#421 – the brownout biscuit

This was a fun page to draw. Hope you like it!

108 thoughts on “#421 – the brownout biscuit

  1. crikey. she'll be lucky if will is all she forgets.

  2. I'd like to place an order for a dozen brownout biscuits, please.

    1. Only a dozen? I need one for every other day of my life it seems sometimes.

      Lessie.. that would be… oh, god.. that's a lot.

      ..hey, how do you remember if you've eaten the brownout biscuit or not?

      1. You don't… That's kind of the point.

        1. Kind of like a roofie?

  3. thats like a small slice of death right there. be careful with that mmkay?

  4. Love the Joy Division joke! Also, I could have used one of those treats myself about two years ago. Great emotion in the last panel 🙂

  5. So I guess Marigold never learned from mistakes in her previous relationships, because she was never given the chance. Damn Hannah, that is one f*cked cookie!

    1. This could really explain the (seemingly) widely held opinion that Marigold is somewhat an undeveloped person and is less likeable than the others. She seems to lack character, is more immature and shallow because she really is underdeveloped. She hasn't been able to evolve as a person since she met Hannah in college!

      (Meredith, is there a double meaning to this? or is is just the cookies…)



  7. Um…


  8. been trying to make a lame pun based on 'eternal sunshine of the spotless mind' for most of my lunch break and am thoroughly unable to do so

  9. Please tell me the brownout biscut are available for purchase at the OP store.

  10. I kinda really wish I had that cookie sometimes. I think we wish it sometimes.

    But yes, that cookie is pure evil and should be destroyed. I pity Marigold for never getting the chance to mature from a breakup, but envy her "trick" to skip the process, unwilling as it may be.

  11. Deus Ex Muffin

    1. Deus Ex Macaroon

  12. I'm surprised the ruthless businesswoman in Hannah didn't see the monetary opportunities behind a recipe like that- I mean, there's no way she hasn't seen "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," right?

  13. gah, what lovely artwork! the look of horror on Ning's face in the bottom left panel is perfect ^_^

  14. I don't get the biscuit joke ._.

  15. Hanna is starting to be a little scary.

  16. I feel like I'm watching an episode of Yakitate!! Japan.

    1. now that you mention it, yes, it is very similar to yakitate. man…i <3 that show. let's see a crazy reaction from eating the brownout biscuit!

      1. I just finished watching it last week, so it's still on my mind somewhat.

        This biscuit is disgusting! Fuck, I'm in Hell!

        That would be awesome.

  17. Wow… Hanna is real screwed up.

  18. I'm afraid Eve will end up taking a bite. I don't know how, but I have a terrible sense of foreboding.

    I love that Hannah knows where to find an alchemist.

    1. Yeah me too! The way she was asking, "every time, Hannah?"

      But even worse is the thought that Hannah might have already made her eat one before!

  19. Wait… oh god. Is this why she has such a "perfect" relationship with Marek?

    1. oh god, please no! 🙁

      1. how would that work? she wouldn't want him to forget her.

  20. Taking bets, who ends up eating it by mistake?

    1. I bet on "Eve and Marigold each eat half".

  21. Hannah's way beyond the pale here. I thought it was bad enough that Hannah's motive for "helping" Mar had more to do with her own sense of guilt and responsibility, but she's essentially keeping Mar in a state of arrested development with a goddamn fucking cookie. Do the right thing, Eve. Mar needs to hurt to grow.

    And changing direction entirely, this is why Octopus Pie is one of the best comics out there today.

    1. Yeah, I kinda loved Hannah's easygoing nature. I don't know if she changed as a character or it's something that's been a little less obvious until the past few months, but Hannah is kinda insane now and really needs to be in control of everything.

      Also, Octopie is one of the best comics out there because it's incredibly relateable. I've always found myself with a little of Will's hopeless romanticism, Hannah's insanity, Marek's quiet acceptance, and Eve's pessimism.

      Of course, that's oversimplifying it but the point is we've all found ourselves to have different portions of each character within us. I can even definitely sympathize with what Marigold is going through right now.

