Creator / The Cynical Brit
The Cynical Brit
"Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is TotalBiscuit, and I'm here to ask and answer one simple question. WTF is..."
; TotalHalibut; Dark Halibut
; El Poncho Grande
; Theultimatelettuce; John Bain
John Bain, better known by his screen name TotalBiscuit, is a British-born creator of YouTube
videos and commentary showcasing his first impressions of whatever game has only just been released. He does fast-paced Starcraft II
Multiplayer commentary, first-impression videos of indie games on Steam
and other digital-distribution platforms through a series known as WTF is...
, and collaborations with other channels, such as co-op playthroughs of Magicka
and Trine 2
with Lewis Brindley
and Simon Lane
of the Yogscast
and a Terraria
series with Jesse Cox
. As for his Starcraft II
involvement, he became a sponsor for Team Dignitas' BlinG, and founded Team Axiom, which had 5 players before his real-life illness forced him to shut it down.
During his time with Wow Radio, TotalBiscuit hosted a few shows - Dungeon Master (a short-lived non-intensive raid guide), Titan, TB's Show About Videogames and EPIC! - but, in the world of podcasts, he is best known for both his "shock-jock"-inspired persona and Blue Plz
, a World of Warcraft
weekly podcast, Cataclysm
expansion beta (and afterward, published content) playthroughs with commentary, and daily updates of "WoW news and content" through his Azeroth Daily
videos. He discontinued his regular World of Warcraft
videos as of May 2011 and, although he continued it for a few weeks afterwards, has confirmed that Blue Plz
is "done for good" as well. He has also done 27 videos of an ambitious Let's Play
for Shining Force III
(which he has unfortunately been forced to take down due to copyright claims by Sega Japan), and had been embarking on a playthrough of DC Universe Online
after a handful of beta content videos were well-received on his channel.
You can find his YouTube
channel here, TotalHalibut
. In August of 2011, he created another YouTube
, which he will use to host exclusively Starcraft II
content. He is yet another member of Polaris
, and ever since it was called TheGameStation helps run a weekly podcast, now called The Co-Optional Podcast
.Not to be confused with Mean Brit note
. Or a certain OTHER cynical Brit
Tropes that apply to TotalBiscuit:
- Aborted Video:
- He said he'd give a WTF is... of Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition in his Dannish Inquisition episode. He hasn't.
- He's mentioned that he creates a LOT of videos, has a lot of ideas for video series, but has to cut a lot of them because they don't meet his strict standards, he doesn't have the time for it, or other reasons (such as his boycott of SEGA related content).
- Accidental Innuendo: He does this from time to time, at which point either he or someone he is playing/casting with will inevitably tell people not to look into it.
Crossing a Watermelon field while playing a female engineer in Guild Wars 2: "Look at that advanced melon technology. No, not THAT kind of melon technology."
TB during his WTF is of OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood: I was swearing like an aircraft carrier's worth of seamen. That... That didn't come out the way that I wanted it to.
- Actually Pretty Funny: During "WTF Is...Duty Calls," he's clearly pissed that it was made in place of a proper demo for the PC version of Bulletstorm, yet can't help but laugh at it from beginning to end.
- And Another Thing: "Oh yeah, and it crashes when you try to quit it!", at the end of one of his videos after the usual ending.
- And That's Terrible: During one of the Dead Rising 2: Broken Record videos
TB: (to Jesse) Stop doing that or you'll break the game. And that's bad.
- Angrish: Lapses into this when playing punishingly difficult games, and since he has played quite a few of those, he speaks it almost fluently.
- Apologetic Attacker: During his Blood Bowl game against Dodger.
- Author Appeal:
- Top hats and monocles appear to be high on his agenda. If there are in-game cosmetics for one's avatar, TB is certain to go and seek them out.
- While the monocle isn't (yet), TB does wear a top hat on "official" videos in which his face is shown. One example of this would be his coverage of the Games Com show.
- TB's a big Terry Pratchett fan, sometimes encouraging people to read the books. The origin of his name? From the book Carpe Jugulum, TotalBiscuit, a "horrible" name given to a child because of the child's culture. His first online handle also came from Terry Pratchett, Soulcake.
- Given quotings during his bout as Darkhalibut in DC Universe Online and also during his videos against Angry Joe in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, his love of Frank Klepacki's music and knowledge of events that occur within the series, it seems likely that TotalBiscuit is a fan of Command & Conquer.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name:
- Badass: See the entry for Gotham City Imposters in his CMOA page.
- Badass Baritone: Has a very deep and characterful voice.
- Badass Boast:
- Badass Beard: Has a very cool beard.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: His casting attire.
- Badass Moustache: Has a very cool moustache.
- Bald of Awesome: Well, nearly. The reason for his extensive hat collection is because of his very stressful casting life along with complications in his personal life (See his Crowning Moment of Heartwarming page for details) and the fact that baldness runs in his family, his hair started thinning out. To hide this, if he can he will wear a hat. Although, without a hat on and his usual attire when casting (a suit and tie) as shown here, he has been commented on to look like a Mafia Boss.
