Web Video / Echo Chamber

Echo Chamber: The Adventures of a TV Tropes Vlogger is a TV Tropes video show. The show is about the travails of a group of tropers trying to make a "Trope of the Week" video series. Which they do. Sort of. In spite of their best efforts.

Season 2-12: Season Finale! Mind Screw

Be sure to check out the rest of this season on our ShareTV page.

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    Tropes used by the series in general 

  • Adorkable:
    • Zack.
    • Tom, any time he lets the Jerk Ass thing go and is honest about how he feels.
    • Dana, any time she lets go of the snark to be honest.
    • Zack's Distaff Counterpart, Gaelyn.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Shannon for Tom, Tom for Porn Girl, Zack for Dana, and (possibly) Dana for Tom.
    • As of the second episode of season two, we have Dave for Gaelyn, and Gaelyn for Zack.
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • In episode 6, Tom is terrified of Shannon... until he sleeps with her again. At which point he no longer cares that she's stalking him, because she has great boobs.
    • Zack:
    Episode 5: "I'd do 'er." Episode 5: "Bend over backwards to accommodate me!" Episode 6: "It's like she couldn't even see my boner!"
  • Bad Boss: Tom to Zack, Mr. Administrator to Tom.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Episode 4, Tom tells Dana that the only food he has is rice, but that she could put salt on it. In Episode 6, you see Tom first cooking rice and later pouring copious amounts of salt onto it.
    • In Episode 1 Zack makes a joke about keeping a dead cat in a box (Schrodinger's Cat). In episode 16, he gives said box to Dana for her birthday.
  • Brutal Honesty: Dana apparently feels no need to be nice with anything she says to Tom, and tells him that he's completely incompetent, his videos are awful and she hates his guts.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Zack. He is good with After Effects, has a PhD, and delivered a baby once. He was also making amazing, heart-wrenching films when he was nine years old.
  • Butt-Monkey: Zack.
  • Catch-Phrase: Dana has the word "suck".
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Slides into this gradually; the first somewhat serious arc begins in episode 3, but the arc episodes get somewhat more common and serious in season 2. The last four episodes of season 2 each advance at least one of the show's arcs, all of them are Darker and Edgier than any of the episodes that came before them, and the season 2 finale in particular implies that there will be much more of this syndrome in the third season, (which Word of God says will be the last one).
  • Character Blog: Both Zack's in-character Twitter account and the Production Blog which seems to be written by Shannon.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Zack. And judging by his uncle Bill, It Runs in the Family.
    Zack: You keep your dead cat in a box, too?
  • Conversational Troping: Happens a lot with this being about tropes.
  • The Danza: Almost all the characters are named after their actors. The only exception so far is Umphrey Bridgeport from Tyrant Takes the Helm, who is played by Stefan Dezil. However, given The Reveal at the end of that episode, it's probable that this isn't the character's real name.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dana.
  • The Ditz: Zack.
  • Domestic Abuse: Shannon towards Tom.
  • Drama Bomb: The last four episodes of season 2 are more serious than all the preceding episodes.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Everyone Owns A Mac:
    • Tom is shown using an Apple laptop in episodes 4, 5, 6 and 10. Presumably, this trope will continue to show up in every episode where his computer is shown.
    • The Editing Suite where they speak to the Administrator also seems to be full of iMacs.
    • Dana is using an Apple laptop in Episode 10.
  • Executive Meddling:invoked Mr. Administrator sometimes orders Tom and Dana to change their show in some way.
  • Expy: Mr. Administrator is somewhat reminiscent of The Chief from Agents of Cracked, another webseries that depicts a fictionalized version of two people working to create content for a website.
  • The Faceless:
    • Zack.
      • Except episode 2. And even then, it's so dark that you don't really see anything.
