From left to right: Bladezz, Vork, Zaboo, Codex, Clara and Tinkerballa.
The Guild is an online Vlog Series-style sitcom created by Felicia Day of Dr. Horrible fame (and credited by Joss Whedon as a large inspiration) after a two year addiction to World of Warcraft. Each three to eight minute episode centers on "The Knights of Good", an online guild in an MMORPGsimilar to World of Warcraft.Recognitions include winning the 2007 Youtube Video Award and the 2008 Yahoo Video award. You can keep up with the series at its official website, watchtheguild.com. The episodes come out on Tuesdays on watchtheguild.com, Xbox Live, Zune, and MSN video. The series is also available on Netflix, where each season is combined into a single episode.A music video called "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar" (the Trope Namer for Date My Avatar) was released to promote the third season. Without trying to top it, they went Bollywood to promote the fourth season, as seen here; it took the top #3 spot in the US iTunes chart and the #1 in the UK on the day of its release. For their fifth season's launch on Youtube, they released "I'm the One that's Cool", here.After the sixth and final season finished, it was announced that the show was spinning off into a Dark Horse Comics series.
Abhorrent Admirer: Zaboo, but it has nothing to do with looks and everything to do with his lack of emotional maturity and over-the-top stalkery behavior. Although, as of the end of Season 4, he' beginning to look less abhorrent...
Abusive Parents: Clara is neglectful and has shown on several occasions to be bad at parenting, but the end of "Rather be Raiding" takes the cake:
Tinkerbella: My boyfriend's totally laughing at us right now. Codex: Where is he? Tinkerbella: In the car. I told him to wait. Clara: Oh, can you have him check on my kids for me. It's a green SUV. Codex: You left your kids in the car?! Clara: What? I cracked the windows.
Actor Allusion: In 3.5 Application'd, Zaboo can be seen wearing a ''Legend of Neil'' shirt. The Legend of Neil is another web series, created by Zaboo's actor, Sandeep Parikh. There are at least two Dr. Horrible references: Riley calling Zaboo "Bad Horse," and Codex putting up her fists while referring to "hammers." Also, Codex owns a frozen yogurt maker; in the musical, froyo was an important symbol for Penny and Billy's relationship.
Acting for Two: Tink's twin sisters Tara and Lara were originally supposed to be played by twin actresses but due to a scheduling snafu, they had to hire an Ascended Extra to play both parts. And she had no acting experience.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted/subverted. Season four is all about Codex trying to deal with her one night stand with Fawkes. Despite her misgivings about Fawkes Codex decides to pursue a relationship with him to save face from the Guild thinking she's a slut. Since Fawkes isn't interested in actually dating her, he goes along with pretending to date her for the fun and chaos. But when he realizes he really does like Codex she rejects him for treating her poorly, and Codex discovers she has a crush on Dogged Nice Guy Zaboo.
Don't ever presume that you're Fawkes' equal. Bruiser seems to share this: when Bladezz claims to be his equal, he responds "Your dick could fit in my ear canal!" And back in Episode 10, Codex decides that the Guild should take on Zaboo's mom on the grounds that "she called me homely."
And don't ever call Tink a Taint behind her back. Calling her a Taint to her face seems to be okay though.
Vork also has a few, including not tampering with his network connection ("BLAAAADDEEEEZZZ!!") and not reconfiguring his hotkeys.
Bland-Name Product: Parodied. The MMO they all play is called "The Game". This was done to avoid the copyright issues that would ensue if the series had used a real life MMO, like World of Warcraft or Age of Conan, and to appeal to a wide fanbase of MMO games.
Tink, when Bladezz jokingly suggests he's going to release a sex tape.
Bladezz in season 3, about the idea of Bruiser banging his mother.
Break the Haughty: What happens to Tinkerballa at the end of Season 2, and to Bladezz in Season 3 courtesy of the Axis of Anarchy.
Call Back: In season 2, Codex threatens to hang herself with an Ethernet cord to stop her therapist from hanging up on her. Zaboo actually attempted this method in season 1.
The Cast Showoff: Felicia's fond of writing actor's talents into the script. Bladezz is a talented card dealer because actor Vincent knows sleight of hand card tricks, Codex plays the violin as does Felicia Day, Tink plays basketball, and Amy Okuda shows off her dancing skills in the music videos. Also stuntman Wade Wei was played by an actual stuntman who did his own stuntwork. Felicia and Vince also show off their impressive vocal talents in the music videos (namely, Felicia singing and Vince holding a Bollywood-style note with perfection).
