* AngstAversion: One reason why some don't give it a rewatching binge. Because at least with reviewers, the horrible stuff they go through is in part self-inflicted. Donnie, Tacoma and Rebecca were good people whose EarnYourHappyEnding got crushed and never got any respect they craved or deserved. The overwhelming amount of RealitySubtext (Hoffman being based on a real woman who killed herself, how much of Doug gave of himself to create Donnie, Rachel suffering abuse in the industry like Rebecca did etc.) doesn't help in the slightest.
* AngstWhatAngst: Averted for five episodes, as the Walkers both said they wanted to take issues and {{dark and troubled past}}s completely seriously this time, but played straight in "The Review Must Go On". Donnie fights it, but Rebecca, Tacoma, Quinn and Karl are uncomfortably serene about their whole lives turning out to be fake.
* AssPull: After five episodes of getting to know Donnie as his own character, [[spoiler: The Review Must Go On kicks all that aside and tells us that he's just Critic]]. Bet you feel stupid for crying over his mom now, huh?
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: Replacing a comedy famous for making fun of movies with a comedy/drama that made genuine efforts to be serious. Most fans did not want to see Doug in a dramatic role and roundly rejected the heavy, overly serious and pretentious storylines.
* BetterThanCanon: Doug believes the pilot is better than the ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''.
* BrokenBase: The announcement of ''Demo Reel'' and the end of ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'' broke the base between fans who did and did not want him to move on.
** Once the show started airing, the base broke further between people who thought the show was underwhelming, a bit of a train wreck and people who thought that it was well written, had smart commentary with Hollywood/social justice matters and wanted it to continue.
** Lastly the return of the old show and the end of ''Demo Reel'' has fans divided several ways in several combinations: ecstatic for the end of ''Demo Reel'', ecstatic for the return of the Critic, and sad to see ''Demo Reel'' end. It then goes into worry over why Doug made this choice, as some are still unsure how sincere the events depicted are. Some say for money, some say a decline in viewership, while some believe Doug is being sincere in that it was reignited passion.
* CatharsisFactor: Donnie telling off the family who kept him hostage for taking something awful and turning it into their lives, attacking the AccentuateTheNegative ideal in nerd culture as well.
* CriticalDissonance: Professional reviewers and other sites were calling the show [[http://www.chainsawbuffet.com/2012/12/05/geek-media-expo-volume-4-doug-walker/ "something you'd see on mainstream television"]], and for obvious reasons the female/LGBT fanbase devoured it, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwSk4qPxEHo even Doug]] got that the comment sections/forums of his own site were calling for his head.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Karl Copenhagen.
* EvilIsSexy:
** Karl is gruff, morally ambiguous, and gets four girls in his con room.
-->'''Karl''': Take my advice Herr Director, grow an accent.
** Critic's review of "The Review Must Go On" lampshaded Critic's evil confidence towards Doug as weird chemistry.
* FanDislikedExplanation: Fittingly for one just used as a TakeThat against the VocalMinority, Donnie = Critic. Donnie fans were grossed out by their character getting erased, Critic fans were upset about his DiedHappilyEverAfter resolution got retconned, even Donnie and Critic (the former in his YouBastard rant and the latter crying in the ''{{Paranoia}}'' review) railed against it.
* FandomRivalry: Doug himself in the 2014 Anime Midwest Panel said he still gets Critic fans wanting him to be punished for even trying with the show.
* {{Fanon}}:
** As we'll never get an answer and he goes straight to flirting with everyone anyway, it's accepted Donnie ruined his already rocky marriage by having an affair. Whether it was man or woman is still up for debate though.
** Coupled with HesJustHiding, people like to think Rebecca is making films in California and that she at least is okay. Jossed in the Resident Evil Demo, where they're all together still making films, but evil.
** To go with the EveryoneIsBi-ness, fans assume that aside from the ThreesomeSubtext, Rebecca also has a girlfriend and it's whoever Tamara would have played in that world.
* FanficFuel: Like the fandom ''wouldn't'' honor Donnie's request for SlashFic.
** Wondering how on earth Donnie managed to convince Tacoma that he'd be his ticket into Hollywood. Their relationship and fangirl fandom being what it is, the answer usually involves blowjobs.
