[[caption-width-right:328:[=ZapDramatic=]'s logo]]
->''"Could there be a giant conspiracy theory that would force a guy to put a bomb on himself, jump out a window, land in a mattress truck, hitchhike with the very people that’s conspiring against him and then end up in a psychological assessment where it turns out he’s actually sane and may be under this drug Paxwic which is a drug made to produce the perfect soldier? I think not."''
-->-- '''LetsPlay/{{slowbeef}}''', summing up the plot of ''Ambition'' for ''WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}}''

[[http://www.zapdramatic.com ZapDramatic]] is a website run by Michael Gibson (who also goes by "crageous" as a username, in reference to his company's original name, Courageous Communications), a Canadian man who creates negotiation games for both entertainment purposes and diplomatic groups. Thus far, he has created games for episodic series such as ''[[http://www.zapdramatic.com/ambition.htm Ambition]]'', ''[[http://www.zapdramatic.com/mod1.htm Move or Die]]'', and ''[[http://www.zap.ca/pike/ Sir Basil Pike Public School]]''; several one-offs that led to the development of those series, some of which are available for free on [[http://www.newgrounds.com/collection/thenegotiator Newgrounds]]; and full university courses about [[http://www.sfhgroup.com/ca/training/online-training/online-negotiation-course.php negotiation]] and [[http://www.sfhgroup.com/ca/training/online-training/difficult-conversations.php having difficult conversations]].

In each game, you play a FeaturelessProtagonist tasked with helping the characters solve various problems using basic negotiation tactics. You are presented with multiple choices of what to instruct the characters to do or say, and different choices lead to different outcomes. [[ButThouMust There is usually only one correct path, however]].

''The Negotiator'' is the blanket title for shorter games about one-on-one interactions where the player is given some {{Backstory}} about their character, then must choose the correct [[DialogueTree lines of dialog]] to convince another character to give the player something they want or to avoid some punishment. ''Altered States'' is the same concept, only with the admission that the opponent characters are [[AxCrazy dangerously disturbed]] individuals who often make [[ChaoticStupid wildly irrational decisions]].

''The Mediator'' refers to games in which the player must help two other opposing parties find an acceptable compromise for their dispute. The first episode, "The Angry Neighbors", features a unique gameplay mechanic where the animated characters will continue arguing on their own until the player presses a Stop button to jump in with an attempt to steer the debate in a more positive direction.

In the ''Ambition'' series, you are tasked with helping a disturbed man named Ted Hartrup reunite with his kids, who are in the care of his estranged wife, Bridget. Along the way, you'll also meet Yale and Helen, a dysfunctional couple trying to weather their shaky marriage. Numerous scenarios will play out involving these characters in which you must decide what you or they must do to alleviate the situation, with subjects such as adultery, interrogation, and even some murder thrown into the mix.

''Move or Die'' plays like an interactive animated adventure movie. The User assumes the role of a hitchhiker who gets picked up by two ethically challenged siblings in their twenties, Syd and Wilma. When bad things start to happen, the action will stop and a menu screen will appear asking the User for input. The User negotiates with Syd and Wilma and tries to persuade them to make better choices. If the User advises poorly or fails to persuade Syd and Wilma to choose a better course of action, the movie will end in disaster and the action will stop. The only way for the User to see the whole movie is to learn from past mistakes and negotiate more effectively.

''Sir Basil Pike Public School'' explores the dynamics of bullying among boys and girls aged 10-14. The user can follow either the boys’ story or the girls’ story. Both stories intersect for the conclusion. In the boys’ story, the user is accused of stealing another boy’s bike. At issue is the truth and honor. The girls’ story revolves around a sleepover party where all but one is invited and the consequences of being nice or competitive are explored. It features characters who had previously appeared in Gibson's other works, as well as new ones. It also adds the new feature of "Persuasive Power," which is a good indicator of whether or not you are making the correct choices.

Keeping in mind that while Gibson mainly intended these games as viable negotiation training for real-life situations, they are somewhat notorious for their... odd depiction of their characters, as they frequently invoke numerous [[ViolationOfCommonSense violations of common sense]], {{skewed priorities}}, and other [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} unusual behavior]] that would all likely be counterproductive for these scenarios should they actually play out in real life. [[ContrivedCoincidence But even that itself is unlikely.]]

As such, ''Ambition'', ''Sir Basil Pike Public School'', ''Move or Die'', and several of the ''Negotiatior''/''Altered States'' games have been riffed on by WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}}.

Not to be confused with AmbitionIsEvil, though it does contain examples of that trope.
!![=ZapDramatic=]'s flash games provide examples of the following tropes:


