An alternate universe series created by emeriin
(although other authors enjoy playing in it and the Kink Meme
has contributed considerably), this universe sees the That Guy with the Glasses
and Channel Awesome
team as owners, employees and patrons of a seedy club in an even seedier world.
The timeline can be found here
and the masterlist can be found here
Tropes in the HookerVerse series include:
- Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Critic's Sanity Slippage and the weaving of being praised for being a good patient and a good whore in "The Sun Dies In Your Arms" probably wasn't meant to be as scary as it came off as.
- Aesop Amnesia: While Critic is in the hospital, Harvey tried really hard to make him understand that he doesn't have to act like the world is against him. Between then and the club is foggy, but we're to assume he didn't take that to heart.
- Alternate Universe: Because there's no That Guy with the Glasses site in this world (or The Spoony Experiment or The Cinema Snob etc.), the Nerd has to have a rivalry with The Irate Gamer. AAAAAAH!
- Anachronic Order: For example, origin stories for the Chick, Marz and Critic were done way after we had got to know all their issues in the present. Luckily, the timeline and masterlist helps things from getting too confusing.
- Arc Words: Pretending, hiding and unreliable perceptions of people are all big themes here.
- Armor-Piercing Question: In "The Real Green Thing Will Come", Harvey asks Critic if he has a death wish. He can't answer, but we all know the answer is yes.
- Author Appeal: Fem!dom, curvy women with long hair, public sex and high-heeled boots.
- Bad Boss: Played straight with Goggles's boss, a sexist bastard who gets MarzGurl into prostituting herself. It's hinted that he would have done the same thing to Goggles if she had turned up to defend her job instead.
- Bad Dreams: A common theme. And understandable, given the circumstances.
- Bedlam House: Averted with the hospital Critic and Penny goes to. It's a nice place that wants to help. (We're sure that not all the patients are stubborn jackasses though.)
- Be Yourself: Subverted. Snob tells Critic he doesn't want him to act like a stepford bimbo but when it looks like this is the message, he tells him to put on a different act because hookers acting normally makes them look like freaks. Lampshaded by the Critic himself.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. All of the hookers get bruises and wounds that stay for a while, and Angry Joe gets a half-Chelsea grin.
- Bi the Way: The majority of the characters, whether they like it or not.
- Black Comedy: For all the verse's "Grim Dark" reputation, there's plenty of this around.
- Break the Cutie
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "These Boots Are Made For...", the Critic asks 'you' what you want him to do. After two fairly normal examples (oral and bending over), he mentions getting a swirly and then giving oral. Ew.
- The City Narrows: The only time police are mentioned is when Critic panics about how he can't go out in his work clothes because he'll get arrested.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Chester A. Bum!
- Contrived Coincidence: Yes, everyone lives in Chicago and meets each other eventually. Just go with it.
- Conveniently Common Kink: Averted. Not all the customers are into the soft stuff, and Mary has one who was into watersports. Not that this is a bad thing, she was just squicked out.
- Cool Old Guy: Oh Harvey, why so awesome?
- Crapsack World
- Cruel to Be Kind: The Chick's punishment of Penny. She could have easily got Michaud to throw her out but she stuck with a whipping. As we all know, though, That Other Girl doesn't take this well.
- A Day in the Limelight: rachelleneveu's the stars have all faded here looks at the AU through Stacey's eyes.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Is there anyone with a nice backstory?
- Deadpan Snarker: You really thought this was going to go?
- Disgusting Public Toilet: There hasn't been a nice one yet, even in the club.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Deconstructed. The outside world wouldn't care if any of them got hurt or killed, but we would. Hammered home with The Reveal of what Ask That Guy and Sage do for a living.
- Played straight with Shelly, one of the workers at the club before the main cast came in. All we know of her is that she killed herself with coke and vodka when she got a positive pregnancy test.
- Double Standard: (in-verse) The girls get at least some form of protection while they're in the club, while Benzaie, Y, and especially Linkara and Critic are pretty much ignored.
- Drugs Are Bad: They're the cause of most of Linkara's problems.
- Dysfunction Junction
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Cherry Lipgloss was the first fic in the verse and you'll notice it was a lot lighter, with dark bits creeping through the shiny pretty instead of the other way round.
