Comics: Once Upon a Trope

Ship’s Inventory


In a ship’s shuttle bay, an ensign with a data pad is staring in shock at the two shuttles sitting in the bay. A commander approaches with a friendly smile.

Commander: How’s the inventory going?

Ensign: We have two shuttles.

Commander: Well, yes, we had two shuttles when we set out for deep space.

Ensign: According to the logs, we’ve destroyed five.

They stare at each other.

The commander gestures awkwardly toward the shuttles.

Commander: Well… obviously we can make them.

Ensign: We made one. We spent all month working on it together, and then we crashed it into a moon.

The commander takes the data pad and reassuringly puts a hand on the ensign’s shoulder.

Commander: Alright, don’t panic.

Commander: Since we’re supposed to have negative two shuttles, we’ll just convert these to antimatter, sign off on the inventory, and call it a day!



  1. Jeppsson

    Hello there, Voyager…

  2. Cay Reet

    Inventory taking at its finest – great comic again, Bunny and Chris!

  3. Dave L

    Ya see?

    This is why you should never take inventory

  4. Erynus

    Plot twist: one is a mimic.

    • Grey

      The plot twist is that both shuttles are mimics, as were the previous two.

  5. Maria

    Oh, this is brilliant! I can’t properly express how happy it made me, but congrats!

  6. King Atlas

    I am a bit confused about this… whats the joke?

    • Erich

      I think it’s a subtle one about how correcting the, relatively minor, inventory issue by converting matter to antimatter, in an uncontrolled environment, would cause a big explosive problem.

    • CKDerrick

      The joke is that bureaucracy is foolish enough to destroy two functional shuttles because that’s easier than having the inventory out of balance. As well as a mathematical joke, in that converting the shuttles to anti-shuttles will make the math balance.

  7. Erynus

    Want a greatly funny story about inventories on space ships? Read Allamagoosa from Eric Frank Russell.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy (updated 03/28/20) and our privacy policy for details on how we moderate comments and who receives your information.