[[quoteright:344:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/demoreel_4735.png]]
[[caption-width-right:344:"We don't make films. We remake them."]]
''Demo Reel'' is an original web series for Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses. Starring Creator/DougWalker, Rachel Tietz and Malcolm Ray, it was Doug's next big series, succeeding ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic.'' It is notable in that it was filmed in a proper Chicago studio, rather than in Doug's basement as the Nostalgia Critic was.

The story revolves around Donnie [=DuPre=] (played by Doug), the founder of an independent film studio called "Demo Reel", who remakes famous films bad on purpose for reasons later disclosed. He is joined by Rebecca Stoné (Rachel) (note that her name is pronounced "stone"; the accent is silent), an actress who's been burned by how Hollywood treats women; Tacoma Narrows (Malcolm), an up-and-coming writer who thought Donnie would get him some fame; and cameraman Karl Copenhagen and make-up artist "Quinn", East German and Irish nationals respectively.

It premiered on October 30th, 2012. Watch the two-part first episode [[http://blip.tv/nostalgiacritic/demo-reel-the-dark-knight-begins-rising-part-1-6420204 here]] and [[http://blip.tv/nostalgiacritic/demo-reel-the-dark-knight-begins-rising-part-2-6420255 here.]] The series was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ummKvj8C7rQ completed]] on January 22nd, 2013.

Later ''WebVideo/BradJonesDemoReel'' was made [[http://blip.tv/the-cinema-snob/dvd-r-hell-the-day-the-clown-cried-6801904 as a spoof]] on AprilFoolsDay 2014.
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!!We don't write tropes. We rewrite them:
* AccentuateTheNegative: Slammed hard in "Blue Patches", as Donnie yells at the family and in extension, reviewers and nerd culture, for only thinking about how they can best mock everything they don't like and not about the emotions or people behind them.
* ActionPrologue: The first episode begins with a StylisticSuck-heavy remake of ''Film/TheSixthSense'' before the actual show starts, which is half remake of ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' movies and half getting to know the characters behind the scenes.
** The second episode does the same, it begins with a StylisticSuck-heavy remake of ''Film/{{Taken}}'' but the primary focus is on the plot and the remake of ''WreckItRalph''.
** Again, the third episode begins with a parody with ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' - the episode's primary focus is the plot and the remake of ''LostInTranslation''.
* ActingForTwo: InUniverse, Donnie, Rebecca, and Tacoma play multiple roles in the remakes.
** Taken to an absurd extent in the "Wreck-It Ralph" episode, thanks to Tacoma being sick with vampire bird flu and Rebecca running around on a sugar/amphetamine high, leaving Donnie to have to fill all the parts
** In the ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' parody, Donnie plays James Bond and a random mook via green screen ''in the same shot''.
* AdamWesting:
** Rob Paulsen is depicted as so sick of doing "Yakko's World" that he uses cheap tricks to escape crazed fans requesting he sing it. Though, given how Donnie is, it could just be a facade. Paulsen in reality is worried for the day people ''stop'' asking him to sing it.
** Doug, Lewis, and Lindsay in ''The Review Must Go On'': Doug's slightly crazy and self conscious about his decisions, Lewis ''is'' crazy and believes that Pollo and others are real, and Lindsay is willing to send Nella out to kill Doug, just so she can keep the Nostalgia domain. On twitter where everyone (including producers) was spitting fire over the special, both Lindsay and Lewis told people that Doug was the one who wrote their lines, they weren't that mean and they had no idea what was happening.
* AdultChild: The patriarch of the family that took Donnie captive in "Blue Patches". Not only has he passed on his childish obsession with Donnie to his wife and daughter, but he wears sock monkey-themed pajamas and sleeps with his wife in a bed that uses WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants pillowcases.
* AdultFear: Donnie's backstory of his mom committing suicide and leaving him alone in the world to get abused for thirty+ years.
** Rebecca's too. Her parents went out on trips all the time, and out of ignorance or malice, left her with her sexually abusive uncle. And when she shows understandable damage, they call her a freak.
** Liz. A girl who can't be older than in her teens warped by her mentally ill parents and has no qualms about leading a depressed adult to her house, keeping him prisoner and invading his personal space.
* ArcNumber: 42. Rebecca has had 42 jobs and Donnie claims to be 42 years old.
* AerithAndBob: Tacoma is pretty unusual for a series that names the rest of its cast things like Donnie/[[spoiler: Jimmy]], Rebecca and Karl.
* AmbiguousSituation: It's left unclear if Donnie is lying about the pre-nup/family deal because he doesn't want to talk about his mom, or if it's true and his life is even more of a DeusAngstMachina.
* AnAesop: “The past can often be awful, but don't let it consume you.” There's also "Hollywood is full of corruption, especially to minorities" and "obsessing over bad media with no thought given to other's feelings is bad".
* ArousedByTheirVoice:
** In-movie, Harvey's smooth-talking voice makes Rachel orgasm even when she knows they're about to die.
** During the LostInTranslation episode, at least three cosplayers find Karl's manner of speech to be this:
--> Listen to me, Herr Director; grow an accent.
* AscendedFridgeHorror: Rebecca and Tacoma confirm audience fears when they react with visible disgust to Donnie casually relating to the rape scene in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
* AsHimself: Creator/RobPaulsen, Creator/UncleYo, Creator/{{Egoraptor}} [[spoiler: , Doug Walker, Lewis Lovhaug, Brad Jones, Lindsay Ellis, Nella Inserra, and Rob Walker]].
* AsideGlance: Donnie looks faintly guilty at the "Writer-Cinematographer-Director-Actress-Caterers" picture where he's wearing lipstick.
* AuthorAppeal: With Doug's taste for dominant women, it's no surprise that Rebecca gets to handle a lot of huge guns.
** There's something to be said for a show where even the priss-hating war criminals hold hands when one is sick.
* AuthorTract: Doug made the show like an intersectional feminist's wet dream, attacking most aspects of racism, sexism and homophobia in both nerd culture and HorribleHollywood (plus AccentuateTheNegative), and reveling in sex-positivity for pretty much everyone.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Donnie, Rebecca, Tacoma, Quinn and Karl have one thing in common: they're all conventionally pleasing to the eye. Collins and the family, on the other hand, are made to look as unappealing as possible.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: When Collins wanted Demo Reel destroyed and Donnie to have a miserable ending, The Review Must Go On probably wasn't what he had in mind.
* BehindTheBlack: When Donnie chases RobPaulsen to get him to sing "[[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} Yakko's World]]" for him, Rob "hides" in the middle of open hallways by standing where the camera won't see him, even standing ''right in front of Donnie'' while Donnie has the camera pointed at himself.
* BilingualBonus: "Stunad", [[https://twitter.com/InGeekWeTrust/status/301491643188654081 according to Rachel,]] means the "bimbo who takes the heat if the [mob] organization is found out". In addition, Carl will often slip back into speaking untranslated German.
* BladeOnAStick: Donnie manages to fashion one.
* BlatantLies: Originally, Tacoma saying he respects Donnie as an artist. He doesn't at that point. By the beginning of "Lost In Translation", he admits Donnie's idea of remaking the film at an anime con is brilliant.
** Hinted at through his StepfordSmiler tone, Donnie's opening spiel about doing Demo Reel so he can get fame and fortune in Hollywood. Everyone finds out later that he wants to get back at the industry, not be a part of it.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: "We vow to show what our cinematic skills are capable of, and there is no doubt that we have quite the wide range of talent, including directors, actresses, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment directors]], writers, [[RuleOfThree directors]], cinematographers, [[OverlyLongGag directors]], caterers, and writer-cinematographer-director-actress-caterers."
* BreakingTheFellowship: Donnie leaves Tacoma and Rebecca at the beginning of episode three. This doesn't turn out well for him at all, and it doesn't take any of them long to miss each other.
* BrickJoke: In the first part of "The Dark Knight Begins Rising" Tacoma complains about their goals by saying "most people need a flow chart to understand the plot of '''one''' Nolan movie.". After the ShockingSwerve filled climax, Tacoma (as two-face) presents a flow chart of all the plot twists in the TDKBR as Batman, Catwoman, and Bane watch in confusion.
** During the ''Blair Witch Hangover'' Karl leaves an answering machine message threatening Quinn if he finds out he has been drinking without him. At the very end of ''Blue Patches'' Karl finds out that the studio’s “bottomless supply of Irish Whisky” has run dry:
--> '''Karl''': *Beat* QUINN!!
* BrokenAesop: After the result of ''The Review Must Go On'', ''Blue Patches'''s message of "you can't let your past consume you and you need to be excited for the future" is more than a touch awkward.