* FanonDiscontinuity: The show parts of "The Review Must Go On" for all the people who got invested in the characters and [[spoiler: thought dumping them in the PlotHole and making Donnie a punishment for Critic]] was an ending that was too cruel. [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/demo-reel/37883-demo-reel-blue-patches Better to end on them toasting the future]].
* FoeYay: The SWAG leader sounds a little too breathily excited about making Donnie suffer.
** Was worse in ''{{Transformers}}'' as the MoodSwinger threatening phone-call made him sound like the type of ex you'll file a restraining order against.
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: The “stunad” BilingualBonus but Rebecca thinking that's a good thing, is a lot less funny after we find out she has deep issues over people assuming she's a BrainlessBeauty.
** More with Rebecca, as at the end of "Blue Patches", she has a line of "all's well that ends well, that's what I always say". Cute and cheesy in the moment, but comes off as horrible TemptingFate for her and friends' actual end.
* GeniusBonus:
** Uncle Yo asks Donnie if he's Sisyphus, pushing the rock up the hill again and again. That was Sisyphus's punishment for lying, which Donnie has quite the familiarity with, only he's punishing himself through self-loathing.
* GrowingTheBeard: Many think the show improved after the pilot, with more focus on character and arcs instead of intentionally bad spoofing.
* HarsherInHindsight: Doug jokingly and exaggeratively predicted the overhype and the fan disappointment in the "No More Nostalgia Critic?" video, the very video in which ''Demo Reel'' was announced.
** In "The Dark Knight Begins Rising", Donnie ashamedly admits that they're not making any money, "in fact you could argue we're losing money", but they're DoingItForTheArt and that's all that counts. Unfortunately, Doug's real-life assertions of the same couldn't last, and the show was cancelled.
** Touched by Donnie revealing four open endings to him, Uncle Yo tells him they should meet up again in April and Donnie agrees. As of January, that won't be happening due to the small fact that Donnie's WordOfGod dead.
** Tacoma and Rebecca are forced to choose between giving up Demo Reel and having their best work destroyed. As they've developed to the point where there's no way they'd give up the show, they refuse and the “Blue Patches” sequel is erased. Guess what happens one episode later?
** After "The Review Must Go On", ''every single line'' about moving on from the past and being excited for the future. Everything about everyone's painful backstory too, as it turned out to just be pointless.
** In-show, Uncle Yo asking Donnie if it was his mother that told him not go into Hollywood. Ouch. No wonder Donnie went to throw up after.
** Donnie's mother Elissa Hoffman is a tribute to real life actress Elizabeth Hartman, who committed suicide. Upsetting stuff. Then, after TRMGO, it's revealed that even that was just to "teach the Critic a lesson."
** Rebecca's speech about how poorly actresses are treated (that was taken from Rachel's real life experiences in the acting/modeling industry) becomes much sadder later on in ''Film/TheShining'' commentary, when Rachel stated that she'd partake in offensive sexism on the rebooted ''Nostalgia Critic'' as long as she got paid. She ended up leaving the site shortly after the commentary was posted. Also her angst at being considered a BrainlessBeauty by everyone but the Demo Reel men. Doug says in ''Film/TheWickerMan2006'' commentary that he'd tried to write Rachel in Critic as mean and brainless as possible.
** At Youmacon, Doug talked about how so many people told him that they still wanted to support his work but hadn't bothered to watch the show, and he replied back happily enough “just watch it!” ''After'' the cancellation, a lot of people (including some producers) apologized for not watching and thinking it was doing fine without them because "everyone watches Doug's shows".
** In a TGS interview, Doug squeed about the more he writes for these characters, the more he loves them. Not even a month later, he erased them all.
** Donnie being an {{expy}} of Jake Lloyd (and how badly he got treated) gets worse after the man was diagnosed with schizophrenia [[http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jake-lloyd-actor-who-played-young-darth-vader-suffering-schizophrenia-1554527 and had to be transferred from jail to a mental facility]].
** With so much of the show being about Donnie's dead mother and how much he misses her, it became more painful to watch after Doug's mom (who he always thanked for loving him) passed away in September 2016.
