Character Development: He's never felt this bad, for this long, about the death of somebody before, and his mission in space is the first time he's truly trying to help his friends.
Part 8 is the pinnacle of addressing this: when he meets the Writer, he tells the Critic that while he may have originally began as a simple internet character, he has grown beyond his previously simple characterization, evolved into his own person, and as a result, the Writer genuinely doesn't know what the Critic is going to do with the choice he's about to be faced with.
Clothes Make the Superman: In the usual Critic costume, he's his lovably pathetic self. As Dredd!Critic, he does fantastically well in a fight due to a good gun and some powered gloves.
God Job: More or less, since he essentially becomes reality itself when he merges with the Plot Hole.
Good Counterpart: For Snob, in a different way from Oancitizen. Both got manipulated because their insecurities were so gaping, and both were offered an easy way out. But while Snob turned to The Dark Side, Critic chose to stay in his universe and made amends the hard way.
There's also parallels explicitly made between him and Ma-Ti. They both need closure and need to move on, and both need to be appreciated, but Ma-Ti got consumed with hate and Critic pulled through.
Go Out with a Smile: As anyone would be, he's scared when the Plot Hole starts consuming him, but realizing this is what he wanted he lets it take over with a peaceful expression on his face.
Heel Realization: Except he goes way too far with it and ends up hating himself for stuff he had no control over.
Heroic BSOD: Spends a good deal of the movie even more depressed than he usually is, and is his (main) motivation for going into space.
Hidden Depths: He might not recognize Jupiter but he can casually recite facts about it just to show up Marzgurl.
I Am What I Am: After years of insecurity, finally manages to get there in his final line of the film.
I Choose to Stay: Chooses to remain in the Awesomeverse to save it rather than enter the real world, probably realizing that if he did leave, he'd be as selfish as he ever was.
In-Universe Catharsis: It in no way heals him, he's actually suicidally cocky and the depression gets worse after Snob is taken, but being Judge Dredd enables him to be loud and angry and shooty, not just sad and powerless.
Jerkass Façade: He says he'll be in his ultra-protected bunker while everyone fights, but it is revealed he lied to distract everyone while he goes to face certain doom at the Plot Hole.
The entire special is dedicated to breaking this trait of his down and letting everyone else see the damage behind the snarky, scheming Bad Boss image he uses to protect himself.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his character development, he has no issue with helping the Nostalgia Chick harass Obscurus Lupa for idle amusement.
Let's Get Dangerous: He only beams the other crew members to his house when he and the Chick have been nearly killed twice.
Manly Tears: For good reason, he spends most of the movie looking like he's either about to cry or he's been crying offscreen, but we never actually see any tears. This is in sharp contrast to his show, where he could break down at the drop of a hat.
Depressing Reality Subtext: because he thought he was putting his producers through hell, Doug admitted on the commentary that the about-to-cry tone wasn't faked.
My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Carrying on from reviews where he had being a father on the brain, he refers to Ma-Ti as being like "his freeloading Indian child". And he essentially gets what he wants in the end, looking after a universe.
Papa Wolf: He asks how Luke is even when deep in sad, and he has a great "terrified father" expression when he realizes Film Brain is hooked up to the machine. The Film Brain of Kickassia would have had a glee-induced heart attack.
Stupid Sexy Flanders: Before the Last Angry Geek does a nerd meld with him, he excuses the naked pictures of Orlando Bloom in there because he thought he was a girl. Though Last Angry Geek is okay with that, apparently they all did.
As well as in the climax where he decides to charge in the Plot Hole despite all warnings that is his death, and not only that, he faces Turrell's spaceship head on, instead of running away like before.
Also sacrificing himself to become the new Awesome-universe
When He Smiles: He's not a happy bunny this movie, so when he smiles on seeing reality (he Goes Out With A Smile too, which is heartwarming in a different way), all the stress and sad and anger melts away from his face just to leave pure innocence and wonder, and the effect is beautiful.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Reflecting on what happened with Todd, the Nostalgia Chick decides it's time she stopped chasing "jerks who reject [her]". That lasts only five seconds after Angry Joe calls the Chick a bitch after she rejects his advances, prompting her to make her own advances on him.
