- Sanity Slippage Song:
- Uses Buddy Holly's "Everyday" for the scene in "Unimatrix Zero" where Janeway gets assimilated.
- "Clementine" in "Equinox Pt. 3."
- When a brain virus leaves Riker comatose, he— ....no, wait. You better see this one for yourself. ("Shades of Grey")
- Saying Too Much: "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man"
"And he's constantly writing, constantly trying to get that story out there— and he's constantly getting back rejection letters. Harsh, demoralizing papers. Counting one after another, after another, stacking up higher and higher and higher, until it's a glowing packet of hate constantly LOOKING DOWN AND JUDGING YOU! JUDGING YOU UNTIL THE ONLY SOLACE YOU CAN FIND IS DOING YOUR CRAPPY INTERNET REVIEW SHOW!!
- He can relate to Captain Braxton's desire to blow Voyager up. ("Relativity")
- "Fascination" really speaks to him. A bit too much.
"There's nothing quite like the sensation where, at the root of where you live, everything has gone to shit and you can do nothing about it. It's like you can sense that the little components of your soul just went "vizzle
" and now you're broken. You could eat something that's horribly bad
for ya, until you feel worse that you've screwed up your body
too, now. You can try finding things that make you happy to look at, but then you remember that they've blocked pornography on your work computer. Seems that all that's left is...finding something that you hate
. And just venting
at it and venting
at it until you've finally purged yourself of all that negative energy
... (sighs contently) Back to the review
- Obviously, the Wonder Woman pilot is incomplete, with post-production notes for things to be added in later. These start out as mundane notes such as "Enhance skyline" and quickly turn into Chuck instructing himself to "Turn your back on hope and love" and plant vomit in an annoying neighbor's trashcan.
- Chuck can relate to an alien's temptation to coerce sex from Riker. ("First Contact", TNG)
"If the locals are us
, then, essentially, she is anyone who has ever been curious about that kind of thing. ...Has had those kinds of thoughts. ...wondered what Tali looks like when she's out of that suit... (sputters
) SHADDAP! DON'T JUDGE ME!"
- Scandalgate: In the review of "Deep Throat" from The X-Files, he admits that this is his pet peeve.
- Schedule Slip:
- Magnificently averted. He hasn't missed a scheduled update in ages. Made even more impressive with the transfer of his videos from YouTube to blip.tv; he posts several videos per week, which are either brand new or are completely re-recorded (given the poor sound quality of his older videos), usually with new material added. In August 2011, he posted at the rate of almost one video per day. And the only breaks he takes are scheduled ones. He's only missed three scheduled updates, two of which have been due to outside forces, the first from a tornado knocking out power to his house for a few days, the second from some unknown technical glitch on the blip server.
- Subverted in February 2014. He was summoned to jury duty, and noted that the schedule posted was tentative. He did not miss a day even with jury duty.
- Schizo Tech: On an X Files episode he noted that in UFO lore the aliens have oddly inconsistent levels of technology. Sure, they can travel between stars and their metallurgy is far beyond ours, but they apparently can't perform surgery without leaving extremely obvious scars.
- [invoked] Sci Fi Ghetto: Discusses this in his introduction to Red Dwarf (which can be found here), and points out that whilst ET The Extra Terrestrial may have lost to Gandhi in the Oscars, Gandhi has yet to be inducted into the National Film Registry alongside science fiction classics like Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, and the aforementioned E.T..
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Points this out in the "Terra Nova" (ENT) review. The episode tells us that colonists from Earth to a nearby Earth-like planet became angry at Terran authorities for wanting to send another group of about 200 colonists to the same planet.
Chuck: Wait, they didn't want another 200 people to land on the same planet... How much lebensraum do you people need?! Are Berman and Braga really this stupid? It's a planet! How can these idiots not realize how freaking huge a planet is, considering they will likely never ever leave the one they're on?
- Notes the same issue with 600 Ba'ku having this objection in Star Trek: Insurrection.
- A minor one in the 2009 reboot where Pine!Kirk ends up withing walking distance of Nimoy!Spock on the same planet.
