After Hours is a Web Original comedy miniseries produced by Cracked, usually taking place in a diner after the Cracked.com workday has ended. Starring Cracked writers Katie Willert, Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien and Michael Swaim as themselves,note Albeit highly exaggerated versions of themselves the series mainly draws humor from discussing and deconstructing various aspects of both modern and nostalgic pop culture.The show is ongoing, although new episodes are posted rather sporadically.Not to be confused with the 1985 Black Comedy of the same name.
Soren: She invaded a kingdom, stole his property, and destroyed Jabba. She's a terrorist.
The group eventually comes to the conclusion that Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell had an obsession with Zack Morris and killed his girlfriends.
Claiming that Sonic the Hedgehog is a sociopathic thrill-junkie that only cares about humiliating Robotnik, who is actually a benevolent inventor that builds protective robot suits for animals in order to keep them safe.
Apparently, the Federation is a stagnant dystopia that goes around screwing with alien cultures out of boredom.
Subverted here. After Katie makes a seemingly convincing case that Ursula from The Little Mermaid is only looking out for Ariel by trying to teach her that life is hard and that you need to sacrifice to gain what you want and succeed (in comparison with King Triton's bullying overprotective authoritarianism), Soren completely undercuts this by pointing out that even if this is true Ursula cheated by hypnotising Eric with her magic, thus completely undermining her own lesson and still making her the villain.
In the same episode, Michael points out that in any other story, Gaston would be the hero: he's rescuing a girl suffering from Stockholm Syndrome from an abusive Beast. Sure, he locks up her father in an insane asylum...but, well, he is crazy.
Asperger Syndrome: Michael, in true Cloud Cuckoo Lander form, assumes that everyone has Asperger's in the Batman episode for no reason whatsoever. He tries to 'verify' their Asperger's by tossing a random number of coffee sweeteners to the floor of the diner or onto the table and demanding that his victim (in order: Dan, Katie, and Soren) tell him how many he threw. In The Stinger, editor Cody Johnston shows up in a cameo and demands of Katie and Soren (who just had a Slap-Slap-Kiss moment) who put 31 sugar packs on the floor.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Michael and Katie. Despite their history, his obnoxiousness and her standoffishness, she (visibly) finds his antics and sense of humor occasionally adorable, and he seems to go out of his way to entertain (and annoy; almost alternating between the two) her.
Katie: He (Bowser) was a T-Rex in...(realizes what she just said, looks horrified) nothing! (Soren and Mike look shocked, Dan goes berserk).
Dan: IN THE MOTHERFUCKING 1993 LIVE-ACTION MOVIE?! IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE GONNA SAY?!?!
Katie: I'm sorry, I forgot myself (hangs head in shame).
Mike: He's just mad because they made Toad a goomba (rolls eyes).
Dan: I'm mad because it SUCKED and it's inadmissible evidence in this conversation.
Dan spends the entire Spider-Man (his idol) episode trying not to engage, but finally loses it and has a breakdown, because Peter Parker's This Loser Is You persona hits a little too close to home for him.
Specifically, while he manages to bite his tongue throughout the episode while still visibly seething with hurt rage, it's when Michael dismissively refers to Peter Parker 'having fun' as Spider-Man that sets him off.
Soren also loses it after Katie disses Batman for just a bit too long.
Black Comedy Rape: Michael greedily threatening to rape Christopher Columbus in If You Could Have Dinner (And Sex) With Any Famous Figure. Including a diagram of a Rube Goldberg-style Rape Machine that would take days to work.
Blatant Lies: Dan exploits his reputation for knowing obscure shit in the Indiana Jones episode to pull off a Batman Gambit and foist this gem on the gang without (factual) objection:
Dan: Edmund Burke said "Indiana Jones caused the Holocaust."
Not exactly - he was just elaborating on Soren's using Burke's quote, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of Evil is for good men to do nothing", and extrapolating that into how the Ark of the Covenant could have stopped WWII dead in its tracks.
Butt Monkey: Daniel, and he knows it. He doesn't seem to have a problem with it, either, or is at very least long resigned to it.
Soren: You've all been zombies for weeks, (points at Dan) months for some of you.
In the Cereal Mascots episode, Michael does an impression of Count Chocula. He later dresses as Count Chocula in the Halloween episode.
Also, in the Mario episode.
