They took Chicago. They conquered Molossia (for about a week). They survived suburbia. Now, it's time for... SPACE!To Boldly Flee is the fourth anniversary video event of the Web site That Guy with the Glasses. Continuing from where Suburban Knights left off, one year later, The Nostalgia Critic is depressed over the loss of Ma-Ti. A galactic threat is brewing, beginning with the appearance of a gigantic "Plot Hole" in space and the vendetta of a bitter Turrellnote The original name is Terl, but here he appears to prefer this spelling. Put under house arrest by the government for breaking copyright laws with his reviews, Critic discovers the wormhole has some connection to mysterious messages being sent by Ma-Ti, whose body may have died — but the "character" is still in the ether somewhere! He responds by converting his house into a spaceship (since, hey, it's not breaking the law if he technically doesn't leave the house) and blasting off to find him, defeat Turrell and his allies, prove his innocence so he and his friends can keep their jobs, and stop the hole from disrupting space and time. Hilarity, science-fiction film parodies, jabs at Hollywood politics, and truly dramatic moments ensue.The film was meant as the swan song for The Nostalgia Critic web show. Not long after the entirety of the movie was posted on the site, creator Doug Walker did a follow up video announcing the retirement of the character but eventually would bring him back.The first of the film's eight parts premiered on TGWTG on August 23, 2012. The last part premiered on September 13th.Teaser can be seen online, as well as a second teaser, and now the final trailer.Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Commentaries from cast members:Spoony has a (now cancelled) commentary: 1234567. Linkara, The Last Angry Geek, Jew Wario, Holly Christine Brown, and Oancitizen have a commentary here. Phelous, Brad Jones, and Obscurus Lupa have a commentary here. Diamanda Hagan has an absentee commentary with various other absentees joining in at various points here: 12345678. Doug and Rob have a commentary on the DVD. Because of the new media player, you can just click the first link and let it play straight through. But, you know, you can still come back and read the page...Not to be confused with That Guy With The Glasses In Space, a Dark Fic written before To Boldly Flee existed.
To Boldly Flee provide examples of the following tropes:
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90% of Your Brain : In Part 2, it's revealed that Ma-Ti's brain uploading has boosted Spoony's brain usage to 92%, from a critic's standard 5%.
Abuse Mistake: Type B; when Film Brain overhears Mechakara assimilating The Nostalgia Chick, everyone just assumes they're having a good time.
Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: In-between spaceship battles, computers blowing up and the possible end of the world, we get things like Film Brain trying to cheer Critic up, Luke telling Snob that the critics are like a family and a vlog by Paw seeing what everyone's up to.
All There in the Manual: In response to questions about the Turrell/Critic hate, Rob said in the Scooby-Doo commentary that there were originally some lines about how Turrell didn't want to get angry at his own race for what happened in Battlefield Earth and so blamed the Critic for "distracting" him with the review.
Lindsay stated on her twitter why Chick reacted so badly to Todd's face and Lupa didn't (because she saw how awful she was and his face shows you his soul), it wasn't brought up in the movie, even though it's clearly the case as Chick gets a lot nicer afterwards.
Artistic License - Law: In Part 1, the Critic is put under house arrest, under the orders of a congressman, without trial, for breaking a law that does not yet exist. Turrell tries to get them to add other charges (most of which are valid) but gets blown off.
Both Dredd!Critic and the assorted mooks he fights in Part 4 are horrible shots, able to miss each other at point-blank range when neither is moving. Critic is justified, as he's only been seen to fire handguns in his reviews.
Both Turrell and the Critic miss every shot at each other in Part 7 despite using laser weapons and charging right at each other. Yet again, Critic is justified, as he's only had the car lasers since around Part 2, when the ship was built.
Author Appeal: Aside from the usual Homoerotic Subtext and expanse of male chest, strangling seems to be a thing. Mechakara to JewWario, Chick to Lupa, Mechakara again to Zodd, and a deleted scene of Todd to Joe.
Critic: Okay, seriously, this may be the first time a film series gets a sexual harassment case from a guy. The movie has more man-skin than Leatherface's wardrobe! Either somebody come out of the closet or double-bolt that closet so we don't have to look at it.
Big Bad Ensemble: General Zodd and Turrell look to be Co-Dragons for the Executor, and Mechakara also features heavily. As of ''Part 3," he is seen working with Turrell to understand how Malachite's Hand works. Ma-ti serves as a secondary villain near the end of the movie.
Nostalgia Critic: People of the world! Critics everywhere! There's only one way to officially stop this thing once and for all — we have to make the Plot Hole bigger! USS Exit Strategy Crew: (Beat) WHAT!?
Bittersweet Ending: The Executor has been destroyed and his threat vanquished once and for all, Ma-Ti is finally at peace, their world was saved from utter destruction, The Internet and the Critics will live on. But the Nostalgia Critic is gone forever, as is Ma-Ti.
Blood Is the New Black: After gruesomely killing Prick, Mickey casually walks back to the bridge covered in blood.