[[folder: Tropes appearing in more than one of [=ZapDramatic's=] works]]
* BrokenAesop: Michael Gibson intended the situations in the episodes to reflect how they'd play out in real life. Therefore, the "solutions" to these problems brings up a lot of UnfortunateImplications.
** The games often fail in their goal to teach you anything about negotiation, in the fact that nobody really comes to an agreement on anything. You mostly just end up telling people what they want to hear, or offering decisions that really make no sense. Episode 9 of ''Ambition'' even allows you to sit back and let ''someone else'' do your work.
** ''Ambition'' seems to excuse Ted's atrocities just because he's the supposed victim of an immoral wife. Despite the fact he ''tried to blow up an office building and essentially commit a mass murder''. Made worse by the fact he's canonically considered sane.
*** They try to explain off the the above example by saying that Ted was under the effects of a drug that made him unstable, however Ted never expresses any real remorse for the action (infact he tries to justify it). Later with his 'sane' state of mind, he makes you help him while holding you at gunpoint saying he has nothing to lose.
*** Having a troublesome marriage? [[spoiler:Just give your wife expensive jewelry! She'll forget about all your problems because material wealth trumps working out your differences! To be fair, you will fail if you don't get them to agree on something and the game doesn't treat this as an outright happy ending since Helen admits to the player she's happier lying to herself that everything's OK, and its just delaying the inevitable.]]
** From ''Sir Basil Pike Public School'': Bullying is wrong...except for when you physically assault people whom you mistakenly believe stole from you, mock them for their handicaps when they try and defend themselves, and refuse to apologize when the truth is discovered and the situation resolved. In which case, you're just being assertive. (Of course, that only applies if you're a ''boy''. As a girl, the other girls are very quick to point out when you're being horrible.)
** In ''The Track Meet'', the player is always wrong to argue with adults, but if you don't correct the coach when he neglects to suspend you for your slipping grades, you get in trouble for trying to dupe him. Further, in the good ending, the coach skirts his own rules to cut you some slack while others get cut from the team. So, integrity means never questioning authority figures for any reason because they can never be wrong, ''unless'' you tell them to punish you, in which case they might be impressed enough to exempt you from the rules that are supposed to apply to everyone.
*** Added to this is the fact that your first two encounters in the game are with your history teacher and your coach, and you can be up front with them about your problems balancing your schoolwork and your track obligations, but neither one of them will actually acknowledge anything you're saying. The history teacher not-so-subtly accuses you of lying about the demanding practice schedule (even when the dialogue option notes that this is true) and the coach rejects your "apologies and excuses" because you were late (and you're late because your teacher stopped you in the hall to talk) without actually bothering to process what you've said. This is less a game about sports ethics, and more a game about how much it sucks to be a kid under pressure to be perfect when the adults in your life ignore you until you start having trouble living up to their demands, and their only solutions are lectures and punishments.
** The Track Meet gets a bonus in-universe. The coach suspends a few players on the team because their grades have slipped, and then follows it up by saying that this isn't meant to be a punishment, but an incentive for players to find a balance between athletics and academics. If you say so, coach, but if it were about ''balance'', there would be a minimum achievement on the track team to make you eligible to participate in classes. The students get suspended from the team because getting poor grades breaks the code of conduct, so yes, it ''is'' a punishment.
* ButThouMust: Even though the ''Ambition'' offers you choices, usually only one choice is ever the correct one. If more than one choice is considered correct, they still both lead to the same outcome, or an extremely similar outcome, with very minor differences.
** ''Sir Basil Pike'' has a rather poorly done example. The player ''does'' have the option to skip some things, but the game still automatically assumes that you didn't. So, you could wind up being very confused when things like Janina's AnimatedMusicVideo, and Julia running out of the classroom occur if you don't choose the right options. The game also sometimes assumes that you chose certain options, when you didn't, so you can (and probably will) run into situations when the characters accuse you of putting someone up to something or lying when you chose no such option.
** Also in Sir Basil Pike, in the boy's route, when you see Dave riding away on the bike, you have the option to stop and make sure it's not your bike. If you choose this, however, you're told that [[UnfortunateImplications most boys wouldn't do that]], so you're either exceptional or not a boy. You get to choose whether you want to switch to the girl's route or pick a different choice.
* CallBack: A minor one in episode 10, when the first day of the trial ends with the player getting into an elevator with a pair of burka-wearing Muslim women, who end up as victims in an attempt on the player's life. At the end of the second day, a Muslim man shows up at the courtroom asking Jim if he's seen his wife and daughter.
* CardboardPrison: Ted escapes from police custody ''twice'' over the course of the series. Bridget even calls the police out on their incompetence when the second one happens. It's bad enough that [[spoiler: if you double-cross Duke on Day Three of the trial after he threatens you, the power to the courtroom is cut and the blame is pinned on Ted escaping again.]]
* DemotedToExtra: Jim is a main character in Episode 1, and then all but disappears (save for a few cameos) until Episode 10. Even then, he is still only a supporting character.
** Frank Crabtree, too.
** Despite being the main character, Ted Hadrup arguably gets this treatment as well. Starting with Episode 4, the focus starts to shift away from Ted and the plot becomes about [[spoiler: the love triangle between Yale, Angie, and Helen]]. Later, it changes again to become about the mystery surrounding [[spoiler: the murder of Angie]]. After Episode 3, the only excuse Ted has for still being in the game is the fact that he [[spoiler: coincidentally escapes from custody]] around the same time that [[spoiler: Angie is murdered]]. He gradually becomes less important, and by Episode 10, he exists solely for [[spoiler: the villains to pin their crimes on]]. In that episode, he only appears in one full scene, and two quick cameos.
** Dave the Brave in ''Sir Basil Pike''. He plays a pretty important role in the boy's path on Monday, but after that, the one other time he speaks, it's in recycled lines.
* DerangedAnimation: Though it arises, appropriately, from the animators' ambition exceeding their capability, instead of on purpose.
* FeaturelessProtagonist: You play as one in each game.
* FindOutNextTime: Since most of Zapdramatic's games are episodic, naturally they usually have this at the end.
** Episode 4 and onward of ''Ambition'' decided to raise some questions and encourage the player to find out in the next episode.
*** Subverted for Episode 9. The ending implied that you would play as a "business tycoon" talking to [[spoiler: "pure evil"]]. That never happened and a different scenario plays out instead.
*** Also subverted (for now, at least) in Episode 10. The [[spoiler: cliffhanger was supposed to have been resolved in a sequel called "Ambition: The Mystery Continues." As of June, 2013, it has not been (and probably will not be) released.]]
** ''Move or Die'' pulled this off with its original free demos, which ended before Syd and Wilma arrived at the House of Grimm. No new episodes have surfaced since the conclusion of that second part, however, despite that the ending says the story has you [[ToBeContinued continue]] to aid Syd and Wilma in reaching their destination of Montreal, a StaggeredZoom hints that the mayor of Moncton will become important later, and the website even claims that a 6-part television series is in the works.
* GodwinsLaw: While interrogating Yale as the detective, you get the option to compare something that Yale says to something that Adolf Hitler would have said. Much like a typical case of Godwin's Law, it makes no sense in the context it's used. You can also tell him he's "talking like a terrorist" which is almost as bad, and doesn't really make any more sense than the Godwin line.
** In ''Sir Basil Pike'', Ted indirectly compares his class to Nazis when discussing schadenfreude.
* InsaneTrollLogic: People who mumble to themselves incoherently and physically assault others for little reason are perfectly sane, bribery is the cornerstone of a healthy marriage, bullying makes you more dependable (except when the plot says it doesn't), and telling the truth results in everyone being miserable. The only two ways to make it through these games are either trial and error, or being Michael Gibson.
* LazyArtist: Many characters usually stand at the front of the camera, though some can face other directions. Particularly noticeable with Angie, who never once faces another direction. This may have to do with the fact she seems to be based upon clip art one can find upon the web unlike much of the other cast members.
* {{Main/Leitmotif}}: Especially in ''Ambition'' and ''Move or Die,'' many actions and plot twists are associated with a weird reverse-piano chord very similar to [[{{Music/Yes}} Roundabout.]]
* LimitedAnimation: The characters appear to just slide around instead of walking, and their movements are jerky. Gibson somewhat attempted to hide his inability to animate walk cycles by having the characters' legs partially offscreen when they moved in ''Ambition''. By the time he released ''Sir Basil Pike Public School'', he apparently realized that this was a lost cause, as the characters all appear to have invisible wheels on their feet as their primary means of transportation.
* ManOfAThousandVoices: The creator, Michael Gibson, along with Lisa Brown.
* MindScrew
* MsFanservice: Bridget was likely an intended example, but, as outlined below in the ''Ambition'' section, it doesn't really work out.
** Anne from ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/44519 Bikini Tennis]]'', whose character model is much better done than Bridget's, is a more straight example.
* ObviousBeta: Particularly noticeable in the ''Negotiator'' episodes, where dialogue clips frequently overlap each other, stop playing prematurely, or continue to play after the next dialogue box has already appeared. In addition, many of the player choices either link to the wrong dialogue tree altogether, or don't play out any differently to any of the other choices. ''Ambition'' is a little better in this regard, but even then there can be noticeable glitches, such as Duke sometimes being depicted with ''two heads'' in the last episode.
* OffModel
* ReusedCharacterDesign: Ted, and a few other characters, have appeared in many of Michael Gibson's other works under a different role.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: All over the place.
** A particularly funny and ironic example in ''Ambition'' is that "doofus" is consistently misspelled as "dufous."
** Played InUniverse in ''The Swearing Archer and the association'' (playable for free [[http://www.zap.ca/webdefait/sportsmed.html here]]). The characters spend more time accusing each other of mangling up words than actual negotiation.
* ScheduleSlip: Some episodic games had several years pass before the next part was released. ''Ambition'' has been on hiatus since 2006, assuming it isn't dead already.
** Previous episodes have failed to come out even when deadlines were promised, too: Episode 10 went from "COMING THIS FALL!" to "COMING THIS WINTER!" to "COMING THIS SPRING!" to "COMING SOON!", and Episode 9 got its own [[http://www.zap.ca/excuse.htm interactive announcement]] to apologize for the lateness. Such delays have made users especially unhappy as registration fees only enable access to exclusive games for a set length of time, not in perpetuity.
** ''Move or Die'' was ToBeContinued in a TV series, which still has yet to materialize.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: Is pretty much a staple of the series, but most notable in Episode 10. When the player is walking out to his car, the only way to survive is to decide that your car has a bomb in it and go back to take a taxi instead. The thing is, ''there is absolutely no way to know this'' aside from trying to it once and dying.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In one of the game over scenarios in Episode 1 of Ambition, Ted asks you to feed his dog Bingo before detonating his bomb and blowing himself, and (presumably) everyone else in the building, to HELL! First of all, this raises the question of who will feed Bingo since the person Ted told to feed him has been killed. Secondly, Bingo is not mentioned at any other point in the game, so it's not known what happened to him.
** Although ''Sir Basil Pike Public School'' is not a sequel to ''Ambition'', it features many characters appearing in it. Since it was made after ''Ambition'' wrapped up, it isn't clear if that game took place in an alternate continuity, or if the conflict was just resolved offscreen.
** In ''Move or Die'', [[spoiler: Mrs. Grimm and her butler]] are taken to jail, but [[spoiler: the nursing home guy]] is not. Perhaps he was to return in the future installments of the series, which never came to fruition.
*** Presumably he couldn't be arrested at the time because he's [[OffscreenInertia still out on the highway,]] searching for that dropped envelope...
* WorldGoneMad: The creator's depiction of how the characters act ranges from "pretty odd" to "batshit insane", which makes it all the more hilarious when you realize he intended these scenarios to be as realistic as possible.
* YouAllLookFamiliar: Invoked - Michael Gibson has had other shorts too, and in fact, you can recognize a lot of characters from them. The cops, however, play this trope entirely straight.
** The Klink International secretary is the woman at the return counter in one of his negotiation shorts. She even mentions having a previous job that was very stressful.
** Bridget appears in another video where a woman steals a video tape from you and you have to talk her into giving it back to you, and a new description and ending teaser on [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/5796 Newgrounds]] imply she is the same character from Ambition.
** Rolf Klink appeared previously in another video about convincing your boss to give you a raise.
** When Ted runs through Klink international, he nearly bumps into a woman with orange hair...who was in a mediating video with someone who was one of the cops.
** Some of the more scary looking cops look like the cop where you talk your way out of a speeding ticket.
** Ted Hartrup appears as a math teacher in another game. Said game also includes Angie's neighbour as a vice principal, and someone who looks can notice Angie's coworker as her apparent assistant.
** The bailiff from episode 10 plays a history teacher in [[http://www.zapdramatic.com/swf/sportethics.html "The Track Meet"]] and [[http://www.zap.ca/pike/ "Sir Basil Pike Public School"]] as well as a supervisor at a consulting firm in the [[http://www.zap.ca/casestudy1.htm Professionalism and Ethics Simulation]]. Murray Farmer from that last simulation also makes cameos in episode 10 and is regarded as {{Gonk}} by WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}} due to how his game's art style looks out of place in Ambition or how his hand appears to be merging with his face.
** The prosecuting attorney is also a ghoulish butler in "Move or Die" and a variety store cashier in the intro to the boy's story of "Sir Basil Pike Public School".

[[folder: Tropes appearing in ''Altered States'' (''The Negotiator'' and ''The Mediator'')]]
* BrokenRecord: Invoked. [[spoiler:If you agree to give the homeless man $200 in "Interview with a Vagabond", he will keep asking for more and more money with the same excuse every time until you say no, at which point [[GameOver he'll kill you]].]]
* CrazyHomelessPeople: The homeless man in "Interview with a Vagabond", who looks and sounds an awful lot like Ted from ''Ambition''.
* FantasticAesop: From "The Raise", don't listen to talking mice or you'll get arrested for staring at a hallucination of a stripper.
** BrokenAesop: It ''says'' mice don't talk and the stripper isn't real, but the cop calls you a pervert when he drags you out of the room, implying that he can see her too. It's a little weird that of all the characters in the game, the boss is the only one who ''doesn't'' see a woman taking off her clothes.
* FeaturelessProtagonist: Like many [=ZapDramatic=] games, the player character is meant to be you, though the protagonist of "The Suspicious Cop" is implied to be female, as one of the dialog choices makes an off-hand remark about being emotionally vulnerable during this time of the month.
* ImpersonatingAnOfficer: One of your dialog options in "The Suspicious Cop" is to say that you're a special agent with Control carrying a sample of e-coli. [[spoiler:Amazingly, the cop buys it.]]
* NonIndicativeName: The objective of "The Raise", as it turns out, is ''not'' to get a raise, but [[spoiler:realizing that the quality of your work makes you ill-suited for a pay hike and settling for some extra money writing a speech for your boss' 20th anniversary dinner.]]
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: The entire point of "The Lusty Barfly" is to extract a confidential VHS tape from the chest of the [[{{Pun}} titular]] woman, [[ChandlersLaw who also happens to be pointing a gun at you]].

