Aborted Arc: Hates how most Trek two-part series cliffhangers aren't written at the same time (several are the season finale and next season premiere), leading to them simply forgetting or not resolving plot-threads put forward in the first part.
Notes how in "Unimatrix Zero" the Borg Queen makes a cryptic comment that she'll be seeing Harry Kim very soon, is never brought up or mentioned again.
He specifically gives credit to part two of a DS9 two parter: Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast. He notes that despite the second part being written by a different team of writers, it manages to maintain and build upon the plot of the first. And further adds how "Improbable Cause" was meant to be a stand alone episode which was transformed into a two-part story and still maintained the plot of the first.
Accentuate the Negative: But only when it actually is negative. He reviews plenty of good episodes too, and is quite fair to the parts that work in the bad ones.
This is particularly noticeable in his First Contact review, which is almost entirely pointing out plot holes and snarking, yet ends with a score of 8/10.
He gave 8/10 to the Voyager episode Relativity too, even after pointing out how utterly stupid its plot was and asserting that the major theme of the episode was "I don't give a shit". In the end he said he found it enjoyable and fun in spite of (or because of?) it's stupidity.
And also in the Voyager 30th Trek anniversary episode "Flashback". He repeatedly points out, while tearing bits of it to shreds that it's not actually a bad episode, it's actually a really good episode of Voyager, compared to the others and it does do its job to entertain the Voyager fans. But he makes a point that even Brannon Braga, the writer of said episode, agreed that it was a poor contest when compared to Deep Space Nine's 30th Trek anniversary episode "Trials and Tribble-ations".
He addresses this tendency when he reviews the TOS episode "The Conscience of the King"; ironically, despite affirming his "nothing is sacred" attitude and insisting that it applies even to TOS, he then goes on to give it a glowing review.
All of the scores are relative to the series, so things like displaying badly dated values don't affect the score.
One way he likes to do this is to review an episode of something else that addresses similar themes, only much better before reviewing the target of his ire itself. For example he reviewed the DS9 episode Whispers and its explorations of the implications of cloning a sentient being just before reviewing the TNG episode Up the Long Ladder mainly so he could use what was discussed previously purely to mock how that episode dealt with a similar issue.
Invoked during "The Game", where he jokes that before we discover they're actually talking about the titular game, the conversation sounds more like Crusher and Troi laughing at the latest STD Riker picked up on Risa.
In "Rascals", whilst talking about some of the difficulties that occur whenever doing a show involving child actors, Chuck mentions his own growth spurt during puberty;
Chuck: Between the ages of 12 and 14, I grew 11 inches... taller!
In "Remember Me", Chuck puts the audio of the Traveler instructing Wesley on how to save his mother over a still shot of a shuttlecraft. Suddenly, everything the Traveler says comes off a lot creepier:
The Traveler: There's "your warp bubble", Wesley.
He couldn't talk about Harry Kim's musical hobbies without running into these. Finally he just gave up:
Acting for Two: Comments on this a few times where Robert Picardo is concerned: he liked "Life Line" for having twice as much Picardo as usual (since Picardo plays both the Doctor and Lewis Zimmerman), and in "Author, Author", he facetiously suggests that maybe the reason that Zimmerman doesn't appear is that they couldn't get the actor on short notice.
Gives kudos to Brent Spiner for his work in "Datalore" and "Brothers" (TNG), managing to play several believably-distinct characters in the same scene.
Also comments on how well Roxann Dawson did with playing Klingon Torres and Human Torres during "Faces" (VOY), with both characters being sufficiently distinct from the original "half-and-half" Torres.
"Soon, Doctor Piper pops a peck of pasty pills, and Kirk is awakened. He prevents Piper's plan to prescribe his pal a pill, postponing the prescription to pursue the potent people to prevent their perverse plan to propagate such portentious progeny, then pass the pasty pill that Piper picks."
And this selection from By Inferno's Light, when Dukat is trying to convince Sisko to convince the Federation to join the Dominion:
"Considering the strategic significance should Sisko's station surrender, Sisko suggests shitting off. Sure, Sisko's station suffering some surprise sortie certainly signifies Starfleet's strategic softness, but surrender signifies Starfleet's slump, stagnation: a slippery slope signaling systems should ship out should some sovereign suggest cessesion. Such steps Sisko surely shan't sanction. I'm sorry. I can't read anymore. I seem to have spit all over the script."
There is a great moment (apparently unscripted) in "Purgatory's Shadow" where Chuck trips over his tongue while trying to enunciate, "Bashir asserts a search." He then criticizes his own writing as well as his Andy Serkis-like pronunciation of it.
Aesop Amnesia: Discussed in the review of "In The Cards" (DS9), mentioning that in a previous episode ("Q-Less") Quark was mocked for spending his hard-earned money to buy superfluous junk, whereas in this episode Jake will go to great lengths to spend Nog's hard-earned money on superfluous junk.
Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Prime Directive has been torn apart piece by piece for what it turned into as Star Trek progressed, pointing out that it was conceived as a guideline put in place to prevent undeveloped civilizations from being taken advantage of, but from TNG onward, it was morphed into an institutionalized Bystander Syndrome. In a few of the episodes he covers, it was basically treated as an all-knowing, unquestionable entity in itself that was almost only ever used to justify genocide through deliberate inaction.
In Voyager's pilot, he points out that the one time Janeway has no trouble ignoring the Prime Directive to actually prevent genocide, it's to save the Ocampa, a civilization whose people live lives only barely more enviable (or longer) than that of goldfish, which causes him to wonder what makes them so special.
In his review of the Prime Directive overall, he compares it to watching a child burn to death while trapped in a car, hearing it screaming for someone, anyone to help... and then calling yourself a hero for letting that child die.
All for Nothing: At the end of his "Macrocosm" review, he made a point to explain that he would be taking a break for various reasons. Many fans didn't watch till the end of video and flooded the comments section asking where he was.
When he said he was taking requests for other series via his donation system, and posted a link to the instructions on how to make a request via donations, fans ignored the bit where they have to give money and flooded the comments with demands for reviews without reading that they need to pay first.
All Myths Are True: In his abbreviated history of the Nazi party, the key players in World War II included Slim Pickens, the Red Skull, Forrest Gump and Christian Bale. ("The Killing Game Pt. 2")
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The only thing we have to fear is Batman.
All of Them: The Annoying Character award for "The Begotten" went to everyone involved in the childbirth B-Plot. Everyone.
Ditto for "Ménage à Troi", featuring an event horizon of Wesley Crusher, Lwaxana Troi, and multiple Ferengi. End episode caption: "I give up." Strangely enough, Wesley's actions during that episode were among the redeeming points, leaving Lwaxana and the Ferengi to be truly annoying.
Nobody in "Profit and Lace" got out alive. Even Bashir, who directed the damn thing.
All There in the Manual: He's really not a fan: "You don't get credit for stuff you don't put in the movie because, now try to follow this because it's a pretty big leap, you didn't put it in the movie. I shouldn't have to wait months and watch all your deleted scenes to say 'Oh, this finally makes sense!' or pore through some non-canon books to say 'Oh, so this isn't a pile of nonsensical horseshit after all!'"
When it turned out he was a teacher, this makes even more sense; teachers can't in good faith give students credit for things not actually in their report.
Also shows up when he discusses the infamous reams of supplemental material for the film Sunshine.
In his review of ''Star Trek 2009," though, he references all the backstory materials for Captain Nero and laments that if any of that had made it into the movie proper, Nero would have gone from "random bald emo Romulan" to "possibly the strongest villain the franchise has ever seen since Khan."
In "Fair Haven", the Doctor (playing the role of a vicar) dismisses Seamus who seeks to repent for repeatedly breaking the fifth commandment, apparently unaware the Catholic fifth commandment is "thou shalt not kill." Seamus spends the remainder of the episode murdering people offscreen and dumping them in shallow graves. Cue screencap of the Pope facepalming.
"I have waited a quarter of a century for that joke to come naturally, and it was so worth it."
When the VOY crew undergoes hypersleep in "One", Harry chimes to Tom to come to bed. Harry then squees that he's been practicing that line for ages before the cryo-pod slams shut on him.
Anachronism Stew: Sometimes some of the "Conversations" between characters can come off as this, thanks to the screenshots being taken at different times. For example, in his review of "Siege of AR-558," there is a fake conversation between Ben Sisko and a TNG-era redshirt. Why is this strange? Well, the redshirt has the uniform used in most of "The Next Generation" (primarily one color with black shoulders), while Sisko is wearing the grey uniforms used in later parts of DS9 and the TNG movies. While we could get this in Star Trek itself (Voyager being a prime example- due to being in the Delta Quadrent, they continued to use the black-uniforms-with-colored-shoulders that had been long abandoned by the rest of Starfleet in favor of the aforementioned grey ones), it didn't happen often.