Cast Incest: In-universe, at the start of season four when the Knights of Good's healer (Codex) is involved with Axis of Anarchy's leader (Fawkes) while Axis' healer is dating Bladezz's mom, he calls it Guild incest.
Character Development: All of the main characters, because of their friendships with one another, grow into better, more successful people by the finale:
Zaboo's determination to "level up" as a person has actually resulted in his maturing from a Psychopathic Manchild into a relatively well-adjusted man who, seemingly, finds his true love from the game.
Codex grows from a shy, mousey loner into a confident and strong woman with a successful career.
Bladezz, originally a jerkytrickster whose M.O. was screwing with people, becomes a semi-famous meme-level celebrity and forms genuine friendships with his Guildmates.
Vork ends up mellowing to a certain degree and falling in love with a celebrity.
Clara becomes famous for her blogging, eventually securing herself a paying job doing exactly that.
Even Tink mellows considerably and, alongside caring for her Guildmates, she ends up dating a programmer of The Game named Donovan who has fallen for her.
Even other characters including Fawkes and Zaboo's mother go through lesser degrees of development over the series.
Continuity Nod: A minor one, but the picture of Codex Zaboo photoshopped in Series 1 decorates his laptop in subsequent series and in the Game On music video. It's actually something of a Running Gag, her part of the picture is covered by a shot of Riley in season three, and in season four Riley is covered by a sticker.
Corpsing: Felicia while being showered in gold coins during the "Do You Want To Date My Avatar?" video.
Cringe Comedy: Most of the funnies come from the incredibly rude, inappropriate, or shocking things that the guildies say.
A Darker Me: Online, Bladezz is an obnoxious troll who likes to make perverted comments and act like he's cool and edgy. In person, he's still in high school, can't drive, and gets beat up by his little sister. Though, in a departure from the stereotype you'd expect, he's young and attractive (in a pretty, Hanson-esque way), so much that his mother made him do some embarrassing modeling photos to pay for college. Also Valkyrie, an Axis member, who tries to act uber tough in an online chat with the Knights of Good only to be interrupted by his boss. Valkyrie tries to defuse his boss's suspicions he was internet surfing, which quickly degenerates into a conversation about how a client's damask came back coral instead of lavender as she'd requested.
Vork rigidly follows guild rules to give an orb that changes the avatar's hair color to Tink over Clara. Clara in turn begins a reign of destruction which nearly destroys the guild.
Season 3 revolves around this happening to Bladezz. Over a feud that began from a video game, the Axis of Anarchy digs up his Old Shame as a model, plants weapons in his locker at school, and has someone sleep with his mom. It was bad enough that it reached the point where he was going to run away from home.
In season 5 Zaboo's seat saving scheme gives him a lot of power at the convention and by episode 7 he is seen stroking a toy cat while Neil Gaiman is asking him for a favour. Later he is seen having his goons beat up Kevin Sorbo in order to get front row seats at his panel.
Vork also becomes this when, with the help of Zaboo's mother, he creates an investment scheme to amass huge amounts of in-game wealth.
Draco in Leather Pants: Wade "Stunt guy" "Guns" Wei happens to be both an in-universe and out-of-universe example. In-universe, despite being a self-obsessed jerk, he manages to come off looking awesome to the Guildies because he's also a real-life Bad Ass. After beating the crap out of Zaboo and publicly humiliating Codex, all Zaboo can say is "he's nice" because the guy did motion capture for his favorite game, and was an extra in a B-movie he loved. Then Clara, Codex's friend, makes out with Wade! Out-of-universe, his "leather pants" status has caused a few fans to think he should end up with Codex, despite how nonchalantly he comments that "she's not worth it" with a wink and a smile. And, in the spirit of equal opportunity, Riley. Her relationship with Zaboo is at best disturbing, and at worst downright twisted; she's violent, manipulative, and scarily controlling - all three neatly illustrated by her knocking Zaboo out, gagging him with tape, and chaining him up in the wardrobe because he forgot to make her breakfast. On the other hand, she's hot. Tall! I meant Tall!
