Lindsay Ellis (born November 24, 1984) is a producer of web original content on YouTube who specializes in making video essays surrounding film theory and academia.
Initially gaining popularity as The Nostalgia Chick on Channel Awesome in 2008, she departed in 2015, discontinuing the title, but continued to produce content on YouTube under her own name until her departure and retirement in 2021. She initially started with a Spiritual Successor series titled Loose Canon, though she later moved onto producing miscellaneous video essays.
Lindsay's video essays are often very analytical, owing to her experience and Master's degree in film criticism. Her videos tackle various topics, from film technique, to feminist theory, to production history, and more, observing popular works including that of the Disney Animated Canon and Michael Bay's Transformers series.
In addition to her assorted essays, she has run a few series, mini-series, and written some books:
- The Nostalgia Chick, which ran from 2008 to 2015.
- Loose Canon, in which she analyzes and compares various fictional characters' different adaptation incarnations throughout time and media, started as the last episode of The Nostalgia Chick in late 2014. The series has been put on hold since 2017 as Lindsay began focusing more on assorted video essays, and is presumably defunct.
- The Whole Plate, a series exploring film studies and various fields of academia through the lens of the Michael Bay-directed Transformers Film Series. Started in spring 2017. Has been on an indefinite hiatus since 2018.
- A three-part duologynote revolving around The Hobbit film trilogy. Completed in April 2018. Nominated for a 2019 Hugo Award for Best Related Work.
- It's Lit!, a series made in partnership with PBS Digital Studios (presently on their "Storied" channel) with Lindsay as a regular writer and host, discussing various topics and tropes surrounding Literature. Currently on indefinite hiatus.
- The Viridian Saga, a parody of Twilight about romancing Cthulhu. So far, only the first book Awoken has been released, ostensibly written by Serra Elinsennote .
- Axiom's End, a novel about First Contact set in 2007, described by Lindsay as being "Michael Bay's Arrival", and book 1 of The Noumena Series. Released in 2020, with the sequel, Truth of the Divine, released in 2021, and a second sequel planned for mid-to-late 2023.
- MusicalSplaining, a podcast where she explains musicals to her friend Kaveh Taheriannote who dislikes musicals, inspired by their reaction to 2019's Cats movie adaptation. Now co-hosted by her co-writer and editor, Angelina Meehan.
Her blog is here, her official Facebook is here, her Tumblr is here, and her Twitter account (run by an assistant) is herenote .
On December 27, 2021, Ellis announced her departure and retirement from YouTube and content creation as a whole on her Patreon, though she maintained that she was keeping the door open for a potential comeback in the future. In 2022, that comeback came to fruition, this time on a creator streaming service called Nebula. Her first episode, "How They Adapted Lord of the Rings (The Good One)", can be viewed here Her entire back catalogue and other lost episodes, such as an episode on Tropic Thunder and another one on Blazing Saddles, can also be viewed via her profile.
Lindsay Ellis' videos provide and discuss examples of:
- Accentuate the Negative:
- Subverted; even with films she pans or outright thrashes, Lindsay tends to point out some positives within them, even if basically to say "there are elements to this movie that aren't the worst thing ever." With her video on Beauty and the Beast (2017), the fact that she's really struggling to find anything positive to say about it is an immediate sign as to how much she really doesn't like the movie.
- She outright defies this trope in the video on Titanic, declaring that she'll start making more "thing good" videos in future - and admitting that negative videos do tend to do better with YouTube's algorithms. She also takes the time to examine why people are so quick to bash something - highlighting that there is a vulnerability in admitting what you like as opposed to what you don't.
- Averted for Lindsay's "Into the Omegaverse" video, where she described the two lawsuits filed against Addison Cain for alleged abusive DMCA takedown notices against other Omegaverse authors, but tried to be fair and frame the lawsuits as generally entertaining while making minimum judgements about any parties involved (particularly Addison Cain) as a person. However, when Addison Cain started hurling bad faith DMCA takedown notices at Lindsay personally, Lindsay felt no such obligation to be as charitable for her follow-up video.
- In "Mask Off," Lindsay discusses the tendency in social media (particularly Twitter) for bad faith actors to take something someone says out of context, interpret it in the worst possible way, and then publicly shame the person and tout said out-of-context tweet or post as "proof" that that person was secretly an awful person all along and they deserve the public shaming and bullying they receive.
- She really has nothing to positive to add about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and barely dedicated three minutes to talk about the show. She even argues that there is nothing for the people to compare between the show and the cinematic trilogies in terms of quality and fidelity.
- Acceptable Breaks from Reality: The concept of scènes à faire is brought up in the video on the Omegaverse lawsuit: namely, the idea that a writer cannot be sued for simple plot points or genre elements because often, those plot points are expected in the genre. Just as a sci-fi writer can't copyright the existence of faster-than-light travel or laser weapons, an Omegaverse writer can't copyright the idea of a strong alpha-male love interest who woos the female lead with his forceful demeanor, because those are what people expect when they read trashy heterosexual romance, much less Omegaverse romance.
- Accomplice by Inaction:
- In "Why Borat Works Better in 2020," Lindsay theorizes that most Trump supporters (for all their bigotry) don't want actual bloodshed, but they're kinda fine if someone else suggests or acts on it. And she finds this dangerous, since it emboldens the openly hateful fringe to commit hate crimes thinking they have society's support, and many Trump supporters implicitly give that support by showing they're okay with random acts of violence against minorities and political enemies as long as it's no one they know and it doesn't happen in front of them.
- In "Mask Off," Lindsay briefly mentions that the alt-right, who generally sides with mainstream conservatives on protecting victims of so-called "cancel culture," were doing nothing but laughing at Lindsay getting "cancelled" by her own supporters, since they appear to like it when "the own eats their own." There's also glimpses at Lindsay's "anti-SJW" critics whose comments were basically "You deserve it," and at least once insisted she should have been "cancelled" earlier for her "Rape Rap" video.
- Actually Pretty Funny: In "Mask Off", Lindsay finds Mara Wilson's "gaykeeper" pun directed at her genuinely humorous.
- Adaptation Decay: In "Why is Cats", she explains that this and many other musical movies suffer from not accounting for the the different levels of suspension of disbelief between theatre and film. Movie adaptations of stage shows that try to be realistic often end up highlighting the unrealistic aspects. They can be consistently realistic, like Cabaret and Chicago, or abandon any pretense of realism like Moulin Rouge!, but Cats has attempts at realism like cat-like behaviour and real-looking, in-proportion sets, which makes the audience think about how little sense the set-up of cats singing songs and competing for cat heaven makes.
- Adaptation Expansion:
- Discussed as a bad thing regarding The Hobbit trilogy. While she believes making the original book into a single film would've made it feel too rushed, the last-minute decision to make it a trilogy instead of a duology caused a lot of problems, including a lot of needless padding. This includes the decision to introduce characters and lore from The Lord of the Rings in an effort to market The Hobbit as a prequel trilogy, despite it having very little consequence and involvement to the main narrative of Bilbo and the dwarves.
- Also discussed in Beauty and the Beast (2017), where in order to reach its increased length, "it pads itself out with a bunch of crap that goes nowhere," introducing elements to an otherwise tight story and making certain aspects unnecessarily messy.
- She notes that this was probably necessary in the case of Cats, since the original musical's plot was pretty deliberately flimsy, but notes that the final result didn't really fix the problem but just added more flimsy plot.
- Created two video essays venting about how this caused the downfall of the Game of Thrones series. She posits the first four seasons were great because they adapted the first four books, then season five dropped in quality as they struggled to find fringe material to work with, then seasons six through eight nose-dived and ended in a train wreck since they had to make up new plots wholesale.
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: She theorizes that many of the more nonsensical plot points in the ending of Game of Thrones resulted from the fake Aegon Targaryen being Adapted Out. A legitimate challenger and pretender to Dany's claim with Varys backing him from the beginning would make her anger far more reasonable, and she even claims that when she first read about "Faegon", her first thought was "well, this is gonna make Dany do something stupid." But with no Faegon, the only pretender is Jon Snow note , who doesn't want the throne and is all for Dany, but Varys is still backing him for spurious reasons and Dany still goes crazy.
- Adolf Hitlarious: Her video on Mel Brooks and The Producers examines their influential takes on this, as well as the general ethics and pitfalls surrounding satirizing Nazis and other taboo subject material in general. While she acknowledges the arguments as to how comedy can downplay the real horrors and threats the Nazis were, she notes that, unlike serious anti-Nazi works, The Producers has not presented an appeal to be co-opted by Neo-Nazi groups.
- Aesop Collateral Damage: In her video on Beauty and the Beast (2017), Lindsay deconstructs the film's attempt to address this trope in the original that only makes things worse. She's already uncomfortable from the film justifying the servants being cursed by openly framing them as regretful but accountable Accomplices by Inaction (which doesn't even make sense since what were servants exactly to do to stop a monarch?), but she's even more horrified by the fact the increased stakes of them turning fully inanimate when the last petal falls doesn't jive at all with Beast's decision to let Belle go, which the film never fully addresses as meaning he basically condemned them all to die.Lindsay: It turns the Beast's decision from a moment of personal growth into a trolley problem: whose life matters more? Maurice, or every living being in the goddamn castle?
- Alien Invasion: "Independence Day vs. War of the Worlds" goes into the origins and development of the genre, as well as exploring the various ways in which they can be depicted, specifically pulling Independence Day and War of the Worlds (2005) as examples.
- All-Star Cast: Discussed in "Why is Cats" as how this concept can go horribly awry. Not only was this symptomatic of a misguided push to make Cats into Oscar Bait, but the high demand of each cast member worked against the collective, revue-like nature of the story — instead of songs being groups of characters singing about each other, characters sing solos dedicated to themselves (often rearranging the music in the process), and the story had to contrive reasons for actors to minimize their time on set as to not eat into their busy schedules. In fact, she points out that one of the things that made the original Cats a success was that it didn't have any big stars, nor did it need them (why bother, when they'll be covered by thick makeup and lycra anyway?), which ended up giving it a long shelf life since performers could be swapped out at will.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Loose Canon focuses on more canonical reinterpretations of characters, though Lindsay likes to add her own interpretations from time to time for humor. In her episode on Santa Claus, she interprets Jack Skellington as a cultural imperialist, being "a well-meaning idiot who uses his position of authority to impose his midlife crisis, willing or no, both onto his polity and of a sovereign foreign nation."
- Ambiguous Syntax:
- In her Loose Canon on "Death", she briefly stumbles with this while introducing the character by the late Terry Pratchett:Lindsay: I saved the best for last because is I think few would argue that Terry Pratchett's deat—erm... the death of Terry Prat—oh my god, there's no good way to phrase that... Discworld!
- "The enjoyment of experiencing a story should not be ruined by knowing how it ends." Is she talking about the Game of Thrones showrunners' complete obsession with "subverting expectations" because they believed that if anyone could successfully guess how the show would end then it would automatically ruin the story for viewers, and thus prove it's not a very good story to begin with if the only thing it has to offer is a twist ending? Or their making an ending that no one could see coming was so notoriously awful that it ruined many viewers' enjoyment of re-watching the series now that they knew how badly it would end? Either way, it fits.
