Adaptation Dye-Job: Chef Excellence the puppet has much darker skin than the model he's based on. Also, his hair is black, rather than the lighter tone on the box. The live-action version of him in The Quest For The Game Child has lighter skin than the puppet version but still has darker hair than the original.
Some non-British fans are surprised to find out that Noseybonk was a real character from a British children's television show and not just some horror creature he devised.
Same thing with the Game Child. Yes, it was indeed a real knockoff of the Game Boy, although Stuart's description in The Quest for the Game Child is significantly exaggerated, particularly in regard to the fact that it was supposedly radioactive.
Ambiguous Syntax: Mentioned in his review of Human Killing Machine: is it about a human who is a killing machine, or a machine that kills humans?
And I Must Scream: In the second episode of Ashen's Tech Dump, he reviews three (thankfully fictional) games, one of which is known as Vinnie the Vole's Existential Nightmare, which made for huge amounts of nightmare fuel when Ashen found out the game consists entirely of the titular Vole wandering around a dark, plain square room. He then freezes with a terrified look on his face, then runs from side-to-side making a beeping noise supposed to be screaming, then runs into the corner, holds a gun to his head, closes his eyes and the screen goes black after a dull electronic pffut sound is heard.
On his website's forum, Ashen revealed a Facebook message he read on the Vinnie Vole fanpage:
"There should be a Vinnie board game. As soon as you open the box, there will be a slip of paper that kindly informs you that 'YOUR ACTIONS HAVE DAMNED VINNIE'."
This inspired him to make up his own rules for a board game:
"You open the box and it is full of jewelery and nothing else. Ten minutes after opening it the Police knock down your door and accuse you of stealing it during a burglary you know nothing about, which resulted in the death of an old woman. In court they produce all sorts of false evidence and you end up being sentenced to 10 years. Six months into the sentence you wake up at 3am and see Vinnie silently staring at you from outside your cell door. Then it suddenly comes back to you — you DID commit the burglary, and it was you who pushed the old woman down the stairs. Vinnie points at you and screams and screams until you go mad. The winner is the player withthe most counters."
And This Is for...: While crushing a toy Storm Trooper in a press, he turns the handle, every time listing off all of the sins of the Star Wars franchise.
Anti Humour: After biting into a foodstuff described as glutinous in this video, "If you were to look up the word 'glutinous' in a dictionary, you would find a written definition of the word, because that's how dictionaries work, they don't have pictures!"
The crowning example comes during his Open Pandora review, where the camerafocuses on a hair on its own lens.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: His review of the Chintendo (or "Ken Sing Ton") Vii showed that it was a simplified NES in design with a Wii controller slapped on, 2D Playstation 1-esque graphics, weighed nothing even with a small lump of useless metal inside it, and had cost him financially and mentally very much. His reason for giving it a 0/10? No lanyard (when the box said there would be one included).
From his review of the Playmobil Blind Bags:
Ashen: A young boy in a hoodie?! WHAT?! What are are doing here, mate? Look at all these freaks! There are vampires, executioners, and drunk people!
Ascended Meme: After someone did a Gentlementlemen remix of his Retieval Review, he was heard humming it in a later video and put an annotation link to it.
There's also his spinning Stig stinger, which is a shoutout to a meme from his forum. (A rotating stig with a ska cover of 'Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr. Hitler')
Also, the 3DS Mii QR video. the first QR code does give you Noseybonk as promised. The subsequent codes, tho...
BBC Quarry: Discussed in his review of the Doctor Who LCD Adventure Game, where he explains that whenever the Doctor actually goes to a foreign planet in the seventies, it usually looks like a rock quarry in Wales — the reason being it literally was.
Berserk Button: Lanyards. They set him off because every piece of retro tat comes with one. "They're a waste of the planet. The campaign starts here." Incidentally, his way of getting rid of them seems to be selling them with his DVD.
For the information of Americans who use "lanyard" to mean something you hang around your neck, he uses the word to mean a wrist-strap (so you don't drop the thing, think Wiimote).
Forms of patronizing marketing also manages to piss Ashen off. He expressed his displeasure at the Flip Video's slogans plastered all over its packaging, and actually refused to properly review a set of Carpenter earbuds due to the pretentious-sounding description on the back of its box, especially with its incredibly lame would/wood pun.
He rage quits the Welcome Park app in his PS Vita review after he felt patronized by it.
Narrator: *Knock, Knock* There's someone at the door!