** It also breaks the whole "Critic is evolved enough to make his own choices" message of WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee. His decision to make his life better and change was explained and completely his own, and turning it into a paradox that he didn't understand makes him ironically bend to the whims of the real writer.
** [[http://blip.tv/bum-reviews/bum-review-hunger-games-catching-fire-6694518 A]] [[https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=595463193853479&id=127127037353766 lot]] [[http://blip.tv/nostalgiacritic/nc-bridge-to-terabithia-6643147 of]] [[http://blip.tv/nostalgiacritic/nostalgia-critic-turbo-a-power-rangers-movie-6608235 Doug's]] [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/specials/43078-adventure-time-vlogs-up-a-tree work now]] has trashing child stars for growing up "slutty" or "crazy". Sorry Donnie.
* BrokeTheRatingScale: The movie ''Jingle Sell'' was garnering a 0.2/10 rating on IMDB which is impossible as the lowest score anyone can give is 1/10.
* BuffySpeak: They take perfect films and make them even more perfectier.
** Donnie just does this a lot. Played for [[TheDitz ditzy]] laughs in “The Dark Knight Begins Rising”, but gets a bit sadder when he's trying to connect again with his wife. He's well aware that it makes him sound stupid.
* TheCameo:
** Donnie's wife's voice is heard in episode 3, played by [[spoiler: MaraWilson.]]
** Donnie makes one in the ''WebVideo/BumReviews'' ''Film/Elf'' episode.
* CerebusRetcon: Rebecca's choices of one-woman-shows are expanded into something more serious. ''Hamlet'' because she figured nobody would remember the women who played the role, and ''Titanic'' because she'd suffered so much sexual shit that she needed to get some control back.
** In the pilot, Carl always saying "before ze wall fell" was played for laughs. In ''{{Transformers}}'', he tells Tacoma that the falling wasn't a good thing, because his family was either lost or killed in the crossfire.
* CerebusSyndrome: Possibly the fastest case of this in history; the episodes following the light-hearted first one are a lot darker and more emotional. Made deliberately it seems, from Doug skipping a week of updates to revise and refilm Episode 2.
** Even the original second episode dived into angst, horror and social justice issues, with Karl revealing he had a family before the wall fell, a pig getting loudly slaughtered in front of Tacoma and Donnie, and Rebecca fighting against being put in a objectifying role.
** Lampshaded by Quinn who, after watching a depressing conversation between Tacoma and Rebecca, tells them he's going to watch ''Angela's Ashes'' so he can remember how to laugh again.
** Things get even darker in The Review Must Go On, where [[spoiler:Demo Reel and its entire cast are revealed to be part of a kind of purgatory conjured up to torture the Nostalgia Critic.]]
* ChainedToABed: Medical variant. The family in "Blue Patches" keep Donnie helpless and lying down by feeding him muscle relaxants.
* ChangeTheUncomfortableSubject: The only information Donnie lets out about his mother is that she was an actress. Any other questions he dodges.
** He has a talent for it. As soon as Tacoma wants to do something heavy on psychology, Donnie forcibly decides to do a ridiculous version of Batman instead.
** Doug acts suitably Donnie-like when he dodges the question of why he watched ''The Odd Life Of Timothy Green'' in the first place.
* ChekhovsGun: Tacoma's investigative journalism background gets introduced in episode two, and in episode three he uses it to find out Donnie has no public records.
* {{Chickification}}: In-movie, Catwoman goes from {{badass}} in the original to a DirtyCoward who watches Batman and Bane fight.
* ChristmasEpisode: "The Blair Witch Hangover" was released Christmas Eve, and involves Hollywood sexism, scary woods, a painful cliffhanger and Donnie really badly missing his mother. [[SarcasmMode Fun for everyone]]!
* ClothingDamage: Donnie somehow lost his ''Franchise/DonkeyKong'' t-shirt somewhere along the way from the house to the studio.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: "I thought MY twists were bad", and "What the hell did I just watch?" are seen as ''positive'' criticism.
* ComplexityAddiction: Because Collins would rather go for the emotional pain, he didn't just kidnap Donnie, hold a gun to his head and force Rebecca and Tacoma to give up Demo Reel in exchange for getting him back.
* ContrivedCoincidence: Sure is lucky that Doug got “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green” instead of “The Odd Couple” during his Demo Reel writer's block, ''and'' that the guy on the other end was a douche.
** Doug also has to be alone and vulnerable in order for Critic to get at him, so off Rob goes to New York City and the only time he gets in contact with Doug, Doug is unconscious from the pills that he took.
* {{Corpsing}}: You can see Rachel starting to crack up after her "peaches are fuzzy" line in episode two.
** You can also see her strain really hard not to laugh behind her hands at Donnie's Thanksgiving prayer.
** Malcolm's struggling not to giggle when she calls him a "tasty black man".
* CruelTwistEnding: What else can you say about an epilogue that answers "You tell them Donnie [=DuPre=] is coming. You tell them Jimmy Boyd is coming!" with "sorry, you're neither of those people, [[RetGone bye now]]"?
* CriticalResearchFailure:[[invoked]] In-universe, ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' is mocked for Bruce leaving the other prisoners to rot after escaping the pit. He actually throws a rope down to the other prisoners right after. The ''Skyfall'' parody mocks that Bond did not simply kill Silva and his two guards when he was ordered to shoot the glass of scotch off of Severine's head. However, the reason Bond didn't do this in the film itself is because he was given a Flintlock Pistol, which has only one shot per round, plus the henchmen held a gun to Bond's head to ensure he only aims for the whiskey. However, mistakes and flubs like these can be attributed to Donnie's terrible directing.
* CryIntoChest: When Rebecca finally collapses into a SavedByTheBell-inspired meltdown, Tacoma is her chest of choice.
* CurbStompBattle: Rebecca to [[spoiler: Tom Collins]].
* DancingIsSeriousBusiness: The Supervillain Shuffle in the Dark Knight episode.
* DarkReprise: Of all things, the Pokemon theme song. The first time is with Uncle Yo, where Donnie's just euphoric at these people giving him love. But the second time is with Egoraptor after Yo is mad at him, and he just looks like he wants to hide in a corner.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Cameraman Karl Copenhagen, a secretive East German who Donnie says used to work for somebody named "Stasi". Also Karl's assisstant cameraman Quinn who, as he puts it, "didn't work for the IRA". It's best to take his word for it.
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: Tacoma's family would rather indulge criminal activities than be good people, Rebecca's parents are {{gaslighting}} hypocrites who let her get sexually abused, the crazy parents have raised their daughter to be just like them, and Donnie's dad left the family. The only sweet parent is the one who [[spoiler: committed suicide]].
* {{Deconstruction}}: Rob with a dinosaur head and interacting with Critic? UnusuallyUninterestingSight and hilarious. Carl with a dinosaur head, with threatening music, and Donnie reacting like he doesn't know whether to puke or cry? Really quite terrifying.
* DefiedTrope: Rebecca and Tacoma set up pretty early on that they refuse to be the [[invoked]] MsFanservice and EthnicScrappy.
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: They pushed Donnie having sex with both Uncle Yo and Egoraptor as hard as they possibly could, but didn't outright state either.
** Rebecca and Tacoma in their drinking-fest. We find out in the next episode that they ended up scruffy and in a dress respectively in the end by choice, the ShipTease had hit record levels by this point, she wakes up on his legs, and she ''did'' pick up a whip with interest...
* DeusAngstMachina: Donnie's entire life: [[spoiler: his dad left when he was little, his mom killed herself while he was filming a movie and so he gave his worst performance ever, he got so abused by strangers because of it that he disappeared from Hollywood and changed his name, he got married to a woman that doesn't love him, he was excluded from his remaining family, he tried remaking movies to get back at the system but they always failed, held out hope that things would get better only to be told (as gently as possible by Tacoma and Rebecca, and bluntly by Quinn and Karl) that he would always suck, sunk into depression at a con, got over that but got kidnapped at gunpoint, was left in the woods to starve or get killed, was held captive by a {{yandere}} family who loved seeing him in pain, got out of that with restored confidence but soon his friends started disappearing one by one and making him think he needed to be committed, finds out that ''all of that'' was a waste of time because he's just someone else who needed punishment in purgatory, loses all his friends once again for "the greater good", and turns back into being the Critic.]]
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The behind the scenes footage. Only seems to apply in the studio though; all other locations are in color.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: As a result of Donnie's SmallNameBigEgo, he often credits himself more often than any of his other coworkers.
* DescriptionCut: PlayedForDrama in “The Blair Witch Hangover”, with Donnie wanting his friends to give the eulogy at his funeral as “no doubt [they] were the only people concerned when [he] was missing”. Cut the two having drunken fun.