And Starring: Used the "And Introducing" variety (probably deliberately) in the YouTube teaser for his upcoming Doctor Who "Lost In Time: Found!" videos.
And There Was Much Rejoicing: The prospect of bad things happening to Neelix makes Chuck very happy. In "Phage" his reaction to Neelix being incompatible for a transplant is that he's so heartbroken he can barely continue dancing.
Angst? What Angst?: In-universe, wonders why in "Waltz" Dukat barely reacts to the hallucination of Damar showing up, considering that Damar both killed his daughter and is responsible for driving Dukat so insane, he's the reason why he's hallucinating?!
In his review of "The End of Time", notes that after the Doctor declared himself "The Timelord Victorious" and briefly turning into a terrifying reflection of Master... Chuck is completely perplexed how the next time we see him, he's joking about locking the TARDIS like a car and looks like he's just been to a luau. It's clear that the Doctor's been dossing about for a while (the episode itself clarifies that it's been many decades), but he seems to have completely forgotten about the event.
He gives the episode props later when in a conversation with Wilf, the Doctor tearfully alludes to what happened in "Waters of Mars", admitting that when he traveled alone for a while, he tried to save everyone, but "it all went wrong".
In "Love & Monsters," Victor Kennedy's evil plan is either to take over the world, or even worse, continuing the episode.
Arbitrary Skepticism: Points out that Superman has no problem with the idea that he can travel faster-than-light using only his mind and that his vast array of powers will protect him as he crosses the vastness of space, carrying the shrunken bottled City of Kandor in tow; but considers the notion that he's biologically compatible enough with Lois Lane to conceive children, as the height of madness itself!
Hogan: Is holding onto our technology really worth dying for?
Aroused by Their Voice: This, despite summing his show up as "a guy with bad sinus congestion" complaining for thirty minutes at a time. He recorded this in "The Begotten", perhaps inspired by the following recap ("Profit and Lace") where he mentions the emails he's received from gay men complimenting his "sexy" voice.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Captain Kirk being demoted for stealing Enterprise from drydock, along with Federation President Terry Pratchett's hat. (IV)
From the "Death Wish" review, Q orates about Quinn's achievements. Specifically: advancing science and mathematics, preventing the conquest of worlds by the Borg, and... Woodstock.
And after the long rant about evolution in "Threshold", he finishes it with:
("What the hell kind of name is Brannon anyway? Sounds like a high-fiber yogurt.")
He goes one further to say that the sequence could have been better if the Woodstock incident coincided with Quinn fixing the same microphone glitch at the Lincoln Memorial right before Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream!" speech.
Artistic License - Geography: Brought up in his review of "The Thing", where he notes that base camps in the film are in Antarctica and with how far inland they're supposed to be, we shouldn't have transitions from day to night like in the rest of the world.
Artistic License - Gun Safety: Brought up in his review of "Sleeping Dogs." Hoshi breaks just about every single rule about gun safety when she points a deadly weapon at Reed's chest while handing it back to him. Chuck snarks that "gun safety is tomorrow's lesson!"
Artistic License - Religion: Brought up in his review of "Fair Haven." One of the Oireland characters tells the Doctor (who's playing a priest) that "[he's] broken the Fifth Commandment again!" The Doctor replies "Say ten 'Our Fathers' and call me in the morning." From the Irish setting, the Doctor's outfit, and the usage of "Our Father," the Doctor is playing a Catholic, and the Catholic Fifth Commandment is "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
He even has a pic of Pope Benedict XVI doing a face palm.
Ascended Meme: In his text review of the Enterprise pilot he referred to the ominous figure giving the villains orders as "Future Guy." This was adopted by the fandom and later by the Enterprise team as the name for the figure who was never given an official name. When he made the video version of the review he mocked this development...
"How sad is it that the master villain's name is derived from sarcasm!"
Assimilation Backfire: In the review of "Unimatrix Zero", the Borg Queen begins to blow up her own ships, in an insanely ineffective way to stop Janeway. Chuck is of the opinion that Janeway, who he interprets as a sociopath, is taking over the Borg.
Borg Queen: "Destroying my own people to further my own ends? I have no idea where this thought came from."
Janeway: "Your mistake was assimilating ME!"
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In order to set the plot of "The Killing Game" in motion, Voyager first had to cover the whole ship in the Doctor's emitters, given the holodeck control over living people, deliberately turned off all the safeties, and then blown a hole in the side of it. Chuck muses they're lucky that a 50-foot tall Seska isn't stomping around the ship.
He (somewhat derisively) refers to the aggressive values-exporting of Trek's heroes as "Spreading the Starfleet Gospel." On two occasions ("Unity" and "Unimatrix Zero"), we have also seen their enemies "Spreading the Borg Gospel."
When a character does something particularly insipid, Chuck groans and calls them McFly.
Initially it was "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the idiocy that is Voyager / Enterprise." This was changed when he started doing reviews of the other three Star Trek TV shows, which he considers far better than Voyager or Enterprise. He also adds in the updated review of "The 37's" that the original catchphrase made it sound like the purpose of his reviews was Complaining About Shows Chuck Doesn't Like, rather than a balanced (albeit humorous) analysis of its strengths and flaws.
Another phrase has appeared a few times so far, where Chuck presents two options to why a stupid scene might've been written that way, but then concedes that in fact all options might be correct simultaneously. It generally goes like this:
Chuck: I'm having a hard time deciding if the writer's a hack, or if Cutler's just a moron. But I suppose... it could be both. ("Dear Doctor", ENT)
He's had to remind viewers how the rating system works often enough for that to probably count too.
Chuck: Final score for [x] is, and bear in mind that this score is relative to the series, not some nebulous measure of good is...
Author Filibuster: Multi-part video reviews are usually reserved for the films and for the series' worst episodesnote (although they are also used for multi-part episodes, or when he's doing long arcs), like "A Night In Sickbay", "Code of Honor", and the infamous "Fair Haven" (and of course, multi-part episodes). For more colorful examples, see "'The Reason You Suck' Speech".
In several reviews he launches into lengthy speeches about concepts which annoy him, such as upholding the Prime Directive even when it leads to certain death of an entire intelligent species, Star Trek's tendency towards Planet of Hats and presenting a simplistic"technology is bad" view. An instance of the first in "Dear Doctor" led to an entire separate written essay about the subject in that episode.
Author Tract: The Opinionated Guide takes a more libertarian stance toward Trek then most other reviews, often placing the franchise in the bizarre position of being too conservative and too liberal. TNG and ENT get hit the hardest, the former being overrun with glib, touchy-feely 80's nonsense (dolphins in the navigation room!), and the latter indulging in mindless authoritarianism and brutality. It comes as no surprise, then, that Kirk and Sisko are his, personal, sweet spots.
Kirk: Why don't you go back and make a nice, lacy card to thank Soran for the gentle anal sex he gave you? You look like a scrapbooker, am I right? Picard: [Shrinking in his presence]Of... of course not!
VOY is too harebrained to take seriously as a political or social work — Though Chuck finds the creepy, Stepford-like conformity of the crew highly troubling ("Future's End", "The Good Shephard").
Avengers Assemble: In the case of really serious threats, Sisko calls forth "League of Starship Captains." ("The Visitor", "Unimatrix Zero", "In a Mirror, Darkly") Oddly enough, Janeway (depraved as ever) still has the highest success rate out of anyone sitting at the table.
In the Mirror Universe, Janeway is shown wearing a beard and serving up pot brownies, having been downgraded to a flower child. Archer has taken Sisko's place at the head of the table, and Grand Marshal Troi is running the entire Federation.
In "The Visitor", Shatner loses patience with Chris Pine's Kirk and decks him.
In "Shattered", Chuck announces, "TIME AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!" during the fourth-dimensional battle between Seska and VOY crewmen of past, present and future (while poking fun at Neelix for conveniently not appearing in the segment of the episode—in fact, he's the only main character who can appearnote (The Doctor not having his mobile emitter yet, Jennifer Lien having left the series, and Tuvok having temporarily died) but doesn't).
Awesome, but Impractical: The Qalta Blade from Farscape, which can be fired as a gun, but requires holding the blade to steady it. Chuck theorizes that the reason D'argo wears gloves all the time is to prevent the recoil from severing his fingers.
