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YMMV: The Critic
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Apocalypse Wow! is also a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Cult Classic: The TV series is exactly this.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: To the surprise of production, testing audiences rated Doris as their favorite character. Franklin is also a fan-favorite for his hilarious Cloud Cuckoo Lander personality.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Jay and Alice, which is one of the reasons why the web series wasn't well received. Considering how much trouble Jay went through in season 2 to be with Alice (especially the next to last ep), you can't blame their reaction at seeing Jay trying to woo another girl.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most folks who liked the TV series were dissatisfied with the flash version of it. This fan review should further explain why.
  • Foe Yay: Jay is seduced by a beautiful woman at Margo's debutante ball. He eventually learns that she's actually Humphrey The Hippo, and became attracted to him after he criticized her while she made a public appearance in costume.
  • Fridge Brilliance: In "A Song For Margo" Jay reviews an ET The Extra Terrestrial parody called "D.T. The Drunken Terrestrial." D.T. is also an abbreviation for withdrawals alcoholics go through after they stop drinking.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The episode "Sherman, Woman and Child," which aired in March 1995, had a scene in which Doris (an active chain smoker) attempted to make a smoke ring bunny but it ended up turning into a shape with a demon-like appearance, which told her "Doris ... Tick! Tock!" Seven months after it aired, her voice actress Doris Grau died from emphysema. Also can count as Harsher in Hindsight.
    • As noted in the DVD Commentary for "Eyes on the Prize":
      Al Jean: Ironically, this is the episode where we got cancelled by ABC, and it's about Jay getting cancelled.
    • A fairly minor example would be the after-credits Couch Gag at the end of the second season finale, "I Can't Believe it's a Clip Show;" after being told the show was over by the usher, Jay morosely says: "But I have nowhere to go." The Critic didn't get another season and was not picked up by another channel.
    • In one episode, Duke slumps down out of his chair and to the ground, crying out for his pills after receiving a naked picture of Doris in the mail. This is considered difficult to watch nowadays since several years later, Charles Napier, Duke's voice actor, collapsed and later died. See Harsher in Hindsight below.
  • Funny Moments: Now has its own page.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In the Philadelphia parody Schenectady, the judge is voiced by Charles Napier, Duke's voice actor. This is fitting, as Napier played the judge in the original film.
    • When Jay took in a homeless puppy, he gave it the full name "Un Chien Andalou," after Luis Buñuel's famous short film; the title translates to English as "An Andalusian Dog."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The entire episode "Siskel and Ebert and Jay and Alice" was bad enough when Gene Siskel died and Roger Ebert was left all alone and looking for a replacement, but now it's worse thanks to Roger Ebert dying. On the plus side, if there is, in fact, an afterlife, it's heartwarming to think that Siskel and Ebert have reunited, just like they did at the end of the episode.
  • He Really Can Act: Siskel and Ebert did marvelous voice-acting for Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice, even taking potshots at each other physical deficiencies; Siskel calls Ebert "porky" while Ebert calls Siskel "cueball."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Broadway musical Hunch appeared in the Season One episode "Every Doris Has Her Day" as a parody of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals — two years later, Disney released their own musical version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. For that matter, it isn't even the only Real Life musical version!
    • This was Lampshaded years later in the DVD commentaries by Mike Reiss, who recollected they all thought it was a dumb idea at the time, "but not too dumb for Disney."
    • In the pilot, Vlada gets orgasmic at Conan O'Brien entering his restaurant. At the time, O'Brien was considered a flop. (It was likely a friendly Shout-Out, as O'Brien is a friend of creators Jean and Reiss.)
    • Jurassic Park II: Revenge of the Raptors and the Barney movie.
    • Several jokes involved explicit product advertisements within the movies Jay watched, much to his disgust. During the early 90's, product placement in films was indeed fairly uncommon, making the writers seems almost clairvoyant for predicting how much the practice would come to dominate cinema.
    • ABC objected to "Miserable" on the grounds of sexual content. As pointed out in the commentaries, this from the same network that later aired The Bachelor.
    • Phillipsvision, which adds new endings to movies, as well as rewriting scenes for product placement, came true (in a way) when DirecTV started airing ads made from scenes of famous movies re-edited to talk about DirecTV.
    • Early in the show's run, Siskel and Ebert reviewed the first three episodes, and gave it quite a bit of criticism such as more parodies, make it more about the movie industry, give us some TV parodies, and make it less about sitcom staples. As the show went on the parodies improved and were more numerous, some episodes focused on the film industry, more fun was poked at Hollywood, and Siskel and Ebert eventually guest starred as themselves.
    • Home Alone 5.
    • In "Every Doris Has Her Day", it's mentioned that Duke is funding a remake of The Dirty Dozen starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis (among others). Sound familiar?
    • There's an episode about a movie that is just a worthless piece of crap, the result of Hollywood exploiting the last drop of a franchise that wasn't a great thing to begin with: Ghostchasers III. In a completely unrelated information, Ghostbusters III is currently in production.
      • Coincidentally, it was Jay who wrote Ghostchasers III, and even he himself admits it's the worst film ever made.
    • "NBC Sinks To 5th."
    • In "From Chunk to Hunk", there are a few comments regarding "that show about the talking butt". Funny they should mention that...
    • Many of the trailer parodies were oddly prophetic. "Honey I Ate the Kids" shows Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter as husband and wife- some years later, Hannibal came out, and the novel version ends with Hannibal and Clarice getting together; likewise, Jurassic Park II is about the velocoraptors getting smarter- which became the plot of Jurassic Park III.
    • In one episode, Orson Welles attempted shilling Rosebud Frozen Peas with the slogan "Full of country goodness and green pea-ness". A 2006 episode of Iron Chef America had a woman infamously say "There's much pea-ness going on around here."
    • At one point Jay reviews a "politically correct" James Bond film, the joke being that such a film where Bond doesn't smoke, and is expected to act respectfully towards women would be uninteresting...then we get Daniel Craig, who doesn't smoke, has never once forced himself on a woman, and is generally regarded as one of the best Bonds to date. This could, arguably, be an example of Values Dissonance, as the definition of positive masculinity has changed quite a bit over the last two decades.
  • Ho Yay: See Mistaken for Gay example on the main page; Jay also had a "date" with a fellow prisoner in one episode (which he refers to as the best one he's ever had up to that point).
    • Siskel and Ebert have some Ho Yay (possibly No Yay) in the episode where they remake Sleepless in Seattle, which they of course Lampshade.
      Ebert: This is just a rip-off of Sleepless in Seattle.
      Siskel: Which was in itself a rip-off of An Affair to Remember.
      Both: Which wasn't that good of a movie to start with.
    • One of Jay's pairs of underwear has the title For The Boys. Another says Rear Window, and another Backdraft.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Nightmare Fuel: Jay has a Flashback Cut about a bad experience he had in Duke’s mansion. He was chained to a brick wall by his wrists in a dungeon-like room, a long beard hanging from his face.
    Duke: All right Sherman, you’ve been here long enough. I'll give you the dental plan you want, with a $50 deductible.
    Jay: $25 deductible.
    Duke: (diabolically) See you in 5 years. (slams door)
    • "The Worm from Hell!"
      • It becomes Nightmare Retardant when the Worm from Hell turns out to be as vulnerable as a puppy when Alice says let's go.
    • Falling on the line between this trope and Crowning Moment of Funny: "In every boy's life, there's a summer of '72."
      • To clarify, Jay was referring to the time Franklin and Eleanor sent him to Attica as a child, thinking it was a summer camp. Including a scene where a young Jay nervously sings "Animal Crackers in My Soup" among a group of vicious-looking inmates.
    • The ending of "Franklin and Eleanor Get Lost" where the monkeys try to eat Jay and Franklin
    • The disturbing implications brought on by how Jay's cure saved Duke Phillips but also saved the lives of horrible people, including a seal clubber, a vicious dictator, and three prisoners
      • The leer one of the prisoners gives to the camera is unsettling.
    • "Dorisss, tick tock!" See "Funny Aneurysm" Moment below.
    • Being a parody of Misery, Miserable counts.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Jennifer in the webisodes. She replaces Jay's original make-up artist Doris and Jay's real girlfriend Alice. In fact, she replaces almost the whole TV cast.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The theme song (by Hans Zimmer (executive producer James L. Brooks's composer of choice), no less) is very reminiscent of Rhapsody in Blue.
  • Tear Jerker: Gene Siskel pining for his reviewing partner in "Siskel and Ebert and Jay and Alice." In fact, the entire episode is now too depressing to watch now that both Siskel and Ebert are dead.
    • Margo listening to her parents' music box in "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost", after they appear to be dead.
  • The Woobie: Jay is treated like crap by just about everybody, always struggles for ratings (and by extension, employment), forced to watch the film industry sink lower and lower, and doesn't have much luck with women. However, Alice becomes his long-term girlfriend in the second season.