      • You also see him briefly in episode 4 when Dana leaves for the night and it cuts to a view of him holding the camera.
      • And again partially episode 6 due to a Visible Boom Mic moment.
      • Lampshaded in episode 10; the only defining features of Zack's sock puppet are a derpy tongue poking out and a camera.
      • The Season 1 finale has Zack talking with his face partially obscured by his camera and then when he pulls it down he is facing opposite the camera.
      • Zack starts to avert this slightly more as of Season 2, in several episodes (notably 2x09), there are moments where you can see pretty much all of him except his eyes.
    • The Administrator, who is both out of frame from just below the eyes and up, and back-lit so that his features are almost completely obscured by shadow. That's all we're saying about him. He scares us.
    • In 2.11, Zack is finally fully visible. And in The Stinger, so is Mr. Administrator.
  • Face Palm: Dana, a lot. In Terrible Interviewees Montage, she does the two-handed version.
  • Freudian Excuse: Both Tom and Zack have these.
  • Fun with Subtitles: On YouTube, you can add subtitles, which are sometimes funny or sarcastic.
  • Got Volunteered: Zack.
    Dana (to Tom): If you don't like him, why is he doing this with us? Tom: His dad owns the equipment, and he made me let him tag along.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Tom is a good foot taller than Dana.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode is named after a Trope central to the episode, which is almost always discussed by name in the episode.
  • In-Universe Camera: Most of the shots are done by the in-universe cameraman Zack or Gaelyn, but there are some overall shots as well.
  • Jerkass: Dana calls Tom one in episode 1.2. She's correct.
  • Keet: Zack.
  • Love Triangle: Spoofed to hell and back with Tom, Zack, and Dana.
  • Man Child: Zack.
  • Mission Control: Mr. Administrator.
  • Mysterious Employer: Mr. Administrator.
  • Mockumentary: See Show Within a Show.
  • No Inner Fourth Wall
  • Only Sane Employee: Dana. Justified twice - Tom recruits her specifically to fill this role, and she mentions in episode 3 that being one makes her feel much more useful than any of her other jobs did.
  • Rack Focus
  • Royal "We": Mr. Administrator's speech pattern, except for The Stinger of episode 10. Bonus points for being an example of the trope and a meta gag.
  • Running Gag
    • Dana telling Tom that he or his works suck.
    • Tom filming without pants. There's a blink-and-you-miss-it shot in episode 2.5 where the camera pans down and you see he's in his boxers again - with his tuxedo shirt and jacket.
  • Shout-Out: In the production blog, Shannon refers to Dana as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Type 1. In the first episode Dana suggests they have a Show Within a Show in their first vlog in order to demonstrate the trope, which from the viewer's perspective would make it a Show Within A Show Within A Show, but Tom decides against it. In the other episodes, we see them making the vlog, but we never see the finished vlog itself.
    • Season 2 has [citation needed], a competing vlog from The Other Wiki. [citation needed] itself has a Show Within A Show, as the excerpt played is explaining that trope by doing a Show Within A Show of its own. [citation needed] also talks about Echo Chamber in a different episode.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Zack follows Dana around because he loves her. Not that she cares.
  • The Stinger: The outtakes, following the final credits. The ones in episodes 1.5, 1.10 and 2.8 have actual plot relevance.
  • Strictly Formula: Dana, Tom and Zack start talking about a trope. Trope occurs. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Teaser: So far, all but episodes 1.5 and 1.7 have started with one.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Zack. But he could really use some.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tom doesn't seem to eat anything but rice and salt. He does vary it in episode 1.6 with some breadcrumbs and grated parmesan.
  • Urban Fantasy: The show has elements of this from the beginning, thanks to Mr. Administrator's presence. It becomes especially prevalent with the revelations about him at the end of the second season.
  • Voice of the Legion: Mr. Administrator.
  • White Void Room: Mr. Administrator's headquarters.

