Web Video / Shane Dawson

Doing what he does best

Shane Dawson is an incredibly popular YouTuber. Strange, witty and Genre Savvy, his ability to mock himself and others and comedic skills have led to his massive following. He plays both fictionalised versions of himself and an assortment of strange, mentally ill characters, many of whom are inspired by people he knows. His work Crosses the Line Twice. His content is varied, however, and other subjects include trying out Internet tips and hacks, discussing scary real-life stories and conspiracy theories, exploring the paranormal, and reaching out to reconnect with people from his past.

His first channel is here, second channel here, and iPhone channel here.

He's also starring in the horror movie Smiley with several other YouTube stars, and is also one of the regulars of the Fine Brothers' YouTubers React. Dawson directed and starred in his own movie, Not Cool.

Tropes Relating to Shane Himself:

  • Adorkable: Shane has his moments but his boyfriend Ryland is a definite example. Their friend Garrett also qualifies when it comes to just about any topic.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Oh, so much. He frequently lampshades this. There is a very good reason for the ambiguity though:
    • Bi the Way: Shane came out publicly as bisexual in July of 2015.
  • Amicable Exes: He and Garrett Watts are very friendly and supportive of each other. The same thing can be said for him and Lisa Schwartz.
  • And a Diet Coke: Shane can be seen drinking diet soda in nearly all of his tasting videos, no matter how many calories are already in the food he's eating. Shane has since come to lampshade this tendency.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He was a fan of Baby Ariel on Musical.ly for a long time before he was able to collab with her.
  • Bishōnen: Has been mistaken for a woman numerous times.
  • Beautiful All Along: He used to be enormously fat, then lost all the weight. He suffers from body dysmorphia as a result, however, and does not see himself as attractive.
  • Black Best Friend: Shanna definitely qualifies.
  • Black Comedy: His humor is very dark and this is often lampshaded when Shane's ideas of fun turn out to be surprisingly serial-killerish in nature.
  • Breakout Character:
    • Shane's boyfriend Ryland Adams. He went from appearing in the background for a few seconds reacting to Shane's antics to having entire videos dedicated to their relationships and then began to appear prominently in Shane's other videos (food tasting, Weird Side of YouTube, Life Hack, product trying and even some Creepy videos). Ryland's own channel has more subscribers than Garrett despite not being a professional YouTuber and has significantly less videos.
    • Antonia Marquee from "Paying Strangers to do Weird Things". The song she wrote for Shane is so popular with fans that he requested her for two more songs and made two of them into music videos.
  • Camp Straight: He would have us believe so, but he's actually bisexual.
    • Camp Gay: His boyfriend Ryland zigzags in and out of this trope constantly. Shane, for his part, seems to encourage Ryland to fit this trope.
  • Cats Are Mean: Frequently jokes that Cheeto is plotting to kill him.
  • Continuity Cavalcade:
  • Covers Always Lie: Uses misleading thumbnails for his videos to generate views, and he makes no pretenses of it, doing three faux-dramatic videos about it, leading into thumbnail-filming compilations.
  • Darker and Edgier: Shane has a few series focusing on darker subjects, such as paranormal experienflces/challenges, real-life stories of tragedy and horror, and conspiracy theories. These feature a creepy ambient track in the background, and Shane's tone of voice is much more quiet and subdued than even his more neutral moods.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Shane's jokes will sometimes surprise him with their darkness, and he'll note it if he thinks he might have gone past comedy.
  • Disappeared Dad: Unfortunately. While he initially vilified his father and expressed his angst through heavy-handed videos, he's since realized that the separation was probably for the best, and when he reached out to reconnect with his father, a good deal of repair was done to their relationship, with Shane seeing a lot in common and understanding that the situation was complicated and just happened to be unfair to him.
  • Erotic Eating: Shane moans a lot while tasting food, though it sometimes occurs even when he's just anticipating it.
  • Formerly Fat: Lost a lot of weight.
  • Gag Lips: A ridiculous beauty product he tried out was a mouth stretcher shaped as these, and when he put it in, the resulting look was so striking that he created a character, Kirsten, from the image.
  • Good Parents: His mother, despite being very traditional and Christian on the surface, is a genuinely loving and accepting mom, and is surprisingly cool about many of the things she does with Shane, including a sex toy exploration video and Musical.ly filming. His father wasn't, unfortunately, but he did and does love Shane, and the two have found more in common after Shane sought out a chance to reconnect.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Played for Laughs
    If by song, you mean hearing 'Fat piece of shit! fat piece of shit!' then yeah, that was.. that was the most popular tune! *weak laugh*
  • Improv: Since the end of his scripted sketch videos, he often includes comedy into other videos by rambling out humorous commentary about topics on his mind, and he frequently surprises himself with the jokes and rants he makes.