Michael (to Soren): All of the stuff you said about Batman (flashback of Soren angrily defending Batman to Katie plays), man, but now, about THIS!
In the James Bond episode Soren complains about again being the only guy defending a character who single-handedly thwarts maniacal supervillains on a regular basis. This is again a callback to the Batman episode. He and Katie almost repeat their Slap-Slap-Kiss moment from that episode as well, but Michael interrupts them this time.
Katie: Gordon and Batman both work hard to help the world. But only one of them has to file paperwork and obey the system, while the other one gets to expense smoke bombs and plow Catwoman, and it has nothing to do with who worked harder!
Michael: Whaaat? You guys don't expense smoke bombs? How (falters under castmates' looks of derision)...how are you paying for your smoke bombs?
The guy eats hot dogs with chocolate sauce. Doesn't get any weirder than that.
The Cameo: Cody Johnston, one of Cracked's top editors, appears as a waiter in the Batman episode.
The gang describing their various pop culture sexual fantasies at the beginning of the Indiana Jones episode. Especially Katie's. It's awful - particularly her description of how Indy would use his whip.
They also seem to expect this from Michael. Take this gem (keep in mind they're in a public diner):
Daniel: Why don't you tell us [why Ariel would be grossed out by sex with Eric], in a voice that I'm sure will be 10% too loud for everyone's comfort? Michael:FISH SEX IS INSERTION-FREE!!! Daniel:*winces* There it is.
Cozy Catastrophe: They spend an episode debating which catastrophe would be the coziest. They conclude that the most fun, and most peaceful one, would be an asteroid that would without a doubt destroy everyone, so there'd be no reason to panic and nobody to fight.
Deconstructor Fleet: The foursome regularly takes apart various topics in their discussions. Is the hero really that much of a hero? Are the ideals presented that ideal? Are our villains so unsympathetic? All deconstructed each episode (more or less).
Katie: Okay, I will concede that ninja turtle selection is seminal to young boys..
She has a long series of much less subtle ones about having sex with Indiana Jones
Dumbass Has a Point: The Star Wars episode. Mike, of all people, points out how, other than Leia, there are no female role models in the original movies. Katie and Soren both grudgingly agree that his apocalypse is the best, eventually forcing Dan to go along. Katie's analysis of the four ninja turtles as each representing one of the four humors lends credence to Michael's theory that your favorite ninja turtle reflects your personality. Michael has this more frequently than the others, especially Dan, would like to admit.
Probably the best example is in the Which Apocalypse Would Be The Most Fun episode. Mike comes up with a winner: an asteroid that is going to kill everyone, so there's nobody to fight and nowhere to waste energy on running to. The only thing to do is to "bone." The others have no way of finding a flaw in this but are unable to concede the point because Mike is putting it in such terribly offensive terms that it repulses them.
Expanded Universe: Mike mocks Dan for his knowledge of Star Wars' extended universe, and forbids all EU material from their discussion of how Star Wars is terrifying for women.
Even the Guys Want Him: Daniel is unrepentant about his lust for Benjamin Franklin in If You Could Have Dinner (And Sex) With Any Famous Figure.
Dan also has a very noticable crush on Spiderman...which becomes weird, when you consider that he once dresses as Spidey for Comic-Con. This is an extension of a longrunning gag on Cracked in general that Dan is so similar to Peter Parker (turbo-nerd, socially awkward, etc.) that one might reasonably conclude that he's also Spiderman.
Fanon Discontinuity: invoked Enforced in the Mario episode, where Katie brings up the live action movie, to the chagrin of Dan, Michael and Soren. Despite the fact that the waitress is clearly that film's version of Daisy.
Katie: I'm sorry, I forgot myself.
Among the ground rules Soren set for "The 3 Worst Lessons Taught by 80s Sports Movies" was that "'Rocky 5' and '6'note "Rocky Balboa"never happened".
Also, when everyone weighs up their chances in a zombie apocalypse, detailed stats are visible for a moment. Their specialities include "Beatboxing" for Daniel, "Crying" for Michael, and "Chair Spinning" for Katie.
A good example of this is the gang naming Ferris Bueller's high school as the worst '80s high school of all time.
DOB: You go to a high school that comes to a grinding halt the minute one kid calls in sick. At best, it's a benevolent dictatorship. At worst, it's frigging Jonestown, except your cult leader is a seventeen-year-old who dresses like a lesbian.
