Dr. Stuart Ashen
(yes, a real doctor; of psychology, no less), or simply Dr. Ashen, is the premier source on YouTube
for reviews of Shoddy Knockoff Products
— primarily electronics. He also reviews equally horrible retro British games in a series called Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of
, and most horrifically of all
, really cheap and/or really old processed food. He has also created two small series of comedy videos for the BBC Comedy Extra website, named Ashen's Tech Dump
and Back Space
He co-starred in the sci-fi webseries/ARG The Proxy
, which ran through March 8th-17th, 2012. Unfortunately, the contest aspect, not-so-subtly sponsored by Alienware
, was available only for those living in the UK.
Regardless, it is available to watch worldwide here
His site is here
, his YouTube
(and his overflow channel is here
), and he hosts some of his game reviews on That Guy with the Glasses here.
He also served as the narrator for Ninja The Mission Force
, duplicating the Large Ham
British narrator of Godfrey Ho's films.
He has made a crowd-funded film called The Quest for the Game Child
, in which he searches for the eponymous knockoff game system.
The works of Dr. Ashen provide examples of the following tropes:
- Accentuate the Negative: Being ripoffs of other consoles and generally being really bad, POP Stations inspire a lot of this in Ashen's reviews.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Chef Excellence the puppet has much darker skin than the model he's based on. Also, his hair is black, rather than the lighter tone on the box. The live-action version of him in The Quest For The Game Child has lighter skin than the puppet version but still has darker hair than the original.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: He pretty much popularized the the image of kid's show Plucky Comic Relief Noseybonk as a murderous psychopath.
- He (jokingly) implied that Rick Santorum was a Star Wars character.
- Suggested the Polly Pockets "Cutants" line of toys was the result of Polly turning into a Nazi Mad Scientist, experimenting on animals until she could get ahold of some "roofies" and a few human test subjects.
- He claims an interactive E.T. toy (essentially an E.T.-shaped Furby) is an Eldritch Abomination similar to the Lovecraftian cosmic horror, even starting the video with a slightly changed Call of Cthulhu quote.
- Siri is always interpreted by him as a racist, due to being specifically designed for use in the US more than the UK. Even when being questioned about said uselessness.
- Invoked twice for "Chef Excellence" (with the first example lampshaded by Stuart when he notes that Chef Excellence doesn't have a character to begin with since he doesn't exist)...
- The Hero: Chef Excellence is a chef-themed superhero out to stop the evil Chef Ineptitude (Ainsley Harriot) from absorbing the souls of the Chefs Tongue (famous UK health food expert Jamie Oliver), Hair (Gary Rhodes), and Rude (Gordon Ramsay) to form Chef Pestilence (Marco Pierre White). To save the day, Chef Excellence needs to store the Chefs in his patented Stay-Fresh Bags.
- The Failure: In puppet form, Chef Excellence is a pathetic waste of a man after being replaced on the Stay-Fresh bags by the also-fictional Max Hoffman. He's taken up a fondness for gin as he attempts to reclaim his title through cheap dishes for Stuart, and is known to have panic attacks when Hoffman and/or his bags are brought up. This version appears more.
- Live Action Chef Excellence: This version is again reinterpreted for the movie and later videos as Chef Geoffrey Excellence, an inept cook who is more out to sell kitchen products than produce food. Quest for the Game Child states he doesn't even know how to cook. Played by Dan Tomlinson. Also called "The Only Version We Have Licensing Rights To".
- Aluminum Christmas Trees:
- Lampshaded with a bootleg action figure of Dude Love.
- Some non-British fans are surprised to find out that Noseybonk was a real character from a British children's television show and not just some horror creature he devised.
- Same thing with the Game Child. Yes, it was indeed a real knockoff of the Game Boy, although Stuart's description in The Quest for the Game Child is significantly exaggerated, particularly in regard to the fact that it was supposedly radioactive.
- During the hilarious "violin history" on the box of the Chinese electronic violin, he wonders what the child of a violin and a piano would be. Leonardo da Vinci's "Viola Organista" would probably have been a better answer than "accordion".
- In the Doctor Who LCD Adventure Game review, he's baffled about a stage where the Wire, an energy being living in the television network is escaping in a car... except that in the episode the level of the game is based on, the Wire does exactly that, being inside a 50s-style portable TV.
- Ambiguous Syntax: Mentioned in his review of Human Killing Machine: is it about a human who is a killing machine, or a machine that kills humans?
- And I Must Scream:
- And This Is for...: While crushing a toy Storm Trooper in a press, he turns the handle, every time listing off all of the sins of the Star Wars franchise.
- Anti Humour: After biting into a foodstuff described as glutinous in this video, "If you were to look up the word 'glutinous' in a dictionary, you would find a written definition of the word, because that's how dictionaries work, they don't have pictures!"
- Arch-Enemy: The autofocus. Many, MANY times.
- The crowning example comes during his Open Pandora review, where the camera focuses on a hair on its own lens.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: His review of the Chintendo (or "Ken Sing Ton") Vii showed that it was a simplified NES in design with a Wii controller slapped on, 2D Playstation 1-esque graphics, weighed nothing even with a small lump of useless metal inside it, and had cost him financially and mentally very much. His reason for giving it a 0/10? No lanyard (when the box said there would be one included).
- From his review of the Playmobil Blind Bags:
Ashen: A young boy in a hoodie?! WHAT?! What are are doing here, mate? Look at all these freaks! There are vampires, executioners, and drunk people!
- Artifact Title: "Poundland Special", when it first began in 2009, began as being mostly items from Poundland, but has grown to include items from Poundworld and 99p stores, as well as items from overseas discount stores that were sent to him, to the point that most of the tat in the newer "Poundland Special" videos is no longer from Poundland. Lampshaded in "Poundland Special 3", where he states "We're really stretching the use of the word 'special'", and in "Poundland Special: Loom Band Pregnancy Wig", where he states "...where every item costs one pound and came from Poundland, except most of the items which didn't come from Poundland, but came from 99p stores, or Poundworld, or in fact, possibly another place where everything costs a pound".
- Ascended Meme: After someone did a Gentlementlemen remix of his Retieval Review, he was heard humming it in a later video and put an annotation link to it.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He thinks this is what will happen to Shane in the Camp Rock LCD game.
Instructions: Help Shane catch the notes to earn points and advance to higher levels!
Ashen: ...of existence?
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: "Sprue," meaning those little pieces of plastic that come off the mold for a toy or something similar. He himself admits he has no idea how he came to know the word.
- Nine times out of ten, if he needs a unit of time to describe a duration, he'll use femtoseconds (a millionth of a billionth of a second). In other words, he'll get bored of an object in the blink of an eye.
- Auto-Tune: His review of LaDiDa has him turn the Auto Tune up as high as possible because of Rule of Funny. Improvised hilarity does indeed ensue.
- Artifact Title: By his own admission at the start of this video, the Poundland Specials feature items that come from other places than Poundland and sometimes cost prices other than a pound.
- Bad Impressionists: In "10 Reviews in 10 Minutes 2", his assistant Dan does an impression of Ashen's opening which Ashen himself says sounds more like Dame Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey.