Part 1 involves the Critic, under house arrest, forced to stay in his house. Part 8 involves him staying indoors voluntarily when he enters reality to prevent his universe from being erased.
The first anniversary revolved around a childish fight between The Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd. To Boldly Flee ends with them shaking hands and acknowledging their respect for each other, showing how far they've come.
A rather subtle one occurs in the climax of Part 8. The scene where Chicago gets absorbed by the plothole is shot from the exact same angle as the first shot in The Brawl.
Breather Episode: After three intense dramedy-like installments, Part 4 is much more light-hearted. Of course it still ends on a downer with Snob getting accidentally captured.
When Paw Dugan calls up Linkara to ask for his spaceship in Part 1, Linkara is insulted when Paw thinks he reviews lamps. Then, in Part 6...
Critic: I knew it. I never did trust Linkara. What kind of freak reviews lamps?
One that was set up from the Critic's "Top 11 Awesome Movie Themes"; he ends his Pirates of the Caribbean segment with an odd comment about forgetting Orlando Bloom was in it and how that's no small feat. Part 1 reveals that he wants to forget because his brain is full of naked images of the guy.
In Part 2, when Film Brain asked the Critic where he got the teleporting technology from, he explained he stole it from Dr. Insano. In the finale, when Critic asked where he got the technology to contact CR and JO on the Dream Amplifier blueprints, the Nerd offhandedly explains he stole it from Dr. Insano too.
The Potted Plant. It really ties the room together.
In Part 3, 8-Bit Mickey suggests a "sexy dance party" after the mission is over. In the finale, he is seen dancing with his shirt off.
In Part 6 of the film, Mechakara devours a grenade after JewWario throws it at him, and doesn't push the detonator. In the finale, SadPanda finds the detonator and presses it, killing Mechakara, Zodd, and Turrell.
During Part 4 the USS Exit Strategy's laser are down because the Nostalgia Critic filled them with sugar. In Part 8, Luke does the same to disable the The Death Bomb's major weapon.
Turrel's first name is Ferdinand, to the surprise of both Zodd and Chick listening in on Mechakara. Repeating the name in disbelief is what causes Mechakara to notice her.
Sci-Fi Guy's house gets obliterated in Part 1. In the stinger of Part 8 he is shown alive in the wreckage.
Broken Aesop: Part of the whole point of Critic's plot in this was that he had changed and could make his life better, and therefore all the people who'd related to him could get better too. His show's reboot, with his screaming, loneliness and deathseekering flanderized not so much just breaks that message but grinds it into mash.
In Part 2, Dr. Insano lampshades the fact that he was an alter-ego of Spoony in Kickassia, but in To Boldly Flee he's a separate character entirely.
In Part 1, Critic asks Film Brain if he's ever felt forgotten or cast aside, cutting him off before he can bring up the Luke situation in Suburban Knights.
Mechakara still has Malachite's Hand from the end of Suburban Knights.
In Part 3, everyone was thinking Chick and Linkara had sex. It's a nod back to the after-credits bonus in Chick's "What Women Want" review, where Linkara was thinking he's in love with her and would kill Todd because of it.
The suicidally cocky Judge Dredd moments where Critic is more interested in staying with the people who want to kill him instead of using the big field to run away, bear a striking resemblance to the Suburban Knights battles with Jaffers, where he was also more interested in staying/dying than running away.
In Part 4, Phelous gets unceremoniously killed several times in a similar manner to how he used to end his reviews. (Also a parody of redshirts.)
When viewing Spoony's insulting view of Linkara (being someone so afraid of sun he should sparkle) in Part 5, Mechakara's complaint is Linkara's voice is much MORE annoying than that, a call back to Linkara's voice being the only thing to break his cool during his first arc on the show.
The Thermal Detonator that Ed!JO invented in Part 3 that had seemingly no use at the time ends up saving JewWario from Mechakara in Part 6. In Part 8 it goes off, destroying the Death Bomb.
Sugar in the laser banks. Luke uses this to disarm the Death Bomb, in Part 8.
Paw bringing up Linkara's spaceship in Part 1 pays off in Part 8.
Turns out that Nostalgia Chick remains a cyborg even after getting shaken out of Mechakara assimilation, allowing her to quickly download the lyrics to a song General Zodd wanted her to sing, allowing her and Oancitizen to maintain their covers as distractions.
Chiaroscuro: As the movie's tone gets darker, so does the lighting. Part Seven has a lot of dim scenes, with the only light being focused on whatever actor's face.
One of Turrell's motivations is the destruction of his entire homeworld and race, which happened in a Critic review as a throwaway gag.
Ma-Ti became tired of being the Butt Monkey due to the Accentuate the Negative approach to his character and everyone's reactions to it, and seeks revenge by setting up a situation where the Critic will destroy the rest of his site's cast due to his Jerkass nature. However, the Critic turns out to be evolving beyond such simple characterization...