      It also helps that Meredith really makes the characters believable, and the art style alluring, and the stories charming.

      Sorry for rambling.

      1. I'm totally there with you Nick. Completely agree and can relate.

      2. I noticed Hanna being progressively manipulative for a long time, now. It just seems more prevalent as we see more of how she interacts with the other characters. By all means, Hanna is easygoing, but perhaps that's because she rests assured all her schemes will be self-sufficient. Knowing her, we see quite a few instances where she has been at work, like Eve and Will et al.

        Just hypothesizing. Oh, and the rambling is actually refreshing.

      3. The characters yes…the storylines maybe not always (Like Santa Claus and most, possibly all, deities, I don't believe in the Brownout Cookie). 🙂

    2. sorry I thought that was a question =P Yes I agree, this one fragment of the story arc is phenomenal. If I owned a credit card (also, some money) I would purchase the original, frame it, and put it on my wall.

    3. The Fact That Hanna Makes Marigold Forget Everything Explains A Lot, She's Never Been Able To Grow From Harmful Experiences.

    4. Yes but remember, it's implied that Mar might've hurt/killed herself because she was so upset? If you had to choose between a tragedy or a manipulative plan with serious long-term issues, wouldn't you choose the latter?

      Obviously Hannah didn't go about it the right way here but she did have kind motives, at least.

      1. See, I think that while maybe back then the thought of Mar doing something horrible to herself may have been real, a friend doesn't just block it all out with a magic cookie (well, if they could do so in real life) – they keep watch, they call a suicide prevention hotline, they call and drop by unannounced to check on the friend, and if it's SERIOUS they call in the pros. Then the friend hopefully (usually, to be honest) doesn't kill themselves but learns a lot from the hurt.

        Suspending my disbelief way up high…this explains a LOT.

    5. That's exactly how I felt about Hanna's motives and what she's doing now. I've never really liked her character, but I was starting to get used to her, before the current story line. This is just…unforgivably evil.

      Poor Marigold—crippled with an emotional mentality that is inferior to both her experience and age. It explains a lot. How can she ever figure out what she really wants in life and a partner when she can't remember the things that didn't work out, regardless of how much she thought she wanted them initially? She'll just have the same bad relationship over and over, and end up alone. 🙁 I hope she gets her memories back or something, (though, realizing you've made the same dumb mistakes multiple times with different men, and your good friend has been drugging you, might drive a woman insane).

      On the up-side, I like Marigold a lot more, thanks to this story arc.

      tl/dr; Hanna = monster. Marigold = aw :'(

      1. Liz, is that a serious question? I'd choose plan "C", where I don't scramble my friend's egg salad and do what any normal person would do for a loved one in distress– namely be supportive, be present, and do what I can to get them the help they need. As far as I know the recommended tactic to approaching a friend who may be suicidal does not involve a roofie cookie.

        I agree that Hannah's heart was in the right place– to an extent– but man oh man, her brain certainly was not. I mean we've got the chess board out but she's all playing Whack-A-Mole.

        1. >___>;; Yes it was serious.

          The whole point of my question was that Hanna didn't think there WAS an option "C." I'm not saying she's right, I'm just saying she isn't EVIL, just misguided.

        2. Also, you can see in the last page that Hanna TRIES to be supportive and present and all that happened is they made Mar freak out and yell at them, demanding to be left alone.

          Alright that's the last time I try to defend a fictional character. I'm out.

        3. Oh absolutely she's not pure evil, but there's something way wrong with your thought process when the options are "mindfuck cookie" or "let friend commit seppuku". I'm not saying she's bad, either, mind, but like you I think she's incredibly misguided– which I think is putting it lightly. I don't know if anyone here would immediately think to do a mind wipe on a friend if that friend was suicidal. But that's Hannah. She's a loyal, if not especially logical or rational, friend.

          And yeah, I agree her heart was in the right place but for all her effort she wasn't really all that supportive. Being supportive isn't necessarily doing what you think you SHOULD do for your friend, but what they NEED you to do, and Hannah never stopped for a second to consider that Mar might not really benefit from being gang-pressed into gallivanting around NYC. Which I think works because again, hey, that's Hannah's character.