* DidYouJustHaveSex: As soon as Rebecca says she will never wear the burned swim-cap, it cuts to her singing with it on. But she's happy about it and her skin looks pretty glowy, so Donnie must have "convinced" her somehow.
** Donnie himself in the stinger for the pilot. His eyes are glazed over and his face and neck look completely wrecked.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Having your corporation be threatened isn't really an excuse for kidnapping someone and leaving them to either get killed or die slowly from starvation.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The cheating spouse subtext of the Uncle Yo/Donnie/Egoraptor plot of episode three is not subtle.
* DontGoIntoTheWoods: The forest from ''SuburbanKnights'' has got creepier since the last time we saw it.
* DoubleEntendre: Donnie feeling Tacoma up and complimenting his "sensitive ways" in ''{{Transformers}}'', and, in ''Lost In Translation'', Quinn and Karl accusing the bisexual guy of both sucking and blowing.
* DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale: Pointedly averted. Donnie/Egoraptor can't be classed as rape, but the whole consent thing was definitely a gray area, and it's treated like one. When Donnie finds out that he was the only one drinking in their time together, he acts like a complete IceQueen while the other man is blissfully unaware of what happened.
** Adam (and his wife and daughter) are treated like non-comedic horrible people for taking any excuse to touch Donnie when he doesn't have the muscle strength to fight back.
* DownerBeginning: Episode three ([[ActionPrologue properly]]) begins with Donnie's HeroicBSOD and the three arguing. It ends with [[spoiler: Donnie getting captured by the baddies]].
* DramaticIrony: Donnie can actually make a [[LostInTranslation much better movie]] by [[Film/TheBlairWitchProject everything going wrong for him]] than when he [[Film/TheSixthSense actually]] ''[[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga tries]]'' [[Film/{{Taken}} to]] [[Disney/WreckItRalph parody]] [[Film/{{Skyfall}} something]].
* {{Dramedy}}: Settles into the genre at about episode three.
* DrowningMySorrows: A common pastime. Donnie has wine glasses and brandy snifters all over his office, it's Quinn's solution for everything, Karl gets even more threatening when he's denied his booze while having to look for a certain kidnapped director, Rebecca turns out to be a LadyDrunk, and while Tacoma initially disapproves of alcohol to numb the pain, he quickly joins in with the drinking.
* DullSurprise: Doug as the PlotHole in “The Review Must Go On” might have been going for wise, but just comes off bored. What's amusing is that he's acting against himself, and Doug-as-Donnie is acting his fine ass off.
* DyingAlone: Whether the final part of Donnie dies in the Critic room or in the PlotHole, he has nobody left at either point. It would have been kinder if he just died in the forest like he was planning on doing.
* [[DysfunctionalFamily Dysfunctional]] TrueCompanions: Episode 2 set the team up as this. They're all outcasts in their individual families and managed to form a tight knit with one another.
* {{Eagleland}}: Type two application of type one. To get people watching his stuff and pander to the lowest common denominator, Donnie puts American flags everywhere in the spoofs.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: While there's hints that he's putting on a brave-if-sociopathic face, it's a little difficult to meld Donnie's episode one speech about sucking up his wife's money "for women's lib" to the phone call in episode three where his desperate attempts at improving his marriage fail miserably.
** The first episode in general didn't seem to be sure if Donnie was a sleazy, Uwe Boll-style bad filmmaker or an earnest, Creator/EdWood-style bad filmmaker. [[CharacterizationMarchesOn As the series went on, the character ended up abandoning both personalities.]]
* EroticEating: Donnie and pocky make a lovely couple, with him chewing, nibbling, licking and twiddling it around his fingers while he flirts with Yo and asks for SlashFic.
* EstablishingSeriesMoment: Rebecca and Tacoma talking about the ethics of white-face sets up that the show's going to be big on social issues.
** For [[BestKnownForTheFanservice better]] or [[SelectiveSquick worse]], Donnie successfully manipulating Tacoma with bedroom puppy eyes signified Doug had finally got his wish for a series with a lot more gay [[note]]that was treated as normal and not a fetishizing joke[[/note]] in it.
* EveryoneIsBi: Apart from Rebecca (as there was no other girl she could hang out with), everyone had at least one moment full of HomoeroticSubtext. Some more than others, ''Donnie''.
* EveryoneHasStandards: The rest of S.W.A.G. is [[spoiler: horrified to find out what the head of the organization did to Donnie (kidnapped at gunpoint and dumped in the woods to die)]].
* ExactWords:
** Donnie promised that the audience wouldn't '''see''' what Alfred sees in the end of "The Dark Knight Begins Rising".
* FaceFramedInShadow: Used to creepy effect on both Critic and Doug in “The Review Must Go On”. Donnie on the other hand is always completely in the light.
* FalseReassurance: Quinn tells a very scared, very tearful about-to-die Donnie that he'll know where to find them, implying that any of the characters will be around in some capacity. Turns out he was lying; Rachel, Malcolm and Rob have all confirmed everyone is dead.
* FanDisservice: Let's see... Donnie on a bed, looking all nice and rumpled, unable to move, surrounded by people with NoSenseOfPersonalSpace? That would be great if said people were his shippy friends and not creepy {{Psychopathic Manchild}}ren forcing him to remember the worst period of his life.
* {{Fanservice}}: It doesn't take much to figure out why a large portion of the fandom very much enjoyed a filthy, crying Donnie crawling around a set of woods.
** In ''{{Transformers}}'', Karl showing off his neck and chest in just one unbuttoned shirt and an apron.
** The ''LostInTranslation'' parody starts off with a shameless shot of Donnie's ass while he's in bed.
** Tacoma in Belle's dress from ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''. Rebecca loved it, and so did the fangirls.
** Except for Karl (who has {{fanservice}} of his own), tight t-shirts that show off the arms are a big thing with the male cast.
** Donnie and Tacoma in FairCop uniforms in ''The Dark Knight Begins Rising''.
** Rebecca isn't completely left out, as she does a few complimenting gymnastics in episodes one and four.
** She also gets wrapped up in ScrewYourself offscreen at one point, ignoring the presence of Carl.
* FemaleGaze: Used by Carl's camera on Donnie to make a MaleGaze point. When Donnie and Tacoma complain about the close-up on Donnie's face in the ''MissionImpossible'' sketch, Carl backs up but later has close-ups on his crotch, ass and arms when he's never in any state to be objectified.
** Donnie outright wanting SlashFic of him seemed like a very obvious way of increasing the already large female audience.
** With Donnie's open bisexuality, Tacoma and Quinn in tight muscle shirts; the former also in a dress, Karl's accent, Rebecca being a relatable badass, plus all the angst, ShipTease and sexism-in-Hollywood commentary, Demo Reel was probably the most female-aimed show Doug had.
** In an amusing bit of proof over who the show was catering towards, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgP52rDFgjQ filming]] of the Lost In Translation episode had Doug confirming Donnie and Ego having sex, which was met with such whooping from [[YaoiFangirl the women of the panel]] that he had to wait until they settled down.
* FinancialAbuse: Tacoma's mother makes him pay each minute to talk to her, and if that's not enough, leaves him hanging on the line while she does housework.
* FiveTokenBand: Donnie the bisexual, Tacoma the black guy, Rebecca the woman, Karl the German and Quinn the Irishman.
* ForceFeeding: The [[spoiler: muscle relaxants]] get pushed into Donnie's mouth before he has a chance to refuse them.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: While Donnie is talking about his wife in episode one, there's a long, focused shot of him in black and white footage looking alone and utterly miserable, hinting for the second episode that he's not telling the truth about being HappilyMarried.
** Rebecca is pretty happy-go-lucky and bouncy in the first episode, all except for the two scenes where Donnie unintentionally snaps at her and makes her feel stupid, then she gets cold and snarky. She may have accepted people thinking she's a dumbass at first, but she still hates it.
*** She also irritatedly assumes that whoever's watching thinks a woman can't play Hamlet, even though the first actress to play the character was Sarah Siddons in the 1700's, and the trend continued.
** In Donnie's last scene for episode one, check out the empty wine glass by the computer. Almost everyone being alcoholics will get more focus later.
** Mara Wilson as Donnie's wife in episode three winds up for the reveal of his backstory: she's a FormerChildStar whose mother died while she was filming ''{{Matilda}}'' and still gets hate for her bad performances, while [[spoiler: he's a FormerChildStar whose mother killed herself while he was filming and he gave bad performances which people hated him for, and so he changed his name to stop the abuse.]]
** Donnie goes from grudging about Tacoma's ending to relieved when he hears him complain about the finale of ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''.
