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  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Mocked by The Nerd when he reviewed games involving Frankenstein. One of the games includes an enemy called "Dark Warrior", prompting him to sarcastically call it scary and then suggest alternate names such as "Death Guy" or "Mr. Kill".
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: The full version of the theme song refers to him as the "Angry Atari Amiga CD-i Colecovision Intellivision Sega Neo Geo TurboGrafx-16 Odyssey 3DO Commodore Nintendo Nerd".
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  • Narm Charm: Invoked by himself, with regards to the Nightmare on Elm Street game and stumbling upon the infamous "FREDDY'S COMING!" graphic.
    "Oh God, is Freddy coming?! He sure is! Of all the shitty things in this game, this screen is so cheesy, that it's just awesome!"
  • Nausea Fuel: Invoked by the Nerd, when he mentions things that make him nauseous while reviewing. For example, in McKids and Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout, he commented how the screen effects made him wanna throw up. In his Nintendo Power review, he talked about how disgusting some of the ads were, such as one that showed a jar full of toenail clippings and another that showed a barf bag. He also mentioned that one ad was so gross that he stapled the page shut so he didn't have to see it (This turned out to just be the toenail clipping ad). And when he briefly reviewed Sonic CD, he said "I'm gonna be sick..." when Sonic bounced around really fast.
  • Never Live It Down: The Nerd deploys this himself:
    • "Kill all babies?!"
    • Fred Fuchs.
    • "One guy?! NO CONTINUES!!!?"
  • Never Say "Die": Its notable aversion in Friday the 13th is lampshaded heavily.
  • Never Say That Again: "Shaq Fu. Even the name makes people cringe, like, you don't even want to go there."
  • Never Trust a Title: In his review for Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, he pointed out how you can't even trust the title when it shows John wearing a tie (although the title of the game does not mean "The plumber in this game wears a tie" but "Plumbers are not supposed to wear ties").
    He's a plumber, and I don't see him wearing a tie. (cut to John wearing a tie) What the fuck?!
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  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Hinted at in the Lester the Unlikely review.
    It's all gonna be dust anyway.
  • Nintendo Hard: Most of the games the Nerd play fall under this category, either through intentional design, bad controls, glitches or any other variety of factors. Many of them come directly from the Trope Namer, like Ghosts And Goblins, Ninja Gaiden and Silver Surfer
  • No-Sell: The Nerd's firearm-based gaming accessories fail to lay a scratch on the Atari Jaguar logo.
  • Nostalgia Filter: The Nerd gets pretty wistful about pop and videogame culture from the mid 80's to early 90's. Watching how the (genuinely) good memories of the past get mangled by bad videogame adaptations is half of the fun.
    • Outright inverted in his review of various Godzilla games, when he wished he was born later because the ones or the Xbox and PS2 were monumentally better than the ones on the NES, SNES, or Game Boy. It didn't help that they were the straight 1 vs 1 fighting games he'd always wanted.
    • Played straight in his Independence Day review.
    "PlayStation, a lot of people feel, was the last of the classic video game consoles. Personally, I think it was all over after Super Nintendo.
    • In at least two reviews, he does address that elements of older games can become outdated and unenjoyable as a result:
      • In "Tiger Games", he adresses this as a major flaw of Tiger handheld LCD games, saying that unlike a primitive Atari 2600 game that's still fun to play, Tiger games were so primitive and restrictive in gameplay, and being a fad that, while it might have been decent for a time when no alternatives existed, but once handhelds like the Game Boy came along, they should have been abandoned and never revisited, even though Tiger's dated handhelds lasted well into the late '90s.
      • In his Action 52 review, he says that the shooter game G-Force would have been decent if it was released as an Atari 2600 game, but for a 1991 NES game, stacked up against more advanced NES shooter classics like Life Force, as well as early Super NES shoot em ups like Gradius III, it's embarrassingly rudimentary and dated.
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    • Played with in the Berenstain Bears review, where it's suggested that he didn't change, but he unknowingly went to another dimension with shitty versions of games he liked as a kid.
  • No Export for You: invoked
    • His disappointment to learn that the Godzilla Fighting Game that he wanted never came out stateside, instead getting the lame Godzilla games he grew up with until the games for the XBox and PlayStation 2 came in:
    • He says this is probably a good thing about the Famicom-only Transformers: Convoy no Nazo, as the game is truly awful.
    • In the Back to the Future trilogy review, he was pissed off that the Back to the Future SFC game didn't leave Japan, and that instead America had three crappy games. Two of them distributed by LJN no less.
    • In the Star Wars video, he says that if there's only one game in a franchise that was only released in Japan, then it's either the only good one, or the shittiest one of the entire lot.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: At the very very end of the Nintendo World Championships review, James shows that the two ultra rare video games he destroyed in the episode were replicas, and the originals are unharmed.
    • He only destroys games that are already broken, or a game that's very common and cheap.
    • In the second crossover episode with Pat, the Nerd reveals that he swapped the NWC cartridges out for fakes in-universe and destroyed those so he could keep the real ones for himself. Even though he thinks NWC sucks, he still knows it's a very rare and valuable collector's item.
  • No Fair Cheating: On two occasions, he tries to cheat at a game by attaching a wrench to his controller. Firstly, he does it to The Terminator on NES in an attempt to get more lives, which technically does work, but doesn't achieve much because the game limits the player to six lives. Later he does it to Desert Bus, and this time it ends in outright failure because the game was specifically designed to prevent players from doing that; the bus gradually veers to the right and gets stuck.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gets a vicious one from ROB the Robot that leaves him bruised and bloody.
    • Inflicts a brutal one on Bugs Bunny in the ending of "Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout". And a second one in the ending of "Mega Man Games".
  • Noodle Incident: When the Nerd plays Home Alone games with Macaulay Culkin, he gets to a boss fight against a sentient evil tree and complains that nothing like that happened in any of the movies. Macaulay, meanwhile, is extremely concerned, since he actually did fight an evil tree in real life and has no idea how the game developers found out about it. He gives no further details beyond this.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: In his Schwarzenegger Games review, he finds the Conan NES cartridge and says "Ko-Nan. Or Ko-Nen, whichever you prefer."
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe, he lamented in Episode 59 that his previous review over Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde had only attracted people into playing it.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • The Power Glove. He beat Zelda 2 without even realizing it when he turned his head away from the screen to look at the camera. In the original review for the glove, he actually had better luck landing on the carrier in Top Gun with it. He also seemed to do fairly well with it in R.C. Pro-Am.
    • Much to his surprise, the U-Force. While one of ScrewAttack's prior Top 10 lists had named it as the worst videogame accessory ever made, the Nerd actually found it to work quite well in most of the games he tried it in, definitely better than the Power Glove did... except for Top Gun, where he still couldn't land the plane.
    • Also the Tin-Man in the SNES "Wizard Of Oz" game, turned out that despite being unable to jump, he was the only character whose weapon could actually hit the final boss.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    "I am dead fucking serious."
    • From the Game Glitches episode, "All game glitches shown on this video were real." Considering what the last game in that review was like...
    • In the Nintendo Power retrospective, while talking about NP's gross ads, he admitted, "One ad was so gross, I stapled the page shut. I'm actually not joking."
  • Occam's Razor: After coming up with a complex psychologically and symbolically-based explanationinvoked for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's bizarre and unintuitive game design, he follows up with:
    "...or, you could just say, the game fucking sucks!"
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo:
  • Offhand Backhand:
    • To Bugs Bunny.