- The Scrappy: In-Universe, he hates Neelix more than any other main character in a Trek show (with only guest character Okona being worse).
- He also lists the "Annoying Character" for any non-Voyager Trek show.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: At the start of the Night of the Comet review.
- Screwed by the Lawyers: He notes that his legal experience is basically limited to "not singing Ninety-nine [sic] Luftballons", (which was the dropped intro music of TNG on YouTube).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He tries to do this in the "Unimatrix Zero" review after the sight of Neelix running Voyager's science station is followed up by the revelation that two rebel Borg drones have somehow commandeered a Borg Sphere, which is supposed to have a crew of several hundred, if not thousand drones.
- Screw Yourself: Harry once commented on becoming smitten with his own hologram. ("Latent Image")
- Two Sevens! "Clearly the only way to resolve this paradox is for the two of them to start making out! ..C'mon, right now." ("VOY: Relativity")
- Why is it that whenever there are two Janeways, they always argue with one another? The answer: Unresolved Sexual Tension! ("VOY: Deadlock")
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Mentioned In-Universe in the review of The X-Files Pilot. SF Debris claims that the show is one of the best TV product of and biggest influence on The Nineties, and that today it might seem uninspired or cliché, however, when it first aired, it was very innovative.
- Self-Deprecation: Chuck after spending the first eight minutes of his review of Transformers talking in deep detail about how the relationship of the summer blockbuster to science fiction is both blessing and curse. After the commercial break:
"Okay, I stand by everything I have said, and I do
advocate rational discourse over a hurricane of trolls
. But I'm also an Internet critic and part of the job is, well, this part of the show now, where I act like a guffawing dickhead."
- This one was a long time coming: To commemorate "Captain Picard Day", Riker mockingly imitates the Captain. Chuck replies, in Sir Pat Stu's accent, that it's "the second worst impression" he's ever heard. ("The Pegasus")
- Separated by a Common Language: In the third "Torchwood: Miracle Day" review, is quickly irritated by their insistence on running the joke that British people and Americans use different words for things into the ground, pointing out that it'd become a tired old cliche, years ago.
- Although in "Rose" he pointed out that it was rather amusing when Rose went to find the C.E.O. in the basement.
- Sequential Symptom Syndrome: Chuck doesn't buy the idea that Star Trek inspired the cell phone, but in "Realm of Fear," he does give credit to the franchise for predicting hypochondriacs using the Internet to diagnose themselves.
- Serious Business: He reveals while reviewing "Real Life" that his twin sons were born premature, and overcame incredible odds to both be alive and healthy today. So he is quite upset at the episode's trivialization of that horrible situation, saying that people should go through it to build character (especially since the show forgot about it anyway).
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: When Dukat talks to Weyoun and calls him "anhedonic"note . Chuck replies "Someone got a word-a-day calendar" then makes up this bit.
Dukat: I suggest you stop this ultracrepidarianism, Weyoun, especially in front of that xanthippe we work for to avoid acting mendaciously.
Weyoun: Your newfound logological hobby is leading to excessive magniloquence, so I assert you circumvent words of a hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian nature.
- Shaped Like Itself: Brought up in his second My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic-related review. He mentions that, since Discord was largely based off of Q, Lauren Faust had wanted his VA to "sound like John de Lancie". She ended up with... John de Lancie.
Chuck: So, mission accomplished.
- Shipping: He ships Mulder and Scully in-universe, i.e. in his review. From The X-Files episode "Deep Throat" review:
We then get to return to Mulder and Scully in a bar in the midst of the day working that sexual chemistry
of theirs. Mulder:
I've got something to show you. Chuck:
Yeah, you know it. Sometimes the fan fics just write themselves.
- Shithead Has A Point: From the intro of "The Cloud" review.
Kes: I don't think the captain is an idiot. She cares a great deal about her crew.
Neelix: You don't care a great deal about your crew and introduce them to the specter of death at every opportunity!