- In her Loose Canon on "Death", she briefly stumbles with this while introducing the character by the late Terry Pratchett:
- Angst? What Angst?: What she believes to be one of the main flaws of Jon Snow's character development. Despite the twist of his parentage effectively overturning his entire life—Ned wasn't his real father, but he was loved his entire life, the family drama that estranged Ned and Catelyn was steeped in a lie, and of course, the fact that he is a Targaryen—the only real thing to come out of it is that this means Jon is now in line to be king. Even his true family seem to care more about the question of whether Jon should be king, and as Jon immediately rejects the idea, it results in him feeling very static and having nothing to do.
- This is the basis behind The Whole Plate, using the Transformers Film Series as a vessel or launching point to discuss various subdisciplines of film theory, from auteur to feminist film theory.
- Discussed in "My Monster Boyfriend," pointing out how not only depictions of the archetypal "monster" shift over time to reflect anxieties of the worlds that created them, but that said depictions can be just as open to different interpretations as social climates and attitudes inevitably evolve.
- Discussed at length in the video about Bright, where she dedicates a whole section to exploring Tolkien's famous quote on the subject, and how it applies to modern fantasy and sci-fi as a whole. That is, she argues that all fantasy and sci-fi stories will inevitably have some degree of Fantasy Counterpart Culture to real societies whether the author intends it or not, because authors have to write what they know and audiences will see some of themselves in the fictional worlds. But on the other side of that coin, just because audiences can read some real-world applicability in fiction doesn't mean it was intentional on the author's part, nor that it's a one-to-one correlation.
- Clarifies some misunderstandings fans have had regarding her use of this trope in her "Independence Day vs War of the Worlds" review. When she says "an alien is never just an alien," that does not mean the alien is a direct one-to-one correlation either. Stories where the alien functions as an amorphous symbol for general cultural anxieties, attitudes, phenomena, etc can resonate long after the work is released because the meaning audiences draw from the aliens can change with the times. Meanwhile, creators that go out of their way to make an alien into a direct one-to-one correlation not only limit the storytelling, but can make the work an Unintentional Period Piece - like how Steven Spielberg went out of his way to depict the aliens as an allegory for terrorists, and his movie quickly became a dated Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie.Dakota Fanning: Is it the terrorists?
Lindsay Ellis: [winces]
- Appropriated Appellation: After Addison Cain failed to get Lindsay Ellis' "Into the Omegaverse" video taken down by claiming to Youtube and Patreon that "Lindsay Ellis is a menace," Lindsay spends the majority of her next video "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me" wearing a "Lindsay Ellis is a menace" t-shirt, and even offers similar pins in her giftshop!
- Less amused, Lindsay notes the irony that when two male pod-casters described Addison Cain as "drinking from the blood of her enemies," Cain was flattered and commissioned a work of art showing her doing just that... yet Cain has a well-known track record of taking legal action against other women for saying far less unflattering things about her.
- Armor-Piercing Question: In her episode on Marxism on The Whole Plate, Lindsay ends with her rejecting the idea that the pro-capitalist culture industry is only capable of producing complacent trash, which she can't get behind since she does believe it can produce true art. Tabby attempts a rebuttal, but then...Tabby: No! The products of the culture industry are hollow and meaningless! Smash!
Lindsay: Hey Tabby! Ya like jazz?
*beat, where Tabby awkwardly notices a Miles Davis CD and pushes it under a pillow*
Lindsay: Yeah, that's what I thought.
- The Artifact:
- She argues that one of the major reasons that Disney films of The New '10s tend to lack a traditional villain is that the old-school Disney villain became this in the Disney Renaissance — flamboyantly evil villains worked well in films like Sleeping Beauty because they were simplistic struggles of good versus evil, and when Renaissance films went a more character-driven route, it made those villains increasingly unneeded. Specifically cited are Hades and Doctor Facilier, who are entertaining villains in their own right, but add very little to the main conflict and themes of their films.
- She also cites the auction scene that leads to the raising of the chandelier at the beginning of The Phantom of the Opera (2004) as a case of this. In the original stage version, it doesn't really serve a narrative purpose (it doesn't tell the audience anything new or inform the story meaningfully), but that's because it's not meant to; it's a theatrical production and the play has a really lavish opening, and therefore the framing device is just a preamble meant to make sure that latecomers have time to get into their seats without missing anything, but early birds still have something to look at. The film maintains the framing device, but this preamble isn't nearly as needed in a movie, as its role is already filled by previews or opening titles. Consequently, the scene, and the various attempts to incorporate it further into the story, are just pointless filler.
- Ass Pull: Feels the later Game of Thrones seasons relied too heavily on these for the sake of "subverting expectations" and outsmarting viewers, but she feels what really takes the cake is Daenerys just snapping one day, burning a city of civilians alive, and becoming a fascist dictator after she'd been so consistently compassionate and pro-freedom.
- At Least I Admit It: In "Mask Off," Lindsay talks in great length about the harassment campaigns and bad faith criticisms that she and her colleagues have received over the years, from people of all political and ideological spectrums. In the early 2010's, it was mostly alt-right and "Diet Nazi" groups, while in 2021 it was more left-leaning spheres.note Late in "Mask Off," Lindsay confesses that in some ways she misses the alt-right harassment campaigns because at least they knew they were bullies, and she can respect that kind of honesty.
- Audience-Alienating Ending: Discussed as Lindsay's final point of critique in "The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes", arguing that due to the show's infamously botched ending, it retroactively sinks the rest of the show before it, as it became a journey constantly building up to a payoff that was ultimately unsatisfying.Lindsay: Making a case not just for this tragedy, but the endurance of tragic stories in general: Romeo and Juliet, Orpheus and Eurydice, we tell and retell these despite knowing how they're going to end. I bring this up because knowing how the show ends... are you going to begin to watch it again? What is the legacy of Game of Thrones going to be?
I think after the dust settles and all the hot takes are taken — and I recognize I'm probably at the end of this train — the answer is going to be "no". It's not going to be remembered for the journey we all undertook — it's gonna be remembered as a thing that was ruined by its ending, one of the greatest examples of that. Maybe ever.
- Author Appeal: The Disney Renaissance. Lindsay discusses this a lot in her videos, especially the years leading up to it, its rise in popularity, its decline (which she attributes to Pocahontas), and its downfall. She consistently posits that it started out strong but, due to being Strictly Formula, audiences quickly got tired of seeing the same movie over and over in favor of the more unique Pixar stories and subversive DreamWorks Animation.
- Author Avatar: She has a good time in her "Loose Canon" video on The Phantom of the Opera with pointing out that Andrew Lloyd Webber, a deeply talented but homely man working as a theater composer and, at the time, courting an ingenue with a beautiful voice who eventually left him, decided to adapt a story about a deeply talented but homely man working as a theater composer and courting an ingenue with a beautiful voice who eventually leaves him. She half-jokingly suggests that this is probably why the theatrical adaptation ends up playing up the romance a lot.
- Author's Saving Throw: Discussed and deconstructed in "That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast", which she asserts as creatively differing from the original "only to appease the pedantic f###s of Youtube with their decades of bad-faith criticism." She argues how in turn, most of the attempts to "correct" the "flaws" of the original only brought on by pedantic nitpicking actively made the story worse, occasionally offensively so.
- In her Loose Canon Two-Part Episode on Phantom of the Opera, Lindsay opens the second part by talking about a composer who becomes enamored of a soprano diva and writes a show for her to star in — specifically, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sarah Brightman.
- In her video essay on Phantom of the Opera, she talks about how the film world has trended in a realistic direction ever since one Michael Crawford starring musical. It seems apparent that she's referring to the titular musical, since Michael Crawford originated the role of the Phantom in the stage production. However, she is actually talking about the film version of the musical Hello, Dolly! which Michael Crawford also happened to star in as the clerk Cornelius Hackl.
- "The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical" opens with her talking about a big event movie in the summer of 2018 that everyone had been waiting for. It is accompanied by epic music and hints that she is going to talk about Avengers: Infinity War - but then she turns out to be talking about Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
- In her Loose Canon video on Hades, she builds up to talking about the Disney version of the character, leading us to believe she means Hercules - and then shows The Goddess of Spring.
- Based on a Great Big Lie: In her video on "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia", she notes that the archetype of the Creepy Crossdresser was most likely codified by real-life serial killer Ed Gein... except that Gein himself, by the accounts of everyone who actually sat down and psychoanalyzed him, was a heterosexual cisgender man who showed no signs of having ever crossdressed. Early press statements, particularly those released in Life Magazine, had made up the idea basically wholecloth, from talking to investigators throwing out wild guesses at the crime scene. By extension, this means that characters like Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill, who claimed to be drawing from real life, were actually basically fabrications.
- Beauty Is Bad: Already didn't like how Game of Thrones treated Daenerys in later seasons, but learning that the showrunners literally put in the script that audiences should dislike and distrust her (along with the other characters, particularly Sansa) because she was pretty just drove her over the edge.
- Becoming the Mask: "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (For Fun and Profit!)" has a long portion discussing the need to put on an affect of an accessible, engaging, and typically self-exaggerated personality in order to make a living as an online creator. While this is mentioned as being potentially damaging, Hank Green shares his thoughts on it as a creator during his interview with Lindsay:Hank: I'm trying to come to terms with the version of myself that I am on the internet. Ultimately I think that it's really hard to have that version of myself not also in fact be the real me, and so in this weird way where I've been held accountable to being a better person on the internet, I also just find that it's more comfortable for me to be a better person in real life, and to be really thoughtful and careful and aware of the impacts I'm having on other people. But there is no doubt that I am a different person on the internet than I am in real life and that I am very careful, and I don't think that there's anything inauthentic about that.
- Berserk Button:
- RENT, which she's discussed both as The Nostalgia Chick and herself, comparing it to Reality Bites and an unironic version of "Threw It on the Ground". The angriest she sounds on her videos comes from a long rant at the end of her video on it, speaking about RENT's naive, pointless and self-centered brand of "sticking to the man".
- In her Loose Canon video on 9/11, Lindsay takes several jabs at 9/11 conspiracy theorists, and looks like she's struggling to contain her anger when she first mentions the subject.Lindsay: I don't know what your reaction is when the topic or image of 9/11 is mentioned. It could be grief, it could be indifference, it could be a... conviction that jet fuel can't melt steel beams, and if you're... anything like me, blinding, white-hot rage that that phrase is even still a thing that people... take seriously...
- Best Known for the Fanservice: Discussed and deconstructed with Mikaela Banes from Transformers, pointing out how because the camera is so focused on Megan Fox's body, viewers completely forgot her genuine but relatively out-of-focus character arc and personality and assumed that she was a purely mindless piece of eye candy. Lindsay even points out the scene where Mikaela snarks to Sam about not being taken seriously because she's a girl and recognizing something's unusual with his car... which is frequently remembered as just "Megan Fox bending sexily over a car."Lindsay: Mikaela Banes is the embodiment of what remains with the audience through cinematic language: Framing and aesthetics supersede the rest of the text. Always, always. Always.
- Better than a Bare Bulb: Lindsay discusses this in "That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast", mainly how post-Iger Disney loves to not only repackage and recapitalize on their identifiable brand, but also make metatextual commentary on it, i.e. self-deprecatingly Lampshading and deconstructing the hell out of themselves. Lindsay is audibly annoyed by its prominent use in Enchanted and Frozen, and she's especially annoyed by its presence in Beauty and the Beast (2017), which she sees as only existing to satisfy overly-nitpicky pedants, consequently sucking out all of the imagination and magic of the source material and resulting in attempts to address perceived Plot Holes and Fridge Logic that only create actual, even bigger Plot Holes and Fridge Logic.Belle: I'm talking to a candle...
Lumière: Cande-labra, please!
