The League of S.T.E.A.M. (Supernatural and Troublesome Ectoplasmic Apparition Management), a.k.a. the "Steampunk Ghostbusters", is a Southern Californian performance art troupe popular in the steampunk community and specializing in live interactive themed entertainment.The League is loosely modeled after the 1984 film Ghostbusters, translating the idea of a "paranormal pest control service" into a neo-Victorian steampunk setting. The four main members of the League have created backpacks reminiscent of the Ghostbusters' backpacks, each allegedly performing some necessary paranormal investigative function. They are known for these and other creative steampunk "inventions" (functional props), and have also been written about and interviewed as leading examples of steampunk style.They also produce a popular web series, The Adventures of the League of S.T.E.A.M., that has featured guest stars including MythBusters' Grant Imahara, Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, Fantastic Four 2) and Phil LaMarr (Justice League Unlimited, Samurai Jack, Pulp Fiction). The series chronicles the League on various comic adventures where they attempt to locate, capture or neutralize supernatural creatures.
The League of S.T.E.A.M. provides examples of the following tropes:
ACME Products: Some of their devices are inspired by ACME, such as Crackitus Potts' expandable boxing glove, the potato cannon, the net gun and the plunger gun.
Action Girl: Lady Potts, Katherine Blackmoore, The Russian.
Bald of Evil: The main villain introduced in the Season 1 finale and seen throughout Season 2. Lampshaded and lampooned in the Season 2 finale, "Dead End", when it's shown that he is a member of a league of bald villains, and their ultimate penalty for failure: being banished after having a wig glued onto his bald head.
The goggles in "Big Trouble" do do something: they help the troll to see better.
Gulliver Tie Down: The garden gnomes do this to Zed in "Bitter Gnomes and Gardens", with a garden hose.
He Who Must Not Be Seen: In at least three episodes, a bald villain, apparently the nemesis of the League, has been seen, but only from the back. (Although in one episode part of his face is seen, revealing that he has a goatee.) His face is finally seen in the Season 2 finale, "Dead End".
Hey, That's My Line!: Crackitus Potts is the de facto leader of the team and usually introduces the episodes he appears in. When someone else will occasionally start the introduction, he'll usually run to the camera to interrupt them and take over the intro.
I Do Not Drink Wine: Alluded in "Two for Dinner", where Crackitus declines the (drugged) wine offered by his vampire guest with this line.
Incessant Music Madness: In "The Tiki Room", the League deals with a tiki idol that emits a drumming sound and Will. Not. Shut. Up. Fortunately no one actually goes mad, but it does make it difficult to conduct an interrogation.
Interspecies Romance: Albeit briefly, in "Tall Tails": Thaddeus relates how he once supposedly fell in love with a mermaid... until she was taken away by the kraken.
In "Now You See Me...", Thaddeus and his mermaid love are shown frolicking in a bathtub.
Our Mermaids Are Different: The mermaid in "Tall Tails" and "Now You See Me..." is of the standard "beautiful woman with fishlike tail" variety.
Our Zombies Are Different: The League has perfected (well, almost...) a technique for converting zombies into domestic servants.
Power Trio: Originally, it was a Power Foursome, but with Professor Jager becoming inactive, the three main members of the team are Crackitus Potts, Baron von Fogel and Jay Are, but with an increasingly large support team.
In "Bitter Gnomes and Gardens", one of the plants Mrs. Potts is planting is Audrey II.
Also it's noted that the gnomes' weakness is that they can only move if not seen, similar to the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who.
Coyote: All the others have been moving, but that one [pointing to a gnome looking at a mirror] hasn't. So what if they can't move while they're being looked at? Ellie: Like that situation that Doctor guy told us about. Coyote: Who?
The after-credit scene from The Avengers is spoofed after the credits in the Season 2 finale, "Dead End".
Slipping a Mickey: The vampire in "Two for Dinner" tries this with the classical ring containing powdered drug.
Tall Tale: In The Adventures of the League of S.T.E.A.M. episode "Tall Tails", three League members sit around telling stories of their encounter with a Kraken... some of them being a bit hard to swallow.
Tasty Gold: Crackitus does it with a coin from the leprechaun's pot in "Fool's Gold", insuring his wrath.