[[folder: Tropes appearing in ''Ambition'']]
[[caption-width-right:339:The series' logo.]]
* AbortedArc: The ending of episode 9 informs us that [[spoiler: we will be playing as Rolf Klink in the next episode and negotiating with "pure evil."]] None of that actually happens in episode 10. Except for the [[spoiler:negotiating with pure evil part, which ''does'' happen in the last stretch of the episode]].
* AltumVidetur: Yale, especially in episode 6.
* AmazingFreakingGrace: Ted sings it in episode 8.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Dr. Russell. He does complain about the police harassing him for his sexual proclivities, after all, though they are not stated.
* AmbitionIsEvil: [[spoiler:Duke says he believes this in some of his dialogue in Act 10. Essentially, he believes that Paxwic is the future, and accuses Angie of trying to expose the drug's negative side effects not out of a sense of responsibility, but because she wanted fame and fortune. He also accuses the player character of doing the same thing for trying to discover the real killer instead of just letting Bridget burn. Duke says that he believes his purpose in life is to destroy those whose ambition stands in the way of societal progress.]]
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: You'll advise nearly all the characters at some point in the series as the focus switches to each one.
** Played straighter than usual near the end of Episode 5, where [[PlayerAndProtagonistIntegration you]] are suddenly cast as Yale's neighbour in his apartment, and have to calm Helen down after she suddenly bursts in, grabs [[MemeticMutation you beloved aunt]]'s violin and threatens to smash Yale's head in with it.
* AngryBlackMan: It only comes up once, when Yale makes a comment about slavery that comes completely out of nowhere.
* AnimationBump: The characters in later episodes appear to be ''much'' more designed than the ones in the early episodes, who look rather blocky. Bridget is a rather good example - being much more thoroughly animated than the other characters, after having started life as just a new face pasted onto [[http://wpsoftball.homestead.com/files/lustybarfly.swf the Lusty Barfly]]. It looks almost like they had a ''completely different artist'' design the new characters.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: Many of the episodes include a "hint" option. It doesn't really give you a hint, as it just points out what the right answer is, or informs you that you have reached the point of no return and resets the whole episode. Only a handful of episodes hide this feature or have a different take on it, such as episode 9 where failing three times has Duke take your place as the marriage counselor and walk you through the whole episode.
* ArtStyleDissonance: Frequent with the character designs.
* AssholeVictim: Ted can be a dick to others, even those who intend to help him. To be fair, [[spoiler: it's not like he can trust everyone, considering what he's been through and the lies that circulate. He's actually more calm around Bridget.]]
** [[spoiler: Bridget in episode 10.]]
** [[spoiler: Yale in episode 10. He may be a philanderer and kind of a misogynist jerk, but he doesn't deserve to be framed for a murder he didn't commit.]]
* AuthorAvatar: Ted is theorized to be one for Michael Gibson. Supported by the fact that Ted used to appear in sarcastic "rants," such as [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/50366 this one]] (warning, some NSFW content).
* AuthorTract:
** The game is peppered with things that conservatives usually say, such as Rolf Klink saying that the two biggest threats are taxes and government regulation. However, Rolf is stated to be a member of the Fascist Party. There's also a part where Yale tells Helen to "get off [her] hypocritical liberal high horse," when she wasn't saying anything political at all. [[note]]Specifically, it was in response to her accusing her father of "having an affair with a murderer", which is kind of a big deal, and not something that should be dismissed so easily.[[/note]] Either Michael Gibson is a conservative, or is trying to create a bizarre parody of them.
** Retsupurae noted the running theme of authority figures being dicks.
** Zapdramatic seems to be fond of these even outside of Ambition. The Psychic Ted spin-off flash (which is just supposed to be a "pick a number, do some math to get another number, and the flash will guess that number" flash) will occasionally have Ted suddenly launch into a rant about the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations.
** Also in part 6, when talking to Yale he launches into a completely off-topic "[[{{Greed}} greed is good]]" rant, which is noteworthy in that Gibson allows the player to set ''themselves'' up as his StrawmanPolitical. If you argue that the Roe Commission on Pay Equity reported a direct positive relationship between compensation and productivity, Yale immediately informs you that there was no Roe Commission on Pay Equity, and calls you a moron. Even better, the game then forces the player to keep making themselves look stupid by offering only antagonistic and ignorant dialog options, including the option to [[GodwinsLaw compare Yale to Hitler]]. The only way to NOT humiliate yourself at that point is just to start the interrogation over.
* AxCrazy: Ted is implied and half the cast implicate him to be this. [[spoiler: He's not.]]
** Episode 5 has Helen nearly descending into this after [[spoiler: finding out about Yale's affair.]]
* TheBadGuysAreCops: [[spoiler: Duke]] is revealed to be acting as TheDragon to [[spoiler: Rolf Klink]].
* BigBad: [[spoiler: Rolf Klink]]
* BreakingTheFourthWall: There are a few episodes that do this, usually to have the characters respond to you, and sometimes they tell you [[{{Railroading}} they will not go with what you're saying]], instead going the route the game tells them to.
* CallousnessTowardsEmergency: Yale won't help you escape from the people who just threatened to murder you because he's too busy holding a dinner party.
* CardboardPrison: Ted manages to escape from prison not once, but twice. In one of Episode 10's game overs, it is stated that he escaped a third time, but it is unknown if he actually did. [[spoiler: Justified, as it is stated that Ted is repeatedly allowed to escape so that he can be framed for murders committed by the villains.]]
* CatSmile: Duke Crabtree, unintentionally due to being OffModel.
* CatchPhrase: Early on, the episodes would all end with a female character saying "I need a cigarette." This didn't last long, though.
* ComplexityAddiction: The whole conspiracy that forms the plot of the series is ridiculously convoluted and pointlessly complex. [[spoiler: Especially since it's strongly implied that practically everyone involved (up to and including the judge at Bridget's trial) is part of the conspiracy, so there's very little reason for Ted to be involved at all, let alone be the one framed for Angie's murder.]]
* ContinuityNod: Yale is subtly implied to have been the player character in ''The Raise''. He is an employee of Rolf Klink, and in part 5 he mentions he "has to write a speech", which is presumably the same one Rolf is seen giving at the beginning of part 7. The stripping woman the player sees if they choose to turn away from Rolf (that may or may not have been a hallucination) also bears some resemblance to his wife, Helen.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: [[spoiler: Rolf Klink.]]
* CrapsackWorld: Corruption is implied to be rampant in the Ambition universe.
* CreepyChangingPainting: A minor, and probably unintentional example. Rolf Klink's picture in the newspaper blinks, for some reason. It's not referenced in the game and was most likely the result of an error on the animator's part.
* DaChief: Superintendent Frank Crabtree.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Because Episode 9 enables you to have him play the game for you, this episode could focus entirely on Duke being the protagonist.
* DelusionsOfEloquence: The characters occasionally drop out-of-place flowery words in relatively casual dialogue. It can get pretty jarring.
--> '''slowbeef:''' Look at option one![[note]]Option one, in this case, is "Argue that the Roe Commission on pay equity in it's[sic] 1991 report to the World Bank reported a direct positive relationship between average annual income and productivity."[[/note]] Who ''speaks'' like this!?\\
''(The player accuses Yale of being defensive)''\\
'''Yale''': No, I'm not being defensive per se. I was simply stating a fact [[AltumVidetur quod erat demonstrandum]].\\
'''slowbeef''': ...Slap him.\\
'''Diabetus''': [[SarcasmMode Yes, this is how real people talk.]]
* DifficultySpike: Episode 9 is a lot harder, because you have to pose as Yale and Helen's marriage counselor and interrupt them at the right moment. Luckily, if you fail it three times, Duke will do it for you.
* DirtyCop:
** [[spoiler:Police chief Frank Crabtree]], who apparently likes to joke with Rolf Klink about walling up his fellow officers in concrete.
** [[spoiler:Duke Crabtree]], who is by his own words a terrorist.
** [[spoiler:Jim]], maybe. He's seen following the villain's orders a few times, but it's unknown if he works directly for him.
* DownerEnding[=/=]LeftHanging: [[spoiler: With the exception of proving both Ted and Bridget not guilty, the player, as in the person who sat through this whole game, gains no meaningful resolution as both Rolf Klink and Duke Crabtree threatened to kill you if you don't frame someone else, and Yale ends up being imprisoned for the murder he didn't commit. To make matters worse, the series has been on halt for ''more than six years!'']]
* TheDragon: [[spoiler: Duke Crabtree]] to [[spoiler: Rolf Klink.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Episode 1 started with Ted willing to commit suicide with a bomb strapped around his waist. He calms down after episode 2 though.
* DrivingQuestion: The early episodes give such questions to us explicitly: "Is he crazy? Or is he the victim of a horrendous, mind-warping crime? Is his ex-wife Bridget capable of such a deed? Will Bridget get away with it?" Later it becomes, [[spoiler:"Who is the killer? Ted? Helen? Yale? Or somebody else? Is it a simple crime of passion or something more sinister?"]]
* DropInNemesis: Throughout the series, but two of the most flagrant examples occur during Episode 10: the driver attempting to run you and Ted over in the garage, and Ted cutting the power to the courtroom. Neither of these events occurs if you choose the correct dialogue options.
* DullSurprise: How Yale reacts to the news that [[spoiler: Angie is pregnant with his child]].
-->'''Yale''': ...Oh.
* TheEndingChangesEverything: Episode 10.
* EveryoneHasStandards: Yale does often come across as a {{jerkass}} and does a lot of morally questionable things. However, in one of the bad endings of Episode 10, it is shown that he at least takes his profession as a lawyer seriously. If you tell him that [[spoiler: Rolf Klink]] thinks it would be best for everyone if Ted takes the fall for [[spoiler: Angie's murder]]. Yale angrily says that he doesn't think that would be best for ''Ted'' and says that he'll see us disbarred for saying that (you play Bridget's defense attorney in that episode).
* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Duke Crabtree]].
* ExternalCombustion: Done to [[spoiler: your car]] in Episode 10.
* FallGuy: [[spoiler: Yale]] in Episode 10. Since no new content has been released in six years, [[spoiler: [[OffscreenInertia it can be assumed that he's still rotting in jail for a crime he didn't commit.]]]]
* FanDisservice: During a scene in Episode 10 showing Bridget wearing a bra and green pants, Rolf Klink walks in wearing nothing but a towel.
* FantasticDrug: According to Yale Johnson in Episode 6, Paxwic is a new anti-depressant developed to subdue prisoners by making them blissed-out and non-violent. Angie was pursuing a study showing that Paxwic also has the effect of destroying the user's critical thinking ability, which would make her enemies with the manufacturer Somaplex if her paper on the side effects were to be published. Later we learn that [[spoiler:Ted was injected with an [[ExpoLabel ominously-labeled]] faulty batch of Paxwic which could have ''heightened'' his anxiety just before he woke up to his blood-splattered apartment.]]
* FauxlosophicNarration: Ted's ramblings in Episode 3 amount to this, to the point where slowbeef calls him a "poor man's Hannibal Lecter."
* {{Flanderization}}: When Yale is introduced in Episode 2, he comes across as a nice guy, if slightly uptight. Fast-forward to Episode 9, and he's turned into a pretentious {{jerkass}}.
** The sheer difficulty of speaking to Ted only seemed to get worse as the episodes went on, to the point that you couldn't even speak to the character in Episode 6 without him telling you to get out of his sight.
* FollowTheLeader: While the first few entries predate it, later games in the ''Ambition'' series clearly draw heavily on elements of ''Franchise/AceAttorney'', especially in [[CourtroomEpisode episode 10]].
* FreudianSlip: Yale does this in Episode 9.