    • Played with at the end of the Zelda II video. After trying (and failing) to beat the Final Boss using the traditional controller, he faces the camera and delivers a conclusion while gesticulating with his hands. As he was wearing the Power Glove at the time, the game registers the gesticulations as attacks... which ends up winning the fight without him even noticing it.
  • Oh, Crap!: The more profane version in the "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties" review.
    Thresher: Take your clothes off, Jane.
    Nerd: (over a still shot of Jane looking shocked) Oh, shit.
  • Old Media Are Evil: He's delivered a couple of jabs at television.
    • Averted, though, in that James is an avid fan of films from the early period of cinema.
  • Older Than They Think: In-universe. The Nerd says something like the 2600 Addon for the Colecovision wouldn't happen today due to lawsuits. Atari did sue Coleco just like how the Nerd would have theorized a similar situation between Sony and Microsoft.
    • James Rolfe himself has actually been reviewing video game since the late 80's as a child. This would eventually evolve into the AVGN character we know him as today.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The AVGN describes his frustration about Silver Surfer being a One-Hit-Point Wonder himself in the review of the game:
    "It's like you touch the top of the building, you die, you touch the ceiling, you die, you touch the floor, you die, too far to the right, you die, too far to the left, you die, you die, you die, you die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die!!"
  • One of the Kids: The AVGN is basically a grown man who takes shitty video games seriously.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: The Tiger R-Zone is #1 on the Nerd's Top 10 Worst Video Game Consoles list, in which he describes it as "a shitty version of the Virtual Boy, as if the Virtual Boy wasn't already shitty enough." However, he also says that the one thing he has to give Tiger credit for was including a headstrap for it, the lack of one being one of his main complaints against the Virtual Boy.
  • The Oner: He had a bad habit of this in his earlier episodes, which more often than not led to great amounts of rambling.
  • One-Winged Angel: After the Nerd decapitates Bugs Bunny, he reveals his true form - that of Woody Woodpecker.
    • Darth Vader in the Star Wars episode turns into "a fucking. SCORPION!" Cue AVGN going insane.
  • Opening Shout-Out: Invoked in the Angry Nerd Christmas Carol.
  • Origins Episode: The Anger Begins video.
  • ...Or So I Heard: In his Seaman review, he mentions that he heard that the now defunct web address to the official Seaman site used to lead to porn.
    AVGN: I just heard, that's all. Heh, a Dreamcast site that leads to porn? More like "Wet Dream"-cast!
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The ending of the Nightmare on Elm Street review. Even after waking up, the Nerd still has the Power Glove.
  • Overly Long Gag: The Intro to the Sega CD Video; you hear the entire theme song instead of just the first verse and the chorus as usual, and there's a longer montage of previous Nerd videos to match. See it for yourself
    • From the Ninja Gaiden outtakes:
    Kevin Finn, a.k.a. The Ninja Sensei: Normally they say, Ninja Gai(Gay)-den.
  • Pac-Man Fever: Played intentionally when the nerd tries to figure out how to use newer console's controllers. Otherwise averted, wherein shots of him with a gamepad usually have him pressing the buttons slowly and methodically. In his Winter Games review, he does a Lampshade Hanging, saying that actors who perform random Button Mashing pretending to play video games in TV shows and movies are actually playing that game.
  • Padding: In-universe: A lot of the Atari 5200 review is just him trying to set the system up. Justified in that the controllers wouldn't work anyway so there wasn't much else he could've done.
    • More obvious was the review of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu. It wasn't even one of the worst games he ever reviewed and there wasn't really much to say about it, so what did he do? Brought in Shit Pickle, who was not only the most annoying guest character on the show but the only one the Nerd never lost his patience with whatsoever.
  • Painting the Medium: In the intro of the series, we see the Nerd playing games while Kyle Justin appears in the background singing the theme song with a guitar, then the song ends and the real episode starts—but in the Battletoads review, after the song ends, the Nerd starts talking to the audience while Kyle is still visible in the background. Kyle sits down by the Nerd's side, and it's then that he notices Kyle's presence and abruptly interrupts his monologue.
    AVGN: Who the fuck are you?
    Kyle: I'm the guitar guy... *the Nerd looks utterly confused* ...I sing your theme song?... from behind the couch?
  • Password Save: Among his many Berserk Buttons are extremely long passwords, passwords where letters/numbers can easily be confused with different ones (for example, if upper-case Is look like lower-case Ls, or Os look like 0s), and games that make you continue with a password after running out of lives instead of just having a "Continue" option, feeling that a password should only be required if you turn the game off and come back to it later. Naturally, he has played many games which feature all three of these.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Sometimes the Nerd had thrown his pens as a threat, in the Team Brawl he actually throws one of his pens as a weapon. Lampshaded in the first response to the Critic with an small disclaimer.
    AVGN: Yeah, I got pens, and I'm not afraid to use them.
    IT'S SATIRICAL Nobody throws pens. I mean yes the pen is mightier than the sword, but that's just an expression meaning the communication is more effective than brutality.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: The Nerd mocks the title of the Action 52 game Alfred N the Fettuc as being this, evidently not realizing (or perhaps just not caring) that "Fettuc" is obviously meant to be short for "Fettuccine".
  • Pet the Dog: He's a grumpy Jerkass who doesn't hesitate to rip apart games that he hates—sometimes literally. He reviews Zelda II: The Adventure of Link at the request of some viewers who claim it's a bad game. Despite what might be expected of him, he's initially surprised at this since he doesn't agree with those requests at first. He mostly keeps up this attitude despite a few frustrating and strange aspects within the game.
  • Pet-Peeve Trope: He has them, except more so...invoked
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The two kids that the Nerd has to babysit in the "Halloween" review end up beating the living crap out of Michael Myers.
  • Platform Hell:
    • This is how he presents Ninja Gaiden.
    • Has a special disdain for the level in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero that involves jumping from platform to platform, with the sloppy controls sometimes accidentally causing deaths, and some platforms collapsing for no damn reason.
  • Poe's Law: A surprising amount of viewers mistake the Nerd for a legitimate reviewer.
  • Pokémon Speak: Shit Pickle.
  • Portmanteau: "I'd rather drink buffalo shizz! That's a combination of shit and jizz. Yeah, that's foul. I apologize."
    • For the censored swear that the Nerd makes up at the end of the "Godzilla" episode, the raw footage shows James ad-libbing "scunt", a mix between "shit" and "cunt".
  • Power Fist: The Power Glove acts like this when the Nerd fights off Freddy Krueger in his Nightmare on Elm Street review, and when he armors up for the fight against R.O.B.; his sprite is clearly wearing it in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: The Nerd delivers both of them in the "Birthday Blowout" episode.
    Nerd: I'll show YOU some funny tricks!
    Nerd: (after throwing a fake plastic butt at Bugs Bunny) There ya go. Got your ass handed to ya.
  • Precision F-Strike: Strongly averted. He swears in all directions. Innocents take cover. He does make one when playing the Xbox / PlayStation 2 Godzilla fighting games, realizing that he was born too early to enjoy Godzilla games that perfectly paid homage to the films.
    • Done literally in one episode, in which he found our that shouting "FUCK!" into his headset during a shooting game plugged the target. Lampshaded shortly afterwards.
    • Then quoted word for word in Ghosts and Goblins, as a weapon against the game.