** Tacoma's family drama was he sent his father to jail for being a criminal, in the Resident Evil LP all he does is drink about how depressing it is that ''he'll'' go to jail for being an accomplice to kidnapping.
** Rebecca's speech about how horribly actresses are treated and "if you're hot and dumb that's even better cos you don't say anything" gets even darker in late 2017 where a lot of actresses came out about being sexually mistreated on sets.
** In the wake of the release of the ''Not So Awesome'' document detailing grievances with Channel Awesome, the entire show becomes this. For all of Doug's rants about HorribleHollywood, his own company was guilty of many of the same things.
* HeartwarmingInHindsight: Tacoma's InMediasRes apology to Donnie at the start of "The Blair Witch Hangover". We think he's apologizing for the argument in the last episode, which is sweet enough, but becomes all the more powerful when everyone finds out just ''[[MissingMom what]]'' Donnie's damage is.
* HeReallyCanAct: [[WebVideo/TheLastAngryGeek Brian]] really gets to show his skills as the doctor in the ''Blue Patches'' sequel.
** It was Rob's first chance at non-ham acting too, and he didn't waste it. The {{mangst}} scene at the end of ''{{Transformers}}'' was especially good.
** Those who were curious about the show after watching them in reboot usually have this reaction to Rachel as Rebecca and Malcolm as Tacoma, having plenty of scenes to show off their dramatic skills.
* HesJustHiding: Given the MindScrew cameo of Karl and Quinn in Critic's ''Film/TheWickerMan2006'' review, and a TwoFaced Tacoma in a Hyper Fangirl vlog, fans are vainly hoping that Rebecca and Donnie are around somewhere too. Preferably not miserable like Karl/Quinn or mutilated like Tacoma.
* HilariousInHindsight: When Doug asked for SlashFic in "Lost In Translation", he was probably expecting Donnie to be paired up with Tacoma and Uncle Yo the most. He certainly has, but what's the pairing with the majority of fics? Donnie/Carl. Considering Doug and Rob's [[HoYay/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses penchant for teasing]] though, it's no surprise.
** With the complaints that New Critic is much worse with social issues that he used to be, and the dudebro reputation of the fedora, fans do like to joke that maybe sweet and femmy Donnie shouldn't have been the one wearing it.
** As TearJerker and NightmareFuel as the family scenes still are, it's amusing to see how much RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor works. The fictional family treat Donnie horribly, keep him helpless and there is much NoYay. The real family help Doug when he's struggling with a [[WesternAnimation/AdventureTime show]], hug him when he's low on self-esteem and Jason/Jori kiss a lot.
** In the "Dark Knight Rises" episode, Tacoma plays Two-Face as portrayed by Creator/BillyDeeWilliams due to the fact that Williams never got to play Harvey Dent as Two-Face. A few years later, Billy Dee Williams was finally given an opportunity to play Two-Face in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoBatmanMovie''.
** Clipless episodes in Critic are usually recreations of scenes with a story attached, and Doug/company love doing them, and they get such big hits they can be released in theaters. So with a bit of reworking, looks like the Demo Reel format could be successful.
* HollywoodHomely: As you can see in the AT vlogs, Jason is cute, Jori is really pretty and Bri is an adorable teenage girl. But because their characters are the bad guys here, they're made to look as creepy and awkward looking as possible.
* JerkassWoobie: Karl is a cold, grim war criminal who takes a while to give ToughLove to anyone, but once he respects someone he'll protect them fiercely, lost his family when the wall fell, and post-TRMGO he's made clear he misses Donnie very badly.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Rebecca if you want het ships and Donnie if you need a slash pony. With the ShipTease flying around everywhere, the titles are more than justified.
* LGBTFanbase: They loved it for Donnie's BiTheWay being treated as normal to the point of having a gay LoveTriangle parody of ''Film/LostInTranslation''.
* {{Misblamed}}: The show itself gets used as a scapegoat for the people who complain about "too much skit/character" in reboot, but Doug and even Lewis have pointed out that Doug has ''always'' enjoyed using character/story to make a point, even in 2007 (though Doug has also said he wanted to do the show since then).