Lots and lots of examples from the "4 Ads That Depict Terrifying Alternate Realities", like how in feminine product commercials all women seem to secrete windshield wiper fluid instead of y'know, blood.
"...do you realize what you just did? You've actually made horror... boring."
Funny Background Event: In "Why Mario is Secretly a Douchebag" their waitress looks like Peach and a guy who looks like Mario is working the grill.
And in the Indiana Jones one, someone dressed like Indiana Jones is in the background.
The diners change after Michael's antics.
In "8 Mind-Blowing Connections Between the Works of Joss Whedon", we have two members of the diner's staff acting slightly panicky after Katie declares the subject of the episode. Later on it's reveal that Katie's theory is right, resulting in the group having to be mind wiped. Again.
In the Movie Musicals episode, shortly after it's discussed about how background actors may get their own songs that just never appear on-screen, outside the diner a waitress and several other people can be seen dancing/posing as if they were in the middle of a musical number themselves.
Getting Hot in Here: Katie takes off her jacket, revealing tank top and bra straps, and then her glasses when her argument with Soren about Batman gets really intense, leaving Michael bemused and Dan terrified. When Soren finally gives up, they release some of their Belligerent Sexual Tension with a kiss.
Dan: There it is! You're the stripper. (Katie facepalms)
Katie: I've never been a stripper! Why w-
Soren: Yeah, I think she's the wife of Will Smith in that, so you're not doing too bad.
Katie: She's a stripper.
Dan: She's still a stripper.
In a similar vein, Katie gets annoyed in during the group's discussion of Ferris Bueller when the guys decide to cast her as the "hooker nurse" who shows up briefly at one point.
I'll Be in My Bunk: Michael pulls this in the Ninja Turtles episode. He feels the need to drop everything and run to Blockbuster once somebody clues him in about "pseudo-porn for women" (also known as Sex and the City).
Dan: Well, he's in for a disappointing evening.
Dan: So it's really porn for women?
Soren: It's pseudo-porn. It's not what you think. It's just a bunch of people in boring situations where sometimes nudity happens.
Memory Wiping Crew: In the Joss Whedon episode it's revealed that the gang is being watched by a shady crew of people who occasionally wipe their memories when needed. That explains a lot.
It has always been a running joke that Soren, Katie, and Michael doesn't remember a lot from their previous conversations at the diners, nor consider each other close. This saddens Dan who remember almost everything and think of them as his friends. Turns out it's because their minds have been wiped more often than Dan's.
Michael has steadily gotten weirder over time. Turns out it's because his mind has been wiped 12 times. Could explain his obsession with aliens. He might remember something, but has replaced The Crew with a different kind of monsters.
In the Creepy Sitcom Characters episode they notice the waiter Cody and wonder why he has been following them from diner to diner. They think he's just a stalker, but he turns out to be the leader of The Crew.
Michael: They were JERKS! Uncle Phil threw his nephew's best friend out the front door on a daily basis! Carl was abusive to his son, and a total prick to Urkel, moreso than anyone else. Those guys got their kicks from physically and verbally abusing their kids' friends!
Michael: You have to cull your booty call list? Soren: *grinning* It's actually more of a booty base. *winks at a waitress*
Trying to find an entirely original premise for a show in The Only 8 Types of TV Shows That Get Made, one suggestion is "Screw the Protagonist". The promo that pops up for it consists entirely of Soren winking at the camera.
Ms. Fanservice: Katie, somewhat. In the Comic-Con and Halloween episodes, she wears low-cut cleavage-baring costumes. This is lampshaded in the opening title sequence, featuring four different depictions of the group, one from the mind of each cast member. In Michael's, she wears a stripperific dress and heels (seen in the page picture, an amalgam of the four versions), and in Soren's she wears a slinky dress. In Katie's, on the other hand, she's a bitter-looking spinster, and in Dan's she's a nun.
Dan: Well, Brave happened hundreds and hundreds of years in the past, before all this, and Ratatouille happened... in France. Like, we have the whole main Pixar story going on, and then meanwhile, in France, there was like...like, a rat that could cook.
Dan: Those were... also Pixar movies... who gives a shit what bugs were doing during the robot apocalypse?
Soren: This really fell apart on you, didn't it?
Dan: Yeah, guess I sorta came at it half cocked. I had you guys, though, for a while.
