Series: Nathan For You

Nathan For You is a docu-reality comedy television series starring Canadian comedian Nathan Fielder. Fielder portrays a well-meaning business school graduate who offers to help struggling businesses with his (questionable) marketing ideas. These ideas run the gamut from "flawed" to "overly elaborate and insane." After a critically praised first season in early 2013, the show has been renewed for a second run of ten episodes, which debuted on July 1st 2014.


This show provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Unimpressed by the usual ghosts and skeletons, Nathan makes a haunted house scarier by making visitors think they've contracted a deadly disease (complete with tense ambulance ride and hazmat suits).
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Nathan's crippling lack of social skills as well as his tendency to misread situations and monotone voice puts him into this territory.
  • As Himself: Nathan Fielder, business school graduate, plays Nathan Fielder, business school graduate. Of course, Real Life Nathan is aware that his ideas are ridiculous, while Show Nathan believes in them 100%.
  • The Atoner: Nathan becomes this after "Dumb Starbucks", realizing all of the people he stepped on to gain his power. At the end of the episode, he vows to redeem himself by stopping other people from becoming like him. In the Pink's Hot Dogs episode, he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when he encounters one such person.
  • Bad Bad Acting:
    • The Bill Gates lookalike in "The Web". Here's an extended version.
    • Nathan himself is absolutely terrible in his kissing scene.
  • Bad Impressionists:
    • One of the interviewees from the funeral home segment. "I am Sean Connery. I want a massage."
    • The Bill Gates lookalike. For a guy who is paid to pretend to be Bill Gates, he sure can't pretend to know anything about computers.
  • Brick Joke: In the episode about the gas station, one of the people Nathan meets is a proponent of alternative medicine who believes that drinking urine is beneficial. The conversation is mildly amusing, but given that the hikers are established to be weirdos with too much free time, it isn't that surprising. At the end of the episode, Nathan casually brings it up with the gas station owner, presumably expecting a funny, disgusted reaction. But to his (and the audience's) complete bewilderment, the owner has a very different response. (Note that Nathan very briefly breaks character at around 1:31.)
  • Buxom Is Better: Simon, the security guard in "Clothing Store/Restaurant," certainly thinks so.
    • Called Back in the season 2 finale, where Nathan tries to sell a Reality Show about Simon's "crippling obsession with large breasts."
  • Character Development: The second season sees Nathan making an active effort to become a more social person, and later begins a Redemption Quest after becoming Drunk with Power during "Dumb Starbucks". Naturally, both of these are played for laughs.
  • Clipboard of Authority: Occasionally wielded by Nathan.
  • The Comically Serious: No matter what craziness is unfolding, Nathan remains completely serious. The few times other people attempt to crack jokes about the situation, Nathan acts both confused and offended that they're taking it so lightly.
  • Cringe Comedy: The show produces a lot of hilariously awkward moments, but not in a mean-spirited way.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Nathan makes the viral video crew sign non-disclosure agreements so that they won't reveal the hoax — under penalty of death.
    • In the hot-dog stand episode, Nathan discovers that a customer has lied about having a medical appointment in order to cut in line for his hot-dog. In response, Nathan tells him he has won a "lobster dinner for one at sea" in order to lure him onto a boat. There, he scolds him for his behaviour and forces him to apologize to four people who were in front of him in the line. As if this wasn't enough, Nathan wants to sink the boat, leaving the customer to be eaten by sharks. Not surprisingly, Executive Meddling shoots down this idea.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The escape stunt in the Claw of Shame episode is based on the idea that being arrested for indecent exposure and becoming a registered sex offender is this.
  • Girl of the Week: Nathan always overestimates his relationship with female clients to be something more, and attempts to ask them out at the end of the episode their featured in only to immediately get shot down.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In one episode, Nathan stages footage of a pig rescuing a goat from a pond, hoping it will go viral and attract customers to a petting zoo. The video ended up becoming so popular that it was featured on news broadcasts around the world before the show aired.
    • The Dumb Starbucks coffee shop also ended up attracting similar viral attention.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Nathan.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title
  • Jerkass: The private investigator Nathan hires to track himself down is quite a bully, to the point of calling Nathan a "Wizard of Loneliness". When he makes a second appearance, he calls Nathan both a goober and a nerd.