* {{Moe}}: Donnie is sweet and vulnerable and Rebecca is BadassAdorable.
* MoralEventHorizon: The leader of SWAG getting his associates to kidnap Donnie and leave him to die in the woods is seen as this by two saner members of his team. And after watching Donnie have a breakdown and [[spoiler: eventually want a TogetherInDeath with his mom]], you're agreeing with them.
** If that wasn't enough, he destroys Rebecca and Tacoma's Christmas gift for Donnie [[spoiler: a good film sequel they'd made in his honor]], which Rebecca also seems to consider as this InUniverse as she instantly attacks him for it.
** Two choices for the family. Either laughing at Donnie when he reveals his tragic backstory, or when we find out they were planning to keep him by drugging him constantly with heavy narcotics.
*** In hindsight, the daughter crossed it an episode before when it's revealed she was following Donnie around, heard every broken thing he said and still had a good old giggle at his crying for his mom.
* NarmCharm:
** The ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' speech would make you blind if you drank every time the word “friend” or “family” is mentioned, but Doug/Donnie completely sells it (even nearly crying), the music is awesome, and it's a stirring back-drop to Rebecca beating the turkey to death for making her guy sick.
** Doug said in the “Dark Knight Returns” [[note]]yes it's a Critic/Geek crossover, they ended up talking about ''Demo Reel'' regardless[[/note]]commentary that he was really worried that an Arnold voice matched with a cloying child voice would ruin any emotion of the dead mom reveal, and was glad when people told him the bit of StylisticSuck kept it from being too overboard with sad.
* NeverLiveItDown: Even Rob (on the forums) {{Ron The Death Eater}}ed Donnie for the scene where he manipulated Tacoma with bedroom eyes while his wedding ring was still in the shot, calling him Ask That Guy-like and a psychopath. While Donnie ''does'' have TheVamp qualities that aren't excused by people being abusive towards him, the strong reaction to a guy just homoerotically getting another guy to do what he wants shows some issues.
* NoYay:
** The {{yandere}} family towards Donnie. The parents are practically on the bed with him when they watch him sleep, plus there's the small fact that he couldn't move at all while being dosed with the narcotics.
** Not everyone was into the Donnie/Karl UnresolvedSexualTension, as despite how many times Doug and Rob had gone for the IncestSubtext joke in real life, they couldn't get past the fact that the actors playing them were brothers.
* OneTrueThreesome: Donnie/Tacoma/Rebecca shipping cropped up not too long after the trailer.
** Solving the conflict of episode three with Uncle Yo/Donnie/Egoraptor is popular for reasons that should be clear.
* {{Padding}}: The most common complaint about the pilot is that it could've been cut in half and been twice as funny, as a lot of the movie scenes drag on longer than they really have to. The behind-the-scenes segments don't suffer from this as often.
* PanderingToTheBase: One of the whole points of the show was to have Doug objectified in every way that fans who were attracted to him wanted him to be. Having Donnie kidnapped twice in two episodes, with him spending the entirety of “The Blair Witch Hangover” crawling around the forest crying and getting muddier was intentional {{fanservice}}.
* RewatchBonus: While the pilot is still the least liked, when you rewatch you can pick up on Rebecca bristling when she's treated like she's stupid, and Donnie's nervousness regarding his marriage. There's also his gender feels, counting himself as a sister but slightly embarassed about wearing make up, and how much everyone drinks.
* ShipsThatPassInTheNight:
** Due to their similarities and how they'd undoubtedly clash, Rebecca[=/=]WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick is gaining steam as a pairing.
** Due to annoyance at the way they both died (and Rob on the forums for some reason comparing the two just because Donnie did PuppyDogEyes at Tacoma), some like to think Ask That Guy and Donnie are together in wherever dead TGWTG characters end up.
** Mostly because of anger at the FanDislikedExplanation, but there's fic and art of Critic/Donnie (being completely separate people) either hatesexing or cuddling.
