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Characters / Todd in the Shadows

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The man himself

  • Acceptable Targets: One would expect Todd, as a music critic on the Internet, to take cheap shots at popularly-hated acts. He does not. He owns up to liking some songs from certain performers people love to hate, he made his case against Justin Bieber very clearly (and even admitted that he didn't hate "Baby" as much as his other songs), and he even faked out the audience by pretending to have a deep-seated hatred of Barry Manilow before admitting he really had nothing against the guy.
    • However, he really doesn't like Chicago (the band, not the city - aside from the Cubs).
    • And he's pretty open about his loathing of Chris Brown (he even started this), but most people find this to be justified.
    • Though not talked about that much in his videos, he also really hates the band Nickelback, whom he often uses as a comparison for music he absolutely loathes (such as Chris Brown's verse in Look At Me Now). He explains his hatred of the band in his FAQ (short version: It's not that they suck, it's that they so consistently suck across such a long period of time).
    • Christmas music - he's sick of most Christmas songs due to how overplayed they are.
    • Todd also seems to think that people with mental illnesses are acceptable targets. Or at least that mentally ill people make bad music (Train's awful lyrics are the result of the frontman's schizophrenic aphasia, Bruno Mars' dramatic whining is caused by a need for Zoloft, Wyclef Jean's bizarre wailing on "We Are the World" was caused by a lack of psychotropic drugs, etc.)
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  • The Alcoholic: Quite possibly the most alcochol-prone member of the site. He mentions in an Q&A that he loves whiskey, and he drowns terrible songs with bourbon rather often.
    Paw: Hey, what's wrong with Todd?
    Kyle: He's drinking again.
    Todd takes a drink
    Paw: That's not good. We're still cleaning out the vomit from July.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: Downplayed; while he has a distinct persona, it only manifests in his interactions with other characters.
  • Ambiguously Brown: From what we have seen of him in the light, he has somewhat dark skin, but God only knows what his specific ethnicity is. Todd himself has turned this into a deliberate Running Gag.
    • He's said on Twitter that his mother emigrated from Mali, but that doesn't really answer the question.
    • After his review of "This Is America", the only thing concrete about his ethnicity is that he's "not black".
  • Author Appeal: Clips from The Simpsons appear quite a bit in his reviews.
    Todd: "All the Simpsons references in the world aren't gonna get me through this."
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  • Bad Boss: As part of his Alter-Ego Acting, he frequently berates his title card artist on Twitter.
  • Berserk Button: Todd absolutely hates Peter Cetera. He even compared him to a Bond villain at one point.
  • Bile Fascination: Invoked, out of character, with music and other media (in Green Lantern Lindsay and Todd said they went there to see why it's being reviewed so badly; in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, he says the two, plus Lupa and Lindsay's friends went there "because they need to see everything!").
  • The Blank: His title cards often depict him as this.
    • The artist who does the cards appears in one of Linkara's videos (Mr T #2) claiming that it's actually what he looks like. (And she also obscures her face online, as seen in her cameo in the "Applause" video)
    Krin: You guys know Todd doesn't actually have a face, right? The art is accurate! That a monster.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Apparently, Todd is a 13-and-57-year-old black, white, beige, chola, Lebanese, Oriental Asian-American girl with blonde hair who looks like Jim Carrey wearing a Danny DeVito mask with a Leno chin... as far as we know.
    • He even says the "You're black, white, beige, chola descent, you're Lebanese, you're Orient" part of "Born This Way" was written for him.
    • He said in the commentary for "Like a G6" that he "could be anything! You guys don't know!"
    • Lampshaded in his crossover review with Film Brain, which he does with the lower part of his face uncovered and in full lighting.
    Todd: Okay, look. Just because I have my hood on doesn't mean I'm gonna knife you. God, I'm so sick of the racial profiling!
    Film Brain: What race are you, anyway?
    • Backfires slightly when he tries to explain during his "Gangnam Style" review that he reviews pop music, not Internet memes. "Do I look like Daniel Tosh?" (Subtitle: Maybe?)
    • While admitting the running gag has been run into the ground, he confirmed that he is not of black ethnicity in his "This is America" review.