*** The same thing happens in reverse earlier, as he's happy with Tacoma's idea of ''Wuthering Heights'' until "diving into the psychological" is mentioned. Now why, as he'd be the lead, would that be a deal-breaker for him?
** Donnie sounding like he's going to cry when he tries to explain why he loves his favorite movie seems weird at first, but is totally justified once you find out who was in it.
** The first three movie remakes, ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'', ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' and ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', give their own hints towards the finale. Rachel Dawes died tragically and Donnie made her come back to life, Vanellope is a child that needs protecting, and ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' is the MommyIssues film of the Bond franchise.
** Donnie wanting to remake movies better ''ever since he was a kid'', and how Hollywood has it coming if he actually destroys them.
** Donnie wouldn't be able to have loads of answers to open-ended movie finales if [[spoiler: he didn't know the inside workings of Hollywood]].
** Rebecca complaining that she's in her early twenties and her career already seems going down the drain makes the parallel between her and [[spoiler: Donnie's mom]] clear.
** Also out of universe, Doug's con responses to why he wasn't in Hollywood went from (before Demo Reel started) he just liked having control over stuff to (while the show was happening) someone like him ''wouldn't survive'' in the industry.
** Written!Critic calls ''Doomsday Machine'' "downright savage at times" seconds before he comes into his own life and starts ripping into Doug.
* FriendshipMoment: In the first episode, Donnie showing Tacoma and Rebecca how to do the perfect Bane impression. In the second, sharing a ready-made thanksgiving dinner after killing a renegade vampire turkey.
** Karl and Quinn get a few in the second episode, including fond reminiscing of many a NoodleIncident.
* FreudianTrio: Donnie (Ego - [[IncrediblyLamePun in more ways than one]]), Rebecca (id), Tacoma (Superego).
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Happens as often as {{Gilligan Cut}}s.
* GainaxEnding: "The Review Must Go On" was very dark, with Donnie terrified with all his friends are disappearing, [[spoiler: a threatening Critic forcing a miserable Doug into bringing him back, lots of creepy angle shots, Donnie finding out that his horrible life has just been punishment for someone else and having to leave his family and friends in the purgatory created by the PlotHole]]. But happy rocky instrumental music for the last few minutes, so yay?
* {{Gaslighting}}: Critic to Doug in The Review Must Go On. Doug tries multiple times for a ShutUpHannibal, even going as far to nearly kill himself with pills to make Critic go away, but Critic drags him down regardless. "You got so sick and tired of it you forgot you enjoyed it" contradicts itself for a reason.
* GenderInvertedTrope: To satirize the sexist "fake geek girl" controversy going strong at the time, Donnie is about as clear a fake geek ''boy'' as you can get; not knowing anything about pop culture but pretending he does, flirting to get his way, soaking up knowledge of a NiceGuy and then pretending that knowledge is his own to get laid again. ''But'' he's played very sympathetically, and he's so lonely that even though he did the wrong thing you're meant to empathize.
* GilliganCut: Happens a lot.
* GoodTimesMontage: The Creator shows one to Donnie/Critic, but it ends up being subverted, as it lasts for about five seconds and half of it is either out of context scenes or brought him more pain.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Via Turkey Cam, we only see blood spurts.
* TheHeavy: If [[spoiler: Tom Collins]] hadn't sent his colleagues to scare Rebecca/Tacoma and kidnap Donnie, then Donnie would have come home from the con happy, his secrets never revealed and the production would have kept on plugging out shitty remakes.
* HeldGaze: A few get shared between Donnie and Tacoma, Donnie and Uncle Yo, and eventually Donnie and Karl. You might notice a common theme here.
* HollywoodHomely: [[invoked]] Discussed. And by "discussed", we mean Rebecca really lets loose on ''BeingJohnMalkovich'' frumping up the cute Cameron Diaz and expecting the audience to buy that she's the ugly one, when ''actual'' average-looking women go without a job because "they're not pretty enough".
* HomoeroticSubtext: Given that Donnie was conceived as bisexual from the start, the show is the [[{{pun}} queen]] of the site for this.
** Donnie using PuppyDogEyes to try and convince Tacoma to let them do the Supervillain Shuffle.
** When they've managed to get him to not quit, Donnie pushing Rebecca down out of view and giving Tacoma a winning smile.
** Plus in-movie, Alfred played by Tacoma flounces off after telling Bruce played by Donnie that he's keeping the jewelery.
** Donnie breathing heavily behind Rob Paulsen's shower curtain goes beyond regular fanboying and into narrowly averted IHaveYouNowMyPretty mode.
** In the "Mission Impossible" segment of ''{{Transformers}}'', Tacoma questions Carl's need to always film Donnie in close-up, which Carl responds to by filming Donnie's crotch later. We also have Donnie instantly pawing Tacoma again to get what he wants (praising his sensitive ways) and Tacoma giving in much faster than in the pilot. ''And'' after Tacoma quits again from the racist twins, Donnie's practically on his lap begging him to stay. Plus if that's not enough, Tom Collins has some serious psycho ex boyfriend vibes towards Donnie.
** In "Disney/WreckItRalph vs VideoGame/AngryBirds", Donnie sounds like he's going to cry when he sees Tacoma sick, and the two share a tender cuddle before the former kisses the latter on the head.
** The alternate takes for this scene had Donnie and Tacoma so close it looked more like Donnie was aiming for a blowjob than actually wanting to do his man proud.
** Even with Rebecca right there and falling into her food coma, the boys still pay more attention to each other than to her.
** Doug outright confirmed in behind the scenes that Donnie/Yo/Ego was a LoveTriangle, and you also have Karl filming Donnie's ass in a GenderFlip of the movie's Scarlett-behind shot, Donnie's bisexuality shown with shameless innuendo, and Donnie being hesitant in hugging a a female con-goer but glomping a man right after.
** Donnie is almost swooning when he realizes that Karl came back for him, and doesn't buy his "I just did it for a paycheck" excuse. In grosser news, Adam is into Donnie as both an adult man and a child, feeling entitled enough that he doesn't think memorizing a kid's bone structure is icky.
** “The Review Must Go On” could easily be summed up as “ClingyJealousGirl (Critic) convinces her ex (Doug) to MurderTheHypotenuse (Demo Reel)”.
** They even got a moment in the KillEmAll ending, with Karl making a kissy face at Donnie while Quinn is lying to him that it'll be okay.
** Quinn and Karl also have their turn, with Karl holding Quinn's hand when he gets sick and Donnie taking the two ''not'' going out together as one more sign that he's losing it.
** Even long after after the show was buried and he (along with many others) made plenty of gay jokes at its expense, Doug still drew art of [[https://31.media.tumblr.com/6507eb3eed14b7aa98d0e8a4f643e62d/tumblr_n48x5hHma91s92y6jo1_500.png Donnie/Yo]].
* HopeSpot: Just when Donnie is about to give up and die, the girl's laughter leads him to a house. He's obviously happy about this until he goes inside and... [[spoiler: gets knocked out]].
** In "The Review Must Go On", when all of his friends are disappearing, he realizes with a relieved smile that Karl's still around. He sees the camera-man with his back to him, everything seems to be looking up... and then Karl turns around to reveal the dinosaur mask.
* HorribleHollywood: Donnie's real reason for wanting to make remakes of films.
-->'''Uncle Yo''': [very hungover] Hey, Donnie. How come you want to make movies if all you do is criticize them?
-->'''Donnie''': [also hungover but not quite as bad] Well, in my opinion, Hollywood's got it coming.
-->'''Uncle Yo''': So, this is an independent filmmakers crusade against Hollywood? Have you ever tried going out there?
-->'''Donnie''': I don't need to. I know there's bad stuff out there.
-->'''Uncle Yo''': What, like an ex?
-->'''Donnie''': Just bad stuff. Everything I've heard about Hollywood has never been good. You know, they make these movies, they're supposed to make you feel really good, and make you escape the pains of your real life, but when you go to Hollywood, the pain is there. It's always there and Hollywood never lets you forget that.
** For the fourth episode, Rebecca gets a big, insightful speech about the shoddy treatment of actresses in the industry.
** Less explicit than the other two, but Tacoma realizes that black actors tend to get the shaft, and so tries to act more politically correct to not get in trouble.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Rebecca's parents don't agree with her career "choices". Fine, especially understandable as one of those "choices" was SexualExtortion porn. What makes this hypocritical is that they intentionally left her with her sexually abusive uncle, and take no responsibility for the damage they caused.
* IgnoredAesop: Donnie had a meta-filled passionate plea on how awful AccentuateTheNegative is and how people shouldn't obsess over something miserable from the past, but with a certain [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic comeback]] you'd think that rant never happened.