Expy: The in-show sci-fi series Time Rings, with the main character known only as "the Professor", featuring former co-star Madeline as "Charity", herself a loose Expy of (and dead ringer for)Sarah Jane Smith. Actress Erin Gray played Col. Wilma Deering in the 1981 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Extreme Omnivore: Vork: Found Object Stew. There's also the "breakfast" he finds in season 5, made up of the discards of other people at the hotel. For some reason, though, he won't eat tofu.
Fake-Out Make-Out: Tink asks a drunk Codex to pretend to kiss her to obscure her face from her sisters at the Con.
Tink: I said "pretend to kiss me" you perv!
Fight Scene Failure: In-Universe example when Wade fights Zaboo. Because Wade is a stuntman, he avoids hitting Zaboo out of habit. This stops once he "recalibrates."
Foe Yay: An in-universe example. At first it seems that Riley is just hostile toward Codex...then in Noobtastic she rather blatantly makes a pass at her ("your skin is so soft" *brushes hair away from neck as she massages her shoulders* ), and apparently has misplaced anger about Codex "rejecting" her, when it should "go the other way around". Didn't See That Coming. And then in Coping and Stuff, Zaboo tells Codex that Riley wants to have a three-way with her and Zaboo. If that isn't Foe Yay, who knows what is. There is also some very unwilling Foe Yay with Zaboo and Vork when they first start living together. Zaboo spends a lot of his time showing off his body and exercising, trying to get Vork to play "manly" sports with him (like wrestling) and changes around Vork's keyboard settings to what he thought were better ones. Vork's interactions with Zaboo are the only times he acts halfway normal (i.e. he gets really annoyed with him). And then there is the fact that Zaboo tried to get in the shower with Vork... Then In episode 8 of season 3, Codex gets into a private chat with the Axis of Anarchy leader to try to convince them to cease tormenting Bladezz. Fawkes insinuates that she wanted a private chat for a different reason and is in denial about her attraction to him.
Foreign Queasine: Tink's adoptive parents keep trying to give her tastes of her own culture by making disgusting fusion food. Teriyaki candy canes, anyone?
Zaboo's reaction to Riley and Venom in the season 3 finale. "Subscribed!"
Good Cop/Bad Cop: Season 3 episode 9, Codex and Zaboo's interrogation of Valkyrie takes on this aspect when Zaboo starts venting some of his repressed anger and Codex admits that he's starting to scare her.
Her Boyfriend's Jacket: In the fourth season, after Codex and Fawkes sleep together and he accidentally leaves his jacket at her place, she assumes they're totally dating and wears said jacket on what she thinks is a date... and he sends someone else to pick it up.
Hollywood Nerd: Averted. A lot of the main cast is attractive, but they have serious psychological problems that, while exaggerated and Played for Laughs, have some basis in reality. It's not hard to see how Codex can't get a date despite looking like she does because of her Extreme Doormat tendencies and massive insecurity. The utter lack of a Beautiful All Along reveal is notable as well.
I Banged Your Mom: This trope is repeated verbatim and played with when Resident Scary Black Man Cop of the Axis of Anarchy bangs Bladezz's Mom as part of the attacks on the guild. It turns out he actually liked her, and is dating her at the start of Season 4.
I Call Him "Mister Happy": Mr. Wiggly. "They won't know that's my name for it... unless I hold open the mic like that." Actually referenced as early as season 1 in an outtake: Zaboo mentions his penis's name, and Clara mentions that her husband's has a name as well.
I Know Mortal Kombat: Zaboo weakly suggests this trope might apply when he challenges Wade Wei to a fight, only to find out that Wade is a professional stuntman. Vork immediately shoots him down, pointing out that Zaboo's game character is a Squishy Wizard, and so his game experience doesn't apply to the real world, where casting spells is impossible.
Codex claims that her relationship with Zaboo is of this nature.
In season 4, Zaboo tries to act accordingly. Since this is Zaboo, he takes it way too far.
By the end of season 4, Zaboo appears to have grown slightly more natural about this. Perhaps coincidentally, Codex is terrified to find she finds him actually attractive now.
In season 5, Codex tries to confess to him, only for him to play the Just Friends card
Kick the Dog: The Axis' campaign of terror on Bladezz, who after all is just a high school kid. Made worse by the fact that Venom is a teacher and Bruiser is a cop, people who are supposed to stop this sort of thing.