    Todd: I'm a lot of other things, but not black.
  • The Cameo:
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Todd takes one sip of beer during his review of "If I Die Young" and says:
    Todd: Don't usually drink beer. Someone get me a Mike's Hard Lemonade?
    • Actually, Mike's and beer have the same alcohol content. It's a joke based on the perception of Mike's as 'girly beer'.
  • Catchphrase: "Go away, x person! GO AWAY!", shouted at any artist whom he wishes would lose their career. The two biggest examples are Chris Brown and Ke$ha.
  • Caustic Critic: His venom is really intense.
  • Compassionate Critic: As the page quote shows, he really does enjoy pop music (it started when the only stations he could get in his car were either Classic Rock or Top 40 "and I didn't want to listen to "More Than a Feeling" ten times a day"), but feels the need to criticize the absolute worst.
  • Chaste Hero: According to Jesus in the "Just a Kiss" review.
  • Cool Mask: Todd dons a black one for public appearances, both in a full version when wearing his hoodie, where only the bottom of his nose and lips are visible, and what looks like a more casual half version that only covers his nose and up. (Possibly just to throw on quick for the ever-present vlog coverage the meetups entail.)
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Yep. His very name is Todd in the Shadows, he does all his videos in the dark, and he spends most of them raging. Yet while he's about as snarky as it gets before getting into Yahtzee territory, he's also pretty clearly a good, decent guy.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Despite "negative amounts of talent", Katy Perry appears on his Top Ten Singles of The Year three years in a row. Todd grudgingly admits defeat in hating her.
    "You win, Katy Perry. Marry me."
    • Ultimately subverted when Todd was happy that she was absent from his Best of 2012 video, and took the top spot of his worst of 2013 list.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Allegedly why he obscures himself.
  • Distressed Dude: When he tries to escape from the prospect of chick flicks, The Nostalgia Chick tapes him to a chair to a) hit on him and b) make him watch it with her. Later, she's apparently abducted him several times to try and make him love her.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: On the occasions when his whole body is seen he is barefoot.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: You can tell he really wants to express how he feels to Lupa, but is unable to do, unless he's drunk. Too bad he calls Lord Kat instead.
  • The Eeyore: In a funny way.
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: Linkara's invitation to do a joint review with Todd led to him spending the entire review laughing at the idea of reviewing a comic book. Once he finally stopped laughing at the very end of the review, he happily accepted the invitation.
    • When it comes time for Todd to do a joint review, though, this gets turned around on him, as the rest of the TGWTG crew soundly refuse to review Crossroads, From Justin to Kelly, or Body of Evidence with him.
      • And again in the ET review, where several other contributors show up to mock his taste in music.
    • While vilifying Peter Cetera yet again in his Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 1976, he makes it clear that he doesn't hate all similar soft rock acts. Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, and Richard Marx are fine by his book, but he stops just short of praising Michael Bolton along with the others (though still admits that he's better than Peter Cetera).
    • While reviewing Nick Jonas's "Jealous", he becomes very concerned when the chorus includes the line "it's my right to be hellish" and calls it creepy and possessive. Other than being a terrible rhyme, he thinks there could have been a better line other than that one.
  • The Faceless: Always reviews In the Hood and with his Face Framed in Shadow. Apparently, this is because when he began making videos, he was a newspaper reporter and was planning on getting a job teaching public school, and wanted to avoid professional repercussions; when the show took off instead, he kept the gimmick since it was already in place.
    • In public appearances (such as conventions and crossovers), he is on the light, but wears the Cool Mask mentioned above.
    • Toyed with in some videos shot by other producers. At times when he isn't wearing his mask (like on the Channel Awesome trip to Washington to meet with their elected officials), his face is edited out of the video by his friends.
    • For those desperately curious, he appears in full view in several shots of Lindsay Ellis' Epcot Drinking Challenge vlog, where neither makes any effort to conceal his face.
  • Face of a Thug:
    • When Film Brain first sees Todd in person, he immediately takes out his valuables and begs him not to knife him, due to the British association of hoodies with thuggish youth.