Awesome Yet Practical: Believes the TR-116 Rifle, a futuristic sniper rifle that uses transporters to beam a projectile through solid walls, with a visor that can see through them, was abandoned by the Federation simply because it worked.
Chuck: Because this week, Chakotay has always been into... *dice roll* ANTHROPOLOGY!
Bad Bad Acting: Notes that everyone in "Encounter At Farpoint" has shades of this. Though it's possible they were simply trying to find their feet, he suspects it also had something to do with the direction given by Corey "He Controls The Sky!" Allen.
Badass Boast: Janeway's parting shot at the Borg ("Unimatrix Zero").
"Because you may be bigger, smarter, stronger, faster, but you will never! Ever! Becrazier.... Than meeeeeeeeeee."
Badass Decay: One of the major problems he has in-universe with "Q and the Grey", and to a slightly lesser extent "Q2", is how the Q were subjected to this.
He also examined this phenomena with the treatment of the Borg between TNG and Voyager.
Likewise, in order to maintain continuity in "Regeneration", the Borg's standard hail is drastically shortened as not to identify themselves.
Sfdebris: Everything the Borg do is supposed to be because it's logical. They say what they say so that you realise that resistance really is futile, because "We are the Borg. We don't lose". By not identifying themselves, by just giving the play-by-play, it's pointless. Archer is not filled with dread or fear, he's confused!
In "Unimatrix Zero Part 1", points out how ludicrous it is that Voyager can stand up to a Class 4 Tactical Cube, a more powerful vessel than those deployed to assimilate the entire Federation (twice) and responsible for annihilating an entire armada at Wolf 359.
Chuck: Now this ship is the one that Borg employs when they decided that "this shit just got real!" This is the ship that the Borg send when they are deadly serious about fighting! Janeway: Meet me in engineering, we're going to find a way in! Chuck: Oh, for god's sakes!
Bait and Switch: Occurs here and there, and in many forms. (see also the next two tropes)
Chuck: "The year is 1986, and Leonard Nimoy will be bringing a much-known character — or rather, a re-born version of that character — back into the light in a popular science-fiction franchise, while attempting to deal with his over-weight and egotistical co-star." Galvatron: "I will rip open Ultra Magnus and every other Autobot until the Matrix has been destroyed!" Chuck: "But lets spend some time talking about 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home'."
In the review for "Where No One Has Gone Before" (TNG):
Chuck: "Troi provides us with her usual insight." Troi: [speaking about Kosinski] "Also, he's arrogant, overbearing, self-important, and very sure of himself and his ability." Chuck: "Yeah, we know about Riker, what about Kosinski?" [ba-dum-ching]
Bait-and-Switch Comment: He has one complaint about Picard confronting Sarek, which is that it makes him want to see them have more scenes together.
The broken radio gag occurs frequently enough that he became sick of it by the time of "Damage" (ENT)
Has no love for hippies or, for that matter, anyone who preaches against capitalistic society. This is less of a berserk button than a general dislike.
He REALLY hates Pulaski, due to her smug condescending nature and callous treatment towards Data.
Out of the Star Trek universe, he reserves special hatred for early TNG writer Maurice Hurley, whom he considers not only the worst writernote (Or at least the worst long-term writer, since the third season of TOS and the first two seasons of TNG had a lot of writers who showed up, churned out one really awful script, and then were never heard from again) ever to have worked on Trek, but a loathsome human being as wellnote (Due to the misogynistic overtones in several of his scripts, plus his alleged conduct toward Gates McFadden, which we won't delve into any further). Although plenty of other writers have drawn his ire over the years (Rick Berman and Kenneth Biller for their generally very poor track records, Brannon Braga for his science abuse, Jeri Taylor for her Janeway worship, and even Gene Roddenberry himself for a number of reasons), he says that Hurley is the only one he truly detests.
He admits to really hating the character of Lwaxana Troi, who in his opinion is nothing more than an insufferable, egotistical bully, who treats everyone around her like garbage, thinks the entire universe centres around her and who never knows when to shut the hell up.
Being a family man, his anger is prevalent in the VOY episode "Real Life" during the clumsy use of a dying child as a plot device, as he himself lived through the pain of not knowing whether his prematurely-born twin sons would survive the night or not. (They did, but the possibility that they might not left a profound effect on him).
Likewise, he has a low tolerance for 'zany' scenes of childbirth.
He hates to the point of actually getting genuinely infuriated Alixus, from the Deep Space Nine episode Paradise, for being an utterly reprehensible human being, torturing, procuring, killing and allowing her people to die from diseases in order to keep her power going, justifying her villainy thanks to the complete corruption of the Good Old Ways aesops. And since SF Debris tends to dislike them, pointing out how technology has improved our lives, it just adds fuel to the fire. Basically, we got a community getting its collective face booted by a despot over a flawed ideology, making any reason to keep getting along with the tyranny and not trampling Alixus' power and face moot the second they knew she manipulated them. But instead, they thank her...
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Thinks that it'd have been hilarious if Worf went back to the smooth forehead of the TOS Klingons once in the past, only to have ridges again in the Deep Space Nine future, and have no-one comment on it at all.
His "Ashes to Ashes" review has him take a mental break from recalling "Innocence" by... watching a puppet show about a turtle.
Bilingual Bonus: In keeping with the theme in "Darmok" of overcoming language barriers, the opening credits appropriately is the original german version of "99 Luftballons".
Bizarre Alien Biology: Often makes fun of this when it gets really out of hand. Of note is "Elogium", in which he spends a lot of time pointing out how ridiculous, contrived, and utterly contradictory to basic survival Ocampan reproduction is, and that by all rights, the entire species should have gone extinct a long time ago.
The biggest is that, at maximum possible birthrate, their numbers would halve every generation. Combined with the fact that they give birth standing up (to a child gestated on their back), achieve sexual maturity in less then a year, and look youthful until the last few months of their death, Chuck thinks it's more likely that the Ocampa were created as sex slaves or toys (which he mentions in Before & After).
The aliens encountered in Unexpected are even odder. They reproduce by having the male and female put their hands in pebbles which lets them read each others thoughts, the males grow nipples to feed the child (despite the females having breasts), and the child only has DNA from the mother. It's like Berman and Braga deliberately set out to make the most implausible and unrealistic species possibles.
The aliens from "Macrocosm" who have a ridge running from the forehead, down their nose that then separated from their face over their mouth before reconnecting back to their chin; meaning that evolution gave them something that actually hinders the simple act of eating. As Chuck points out, the only way this species exists is "to prove God likes fucking with Atheists."
Black and White Morality: While this comes up a lot, he notes that the Voyager episode "Nothing Human" stands out as actually reversing this. The major conflict in the episode revolves around whether to use the medical knowledge gathered by Cardassian doctor Crell Moset, who was supposedly inspired by Nazi Doctor Mengele. However, Crell's actions are, while still horrible, not nearly as bad as those of the real Mengele, and Crell's experiments actually produced useful scientific data, as opposed to Mengele, who simply tortured for the sake of morbid curiosity. This, as Chuck points out, actually takes a black and white situation and gives it varying, perfectly defensible viewpoints.
Another example of this sort of subversion comes from "Tsunkatse," where the crew have perfectly frank discussions about boxing without the episode leaning one way or the other in someone's favor, listing how some people are for it and others are against it.
However, it's usually played straight in Trek, which he complains about- they tend to take an issue that is very complex in the present (the death penalty, for example), and make it so utterly one-sided that you feel foolish for having sided against them.
Black Dude Dies First: Discussed and turned into a running gag in the review of Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Where Silence Has Lease".
"...And naturally there'd be no shortage of volunteers [From red-shirted black men for bridge positions]. People who've seen Science Fiction know the black dude dies first. And people who've seen the original series know the guy who beams down in a red shirt dies. So, black dude plus red shirt equals get a bridge job as fast as you can and hope an alien doesn't show up on the view screen looking to kill people for no reason."
Later on he does the voices of the various cast members to summarize the scene:
Nagilum: "Now would be a good time to learn about death by killing one of you." Riker: "Oh, no!" Picard: "Oh, no!" Troi: "Oh, no!" Data: "Oh, no!" Black Red-Shirt: "MOTHER FUCKER!" *dies* Picard: "Send another red-shirted black fellow to the bridge." Geordi: *leaves*.
Lampshaded in "The End of the World", where the blue guy died first.
Inverted in "Skin of Evil", where Chuck spends quite a bit of time pointing out that despite the episode containing a black Red Shirt, it's the attractive white blonde female main cast member who dies!