- In the second fic, "Taking What You Deserve", Mechakara came into the verse and tortured Linkara. That's not in canon anymore because robots and world-hopping would kinda clash with the down-to-earth, "gritty" feel.
- Even Evil Has Standards: LordKat will smuggle in weapons, drugs and alcohol for Sage, but he will not take part in the sex trafficking.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Wouldn't be a Hooker AU without it.
- Everything's Cuter with Kittens: Chester gives Mary a kitten he got out of his coat pocket.
- Everybody Smokes: It's usually a way to calm themselves down.
- Fan Disservice: While the first fic's description of Critic's outfit of make-up, thigh-high boots, corset and mini-skirt (along with the tie, hat and jacket) was Eating the Eye Candy, later fics give the impression that he's supposed to look seriously trashy.
- Not just the Critic's clothes. It's kinda hard to enjoy the pretty boys and girls when you learn that they often go without food for a long time due to lack of money.
- Before Linkara and Spoony have anonymous sex, much detail is given to the diseased, dirty surroundings before we get to any good stuff. Gee, thanks for that.
- Fat Bastard: Mr. Scholl is described as a "fat, tall man wearing one of those shirts with the loosened tie you always saw fat, sweaty business men wear".
- Fanservice: The original point of this AU. It's somewhat expanded beyond that, now.
- Fetish Fuel: Filled with it.
- Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Your favorite characters (who aren't so bad themselves)... as hookers!
- Foe Yay: Pretty much every relationship Michaud has.
- Futureshadowing: "even when we are nothing left" is filled to the brim with this, nearly all of them soul-breaking.
He was even used to some of them looking at him as if just by doing so, he'd act like a complete whore for them.
and then his thoughts moved to the big brother that left. The brat in him hoped he was dead. The little brother hoped he was happy.
The other man pouted. "Not yet... but there's a heirachy and I bet the boss is a total pussy. You'll be a trophy wife in no time."
He had to laugh at Ask That Guy's twisted brand of optimism. "And I get to have lots of sex to help you out? You better make this worth my while."
Ask That Guy petted him on the head while taking out a mouth-wateringly big amount of cash from his pocket. "You really are going to be good at this."
- Genre Shift: As lampshaded on the notes on "There'll Be Peace When You Are Done", who thought a Hooker!Verse that started out to be to be purely fanservice would end up talking about faith in a fair, well thought out manner?
- Get Out: Goggles to Marz when she disappoints her for the last time, said in a Tranquil Fury way.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Oy vey... Ask That Guy hates Chick for taking his only constant away from him, Paw resents Benzaie for getting most of Donna's attention, Michaud can't stand Critic because Chick actually cares about him, Joe treats Mary like a doll others can only play with sometimes and Critic hates practically anyone who Chick and Linkara get close to.
- Grey and Grey Morality: The key word for this verse is "complicated".
- Happily Ever After: Benzaie gets to go home with Suede, has no problems in doing so and his worries that his boyfriend will think any less of him are unfounded. Even though Donna has a breakdown after he leaves, it still counts.
- Heroic BSOD: More and more as time goes on...
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ellis and Michaud. And you should know by now that it's not exactly a positive example.
- Lucy and Stacey are best friends and they've had no romantic feelings towards each other... yet.
- His Story Repeats Itself: Very often. Two examples that stand out are Chick seeing her past relationship with Nella in Critic/Ask That Guy and Critic taking a suicidal Penny to the same hospital he was at when he was Driven to Suicide.
- Ho Yay: Pretty much the mission statement of the AU.
- And, when you bring in Random Number Generator assisted drabbles, things get even more confusing.
- Hypocrisy Nod: Marz is more than aware of her still-remaining drug problems and how she comes down hard on Linkara for his.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Liz gives this warning to Joe about Mary.
- Innocent Inaccurate: Chester, occasionally. He's blissfully unaware of what all the "nice people" do for a living.
- Jerkass: Mr. Scholl and the Distressed Watcher.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most notably the Nostalgia Chick (who genuinely cares for the Critic and has great affection for Film Brain), MarzGurl (who rescued Linkara and took him in, as well as taking him out for his birthday) and Michaud (who not only likes children but also may or may not be in love with Chick).
- Lampshade Hanging: "Make Yourself The Hero" takes the usual Linkara/Insano hero/villain dynamic and twists it into something both depressing and funny.
