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  • Unbuilt Trope: As one of the first names of angry internet critics, the Nerd examines quite a bit of what kind of person would act like that. His jerkishness comes not just from bad games, but a naturally cynical attitude, to the point that it's implied he's mentally incapable of enjoying playing a video game (at the end of the Yet Another Christmas Carol episode, he is shown playing a good video game for about five seconds before turning it off and actively seeking more shitty ones). He's a retro reviewer not to remove the rose-colored glasses of the past, but because he himself is stuck there and can't understand more modern games. And both his attitude and position mean he's just as likely to be made the butt of a joke as he is to make one about his subject material.

    He launched a whole genre of "angry reviewing videos" online, where the authors would excessively rant about a piece of media. However, early episodes made it clear that the Nerd is supposed to be pathetic for taking his old games so seriously, and Rolfe specified that part of the comedy is that the character gets angry at a trivial item that doesn't care about his opinions. The "angry review" genre has now become infamous for many reviewers being Serious Business about what they review.
  • Unfortunate Names:
    • Poor Fred Fuchs.
    • Combined with Fun with Acronyms during the "How the Nerd Stole Christmas!" episode:
      S.C.A.T. stands for "Special Cybernetic Attack Team",
      But "the droppings of carnivorous mammals" is what "scat" really means!
      It's as close as you can get
      To a Nintendo game called S.H.I.T.!
    • The Handy Boy peripheral was made by a company named STD.
  • invokedUnfortunate 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.
    • The Nerd notices that many Ghostbusters games don't have Winston in them, and wonders jokingly if they deliberately left him out due to racism. However, the games are so shitty that he also says Ernie Hudson should probably consider himself lucky that his likeness wasn't featured in them.
    • The Nerd/Rolfe briefly mentions a childhood memory where his teacher commented about how the X-Men were called X-Men despite also including women, and discussing if it was sexist. The Nerd/James really wanted to use This Is Spın̈al Tap quote "Well, what's wrong with being sexy?" in retaliation back then.
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  • The Unintelligible: In-universe, the Nerd can't comprehend what the spectators in Slam City with Scottie Pippen are saying.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After accidentally hitting Start instead of Continue in a heated game of Predator (which starts a new game rather than continuing where you left off) near the end of the Schwarzenegger episode, the Nerd goes ballistic and declares once and for all he's going to beat this thing! Which he does despite its bad design and Nintendo Hardness.
    • Also, when after beating Ghosts 'n Goblins for the first time in 25 YEARS, he finds out you have to complete the game twice in one sitting for it to count as beaten.
      Nerd: You have to beat the game twice? You have to beat the game twice in a row! (laughs in quiet anger) Well, that's just great, because now I'm twice as fucking pissed off!!!
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Guess who.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The Nerd is fond of using "ass" and "fuck" in place of other profanities, such as "What the...?!" or "Son of a...!" Not that he isn't willing to use legitimate swears, of course...
  • Unwilling Roboticization: The Nerd is this in his RoboCop review as shown in the beginning. Since the opening of the episode recaps the Polybius episode, it's implied that's what the arcade machine ended up doing to him.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Has uploaded higher quality versions of his older episodes.
    • The DVD releases made some changes, for better or worse (mostly just to avoid infringing on copyright), almost all of which were eventually released on Youtube. These changes include:
      • Any sound tracks from the source material typically get replaced with original, remixed, or cover tracks. Likewise, any movie footage included was also removed or replaced. Significant changes that are relevant are noted.
      • Back to the Future removes the film clips and the soundtrack. Unfortunately, the removal of film clips kills a lot of the Review Ironic Echo jokes.
      • Top Gun had the "Danger Zone" song removed.
      • Wally Bear and the No Gang had an extended ending.
      • Friday the 13th had the music from the movie replaced with other music. It also removed the brief clip from The Wizard of Oz.
      • Chronologically Confused replaced all movie footage with either stills or title logos.
      • Rocky had its intro shortened, has been re-edited to keep the footage out, and had the end rant also revised. To make up for this, a new ending has been added.
      • Bible Games was originally split into two parts, ending before showing Bible Buffet. All releases afterward combined the two parts.
      • Any of the Ghostbusters videos that had any footage from the movie were replaced with drawings representing those scenes by Mike Matei. They also replaced the Ghostbusters theme with a remixed version, and the brief snippet of "Devil in Disguise" replaced with a sound-alike version.
      • Die Hard replaced the production music piece "Red Rum" with a sound-alike by Aleksi Rönkä (who also did new music for the Rocky episode). The episode also has a strange edit on the part where John McClane refuses to jump off the building: The picture is blacked out for some reason.
