Comics: Once Upon a Trope

Fantasy Trial


Two characters in cool outfits stare angrily at each other while a judge makes a pronouncement.

Judge: It’s your word against theirs. That leaves us with one way to determine which of you committed the villainous deed.

Judge: Trial by –

The judge throws flowers and confetti in the air as the court cheers.

Judge: Beauty pageant!

The opposing characters, now done up, pose on a red carpet while the jury observes. 

Juror 1: Remind me how a beauty pageant determines guilt?

Juror 2: The hero is always the best looking, duh.



  1. Cay Reet

    We need more trials by beauty pageant!

    Glad to see you’re back this week, I hope your work-load is smaller again!

    • Bunny

      Thanks, Cay! Workload has thankfully decreased to a manageable amount again. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

      • Star of Hope

        Hello Bunny, glad to see you return with this great short comic.

        I hope you will not get a new assignment in the near future and you can focus on this series, it’s comedy gold, I tell you.

  2. SunlessNick

    In that case, the one on the right is clearly *in* the right.

    • Juan

      Excuuuuuuuse me ? With that little curly lock on the forehead, the one in the left is clearly the hero !

      … Wait… guys I think I just discovered a little problem with that method of trial…

    • P

      Idk look at Prince on the left there

  3. Star of Hope

    Who is the hero here?

    Also why are there not so many trials by beauty pageant!? Trial by combat gets stale, even when a republican demands that to determine who is going to be president next.

  4. Innocent Bystander

    But what if they’re both heroes?

  5. King Atlas

    Gosh, they both look stunning!

  6. Julia S

    The real winners here are the witnesses.

  7. silverware

    This would be useful in game universes too, as the PC is usually the most.. unique being around. As someone who ran around the wastelands clad only in glasses and a hat because I didn’t notice i wasn’t wearing any armor, i can attest.

  8. Esq

    Real lawyer here, the type that goes to trial probably more often than most.

    Nearly every work of fiction gets trials wrong. These are the common mistakes:

    1. Even on the most exciting of trials, the judge and the lawyers are going to do their best to make things as boring as possible. This is for our stress levels. When a lawyer is surprised at trial, that generally isn’t a good thing for them.

    2. Law takes a longer time than depicted in fiction.

    3. Lawyers aren’t that elegant in summing up cases in real life. There are a lot more place holders. This is especially true in non-jury trials when the judge is deciding fact and law.

    4. Lawyers aren’t magicians. Generally fiction shows somebody going to a lawyer and then the lawyer taking over. Law is a cooperative process. Clients that only participate passively are not easy to deal with. Many people tend to be shocked that they need to be involved in their own cases.

    • Star of Hope

      A question I want to ask:

      Are eyewitness really so unreliable or can they be used correctly?

      • Esq

        They are kind of necessary in many trials even if the reliability is questionable.

  9. Dave L

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all.
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

    -John Keats

  10. Ennis

    There’s a dress-up game called Love Nikki and this is pretty much their “combat” system. It sounds silly but it has surprisingly deep lore. People compete with outfits because there’s a blood curse that reflects back any pain or violence on its dealer. Things kick up when the protagonist and friends are betrayed by a former ally with an artifact that makes him immune to this curse, setting off a whole chain of events.

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