- Bait and Switch: The second Girls' Toys review came out directly after The Proxy. The first thing he says:
- Also, the 3DS Mii QR video. the first QR code does give you Noseybonk as promised. The subsequent codes... do not. The one labelled "Excellence" gets you a Mii with a mouth where his eyes should be and a mole or single eye on his chin named "Cylox 7", the one labelled "Godmonster" gets you the Forever Alone face, and the one labelled "Ashens" gives a tall, slender woman with a backwards three on her face named "I AM 3".
- BBC Quarry: Discussed in his review of the Doctor Who LCD Adventure Game, where he explains that whenever the Doctor actually goes to a foreign planet in the seventies, it usually looks like a rock quarry in Wales — the reason being it literally was, to his understanding.
- Berserk Button: Lanyards. They set him off because every piece of retro tat comes with one. "They're a waste of the planet. The campaign starts here." Incidentally, his way of getting rid of them seems to be selling them with his DVD.
- For the information of Americans who use "lanyard" to mean something you hang around your neck, he uses the word to mean a wrist-strap (so you don't drop the thing, think Wiimote).
- Forms of patronizing marketing also manages to piss Ashen off. He expressed his displeasure at the Flip Video's slogans plastered all over its packaging, and actually refused to properly review a set of Carpenter earbuds due to the pretentious-sounding description on the back of its box, especially with its incredibly lame would/wood pun.
- He rage quits the Welcome Park app in his PS Vita review after he felt patronized by it.
Narrator: *Knock, Knock* There's someone at the door!
: Someone at the do-OH FUCK OFF!
I'm not five years old! (Rage Quits)
- Don't give Max Hoffman cheese bags to Chef Excellence. Just don't.
- In his Adventure Time Mystery Bag, he didn't like how Jake is just repaint of Finn's figure.
- Big Damn Movie: Ashens And The Quest For The Game Child
- Big "Shut Up!": He gives one to the annoying nature screensaver towards the end of the iPhone 5G review (jump to 29:25 for when he has his fill).
- Bile Fascination: His claim to fame is a series of video reviews of POP Stations, toys and games, almost all of which are crap. Many of them are donations from viewers.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: During the WLL review, the Youtube staff terminate the video when he mocks the partnership program.
- Blah Blah Blah: Tends to do this as he skims through uninteresting bits of the text he reads.
- Blatant Lies: A Running Gag of his. He denotes all sarcastic comments with "...he lied."
- "<Sarcasm>. Also, I am a crazy liar"
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Nearly every foreign product has manuals filled with this. It's so bad that Dr. Ashen is angry when it doesn't happen. Sometimes even the name is badly translated.
- It's gotten to the point where he can read them as clearly as properly spoken English, and should probably count as being fluent in word salads.
- The Board Game: He has reviewed several board game adaptations of computer and arcade games.
- Body Horror: The Fight Club action figures, which have limbs twisted around the wrong way and faces painted on wrongly. Apparently, it can spread.
- A knock off Superman figure has flesh tone blades growing out of its arms due to it being a repainted Batman figure.
- In the Christmas Tat Special 2012 he remarked "There's a fairly thick theme running through this year's special about Father Christmas, and Body Horror." The items reviewed include a starfish-like creature with Santa Claus' screaming face twisted into a dog toy, a Santa Claus on a swing hanging from a rope attached to the inside of his skull and what appears to be a Cthulhu-Santa hybrid.
- Book Safe: In an early POPStation review he has a hollowed out science encyclopedia with a handgun inside it.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the My Little Pony Mystery Bags video, Ashens describes his friend Andy as "very keen on chemicals, fire and chemical fires". No points for guessing what happens to the items featured in said video.
- Break the Cutie: After ingesting some Chinese century egg and subsequently sicking his guts up, Ashens is notably bitterer and swearier for the rest of the video. Given that it is by a fair margin the worst thing he's ever tasted, this is somewhat understandable.
- Brick Joke: In Poundland Special 3 (April 2010), he tries to test the Packbuster's claims with a LCD game based on Doctor Who. He also claimed that he will review it later, but it took until December 2011 for it to be reviewed. Turns out it had fallen behind a wardrobe. The post for it on ashens.com also lampshaded its former What Happened to the Mouse? status.
- In one video, Ashens reviews an ET "furby", becoming increasingly scared of it throughout the video. He eventually removed all the casing. In this Poundland Special, the ET thing can be seen in the background. He REALLY didn't like that thing!
- Another one that's been going for a while - a single frame of a bald, bearded man popping up in several videos as a Running Gag (see Subliminal Seduction below). It finally comes to a head in Quest for the Game Child: it's the actor who plays one of the prisoners that beats up Nemesis during the credits.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Has taken to putting on a John Major-esque "boring nerd" voice when reading out bits of instruction labels, especially those relating to things like safety disclaimers.
- British Teeth: He makes fun of this trope in his livestream Q&A. He actually has really nice teeth.
(reading question) "Is it true that British people have bad teeth?" ... I don't know. (feels teeth) ... OW! Oh no it's true!
- Broke the Rating Scale: In playing the Turbo boardgame with Guru Larry, he manages to come in third place... out of two people playing.
- Buffy Speak:
- Call Back:
- During his first "Video Game Tat" special, Stuart knocks a package onto the sofa, addressed to a "Tom Bishop" starting, well, you know. During the next special, two more letters fall from the sofa, both addressed to a "Tom Bishop". Stuart quickly dismisses both. Returns again in the third special, this time labeled "Running Gag".
- Also in the 2014 Easter special. A couple of years before he "decorated" some plastic Easter eggs by daubing "PISS ARSE" on them claiming that they were for Easter (then quickly reversing them to say "ARSE PISS" and declaring that this was now Christmassy). Fast forward to 2014 and after similarly "decorating" a felt bunny with the word "FUCK", Stuart feels it just isn't Easter-y enough... until he turns it around to reveal "PISS ARSE" scrawled on the back.
- Catapult Nightmare: At the beginning of his "Fortress Guardian" review.
- Catch Phrase: Occasionally teases about making one up, but always decides against it. Two options were "Stay Fresh, Cheese Bags!" and "Thumbs up to Dingoo!"
- "Let's see what lurks inside."
- "Rip! Tear! Rend!" in a dull monotone when unwrapping things.
- "Well done, lads."
- "He lied."
- Another variant of that is, "Oh, wait. I lied."
- Another is "He lied through his teeth."
- Early in a review he will make a Captain Obvious comment along the lines of "It's a (thing)" or "It's got a (thing)" in a pained, Dalek-like voice.
- A skeptical "Hmmmmm" after he reads a line of Blatant Lies product description.
- Making a *sniff* noise to punctuate how ridiculous something is.
- "Nought to three sad onions."
- "Not entirely convinced by this..." (when talking about a product)
- "I don't know, and you know what? I don't care."
- Any videos to do with Chef Excellence will always have "An excellent X" somewhere, be it the video itself, the title or description.
- "We may never know or care."
- "Y'know, just like the [real counterpart of the Shoddy Knockoff Product] doesn't."
- "Mmmmm, cheap and nasty."
- "It's just like ________, only the same/rubbish."
- "Dearie me."
- "...Fair enough", usually after reading out some incomprehensible Translation Trainwreck instructions.