      • Atari Porn removed the Mega Man 2 remix theme by DJ Axis that previously played over the closing credits.
      • The DVD version of The Wizard of Oz review contains a textual message about The Dark Side of the Moon, and claiming that being able to do the same to this episode is "nonsense". The end of the episode omits the outtakes, but they are present in the outtakes reel elsewhere on the sets.
      • The Virtual Boy removed the "It does look like shit" clip from Waterworld'', and extended the video with a review of Jack Bros.
      • The second part to the Double Vision review omits "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and replaces it with different music.
      • The Super Mario Bros 3 and The Wizard video was edited to remove the review of The Wizard on the DVD.
      • The Indiana Jones Trilogy originally had the nerd mention the two different games based on the Last Crusade for the NES, one being made by Taito, which he didn't review, and another by Ubisoft, which he did review. A later update added in a brief review of the Taito game and revised dialogue with him talking more about it.
      • The Star Trek review replaced the Star Trek music from the Klingon fight scene with a similar-sounding version.
      • Dick Tracy was edited to include two new lines, responding to two key questions relating to the review, being why not just move away from the car, and how the health power-ups really work. The film footage at the beginning was replaced with stills from the movie.
      • Dracula removes the short bit where the Nerd compares the theme to Dracula: Crazy Vampire to Phantom of the Opera and Pink Floyd.
      • The first CDi video removes the teaser for the following two videos, and excises the Cold Open where the Nerd shows the stuffed Donkey Kong doll (though it's available as a standalone clip).
      • The other two CDi videos rearrange clips so the Cold Open appears elsewhere in the reviews.
      • The Wayne's World review edits out the Wayne's World and Borat footage for obvious reasons, though the uncut version is still on YouTube. The opening Aerosmith remix of the Wayne's World theme was replaced with the SNES version of the theme song.
      • The second Castlevania retrospective review removes the brief film clip from Son of Dracula and, sadly, the outtake after the credits.
      • The fourth Castlevania retrospective review removes the brief audio clip from the Shaft theme song.
      • The Action 52 review removes the reference to the fact that the title theme sounds like "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ E Z Rock.
  • Up to Eleven: This trope was quoted word-for-word by Nerd in the Part 2 of Sonic '06 episode.
  • Uranus Is Showing: "Sonic boom to the Moon and hadouken up Uranus!"
    • About the game "Analogic" during the Odyssey review:
      AVGN: It's supposed to take place in outer space. You each start on your own planet: I guess maybe Uranus and Myanus.
  • Vampire Episode: in an episode where he dresses up as Dracula and reviews various Dracula games, including Dracula for the Intellivision, the various console versions of Bram Stoker's Dracula, the unreleased Drac's Night Out game, and even Sesame Street: Countdown.
  • Verbal Tic: Watch any three episodes, and you'll notice, James says "But, no!" quite a bit. Usually after mentioning what you'd expect a game to do.
    • He also starts sentences with "Now,", especially in his 2006-early 2008 videos.
  • [Verb] This!: At the end of the Star Trek review:
    Metron: By sparing that shitty game, you have demonstrated the advanced restraint of mercy.
    AVGN: Mercy this, motherfucker! [shoots the Metron]
  • Video Review Show: He is so prominent in this domain that almost anyone else who attempts to do this has a high chance of getting a They Copied It, So It Sucks! reception. The spin-off series Board James differs from the main series in that it lies far on the "Show" end of the scale.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Notes this in Back to the Future Re-Revisited when most of the levels are the same running stage only colored differently. "Do they think we're idiots?"
  • Visual Pun:
    • During the Star Trek episode when a Klingon attacks, he asks: "You want Genesis?" *holds up a Sega Genesis* "You can have Genesis."
    • In the Winter Games episode, Nerd wonders why one of the events is called Hot Dog Aerials. Then his thoughts make the pictures of hot dog in the bun and an actual dog burning alive.
    • In the Action 52 review: "This game is shitting me." *cut to a picture of the Action 52 cartridge with the Nerd coming out of the back of it, while fart noises play*
    • In the LJN Video Art episode: "Okay, let's cut the shit." *cut to the Nerd doing exactly that*
    • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) episode: "The game is giving me shit!". Cue to the game literally giving him shit.
    • One the early Nerd's catchphrases "It's like puking on a pile of shit!" actually falls into this much later in the Toxic Crusaders episode.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: At the end of the Wayne's World review, he vomits water on the game? Either the Nerd had slime for breakfast or he doesn't eat solids.
    • In the movie, there's a scene where the Nerd projectile vomits over a game rep trying to convince him to review a sequel to the most despised game ever.