- Berserk Button: He has a quite a few of these. Lord help you if you should press one...
- Don't mess with Husky Starcraft — the guy is responsible for getting TB his YouTube partnership, and the job to provide for his family, or, in TB's own words: "Husky is the reason my family still has a roof over their heads".
- Fan Dumb — both his own and that of others. It doesn't matter if you like his videos, you love kittens or you like Ponies — if you're being a dick about what you like, you will piss him off. Has a bit of a trigger finger on banning
- Also, don't touch his hat, as Jesse found out the hard way in Terraria.
- Don't. Diss. Charity! Be it the Humble Indie Bundle or Red Cross. You WILL get shouted at, banned from his channel, and possibly set on fire through the internet.
- League of Legends and its publisher Riot Games ever since his falling-out with both note . He talks about the game from time to time during his Content Patch news discussions, but asking him why he doesn't stream it anymore is a quick way to get his wrath.
- Newest one... Moogles, which make TotalBiscuit punch a kitten.
- His biggest one yet: Do not, under any circumstance, question TB's morals as a commentator and as a game consumer. Nearly an hour of the fourth GameStation podcast was devoted to a debate/shouting contest between Jesse and TB on this.
- Minecraft. He finds the game itself overrated, thinks the community is the worst on the internet, and has come to hate Mojang themselves, especially after Notch bad-mouthed the Yogscast on Twitter after the first Minecon.
- Censorship, the mess with Day One: Garry's Incident showcased perfectly how enraged TB is when someone abuses fair use or other copyright laws to censor opinion.
- Making crappy sequels to beloved franchises of his.
- Companies he finds terrible such as The Chinese Room.
- Hand-holding in video games, such as forced tutorials.
- Horrible game title screens, limited option menus, and generally bad interface designs or UI. TB tends to give these more attention that the average critic, as he spends the first part of each "WTF Is..." video breaking these aspects down.
- The claim that 30 FPS is ideal for video games because "it's more cinematic" tends to set him off, especially since he's shown that games can markedly improve at 60 FPS and many modern computers can handle it. In July 2015 he started a Steam curator list called "The Framerate Police," dedicated to pointing out games that are locked at 30 FPS, alongside any possible means of unlocking the frame rate.
- Pre-ordering and Early Access games on Steam and the people who support these practices with their money. One of his rants succinctly states why.
- One particular influx of Social Justice Warriors seemed to irk him quite a bit, as set from the opinion he set on the Giant Bomb controversy and when fellow content creator JonTron came under fire from them.
- Anything falling under TB's "anime bullshit" umbrella, particularly the stuff that his wife forces him to play with her. He explains that while he recognizes Japanese culture's eccentricities, the main reason for his distaste is the obnoxious fanbase and the tendency to be overly Japanese/cute/perverted/etc. for its own sake.
(in a super-cute voice): ANIME SENPAI!
Genna (still in cutesy voice): Awww...
- Transphobia and intolerance among his community, which is quite understandable. His response to the unpleasantness with reddit's response to LauraKBuzz's appearance on the Co-Optional Podcast makes this quite plain; if you're a bigot and express hatred in his community, he does NOT want you as a fan and he will do whatever he can to ensure that your hate speech is silenced.
- Big "NO!": See Big "WHAT!?" below.
- Big "WHAT?!": During his livestream of XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Classic difficulty with Iron Man mode on he misses the alien with an 83% chance to hit. This is his reaction immediately followed by a Big "NO!". Jump to 15:13 if you'd like to see.
- Blasphemous Boast: In TGS Podcast #39.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Male Version. The 6th Podcast has Jesse, TB and Simon Lane respectively, Badass Beards and all.
- He might not be fond of cursing in front of his audience in regular videos, and if he will do so, expect a warning from him in advance.
- Averted for WTF Is... Long Live The Queen ? episode, though. The preparation stream with his wife Genna had TB calling the game on having tons of "anime bullshit", and for the actual episode, TB said "anime nonsense" right once.
- Humorously used during the WTF Is... Hatoful Pigeon?, another collab between him and Genna. He initially names the protagonist "FUCKOFF PLEASE" in a fit of annoyance, but after making an Accidental Pun a few minutes in, he restarts and names the new PC "FLOCKOFF FTHERFCE" as a funnier and more family-friendly alternative.
- Brits with Battleships: He's rather fond of his warships (and starships) to the point of being a borderline Author Appeal.
- Brutal Honesty: Comes hand in hand with the Caustic Critic trope, don't expect him to soften the blow when picking faults.
TB (Speaking about Q.U.B.E. - a puzzle game):
"A well designed game with a lot of thought behind it... but has honestly the character of your average plank of wood."
- Buffy Speak: Phsysicsy Style (From his WTF Is of Intrusion 2) "Is that even a word? It is now."
- Bullying a Dragon:
- When the makers of an indie game TB snubs tries to claim copyright to censor his extremely unflattering opinion, they wind up looking like idiots and generating even more negative press by showing how poorly they take criticism. The mess with Day One and Guise Of The Wolf had left both companies humiliated and their reputations utterly tarnished. And that's not even half of it when you take into account his fanbase's (sometimes overkill) reactions to said threats.
