"Hello! Am I on the interma
*cue Luigi Boccherini's "Minuetto"*And now it's time for a trope description, with Chester A. Bum. Tonight's page... "Bum Reviews".note
"OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!"
— Chester A. Bum, on nearly every movie he sees in his life.
Chester is a homeless guy who reviews current movies on Channel Awesome
. Since he's just happy to be in a warm building while seeing them, he likes almost every movie he sees.
This character was partly inspired by Doug Walker
's first video review of the first Transformers
, where he acted very enthusiastic, and by Doug's silly voice in his review of Cloverfield
Doug usually lets the viewer know his real opinions on the movies. Older episodes had a "Seriously..."
message on the ending card, while newer episodes are each accompanied with a separate review vlog where he can go into more detail. This became the basis for a new webshow called Sibling Rivalry
, where he and his brother Rob will discuss the movie (if Rob has seen it).
A list of films reviewed on the show can be found here
The series provides examples of—SPOILERS!!
- Acceptable Targets: In-universe.
- The Twilight series. Eclipse had manic sarcasm in the place of gushing, and Breaking Dawn was just outright snark.
- Transformers. In the review of The Hunger Games, he called the third film "testosterone-filled mindlessness".
- Added Alliterative Appeal: In his Pirates of the Caribbean 4 review.
"Blackbeard's Big Bad Bitchin' Boat... Barbecue"
- Ambiguously Bi: He'll comment on a woman's attractiveness in a movie without fail, but he did make out with Lester and really, you gotta do whatever it takes for chaaaaange.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
"Voldemort gets all these evil wizards to do all his evil deeds like kidnap people, burn down houses, and work for Fox News
- Ass Shove: Chester mentions the scene in Hancock and expresses hope that it happens in The Dark Knight.
"He defeats people by putting them up other people's asses! That better happen in the new Dark Knight movie! The Joker will be like 'I am going to kill everyone!' and Batman will be like 'You are going inside an ass!' Bloo-bloo-bloo-bloo-splut! THE END!"
- Author Tract: Reviews starting from 2013 had a lot more lucid rants on how child stars always grow up crazy or how he was going to get away with offensive jokes because his reputation is 'adorable bum'.
- Big "NEVER!": Him while playing Jacob of Twilight being told to put on a shirt.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Not that he doesn't have lots of nice moments too, but he used his "innocent harmless bum" persona in a plan to destroy the world (and succeeded as well!), took money from a church and wibbled at Nash to convince him not to tell Holly, always defends the Critic but also acts like the voice for his entitled fans, and tries to steal things at cons.
- Breakout Character: Bum Reviews has become one of the most popular features on That Guy's website. Quite a feat for a spin off character.
- Butt Monkey: In his coverage of the 2011 Chicago Blizzard.
- Captain Ersatz: Lester B. Bum , Spencer D. Bum, Aleister D. Homelesssb’sterrd, Huebert J. Flank and at least two unnamed ones. There's also Pester, who died of alcohol poisoning in his first appearance; the Cinema Bum, who rather than review a movie, lamented the fact he didn't have a job or home; and Ted the Bum, who... has nothing whatsoever to do with film reviews.
- "OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!"
- "TV Tropes will ruin your SPOILERS!"
- "There's this guy! Called..." (usually the second line of the review)
- When something bad follows, "Haroo..."
- When it's in the middle "... don't ask."
- "And (insert character here) was like...!"
- Often a duelling series of these ending with "and he was like - 'okay'."
- "I used to be/had a (something relevant to the movie) once!"
- "And at the end they play the famous theme song! *sings said theme song with added lyrics*"
- "This is Chester A. Bum saying... CHANGE!! YA GOT CHANGE!?!? OH COME ON, HELP A GUY OUT WILL YA!!! C'MON, CHANGE!!! I promise I'll use it to educate people on the difference between a subversion, an inversion, and an aversion!"
- The 2012 Christmas episodes have "Don't go away Christmas, I want to stay in this room!"
- Cardboard Box Home: Chester lives in a box, and once sued someone for a better box.
- Caustic Critic: Usually averted. Chester is convinced every film is the greatest he's seen in his life, while Doug's real views given at the end are almost always at least lukewarmly positive. The exceptions don't really change his style that much either.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He is a weirdo, there's no denying that. But he's also sweet.
- Comically Missing the Point: All this time, Chester was wishing on stars to help him out, and it turns out he needs to work hard, even get a job. Then he says perhaps he should wish on a star for that.
- Crazy Homeless People: Has ascended to godhood in this regard.