* ShockingSwerve: There was no sign of the Demo Reel studio being purgatory, or Donnie having anything in common with Critic, until The Review Must Go On. Even then, Doug only writes that after being tortured by a Critic that is nowhere near like his last appearance in WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee (who again, showed no sign of being anything but 100% genuine about his desire to do better), and Donnie is furious at being the victim of a hack writer. Critic in his review of it makes fun of the AssPull, comparing it to the ''Lost'' finale.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: The HorribleHollywood angle is not the most subtle thing ever, but Donnie's and Rebecca's rants about it are partly based on real life. Doug originally went into film but found out the industry would eat someone like him alive so went the safer route of illustration, while Rachel half-improvised her speech on actresses because she says she has experience in that area. It also got her death threats as well as other such bile from people who couldn't deal with hearing it, thus proving her whole point.
** Revisited in "Blue Patches" where the find out Donnie's actress mother [[spoiler: killed herself because she was reaching middle age and the roles dried up while she was trying to raise a son.]]
** Donnie's rant in ''Blue Patches'' about people obsessing over AccentuateTheNegative and ripping into child actors, and how people need to move pass that to achieve what they really want to do could be seen as Doug's commentary on why he decided to retire the Nostalgia Critic.
** The Walkers stuffed a record amount of HoYay into each episode, but it was treated as ''normal''. No affectionate "that's so Takei", none of the fetishization of Ask That Guy, no using Nella's bisexuality for a giggle; Donnie flirted and had sex with boys, hard-ass men held hands, the third episode was a gay version of ''Film/LostInTranslation'' and it all just was. Donnie also completely inverted {{gayngst}}; despite all his self-loathing about everything else he was always secure in his sexuality and non-manliness.
** Both Donnie and Rebecca are rape victims (Donnie from an incident he connects to ''[[Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy A Girl With The Dragon Tattoo]]'', and Rebecca from her uncle and being made to do porn), but more focus is given to how they deal with it; Donnie by being shamelessly slutty and Rebecca going angry feminist who refuses to do {{fanservice}} not on her own terms. Survivors who had to find their own ways of taking control of sexuality again appreciated it.
** The ''{{Transformers}}'' episode on the DVD is pretty clunky when it comes to talking about (white male) privilege, but works for three reasons. 1) The intersectionality. Donnie is bisexual and depressed for good reason, but still eventually realizes that he has advantages of being a white guy. 2) It sets up the CentralTheme of just how badly minorities are screwed over by Hollywood. 3) The movie parody. If you're going to talk about privilege then Creator/MichaelBay is the perfect target to satirize.
** "Lost In Translation" came around the same time the topic of "fake geek girls" was really getting talked about. In said episode, Donnie knows nothing about geeky interests and doesn't care a lot of the time, but is sinking deeper into depression, is very good at attracting people and so uses Yo's knowledge of Pokemon to get Ego in bed with him. Ego doesn't care, and when Yo is upset, Donnie calls him out on just wanting his ego stroked; the essential message being "even ''if'' a girl (or boy) fakes interest in nerdy things, they're probably lonely so lay off them and stop being a dick."
* {{Squick}}: Finding out (from the AT vlogs) that Bri was ''twelve'' in the “Blue Patches” episode makes her/the family's scenes with Donnie just that little bit nastier to many people.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Quinn has a lot of great moments, mostly coming from fun line deliveries and his friendship with Rebecca and Karl, but has suspiciously less HiddenDepths than the other three and is mostly just an Irish stereotype.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: You know full well you wanted to see that Carmen Sandiego movie Rebecca and Tacoma were {{squee}}ing about doing. Even Critic admits it sounds cool.
** The ''{{Twilight}}'' parody - with Rebecca as Bella, Donnie as Edward and assumedly Tacoma as Jacob - was only in the trailer, but with the show's feminist FemaleGaze gayfest bent, how cool would that have been as an episode?
** In an interview before it ended, Doug was saying that he wanted Lindsay and Lewis to appear in season two in main roles and not as Chick or Linkara. The former would have fixed the problem of Rebecca being the [[TheSmurfettePrinciple only main woman]].
* TooCoolToLive:
** We'll miss you, Rebecca Stone, and your turkey-beating, terrorist-beatdowning, smarter-than-everyone-gives-you-credit-for ways.