Although, if Dan racked his mind he could easily come up with counters for all of the movies mentioned above. Monster's inc takes place in another dimension, Finding Nemo happens under the sea, and The Bugs life happens on a random island.
Michael: It's not just that a few people are fine with animal cruelty; the entire society's economy is based on it. (Gives examples).
Soren: You either have to breed or fight or support the breeding and fighting of Pokemon.
Michael: What happens is that all the power goes to the guy with the strongest Pokemon. You rise to power on the strength of your Pokemen, and you can only be dethroned by a dude with a stronger Pokeman. It's like the Old West, and Ash Ketchum is basically Al Swearengen.
No New Fashions in the Future: Discussed and deconstructed in the Star Trek episode, where Dan tries to use this to prove that the Trek universe is actually a Crapsack World where human civilization has gone stagnant. He claims that Starfleet is obsessed with discovering new life in outer space because humans in the future have completely lost their sense of creativity and independent thought, and can only experience wonder at new things by looking for them in other worlds.
Noodle Incident: Michael and Katie's first date. Also the time they had sex.
Also, Michael's Bio-Dome Theorem.
Noodle Implements: Michael and Katie's lone (possibly) sexual encounter occurred in a bowling alley. Their first date happened after Mike allegedly won the Indy 500, and an allegedly retarded Katie showing up at Mike's dorm room. Obviously, due to Mike's incredible comedic sociopathy, it is likely none of this is true, with the possible exception of sex in a bowling alley, if only because it's actually (somewhat) plausible (not to mention in keeping with Mike's malicious nature) and Katie doesn't state otherwise. Still, Katie was more occupied telling Soren and Dan they only had sex once, because Mike referred to the bowling alley as 'the last place we had sex.'
Soren: So, whereas I thought Mario was just showing up and destroying a kingdom like a terrorist, what you're actually saying that he was murdering all those people and stealing the gold coins from their corpses! That brick was probably somebody's son, Daniel.
Waitress: Doesn't that kinda depend on what kind of zombies you're talking about? (loud, collective groan)
Soren: There's only one type of zombie.
Waitress: No, I mean if you're talking about the 28 Days Later type of zombie-
Dan and Soren: The slow, mindless, disorganized zombies. (Katie and Michael imitate Romero zombies).
Waitress: There's a lot of other-
Dan: OKAY! If you're going to get into every Tom, Dick and rage virus reimagining, we will be here all night. Romero zombies are the only zombies. We literally cannot advance this conversation otherwise. (waitress looks enormously hurt, leaves).
Michael: And you've driven another woman away from us.
Protagonist Centred Morality: Raised in the discussion of Ferris Bueller's Day Off; when everyone challenges Dan when he claims it's the worst high school in 1980s movies, he points out that they're assuming it'd be great because they're also assuming they'd be Ferris instead of one of the minor characters.
The Quisling: Michael gleefully admits that, if a Zombie Apocalypse occurred, he would trade his friends to the zombies in exchange for his own life.
Reality Ensues: In their discussion on rom-coms, Michael(very accurately, I might add) points out that the easy part of a relationship, which is the one that rom-coms cover and nothing else, is falling in love, and that people fall in love by accident with terrible people all the time... Cue illustrations of Amy Winehouse with Pete Doherty, Tina Turner with Ike Turner, Rihanna with Chris Brown and Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love.
Reed Richards Is Useless: Michael points out that if Spiderman patented his web-shooters and sold the technology to the police, it would make things better for everyone.
Soren: That's the problem with any one power. Without the whole suite, they just suck.
Ron the Death Eater: Lampshaded in-universe by Soren in the Batman and James Bond episodes, when he points out with some frustration that he seems to be the only one of the group willing to defend the guys who routinely risk their lives trying to protect innocent people from psychotic murderous maniacs while the others keep trying to find ways to view them in the worst possible light.
Running Gag: Michael accusing the others of having aspergers in the Batman episode.
And throwing sugar packets on the table and asking them how many it was, ala Rainman
Someone will inevitably be about to take a bite of their food whenever bodily fluids are discussed.
Dan finding some way to include Spiderman into any conversation.
Dan doing a terrible impression of someone (it's usually the same voice every time), and Soren thinking that it's spot-on.
Michael: I've heard of it! It's like a science show, right? Yuck.