Comically Missing the Point: After hearing about a killing spree in Minnesota in which the targets are male 20-somethings who work from home and have ties to the comic book industry in Part 1, Linkara is relieved that he won't be affected.
Coming-of-Age Story: You could easily look at the film as Critic's, as he goes from impatient manchild to selfless adult by the end. Doug agrees with the interpretation on his commentary.
Critic isn't over the self-esteem implosion experienced in the Scooby-Doo review, confiding in the Chick that he feels pretty awful about himself.
The ending of the Last Angry Geek's Deathstroke review leads directly into his appearance here.
Mechakara is continuing his original mission of trying to understand and control powerful magical artifacts — in this case, Malachite's Hand.
The spooning-induced awkwardness between Critic and Spoony continues, as Critic gets very squicked out by Ma-Ti!Spoony's No Sense of Personal Space and talk of "coming holes".
And in Part 5, Critic notes that the Chick probably felt sickened by Spoony's naked body too, in reference to the first Spooning With Spoony.
Continuity Porn: Like Critic's Scooby-Doo episode, fittingly for what was meant to his Grand Finale. There are a lot of storylines unlike Suburban Knights or Kickassia, and it's a better experience if one didn't just have knowledge of those two movies, but of how badly Critic was feeling in his own episodes, the Spooning with Spoony series, Linkara's issues and enemies, the Chick/Todd/Lupa storyline and where multiple other continuity nods came from.
The masked pilot/Angry Video Game Nerd's ship as well.
And the Last Angry Geek's Starfury/X-Wing fighter.
The Critic's Mazda3 straddles the line between this and Cool Car.
And while the coolness was established in his own show, Linkara's Comicron One makes for a very cool ship itself.
Corner of Woe: The first time we see Critic in part seven, he's in the corner and clearly stewing in self-hatred. But because he puts on a Stepford SmilerDirty Coward act, the others (except Film Brain, and Chick is also concerned) are all too willing to leave him alone.
A very literal case, according to Film Brain's and Critic's discussion of Ma-Ti's will in Part 1.
Also done by Prick, who wrote "help me" on Mickey's shirt in his own blood during Mickey's Berserk Button rampage in Part 2.
Covers Always Lie: Fans got nervous at Dredd!Critic in the cast photo, thinking it would be really hard to buy an emotional "final journey" with half of Doug's face hidden. Turns out he was only in that costume for ten minutes, and the rest of the time he was in his normal suit.
Creepy Circus Music: Over Spoony's image of Critic. Added onto the perception's wide smile, jerky movements and blank eyes, plus the spooning from before still very much on real!Critic's mind, the overall message is disturbing.
Crippling Overspecialization: The mooks on the baddies' ship are trained only on their own equipment with no backups. When the gunner is killed in Part 4 no-one else can do his job and the ship is defenseless.
Cut the Juice: When Ma-ti's messages and star maps appear to be taking over everyone's computers in Part 1, the Critic just pulls the plug out of his. This doesn't work.
Dance Party Ending: The special ends as the group of critics party in Ask That Guy's house. It also presents the confirmation of Nostalgia Critic's fate is only known by Film Brain and Sage (other revieewers discover it in later reviews).
With Critic explicitly self-loathing this time around, a lot of scary moments, Prick's gory death at the hands of Mickey, the Chick's painful assimilation and the whole special being revealed to be Critic's swan song.
Critic: It's just like Kickassia! Only with emotional depth and actual sincerity.
Deader Than Dead: Both Turrell and Zod seem aware of Critic's Death Is Cheap tendency, so they invoke this; the former wants his body reduced to ashes and the latter wants to torture him until his corpse isn't recognizable as human.
Defiant to the End: Zodd disinterestedly prompts Turrell for this, who responds that for once, he has nothing.
The guard that disintegrated several fellow Mooks with the OMGWTF-9000 gets banged on the helmet by another guard's weapon.
After several random teleports and nearly getting killed, Dredd!Critic finally ends back on the USS Exit Strategy, and dope-slap CR for all his troubles.
The Nostalgia Chick delivers one to Oancitizen for blowing their cover to Zod during Distraction.
Dramatic Irony: Phelous mocks Critic for not being a hero at the exact moment Critic is going off to be a martyr.
Phelous also picked the wrong moment to be The Starscream in part four, as Critic was more than willing to lead the rescue team, save Spoony and very likely get himself get captured or killed.
Example for post-movie. Insano tells the team that the world is now nothing but chaos and inconsistencies, so learn to enjoy it. But instead of the TGWTG universe getting Denser and Wackier with “Plot Hole!” as an excuse, it actually got hit hard with Cerebus Syndrome, with a lot of reviewers having well-received breakdown episodes.
Dramedy: It ups the seriousness from Suburban Knights, but it's still a comedic satire.
Dumbass Has a Point: While Turrell is normally hammy and ditzy, he seems to be the only one to object to having a party while the critics and reviewers are still alive. And so he tries to gun down the Nostalgia Critic. But he fails.