  22. I can think of a few times I wouldn't have minded having one of those.

  23. you know, it was rumored that the original script for Eternal Sunshine revealed the endlessly cyclical nature of Joel and Clementine's breakup

    this context was meant to be reflective of reality, where romance is temporary and true love only comes from the acceptance of practical reality, something the two of them were never able to do with each other

  24. No, Eve, don't get dragged into this spiral of regret!

    …well, ever further, that is!

  25. just figured it out.

    So this is why all of the pics of Marigold have the boyfriend 'removed'… to maintain the cognitive dissonance!

    1. Ooh, well spotted!

  26. THIS.



    1. SecretlyASuperhero

      hahhahah i'm so glad you took that opportunity for a joke

  27. "No… IT CANT BE". if it can be dreamed, it can be made!

  28. whoops. "THIS CANT BE REAL". wow there goes my last comment

  29. NO this is sparta!!!

  30. That's…that's fucked up

  31. no! not horny goat weed! :O

  32. Damn it, Hanna. God damn it, Hanna. I was on your side!

    This comic just reminds me of how much I love Octopus Pie. It can have me rolling with laughter and thinking at the same time.

  33. Not sure about everyone here who says they'd want one of those biscuits. Why? Everything in our lives happens for a reason. We experience pain as much as pleasure because both have meaning and importance. Simply erasing it means you can never learn the lesson of how to get over it….without more brownout biscuits.

    That seems sad to me. Sad, and pointless.

    1. Because pleasure is fun, but pain is considerably less so – to the point of not being fun at all.

      I'm just guessing.


    For awesomeness.

  35. Ah, lemon tart.. Maybe that's what that yellow thing was. Damn, Hanna is a really awesome friend.

  36. Hanna is a true fiend

    1. I can't tell if this is supposed to say "fiend" or maybe you meant "friend"

      and for the record, I don't think I've ever done anything I would eat the brownout biscuit for

  37. Neat thing I noticed while rereading the archives: in strip# 302 (http://www.octopuspie.com/2009-06-15/302-unfathomable/) Hanna makes a reference to dealing with one of Marigold's exes "swiftly", and Mar says she can't remember him. Pretty crazy!

    1. Well found!

    2. And the alt text on that one refers to a cookie which was in no way relevant to that strip.

  38. Wow. This is so not making it right. This is soooooooooooo not making it right.

  39. … Why is this not a real thing? Coulda used some of that hardcore after my last breakup.

    But like people have said, you wouldnt get to learn from your mistakes and become a better person from it. So I guess thats the "dark side of the force" of baked goods…

    Though I gotta say its right up hanna's alley.

  40. I'm confused– why would Will have to be "ditched"?

    1. Because the cookie is going to make Marigold forget will, They can't have him just casually appearing back into her life after that, He'll say something and ruin the whole "spell" or whatever it is.

      I'm also guessing she can't even SEE Will again because of the previous strip in which all of her exes were cut or blocked out of the photos. Seeing the ex again probably brings it all back.

  41. I wonder if you need the vinyl version, or if the cd would work…

    1. Oooh, good question, can't really powder the iTunes version either. Vinyl would be hard to find these days.

  42. !!!

    Is this why Marigold couldn't remember the "marine biologist" who broke her heart?

    The one mentioned in this page???

    1. OMG! You might be right! The freakiest part is that the alt text on that one refers to a cookie! Cookies and biscuits… not very different.

  43. Oh dear Lord and special brownies. HANNA!!

    I wouldn't eat the bicsuit.

    The pain I've been thru in the past with relationships has taught me a lot. It made me realise what I should and shouldn't expect from love and the person I'm in love with. It made me a hell of a lot stronger. Spose it sounds cliche, but tis true.

  44. Oh hey. Will didn't screw up…well he did but kind of in a spurious way. You can't say someone "screwed up" for breaking up with someone they were not into.

    If anyone screwed up, it was Hanna by setting them up in the first place (which she implied earlier that she did).