- The makers of Guise Of The Wolf actually threatened to sue, TB's response roughly amounted to "bring it on". They backed down within the day since no sane prosecutor would take a case that censored free speech (a constitutional right) and the fact that TB has access to Polaris' lawyers.
- Even funnier is that although he didn't pursue it as his career, he actually graduated college with a Law degree.
- The Cameo:
- As pointed out by TB and Jesse in their Q & A video together on OMFGcata, Simon Lane (a Gnome) and Lewis Brindley (then named Zephir, a Night Elf) are literally right there when TB is accepting and recording the "Peacebloom vs Ghouls" quest, back in the days when the Yogscast's flagship channel, TotalBiscuit, and OMFGcata had a friendly rivalry uploading World of Warcraft content as quickly as they could.
- Simon decides to finally add TotalBiscuit to his Steam friends list during one of his Terraria livestreams.
- Another one where he cameos during the Yogscast's Earth Defense Force Livestream (audio only as the video is game footage). Notable of reducing Sips to a blithering fanboy.
Sips: Say my name. Oh please say my name!
* TB chats for a while then leaves*
Sips: He probably thinks I'm a weird fanboy now...
- And now Lewis is a cute necromancer girl followed by 4 meatpatchworked monsters while TB is a furry with a charrzooka and stabby stabby daggers in the GW2 beta.
TB: Greetings Lewis, how are you today?
- In Tom Syndicate's 6th August Minecraft Project livestream, TB called him up on Skype after 15 minutes to help him with streaming lag issues.
- Catch Phrase: Numerous. Some of the most frequent ones seem to be more along the lines of a Verbal Tic, in fact.
"Fire ze missiles!"
"I'm working on it."
"Covered in X
"Yes, it is delicious!"
"My name is TotalBiscuit and I'm here to ask and answer one simple question... WTF is [insert game title here
"By any stretch of the imagination"
! My favorite kind of X
"Big fan of that."
is/are the worst thing/things in the world..."
"Not the worst thing to ever happen/in the world..."
"Death to you!"
"Onwards, for great justice!"
"Let us rock and/or roll... whichever comes first."
"Lets kick it off, shall we?"
"Funny how that works."
"I can tell you that for a fact."
"...in any way, shape or form."
"Honestly" or "If I'm being totally honest."
"For the good of the land!"
"Beta is Beta." or "Alpha is Alpha"
"At the end of the day..."
"...as much as Humanly (sometimes Zergly
"...see what he can see..."
"...streaming across the map"
"Bit of a bugbear;..."
"Welcome to the Game Station Podcast where we occasionally talk about Videogames."
"...as a direct result..."
"I have more... than god!
"This/that is not ideal." or "Not the most ideal X..."
"This/that is not brilliant."
- Catch Phrase Interruptus:
- A game called No Time to Explain also does this to him a few times;
: "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Totalbiscuit and I'm here to as— PC
: *Crashes into the room*
"I am you from the future, there's no time to explain! Follow me to — OH CHRIST!! WAAAAH!!" *giant claw grabs PC* TB
: "What the Chr—? *Beat
* My name is Totalb—" PC, still in Claw
: "Use the arrow keys to move!! UAAHGH!!" TB
and I'm here... to ask and answer one simple question..."
- He also namechecks the trope during WTF is... Dustforce.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: During the Star Wars Kinect Dance Off and the 14th podcast, TB visibly drinks the least amount of Champagne among the three of them, but looks even more drunk than Jesse (downed his whole bottle note , yet only acts slightly more silly than usual) and Dodger (almost finished her bottle and does not look drunk at all).
- Caustic Critic: At times, but less often than the name "Cynical Brit" would suggest. He's actually quite fair, and often finds something to appreciate even in a game he doesn't like.
- Cerebus Syndrome: A number of relatively recent commentators on his Super Meat Boy Wipe-A-Thon 3000 video note that he seems a lot happier in that relatively-early video.
- Cluster F-Bomb: At times when he's streaming, especially during particularly awful/frustrating games (in example: Let's Not Play: Guise of the Wolf). Normally averted in "regular" Youtube videos (including WTF Is...) as TB tries to maintain a certain level of professionalism there.
- Comically Missing the Point: Upon going to Paris and witnessing the Eiffel Tower lit up, his reply is this:
TB: That is NOT energy efficient.
- Cool, but Inefficient: TB's most well known Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft series of videos is Lord of the Legendaries, where he plays a deck composed entirely of impressive-seeming legendary cards, most of which are Awesome, but Impractical. Despite being a non-viable joke deck and getting stomped quite a bit, he hasn't given up on trying to make the deck work somehow.
- Corpsing: Almost never in proper videos, but on the Co-optional Podcast he has his moments of laughing so hard that he can't find his composure or continue talking. Naturally, it's Jesse's goal to get TB to corpse as often as possible, to which the others will joke about TB temporarily being out of order or broken since he's in hysterics.