    • Later on, Critic being who he is, assumes that Todd is a "masked intruder" who wants to rape him.
  • Fanboy: Todd truly enjoys "Monster Mash", and more importantly, thinks that Bobby Pickett- Korean War vet, comedian, musician, actor, screenwriter- accomplished more in his life than Todd thinks he ever will. You can tell that he really does respect the man.
    • He used to call himself a Rihanna fanboy in his S&M review (or at least mentions that other people think he is). As of his Worst Hit Songs of 2012 review, he has stated that he's grown sick of her.
  • Fan Hater: invoked He really hates Team Breezy, if only for their refusal to admit Chris Brown has done anything wrong.
  • The Gadfly: His interactions with other reviewers often devolve into this. He deliberately baits Paw about Sia, he gets his viewers to send hatemail to Linkara, he destroys Rap Critic's property...
  • The Gimmick: His face is constantly obscured by shadows or masks. His main setup also has him filmed in profile, whether facing his piano or the TV.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Todd references this trope by name in the prologue to the TGWTG-upload of the "Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2009" review, saying that he was afraid he would come off as this for including three Beyoncé songs on the list.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Just check out his Twitter feed.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Guess who. As a Facebook discussion went:
    The Nostalgia Chick: Hehe... yeah Todd... you can YOU can... DO... what so many wish they... could. #right?
    Todd In The Shadows: Eh, I'm only into redheads.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: Inverted in-universe—He mentions the brief flak he got for admitting he liked Katy Perry, following it up with several fellow site members calling him out over it and one doing the same for stealing her hair.
  • I Can't Dance: Both discussed and demonstrated thoroughly in this slice of hilarity.
    • Also this. (discussed in Self-Deprecation, below)
    • In his episode of "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)", Todd opens by bragging about his musical talents... but the only thing he can't do is dance. He even trips trying to use the pedals of his piano.
  • In the Hood: And it's the same hood (which he's had for quite some time) for every review... until he forgot it in New York and had to buy another. One of the two was sold on eBay since Todd compiled several parking tickets in NYC. The crossover with The Rap Critic shows one Todd's mom made to him... with "Todd in the Shadows" written on the back! See more at Limited Wardrobe.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: To avoid doing a crossover with The Nostalgia Chick for Crossroads, he says, "I need to go wash my dog... fish...".
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: If what he said on What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? is true, yes, and it's yet another reason he always wears a mask.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's likable to the audience but obnoxious to most of his co-workers (and his title card artist), not to mention a hypocritical Stalker with a Crush. (in-universe, of course)
  • Limited Wardrobe: Not only he regularly wears hoodies and mask, or costumes over his hoodies and mask. In his "Suit and Tie vs. Thrift Shop" review, Todd considers parodying the fashion style... only to show his closet with less than 7 types of grey hoodies (all the hoodies he has wear previously), including "hoodless sweater".
  • Large Ham: Whenever Todd gets angry, and most of the times where he sings, he hams it up accordingly.
  • Loser Protagonist: He's miserable, lonely and antisocial, his romantic life is one woman he descends into stalking, and another who's equally crazy and unwanted in her pursuit of him, he has a Small Name, Big Ego problem, but also sometimes resents his job reviewing stupid music, and is obnoxious to (and so, disliked by) his co-workers. Still, somewhere among all this he's still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: His heritage... as far as we know.
  • Noodle Incident: Todd's more ambitious (and especially misguided) attempts to impress Lupa are brought up this way, with unexplained references to what they involved.
    Lupa: Why? What am I supposed to do with all these geese?

    Lupa: I have had live bunnies air-dropped onto my house. My front yard looked like the Cliff's Notes for Watership Down!
    • Pretty much the "DL Incident". Todd's dropped a few details but it remains (mostly) shrouded in mystery.
    • In his review of "Girl On Fire", he says "I haven't had to deal with this many girls on fire since I accidentally set the"... We never hear the end of the sentence as he gets distracted by what's going on in the video.
  • Reality Subtext: In-Universe, The Nostalgia Chick obsessively stalks Todd and he's barely aware that she exists. In real life, Todd and Lindsay were not only dating but they were described by their co-reviewers as "a sickeningly adorable couple".