- Crazy Memory: He seems to go through a lot of crazy stuff like having been an Asian boy scout.
- Credits Gag: For the first four years, the episode's end credits would contain a small comment that always begins, "Seriously," that outlines what Doug really thought of the movie.
- That blurb was eventually dropped for a complete second video outlining what Doug really thought of the movie. That series morphed into Sibling Rivalry in late 2012, where Doug would bounce his opinions off his brother Rob, who'd give his own opinion.
- Curse Escape Clause: In the review of The Princess and the Frog:
"What's up with all the loopholes? Seriously, was this fairy tale written by a lawyer!?"
- Deliberately Monochrome: His review of The Artist is presented as a silent film with captions.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: In the review of The Princess and the Frog:
"So Tiana saves up all her money, and she finally gets her own restaurant! But these two guys are like: (as the two guys) 'We have to close you down because we found a higher bidder!' (as Tiana) 'It's because I'm black, isn't it?' (as the two guys) 'Well, it's the 1920s, so sure.'"
- Ironically, the film itself goes out of its way to avoid even mentioning racism, despite its prevalence at the time being historical fact. The scene Doug references is the only one that comes close.
- Despair Event Horizon: After nearly freezing to death in a night snowstorm, his reviews started giving more focus to flaws in movies, instead of just scatterbrained gushing about everything.
- He gets a lot more cynical and depressed when Critic sacrifices himself in To Boldly Flee, and Critic coming back didn't change anything as he had no patience for Chester anymore.
- Distracted by the Sexy: When failing to answer a couple Fridge Logic questions in TRON: Legacy, he just says "There's a hot chick!"
- Eat the Dog:
Chester A. Bum: I had an aardvark that took up tap dancing. Until I ate him.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: "A" is for Alfred.
- Expansion Pack Past: Chester did/was a lot of things once!
- Expy: The first Nostalgia Critic video was actually the Critic acting like the future Chester A. Bum doing Transformers (2007). This is given a nod with the Critic doing Revenge of the Fallen, and Bum popping up after he leaves, asking if the Critic stole his act.)
- Not to mention this being brought to its logical conclusion with the Dark of the Moon review when right at the start of the Critic's review, he gets a letter informing him that Chester's suing him for stealing his act (in case you're curious, there IS a review... of Chester's when the judge asks how he'd review it).
- Everyone Has Standards: Unlike Bella from Twilight, even a bum wouldn't forget to put on a coat while hiking in the mountains.
- Foreshadowing: The Paranormal Activity 4 review was surprisingly negative for a movie that Doug actually enjoyed. The next episode, Wreck-It Ralph, has him going through a hard-to-watch breakdown because he doesn't have fun in his job anymore.
- Fridge Logic: Pointed out In-Universe, and then often spoofed.
- In the review of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", he constantly says "I'm Johnny Depp!" while wiggling his fingers and staring at the camera after pointing out a couple of Fridge Logic parts.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: When Scott Pilgrim fights a female evil ex, Chester desperately hopes for a flashback.
- Gushing About Shows You Like: An In-Universe example.
- Hostile Show Takeover: His review of Rango is quickly hijacked by Raoul Puke, on the grounds that he actually appeared in the movie.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: From the Red Riding Hood review:
Chester A. Bum:
They just cut to the credits before anything else happened. What do you think they're doing!? She's taking off his sheep's clothing! He's riding her hood! She's blowing his house down!
The better to eat her with! She's taking him to grandma's house! He's checking under her hood! Holy smokes, I could make a book of these.
- Hype Backlash: In-universe example. The Bum actually gave a negative review to Citizen Kane, and this was one of the reasons. (It was a joke of course, Doug mentions at the end that he likes Citizen Kane.)
- A lot of his criticisms towards District 9 was disagreeing with the movie being as ground breaking as people made it out to be.
- Hypocritical Humor: Chester comments on Family Guy stealing one of his jokes. In the process, he steals "Screw you guys, I'm going home" from South Park and the ending scene with the lawyer is a direct ripoff of the ending of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: When pretending to be Tommy Lee Jones in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Chester A. Bum
: I'm Tommy Lee Jones. I was here to play Tommy Lee Jones. I'm Tommy Lee Jones.
- Innocent Fanservice Boy: Like Critic, played for creepy Black Comedy. He somehow got himself into both pole-dancing and prostitution at least once. (Off-screen, thankfully.)
- Innocently Insensitive: When he showed up in the Critic's press conference for James and the Giant Peach, he stated genuinely that it was the best LP he ever saw in his life, but because he was also yelling about how the fans deserved better, Critic still looked like he'd been punched.