** And Karl Copenhagen, of course, will be missed as well.
** And of course, the series as a whole. Doug ''finally'' getting to do what he wanted... and then being forced to cancel it after just six episodes.
* TooGoodToLast: While there are still plenty of people mocking Doug or Rachel whenever they miss it, there are also regular posts and comments apologizing for only realizing how good it was after it got canceled, or wishing it could have carried on.
* ToughActToFollow: Many people had reacted negatively to the show because it followed ''The Nostalgia Critic'', but as the show went on people warmed up to it, leaving many disappointed when the events of "The Review Must Go On" unfolded.
** Malcolm stated in an [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEAIFu0fZb4 interview]] that the main reason the show didn't work was because people didn't want Critic to go (despite the love letter send off) and have a new different thing in his place.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: It was not exactly a happy show even before the SuddenDownerEnding, [[http://ladyowlett.tumblr.com/post/93135346950/watch-demo-reel-they-said-it-will-be-fun-they but the willingness to go for drama instead of jokes is why its fans love it so much]]. When asked in Midwest Media Expo 2015 what their most emotionally draining role was, Doug, Rob and Malcolm all picked scenes from this series [[note]]Doug-breakdown in the forest about Donnie's mom, Rob-having to say goodbye in The Review Must Go On, Malcolm-crying in the Blue Patches sequel[[/note]].
* VindicatedByHistory: A lot of cons have someone go "I watched Demo Reel and I really liked it" and Doug/Rob complain "where were you before?!".
* ViewersInMourning: Referenced in TRMGO DVD review, as Critic mentions the DR fans crying at their relatable characters getting {{retcon}}ned out, but complains that there's not enough of them.
* WhatMeasureIsANonBadass: A few commenters got really angry at Donnie in episode four for "being a pitiful coward". Because getting kidnapped and abandoned in a creepy forest with every plan you try failing is totally [[SarcasmMode a bad reason to cry a few times]]. Not only that, he's clearly never even been in the woods before, much less the middle of nowhere in the winter. [[SarcasmMode Yes he has absolutely has no reason to be so whiny]].
* TheWoobie: Tacoma for being the OnlySaneMan ButtMonkey surrounded by crazies. It helps that he's attractive and is actually a rare TGWTG-character NiceGuy [[RageBreakingPoint until he gets pushed]].
** He also gets this for his backstory in "Wreck-It Ralph vs Angry Birds". He was an investigative journalist who uncovered a massive ponzi scheme and got the ringleader thrown in jail. Unfortunately said ringleader was his own dad, and now his whole family hates him and his mom won't even talk to him over the phone without charging him.
** Rebecca too, considering her backstory: critical parents that make her feel like she can't live up to their expectations and [[WhenYouComingHomeDad missed [apparently many] of her school plays]]. Not to mention whatever happened [[FridgeHorror with Uncle Frank]].
** Donnie starts slipping in episode two and falls headlong in the trope for episode three. Out of one many examples; his wife hanging up on him before he can finish saying "I love you".
*** [[spoiler: Taken UpToEleven in the episode "Blue Patches" where it was revealed he was once a child actor with a reputation of being the worst ever, his mother commits suicide while in the middle of production of what would be his last film and his family who constantly mocks him for being a failure. Not to mention he was caught by an extremely {{Yandere}} family obsessed with his bad films forcing him to re-watch those films which brings back all that sadness.]]
*** [[spoiler: He practically went to [[Literature/LesMiserables Fantine]] levels in "The Review Must Go On", as all the friends he needs so much disappear, he's completely willing to get himself committed, and then he has to learn that he and his backstory is just a punishment for Critic always mocking child stars. It's shoot-yourself-in-the-head worthy.]] Even Critic acknowledges he went through hell, comparing him to IronWoobie Atreyu in ''Film/TheNeverendingStory''.
** Posthumously, Donnie's mom (based off Elizabeth Hartman, who really did commit suicide the same way and for the same reasons). Her husband left her and her child, she was struggling to make ends meet, her star was fading because Hollywood is awful to aging actress, and if Donnie's remembering right, she kept on a smile [[DrivenToSuicide until she couldn't anymore]].
----