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 adventures[edit | edit source]

In Homestuck[edit | edit source]

  • Time shenanigans. Time travel involving living beings and objects, stable time loops, and time paradoxes.
  • The arc numbers413, 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 giant harlequin dollHS.svg, which is then used to prototype his kernelspriteHS.svg, causing his session's monarchs to have the same injuries. When Jack Noir ascendsHS.svg, he gets the injuries too. Gamzee also uses his dark ancestral chucklevoodooHS.svg 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 in the eyeHS.svg and rips his arm off with a whipHS.svg. Second, before Sgrub, Doc Scratch makes the magic cue ball explodeHS.svg in Vriska's face. Last, in the distant past, Mindfang loses an arm and an eyeHS.svg 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 takes his bookHS.svg, and an eye when his severed head is nicked by a pokerHS.svg. 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, in fact, 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 the former's ascensionHS.svg and the latter's intermissionHS.svg; 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 revengeHS.svg for Vriska crippling Tavros, Vriska's revenge killingHS.svg of Aradia, and the 2x revenge comboHS.svg when Vriska blinds Terezi and Aradia later kills Vriska in Sgrub. The latter was at Diamonds Droog's promptingHS.svg. Also during Sgrub, Snowman reveals that she plans to use Vriska and Terezi to make Jack payHS.svg.
  • 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 its 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.
  • Nothing is impossible: when one character states an event sounds not possible to be achieved, it most likely will in the future.
    • First guardians are not really indestructible, as they can be harmed when distracted or by another first guardian. Also, Jake's Hope field was able to knock out Jade and allow her to die.
    • Tavros says Vriksa's stairs are PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for him to climb up. While this may be true, he gets his rocket chair right after.
    • Aradia states she never had a dream self and the Green Sun can not be used for constructive purposes. Hours later from her standpoint, her dream self ascends and she warps to the Sun through a first guardian, awaiting Sollux to die moving the meteor there.
    • Vriska jokes that if Tavros reached his god tier, he would be completely indestructible, being too lame to die a Heroic death or a Just one. Later, a god tier ghost Tavros is seen, meaning some version of him must have died after achieving god tier.
    • Karkat thinks impossible to not be in a doomed timeline because Kanaya was dead and her future self talked in a memo. It turns out she got revived as a rainbow drinker.
    • Jade's task to bring the kid's planets to the new session seems impossible to her until ascending to god tier. Roxy's task to make a matriorb is played the same way.
    • jUjUs are said to have origins which are impossible to Understand or trace... except we have seen Lil Cal's timeline from the reader's perspective.
    • Derse's cells are virtually impossible to escape from, except by just punching its walls.
    • Dead sessions.
    • Caliborn and English's immortality are not really unconditional, as the Condesce found out during her serving.
    • Played inverted when a character knows a future event and wants something else to happen in its place, like Terezi trying to avert Coinflip Dave's death and Aranea trying to prevent Lord English​'s existance.
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