Best Laid Plans
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 836
Date published 15 February 2012
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As Roy and Elan wait for Durkon and Belkar to return with V from the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing, Elan ponders how he can thwart his father's plans, when these plans aim to help Elan and the Order of the Stick. Elan is struck by inspiration, but will not reveal his idea due to his bardic understanding of narrative devices.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Roy and Elan are inside the cave in Windy Canyon
Roy: OK, Haley’s on watch now. You seem surprisingly deep in thought. In that you are thinking.
Elan: I know. I still can’t sleep.
Elan: I’m trying to figure out a way to beat my dad and free all the people and stuff without him seeming like such a badass during the fight that everyone’s like “Who was that badass?”

Panel 2

Elan: Right now, all I have is “Don’t have awesome climactic duel on steps of palace.”
Roy: Seems like a good start.
Elan: Yeah, it’s not bad.

Panel 3

Elan: I just don’t know what to do about him, Roy.
Elan: I mean, he’s my father and I’ve always wanted one, but he’s totally evil! So then I’m supposed to defeat him, but he’s totally helpful!
Elan: And here I am brooding about how confused I am when I suddenly remember that’s exactly what he wants!!

Panel 4

Elan: I thought it was tough to figure out how to feel about Nale, you know?
Roy: What’s so tough? He’s a villainous jackass!
Elan: But he’s still my brother!!

Panel 5

Roy: I think you’re overemphasizing the importance of biological ties, Elan. Nale has tried to kill you three times!
Elan: I know that! But sometimes when I was little, I would walk in on my Mom crying about having lost a nail. And now, I don’t think she was upset about missing hardware at all!

Panel 6

Roy: Elan, I…believe me, I know all about the hole that a family member can leave behind.
Roy: But I think in your case, maybe it’s better to find that sense of family among people who are good than it is to try to find a sense of good inside your family.
Roy: Because I have to tell you, your father is a complete—

Panel 7

Elan: THAT’S IT!!
Roy: Whoa!

Panel 8

Elan: I just had a totally awesome idea!
Roy: For defeating your father?
Elan: Yes! No! Sort of! Oh man, it’s perfect! I just need Durkon to help me when he gets back.

Panel 9

Roy: OK, uh, are you going to let me know what it is?
Elan: Of course not, Roy! Everyone knows that plans only work if you keep them a secret first!
Roy: What? That’s not true at all!
Elan: Sure it is! If you talk about them and then they happen exactly that way, there’s no tension!

Panel 10

Roy: Well, how about our plan to get V back from that other plane? We talked about that, so by your weird bard logic, that won’t work?
Elan: Oh man! I didn’t think of that! Quick, we need to go find them before—

Panel 11

Belkar (holding Mr. Scruffy), Vaarsuvius, Durkon, Blackwing, and Yukyuk all fly in towards the cave opening.
Haley: They’re back.

Panel 12

Elan: OK, yeah, but that was totally boring!!
Roy: I’ll take dull efficiency over exciting uncertainty any day of the week.
Belkar: Obviously, your girlfriend feels the same way.
Belkar: Surprise burn!

Trivia Edit

  • The title refers to the Robert Burns poem To a Mouse, the saying is adapted from the line, “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.” This line was famously used for the title of John Steinbecks 1937 novella, Of Mice and Men.

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