Liz Lemon Job: Codex's role as the Only Sane Man in the Guild, and later virtually her explicit job description at the game company.
Man Hug: Averted in the season three finale when Bladezz and Bruiser make up.
Missing Mom: Clara manages this despite still being (technically) a member of her family and a 'stay at home mom'.
Mistaken for Pedophile: Vork was pretty much asking for this when he stopped by an elementary school in his van. Later, when Vork says that if the Knights of Good lose and are disbanded he'll go back to playing Chinese Checkers with the neighborhood kids, Codex shoots him a WTF look
Most Gamers Are Male: Subverted by the fact that guild is evenly split between men and women. Felicia Day has said she did this on purpose to prove a point that there are more girl gamers out there than guys think there are.
Moving the Goalposts: From Vork's point of view, anyway—Codex tells Vork he can help himself to anything in her kitchen, but then decides that doesn't include her frozen yogurt maker.
Mundane Made Awesome: The end of the season 2 pilot has Clara's children messing up her computer cords set to Ominous Latin Chanting in slow-motion, while Zaboo seduces Codex with the EPICALLY-worded promise of buying her a faster internet connection.
Noodle Incident: Vork doesn't think of himself as a bad man... well, there was that night he spent at a Hitler Youth Camp by accident...
No Periods, Period: Averted; early in Season 2 Zaboo chalks up Codex's annoyance with him to the fact that she must be ovulating. Then he whips out a miniature calender to prove it. Which, of course, only increases Codex's annoyance.
Codex: You laminated my cycle?
Not So Different: Tink to Codex about flirting with guys to get what you want from them.
Omniglot: Vork is surprisingly able to speak Korean and Hindi. When Zaboo asks how many languages he speaks, he replies "All of them". (Though season 3 shows that he can apparently only speak Spanish haltingly and with the aid of a phrasebook.)
Bladezz is prone to this, he had a Big Damn Heroes moment in season 1 and seemed to be genuinely trying to bond with the guys in season 2.
Tink seems to have a tiny, tiny soft spot for Codex, such as when she defends her from Zaboo's mom with "Lay off our healer, she's squishy". She also tried to help Codex land a man in season 2, and even though she claimed it was for her own amusement, she did cancel a date and put a lot of effort into it. Also, her Heel-Face Turn at the end of Season 3. By the end of Season 5, Tink seems to firmly consider Codex a friend (at least by her own standards) after Codex helps Tink (mostly) resolve her issues with her family.
"I'm in support. Put me on team Codex/Fawkes. Team Cawkes! I'm thinking about making T-shirts."
Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Tink's adoptive white family look pretty silly when they try to imitate Tink's native Japanese culture.
Punch Clock Villain: While most of the Axis of Anarchy happily take their villainous personas outside the game with them as they torture the Knights of Good, a few of them are implied to be not so bad outside their feud. Valkyrie in particular seems harmless, and the Scary Black Man "Bruiser"'s demeanor completely changes into a soft-spoken nice guy as soon as the conflict is resolved.
Right in Front of Me Though technically he was right behind her Codex's conversation counts as this when while she is playing a demo of a new expansion for The Game. Codex complains to a staffer who tries to talk to her, complaining about how the the new mechanics have Nerfed her player class and how all the new things in the update suck. Turns out that's the creator and he is so upset by this that he decides to sell the rights to another company.
The Rival: How Codex seems to view Riley, although Riley mostly just ignores her...or so she seems to until "Newbtastic".
Season three, episode seven: Zaboo says he's friends on MyFace with Bladezz's sister. Castle's mother calls a social networking site MyFace in Castle. (Whether this is intentional and if so, which is shouting out to which is hard to tell.)
In the second season, Vork shows up out of the blue and asks Codex "Why are you dressed like a harlot?" Then he invades her home and peruses her belonging before randomly turning to her and saying "Cover yourself, woman."
At the end of the third season, Codex and Fawkes have sex and she discusses it with the guild at the opening of the fourth. In addition to yelling at her for sleeping with the enemy, they call her a slut and attack her for doing so after one date.
Stay-at-home mom Clara generally ignores her children, didn't even notice when her babysitter quit, and at one point hands them off to Tinkerballa who locks them in a pet carrier. Nobody apart from Codex seems particularly horrified by any of this.