Lindsay: Yep, that's weird! Glad you pointed out how unlikely that is so I can take off the million layers of logic armor in which I have adorned myself so I can suspend my disbelief. We can't leave things to peoples' imaginations, they they might go make an internet about it.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lindsay and her crew have a lot of fun showcasing Addison Cain's well-known tendency to publicly portray herself as a Nice Girl who totally didn't know about her publishers going after other Omegaverse writers for Copyright Infringement, but in private it turns out she did just that.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (for Fun and Profit)" is a video entirely about discussing the creation of parasocial creator/audience relations intended to market products, and the fact Lindsay says this while being sponsored by Squarespace is not lost on her, semi-jokingly interjecting her video with Enforced Plugs. It helps that she never tries to frame it necessarily as "thing bad," just "thing exists, and thing is part of a system that you may not even be conscious of."
- Brainy Brunette: Lindsay has black hair, and her videos are considered very intellectual and intelligent by YouTube standards.
- Broken Aesop: Lindsay tends to frown on films that posit a socially progressive message while undermining it with their own script and/or cinematography.
- She's rather discouraged that Michael Bay's first Transformers film is feminist-friendly on paper, with Mikaela struggling to be taken seriously by male characters who look down on her because of her looks and gender, despite her knowing more about cars than all of them in a film about cars, only for the film's cinematography to undermine her struggle by framing her as the very disposable sex object men see her as, causing audiences to dismiss her as a disposable sex object too.
- She comes down hard on Bright for paying lip service to "racism is bad" by using Fantasy Counterpart Culture Fantastic Racism against orcs... only to put in lots of in-universe justifications for racism against orcs and real minorities alike. Like revealing that orcs sided with The Dark Lord centuries ago (just as, apparently, racism against Mexicans stems from The Alamo?), and all orc characters apart from Jakoby being portrayed as ghetto trash or gang-banging criminals who shoot the heroes whether they help them or not, framing racism as a reasonable, logical, rational reaction to minority behavior.
- War of the Worlds (2005): Ray's culminating character moment is presented to be when he learns to let his son go to fight the aliens, but Lindsay argues this moment "came out of nowhere" since Ray is established to be an inadequate, neglectful father, and his son consistently shown to be a wrong-headed Too Dumb to Live Jerkass who needed proper guidance on how to be a proper man. So when the alien invasion hits, the film seems to be leading the audience to believe Ray will step up and "be a goddamn dad for once," and the son will learn not to be so blindly vengeful toward the aliens. Instead, the dad learns to "let his kid go" and his kid promptly (seemingly) dies seconds after. She compares it to Finding Nemo, where Marlin is overbearing and overprotective, so learning to let go makes sense — whereas with War of the Worlds (2005), it contradicts all prior character set-up, and has an emotionally unsatisfying pay-off.
- Much of her disgust with the final seasons of Game of Thrones comes down to this, with her pointing out the show's abandonment of its prior messages. The greater threat of the White Walkers that overrides petty politicking is resolved by knife-wielding Arya just stabbing the Night King, the struggles of the smallfolk get sidelined in favor of Easy Logistics and the aristocrats doing everything, and the toxic patriarchy of Westeros is reinforced by having every female leader who isn't an emotionally dead abuse victim be driven mad or killed off.
- Bullying a Dragon: How Lindsay frames Addison Cain trying to have her "Into the Omegaverse" video deplatformed in her follow-up video, "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there." Addison Cain may be a "very successful author" in the fanfiction and niche dubcon hetero Omegaverse erotica community, but Lindsay Ellis is a New York Times best-selling author, a twelve years successful Youtuber, and one of Patreon's biggest breadwinners. Lindsay notes how in the past Cain could easily drum up fans and lawyers to steamroll smaller authors (particularly self-published erotica authors whose careers live or die by reputation), but Lindsay has plenty of fans and resources and will not be bullied into taking down an opinion video that is protected by Fair Use.
- But Not Too Gay: Not a fan of this trope.
- She's livid how Beauty and the Beast (2017) portrayed LeFou, the first "out" gay Disney character. That is, the only gay thing about him that isn't strictly subtext is one blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene at the end where he briefly dances with another man in the closing ballroom dance number.
- She notes in her RENT review that Chris Columbus clearly wasn't "comfortable" with the beta gay couple he was adapting from theatre, so he employed Flawless Tokenism to make them more bland and down-to-earth than their straight co-cast, and their interactions in the movie as more friendly than outright romantic.
- Criticizes Cats for taking Mr. Mistoffelees and the Rum Tum Tugger, two characters implied to have a thing for each other in various productions of the musical, and making them both crush on Victoria.Lindsay: For all the other terrible cat puns and figures of speech that they added in the movie, I'm surprised they didn't add something about how, like, Rum Tum Tugger loves da pussy.
- Casual Kink:
- In her video covering Joel Schumacher's film adaptation of "the Phantom of the Opera", Ellis criticizes the Phantom's confusing rope work on Raoul by stating, "I have been deliberately tied up in more compromising positions than this."
- In the Loose Canon episode on Death, she briefly mentions some of the translation issues discussed in a previous episode on Hades. She even lampshades it with "Continuity!"
- In her video on Bright, she snarks at the film's use of "urban gangsta flava," a term she popularized years earlier during her review of Sister Act as The Nostalgia Chick.
- Capitalism Is Bad:
- Holds this view in terms of the process, especially in the third part of her Hobbit trilogy, where she all but states that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism. That said, as pointed out in several videos, she doesn't believe that no good can come out of what capitalism produces, including its art and media. With regards to Transformers:Lindsay: There is a big problem in nerd communities with coming to terms with the fact that a product they kind of love is only exists for gross, hyper-capitalistic Reagan-y reasons. Personally, I do not care. I buy my Starscreams, I read my comics, and I can still talk about the fact that the series only exists due to deregulation designed to target children and benefit big businesses.
- An odd example is brought up in The Whole Plate's episode on Marxism. She points out that the Transformers Film Series, while not directly critiquing capitalism, do have a surprising amount of anti-capitalist themes, which is surprisingly common in many Hollywood films (hence the popularity of Corrupt Corporate Executive villains) despite Hollywood itself being a massively pro-capitalist machine. This paradox is at its peak in Transformers: Age of Extinction, which has both the most explicit Product Placement in the series, and also the most definite themes of class struggle between the heroic, down-on-his-luck entrepreneur against the villainous, exploitative Captain Ersatz of Steve Jobs (who is still framed as forgivable due to him only being so from a government agent influencing him, and is even redeemed in the end).
- Holds this view in terms of the process, especially in the third part of her Hobbit trilogy, where she all but states that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism. That said, as pointed out in several videos, she doesn't believe that no good can come out of what capitalism produces, including its art and media. With regards to Transformers:
- Celebrity Voice Actor: "How Aladdin Changed Animation (by Screwing Over Robin Williams)" is a close examination of the casting Robin Williams as the Genie in Aladdin, what Lindsay argues is the Trope Maker (though not necessarily the most egregious or even codifying instance) of this publicity-driving trend in animated films which continues to this day.
- Censored for Comedy: "Into the Omegaverse" starts with a Dramatic Reading of some extremely graphic Omegaverse fiction, with the worst bits comically bleeped out.
- Character Derailment: Created a two-part video essay (with part two being her longest film to date) lamenting this trope for the last few seasons of Game of Thrones. That is, in the later seasons most characters clutch the Idiot Ball and/or Jerkass Ball harder and harder until they shattered the whole series.
- Chekhov's Gun: She has a video explaining the concept as "Planting and Payoff", pulling examples from Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Clueless Aesop:
- Another reason Lindsay detests Bright trying to tackle racism with its Fantastic Racism against orcs as a Fantasy Counterpart Culture allegory to real racism. It's a mindless action movie about two cops trying to keep a magic wand away from an Apocalypse Cult, so it can't give the topic the complex, nuanced discussion it deserves. Not only that, but the racism subplot is completely inconsequential to the main plot, themes, characters, and world-building (such as there are), so why bother having it to begin with?note Lindsay: Racism is bad. Orcs are oppressed. Now here's a movie about some cops playing keep-away with a magic wand for 90 minutes.
- While she still generally likes the film, Lindsay also finds this a significant problem with War of the Worlds (2005). She finds that it begins strong as an examination of how in light of an apocalypse Humans Are Bastards, but didn't have a satisfying resolution in mind, suddenly going into a "The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People" scenario apropos of nothing by the ending.
- Game of Thrones Hot Takes", Lindsay takes down the moral lesson at the end of Daenerys' final character arc, and by extension the conclusion of the show. Her inexplicable Jumping Off the Slippery Slope is used to 1) make a statement about how power corrupts, which doesn't make sense since she's been in power for quite a long time before it, and 2) retroactively reframe her originally noble morals as always being a logical predecessor to her self-absorbed despotism, implying that regardless of actual morality, the mere act of committing to morals is enough to mark a turn to villainy as inevitable — punctuated by framing the apolitical, emotionless, and ideology-devoid Bran becoming the new king as hopeful and righteous.Lindsay: "Believing in a righteous cause turns dangerous if you believe in it too hard." And really, in the year of our lord 2019, does that add anything of value?In "The Last of the
- She argues that part of the reason the film adaptation of RENT didn't really work was the choice of Chris Columbus as a director, a guy who took some already milquetoast revolutionary ideals and clearly had no idea what to do with them, resulting in a confused final product. She particularly cites the fact that the instigating plot is a black landlord trying to kick out white tenants in New York, when anyone familiar with New York at the time will tell you that the exact opposite was true.
- In "Loki, the MCU, and Narcissism", Lindsay assesses that Loki (2021) fell into this by way of being a direct examination of Loki's narcissism and how it motivates his actions, but given that the series ironically depicts him as the least narcissistic he's ever been in the MCU, he isn't really given a lot in the way of showing him growing past the issues he's insisted to have (in turn implying that by the end of the story, he simply "got over" a personality disorder). However, Lindsay does acquiesce that this was at least partly necessary for the series to preserve its actual superhero plot, and that it overall does a decent job at least confronting the audience on how they perceive narcissism as a real disorder, even if it lacks a good answer.
- Another reason Lindsay detests Bright trying to tackle racism with its Fantastic Racism against orcs as a Fantasy Counterpart Culture allegory to real racism. It's a mindless action movie about two cops trying to keep a magic wand away from an Apocalypse Cult, so it can't give the topic the complex, nuanced discussion it deserves. Not only that, but the racism subplot is completely inconsequential to the main plot, themes, characters, and world-building (such as there are), so why bother having it to begin with?note
- Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Her video on the Omegaverse lawsuit featured some excerpts from various works in the genre, which were mostly comprised of these.
- Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Back when Lindsay was still The Nostalgia Chick she would often be asked to review more "girly" properties. This led to her review of Jem and the Holograms, admitting afterwards it was not a show she watched when she was a child. In fact, Lindsay admits most entertainment marketed for girls didn't really appeal to her (like her long standing explanation of why she will never talk about Sailor Moon), and may have been part of the creative differences she had with Channel Awesome.
- Convicted by Public Opinion: In "Mask Off," Lindsay discusses in length how this is all too common in social media spheres since it's too easy misinterpret or take someone's post out-of-context, and through Gossip Evolution the poster gets built up as a terrible person who deserves to be villainized and harrassed.
- Corpsing: A common trait in her videos. A few examples:
- At the end of "The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical", she breaks into laughter after inserting Venom dialogue into the "tears in the rain" monologue from Blade Runner.
