Everything in the Kingdom of Loathing is composed of the five basic elements: hot, cold, spooky, stench, and sleaze. Although most monsters in the Kingdom show no preference for or aversion from any particular element, many monsters, such as the demons in The Deep Fat Friars' Gate or the undead enemies in The Cyrpt, have an affinity for one element or another. Additionally, adventurers can make use of certain spells and accessories to harness the power of the elements.
There are two other, more mysterious elements which do not fit with the others: bad spelling and shadow. Creatures which deal bad spelling damage are vulnerable to the use of a dictionary, while shadow damage is dealt by your Shadow and cannot be resisted.
The elements exist in a delicate balance, and each one can cause great harm to foes of opposing elements, while dealing 1 damage to enemies of the same element.