* IHaveYourWife: Subverted. [[spoiler: Tom Collins]] gets really slimy on the phone to Tacoma, and makes him think something awful will happen to Rebecca (who's alone at the warehouse), but in reality, he's the one who gets beaten up on the way there and she's fine.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Kinder than most, but Uncle Yo still immediately asks for alcohol after a not-totally-sober Donnie introduces himself with “to make your poop rocky, do it with pocky”.
* InMediasRes: "The Blair Witch Hangover" starts off with Tacoma apologizing to Donnie and saying they "get it now". Because he and Rebecca got stinking drunk, neither they or the audience get what he's talking about until the next episode.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: [=DuPre's=] reenactment of {{Braveheart}}.
* IronicEcho: In "Wreck It Ralph vs. Angry Birds", Tacoma tells a despondent Rebecca that at least she's not hurting anyone by acting in a company that makes bad movies but has fun doing it. In "Blue Patches", Donnie numbly rants that he had fun acting, wasn't hurting anyone and didn't know why people hated him so much.
** When he's getting told everything about what he really is, Donnie has the same beaten down puppy face as Critic did when he realized he was just a character in WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee, and faces the PlotHole in the same way too. Only instead of getting a YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre boost and being at peace having saved the world, he's been torn down completely and his fate is losing himself.
** In WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee, Critic started to get hints that he was just a character, heard a sound, got scared, it turned out to be Doug and they had a sweetly calm if intense conversation. In "The Review Must Go On", Doug is having writer's block, sees shadows on his walls, and Critic carries on messing with him with almost sadist delight. According to Doug's commentary, both this and the above example were intentional "subverting" the nice moments of the movie.
** In an example that turns nicer, Donnie accidentally slut-shamed Rebecca by bringing up her one-woman-show of ''{{Titanic}}'' and asking why she'd do that but not play like Megan Fox in ''{{Transformers}}''. In "The Review Must Go On", it's used as one of three examples to show how cool he thinks she is.
* {{Irony}}: The most grounded show on the site, where abused turkeys make up a plot instead of evil teddy bears, where people are exhausted after {{badass}} moments, where if someone feels like they're going crazy they seek help, is a purgatory where nothing is real.
** More happily, ''{{Transformers}}'' has Donnie being at his most shamelessly gay when the spoof is a Bay film and he's playing the lead.
** For an extra dose of cruel, the Critic that torments Doug in "The Review Must Go On" comes out of a review ("Doomsday Machine") where he was nice and cared about minorities getting slammed.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: Donnie stands and slams the table in anger when Tacoma tells him they're more hated than the people making ''AChristmasStory II''.
* ItsPronouncedTroPAY: Rebecca Stoné's name has a silent ''accent''.
** Adam getting Donnie's chosen surname wrong (it's pronounced Du-pray, not Dupree) is the first sign of how they actually don't care about him at all.
* IWantMyMommy: Dramatic version. When spending too much time in the forest breaks Donnie, he reminisces over how bright and happy his Mom used to be and begs for some of the hope she always had. [[spoiler: Made even darker when it's revealed she committed suicide because her acting career was in decline]]
* JekyllAndHyde: In an interview, Doug referred to "The Review Must Go On" as an updated version of the tale where Hyde wins. In contrast to how he complained about the trope always getting played OTT in "The Top 11 Dumbest Spiderman Moments", he acts it out a little more realistically.
* KickTheDog: The SWAG guys who kidnap Donnie evidently forced him out of his warm-looking jacket, as he's wearing it in the car but is only in two light shirts when he wakes up in the forest.
* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown: Karl to [[spoiler: Tom Collins]]. Considering what the [[DisproportionateRetribution latter did to Donnie]], Karl [[PayEvilUntoEvil loses no sympathy points]].
* KillEmAll: The DownerEnding {{retgone}}d everyone, and every cast member says the characters are never coming back.
* KnightOfCerebus: She's not a villain, but any time Donnie's mom gets brought up, the scene turns ridiculously depressing.
* [[spoiler:LaserGuidedKarma: After Donnie is restored to his former life as WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic he chooses [[StrawFan Douchie McNitpick]] to enter the plot hole and stabilize the Awesomeverse where he is then given the Sisyphean task of finding and fixing ''all'' the little flaws of the kind he used to enjoy pointing out to the Critic.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: "The Blair Witch Hangover". When Tacoma presses play one time, it cuts to Donnie at night, and Donnie for his part realizes he's nattering to an inanimate object.
* LeftHanging: For one, more details on Donnie's marriage and what he did to make it fail would have been nice.
* [[LikeFatherLikeSon Like Mother Like Son]]: Donnie's life parallels his mother's. She was a star and WideEyedIdealist until her husband walked out on her and her son. The roles dried up with nobody wanting her because she was middle-aged, and she battled depression until she killed herself. Donnie was a small star for a while, but even though he fell after the death and got abused, still kept his optimism. We see him when he's apparently 42, his marriage is failing and he hits depression at “Lost In Translation”. [[spoiler: Then not even the universe wants him around and he dies, having been told he never existed anyway.]]
* LighterAndSofter: Donnie's remakes compared to the originals. Nobody ever dies in them, and if they do, they come back in ways that don't make sense.
* LonelyTogether: The reason why the cast became friends. Nobody else wanted (or respected, in Rebecca's case) them, so they banded together instead. It's sweeter than it sounds.
* LoveTriangle: The entire basis of the ''Lost In Translation'' episode. Doug even said during con filming that Egoraptor "stole" Donnie away from Yo.
* LowestCommonDenominator: In-universe, because Donnie has very little knowledge of geek culture but wants to pretend he does, he vetoes Tacoma's suggested movies of things like ''Literature/WutheringHeights'' in favor of trying to pander to the mainstream.
* TheMafia: The warehouse that Rebecca works in as a security guard is mob controlled. [=DuPre's=] and company do not notice this as being a problem, especially where there's a murder happening in the next room over.
* MenUseViolenceWomenUseCommunication: Subverted. A pissed off Rebecca tries to beat the SWAG leader to death, and when Tacoma does his best to stop her because "they need a verifiable mugshot", she throws him off.
* MetaGuy: Uncle Yo takes on the role in episode three, asking Donnie the fan complaint of why he made a movie parodying ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' if all he wanted to do was point out the flaws.
* TheMockbuster: The main output of [=DuPre's=] studio.
* MoodWhiplash: Episode five starts off fairly easy, with Rebecca and Tacoma finding out that Donnie's a [[spoiler: terrible FormerChildStar]] and planning to tease him mercilessly, while Donnie wakes up with a crazy-but-initially-amusing family of fans. But then we find out [[spoiler: Donnie's mother killed herself while he was filming the movie he's having to watch with the family]] and every bit of humor dissipates.
** Until Rebecca gets so drunk she's talking about Uncle Frank in a fond way, "The Blair Witch Hangover" regularly went from her and Tacoma being the happiest they've ever been partying with booze, to Donnie alone and experiencing epic BreakTheCutie in the woods.
** ''Lost In Translation'' has Donnie go from the {{WAFF}}iest scene ever where he sings Pokemon with Yo and the crowd, to being on the phone with his wife and getting reminded that she doesn't love him.
* MoralMyopia: In WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee, a big deal is made about Critic having reached CharacterDevelopment if he doesn't take the selfish option and destroy the Awesomeverse. But in "The Review Must Go On", the opposite happens and it's seen as the right choice even though Donnie cries over it, he loves his friends and everyone dies in the end. It also means, dishearteningly, Ma-Ti was right about Critic.
* MusicalSpoiler: When everyone is introducing themselves, music suited to their personality plays. Tacoma gets sturdy trumpets, Rebecca is underscored with a bouncy violin that turns sad, Carl and Quinn both have a German choir... but Donnie has silence. That's because he's not telling the truth about his situation.
** The theme song change too. When the show turned dramatic like how Doug had envisioned it to be, the music went from a rocky cover of Auld Lang Syne to a dark-Western-like guitar riff
** The mournful drone playing while Tacoma apologizes to Donnie appears again when he and Rebecca find out what happened to Donnie's mom.
** When Donnie gets overpowered by Critic, it goes from sad strings to a hellishly ethereal metal version of "The Review Must Go On".
* MusicBoxIntervals / OminousMusicBoxTune: Christmas version, with the {{Yandere}} family.
* [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone My God What Have We Done]]: Both Rebecca and Tacoma feel terrible for indirectly teasing Donnie for his bad movies when they find out [[spoiler: his mother killed herself]].
* MythologyGag: Donnie doesn't recognize who a con-goer is supposed to be dressed as when she wears a [[Webvideo/TheNostalgiaCritic cap, glasses, jacket, white T-shirt, and red tie.]]