Always Save The Boy: As soon as Critic's about to die by Mechakara's hand, she pops up and saves him, a Call Back to rescuing his ass in the brawl. The original scene went a step further, with Mechakara ordering her to kill him to test her loyalty and her being freed from brainwashing because she just couldn't do it.
Heel Realization: According to Lindsay, Todd's face reflects your soul. Therefore, when Seven-of-Eleven saw his face, it showed her exactly how horrible she's been, both as her cyborg form and and as the Chick.
Instant Expert: Thanks to being turned into a Borg Drone by Mechakara, she can not only immediately learn what the 1983 number one Kryptonian single was, but sing it perfectly.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While the "jerk" part is more pronounced because of the Lupa-hate, Todd-stalking and forced assimilation, she's genuinely trying to be decent this time around.
The Lancer: Though not the Number Two, she still serves as one for the Critic. Pre-brainwashing at least.
Love Makes You Dumb: If she hadn't wanted to prove her "love" to Todd, she wouldn't have gone to Linkara to bitch about him using all the internet connection and therefore she wouldn't have fallen victim to Mechakara.
Must Make Amends: After Todd's Nightmare Face breaks her out of being Seven Of Eleven, she (in order); saves the Critic's ass when Mechakara is about to kill him, "breaks up" with Todd, volunteers to be a distraction, would have succeeded fooling the bad guys if it hadn't been for Kyle, and makes up with Lupa at the party.
Not So Stoic: Usually she cares very little about her or anyone else's lives being in danger, but when everything goes to pot near the end of Part 7, she's not hiding how scared she is.
In Part 6, this even applies to when she was supposedly assimilated by Mechakara, but still screams in horror at Todd's real face.
When she shows off her cyborg abilities to Kyle in part seven, she bitterly thanks Mechakara for installing her with them. Other than that it's not made a big deal out of.
Pet the Dog: While she ribs him a little for taking nightmares seriously, she listens to what Critic has to say and tries to cheer him up.
Sarcasm Failure: It was gentle mocking to begin with anyway, but when Critic tells her that he wants a place where he feels like he belongs and can make a difference, she starts taking him seriously and showing concern.
Skewed Priorities: When Todd's nearby, he's the only thing she cares about. Possible end of the world be damned.
Came Back Wrong: After being resurrected by the Critic in Part 8, he seems to be short a few brain cells.
Demoted to Extra: Compared to the last two specials he doesn't play a significant active role in this one, serving as a semi-comatose Distressed Dude instead. Justified in that most of Antwiler's energies went into playing Ferdinand von Turrell
Distressed Dude: He's been put into "Cardboard Freeze"note read that as "stuffed into a cardboard box" and shipped to the Jupiter moon Europa in Part 2. He's found and freed in the following part.
Fighting from the Inside: He tries to warn Film Brain about the plot hole's true nature, but Ma-Ti asserts control and stops him.
Gag Penis: Apparently, Spoony's is shaped like a saxophone.
Voices Are Mental: Whenever Ma-Ti begins talking through him, like in Part 1 in The Critic's house, Spoony begins talking in an impressive Ma-Ti impression. And yes, the two argue out loud at each other.
Inferiority Superiority Complex: He might be charming and willing to brag about his confederate film to Luke, but with Clodd he admits that's the best he can come up with because all he knows is crap.
Informed Deformity: We're told that The Executor threw coffee in his face, scarring him hideously, apparently just as an excuse to put the Vader helmet on him. When he removes the mask at the end, his face is fine.
Character Development: Is no longer quite the fan-boy sycophant he was in last two specials and is capable of giving adult advice.
Cool Shades: Gains a pair after diving into Spoony's mind, invoking Neo.
The Confidant: Chick may have got the first "I don't belong anywhere" confession from the Critic, but Film Brain was the one he opened up to three times.
Doug: The Critic feels like there's nothing he needs to defend against with Film Brain because he just knows he'll agree with anything, I mean even here [the first talk], Film Brain isn't defying him or being mean to him, he's just pointing out the obvious. And the Critic, because of that, can open up to him, but he can be very cruel to him too.
Everyone Has Standards: As Holly noted, even he's getting tired of the Critic's self-loathing by part 5. Of course, he still takes it seriously because he's a good guy, and even moreso when it smacks him in the face in part 7.
Fanboy: To the Critic, as usual. Dialed down quite a bit from previous specials, but it's still there.