  • Running Gag:
    • Todd's always-doomed attempts to romance Obscurus Lupa, which develop into making him a Stalker with a Crush, as well as his rejection of The Nostalgia Chick's attempts to romance him, which makes her a Stalker with a Crush for him.
    • Any comment that seems to pin down Todd's ethnicity is accompanied by the caption "As far as you know", or other mitigations. He's confirmed that he's not black, but not completely white either.
    • His "Finish the Rhyme" segment, though it hasn't seen use for a while.
    • "Not A Rhyme", which has been used recently (at times with a dedicated button on his keyboard, or a hashtag).
    • "Todd-stradamous" has shown up a few times - Todd seems unable to accurately predict the success of new acts. This usually comes up when a singer/band he thought would burn out pretty quickly either hits Number 1 or wins an award.
    • Most certainly NOT played for laughs, but Todd has now had to relocate to a new location for a 3rd time, because his roommate in the last location complained about him working, which he replied that he has to film while it's dark.
  • Screw Yourself: When asked on the forums what would happen if he traveled to a gender swapped universe and met his female self, he stated that: "Hot me-on-me action would be on the agenda, immediately."
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Any time Todd claims he lives an exciting, happy or sociable life, there's a cut to his normal life, which ranges from mundane to pitiful.
    • When listing off what's cooler than Mike Posner, he lists "Constantly self Googling," illustrated by a picture of himself at a computer. (He admitted in interviews that he does that.)
    • Reviewing "Firework" / "Born This Way", he says he no need for "pick-me-up songs" because he leads such a fantastic life. Cut to a clip of him sitting in front of his computer where he downs spirits, mopes for a while and tries to shoot himself in the head.
    • Todd recites the MST3K Mantra during the "Party Rock Anthem" review. In doing so, however, he endangers his very purpose for being, and he almost fades from existence.
    • In "Moves Like Jagger," he says at least moving like Jagger it's better than moving like Thom Yorke (referencing this) or... Moving like Soulja Boy (referencing Todd himself).
    • In From Justin to Kelly he mentions how he's been on a few "silly productions starring a bunch of not-actors."
    • Often Todd opens the video with a rant of him having to bash people more famous and successful than he.
    • His reaction to being featured on Good Job Internet? "Man, the AV Club really is going downhill."
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Breaks out mad vocabulary skills for his Deep Lyrical Analysis segments, especially for "Sexy And I Know it." He holds this out for six minutes before giving up.
    Todd: But, although the LMFAO oeuvre, as a whole, marks them as admirably resolute in their retro-classicism, it in turn makes the satirical elements of "Sexy and I Know It" out of touch and archaic.
    Todd: ...they lack the pure, almost method-actor conviction of the brilliant members of Rightly Said Frederick.
  • Shrinking Violet: Is this when it comes to interacting with fans.
  • Signature Style: At MagFest, apparently some people recognized that it was him playing a piano because of his piano playing style.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Parodied.
    • After describing paparazzi as the lowest of the low in the entertainment industry, he adds "Critics like myself are of course at the top."
      Todd: Because it's very important to [Lady Gaga's] career that [she] impress[es] me personally! [Beat] Yeah!
    • When pointing out Mike Posner's Embarrassing Last Name, one of his suggestions for making it cooler is "Mike in the Shadows".
    • He makes an inflated version of himself and his achievements in comparison to The Rap Critic in "Lighters".
    • He starts his review of "Applause" he talks about "an artist aiming to change the world... me. There is also Lady Gaga."
    • In fact, in most of his cameos throughout TGWTG, Todd tends to portray himself as this.
  • Sour Supporter: Whenever he teams up with Pushing Up Roses for an Let's Play, he's always this.
  • Stage Names: His IMDB profile shows Todd is not his real name.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Towards Lupa. During his review of "OMG" he repeatedly tries horrible pickup lines from the song on her until she finally threatens to get a restraining order. When he goes to his computer during the "Like a G6" review, we see that his wallpaper is picture after picture of Lupa.
      Lupa: Why haven't I blocked you yet?