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*: During his WTF Is... of Game of Thrones - A Telltale Game Series, he has this to say about the voice acting:
- Critical Dissonance: Invoked for discussion as part of this video released in the wake of the Critical Dissonance surrounding Mad Max.
- Crossover: With other members of Polaris such as Dodger and Jesse, as well as various members of the Yogscast, such as Simon, Lewis and Strippin.
- Cuteness Proximity:
- The Cynic: It's in the name.
- Deadpan Snarker: He does this quite often.
- Determinator: He can be quite persistent in his efforts to complete a task set before him, be it by a game or by a person. When it came to I Wanna Be the Guy, though...
I'm not leaving until this is done! I don't care if this is a three-hour freaking video! It's gonna happen!
- Doing It for the Art: He mentions in his WTF Is.. episode on the Blizzard Arcade that managing his competitive Starcraft team Axiom is a passion project.
- Double Take: During his WTF is Darkspore.
"Hold stuff down and you get this combo, called the 'voltic slash' it's got a cooldown right there, two meter range... Two meter range? That's fairly impressive, quite the reach on that guy!"
- Epic Fail:
- Everything Trying to Kill You:
- During his multiplayer WTF of Section 8: Prejudice, he gets killed by an elevator slamming him into the edge of the door.
"Did I just get killed by an elevator? *Beat
* I just git auhg-uhhug... Everything in this game is out to kill me! And is doing an exceptionally good job of it.
- Evil Brit: He likes to fashion himself as a heartless sociopath sometimes, though at the end of the day he's just a Cynical Brit.
- Evil Is Hammy: During his Dungeonland videos.
- Evil Laugh:
- Expansion Pack Past: To date, he has been recorded saying that he has been a drummer, singer, game store clerk, economic consultant, radio caster, and game commentator.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He occasionally releases videos titled "I will now talk about [subject] for just under/over n minutes", in which he talks about [subject] for just under/over n minutes.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: In his Dungeonland videos, TB acts a Killer Game Master to the 3 adventurers: Jesse playing as a warrior, his wife Genna Bain as a mage, and Dodger as a rogue.
- First Name Basis: He's one of the few people to refer to Strippin as "Sam" on a constant basis, typically rferring to him as "Strippin" only when introducing him to an audience.
- Flat "What.":
- Friendly Fire: Warning! There is an Imperial issue frag grenade heading in your general direction. I anticipate six seconds before total evisceration.
- Fun with Acronyms: During his Magicka Let's Plays with Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane, they began to repeatedly use (and fail with) a spell combo they call "ARSE Mines" due to the keys needed to execute it.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: The developer of Day One: Garry's Incident issued a copyright takedown notice under the justification that, "Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license" (sic). TB was NOT happy.
- Gag Dub: The Cynical Redub series of videos, which riff video game conferences. The description even says it was inspired by other Abridged Series, though it currently doesn't fit the description of the trope.
- General Ripper: During the WTF Is... Long Live The Queen episode, TB proceeded to turn Princess Elodie into a military-oriented baroness with total focus on the army and navy the moment Genna is watching. This fails to protect her when she unwittingly eats poison chocolates, to TB's incredulity.
- Godwin's Law: Played straight and lampshaded in his Mailbox for February 15, 2012:
You want hate? You see what the Nazis did, that's hate! Yes I brought the Nazis in.
—TotalBiscuit, disagreeing with the term "hater" to describe someone who strongly dislikes a game.
- Gone Horribly Right: His WTF is of I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden. He made it intending it to be a parody of "rageplayers" on Youtube who overreact to everything, getting outraged over the smallest things and throwing in plenty of Out Of Character Moments in order to emphasise this. Unfortunately, he managed to do a rage video a bit too well and created a genuinely funny video. Naturally, most people didn't get the joke.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: A portion of his humor, especially in the Terraria LP.
- Hidden Depths: One might be surprised to find out that he's actually a pretty good singer (he even had a brief stint of trying to be one) and that he's quite well-versed in law. The latter is because of his law background- while he didn't take the bar exam, he still got his degree.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The trope name was actually name dropped in his March 21, 2012 Mailbox.
- Hypocritical Humor: Emphasis on humor. He has a personal disdain of Let's Plays because he finds them devoid of creativity, but his Let's Plays with Lewis Brindley, Simon Lane and Jesse Cox are some of his most popular and hilarious videos.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every single part of the Terraria LP with Jesse Cox has the subtitle "Jesse is bad at X".
- Insistent Terminology:
- He doesn't do reviews -- he does FIRST IMPRESSIONS.
- The Terraria LP with Jesse is not a Let's Play, it's a talk show. There's even a video to prove this.
- More of a pronunciation insistence but he has stated on numerous occasions that the British way of saying 'issues' (ISS-yews) is much better than the American way (ISH-ews)
- It's Easy, so It Sucks: Inverted, TB generally dislikes the "hardcore" gaming crowd who disparage games for appealing to casuals, as it drives away potential players (and customers). While he acknowledged that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm both dumb things down for newcomers, this is not necessarily a bad thing for the consumers that are willing to sacrifice tactical depth for ease of entry.
