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"Zits is the worst name for a comic strip since Peanuts."
Charles Schulz

Zits is a comic strip written by Jerry Scott (creator of Baby Blues and one-time cartoonist for Nancy) and illustrated by Jim Borgman about the life of 15-year-old high school freshman Jeremy Duncan.

Jeremy lives with his parents, Walt and Connie, who both possess boring jobs and spectacular ignorance (according to Jeremy, anyway). He dreams of 'making it big' as a rock musician, but feels like he lives in the shadow of his highly successful college brother Chad.

Many strips deal with relationships with his friends, the sensible Hector and the extremist Pierce, not to mention his on-off girlfriend Sara. Notably for a teen strip, many of the comics also deal with Connie and Walt, and many of the funniest moments come from their perspectives.

As a comic strip, Zits works incredibly well — teenagers will easily recognize their parents' constant presence in Walt and Connie, while adults will both remember their own teenage years and recognize their own children in Jeremy's laid-back nature.

Tropes present:

  • Aborted Arc: Oh no, Jeremy's parents saw his Facebook page, and aren't happy with the content! What's going to happen? ... Nothing, apparently.
  • Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: After Jeremy accidentally cut his middle finger, he was told to elevate it. The nurse quickly changes her mind after she overhears a few "Same to you, Duncan!" comments in the school halls.
  • The Ace: Chad.
  • All Cheering All the Time: A group of cheerleaders use cheers to encourage Pierce to put some litter in the bin, causing him to remark that "There is such a thing as too much school spirit!".
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Pierce, sometimes.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Sara.
  • The Alleged Car: Jeremy's 1962 VW Microbus. Most of the time, he and Hector just hang out in it, but once, they slipped the tires from Connie's station wagon on it and (barely) got it up and running. Once Jeremy finally got his license, it moved from being a hangout to an actual (somewhat) mode of transportation for good.
    • Jeremy's parents at one point decided that they would have to buy Jeremy a car in the future just to prevent him from driving this deathtrap.
      • Apparently they changed their minds, most likely because the microbus can't even make minimum highway speed.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Practically the fuel of the series.
  • Anachronism Stew: While Walt and Connie being baby boomers with a teenage son was feasible in the 90s, it's become increasingly more of a stretch to buy it. Additionally, Jeremy's clothing stays stuck in the grunge era.
    • He got a minor update to his hair, and Hector has gotten a completely new hairstyle, which was badly needed - Jeremy's hair is (and mostly was) generic enough to pass anytime from the late 80's to today, but Hector's original 'do was pure 90's.
  • Anyone Remember Pogs: Walt attempting to describe tiddlywinks to Jeremy and Pierce.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jeremy's mother says there's something she wants to talk to him about. He then deadpans several wild guesses, including "You're having a sex change?" and "You and dad are cousins?" She gets increasingly frustrated and finally yells out, "No! We're changing salsa brands!" "...WHAT??"
    • Repeated a second time when his parents try and tell him they're changing toilet paper brands, which "seemed more monumental at the store."
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Walt and Jeremy's fishing trip.
  • Bacon Addiction: "Dad seems a lot happier since they started making bacon-flavoured cholesterol medication."
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Jeremy whines to his parents about how "nothing ever happens here!" Cue Walt, tearing off his shirt and dancing around while singing "Shake Your Bon-Bon!"
  • Beach Bury: Jeremy and Sara bury Pierce on the beach, giving him a sand suit and tie and just about driving him into shock.

  Pierce: Even if I live to be thirty, I'll never get over it!