- From the beginning of "Into The Omegaverse", we have this:Lindsay: Hey everyone! Get set to get wet becau- [breaks down laughing]
- "Love Never Dies: A Magnificent Musical Trashfire Sequel to Phantom of the Opera" is almost entirely corpsing as she struggles to deal with how ridiculously awful it is.
- Creator Backlash: Loose Canon has become this for her after having to deal with annoying fans asking her why she didn't cover specific incarnations of whatever character is the subject of the episode (Loose Canon is a broad overview of each character and only covers notable or important versions of them). The series has since been put on hold, though she reportedly still has future plans for it.
- Creator Cameo: Co-writer and editor Angelina M. occasionally makes appearances in videos.
- In "The Problem of Lady Robots" of The Whole Plate, she is shown as a newcomer to the Transformers franchise unaware of the raging debate over female Transformers and becoming more horrified by just how many results on this topic turn up on Google.
- In "The Hobbit: Battle of Five Studios", she delivers the "studio" edict that they are now making three videos instead of two.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Discussed in "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia". Lindsay points out that if a thriller's big twist is the Serial Killer being a crossdresser (as in Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs), that’s probably the only thing about the work that most people will remember (if they watched it) or hear about (if they didn’t). Even if the writer(s) try to avoid sending a transphobic message by having a character directly state that the killer is not trans and that actual trans people aren’t dangerous killers, this clumsy disclaimer will not stick with the viewers; all that they’ll take away from the story is that anyone who doesn’t conform to society’s gender roles is creepy and potentially dangerous.
- Critical Backlash: Her video titled "Is Titanic Good, Actually?" answers its own question right from the thumbnail: Yes, with the rest of the video essay itself exploring the Hype Backlash against the movie to argue that it was indeed worthy of the acclaim it received.
- Crossover: Subverted for laughs in "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia". Lindsay says it was going to be a crossover with Natalie Wynn of ContraPoints, but that Natalie stole all of her talking points for her "J.K. Rowling" video. We see a brief phone call between Lindsay and Natalie, where Natalie sweetly and forcefully declares she's going to take the topic of Psycho for her video, and so Lindsay declares a public YouTube feud with Natalie instead, with merchandise pins for either side to boot for a charity contest (Natalie ended up winning). Later, she riffs on jokes from Natalie's videos, calling it retaliation.
- Darker and Edgier:
- Is skeptical that the "Golden Age of Television" (2000's to present day) is really due to prime time television shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Dexter, and Game of Thrones really being better-written than popular shows in decades past, and suspects it's more because they're more gritty, violent, and sexually charged than their predecessors, and the perception that True Art Is Angsty.
- Likewise, the common perception that A Song of Ice and Fire is a Deconstructor Fleet to more idealistic High Fantasy tropes only really holds water if the only modern fantasy story you really know is The Lord of the Rings. That said, A Song of Ice and Fire is indeed Darker and Edgier than The Lord of the Rings.
- Death of the Author: She discusses this theory at great length in a video of the same name, touching on its history and the various shortcomings of actually practicing it.
- Deliberately Monochrome:
- The section on the rise of the television in "The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical" is in black and white as she explains the mindset of a housewife in the Fifties.
- A few portions of "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (for Fun and Profit)" repeat this for dramatic effect.
- Depending on the Writer: The focus of Loose Canon, taking well-known characters throughout media and exploring the various ways they've been interpreted by various creators.
- Depraved Bisexual: She dislikes Maureen from RENT as an emotional abuser who gaslights all her partners and will sleep with Anything That Moves, "because bi."
- Designated Hero/Designated Villain:
- Game of Thrones seasons for framing the Starks as heroic even though they become just as ruthless and "Fuck anyone who's not us" as the Lannisters, due to Character Derailment. Also, for vilifying Dany for being "too extreme" in her quest to free slaves and the oppressed people of Westeros, when (until she snaps and commits war crimes for no reason) Dany employed the same amount of Good Is Not Soft and Pay Evil unto Evil as the Starks. Absolutely rips into the later
- RENT gets a lot of criticism about this. She points out that the main characters decide not to pay rent for no reason other than they feel like they shouldn't have to, and their conflict between choosing to "sell out" and stay true to their art not only makes them seem unrealistically naive in the real world, but also pretty petty and self-involved, as the movie had the plots about the AIDS crisis and homelessness, both of which they don't seem to care for enough.
- She finds Erik in Love Never Dies a weird mix of both. She points out that his actual bad behavior—murdering multiple people, kidnapping Gustave and threatening to murder him too—ends up glossed over to frame him as a romantic hero and Christine's true love, but the show attempts to frame Meg's descent into violence and instability as partly his fault (so that losing Christine is tragically a result of his desire to have her in the first place). Except Meg and the Phantom don't interact before the end, and he repaid her and Madame Giry for the rescue by making them part of his very popular and profitable business, so textually, he hasn't done anything to Meg besides not fall in love with her. (While there is a verse in Meg's mental breakdown/villain song that strongly implies she had to turn to sex work to get enough money to open his show and it was horrible, it's presented as totally new information—it's not as though the Phantom asked this traumatic thing of her and then cast her aside, he didn't even know about it until this song.)
- Development Hell: After consistently making episodes of The Whole Plate from April-September 2017, Lindsay put the series on hiatus due to "technical reasons", starting back up again at the end of June 2018. It promptly went back into this again after two more episodes, the reason being that the later episodes are into more controversial territory, planned to be held off for release until sometime later.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In "Mask Off," Lindsay discusses how easy this is to do on social media; to take a carelessly worded tweet out of context and present it as "proof" of the poster's inherent bad moral character, and thus any dogpiling, villainizing, and harrassing that follows as deserved because it's "holding them accountable for their actions.""So the problem with making a big thing out of this tweet, which at worst could be considered an unintentional microaggression, made the outraged reaction to it kind of hard to justify. Which is why we need to establish a history of my offenses to bolster their case. And this is where the list of sins comes in. I'm trending on twitter for two days, there's all this discourse, so of course people are going to have second thoughts, like, 'Why are so many people talking about this? Maybe this is has gotten out of hand? Maybe the backlash wasn't worth the original sin?' And here comes Dragon Celeste and hundreds like her like, 'Ah, no! Don't worry. This is accountability... So you don't need to feel bad about hounding her because she deserved it."
"If you just say the right thing, we'll leave you alone. If you just behave in the way we're asking, we'll make it go away. If you'd just apologize, we'd just stop!"
- She points out that the denouement of X-Men: The Last Stand and Game of Thrones where a noble pouting hero has to murder an emotionally unstable fallen heroine in narrative terms is not far from the logic of domestic abusers since the narrative is focused on the manpain of heroes who are reluctant but have no choice but to brutally murder women for the greater good. "Don't you see I had to do it? Why did you make me do it?".
- In "Mask Off," Lindsay discusses how some Twitter circles regularly dogpile and harass content creators in the name of "holding people accountable for their actions," but really come across as bullies invoking Why Did You Make Me Hit You?
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The example of American History X gets invoked in her discussion of satire, pointing out that while the film does portray neo-Nazis as bad people, it does so using a lot of the same visual language as Nazi propaganda, which has the side-effect of making them look... well, kinda badass. On the other hand, one of the places where she undeniably praises the satire in The Producers is that it's impossible to look at the Nazi character and imagery in that film and find them worthy of emulation — the Nazi is a pathetic, delusional buffoon, and the imagery is campy farce and tacky costumes with a drugged beatnik playing Hitler. Lindsay also notes that unlike Cabaret's chilling "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", the goofy "Springtime for Hitler" has not been co-opted into a Neo-Nazi anthem.
- Don't Fear The Reaper:
- Her Loose Canon episode on Death as a character runs into this quite a bit, with various Deaths being sympathetic and caring like in The Sandman (1989) or in The Twilight Zone's "Nothing In The Dark", having a comical side like in The Seventh Seal or Family Guy, having a character arc like in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey or Discworld, or some combination of the three.
- The topic is revisited in an episode of It's Lit, more directly exploring the reasoning behind the anthropomorphization of such an abstract concept in the first place.
- Dramatically Missing the Point:
- One of the core reasons she loathes Beauty and the Beast (2017) is that by making so many pointless and sloppy changes to pad the run time and appease pedantic nit-pickers is that by doing so it completely misses the point of the original story. She feels it takes what should be a simple story about love, forgiveness, redemption, and discovering your best self, and then turns out a sloppy mess that is so concerned with bowing to every scrap of criticism (no matter how nit-picky) that it completely loses sight of what the original story was even about.Lindsay: So on the one hand, there's this bid to make Gaston kind of more sympathetic by implying he has PTSD[...] Look, Gaston doesn't need damage. He's the high school jock everybody admires. He's a hunter. He doesn't need to be more than that. He just needs to be a big handsome dummy everybody admires because he's arrogant and good-looking, because that tends to be how it happens in the real world and that's kind of the point of the movie [...] [In this version] The town is more skeptical towards him[...] WHYYY add this? Why can't Gaston be genuinely admired by a small town who was taken in by a good looking guy who was secretly internally monstrous? Why do we need to make the town both more bigoted AND more sympathetic? They're a poor provincial town! They're basic! They take everything at face value, including Gaston, Belle, and the Beast, THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT! I hate it.
- Argues that the show creators of Game of Thrones similarly completely missed what makes A Song of Ice and Fire compelling for readers. Yes, it's a Darker and Edgier Deconstructor Fleet to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings with tons of Family-Unfriendly Violence and Black-and-Grey Morality, but she argues that underneath all the gritty realism are glimmers of hope and humanity as Sympathetic P.O.V. characters try to navigate through a Crapsack World and hopefully eventually Earn Their Happy Endings. However, the show creator's only takeaway seemed to be "cruelty, darkness, and violence = good. Kindness, hope, and optimism = bad," and not only did the show embellish the violence, rape, and mean-spirited cynicism in the books, but framed the Stark family's overall kindness as weaknesses that they needed to overcome, made the Starks no better morally than the Lannisters, turned Dany's noble goal to free the oppressed people of Westeros as an inevitable prelude to evil, and created Too Bleak, Stopped Caring. She also argues that the showrunners' only lesson from early seasons was "subverting expectations = good," even though in early seasons there was plenty of foreshadowing for the viewers that things might not go well for the characters. The surprise came from the characters themselves being Wrong Genre Savvy only for Surprisingly Realistic Outcome to bite them in the ass, yet the showrunners went out of their way in later reasons to increasingly rely on Ass Pulls to "subvert expectations" for short-term shock value without understanding what made them emotionally satisfying for audiences in early seasons.
- In the Omegaverse Lawsuit video, Lindsay ends with the point that the coverage of the lawsuit ended up focusing on the weird and kinky aspects of the genre itself, and ended up not sufficiently covering the fact that the whole process was a blatant example of the flaws of copyright law, and how it's weaponized by certain authors and companies against smaller creators.
- One of the core reasons she loathes Beauty and the Beast (2017) is that by making so many pointless and sloppy changes to pad the run time and appease pedantic nit-pickers is that by doing so it completely misses the point of the original story. She feels it takes what should be a simple story about love, forgiveness, redemption, and discovering your best self, and then turns out a sloppy mess that is so concerned with bowing to every scrap of criticism (no matter how nit-picky) that it completely loses sight of what the original story was even about.
- Edutainment: Lindsay aims to have her video essays be presented with a perfect balance of information and levity, so as to make them informative, as well as entertaining in their own right.
- Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: Discussed in "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia." Lindsay discusses how the archetype of the Creepy Crossdresser Serial Killer (like Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill) largely sprang from sensationalist journalists blaming Ed Gein's real-life serial killings on supposed "unnatural" feminine leanings like wishing he was a woman and killing those women because he resented them being what he wasn't. Even though this was thoroughly debunked, it set the stage for mainstream media journalists and fiction-writers to blame violent misogyny of women on women and femininity. To imply that men (and/or trans women) who hate cis women do so because they're excessively feminine themselves, and/or want to compete with or replace women, not because society teaches cisgender heterosexual men and women to revere "strength" and cruelty as masculinity and to DESPISE women and femininity.
- End of an Era: Being a film school graduate and avid cinema history buff, Lindsay likes to discuss these a lot.
- In "The Death of the Hollywood Musical," Lindsay discusses the history of the big, lavish, lighthearted Hollywood movie musical popular from The Roaring '20s to The '50s. As American society became more jaded (thanks in part to the aftermath of WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Cold War with Russia, as discussed in "Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about N@zis") people felt less invested in big, lavish, extravagant musicals catering to an emotional innocence no one felt anymore, and favored more edgy, revolutionary, counterculture films and anti-musicals (like Cabaret). The Box Office Bombs of Camelot, Doctor Dolittle, and Hello, Dolly! were the end of the Big Hollywood Musical Era.
- In "Are Disney Villains Going Extinct?", Lindsay discusses the history of how big, iconic Disney villains lost relevance. In classic films from when Walt Disney was alive, most movies were simple good versus evil stories where the villains acted as the evil for the heroes to defeat. In the early Disney Renaissance, villains manipulating teenage protagonists searching for a coming-of-age sense of identity for their own ends also worked, but by the late Renaissance and early Revival, Disney villains had become The Artifact. By the early Disney Revival, Dr. Facilier and Mother Gothel were the last of their kind.
- In a number of videos, Lindsay also discusses the end of Disney Renaissance, how audiences got tired of seeing the same good vs evil teenage coming-of-age musical over and over, paving the way for the more unique and subversive Pixar and DreamWorks Animation stories during the Turn of the Millennium.
- Mentions at the end of her "Why Is Cats?" video that a lot of musical theatre fans are afraid that Cats being a Box Office Bomb will mean the end of big-budget film adaptations of Broadway musicals, and counters with a point of her own: "GOOD." She feels that Broadway musicals are doing just fine on their own and they don't need the "prestige" of Hollywood mucking them up by imposing gritty, realistic live action as Award Bait. Musical theatre is a completely different medium from film, and headed by people that clearly don't respect or understand what makes stage musicals amazing to begin with. Lindsay actually hopes this is the end of big-budget, Award Bait musicals like Les Misérables (2012) and Cats, both of which are directed by Tom Hooper.
- "Is Titanic Good, Actually?" discusses a couple ends to a few different longstanding trends:
- Regarding the actual RMS Titanic sinking, Lindsay argues that "a simpler world went down with the boat," as not only did the high profile of the disaster forever tarnish the perceived glamor of the rich (in turn marking a symbolic end to The Edwardian Era), it was also the last big disaster before the world started getting worse with World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and Global Warming.
- Regarding the movie Titanic, Lindsay argues that its monolithic success — or rather, the enormous backlash towards its success — marked the end of the perception that widely popular films and "True Art" could cross over, citing how The Academy has since been extremely hesitant to even nominate mainstream films in a ghetto they arbitrarily created.
- #EngineeredHashtag: Lindsay in her video on Beauty and the Beast (2017) jokingly comes up with #BeastForShe (referencing the HeForShe movement), applying it to the film's shallow attempts at being progressive.
- Entitled Bastard: How she sees the entire cast of Reality Bites and RENT.
- Entitled to Have You: This concept is discussed a few times, mostly around films averting it:
- "The Complex Feels of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has a chapter addressing Peter and Gamora not getting together after two films, much to the confusion of some fans. Lindsay finds that the prevalence of "immature Manchild always getting the girl in the end" is because said Manchild is usually meant to be an Audience Surrogate whose immaturity isn't a character flaw that needs to be overcome, but an endearing trait that the filmmakers believe relates to and represents their audience. While the Guardians films have some trouble deciding whether Peter's immaturity is the former or the latter, both he and Gamora are ultimately portrayed as "radioactive spike-balls of defense mechanisms" who still have to come to terms with a lot of personal trauma before they can have a mutually healthy relationship.
- Also discussed in her video of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, addressing the common complaint that Quasimodo Did Not Get the Girl, especially since the film also values disabled people as being equal to everyone else. Lindsay argues that A) Esmeralda is not a "sexy lamp" that only exists to be a reward, and B) Quasi valuing her friendship but also respecting her autonomy enough to let her go is the difference between him and Frollo, who would rather die and burn down all of Paris.
- A huge part of why she loves the original Beauty and the Beast is how it averts this trope. She posits that the story is about two men (Gaston and the Beast) who both want to possess and control one woman (Belle). One learns his lesson, recognizes her humanity, puts her needs before his own and ultimately lets her go. The other... doesn't, and gets killed for it. This is another reason she hates the 2017 remake, which she argues completely misses the point of the first movie by having the Beast continue to act like an entitled prick, yet still get rewarded for it when Belle decides to settle and become his life coach.
- Even Better Sequel: As discussed in her video directly about it and in "Loki, the MCU, and Narcissism", Lindsay considers Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 superior to its predecessor and a personal favorite within the MCU. Not only does she prefer Vol. 2's deeper themes of parenthood, abuse, and evolving together from it, she also argues in the latter video that it directly improves its predecessor by retroactively placing character subtext and more emotional complexity in what was otherwise a largely irreverent and goofy action-comedy superhero flick.
- Everyone Has Standards: Apparently even Youtube's notoriously strict copyright regulations agreed that Lindsay's video on the Omegaverse Lawsuit was Fair Use, and denied a takedown request.
- Executive Meddling: She talks extensively about some infamous cases, be they Disney productions or others like The Hobbit. One of the most prominent is "How Aladdin Changed Animation (by Screwing Over Robin Williams)", a video essay about Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Lindsay goes into detail about how Williams was the first really big celebrity voice to be used in animated movies when he was cast as the Genie in Aladdin. Williams had Disney promise to not extensively promote him as part of his agreement to work on the film. When Disney extensively promoted him anyways, Williams parted on bad terms with Disney. However, in doing so, Disney inadvertently began a trend in animated movies. A lot of other animation studios started to Follow the Leader and cast A-list names for their own movies instead of experienced voice actors or character actors. The difference is that, rather than write the part around the character (as the Genie was for Williams), the studios just cast big-name actors and hoped it would bring in ticket sales, which it almost never does. Even Shrek, which had a number of Take Thats against Disney, used big-name celebrities for its cast. Lindsay thus argues that studios ended up learning the wrong lesson from Aladdin.
- Fanservice: Lindsay wears a very low-cut dress in some sections of "Is Titanic Good, Actually?"
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Argues in her Bright and PBS Fantasy video that this is present to some extent in all fantasy and sci-fi stories, whether the author intends it or not. Even if the world and races are all fictional, they're all made by an author who lives in our world and thus has to draw at least some inspiration from our world and how they see it. She again argues that this is not necessarily a bad thing, but just something that happens and something that creators and consumers alike should try to be aware of.
- Felony Misdemeanor: In "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there" Lindsay describes a list of female writers and lawyers whom Addison Cain has actively tried to ruin the careers of for such outrageous offenses as... Zoey Ellis daring to also publish heterosexual Omegaverse commercial fiction using similar Scènes à faire tropes, Nora Ash for being an early champion of Zoey Ellis and for daring to repeatedly contradict Addison Cain's claim that she was the first commercially published Het Omegaverse erotica author (when Nora Ash was), Lee Savino for apparently being affiliated with the above, and Courtney Milan (a romance author with a law degree) for opining on twitter about Cain's DMCA takedown notices against Zoey Ellis in a way that wasn't in Cain's favor. Addison Cain even tried to report Milan to the RWA for ethics violations for giving her opinion of the case on twitter, when Cain was the one who asked for her opinion in the first place, because Milan gave an opinion that Cain didn't like.
- Female Gaze:
- She has no qualms praising the perfect casting of Chris Evans as Captain America.Peggy Carter: Well, nobody's perfect.
Lindsay: I beg to differ.
- This term is briefly mentioned in The Whole Plate while talking about Male Gaze. In the academic Mulveyan sense, "Female Gaze" as a term isn't really a thing, as even if one's to invert the normal trend and fetishize male bodies, as with the case of Magic Mike XXL, it's still using the same film language and techniques male filmmakers used to film female bodies, just substituting male bodies for female bodies, meaning it technically still counts as male gaze.
- She has no qualms praising the perfect casting of Chris Evans as Captain America.
- Female Misogynist: Invoked, and discussed quite a bit in the "Dear Stephenie Meyer" video where she points out that a large portion of Twilight's detractors were other young women and how society and culture (and the Girl-Show Ghetto) play into it, and moreover, a "strong female character" that's written to be as "un-girly" as possible can be just as sexist as a Distressed Damsel.[As a] culture, we kinda hate teenage girls. We hate their music *shows a One Direction music video*, we hate their insipid backstabbing, we hate their vanity, we hate their selfie sticks, we hate their make-up, we hate their stupid books and the stupid sexy actors they made famous and their stupid sparkly vampires, and then we wonder why so many girls are eager to distance themselves from being objects of societal contempt.
Lindsay: Maybe I should have called her hot. But I don't think even that would have saved me. It has not escaped my notice that every single people Cain has "allegedly" targeted is a woman. Poetic that the charity she wants me to donate to anti girl-on-girl bullying.
- Discussed in "Into the Omegaverse" and especially her follow-up video "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me," where Lindsay discusses how A/B/O erotica author Addison Cain never sent DMCA Takedown Notices again men (particularly male podcasters who outright called her things like "profiteering shithead"), but she has repeatedly taken legal action against several different women (including Lindsay) for far lesser offenses, like stating an opinion she didn't like on twitter.
- Feminist Fantasy: Discussed and deconstructed in "Dear Stephenie Meyer", where she makes it a point to illustrate that many so-called "strong female role models" can have many elements of internalized misogyny in them as well.
- Femme Fatale: During her Loose Canon episode on Mystique, Lindsay takes the opportunity of examining a character heavily ingrained in traditionally feminine-associated evils to point out how there's an increased demand to see complexity in the archetype, demonstrated by the various ways Mystique manages to diverge from said archetype while still being recognizably her.
- Flat "What": Her response to the Convection, Schmonvection displayed in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as she's baffled at the narrative decisions of somehow melting a gold statue and then Thorin riding metal on it.
- Food Porn: "Food & Fiction: Memorable Meals in Literature" from It's Lit details the various ways food can be a powerful symbol and tool in fiction, pulling several examples from literature to describe how it can be used to symbolize narrative, explore culture, or process abstract and complex concepts.
- Follow the Leader:
- Discussed in "Dead Genres Tell No Tales" and how it leads to said dead genres. Hollywood assumes that movies live and die by their genre. When a successful movie comes a long, studios will pour huge amounts of money into other movies of the same genre, often without regards to quality, thinking that the genre will carry them. When this inevitably results in huge Box Office Bombs, the studios, applying the same reasoning as before, will assume that the genre was responsible for the films' failures, i.e. "dead", and stop making them.