    • His idea for a third anniversary crossover with her is to watch the Madonna erotic thriller Body of Evidence.
      Lupa: You want me to go to your room and watch a dirty movie with you?
      Todd: Well, I mean...
      Lupa: Todd, you could not possibly be any creepier than you are right now.
      Todd: You smell nice.
      (Lupa punches him and runs off)
    • All but confirmed in Lupa and Film Brain's review of Hercules in New York, in which he has been hiding under the covers of the other bed in her room since the end of the Sunday School Musical Review.
      Lupa: Stop stealing pieces of my hair!
    • Also, in the Grease 2 Nostalgia Chick review, his wallet is full of Lupa photos (including title cards!).
    • An episode of What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? has Lupa interrupting Nash when he talked about this to prevent him from giving Todd ideas.
    • In "Give Me Everything", after another attack, Todd goes "Think I might be wearing her down."
    • As of "Want U Back", the relationship was called off after their first date, though he's convinced it's her fault and not because they have nothing in common.
    • Todd is also the subject of this trope, with The Nostalgia Chick harboring a distinctly one-sided crush on him.
  • Troll: He created the "Trolling Chris Brown" tumblr page.
  • The Unreveal:
    • Several reviews have brief instances that show Todd in the light! He has his back to the camera and his hood is up, so we only see his feet.
    • Also, there's archive footage of him being given the Hannah Montana Guitar Video Game as a Christmas present. But there's a black face-silhouette with a white question mark inside covering his head. ("As you can see, the image has not been treated")
    • While he did walk around unmasked at MagFest, all of his on-camera appearances had his face masked.
    • In the blooper reel for The Last Airbender Crossover, when he takes off the mask his face is covered by "Image not available".
    • Starting with the Sunday School Musical review and Suburban Knights, he appears fully-lit and shot from the front... with a black mask pulled over the top half of his face.
    • In the review of Grease 2: as The Makeover Fairy poofs him over to Lindsay's house, she takes his mask off, but is terrified of what she sees and quickly puts it back on him. Of course, it was shot from behind him.
    • Even though Mr. Awesome Goes to Washington is supposed to be a serious piece on the TGWTG reviewers going to DC to complain about SOPA, they still point out Todd refuses to show his face and censor it throughout. (then... see below)
    • The Reveal: Accidental in the early, unfinished version of "5 O'Clock". Once Todd found out his face was being shown, he quickly took it off and replaced with a re-edited version. Same with the "Mr. Awesome Goes to Washington" above - Todd spent a good part unmasked as you cannot go to senators in costume, but Lindsay missed the censoring for just one second and had to pull it back. Also there's a part in his "Pompeii" review where the lighting is off and you can see his face under the hood. Check it out here.
      • This video shows Todd out of the shadows multiple times!
    • In To Boldly Flee he takes off his mask and shows his face to Nostalgia Chick and Obscurus Lupa. From their reactions, it's implied that viewing Todd's face reveals the viewers the true aspect of their own heart: Lupa is fascinated but Nostalgia Chick shrieks in horror.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds / Not So Different : Him and The Rap Critic bicker a lot and, oddly enough, both make a great team in crossovers.
    • Him and Lindsay are still great friends despite being broken up for several years, but they frequently make eachother suffer through awful movies and musicals.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Kind of... in "Black and Yellow", he names his city as "Bumfuck Nowhere, VA".note 
  • With Friends Like These...: He is this to the other producers. The only ones who are constantly trying to give him moral support are Kyle, Paw, Elisa and The Rap Critic.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Unbelievably so.
    Todd: I got identified as a Todd in the Shadows cosplayer today. Yep.
  • 0% Approval Rating: By his non-music related workmates, except the one who loves/stalks him.

Todd's Roommates

  • The Faceless
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Apparently, Todd did not regularly pay rent at his second place, which caused his roommates to kick him out.
  • No Name Given
  • Troll: According to an old Christmas footage, they gave Todd a Hannah Montana guitar game because they know how "he loves Hannah Montana".
    Todd: As soon as you turn off the camera, I'm beating the shit out of you.


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