Chuck: You know, he may be a shithead, but he's got a point!
- Similar exchange from Fair Trade:
Chuck: See, he thinks that when he stops being able to serve Janeway as a guide, she'll boot him off the ship. What, you mean, just use you until you can no longer serve her, and then cast you aside? Tha— [pause...] Huh. Fairly astute there, Neelix.
- Shared Universe: He cameod in Linkara's review of One More Day, making him part of the TGWTG/AVGN universe.
- Shout-Out: Now with their own page.
- Shown Their Work: His reviews of Red Dwarf are very well-researched.
- Significant Anagram: He names his character in Knights Of The Old Republic "Traven Rhad." It's an anagram for "Darth Revan."
- Sincerity Mode: In contrast to his usual approach, Chuck will occasionally make a point of gushing and talking at length about something he thought was done well, made him think, or just needed a sober explanation with less of the usual humor.
- Such as the epilogue for the Tapestry review.
- Or the In The Pale Moonlight Coda.
- Or the Prime Directive rant.
- Maybe even the Passing Through Gethsemane Coda.
- And the dedication to Elizabeth Sladen at the end of the Seeds of Doom review.
- Also, in the Real Life review, when he compares the death of the Doctor's dying (holographic) daughter, to his own experience of almost losing his twin boys.
- In the re-upload of Shuttlepod One, praises the professionalism of many of the actors in Enterprise, who were let down because the writers and producers simply didn't seem to care about what they were giving them to work with.
- Single Precept Religion: The Bajoran religion is occasionally mocked for showing signs of this, but particularly in the review of "Children of Time" (DS9).
Kira: I miss [First Minister Shakaar], but the last time we were on Bajor we went to the Kenda shrine, and we asked the prophets if we were meant to walk the same path.
Kira: We're not.
Chuck: Well... that's certainly a quick, neat, and ridiculous explanation. I'm surprised it wasn't revealed that he was a Leo and she was a Sagittarius, and their signs clashed. If they do, I don't know, I don't respect astrology enough to even look it up to accurately mock it. But they're really keeping it vague for such a life-changing decision, I mean, do they make use of one of the orbs to get some vision of the future? Is that how they found out? Or is this just asking some Vedec who was trying to take a nap?
Vedec: *sleepy* Huh? What? No, you're not compatible, now go away, prophets be with you.
Random Bajoran: Uh... Vedec? My father just died...
Vedec: He's rotting in hell. Prophets be with you. Go away.
- This turns into a small Brick Joke when later in the episode we find out that Kira was killed when the Defiant accidentally jumped 200 years back into the past and crashed on a planet in the Gamma Quadrant.
Chuck: Ah. Well, I have to credit them this much: I suppose dying 200 years in the past is a definite sign that you're not destined to be with somebody.
Vedec: Ha! Told you! Prophets be with you. Fuck off.
- Sins of Our Fathers: His interpretation of the Ninth Doctor following Day of the Doctor. The War Doctor was the one who made the decision to burn Gallifrey but it's the Nineth Doctor who has to live with that decision and the universe it created. In Chuck's words, he was born with Original Sin.
- More humorously, he suggests that the reason why Worf is so disgusted by Alexander is that Klingon Religion states that Klingon Parents can go to Hell (well, Gre'thor, but same thing) for the dishonor of their children.
- Slices, Dices, and Makes Julienne Fries: Spoofed the line in the Projections review, when "kinoplasmic radiation" is used to justify or Hand Wave almost every plot development.
SF Debris: What versatile radiation: it screws up all the computers, the transporters, and human brains. It slices, it dices, it cuts through a tin can and still slices through a tomato!
- Small Name, Big Ego: Invoked when he accuses Star Trek: Nemesis director Stuart Baird of this; Baird, at the time a well-regarded editor and fledgling action director, continually got LeVar Burton's name wrong (he called him Laverne). Burton, who has many talents and has been recognized for all of them, is highly esteemed by his peers and beloved by fans, and is an all-around nice guy, certainly did not deserve that treatment. As Chuck himself points out, it's basic courtesy and Baird should never have done it more than once.