    • In the Toxic Crusaders episode, the Nerd goes double-duty by vomiting over the game while Lloyd Kaufman is shitting on it. Gross, but awesome.
    • In the Ghostbusters episodes, the Nerd talks mentions how when he was a kid, he and other kids were so excited to see the game coming to the NES that they shat their pants in excitement rocketed through the roof of their house. Cut to a drawing of two kids getting excited by the game and then blasting through the roof by the power of their shits.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having:
    No more shitty games... [...] I WON'T FUCKING HAVE IT!
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    • In his first Ghostbusters game review, he pondered why you're capturing ghosts if they're not harming anything, and asks: "Because busting makes you feel good?", a line from the Ghostbusters theme song.
    • This happens with the show's own Theme Tune in "AVGN: Christmas Carol":
      Nerd: Why are you seeing me?
      Ghost of Christmas Past: To take you back to the past!
      Nerd: To play some shitty games that suck ass? No thanks.
    • Also, from the Tiger Electronics episode: "Yeah, this Tiger sure rose up to the challenge of its rivals, had the guts, got the glory, went the distance, now it's not gonna stop! It's literally a survivor!"
  • Weirdness Magnet: The man himself, as he somehow keeps getting visits from random guest stars and running into supernatural occurrences every so often.
    The Nerd (while being visited by Pepsiman and the Pepsi drinker ad guy): How do these assholes keep getting in here!?
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: R.O.B. wants to turn all games into Gyromite and Stack-Up because the Video Game Crash of 1983 was a result of the market being oversaturated by shitty games. He tells the Nerd that in this new world, all the things he came to hate about games would be gone.
  • Wham Episode: Played straight and then subverted in the Desert Bus episode.
  • Wham Line: In Desert Bus: when the Nerd realizes that despite all of his work people are still making and playing shitty games, he goes into a Despair Event Horizon and tops it with four jarring words. "It's time to retire."
    • A more significant one occurs in Berenstain Bears: After spending the whole episode realizing that his memory differs from the timeline, the Nerd returns to his childhood home and encounters another version of himself in the attic. The new Nerd reveals the existence of alternate universes, explains that he's from another universe entirely, and reveals the truth of what he's been up to in his travels:
      Alt!Nerd: I wanted to go back, but it's all in vain! When two of the same person are in the same universe, it creates a paradox. The only way to restore balance: one of them has to die. I killed you.
    • After the Nerd reviews games based on Steven Spielberg's films and refuses to review the horrible E.T. game, a title card at the end says "To Be the AVGN movie.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In Wish List Part 2: When the Nerd plays a decent Spider-Man game, he looks to see who made it. He finds the LJN logo.
    • From Berenstain Bears, we have the alternate timeline Jason Voorhees removing his mask to reveal he's actually the Nerd from the Bloodstain Bears timeline.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: "Guitar Guy" (Real name Kyle Justin) died behind the Nerd's couch. Thankfully, the Nerd brought him back in the Ikari Warriors episode, along with the original theme song.
  • What Is This, X?:
    • In the Game Glitch episode, the Nerd is distracted by the Glitch Gremlin messing up Rocky Balboa (Bug-Eyed Balboa) and Spider Rico (Spider Rico with no jaw) on the Rocky PS2 game:
    AVGN: They're like zombies! What is this, "Rocky: The Undead Edition"? You are really one sick fuck, you know that?
    • In the Pong episode:
      AVGN: You get 4 different kinds of Pong, like...
      [The TV screen shows two walls with small holes replacing the paddles]
      AVGN: ...what the hell is this, Reverse Pong? Okay...
      [The TV screen shows one regular paddle at the left and an extra long paddle at the right]
      AVGN: Oh, now what's this? Asshole Pong? That's not fair!
  • What Were You Thinking?: Uttered very often, to no answer.
    • The Bill and Ted NES review finally gives us what LJN were thinking: they weren't thinking.
    • In the Desert Bus episode the Nerd responds with "Well this time we got an answer."
  • Wilhelm Scream: The Nerd gets one courtesy of Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 for saying "holy shit" in The Wizard and Mario Bros. 3 review. Apparently, while He's just as foul-mouthed as the Nerd, Super Mecha Death Christ won't tolerate blasphemy.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: In his Beavis and Butthead review, the Nerd wonders why his parents would name him Butthead, but then wonders if it was meant to be pronounced "Buh-theed".
  • Who's on First?: James and Mike do a variation with What's the Movie?
  • Work Info Title: The "Video Game" in the title clearly refers to the games the Nerd plays and rants about.
  • World of Ham: Many of the reviews only have the Nerd, but most of the characters who show up out-ham him.