  • Big Eater: Jeremy, like many teenage males. His friends, too, if the "All You Can Eat" buffet owner's closing shop as soon as he sees the gang is any indication.
    • He and Hector are even shown to be capable of unhinging their jaws in order to swallow a giant burger whole, wondering why the girls freak out.
  • Black Bead Eyes
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Body-modification fan Pierce soon came to love these, when Jeremy's dad (not a Depraved Dentist) called it "Getting your smile pierced."
    • He then admonished Pierce for adding to his braces for decorative purposes.
  • Brain Bleach: Jeremy attempts to apply this many, MANY times when he hears or sees something squicky concerning his parents.
    • Most notably when Jeremy learns from his mother he was conceived to the song Stairway to Heaven, actually sticking his head under a faucet and pouring water into his ear to try to erase what he had just heard.
      • His friend Hector later reveals his own mother told him he was conceived while blueberry muffins burned in the oven. To this day, Hector can't even look at one without feeling sick.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Jeremy is often shown as this.
  • Buffy-Speak: Jeremy once described Sara's lips as "two moist, delicate, perfectly formed... lip-shaped things."
  • Car Meets House: In one strip, Jeremy manages to hydroplane the car while pulling it ten feet forward into the garage and puts it through the back wall of the garage.
  • Characterization Marches On: Chad's evolution from the perfect, he-whose-face-can't-be-shown to more "normal"-looking but still perfect.
    • Pierce was also more of an angry punk in the strips that introduced him, before evolving into a fairly cool guy with a few eccentricities.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Several.
    • Y.A., the original drummer in Jeremy's garage band. He just announced that he was quitting (sometime in the strip's second year, no less!) and never came back. He was never really given any character development anyway.
    • Chad hasn't been seen or mentioned in ages, either. And he's Jeremy's brother. The creators even joke frequently that they forget he exists.
      • A lampshade was officially hung on this when Jeremy states that he "needs to start leaving his room more" on account of never seeing Chad, to which Chad responds, "That's what I keep telling your sister."
    • Tim, another member of Jeremy and Hector's band. He was given some Character Development in an arc where he showed sympathy for his mother, who was recovering from breast cancer; both Jeremy and Hector were shocked at this behavior, as they took Tim to be quiet, moody and indifferent to others' needs. However, Tim pretty much disappeared after that.
    • See also Out of Focus below.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Connie's job as a child therapist seems to be of no help.
    • What job as a child therapist?
    • Since Connie has been shown to fantasize about the days when Jeremy was younger, it could be she is a therapist for younger children, and adolescence is still a mystery to her.
      • An early strip shows she does at least some work with teenagers.
    • Honestly, despite his sullen teenage attitude (which, let's face it, is completely normal for his age group), Jeremy is very well-adjusted.
    • This question is also brought up in the arc where Jeremy painted his room black and began wearing a dog collar in an attempt to make his parents think he was emotionally disturbed. He figured they would try to please him by buying him expensive toys. They decided to try to help him by giving him lots and lots of HUGS!
  • Comic Book Time: Jeremy has been 15 for over a decade. It's only since 2009 that he's turned 16, gotten a driver's license and moved up to being a sophomore.
  • Cone of Shame: Pierce wears one to try to cut down his mobile phone usage.
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Jeremy and Sara were exchanging gifts for Christmas, but Sara forgot. She quickly grabs the first thing she sees, wraps it and gives it to Jeremy. Cut to Jeremy and Hector examining the very loud, wide necktie:

 Jeremy: What do you think she's trying to say?

Hector: I heart geeks?

  • Cue the Flying Pigs: When Jeremy cleans his bathroom without being threatened, a flock of pigs take to the air and fly through the house.
  • Dagwood Sandwich: At one point Jeremy eats one that's so big he has to unhinge his jaw.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The entire cast at various points.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Jeremy accidentally cheesed off Sara by saying that her freckles help hide her zits, then compounded it by asking what it's like having divorced parents. Both comments are represented by white-on-black word balloons that linger in the air.
    • Jeremy had this problem one other time: every time he opened his mouth, something stupid came out (which was depicted as a hillbilly-looking mini-Jeremy leaping out his mouth shouting things like "Shagadellic!" and "I think Adam Sandler movies will stand the test of time.") Eventually he goes to Britney for help, who illuminates him to the fact that most males go undiagnosed with this same affliction for years.
    • Another time, Jeremy is getting progressively angry with Sara about something. It culminates with him dialing her number, getting her voicemail, and screaming, "YOU SKANK!" into the phone. A panel later, he's covering his mouth in Stunned Silence, realizing the gravity of what he's just said.
  • Dinner Deformation: Jeremy unhinges his jaw to eat a giant burger.
  • Dinner Order Flub: Attempting to impress Sara, Jeremy orders the radicchio, "medium rare, of course". The waiter informs him that the raddicho is a salad and the chef prefers to serve it raw. As Sara and Connie dissolve in laughter, Walt attempts to make Jeremy feel better by saying that when he and Connie were dating he once ordered "jackets required".
  • Dissimile: Pierce's family life "is like a symphony. But there aren't any musical instruments, and the musicians just yell at each other."
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Connie was a child psychologist in early strips. This in a comic which has featured tons of jokes about how Connie doesn't understand Jeremy or how he works. In the January 27, 2012 strip, she outright says that she might need a job outside the house, so apparently her job isn't canon anymore.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: The peace symbol on Walt's butt.