** More seriously, Tacoma telling Donnie that he's destroying the things he loves brings to mind Critic's breakdown in ToBoldlyFlee about everything he does having a negative impact on someone.
** In the "credits" for Donnie's version of TheSixthSense, the music is apparently being performed by Randy Newman- or more accurately, Doug doing a horrible impression of Randy Newman. Doug has openly admitted several times to hating Newman's work, and a minor running joke in the Nostalgia Critic involved him doing a similarly horrible impression of Randy Newman singing songs on mundane things like foxes looking at bags or officers stuttering in front of ladies.
* NarrativeFiligree: For instance, in one shot of "The Dark Knight Begins Rising", a game of Risk is prominently displayed in the background. What does it have to do with what's going on? Nothing at all, these characters are just [[{{adorkable}} dorky]].
* NiceGuysFinishLast: Rebecca, Quinn and Tacoma all get erased in “The Review Must Go On” immediately after they have a moment of trying to show Donnie that they love him. And then there's Donnie himself, who was nicer than Critic even in his later days, but still has to give up his life.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: [[spoiler: Donnie [=DuPre=] was born Jimmy Boyd, a parody of Jake Lloyd.]] His mother, Elissa Hoffman is a reference to ''A Patch of Blue'' star Elizabeth Hartman who [[spoiler: died]] in a similar manner. Because of this, there's a clear influence of MaraWilson, whose mother died of cancer during filming of ''Matilda'', in his backstory.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The scene in the trailer of Bane and Batman talking gibberish is nowhere in the hour-long premiere.
** Because Rob cut the planned episodes from eight to six, neither the ''{{Twilight}}'' parody or the scene with [[{{Adorkable}} Rebecca in Donnie's hat and glasses]] got to be seen either.
* NonIndicativeFirstEpisode: Thanks to a retool following the premiere episode, an amusing parody of ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' doesn't exactly cry out that they're later going to be dealing with abusive pasts, the many problems of Hollywood and [[spoiler: maternal suicide]].
* NonIndicativeName: "Lost In Translation (Bromance Version)". Donnie/Yo is a complete QueerRomance, with none of the trappings or jokes of the bromance genre. Doug made no secret of how gay it was supposed to be, calling it a LoveTriangle in filming, and the tagline coming right out and admitting it was a romance.
* NoSympathy: [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Because he's not allowed]], the Creator is completely unfeeling towards Donnie's fear, confusion, tears and RageAgainstTheAuthor.
* NothingIsScarier: We don't see what was in the woods with Donnie in "The Blair Witch Hangover" until the next episode. Until then all we know is that ''something'' was giggling and howling and ''something'' [[spoiler: knocked him out at the end.]]
** The fact that we never see the mysterious little girl from the front (or for more than a couple seconds at a time) makes her a lot creepier, as well.
** Also works to make SWAG more threatening. Until the ending, the leader was only seen as a white silhouette on a black wall, the minions who try and freak out Tacoma and Rebecca all wear masks, and who knows how many people were in the car with Donnie.
** Critic's first “appearance” in ''The Review Must Go On''. He's a shadow just lurking behind the corner, and when Doug notices, he rushes off. Of course his behavior is still terrifying when we ''do'' see him.
* OhCrap: [[spoiler: Tom Collins']] reaction to finding Donnie alive and pissed.
** Donnie knew he was in deep shit when he woke up with bottles in his hand and Egoraptor sleeping next to him instead of Uncle Yo. His groan when he'd remembered everything certainly sounds like this situation has happened before.
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: Inverted. Twice, Donnie has to be forced to leave by someone who has more right to feel that way than he does: a sick Tacoma suffering from vampiric bird flu, and the whole team when they're about to [[spoiler: fade away forever in the PlotHole]].
* PrayerIsALastResort: Donnie calls it the final act of desperation after eating leaves, drinking urine and committing possum-cide. When it doesn't seem to work he tries praying to Satan, which also doesn't work.
* PrecisionFStrike: As the stronger swear words in the show are usually bleeped out, Donnie telling the father how ''[[SarcasmMode fucking]]'' sorry he is that he couldn't give a good performance after just finding out that [[spoiler: his mother died]] packs more punch.
* PrimalFear: Donnie HatesBeingAlone and has a history of SanitySlippage with a [[spoiler: destroyed dead mom]] to boot. So what happens in "The Review Must Go On"? [[spoiler: All his friends start disappearing (for extra pain points, Tacoma does right after he says he'll stay until the ambulance comes) and anyone who's left doesn't even remember the person existing]].
** Much like John Smith in [[Series/DoctorWho Human Nature/Family Of Blood]], losing yourself and personality because everyone wants you to be someone else.
** Tom's way of scaring Tacoma; preying on his image of Rebecca as a young, vulnerable woman alone at night. Nothing happens to her because Tacoma's the one walking into a trap, but you can [[RapeAsDrama imagine]] the scenario put in his head.
* PrincessesRule: Doug and Rob just can't resist.
-->'''Natalie Portman!Rebecca''': I'm gonna be elected Queen!
-->'''Ethan!Donnie''': Don't be ridiculous, nobody likes queens.
-->'''Natalie Portman!Rebecca''': Ohh...
* QueerPeopleAreFunny: not in-universe, which was a TGWTG rarity in how openly casually bisexual Donnie was and zero jokes being made out of him or the LoveTriangle in the “Lost In Translation” episode, but when everyone outside of it (from Critic to Snob to even Jimbroth) trashes the show they mock the gayness most of all.
* QueerRomance: Despite not being allowed to show the fun parts, "Lost In Translation" is all about the Donnie/Uncle Yo love. Sadly like most in the genre, it ends in disappointment, as they make arrangements to meet up a few months later but Donnie gets erased before then.
* QuitYourWhining: In a rather gentle way considering what he's like, Karl tries to get Donnie out of his depression at the con and make the movie he wanted.
-->'''Karl''': Are you going to film this movie or what?
-->'''Donnie''': What’s the point? You heard Rebecca and Tacoma. They’re not gonna like it anyway...
-->'''Karl''': As if that has ever stopped you.
* RationalizingTheOverkill: The SWAG leader assumes that kidnapping someone at gunpoint and leaving them to starve to death slowly in an abandoned patch of woods is justifiable punishment for his territory getting threatened.
* RichesToRags: Elisa Hoffman went from winning an Oscar to living in hotels with her son, and Donnie went from celebrity life to having to leech cash off his wife.
* RealityEnsues: As it turns out, your co workers will be not be happy to stay around your business, when you do things like [[spoiler: kidnap a rival production's director/owner, and abandon him in the woods.]]
** After escaping from the {{yandere}} family and having a big {{badass}} moment with the SWAG leader, Donnie's exhausted. As most people would be, even if they hadn't been kidnapped twice.
** When Donnie thinks he's going crazy in "The Review Must Go On", he tells his remaining friends so they can try and help him, and an ambulance is called so that he can get better in a mental home.
** Only a little bit of reality as it doesn't kill him like it should/he wanted, but after, y'know, taking a load of tranquillizers, Doug's sleeping and upon waking up rubbing his head painfully like he'd passed out.
** After getting a stalkery call from Tom Collins in the Transformers episode, Donnie immediately goes to his friends to see if Demo Reel actually did anything wrong.
* RealitySubtext: Donnie wants SlashFic about him. If you're up to date on your fandom, you'll know Doug and his characters combined practically ''own'' the slash-heavy KinkMeme, and Doug has given every delighted blessing for this fact.
** In-universe, Tacoma wrote the perfect ''WreckItRalph'' speech because it summed up his family situation. Donnie, same thing, proving he ''can'' act if the words mean anything to him.
** The film Donnie's mother starred in, ''Blue Patches'', resembles ''APatchOfBlue'' right down to her name sounding like the actress in the latter movie, who ''also'' committed suicide later over the claim that "Hollywood destroyed her." Not coincidentally, said actress also voiced Mrs. Brisby in ''TheSecretOfNimh'', Doug's favorite animated film.
** The Donnie/Rebecca argument in Transformers sounds very much like an argument Doug/Lindsay had in the WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee shooting. Like Donnie not getting why Rebecca thought being slutty for an audience was a bad thing because he had no problem with it himself, Doug couldn't understand Lindsay's annoyance with her costume because he was taught all sexual attention was a good thing.
** As seen from convention answers and both the WebVideo/SuburbanKnights and WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee commentaries, Doug doesn't have the greatest confidence as a director, and Donnie's... lacking in that area was his way of poking at himself.