TBF acted as a send-off for the Nostalgia Critic, since Doug and Rob decided they had said all that they could with the character.
Spoony states in his commentaries that he thinks that the age of the Internet critics will come to an end in the near future, repeatedly saying that everybody needs a backup plan for when the bottom falls out.
Even Assistants Have Standards: In Part 1, Prick's assistant is obsequious, only mildly questions the necessity of SUCKA, and is horrified at the thought of cancelling Smurfs 2, but even he does not like the live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks or its "squeakuels."
Eyes Never Lie: The end of Part 1 had Critic trying to make light of the situation and fob off the computer explosion as meant for the Chick, but his eyes were fixed on the screen ever since the power came on again and they didn't even stray when she makes disgusted noises at him.
Snob doesn't notice that Luke is standing right next to him in Part 7... but given what he's wearing, he has a pretty good excuse.
Fan Disservice: Spoony recreating the scene from David Lynch'sDune where Feyd-Rautha emerges from a sauna in nothing but an odd leather thong. Those watching In-Universe are suitably traumatized, since Spoony doesn't have the physique of Sting circa 1984.
Flanderization: In-Universe; Spoony's perceptions of the Critic, Joe and Linkara as a screechy foul-mouthed manchild, trigger-happy nutjob who has never been hugged by his mother and a sparkling-white nerd with an annoying voice, respectively.
Linkara worked very hard to keep Mechakara from becoming another Comic Relief Villain like Terl or Zod, keeping him extremely menacing.
Flaw Exploitation: Done in different ways to Critic, Linkara, Chick and Snob. Critic's self-hatred makes it easy for Ma-Ti to make him want to go into the Plot Hole, Linkara's egotism about being adored has him making the mistake of letting Mechakara into the story, Chick wanting everyone to believe that she has no time for emotions prevents them from being suspicious of Seven of Eleven, and the Snob's End of an Age talk lets him be an easy target for The Dark Side where infamy is more important than talent.
Follow the Leader: In-Universe; Zodd & Turrell decide that the Critic is onto something by converting his house into a space-craft, so have their ship retrofitted to also be a house.
Forced To Listen: One of the few times Turrell gets the upper hand on Critic is forcing him to listen to Phelous dying, and promising him that there are other hostages who don't come back to life.
Foregone Conclusion: The current storyline (the Holokara Arc) in Atop the Fourth Wall takes place several months after the events of this movie, meaning that whatever else happens, Linkara will be fine.
The screen glitches twice in the opening credits, setting up the computer problems later.
In Part 1, Turrell comments that his ship is not as comfy as the Critic's home but it'll do. Part 3 has Zodd convert the ship into an even bigger house than Critic's.
In Part 1, Linkara quizzes Paw, serving a quick explanation of who Mechakara is before he shows up.
In Part 1 and Part 2, the Executor explicitly wants Critic either dead or locked away in his house because of events he had foreseen. We later see why he's so adamant about this. Sure, Part 8 has the Critic die, but he also saves the universe while doing it.
If you listen closely, Mechakara is muttering about disabling the oxygen supply in Part 3; he later takes out the crew this way. There's also a seemingly throw-away gag that demonstrates how easy it is to disable the oxygen from the captain's chair.
Critic hides behind the Chick in Part 1 when he's scared like he always does, but is all too willing to dive headlong into danger in Part 4 and stands up against Mechakara in Part 6. Part 7 gives us the reason for the change of character, and it's depressing.
The Last Angry Geek talks about how unlikely he is to survive given he's dressed as Ben Kenobi. Sure enough, in Part 6, he faces the Executor and dies.
Does the Last Angry Geek usually sport loud Hawaiian shirts? Because if not, he's also referencing Hoban "Wash" Washburn.
Clodd tells Brad that “you're free to go whenever you like, but just remember when you leave, so does the dream”, shutting the simulation off and leaving him in a dark grid to hammer the point home. This sets up Doug telling Critic that if he enters the real world, the TGWTG universe will cease to exist, which manages to be nicer than Clodd/Brad but puts a lot more responsibility on Critic's shoulders.
In a more meta sense, Rob Walker mentioned in previous episode commentary that if they were ever going to end the Nostalgia Critic series, the Critic was either going to be killed off or would Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
Out-of-universe, the Chick took over the Critic's usual timeslot for the few weeks that the movie was running. After his death, they have a Passing the Torch moment in her review of Cutthroat Island.
Four Lines, All Waiting: Unlike the other specials, this one took its time to get all the reviewers banded together, resulting in several plot threads competing for space during Part 1.
If you stop at the correct time during the Critic and Turrell's space dogfight, you'll notice that the back bears the Autobot insignia.
Subverted, most likely by accident, when the computer hooked up to Spoony in Part 1 flashes through a series of star charts. In the final screen, the scientific-looking notations around the $Plot Hole are written in the Star Wars alphabet, Aurebesh. Unfortunately for those who can actually read Aurebesh, it's all jibberish.