--> '''Yale:''' "I love you, money-- I mean honey."
** Also in Episode 2.
--> '''Angie:''' "Tell him we've found his kids and they're safe."
--> '''Yale:''' "Ted, your lips are safe."
* GambitRoulette: The plot to [[spoiler: set Ted on a Paxwic-fueled frenzy, then frame him for Angie's murder]] is incredibly, unnecessarily convoluted. Doubly so once you realize that they seemingly ''didn't even try to complete the plan'' the first time around. Instead, [[spoiler: they set Ted up as a crazed lunatic, ''caught him'', and then ''allowed him to escape so they can capture him again''.]] Firstly, if they had simply [[spoiler: had Angie killed while Ted was still under the drug's effects the first time]], none of the other attempts would have been necessary, and neither would the murders of other seemingly random people. This is doubly strange when you remember that, according to Bridget, [[spoiler: almost everybody involved, including the judge, are actually in on the conspiracy, they probably could have simply had Angie killed anonymously and had the case worked in any way they desired, making Ted's entire involvement unnecessary.]]
** Likewise to make things even more incomplete, they set off Ted's anxiety by making him wake up with beet juice all over the apartment looking like it's blood...however no one bothered to come back to clean the mess up after Ted leaves to go on his rampage so the evidence of very clear foul play is just left sitting in his apartment.
* {{Gonk}}: The prosecutor in Episode 10. He has yellow teeth, and the way his face is drawn makes him look like he's wearing a saggy mask made from human skin. Some have noticed that [[http://yourpaperpal.tumblr.com/post/54321664883/wake-up-america he actually looks quite a bit like the Colossal Titan]] in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''.
** And the stenographer, who appears to be a globular mass of melting human flesh with a mustache tacked on, thanks to a static pose that does little to separate his face from the hand he's resting it on.
** Ted and Bridget's children both look like [[WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill Bobby Hill]], if Bobby Hill was a wide-eyed, naked, amorphous blob.
* GoodAdulteryBadAdultery: Yale seems to be content with the fact that he's cheating on Helen with Angie, and even planned on leaving her after he makes partner for his law firm. With some convincing, he decided to cut the act and let Angie go. [[spoiler: Too bad he impregnated her.]]
** No one seems to have a problem with [[spoiler: Rolf Klink, a married man,]] dating [[spoiler: Bridget]]!
* GoodLawyersGoodClients: [[spoiler:Possibly. Bridget seems more of an accomplice than the perpetrator. Played somewhat straight with Ted and Yale.]]
* GoshDangItToHeck: Duke says things like "what the [[PerfectlyCromulentWord begiddely]]."
* GreaterScopeVillain: It's implied the reason why Rolf Klink cares so much about Paxwic's development despite being terminally ill (and therefore unable to reap any of the profits) is because of corporate and military investors who could make his last days VASTLY less pleasant should he choose not to cooperate with them. The end of episode 9 teased that we would meet these people in episode 10, but sadly that didn't happen.
* GroinAttack: The player has the option of doing this to Duke in Episode 10, who quickly regains his composure before shooting him.
* GuideDangIt: Episode 10 has no hint feature, and there are a couple points in the game that will force you to continue, even if there are no winning solutions. This becomes confusing as a major scene can occur after negotiating with [[spoiler: Rolf]], and it turns out to be a dead end. The "replay from last mistake" option does help this a little.
* HandWave: When Ted is declared legally sane and aware of his actions, the story allows him to shirk criminal responsibility by passing off his previous behavior as a "temporary dissociative state" resulting from the shock of discovering that his kids are missing.
* HangingJudge: The judge in Episode 10 is clearly on the prosecution's side for most of the trial (though he'll flip-flop at the drop of a hat) and boots the player off the case for any reason. He'll also frequently accuse the player of being incompetent, but kicks them off the case if they do the same to Duke when he takes the stand.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Yale and Angie.
* HollywoodLaw: According to this game since Ted is declared legally sane, he is not responsible for his actions. In real life, that would make him criminally responsible for his actions.
** The trial in Episode 10, which only bears a vague resemblance to an actual case.
** In episode 2 (The Vagabond), Dr. Raleigh's preferred method of investigation seems to be: "Hmm, there's blood splattered all over the place - I better taste it just to be sure!"
*** Episode 2 also introduces Dr. Raleigh as a "psychologist and a police negotiator". In the intro, however, she's seen doing crime scene investigation, which is not quite in the department of a real-life psychologist / negotiator.
* {{Hypocrite}}: The judge. In two different game overs. He can fire you because he sees you as incompetent, and he can also fire you for questioning the competence of a police officer.
* IdiotBall: Bridget seems to take a massive decline in intelligence during her trial, to the point of insulting, arguing with, and deliberately provoking both the judge and you ('''[[TooDumbToLive her own lawyer]]'''). This makes the job of defending her that much more difficult.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Helen, threatening to beat Yale into porridge with a $12,000 violin.
* InformedAttribute: Ted's being a good father, at least according to slowbeef and Diabetus.
* {{Insistent Terminology}}/EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Bridget only ever refers to Yale as "the black dude."
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Rolf Klink]] and [[spoiler: Duke Crabtree]] because the series has [[spoiler: NoEnding]].
* KnightTemplar: [[spoiler: Duke Crabtree. As mentioned in AmbitionIsEvil, Duke states in episode 10 that he believes his purpose in life is to kill those whose personal ambitions stand in the way of societal progress... it just happens that his definition of "threats to societal progress" includes corporate whistle-blowers and crusading defense attorneys.]]
* LadyMacbeth: [[spoiler:Bridget appears to be a poor man's version of this.]]
* LaserGuidedKarma: An oddly literal example happens in Episode 10, after [[spoiler:Duke]] hijacks your taxi; punching him on the nose causes him to lose control of the taxi, which then collides head-on with a bus which has the word "KARMA" written in huge letters on its windshield. (This is recycled from ''Move or Die'', where Syd and Wilma immediately [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin face the music]] for their attempt to rob a dead man.)
* LightsOffSomebodyDies: Happens in one of the game overs in Episode 10 if you choose to doublecross [[spoiler: Rolf]] and [[spoiler: Duke]] in court. The lights go off, and Jim the cop comes in and evacuates the building because [[spoiler: Ted]] has supposedly escaped and cut the power. [[spoiler: Duke]] kills you as you are leaving.
* LimitedWardrobe: Averted with Ted Hadrup, Yale Johnson, and Rolf Klink, who have three outfits, but played straight with everyone else.
** Almost everyone gets a change of clothes in Episode 10. The only characters to play it straight are Frank and Duke Crabtree and Dr. Russell. Angie is a borderline case, since she's seen wearing a different blouse during Ted's initial trial, but it's obviously just a recolored version of her usual one.
* LoveTriangle: Yale, Angie and Helen.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Helen punches Yale in the face in episode 2 with enough force to give him a nosebleed. His only reaction is to say "ow!" in a way that one might say it if they bumped themselves on something.
** There's also [[spoiler: Duke]]'s reaction to being [[GroinAttack kicked in the crotch]] in Episode 10. He just says "ow, why'd you do that?" and then pulls out his gun and shoots you. Those who see [[spoiler: Duke]] as a MemeticBadass just write this off as another example of his being a badass.
* {{Malaproper}}: Most of the characters count as this. One notable example comes when Duke says that he "fingered [Yale] for a bad dude," when he really meant to say "figured" (which also doubles as an AccidentalInnuendo).
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Rolf Klink seems to be this to both Duke and Bridget. The ending of the marriage counselor implied the final episode would involve the player taking on Klink's role and talking to "pure evil".]]
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Duke's antagonism come from the fact he is just an annoying brat (or at least that's the intention) and really he is better when he is helping you. [[spoiler: When he tries killing you he succeeds more by dumb luck than anything since you can overpower him with a few punches]].
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot, [[spoiler: GovernmentConspiracy]]: Maybe.
-->'''Bridget''': [[spoiler:They're all in on it. The Judge, the cops.]]
* MurderTheHypotenuse: A possible motive for Angie's murder.
* MySecretPregnancy: [[spoiler: Angie. She reveals it to Yale as leverage in episode 5.]]
* NoEnding: [[spoiler: Episode 10 ends with Yale getting arrested after you make a deal with Rolf and Duke to let you live if you retract your question about Duke's notebook. The FindOutNextTime message mentions an all-new cycle called "Ambition- The Mystery Continues," but it's been six years and no new content has been released.]]
* NonEntityGeneral: The player character from episodes 6-9 is not given much of a history, beyond being a detective who annoyed the Superintendent with [[NoodleIncident some remark]]. The defense attorney from episode 10, is given even less history. In episode 5, you're essentially someone whose office Helen runs in.
** In episodes 1, 2, 4 and the beginning of 5, the game does not even assign a character (if any). With 4, it's assumed that you are an acquaintance of Yale and Angie (presumably two different acquaintances), while 1, 2, and the start of 5 just has you advising them, regardless of whoever you are.
* NoodleIncident: Whatever the player character said to annoy Frank Crabtree on Sunday in episode 6. Attempting to find out only fails the negotiation for extra time.
* NoSell: Helen hits Yale a few times in Episode 5, and he doesn't even acknowledge it.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: Ted jumps out of a very high window, but lands on a mattress truck and is completely fine.
* OffModel: Increasingly so, as the characters generally [[LimitedAnimation slide around]], have faces that face only one direction (some episodes don't do this, though), or their faces make very weird expressions.
** A very bad example is Duke Crabtree, whose ''facial structure changes entirely'' when he's viewed at a 3/4ths angle.
** There's also Rolf Klink, whose head is obviously too big for his body in his second appearance and likely to be clip art as opposed to the other hand-drawn characters.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: While the series usually switches perspective to show every major occurrence as it becomes relevant, it makes a JigsawPuzzlePlot out of the circumstances of [[spoiler:Angie's murder]] by forcing the player to piece together what happened from statements given by witnesses, some of whom may be lying about the details, which include some sort of stolen car chase. The most we see of it in person is Ted howling about freedom near a worried-looking Angie.
* OneWordTitle
* OrphanedSeries: It's been six years since the tenth episode, and neither a new episode or sequel has come out.
** However, it was revealed in one of Retsupurae's "Retsutalk" podcasts, that Michael Gibson is in the planning stages of five or six new episodes.
* PapaWolf: Ted Hadrup, despite his suicidal tendencies, genuinely loves his sons and will do anything to see them again.
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: "Anti-feministic" and "intellegosity," among others.
* PixelHunt: The crime scene investigations in Episode 6, particularly the search through a room which is merely a photograph so blurred that nothing stands out but the furniture.
* PlotHole: The timeline goes like this: Ted is arrested after his suicide bombing attempt, is psychoanalyzed by Angie and denounced as delusional, escapes from prison [[spoiler: so that he can be framed for Angie's murder that night]], goes home and eats a forty-pound pizza, falls asleep, wakes up with a bomb around his waist, and immediately rushes to attempt the suicide bombing that will get him arrested and declared insane ''by Angie, who is somehow still alive''. It's like a StableTimeLoop without time travel being involved.