    • Hong Kong 97 dropped a single F-bomb in its opening. The Nerd is left in complete surprise that a Nintendo game had "fuck" in it when even milder swears like "damn" and "hell" were far and few between. Corpsing also ensues.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: invokedAbout half of the video games the Nerd reviews are Licensed Games. He always tries to have a sense of optimism about the game even though he knows that it's doomed in the end. He's been burned so many times by LJN-published games, though that this trope has devolved into X-Pac Heat. He's given some respect to the arcade and Genesis X-Men games, as well as Batman for the NES and Batman Returns for the SNES. A common arc in his reviews is him trying out all licensed games based on a given property that he can find, in the hopes of eventually finding a decent one; usually it's whatever one is hardest to find.
  • Product Placement: The Nintoaster. And yes, it works.
  • Public Service Announcement: Randomly thrown in the Hydlide episode:
    AVGN: There's no skill involved, you never know whether or not you're hitting a monster or the monster's hitting you. It's just as random as rolling a dice or playing the lottery, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose... (deadpan) but I guess it's better than using drugs or alcohol, because with drugs and alcohol, especially drugs, you always lose?
    • This PSA is a quote from American Movie, which is referenced in a number of AVGN reviews.
  • Pun:
    AVGN: "Does it suck? You bet Jur ass ic sucks!"
    • In the Cheetahmen episode:
    "The only way to beat this game is to cheat! Guess that's why it's called Cheetahmen."
    • In the Seaman episode, after referring to a rumor that the defunct domain meetseaman.com once led to a porn site:
    "A Dreamcast game that sends you to porn. More like Wet Dream-cast."
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Many examples:
    They made. A Cheetahmen. Sequel!
    • During the "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties" review:
    "It's NOT! FUCKING! NIGHT!"
    • During the Superman 64 review:
    "Look how much room! LOOK HOW MUCH ROOM! HOW CAN I BE STUCK WHEN THERE IS SO! MUCH! ROOM??!!!'''"
    • From the Dark Castle episode:
    "I got Dark Castle on SEE...DEE.........EEEEEEYYYYEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (fire erupts all around him)
    • In the first Ghostbusters review, while talking about the NES game's horrible music:
    "It's the only. Song. In the whole. Game."
    • After dying within 3 seconds of playing Cheetahmen:
    *pounding on couch* "IT SUCKS! MONKEY! FUCKS! LIKE ALL! THE FUCKIN'! REST!!!
    • In the "Crazy Castle" episode:
    Nerd: Crazy Castle 3? CRAZY. CASTLE. 3?!
  • Punctuated Pounding:
    • The Nerd does this to Bugs Bunny during his review of Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout.
    • He does it to his couch in the Cheetahmen review.
  • Pyro Maniac: Nerd burns the fuck out of Amiga CD32 console with utter glee on his face.
  • Quicksand Box: invoked Whenever the Nerd plays nonlinear games that give the player no idea what to do or where to go, he usually calls them "Where The Fuck Do I Go" games.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In the Friday the 13th review, Jason Voorhees forces the Nerd to say nothing but good things about the game. Inevitably, this trope is the eventual result.
  • Rage Quit: Because it would be impossible to play scores upon scores of awful games without getting so frustrated with at least one that you can't finish it. He does fulfill this trope when playing good games that are just too hard for him — examples being the original Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.
    • Of all games, it's Mega Man X5 that causes the Nerd to (briefly) quit the show in the Mega Man Games episode.
  • Rasputinian Death: The Nerd gives out one to the Winter Games cartridge: "Do not store in extreme temperatures, do not immerse in water, do not clean with benzene, thinner alcohol or other such solvents, do not hit or drop cartridge, do not attempt to disassemble." Cue montage of AVGN doing all of the above which he finishes with burning the game inside his fireplace.
    AVGN: Burn, motherfucker! BURN!
  • Read the Freaking Manual: As mentioned on the page; he was mistaken by the controls on Top Gun and kept thinking that he was supposed to press the controls.
    • Likewise, a couple of his complaints could be rebutted by this trope; but it's actually justified why he can't do this because for a lot of the games he has, he doesn't have the manual. In order to obtain a lot of his games he has to buy them second-hand; and if you buy a cartridge game second-hand nowadays, you're lucky if it comes with a manual.
    • He also said that he would really like to consult the manual for Home Improvement on the SNES due to finding it difficult. The only problem is that the manual is just a single folded sheet that opens up to tell you — in true Tim Taylor fashion — that real men never read instructions.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: James has stated he would review Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, but at the time, he didn't have a PC to play it on (using a Mac). It was revealed in "AVGN Games" that James had gotten a PC, and a review of Big Rigs was eventually made. His general rule that he can only play games he owns falls under this as well.
  • Really Dead Montage: With R.O.B. on a rampage, a dying James reflects on all the shitty games he'll no longer have to play.
    • Subverted and defied at the last second before the montage finished.
  • Rearrange the Song: Combined with "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune for the Beavis and Butthead episode, which has the normal theme replaced by a version with James imitating a metal guitar.
    • Some episodes had the intro theme remixed, another one of the episodes used a cover version.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In his "Wii Salute" video, The Nerd provided voices and characterizations to various game systems, most notably the Genesis and the Super NES. After Genesis gloated in vain about his supposedly superior hardware (even though it undermined its points by introducing all sorts of add-ons like the Sega CD and 32x), Super NES finally got fed up and delivered this:
    Super NES: 32-bit, my ass! What's wrong with you?! You say CDs are the next big thing, but then you switch back to cartridges? You say you're more powerful than me, but then why do you need all these extra add-ons? What are you gonna do next? Add something else on top?
    Sega Genesis: Uh, yeah. (a second 32X is added onto the first 32X)
    Super NES: OK, go ahead, keep stacking shit on top. You've already needed like three power adaptors to run that colossal mess you've made. Look at you: You're a fucking disaster.
    • Freddy tries to pull this on the Nerd, only to get quickly countered.
    Freddy: "Woah, look at me, I'm a fucking nerd! What a piece of shit! Buffalo diarrhea fuckfarts! Y'see nerd, nobody makes you play these games but yourself, so you're your own damn nightmare. Now, but you're gonna die..."
  • Record Needle Scratch:
    • Heard in his "Indiana Jones" review when he compares The Last Crusade movie's plot to the video game's.
    • In the Zelda II episode, when he gets surprised by the fact that people ask him to review the game, when he actually believes it's a good game.
  • Recursive Reality: At the end of the Seaman episode, the Sentient Electronic Global Annihalator makes the Nerd's reality a game for the Seaman.
  • Respawning Enemies: Escalating in the "Metal Gear" episode. First for leaving a screen and coming back, second just for walking into a truck for a second, and finally third for looking at another screen with the binoculars.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: In his "Berenstain Bears" video, Nerd discovers the spelling of the titular franchise has changed on him from what he remembers in childhood. Apparently, this was caused by a split timeline, where the Nerd was killed by Jason in the "Friday The Thirteenth" video.
  • Review Ironic Echo: Both the second and third CD-i reviews contain this, with "It's awful!" and "Oh, my goodness, this is awful!" both said by the in-game characters, and also used to describe the games themselves.
    Simms: I don't believe what I just saw.
    Nerd: I know; this game sucks!
    • In the same episode:
    Willy Beamish: I'm so bored I can't stand it!
    Nerd: I know I'm fucking bored.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: His 2010 Christmas Episode is this, along with an homage to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
  • The Rival: The Nostalgia Critic may view the Nerd as his Worthy Opponent, but the surly Nerd isn't anywhere near as generous in return.
  • Roar Before Beating: The Nerd literally roars like a lion as a Battlecry during the TGWTG Team Brawl.