Freudian Slippery Slope: Film Brain does this after he thinks that Linkara (actually Mechakara) and the Chick were having sex.
During the big shoot-out in Part 4, the one Mook that gets his hands on the OMGWTF-9000 disintegrates more of his fellow guards than the Nostalgia Critic did (and gets Dope Slapped for that).
Then he almost hit Turrell when the later teleports on the exact same spot as the Critic. And the exact same thing happens to Turrell again with the guards on his own ship, when he teleports back a few seconds later.
Futureshadowing: Linkara's "magic and sorcery" arc is all about him realizing that he's not as nice as he thinks he is and how he's treated his friends poorly. Lewis has made sure to note that this movie canonically takes place a few months before that storyline (as they were released at the same time) and a big part of it was nobody realizing that the Devil in Plain Sight Mechakara was not Linkara.
As soon as Ma-Ti's thoughts makes it look like Spoony is a crossdresser, Chick arrives at the Critic's house wanting to get him in a corset and fishnets.
In Part 1, Last Angry Geek tells Critic he has urgent business. It turns out to be him needing to use Critic's bathroom after some Taco Bell.
In Part 5Lupa asks Todd in the Shadows to be discreet while spying on Linkara and Nostalgia Chick. Todd assures her he is a ninja. Next shot: "Hey Linkara! Nostalgia Chick! Are either of you doing anything evil or suspicious in there?"
And then they outright admit to Turrell that their plans are "evil and suspicious".
Also in Part 5, Luke despondently wonders what kind of torture a captured Cinema Snob is enduring. Cut to him lying in a comfortable bed and being fed chocolates by a gorgeous woman.
God Emperor: One of the titles Phelous gives himself after taking command of the ship.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Seven of Eleven's reaction to seeing Todd's face in Part 6. Strangely, Lupa's just fine after seeing it. Word of Twitter says that when you look into Todd's face, you see your own soul; the Chick was simply horrified by what she saw in herself.
Stated beforehand to be the last anniversary special to have this kind of scale, with the biggest production values and the longest shoot and post-production period to boot. Channel Awesome's HR rep, Holly, has said there will be future anniversary specials, just not this big.
Heroic Sacrifice: Nostalgia Critic merges himself with the Plot Hole to save everyone else. Would have been the fate of the crew of the U.S.S. Exit Strategy when the Plot Hole swallowed the ship if the Critic hadn't mashed the Reset Button to save them all.
Hive Mind: Nostalgia Chick, Todd in the Shadows and Mechakara, post-assimilation.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Turrell uses the Critic’s own footage as evidence against him while speaking to Congress in Part 1. Subverted in that Congress doesn't care about Turrell's charges.
Critic telling Ma-Ti that he has been useful and he needs to see it. This coming from the guy who only wanted to be loved throughout his life, and adamantly refuses to see that he was even when his creator is telling him so.
Kubrick Stare: The Cinema Snob gives several of these, particularly in scenes when he is with Christopher Clod. Once he becomes Darth Snob, he does this pretty much constantly, as it is the only way his eyes can be seen behind the "sunglasses" in his helmet.
The Plot Hole has ripped apart the space-story-arc-continuity, filling the site's story arcs with "pockets of chaos", which explains the footage in Part 1 and every single inconsistency error that's happened in the past five years.
Turrell speaks to the Executor as Darth Vader spoke to the Emperor in Star Wars, including the latter appearing as a hologram and the two paraphrasing conversations from the film. However, they also discuss which film they're paraphrasing and who should be saying what depending on such.
Leitmotif: Critic/Ma-Ti have a shared theme, a sad piece of violin music. It plays during the flashback, when Spoony is trying to explain to Critic that Ma-Ti's inside him, after the Critic/Geek mind-meld, and underscores Critic's redemption apology.
Loads and Loads of Characters: There are something like nineteen people on the ship. Then there's the real Linkara; The Last Angry Geek; the Executor, Turrell, Zodd and their various assistants and minions; Doctors Tease, Block and Insano; the spirit of Ma-Ti and the mysterious Gort figure.
Loophole Abuse: The Critic is put under house arrest. So what does he do? He converts his house into a spaceship.
Manipulative Editing: In-universe. Look closely at Turrell's Battlefield Earth review footage and you'll see the first part is Critic asking if there's anything he can do to help before Psychlo explodes.
Mass "Oh, Crap!": Turrell, Zodd, and Mechakara give one when the thermal detonator still in Mechakara's stomach goes off and is about to blow up the Death Bomb, taking them with it.
Mind Screw: Ma-Ti's influence makes Spoony's brain readings unreliable and confusing. For example, the attraction to a long-lost sister... was that Spoony's thought, Ma-Ti's, or one's attraction to the other's sister?
A "nerd-meld" is a softer version of it, as Ma-Ti apparently planted his character into Spoony without his permission and causes him eons of trouble as a result.