  • World of Weirdness: The show is set in the Reviewaverse (technically noted as the first of the Reviewaverse), a universe of weirdness where fictional things and characters are real. And if you hadn't noticed how weird the show is, you absolutely haven't been paying attention.
  • Would Rather Suffer: A big part of his humor is describing all of the horrible, disgusting things he'd rather do than play shitty games.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: How Rolfe became The Angry Video Game Nerd instead of The Angry Nintendo Nerd.
  • X-Pac Heat: Invoked with the Nerd's unceasing hatred for LJN, aka The Rainbow of Death. They've earned this prejudice for several reasons. At the beginning of his Beetlejuice review, the Nerd addresses the argument that LJN is just a publisher, justifying his criticisms by pointing out that even such a fact doesn't excuse the bad quality of their games; as an example, he points out how this particular game was made by Rare, the same company that made great games like Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct, but whenever they made a game for LJN, it ended up just as awful as all the other LJN games.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Castlevania 1 review is rare in that it shows the Nerd actually enjoying a game for once. But then he gets knocked backwards off a platform, and the smile begins to fade...
    • The Nerd is ecstatic at the beginning of the Nintendo World Championships episode, as he believes he has purchased a box of games containing one of the incredibly rare original cartridges which would normally be unimaginably expensive. It turns out to be a dime-a-dozen reproduction cart. But at the bottom of the box, however...
      • Taken even further when he actually plays the game. He is not happy to find out that this ultra-rare, ungodly expensive game is actually just a very short compilation of other common games.
    • At the end of the first Terminator review, the Nerd said that they've gotten some really bad Terminator games out of the way, so from here on out, the Terminator games should improve in quality. But then he looks at the front of the Terminator 2 NES cartridge, where LJN's logo is shown, and gets a horrified look.
    • After beating Ghosts 'n' Goblins for the first time in twenty-five years, the Nerd just looks so happy that you can't help but smile with him. Then he learns that the game has to be beaten twice in one sitting to count as total victory. See Unstoppable Rage.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The 2007 Holiday special. He wakes up Christmas morning vowing that he will no longer play shitty games and only play good ones, but after playing Super Mario World for about ten seconds, he finds himself unable to stand it and goes right back to shitty ones, breaking out the Virtual Boy.
  • You Bastard!: Parodied. He calls his audience sick bastards for wanting to watch more of his review about Atari Pornography, with full awareness that he's even more sick for actually owning the games.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The Nerd's reaction to finding out that in order to find the last digit of a phone number in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure", you have to blast the phone booth symbol out into empty space to find two pink skulls that may or may not have the final digit.
    Nerd: You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! It's all the way out there?! Who would know to do that?!
  • Your Head A-Splode: Occasionally, he mimes this when he's especially confused by something. The best example would have to be at the end of his Rambo review, when he falls out of his chair.
  • Your Mom:
    • In his Die Hard review, as he's grunting insults while trying to punch out a villain after running out of bullets, he blurts out "Your mother!"
      • And "Your father! Your uncle! Your uncle!" as he replays it.
    • In the game glitches episode, after the Glitch Gremlin messes up the graphics, making the game difficult to make out, the Nerd tells the Gremlin "It's ugly... like your mom!"
    • The possessed NES during his Super Mario Bros. 3 review constantly said "Your mother!" after revealing itself.
      Possessed cartridge: "Your mother sucks cocks in hell!"
      Nerd: "...the fuck did you just say?"
      Possessed cartridge: "I said, your mother sucks cocks in hell!!!"
    • Also during one of his many deaths in his Silver Surfer review:
    "Aw fuck! Your mother!"
    • During his Dick Tracy review, he grunts "ugh, your mother!" while trying to grab a seemingly unreachable clue.
    • In the Ninja Gaiden episode, when he fails at one part in the game:
      "Ugh, your mother!!!"
    • Predator (NES) "is as ugly and dirty as this game's mom."
    • In Part I of the Castlevania-a-Thon, when he finally beats the first Castlevania, he triumphantly throws down the controller and yells, "Your mother!!" while brandishing a fist.
    • Part of his parody of the Friday the 13th game over screen is "Your mom's a fucking whore."
    • From the EarthBound episode, where he wonders how such a great game could have sold so poorly.
      Nerd: Some say it was because the game was overpriced, because it came with a Player's Guide inside of an oversized box. [beat] YOUR MOM HAS AN OVERSIZED BOX!
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the "Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle" episode, just when the Nerd thinks he has beaten Bugs Bunny into submission, an Iris Out starts occurring, about to signify the end, but Bugs pops the iris back open, indicating that he's not done yet, and the episode still continues.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: R.O.B. sought to recreate The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 and replace all games with Gyromite and Stack-Up, the only games he was programmed to play.


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