Risk vs. Reward
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 382
Date published 27 November 2006
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Haley and her inner-selves grapple with the meaning of Nale's overtures.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

[Note all voices occur in Haley's head, except where noted in the transcript.]

Panel 1, Page 1

Self-Loathing: OK, everyone, breathe deeply.
Self-Loathing: Actually, only Haley needs to breathe deeply, the rest of us are imaginary.

Panel 2, Page 1

Self-Loathing: We have a major crisis on our hands here.
Vanity: I know! I'm not even sure we'll fit into that dress! much less find shoes in time!!

Panel 3, Page 1

Self-Loathing: What? No, Haley's Vanity, that's not what I'm talking about.
Vanity: Oh, sorry. You're worried about how we'll do our hair, then.

Panel 4, Page 1

Self-Loathing: Look, men that we've been pining over for the better part of a year do not spontaneously decide to just sweep us off our feet with flowers and new dresses.
Self-Loathing: That doesn't happen to girls like us.

Panel 5, Page 1

Self-Reliance: Oh, I see what's going on here.
Self-Reliance: Self-Loathing here just doesn't want us to be happy, so she's trying to sabotage the whole thing.

Panel 6, Page 1

Self-Loathing: Listen, Peroxide, I'm the only one here who cares enough about Haley to tell her the whole unvarnished truth.
Self-Loathing: And I say something is wrong.

Panel 7, Page 1

Self-Loathing: Am I the ONLY one who noticed that Elan wasn't acting very Elan-like?
Self-Loathing: He was suave and romantic and didn't forget what he was saying in the middle.
Self-Loathing: Plus, I think he checked out our rack at one point.

Panel 8, Page 1

Optimism: Well... Maybe his feelings for us spurred him to new heights of confidence.
Self-Loathing: Oh, yeah, maybe. Or maybe he's a Pod Person from the Fifth Dimension.

Panel 9, Page 1

Optimism: That's insane.
Self-Loathing: Insane, right. Because we're NOT talking about a girl whose mind is slowly fracturing into a thousand pieces under the strain of not having anyone to listen to her.

Panel 10, Page 1

Self-Loathing: What about that dress? Black, strapless, with laces up the front and back? Who wears stuff like that?
Vanity: You do.
Self-Loathing: Yeah—but I'm a teenager! You can't take my fashion choices seriously!

Panel 11, Page 1

Latent Bisexuality: I think the dress looks hot...
Self-Loathing: No one asked you, Haley's Latent Bisexuality.
Latent Bisexuality: Fine. I'll just go back to hiding in the corner.

Panel 12, Page 1

Self-Loathing: I'm telling you, this whole thing is fishy! Back me up, Haley's Mistrust.
Mistrust: Why should I? What's your angle??
Self-Loathing: *sigh* Never mind.

Panel 1, Page 2

Intellect: Actually, Elan's vocabulary and syntax were significantly above those of his usual speech patterns.
Self-Loathing: Thank you, Haley's Intellect, that's what I'm talking about.

Panel 2, Page 2

Intellect: However, it is possible that he raised his Intelligence score the last time he gained a level.
Self-Loathing: What? Ugh, you're grasping at straws now! Think, people, THINK!

Panel 3, Page 2

Haley (aloud): No.
Self-Loathing: Did—did you just say "no" to thinking??

Panel 4, Page 2

Haley: Yeah. I think too much.
Haley: All of my life, I've been suspicious and distrustful.
Haley: What do I have to show for it?
Self-Loathing: Uh... you're still alive?
Haley: I'm not sure I'd call this living.

Panel 5, Page 2

Haley: Elan managed to get through his life without second-guessing everything, and he's happy. He took a chance coming here and telling me how he felt—
Haley: —something I was freaking out about long before I lost my voice.

Panel 6, Page 2

Haley: All I know is that if I don't go, I'll probably spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened.
Haley: I can't do that. I'll go crazy.
Haley: Crazier, whatever.

Panel 7, Page 2

Haley: You could be right. There could be something wrong with him.
Haley: Maybe he's a doppelganger who wants to devour my frontal lobe or something.

Panel 8, Page 2

Haley: Or maybe—just maybe—everything is exactly as it seems and this is my one and only opportunity to be truly happy.

Panel 9, Page 2

Haley: I think that's worth the risk.
Haley: I think that may be worth ANY risk.

Panel 10, Page 2

Haley's Self-Loathing is silent.

Panel 11, Page 2

Self-Loathing: Yeah, well...
Self-Loathing: Don't come crying to me when your brain gets eaten!

Panel 12, Page 2

Intellect: Technically, since we are solely mental constructs, we would cease to exist.
Mistrust: I don't buy it.
Vanity: Would that mess up our hair?
Self-Reliance: Wait, if we didn't have a brain, how could we—
Self-Loathing: Gods, I hate you all.

Trivia Edit

  • Pod People are a fictional alien species which feature as the antagonists of the 1955 Jack Finney novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well as the classic 1956 film of the same name.
  • There are four dimensions known to exist (3 spatial dimensions, plus time), though some physical models postulate more. A hypothetical "5th Dimension" has been used in some science fiction and fantasy as home to strange beings, for example Mister Mxyzptlk from the DC comics universe.
  • This is the final appearance of Haley's Optimism, Haley's Self-Reliance, Haley's Anger, Haley's Intellect, Haley's Mistrust, and Haley's Vanity. The former two first appeared in #319. The latter five first appeared in the comic previous to this one.
  • This is the only appearance of Haley's Latent Bisexuality, though not the last innuendo to be made in that direction.
  • It is in this moment that the Oracle's prophesy for Haley comes true, though she would only realize it much later.

External Links Edit

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