** In a thankful case where the reality is less depressing, Donnie is all about OopsIForgotIWasMarried for DomesticAbuse reasons, but Doug has to be reminded of his wife on several occasions just because he really loves flirting. (And even better, she's often close by or in the same room and is usually happy to watch him do it.)
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: According to Doug's commentary, "The Review Must Go On" happened because he was told Critic had to come back. WebVideo/DemoReel could stay and he could bring the character back however he wanted, but he had to do reviews again.
** Even after "The Review Must Go On" came out, Rob gave a load of details of what they were planning to do in later seasons (Rebecca wanting to take things to the next level with Tacoma, more detail into Quinn and Karl's relationship, RL!Doug playing with Donnie more, Lindsay and Lewis in dramatic roles etc.), which makes it look like the only reason character!Doug suffers writer's block is because he has to.
* RealMenCook: Only the war veterans Karl and Quinn have any capacity for cooking. Mafia man Fabrizio too, though it's best not to ask what's in the meatballs.
* RealMenHateAffection: Shamelessly averted, as while Donnie, Tacoma and Uncle Yo don't fit the "real man" stereotype so cuddle tons, Quinn and Karl do, and there's still a sweet moment in "Wreck It Ralph vs Angry Birds" where Karl holds Quinn's hand when he's sick.
* ReasonYouSuckSpeech: Donnie gives an epic one to the {{Yandere}} family after he finds out that [[spoiler: they've been keeping him captive by dosing him with muscle relaxants]].
--> '''Donnie''': You people! You never ''mean anything by it'' when you really think about it; it’s when you don’t think about it that your inner dicks come out!
* {{Retcon}}: Watch WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee and it's made clear that Critic's sacrificing his life half because [[DrivenToSuicide he wanted to]] and half for his friends. "The Review Must Go On" tries to have us believe it was just for the sake of the plot only.
** WordOfGod even confirmed in the TBF commentary that Critic made ''sure'' he died a martyr by putting on a JerkassFacade so the others wouldn't care. Now the tune is changed and he "couldn't handle the paradox of his own martyrdom".
** The continuity-strangling goes back to funny little Looney-Tunes-rip-off ''{{Kickassia}}'', as the whole reason Critic invaded the nation in the first place was because he hated his job and wanted out.
** The beginning of the Reloaded Reviews hammer the final nail in the coffin, as they were done when Doug still wanted nothing more to do with the Critic and it starts off with {{drama queen}}ing about how the PlotHole is hell being proved wrong when he gets served a drink.
* {{Revenge}}: The bad movies Donnie makes are a passive-aggressive way of getting back at Hollywood for destroying his mommy. Darker and slightly less sympathetic is his stalking actors (like Rob Paulsen) because he was abused and he thinks they should be treated similarly.
* RightForTheWrongReasons: Uncle Yo assumes that Donnie's being a brat about Hollywood because his mom told him not to go there. He's on the correct lines, but the truth is far more painful.
** Critic's line "and we all know what [Demo Reel] was, what Donnie was this whole time...". In his mind he's bullcrapping about Doug really loving him the best, but 1) Donnie = Critic was admitted as Doug being angry at fans and 2) Rob confirmed it was more like Donnie = Doug, so he's got a point about how important the show and character were, but his conclusion was wrong.
* RunningGag: The silent accent in Rebecca's surname.
** During ''Blue Patches'' episode: “Say you’re sorry, Liz.” / “Sorry.”
** The cups with letters on. Until “The Review Must Go On” where Donnie has the “D” cup but the letter disappears, a character will never drink from the right initialed cup.
* SayMyName: Everyone really seems to like saying Donnie's name, perhaps to hammer home the irony that it's not his real one.
* SecurityCling: In the first of many {{ship tease}}s, the Sixth Sense parody has Donnie and Rebecca on a very small bed and huddling together out of fear from the ghosts.
** Also in the pilot, when casually threatened by Quinn, Tacoma hides behind Donnie for protection.
* SelfDeprecation: Donnie talks about how making videos on the internet doesn't bring in much money (no money actually), so he has to get support from his wife.
** Doug writes himself as fairly awful and pitiful in “The Review Must Go On”, as he falls over getting the garbage out, is nostalgic for the Critic after months of bragging about WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee being the perfect ending, rants like a crazy person in his room after watching the movie, is broken down by Critic's creepy to the point where he's taking enough pills “to kill a baby rhino”, gets his own heartwarming words about said character evolving twisted around, falls into the same trap with Lindsay as Critic did with Chick in ''{{Kickassia}}'', has Donnie act like the Creator's words are coming from a hack, and forces Douchey to be the PlotHole.
* SensibleHeroesSkimpyVillains: PG version. Bane's henchmen in-movie (played by Doug/Donnie and Rachel/Rebecca) wear eyeliner, carry guns and show off more skin with a tight black t-shirt and sleeveless black top respectively. They obviously don't do this as any other character.
* SexualExtortion: Rebecca was made to do porn in the past because of some vague financial problems.
* SexyDiscretionShot: Hinted for laughs with Donnie/Rebecca in the pilot, but treated as an OhCrap moment when Donnie wakes up to find he "cheated" on Uncle Yo with Egoraptor.
* ShipTease: Loads between the three mains. Donnie and Tacoma share {{held gaze}}s a-plenty, Donnie "flirts" with Rebecca saying she should shave her head, and Rebecca acts like a ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend when she sees Tacoma is sick from the vampire bird flu while he... tries to protect her likewise.
* ShirtlessScene: As is to be expected of him, Doug shows off his chest while playing ''{{Braveheart}}'' in episode one.
* ShoutOut: Donnie DuPre is named after Don Dupree, a producer of ''Siskel and Ebert and The Movies''.
** In the first episode, Tacoma mentions to Donnie that they can't make an ending where it is revealed that Batman [[Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening is an alien from Zeist]]
** Donnie is warned that [[Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera "a disaster beyond your imagination will occur"]] if he doesn't stop remaking movies.
** During the [[Disney/WreckItRalph Hero's Duty]] takes, Rebecca recites Jessie's ''I'm So Excited'' breakdown from ''Series/SavedByTheBell''.
** The hunt for the turkey features a ton of horror movie references. And ''{{Ghostbusters}}''.
** The Donnie/Tacoma "I shall avenge you" was an ultra-gay version of the ''StarTrek II'' scene with Khan and his right-hand man. Also doubles as {{foreshadowing}}, as Donnie and Khan have a [[{{revenge}} motive]] in common.
** Donnie's WorldOfCardboardSpeech about accepting both his names and love of film-making is lifted from Wyatt Earp's “hell's coming with me!” speech in ''Film/{{Tombstone}}''.
* ShoutOutToShakespeare: In the first episode, Rebecca Stoné describes her thoughts on her one girl show of Theatre/{{Hamlet}}, until she decides that [[AllMenArePerverts Shakespeare is a perv.]]
* ShowWithinAShow: Demo Reel productions is a different beast from Demo Reel the webseries. More focused on comedy and pandering for one thing, even after they decide to make their own films.
* SlutShaming: Accidentally happens between Donnie and Rebecca in ''{{Transformers}}'', as he loves being a slut and doesn't get why she won't parade herself, and Rebecca getting angry because she just wanted one job where she wasn't treated badly.
* SignatureLine: Fans joke that Quinn's response to Tacoma and Rebecca's angst - "My ''God'' this is depressing, and I'm Irish! I'm gonna have to put on Angela's Ashes, just so I can remember what it's like to laugh again." - is a good summation of the series in general.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: The producers of “Jingle Sells” didn't care one bit about Jimmy's mental state after his only guardian [[spoiler: killed herself]], making him still shoot scenes with fake parents and not wanting it to be talked about as it would “dampen the mood”.
* SocietyIsToBlame: When reeling from the reveal of Donnie's backstory and figuring out that he made bad movies as {{revenge}}, Tacoma sadly calls it the way of things. Thankfully Rebecca still has fight in her and convinces him to write a good movie as a gift for Donnie.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Quirky, waltz-like music plays over Tacoma and Rebecca getting completely rejected by their parents.
* SpaceWhaleAesop: "The Review Must Go On". Writers, don't abuse your characters and then kindly break the fourth wall telling them they're important, they'll just for whatever reason go insane and make your life hell.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: In Episode 1, we see the cameraman's name written on-screen as "Carl". In "The Review Must Go On", we see Doug's script writing it as "Karl".
* SpoilerTitle: The Review Must Go On. Average humans are able to remember the song in the ''MoulinRouge'' review so it's a ForegoneConclusion that Critic will return, but depressingly so.
* TheStasi: Karl's former job "before the wall fell"
* StepfordSuburbia: On a familial level, the {{Yandere}} family that finds Donnie (Adam, Jill and Liz); they seem sweet if eccentric. Then you find out [[spoiler: they are holding Donnie captive by feeding him muscle relaxants]].
