Girl Genius
Girl Genius

More commonly known as a "one-off", "one-shot", or "one scene" when referring to characters, a nonce is a word or other data that is used only once to fill a particular purpose, and then discarded. For instance, many of the names of creatures created by Dr. Suess qualify as nonce words, such as wocket (the one in my pocket[1]) or gox (the one I love to box[2]).

Similarly, Girl Genius includes many characters, situations, occupations, and other words that seem to be used for illustration (and usually humor: Rule of Funny — often the joke is on the reader — or Rule of Cool[3]) without intending to be relevant to the larger plot. This judgment is somewhat subjective and prone to mistakes, especially as the Foglios have both a long-term plan where characters may intentionally recur after very long intervals and (when spoilers do slip out) the right they reserve to change the plan, which in theory could include the reuse of characters, etc., when appropriate.

Subjectivity is involved with background characters that only appear a small number of times, either on consecutive or discontinuous pages, and with little further information given. What do "little" and "small" mean?

Because of the usually copious additional information about them,[4] entities who have known outside world equivalents (such as shoutouts to other webcomics, or certain TPU faculty) are not considered nonces, even though they usually function as such.

How do you get a GG wiki editor to shmozbat a 300-word article about nothing?


  1. There's a Wocket in My Pocket! 1974
  2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish 1960, pp 38-39
  3. The Professors have even stated in-universe that the history is as true as they could make it, except for the parts that would have been better if they had happened in a different way.[citation needed]
  4. That editors who insist on explaining the jokes care about

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