- "Hello!" to the point where he has it engraved on the back of his iPad.
- "It's Poundland Special time again!"
- "Wow, Everything a growing boy needs!" Whenever he reads a long list of features written on a product's packaging.
- "Blimey, crikey, O'Riley" has been popping up quite a bit lately.
- "To be brutally honest..."
- "What a load of old guff/rubbish/tut/bollocks/etc."
- After winning an easy first level of a game: "I now declare myself Master of the Universe."
- "Oh my giddy aunt."
- Celebrity Resemblance: He has a passing resemblence to a bearded John Simm, to the point where the Ashens Action Figure was a modified version of the Master from the new series of Doctor Who (played by Simm)
- Many have noted his resemblance to Simon Pegg, especially when paired with Guru Larry, who—also noted by many—acts as Ashen's Nick Frost.
- The Simon Pegg resemblance was visually lampshaded in "An Excellent Newsflash".
- At the beginning of the live stream Q & A:
- Christmas Special: Christmas Tat 1 (2008) and 2 (2009), and the Christmas Specials for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (and bonus Christmas food video for 2013).
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- In the 2014 Easter Special, one of the items shown is a plush rabbit that comes with felt pens for coloring it. Ashens uses uses the pens to write "fuck" all over it (as well as "piss arse" on the back). Due to the pens being dry, he has trouble writing.
- His review of the Apple Newton has him give one off when he writes in 'Norwich' and it comes out with 'Worcester' instead.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- During his review of Chef Excellence's "Stay Fresh System" bread bags, Ashen reads on the box that the bread bags do not require a seal, causing him to think the box is referring to the aquatic mammal.
- When reviewing the Ixo Vino wine cork attatchment, he uses it on a cardboard Tesco Value wine carton and declares the product useless before bringing in a proper bottle of San Lorenzo.
- While reviewing a Bella Sara blindbag (some All Girls Like Ponies type series), Ashens reads the slogan "Journey into a magical world of horses" on the bag
I think we all know what franchise they are trying to cash in on: The Avengers
- Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: In-Universe, in the 2012 Halloween special the Silver Skull reviews a number of horror films sold in Poundland despite not having seen any of them.
- Corpsing: In the iPhone 5G review, he dissolves into a fit of uncontrollable laughter after discovering an ancient-style rabbit ear antenna on the phone.
- He also does this when he first presents the Mobile Phone Handset from Signalex, due to the product's design asthetics being Two Decades Behind. He stated that he had to redo the intro 14 times to get it right, because he couldn't stop laughing. He still has some trouble in the video itself.
- It happens yet again in his review of LaDiDa after playing back the first song he records.
- He also does it during his Poundland Clearance Special while reviewing a stack of random Green Lantern action figures due to some of the designs.
- Happens twice in his knockoff He-Man action figures review at the sight of two ridiculous looking figures.
- He actually had to restart the Violin "Wonderful Sound Strange Shape" review due to the Engrish versions of famous violin makers' names (such as "Anglicising" Antonio Stradivari as "Antonio Stella bottom tile" and Giuseppe Guarneri as "ji plug pu melon nai") making him laugh so hard he couldn't continue.
- Couch Gag: The Blind Bag episode(s) intro replaces the googly eyes with a paper bag over Ashens' head along with him commenting "I can see perfectly!"
- POP Station reviews have a POP Station whizzing around his head.
- Reviews of edibles typically have Ashens vomiting in the intro.
- Christmas specials have Ashens in a Santa hat and a Christmasy version of the jingle.
- Halloween specials have Ashens as a vampire.
- Poundland specials add the word "Cheapo!" and Ashens' eyes being replaced with pound coins.
- A review of the Dingoo A320 console has a rather unique intro.
- Creepy Doll: Shows up in the "Poundland Girls' Toys Special". His reaction? Kill It with Fire.
- Creepy Uncle: Uncle Stories.
- Curse Cut Short: Chef Excellence at the end of "An Excellent Newsflash".
- Cuteness Proximity: Whenever he brings one of his pets onto the show, he tends to act especially cute with them, in a weird way—such as looking for his dog, Oscar ("Where's Oscar-dog? There he is!) so he can poke him, or asking his guinea pig if he's going to going to turn into a god-monster. "Yeees! Are you going to go on a rampage? Yeees!"
- Cutting the Knot: Almost literally. He uses a pair of bolt cutters on a metal puzzle to untangle it.
- Deadpan Snarker: He doesn't hold anything back against the "products" he reviews. Emphasis on the "Deadpan," too, as he's usually extremely calm-voiced during his inferior product reviews. Also accentuates his skill with Precision F-Strikes.
- Declarative Finger: Ashens does it often, especially since his own hands get the majority of the screentime.
- Deconstruction: Realism Fighter, from Episode 2 of Ashen's Tech Dump.
- Drinking Game: Dr. Ashen gives one to the viewer in the description of the Barcode Battler video.
Ashen: Take a shot every time I say "Right", and "...or something". Alcohol poisoning may ensue.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: A mild example. In the end of POP Station Watch 6, Chef Excellence makes an appearance as a puppet and Stuart asks him how he is now that he was replaced on the Stay Fresh line. They parted on sour terms.
- The Chef Excellence puppet did eventually reappear—a better example is the fate of Quincy, the caterpillar who sings obscure Beatles songs.
- And now Chef Excellence, this time played by a regular actor instead of appearing as a puppet, is scheduled to appear in Ashen's movie. Dan Tomlinson is playing the Chef.
- Dual Wielding: He destroys a pair of shoddy headphones with dual-wielded hammers.
- He also brandishes the same two hammers and lampshades the trope before destroying a cheap plastic dinosaur skeleton. However the dinosaur was destroyed after one hit so he ended up only using one of the hammers, much to his disappointment.
- Dude, Not Funny!: By his own account, he's invoked this again and again and has been keeping track with a checklist. This is mostly concerning how people didn't get jokes such as his repeated avoidance of copyright infringement (Considering the youtube community's troubled history with copyright), or his appearance on The Node.
- In his review of the POP Station Laden Vs USA, he was clearly beside himself that such an exploitative product exists and is just another POP Station in no way distinguished from the dozens he had reviewed already.
- Once lampshaded by making a joke about Polish people in his Vita review and remarking "Polish people watching are now going 'hmm' and turning this off; sorry!"
- East Anglia: Ashen is from there and often mentions Norwich in his reviews.
- Easter Egg: The strange sound during when he supposedly fell asleep during his R-Zone review. By playing it on a spectrogram, it reveals a picture of Noseybonk. Proof here.
- On his Guitar Fever review, if you record the screech and play it on a ZX spectrum emulator you get a special message! (Volume warning!) SPLINK!
- Eat That: One of his most popular bits is consuming various dubious edibles on camera, and it's one of his most requested ones as well, since his reactions are generally rather dramatic. Favorites include him eating a giant gummi-candy foot, the terrifying "anti-pizza," and generic boxed wine.
- His Easter 2012 contains possibly the two extremes of all the "Eat That"s he's ever done: First, there was a "cream egg" so vile, it caused an immediate Spit Take (for which he later apologized, it being rather unprofessional), and a marshmallow bunny that, while it looked horrifying (its eyes were misaligned and it had a random hole in its forehead), he had to admit actually tasted pretty good.