- It's a Long Story: Pretty often. Just one variation is "I was a slave once! ...but it's a boring story."
- It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: every single movie he sees is the best one. See the Catchphrase above.
- Jitter Cam: Done in The Hunger Games to criticize its overuse in said film.
- Jump Cut
- Kill the Cutie: The end of his review for Paranormal Activity III. Teddy Ruxpin shoots him for not much reason. He's fine by the next episode of course.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: His spoiler warnings.
- Medium Awareness: The Chicago Snowstorm episode, which combines it with a defiance of Offscreen Inertia.
- Mood Whiplash: A British accented voice with soft violin music opens every episode, followed by "OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!"
- Possibly the most extreme case was the end of his review for Paranormal Activity III. The light cuts out, he gets shot by Teddy Ruxpin, and we see red eyes and hear "come dream with me tonight...". Followed immediately by the usual classical music for the credits.
- More Popular Spin Off: Doug's vlogs. Not that Chester still isn't loved, it's just Doug's talent for "real" reviewing took a lot of people by surprise.
- Motor Mouth: Something the other bums never quite managed to pull off.
- Mysterious Middle Initial: Though one episode reveals that at one point, he was a smooth-talking, shades-wearing car salesman who introduces himself as "Chester Alfred B."
- Nerds Are Virgins: Calling Star Trek fans that.
- Never Heard That One Before: He was told by the subtitles to not compare Real Steel to "Rock 'em Sock 'em" robots, as everyone had already made that joke. Same with comparing it to Transformers. Fortunately, Transmorphers comparisons were free.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: As a result of his occasional Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick lines.
- Nightmare Retardant: The vampires in Twilight, according to Chester (especially how they eat tofu).
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: District 9 inspires the Bum to make a movie called "Batman and the Terminator Go to Jurassic Park", and the sequel "Batman and the Terminator in a Steven Seagal Christmas".
- No Indoor Voice
- Noodle Incident: Often.
- "I used to be an Asian boy scout!" And adds. "Wasn't that a weird week."
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Once an episode, usually Punctuated! For! Emphasis!. For example: "So Mulder and Scully are out to stop evil doctors by using a paedophile priest who is also a psychic! I swear to God, I am not making that up! More movies need paedophile priests who are psychics!"
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Chester's surface persona is too in-your-face brain-fried to be taken seriously. However, much of his commentary is actually insightful and well-phrased.
- Omnicidal Maniac: During Part 2 of Linkara's review of Countdown, Chester hijacks all of Earth's nuclear weapons and plots to take over the world (OF COURSE!). He finally gets fed up with arguing with the Critic about it and just destroys the entire planet.
- Only Friend: Critic might hang around with other people more, but Chester is the only one who shows up to defend him in the James and the Giant Peach press conference.
- OOC Is Serious Business: While reviewing The Avengers, Doug literally breaks character, takes off the fright wig, and says in a serious tone how wonderful the movie is. And he does it again at the end to make sure you know to go see it.
Doug: Okay, look, I'm gonna do the bit for you and everything, but you guys really have to know this is probably like one of the greatest movies ever. *Proceeds to gush*
- A few years earlier, Doug didn't break character for it, but Chester himself is stunned into reverent near-silence by The Dark Knight.
- In his review for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, he rushes through his usual Catch Phrase and goes into just how weird the movie is.
- Subverted in his Citizen Kane review. Chester was unusually serious throughout, going on and on about how he thought the film was crap and everyone who calls it "the greatest movie ever made" is an idiot. Of course, that was the whole joke of the review, and Doug himself likes the film.
- He spends a lot of time calling out on the flaws of them in a much snarkier way than he usually does.
- Morality Pet: People being nasty to him is usually a way of showing their Jerkass-ness and Critic giving him money and offering a place to stay manages to get the interviewer in True Internet Story to begrudgingly admit that Critic's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Not So Different: He thinks Ask That Guy's a douche and Ask That Guy thinks Chester is disgusting, but they've both been in porn, both have fantasies (we hope) about killing their parents and both have a talent for evading lawful punishment.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: He calls anyone who complains about racism in Django Unchained a "conservative pussy who's just looking for stuff to complain about".
- Precision F-Strike: Chester drops a couple of F-bombs in his Iron Man 2 review, mostly because he's impersonating Samuel L. Jackson.
- Progressively Prettier: While it would be unfair to expect Doug to make himself look like a real close-to-death bum for a five minutes episode made on a next-to-zero budget, Chester used to at least have a load of make-up-as-dirt on his face and hair like he'd had an accident with something electrical. Now he just looks like he needs an updated wardrobe and a haircut.