 Connie: That peace sign is as big as a stop sign now.

  • Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn: Jeremy has done the 'fall asleep while sunbathing' version.
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: Pierce feeds a pigeon a corn chip, only to cause it to throw up.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Pierce.
  • Flanderization: Jeremy went from being a regular, believable (and more importantly, relatable) teenager to just another TV Teen who only communicates in grunts, texts needlessly, and has a messy room, earning him the Fan Nickname, "Jerkemy" on many snark boards.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Sara's pet turtles: Peaches and Mordoc, Lord of Unholy Fury. She got them at different times of the month.
  • Free the Frogs: Autumn encourages Jeremy and Hector to let loose boxes of crickets that were supposed to be dissected in biology class.
    • In a later strip, Pierce frees thousands of locusts that were to be dissected. Or rather, he lets them out into the hallway.
  • Funny Answering Machine: Jeremy makes a message where he simply farts into the phone: "Leave a message at the sound of the 'frap'." And in an early strip, "You have reached the number you called. Blah, blah, blah. If you actually need further instructions, well, that's just pathetic."
  • Garage Band: Jeremy, Hector, Tim and Pierce have one.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Walt & Connie in bed, bare shoulders above the sheets ("You know, when Jeremy moves away, I think my 'Empty Nest Syndrome' will be a very mild case." "Is it really only 7:30!?!"). The censors were nervous, but parents loved it.
    • Not to mention the Sunday in which Jeremy (horrified) watches as his parents slowly disappear behind the couch, legs and arms flailing willy-nilly, until one of them is heard to say "Gotcha!":

 Walt: I thought I'd never get that popcorn seed out from under the cushions!

Connie: Did you just hear a muffled scream?

    • And let's not forget the strip in which Connie hears Stairway to Heaven and tells Jeremy that she and Walt "made you to this song".
    • Jeremy actually calls someone a douche bag in one strip.
      • And he called Sara a skank in another.
    • There was one strip where Pierce shows that he protects his borrowed pencils from germs... by putting condoms over them. They never spell out what it is, of course, but it's hilariously obvious. Is this the first newspaper strip to get away with showing a condom on-panel?
  • Girl Posse: The aptly-named "Posse."
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Walt unwittingly suggested Goat Cheese Pizza for the name of Jeremy's garage band. He wasn't actually offering the name, but rather the pizza in question.
    • Earlier on, Jeremy had considered naming the band "Jughead's Hat," telling his mother that it was down to that or "Veronica's B-" "Stick to the hat!"
    • Later, they found another cool name based on something that sounded like a good idea at the time: "Creepy Clown Head Funeral."
  • A Good Old-Fashioned Paint-Watching: Walt talks about leaving Woodstock because it was raining and going to paint his grandmother's kitchen (which he seems to have preferred).
  • Gossipy Hens: The Posse.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Walt.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation:
    • Subverted in one strip where the dad starts saying all sorts of outlandish things to the be-headphoned Jeremy, including a promise of new computer equipment and tales of an alien attack. After a short pause, Jeremy responds to everything Dad just said, even capping it off with "But the Martian thing sounds kinda unlikely."
    • Played straight in a Sunday Strip where Jeremy walks into the kitchen with headphones on. Connie gets on his case, ranting for three panels and asking, "Why not just save the headphones for those times when you want to block out unwanted noise?" The last panel is him with his headphones back on, blocking out her ranting.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Jeremy.
  • Heh, Heh, You Said "X": One Sunday strip is made of this trope, in which a museum guide calmly gives the class a tour on "the many wonderful examples of tools," causing Jeremy and Hector to mutter "Tools" at each other and dissolve into barely contained giggles. The guide goes on to explaining to the class on how "Some tools are very large... some are nearly microscopic," then asks them "Can you think of a tool you have in your pocket right now? What tool do you use every day?" It's a wonder they kept straight faces for as long as they did. Then after they get in trouble for it, Connie asks them what is so funny about the word 'tool', and we see Walt barely able to control himself. Also a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar. The Swedish translation translated it into verktyg, the Swedish word for tool. It didn't work very well.
  • Hidden Depths: Pierce started out as an angry punk jerk but gradually morphed into a nice guy with extreme tastes. Similarly, Chad started out as an amazingly perfect guy (whose face wasn't even shown in the panels, except for a huge smile and an even more huge chin) but soon morphed into a more casual, bewhiskered, laid-back (but still perfect) type.
    • Likewise with Tim's sympathy for his mother after her breast cancer.
  • Hint Dropping:

 Jeremy: Some people are going to a movie tonight... Wanna go?