  45. Eternal Sunshine reference! 'A dream upon waking…'

    This is so horrible though! Doesn't Hanna understand that if Marigold never deals with her break ups and gets over them, she never is going to grow as a person? She'll never LEARN to deal with them, hence why they always are so harsh. And that's why Hanna always finds herself in this position again. AUGH.

  46. And the award for best scenario inspired by the saying "Be careful what you wish for" goes to – (opens envelope)

    Meredith Gran, for OCTOPUS PIE! (Musical fanfare, standing ovation)


    On the other hand, as my uncle (he's a Rabbi) sometimes sez:

    "I we remembered everything, we wouldn't survive."

  47. Oh, and the first panel made me think Eve was talking only about her and Will. In an ominous fashion, of course – but it fits either way. THAT is solid writing.

  48. Nah… the film itself was a low point… but Captain Kirk was right when he said, "I *need* my pain."

  49. We're clearly only getting a biased view here. A break-up is bad, but you really can't blame it on one person, especially if that person was being honest and not, say, vindictive in ending the relationship or all ready with someone else. I wonder what Will's view of the situation is.

    Brownout biscuit aside, Marigold should still have enough life experiences to be significantly less whiny than she is. Besides, she fell in love with Victor a few chapters ago (fair enough), so she should have some idea her relationship with Will was not working out.

    I also get the feeling that Hanna doesn't really want to keep giving her the biscuit. She seems to understand she's screwed up, but she feels like she needs to give Marigold the biscuit EVERY time because she denied her the chance to grow from the first breakup and is thus still afraid of Marigold hurting herself. Her dialogue in panel 5 sounds more like a person forced into a situation of their own making than a puppet-master.

    1. To be fair, she'd have more life experiences to draw from if she didn't keep getting fed brownout biscuits. 😉

      1. If the only way she's getting life lessons is through her romantic relationships, there's still something wrong there.

  50. jesus I just read 421 pages of awesome in 12 hours…I'm probably ODing right now

  51. Wow, a dark side to Hanna. Guess she cant stand seeing people hurt. Character development is awesome in this comic

    1. Hanna's had a dark side for years. This is hardly the first time we've seen it.

  52. Wow, so she just makes Mar forget about her failed relationships. Then, what about the 'learning from your mistakes' part? Nice job, Hanna.

  53. I love this web comic, and can't even remember how I came across it. XD This is probably the best storyline yet, ever. I'm so used to seeing Hanna so upbeat, positive, and mischievous – to know that she can feel guilt over her own actions struck be by surprised, especially in other occasions when she should have felt guilty from the results of her actions (like when Ning's apartment was broken into XD). Strangely enough, she really isn't to blame for the break up in Marigold's relationship – I mean, she just introduced the two together. What happened between Will and Mar might have still happened (like the fight over the sweater she made for him) even if Hanna hadn't introduced the two. It's also interesting to see how seriously Hanna takes the feelings of her friends, and wants nothing but the best for them. I'm looking forward to what happens next! I'll be shocked to see if Ning caves in to Hanna's orders.

  54. There are still alchemists around?

    1. C'mon, she gets smoked out by elves and all….

  55. Someone teach me how to powder a song. I would snort some Joy Division.

    1. toorealreeltoreel

      I'd try to snort some Primus

  56. So, where do ya pick up powdered Joy Division? Whole Foods?

    Just askin'…

  57. I want one of those biscuits…

  58. Magic Cookies! Oh Hanna, how is Marigold supposed to learn how to *deal* with stuff if she can't remember? (Flashback to 50 First Dates…)

  59. This is MADNESS!

  60. Madness…THIS IS SOHO!

  61. Eve's face in that left bottom panel…!

    I think you're channeling some perry bible fellowship there!

  62. I'm just about done reading through the entire comic. Gods be praised, I love these characters and these storylines and this artwork. C:

    1. Also, when I first read this, the song "Biscuit" by Portishead started playing when I got to Hanna reciting the ingredients.

  63. how do i get closer by joy division in powder???? do i have to like burn the vinyl?

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