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Britain's most famous "Adult" comic (it is the only non-porn title to be considered an "adult publication" by the British Professional Publishers Association), Viz began as a satirical fanzine in Newcastle and has grown hugely since.

Many of the characters and stories are deliberately exaggerated stereotypes, and there is a solid core of people in the UK who can't get enough of the sight of the word "fuck" in a talk balloon in what looks like a children's comic.

A typical issue will contain a few strips that appear in virtually every issue, a few more that are less frequent, and a few one-off strips that only appear once. The one-offs often feature celebrities or historical figures in ludicrous or obscene situations.

At its best, Viz can be funny, well written, downright witty and even occasionally thought-provoking. At its worst... let's not go there.

During the 1980s, Viz was repeatedly threatened with prosecution by DC Thomson, the Scottish publishers of famous British children's comics The Beano, The Dandy and The Broons, for copyright infringement over their coarse parodies of DC Thomson characters. Viz retaliated by printing a one-off strip featuring "D C Thomson", a cartoon Scotsman obsessed with intellectual property. D C Thomson responded with an issue of the Dandy that parodied the "war" in a strip featuring their recurring Scots vs. Sassenachs characters "The Jocks and the Geordies". More seriously, the publishers of Viz were threatened with criminal prosecution for incitement to racial hatred in 1990 because of the content of a one-off strip called "Thieving Gypsy Bastards". Ironically, the gypsy gentleman who tried to sue the Viz for this comic was later found guilty of handling stolen property. (They had also printed a strip called "The Overwhelming Majority of Honest Gypsies" on the very next page.)

Not to be confused with North American anime importer Viz Media.

Viz contains so many tropes that one can confidently predict that this page is going to grow. Here are a few obvious ones for a startoff.