- And then came the Chinese Delicacy Special, in which he had a Thousand Year egg, among other things. Hilarity and Squick ensues.
- Averted in a short video where he opens a bag of jelly babies that was 17 years old. The contents had all turned rock hard and were colored like ash. The inside of the babies looked like it had rotted. He doesn't eat it, of course, although a number of commentators theorised they would actually be safe to eat.
- Whilst reviewing some old packs of unopened Garbage Pail Kids stickers from the mid-1980s, he eats the free stick of gum from one of the packets. It turns to "rotting dust" in his mouth, and he provides a picture of the mixture of tiny bits of bubblegum and saliva he spat out.
Ashens: If we've learnt something here today, it's "don't stick 25-year-old bubblegum in your mouth." Whatever makes it bubblegum has long since passed into the ether.
- He actually nibbled at possibly the ultimate in expired food—a forty-five year-old military ration. The crackers surprisingly weren't that bad. The candy circle on the other hand...
- Defied in The Stinger of his "Worldwide Food" special with Surströmming, a Swedish "delicacy" made from rotten fish. He states he will never eat any, no matter how much he is sent, citing a story about a man who was kicked out of his apartment for opening a can and a friend who had to throw away their carpet and pants after spilling the juice from some on them.
- Eldritch Abomination: Bort Sompson.
- Referenced in regards to a Fight Club ripoff action figure whose face has been printed wrongly.
- Also used when talking about a doll from Poundland. After burning it, of course.
- He used the term again when talking about the Bridesmaid doll in the second Poundland Girl's Toys Special. He said it went beyond "Eldritch abomination" and into "harbinger of the apocalypse" levels.
- Also, the Interactive E.T. is worse than anything Lovecraft could think of.
- The "grass masks" from the 2013 Playmobil Advent Calendar turn out to be shapeshifting versions of this.
- Eldritch Location: The ice field from the Turbo board game is depicted as such.
- Engrish: If the packaging copy isn't quite written correctly, Ashens will delightfully read it aloud.
- Epic Fail: His attempts at building a Christmas cracker from a kit set the sofa on fire and reduced him to a gibbering wreck. And that's before he set off all the gunpowder.
- Even the Rats Won't Touch It: The Stinger for Poundland Food Special shows his dog refusing to touch the "pizza" "snack".
- Everyone Has Standards: He refuses to burn Lego products or knock off products that are very similar to Lego. Even if he's very displeased by it, as seen in his review miniseries on the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar.
- Evil Genius: According to Guru Larry and Wez, at least.
- Evil Laugh: He uses one to let you know that he may phone you.
- Evolving Credits: His standard intro has big googly eyes appear on his logo as he says a cheery "Hello!" For Poundland specials, instead pound coins appear where his eyes should be and he says 'cheapo!' For "Popstation Watch" a police siren plays while a Popstation orbits his logo's head and the eyes follow itnote .
- And then there's the times he's changed it up by replacing the googly eyes with headbanging with heavy metal, a more high-definition version of the popstation watch opening, and CELERY!.
Ashen: Well, that was different. Anyway, hello!
- The Poundland Food Special has him barfing in addition to his pound coin eyes. Given the nature of the "food" he's about to eat, it's basically foreshadowing what's to come.
- The 2012 Easter Special replaced "Hello!" with a very unenthusiastic "Easter." It also placed the Easter Bunny into the scene and omitted the googly eyes.
- For 2013, he did the same but with a distorted electronic version of the same recorded voice.
- Christmas Specials have snow in the title card and a Christmasy tune playing followed by Ashen spouting: "Hello-ho-ho!"
- The move of Blind Bag items from the extras channel to the main channel has been accompanied by a new title card replacing the eyes with a paper bag pulled over the logo's head, along with a slightly annoyed-sounding "I can see perfectly!"
- In both a portion of "Tomy Racing Turbo Review" (starting at 7:29) and "Everything Is Always Fine: Violin", his head gets replaced by a spring while a bicycle horn toots and the word "FAIL" in the Impact Font pops up in the bottom-right corner, due to being failed reviews (one being a showcase of items that don't lend themselves well into Ashen's reviews and the other being a blooper video).
- His review of Matchbox Linkits had unique opening and closing credits with "a dash of Eighties."
- His review of Benny's Spaceship has the intro card suddenly change to a photo of the Ashens set he created with LEGO's discontinued "Design By Me" service, along with Ashens saying, "LEGO!"
- "Movember Movie Mustache Madness" has his beard and mustache suddenly disappear, and he exclaims, "My mo!"
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of
- Eye Scream: When reviewing a knock-off Darth Vader action figure with a light-up lightsaber, Ashen accidentally shines the light in his eye when pressing the button before putting in the lightsaber. He does not take it well.
- Face Palm: His Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review.
- Filk Song: One of the entries to the non-100th video contest was a four-track album called "Recorded Tat", which includes theme songs for City Fighter and BMX Ninja.
- Follow the Leader: After Dr. Ashen's videos increased in popularity, a number of "Ashens tribute" review videos in his style have appeared throughout YouTube. The video Ultra-Cheap Action Figures Review has a clip of Harry Partridge doing an impression of him included in the end.
- In a VLOG made by several members of Channel Awesome for Magfest, purely by coincidence they ended up filming themselves in the back of a car while finding bits of plastic tat, holding them in front of the camera and talking about them: they ended up dubbing it "The Ashens Car".
- It's unknown if it's done intentionally but much of the review format and snark of Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation review series seems quite similar to Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of
- Foreign Queasine: The feature of the "Chinese Delicacy Special". Particularly the Century Egg.
- Averted in the "Worlwide Food Special", where at the end he proclaims that he will never try Surströmming due to all of the horror stories he's heard about its incredibly strong smell, one of which came from his friend.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Stuart enjoys slipping these into his videos. For example, this◊ image appears in the Apple Newton review (at roughly 3:05.)
- Freudian Slip: Both invoked and lampshaded in his Game King review, upon stating Game Boy games would not work on it.
"Oh... I don't know what it is with you people! You're obsessed with sticking things in the wrong slot... hm. Very Freudian."
- Lampshaded in his Game.Com review, when he accidentally gives away his opinion on the Batman and Robin game before showing it.
- In his live stream Q&A when he's about to tell a story: "Years ago when I worked at an orifice, sorry office..."
- Fridge Logic: While reading a letter from Peter Popoff:
wants 25 pounds... God, the omnipotent, omniscient creator-force behind everything in existence, needs 25 quid. (beat)
Maybe he can't meet his mobile bill this month."
- From Bad to Worse: Frequent in his review of terrible tech.
- Fun with Acronyms: The company behind some of the Royal Wedding Tat had the unfortunate acronym PMS.
- Another one is a company called Tronic Ace Technology Ltd. (TAT)
- Fun with Subtitles: The videos with subtitles sometimes describe his actions pejoratively. MOON MEN
- Fuzz Therapy: After he gets irritated by the Carpenter headphones in his headset roundup video (see Berserk Button entry above) the video briefly cuts to footage of him playing with poodle puppies accompanied by calming music and the caption "Soothing puppy break".