  • Loophole Abuse: A common feature of Nathan's business plans. Most audaciously, he talked a liquor store owner into agreeing to sell liquor to minors. The catch was that the store would have to keep the alcohol in storage until the purchaser turned 21.
  • Loser Protagonist: Nathan has no friends and generally weirds out everyone he meets. The only reason he even seems to have a reality show is to use it as a means to have other people spend time with him, to the point where he'll always ask his client if they'd like to hang out with him after the show.
  • Mall Santa: One segment has Nathan attempt to help a down-on-his-luck Santa... who has a criminal record. In the Season 2 finale, Nathan hires him to brainwash children into "needing" a toy, a task he performs with alarming shamelessness.
  • No Social Skills: One of the biggest sources of humor is Nathan's complete and utter lack of any sort of charisma and inability to connect with his clients.
  • Only Friend: Nathan's employee Solomon appears to be the only person who's willing to spend any time with him. Naturally he's just as socially unaware and awkward as Nathan is.
  • Parody: The premise and style of the series resemble those of feel-good, transformational reality shows like Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and he gentler parts of Kitchen Nightmares.
  • Parody Episode: "The Claw of Shame" (season one, episode seven) abandons the usual format, being more like a one-off David Blaine-esque daredevil special.
  • Product Placement: Nathan sets up a blind date between a colleague and a reality show contestant, but contractual obligations mean that it has to happen at a Quizno's sandwich shop. During the date, a company branding rep suggests Quizno's-related conversation topics to the colleague through a hidden earpiece.
  • Reality TV Show Mansion: In order to conquer his fear of talking to women, Nathan creates a fake Bachelor ripoff that includes a $5,000-a-day mansion and a host who isn't in on the joke.
  • Refuge in Audacity: On the grounds that insult comedy is popular, Nathan encourages a caricature artist to produce extremely offensive drawings of his subjects.
  • Running Gag: Whether it's the Claw of Shame, the lie detector (the "Mechanic" segment), or the asteroids (the fake movie "The Web"), if anything computer-related fails, it's because of Windows 95.
    • Nathan consistently attracts and recruits the show's oddballs via Craigslist. (The ads themselves are pretty funny.)
    • Nathan always attempts to hook up with the woman he's helping out, only to get completely shot down.
  • Scare Campaign: The Doink-It commercial, designed to traumatize three- to eight-year-old children into begging their parents for a plastic ball.
  • Schmuck Bait: In order to teach teens not to vandalize property, Nathan puts up posters that are designed to be irresistible to anyone with a dirty mind and a Sharpie. He even adds a "Do not draw a penis on this poster" sticker for good measure.
  • So Unfunny It's Funny: Even the ultra-deadpan Nathan can barely keep it together at the private detective's bizarre insult: "You're the wizard of loneliness!"
  • Speaking Like Totally Teen: In the liquor store episode, the actor Nathan hired to hype the store to high school students.
    Hey man! Wassup? Dude, that internet these days is so dope, man! School sucks, dude! You can just go on the stinkin' internet.
  • The Stoic: Nathan's voice is always flat and he almost never raises it.
  • Stylistic Suck: "The Web"
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Nathan tells the dishonest hot dog stand customer repeatedly to "take a stick from this ordinary pack of gum." It's shock gum.
  • Teeny Weenie: Nathan has to buy extra small condoms when he thinks he's going to get lucky with his stunt double's fiance.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: The funeral home episode features one of these. All of the candidates are hired.
  • Turtle Power: Twice. First, a turtle goes on a job interview. Much later, for no apparent reason, Nathan uses a tiny one as a business card.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: One of the actors in the funeral home episode demonstrates a completely ridiculous "Canadian" accent. (When Nathan informs her that he is Canadian, she replies, "Oh... but you sound normal.")
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Zig-zagged in "Dumb Starbucks"; an exact copy of a Starbucks shop, except everything (from menu items to the logo) is appended with the word "Dumb". He argues that it's actually an art gallery satirizing Starbucks, protected under fair use.
  • Yet Another Baby Panda: The viral video becomes one of these.
  • Zany Scheme: Most of Nathan's ideas belong to this category.