  • Rousing Speech: The Nerds delivers a kickass one to the team of gamers during the TGWTG Team Brawl.
    AVGN: "We're not going to fight with our hearts, we're going to fight with our balls! Now sound off like you got a pair!"
  • Rule of Seven: In his review of Kid Kool (whose full name is Kid Kool and the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs), the Nerd says that the game has a story that says that the king has a terminal illness, and that Kid Kool has to find the aptly named Seven Wonder Herbs.
    AVGN: Yeah, I bet the game designers were smoking seven different herbs.
  • Rule of Symbolism: He realized the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde game was this during his re-visit episode. That or it just fucking sucks.
  • Running Gag: Among others:
    • Whenever he encounters a strange game mechanic, he uses the first Super Mario Bros. game as an example to show how ridiculous that mechanic would be (e.g. only being able to jump or run).
    • He used Super Mario World, Contra, plus The Legend of Zelda and Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link a couple of times as well.
    • Does the game have some sort of crippling gameplay or logic flaw? Bank on him comparing it to Simon's Quest. Lampshaded in his Castlevania I review.
    • His inability to land the plane "Top Gun."
    • His flipping out over games produced by LJN.
    • His hate for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for NES.
    • He's also mentioned 'Fred Fuchs' a few times.
    • The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe, quite possibly the most boring "game" he owns showing up as something so dull even he wouldn't play it.
    • His "sturgeon face" frown.
    • Whenever a licensed game has something that has nothing to do with the original work, saying "remember when..." followed by a description of what's happening in the game.
    • He's referred to many different games as the worst he's ever played, only to change his mind when he inevitably gets introduced to an even worse one in a subsequent episode (though sometimes he doesn't directly say this, instead saying that the game in question is even worse than the previous worst one he played). Specifically Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the NES Ghostbusters game (though he did take this one back as he felt Jekyll and Hyde was still worse in the end), Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, all of the Tiger Electronics games, Big Rigs (though he clarifies that Big Rigs qualified specifically in the area of most obviously incomplete and half-assed game he has ever played, not in terms of how much the game pissed him off), Desert Bus, Crazy Bus, and Hong Kong 97.
    • Using overwrought science and trivia-based analyses to explain games that don't make sense.
    • When a nonlinear game gives the player no obvious indication of where to go or what to do, he always says, without fail: "It's one of those 'Where The Fuck Do I Go?' kind of games," occasionally following up with: "Y'know, the kind of games that make you say 'Where the fuck do I go?"
    • Seeing something weird or unrealistic in the game, and demonstrating how bizarre would it look if it happened in real life.
    • It's pretty much guaranteed by now that, should there be an advertisement or feature involving a video game tip hotline, the Nerd will make some kind of remark about a gamer's parents receiving a costly phone bill.
      Nerd: Look at this face, yeeaaaah! Laugh it up while you can, kid! Your dad's gonna FLIP SHIT WHEN HE SEES A FIVE-HUNDRED DOLLAR FUCKING PHONE BILL!
  • Sadistic Choice: Invoked on him by Jason Voorhees. Jason has the Nerd cornered and is prepared to kill him, while he pleads, "Don't kill me!" Jason then holds up a copy of the Friday the 13th NES game. The nerd, still scared out of his wits, says, "Kill me!"
  • Sarcasm Mode: Enforced in Friday the 13th review: If he said anything negative about the game, Jason Voorhees would threaten to kill him. However, he did not understand sarcasm.
    • Taken up to 11 with his review of Hong Kong '97, upon realizing that the corpse shown in the Game Over screen is a real dead body.
      Nerd: Gee, this couldn't get the Nintendo Seal of Quality? I'm so shocked that this didn't make it to the Super Nintendo!
  • Saving Christmas: The subject $ of the aforementioned Fake Crossover with Captain S.
  • Schmuck Bait: The easiest way to die in Jaws (NES) is to go near the ocean floor — where the power-ups inevitably drift.
    "You gotta tell that ocean floor to go fuck itself!! I don't want your starfish and crabs!! ...Asshole."
    • You'd be forgiven for googling Dr. Claw's Dump n' Pump or Full House Tournament Fighter, considering how he casually mentions these fake games during his reviews and even shows convincing (but false) cartridges and (fake) gameplay footage.
    • He describes the act of purchasing and/or playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as this, telling viewers to stay away from the game no matter how tempting.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Inuniverse; the Nerd quickly despises the Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero game for its mechanic where jumping over someone doesn't automatically turn you to be facing them, so you have to press a button to turn around.
  • Screamer Prank: At the end of his review of Polybius.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: His Alternative Character Interpretation for Scrooge McDuck.
    "[DuckTales for NES] stars multibillion-dollar rich fuck Scrooge McDuck on an intercontinental quest to become even richer. Now, imagine flying into someone else's country, killing them with a cane and then taking all their treasure. Well, he's Scrooge McDuck, and I guess he can do whatever the fuck he wants."
    • He also notes that Scrooge is perfectly content to bail out of a speeding minecart, leaving Huey, Duey and Louie to fall into a pit and die.
  • Sensory Abuse: In his Star Trek review, he notes that Star Trek: The Motion Picture for the Vectrex emits a dull, low, and perpetual buzzing sound that "[penetrates his] auditory nerves".
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Discussed In-Universe:
  • Serial Escalation: Played for Laughs in the Crazy Castle review, when he finds out to his constant exasperation that there were not one, not two, but five games in the entire series!
  • Series Continuity Error: In his Beetlejuice review he is aghast to learn that the game is, yet another, LJN product. Except, he should have already known this as he played the game in his NES Accessories episode to see if it would work with the "Roll N' Rocker" toy, an LJN creation.
    • In his Mega Man Games episode, there's a throwaway joke about him updating his cell phone, and we see him with a bulkier phone from the 90s. However, this gag doesn't exactly work once you remember that the Nerd was shown using a more modern cell phone briefly in his Ghostbusters Part 1 episode from 2007.
  • Serious Business: You have no idea how much video games can hurt a man.
  • Sequel Escalation: In the Friday the 13th review, he says that if they made a sequel, its Game Over screen should be even worse than the original, and makes one up himself.
    • In the Lester the Unlikely review, he hypothesizes what the sequels would be like, making the protagonist (and then even the cartridge itself) more incompetent each time.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • A subversion of this appears at the end of his NES accessories review. R.O.B. the robot shows up in the background, indicating that a review of R.O.B. will be the next video, but the Nerd says they'll save it for later. He then says that the viewer probably knows what is coming up next while putting on an Indiana Jones hat. He reviews Indiana Jones games in the following episode. Note  He did finally cover R.O.B. in the 100th episode, however.
    • Two of his 2006 reviews foreshadow what will happen next. At the end of his Friday the 13th review we see him about to be attacked by Freddy, whose game is next. At the end of the A Nightmare on Elm Street review he magically acquired a Power Glove, and sure enough ends up reviewing the glove afterward.
    • During his battle against the possessed Super Mario Bros. 3, he wears his Armor made of NES accessories. At the end of the battle, Super Mecha Death Christ asks him "What the fuck is that shit?", the Nerd looks at his armor "This shit?" and announces to the audience "I'll tell you all about it". The next episode was of course about NES accesories.
    • His 2010 reviews have had a couple sequel hooks. The Action 52 review ended right before The Nerd started playing Cheetahmen; guess what the next review was. And the ending to his Back to the Future review suggests he will revisit Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde next time.