Lack of Empathy: Despite his best efforts, he's really bad at comforting Luke after Cinema Snob is captured.
Never Live It Down: Invoked when everyone is reflecting on their first reviews, the disasterous response to his scathing review of "Equilibrium".
The Starscream: As the Critic is about to lead Sage and Sad Panda to Europa to rescue Spoony, Phelous declares that he's had enough of playing second fiddle to the Critic and declares that he's in charge now. A slight subversion, in that the Critic just seems to let him have his way. In the following parts, he continues to insist that he's in charge but everyone else just ignores him, treating him as if he's expendable.
Nostalgia Chick: And so, as the head of the FAA, we would like you to please stop dying your head that horrible red, so our pilots will not longer be blinded by your hellishly slutty colors.
Lupa: Oooh, thank you, Mrs. Secretary. And so long that we’re talking about air-space, you might wanna put Nostalgia Chick on your maps. Her obviously padded bra is much too large, and if an Argentinian soccer team crashes onto her breasts and are forced to eat themselves...
Only Sane Woman: She's one of the few people who have noticed something wrong with The Nostalgia Chick and Mechakara. Also, the Nostalgia Chick has (as of Part 3) turned evil, JesuOtaku is acting like Ed from Cowboy Bebop, Dr. Block and Dr. Tease have been arrested for attacking cops, leaving only Marzgurl and herself to act sane amongst the female protagonists.
Badass Adorable: Becomes this after he's trained by Oan to confront the Executor and Darth Snob. He's able to stop the Death Bomb's attack and still stand after being electrocuted several times over by the Executor.
The Lancer: Pretty much takes over the Nostalgia Chick's former role after having been Borgified by Mechakara. Case in point, Marzgurl is the one who hands out the orders in Part 4 while the Critic is AWOL.
Deadpan Snarker: Even Noah calls him "The Ultimate Deadpan" in his commentaries.
Did You Just Have Sex?: After Film Brain overhears Mechakara assimilating the Nostalgia Chick & thinks they were having sex, Sad Panda says Film Brain looks like he just overheard two people having sex.
Power Perversion Potential: It isn't made explicit, but after expositing that his visor has x-ray vision he looks directly at Ed!Jesu and gives a big smile, implying that he was looking through her clothes.
Those Two Guys: Averted, since this is the first anniversary special in which Handsome Tom is not present as a main character.
Took a Level in Badass: In earlier specials he either didn't have much to do or he was a Butt Monkey. Here, he's capable of punching two men out and feeding the third (who was holding a gun) into a weed wacker.
Death Is Cheap: Died in the Battlefield Earth review, but was later revealed to have clone backups when he appeared on Spoony's show. Came back again at the head of a new fleet on Angry Joe's show less than two months after this movie came out.
Determinator: Joke of a villain or not, he's relentless in wanting the Critic dead.
Embarrassing First Name: Played with. He himself seems rather proud of his name, but nobody else takes it seriously (not even Zod), much to his chagrin.
Even Evil Has Standards: He may be an evil alien who considers humans "animals" but he's thoroughly squicked by witnessing Prick's fate and calls the critics monsters for it.
Genre Savvy: In Part 7 he knows it's too soon to celebrate victory and leaves to hunt the Critic instead.
Idiot Ball: When he unintentionally reveals he was manipulating Mechakara. Of course, the original novel establishes that his race has a literal one surgically implanted at birth so it's to be expected.
Motivational Lie: Turrell lied to Mechakara, telling him that he'd give the cyborg the secret to using Malachite's power glove from Suburban Knights if he spied on the critics. In reality, Turrell had no idea how to use it.
Spell My Name with an S: Insists his name is spelled "Turrell". According to Linkara on the commentaries, this was to avoid Copyright issues (the original one is Terl), though the fan theory that Turrell learned to conquer galaxies instead of spelling his name was an amusing coincidence.
Stylistic Suck: The tilted camera angles are back, though they come and go.
Made of Iron / Nigh-Invulnerability: Depending on which theory of the above you pick, this is why He survives being thrown across a room with enough momentum to kill the Mooks he crashed on, and how he survives Mechakara's beatdown of him in general
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Believes the reviewers' ship is a house for a reason and orders to transform Turrell's ship into a house as well, even from the inside. The potted plant in the corner adds the final touch.
