In case you've never noticed, Penny Arcade's official comic search is, at best, terrible. They used to make a half-hearted attempt to attach keywords to each comic for searching, but were never very thorough (which is surprising, since they have access to the original text of every comic). You were only allowed to search by those small lists of keywords or the comic title, and now you might be even more restricted.

This doesn't help if you remember a particular snippet of dialog or abstract concept of plot for the comic you're searching for. And I'm sure we're all familiar with how frustrating it can be to have a particular comic or reference on the tip of your brain, but you simply cannot locate it. This website is an attempt to rectify that.

To boot, there are an overwhelming number of errors in their database. There are duplicate comics, where the authors probably accidentally saved the image under the wrong year (e.g. 01/06/2002 and 01/06/2003), comics whose entry for "next" or "previous" points to themselves, causing an infinite loop of clicks, and comics that are completely missing from the database altogether, and require manual probing to find.

So if you find errors in our database, where titles don't match up with comics, or links don't lead you to the same comic on Penny Arcade's website, please tell us about them. This is probably directly related to the problems mentioned above, but we're taking the appropriate measures to try to fix these locally (which is difficult when their database is broken to begin with). Hopefully, they'll take notice of this page and finally decide to do some cleaning up. I know we could give them a laundry list of errors we've found.


In addition to being able to search the full text of any comic, the "notes" field is our version of the original comic keywords. They include videogame references, scenery and special characters in the comic, as well as other useful tags for locating similar strips.

If you're searching for a comic by dialog you remember, be sure the "body" field is checked. Otherwise, if you remember that it had a turtle, that Gabe was naked, that Div was present, or that it involved one of their girlfriends, search the notes. Some interesting keywords to try using in the notes field:

or anything else you can think of. We especially think that the thumbnails will be a big help in locating a specific comic (or a range of similar ones).

If you're still unable to find the comic you're thinking of, shoot us an email, and we might just be nice enough to help you out.

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