    • The Christmas crossover with Captain S ends with Santa Claus punishing the Nerd for being foul-mouthed by giving him the Home Alone 2 cartridge for Christmas. The AVGN's Christmas Carol 2-part episode starts with the Nerd reviewing that game.
    • The episode about Superman NES games ends with the Nerd announcing that the next game is the so long awaited Superman 64 review.
      • Which he teased with a little in the following episode when he said he'll be reviewing Superman... On Commodore 64.
      "But wait, this isn't what you want to see is it? Nah, you wanna see this, right?... Aw come on, you really want me to play this?!"
    • The Spielberg games episode ends with the Nerd refusing to even touch the infamous Atari E.T. game, but a sign announces "To be continued...in the AVGN movie".
    • In the "Nintendo Power" review, the Nerd reads a letter from a fan who hated Fester's Quest. To which the Nerd tells the audience:
    Nerd: You wanna know about Fester's Quest? Next time.
    • In the same episode, he also reads a letter from a fan who was disappointed that in the NES adaption of Rambo you mainly fight things like spiders and insects and not enemy soldiers (well not til later in the game anyways) like the game cover suggests, the Nerd's reaction:
    Nerd: Tell me about it! We'll get to that one someday.
    • Any video in multiple parts, like the four-part Castlevania review, the two-part Atari Jaguar review, the three-part CD-i video, and the two-part Christmas Wish List review.
    • The "Desert Bus" episode ends with the Nerd announcing he wants to do something epic outside his house, which led into The Movie.
    • Most of the Twelve Days Of Shitsmas episodes ends with the Nerd grabbing the next episode's game.
    • Subverted in the Charlie's Angels episode, where Charlie offers the Nerd to review the PS2 game. After having enough with the Gamecube version, he understandably smashes the CD to the ground and expresses his refusal to the audience.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: His review of Treasure Master ends up being this - he plays the game to win the contest associated with the game, and win the $10,000 prize in order to have more money to buy games with. He's able to beat the game and the prize world, and calls the number... only for it to turn out that the contest ended on April 11, 1992.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    "'Milon's Secret Castle'. If you don't know who Milon is...well, he's the guy from 'Milon's Secret Castle'."
    • And in his review of Conan for the NES:
      You press DOWN to jump! Whoever came up with that idea is a real cocksucker!...that sucks cock.
    • From his CrazyBus review:
    Who found this gem and put it on a Sega Genesis cartridge with a case? They're shit-diggers! They dig for shit.
  • Shared Universe: The Reviewaverse.
  • Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: He does actually do extensive research on titles and game consoles, though sometimes he still makes some glaring mistakes, such as with the later Castlevania games.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: When talking about the one game on the Caltron 6 In 1 NES cartridge that's somewhat a Bible-themed game, "Adam and Eve".
    The Nerd: And there's a bird that lays eggs on you. What kind of bird lays eggs while it's flying? That's like a human mother running a marathon and just dropping out a baby. The other thought is that it's an egg shaped piece of shit, but it's from a bird, so it'd usually be white, which would be the color of an egg, but instead it's brown like shit. I don't know what I'm talking about.
  • Sincerity Mode: After spending nearly the entire review of Friday the 13th for NES in Sarcasm Mode, when he comes to commenting on how it had the best Game Over screen ever (considering it flew in the face of Nintendo's then-dominant Never Say "Die" policy), he had to add that he was actually being serious.
    • In "AVGN Games," at the beginning of the video he jokes that he has to play the computer-based games on a Commodore 64. However, midway through the episode when one of the games crashes, he takes a brief moment to admit that he's not really playing on a Commodore, but on a brand-new PC.
    • With several games he's reviewed, such as Battletoads, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and even Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, even if he does critique their flaws, the Nerd admits that the games are good, or at least nostalgic to him.
    • Dead fucking serious.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Who else but the man himself?
    • Super Mecha Death Christ, that's who else.
    • Pretty much anyone who appears on the show, really. Even Bugs Bunny curses up a storm when he's around the Nerd.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: The Nostalgia Critic. Also, Mike Matei (Motherfucker Mike), who often plays characters who get into fights with The Nerd.
  • Skyward Scream: The Nerd's elated reaction to discovering that Maximum Carnage, a game he enjoyed, was developed by the one and only LJN.
    "OH MY GOD! They did it! They made a game that's not shit! I found the gold at the end of the rainbow okay maybe it's not gold maybe it's bronze or something but...they made a game...that's not shit! IT'S NOT SHIT!!!"
  • So Bad, It's Good: Invoked by the Nerd himself while exploiting the hilarious mass of restriction disabling bugs in Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing and being reduced to a laughing wreck upon seeing the "YOU'RE WINNER!" screen.
"'YOU'RE WINNER!' is the kind of stuff that turns horrible games into legends. It's the cherry on top of the diarrhea shake."
  • And again in his Hong Kong '97 episode, where he laughs repeatedly at the game's absurd intro, particularly of the use of stolen images of Jackie Chan and Deng Xiaoping to represent the game's protagonist and antagonist, respectively.
  • Someone Has to Do It: In a couple of occasions he has claimed this is the reason he plays shitty games, as a warning to other gamers to avoid them.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • His occasional "Chronologically Confused" segments, which feature a much less angry and scatological Nerd complaining about oddly named sequels and media being named differently in different countries.
    • His more educational segues when he talks about old neglected consoles and trivia about games' source material (particularly horror movies and Looney Tunes cartoons).
    • Episode 46 is him reviewing a good game for once (Super Mario Bros. 3).
    • Episode 102 is a making-of documentary which shows how James goes through the process of making an AVGN episode, ending on a three minute review of Barbie for the NES.
    • AVGN Special: Contra Memories features James Rolfe recalling the first time he beat Contra.
    • His review of the TMNT 3 movie as the self-described "Angry Movie Nerd".
    • The Sega Genesis Accessories episode. Instead of being a traditional episode with the Nerd in his game room doing a traditional review of each of the accessories it features the Nerd with his friend Keith unwrapping each accessory as a present on Christmas morning and playing with them and making a mess of the fake living room in the course of the episode.
    • The Polybius review barely even shows any footage of the game—the episode instead becomes a parody of Found Footage horror films and the urban legends surrounding the infamous arcade game.
  • Something Nauts: On his Atari 5200 video, he wonders if the system's controller was meant to contact "fuckernauts".
  • Song Parody: "You're a Mean One, Mr. Nerd".
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Nerd could go from talking logically to swearing like a sailor.
    • The spiel at the end of the second Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde review has to be his biggest example of this.
    • From the Godzilla episode:
    AVGN: The better way to sum this up is to recite a very famous quote from Wiliam Shakespeare: Fuck it!
    • Especially prevalent in the Star Trek review, parodying the series.
    AVGN: To begin with, the music and the graphics are quite good. But my senses indicated a large deposit of bullshit.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep:
    • In the Godzilla video games' review, as a rare use that Unreveals a new curse word.
    • Used at the end of his crossover with Captain S, using the "Mario dies" sound effect from Super Mario Bros..
    • Used in his Action 52 review when he showed what a TV version of his review would be like when he gets bleeped for saying asshole. Obviously this was parodied:
    Nerd: Whoever came up with this game is an ass(bleep)! (looks at the screen) Ass. Hole? Ass(bleep)! (shakes head) Television makes a lot of sense.