- It's Pronounced Dih-Nah-Stee Warriors, Shin Meh-Goo-Me Ten-See, Project Ex Zone, Etc.: though the last one is mostly to troll people who take proper pronunciation too seriously
- It Was with You All Along: In Episode 39 of their Terraria series, TB and Jesse decide to make some Spelunker potions to help with finding the new ores to make better equipment. They head out to find Moonglow, which is one of the ingredients, and continue to search for it throughout episodes 40-42. They return with only 2 Moonglow and one Moonglow seed, and when Jesse opens one of the chests to find clay to make a pot...
Jesse: Uh, we have a chest full of- ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There's a chest filled with 5 Moonglow!
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: How an innocent fishing boat turns into a boat full of Satan's diseased orphan spawn.
- Jump Scare: Encounters one with impeccable timing in "An Early Look At Outlast".
If you blow your load too quickly with jump scares-(Opens the door, cue Scare Chord
) AAHH, JESUS CHRIST!
- Just One More Level: TB suffered from this so hard that he accidentally completed X Com 2 before the game was officially released.
- Knight in Sour Armor: TB can be extremely bitter and realistic about the motives of publishers, developers, even gamers, and always points out the flaws in the industry....but it is very clear that he utterly loves his job, and believes Gaming will continue to be a hugely beneficial medium.
- Large Ham: He tends to seemingly overreact to certain things.
- Leitmotif: The Ballad of TotalBiscuit, also available in shortened version, played during the ending of most of his videos. He originally used He's a Pirate, until he was asked not to for copyright issues. The artist then made the ballad using a similar melody.
- Fan Nickname: There is an ongoing petition to rename the song Monocle (and/or) Top Hat of Destiny.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: Has a training sword in real life dedicated to this, according to the 45th TGS podcast.
- Literalist Snarking: Along with Deadpan Snarker, usually towards some stupid question already answered by him.
Guy on twitter, having missed TB's announcements about the assembly in Finland: What's in Finland?
- Madness Mantra: During his WTF is of Lone Survivor.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: He stylizes himself as a cynic who hates his fans, but he mentioned once that he's relatively chill & affable when interacting with fans in real life. Even then, most of his cynical behaviour is because he wants fans to get the most out of games.
- Memetic Badass: Invoked. Jesse is incredibly flattering towards TB during their Terraria Let's Play, among other situations.
Jesse: Is this where you tell me, "I ate steak off the back of a naked Asian woman [for breakfast], then I went and killed a rhinoceros with my bare hands, upon which I took his horn and made a flute- even though it seems impossible. And I did that all before 6 A.M."
TB: Ah, so you do follow my Twitter.
- Mind Screw: He starts thinking this near the end of Thirty Flights of Loving. Although he feels there's some sort of significance to everything, he feels as if he's too stupid to get it.
- Missing Episode: The three lost Terraria videos. All of them had the videos lost (the second and third by accidental deletion on TB's part) but the audio saved, and TB has released the second and third lost episodes (meant to be before episode 32) as an audio podcast. The first one, meant to be before episode 13, has not been released, though; TB has said in an AMA on Reddit that the file for Episode 13 was "completely fucked" and therefore was never released.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Behold, Cranky Cat! Too good for Greenlight!
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: During WTF is... Poker Night at the Inventory, he describes the players as "Four internet celebrities... and me."
- Oh Crap! There Are Fanfics of Us...: When Jesse finds out about the existence of Jesse/TB slash fics, all TB has to say on the matter is a Flat "What." and a declaration that he's lost the will to live (even moreso than usual around Jesse). Jesse on the other hand encourages fans to produce more and to add some tentacles and Warcraft chicks next time.
- Nausea Fuel: Invoked. He gets motion sickness from playing Datajammers: Fast Forward.
- See also "WTF Is...The Binding of Isaac". He says several times that the game, while fun and very well-made, is absolutely disturbing and disgusting.
- Needs More Love: Invoked. He thought Section 8: Prejudice was becoming so massively underrated that he decided to feature it a second time, to the point where he created an entire series based on the concept, called "This is why we can't have nice things."
- Nice Hat:
- Why yes he does own a top hat in Real Life, and if there is a top hat to be obtained in a game he'll make it one of his top priorities to get it.
- He owns a variety of other hats. A running gag on TGS Podcast is that every episode he wears a different hat, either sent in by a fan or self-purchased.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: TB's immediate reaction to the title screen of Revelations: 2012. The entire video has his continual reaction before he just gives up after playing through one level.
- One of Us:
- Only in It for the Money: Averted, he thoroughly enjoys doing his work (The Fan Dumb that comes with it, not so much), and is not above doing charity work and donating to charity. Of course he has to earn a living from his work, but money is not the primary motivator.
TB (speaking of money he earned): "As regards to the money I don't really care, so I went and bought a goat
- Only Sane Man: On the TGS/Polaris podcasts, he is in charge of keeping things on-topic and somewhat resembling a constructive discussion. Bless his heart, he tries...