Ashen: Someone at the do-OH FUCK OFF! I'm not five years old! (Rage Quits).
Don't give Max Hoffman cheese bags to Chef Excellence. Just don't.
Ashen: There's a fairly thick theme running through this year's special about Father Christmas, and Body Horror.
Items from said video include a starfish-like creature with Santa Claus' screaming face twisted into a dog toy, a Santa Claus on a swing hanging from a rope attached to the inside of his skull and what appears to be a Cthulhu-Santa hybrid.
Book Safe: In an early POPStation review he has a hollowed out science encyclopedia with a handgun inside it.
Break the Cutie: After ingesting some Chinese century egg and subsequently sicking his guts up, Ashens is notably bitterer and swearier for the rest of the video. Given that it is by a fair margin the worst thing he's ever tasted, this is somewhat understandable.
Brick Joke: In Poundland Special 3 (April 2010), he tries to test the Packbuster's claims with a LCD game based on Doctor Who. He also claimed that he will review it later, but it took until December 2011 for it to be reviewed. Turns out it had fallen behind a wardrobe. The post for it on ashens.com also lampshaded its former What Happened to the Mouse? status.
In one video, Ashens reviews an ET "furby", becoming increasingly scared of it throughout the video. He eventually removed all the casing. In this Poundland Special, the ET thing can be seen in the background. He REALLY didn't like that thing!
Another one that's been going for a while - a single frame of a bald, bearded man popping up in several videos as a Running Gag (see Subliminal Seduction below). It finally comes to a head in Quest for the Game Child: it's the actor who plays one of the prisoners that beats up Nemesis during the credits.
Brief Accent Imitation: Has taken to putting on a John Major-esque "boring nerd" voice when reading out bits of instruction labels, especially those relating to things like safety disclaimers.
British Teeth: He makes fun of this trope in his livestream Q&A. He actually has really nice teeth.
*reading question* "Is it true that British people have bad teeth?" ... I don't know. *feels teeth* ... OW! On no it's true!
"If the item pleases me, it ascends to the Shelf of Interesting Items. If not, it burns in the fires of (beat) a fire."
Call Back: During his first "Video Game Tat" special, Stuart knocks a package onto the sofa, addressed to a "Tom Bishop" starting, well, you know. During the next special, two more letters fall from the sofa, both addressed to a "Tom Bishop". Stuart quickly dismisses both. Returns again in the third special, this time labeled "Running Gag".
"Wow, Everything a growing boy needs!" Whenever he reads a long list of features written on a product's packaging.
"Blimey, crikey, O'Riley" has been popping up quite a bit lately.
Celebrity Resemblance: He has a passing resemblence to a bearded John Simm, to the point where the Ashens Action Figure was a modified version of the Master from the new series of Doctor Who (played by Simm)
During his review of Chef Excellence's "Stay Fresh System" bread bags, Ashen reads on the box that the bread bags do not require a seal, causing him to think the box is referring to the aquatic mammal.
When reviewing the Ixo Vino wine cork attatchment, he uses it on a cardboard Tesco Value wine carton and declares the product useless before bringing in a proper bottle of San Lorenzo.
While reviewing a Bella Sara blindbag (some All Girls Like Ponies type series), Ashens reads the slogan "Journey into a magical world of horses" on the bag
I think we all know what franchise they are trying to cash in on: The Avengers.
Cuteness Proximity: Whenever he brings one of his pets onto the show, he tends to act especially cute with them, in a weird way—such as looking for his dog, Oscar ("Where's Oscar-dog? There he is!) so he can poke him, or asking his guinea pig if he's going to going to turn into a god-monster. "Yeees! Are you going to go on a rampage? Yeees!"
Cutting the Knot: Almost literally. He uses a pair of bolt cutters on a metal puzzle to untangle it.
Deadpan Snarker: He doesn't hold anything back against the "products" he reviews. Emphasis on the "Deadpan," too, as he's usually extremely calm-voiced during his inferior product reviews.
Drinking Game: Dr. Ashen gives one to the viewer in the description of the Barcode Battler video.
Ashen: Take a shot every time I say "Right", and "...or something". Alcohol poisoning may ensue.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: A mild example. In the end of POP Station Watch 6, Chef Excellence makes an appearance as a puppet and Stuart asks him how he is now that he was replaced on the Stay Fresh line. They parted on sour terms.
The Chef Excellence puppet did eventually reappear—a better example is the fate of Quincy, the caterpillar who sings obscure Beatles songs.