Sara: I can't. I'm babysitting.

Jeremy: Oh.

Sara: Until midnight. By myself. At 6539 Windmill Lane. It's a light gray house. With a big comfy couch and a kid who goes to sleep at 8.

Jeremy: So you're busy then, huh?

Sara (thinking): Sara, he's a GUY... You have to be more obvious.

    • And on another occasion, when Jeremy makes his approval of one of his friends' girlfriend's making cookies for him known.

 Jeremy: Yessir, nothing says I care like a delicious home-made plate of cookies!

Sara: And nothing says "knuckledragger" like the sexist expectations of a boyfriend.

  • Hurricane of Excuses: Jeremy's explanations for why he's late.
  • Improbably High IQ / Improbably Low IQ: Parodied. Jeremy and Hector once took an Internet IQ test with Jeremy scoring impossibly low and Hector scoring impossibly high, despite their virtually identical educations. Jeremy began to wonder if he was really that stupid and Hector started treating him like a dolt. Jeremy was only convinced the test was flawed after his father scored even higher on it.
  • Improbably Predictable: Jeremy comes down for breakfast with a stack of cards, and answers each of his mother's questions ("Orange juice? Eggs?") with the next card. Finally she insists, "I am not that predictable!" and he reveals the card which reads, "Wanna bet?"
  • It Tastes Like Feet: In one strip, Jeremy commented that Walt's health drink tasted like licking the underside of a lawnmower.
    • And Pierce's burps taste like caterpillars, apparently.
    • And, according to Pierce, if you dip Salisbury steak in pudding it tastes just like squirrel.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Jeremy, all the time.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: One of the early strips had Jeremy look through a scrapbook and discover, with total shock: "My mom used to be a babe!"
  • Jerkass: If Jeremy wasn't their kid, they would have beat the shit out of him years ago.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Jeremy watches The Blair Witch Project when he's home alone and every little sound in the house starts terrifying him.
  • Last-Minute Project: Any and every homework assignment Jeremy is given.
  • Likes Older Women: Hector is attracted to middle-aged women.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Split down the middle; the male characters have this trope while the women avert it. Connie even lampshades it.

  Men don't shop-they tivo their closets!

  • Meaningful Name: Pierce.
  • Men Can't Keep House: A frequent joke with Jeremy's room.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: A long series of panels shows Jeremy "dancing" by jumping up and down while pumping his fists. Hector says he looks like he's milking a kangaroo.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Or, in this case, mistaken for pothead.
  • Mister Seahorse: Played with. In one two-week arc, Jeremy, Hector and Pierce wear weighted vests that simulate the weight gain of pregnancy. The whole two weeks play out as if they actually are pregnant, with the first strip in the series featuring "pregnant" Jeremy, Hector and Pierce walking down the hallway, without any context as to why they're that way.

 Walt: Oh, hi mom... no, nothing much new. Connie is just teaching Jeremy some Lamaze techniques.