- Queer People Are Funny: He criticizes How to Train Your Dragon 2 for having a gay character that's only there for one joke and isn't actually proper representation.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy
- Red Ones Go Faster: In the review for Thor: The Dark World Chester traded in his old styrofoam cup for a large red Solo cup even though it "gets pulled over by cops more."
- Retool: The reviewing style in Doug's first Nostalgia Critic review would later become the standard operating procedure for the Bum Reviews section.
- Running Gag: He seems to have a thing for Danny DeVito references.
- Running Gag Stumbles: Occasionally the "I [did something related to the movie] once!" gag gets subverted:
- Sanity Strengthening: While it sadly comes with Took a Level in Jerkass, he lampshades in How to Train Your Dragon 2 that the more lucid complainy reviews of the past couple of years have come from being clean from drugs, and that he's just eccentric now.
- Selective Squick: In-universe and Played for Laughs. He has a Running Gag of demanding Jacob from Twilight to put on a shirt , and Get Smart was criticized for being "heavy on the man-love".
- Serial Numbers Filed Off: The announcer confuses Red Riding Hood for being another Twilight film due to this.
- Shout-Out: He christened the Winter Soldier the Elric Soldier when he saw his metal arm.
- Signing Off Catch Phrase: "This is Chester A Bum saying, Change! You got change? Aw, come on. Help a guy out, will ya?! C'mon, change!"
- Sincerity Mode: Doug breaks character a few times during his The Avengers review to assert that no, really, it is a great movie, and that whoever's watching the review should go see it now.
- Every review also ends with a caption of Doug's actual opinion on the movie.
- Slut Shaming: Equal opportunity in "Hunger Games: Catching Fire", as he complains of both Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake being child stars who "whored themselves out" as they grew up.
- Something Completely Different: His The Dark Knight review was done in a subdued style because of the impression it left on him.
- Stepford Smiler: A good chunk of episodes imply it. Like in The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008):
Chester: I don't live with lights, cars or electricity and I get along just fine! Please shoot me.
- The Stinger: Chester always adds an extra punchline about the movie into his calls for "CHAAAAANGE!" at the end of the videos. The end credits had a written stinger too (in which Doug Walker gave a one-sentence summary of how he actually about the movie, always starting with "Seriously, though..."), but that's been replaced by a separate and longer "Doug's Review" video that runs below the Bum Review.
- Stoners Are Funny
- Streetwalker: Mentioned a few times in-show and outright confirmed by Word of God. Just be grateful we don't have to see any of it.
- Take That:
- Doug takes a minute during his Bum Review for The Princess and the Frog to thoroughly trash Randy Newman.
- In both the Twilight and New Moon Bum Reviews, Chester often points out how boring and forgettable Edward is, especially compared to Jacob.
- His District 9 review, where he declares that it's totally unoriginal.
- Same with Avatar.
- Verbal Tic: Adds the syllable "ma" in randomly, e.g. "that nice Nostalgiama Critic man!"
- "Hello! Am I on the Intermanet!?"
- And his cardboard box computer is labelled "Com-pu-ta-ma-ter".
- "Oh I get it, it's like one of them Sila-ma-tent pictures."
- Wham Episode: Secondhand. The Dark Knight was so great that it left a huge impression on him. Such that at the end of it he just told us, "You know what? Keep the change."
- Similarly, The Avengers had Doug briefly break character to emphasize that Chester isn't just doing his typical gushing and that it's really that good.
- Wreck-It Ralph for Character Development reasons. Seeing Chester cry real tears over being self-loathing is not a fun experience.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Chester states this in-universe about some movies.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Chester has an... interesting drawl than none of Walker's other characters share. It sounds remotely Irish, complete with lazy pronounciation of L's, which is probably best explained by the fact that Walker is a Chicago native, and so is (presumably) Bum.
- Vocal Evolution: Compare the 2008 episodes to now and it sounds a lot less natural back then, almost like he was clogged up from a lot of coke snorting.
- With Lyrics: Chester commonly does this for film adaptations.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: The end of the snowstorm episode. A nice person from across the street took him inside and gave him a blanket and a hot drink. Then it starts snowing indoors.
- After Critic dies and he gets more depressed, he makes friends with Donnie and is actually happy talking to him. Well... you know how bad Donnie's ending was. To make things worse, Critic came back and now treats Chester like crap when he'd actually looked after him in the past.
- You Bastard: He thinks the audience is sick for watching him nearly freeze to death in a snowstorm for entertainment.