  • The Alcoholic: Eight Ace.
  • Alliterative Name: Sid the Sexist, Biffa Bacon, Major Misunderstanding, Lawrence Logic, Billy Britain, to name a few.
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: "The Modern Parents"
  • Animated Adaptation: Sid the Sexist had a few animated shorts.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Raffles the Gentleman Thug
    • Also Victorian Dad.
      • Mr Logic. Most of the humour comes from the fact what he says is so outdated or technical sounding that no one else can understand him.
  • Ascended Meme: The internet-ism "fap" being included in Roger's Profanisaurus.
  • BBW The Fat Slags. It might not sound like it, but The Fat Slags is all about two heavily overweight women who nonetheless have sex several times a day, with a different man almost every time.
  • Big Ball of Violence
  • Black Comedy Rape/Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): Has been known to happen to men who turn down one of the Fat Slags.
  • British Accents: many, mostly Geordie, but also cockney, Essex, Glasgow, Yorkshire etc.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Sid The Sexist.
  • The Chew Toy: Sid the Sexist.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Parodied in a Goldfish Boy strip, where a hotelier demands that the Reverend Brown, the strip's actual main character perform the last rites on a dying guest. Brown points out that he's a Church of England priest and therefore has no idea how to do the Catholic last rites, but the hotelier is completely unable to grasp this point.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Spot the Clue
  • Death by Irony: Happens at the end of every Suicidal Sid strip after Sid regains the will to live.
  • Designated Hero: Parodied in Jack Black and his dog Silver. He's an amateur detective who gets people punished often using legal Loophole Abuse to see if they have accidently commited a minor technical crime, and he usually commits worse crimes in order to do this. Sometimes they are people who are doing good for the community, such as one case where he had a man who was giving soup to homeless people arrested for a tax error. Other times they are actual villains who are using their own Loophole Abuse to make sure their apparent crimes aren't really illegal, forcing Jack to find some alternate way of getting them convicted. In any case, they will suffer Disproportionate Retribution often at the hands of a Torches and Pitchforks mob.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Terry Fuckwitt, Ratboy and Suicidal Sid have all had girlfriends that look like female versions of themselves with Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. One issue of Spoilt Bastard had his mother dating a man who had a daughter. The daughter was a Spoiled Brat girl named Angelica, and the father was a Spear Counterpart to Spoilt Bastard's mother.
  • Double Entendre: the whole point of the strip Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres. Fnarr Fnarr etc.
  • Extreme Doormat: Cissy Timpson, Spoilt Bastard's mother.
  • Fake Rabies: One comic strip ran a story about the then recent opening of the Channel Tunnel. An apparently rabid French dog emerged on the English side, and the main character exclaims "Oh no! In a million to one scenario, a rabid French dog has made it through the Channel Tunnel!" The dog is shortly followed by its owner who explains that far from being rabid, it ate some soap, which it had mistaken for cheese because we do not have soap in France.
  • The Film of the Book: The Fat Slags (already adapted into Claymation shorts in the early 90s) received a critically-mauled live movie adaptation in 2004.
  • Gargle Blaster: The "Cuntbuster," which is the Fat Slags' cocktail of choice. The exact description of it tends to vary from issue to issue, but basically it's pretty much every spirit (and a few different mixers) you can think of all put into the same drink.
  • Gasshole: Johnny Fartpants.
  • Gentleman Thief: Parodied in "Raffles the Gentleman Thug", in that Raffles isn't (usually) a thief but just a gratuitously violent and bullying Jerkass.
  • Has Two Thumbs And — used in the 1980s.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: The writers get quite creative with their synonyms. The recurring feature and spin-off book "Roger's Profanisaurus" is built on this.
  • Jerkass
  • Jizzed in My Pants: Happens to "Billy No-Mates: the Antisocial Teenager" when a female shop assistant measures him for a new pair of trousers.
  • Kavorka Women: The Fat Slags. They're tremendously overweight and eat a buttload of food, yet they still manage to bed some studs.
  • Long Runner
  • Name's the Same: Jack Black. Not that one.
  • Nephewism: Jack Black is always shown spending every school holiday staying with his Aunt Meg. The "Ferdinand the Foodie" strip includes Ferdinand's nephew Jamie as a regular character. The trope is used in an interesting way in "The Modern Parents". Malcolm and Cressida's sons find their parents so irritating they wish they would disappear forever so they could be adopted by their Uncle Eddie, and in fact they end up staying with him and his family quite often after the parents have got themselves into trouble yet again. When Eddie's wife appears she makes no secret of the fact she hates Malcolm and Cressida and would rather their kids came to see them on their own.
  • New Age Retro Hippie: The Modern Parents.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: the comic regularly runs one-off strips showing celebrities in ludicrous or vulgar situations, or starring in parodies of cheesy old-style action-adventure strips. 2000s issues include a longer-running strip depicting Sir Elton John engaging in petty crime.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Originally, most of the comic's strips were set in Fulchester, a stand-in location that was meant to be just a generic British town, with some occasional similarities to Newcastle, the comic's hometown. In more recent years though, most strips actually are set in Newcastle, the main exceptions being Roger Mellie (mostly set in London), The Fat Slags (set in Mansfield, according to Word of God) and The Boy Scouse (set, as you'd expect, in Liverpool). The only strip that seems to still be regularly set in Fulchester is Billy the Fish.
  • Nostalgia Filter: a running joke in editorial columns and cover tag lines is that it "isn't as funny as it used to be".
