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YMMV: The Angry Video Game Nerd

  • Archive Binge: It's not unmanageable, but after 100+ episodes (and often roughly 10-15 minutes of content per episode, with some being close to 30 minutes) spread over ten years, it's not easy to get caught up if you're new or even if you're just rewatching a bunch of old favorites.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Base Breaker: Mike Matei and Kyle Justin, whose guest appearances get heat from viewers who prefer Rolfe to go solo and focus entirely on the games themselves. Kyle got this especially bad with the Ikari Warriors episode from those who didn't like his style of music and singing, and Mike for his screen-hogging disruptions of the Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle reviews.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the Action 52 review, the whole "TV" version of saying "asshole".
    • The end of his "Star Wars" review, where a buffalo shits through his window and breaks it.
    • The random "ASS!" screamer at the beginning of the Nintendo Power episode.
    • The Bullshit Man's cameo in the "Tiger Electronics" episode, which plays out like an honorary episode of James Rolfe's series "You Know What's Bullshit?"
  • Bile Fascination: The games he reviews, of course. The show itself is pretty damn good.
  • Broken Base: Over the quality of his late videos.
    • The "AVGN Clip Collection" filler videos seem to have done this as well.
    • James has mentioned that his Atari 5200 review has garnered mixed reactions. Some people dislike the fact that it doesn't show the games being played (they run, but have no controller input), instead being devoted entirely to the Nerd trying to get the console to work. Others find it hilarious for that exact reason. Since Rolfe wasn't able to get any working controller input during the course of production, it makes sense that he'd dedicate a large portion of the video to bitching about it.
    • The Toxic Crusaders review. Some fans claimed it to be a funny episode, while it's also the most disliked episode yet. Some find Lloyd Kaufman's antics to be funny and the epitome of Refuge in Vulgarity, while others found it to get tiresome and irritating after a few minutes.
    • His review of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing has also had a fairly varied reaction amongst fans, due to the markedly different approach where he actually seems to enjoy the game's faults as opposed to his "angrier" style of reviewing. Some people think that the episode was a sign of the show Jumping the Shark during his hiatus, and that James seemed less interested and not as genuine in his reactions. Others thought that the episode was downright hilarious, with parts such as the fictional commercial and the ending receiving praise, and that it was even one of his best reviews yet.
    • His movie costing $5 to rent or $10 to buy via Vimeo. On one hand, fans had argued that James raised a lot of money, and whoever donated ought to receive the movie for free (never mind that it was not stated as an incentive on his indiegogo page), whereas others argued that it was simply a fundraiser and James isn't obligated to give anyone any special treatment. Others out-right state that the movie should be completely free, regardless of what went into making it.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • He gets some of the post-Symphony of the Night games mixed up in his four-part Castlevania special. Not too surprising, giving the sheer volume of titles with similar formats on similar platforms.
    • Similarly, many YouTube commenters pointed out on his Castlevania 64 video that the "Fatal Flaw" is actually player error (the Nerd tried to use the mandragora/nitro by going into the inventory menu, rather than hugging the wall and pressing the A button).
    • In both his Batman and Terminator videos, he claims he played all the games available. He actually missed two: Terminator and Batman for the Genesis, which are massively different from both its NES and SNES counterparts.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • "You'd rather listen to your only infant child puking to death. That is, choking on its own puke chunks. That's disgusting. I apologize."
    • Any stream-of-consciousness rant that relies on fecal matter-euphemisms as adjectives. Bonus points if he ends with something like "And I didn't like it."
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Super Mecha Death Christ gets this reaction sometimes.
  • Ear Worm:
  • 8.8:
    • Fans mistook his joke review of Castlevania II Simons Quest as a serious example of this. He later did a more balanced and in-depth look as part of his Castlevania retrospective, where he acknowledged that the game did have a lot of good qualities, even if he didn't think the overall package stacked up. Predictably however, there were still complaints that the new review was too negative.
    • Games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Top Gun get this as well for people who have actually played and liked the respective games.