"Oh come on, it's a Jeri Taylor script. You know that even in an episode where Janeway's been going nuts, she's gonna have the strongest will there is, don't be silly."
"Blind Idiot" Translation: Deliberately invokes this for humor in "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy" review by running the lyrics of La donna è mobile through Babylon online translation. The rice is false, indeed.
Post-op transsexual Quark. Half of the audience has now reenacted Oedipus the King, but for those still with us, let's move on... ("Profit and Lace")
"YOU ARE A NIGHTMARE MADE FLESH!"
Oswald Dane's final moments caused him great distress as a father. (Miracle Day) He pledged not to return until he'd hot showered himself to a lobster-red hue.
Bond Villain Stupidity: In "Maneuvers", wonders what was the point of Seska torturing Chakotay for information to plan the Kazon's next snatch and grab of Federation technology, when they could simply rip the transporters and replicators from the shuttle that Chakotay was captured in, which they already have?
Chuck: And of course you don't, because you're just as stupid as the rest of them!
Henry Starling in "Future's End", who repeatedly does unnecessarily villainous acts, despite them being detrimental to his overall plan. Such as hacking the Doctor enough to make him feel pain so he can torture him, when he could have simply made him compliant, allowing him to make a fortune from his knowledge of future medicine. And why killing Rain to silence her actually would make her information leak be taken more seriously!
Chuck: You know, for a man who became master of a technological empire... you're an idiot!
"You might be saying, 'Y'know, you may pretend you're fair, Chuck, but how come you'll bend over backwards trying to justify that stupid "Darmok" shish-koom-bah language, but you never turn out that kind of thinking to defend VOY. Why is that, and why is there blood on your clothes?'"
Brick Joke: His signature technique. Almost happens often enough to be Once an Episode. Early on, he'll make an offhand joke or aside about some minor story element, and later on he'll make another joke that ties into it.
The best example of this probably occurred in his "In Purgatory's Shadow" review where he stumbles over an Added Alliterative Appeal, only to have the following review of "In Inferno's Light" feature an insanely long alliterative discourse detailing the backstory of the events up to this point.
Yet another great one: In his redone review of "Caretaker", he makes a throw away joke at the fact that Janeway supposedly had plans on Earth while picking up Tom Paris which included "screwing with the replicators" and "installing [a] computer virus". Cut to Part 2 of his review of Star Trek: Nemesis 3 weeks later(!) where Picard is contacted by Janeway. Chuck proceeds to parody the scene by having Janeway explain that the events in the movie were all a part of her plan to take over the galaxy. Among the steps of her plan are to screw with the replicators on the Enterprise-E so that Picard's Earl Grey would be drugged, and creating a program that would make it so that whenever Picard was up for promotion, it would get rerouted to Janeway's file.
Points out that Blade Runner operates in the realm of, as the French say, mise-en-scène. Likewise, Deckard's rathole apartment speaks of a man who is, as the French say, "no-geev-è-crap."
The League of Captains and the Mindbomb during the Dominion war arc.
The "Turnip of Mass Destruction" in the Insurrection review.
Calls back to "Unimatrix Zero" in his review of "Ensign Ro" where Picard can't get involved in helping the Bajoran rebellion. Janeway pops up and claims that they should have called it a resistance.
Jokes in "Dark Frontier" that Dr. Phlox's notes on the Borg are incomplete due to having been gunned down by Breen assassins, referring to his theory that the Valakians from "Dear Doctor" eventually evolved into them and were not happy when they discovered that Phlox and Archer conspired to keep the cure for their plague from them, dooming their race to extinction.
The perfume scene from "Angel One" is met with cries of "For the love of God! Five, there are five lights!", calling back to the torture scene from "Chain of Command".
In the review of The Matrix, Chuck off-handedly mentions that he is currently drunk. A week later, we learn why: he was playing the Game Of Thrones drinking game, and he mixes up his notes regarding philosophy.
During the review of "In the Pale Moonlight", Chuck makes a complicated metaphor about how deep Sisko gets himself in that episode, comparing it to showing up hungover at a funeral, and singing "Old MacDonald" to the tune of "Amazing Grace". Flash-forward to the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan review, and Chuck mentions Scotty playing Spock of to the traditional funeral fare, "Old MacDonald".
In the review for "Up the Long Ladder" when it is mentioned that a solar flare threatens to destroy the colony, Chuck talks about the last time a solar flare hit Earth... which was a month ago. At the end of the review his video suddenly cuts off and then shows disaster footage. Guess another solar flare hit.
Near the beginning of the review for "Bliss" (VOY), Chuck ponders if Naomi Wildman is being deliberately mis-educated (due to an off-hand and mind-bogglingly-stupid remark from Paris about deuterium), and is taught among other things that dolphins are not fish, but apples. Later on in the same review, Naomi uses the phrase "The dolphin never falls far from the tree".
Broke the Rating Scale: Type 1. He's handed no more than one zero score for Voyager, Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, and Next Gen respectively, on a scale of one to ten, reserving them only for the absolute worst episodes of each series: "Threshold" for Voyager, "A Night in Sickbay" for Enterprise, "Code of Honor" for TNG, and "Profit and Lace" for DS9. No word yet on The Original Series. 0s are supposedly reserved for episodes that make the entire franchise worse by association; indeed, he did not even assign a "0" score to any of the movies, instead giving two "1" scores (though he admitted he was strongly tempted to give a "0" to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and would probably have done so if not for the flashback involving McCoy's father). On the other hand we have the TNG episode "Family" which no score was given on account of being too different from the series as a whole (the episode wasn't bad, just not Star Trek-y).
Due to time travel shenanigans and deaths of VOY's crew spanning across 15 years, "Timeless" should have cleaned up at the Lazarus of the Week, Unsafe at Any Speed, You CAN Go Home Again and Burn, Baby Burn awards. But Chuck came down with a severe Timey Wimey allergy and skipped straight to credits. The same thing happened in "Children of Time".
("I have no idea if any of this actually happened, so let's call it a draw.")
"My Way or JANEWAY" - Chuck measures how his own Parody!Janeway would handle each scene, then sees how VOY's Janeway measures up. He gives up halfway after the real Captain's actions are more extreme than her parody's. ("Latent Image")
Broken Aesop: Hope you girls have learned something between "The Way We Weren't" and "In a Mirror, Darkly":
"You can seize the moment and make whatever dreams you have come true, whether it is flying a fighter starship or crowning yourself the head of an empire! ...So long as you sleep with the right man, first."
Chuck: The whole point of "Death Wish" was that the Q had become stagnant, that Q was being mischevious out of boredom, and ironically became an agent to enforce the Q's status quo, even though he inspired the rebellious antics of Quinn that lead to him being sentenced to eternal imprisonment in unpleasant conditions. Then we had that idiotic Civil War where Q's side of freedom and individuality wins! And the result of this uprising? Is that Q is once again an Agent enforcing the status quo on his rebellious son and prepared to sentence to him to eternal imprisonment in unpleasant conditions!
The Bonding (TNG) gives us an interesting example that may be a form of Writer Revolt. The original draft of the story was about a boy who loses his Starfleet mother in an accident and tries to cope with a hologram copy of her. Gene Rodenberry flatly declared "humans in the 24th century do not grieve! Not even the children!" So it was modified, but the end result was subversive: a boy loses his mother and does his best to not grieve, but it's shown as being emotionally unhealthy and just plain wrong to not feel bad about losing someone and cover it up.
Wesley actually clarifies on this when talking about his experience when learning about the death of his father: He was indeed torn up inside but didn't show it to anyone because, "That's how he was expected to act."
In "Alliances", jokes that the end speech by Janeway is clearly meant to show us that Federation principles are sacred and should never be ignored, simply because it's easy option, Prime Directive, yadda, yadda, yadda...
Chuck: Really? I thought the message was "you suck at making friends"...
In "Memorial", by repairing the Memorial and allowing it to continue to Mind Rape passers-by for centuries to come, the moral of the story is that the only tragedies that matter are the ones that we experience ourselves!
So here's Star Trek's message: "We have a great respect for the cultures of the Native Americans... and we convey that by showing that they were backwards, languageless cavemen until they were touched by mystical white people from outer space." You're welcome.
Chuck: We get the oddest message here: "Don't bother being eco-friendly, because even if you do, it won't matter because some species being dead will cause aliens to screw [Earth] worse than we ever have."
Mentions how, in Star Trek, despite preaching tolerance and how people should be included in all things, how we are free of racism, that for some insane reason keeps also preaching the message that individuals should "Stick with their own kind." ("Faces")
Buffy Speak: Uses the term "Native American-y" to describe Chakotay's medicine bundle, which includes the requisite bird feathers.