- Overly Narrow Superlative: One of his catch phrases is to call a game "The Premier [*insert short, few word description pertaining to one aspect of the game*] Simulator."
- Has done numerous "classic" radio shows and podcasts; the most notable one, also discontinued shortly after quitting World of Warcraft, was "Blue Plz".
- One of the regular hosts of "The Co-Optional Podcast" (formerly "The Game Station Podcast") alongside Jesse Cox and Dodger.
- Poe's Law:
- He starts off his Star Wars Pinball video by stating that said video isn't meant to be a joke, and that the positive words he says about it are legit.
- His Let's Play of I Wanna Be The Guy: Gaidan is a not-too-subtle mockery of "rage gamers" who overreact to everything with abundant yelling and cursing. Despite acting quite unlike himself for a lot of the video, some people still missed the parody and thought he was dead-serious.
- Polygon Ceiling: Part of his Trine 3 WTF Is... involves him discussing this (in fact, it's one of his primary complaints when it comes to Trine 3).
- Precision F-Strike:
- At the end of his video WTF is GLaDoS doing in The Ball?, after having struggled with a simple ball-based physics puzzle and (finally) passing it:
- In fact, pretty much any use of profanity on TB's part (outside videos containing "spur-of-the-moment" reactions such as his Hallowe'en special on Amnesia: The Dark Descent or daily VoDs of his raw I Suck At Starcraft stream) - due to its irregularity, even despite his tendency to rant/be cynical - could be considered one of these.
- Subverted in his Super Meat Boy video:
: You have any
idea how difficult it is (*Meat Boy runs into buzzsaw*
) to resist the urge to say FFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!
- He outright stated during a League of Legends livestream that it wouldn't be going up on his YouTube channel because he was swearing so much. It would go against his personal expectations when it comes to the quality of his videos.
- His first death in I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden produces one of these, and a subsequent death provokes a, "SON OF A BITCH!".
- Pungeon Master: Quite literally in the Dungeonland videos.
- Rage Quit: Normally the "WTF Is..." series ends when TB reaches the end of the game demo or runs out of time (if he/the sudience wants more, he'll usually remind that it's just first impressions). Sometimes, though, games are just so terrible or unplayable that he's clearly at the end of his patience and stops playing in disgust.
- Reality Subtext: TotalBiscuit admitted that his overall behavior in WTF is...Papers, Please was affected by his own experiences with immigration.
- Real Men Wear Pink:
- He mentions tea parties in his WTF is... of The Binding of Isaac (though it was most likely a joke based on the situation).
- He also mentioned Robot Unicorn Attack in his WTF is... of Who's That Flying.
- He also has a tendency to make some of his character avatars (special mention to his Krogan from the Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer) wear mostly or completely pink. If not pink, some other ridiculous color.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Normally TB could easily be the Red Oni to a duo because of his Large Ham moments... but compared to Jesse Cox, he's a true blue Deadpan Snarker that's frequently exasperated with his partner's antics.
- Rousing Speech: He's a surprisingly good speaker.
- Rule of Fun: Pretty much the point of TB's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft "Lord of the Legendaries" and "Lord of the Gimmicks" series of videos. Despite having a thorough understanding of the metagame, he dislikes playing viable competitive decks and would much rather play more interesting gimmick-y decks that are objectively worse.
- Running Gag: Numerous.
- TotalBiscuit's and Jesse's ineptitude with explosives in their Terraria Let's Play.
- Earlier, he Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley had issues with explosives (a spell combination Simon discovered, which they began calling "ARSE Mines" after the keys needed to cast it) in their and TB's Magicka series.
- There's also the completely unrelated matter of TB describing games he plays as simulators:
- A Meta-example: Whenever a YouTube Video receives recognition from TB (via a Like or share on his channel), expect one of the top liked comments to be some variation of "The Cynical Fleet has Arrived" because of the legion of TB fans watching the video.
- This originated from TB's tendency of 1-base Battlecruiser-rushing on Starcraft II before he switched to Zerg: It got popular enough for the subscriber icons in chat to be Battlecruisers, the subscribers to be named the Cynical Fleet, and the cruisers themselves to be renamed "Biscuitcruisers".
- A variation of this is "A TotalBiscuit army is approaching from the west!", derived from the Terraria in-game message 'A goblin army is approaching from the west/east!'
- TotalBiscuit pronouncing M. Night Shyamalan as Shyamalalalal.
- Sarcasm Mode: Absolutely overloaded during his video "Behold Cranky Cat, too good for Greenlight"... With a rather strange twist that turns it into... Something else altogether... It's easier to just watch the video and watch the magic unfold before your eyes, than trying to explain it.
- Schedule Slip:
- In regards to his Magicka co-op with Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane; the three had increasingly busy schedules starting after Part 8, and Part 14, a 40+ minute episode, had audio issues that TotalBiscuit still hadn't edited out yet when it was released two months after recording.