    First Season 

Episode 1.1: Show Within a Show

Episode 1.2: Freudian Excuse

  • Big Little Brother: Tom uses this as a Freudian Excuse.
    Dana: Everyone has an older brother that overshadows— Tom: I... I didn't say he was older.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Surprisingly averted as a solution to Zack's problem.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Tom's confession in the storeroom, until a Record Needle Scratch breaks the mood.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Tom treats Zack so harshly because his Freudian Excuse means he "needs to be better than someone".
  • Jerkass: Tom mentions that Dana thinks he is this. Dana confirms it.
  • Jitter Cam: Mostly unintentional.
  • Man Child: Dana thinks this of Zack.
  • Nostril Shot: Of Tom in the storeroom.
  • Painting the Medium: By making the cameraman a character in this Show Within a Show. There's a scene showing Dana and Tom saying some very private things about Zack, and eventually revealing that Zack was there filming the whole thing. A later scene lampshades the fact that we the audience cannot see what Zack cannot film. Don't ask how he can jump between cuts mid-sentence in unedited footage or remain unseen while filming Tom at face level in that closet.
  • Pants-Free: Tom records the vlog wearing his Batman boxers and spends the whole episode like this, including when they are outside.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Played as Dana says "That's it?" in response to Tom's self-pity story about his brother being generally superior to him throughout his childhood.
  • Sarcasm Mode: "Aww, how tragic. Watch as my hatred turns to pity."
  • Troubled Production: In-universe. Tom and Zack can't get along on the set.

Episode 1.3: Terrible Interviewees Montage

Episode 1.4: Dumbass Has a Point

  • Buffy Speak: Zack trying to explain what "After Effects" is.
    Zack: It's... the thing with the things!
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Dana.
    Dana: Sorry I was... (long beat) ...yeah.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: Dana initially calls the final intro "not unimpressive", but then corrects herself to "really good".
  • Credits Gag: In the final credits, Zack's position has been changed from "Director of Photography" to "Doctor of Photography". The credits card also notes that he is responsible for the "Crap Titles".
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Who would have thought Zack would know about After Effects?
  • Executive Meddling:invoked Mr. Administrator insisting the title screen be changed.
  • Flipping the Bird: Tom does this in frustration with Dana.
  • Hidden Depths: Zack's knowledge of After Effects and his degree in art, which may or may not be real.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tom tells Dana that anyone who always assumes a person can't do something right will eventually be proven wrong...right before Tom immediately scolds Zack for talking, as if assuming he can't possibly contribute.
  • Square Peg, Round Trope: Tom tries to invoke Dumbass Has a Point on himself, but Dana reminds him he's severely lacking in the point department.
  • Stylistic Suck: The first intros Tom makes for the vlog.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Tom assumes he's the dumbass when it's clearly Zack.
    Tom: If you keep assuming someone can't do anything right, sooner or later you're going to get proven wrong. Zack: Yeah! Tom: God, I wish I had some duct tape right now! Zack: Why? Tom: To shut you up!
    Dana: To be a "dumbass with a point", you need to have a point, dumbass. Tom: Trope still applies. Dana: Does not.

Episode 1.5: Unresolved Sexual Tension

Episode 1.6: Psycho Ex-Girlfriend

  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Shannon confronts Dana alone, Dana offhandedly said that Shannon could do better than Tom. Shannon's reaction to that made Dana realize that she was a "multi-stalker."
  • Buxom Is Better: Tom, about Shannon.
    Tom: Have you seen her boobs, Dana? They are so good!
  • Butt-Monkey: Meta example. One viewer mistook the reflection of Dave in the window for Shannon and commented on it. The comment is now a top-rated comment and gets regular snarky replies.
  • The Cameo: Zack's brother, Dave is is visible holding a boom during the kitchen scene.
  • Credits Gag: Titles by Justin Hill & Zack Wallnau, Music by Justin Hill, Sound by Dave Unrelated Hill
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: How did Dana know Tom was sleeping with Shannon again? He was way too happy.
  • Double Standard: Mentioned in the beginning of the video, where Dana says how psycho exes are Played for Laughs if they're female and Played for Drama if they're male.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Tom wears one that depicts the sinking of the Titanic and the caption "This is why we can't have nice things."
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Said by Tom, referring to his breakup with his fiance.
  • Leitmotif: Shannon gets a Psycho Strings sting whenever she enters a scene.
  • Love Confession: Zack to Dana.
    Zack: Dana, I followed you all day with my camera... because I love you. Dana: That's nice, Zack.
  • Male Gaze: Zack keeps the focus on Shannon's butt as she walks away after the first confrontation, dropping both Dana and Tom out of focus and out of frame briefly.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Dana's response when Shannon claims that Dana doesn't know anything about love.
    Dana: Oh, no. My heart, she breaks. (Traces the outline of a teardrop down her cheek)
  • Say My Name:
    Dana: What the hell was that? Tom: Shannon.
  • Skewed Priorities: All Tom can think about is boobs. Lampshaded by Dana.
  • Stalking Is Love: This is what Shannon seems to believe.
  • Take That, Us: More mild than in some other episodes, but Dana does bring up the sexist Double Standard behind the trope.
  • Visible Boom Mic: In the scene in the kitchen as Tom describes how crazy Shannon is, you can see Zack's brother Dave holding the boom mic and Zack off and on throughout the scene. Their reflection in the window is right in the middle of most of the shots to boot.
  • Vertigo Effect: The Stinger tries to invoke this along with an Oh, Crap! look from Tom.
  • What Do You See in Him?: Dana ask this to Shannon because in her eyes, Tom is gross and kinda of a loser.
  • Yandere: Shanon is implied to have elements of this.
    Tom: But can you imagine what she would've done to me if I just told her? She would've thrown me off the tower!