Referring to a specific medical device (known in canon as a "cortical monitor") as a "neck thingy".
"Because by God, nobody comes into Sick bay and leaves without a neck thingy!"
"Quick, bring me the thingy! No, the other thingy! What med school did you go to?"
Even the Xenomorph's mouth has a mouth. "THAT'S how mouthy it is!"
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When you're Janeway, it's important to ask all passerby, "Have we offended you in some way?" ("Year of Hell")
(going down the list) "Did I help the Borg assimilate your people, uh, did Vidians I let escape murder your loved ones... or should I just mark this one down as miscellaneous?"
Butt Monkey: Harry Kim, of course. Chuck points out he's been killed, tortured, made the Chew Toy of the series and is seemingly horrified of being in an actual relationship. (For comedic emphasis, he showed Harry Kim having a dream about being aggressively smooched by Seven and waking up screaming. Sure, he omitted the part where Kim turns his head and suddenly sees an alien watching them, but everyone else in that episode was having nightmares, so that implies he's still terribly uncomfortable around Seven.) In fact, he's such a Butt Monkey, that at one point during the review of the Farscape episode "Premiere," that when the main character (John Crichton) has had a (characteristic) run of bad luck, he has to catch himself so that he doesn't say "Poor Dumb Harry," and replaces it with "Crichton."
According to SF Debris, the various incarnations of the USS Saratoga serve strictly as Starfleet's bitch.
Archer seems to have demoted Hoshi to be the Enterprise's delivery girl for the jobs that the others can't be arsed to do. Moments after launching a Subspace Communications Amplifier, which needed to be checked was working properly so that Enterprise could maintain their link to Earth, he asked Hoshi to find out Reed's favorite food for his birthday, choosing her over any other random crewman, and told her to make it her top priority. It's not as though Hoshi is the damned Communications Officer!
"Is there a medication for what you're on, Archer?"
John Crichton and the crew of Moya have no luck whatsoever, as Chuck explores in the Farscape episode reviews- "Premier" and "Nerve" being the most obvious examples.
"To say our heroes are cursed would be underselling it- at least curses usually have a chance of being lifted in some way."
He actually conducts this "battle" twice: once with the original YouTube review in November 2009, and then he revisits it for the Blip reupload in May 2011. In both cases, Wookieepedia is the clear winner. In fact, he gives the Star Wars wiki higher marks the second time around, noting the addition of George Lucas-approved art in which a popular Expanded Universe character bares her breast.
Calculus Is Arcane Knowledge: Points out a particularly ridiculous employment of this trope in "Shuttlepod One". Apparently the writers think that Trip Tucker, who is the chief engineer in charge of the single most advanced star ship humans have ever had at the time, wouldn't be smart enough (or wouldn't have to be smart enough) to understand basic math problems.
Care Bear Stare: In the review of "Threshold", he latches onto the technobabble phrase 'multi-spectral subspace engine design'. The only way 'multi-spectral' can fit into that phrase is, in chuck's own words, the ship is powered by rainbows, which gives him the mental image of shovelfuls of Care Bears being thrown kicking and screaming into Janeway's blast furnace.
Catch Phrase: Admiral Ross' go-to defense: "I don't have to explain myself to you captain."
Everytime Picard gets into a fight, "Argh! Not the face!"
Mayweather constantly reminding everyone, "Hey, did you know I've been in space!"
Picard: Commander, signal the following in all languages and on all frequencies — "We surrender."
Chuck: Make of that what you will.
Throughout the first series, Picard seems intent to seek out new life... and surrender to it.
From "The Killing Game", the Nazis "had large armies, irresistible tanks, superior air power, and the other side... well, is France."
In "Out of their Minds", is amused that the crew of Moya are completely aware of this and that it's even lampshaded in the episode, when Crichton asks D'Argo if they've sent their standard "Don't shoot at us, we're pathetic!" transmission and D'Argo replies that it was the first thing they tried.
Chew Bubblegum: "I'm here to measure soil toxicity and kick ass! And I'm all out of samples!" (ENT: "Regeneration")
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Surmises that the writers of Voyager somehow got it into their heads that they had killed off Lt. Carey, because after Series One, he simply disappeared from the show and from then on only ever showed up again in episodes set in the past. Then when the writers realised that Carey was in fact still alive, they were forced to bring him back for "Friendship One" in Series Seven, in order to actually make sure they'd killed him off this time.
Clark Kenting: Points out that the use of it in the failed Wonder Woman pilot is even more idiotic than the trope namer. She used just a pair of glasses, not even slouched or acting in anyway different, and had her name be "Diana Prince." Not only is she a constantly photographed Superhero, she is as an owner of a mega-corporation that publicly states that she is Wonder Woman. The only reason it can possibly work is that she only uses it to shirk responsibilities, watch chick flicks and pet her cat.
Cliché Storm: Mocked and invoked in his review of "Twisted", which he considers this.
Additionally, in "Our Man Bashir," he notes that it starts off as a combination of a shuttle/runabout accident, transporter malfunction with a holodeck malfunction, so the episode was not only delving into every James Bond cliché, but every Star Trek cliché. He warns the goldshirt to change his uniform because "he's playing with fire!"
It happens again in his review of "The Royale," which was supposed to be a Cliché Storm: Sufficiently Advanced Aliens have recreated a hack novel about gansters in a casino. However the episode itself features so many Star Trek clichés that, as Chuck puts it, it's a perfect case of irony. invoked
Cloning Blues: Points out the great tragedy in "Whispers" is that Clone!O'Brien is ultimately a victim. He was duplicated so perfectly that he really is Miles O'Brien, never even suspecting that he was a Manchurian Agent. But the people he calls his friends, treat him as not even a person at all, not being able to see past the weapon. Thus when he dies, no-one does anything to try to save him, and worse, no-one even seems to care.
Clown Car: Compares the Maquis vessel in the VOY premiere to one of these. As we'll soon discover, they've got room for fifty additional people back there, plus Chakotay's medicine wheel.
Clueless Mystery: Chuck admits that despite how good the film is, The Thing is a Clueless Mystery. He explores several of the scenes we see where the characters interact with the Thing, and points out how those scenes leave no way to deduce who is infected in later scenes. He cites some simple changes that could have been made, without making the Thing's identity being too obvious.
Colbert Bump: In his re-upload of "Alliances", mentions and quotes part of the review given by The Agony Booth for that episode, joking that people are clearly trying to hassle in on his niche.
Also drops one towards fellow reviewer Confused Matthew, who occasionally he's collaborated with.
Received one from Linkara, who freely admits to being a fanboy of his.
In fact Confused Matthew and Linkara's sites are directly linked to from the footer on his website. The only websites other than his own that he links to that way.
Cold Open: Of sorts. Many reviews begin with a short scene or moment from later in the episode/movie - no context is given. Then Chuck chimes in with a comment or joke that culminates with his Catch Phrase. Often the viewer is expected to already know the context of the scene anyway.
The "Genesis" TNG review starts like this:
Data [to Picard]: I believe you will also de-evolve, into an earlier form of primate. Possibly similar to a Lemur, or Pygmy Marmoset.
Commuting on a Bus: Believes that the reason Alexander would disappear for long stretches at a time on TNG, is because Worf kept hocking his son as collateral during poker night, then had to spend several episodes attempting to win him back.
Chuck: Warning: Opinionated Voyager Episode Guide is normally recorded at a level of decency found in a low-end PG-13 film. However, the episode being reviewed, "Elogim", is an episode with three plots: Sex, sex, and sex. As a result, any discussion of this episode requires discussion of sex. Therefore, this review contains adult themes.
[Caption: "WARNING: Contains adult themes"]
Chuck:It has also resulted in this review containing adult language...
[Caption: "WARNING: Contains adult language"]
Chuck:...not only because of the theme, but because this is one SHITTY episode!
[Caption: "WARNING: This episode is crap"]
Chuck: You have been warned! If only someone had had the decency to warn me before I watched this episode!
[Caption: "WARNING: Why God? Why?!!"]
Continuity Lockout: In "The End of Time" review, he notes that one of the problems with the episode is the sheer volume of references to past episodes being thrown in, meaning that casual viewers would be completely lost to understand whats going on.
Continuity Nod: Gives DS9's "Defiant" props that a Maquis character from TNG's "Preemptive Strike", where Ro Laren joined the Maquis cause, was probably the same person that recruited Tom Riker into the Maquis.
Continuity Snarl: Invoked when the Doctor claims Seven had her first dream in "Unimatrix Zero".