    • Used at the end of the Dragon's Lair for NES video. He walks toward his bedroom door, which shuts as he draws near. He hits the door and the "death" sound from the game plays, as he is replaced by the game's death animation.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • The Nerd lampshades this while playing Super 3D Noah's Ark and listening to some upbeat music:
    "Wow, that's great. Just what you need, some really upbeat music to go along with Noah getting murdered by a bunch of fucking goats."
    • In Christmas Carol Part 2, an elderly Nerd has a fatal heart attack while playing a Wii game to the tune of "Walking on Sunshine".
    • This is such a big issue in Beetlejuice that he goes so far as to call it "Bad Music".
  • Speak of the Devil: In the Tiger Electronic Games episode, the Nerd, while struggling to open the packaging for the Batman Returns wrist game, says, "You know... you know what's bullshit...?". Then the Bullshit Man appears, handing the Nerd a pair of scissors and proceeds to rant about blister packaging.
  • Special Guest:
  • Spell My Name with a "The": When on the phone with Pat The NES Punk:
    Nerd: Hey Pat, you NES Punk. This is the Nerd.
    Pat: (confused) ...Nerd? I don't think I know any Nerd.
    Nerd: The Fucking Nerd.
    Pat: Oh! Oh, that Nerd! Well, why didn't you say so?
  • Spin-Off: Board James; started out as the Nerd doing a review of a board game, then diverged into a distinct character after the first review proved popular.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:invoked In his review for Alien³, he says that there are no good Alien games on the NES. He then changes his mind, and says that there are some good games: Contra and Metroid.
  • Spit Take:
    • In the Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout review.
    • Taken up to 11 in his review of Predator.
  • Spock Speak: Done intentionally in the Star Trek review.
  • Spoiler Opening: Averted. Many of the opening sequences actually depict stuff that The Nerd has actually not covered yet. Such as him with large Neo Geo cartrdiges in 2006. Not to mention, he is also shown in a video playing "Phalanx", as well as having a game box dropping down on them.
  • Squee!: Being the collectors they are, Pat and the Nerd had their moment of this when they realize they have a gold Nintendo World Championships cartridge.
  • Stable Time Loop: In Mega Man Games, the Nerd goes back in time to 2007. His 2007 self has just finished reviewing "Independence Day" on Playstation when he tells him to review crappy games based on The Simpsons. In 2006 he sees himself as "The Angry Nintendo Nerd" in the middle of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and tells him to change his name to "The Angry Video Game Nerd" upon being presented with a copy of Mega Man X7 on Playstation 2. In 2004 he sees himself fresh off his "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" rant, and tells him to keep on with reviewing video games he thinks are of poor quality, leading him to select "The Karate Kid".
  • Staggered Zoom: On the LJN logo during his Terminator review.
  • Status Quo Is God: In the end of the "AVGN Christmas Carol", the Nerd decides to only play good games from then on... and not ten seconds later, decides to keep on playing shitty games.
  • Stealth Pun: In the Michael Jackson's Moonwalker review, when the Nerd discovers that you can have Michael grab his crotch, the music playing in the background as the Nerd makes Michael repeatedly do so is the game's version of "Beat It".
  • The Stinger: The scene after the credits in Batman Part II has the Nerd exclaim "Holy batshit!".
  • Stock Footage:
    • Used in some of his reviews as a Call-Back to a previous review. An example is showing footage from his Simon's Quest review in Super Pitfall or Milon's Secret Castle.
    • Does this again in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode, throwing in scenes from the Top Gun and Dick Tracy episodes.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The 'explosion' sound effect he sometimes uses always sounds the same. Even when throwing a game cartridge into the sun where you'd expect it to fry instead of explode or dropping a box-shaped AC adapter on the floor.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-universe. The Nerd does this to himself when playing Treasure Hunter. After a really frustrating first level, he finds himself enjoying the second lunar level, then stops and scolds himself that he shouldn't be having fun.
    Nerd: No, no! Don't get honey-dicked by the moon level. This isn't Ducktales!
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: One of the Nerd's biggest pet peeves; in particular, he hates Recycled Title, claiming that years from now, people won't know what film you're referring to if they have the same title or something nearly identical.
    Nerd: "Why was it okay to number the first five [Halloween films], but not after that, like they were embarrassed they made so many?"
  • Stunned Silence: Not as frequent as some of his other reactions, but they do happen. Typically with his mouth agape. James has said these are his favorite moments in the AVGN videos.
  • Subverted Kids Show: In the Berenstain Bears episode, the Nerd encounters an alternate universe version of himself who says that in his universe, the name attached to the titular bears isn't "Berenstein" or "Berenstain". It's "Bloodstain".
  • Superpower Lottery: The Nerd can shoot fireballs, clone himself, fly into space, fire lasers out of his eyes, and summon Super Mecha Death Christ 2000. Many of his videos feature him beating up a character from the reviewed game. And that's when he's not wearing his NES suit. Seriously, The Nostalgia Critic is lucky to be alive. Or undead, or whatever.
  • Survival Mantra: A literal case in the Ikari Warriors episode, as the Nerd keeps saying "A, B, B, A" (which is the revival code) through almost the whole video... Until it stops working near the end.
  • invokedSuspiciously Similar Song: 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!
  • Sword over Head: The Nerd grapples with his urge to vaporize Star Trek (NES) with his phaser. Uncharacteristically, he spares it.
  • Synchro-Vox: Used in "The Wizard/Super Mario 3" when the cartridge first starts talking.
  • Take Our Word for It: The Nerd is so angry at the end of the Godzilla episode that he has to invent a new swear word, which is bleeped out. James ad-libbed "Scunt" for the raw footage.
    Nerd: Oh yeah, it's that bad.
    • In the first Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episode, this is the Nerd's initial critique:
    Nerd: It's so bad, that I'm not even gonna show it to you!
  • Take Over the World: The Nerd claims this was Sega's ultimate goal when they created the Dreamcast and Seaman, with "Sega" actually being an acronym for "Sentient Electronic Global Annihilator".
  • Take That!:
    AVGN:"Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, you know what? Everybody, happy holidays, and if you have a problem with happy holidays, then happy shut-the-fuck-up."
    • In his "Best of Godzillathon" compilation he adds the M. Bison OF COURSE! from Street Fighter: The Movie in response to his comment about aliens always wanting to take over the world. The Nostalgia Critic tells him to knock it off after stealing his joke.
    • The Nerd's suggested changes at the beginning of the Nintendo Re-revisitednote /Back to the Future trilogy review video reference the changes made to the Star Wars films (especially A New Hopenote  and Return of the Jedinote ).
    • In his Star Wars Games retrospective, the "Beat a Game" button is a subtle Take That! at gamers who use emulators/save states, taken to the most ridiculous conclusion: Just pressing a button to skip to the ending. For added measure, when he rants at his games that they should all consider themselves beat now that he has the button... the imperial march theme plays.
    • Sega's questionable business practices are exaggerated in the Console Wars video.
    Super NES: Why don't you just make a completely new system?!
    Genesis: Fine, I will: Sega Neptune.
    Super NES: Really. Well aren't you coming out with the Sega Saturn?
    Genesis: Yeah, we're hurrying it along.
    Super NES: Then what about the Neptune?
    Genesis: Uh, that? It's cancelled.
    Super NES: Too many systems, huh?
    Genesis: Uh... fuck you.
    Super NES: Fuck you! Try making some games next time!
    • In his review of AVGN-themed games, he states that many of these fan-created games were made by people with aspiring dreams of becoming video game programmers, and will go on to make games better than "a whole bunch of Laughing Joking Numbnuts ever could."