Episode 1.7: Walk and Talk

Episode 1.8: Romantic False Lead

Episode 1.9: Did You Think I Can't Feel?

Episode 1.10/Season Finale: Mysterious Employer

    Second Season 

Episode 2.1: Always Someone Better

Episode 2.2: The Ace

Episode 2.3: A Day in the Limelight

  • Buffy Speak: Gaelyn asks Dana if she sees Zack as a "potential romantic...thing".
  • Call-Back: Dana mentions the time Zack followed her home and told her he loves her in the "Psycho Ex-Girlfriend" episode.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Gaelyn for Zack.
  • Dawson Casting: Stephen says he will play his younger self in a video instead of a child actor.
  • Diary: Gaelyn keeps a video diary.
  • The Faceless: Subverted this episode with Zack. His face is still usually blocked by his camera, but in one scene it's visible very briefly.
  • Happily Adopted: Gaelyn is Ace's cousin and adopted sister. It's unclear which one was the adopted one but they seem to like each other like siblings.
  • I Call Her "Vera": Zack call his camera lens "Lindsay".
  • Megane: Zack.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Pick. Dana. Up". Our first clue of Gaelyn's true nature.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Stephen and Gaelyn are cousins and adopted siblings.
  • Wham Line: Dana gives one to Gaelyn, mentioning that Zack once following her home to declare his love.

Episode 2.4: Conflicting Loyalty

  • Buffy Speak:
    Stephen: "I'm gonna need you a lot. For stuff. To do stuffs."
  • Butt-Monkey: Zack.
    Zack: "A lot of people step on me, and I don't bitch about it."
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Poor Zack hasn't had a single nice word for filming great videos.
  • Freudian Slip: Tom, after discovering Dana will also produce for [citation needed].
    Tom: A stepping stone. So I'm just a stepping stone to you.
    Dana: The show, Tom. The show.
  • Funny Background Event: The ice polisher doesn't have a driver and crashes out of the ice rink into the street.
  • Literal-Minded: Zack actually thought Gaelyn was talking about fruit when she tried to invite him on a date.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: A very brief one is heard during The Stinger.
  • Nice Hat: Both Dana and Tom wear these.
  • Oblivious to Love: Zack towards Gaelyn.

Episode 2.5: Chekhov's Gun

Episode 2.6: Forgotten Birthday

Episode 2.7: Noir Episode

Episode 2.8: Tyrant Takes the Helm

Episode 2.9: My Beloved Smother

  • Abusive Parents: Zack and Dave's father. In the psychological and controlling way.
  • Absentee Actor: Neither Tom nor Dana appear in this episode.
  • Big Fancy House: Zack lives in one of this.
  • Buxom Is Better: Zack is not interested in Gaelyn, but she has great boobs.
  • Call-Back: Zack's PhD in art.
  • Child Prodigy: Mark says Zack made heart-wrenching films at the age of nine.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Zack as always.
    Zack: Dad, your name's Mark? I thought it was "Dad".
  • A Day in the Limelight: Essentially one for Zack- Tom and Dana aren't even mentioned in this episode.
  • Drama Bomb: Although there's some humor, this episode is more serious than usual.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Mark thinks that there's no such thing as a PhD in art, and he's disappointed that Zack got one instead of "fulfilling his potential" by focusing on his cinematography career.
  • Freudian Excuse: With this kind of father, it's no surprise that Zack and Dave are such Manchildren.
  • Get Out: Zack's father demands this of Gaelyn after she speaks out.
  • Hair Decorations: Gaelyn's bow headband.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    Gaelyn: "Um, Zack can you tell me where your bathroom is?"
  • Manchild: Zack and Dave. Dave gets scared with a mouse and Zack doesn't even know what a "rent" is.
    • Actually Zack was just asking how high was the rent per month.
  • Noodle Incident: Zack says it isn't his fault that Gaelyn's dog got covered in spaghetti.
  • The Reveal: Zack's dad, Mark is the producer of [citation needed].
  • Something Completely Different
  • Table Space: Zack's father talks to Gaelyn across a long table in his living room.
  • The Unfavorite: Dave is implied to be this.
    Zack: But, I can't leave. Who's gonna feed Dave?