Seven: What about that those aliens who made us all have that collective dream? Doctor: That doesn't count, because that was an alien influence. Seven: Ok, what about when everyone was in stasis and I dreamed I was all alone, with no alien influence whatsoever? Doctor: That doesn't count either, because that would be continuity...
When the crew is stranded on the planet in "Basics", Chuck mentions how absurd their one hope of getting off is (the idea that Tom and his shuttle didn't actually blow up, which was all but confirmed for them). He says that another farflung hope is that this has some hidden tech from the aliens who kidnapped Amelia Earhart, and even that's relying on...continuity.
"Continuity" is a major point for Chuck that either makes or breaks an episode.
Convection Schmonvection: Pointed out in "Basics", where he jokes that Chakotay must be using some kind of "Indian magic firewalking trick" to protect himself from the super-heated steam and poisonous gas that should have instantly killed him.
Also notes in "The Thing" that the usage of flamethrowers should have some visible effect on the people using them due to the amount of heat.
The SFDebris title card depicts our sun when viewed through a certain spectrum. Giving the subject matter of Chuck's reviews, it's only natural that people confuse it for Sha Ka Ree, the luminous blue planet in Star Trek V.
Invoked in his review of "One Small Step" where Seven and Chakotay are continually at loggerheads over his stupid command decisions and his irritation at her attitude.
SF Debris: Seven's extremely upset that this idiotic human showed such disregard for their lives for a piece of obsolete junk... and obviously she's considering one day humping his brains out.
Suggests one in "A Look at Reg Barclay" which came out the same day as his review of "Human Error", noting several plausible reasons why, out of everyone in Star Trek, Reg Barclay is the person Seven would probably be the most compatable with.
SF Debris: Both are creative, intelligent, problem solvers, take pleasure in solitude, are interested in self-aware holograms and by alien influence, had experiences, though different, of a larger kind of consciousness integrated with technology, that they eventually had to give up. I think they'd gel quite well.
Creator's Pet: Invoked when he points out the multiple reasons why it's obvious that Wesley Crusher and Janeway were created to serve as an Author Avatar for Gene Roddenberry and Jeri Taylor, hence why they were always presented as infallible geniuses who were beloved by the crew.
Also invoked with Neelix, especially in "The Gift" when the show has to drop a character and Neelix stays despite being hated by the viewers, he doesn't just take it as a sign that the show's creators don't care what the viewers think, he takes it as a sign that they hate the viewers.
In "Fair Haven", he brings up the point that Janeway allowing Tom to run the titular program in all of the holodecks, all of the time, smacks heavily of this in-universe. Hope the Voyager crew didn't have anything else they wanted to do with their holodeck time!
Credits Gag: Swapping out the usual Opinionated Next Gen Review intro song, "99 Red Balloons", for its original German version ("99 Luftballoons") for his review of "Darmok", which is an episode about language.
Cure Your Gays: Mentions how the thing that stuck out most in L. Ron Hubbard's book, Mission Earth, was how the viewpoint alien got a new and improved penis, which he used to rape two lesbians who had previously tortured him straight.
From the video description for "Family": Plus, Wesley's backstory is fleshed out to the utter joy of his fan.
"Non Sequitur", possible the most apt-titled episode in the history of TV.
"Tsunkatse" is definitely the most successful Trek adaption of a Simon & Garfunkel song.
"Our Man Bashir", featuring the kind of high-caliber acting you expect from adult films.
Re: Riker and Troi's Hostile Show Takeover of "These Are the Voyages..." Chuck does concede that — in B&B's defense — there were probably many times on ENT when having some other, more interesting people strolling onto the set would have been welcome.
Debate and Switch: Chuck can see this coming a mile away, and he repeatedly states this is a regular feature of Voyager. Taking the easy way out of a moral dillema either due to chance or technobabble is something he finds irksome, so he tends to praise its absence, such as in The Thaw, where the crew has to decide whether or not it's okay to prioritize the lives of some victims over the sentient simulation watching over them that will be destroyed when they're freed. They of course decide to save the hostages, but weaker Voyager episodes would probably have Janeway try to save the evil clown too.
He commends the Voyager episode "Equinox" for providing a moral dilemma with only two bad solutions and no third happy way out, even if it may have been unintended by the writers: Do you commit mass murder of potentially intelligent lifeforms to gain fuel for your fancy supertech engine which would allow you to get home quickly, or uphold your principles while consigning your crew and yourself to living hell for the rest of their lives, limping home through hostile territory?
Deconstructor Fleet: Chuck loves unpacking Roddenberry's utopia to expose the inherent problems therein. This makes for a more serious mood. On the lighter side of things, he will frequently take the fundamental tropes of serialized sci-fi and turns it against franchise. Examples: Protagonist-Centered Morality as proof that the Federation is based on xenophobic attitudes; The Main Characters Do Everything as signs of rampant bureaucracy and mismanagement; and its Stock Aesops as the dogmas of an Orwellian state.
Designated Hero: invoked In the Wonder Woman review, he comments about his incompetent RPG superhero whose powers set included immunity to bad press. He could violate safety protocols, destroy a factory, horribly mutate someone in the process, declare this poor soul a supervillain, and beat the crap out of this guy, and the media would laud him for dealing with the unsafe factory and the newly-created supervillain. He contrasts this character with Wonder Woman, who unlike him, isn't supposed to be a comic relief character. He also pointed out that the villain broke fewer laws than Wonder Woman did.
Did Not Think This Through: Notes this about Damon Tog in "Menage a Trois", since in his infinite wisdom, he decides to that instead of kidnapping just Lwaxana, an older woman, who's known for frivolous flights of fancy and is so annoying no-one is going to miss her; Tog will kidnap Deanna and Riker as well... two Starfleet officers who's disappearance will be quickly noticed.
Diminishing Villain Threat: One of his big complaints about the Borg in "Unimatrix Zero," which shows two much smaller and weaker ships attacking an upgraded Borg Cube.
"Now let me put this in perspective. This is a souped-up version of the ship that nearly assimilated the entire Federation. In straight-up combat, that ship, a regular cube, was only defeated thanks to an armada, and unique insight into its vulnerabilities on a moment-by-moment basis. Now THIS ship (shows picture of Super Cube), is the one that the Borg deploys when they decide that Shit Just Got Real. THIS is when the Borg get deadly serious about fighting. (Janeway says that they're going to infiltrate the ship) Oh for god's sakes."
Dirty Mind-Reading: Kirk's mind meld in Star Trek III. ...And Captain Pike's fantasies in "The Menagerie." ...And Dr. Bashir's coma in "Distant Voices." Seems that what the future really needs is a nice sex dungeon.
"You're a findom, trapped in a system where money doesn't exist! Tragic."
Disobey This Message: Discussed thoroughly in "The Neutral Zone" (TNG), where Picard extolls on the virtues of the Federation's money-free economy... while anyone wanting to buy a DVD containing this episode would need to pay through the nose for it.
Similarly invoked in "Dark Frontier", where the enlightened Federation crew of Voyager willingly embrace the virtues of piracy... while the DVD the episode comes on features a digital piracy warning label.
Speculates that Worf actually has named his balls "Honour" and his dick "Courage", which other Klingons then copied. Cue one hilarious montage...
A cyclops in a pintriped suit with waggling face-dicks, "like it was ripped from the nightmares of Betty Friedan." ("Daleks of Manhattan")
In "Remember Me", Chuck puts the audio of the Traveler instructing Wesley on how to save his mother over a still shot of a shuttlecraft. Suddenly, everything the Traveler says comes off a lot creepier:
The Traveler: There's your warp bubble, Wesley.
Don't Explain the Joke: You wouldn't think Whoopi Goldberg would need this advice. But then, "The Outrageous Okona", an episode where Data attempts to learn humor, "is where jokes go to die".
A Real Life example: Chuck referred to Twilight Sparkle as "Sparkle, Twilight" throughout his My Little Pony review, but failed to indicate that this was a reference to Film Noir protagonists (he had to insert subtitles explaining this, even admitting that the joke was lame). It didn't help that the 'comma' was silent, making it sound like he was calling her 'Sparkle Twilight', instead of 'Sparkle, Twilight'. Needless to say, especially given the show's notoriously passionate fanbase, it all went over like a lead balloon.