- Genre Savvy: When he is about to play "Apache" in the PSP Station LTPS Handy Game review.
Ashen: It won't be Native Americans, it'll be helicopters, I'll bet ya.
- Gilligan Cut: After he had opened a package of promotional X-Factor instruments (a whistle, a recorder, and a tambourine), he examines the quality of the instruments, then says "I can't see myself making a musical triptych with these". Cut to exactly that.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: In his "Video Game Tat" video, He holds up a video game case that would reveal an activation code if he hadn't put a fake Lens Flare on top of it, and annotates on video: "'Obscured by Fake Lens Flare' would be a good name for a prog rock band."
- From his Matchbox Linkits video: he mentions a figure with undefined limbs as "bumbling along on stumps" which he later adds is also the name of "a really good folk album."
- In his Worldwide Food Special he says some low-quality tuna spread tasted like "dirty sea water" which he then states would be a good name for a bluegrass band.
- In his review of the 80's Incredible Hulk pop-up book, he says the phrase "exciting punching Hulk" and later says it would be a good name for a death metal band.
- Guns Akimbo: Mentioned by name when he gives two guns to a knock-off LEGO Star Wars figure and has it dual-wield them.
- Harmless Villain: The Silver Skull, as Stuart points out in his TV Tropes checklist. Hideously averted for Noseybonk, however.
- Hilarious Outtakes: "Everything Is Always Fine: Violin" is one for his review of the Violin toy. He completely loses it upon reading the Translation Trainwreck rendition of famous violin maker names. In the end, he had cut the video short because he couldn't continue.
- Hilarity Ensues: Subverted with the "pooping" cow jellybean dispenser.
Ashen: Hilarity does not ensue, I want my money back!
- Hypocritical Humor: After the segment where Harry Partridge does a small review in Ashen's style in the "Ultra-Cheap Action Figures" video.
: People appearing in my own videos, trying to steal my shtick... Bet Mike Mozart
doesn't have to put up with this.
- Incredibly Lame Pun:
- As a reference to the La Di Dah iPhone app's autotune effect, as he was saving his recording to share it, he wondered, "Can I send it to Cher"? Very subtle, but terrible, nonetheless.
- The jokes in the Christmas crackers are almost always one of these.
Ashen:(reading from joke) "What do hedgehogs have for for lunch? Prickled onions!" What do the people who write these jokes deserve? A knife in the throat!
- "It looks like a fat Batarang: a Fatarang! Hoohoo! ...Sorry."
- I Need a Freaking Drink / This Is Gonna Suck: After finding out that one of the items he was reviewing was yet another POP Station repackaging, he laments on it:
- In the ninth POP Station Watch, he actually has a cheap bottle of gin at the ready on the couch before going over the game.
- When he starts to review Williams Arcade Classics for the Game.com, he gathers all of the booze in the house to prepare himself for seeing the system ruin all of the classic games.
- Upon cracking open the Chinese delicacy century egg. His apprehension at having to eat it is immediately obvious even without him saying a word.
- Before he prepares and eats the Hunger Breaks All Day Breakfast he is appalled by the image on the tin and comments that it's "gonna hurt" (while painfully mispronouncing "hurt").
- Intentionally Awkward Title: Two energy drink brands - "Boobee" and "Pussy".
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Attempted by BMX Ninja and Oriental Hero. Falls flat on its face (particularly BMX Ninja, which has no ninjas at all).
- It's Personal: The games featured in Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of are mostly ones which Ashen bought as a child and still feels angry about wasting money on.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Ashens drinking from a "Boobee"
- "Squishy boobee! Sticky boobee!"
- Jump Cut: Lampshaded.
- Jump Scare: He reacts to jump cuts in a similar startled way as a Running Gag.
- Kill It with Fire: His reaction to an incredibly scary looking doll.
- He seems to have a blowtorch now, as he's "killed" a bad-looking Draco Malfoy figure, an easter chick decoration, a My Little Pony fake, and a Toy Story Woody Gachapon toy with it, along with anything else from a blind bag that doesn't make it onto the Shelf of Interesting Items or into the Drawer of Purgatory.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Sort of. In the Nanodots Review video, at the end after the credits screen, he's messing about with them and using a closeup. "Man, I really hope the magnetic fields from this aren't damaging my camco-*VIDEO ENDS*"
- Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: He has a recurring segment in his reviews, "Quincy: a caterpillar that sings obscure Beatles Songs"
- After he parodies a quote from The Room he says: "Let's begin a video by quoting an obscure film that most people watching haven't seen!"
- Le Film Artistique: The review of the Valentine's Day Frying Pan that Chef Excellence made in the Valentine's Day Tat video.
: Bloody hell. I knew
I shouldn't have taken him to see The Artist
- Let's Play: His general approach towards video game ripoffs.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again:
- His final verdict on Renegade III.
- Stated word-for-word in the description of Laden VS USA.
- And twice more during his video of the original Game Boy:
, what a game, and something you couldn't possibly (holds up a
Tetris 2 cartridge)
produce a sequel... to—oh. (tosses it away)
Let us never speak of it again. (after showing a series of pirated and ripped off games) Ashen:
But, at least when it came to complex stuff like Pokémon Pinball
, it may have been a bulky old cartridge, but they couldn't actually produce a ripoff of that, could they? (He holds up a 19-in-1 ripoff game with the same "Rumble Pak" design as
Pokémon Pinball. Beat.)
Let us never speak of it again.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: He used an 8-bit rendition of God Save The Queen in two videos; it broke down on its second use in the Royal Wedding Tat Review.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Has reviewed several limited editions of video games and the tat that comes with them.
- Limited Wardrobe: When he films himself, he almost always is wearing a suit with his trademark red tie.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: Combined with The Elevator from Ipanema on a few occasions.
- Thinking about it...thinking about it...thinking about it...
- Loophole Abuse: Invoked; an art contest he held had, among its guidelines, "no digital entries". So a contestant mailed him a cassette tape.
- Machinima: One was made in Garry's Mod for the Game King showcase.
- Marshmallow Dream: Subverted in his recording on the JVC Marshmallow headset:
"Once, I had a dream I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, my wife was missing and everything was covered in blood!"
- Mascot with Attitude: At one point he said that Chef Excellence's Stay Fresh Cheese Bags sounded like the sign-off of an Eighties mascot "Stay fresh, cheesebags!"
- Mathematician's Answer: In his Bean Boozled Jelly Beans video:
Dan: How do you eat things for a living! This is horrible!
Ashen: Usually I don't put too much in my mouth but you kind of have to put the whole bean in and chew it a bit...
- Matryoshka Object: Lamshaded in his Playstation 4 unboxing video, referring to the packaging as going "Russian doll on us."
- The Mean Brit: Imagine Yahtzee, but about ten times less mean and five times slower. He's certainly not afraid of snarking at all the stupid things the thing he's reviewing got wrong.
- Medium Awareness: He notes at the conclusion of his "12 Days of Tat-mas" video series that the Silver Skull is unlikely to make good on his threat to return because "I get bored of recurring characters very quickly".