And now Chef Excellence, this time played by a regular actor instead of appearing as a puppet, is scheduled to appear in Ashen's movie. Dan Tomlinson is playing the Chef.
Dual Wielding: He destroys a pair of shoddy headphones with dual-wielded hammers.
He also brandishes the same two hammers and lampshades the trope before destroying a cheap plastic dinosaur skeleton. However the dinosaur was destroyed after one hit so he ended up only using one of the hammers, much to his disappointment.
Dude, Not Funny!: By his own account, he's invoked this again and again and has been keeping track with a checklist. This is mostly concerning how people didn't get jokes such as his repeated avoidance of copyright infringement (Considering the youtube community's troubled history with copyright), or his appearance on The Node.
In his review of the POP Station Laden Vs USA, he was clearly beside himself that such an exploitative product exists and is just another POP Station in no way distinguished from the dozens he had reviewed already.
Once lampshaded by making a joke about Polish people in his Vita review and remarking "Polish people watching are now going 'hmm' and turning this off; sorry!"
East Anglia: Ashen is from there and often mentions Norwich in his reviews.
Easter Egg: The strange sound during when he supposedly fell asleep during his R-Zone review. By playing it on a spectrogram, it reveals a picture of Noseybonk. Proof here.
On his Guitar Fever review, if you record the screech and play it on a ZX spectrum emulator you get a special message! (Volume warning!) SPLINK!
Eat That: One of his most popular bits is consuming various dubious edibles on camera, and it's one of his most requested ones as well, since his reactions are generally rather dramatic. Favorites include him eating a giant gummi-candy foot, the terrifying "anti-pizza," and generic boxed wine.
His Easter 2012 contains possibly the two extremes of all the "Eat That"s he's ever done: First, there was a "cream egg" so vile, it caused an immediate Spit Take (for which he later apologized, it being rather unprofessional), and a marshmallow bunny that, while it looked horrifying (its eyes were misaligned and it had a random hole in its forehead), he had to admit actually tasted pretty good.
Averted in a short video where he opens a bag of jelly babies that was 17 years old. The contents had all turned rock hard and were colored like ash. The inside of the babies looked like it had rotted. He doesn't eat it, of course, although a number of commentators theorised they would actually be safe to eat.
Whilst reviewing some old packs of unopened Garbage Pail Kids stickers from the mid-1980s, he eats the free stick of gum from one of the packets. It turns to "rotting dust" in his mouth, and he provides a picture of the mixture of tiny bits of bubblegum and saliva he spat out.
Ashens: If we've learnt something here today, it's "don't stick 25-year-old bubblegum in your mouth." Whatever makes it bubblegum has long since passed into the ether.
He actually nibbled at possibly the ultimate in expired food—a forty-five year-old military ration. The crackers surprisingly weren't that bad. The candy circle on the other hand...
Everyone Has Standards: He refuses to burn Lego products or knock off products that are very similar to Lego. Even if he's very displeased by it, as seen in his review miniseries on the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar.
Evolving Credits: His standard intro has big googly eyes appear on his logo as he says a cheery "Hello!" For Poundland specials, instead pound coins appear where his eyes should be and he says 'cheapo!' For "Popstation Watch" a police siren plays while a Popstation orbits his logo's head and the eyes follow itnote The first Popstation Watch video used a version of the opening theme to the BBC program Crimewatch in place of the sirens, however this was presumably dropped for copyright reasons..
And then there's the times he's changed it up by replacing the googly eyes with headbanging with heavy metal, a more high-definition version of the popstation watch opening, and CELERY!.
The Poundland Food Special has him barfing in addition to his pound coin eyes. Given the nature of the "food" he's about to eat, it's basically foreshadowing what's to come.
The 2012 Easter Special replaced "Hello!" with a very unenthusiastic "Easter." It also placed the Easter Bunny into the scene and omitted the googly eyes.
For 2013, he did the same but with a distorted electronic version of the same recorded voice.
Christmas Specials have snow in the title card and a Christmasy tune playing followed by Ashen spouting: "Hello-ho-ho!"
The move of Blind Bag items from the extras channel to the main channel has been accompanied by a new title card replacing the eyes with a paper bag pulled over the logo's head, along with a slightly annoyed-sounding "I can see perfectly!"
Eye Scream: When reviewing a knock-off Darth Vader action figure with a light-up lightsaber, Ashen accidentally shines the light in his eye when pressing the button before putting in the lightsaber. He does not take it well.