- This happened with his Terraria series, although that's due to a combination of a very busy schedule and complete apathy to continue the series.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: TB has a strong set of principles and ethics that he applies to his work and expects from other content producers, reviewers, and game developers/publishers. As a result of this, he has turned down a number of "incentives" or outright bribes to influence his opinion in his videos, as he discusses in several videos. While not a Berserk Button, he has expressed strong disdain whenever he hears news of dishonest business practices going on in the industry, as he himself adamantly refuses to take part in paid positive promotions of video games.
- If his video on his role in Awesomenauts is any indication, he doesn't seem to have all that much confidence in the lines he recorded for the game, or whether or not he thought he was the best choice for the character.
- The Top 5 Worst videos I made in 2012.
TB: I present to you the top 5 worst pieces of shit that I put on my channel in 2012, because good lord, there have been a lot of bad videos.
- In the Game Station podcast, while talking with Jirard the Completionist, he did some good-natured ribbing on his own tendency to look at options menus first during WTF Is? (and FOV sliders in particular) by coming up with a hypothetical Let's Play channel called "TB Doesn't Complete It" ("the worst LP channel on the entire Internet"). It consists entirely of him looking at the options menu, fiddling with the FOV slider (or complaining if it isn't there) and then ending the video.
- Shout-Out: During his Hearthsone: Lord of the Arena videos, he explicitly calls for the Heart of the Cards to come help him when he's in a hairy situation.
- Spoonerism: Mentioned by name in his WTF is... video for Dustforce.
- Oh, so very much during his video WTF is Warhammer 40k: Space Marine?. He even admitted that the only two things in the world he admits to being a fanboy of are Warhammer 40k and Deus Ex.
- During his WTF Is... Magicka video, half of the video is explaining why the game is so good, and the other half is Totalbiscuit enacting the lighter counterpart of angrish.
- This trope is also in full effect during One Finger Death Punch. When TB is enjoying a game, it's very noticeable.
- Straight Man: To Jesse Cox's Wise Guy, when paired up in projects such as DC Universe Online and Terraria.
- Hell, he's pretty much the Straight Man to the entire Game Station. Which says a lot about the Game Station. Regarding his "GOLD RUSH!" rant on the co-optional podcast #24, this his remark in the Youtube comments:
TB: Behold, the one time I'm actually funny on the podcast.
- He lampshaded it himself in the Terraria series.
TB: "You're the funny guy, I'm the straight guy, start singing, dammit!"
Jesse: "I dunno if I'd call you the straight guy! HEY-O!"
TB: *Disgusted Sigh*
- The Snark Knight: He appears to have a worldly disdain for anything and anyone around him, including some of his closest e-friends...
- ...To the point where he clearly reacts positively when the trope itself is referenced in relation to him during the 14th TGS Podcast.
- Sophisticated as Hell:
- TB has a tendency to talk about some subject in a technical and professional manner (such as game UI design or current industry practices) while peppering his speech with "bloody" or "bollocks" or other unprofessional language.
- TotalBiscuit's response to Dodger challenging him to 'bring it' during TheGameStation's Blood Bowl league:
TB: "There is a statistical likelihood that I can 'bring it'. But there are certain inherent risks within the 'bringing it'. So I have to carefully consider the consequences of 'bringing it'. The conclusion so far is that it may be worthwhile to 'bring it.'"
- Stealth Parody: He has clarified that his I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden's video was a satire, and that it included lots of fake rage and Out of Character Moments in order to hint people about the true nature of the video. But much to his chagrin, no one understood the true joke, mostly because it was a genuinely funny video. The fact that he denied it halfway through with his, "No, this game is PAIN" quote didn't help.
- Streisand Effect: There have been a few times where a few individuals tried to organize a mass unsubbing of his channel. They backfired quite spectacularly and even resulted in an influx of subscribers and people donating to charity to mock the attempt. With quite a few news subs not even being aware of TB until people actively tried discrediting him.
- Stiff Upper Lip: Discussed several times as what TB considers to be an important part of being British. It really shows when he's around Americans.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Brings this up whenever referring to the overly-defensive fanboys of The War Z, particularly when said defensiveness is juxtaposed around the...questionable approach to the game's release and advertising. In general, he theorizes this is why people continue to defend questionable practices of companies they've given money to.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix:
- Superego: In a Freudian Trio with Lewis Brindley's ego and Simon Lane's id in the Magicka and Trine 2 videos.
- The Team Benefactor: He owns his own competitive Starcraft team.
- That One Level: Discussed in-universe with the entirety of "WTF Is Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters". The second level involves making risky low-level bombing runs in an extremely hilly area, without passing over a radar ceiling that ends the mission instantly. He spends the entire episode trying to get past this level.
- Tempting Fate: During his WTF is...? of South Park: The Stick of Truth near the tail end of the video he discussing the game difficulty and how it seemed rather easy on normal. Not only does he immediately get mauled after that just as he says it an annotation pops up on the video reading "YOU KNOW WHAT'S COMING. I SHOULD NOT HAVE SAID THAT."
- Totally Radical: Occasionally attempts this ironically, with predictable results.
TB: Yo yo! The west side! Lemme - lemme spit for ya... and such.
Jesse: That... that is... no. No. Never - on behalf of the world, no. Don't spit for us.