- Metaphorgotten: Sometimes with "If you'd do X" hyperboles, he pulls a Bait and Switch and instead states what would realistically happen in that situation.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Discussed in his March Loot Crate review, when examining the Colossal Titan on the Attack on Titan manga.
- Most Annoying Sound: He's declared this on a number of things. The MIDI files on Guitar Fever. The Game Over noise of Outrun knockoff, which was originally a classic in the original. Also, U2.
- A number of Popstations start up with an awful MIDI version of the Ode to Joy, which he has dubbed the "Ode to Pain."
- The R-Zone, despite actually being made by a (somewhat) reputable company in Tiger Electronics, was discovered to have music far more unbearable than any of the Popstations he reviewed. The two Star Wars games he tried out were just barely tolerable, but music in the system's version of Virtua Fighter was likened to "a giant spider running across a keyboard."
- The pointless nature noises the iPhone 5G's screensaver constantly made.
Have you got a frog in your pocket, or have you bought one of those stupid phones? (later on) WILL YOU SHUT UP
- Mr. Fanservice: Dr. Ashen himself. Anyone?
- Nightmare Face: One particular item he comes across is a Bruce Forsyth mask with a disturbingly blank expression on his face.◊ He then exploits this in the post-logo Jump Scare.
- Nightmare Retardant: He showed 5 examples as he hosts a website showing old trailers. Examples include puppets, a guy in a wetsuit, and a guy wearing a chicken mask.
- Nintendo Hard: BlockBuster from the MB Games Microvision. It's a simple Break Out clone, except with a ball that moves faster than Sonic the Hedgehog on steroids.
Ashens: And... go! *The ball shoots to the bottom of the screen in around half a second and beeps* Piss!
- No Animals Were Harmed: from the no-money computer building guide:
No rabbits were harmed in the making of this tutorial, although I did kick the shit out of a giraffe. The long necked, snooty bastard.
- Noodle Incident: "I haven't been this bored since I was trapped in a room with a potato."
- "I met a man with a metal ball once..."
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the Human Killing Machine review, when it's revealed that once you defeat Igor, you must fight his dog, who is named Shepski.
- Does this twice in his Star Wars figure review: once when he mentions that two of Chewbacca's family members are Itchy and Lumpy; and again when he brings up Chewbacca taking up a disguise as a bounty hunter in the Shadows of the Empire saga.
- Oddly Named Sequel: Pointed out by the dissonance between Oriental Hero and its predecessor, Ninja Master.
Leaving aside the crapulent storyline
, we need to take issue with the name. Oriental Hero
was clearly written to cash in on the success of Ninja Master
, yet completely omits the word "ninja" from the title, thus providing no obvious link.
- Oh, Crap: Done by Chef Excellence in this video, with slightly stronger language.
- Again with "slightly" stronger language when Stuart tries to prepare beer bread with his friend, when he suddenly realises what he left in the oven.
- A silent yet perfect example is when he discovers the packet of utterly revolting Creme Egg knock-offs he has just tried has a goddamn MAGGOT lurking within.
- Only Known by Initials: "CS", one of the games featured in the PSP Station LTPS Handy Game review.
- Overly Long Gag: The "Charity Video" At the end of the POP Station Watch 4: Fake PSP v2 Review.
- Overly Narrow Superlative:
- "Well, I've never been a particular fan of dehydrated mashed potato that you bring back to life with hot water."
- He sometimes says something like "If you ever need X, this will do the job." at the end of a video, X being something rather specific and unlikely. In the aforementioned mashed potato review, he lampshades this:
"If that is your situation, you should probably take a long hard look at your life and wonder what the fuck you did wrong."
- In the Hunger Breaks Chicken Tikka video, he recommends the food to anyone who accidentally kidnapped Liam Neeson's mother, and has Liam Neeson threatening to shoot them in the face if they don't eat one.
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: One of his guests revealed the password to God's source code. It's Password.
- Percussive Maintenance: Ashen invokes this, as well as stating the trope name, trying to get the Tomy Racing Turbo to work.
- Pet Peeve Trope: Four Point Scale.
"Overall, I give [Karting Grand Prix] 73%. Because I'm a fucking idiot."
- Plagiarism: A common feature of PopStations is the stolen artwork from other games on the packaging, particularly from King of Fighters and Street Fighter. Most bizarrely, PopStation Watch 6 rips Batman & Robin with the most nonsensical "Blind Idiot" Translation to date.
(after hearing the intro to the Super Mario Bros. theme in Football Ground/Gbound of Legend
) "Wow, they're even ripping off the music these days."
- Power Perversion Potential: In the Ashen's Tech Dump episode "God's Source Code", Ashen interviews a man who found the password to access the universe's source code, essentially allowing him to alter reality with his laptop computer. He uses this power to give Ashen breasts and create a booty party. He ends up crashing the universe and rebooting it, but types "Rebooty" instead of "Reboot", so now the entire universe is one big booty party.
- Precision F-Strike: His review of games based on The A-Team had him swear a few times. He expressed surprise at viewers' shock at his language, not realizing that this was the first time he did so. He uses profanity slightly more liberally now, but keeps it to a minimum.
"ARGH! Fucking...god DAMMIT!"
- On his new "Extra Ashens" channel, he did this to show his contempt for Peter Popoff.
Popoff: In Jesus' name, as God's servant of divine increase and WEALTH TRANSFER, I feel led to ask you to sow a SEED of Ł25.00, this is the SEED God will use to break the yoke of DEBT bondage and set your HARVEST in motion.
Ashen: You astonishingly vile fuck.
" You know what? Fuck you, and fuck your headphones!"
- In his "Recording Microscopes" video:
"Science! I fucking love me some science!"
- Poke the Poodle: Ashens does this while checking off a list of tropes on this very page.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Illegal Activity Special.
- Press Start To Game Over: Discussed in his "Quickest Game Overs" video and its followup.
- Pyromaniac: Ashen has definitely become one since getting hold of a blowtorch.
- Rage Quit: Cadbury's Chocolate Machine Money Box fails to dispense chocolates when Ashen puts some 10-pence coins in. He slams the dispenser into the sofa and tosses it to the floor.
"That's my review of that, then."
- He does try one more time afterwards, however, and he finds out if you insert the coin just far enough into the slot, not only do you get the chocolate, but also you don't actually have to drop the coin into the machine.
- Rant Inducing Slight: He reacts to most of the Newton's handwriting recognition screw-ups with a mixture of amusement and occasional mild irritation, but he gets really annoyed when he writes in his home town of Norwich, and the Newton somehow interprets it as "Worcester."
- A Rare Sentence: From his easter tat special:
"I'm going to lick a spaniel! There we go, that's something you don't hear on Youtube very often."
- Ratings Stunt: In his review of Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition video games, while reviewing the contents of SoulCalibur 5's packaging, an envelope addressed to Tom Bishop falls into view. After discussing Bishop's disappearance, he formulates a self-described "desperate plan to bring in extra viewers (yeah, I said it)": if Bishop does not pick it up in a week, Ashen will break the law by opening the parcel in his next video, and review whatever is inside. This, of course, leads into the events of The Proxy...
- Reality Warper: His helmet in the second quickest game overs video.