    • Just by holding a Mischief Makers cartridge briefly during the title sequence, the Nerd got so much backlash that he had to put up an FAQ question noting that he didn't have ill feelings toward the game and promised he'd never review it.
    • An even bigger example of this trope was invoked during his Castlevania: Symphony of the Night review, with which he got plenty of heck for not praising it to the high heavens. To be fair, he did spend quite a bit of time comparing it unfavorably to Super Castlevania IV, but that was mostly because he had a personal preference for the old style of Castlevania gameplay.
    • Some people also disliked his mention of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow or even Castlevania 64, although part of them might have been the research failures.
    • His Sega CD video earned some backlash from people who genuinely enjoyed the system, even though he qualified that he didn't think the system was terrible per se (certainly not when compared to the 32X), and that most of the non-FMV games were generally pretty decent, although he contended that said games didn't have much that couldn't be done with the regular Sega Genesis. Several reviewers have even posted "rebuttals" on Youtube
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • AVGN was simply one of James Rolfe's film projects that he didn't expect to take off as much as it did. He even admits it wasn't even that serious of a project, just something he slapped together to amuse his friends. After being encouraged to put it online, he did so and uploaded it to YouTube, and the rest is history.
    • Kevin Finn, who played the ninja from the Ninja Gaiden episode and the Glitch Gremlin, became popular very quickly.
    • Fred Fuchs, just a random name in the credits in one of the Dracula games he reviews, proved popular enough that he became the final boss of The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (albeit under the name Fred Fucks.)
  • Epileptic Trees: The re-review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ends with the Nerd making a surprisingly deep analysis of the game involving morality and Freudian psychology, before concluding "Or you could just say the game fuckin' sucks."
  • Foe Yay: With The Nostalgia Critic. In the behind the scenes of the TGWTG Anniversary Brawl, the Nerd and the Critic are angrily exchanging insults when one the other reviewers says "make out!", causing everybody to crack up.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In the NES Superman review, he makes a big deal about how part of the plot of the game involves Clark being sent to investigate an unexplained drop in stock prices, and how it was a ludicrous element to include in a superhero game. Funny then. Cringe-inducing for anybody with a 401(k) in the wake of the stock market dropping 1,000 points over the course of thirty minutes.
    • In his Back to the Future game review, he makes a joke about how in the NES version, Marty seems to have contracted a disease that has made him lose control of his legs. Michael J. Fox contracted Parkinson's disease not long after the game's release.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Granted, the Ghostbusters reviews were made in 2007. Still, with Harold Ramis passing away in 2014, AVGN's request for a third movie with the original cast is impossible now.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks:
    • See 8.8 example above. Suffered this after his Castlevania III review, even though he called it his favorite of the NES Trilogy and only panned the cheap difficulty.
    • He panned the Genesis port of Altered Beast in his 2010 Christmas video, and not soon later people began complaining.
    • A day after his review on Metal Gear got released on YouTube, the video was suddenly flagged for unknown reasons, probably because some Metal Gear fans were a bit angry with his criticism of the game. This is largely because, although many find the NES version inferior, it actually has a devoted fanbase that prefers it over the original version. Its narm factor (The truck have started to move), the fact that the trucks aren't just a trap, the different soundtrack, and the fact that, although unintentionally, it's less linear than the MSX 2 version, what with the amount of Sequence Breaking one can do (although you must still kill all of the bosses) are all reasons for this. The fact that the rooftop enemies no longer fly around probably helps as well.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Making fun of the potential title of the fourth Rambo movie. At one point before the release, the fourth Rambo movie was actually called John Rambo and the title remained as such in certain territories. Lampshaded in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre review and, aptly enough, Rambo review.
    • At the end of his original Back To The Future review, he destroyed the cart for Back To The Future Parts II & III by putting it in his toaster. As of mid-2010, the Nerd has switched to having the "Nintoaster" as his main way of playing NES games, which — as he himself noted in his revisit of the BTTF games — made his actions at the end of the original review look bizarrely prescient. Speaking of his Back To The Future review, go watch it again. He says that he'll never play the game again, that it's his last time. What does he do in 2010? He plays it again for his re-review.