Some in-show examples include:

  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: An In-Universe example occurs in that Jay is generally loathed in America and Mexico (in Mexico, Jay's show is prefaced with a warning stating that Jay is an escaped mental patient, as his behavior scares Mexicans), but is very popular in France. This is because of his resemblance to Babar, King Of The Elephants.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks: What viewers tend to think about Jay.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: From "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost":
    Jay: Well, here's what I think—
    Duke: Sorry, son, our research shows people don't care what you think. They just tune in for the funny clips.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Spoofed — in this show's universe, Siskel and Ebert tie-in merchandise includes such oddities as a Whack-A-Mole game.
  • Never Live It Down: It was Jay's 8th birthday. That clown was so scary, that he wet his pants. As a result, everybody laughed at him, and they keep calling him "Weewee."
    • To the point that the Stablemaster still refers to him by that 28 years later. To be fair though, this might be in retaliation for Jay lying about his weight as a child, resulting in the untimely death of Patches the Pony.
  • Periphery Hatedom: While the real Barney exists in-universe (see Money, Dear Boy on the Trivia tab), Humphrey the Hippo serves as this universe's usual analogue to him. Jay's hatred of Humphrey figures into the B-plot of "A Little Deb Will Do Ya".
    Humphrey: Please, kids, my philosophy is "love and dance", not "hate and not dance."
  • Reviews Are The Gospel: Invoked in episode 4, "Miserable". A woman kidnaps Jay, so he can review movies for her. And she can tell which ones are good and which ones are bad because she likes every movie she sees and can't tell otherwise.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The only possible reason why they make bad movies. Lampshaded in "L.A. Jay," where the studio head Jay meets makes a point of shelving quality scripts and lets them film the bad ones. Though he considers Revenge of the Nerds IV too good not to be made.

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