The Last Angry Geek's version with Critic is nicer, but Critic was skeeved by the idea of someone going into his brain and Geek treats him like he's fragile afterwards.
More Dakka: The Critic's entire battle strategy in Part 4.
Motif: All the focus on wedding rings in Part 8, Rob's, Brad's, Doug's and James's are all prominently in the shots, and the cast commentary got confused at the flashback of Luke and Snob shaking hands, as originally the latter's ring finger was empty.
Must Make Amends: After getting messages from Ma-Ti, Critic wants to go into space to "do something right for once".
Said word by word by Brad after he helped the Executor kill the Last Angry Geek in Part 6.
Also said by the Critic in Part 8 when everyone gets absorbed into the Plot Hole.
Mythology Gag: Doug first got the idea to have Spoony play Turrell in his Battlefield Earth review when he realized how much his and Rob's attempts at the role sounded like Spoony's impression of the similar Large Ham sci-fi villain Baron Harkonnen. So here, we have Spoony as Turrell, but saying Harkonnen's lines.
Neuro-Vault: Like Spock and Bones before them, Ma-Ti implanted the essence of his character into Spoony's own mind before he died.
Never My Fault: Turrell blames Critic entirely for destroying his planet and species, when in reality it was one of his own stupid race that lit a cigarette and killed everyone.
Senator Clodd, the senator turned lobbyist from the MPAA is a thinly-veiled version of Senator Dodd.
Lame R. Prick takes his name from Texas House Representative, Lamar Smith, who was considered the "champion" of SOPA. His surname, mannerisms and several of his lines are also inspired by from Walter "Dickless" Peck from Ghostbusters.
Prick's assistant: I'm not really much of a medical doctor. Prick: Neither are they. They got honorary degrees from the Freudian University gift shop. Snob: Is this true? Dr. Block: Absolutely not! Dr. Tease: I got mine from a cereal box! (earns a glare from Dr. Block)
Out of Focus: Noah Antwiler and Lewis Lovhaug both get large amounts of screen time, but Spoony spends most of the movie in a coma and Linkara spends Parts 1-7 trapped in his apartment... We do see Linkara escaping from the closet in Part 5, though he's still not all that important until Part 8.
Plot Hole: In-Universe. A black hole that is central to the story in this special. It is revealed in Part 2 that the battle between Malachite and Ma-Ti created one which is causing all the strange things to happen. In Part 8, the Critic finds it's a wormhole to the real world where Doug Walker explains that it's an actual writing plot hole as well — all he could think of to put on the other side was the real world, and he doesn't know how the Critic will handle the choice given to him there.
The Power of Love: RoboTodd breaks free of his brainwashing in Part 6 when Lupa offers to go on a date with him.
Power Fist: Created as gloves for the Critic by Ed!JesuOtaku in Part 4. Pity they only have about a minute of power though... Later Used in combination with Tricked-Out Shoes by Obscurus Lupa in Part 6.
Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Obscurus Lupa gets two in quick succession in Part 6. " Turn on the oxygen. I feel a Cynthia Rothrock moment coming on," which leads to "Get away from her, you BITCH!"
The Planets by Gustav Holst, featuring "Mars", "Saturn", and "Neptune" at various points but especially "Jupiter". Appropriate, given the setting.
Snippets from Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen are all over the place. Particularly noteworthy is the french horn solo of Siegfried's Leitmotiv from, well, Siegfried, which is used here as a Leitmotiv for "the plot." Also cements the allusion to the Force, which also gets a french horn solo for its Leitmotiv.
Dr. Block and Dr. Tease are quickly written out in the second part when they are explained to have resisted arrest, shot a police officer, stolen a police car, and driven it to Mexico where they got into another shootout before being arrested.
When the teleporter is used to get rid the Critic of his tracking anklet, they can't tell where it'll go.
Also happens to Dredd!Critic when the teleporter malfunction and he ends up, first outside the base on the Europa moon, and then on the bridge of Turrell's ship.
Reality Is Unrealistic: The idea that civilians such as the critics' "Space Research Committee" have access to radio telescope data may seem far-fetched but one of the current models of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence called SETI@home uses the on-line computers of volunteers to process incoming extraterrestrial transmissions.
When Mechakara declares that the crew will fail and he will win, CR is the only one who does not join in the cheer and looks at him worriedly. A lot of fans thought that it was Foreshadowing for CR outing Mechakara, but it turned out to just be a Funny Background Event.
Malachite's Hand itself can be easily viewed as such, since it's practically useless to Mechakara and not even Turrell understood how it works.
Restraining Bolt: When the Nostalgia Critic is placed under house arrest in Part 1, he has to wear a tracking anklet (which he calls a "bracelet") that gives him an electric shock whenever he tries to go outside.
In Part 1, the "security footage" of Ma-Ti's "nerd meld" with Spoony is revealed to be an In-Universe retcon when The Last Angry Geek lampshades that it doesn't make any sense.