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: An unusual case with regard to two of the adaptations, as they did bother with accents, but not the correct ones. As mentioned above, Fulchester is based on Newcastle, where the locals usually have a Geordie accent. However, the Billy the Fish animated series had everyone speaking in Scouse accents, while the Fat Slags film had the Fulchester locals speaking with a Lancastrian accent. The latter was doubly wrong since the Fat Slags don't even come from Fulchester to begin with, but Mansfield (the locals of which don't speak in Lancastrian accents either).
  • Oop North: In "Fat Slags". In the 30th Anniversary issue they lampooned the way London based media tends to present the whole of northern England as one place by having The Critics comment on Viz's anniversary. They referred to Newcastle as a "tiny Lancashire mill town" (a jab at the Fat Slags film, where Fulchester was depicted this way even though it's meant to be an Expy of Newcastle) and having "Merseyside Docks".
  • Pink Mist: the ending of any Big Vern strip.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In one Sid the Sexist strip, Sid and his friends get ensnared by a clip joint — a club which lures you in with attractive women, then charges you an extortionate amount for otherwise inexpensive drinks — and are then charged £1,400 for four pints of beer. Although it was intended to be an exaggeratedly huge amount, the artist later found out that £350 per drink is actually normal for a clip joint, and that the only unrealistic thing in the strip was that most clip joints don't actually bother serving any real alcohol, and just serve various mixtures of fruit juice instead.
  • Reality Warper: Terry Fuckwitt is such a stupid twat that he forgets how the laws of physics work, leading to Mind Screw stories.
  • Refuge in Vulgarity: it's the entire point.
  • Parodies and Satires: many, of the most heavy-handed kind!
    • Billy the Fish was a parody of Roy of the Rovers and other football comics, intentionally playing up the bizarre situations and contrived coincidences used to create drama.
    • Roger Mellie sent up the 'nice on screen, horrible person elsewhere' television presenter by not even pretending to be nice on screen.
    • Even Doctor Who wasn't safe; a one-shot had Dr. Poo - "He flies round the universe looking for somewhere to have a shit". More affectionate than the rest, it featured the Fourth Doctor and enough Shout Outs to choke a Sea Devil.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Most of the characters and strips have rhyming names, often lampshaded with absurdly contrived rhymes like 'Tony Slattery and his Phony Cattery'.
  • Snowlems: In the '90s the comic would feature a seasonal parody of The Snowman, in which the snowman is a violent, drunken pervert who takes the young boy drinking and gambling with him.
  • Sophisticated As Hell
  • Sound Effect Bleep: As in the Unusual Euphemism example below, visual Sound Effect Bleeps (not always involving actual sound effects) are often employed on the cover so it can be displayed in shops, or simply for humorous effect. One recent cover featured the word "bollocks" partly obscured by a smoke cloud. And then there's the "Continental Europe" poster, in which the first O quite possibly certainly wasn't an O but had a seagull hovering over the top of the letter.
  • Spoiled Brat: Timmy "Spoilt Bastard" Timpson.
  • Spoonerism: often used on the cover to refer to strips whose title includes swearwords, like "Boilt Spastard" or "Wockney Canker".
  • Straw Critic: The "The Critics" strip consists entirely of this trope.
  • Strawman Political: Millie Tant (lesbian feminist), The Modern Parents (trendy liberal/environmentalist), Victorian Dad (reactionary), Major Misunderstanding (reactionary), Billy Britain (racist/fascist), Meddlesome Ratbag (right-wing Moral Guardian), Young Jack Black (leans towards fascism). All are buffoons and/or hypocrites.
    • Actual politician Baxter Basics isn't an example of this, as his strips tend to be more about his corruption than partisan politics.
    • In fairness, those strips started out as parodies of people who claimed to hold a certain political stance while not actually understanding anything about the stance in question, and they tended to make some very valid and well thought out points. Unfortunately, Flanderization set in afterwards...
  • Straw Feminist: Millie Tant
  • Subverted Kids Show: The art style owes a lot to British children's comics. The content... less so.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The one-off strip "Tubby Tucker the Big Fat Person".
  • Suicide as Comedy: Suicidal Sid
    • Occasionally occurs with Terry Fuckwitt as well, but something always stops him succeeding.
  • Take That: the notorious "Gypsy" strip was based on an individual who had stolen something from one of the artists and the character of Postman Plod was based on a bus driver who had been rude to another artist (as well as being a parody of a popular children's show.)
    • As mentioned above, the response to D.C. Thomson's copyright complaints, the full title being D.C. Thomson the Humourless Scottish Git.
  • Tar and Feathers: In "Jack Black And His Dog Silver" in one issue, a palaeontologist is tarred and feathered for believing in evolution.
  • They Killed Kenny: Suicidal Sid, and Big Vern and all his supporting cast.
  • Toilet Humour: Where to start?
  • Universal Adaptor Cast: It's fairly common for there to be strips where the characters are out of their usual setting and in other scenarios such as Victorian times or the far future, or are used in parodies of other work. Examples include The Fat Slags in a parody of Batman and Jack Black in a parody of manga.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Most characters curse explicitly, but Sweary Mary had to invent a new oath ("fitbin", apparently really rude, if it meant anything) in order to appear on the cover which would be displayed in shops. Raffles the Gentleman Thug renders all obscenities into Edwardian English, "Fornicate this ordure!", "It's micturating down" "Onanists!" etc.
  • The Vicar: parodied and inverted to the nth degree in the person of Paul Whicker the Tall Vicar, a violent, dishonest, lecherous, foul-mouthed hypocrite.
  • Viewers are Morons: Inverted by Roger Mellie; the TV executives are usually the ones insisting that viewers want to watch highbrow material, whereas Roger's pornographic retoolings of popular shows inevitably end up being massive hits.
  • Violent Glaswegian: occasionally, although violent Geordies are more common.
    • Sometimes you get both. One of the strips featuring Biffa Bacon had him at a restaurant, where he thought the chef was insulting him by giving him such a small amount of food, which Biffa decided to respond to with violence. Unfortunately the owner of that particular restaurant happened to be Gordon Ramsay, who promptly beat the crap out of Biffa and tossed him out on the street.