Stealth Hi/Bye: Vork pulls this on Codex in the episode "Blow Out". Not only did he appear after a split second cut away, he was suddenly at Codex's apartment a minute after talking to her from his home across town.
They all would be if there was anyone cool to compare them to, but they kind of work this way for each other. Zaboo and Vork are so completely off their rockers it makes the rest of the guild look saner. Tink and Bladezz are so mean it makes the others look nicer. Meanwhile, Codex looks pretty good in comparison, and it's less obvious that Clara is an insane Jerkass. Also, the Knights of Good work as this somewhat in relation to the Axis of Anarchy. Kwan makes millions by gaming, Bruiser, Venom and Valkyrie all have jobs, and the Axis still has a higher ranking than the Knights, who, with the exception of Tink and Bladezz (who have school), don't have anything else going on in their lives, and play the game full time.
Starting to change as of Season Five, Vork finds a romantic interest, Codex gets a job, Tink's family appears, Zaboo shows a LOT of emotional maturity, and Bladezz develops a fandom. Clara, however, is still insane.
Valkyrie: Yes, is there something wrong with that? I play two girl characters because I like girls, I like looking at girls, I'm a girl-loving guy... ...I like your shoes.
Take That: The show is a satire of Online Gaming Culture. Vork's subplot in season 5 is mocking people who take their Fandom of a show too seriously.
There Are No Therapists: Codex's therapist dumps her. And later, blocks her calls. Considering just how relentlessly Codex resists any attempt to make her face the world and deal with her problems, it's hard to blame her therapist for Knowing When To Fold'Em. Therapists need to protect their own sanity too, after all.
Three Minutes of Writhing: "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar", though it's pretty obviously a parody of this type of thing. That doesn't stop it from being really freaking hot. Felicia Day does a cute, awkward little smile in the very last second of the video that suggests she wasn't quite comfortable with being Ms. Fanservice.
"I don't know if you're aware of this, but he has a slight...fixation."
Unperson At the end of season 2 Bladezz deletes Tinks character Tinkerballa, removing permanently from existence her gold, reputation and "two years of [her] life". She even phrases it as "I don't exist anymore"
Near the end of season 4, Fawkes, who has spent the entire season telling Codex he doesn't do "dating" approaches Codex for a second chance. She (rightfully) doesn't give him one. Time will tell if this goes anywhere or if its just a bit of ironic justice.
Given that he shows up in Season 5 trying to join the Knights of Good, it is possible the shoe is on the other foot.
May also occur in season 4 with Zaboo and Codex. Although Zaboo's attempted romance with Riley was a transparent ploy to get over his unrequited feelings for Codex and his Just Friends gambit was overloaded with sexual tension on his part he seems to have finally (mostly) gotten over by the end of season 4, noting how he doesn't feel good that Codex and Fawkes aren't dating but merely bad for her (though this could be I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy). Afterward, he helps (quixotically) tries to help her gambit to keep her job at Cheesy Beard's, gets Codex a new computer after her season long attempt to fix her old one, and stands up to his mother while simultaneously giving her a chance to turn over a new leaf. All of these raise him substantially on Codex's newly derived "litmus test" for boyfriends, much to Codex's anxiety and Zaboo's seeming obliviousness.
As of Season 5, this is officially the case between Codex and Zaboo.
What the Hell, Hero?: Unless you count sleeping with Fawkes Codex is the only member of the Knights of Good who hasn't done something morally reprehensible over the course of the series. She was pretty eager to keep Zaboo and stunt guy fighting to give her a sense of self-worth. Zaboo did start it, and it ended up biting her in the ass almost immediately, but it was still pretty iffy considering how badly Zaboo could have gotten hurt.
Fawkes and Codex of all people seem headed in this direction.
Codex eventually has her fill of Fawkes, and now is discovering she's got a crush on Zaboo.
Codex and Zaboo has this throughout the series.
You Got Guts: Wade Wei praises Zaboo for this after Zaboo challenges him to a fight and holds himself respectably well considering Wade is a professional stuntman and Zaboo is probably the loosest possible definition of 'in shape'.
You Need to Get Laid: The female guildies spend season 2 trying to help Codex get laid. In season 3 it first appears that Zaboo getting laid might actually have helped him become more sane, at least in his interactions with Codex. Then Riley starts becoming more than he can handle, and he gets crazy and angry.