- Smoke Out: Time onboad the Krenim ship has no meaning ("Year of Hell"), so Annorax can live forever, never aging because that has to do with "time." While continuing to breathe, eat, etc., since none of that to do with time because FLASH BOMB! (screen goes white)
- Smug Snake: Chuck portrays Lutan from "Code of Honor" as a particularly unlikable Smug Snake, with his every attempt to project authority and confidence failing and instead coming off as entitled, childish, obnoxious idiocy.
- So Was X: His retort to a TNG Admiral's assertion that "for 500 years, every ship that has borne the name of the Enterprise has become a legend! This one is no different."
"Which lumps the NX-01
into this group, too. Though I suppose you could argue the Titanic
has become a legend."
- Tom was thinking along similar lines, as he drew inspiration from "an ancient steamship called the Titanic." ("Year of Hell")
"For some reason I was thinking of a doomed ship Captained by someone who thoughtlessly steered the crew into harm's way, causing a disaster so legendary all would remember it for centuries to come."
- It's no accident that Janeway's ex-fiancee gave her a copy of Dante's Inferno as a gift, either. ("Shattered")
Mark: For some reason, I picked out the story about a man who journeys through the eternal torments of the damned! *chuckle which devolves into a whimper*
- "Voyager may not be as big as a Galaxy ship, but she's quick and smart — like her Captain!" ("Relativity")
"...and of course devoid of a soul!"
- When reminded that Insurrection is supposed to be 'lighthearted and fun'' Chuck's rejoinder is that the last person who tried to combine Moral Dilemma + Lighthearted and Fun was the Clown in "The Thaw."
"You know, the VILLAIN!"
- Michael Pillar was convinced that LeVar Burton should submit Raymond Chandler parody with avian-headed femme fatales and cops for Emmy consideration.
- In another moment of Pillerian inspiration: He decided that Ferengi female emancipation would ultimately result in Quark and Rom ending up in drag somehow.
"...And like many ideas, like nerve gas and butt-chugging, this was a bad one."
- Likewise, the many "brave" gambles made by John Nathan-Turner in his classic, "The Twin Dilemma." However, like a BASE jump gone wrong, purposely flouting all story convention doesn't make the result suck less.
- Society Marches On: Lampshaded in his review of "Angel One", where the Federation go in prepared with the most up-to-date information they have on the planet... from over 62 years ago. Chuck points out how stupid it is that societies never seem to evolve in Trek, noting that in 1950's America a black man could be arrested from drinking from the wrong fountain, but skip-forward to the present day and a black man has just been elected President for the second time.
- Something Completely Different: His review of Mass Effect 2. The first time he ever reviewed a video game (it was actually a full-length annotated playthrough, followed by his usual detailed analysis).
- So Okay, It's Average: Declared this In-Universe of Star Trek III.
- Sophisticated as Hell: A common tactic of his, especially in his otherwise more "serious" videos, to remind everyone not to take him or what he says too seriously.
Chuck: Once again I will use the words 'magnetic balls' to show that I'm not anyone special myself.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: When Eddington asks Sisko for a "rousing" song before they head into battle, Chuck inserts the Piña Colada Song.
- Janeway blowing up the Caretaker array to the accompaniment of banjo music. How apropos.
- The first video in "Profit and Lace" (Chuck's Christmas selection) plays Andy Williams over lesbian/gay spank material. The final video closes out with "The Little Drummer Boy" while Quark and his mother hurl vicious insults at each other offscreen. It's glorious.
- The ending montage in "The Fall of Night" is set to "Peace in Our Time" by Eddie Money. The ironic juxtaposition of this song against the images on screen is chilling.
- A brief history of Neelix's attempts at deception throughout the series. His faceplants are deserving of "Smooth Criminal." ("Resistance")
- When weighing the triumphs of Trek's respective Captains — forestalling the Borg invasion of Earth, sealing away the Pah-Wraiths and saving the entire Alpha Quadrant, preserving the very existence of all sapient life, and getting into a sissy fight with some criminals on a catwalk — we see Archer proudly accepting his accolades while "You're the Best" blares. ("These Are the Voyages...")