  • Must Have Caffeine: Phoebe
  • My Beloved Smother: From Jeremy's perspective, anyway.
  • Never Say That Again: "Do me a favor, dad, and just act like the middle-aged white guy you are."
  • The Nineties: A major indicator of when this strip was first created is the clothing/styles of the main characters. Jeremy wears baggy flannel shirts, and Hector has his hair parted at the middle in a classic 90s hairstyle.
    • Although they did change Jeremy's hair a few years ago to something more modern. In time, Hector got a well-deserved makeover too.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Played for laughs in one arc in which Walt brings Jeremy and Connie to a cabin that Walt has nothing but fond memories of. Jeremy meanwhile finds that Walt hated the cabin as much as he does...there was a carving of "I hate this $@#% dump!" that Walt had apparently carved when he was Jeremy's age.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Parodied. Jeremy has a dream that he's at school naked, and decides to play it cool instead of panicking. Cue Hector saying, "What makes you so sure this is just a dream?" just before he wakes up.
    • Another time, he said that he wasn't sure what was worse: dreaming that he was naked, or the fact that nobody ever noticed.
  • Organ Autonomy: Jeremy's brain goes on strike (and jumps out onto the desk to taunt him) right before a big test.
  • Orphaned Punchline: A number of strips open with the tail end of one of Walt's stories, with the rest of the strip dealing with Jeremy's reaction.
  • Out of Focus: Many of the gang's classmates in the earlier years don't show up so much anymore, including Jeremy's self-appointed self-help guru Brittany, Zuma and her Posse, and the caffeine junkie Phoebe. (Phoebe admittedly did show up once, when she sold her soul for a 4.3 GPA.)
    • Lately, the strip has taken on the parents' perspective a lot more than it used to, resulting in more jokes at the expense of teenagers and percieved teenage behavior. As a result, many of of Jeremy's friends are seen a LOT less.
  • Parents Walk in At the Worst Time: One strip had Jeremy and his girlfriend studying in the kitchen, so of course Jeremy's parents come in every five minutes, getting "good, clear water!", taking out laundry, changing light bulbs, dusting the top of the fridge...
  • Perky Goth: More like perky punk. Pierce looks a little scary, but is harmless.
  • Ping-Pong Naivete: Regarding Jeremy's knowledge of classic rock. Didn't know what his dad meant when he complimented Jeremy and Hector's songwriting as having a Lennon/McCartney thing going, other strips has him referencing Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: References were made to Connie's work as a child psychologist, but only one strip ever showed her working.
    • Several strips show her attempting to write a book on Psychology that Jeremy keeps interrupting.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy
  • Punctuation Shaker: D'ijon, whose real name is Dionne; she "started doing the punctuation thing in seventh grade." After finding out her real name, Pierce decides to change his name to "P'ierce," to which D'ijon responds, "N'o."
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Pierce harbors a secret love of scrapbooking.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: When it lampoons parents and teenagers, people always laugh because so many of it is true. Like the teenager trying to give advice on parenting to his parents or parents interpreting "Leave me alone" to meaning that they want to talk.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Jeremy
  • Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue: In one strip, Jeremy tried to apologize to Sara about some insensitive remarks he made by writing a ridiculously bad poem. Sara's response?

 Blue is the violet,

Red is the rose.

You're still a big jerk,

And your poetry blows!

  • Rule of Funny: Whether or not Jeremy's a great student depends on the joke of the strip: he occasionally aces tests, or claims to have "straight-As" and is considered a bright student, but at other times he struggles and/or fails.
  • Sadist Teacher: Ms. Butcher, who seems to have a vendetta against Jeremy - she gave both Hector and Jeremy 97% on a test, but Hector's was an A and Jeremy's, a C-. And she wrote Jeremy's grade in blood.
  • Satellite Character: Both Y.A. and Tim, who pretty much showed up only to be in Jeremy and Hector's band and were almost never seen in strips where the band wasn't involved.
  • Scenery Censor: In the strips where Jeremy decided to march around the living room naked.
  • Separated by a Common Language: Connie wants to wear thongs, but not the underwear variety...
  • Short Distance Phone Call: Post-Flanderization, it has become a running gag in the comic.
  • Shout-Out: To Calvin and Hobbes in one strip.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Richandamy, based on a real couple from the authors' lives, who appear to have achieved some kind of symbiosis and seem locked in a permanent embrace.
    • In one strip where they temporarily break up, the other characters can't pronounce their names separately, saying "Richand Amy" or "Rich Andamy." The mere attempt causes physical pain.
  • Something Completely Different: Since Halloween 2009, the last week of October has apparently become Zombie Week; specifically, Reasons Why Zombies Would Make Cool Parents.
  • Straight Gay: Billy, a character seen now and then in the background mentioned once that he's homosexual, but it's never joked about or mentioned in any other strip.
    • The mention was after Jeremy said his outfit looked gay. Jeremy seemed unfazed and simply said he meant "gay" as in "lame".
  • Straw Vegetarian: Hector's girlfriend Autumn is an animal lover and a fanatical vegetarian. The first time she saw Jeremy eating a burger, she got a hysterical fit as if she truly had never seen anything so terrible before.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Jeremy tries this on Sara with predictable results.
    • Although who knows what happened after it was given to his father on carpool day...
  • Symbol Swearing:
    • One strip involved Jeremy getting scolded for swearing (represented by grawlixes), and then commenting that he's the only guy he knows who has a less colorful vocabulary than Beetle Bailey.
    • Another strip has Jeremy saying "Star-Asterisk-Fishbone!" when he hurts himself, and when Hector comments on it (apparently it's the equivalent of Gosh Dang It to Heck) he explains that his mother will kill him if he says [string of grawlixes].
  • Tacky Tuxedo: In an attempt to persuade sara to go to the prom with him, Jeremy borrows a tuxedo that used to belong to Hector's grandfather. Only when Hector gives it to him does he discover that Hector's grandfather had been in a mariachi band.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: One strip shows that Jeremy fears this when he at first is glad to have gotten an A on a test, only to instead have a fantasy where his parents are proud of him and say that from now on, they'll expect an A on every quiz. The next panel, he says he thinks he blew it.
  • The Talk: Walt takes Jeremy on an early fishing morning trip as an excuse to have The Talk with him.