In Part 2, every continuity error that has ever been and ever will be made in the history of the site is retconned as a retroactive effect of the Plot Hole. Specifically called out is the fact that Spoony and Dr. Insano were the same person in Kickassia even though that's not the case anywhere else.
Ripped from the Headlines: It's pretty clear that at the time the script was written things like SOPA (an internet censorship bill parodied here by SUCKA) and the Tommy Wiseau incident from a few years priornote The director of a movie the Critic reviewed threatened a lawsuit for using clips from said movie, parodied here by Turrell's Frivolous Lawsuit were still fresh on the Walkers' minds.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mechakara goes on one against Turrell and Zodd after he finds out that they lied to him about Malachite's hand.
That plant in the corner really ties the room together.
JO testing her inventions on Paw.
Everybody knows that many Bothans died to get the Reviewers information on the Death Bomb... but nobody knows what a Bothan is.
Sadistic Choice: Turrell gleefully gives one to Critic; either he beams himself aboard the enemy ship for what certainly wouldn't be a fun time, or he has to listen to his friends getting killed. He obviously takes a third option, but in a slight twist it's still a suicide mission that he only survives because he's not the sole pathetic person in the movie.
Ship Sinking: If you were still shipping it (and some people were) after the stalking, sexual harassment, kidnapping, near-murder of Lupa, and Lindsay outright saying they'd never get together because it'd be too disturbing, Chick/Todd when she reacts in terror at seeing his face and then "breaks up" with him afterwards.
As always, Critic and Chick. Aside from talking about their problems like actual adults, he sneaks a peek at her cleavage and she's delighted to get him into Dr. Frank'N'Furter's costume for their The Rocky Horror Picture Show crossover in Part 1. They even get a duet (admittedly with Doug as Zodd).
Critic is also very appreciative of a crazy, weapons-making, Paw-abusing JesuOtaku.
Sleep Cute: The critics are knocked out due to lack of oxygen in Part 6 and pass out all over each other.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Notably avoided. Santa Christ does not get his usual theme song during his brief appearance at the end, most likely because it would ruin the relatively emotional scene because Critic just "died" and Spoony seemingly did as well, but Santa Christ actually has him in tow, at which point the scene becomes a happy reunion instead.
Spoiler: An actual "spoiler alert" on the USS Exit Strategy in Part 4. "Close eyes, cover ears."
Stealth Pun: In Part 3, Mechakara turns Nostalgia Chick into a Borg Drone and Film Brain, being on the other side of the door, believes they are having sex. The last thing we see before the assimilation process starts is a power drill. Therefore, he was drilling her.
The Stinger: That Sci-Fi Guy is alive (and not even badly injured) after the destruction of his house.
Suspiciously Apropos Music: The Distraction Song. Especially weird is that it's Zodd who wanted to hear it, albeit for its original meaning concerning the fate of Krypton.
Take a Third Option: Instead of letting a (non-Phelous) hostage die or giving himself up to be tortured and killed by Turrell and Zodd, Critic decides to put on the Judge Dredd costume and fight all the mooks.
In Doug's commentary on the DVD release, he delivers a beautiful Take That to the Fan Dumb who complained about too much quoting and referencing of other movies. Made even better by the fact that it is done in a completely non-sarcastic voice.
Part 1 references the fact that most of what is featured on the site are more "rants with pop culture references" than actual reviews. Also, Turrell's presentation to Congress is periodically interrupted by commercials, which is how Channel Awesome makes its income. This is, of course, followed by an actual ad break.
More Take That, Us in Part 5, in which Doug, Joe, and Lewis play their respective characters the way Spoony sees them: as annoying caricatures.
In Part 2, CR, as an engineer, tells the Critic, as the captain, that they're ready to launch in 5 minutes in techno babble... but the Critic doesn't understand a word.
Happens again in Part 4 when the transporter malfunctions.
Teleporters and Transporters: The Critic has the USS Exit Strategy fitted with a typical Star Trek teleporter thanks to the gear he'd stolen from Dr. Insano. Naturally, it sees lots of use throughout the film, including a few lampshades and playing with the tropes usually associated with such.
Teleport Interdiction: Mocked; just putting Spoony in a cardboard box is enough to prevent teleportation.
This Is Gonna Suck: Not explicitly said, but Critic definitely realizes he's going to be in for a tough time when the team arrives and most of them look like they want to kill him.
Theory of Narrative Causality: "The Plot" seems to function this way. It also seems to suggest why the reviewers have so much power; as a group of people who discuss and deconstruct tropes as a living, they've made their own lives into stories.
In Part 1, when the others wonder if it's a good idea to casually be discussing a public conspiracy so openly, That Sci-Fi Guy assures them that there's no way the government would pay attention to them, and "May God strike me down" if otherwise. It's not God, but a satellite blows up his house seconds later.
Also in Part 2, Turrell does this when he discovers that the TGWTG crew has left Earth, and shortly after finds out about Prick. "Right. What else could go wrong?" Cue Faceless Mook: "Sir, the Executor would like to speak with you."