  • The Jail Bait Wait: Shane is uncomfortable with most kids on Musical.ly dancing suggestively or lip-syncing extremely sexual lyrics...though he sometimes says their time will come.
    Shane: (referring to Loren Beech) Wait till you're 18, girl. (whispers) It's coming up.
  • Large Ham: The guy can chew the scenery if he wants to.
  • Limited Wardrobe: This is constantly lampshaded, as Shane very rarely wears clothes outside of a few specific shirts and pants. Part of this is because of his body issues he encounters when trying new clothes, and part of it is just lazy slovenliness.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Shane puts on an over-the-top and abrasive persona as many of his characters. When he's not doing a sketch, he comes across as rather nice- just see him meeting some of the Kids from React.
  • Momma's Boy: By virtue of staying with his mother when his parents separated, and he is very close with her. However, he's also very similar to his father, and had they been close before, Shane might not have been the former.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While normally pretty lively and outrageous, he's made some videos with an entirely serious tone, discussing heavy life issues or apologies for poor decisions in his early content, and even defending himself when under attack online. He has done enough of these notably subdued serious videos to completely subvert them with videos delivering the shocking news that...he stages his video thumbnails. Cue filming compilation.
  • Phrase Catcher: Garrett regularly exclaims "Shane!" disapprovingly whenever the latter does something dumb, to the point that it's basically Garrett's Catch-Phrase.
  • Quote Mine: A scandal was started when an attack video quoted some (soon self-confessed to be tastless and wrong) jokes Shane made years back about pedophilia, while removing all of the parts in the recording where he makes it clear he is joking and that he feels such behavior is truly disgusting. Since Shane had proof and tackled the issue fairly quickly with an apology video, the internet was quickly on his side, but it still caused some damage to his image for those who didn't do more research.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shane is more energetic, while Ryland is more calm and collected.
  • Running Gag:
    • Incessant self-deprecation relating to being trash and his food issues.
    • His clip-in bangs in the beauty videos.
    • Stupid puns (often involving the phrase "lit"), followed by "I'll go home." Capped off fairly early when he muses on the gag, pointing out that he's already home. Then he designed a T-shirt in the style of his usual green tee that features a door and the line.
    • Ryland's uncanny resemblance to a guy named Andrew working at Buzzfeed.
    • His self-assumed inferiority to Dan and Phil. Sometime this extends to Ryland, Lisa and even, apparently, his pets being said to prefer or be more attracted to them.
    • Shane's exasperation with Garrett's Harry Potter obsession, often asking people to not even bring up the series around him because he doesn't want to deal with the fan talk that will start up.
  • The Scrappy: In-Universe. Shane has a long-running hatred for the Minions. For Ryland, it's Lil Miquela.
  • Self-Deprecation: Most of his humor involves lampooning himself
  • Stepford Smiler: He's revealed that his post-sketch-comedy period of food videos and lifehack and beauty product reviews was a time of significant creative depression for him, and that he really started to feel the passion for making videos again once he started doing more casual videos and serious videos about his past.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy:
    • Ryland is the Straight Man to Shane's Wise Guy in most of their appearance. Even when joining in the act, Ryland is usually the one that asking sensible questions, making relatable observations, react or snark to Shane's antic. Cross into Only Sane Man when Shane made videos that contain other YouTubers, with commenters noting that when Garrett and Drew are involved, Ryland takes the role of "sensible mom" in the group.
    • Garrett is sometimes the Straight Man to Shane's Wise Guy. He exclaims "Shane!" when the aforementioned does something snarky or rude to the point that it's his Catch-Phrase. They're both equally insane, though, so they don't qualify as Red Oni, Blue Oni.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: This is how Shane sees himself and his boyfriend Ryland, respectively. Ryland thinks the opposite. Subverted in that they're both gorgeous
  • Verbal Tic: Things he really likes are "everything", and he constantly genders inanimate objects as female. He supposedly uses cool young slang ironically, but it seems to have invaded his natural vocabulary, so "shook", "queen", and "lit" and the like often come up during his excitable/energetic moods.
  • Weight Woe: Shane makes a lot of comments about how he used to be fat and his previous struggle with eating disorders - often while at the same time trying something extremely high-calorie.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Ryland comments that Shane has the most beautiful eyelashes on any guys he has ever met.
  • Wholesome Cross Dresser: In most videos when there is a female character. Ryland has also done this in many occasions.
  • Yandere: While doing his parody of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space". He becomes obsessed with Taylor Swift and decides he has to be with her. He bashes in his girlfriend's face in with a set of weights, then stabs Taylor's bodyguard and then kills Taylor herself.