He needs to, oh, find the nearest Chief Engineer and "tap her warp core". That time every seven years when Tuvok needs to... "taste his wife's false rice". Picard bending Beverly over his desk to"make it so". He wants to, y'know, "service the Collective". Incidentally, we see Dukat playing more and more with Sisko's ball. (ahem) If you feel Rainbow Dash likes other girls to....y'know, 'taste the rainbow?' Knock yourselves out. Riker blissfully watching a hologram of two women playing with their harps. We see Crichton with Aeryn, and figure that he really, really wants to bond with her naturally. Keiko offering Miles his favorite thing to eat! ....Favorite meal! Climb on that exam table, 'cause Bajor's getting occupied again tonight! (*bow chicka wow wow*) Riker "kissing Brenna's blarney stone." Sha're has never "kissed the Staff of Ra." Probe the collective. (ahem) As Geordi would put it - "tickle her nacelles" "Well, Beverly, it's time to....engage. And make it so." (cue mood music) "There's your warp bubble Wesley!" DON'T SPARE THE WHIP! "I'll have to put this in your mouth, I call it a tongue impressor." Torres demanding that Paris "give her a diagnostic."
Neelix just can't stop talking about Seven's curtains. ("Human Error")
Neelix: But we have to make sure they match the carpet! Sfdebris: A dozen ways to phrase that, and you had to go with that one.
Suggests that given the treatment the Maquis crewmen recieve in "Learning Curve" for not following Starfleet rules, considering they never wanted to be part of Starfleet in the first place, would drive anyone to pull a phaser and shoot the Warp Core in frustration. Particularly given how Dolby noticed a problem with the gel-packs, went to fix it and was disciplined for not getting proper authorisation first. Then when the rest of the crew realise the problem has spread to more gel-packs (possibly because Dolby was stopped from trying to find the problem), Dolby is then immediately ordered to go fix them.
In "Timeless", during a hypothetical Deal with the Devil scene with the Borg Queen, Harry agrees to change history after the Queen tells him that doing so will Ret Gone him.
Dying Dream: Invoked as an alternative to the fan hypothesis that Picard never leaves the Nexus in Star Trek: Generations, and all the remaining TNG films are his fantasies. It's pointed out that if you want to go down that route, it would actually make far more sense for the ending of Generations (and the subsequent three films) to be hallucinations induced by a mixture of sunstroke and concussion, which Picard experiences during the fifteen minutes it would actually take until Veridian III is obliterated by the explosion of its sun. Though, as he points out elsewhere, neither theory makes any real sense because it would mean the Enterprise-D crew died in that film, making Worf's joining of the DS9 crew along with Troi and Barclay's Voyager appearances impossible.
Brings this up in Battlefield Earth. Midway through the film, Johnny loses his breathing tube and is left to die in the Psychlo dome. Chuck says that the rest of the film can be interpreted as "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which would completely eliminate all the stupidity and plot holes.
Also Tom Paris, the most competent man on Voyager.
Reed, practically the Only Sane Man aboard the NX-01, inventor of the forcefield, supercharging phase-cannons, and possibly the original "Reed-Alert"... (though the name needs work).
Harrin from Voyager's episode "Good Shepherd", a one-shot Lower Decks character, who is unafraid to tell Janeway what a goddamn idiot she's been half the time, especially that it's taken seven years to notice, "On a ship meant to explore the wonders of the universe, you've put Carl Sagan in charge of shoveling coal".
Reg Barclay. His imagination, personality flaws and fallibility set him apart from most characters in Trek who often are presented as perfect, enlightened individuals. Chuck posits this as one of the reasons why he became a recurring character in TNG, was so easily transplanted to Voyager and even showed up in Star Trek: First Contact, as well as have his work even mentioned in "The Best of Both Worlds", in which he didn't actually appear.
The Everyman: Lister from Red Dwarf. Chuck points out that over time Lister's progression from someone who's concerned with his own imminent horror in the early episodes, to eventually stepping up and actually giving a damn, is actually a more hopeful version of Star Trek's message that anyone in such a difficult circumstance could rise to become a better person.
Hirogen: (gruffly) Y'know, I might kill for no reason other than someone's in killing distance, but at least I'm not a Nazi.
While reviewing "Latent Image," Chuck keeps track of how his parody Janeway would act in every situation compared to how Janeway actually acts in the episode...and is shocked to discover that canon Janeway actually has a more evil way of dealing with the episode's central conflict.
Everyone Has Standards: He's not a feminist, and still gets offended as extremely sexist parts of some episodes. He is also not a hypocrite. So he cannot just dismiss people who have an argument against his own view. He will give it a fair weighing and measure.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Chuck notes in his review of "The Swarm" that season 3 Voyager titles are extremely direct. "The Chute" is about a chute, "Flashback" is about a flashback, "Sacred Ground" is about some sacred ground and "Warlord" is about a warlord.
"Twisted", too, but it's a different sort of honesty.
"I'm looking forward to more future episodes like this, like uh, "More Shit", "We've Long Stopped Caring", and "Of COURSE We Don't Respect You"!"
"Fury" refers to the mood of the audience after peeing all over Kes' touching sendoff.
invokedExecutive Meddling: He's made fun of Executive Meddling many times, but in Insurrection's review, he points out that the executives actually sent a memo pointing out the many plot holes in the script and wondering why they weren't better addressed.
Executive Memo: We would like to better establish why the future of six hundred Ba'ku is so important. Currently it is unclear why Picard is so passionate about the future of this particular race. The "blood feud" between a few hundred Son'a and six hundred Ba'ku seems like nothing more than a gang fight. Numerous civilisations have been eliminated by previous Star Trek megalomaniacs, so what makes the Ba'ku so special? To be blunt, with only six hundred people in the gene pool, the Ba'ku would inbreed themselves into extinction within a few generations.
Expecting Someone Taller: "The Thaw": Janeway comes into confrontation with the embodiement of fear, and it is fear who is terrified.
Failsafe Failure: Really tore into this in "Learning Curve", when a manual override was still shut out by broken systems, which would defeat the purpose of being a manual override.
Fanon Discontinuity: Has this with regards to Star Trek V and even notes that in the overarching story of the movies from 2,3, 4, and 6, that the plot holes it creates mean it makes the most sense to pretend that it didn't happen.invoked
invoked Jokes that Enterprise only maintains continuity with the rest of the series if you imagine that the later generations of Starfleet were so ashamed of Archer and his crew, they created a blanket-ban forbidding anyone from referring to them.
"The Andorian Incident" gave us "Vulcan Bitch" and "Colin the Andorian" (so called because of his resemblance to Colin Mochrie).
Dr. Phlox has been dubbed "Dr. Zoidberg" as of the "Vox Sola" review, because of his long string of inaccurate judgment calls ("Curing these aliens would interfere with their evolutionary path." "These assimilated people are harmless!" "Patient confidentiality? What's that?").
The "Space Grinch" and "Om Nom Nom monsters." (Galaxy Quest)
Dweeb Von Weaselsnake and Prof. Sexual Harassment (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In reviewing Star Trek VI he calls TNG-era Klingons space vikings, while the klingons in the film come across more like space samurai: intelligent, cultured, but no less dangerous.
Fatal Attractor: Chuck points out that whenever Harry does have a relationship, it all goes to hell in a handbasket. Plus we've seen at least once that actually making out with Seven is something that causes him to have screaming nightmares.
Fate Worse than Death: In his review of The Day After, Chuck noted that one of the characters should have just "sat on the hole in the ground and gotten it over with," rather than the slow, painful death of radiation sickness.
Faux Horrific: Eating red meat is a Vulcan's worst nightmare, according to "Carbon Creek". Returns as a Brick Joke when the crew becomes stranded in "The Void"; when considering worst case scenarios, the first one that springs to Tuvok's mind is the possibly of killing a deer.
He dislikes Neelix so much that even the mere sight of him is annoying, culminating in this Stupid Neelix Moment:
"Neelix walked into a room and handed the Doctor a pad. This offended me."
This culminated in an incident where he acknowledged that 7 of 9 had been the annoying character in a scene, yet still gave the award to Neelix because, by standing next to her in a ridiculous shirt, the blame arced into him like lightning traveling between two clouds.
Okana was voted Most Annoying Character in "The Game", an episode which neither featured nor even mentioned him. However, Wesley was introduced as, "Wesley Wesley Crusher" and the memories just came flooding back.
Fictional Geneva Conventions: In the "Chain Of Command" review, Chuck points out that the "Space Geneva Convention" doesn't protect Picard when he's disavowed by Starfleet.
Flanderization: A few character traits for running jokes, like Picard's dislike of children, Troi's bad driving, Janeway's recklessness and love of coffee, Sisko's anger management issues, etc.