    • In his McKids review, he mentions "There are definitely much crappier games such as Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout and Silver Surfer, for example." Guess which two games he reviews nearly a year later?
    • The phone number you need to call in the Who Framed Roger Rabbit game to get hints on the game currently leads to a sex hotline. But it's not nearly as Hilarious in hindsight with Wally Bear and the No Gang...
    • In a non-Nerd video, he talks about Street Fighter sequels. He brings up Street Fighter 2010, and adds, "I couldn't tell you where that fits in." As he found out, it fits absolutely nowhere in the original Street Fighter series. In that same video, he talks about both the Mega Man and Mega Man X series, and says, "Now if only they made a Mega Man 9, it would come full circle." Guess what Capcom made a couple years later.
    • He tries to use Guile's Theme to make it seem like Street Fighter in his review, only to say it doesn't work. This makes it one of the few exceptions to Guile's Theme Goes With Everything (though it predates the meme).
    • When the Nerd is experimenting with the Laser Scope and trying to get it to fire when he swears, he says "fuckfire".
    • In the Bible Games 3 review, the Nerd mentions the strange sight of a bird laying an egg while flying and compares it to a marathon runner running a marathon and then giving birth. This really did happen to a New York City Marathon runner a few months before the review was released.
    • Some aspects of the Nerd's review of Godzilla: Monster of Monsters seem downright prophetic if you've read the NES Godzilla Creepypasta, particularly when he rants about how much The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard and claims "the game fucking cheats". In Zachary's experience, the game did indeed try to cheat - to kill him.
    • In another "Chronologically Confused" timeline of The Legend of Zelda, the Nerd makes a point that Nintendo "can't even make a sequel that follows in consecutive order. Instead, they just keep going back, and then maybe taking a small step up again, and then back again!" One example is noted that The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a sequel to the young Link after he got sent back in Ocarina of Time. Little does he realize that he was making an alternate timeline of what happens to Link in Ocarina of Time, which was years before Hyrule Historia came out, and the prequel to the prequel's prequel, Skyward Sword, didn't come out at the time this episode was released, as well as the sequel to the prequel's sequel, A Link Between Worlds.
    • The Nerd has been using the Nintoaster, a toaster modified to be a perfectly functional NES, since his Action 52 review. Fast forward a couple of years and we have a deviantART user with the NES Toaster, an NES turned into an equally functional toaster.
    • There is, in fact, a Transformer named Buffalo Dump. (Actually it's an unused concept, but still...)
    • In his Action 52 review, during the "Lollipop" segment, he asks who would rather use a lollipop than a more sensible melee weapon.
    • "What's the point of having an energy bar if everything kills you in one hit?" Well, if you had a minimalist parody fighting game...
    • In his Doublevision part 2 review, he mentions how crazy it is that the Colecovision has an expansion module that lets you play Atari 2600 games on it. He says that sort of thing would never happen today due to potential lawsuits, fast-forward to 2013 and now you can hook up a PS 4 or a Wii U to an Xbox One.
    • In his Fester's Quest review, he mentions the concept of Fester fighting aliens makes as much sense as Tim Allen fighting dinosaurs. Flash forward to Part Two of his "Wish List" video, where one of the games he reviewed is Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit, the very game where Tim Allen fights dinosaurs.
    • When reviewing the Virtual Boy, he describes the Water World game on Virtual Boy as being "like puking on a pile of shit". Fast forward to the Toxic Crusaders episode, and puking on a pile of shit actually happens.
    • The movie's plot is the Nerd attempting to prove that the urban legend about the E.T. cartridges buried in New Mexico isn't true. Hate to break it to ya, big guy...