Phelous wears a red shirt when he beams down to Europa to save Spoony in Part 3, but he also argues that he thinks of the red shirts as belonging to the Captains, the way it does in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Paw tries to explain but is quickly ignored.
PhelousShut up, Wesley!
And finally this line:
Executor: You would need a bizarre combination of reviewers, nerds, gamers, and internet personalities to defeat us now. Turrell:And 8-Bit Mickey!
Timey-Wimey Ball: In full effect, as explained by Dr. Insano in Part 2. The Plot Hole is responsible not only for all the current story inconsistencies but all the previous ones as well.
Title Drop: The title of the series is part of a sentence hung on a wall before they took off.
Undying Loyalty: After starting to give a toss about each other in Suburban Knights, it really gets cemented here. Chick actually stops her efforts in stalking Todd on skype when she sees Critic is miserable, Film Brain also tries to take care of him as well look out for Luke, Critic goes to extreme lengths to keep his team safe and they don't want him to die, and Luke's speech about the online critics becoming a family gets paid off when everyone everywhere complaining about plot holes helps save the world.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In real-life, Rob telling Doug that they were fifteen minutes behind schedule when really they were ahead. He thought he was doing the right thing, but Doug's face just falls from previous confidence in the BTS footage, and that apparently the moment when his issues (more on that in his commentary) started causing problems for everyone.
Visual Pun: When Film Brain is in Spoony's brain, he encounters Spoony's superego, which appears as a giant, naked Spoony (with one person commenting before that that this is probably how he sees himself). In real life the psychological definition of the superego is the part of the personality most concerned with moralitynote with the id being the part operating on the "pleasure principle" and the ego being more focused on looking at things realistically but the fact that he appears overlarge is because he has a big, e.g. super, ego.
Used to first steal Insano's equipment and then to get away in the ship from Prick, both in Part 2.
And an epic musical version in Part 7.
Wham Episode: Part 8, the reveal of the inside of the Plot Hole, the Critic's choice and the resulting consequences for everyone. It's also one for the Awesomeverse as well, considering that the Critic has ascended to a higher plane of existence, and Doug has announced that the character has been retired in a weekly sense.
The Last Angry Geek hints to the Critic that cremating Ma-Ti and stuffing his remains into a cereal can was a mistake in Part 1.
There are also a lot of people, including himself, calling him out on his past bullshit.
What You Are in the Dark: Part 7 has Critic make it perfectly clear that he wants to die with everyone believing he's an asshole, and Part 8 more or less gives him that wish, with only Film Brain knowing/caring about his Heroic Sacrifice.
Where It All Began: After the plot hole swallows the universe, the crew, save for Critic and Spoony, reappears at the field where Ma-Ti and Malachite battled in Suburban Knights. The trope is then lampshaded, naturally.
While Rome Burns: What "Distraction" is all about, covered in a light and poppy exterior. Best summed up by this lyric:
So the world’s about to end, gonna party with my friends, and ain’t nobody gonna say it’s not right.
With Catlike Tread: Todd's "ninja" method of spying on Mechakara and Seven of Eleven consists of him pounding on the door demanding to know what they are doing.
The World Is Just Awesome: The sequence in which Critic sees the real world shows mundane suburbia, but still manages to pull this off.
Writing Around Trademarks: Due to coming from other works, Terl and Zod are here called Turrell (but it's still pronounced the same) & Zodd. An interesting note regarding Zod/Zodd, is that the altered spelling is only featured in the credits and a sign on the ship maintains the original spelling.
He also gets this in a twisted way from the villains, who all want him dead, captured or locked in his house so he can't do anything to stop them. They wouldn't act that way if he wasn't important somehow.
You Bastard: Critic's innocently delighted face when he sees the real world, and by extension a place where he has free will and doesn't have to be written entertainment, makes one feel intensely guilty for wanting him to be entertainment in the first place.
It's got shades of Powered by a Forsaken Child and Sadistic Choice when you factor in that his freedom means not just the deaths but the total erasure of every other reviewer in his 'Verse. The freedom he could have had is literally tantalizing - there not for him to take, but for a moment to imagine he could have taken, which makes his ultimate sacrifice (and even his later return) all the more heart-wrenching. In some ways it feels like the polar opposite of the ending to 1/0: Not the heart-warming peace of "they are free to imagine the very best for you," but an explicit denial of this possibility (barring some serious fanfiction retcons), and the possible implication that the only possible way for any of them to escape the story is for all of them to escape at once.
You Have Failed Me: In Part 2, the Executor is not pleased when Turrell lets the Critic escape Earth, but instead of replacing Turrell, he replaces himself with a leader he considers to be a much better fit for Turrell: General Zodd. Although Zodd never really becomes Turrell's boss and they seem to share equal amounts of power on the ship... in fact, Zodd might actually be more incompetent at his job than Turrell is.