** A minor example: In the introduction to ''Tryst - Part 2'', Angie reveals to Yale that [[spoiler: she is pregnant with their child]]. You can mention the issue as the [[PlayerCharacter player detective]] in the next episode (''The Suspects''), where Yale actually sounds genuinely surprised, even though he was aware of the matter beforehand.
* PointOfNoReturn: Using the hint system in certain sections will tell you that you have reached this point and cannot win the game and resets it for you.
** Can be invoked if you strike a deal with [[spoiler: Rolf to have Yale dispose of the pizza receipt]]. [[GuideDangIt There is no winning solution once you get to that point]].
* PoliceAreUseless: Ted believes that the police cannot help him. Supported by the fact that [[spoiler: they can't even hold Ted, especially after escaping ''twice'' before episode 10!]]
** [[spoiler: Possibly justified. Ted has escape custody twice in a row, which followed with a couple of murders. The third time he's caught, Duke wanted to pin '''your murder''' on him! This implies that they made it easy for Ted to escape just so he can be pinned in a couple of murders.]]
* ProperlyParanoid: As crazy as the characters can act sometimes it's hard not to sympathize with them at least a bit, considering the amount of corruption showed in the game's world. This also goes for Ted,who claims he was dosed with an experimental drug, strapped with dynamite, and placed in a staged bloodbath scene designed to make him go temporarily insane all so that some corporate suits could frame him for the murder of a completely unrelated person days later... and that ridiculous premise turns out to be completely true! In a world with that level of crazy evil going on it would be stupid ''not'' to be paranoid.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The series' soundtrack largely consists of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLFVGwGQcB0 Gnossiennes 1]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c_RU2NcJ9c 3]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE8ReAAcZjU 4]] by Erik Satie.
* {{Railroading}}: At least one episode will have the characters ''talk to you'' about how they're not gonna do what you're suggesting, and instead go the way that they wish to go.
* ReusedCharacterDesign: Practically everyone in Ambition appears in at least one other [=ZapDramatic=] negotiation game in a new role, not always with the same name or voice. Ted is an unusual case in that his voice and AuthorFilibuster tendencies match the character from [[http://www.zap.ca/negotiateIntro3.html "Interview with a Vagabond"]], but he looks completely different. As Episode 2 once refers to Ted as "The Vagabond", we may be expected to believe that this is after he raised enough money to clean himself up and get back on his feet. Jim the cop is another of [=ZapDramatic's=] most frequently [[RecurringCharacter Recurring Characters]], to the point of leading players to debate whether we keep running into [[EconomyCast the same busy cop]], or if the [[YouALLLookFamiliar entire police force]] is made up of [[InexplicablyIdenticalIndividuals clones of Jim]].
** WordOfGod states that Jim is a separate character from the monochrome cop. That doesn't clear up too much, but it means that the town has at least two cops, as opposed to one.
*** Additionally, Officer Jill from [[http://www.zapdramatic.com/mod.htm "Move or Die"]] makes a [[TheCameo Cameo]] appearance in Episode 10.
* {{Retcon}}: Rolf Klink in Negotiator part 3 mentioned having a wife and plans on hosting an anniversary dinner. Either Rolf divorced his wife at some point to date Bridget, that part got completely dropped, or the negotiator pertains to it's own continuity (which has yet to be confirmed).
** Based on a comment made by Helen in Episode 9, [[spoiler: it's possible that Rolf is having an affair with Bridget, though why he'd attend a public meeting with his mistress instead of his wife is anybody's guess.]]
** Early in the game, Ted is said to be a construction worker, explaining where he got the dynamite from. This is later changed to [[spoiler: somebody else drugging him and giving him the dynamite]].
** In episode 6 (The Suspects), you can interview Angie's neighbors, who tell the player that both her parents died in a car accident. Later on, you can interview Yale, who calls her "Dr. Killup". When asked about the name, Yale reveals it's Angie's maiden name, which she changed due to having an estranged relationship with her father, who is suddenly still alive and lives in Florida as a pensioner.
* SaltAndPepper: Two examples. Yale and Helen, Yale and Angie.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: More so in the later episodes. Made especially jarring because, as mentioned above, characters often use flowery words that sound out of place in casual conversation.
* ShoutOut: Rolf Klink's name may be a shout out to Colonel Klink of Hogan's Heroes, considering his demeanour. Interestingly, the plot of the tenth episode ''isn't'' a reference to the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series, as said series came out long after ''Ambition'' ended.
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: Yale and Helen have one in Episode 4.
* SoftGlass: At the end of Episode 1, [[spoiler:Ted escapes Klink International by bursting through a large glass window with one limp jump.]]
* StupidEvil / RevealingCoverup: If you agree to go along with [[spoiler: Rolf and Duke's plan to frame Yale for the murders in exchange for Ted's freedom]], but then go back on your word and reveal the plot in court, a Game Over cut scene plays in which, immediately after this information is revealed, [[spoiler: the power goes out in the courtroom, which is then evacuated, while Duke stays behind and kills you with a tire iron, ''right there in the middle of the courtroom''.]] One has to wonder how stupid or crooked the area's entire legal system has to be for this not to be the most obvious cover-up ever.
** If you actually take the time to analyze [[spoiler: Rolf Klink]]'s plan, you'll find that it is actually really stupid. Paxwic was a new drug that was coming out, and Angie wrote a negative report about it. If the report came out, Rolf Klink, the boss of Somaplex (the people making Paxwic) wasn't going to buy any real estate from [[spoiler: Rolf Klink]]. So, [[spoiler: Rolf is trying to make money by buying from himself.]]
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: Sometimes, you may find a choice that falls into this, like Yale scolding a man armed with a ''bomb strapped to his chest'' for insulting Helen. Good thing he happens to be sympathetic towards Yale.
* SuddenNameChange: Ted's last name is inexplicably changed from Hadrup to Hartrup.
** Angie appeared to be a case of this, going from "Dr. Killup" in episode 2 to "Dr. Raleigh" in episode 4, but in episode 6 Yale explains that Angie was in the process of changing her name to dissociate herself from her abusive father. This might have been a clever {{Retcon}} of the author's forgetfulness if Yale didn't go on to mention that Angie's father still lives in Florida, [[SeriesContinuityError contradicting]] the Tarts' statement in the same episode that Angie lost her parents in a car accident two years ago.
* SuicideAttack: Ted Hadrup tries this in episode one. He ends up jumping out the window.
** Does it again in episode 2 as he hitches a ride. Yale convinces him to not go through with it though.
* TimedMission: Episode 6 is of the kind where every action deducts a certain number of minutes from a time limit given to find a suspect. It is widely considered the ScrappyMechanic for [[YetAnotherStupidDeath several reasons]]:
** It is all too easy to accidentally reexamine a piece of evidence, which takes just as many minutes as the first time again.
** Dialog trees often lead the player in circles while looking for unasked questions to pop up again.
** Said dialogs take many more minutes off the timer than it actually takes to listen to the dialog.
** The superintendent stops the investigation before the last hour has even begun, possibly to try to avoid a bug where a negative hour value keeps looping the game back to Dr. Russell. Even a player who has a good idea of what needs to be done may find it tough to squeeze in a complete interview at Bridget's house.
* TitleDrop: In episode 10.
--> '''[[spoiler:Duke]]:''' [[spoiler:Dr. Raleigh]] suffered from the same problem you do: ''ambition''.
** Also in the private meeting in episode 9:
--> '''Helen:''' "His cold heart is ruled by blind ambition. He's a psychopath."
** Though, it can be invoked in episode 4 by Yale if you get a game over, or by Angie if you ask what love means to her.
* TokenMinority: Yale.
* {{Transplant}}: Virtually every character from Zapdramatic's previous Negotiator games take on a major role in this series and onward.
* TyopOnTheCover: Episode 9 is titled "The Marriage Counsellor".
* UglyGuyHotWife: Ted and Bridget were probably intended to be this, though Bridget is (for the most part) only considered attractive in-universe.
* UndisclosedFunds: Averted. See ImprovisedWeapon.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: Episode 6 plays out like a detective game, requiring you to negotiate for more time (the game is nearly impossible otherwise), and use the time to gather all the evidence and information within that in-game time limit, with a couple of negotiation sequences.
** Episode 9 takes the 'gameplay' from part one of the Mediator. Basically, you have to interject at the right moment, probably making this the hardest of all the episodes. Luckily, failing three times gives you the option to let Duke do it all for you.
* UnnamedParent: "The Trial" goes out of its way to avoid naming Bridget's mother. It skips over when she's called to the stand, and dialog choices refer to her as "Grandma".
* UnusualEuphemism: According to Yale, Helen "puts the screws to [him]."
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The desk lady in the first episode, while a little worried about Ted, who has a bomb strapped to himself, is rather stoic about it. Another lady Ted bumps into seems to overlook the dynamite and mistakes him for a pushy courier.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: It's definitely there, given the fact you usually serve as the adviser for ''all opposing parties involved'', somewhat defeating the purpose of finding a logical conclusion. So feel free to give really bad advice or do really stupid things--[[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist it's not like losing has significant consequences]].
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: Honestly, who seriously thinks that the option in episode 8 to "Tell Duke he is a meddling creep and punch him in the nose" will do anything ''but'' that? Though, Frank telling him to [[WalkItOff don't be a pussy]] does make it worth it.
** This gets called back in episode 10, where you have the option to punch Duke again. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, he's hi-jacked the taxi you're riding in.]]
** Episode 2, if you choose to consult Helen, have the option to allow her to punch Yale, and even punch Ted, just in case you are feeling suicidal.
* WhamLine: Episode 10 has this gem:
--> [[spoiler:''"Calmly ask Duke why he has hijacked your taxi cab"'']]
--> [[spoiler:'''Duke:''' ''[in his high-pitched, nasally voice]'' Because ''I'm a terrorist!'']]
** For anyone watching the youtube video titled "How To Handle The Police, [[spoiler: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDeWIroK4Z8&feature=youtu.be&t=9m11s the time the line was delivered is both shocking and hilariously effective]]]].
* WhamShot: Moments before the WhamLine, you look at the taxi driver's ID with the mugshot of a stereotypical Arabian taxi driver. Then the camera pulls up to reveal [[spoiler:a familiar redhead has hijacked the cab]].
* WomanScorned: Helen. [[spoiler:She probably isn't the killer, though.]]
* XRaySparks: Episode 10 does this whenever the DramaticThunder sounds.
** Oddly, even the statue has a skeleton for some reason.
* YouKnowWhoSaidThat: When Bridget is attempting to refute the facts linking her to Angie's murder, she says "facts are the enemy of truth" and then quotes this trope verbatim. Ironically, the context of the quote is the opposite of what Bridget intended (it was said by a delusional man arguing that his delusions are real in spite of the facts, Bridget is using it to imply that there is more to the story than the facts show), and even worse it wasn't even said by who she thinks it was (she attributes it to Miguel de Cervantes, from his work ''Literature/DonQuixote'', it's actually from ''Theatre/ManOfLaMancha'', Dale Wasserman's play based on Cervantes' book; Wasserman's name isn't even an option to answer her question with).
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: Glaringly averted in Episode 10 when the player's car is booby-trapped. There's no way that the player character should know this without unlocking the car and blowing themselves up, and yet they're given dialogue options where they just magically know about it. Somewhat lampshaded by Ted, who remarks that [[ProperlyParanoid they're being just as paranoid as he is.]] Although given Bridget warned you that you might be targeted and the fall guy is right in front of you is kind of a heads up.