In a VLOG made by several members of Channel Awesome for Magfest, purely by coincidence they ended up filming themselves in the back of a car while finding bits of plastic tat, holding them in front of the camera and talking about them: they ended up dubbing it "The Ashens Car".
It's unknown if it's done intentionally but much of the review format and snark of Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation review series seems quite similar to Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of
Foreign Queasine: The feature of the "Chinese Delicacy Special". Particularly the Century Egg.
Fun with Acronyms: The company behind some of the Royal Wedding Tat had the unfortunate acronym PMS.
Another one is a company called Tronic Ace Technology Ltd. (TAT)
Fun with Subtitles: The videos with subtitles sometimes describe his actions pejoratively. MOON MEN
Gilligan Cut: After he had opened a package of promotional X-Factor instruments (a whistle, a recorder, and a tambourine), he examines the quality of the instruments, then says "I can't see myself making a musical triptych with these". Cut to exactly that.
A Good Name for a Rock Band: In his "Video Game Tat" video, He holds up a video game case that would reveal an activation code if he hadn't put a fake Lens Flare on top of it, and annotates on video: "'Obscured by Fake Lens Flare' would be a good name for a prog rock band."
Harmless Villain: The Silver Skull, as Stuart points out in his TV Tropes checklist. Hideously averted for Noseybonk, however.
He seems to have a blowtorch now, as he's "killed" a bad-looking Draco Malfoy figure, an easter chick decoration, a My Little Pony fake, and a Toy Story Woody Gachapon toy with it, along with anything else from a blind bag that doesn't make it onto the Shelf of Interesting Items or into the Drawer of Purgatory.
Killed Mid-Sentence: Sort of. In the Nanodots Review video, at the end after the credits screen, he's messing about with them and using a closeup. "Man, I really hope the magnetic fields from this aren't damaging my camco-*VIDEO ENDS*"
Medium Awareness: He notes that the Silver Skull is unlikely to make good on his threat to return because "I get bored of recurring characters very quickly".
Most Annoying Sound: He's declared invoked this on a number of things. The MIDI files on Guitar Fever. The Game Over noise of Outrun knockoff, which was originally a classic in the original. Also, U2.
A number of Popstations start up with an awful MIDI version of the Ode to Joy, which he has dubbed the "Ode to Pain."
The R-Zone, despite actually being made by a (somewhat) reputable company in Tiger Electronics, was discovered to have music far more unbearable than any of the Popstations he reviewed. The two Star Wars games he tried out were just barely tolerable, but music in the system's version of Virtua Fighter was likened to "a giant spider running across a keyboard."
The pointless nature noises the iPhone 5G's screensaver constantly made.
Stuart: Have you got a frog in your pocket, or have you bought one of those stupid phones? (later on) WILL YOU SHUTUP?!
No rabbits were harmed in the making of this tutorial, although I did kick the shit out of a giraffe. The long necked, snooty bastard.
Noodle Incident: "I haven't been this bored since I was trapped in a room with a potato."
"I met a man with a metal ball once..."
"Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the Human Killing Machine review, when it's revealed that once you defeat Igor, you must fight his dog, who is named Shepski.
Does this twice in his Star Wars figure review: once when he mentions that two of Chewbacca's family members are Itchy and Lumpy; and again when he brings up Chewbacca taking up a disguise as a bounty hunter in the Shadows of the Empire saga.
(after hearing the intro to the Super Mario Bros. theme in Football Ground/Gbound of Legend) "Wow, they're even ripping off the music these days."
Power Perversion Potential: In the Ashen's Tech Dump episode "God's Source Code", Ashen interviews a man who found the password to access the universe's source code, essentially allowing him to alter reality with his laptop computer. He uses this power to give Ashen breasts and create a booty party. He ends up crashing the universe and rebooting it, but types "Rebooty" instead of "Reboot", so now the entire universe is one big booty party.
Precision F-Strike: His review of games based on The A-Team had him swear a few times. He expressed surprise at viewers' shock at his language, not realizing that this was the first time he did so. He uses profanity slightly more liberally now, but keeps it to a minimum.
Pyromaniac: Ashen has definitely become one since getting hold of a blowtorch.
Rant Inducing Slight: He reacts to most of the Newton's handwriting recognition screw-ups with a mixture of amusement and occasional mild irritation, but he gets really annoyed when he writes in his home town of Norwich, and the Newton somehow interprets it as "Worcester."