    • In the Virtual Boy episode, the nerd comments that "what the system really needed was some first person shooter games, like Doom, that would have been awesome!" There actually is a (sort-of) first person shooter (survival horror) game called Insmouse No Yakata. There were also more virtual boy games uncovered sometime after the episode aired, such as a standard version of Tetris and different versions of Space Invaders. To be fair, a lot of them are obscure, and are really just more games that could have (and had already been) done on other platforms, not to mention those obscure games, like Jack Bros, never came out of Japan.
  • Hype Backlash: The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (see Internet Backdraft below)
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Whenever something not related to the Angry Video Game Nerd comes out there will always be arguments between fans on, chastising James for not doing a so called "obligation" or defending James because AVGN isn't the only thing he does.
    • He started a fundraiser for the upcoming AVGN feature film. To say there's a backlash would be the understatement of the century.
    • It gets From Bad to Worse. Lately, he released a video about a Kickstarter project for a fixed version of Cheetahmen II. Let's just say that it makes the backlash for the fundraiser look tame compared to this.note  And then the game finally came out... and turned out to be worse than the original Cheetahmen 2note .
    • Angry Video Game Nerd The Movie was given a digital release on Vimeo's On-Demand service at the cost of $5 to rent and $10 to buy. To say that the fandom wasn't pleased at having to pay is an understatement. Again.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Inverted when he destroyed the two Nintendo World Championship cartridges, two of the rarest and most expensive games ever made (the grey cartridge and the gold cartridge). It's shown in the credits he destroyed replicas, but there are still people who believe he actually destroyed the real things. And just to clear things up, in a later video where Pat the NES Punk reviews The Punisher, AVGN shows the cartridge and reveals that he merely destroyed fakes.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Nerd himself. He's a loud and abrasive Jerkass but with the horrid games he has to sit through and the constant mayhem they cause in his life, it's perfectly understandable.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some fans of the Nerd begun to quote him and accept his word as fact. Never mind that he never intended to be a legitimate reviewer, but as a comedian and a parody of Accentuate the Negative reviewers and isn't meant to be the "recommendation guy".
  • Moral Event Horizon: R.O.B. crossed it when he almost killed the Nerd in Episode #100.
  • Narm: Apparently, some fans fail to see The Dragon in My Dreams as a serious video.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Any time the Nerd takes a dump on something, like the game/console being reviewed... or Bugs Bunny's face. This gets turned Up to Eleven in the Toxic Crusaders review, where Kaufman takes a dump on the game that gets a little too much focus... then the Nerd pukes on the shitpile. And the audience is shown it for ten seconds straight.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Nerd trying to hide from Freddy in the Nightmare on Elm Street review is genuinely creepy, especially when Freddy pops up after a lot of buildup, and he has the Nerd's face!
    • In the Atari 5200 review, when he plugs in the systems cord, sparks come flying out, and they weren't faked!
    • The Nerd gets outright terrifying at the end of the Dark Castle review.
    "This game has to die, but first it must suffer the tortures of the damned!"
    • In the same episode before that we see him seething with rage as he pulls out the CD-i version.
    "Alright, Let's flip that shit switch and crank up that diarrhea dial. I got Dark Castle on C! D! IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!" Cue hellish flames and a very serious Death Glare.
    • He then proceeds to brutally flog the cartridge and disc versions of the game. While they're in chains, no less. He actually hits the cartridge so hard he breaks one of the chains.
    • The extended version of his Wally Bear And The No Gang review. He is informed that there is a Wally Bear hotline and calls it. Cut to an abandoned house with creepy ambiance and a prerecorded message of Wally talking in the background.
    • In the part of his Roger Rabbit review where he calls Jessica Rabbit, we get this:
    Jessica: I'm not bad...I'm just drawn that way.
    • The end of the Dick Tracy review shows the Nerd at damn near full-blown insanity.
    • The title card for the Metal Gear episode, which features Snake throwing a grenade at the Nerd, which is seen going off, completely obliterating his hands to the point where bone is visible, as well as blowing off most of the lower half of his face (as well as his nose), leaving a bloody, chunky mess. Made even worse when you realize how much detail Mike puts into these title cards...
  • Periphery Demographic: He has attracted a surprising amount of younger fans.