- Space Jews: Takes a hammer to the concept in his Mass Effect 2 review - or at least, the idea that the batarians match to Arabs because we've seen a lot of batarian terrorists and there was one batarian religious fanatic.
- Space Whale Aesop: Parodied in "Forest of the Dead":
- Remember to recycle your paper, or your shadow will eat you.
- Remember to back up your data, or a computer will eff up your face.
- Special Edition Title: Of a sort. While it's possibly just a holdover from when he was on YouTube, he doesn't use his theme for a number of TNG's more dramatic episodes such as "The Measure of a Man", "Pen Pals", "Sarek" and "The Best of Both Worlds, parts 1 & 2", opting instead to open with a scene from the episode in question to set up the weight of the subject.
- When reviewing TNG's "Darmok", an episode about overcoming a language barrier, he uses the original German "99 Luftballons".
- For Enterprise's "In a Mirror, Darkly, part 2", he played the theme backwards.
- "Emanations" (VOY) was his first YouTube review, and when it came time to remake the video for Blip.tv (it was one of the last Star Trek reviews to be remade), Chuck made a special intro montage to celebrate all of his Voyager reviews up to that point. The intro sequence starts as normal, but then the music stops and the video begins to reverse. The music is then replaced with AC/DC's "Highway to Hell", over video that is simply comprised of all of Chuck's VOY reviews, back to back, strongly Undercranked, and played in reverse.
- Spell My Name with a "The": He claims that the real reason why the Prophets call Ben Sisko "The Sisko" is his memetic badassness.
- Spoiler Title: Among its many other faults, he calls out the Voyager episode "Memorial" for having one, as most of the story is a mystery about what's screwing with the crew's heads.
- Spoof Aesop: Unrequited love is tragedy. ...Unless it leads to rampant sexual harassment, then it becomes comedy! ("Fascination")
- Spoonerism: Seven getting bombed on synthehol at a party in "Timeless".
(slurring) "Ah'm Borrrg you—dammit! Prepare to be stimulated! Feudalism is resilience!"
- Scotty's mind seems to be... "elsewhere" in Wrath of Khan.
Scotty: (carrying Preston) He's badly hurt, so I brought him up here to Sick Bay!
Kirk: This... this is the Bridge, Scotty.
Scotty: And then I'm headin' back down to finish drinkin' the engines! ...I-I mean, repairing the scotch! Er...crap..
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Terl became this a result of John Travolta's ego. Chuck states that Travolta was originally planned to be the hero of the film, but admitted he had gotten to old and out of shape for it, but wasn't too humble to still not have most of the focus of the film be on him, resulting in significant portions of it being written to allow him to chew the scenery.
- Spot The Thread: In his "Unreality" month where he reviewed episodes where reality and fantasy were warping into one another, he finds a common theme. "You may have thought you could fool us, hallucination, but you make the same mistake all the other hallucinations have made. You made Chakotay too lifelike, a dead giveaway!"
- Stargate City: He repeatedly references Stargate SG-1 being filmed in Canada, referring to Canada as SG-1's equivalent of Kirk's Rock. Also, Canadian Druids.
- Status Quo Is God: For the times when Voyager doesn't even bother with the Reset Button. To mention one example, the episode "The Could" started off with the Voyager's replicators running low on... whatever it is that powers them. By the end of the episode they hadn't managed to get them refilled, yet in the next episode the replicators were used frivolously like the shortage never happened.
- Stealth Insult: Much chortling over the selection of Janeway as the only officer fit to pose as a galaxy-ruling Hive Queen, even edging out Seven, who has actual experience serving as same! ("Bride of Chaotica")
Tom: He's a meglomaniac, so it's a good idea to appeal to his ego.
Janeway: Heheh! So clueless! ...Uhh tell me again why I'm the only one awesome enough to pull this off?