This applies not just to canon Janeway, but Chuck's own alternate take, as well. As the reviews go on Janeway becomes more and more maniacal, culminating in the Nemesis review where she reveals her master plan to take over the Alpha Quadrant, which will result in the deaths of about half of its inhabitants. But oh well, eggs and omelets.
Taken to even more extreme heights now that he is redoing the old reviews. Whole sections of former jokes have been completely rewritten to accommodate an "Evil Janeway" or (even more pronounced) a "Picard Can't Fight" gag.
This has since spread to other Trek reviews as well. Kirk and Sisko used to be the most down-to-earth, practical Captains in Starfleet. While still a force to be reckoned with, Kirk has devolved into an oversexed jock who belittles his crewmen and bangs all their girlfriends; meanwhile, Sisko considers the station's battleship to be his "real" son.
Chuck's improvied lines for Picard's brother Robert in "Family" ("Where you going? I was getting my best curse words ready, ya baldy skidmark!"), directly comparing him to both the Banjo kid from Deliverance and Jason Voorhees in terms of people skills ("I had an orgasm once. I didn't care for it").
Follow the Leader: Linkara's "History of Power Rangers" series has a very similar tone, with the montage in "Power Rangers in Space" almost exactly like SF's in "All Good Things" (which Linkara did get permission).
Averted that Chuck won't be doing the Star Wars prequels, following in the vein of Confused Matthew or Red Letter Media, simply because of the redundancy. "Its been done, there's nothing left to be said".
Diamanda Hagan says that her Twatty Who reviews follows SF Debris' style in her review of "Fear Her", albeit more caustic.
Follow Up Failure: "Unimatrix Zero" is accused of being a pretty major example of this next to the show's first two Borg two-parters, "Scorpion" and "Dark Frontier." Those two stories are both given the top score of 10, while "Unimatrix Zero" ends up with just 1.invoked
Foreshadowing: In his re-release of the Caretaker review, he mentions that rumors are that Janeway was on Earth for other reasons that just recruiting Tom, mentioning a computer virus and tampered replicators. Cut to his Star Trek: Nemesis review, and as part of an Evil Janeway comedic segment he reveals how those are part of Janeway's plan to take over the Federation and the Romulan empire through masterminding the events of Nemesis.
For the Evulz: He alludes in his Stargate review that Ra suffers from this, attacking the villagers at seemingly random.
For Want of a Nail: In his review of the Farscape episode "A Bug's Life", Chuck notes that the future of the show and the Farsape universe in general was determined by Chiana getting curious about the cargo that the Peacekeeper commandoes had brought aboard: it resulted in Aeryn getting near-fatally stabbed, Crichton having to infiltrate the Gammak base for medical supplies, and getting caught by Scorpius. In Chuck's own summary of the video, "the future of the galaxy is decided by a girl looking for something she can sell at a pawn shop."
In his video concerning Doctor Who's cancellation, Chuck goes into extreme detail on how the chain of events that got the show axed was caused by the Sixth Doctor's outfit.
Chuck: The Doctor's 26-year run drew to an end with the ironically titledSurvival; a program that rediscovered its magic and had a plan for the future... yet was unable to continue because of a series of disastrous decisions... all starting with the world's ugliest coat.
Forgotten Phlebotinum: Always calls out Star Trek for completely forgetting about the ship's shuttles if the transporter goes down. On the other hand, there's this, from the review of the Firefly episode "Out of Gas":
Chuck:(as Mal is talking to the crew outside the infirmary about their situation) ... and of course, they're going to completely forget about the shuttles. Mal: So instead of talking about what we don't got, let's talk about what we do, and what we got are two shuttles. Both short-range, won't go far, but they each got heat, and they each got air. Last longer than what's left on Serenity. Chuck:(pauses the clip) They cancel this, and let Enterprise run for four seasons?
Four Point Scale: Utterly averted. Rather than using an arbitrary rating system, he gives every episode a grade from 1-10 relative to all other episodes in the same series, and not in any other. He'll give a "10" to the best the series had to offer; due to the bell-curve rating system, there are only a few per series (when giving a "9", he'll often lament that, while it was very good, it just wasn't the best of the best). He gives out one "0" per series, always to the episode that is most damaging to the reputation of the franchise as a whole, not just the particular series, and deserves the Canon Discontinuity treatment. (This actually did happen to "Threshold"). He does have opinions about the relative quality of each series to all the others, and they become obvious if you watch enough reviews: An Enterprise "5", for example, is clearly an inferior episode to a Deep Space Nine "5", as the Enterprise "5" is generic schlock, while the Deep Space Nine "5" may be a simple but enjoyable episode.
Chuck himself admits he was indulging in this trope a bit with his early Deep Space Nine reviews, pegging "7" instead of "5" as an average (using the 7.5 he originally gave "Our Man Bashir" as a specific example, downgrading it to a "4" when he re-uploaded it). Without a doubt, his more recent DS9 reviews, such as "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace", strongly avert this trope; he praises them profusely and offers no substantial criticism, but still only gives them a "5" and a "6" respectively because, as noted above, the bar for DS9 is set so high.
For his non-Star Trek reviews, he gives descriptive recommendations instead of numerical ratings; he might rate a Doctor Who episode as "Watchable" or "Must-See".
Franchise Zombie: On Star Trek: Enterprise during the infamous "A Night In Sickbay," Chuck temporarily loses it and says "And yet it's still coming! It won't stop! How do you kill a Star Trek show that's already dead?!"
"Profit and Lace" is compared to a heroic boxer who's down for the count. Those final twitches could be the final moments of defiance, or the throes of the dying. We'll never know.
Franken X: Chuck uses the X-Stein variant in his Dark City review. He tells the story of Daniel Schreber, a German writer who suffered mental illness and was hospitalized at an asylum called "Sonnenstein".
Chuck: "Sonnenstein also being the name of the monster I brought to life in a lightning storm."
Freudian Excuse: Deconstructed at length in his discussion of Azula, with Chuck ultimately concluding that "there is no reason the straightforward explanation the show provides isn't the truth: that her gifts made her arrogant to the point of being a monster."
Ironically, Word of God in a supplementary interview confirmed that the straightforward explanation wasn't the full truth, and that while that explanation is the basic gist of it, the actual issue with Azula's psyche runs deeper than that.
Much hay is made of Janeway's comically abusive childhood, from being hunted down by her rifle-wielding dad on Father's Day, to dodging thrown beer bottles until he finally passed out drunk, to being thrown into a pit on her birthday (with a birthday gift offered as reward for climbing out alive). Admiral Janeway got his just desserts though, as hinted by Katheryn who offhandedly mentions murdering him (and smothering her stepmom for good measure). Yet again, Word of Saint Paul says this has a kernel of truth: Kate Mulgrew rationalized her schizo characterization by playing her as a bipolar, nervous wreck.
(And yes, Garrett Wang was an early proponent of the "Harry's a closet gay" theory, chasing after unattainable women to avoid his love for Tom.)
Repeatedly tries to avoid this (without success) in a scene with Tom and Harry from "Parturition":
"Tom's impressed, quickly taking hold of Harry's instrument - er, I mean, complimenting Harry on his...showing his appreciation of...Tom has a clarinet. Tom gives it back and wants to hear something. Harry's a little hesitant, but Tom insists that Harry slip that instrument between his lips— (beat) ...Use proper tongue technique— (beat)... supplemented by careful finger manipulation along the long shaft of hard wood— (beat) ...to make beautiful music— (beat) ...I give up. I award this scene the Congressional Medal of Gay".
Repeated with relish in "Non Sequitur". Sure, Harry's left his hot horny fiancée behind to go grab a stick and play with Tom, "but dammit there's nothing gay about it!"
"A-and sure, there was that one episode where women were beating him large phallic objects, but there's nothing gay about it. And yeah, we went into Harry's mind and saw a log cut in half by a large pink guillotine while a man dressed all in leather with a bare chest stood nearby and— okay, that's kind of gay, I'll grant you that. But, look, that's not what it's about, okay? Harry's just trying to convince Tom to come back with him to San Francisc—! (beat) ...Harry wants Tom in the pilot's sea—! (beat) Harry knows that Tom is good with his han—! shit."
Freud Was Right: Invoked about Reed's love of big guns and how he often appears aroused by giant explosions.
When describing the USS Pasteur in the reviews of "All Good Things..."
"...And there's where we see the ship belonging to Beverly Crusher. A little different, big round head there angled off of the long main shaft that's easy to grip for optimal placement. The Clitmaster 5000 has set the bench-mark of quality in the... Shit, I've got the wrong script here..."
Fun T-Shirt: Wolf 359 was an inside job ("The Killing Game" Pt. 1)