- In "Why is Cats?", Lindsay speculates this as being why the movie was finally made after languishing in Development Hell for decades, with the financial success of The Greatest Showman and perceived critical prestige of Les Misérables (2012) inspiring Universal to adapt a well-beloved musical in hopes that it could bring both. Unfortunately, they completely misunderstood why they were successes or what circumstances they brought onto themselves (including the hiring of Tom Hooper solely for his credentials in Les Mis despite of his shortcomings in directing musicals), and this single-minded pursuit for box office income and awards resulted in the polar opposites.
- In her video on Titanic, Lindsay gives context for what makes the film work against one of its infamously failed derivatives, Pearl Harbor. She spends a bit of time explaining how it tried to copy the superficial aspects (namely the love story framed against a famed historical disaster), but failed because it lacked anything that would make either the romance or the actual disaster emotionally compelling, something Titanic worked far harder to accomplish.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: Deconstructed in "The Most Whitewashed Character In Literary History", which discusses Europe's history of conflicting fascination with eastern foreigners, treating elements of their cultures as exotic Forbidden Fruit and reducing them to reductive stereotypes. One of the consequences of this is illustrated with the namesake character: The Persian from The Phantom of the Opera, a popular, plot-critical character who Lindsay argues is ahead of his time in terms of western depictions of ethnic characters, yet is almost universally Adapted Out and replaced, or — as is the case of Phantom — actively playing into those negative ethnic stereotypes to positive reception, representing how even in the present day, people still find appeal in that reductive angle.
- Franchise Original Sin: Invoked:
- She argues this in her discussion of Cats, claiming that a lot of issues with the final product were present in director Tom Hooper's much more successful adaptation of Les Misérables (2012), but weren't as evident to the general public at the time:
- The big thing that killed it, she argues, was Hooper's insistence on "realism." Les Mis also had a heavy focus on realism—it's just that it was a fairly grounded concept that could at least look passable through a realistic framing, while Cats was already one of the most infamously gaudy, fantastical, and bizarre productions in all of musical theatre, and the Unintentional Uncanny Valley naturally followed.
- She also points out that Hooper tried to make the cast as comfortable as possible during filming, including recording their performances during their scenes rather than the traditional method of recording the songs separately. While, again, she found it resulted in some flawed performances, it was an interesting experiment that won the Academy's attention. But his attempt to repeat that feat in Cats failed miserably, because while they could have used mocap suits and had computers put the fur on, Hooper decided to have the actors wear simpler jumpsuits—meaning now, the fur had to be added manually by the VFX team, ballooning the budget out of control. Additionally, it led to some positively disastrous improv bits to break up the songs.
- The difficulties of wrangling an All-Star Cast, used to draw the attention of the Academy, weighed down heavily on Cats, but Les Mis had one, too. The difference was that Les Mis was an epic narrative that rotated characters and cast constantly, and most of the songs are sung by characters about themselves—most of the actors didn't need to be on set for very long, so that made scheduling a lot easier, and they generally got their spotlight moment. On the other hand, Cats is a much smaller, more communal, and more insular story where the characters regularly participate in each other's songs and are often outright singing about each other. This caused the story and songs to be heavily rewritten to get characters out of the picture to avoid keeping expensive actors on-set for too long, and serve as bigger showcases of the stars (several of whom just could not sing), which hurt the final product.
- In "Woke Disney" she argues that Disney has been putting "self aware" meta commentary into their movies since at least Aladdin, but while it started out as just the occasional throwaway gag in the Disney Renaissance (such as Zazu briefly singing "It's a Small World After All," much to Scar's disgust), by Enchanted it featured more heavily in their stories, and by The New '10s it's grown into the entire basis for why their movies are made, and to justify each film's existence. From main entry movies like Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet constantly lampshading and lambasting their own tropes to preemptively appease every possible criticism instead of just telling a compelling story, to Disney's live-action remakes obviously having no point to their existence other than to make money, so the filmmakers throw in lot of faux "self-aware critical analysis" as a flimsy pretext to make the cash-grabbing live-action remakes.
- "The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes":
- She explains how a lot of the problems with later seasons were present from the beginning: the showrunners embellished the rape and violence from the books, questionable handling of race and gender representation, dialogue not directly lifted from the books being pretty awkward, the showrunners not fully understanding the stories they were adapting, and so on. The difference was the early seasons were adapting George R. R. Martin's beloved books and had strong characters and stories to make up for it. However, by Season 5 they started to run out of book material, and from Season 6 onward the subtle problems that plagued early seasons became all that was left.
- She also cites how the showrunners would keep the ending to character arcs despite changing their personalities leading up to it. She cites Tyrion and Shae's relationship in particular: The showrunners made Shae and Tyrion Adaptational Nice Guys with a genuinely loving relationship, yet still had Shae betray Tyrion to Tywin, and Tyrion still strangled Shae in a jealous rage, even though it no longer fit their characters. But while this could be overlooked in earlier seasons since the overall characters and stories were still compelling, after seasons of Seasonal Rot and Character Derailment, the Grand Finale keeping Martin's planned ending for the characters despite the showrunners changing the characters so much felt contrived at best, and a strong case of Audience-Alienating Ending at worst.
- She argues this in her discussion of Cats, claiming that a lot of issues with the final product were present in director Tom Hooper's much more successful adaptation of Les Misérables (2012), but weren't as evident to the general public at the time:
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- She often sneaks in several interesting Google Searches in other tabs whenever she displays a website in a video.
- For her first Beauty and the Beast video, when she first scrolls through the Cracked article to illustrate her point on how pretty much everyone has said that Belle has Stockholm Syndrome, to the tab's left is "lumiere x cogsworth".
- In The Whole Plate episode 1, as she demonstrates how Star Wars has a large amount of academic papers devoted to it unlike Michael Bay's Transformers, the Google search on this window is "am i a jedi or a sith".
- For her videos on The Hobbit, the first one has "am i sexually aroused" and "cosplay armor" accompanying her search results for Sauron/Melkior and the second one has "how strong is Thorin Oakenshield" and "i want thorin to hold me" with her displaying the Archive of Our Own page for Thorin/Bilbo.
- In her video on Bright, she mentions the idea that commercial audiences generally liked the film but reviewers hated it, before claiming that this doesn't mean critics are paid off to give scathing critiques of mainstream films and television shows geared towards the general populace in exchange for prestige and the advancement of more complex media. In the next shot, she is seen hiding a check paid to her in the order of $50,000 to "Destroy Bright".
- She often sneaks in several interesting Google Searches in other tabs whenever she displays a website in a video.
- Fun with Acronyms: The B.B.N. (???) F. Genre, short for the "Big Budget Nostalgia based action Fantasy" genre which she states Bay's Transformers films and The Mummy (2017) fall into. After coining this, she shrugs and directly dares the audience to come up with something better.
- Her full video essay on Phantom of the Opera touches on how the failure of Hello, Dolly! was the marked ending of lavish, big-budget live-action Hollywood musicals. "The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical" greatly expands on the surrounding context and major missteps that made it less of a single major fault and more of a final nail in the coffin. Near the end of the video, she also points out how the root cause — Hollywood's mentality of throwing money at dying trends in an attempt to save them before they inevitably die without any chance of a revival — is still a pervasive modern attitude.
- "Dead Genres Tell No Tales" points out some of the problems with this trope as well. Lindsay notes that it's less that the genre is dead and more that the studio would rather blame an ailing movie on its genre than on its genuine issues. This also gets a reference in the former video, where she notes that a lot of the movies blamed as killers of the big Hollywood musical had massive problems that had nothing to do with being musicals (like Doctor Dolittle's Troubled Production).
- Her video on Cats concludes by discussing the likelihood that the film's utter bombing could damage the idea of musicals, which she mostly rebukes, noting that the past few years have seen tons of successful and acclaimed musicals in both theatre and film. If anything, she argues that Cats might kill off the "serious Oscar Bait musical" subgenre... but much of the focus of the video is on the fact that she believes the subgenre was kind of plumbing a dry well to begin with, and musicals don't need the validation of the Oscars and can only harm themselves by trying to pander to them.
- Genre Relaunch: The topic of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Genres Tell No Tales", which discusses the first film in regards to resurrecting the pirate movie, considered to be a "dead" genre, as well as the context and production issues that created it.
- Girlboss Feminist: Ellis discusses this in her video essay "Woke Disney". Ellis maintains that most of Disney's attempted "updates" of its princess characters feel like empty pandering to some extent, because while the heroines have a more active role than before they don't address the underlying social issues in their respective movies. As she puts it regarding Aladdin (2019): "The monarchy isn't bad, it just needs a female CEO".
- Girl-Show Ghetto: Invoked:
- Brought up in "Dear Stephenie Meyer", a look at the Twilight series with the benefit of hindsight, noting that a lot of the bashing directed at the books and movies is based in this line of thinking.
- Also invoked and discussed in her PBS episode "An Ode to the Romance Novel", where she discusses how romance is the only genre relentlessly shamed and mocked for not being "high literature". This is despite many other types of genre fiction not being "high literature" either (mystery, sci fi, fantasy, etc). Lindsay theorizes this is because romance the only genre predominantly made for, by, and about women. (Though she points out the Critical Dissonance that, even though the romance genre is the most sneered at, it's also by far the highest grossing.)
- Golden Mean Fallacy: Rips into later Game of Thrones seasons for basically pushing this as its core ideology. Tyrion is depicted as an Only Sane Man for taking a middle stance in every conflict, even though it leads to bad advice when you think about it for longer than two seconds. Tyrion also often condemns Daenerys for being "too extreme" in her stance on ending slavery, even though a) her means are no more brutal than her enemies or the Designated Heroes, b) most of the time she's only as brutal as she needs to get results (since being too nice often blows up in her face), c) how can you be "too extreme" in ending slavery? Does that mean "a little slavery is okay"? The show often seems to praise Tyrion and the Starks for their neutrality, even though they're Accomplices by Inaction for refusing to act on tyranny within Westeros, like refusing to do anything about Cersei or the White Walkers. It also presents opinionless, spineless, apolitical yes-men like Jon Snow and especially Bran as perfect candidates for the throne because they have no opinions or political stances, even though previous seasons have showed that rulers like this are ineffective at best, ample puppet kings to their more ambitious advisers at worst.
- Gray-and-Grey Morality: Discussed at length in "The Revisionist World of Disney: Mary Poppins, Walt Disney and Saving Mr. Banks," particularly how Walt Disney strong-armed P.L. Travers into letting him adapt her beloved books and then made changes she hated, and how the film Saving Mr. Banks glossed over that unsavory history by implying she came to love them (she didn't)."It is kind of poetic that the linchpin of [Saving Mr. Banks], its emotional thesis, is the least historically accurate thing in the movie. And also a big reason why people are kind of iffy about it because it reads as propaganda for pro-corporate apologia for giving up one's intellectual property for the greater good of commodification and mass consumption. Which, you know... it is. And I feel like there is this sort of expectation where if you so much as admit that, you are therefore required to wholeheartedly condemn it, and, well... I can't. Because I think you can have that discussion about who owns ideas once they are out in the public consciousness, while still admitting that Mary Poppins the movie—even if it doesn't adhere to the books as strongly as Travers wanted... it's a net positive for the world. And I'm glad it exists. It's a great movie!"