Episode 2.10: Broken Ace

Episode 2.11: Coming-of-Age Story

Episode 2.12: Mind Screw

Echo Chamber Overdose:

Season 1 Episode Tropes

Left to right: Dave, Tom, Zack and Dana.
  • Episode 1: Show Within a Show, in which the series and characters are introduced, and the cast struggle with the production of the TV Tropes vlog series.
  • Episode 2: Freudian Excuse, in which the characters try to shoot a video about the aforementioned subject, but fail repeatedly as they examine their bad childhoods.
  • Episode 3: Terrible Interviewees Montage, in which the characters must find a new cast member for a female role; however, unfortunate circumstances lead to terrible applicants, causing a... Terrible Interviewees Montage.
  • Episode 4: Dumbass Has a Point, in which the gang is working on trying to come up with a better graphic effects opening montage. Tom is frustrated and is baffled as to how to make the montage work, until Zack—of all people—comes up with a surprisingly insightful suggestion.
  • Episode 5: Unresolved Sexual Tension, in which Dana and Tom try to determine whether there should be any between their characters on the show. Things get complicated when he reveals he's attracted to Dana. And Zack will always be alone.
  • Episode 6: Psycho Ex-Girlfriend, in which Shannon reappears and is just generally creepy. Also, Dana snarks a lot.
  • Episode 7: Walk and Talk, in which Tom tricks Dana into walking and/or talking.
  • Episode 8: Romantic False Lead, in which Tom gets a date, and Dana may or may not care.
  • Episode 9: Did You Think I Can't Feel?, in which Tom and Dana hash it out, and someone leaves the show forever—all leading up to the season finale of Echo Chamber.
  • Episode 10, The Season Finale: Mysterious Employer, in which Mr. Administrator threatens to end the web show forever, unless Tom and Dana create something of transcendent beauty.

Season 2 Episodes

  • Preview: Never Trust a Trailer.
  • Episode 1: Always Someone Better, in which the gang finds out about a competitor vlog from The Other Wiki, who seems to be much better than Echo Chamber.
  • Episode 2: The Ace, where Tom and Dana try to persuade Ace (maker of the competitor vlog) to act as an ace in Echo Chamber so they can demonstrate that trope.
  • Episode 3: A Day in the Limelight, where Gaelyn takes the role of the main camera and she discovers Zack likes Dana.
  • Episode 4: Conflicting Loyalty: Dana now has to balance her life under the pressure of producing two web shows, and Gaelyn tries to invite Zack on a date.
  • Episode 5: Chekhov's Gun, in which Zack's Literal Mindedness puts Tom in danger.
  • Episode 6: Forgotten Birthday: Dana teaches Tom that forgetting someone's birthday is Serious Business.
  • Episode 7: Noir Episode, in which Tom and Zack learn that Dana has a secret.
  • Episode 8: Tyrant Takes the Helm: The gang has to deal with an ill-tempered new producer.
  • Episode 9: My Beloved Smother: Zack takes Gaelyn to meet his tyrannical father. Drama ensues.
  • Episode 10: Broken Ace: Tom challenges Dana to find out if [citation needed] really needs her.
  • Episode 11: Coming-of-Age Story: Zack makes choices that will determine his future—and the future of Echo Chamber.
  • Episode 12, The Season's Finale: Mind Screw: When Mr. Administrator is forced to deal with the fallout of Zack's decision, the secrets of his identity, his motives, and the nature of Echo Chamber itself are revealed.