[[folder: Tropes appearing in ''Move or Die'']]
[[caption-width-right:350:''Move or Die'' logo.]]
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: Carla's skin is a strange bluish white color. She's probably supposed to be really pale from not being allowed outside.
* AndStarring: Jackie Burroughs as Mrs. Grimm.
* BullyingADragon: Syd and Wilma are seemingly incapable of ''not'' antagonizing people, no matter how obvious it is that they're in over their heads. Syd tries to bully Mrs. Grimm if you let him talk to her and gets everyone killed. If you let Wilma talk to the nursing home guy she accuses him of having a small penis and gets everyone killed.
* BrokenRecord: As with the Vagabond from Altered States, simply giving Mrs. Grimm the money won't work as she will simply ask for more, more, and more until you finally cut her off, at which point Syd freaks out about you giving away "their" money and gets everyone killed.
* ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes: This is the first Zap Dramatic production where you get to see what your character looks like: a googly-eyed silhouette.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: A bus almost hits Syd and Wilma when they consider robbing the dead man. It will finish them off if the nursing home guy discovers they pocketed the money.
** Yet in the end, [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Mrs. Grimm destroys the evidence]] of their reckless driving, and so they do get away with that at least.
* CompensatingForSomething: Wilma suggests that the nursing home guy needs a gun to compensate for "a lack of firepower elsewhere." Predictably, he attempts to shoot them for it.
* CreepyHousekeeper: The prosecutor from ''Ambition'' appears as a ghoulish butler.
* DisproportionateRetribution: While helping out around Mrs. Grimm's house, Carla accidentally breaks an $80 vase. As punishment she is forced to work off 8 ''thousand'' dollars, a 10,000% increase from the actual price, which we're told will take her over a decade! The whole time she's also treated like a slave, disallowed from seeing her family or even going outside, and is clearly living in constant fear for her life.
* EvilOldFolks: Mrs. Grimm and the butler. Mrs. Grimm is extorting slave labor out of a young girl. The Butler is her underling who does anything she asks, even multiple homicide.
* ForTheEvulz: Mrs. Grimm. After discovering she has arbitrarily increased Carla's debt by 10,000% she at first claims the increase is to cover the vase's "sentimental value" but later admits that she just enjoys seeing people suffer.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Mrs. Grimm.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: The characters pronounce the word "vase" as "vahs," rather than the much more common "vayce."
** Mrs. Grimm pronounces "demise" as "demees."
* KickTheDog: At one point while negotiating with Mrs. Grimm, she'll grab a moth from the air and casually tear it apart with her hands while talking to you. This is never brought up again and only serves to arbitrarily show how evil she is.
* KnightOfCerebus: Mrs. Grimm is perhaps the closest thing to a genuinely threatening villain in any of Zap Dramatic's flashes. She has very few comedic moments, intentional or otherwise.
* LightsOffSomebodyDies: Happens if you let Syd try to negotiate with Mrs. Grimm, as Knowlton grabs the rest of your party in the dark once Syd fails.
* PiranhaProblem: Mrs. Grimm has a trap door with a tank of piranhas in it, which she will send you down if you fail the negotiation with her.
* RealSongThemeTune: "Newton's Apple" by Danny Michel.
* SleazyPolitician: Wilma had an affair with the mayor, whom she was an intern for, and got caught by his wife.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The game's main theme, "Newton's Apple," is an upbeat love song. This game, on the other hand, is perhaps the darkest thing Gibson's ever done.
* TooDumbToLive: Syd and Wilma, even by the already low standards of Zap Dramatic characters. The game starts out with your character "advising" the two, but the only way to pass the early chapters is to realize that advising them is impossible and just take over. Seriously, even Ted, Yale, Helen, and others could ''eventually'' be convinced to be reasonable, but not these two! They're {{Greed}}y, [[BullyingADragon pointlessly antagonistic]], and will absolutely get your entire party killed if you let them so much as open their mouths around dangerous characters like Mrs. Grimm or the nursing home worker.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: You start the series out as a hitchhiker who wakes up from the backseat of Syd and Wilma's car after they run over the corpse, now tasked with advising the couple on their moral choices. There is no backstory to how you ended up there in the first place yet both Syd and Wilma will blindly follow your advice.
* WorkOffTheDebt: Carla must work for Mrs. Grimm after she breaks a vase of hers.