Soren: Uh, actually, it's science fiction. You'd like it.
Katie: Yeah! It's about a few simple rules that could help form a perfect utopia. Just if we can overcome the evil aliens trying to thwart us.
Dan: I think Beck's one.
Michael: Wow! I am, like, super down for this! What do I do?
Soren: You know what, you paid, so I will do you a favor and set you up with one of their reps. It's called an e-reading. It's very exclusive.
Michael: You're a good friend. Wai- I don't have to read a lot, do I?
Soren: No, you don't have to read at all. They do all the reading for you.
Michael: You're a good friend.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Dan and Michael decide to (quietly) leave the diner as Soren and Katie's argument near the end of "Why Batman is Secretly Terrible for Gotham" gets more and more heated (although, they should've stayed a bit longer).
The Singularity: Comes up in a conversation about the scariest robots in movies.
Katie: When robots become smart the first problem that they try and solve is how to make robots smarter. And a few minutes later they're so much smarter than us we can't even begin to comprehend the ways that they're gonna kill us.
Michael: Yeah, that's called Judgement Day. So "The Singularity" is just the math-y name for the death-metal album cover of an apocalypse that is Terminator? And you guys choose to use the math name...
Soapbox Sadie: Katie's criticisms of Batman and James Bond take on this edge.
Straw Nihilist: There are a fair number of implications that Soren is this. He fears weakness, believes he is an Ubermensch, shows little empathy for others, and it's been theorized that the working class is "invisible" to him.
Dan rails against the "handsome, blond shithead" in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame who gets the girl and wasn't in the book. The whole time he's pointing his thumb at Soren, who waggles his eyebrows and grins.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: The Pixar episode has the four maliciously destroy each other's food for no particular reason. Katie dumps Dan's milkshake on his plate, Dan takes Mike's chicken leg and drops it in Soren's soup, and Soren, deciding that this means no one gets to eat, pours the soup on Katie's meal. Dan eventually gives in and attempts to drink his milkshake off the rest of his food with a straw, however.
Car commercials that show a car on empty roads, which works well until you realize you're the only car out there.
Yogurt commercials and womens' health products (decongestants, anti-histemenes, fiber) all show dressed down women who look like they just rolled out of bed. Plus the women in the yogurt commercials apparently just want spouses who don't know what yogurt is, and seem to keep it a secret as hard as possible, "men who will sleep through their colds and be amazed at air freshener technology."
Allergy ads: when these people get allergies, their body turns blurry, and colds make the world turn black and white.
Alcohol ads: everyone seems to party all the time and the only people who even do any sort of work are the bartenders. Also, no one except Soren (the one who suggested it) would ever drink as it's illegal for an ad to depict someone actually drinking, meaning he would be the only to get wasted, puke in the toilet, ruin his liver, and die. And everyone would be partying at his funeral.
Unfortunate Implications: invoked Dan views Back to the Future as having these for black history, specifically the civil rights movement and rock music.
Dan: Marty gave this random black guy the push he needed to succeed in 1955, the year the civil rights movement started.
Katie (bewildered): Okay...so you're saying...?
Michael: Black people invented hoverboards!
Dan: Close. I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised if the original rough draft of Back to the Future was Marty time-traveling and crafting black history.(Gives examples).
Michael: I would watch that movie.
Dan: All I'm saying is that Marty influences history in exactly two ways, not related to parental boning. One, he gives black people the idea for rock music. And two, he gives a black guy political aspirations the year the civil rights movement started.
"What Do They Fear?" Episode: Everyone briefly reveals, via internal thoughts, their worst fears, in "4 Terrifying Psychology Lessons Behind Movie Monsters". Dan's afraid of being alone, Soren fears growing old, Katie fears death, and Michael fears getting a std.
Katie: So he loves her, but he just doesn't know how to express it! He's like a very competent Lenny from Of Mice and Men.
Mike: Except covered in spikes!(Michael's brain shows a weeping George loading a revolver behind Bowser, on whose spikes are impaled a bird, a dog, Curley's wife, and a bag of chips.)
Wrong Genre Savvy: Soren demonstrates this when discussing the alternate universe of Quentin Tarantino movies. He believes he's best qualified to survive in the world of the films because of his experience with guns and his strong self-preservation instinct. The others point out that you need to be a different kind of sociopath than he is to survive.