The Cuckoolander Was Right: Doing so allowed them to fool the critic into thinking they were other reviewers, giving Turrell and Zod the element of surprise.
Dirty Coward: Once things start falling apart for the bad guys in Part 8 he loses his composure and tries to run away.
Dying Race: Is one of the few remaining Kryptionians. The musical number "I'm A Distraction" can actually make you feel a little sympathy for him as a result.
Last of His Kind: Altough Ursa, Non and the son of Jor-El have all been mentioned by him, they've never been seen on-screen ( aside from the Nostalgia Chick and Oancitizen imitating Ursa and Non) making it possible this trope is in play instead.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When he sees Ursa and Non (actually Nostalgia Chick and Oancitizen in disguise), he is legitimately happy to see them and introduces them as his closest friends.
Ursa/Zod is basically the Evil Counterpart to Chick/Critic, just with more leather.
Hollywood Cyborg: Human skin over metal endoskeleton. Specifically, the skin of an alternate-universe Linkara.
Killed Off for Real: According to Linkara in the commentary, this is the final end of him. He did have an extra scene shot just in case he changes his mind later, though.
Knight of Cerebus: The only villain of the special notPlayed for Laughs, his every scene portrayed him as cold, calculating and sinister, and in Part 8, even Zod and Turrell are afraid of him. The only humorous bits featuring him are just him being an evil straight man to the antics of the critics. According to Spoony's commentary, Lewis was very protective of the character and was adamant he not be written as a comic relief villain like Zod and Turrell were.
Villainous Breakdown: A quite chilling one when he finds out Turrell was lying about showing him how to use Malachite's Hand. The way his face quivers and he lets out an animalistic scream would be disturbing enough, but he also has half his face blown off at the time.
The Executor / Christopher Clod
Played by: Rob Walker
Bad Boss: He keeps the screenwriters in his employ chained up in small closets, and withhold their salary for prolonged periods of time, with "pirates" as the only justification; and after Snob's Face-Heel Turn & his own Palpatine-esque deformation takes place, throws a cup of coffee in Snob's face just so that his burns would means there was someone uglier than him around.
Badass Boast: Gets a pretty good one when describing the Death Bomb.
The Executor: This Station is the greatest power of all universe, once we use it, the world will crumble upon the power of the Death Bomb...And from the ashes...We will rise.
Hidden Agenda Villain: Aside from being an all-around Jerkass to everyone who works for him For the Evulz, it's unclear exactly what his motives are. However, he indicates he wants to seize control of the plot hole, which depending on if he knows its true nature or not, could mean he wants to escape to the real world, or wants to merge with it and become a Dimension Lord.
Wicked Cultured: Very much Played With. He seems to have a taste for the arts and seems to be very well-read, but as Part 5 shows, he prefers outright bad and dreadful culture instead of actually intellectually significant culture, believing infamy lives forever.
You Have Failed Me: Says the trope's name verbatim (He IS a Palpatine Expy after all), but actually doesn't kill Turrell after saying it, just assigns him a new Master.
Running Gag: This is the second time Jim Troken has appeared in a special, and each time he's been killed via Your Head Asplode, if Mickey's comment about shoving his face into a weed wacker is taken at face value.
Take That: Lame R. Prick's name is a jab at SOPA's sponsor, Lamar Smith.
Upper-Class Twit: He literally has to ask tech support where the on button is on his computer.
Crippling Overspecialization: Each officer in Turrell's crew only knows how to do his own job. When Angry Joe takes out their tactical officer, it leaves them unable to use their own weapon system for several minutes as they scramble to find the ship's instruction manual.
Knife Nut: The one tasked to kill Phelous qualifies.
Mook Chivalry: Are kind enough to throw down their guns and attack with Good Old Fisticuffs when the Critic throws away his gun. Subverted later when the Critic loses the OMGWTF-9000 and they just keep shooting at him.
Batman Gambit: The plot hinges on the Batman Gambit he has set up. He knew that by contacting the Critic, they would come for him in the Plot Hole. He believed that once the Critic was through, he would selfishly choose to escape The Plot and destroy the Awesomeverse. He did not count on the Critic's Character Development though.
Big Bad: All his actions were to manipulate the Critic into destroying the Awesomeverse as vengeance for his Butt Monkey treatment in the past.