[[folder: Tropes appearing in ''Sir Basil Pike Public School'']]
[[caption-width-right:349:Logo for ''Sir Basil Pike Public School''.]]
* AbortedArc: The BigGame and school dance never actually happen.
* AbusiveParents: Implied with Janina's mother. The one scene she "appears" in (we don't even see her, only her shadow) involves such gems as proudly proclaiming that she denies her daughter internet access, and the implication that she's using custody of her daughter as a weapon against her ex-husband.
-->'''Janina's Mom:''' Her father is a dead-beat Dad the poor girl hasn't seen in years.\\
'''Janina:''' Because YOU won't allow it!\\
'''Janina's Mom:''' Do you see how tragic this is? She tries to defend him!
* AdultsAreUseless:
** Bringing the stolen bike issue to Mr. Hartrup results in him confiscating it and not helping solve the problem in the least, preferring to spout [[JudgmentOfSolomon a tired old riddle]] [[ButThouMust that won't help even if you know the story]] rather than actually do anything.
** It's even worse on the girl's side of Monday; if the player goes to him for help with the sleepover issue he starts to talk to you about it... then immediately says he doesn't have time right now and walks away.
* AlphaBitch: Possibly Peg.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Peg and Dave the Brave both appear to be Hispanic.
* {{Angrish}}: On Monday, the vice principal seems to be unable to communicate in anything other than turkey gobbles.
* AnimatedMusicVideo: Each time Janina plays her song for you it shifts into this; the background changes and even backup dancers (played by the other characters, despite them having nothing to do with the song) appear. The effect is quite jarring to say the least.
* BrokenAesop: Quite a few, actually.
** It's ostensibly an anti-bullying game. The problem? The core gameplay mechanic is all about building up your "persuasive power" to become a more popular and charismatic member of your peer group, and this is achieved primarily by being a bully. You're encouraged to take cheap shots whenever possible, like making fun of a stuttering kid's speech impediment or threatening physical violence, and you're strongly discouraged from apologizing for your mistakes, as doing so costs you basically all of your persuasive power. As Retsupurae noted, "there's really not a lot of bullying in this game unless you're the one doing it."
** Janina's anti-bullying song is about... how much bullies suck and how much better she is than they are.
** The stolen bike puzzle is about not making assumptions, [[spoiler: since your bike was never stolen]], but if you take the option to check the facts first, you get [[ButThouMust a message congratulating you for it, but saying that you can't proceed in the plot if you don't jump to conclusions]].
** Going to a teacher for help (which is what you're supposed to do, usually, if you're having problems with your peers) results in everything being worse, because AdultsAreUseless and completely willing to ''use their intelligence to bully their students''. It's a better illustration of why kids should handle their problems themselves.
*** In the girl's scenario, you can go to a teacher to talk about how you're being bullied. He congratulates you on doing the right thing by coming to him for help, and then flat-out tells you he doesn't have time for you. He'd be happy to make time ''later'', of course, but [[AdultsAreUseless you should really just fix this yourself]], and thus he dismisses you back to the girls who were bullying you in the first place, fully aware that you're being bullied.
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: You can play as either a boy or a girl. Each has their own story on the first day, but after that the game is the same. The few scenes that intersect on the first day also have some unexpected differences in typos, animation glitches, and messages from the mouse. For instance, as a girl you can only get Janina to tell you about going to record her song once, or not at all if you already heard it as a boy, which could lead to much confusion to first-time players if they assume the same character going forward and wonder if they should magically have knowledge of what Janina would have said.
* AppealToFlattery: Apparently, an easy way to get into Peg's sleepovers is to tell her about how great she is, and that she's your best friend.
* ArtEvolution:
** While it's not saying much, the artwork quality in this game is noticeably better than in ''The Negotiator'' or ''Ambition''. Especially noticeable with Duke Crabtree, who has a completely different (and much better drawn) appearance.
** A [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/515513 promo video]] shows how the art evolved from when it was still in development. Notably, the office staff was dropped in just as they appeared in other Negotiator games, before being redrawn to match the game's [[ThickLineAnimation thick-line style]].
** Several characters were lifted and updated from a previous game set in school, [[http://www.zapdramatic.com/swf/sportethics.html "The Track Meet"]]: The first scene features the same history teacher and janitor; there are brief appearances by the old Kim and a non-outlined Julia; Tammy is obviously a [[PaletteSwap recolored]] Adrienne from the front; and previews of Sir Basel Pike reveal that Tony used to look a lot like Chip.
* BatterUp: The weapon of choice for kids from both Sir Basil Pike and their rival school, presumably because it's something they have easy access to.
* BigGame: A notable [[AvertedTrope aversion]]. A subplot about some kids from a rival school attacking Dave and writing "Pike Stinks of Dead Fish" on his jacket in toothpaste is introduced, and Max says that their school has a game against them coming up. However, this plot point is clumsily resolved about as quickly as it's introduced and we don't get to see the game.
* BitchInSheepsClothing:
** If certain options are chosen, Kim reveals herself to be this. To explain, if you manage to get yourself invited to Peg's sleepover then Kim is left out. Kim plans to invite everyone except Peg to go bowling, in order to give Peg a taste of her own medicine. If the player agrees to this then Kim ''immediately'' rats you out to your other friends, getting you uninvited and Kim invited in your place, with the game implying this was Kim's plan all along.
** Along with her divisive way to plan the sleepover, Peg lives to ensure the player CantGetAwayWithNuthin, as any hint of malice will get Peg to ban you from all her future parties, and she will not accept any responsibility for the humiliating cellphone video yet will call you out just for knowing about it unless you specifically ordered Tony to delete it.
* BlahBlahBlah: It turns out to be impossible to warn Tammy about Julia's prank ahead of time because Julia blocks your way, holding a conversation that is printed and voiced as simply "Blablablablablabla."
* TheCastShowoff: Janina is voiced by either Michael Gibson's wife or daughter, who provides both her speaking and singing voice. As bizarre and out of place as the song and its accompanying AnimatedMusicVideo are, the singing is at least fairly good.
* TheChessmaster: The best outcome for the girl's plot makes you into an AlphaBitch version. You volunteer to be the one girl in the clique who doesn't get to go to a popular girl's party, make the other girls feel sorry for you, and then get them to abandon the party altogether so they can spend time doing something else with you instead. The conclusion is that [[MagnificentBastard you get the other girls to blame the mom hosting the party]] for limiting the guest list to three people instead of four.
* ContinuityCameo: Duke Crabtree appears, albeit with a complete redesign and slightly lower voice, in the girl's path.
* ContrivedCoincidence: The whole stolen bike dilemma revolves around both the player and Dave having the exact same bike.
* CoolShades: Ted wears a pair of literal rose-colored glasses.
* CoolTeacher: Ted was likely intended as one, considering the cool shades, but comes off as the complete opposite, considering that when he's not teaching lessons completely unrelated to his subject, he's belittling his students for not being as clever as he is.
* DebugRoom: The "Control" option opens up a debug console.
* DesignatedLoveInterest: Tariq to Tammy. Julia mentions how Tammy always fawns over him, but the two characters are never seen interacting until Tariq takes Tammy's phone and tells her he never sent her the text messages. Afterward, they still only behave like acquaintances, rather than friends.
* DyeingForYourArt: In-universe example. On Day 2 Janina appears with a gothy makeover, and has dyed her brown hair black.
* FatGirl: Janina. Along with her standoffish personality, this is implied to be one of the reasons everyone mistreats her. Strangely, even Max makes fun of her for her weight, despite being bigger than she is.
* FiveTokenBand: Your group of friends in both paths.
** In the boy's path, there's Dave the Brave who appears to be Hispanic, Tony who is probably Italian, Andre who is black, and Tariq who is Arabic. The one white kid, Max, is also overweight making him the token fat kid.
** In the girl's path, there's Peg who looks to be Hispanic, Kim the token black, Julia the token white, Tammy the token Asian, and Zoya the token Arab.
* FlatCharacter: Pretty much everybody, outside of Ted and Duke, and that's only because we already know more about them because of ''Ambition''. The only other character who even comes close to having any depth is Janina, and that's still a stretch. Every other character is pretty much a one-dimensional stereotype of how teens act.
* FullNameBasis: Dave's friends have an annoying habit of referring to him as "Dave the Brave." Every single time.
* {{Goth}}: Janina, post-makeover. She wears a black coat and has dyed black hair and heavy eyeshadow.
* GrammarNazi: Ted.
--> '''Ted:''' Did you just threaten Kim?\\
'''Max:''' No.\\
'''Ted:''' Nobody makes threats in my class. Go down and speak to the vice-principal.\\
'''Max:''' I didn't do nothing.\\
'''Ted:''' You didn't do nothing? Hmmm. If you'd said you ''did'' do nothing, then we'd have to discuss it. But since you said you ''didn't'' do nothing, you're admitting to doing something. Thank you for the confession. Go!\\
'''Max:''' Wha?\\
'''Ted:''' Go!
* HiddenDepths: The overweight loner Janina is actually a talented (well, talented in-universe anyway, but your mileage may vary on that) musician.
* HighSchoolDance: Averted. Just like the BigGame, a dance is alluded to once and never brought up again.
* HypocriticalHumor: Max calls Janina "dough girl," even though he's just as fat as her, if not fatter.
* IncrediblyLamePun: After Janina's [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment inexplicable music video]], Ted shows up and asks what's going on. Janina says that they're just jamming, and Ted responds with "well, I hope you're jamming with whole-wheat bread."
* InstantFanClub: Once you explain yourself to Dave's friends, they immediately make you the leader of their group, despite presumably having never met you before (or at the very least they don't seem to know you super well).