- Recursive Reality: At Jurnet's Bar in Norwich, if you remove one of the bricks in a wall, you'll see a figure of a guy removing a brick from a smaller version of the same wall.
- Retraux: His 75,000-subscriber milestone video is a repost of his very first video review.
- The title screen for "Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of" is made to look like the error screen from a Commodore Amiga.
- His Matchbox Linkits review features a song meant to sound it it was from the 1980's but was actually recorded in 2011.
- Rewriting Reality: Dr. Ashen meets the man who cracked the Source Code of the Universe in Episode 1 of Tech Dump. Depressingly though, the man was obsessed with spontaneously creating Booty Parties out of thin air.
- Rimshot: He does one in the Camp Rock LCD game.
Shane is trying to write new songs and hears an amazing one that inspires him! Ashen:
So what's he do is sample it and call it Hip Hop
. Ba-dum tsh!
- Running Gag: "Realistic color and sound effect. Just the one. Running Joke." He claimed that he was going to stop using it in Pop Station Watch 5, but it unexpectedly came back in his PCP Station review
- You could say that was an outright lie to begin with, because it gets used again in POP Station Watch 9.
- He also refers to the "Children Under 3 Should not play with this" logo as the "Sad Onion".
- He always mentions how the Street Fighter games that come with all of the POP Station variants consist of men ripping their own arms off and throwing them at each other.
- Argh! Jump Cut!
- "[sarcastic comment], he lied."
- His battle with the auto focus.
- A less frequent one: smiling and clicking his teeth together whenever his reflection shows on the screen of the tat he's reviewing.
- In his "Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of" segment, describing the modern fate of the companies that made the games as "A FITTING PUNISHMENT!"
- Potatoes seem to come up an awful lot.
- Whenever the Engrish warnings on a cheap piece of tat says that "children must be supervised by adult." Ashen will often ask who this Adult person is and where does he come from.
- When reviewing things in a range of colours, he will often describe them in terms of flavours rather than the colours (such as describing a set of knockoff Power Rangers figures as 'strawberry, apple, lemon, liquourice and blueberry').
- "I am going to spend the rest of my life picking this stuff up off the sofa." Or some other similar phrase whenever he ends up with a bunch of shredded up paper/plastic/other substance on the sofa.
- He deliberately mispronounces samurai as "sam-your-i."
- If a device plays video, he often uses a footage of him throwing a ninja star and looking at his guilty-faced dog. It became one of the earliest uploads on his extra channel here.
- Since 2013 he's been describing gross-looking food and drink products as looking like something you'd find in a catheter bag.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Temporarily, when the Trekking Burger turns out to be an entire hamburger, complete with a bun, in a can. Stuart even jokingly says that the channel is done, because nothing will ever top that.
- Self-Deprecation: A very large part of his style. He describes himself as a "Professional idiot" in biography sections of his webpages and social network accounts like Twitter. When pressed for his occupation, he insists he is an internet comedian and never brings up his Ph.D.
- At the end of his Xbox rip-off review:
"Terrifying thought: You have been watching an idiot talking about a broken toy for over ten minutes."
- While demonstrating the Seskimo Crabble, his iPhone is playing another video of his which he describes as "some rubbish video made by an idiot."
- This exchange with the Silver Skull after the Halloween 2012 special:
The Silver Skull: Can the Silver Skull be in more videos?
The Silver Skull: Why not?
Ashen: Because you're not funny and nobody likes you.
The Silver Skull: That never stopped you.
Ashen: Good point.
- Separated by a Common Language:
- In one of his Poundland specials, he reflects that Americans say "Legos" rather than "Lego" as the plural:
Ashen: Maybe that's where the "S" from the end of "Maths" ended up?
- When he mentions football/soccer in his WLL review:
Ashen: It's difficult having an international audience which is why from now on my videos will only be available in Estonia... maybe not.
- Despite being British he liberally used both "football" and "soccer" while referring to the sport.
- Shipper on Deck: The Apple Newton.
- Shoddy Knockoff Product: Mainly POP Stations. So many that the cover of Ashenthology 1 shows Ashen fighting atop a sea of them.
- To fellow youtuber Mike Mozart, at the very end of his Ultra-Cheap Action Figures Review.
- "I did not hit her! It's not true! It's bullshit! I did not hit her! I did not! ...oh, HaiPad."
- From his A88 review: "Calenda...wasn't that one of the major characters from that old AKIRA manga?"
- He goes over his "TV Tropes Checklist" at the end of A Christmas Mystery Resolved...which had "Dude, Not Funny!" checked 21 times and features the phrase "Malensky Trifle" checked off as well. To finish it off, he decided to literally Poke the Poodle.
- To Mr Benn in his "3D Colour Games" review. "As if by magic...ping!...some Popstations appeared."
- In his nanodots review, "Magnets? How do they work? The meme then gets played with when he briefly DOES explain how magnets work.
- To Chriddof when he announced the winners of a contest.
- When he reviews the Chef Excellence range of Stray-Fresh bags he notices the "As Seen on TV (In some countries)" label. He says that those countries are probably Latveria and Narnia.
- A subtle Easter Egg one: in this video at 3:35, one of the PlayStation 2 games on the shelf is the fictional Boiga Bruddas: The Xelerious Objective from Chainsawsuit.
- The end of his Poly Station 3 review had a cameo of Atlas/Frank Fontaine.
- In the 2012 Olympic Tat review, he namedrops Roose Bolton.
- At the end of his Star Wars figurines video, he places two action figures nest to each other which play the same sound, announcing, "And now in stereo!" before playing both toys simultaneously. This is a reference to Monty Python's "Man with a Tape Recorder Up His Brother's Nose."
- Near the end of one of his Poundland Food Specials, Ashens comments that his cousin Steven went to Japan a couple of months ago and visited Amigara Fault.
- In his YouTube Knightmare "remake" Stuart lists as his special skill: "he can hold his breath for ten minutes."
- After making the Gingerb- shortbr- cookie house during his 2013 Chrismas food video, he sang a little while cleaning up.
- At the last video of his Not-LEGO special, he does a video on little not-LEGO blind bags. The last set he looks at is full of spaceship models. How does he choose to end the video:
- He quotes Dexter from the Dial M for Monkey openings during his Sega Nomad video including an imitation of Dexter's voice.
Ashen: [The Sega Nomad] was only released in America, no Japanese version, no European version, NO NOTHINK!
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Lapses into them when dealing with mundane parts of the review (package opening) or intro on whatever is being ripped off.
- Shaggy Dog Story: "Who Stole My Sofa", an interactive fiction commercial for Dr Pepper, has him running all over his neighborhood looking for his sofa, which had apparently been stolen. In the end it turned out that he had moved the sofa to another room in the house while he was painting the walls.
- Slasher Smile: To this day, all the comments of his Video Remix Competition announcement video talk about is his expression at the start of the video◊.
- Something Completely Different: A 16mm film reel dated August 1993 was uploaded in May 2011. The sofa is nowhere to be seen.
- Sophisticated as Hell: "Hello, I am failed psychologist and internet cunt, Dr Ashen."
- His reaction to the completely irrelevant plot synopsis for Nightwalk: "Three words come to mind here: 'What', 'The', and 'Fuck'."
