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Throughout MS Paint Adventures there are many themes, events and dialog which constantly re-occur. This is similar to ongoing gags; however, recurring themes are notable for their more serious tone and, often, importance to the plot.
In multiple adventuresEdit
- Weird plot shit. Mostly in Homestuck, but also somewhat in Problem Sleuth. Who the hell even knows what's going on anymore? When Hussie starts writing recaps in an adventure, you know it's got weird plot shit.
- In Problem Sleuth, trolls even get to , Equius's shades onto Kanaya's face, and Lil Hal onto Equiusprite. Occasionally, though, characters buck the trend and use slightly more diverse phrases, such as , or . , . . As if that weren't bad enough, Homestuck also often . , , . Heck, the
- Time shenanigans. Time travel involving living beings and objects, stable time loops, and time paradoxes.
- The arc numbers – 413, 612, 1025 and 11 11 11, as well as the year 2422.
- Chess is a recurring representation of the battle between Light and Dark, including the Battlefield on which they fight.
- Losing an arm and eye. First seen when John "accidentally" shreds the , which is then used to , causing his session's monarchs to have the same injuries. When Jack Noir , he gets the injuries too. Gamzee also uses his to haunt John's past dreams with a creepy harlequin with the same injuries, leading John's dad to get the harlequin doll in the first place after John begins scribbling drawings of it on his wall in his sleep. The injuries also show up independently in the trolls' universe. First, in the distant future, when Snowman stabs Spades Slick and . Second, before Sgrub, Doc Scratch makes the Magic Cue Ball in Vriska's face. Last, in the distant past, Mindfang to Redglare's lusus, Pyralspite.
- Incidentally, Vriska's injuries equate to precisely half of what she caused to others: losing the use of one eye (to Terezi's two) and one limb (to Tavros's two).
- Poppop sustains these injuries in the post-Scratch session. He loses an arm when Jane , and an eye when his severed head . This is a parallel to what happened to John's doll.
- Being impaled through the chest or stomach. This terrible fate first befalls the Rambunctious Crow when Dave launches a katana at it and goes on to befall Stitch, John, Bro, Nepeta's dream self (three times, infact, referencing her official number) WV, Vriska, Tavros, Jake, Jane, Feferi, Karkat, Kanaya, and Jane's dream self all by the corresponding Jack Noirs.
- Related to this, Jack Noir and Spades Slick share an identical pose at the end of and ; Spades has a barcode scanner shining on his forehead, while Jack has a similar-looking blood spatter in the same place.
- "Make them pay." This line usually precedes some very grim act of revenge. See Aradia's for Vriska crippling Tavros, of Aradia, and the when Vriska blinds Terezi and Aradia later kills Vriska in Sgrub. The latter was at Diamonds Droog's . Also during Sgrub, Snowman reveals that she plans to use Vriska and Terezi to .
- Duality: Duality shows up frequently in the comic and serves as a plot device from time to time. It can feature the colours red and blue, black and white or, more recently, red and green. Although it actually first manifested in the war between the white Prospitans and the black Dersites, it only truly showed up as a primary component of Sollux's personality, manifesting most notably in the form of his red and blue eyes, a trait he shared with his lusus, and frequent possession of red and blue items. Examples of black-white duality in relation to Sollux include his shoes, his having both Prospit and Derse dream selves and the half-ghostly eyes he picks up, one white and one black.
- It's hard, being a kid and growing up, it's hard and nobody understands.
- Mother/Earthbound: Hussie frequently references the Mother/Earthbound series throughout Homestuck, including the name of the comic itself and the name of various parts of it, Hussie repeatedly finds ways to sneak references to the series of RPG's. He mostly references the singular Stateside release (Earthbound), and several of it's main characters appear in one Alterniabound Flash, which uses the same type of art style and game style as parts of the game (the way the characters walk and open presents/chests). The design of Mituna Captor's helmet is strangely similar to The Masked Man's Helmet from the Japan-only Mother 3.