  • Praising Shows You Don't Watch: Some of his fans on Gametrailers proudly admit that they rate every episode a "10" before they even watch it.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Some fans have seen Nerdy Turd as this to Shit Pickle.
    • After Motherfucker Mike took over the game reviews for a while, the reception was lukewarm, not helped by his wildly different format.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some people think he's been going downhill since 2010 or so. He seems to be growing out of this after he finished with the movie.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: While in 2006 and 2007, the premise seemed like a fresh style of reviewing, it seems that every reviewer since then has tried to replicate the style, and while there are some good takes on it, there are some others that aren't. Not to mention, in 2006-7, James wasn't as informative. His 2010 and above videos were trying to be a little more educational.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the Christmas Carol episode, the Ghost of Christmas Future segment has James wearing a fake beard. The beard has fake lips that clearly do not move while James is talking, and the beard almost falls off at one point.
    • The Ninja Gaiden review has moments where the green screen is visible, especially around the ninja's hands.
    • This also occurs in the Spider-Man review during the song sequence at the end.
    • During the scene when Boo the Cat fights off the Atari Jaguar cube, you can sometimes see the red laser light in place of the cube in some scenes; a fact that practically everyone has to nitpick on in the comments section.
    • In the Atari 5200 review, the Trak-Ball controller can be heard moving left and right rapidly while James is playing Super Breakout, coinciding with the motions on screen. While he is looking for things to mock, it does break the illusion fairly quickly, as it shows nothing is actually wrong with that specific controller.
    • The end of the Alien 3 review uses green screen to take this Up to Elevennote , even though it's pretty clearly invoked.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • If the Atari 5200 video was rather poor for being uninformative about the games (an entire third of the video is just the Nerd trying to plug the console into a TV), at least it does show the Fatal Flaw of the system: The controller.
    • Not to mention, he brings up a lot of valid points, despite looking for stuff to make fun of and bash the hell out of. Even there are times where he admits the games do some things right.
    • To be fair: One of the reasons why the Atari 5200 didn't do well commercially was because most of the games in its library were just ports of games that were already available on the 2600; most of which were arcade classics or decent games that were unplayable because of the poor controller.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The Nerd's theme is this for "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
    • In the DVD version of the Rocky review, he uses a Jimmy Hart version of Gonna Fly Now, due to copyright issues.
    • The Nerd notes how the main music in Hydlide is the Indiana Jones theme with just a few notes changed. In fact the only other piece of music is just a similarly altered bit of a different part of the Indiana Jones theme
    • "How the Nerd Stole Christmas" features a sound-alike to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.
    • One of the songs in his Ikari Warriors review "Bombing the floor! Bombing the floor!" sounds like Judas Priest 's Breaking the Law.
    • The background track which plays at the end of the Desert Bus episode is a slightly altered version of The Medallion Calls. This isn't the first time he's used a song reminiscent of Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The Nerd's Anger Management.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: There's a very sizable portion of the "old school" fanbase who complain that the Angry Video Game Nerd isn't "angry enough" in his more recent videos. Either that, or they'll complain about the show becoming too "cinematic" or "gimmicky" and will demand the "glory days" of raw, straightforward riffing be "brought back".
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks:
    • There's a small section of people that believe the AVGN ripped off Seanbaby because they reviewed the same games and made "similar" statements. Never mind that their styles are completely different and the "similarities" are problems anyone has playing the game.
    • It seems absolutely ANYONE talking about Games on YouTube is a AVGN ripoff. Including raocow, bizarrely.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Lampshaded in his review of Sunday Funday. The Nerd points out that the plot is the kid trying to get to Sunday School, and all the adults trying to kill him before he gets there. The Nerd asks why all these raging atheists; giggling men and women, are trying to blow up the kid with bombs when all he wants to do is get to church.
    • When he turns into Hyde in his revisited Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde review, the AVGN's face is black-ish/brown.
  • The Woobie: Kyle Justin managed to become one in mere minutes, on the same episode where it justifies his day before the camera.

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