Tropes Relating To Shane's Characters:

  • Ax-Crazy: Everyone. But especially Shanaynay.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Queen Shane might be an exaggerated snobbish version of Shane and mentions having a male body, but also wears a tiara and fluffy coat and has dramatically different mannerisms. Shane's catch-all use of feminine pronouns for things and people doesn't make it easier. It's likely this problem is just due to it being wild improvisation with little tying down the character besides the attitude.
  • Ambiguously Bi: S-Deezy and Paris.
  • Abusive Parents: Shane's Mom takes it up to eleven.
  • Bigger Is Better: All the male characters, in particular S-Deezy and Ned, believe this.
  • Blackface: Some supposedly black characters are actually him using this, which has made him somewhat divisive. Shane has ceased this practice with apologies, but he also does not make character-centric comedy videos anymore.
  • Butt-Monkey: While not actually played by Shane, the maid Guadalupe is often horribly injured or killed in her scenes.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Played straight with almost everyone. Aunt Hilda keeps the corpse of her dead husband at the dinner table, Shane's Mom abuses him mentally and S-Deezy and Shanaynay are violent murderers.
  • Greedy Jew: Aunt Hilda.
    "This shirt cost three whole dollars! Yeah. Three."
  • Hollywood Nerd: Ah, Ned. Classic Type 1, although he does occasionally get the girl ... kinda
  • It's All About Me: Queen Shane, who never passes an opportunity to brag about her Diamond Play Button, act like a spoiled child, and put down her "assistant" Ryland.
  • Nerd Glasses: Ned.
  • Stepford Smiler: Ned the nerd. Just.. Ned the nerd.
  • Talking to Himself / Acting for Two: EVERY ONE of Shane's characters.
  • The Makeover: Shanaynay, Aunt Hilda and occasionally Shane himself will insist on giving you one. Don't let them

Tropes Relating To His Show:

  • An Aesop: Often ends his videos with one.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: His videos are practically made because of this trope.
  • Slut-Shaming: In his parody of Miley Cyrus' "We can't stop".
    No, I wonít stop reminding you that Iíll all grown up by acting like a total slut
  • Take That!: MANY.
    • He seems to hate Miley Cyrus with a burning passion, as there will always be some joke about her getting stoned or just being generally disgusting in any scene that features her.
    • There was another scene where Paris used an iPad as a tampon
    "My vagina got a high score in Temple Run!"
    • From the episode where Shanaynay drugs & kidnaps Katy Perry for Ned's birthday:
    Shanaynay: I tried to get you Kelly Clarkson, but I couldn't afford a U-Haul.
    • Shane and his boyfriend Ryland made diss tracks about each other.