- Special Effects Failure: Pretty much the whole point of his feature, Top 5 Rubbish Movie Monsters.
- Spell My Name with a "The": THE GOOSE from the Easter 2013 special.
- Spit Take: In his Easter 2012 special, he eats a "Riegelein Cream Egg" so vile, he immediately spits it right back out again. He later apologizes for how unprofessional this was, but apparently that egg was really vile.
- Spot of Tea: Subverted, Ashens has admitted that he isn't fond of tea despite being British.
- The Stinger: Some of his early videos have strange endings after the URL plug. A Stupid Statement Dance Mix "Liquid Filth" in particular achieved minor memetic status among his subscribers.
- Oh, he's still doing it. And not always of the funny variety, either. One even seems to be a direct Shout-Out to the trope's name in the form of a TERRIFYINGLY Lame Pun. It involves the Stig.
- Stranger Than Fiction: Regardless of what fictional quirks and oddities he has alluded to for his on-screen persona over the years, they all pale into comparison beside the fact that the real life Ashen apparently keeps Double Dragon arcade boards in his oven.
- Straight Man: Ashens' friend Dan, who appears (perhaps unwittingly) in many of his videos.
- Stylistic Suck: His mocked-up homemade Doctor Who opening.
"It's hard to believe that introduction cost 8 and a half thousand pounds to make."
- The Silver Skull's attempts to make it big in jazz fusion.
- Subliminal Seduction: Brief flash frames are interspersed at random in certain videos, and the exact meaning isn't clear.
- He's currently taken to showing flash frames of a weird bald, bearded guy.
- Subverted Kids Show: Harry Partridge's Bo-Starr, a blatant parody of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), in Ashen's Tech Dump 4. Also, "Poor Monkey", "Naughty Heffalump", and "Uncle Stories".
- Surprise Creepy: The 2013 Playmobil Advent Calendar at first seemed to be shaping up to be a straightforward series of videos like the 2012 Lego Star Wars one, but then the Grass Masks start showing up...
- Suspiciously Similar Song: The Pop Stations do this a lot with horrible beeping renditions of well known music. This ranges from songs like "The Entertainer" and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" to the theme from the original Super Mario Bros. and The South Bank Show theme. They rarely go unnoticed by Stuart.
- A Tetris knock-off for the Quickshot Supervision plays a theme similar to the first level music in Super Mario Land. A built in game for the Game King plays a theme similar to the theme of the original Castlevania.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: "I'm not recording this, you know."
- Take a Third Option: His Extra Ashens Blind Bags series consists of reviewing various blind bags or pods (containers that contain a random toy figurine in a series) before deciding whether to put them on 'The Shelf of Interesting Items' or burn them with his blowtorch. He later added extra options such as the Drawer of Purgatory, the Box of Shame, and the Skull of Mystery.
- In an early review comparing the Creative Vado and Flip Video Ultra camcorders he tells the audience which one he would recommend, he tells the viewers to not buy either of them and just keep their money.
- Take That:
- Tastes Like Feet: He uses this trope a lot when he reviews food items. Examples include him describing cheap mallow candy with a rubbery taste as "like eating part of a motor", cheap wine from Tesco is "ink and vinegar", and he describes cream soda as "fizzy phlegm."
- Tempting Fate:
- In Self-Assembly Iron-Vehicle Review Ashen mocks the toy's "puzzle" classification by claiming it won't have any instructions. It winds up not having instructions.
- "Let's hope it's not in any way poisonous." *
- The Elevator from Ipanema: The HaiPad review has him humming this tune during the many loading lags. Later, the Wii U's lags almost destroyed his ability to whistle, he was called on to do it so much.
- The Many Deaths of You: For him, it was The Many Quick Deaths of You. He had two videos timing the fastest deaths in video games. One game killed you in less than a second.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In his Onda e-book review, Ashen pronounces "Amazon" wrong a few times, then later reveals he did it deliberately to bait the more impulsive viewers into writing comments on the video expressing obnoxious corrections on the pronunciation before watching the review further. The result was several removed comments.
- Third-Person Person: The Silver Skull.
- This Is Gonna Suck:
- Whenever approaching a product he really isn't going to like (such as the Poundland food, which he seemed to genuinely fear eating).
- Whenever he reviews a Popstation, PCP Station, or other cheap knock-off games.
- Timed Mission: A video where he set himself the task of reviewing 10 items in 10 minutes.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- He seems to like celery.
- He's fond of Cadbury cream eggs and Kinder Surpise chocolate as well, going by his reaction to them.
- Tradesnark™: From Poundland Special 4: "[This fake LEGO set is] from a company called 'Best-Lock—' registered trademark '—Construction Toys'."
- Trivially Obvious: During his review of the Terminator 1.8 device, he tries to figure out what game "Stone" was based on. He initially guesses Columns, but realizes that Columns had three rows of blocks per falling piece, as opposed to two. He then guesses Dr. Mario, but realizes that there are no special blocks to clear to complete a stage. Finally, he declares, "There's lots of games similar to this. This is one of them!"
- Uncanny Valley:
- Invoked by name in his review of the PS Vita.
- Mentioned again in his Matchbox Linkits review regarding one of the human figures.
- Unfortunate Implications:
- Unreliable Narrator: The audio version of his no-money computer building guide.
- Video Review Show
- Viewers Are Morons: He takes offense at the Play Station Vita's "Welcome Park" tutorial program, which has the voiceover of a children's show. He doesn't even give it 10 seconds before he rudely cuts it off.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: At least twice now - once when he found a maggot (actually fake and put there as a prank) in a pack of nasty-tasting chocolate he was sent, at which point he simply abruptly dropped the packet and ran off, and again when he ate a portion of a century egg. In both cases we were treated to a "TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PLEASE STAND BY" holding slide featuring a vomiting cartoon Ashens.
- In the Bean Boozled Jellybeans episode, Dan runs off and vomits into Stuart's toilet after both he and Stuart bite into a rotten egg flavoured jelly bean.
- Waxing Lyrical:
- When reviewing the Meze 88 Classics headphones, he holds up a gold-plated socket adaptor and says "Gold. Always believe in your soul."
- Inadvertently done in the Violin — Wonderful sound, Strange shape review when he read out the lyrics to a Korean pop song called Eternal Morning that was printed on said toy's box.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?:
- Right after the announcement of his intention to upload a new video every day during Christmas 2010 for "The Twelve Days of Tatmas".
- More directly in the 8th entry in that series, in which he attempts to assemble Christmas crackers.
- Inverted on occasion with "What could possibly go right?"
- Way Past the Expiration Date: Various segments of Ashen's Food Specials involve him examining, cooking and even tasting packaged/tinned food and drinks that are years, if not decades, past their expiry date.
- A Winner Is You
- Oriental Hero ends with some very plain "Mission Completed" text.
Ashen: There are no words...
- Word Salad Title:
- Retieval Mankind's Batman, as well as other POP Station jargon.
- Chanticleer Hegemony. It was never reviewed as it wasn't in the box, but Ashens eventually found out what it was and it isn't half as cool as the game's title.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A knockoff Superman figure has blue hair in a long mullet.
YOU HAVE SHOWN THESE HUMANS TOO MUCH