- The Stinger: In traditional MST3K fashion, playing a funny clip from the episode at the end. Voyager reviews are the exception, always ending on this exchange from The Thaw.
The Clown: I'm afraid.
Janeway: I knoooow.
- The Stoic: Chakotay is interpreted as "half Native American, half tree" as a gag on Robert Beltran's sometimes wooden acting.
- Strawman Has a Point: A rich, gold-filled in-universe vein of snark for his reviews of Star Trek episodes. SF Debris is able to spot these from a mile away.
- So when Bruce Maddox of the Next Generation episode "The Measure of a Man" wasn't this trope, he made sure to point it out.
"Normally in the Opinionated Guides, we defend the assholes, douchebags, and general antagonists when, objectively speaking, their behavior is understandable given the collection of starry-eyed, clicky, sugar-coated dogmatic zealots that they wind up going up against. But there is no defending [Bruce Maddox]."
- Believes that Seska's reasons for wanting to forge an alliance with the Kazon, for protection and backup in a region of hostile space, are incredibly pragmatic.
- The Unaired Wonder Woman pilot has the characters who fight for due process as sleazy criminals or people in the pocket of sleazy criminals. Much better to have a short-tempered, impulsive, violent super-woman who holds such concepts in contempt and is immune to prosecution ferret things out.
- While reviewing Torchwood: Miracle Day, he points out that Jane Espenson's episodes tend to contrast with points explicitly made earlier - while the Catholic belief in the unborn is mocked, the Miracle's parameters lend credence to the idea that life starts at conception, and while a member of the Tea Party is presented as a fringe zealot, the next episode shows a form of "death panels" being used to determine who lives and who's annihilated. While Chuck is neither Catholic nor a Tea Partier, he has to question how effective a work's message is when the quick jibes are utterly contrasted by future events.
- Stealth Pun: In the "Body and Soul," he describes pon farr as "the need to do the Vulcan salute without the ring finger." Which would look a little something like this.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Suggests that Kes might have a form of this, theorising that as usual, Neelix simply forced himself into the unwanted position of "boyfriend" and eventually Kes just gave up trying to tell him to take a hike.
- Considers the villagers refusal to leave at the end of "Paradise" to be proof that they are suffering this, after years of torture and indoctrination at the hands of a mad despot.
- Why the people put up with Wonder Woman's actions.
"She pushes to be given time alone with this fellow that she actually put in the hospital in the first place, yeah, that doesn't sound like a bad idea at all
. But the detective, for some reason, decides to go along with it, because, well, nobody can say no to Wonder Woman. Or at the very least, no one dares
to say no to Wonder Woman."
- Stupid Evil: This is his main complaint about the Mirror Universe episodes of Enterprise; everyone's so busy backstabbing each other that it's a wonder anything gets done.
- The Borg Queen in "Unimatrix Zero", since it portrays her as a laughably incompetent villain.
- Darth Malak from Knights Of The Old Republic gets this for his laughably incompetent, over-the-top Salt The Earth tactics, as well as sending legions of droids to kill a man... who has a power that is labeled, quite literally, "Destroy Droid."
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Used in the Dragon Age: Origins review:
Oh hear me speak, oh rhyming tree /
Your poet's speech is killing me /
So, pardon me if I seem blunt /
But knock it off, you stupid... jerk.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: A Running Gag with Chakotay.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Janeway's reputation in the Delta Quadrant precedes her — even in holographic simulations. (Living Witness)
Janeway: (speaking too soon) I didn't do it. Except for the stuff that sounds good, that I did the hell out of!
- She accidentally blurted out the existence of "Kes-kotay" when Chakotay made an offhand remark in "Dark Frontier". She then protests that there's "only one", so if Chakotay kills it, then that constitutes genocide/suicide!
- When Seven comes looking for answers in the mess hall, Neelix automatially ducks under the counter and cries, " I swear that lice didn't come from me!" ("The Voyager Conspiracy")
Neelix: O-of course, I meant that they came from my spice, and are completely unrelated to my scalp condition. Uh, powdered donut?