- Guilty Pleasures: Actually discusses and deconstructs this in a number of episodes. On the whole, Lindsay firmly believes that liking something or not is purely an emotional reaction, not necessarily a reflection of the quality or "logic" of a work. Some people can articulate why they like something better than others, some works of fiction are more structurally sound than others, but at the end of the day all fiction is meant to scratch an emotional itch. Even the best quality works can fail to elicit a strong reaction in some people, and even the worst-made media will have people who love it. (And she'll admit when she's being biased about something too.) She also argues in a number of videos (especially her Transformers miniseries and the "Dear Stephenie Meyer" video) that, more often than not, media that people are made to feel "guilty" for liking are genres made for, by, and about women (or minorities, or "children", the lowest common denominator), whereas equally flawed media geared towards men or teenage boys get much less flak.
- In an As Herself video during the Nostalgia Chick era, she listed ten of these: Battlefield Earth, Showgirls, Independence Day, every Meg Ryan movie from 1988 to 2002 (except You've Got Mail), Hercules, Om Shanti Om, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, 2012, Transformers: The Movie and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. She's constantly apologizing for the last two.
- Transformers and Michael Bay. She's got a love/hate relationship with him that goes between this, actual affection and Bile Fascination.
- Lindsay's also repeatedly mentioned The Ancient Magus' Bride as a guilty pleasure. While comparing it to Twilight in "Dear Stephenie Meyer", she captions:Disclaimer: Yes, this anime is my trash, even though it has Issues™, but again: Phantom of the Opera hurt/comfort fanfic. Stones. Glass houses.
- She also seems to treat the Dark Universe as this. It's very easy for her to snark over, and yet her demand to see a Dark Universe adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame starring Ansel Elgort has become something of a Running Gag between her and her fellow creators.
- She admits that the Maleficent film is this to her, in spite of how bad she knows it is. In the "Woke Disney" video, she mentions that she likes to call it "My Trash".I mean yeah, it was hot garbage, but it was my hot garbage.
- She also really enjoyed Cats in a "So Bad, It's Good" sort of way. In December 2019, she repeatedly changed her Twitter name to some kind of reference to the film, and admitted to seeing it in theatres twice.
- #justiceforarcee at the blink-and-you'll-miss-it presence and death of Arcee in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. In her episode of The Whole Plate discussing female robots, Lindsay briefly plugs
- In a later episode on Marxism, she briefly refers to Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno as "the daddies of critical theory," along with a caption reading "Take me away, #CriticalDaddy".
- In "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there," Lindsay has a lot of fun using #StandUpToBullying whenever she describes Addison Cain's bullying behavior.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?:
- The Hobbit might have been essentially a meta version of this. After The Lord of the Rings became famed for Ho Yay, the filmmakers created a pair of heterosexual romances from whole cloth in the hopes that they might overshadow Bilbo and Thorin, whose relationship is similarly central and Ho Yay-laden (and, for that matter, a lot more compelling and better-written). Indeed, Tauriel's grieving over the death of Kili is placed right after Bilbo grieving over the death of Thorin, as if to overwrite the latter in the audience's minds. She theorized that the shoehorning in of Gandalf/Galadriel and Kili/Tauriel in
- Another meta, slightly ironic example is presented in "Queering Michael Bay" of The Whole Plate. Lindsay posits that most action cinema, including Michael Bay films, exist to affirm dominant views of masculine values, hence the prominence of the archetypal heterosexual White Male Lead. Due to the fact Homoerotic Subtext can still be easy to read, queerness is invoked almost exclusively to be used as a punchline, as a way of going "no homo" and to reaffirm the "absurdity" of a queer action hero. This is present in many Michael Bay films, though the Transformers films avoid needing this due to the fact everybody is characterized by their distaste for one another, making such subtext almost nonexistent.
- And again in Cats, where she points out that the musical has lots of homoerotic subtext (and substantially a large queer fan base as a result) between Mr. Mistoffelees and Rum Tum Tugger (which some performances even play up). The film, on the other hand, adds in a romance between Rum Tum Tugger and Victoria, and some Ship Tease between Mistoffelees and Victoria, which seems to be going out of its way to insist that the former two are Just Friends. She remarks a bit on the baffling futility of trying to pull the "not gay" card with Cats, a Broadway musical with a disco-inspired soundtrack about flamboyant dancers in animal-themed jumpsuits that occasionally often featured actual rainbow effects or glitter in its performance.
- History Repeats: Being a film studies graduate and cinema history buff, Lindsay likes to discuss these.
- In "The Death of the Hollywood Musical," where she posits that The New '10s Hollywood's current trend of trying to incentivize people to stop streaming and go see movies in theaters is no different from The '50s Hollywood trying to incentivize audiences to stop watching television to go see roadshow musicals.
- She also draws parallels to The '50s Hollywood trying to incentivize increasingly disinterested audiences to go see Big Hollywood Musicals by throwing bigger budgets and marketing gimmicks at fewer projects, much like how The New '10s Hollywood is currently throwing bigger budgets and kitschier marketing gimmicks at fewer new superhero movies (especially Darker and Edgier films trying to mimic Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, like Venom and the DC Universe, despite audiences having tired of that trend a decade ago) and live-action remakes of popular animated Disney films; both trying to keep old tends popular so they'll remain easy to predict and "safe" to invest in. Time will tell if one of these big event movies' budgets exceed their box office returns and take the whole genre with them, much like Camelot, Doctor Dolittle, and Hello, Dolly! did to the Big Hollywood Musical.
- In "Are Disney Villains Going Extinct?", Lindsay argues the Renaissance Era of Disney petered out because audiences got tired of seeing the same teenage coming-of-age musicals again and again. She argues The New '10s Disney is also Strictly Formula: buddy comedy road trip plots with a male and female lead (romantic or not) who have to learn to get along and fix each other's flaws and their own to undergo Character Development, all while constantly lampshading, lampooning, and subverting classic Disney tropes. Lindsay speculates that it's only a matter of time before The New '10s audiences get tired of seeing the same movie over and over again as they did in The '90s.
- In "RENT - Look Pretty and Do As Little As Possible", she notes that every decade seems to have it's big "We Have Been Left Behind By The System: The Musical" production focusing on dispossessed young people expressing Rule-Abiding Rebel rhetoric (usually centred primarily around vague sentiments involving artistic expression and personal liberty rather than concrete revolutionary ideals of a let's-actually-overthrow-the-system nature) that enables producers to make money from a middle-class audience while still seeming rebellious.
- Hope Spot: In "The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical", the rapid-succession financial and critical success of My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music are framed as this for the Hollywood musical during a time when it seemed like they were on their death knell thanks to television and the end of the epic roadshow. Unfortunately, this only incentivized studios to stick to "safer" projects, resulting in several financial disasters that — when combined with concurrent revolutions in other Hollywood genres — made any remaining mainstream hope for the genre dead by the 70's.
- Hope Springs Eternal: Deconstructed at the end of "Protest Music of the Bush Era", in which she observes the pushback against traditional Protest Songs for their supposed futility, resulting in art instead skewing to reassure the audience that in spite of everything bad in the world, they will make it through it all. Lindsay argues that the reasons why this specific trend is fading out (more in favor of a more personality-based return to political music) are because they encourage passivity in a world where change must be fought for, and that despite all gestures, more people are realizing that not everyone will make it.
- Hotter and Sexier: Doesn't dispute the writing merits of Game of Thrones (or at least the early seasons), but argues that the main reason George R. R. Martin's adapted A Song of Ice and Fire cracked the mainstream the way most other fantasy stories didn't is because, compared to The Lord of the Rings, it's Darker and Edgier, and "Hot Fantasy, That Fuuuucks!"
- Hulk Speak: The YouTube thumbnail for "The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes" bears the message DRAGON LADY BAD.
- Hypocrite: In "Into the Omegaverse," Lindsay has a lot of fun noting how Addison Cain files many DMCA claims on other writers for Scènes à faire tropes found in her own books, while Cain's own main series, Born to be Bound, was originally a fanfic based on The Dark Knight Rises, with the only significant changes being the Omegaverse framework (itself a fanfiction community genre), the female lead who romances Bane, and the names being swapped out. Whenever Cain mentions her integrity as an author and how other writers are stealing her ideas in the video, a picture of Bane pops up. Lindsay also loves to spot the irony of Addison Cain wanting to prevent other authors from making money off the same Omegaverse community genre that she hit paydirt with. Then in "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me," Lindsay is less good-humored in pointing out that for how often Addison Cain crows about preventing bullying, she exhibits some serious bullying behavior herself. Also how Addison Cain tends to go after any woman she feels has personally wronged her, but never targets any men for even less respectful behavior toward herself.
- Hypocrisy Nod: In "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there" Lindsay has a lot of fun showcasing what she considers to be Addison Cain's unprofessional behavior, but in response to Cain's lawyer Tynia Watson claiming that Cain is "a very successful author," Lindsay can't resist including a "Petty Bitch in 3... 2... 1..." countdown until she counters with, "Well, as a New York Times best-selling author..."
- Hypothetical Casting: Lindsay has suggested that an Axiom's End movie would feature Pedro Pascal as Nils. She also agreed with suggestions for Rosa Salazar to play Cora, at least until she realized Salazar's age surpasses that of Cora.
- I Knew It!: The first video of Lindsay's miniseries about The Hobbit was advertised as part 1 of 2, but many fans were savvy to the idea that it would be suddenly extended to having a part 3, much like the films themselves. Lindsay would initially deny the idea, but those fans would be proven right, with part 2 ending on a sudden cliffhanger.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: A Running Gag has Lindsay reaching for a shot of liquor whenever she sees something particularly annoying. Sometimes entire videos are built around this, such as her reviews of The Phantom of the Opera (2004) and RENT, as well as portions of "Mask Off" note .
- Her response to the Addison Cain lawsuit in particular culminates in a sight gag of her downing multiple containers of alcohol. All while a dramatic reading of an actual response from Addison Cain's lawyer alleging a mass conspiracy between her and numerous third parties based almost entirely on Insane Troll Logic plays in the background.
- Indecisive Parody: She identifies this trope, or something quite like it, as being a central reason for why Disney's Hercules falls a bit flat. The story doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a parody of Superman, a parody of Rocky, or play either of them straight, and so tries to do all of them. The problem, however, is that the stories are complete opposites and are thus mutually exclusive: Superman is about a man who learns what it takes to become a selfless hero who puts others before himself, and so requires the protagonist to have a compelling desire that he must eventually learn to be willing to sacrifice for the greater good in order to succeed; whereas Rocky is about a man who learns what it takes to succeed at what he most dreams of and must emerge triumphant from a conflict in order to do so, meaning he must learn to focus on acquiring the object of his desire above anything else in order to succeed. Trying to do both at once results in the parodies of both falling flat and the film's central protagonist ending up a muddled mess who can't go on Superman's journey because he's already selfless and sacrificing and so doesn't need to learn how to be, but who also can't go on Rocky's journey because he doesn't really have a compelling goal that he needs to focus on achieving above all else.
- Informed Ability: One of her most common critique points of later Game of Thrones is that characters like Sansa, Varys, and Tyrion, who are meant to be brilliant manipulators and strategists, end up being written like self-satisfied idiots. This causes their Character Shilling to fall on deaf ears, and makes their contribution to the Daenerys subplot all the more problematic—the viewer is meant to take their distrust of Daenerys and her growing distance from them as ill signs, but it instead seems like they're being dumbasses as usual and Daenerys is being unusually patient with characters who are functionally The Millstone.
- Inherent in the System:
- In "Mask Off," Lindsay discusses in great length what a complex and pervasive issue systemic racism is, and how it can't be reduced to just individual internal character flaws. That it can't be reduced to just, "There are the racists, the non-racists, and if we just publicly shame and cast out the racists, we will have a more just society."