 Walt: Your mom and I just want to make sure that there's no risky behavior going on between the two of you.

Jeremy: Don't worry. You can't have "risky" behavior if there's no behavior in the first place.

  • Technically a Smile: One strip showed a progression of school photos for Jeremy, each one showing a gradually less obvious smile. Another time, he propped the corners of his mouth upward with his fingers when Connie suggested that he smile instead of scowl.
  • Telecom Tree: We don't see the actual tree but Pierce calculates that in order to get 700 people to turn up to his Wild Teen Party he has to inform exactly one person (Brittney) and let the word spread. It works.
  • That Came Out Wrong: A history teacher saying "And the Vikings in their pillaging made off with lots of booty." Needless to say the class was over after she said it.
  • Theme Naming: Jeremy and Chad are named for the musical duo Chad & Jeremy. Both Walt and Connie blame the other for such a ridiculous idea.
    • At least they weren't Hall & Oates fans. Although Jeremy's girlfriend is Sara (i.e., "Sara Smile").
    • The Posse are named after Southern California beaches: Zuma, Redondo and La Jolla. And at least Zuma's last name is actually "Beech".
  • Totally Radical: Jeremy had to teach his dad not to say "What's up, dood?" Unfortunately, though he could pronounce "Whatup, dude?" (relatively in use at time of publishing), he had no idea what it meant.
    • Parodied in one strip where Jeremy tries to get a slang word of his own invention to catch on: "Plasmic". It works about as well as you'd expect. Which was just plasmic with everybody.
  • Trash of the Titans: Jeremy's room, despite Connie's best efforts.
    • Pierce's locker is possibly even worse than that. But it has killer chi.
  • Truth in Television: Honestly, whose teen hasn't done some of that stuff like running a blender without the lid or texting people who're in the same room as them? And whose parents haven't done that sort of stuff like trying to talk to someone who says "Leave me alone"?
  • Tsundere: Sara.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Husband Walt is shown as bald and cartoonishly obese, while his wife is much thinner and not altogether unattractive, having a body type resembling the teenage girls of the comic. This is actually lampshaded by Sara who comments "Isn't weird how your Mom and I have like indentical bodies?" (Cue the awkward moment) Connie's still not gorgeous given the art style, but it's a notable difference over Walt.
    • And an older strip Lampshaded it when Jeremy asks Connie, "What is it about him [Walt] made you say, "This is what I want to wake up to for the rest of my life." which ends with Connie staring at Walt with a disturbed expression.
  • The Unfavourite: Chad > Jeremy.
  • Unsound Effect: "Essay! Essay!" for Jeremy writing an essay.
  • Verbal Tic: Parodied in one instance? Where Jeremy and Hector criticize a girl? Who seems to talk? In questions?
    • And then parodied again at the end of the same arc, when Jeremy asks Hector to point out if Jeremy ever develops a verbal tic — all the while, both of them are generously peppering their sentences with enough "dude"s to annoy Mordecai and Rigby.
  • Visual Pun: Quite often. For example, when Connie "talks [Jeremy's] ear off," his ears, and other pieces of his face, literally fall off his head and onto the table.
  • Wangst: Jeremy in-universe, though he tends to get mocked for it.
  • What Are Records: From Jeremy of course.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Word for word, from Connie to Jeremy.

 Jeremy: Everything's about cause and effect with you, isn't it?

  • Wild Teen Party: Pierce throws one of these. His classic response: "Who would have thought 700 drunken teenagers could get so rowdy?"
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Jeremy wakes up one morning with his boxers over his head. He resolves to try and remember his dreams.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: There are slight clues to the Duncan family's residence, all suggesting that they're somewhere in the Midwest. Jim Borgman lives in Cincinnati, Ohio (and is a Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer), and many locals have always assumed that Zits was set in Cincinnati. Interstate 70, Bucyrus and Grater's Ice Cream have all been referenced at various points, further suggesting this.
  • Write Who You Know: Again, Richandamy, who are based on two of Jim Borgman's college friends. The "real" Richandamy are Happily Married with kids...who, one year, gave their parents a custom, signed picture of Richandamy for the holidays.