Rewriting Reality: Dr. Ashen meets the man who cracked the Source Code of the Universe in Episode 1 of Tech Dump. Depressingly though, the man was obsessed with spontaneously creating Booty Parties out of thin air.
Running Gag: "Realistic color and sound effect. Just the one. Running Joke." He claimed that he was going to stop using it in Pop Station Watch 5, but it unexpectedly came back in his PCP Station review
You could say that was an outright lie to begin with, because it gets used again in POP Station Watch 9.
He also refers to the "Children Under 3 Should not play with this" logo as the "Sad Onion".
He always mentions how the Street Fighter games that come with all of the POP Station variants consist of men ripping their own arms off and throwing them at each other.
A less frequent one: smiling and clicking his teeth together whenever his reflection shows on the screen of the tat he's reviewing.
In his "Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of" segment, describing the modern fate of the companies that made the games as "A FITTING PUNISHMENT!"
Potatoes seem to come up an awful lot.
Whenever the Engrish warnings on a cheap piece of tat says that "children must be supervised by adult." Ashen will often ask who this Adult person is and where does he come from.
When reviewing things in a range of colours, he will often describe them in terms of flavours rather than the colours (such as describing a set of knockoff Power Rangers figures as 'strawberry, apple, lemon, liquourice and blueberry').
"I am going to spend the rest of my life picking this stuff up off the sofa." Or some other similar phrase whenever he ends up with a bunch of shredded up paper/plastic/other substance on the sofa.
He deliberately mispronounces samurai as "sam-your-i."
If a device plays video, he often uses a footage of him throwing a ninja star and looking at his guilty-faced dog. It became one of the earliest uploads on his extra channel here.
Self-Deprecation: A very large part of his style. He describes himself as a "Professional idiot" in biography sections of his webpages and social network accounts like Twitter. When pressed for his occupation, he insists he is an internet comedian and never brings up his Ph.D.
At the end of his Xbox rip-off review:
"Terrifying thought: You have been watching an idiot talking about a broken toy for over ten minutes."
While demonstrating the Seskimo Crabble, his iPhone is playing another video of his which he describes as "some rubbish video made by an idiot."
This exchange with the Silver Skull after the Halloween 2012 special:
The Silver Skull: Can the Silver Skull be in more videos?
The Silver Skull: Why not?
Ashen: Because you're not funny and nobody likes you.
Spit Take: In his Easter 2012 special, he eats a "Rieslen Cream Egg" so vile, he immediately spits it right back out again. He later apologizes for how unprofessional this was, but apparently that egg was really vile.
Stranger Than Fiction: Regardless of what fictional quirks and oddities he has alluded to for his on-screen persona over the years, they all pale into comparison beside the fact that the real life Ashen apparently keeps Double Dragon arcade boards in his oven.
Take a Third Option: His Extra Ashens Blind Bags series consists of reviewing various blind bags or pods (containers that contain a random toy figurine in a series) before deciding whether to put them on 'The Shelf of Interesting Items' or burn them with his blowtorch. He later added extra options such as the Drawer of Purgatory, the Box of Shame, and the Skull of Mystery.
In an early review comparing the Creative Vado and Flip Video Ultra camcorders he tells the audience which one he would recommend, he tells the viewers to not buy either of them and just keep their money.
Ashen lets you know exactly how he feels about actor Kevin James at the end of his Game.com review.
After several questions about the Heinz pasta ads Youtube put at the beginning of videos, Chef Excellence made him a plate. Ashen's wasn't exactly pleased with the dish.
From the tags on that same video: salt, salty, too salty, too much salt, blimey these are salty
He has taken many stabs at U2.
At the end of his Game King review, he calls the British royal family an "ugly and outdated embarrassment with no real power behind it." (Comparing them to the Game King unit.) After he says this, a fake Xbox 360 achievement notification pops up reading: "Achievement unlocked: Treason".
Tastes Like Feet: He uses this trope a lot when he reviews food items. Examples include him describing cheap mallow candy with a rubbery taste as "like eating part of a motor", cheap wine from Tesco is "ink and vinegar", and he describes cream soda as "fizzy phlegm."
Vomit Discretion Shot: At least twice now - once when he found a maggot (actually fake and put there as a prank) in a pack of nasty-tasting chocolate he was sent, at which point he simply abruptly dropped the packet and ran off, and again when he ate a portion of a century egg. In both cases we were treated to a "TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PLEASE STAND BY" holding slide featuring a vomiting cartoon Ashens.