially used to introduce some of the main cast of the Spin-Off strip Copper Road.
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: In June 2011, the characters broke the fourth wall for several strips in which they asked readers for donations.
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Vincent, after Autumn kisses him for returning her dossier binder. Not that she cares much about him - she just really wanted the binder back.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Quincy.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "THE BAKE SALE IS SCIENCE!!"
- Punny Name: The Hu family, leading to many Abbott and Costello-style jokes. The most blatant example is the matriarch of the family, Shii Ann Hu, for whom Incredibly Lame Puns are used shamelessly.
- Royal We: Suzette speaks like this while going mad with power.
- Inverted later on, when a rare Jacob Slam slings it right back at the self-proclaimed royalty.
- Running Gag: When Bud encounters Roddy, he often says "Roddy! What are you doing here?"
- And boy, does he spin it and spin it - until it is spun right back at him, at long last.
- Running gags involving Autumn and her family include jokes about her family reproducing via cloning and library science.
- In the more recent "internEt" mini-arc, Rule #4 (first introduced in this strip) has become a running gag and is regularly used in the comments section.
- Sadist Teacher: Ms. Monster, though considering her class she pretty much needs to be.
- And she's in cahoots...
- Schedule Slip: After Christopher was accepted into grad school for sequential art the strip temporarily scaled back to MWF updates, with Copper Road being put on hiatus altogether, but daily updates and the spinoff strip have since returned.
- Missed a scheduled update for the first time ever on October 15, 2010 due to hand problems.
- Second Place Is for Losers: Check out the trophy stand and alt-text in this comic - poor, poor Roddy.
- Serial Killer... or at least, POTENTIAL Serial Killer...
- Which becomes even more disturbing in the context of a later strip…
- Serious Business: The bake sale is science!!
- Sinister Silhouette: Ivy Pingo pulls this off rather formidably at the end of Kaitlyn's birthday party...or so we were led to believe.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: As noted below, girls are just as likely to give, receive, spectate, or otherwise be involved with physical humour.
- Sleazy Politician: Dionne. She's not just proud of it; it's her campaign platform.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The characters of Max Zeit and Dionne Crup represent each respective extreme of the scale pretty well.
- Snarky Inanimate Object: The On-Cue Ball, natch. It even provides the page image for the trope.
- Speechbubbles Interruption
- Spin-Off: Copper Road, about the character Kaitlyn Hu and the "other side of the class" that lives on Copper Road.
- Spoof Aesop: Evil's triumph over goodness is absolute
Alt-text: This one goes out to all the impressionable children!
- Straw Feminist: Suzette, who more often than not proves to be an easily agitated womyn who always seems to have a speech ready.
Because knowledge is a weapon!
- Theme Song: A fan composed a theme song for the comic. Chris liked it so much he pretty much made it the official theme.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Jacob, usually The Chew Toy, has had a couple of moments in the sun.
- Throw the Book At Them: Your words have hurt me.
- Title Drop: Here.
- Torches and Pitchforks: Homeowner's association at it again? Though surprisingly that specific one is directed at Bud's parents rather than the kids.
- Tradesnark: Mommy Relaxation Time™
- Villain Episode...or arc...actually, to be precise, TWO Villain-centric story arcs. Somewhat subverted in that it is the main cast playing villain.
- Wall of Blather
- Wall of Text: Happens whenever Suzette goes into a rant, but is usually Played for Laughs. (Another example)
- Webcomics Long Runners: Strip 1,000 was posted on 12/03/2011
- We Can Rule Together: Di-Va (Dionne) tries to recruit Jacob in this strip and this strip (both are rife with Double Entendre)
- White Void Room: Chrispy leaves out backgrounds a lot. It's not as much of an issue in the strips that are in color, though.
- Who's on First?: Crops up whenever Kaitlyn Hu (or her family) is mentioned. Played straight and Lampshaded in the strip "Hu's on first".
- Word of God: Chrispy typically replies to the comments people leave in the comments section of each strip's page and explains things when necessary. As well as occasionally on his blog
- World of Funny Animals
- Would Hit a Girl: Brawls among the kids are equal opportunity.