- Les Yay: The ladies get just as much love between themselves.
- Lighter and Softer: The Kink Meme spawned a spin-off of this verse that made the Secret Treehouse hookers and the TGWTG people customers. For now, it's fun, lovingly self-indulgent, cracky relief that serves as like an antidote to the original that can at times get so heavy. (They are of course both awesome.)
- Literary Allusion Title: Most of the titles are lines from poetry.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: It's more or less a given that every character from That Guy with the Glasses exists in this universe somewhere, and the only reason they haven't appeared yet is because nobody has yet thought of a way to include them.
- Love Hurts: You could do an essay on how destructive the relationships in this verse are.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Thus far we have had: At an airport, in a bathroom (twice), behind a dumpster, on a stage, in an office, in a car, in an alley...while in all probability sex does take place on beds in this universe, the majority of on-screen sex seems to take place anywhere but.
- The Masochism Tango: The Chick/Nella relationship. Both were bitchy, both were horrid to each other and to be honest, Nella leaving was a cruel blessing.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Averted. Although the main author clearly loves fem!dom, the girls go through just as much horror, danger and humiliation as the boys do.
- Mind Screw: The whole That Other Girl/Penny/Critic/Chick mess.
- Morality Pet: Chester gives the club-people someone to look after.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Both MarzGurl and Film Brain have killed people, both by accident, and both have felt utterly horrid afterward.
- Nakama: A screwed up, messy nakama is still a nakama.
- Never My Fault: Critic is slightly too into painting himself as the victim.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Critic is at the hospital and "doing well", Ask That Guy visits, they have an argument about money and bad things happen.
- No Name Given: Done intentionally for the hookers when it's from a customer's POV. They don't care enough to ask.
- Only Sane Man: JewWario, Cinema Snob and Harvey Finevoice seem to be the only conveyors of consistent sense in this world. Harvey tries to remind his patients that acting they're the victim isn't doing them any favors and the other two are in the character sheet.
- Platonic Prostitution: Chick and Film Brain, while she's still in that job.
- Original Characters: Penny and That Other Girl (expies from another fanfic), Donna, Stacey, Mary, Liz and Lucy.
- There are also a few original characters that help move the plot along by being assholes. It still works though.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: For emeriin's birthday, a Humor/Fluff fic called 'Eye of the Storm' was written where Michaud is absolutely adorable through and through.
- Rape Is Okay When Its Female On Female and Rape Is Okay When Its Female On Male: Both averted. That Other Girl raping, torturing and generally mindfucking the Critic and the Chick (and Penny too) is her being a Complete Monster, not an Abusively Sexy Woman.
- Red Light District: The pitiful version.
- Rescue Romance: Both Chick/Critic and MarzGurl/Linkara start out this way, albeit in an incredibly cynical fashion.
- Revenge by Proxy: Whenever Ask That Guy gets in trouble, Critic is the one who suffers.
- Sanity Slippage: Um, hospital? If one of your patients panic about "being thrown away" when it's time to leave, you might wanna keep him around for longer.
- Sex for Services: It's implied this is how Linkara got started. But replace services for drugs.
- Slasher Smile: The fuckhead that holds a knife to the Chick and assaults her has one of these.
- Streetwalker: Linkara and Critic are at the very bottom of the club's power chain, and could be kicked out at any point.
- Which is partly the reason why Marz and Chick are looking after Linkara and Critic, respectively. They know what it's like to be on street corners.
- Takahashi Couple: Michaud and Chick are quite possibly one of the most messed up examples. Both have admitted to utterly despising the other. When confronted with the possibility of being in love with one another, both work very hard to change the subject.
- Twincest: Critic/Ask That Guy are the horribly fucked up, self-destructive kind, naturally.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: The verse just keeps getting more and more layered as time goes on, and as it's getting so huge (the second most done series has seventy nine less fics), you have to store a lot of facts in your brain to get full understanding.
- The Windy City: Poor Chicago gets picked on quite a lot.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Film Brain eviscerates Nella for leaving the Chick alone and depressed.
- What You Are in the Dark: MarzGurl whores herself out to save her girlfriend's job and doesn't tell her.
- World Of Woobie
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Spoony ends up here when he meets Linkara for the first time.