    • In his Mega Man Games episode, the Nerd travels back to the Nightmare on Elm Street episode and tells the four cloned Nerds to change their name (This was back when he was The Angry Nintendo Nerd). One of them suggests Nostalgia Critic, which Future!Nerd calls fucking stupid.
    • From his Paperboy review:
    "Yes, newspapers still exist, and even Nintendo still makes games, but that's debatable."
    • Lloyd Kaufman makes this offhand remark during the Toxic Crusaders review:
    "By the way, speaking of toxic waste, if you ever want irritable bowel syndrome, watch The View"
  • Take That, Audience!: After covering Custer's Revenge in his Atari Porn review:
    AVGN: So, do you want to see more? (Beat; after a second, he shakes his head) You sick bastards.
  • Taking You with Me: The end of his Crazy Castle review.
  • Talking Poo: The Nerdy Turd (which allegedly is cloned from his own fecal matter) in his Odyssey review. It doesn't really talk (it farts) but same system.
  • A Taste of the Lash: The punishment of the Dark Castle cartridge and CD.
  • The Teaser: Many episodes have this kind of intro before the theme song:
    • His look at Nintendo Power starts silently with a pile of magazines, when The Nerd jumps out and screams "ASS!"
    • The first CD-i episode features a scene where The Nerd shows off a stuffed Donkey Kong figure.
    • His review of Milon's Secret Castle features pre-title gameplay footage of the character getting killed by lightning and The Nerd replying with "Fuck."
    • Plumbers Don't Wear Ties episode features a scene from the game.
    • The Zelda CD-i episodes feature animated sequences from the games (and the Nerd's reaction to them).
    • The Pong consoles episode starts with him playing Pong by himself.
    • The Action 52 episode starts with the Nintoaster.
    • The Wayne's World episode starts with the intro from the SNES version of the game.
    • At the start of the Game Boy Accessories episode, the Nerd loses in a video game and spins a fidget spinner by Flipping the Bird.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • The ending of the Winter Games review begins with a listing of safety tips for handling the cartridge. He follows through all of them, albeit substituting the contents of his hip flask for a cleaning solvent.
    • This exchange from "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties":
    AVGN: Why is all of this necessary? Do we really need to see their whole daily routine? Changing clothes, lifting weights, playing with cats, trying on more clothes, playing Air Guitar with a plunger? Oh, so is [John] a plumber? Well, the game's called "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties", so I guess it makes sense. He's a plumber, and I don't see him wearing a tie-
    Cue shot of John wearing a tie.
    AVGN: What the fuck?? You can't even trust the damn title!
    • Lampshaded and deconstructed by AVGN in "Atari Porn":
      AVGN: Can you imagine just sitting around, minding your own business and all of a sudden, some naked chick breaks in and starts humping the crap out of you?
      (looks expectantly at the door, but nothing happens)
      AVGN: You know, that's really not fair. I get Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger and Spider-Man, Bugs Bunny, but no naked chick. Fuck this shit.
    • Almost anytime the Nerd is trying to achieve a hard platform jump, the platform is likely to drop, or, in the case of the Darkwing Duck game, a safe drops and crushes the player.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: James during the "Schwarzenegger Games" episode, especially during his determined mission to beat Predator from scratch.
    "I'm so mad I could take a chainsaw to a fuckin' baby's neck right now! I could kick a baby pony!"
  • That Came Out Wrong: In his "Dick Tracy" review:
    AVGN: So why do I keep playing it? I dunno, I'm just a sucker for Dick Tracy. "A sucker for Dick"? That didn't sound good.
  • That's All, Folks!: Parodied at the end of the Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout review with "That's All, Fucks!"
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Played for laughs with the Christmas Carol ghost, who announces he's going to "Take [the Nerd] back to the past!" The Nerd stares skeptically and retorts, "'To play the shitty games that suck ass'? No thanks."
    • Also in the Captain S crossover, sort of:
    Captain S: You must be the angriest guy I ever heard.
    AVGN: Well, I'm the Angry Video Game Nerd. that's kind of my thing.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: A Running Gag with the Guitar Guy.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: Subverted at one point while reviewing the plot of a pornographic game and remarking how weird it would be if a chick came into the room and started humping the crap out of you... and it didn't happen.
    AVGN: You know, that's really not fair. I get Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Spider-Man, Bugs Bunny, but no naked chick. Fuck this shit.
  • There Are No Coincidences: A thing in a few of his recent reviews:
    • In his Seaman review, he made connections between various seemingly unrelated things to claim that Sega was angling for world domination back in 1999.
    • In his Beetlejuice review, he connected the Betelgeuse constellation with the game's release date.
    • In his Hong Kong '97, he noted how many significant (and some insignificant) events occurred in, you guessed it, 1997, and wondered how the game could be so prescient. He ends up concluding that the game is the meaning of life. And since life perpetuates itself by the means of reproduction (which involves sexual intercourse) and food (which is digested and turned into feces), in other words, the game is fucking shit.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: While some game destructions are just special effects, the Nerd has actually destroyed some hardware and software in an over-the-top fashion.
    • At the end of the Sega 32X review, he destroys the add-on with a flaming arrow.
    • At the end of the Dick Tracy review, the Nerd takes a hammer to the cart while he is drilling into it.
    • At the end of the Winter Games review, the Nerd does everything the cartridge says not to do. He puts it into an oven and a freezer, pours water over it and alcohol into it, hits it with a hammer and throws it into the ground, disassembles it, and burns it in his fireplace.
    • After finish playing the reproduction cart of Nintendo World Championship, the Nerd smashes the two authentic carts in a rage, calling the NWC "shit on a pedestal", leading to Pat The NES Punk to choke the Nerd. However, Pat reveals that the actual NWC carts were never harmed.
    • The Nerd takes a flamethrower to an Amiga CD32 after finishing reviewing The Town With No Name.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: We never see what happened to the gyro that the Nerd made for Rob the Robot in said review. A fan even brought this up at an interview panel.
    Fan: "What happened to the gyro in the Rob the Robot episode?"
    James Rolfe: "I ate it."
  • This Cannot Be!: The Glitch Gremlin gets one of these when the Nerd manages to beat one of the later bosses of Mega Man 5... even though the boss' key attacks were made invisible by a glitch.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: On the eleventh day of Shitsmas, the Nerd decided to take a quick peek at the large present that would be the final review for the holidays. Little did he know, his sneak peek would be of that all-too-familiar fucking rainbow!
  • This Loser Is You:
    • There's an understated but undeniable theme in many of the Nerd's reviews that the character sometimes regrets all of the time spent playing videogames, calling the time "wasted childhood". Sometimes it makes you wonder. Of course, he could just be talking about how he wasted his childhood playing shitty games, instead of good ones.
    AVGN:"You're dead. Your friends are dead. Your family's dead. Your fucking pets are being skinned alive. Your mom's a fucking whore. You suck at life. The whole world hates you. You're going to hell. Live with it. Game over."
    • Then there's the Power Glove in his eponymous review part 3 of his first Halloween special as the Nerd.
    AVGN: "The only kids who own this (the Power Glove) were usually the richer ones who thought they were cool. Well, they're not cool. I'm not cool either. Look at me, you think I'm cool? I got a fucking glove on my hand. I'm trying to play a fucking game with it. I look like an idiot with a fistful of shit!" * Cue in for his pistol gesture towards his hand that comes down to his middle finger.*
    AVGN: "This is the kind of game, that you'd rent for the weekend. You'd play for about five minutes. Get stuck. And then, your whole weekend is wasted!"