* AStormIsComing: Just before it cuts to Doug, thunderstorm effects play on the soundtrack as Donnie gets scared by [[spoiler: what will later become the PlotHole]].
* {{Story Arc}}s: The leader of SWAG wanting to destroy the cast's show and Donnie's {{Mysterious Past}}.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: Both Donnie and Rebecca confuse ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' with ''{{Dracula}}''.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: Due to them just being [[spoiler: constructs so Critic could be punished]], Rebecca's RapeAsBackstory and Donnie's mom's [[spoiler: suicide]] qualifies them as the trope.
* StylisticSuck: The parody scenes.
* SuddenDownerEnding: The happiness earned in ''Blue Patches'' is completely undone in ''The Review Must Go On''.
* SympathyForTheDevil: Liz. She's a CreepyChild, laughed at Donnie when he was scared or wanting to die, has even less boundaries with him than her parents do, and like them doesn't learn anything, but her dad blames her for everything and no wonder she acts like a little demon when she has them to look up to.
* TakeThat: To ''Series/The700Club'' in the first episode.
** In ''Blue Patches'', Doug-as-Donnie rips into how the Critic used to be and anyone else like that; people who just obsess over the past and stew in dredging up painful memories for themselves and others.
** ''BeingJohnMalkovich'' gets slaughtered for just frumping up Cameron Diaz and expecting that to be "ugly".
-->'''Rebecca''': But no, let's give the role to the cute one and praise her for being "edgy".
* ATapOnTheHead: Exploited by Adam and his family, who use their beating Donnie over the head and the pain he'd feel as an excuse to hide that he can't move because they drugged him.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: In-universe. Karl and Quinn both require drinks at Donnie's, Tacoma's and Rebecca's group {{squee}} over managing to do the Bane impression.
* TemptingFate:
--> '''Tacoma''': Think we’re safe.
--> '''Karl''': Unless they’ve figured out how to open doors. *Doorknob starts jiggling*
--> '''Tacoma''' (grabs doorknob to keep door shut): You just had to say it, didn’t you?
** Take a wild guess what the fandom did with this line:
--> '''[[LauncherOfAThousandShips Donnie]]''': [[TemptingFate I really want someone to write a]] SlashFic [[ShipperOnDeck about me]].
** Considering what was found, Donnie telling Tacoma to figure out his reasons for paranoia probably wasn't a good idea in hindsight.
** Rebecca asks “what could go wrong” when she, Quinn and Tacoma get ready with booze and fire-arms. Surprisingly, nobody calls her out on this.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Finally semi-averted in “The Review Must Go On” when Donnie plans to get himself to a mental hospital because he thinks he's going crazy, but he never gets that far.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Donnie's character in ''{{Taken}}'' goes a bit overboard in his threats [[spoiler: towards the pizza guy]].
* TogetherInDeath: Possibly the only show where a character is near giving up and wants to be with his mother instead of a romantic interest.
** [[spoiler: Tacoma, Karl, Quinn and Rebecca at least fade away in the PlotHole together]].
* TooHappyToLive: "The Review Must Go On" starts with Donnie peacefully humming to himself, and Rebecca and Tacoma acting like SickeninglySweethearts, so of course they all have to be crushed like bugs.
* TriangRelations: As it stood, Donnie, Rebecca and Tacoma were a type 8, with one person loving and being possessive of the other two equally.
* TheUnintelligible: During the Franchise/{{Batman}} scene, all characters get this. But only in the trailer.
* TrueCompanions: The cast and crew are closer to each other than their real family....which shouldn't be too hard because Tacoma, Donnie and Rebecca families all hate them.
* UnfortunateImplications: {{Discussed}} InUniverse. Donnie had Tacoma play in the Dark Knight episode, 1) Alfred, a butler, 2) the Joker, a madman that seeks the dissolution of society, and 3) Harvey Dent/Two Face, Bruce's romantic rival that "steals" Dawes from Batman, and 4) Bane. In other words, all of his roles are evil except the one that's servile.
** Tacoma is worried about wearing white-face for his Joker role until Rebecca points this out; he then declares that "you Crackers have it coming."
** In one of the more subtle moments of commentary against racism, Donnie takes away and dubs over Tacoma's voice for both Bane and the Joker, and is portrayed as an asshole for it.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: The blonde cosplayer. She flirts with Donnie, gives him her card and gives him a smile as she leaves, but as she's a ShrinkingViolet and he's used to people instantly going for him, he takes this as rejection and slides back into misery.
* UsefulNotes/VictimBlaming: Adam pretends to be the PapaWolf who knocked out Donnie “for staring at his daughter” when, even his real motivation aside, ''she'' was the one stalking him and leading him home when he'd wanted to commit suicide.
* VocalRangeExceeded: Rebecca in "The Dark Knight Begins Rising". Although this was during the ShowWithinAShow, so it was probably an in-universe application of HollywoodToneDeaf.
* VomitDiscretionShot: Turns out that toothpaste ''isn't'' safe to use for a meal. Poor Donnie.
* WhamEpisode: "Lost In Translation (Bromance Version)". The {{true companions}} fight and separate, Tacoma finds out that Donnie doesn't technically exist, the {{story arc}} of Donnie's MysteriousPast is started, and the end has him getting kidnapped.
** "Blue Patches" for TheReveal of Donnie's backstory, his realizing that he can't obsess over the past anymore, Tacoma and Rebecca proving once and for all that they have talent, and the SWAG leader going insane.
* WhamLine: "Donnie [=DuPre=]... [[spoiler: does not exist. No birth certificate. No records]]."
** "All our hopes rest on [[spoiler:the Nostalgia Critic]]."
** "Donnie [=DuPre=] looks up and sees [[spoiler:the Plot Hole]]."
* WhamShot: The newspaper headline in "Blue Patches". [[spoiler: Nominated Star Leaves Behind Legacy, Son]].
* WhatDidIDoLastNight: Donnie goes straight from a flirting introduction with Egoraptor to waking up sprawled out on his bed with more booze in his hand. He gets what happened pretty quickly though, as his OhCrap reaction to seeing not-Uncle Yo in the other bed shows.
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Carl seems to hold this belief, as he's sickened with Rebecca for accidentally injuring her cat, but slaughters a pig right in front of Donnie and Tacoma, and would have been more than happy to do the same to the turkey.
* WhatTheHellHero: Carl briefly but firmly calls out Tacoma and Rebecca for prying into Donnie's personal life.
** Lewis is exasperated when he asks Doug why on earth he watched “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green”. Doug doesn't answer and changes the subject.
** Donnie has a breakdown aimed at the Creator over how awful his life has been. The Creator is not sympathetic.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Because he doesn't want to let the past torture him anymore, Donnie refuses to hurt the family or become what they are. He even chides himself for being unfair to them after rambling that they should stay in the corner and not blink.
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: The mooks who beat up Tacoma wear them.
* AWorldHalfFull: The show can go to some really dark places, and you'll be disappointed if you're expecting a comedy, but our heroes are good people, learn from their mistakes and stick together because they love each other.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: “Alright, S.W.A.G., [[{{Film/Tombstone}} you called down the thunder]], well, now you got it. *Holds up video camera* You see that? It says that I’m a film maker. Take a good look at it S.W.A.G. [[ReasonYouSuckSpeech because that’s the way you’ll never end up]]. The Swedes are finished; you understand me?! [[BadassBoast I see a Swedish flag, I kick the ass wearing it]]! So run, you cur! RUN! AND TELL ALL THE OTHER CURS THAT DONNIE DUPRE IS COMING!! YOU TELL THEM [[spoiler: JIMMY BOYD]] IS COMING!! AND FILM’S COMING WITH ME, YOU HEAR!! [[PunctuatedForEmphasis FILM’S! COMING! WITH ME]]!!"
* YouAreNotAlone: In the second episode, Donnie really doesn't want to leave Tacoma alone and sick, and has to be forced into going back to work on the movie.
* YouBastard: After Doug admitted Donnie = Critic was an attack on the fans demanding the latter back, Donnie's rant becomes a mainstream plea to the mainstream fandom as to why his tragedy means so little to them.
** "The Blair Witch Hangover" had an instance used more subtle. It's a well-known fact that fandom loves seeing Doug's characters in pain, and the show plays that aspect for drama. The people who kidnapped Donnie left him a camera, so when he's dead from starvation, a wild animal or [[spoiler: giving up because his depression over his mom is getting worse]], someone can watch the tape and see him degrade.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: Donnie called ''WreckItRalph'' a nostalgic movie, rather than a movie with nostalgic elements.