- Tranquil Fury: Used in his video about the school shootings in America in late 2012. He also gave the media a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for focusing on the shooter and not on the victims.
- Troll: Even TB is not above this sometimes.
- Towards Simon Lane in Magicka and to a lesser extent Trine 2.
- In his Sims 4 collab video with Genna, TB either has the world's worst taste in home creation and decorating, or he's just messing his (increasingly exasperated) wife.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Discussed in-universe when playing The Binding of Isaac and Dear Esther.
- Understatement: Frequently uses these as part of keeping a Stiff Upper Lip about things. It's especially apparent when he's with Jesse; a turn of events that makes Jesse panic or react loudly might only get a calm "That's quite unfortunate" from TB.
- Verbal Tic: Overlaps with Angrish. His version of distinct from others. It sounds like a weird combination of a squeak, squawk and screech.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Initially thinks the Mechanic in Terraria is male.
- Vitriolic Best Buds:
- Weaksauce Weakness: Or more to the point, Why did it have to be puzzle games (or any game that requires puzzle-solving skills)?? TB is Dyspraxic, which according to a comment, is a motor learning difficulty that can affect planning of movements and coordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body, which means it takes TB around twice as long to solve puzzles as someone who doesn't have this.
- Despite this, he seems to really like Super Meat Boy, which is hard enough already for a person without dyspraxia!
- We Sell Everything: Discussed and basically ranted about in Part 4 of his Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning livestream.
- We Named the Monkey Jack: When Wowcrendor's skink player "Lil Skittles" became very famous in the TGS Blood Bowl league, TB named his bull centaur "Big Skittles" upon buying him.
- Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things:
- ever post a Minecraft video due to the Fan Dumb: According to TB, once you go Minecraft, you never go back because of never ending fan demand. Funny enough, his wife, Intricacy, had her first Cynical Brit Community News video with Minecraft in the background, even lampshading how she's going against TB's "no Minecraft" rule. Will never
- Ditto for Heroes of Newerth. TB isn't going to cover it mostly because the community is so horrible, but especially because, when he'd done his first League of Legends video, he received a massive amount of hatemail from Heroes players insulting him and demanding him to cover their superior game instead. Yeah. Not too hard to believe.
- TB no longer reads the YouTube comments in his videos because of the sheer amount of stupidity that resides there. He used to read them, but blocked them on his personal computer after his doctor told him they had given him stress-related illness. Now, his volunteer mods and his wife read them for him and relay the best and most frequent comments. Whenever he does occasionally read and respond to comments, it is like seeing chum thrown into a shark pool.
- At this stage, the Skyrim community is nearing this point as well, as despite having stated on several occasions that he will not do Skyrim content (because he wouldn't be able to live up to the standard for content on his page (as well, he's outright stated that he just doesn't like Skyrim, so that's probably why), and also because everyone and their mother is doing it), he still gets tweets, Facebook messages and YouTube comments on whether or not he will do a WTF is... Skyrim.
- It's gotten to the point where he has made a video solely to explain why he doesn't take requests. He called out a commenter for accusing him of being a jerk just because he stated, in a neutral tone, "I don't do requests". His explanation basically boils down to the fact that taking requests results in going straight down a slippery slope, would make it harder for him to do his job, and would just be a massive disservice to his viewers. Sadly, it's inevitable that some people will not get the point.
- No longer does giveaways thanks to massive bile from a particularly vocal minority amongst the non-North Armerican viewerbase over a graphics card giveaway. Why were they angry? Because the giveaway was limited to North America due to contest laws varying wildly outside it and massive shipping costs across continents, which could very easily have gone up to $1000. Once again, a case of a few bad apples spoiling the rest of the basket.
- Some exceptions are made, usually where shipping is not an issue (i.e. giving away Steam keys for titles, such as Retro City Rampage.)
- And now he's disabled the voting feature on Youtube's comments on all his videos.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Has an irregular show called this, and in a sense it fits the description of the trope: The show focuses on good and memorable games that didn't sell all that well because of either bad rep by review sites or questionable decisions by the developer. Like his "WTF is", this sometimes leads to a massive sales increase for a short while after.
- Why Won't You Die?: Says this word for word after trying (and failing) several times to kill Lil' Skittles during the final match of the TGS Blood Bowl tournament.
- Word Salad Humour: TB refers to it as "purple monkey dishwasher" and doesn't much like it.
- Worst Aid: I'm sure you can perform surgery with an axe, right?
- You Keep Using That Word: Uses the term "8-bit" to describe any game with Retreaux graphics, despite the fact that most of them are actually representative of 16 and 32-bit systems.
- Younger Than They Look:
- If you estimate using his voice and the way he looks without his Nice Hat on here and here, it's easy to forget that he's actually younger than Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane of the Yogscast who were respectively born in 1983 and 1978.
- Going purely by their voices and demeanor, you could be forgiven for thinking that TB is in his late 30's or so that's constantly admonishing a Man Child in his 20's when he's with Jesse. TB is actually 3 years younger than him.
My name's been TotalBiscuit, and I'll see you next time...