    • From his review of The Terminator on NES:
    • During his "Karate Kid" review:
    AVGN: "I hate this game, but why am I playing it? Well, that's the question everyone has asked themselves, and they all have the same reason. Because you're angry and you want to win. You want to beat the Nintendo, but the cold hard reality is, nobody cares but you!"
    • When he starts playing the Ghostbusters game, after explaining how many expectations he had for that game when he was a child:
    AVGN: "This is it, this Ghostbusters on Nintendo. This is my wasted childhood you're looking at..."
    • From the conclusion of Simpsons episode:
    AVGN: "I just wanted to point out that for a game titled Bart vs The World, there really isn't a lot of the world in the game. No shit, right? Just Egypt, China, the North Pole and Hollywood, pretty fucking educational, right? When I was eleven years old, my whole world was videogames, just locked up in my room playing Bart vs the Space Mutants and all this crap. I wasted all my time on this shit, I want it back. It ruined my life."
    • From the Nintendo Days Revisited episode:
    AVGN: "Jeez, I could do something much more productive with my time. I could learn a new foreign language. I could study microbiology. I could train Siberian tigers. Instead, I'm degenerating my brain cells into 8-bit pixels!"
    • His monologue in the R.O.B. episode:
    AVGN: "Fucking video games. We wasted so many hours of human life with this vile crap. We failed in our existence when we were cursed with the technology to invent such horrible mind rotting catastrophes. We were better in the fucking medieval times. I wish we were just sitting on the riverbank playing with fucking rocks!"
    • Even in his Godzillathon video there's a similar theme:
    James: There's nothing more sad than a grown man all alone, wailing in his sorrows, watching Godzilla's Revenge. Let alone making a video about it.
    • He points out that Lester the Unlikely really doesn't work because of this trope, and it makes Steve Urkel look badass.
  • Throw It In!: Rolfe tries his hardest not to laugh at the show's many Funny Moments, and his constant failures often end up as Hilarious Outtakes. Occasionally, he'll let The Nerd laugh In-Universe, such as when Kyle sings "You motherfucking Nintendo dork!" in the "Ikari Warriors" episode.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: When the Nerd time-travels in the Mega Man episode, he is shown altering some past events, like stopping the Independence Day disc from flying around the world, but it's also implied that he inspired his past self to keep doing game reviews and thus caused the creation of the Nerd in the first place. When he returns to the present, it's unclear if he's in the same timeline he came from or a new one with an altered history.
  • Title Montage: The opening song is often accompanied by clips from the series, and occasionally not (such as AVGN holding up "Mischief Makers"). The clips change with most every video, which is pretty neat.
    • The Title Montage is averted in certain videos; for example, CD-i Part 1 merely features the camera panning over the massive amount of video game memorabilia he owns.
  • Toilet Humour: Used fairly frequently, mostly in reference to feces, and particularly diarrhea.
  • Tongue Twister: "NES X-Men, NES X-Men, NES X-Men."
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Subverted with Bugs Bunny. While he enjoys being hit by the nerd, he comes back for revenge after he takes a diarrhea dump on his face.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bugs Bunny when he returns to force the Nerd to play the Crazy Castle games. Rather than a punching bag, he gives the Nerd just as bad a beating, and he even takes a shit on his head.
  • Top Ten List: In his review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, he counts down his personal top ten worst lines from the film:
    • 10. "I think I swallowed a frog! I hope it wasn't an ancestor."
    • 9. "There they are, The Three Stooges." "Yeah, Larry..." "...Curly..." "...and Moe."
    • 8. "Wow, a Leg-o-Rama!" "SCHWING!"
    • 7. "WHOA! It's Star Trek time, guys!"
    • 6. "What if we make, like, a cosmic u-turn and end up back in Godzilla Land?"
    • 5. "It's Hammer time!"
    • 4. "Did you hear what he called me, Leo?!" "Yeah, an ugly lump of dung." "Well, that was an insult, Leo." "Not necessarily, Raph. Did you know that in some countries, dung is used as a fuel source?"
    • 3. "We're turtles, friend!" "Of the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety, sleezeball!"
    • 2. "Hey, you were expecting maybe, uhh, The Addams Family?"
    • 1. "Help! I'm a turtle and I can't get up!"
  • Totally Radical: Upon playing ''The Adventures of Dr. Franken", The Nerd imitates the on-screen character by putting sunglasses on the Franken-Nerd.
    "Frankenstein's coooool." [cue beatbox music]
    • From the Atari Jaguar episode there's this line (And at the end of the credits of the episode there's the Super Cool Version of this same line, as an outtake):
      AVGN: Check part 2, and we'll actually play some Jaguar games... or if you wanna be cool, you say Let's play some Jag!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Rolling Rock beer. Sometimes switches to Yuengling.
  • Tradesnark™: In the Nightmare on Elm Street review, the Nerd notes that the trademark in the "FREDDY'S™ COMING!" message ruins things for him.
  • Training from Hell: He receives this while trying to beat Ninja Gaiden. It doesn't help.
  • Training Montage: In the Ninja Gaiden episode.
  • Transformation Sequence: Parodied in the AVGN Anime Transformation - Cinemassacre Animated video. All the Nerd does is equip himself with a Power Glove, a bottle of Rolling Rock, a LaserScope, and a Power Pad, accompanied by a rainbow backdrop upon the sequence's conclusion.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
    "It's a beginner's trap!" There's a ladder at the start of Super Pitfall which drops you into a room filled with spikes. You know, I'm disappointed. Couldn't there have been lava on top of the spikes? With fire sharks swimming in it? Couldn't there be more spikes coming in from the sides ready to close in squash me while stabbing me at the same time? How 'bout some laser cannons or upside-down volcanoes?
    • An earlier review of Die Hard showed that John McClane will happily oblige if you tell him to walk through an exterior window of the building, which just leads to a fall to his death.
  • [Trope Name]: At the end of the "Ghosts n Goblins" videos, after seeing the A Winner Is You screen that you get for beating the game twice, the Nerd is so pissed that all he can say is "Curse! Curse!"
  • Truly Single Parent: To the Nerdy Turd.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: His full title is the Angry Atari, Amiga, CD-i, Colecovision, Intellivision, Sega, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx-16, Odyssey, 3DO, Commodore, Nintendo Nerd.
  • Tsundere: In his own words (from the Independence Day for PlayStation review):
    AVGN: Top Gun may be a piece of shit, but at least it has a nostalgia factor to it. It's a piece of shit I might have some affection for.
    AVGN: Well, I'm gonna do it just for you, 'cause I like you a lot. Now, don't take that too serious!
    • In his ROB review, after ROB reveals his plan to replace every NES game, including the bad ones, with copies of Gyromite and Stack-Up, he realizes that though he hates shitty games, he simply can't live without them...
    AVGN: I won't FUCKING HAVE IT!!!
  • Two Gamers on a Couch: The Nerd starts the Beavis and Butthead episode by talking about how the original show's music video commentaries contrasted the formal reviews of today (and inspired them), but all you need is "two jackasses sitting on a couch making fun of shit". Cue screenshot from James and Mike Mondays.
  • Two Halves Make a Plot: His review of Nintendo World Championships has the Nerd and Pat The NES Punk fight over the rare cartridges each other has to complete that rare game's collection. Pat has one of the few gray cartridges obtained from a Powerfest event, and the Nerd has the rarer gold copy obtained from a Nintendo Power magazine prize giveaway. Although in Real Life, Pat owns both cartridges.

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