* InstantHumiliationJustAddYouTube: Tammy gives Tony an old video of Julia freaking out over getting stung by a bee, and he uploads it to the internet. Julia fears that she's "ruined" because of it, and decides to get Tammy back by pretending to be Tariq, whom Tammy has a crush on.
* IronicNickname: Dave The Brave, according to slowbeef and Diabetus. At one point, they theorize that it's a nickname that Dave gave himself, and the other kids humor him by calling him by it.
-->'''Diabetus:''' Do you always have to call him "Dave the Brave?"\\
'''slowbeef:''' I mean, he ''is'' pretty brave, [[SarcasmMode the way he ran to his friends and whined.]]
* JudgmentOfSolomon: Ted offers to cut the bike in half in order to solve the dispute between you and Dave the Brave. It doesn't exactly work out, though, because if you tell Ted not to cut the bike up, then Dave will also tell him not to cut it up, which does not solve the dispute at all. If you do tell him to cut it up, then he will give it to Dave.
* KidsAreCruel: They're pretty much constantly bullying each other, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally. The player character can get in on it too and depending on which options you pick might be the worst of the bunch.
* KnightsAndKnaves: Featuring Duke Crabtree and his twin, Luke. Also nonsensical since it's one of the twins themselves (and thus unknown as a liar or not) who asserts the rules of the puzzle in the first place.
* LevelGrinding: You can play tennis to earn persuasive power. This will actually be [[ForcedLevelGrinding required]] if your persuasive power gets too low, as you can't pass certain points in the game unless your persuasive power is at a certain level.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to ''Ambition'' and ''Move or Die''. Nobody dies and there's not nearly as much corruption shown. Justified as this game takes place in a high school.
* LikeIsLikeAComma: All of your friends in the girl's path do this, but Julia especially.
* LonerTurnedFriend: Implied with Janina. She starts Monday as the standoffish loner everyone picks on and who hates everyone else, before the player stands up for her and gives her confidence. By Wednesday the other characters are actually talking to her respectfully. She might not be a friend to them, but at the least she's gone from the weird loner to an acquaintance.
* MagicRealism: Just your average after-school special. Except that you receive advice from a talking mouse and your vice principal has the power to send you back in time.
* MenUseViolenceWomenUseCommunication:
** The basic difference between the boy's plot and the girl's plot on Monday is that the boy's storyline involves physical bullying and the girl's involves emotional bullying. It's even lampshaded if the player chooses to stop and see what's going on rather than chasing Dave down at the beginning - the game stops and tells you that 90% of boys would have rushed to violence and that your choice means you're either exceptional or not a boy, and even gives you the option to switch to playing as a girl.
** Also on Tuesday, after Dave the Brave is attacked and has "Pike stinks of dead fish" written on his shirt by kids from a rival school, Kim suggests forgetting the whole thing since Dave wasn't hurt and the writing was only toothpaste which she's easily able to clean off. Max, on the other hand, wants to go after the kids from the other school with a baseball bat.
* MetaGuy: Andre is jokingly used as one out of universe, due to one of his only lines being "I don't know what's going on."
* MontyHallProblem: Ted teaches it on Tuesday, but he explains it rather poorly. He inexplicably has four doors on the chalkboard (no, not drawings of doors, [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext actual doors on the chalkboard, which are not attached to anything and disappear when opened]]) and informs the class that one door has an A+ behind it, while the other three have goats behind them. Ted calls on Max to pick a door, and he picks door number one. Ted then opens two of the other doors, revealing goats behind both. It is explained that because he opened two of the other doors, the chances that the door Max did not pick has the A+ behind it are now 75%. This only works under the assumption that the two doors Ted opens will always have goats behind them, though.
* NeverMyFault: Most likely due to bad programming, the majority of the issues you have to deal with on Tuesday and Wednesday are the other students blaming you for all of their own decisions when those decisions start coming back to bite them. It's especially apparent on Tuesday: there are about three different plot threads starting up at the beginning of the day, but everyone will act as though you not only involved yourself in all three (despite only having enough time to bother with one), but also picked the meanest options available, actively ignoring whatever you actually said. Most notably, if you didn't get involved with the humiliating video plotline, or if you said you weren't sure whether the video should be posted or not, then everyone blames you for the whole thing, Tammy even specifically claiming ''you'' told them to post it. The only way not to get blamed is to specifically order Tony to delete the video - but even that's not really a victory, because Tony posts it anyway just to spite you, and ''you still get blamed'' right away for "over-reacting" and "making" him do it.
* OnlySmartPeopleMayPass: In both stories, the player must solve a well-known riddle before they can get to the tennis court. In the boy's path, the janitor asks you to help him [[ThreePlusFiveMakeFour get four gallons of water using five and three gallon buckets]]. In the girl's path, Duke and Luke Crabtree use the KnightsAndKnaves riddle, and the player has to guess which door is the correct one. The wrong door leads to the vice-principal's office, where you will get yelled at and lose persuasive power.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: Despite being a math teacher, Ted's class consists of very few math lessons. Granted, on Monday, he ''does'' do a quick lesson on compound fractions... [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer with improper fractions written on the board]]. He teaches the MontyHallProblem on Tuesday, but that's more of an exercise in psychology than math. He also teaches the class about paradigm shifts, which have nothing to do with math at all.
* ThePointsMeanNothing: There is only one point in the entire game where your Persuasive Power affects what happens next, and even then you are given a LastSecondEndingChoice to simply receive enough free points to win. There is not even a regular choice to bypass this on the girl's side, although this seeming GoldenSnitch is not enough to reach the [[MultipleEndings Good Ending]] if you failed to negotiate a more equitable sleepover arrangement.
* PrankDate: Julia creates a fake e-mail address for Tariq in order to embarrass Tammy, who has a crush on him, as revenge for Tammy not erasing the embarrassing video of Julia from her phone.
* PsychologistTeacher: Ted of all people gets this role.
* {{Railroading}}: Although it happens a lot in the series, it's particularly bad at the beginning of Boys Day 1. When you see Dave ride off on a bike that seems to be yours, you're given a choice of what to do about it. If you choose to walk to school and tell the teacher you lose your bike because AdultsAreUseless and you have to start over. If you call after him he gets away, and you're forced to talk to the teacher about it and lose again. If you choose to go back and see if your bike is still there rather than jumping to conclusions, the game congratulates you but says that [[ButThouMust in order for the plot to proceed you have to assault Dave]]. [[MenUseViolenceWomenUseCommunication It also suggests that you're not really a boy because a boy would never resist the urge to jump to violence, and even gives you the option to switch to playing as a girl]].
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Apparently, Michael Gibson made this game to help his daughter deal with bullying she received in school. Although, as slowbeef points out, there is hardly any bullying in the game at all, [[BrokenAesop unless you're the one doing it]].
* RhythmGame[=/=]UnexpectedGameplayChange: The final day ends with a ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' knockoff, which may catch some players off guard.
* SeriousBusiness: Sleepovers, apparently.
* SmugSnake: Janina often unintentionally comes across as one.
* SpeechImpediment: Dave the Brave has a stutter. Note that despite the game's supposed anti-bullying message, you actually get rewarded if you choose to mock his stutter, and punished only if you apologize for doing so.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Is it "Basil" or "Basel?" No one, not even the game's own website, seems to know for sure.
* StealthInsult: Ted's "jamming with whole-wheat bread" comment mentioned above could be taken as this. He says it to Janina (who is overweight), and when she laughs at it, Ted responds with:
-->"Laugh all you like, but you should develop healthy eating habits when you're young, or you'll regret it when you get to be my age."
* SurrealMusicVideo: One comes completely out of nowhere when you agree to "rock" with Janina. The game ends with a reprise of the "Far Side of the World" song and an extended version of the music video from earlier. The added parts are even stranger. Not that you'll notice any of it, though, unless you purposely fail the rhythm game.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: The game came out in 2009, around the same time smartphones began to rise in popularity. It shows, because every cell phone seen is a flip phone.
* ThreePlusFiveMakeFour: You have to do this puzzle to help the janitor before you play tennis with Tony.
* TotallyRadical: A bit.
* TricksterTwins: Duke and Luke Crabtree. [[KnightsAndKnaves One tells truths, and the other tells lies]].
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Max, who looks to be in about fourth or fifth grade, talks about breaking the kneecaps of some kids from a rival school with a baseball bat.
* TwoTeacherSchool: The only two teachers seen in the game are Ted and Ms. Pruet (aka "prune face") the history teacher.
* ValleyGirl: Your friends as the girl player character, some more so than others.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: You can gain Persuasion Points for knocking a kid over, threatening him, and making fun of his speech impediment.
* VoodooShark: WordOfGod explains the fact that the week only has three days as it being the last week of school. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a few reasons:
** As mentioned above, a BigGame subplot is introduced (and poorly resolved just as quickly). School sports seasons typically end a few weeks before the last week.
** No one alludes to it being the last week of school, which would obviously be a pretty big deal for schoolchildren and warrant at least one mention.
** Both Ted and Ms. Pruet teach their classes. During the last week or two of school, teachers typically allow students to use the classes as extended study halls. Additionally, Ms. Pruet gives an assignment to Tammy and Tariq on what is supposed to be the last day of school.
* YouDontLookLikeYou: Duke Crabtree has been completely redesigned for this game.