Bigger Bad: Both literally, and in that he wasn't revealed as the true Big Bad until after the Executor was established as the Big Bad.
The Dog Bites Back: Wants to destroy the Awesomeverse because of what the critic did in Suburban Knights.
Evil Counterpart: Could be seen as one for Film Brain (which is pointed out by him), both were the butt of everyone's jokes and treated very badly by their leaders, both try to prove themselves something more to the world, but Film Brain sees hope and good in Critic and tries to prove himself by being a hero, while Ma-Ti sees only hate in him, and tries to prove himself right by manipulating events so the Critic would go into the Plot Hole and selfishly abandon the TGWTG crew in favor of freedom in the real world- thus destroying the entire Awesomeverse.
Face-Heel Turn: As it turns out, all the years of being the Nostalgia Critic's Butt Monkey, combined with him losing his actor and combining with the Plot Hole, has pushed him over the edge into wanting to destroy the Awesomeverse.
Heel-Face Turn: After his Villainous Breakdown, the Critic talks him down, apologizes to him for mistreating him, and assures him that he is useful and that "he did good". Ma-Ti changes back to good after this.
I Just Want to Be Special: Reminds the Critic that the only thing he wanted in Suburban Knights was to be helpful and join him on the quest.
Comedic Sociopathy: Maybe he could have cared a little more about all those comic book nerds who died needlessly?
Comically Missing the Point: When told via the news that a killer was going around killing white males in Minnesota in their twenties who have ties to the comic book industry, he shrugs it off as having nothing to do with him.
Demoted to Extra: Like Spoony, Linkara plays a much reduced role compared to the last two specials, instead being trapped in a closet until just past the halfway point, and only joining the rest of the reviewers when he arrives in Comicron-1 during Part 8. Justified in that most of Lovhaug's energies were spent playing Mechakara
Badass: After finding the Executor by himself he challenges him in a duel which homages Star Wars Episode 3. When the Executor pulls out his lightsaber, The Last Angry Geek just knocks it away. When The Executor fired electricity at him, he just reflected it back. He would have even won if the Cinema Snob hadn't filled out Anakin's role and turned on the Geek.
Genius Slob: Claims his studies of "the Plot" leave him little time for hygiene.
Genre Savvy: Due to his connection with "the Plot", the force that surrounds all of them and directs them and gives them Character Arcs. It has allows him to observe, Lampshade, and extrapolate how the story will go.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Instead of rushing in blindly like the other critics, the LAG has been spying on the enemy's transmissions and tracking their movements since Part 1 in order to find the Executor's identity and location. Very smart move.
OOC Is Serious Business: Dr. Tease is notorious for her mistreatment not only of test subjects, but of the scientific method itself. Thus, her concerns of the possible danger gives even more weight to the fears that Ma-Ti!Spoony could suffer a cranial implosion if disconnected from the computer.
Continuity Snarl: Lampshades his many back-stories, mainly he and Spoony being the same person in Kickassia, as an effect of the anomaly.
Diminishing Villain Threat: Remember that time he had Spoony murdered, or the time he nearly took over Kickassia? He's pretty much just an eccentric goofball here. Then again, wavering back and forth from comic relief to legitimate threat is part of his schtick.
On the other hand, according to Noah's commentary, what we see in Part 2 is Insano being played straight; he's being dead serious(for him) to convey what a threat the Plot Hole really is. And when he shows back up in part 8, he does manage to take the USS Exit Strategy, and all of his tech that was incorporated into it, by threatening the whole crew at gunpoint.
Mr. Exposition: Lampshaded when he exposits what happened to the plot hole in Part 8. Although he was mainly there to make them give all his stuff back.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Telling the critics that in the plothole "any outcome could occur" and "anything that was impossible before is possible now" is what, according to Doug, gets Critic thinking about his one-way trip inside.
Sadistic Choice: Falls down to him to present the Critic with one: return to his own universe where everything is scripted, but he has purpose, or stay in the real world where he is free, for better or worse. He also notes that because the Critic's universe is built around him, leaving will doom it to destruction. To his credit, he tries to do it as nicely as possible and it's not something he created out of any malicious intent.
Behind the scenes, he himself got one from his Dad for his acting as the Writer, and another from Rob for managing to shoot a three and a half hour movie in six days with just a couple of breakdowns to show for it.