- She also discusses how social media websites (particularly Twitter) thrives off continuous engagement from viewers, and one of the easiest ways to drive up engagement is promoting tweets or posts that invoke a sense of outrage in viewers. That people are more likely to like, share, and comment on tweets that evoke a sense of outrage in order to dunk on them. And it's much harder to engage in complex social issues and hate mob mentality when social media is structurally designed to perpetuate and reward simplistic "good people vs bad people" public outrage.
- Innocence Lost: A focal point of Lindsay's The Hobbit trilogy is of people losing their sense of innocence through disillusionment in media resulting from real-life consequences, citing To Kill a Mockingbird and Kesha as other examples. This is paralleled through Lindsay's trip to New Zealand: she leaves hoping to reclaim part of her childhood innocence formed by The Lord of the Rings, but after realizing the sheer scope of damage The Hobbit resulted from as well as resulted in, she returns even more jaded than before.
- In Spite of a Nail: She comes down hard on Bright for this, where despite its self-proclaimed importance of Alternate History regarding the Dark Lord and the war of nine races 2,000 years ago, the present-day world looks almost exactly like it does in real life, with Los Angeles, the Crips, the Alamo, and Shrek existing, even though they don't make any sense within the film's timeline. She argues that difficulties surrounding this trope is why Alternate History fiction is so rare, and why works like Bioshock Infinite and The Man in the High Castle diverge much closer to their present (only in the last few decades or so).Lindsay: You cannot include elements from our real world without importing the history that comes with them. (Beat) Well, I mean you can, it's just, y'know, it's lazy and it sucks.
- It's Personal: Like most of her videos, Lindsay intended for her "Into the Omegaverse" video to be one-and-done. And then Addison Cain sicced her lawyer on Lindsay, tried to harrass and deplatform everyone even remotely connected to Lindsay (real or imagined), and Lindsay decided This Means War!
- It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars:
Lindsay: Would you say that about food? Like "Some food's not supposed to taste good, okay? Just... eat it!"
- In her episode on genre in The Whole Plate, she brings up this argument while discussing how directors can be considered a genre, as creators like Michael Bay have often been defended with "It's Michael Bay, it's not supposed to be good!"
- Brought up in a fairly literal context in her analysis of Cats, where she argues that, in fact, musicals shouldn't try to win Oscars. By her account, the Academy tends to overwhelmingly favor a gritty and realistic style unless it deals with very specific topics Hollywood likes, and said style is anathema to what musicals need; trying to build musicals along the Oscar Bait model can only create problems, and the genre is better off doing what it does best without having to seek validation from people operating in a completely different medium.
- Done more loosely in "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me." Lindsay admits that in her first video, "Into the Omegaverse," she had been pretty flippant in mocking omegaverse wolf porn, but concedes in the follow-up video that erotica is a legitimate genre and people shouldn't feel shamed for enjoying it.
- It's the Journey That Counts: Her thesis of "The Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes." She posits that humans love retelling popular stories even knowing how they end (like Romeo and Juliet), because humans love experiencing the emotional journey of a story more than being surprised by the ending. She argues that the showrunners being obsessed with creating twists and a ( notoriously awful) ending that no one could have seen coming ruined most people's enjoyment of re-watching the series and re-experiencing the journey with the characters."The enjoyment of experiencing a story should not be ruined by knowing how it ends."
- Lady Drunk: Lindsay retains this trait from her days as The Nostalgia Chick. Empty bottles of various alcohols tend to accumulate behind her in videos where she discusses particularly awful films.
- Lost Aesop:
- She isn't a fan of Captain America: The Winter Soldier due to this, finding that it sets up a very topical examination of government transparency and loyalty to a constantly-changing nation in the face of terrorism, only to drop any pretense of realism with The Reveal that nearly all the bad things that happened in the modern world was because Hydra infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.Lindsay: Kind of nice to be able to stop blaming all of our problems on misfortune, bad people, and short-sighted international policy made in America's own self interest when we can just say it's all Hydra's fault! (Beat, then gestures) Hang glider!
- She also cites this as a problem with Hercules. While its moral that "being a true hero is about self-sacrifice" is all well and good, she argues that it's a misplaced moral when dealing with the film's take on Hercules. Hercules isn't actually trying to find the true meaning of heroism, nor does he have the wrong idea about what it is; he's trying to find his place in the world, and being a hero was just a means to an end. Moreover, Hercules is pretty selfless to begin with, so you don't really get the sense he wouldn't sacrifice himself when given the chance (hell, he throws himself into death and danger multiple times over the course of the film). She contrasts this to Aladdin and Kuzco, which use "Be Yourself" and "be selfless" as their morals, respectively, but it works better in those films because Aladdin's lack of confidence and Kuzco's selfishness are their defining flaws.
- She points out in Transformers that the film's Arc Words are the Witwicky motto ("no sacrifice, no victory"), but this doesn't make a lot of sense when the main character of the story is Sam, who... doesn't really sacrifice anything. This is part of the reason she prefers to interpret Mikaela as the real protagonist, because she actually has sacrificed things in her life.
- She isn't a fan of Captain America: The Winter Soldier due to this, finding that it sets up a very topical examination of government transparency and loyalty to a constantly-changing nation in the face of terrorism, only to drop any pretense of realism with The Reveal that nearly all the bad things that happened in the modern world was because Hydra infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Lost in Imitation: A good portion of "The Case for Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame" addresses the dominating criticism of the film changing significantly from Victor Hugo's original novel, pointing out how it's not the first successful adaptation that changed or straight-up invented story elements and themes not present in the novel, with Disney's version owing more to the 1939 film than the original book. She also argues that this isn't a bad thing, as not only can it correct or expand on newer concepts, it's pretty much necessary if the story is to remain relevant over time, and what's more, Victor Hugo would probably have been okay with it (having participated in adapting and altering his very work himself).
- Lowest Common Denominator: Discussed and deconstructed in a surprisingly positive way during "Is Titanic Good, Actually?". Lindsay argues that criticisms against the movie based on this notion — namely the claim that it's too "basic" — fall flat considering that not only is that the intention (and in fact, a lot of the appeal), it's also genuinely difficult to do it and actually be successful, with the acclaim that Titanic received showing for itself.
- Male Gaze: She discusses the academic definition (that media is made in mind with a prominently male audience, or at least a certain view of one) as they apply to the Transformers Film Series, in three different varieties:
- Despite their increasing presence in other recent Transformers media, including comics and animated series, female Transformers rarely feature in the film series, and when they are, they're either expendable or duplicitous and overtly villainous. This seems to be built off an assumption that Men Are Generic, Women Are Special, with Arcee being vetoed out of the first film by co-writer Bob Orci because "the idea of a female Transformer warrants its own explanation," suggesting that according to the filmmakers, coded-female robots are less plausible and breaking of Willing Suspension of Disbelief than coded-male robots:Lindsay: Megatron accidentally etching coordinates to the MacGuffin inside another MacGuffin I'll buy, a magical glowcube that's the progenitor for all the alien robots that turn into Camaroes I'll buy, but that one of them displays female secondary sex characteristics and is pink? Hmmm... I dunnoooooo, man... I'm going to have to absorb more of Optimus' robo-pecs and enjoy his deep, manly voice while I smoke on this for a little while.
- Lindsay also discusses how this use of male gaze applies to men themselves. Characters like Sam Witwicky and Cade Yaeger are framed as something of Audience Surrogates the teenage boys that are the film's demographic are meant to relate to, which he does by making them incompetent and/or Hot-Blooded Jerkasses, negatively-framed character traits that go unaddressed even after they save the day and get the girl in the end. Lindsay views this as Michael Bay being openly contemptuous of his own audience.
- As for female human characters, Lindsay points out that while later films reduce them to walking punchlines, dry authoritarian figures that need to be challenged, or Fanservicey "sexy lamps" that exist just for other peoples' conflict, the first film directly commentates on issues of gender inequality in male-dominated tech fields and is surprisingly sympathetic to its female characters... on paper. She argues that Mikaela Banes is the most well-developed, well-rounded, and thematically whole character in the series, but is frequently remembered as a mindless Ms. Fanservice due to the camera visually objectifying and framing her as one.Lindsay: but then at the same time objectifies Mikaela to the point where for most viewers, she's impossible to take seriously because she's so impossibly beautiful, so impossibly dressed, so objectifyingly framed. Her impossibility is not in the text, but in the frame.The first film brings up issues of gender inequity and how men don't take women seriously because they are objects to them,
- Despite their increasing presence in other recent Transformers media, including comics and animated series, female Transformers rarely feature in the film series, and when they are, they're either expendable or duplicitous and overtly villainous. This seems to be built off an assumption that Men Are Generic, Women Are Special, with Arcee being vetoed out of the first film by co-writer Bob Orci because "the idea of a female Transformer warrants its own explanation," suggesting that according to the filmmakers, coded-female robots are less plausible and breaking of Willing Suspension of Disbelief than coded-male robots:
- Malicious Misnaming: Lindsay does this to the titular lawyer repeatedly in "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there".
- The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: Discussed in "RENT - Look Pretty and Do As Little As Possible". One of her main critiques of the musical in question is that it is one of what she calls "We Have Been Left Behind By The System: The Musical"; a production that, like Les Misérables, Jesus Christ Superstar and Hamilton, presents itself as vaguely rebellious but ultimately upholds the social values of the society that produced it. This enables its producers to position themselves as cool and rebellious while not actually scaring away the predominantly middle-class theatregoers that the producers rely on to buy tickets. However, she notes that this isn't in and of itself automatically a bad thing — but the key difference with the others she cites is that, unlike RENT, they do not actually try to or claim to be directly challenging the contemporary system that they are produced in. RENT, however, does try to claim this without actually doing so — and what makes it even worse is that RENT only pretends to challenge a system that genuinely was oppressive, harmful and worthy of challenge.
- She makes a similar case in "Woke Disney", essentially accusing recent Disney films of promoting shallow social commentary on subjects like racism, feminism, and capitalism, while ignoring the complexities of these issues so as not to make Disney themselves look bad.
- Master of None: One of her chief arguments in her Phantom of the Opera video (which recurs in Cats) is that the most successful modern musicals can fit into two categories: deeply realistic ones that avoid the classic approach through non-diegetic framing or the presence of actual stage performances (i.e. Chicago or Cabaret), and unrealistic ones with an offbeat and romanticized tone where the audience can just go along with the ride (Moulin Rouge!, Mamma Mia!, most Disney animated films). She argues that the reason films like Phantom, Cats, and Hooper's Les Misérables (2012) don't work is that they end up in the middle: they're too realistic for the audience to accept that the characters act this way, but they don't go far enough in the realism and maintain the classical musical framing, creating an experience where the framing screams "grim and gritty", but the characters still break out into song for no reason. She compared it to "trying to combine a glitter-sprinkled cupcake with filet mignon."
- Mathematician's Answer: In "How To Get A Book Deal in Ten Years or Less," as she discusses the vagaries of publishing:"Was the novel I sold the first novel I wrote? No! I'd argue that it wasn't even the second. But it was also kind of the first. I, cuz it was the first in, well, anyway."
- (On Twitter, she elaborated that, according to a website that compares manuscripts to find plagiarism, her novel fails the Theseus' Ship Paradox: between the first draft and the final draft, she had rewritten no less than 100% of the novel.)
- Medal of Dishonor: Addison Cain's proud claim to have invented the concept of heterosexual Omegaverse fiction, along with its general tropes and ideas, get this reaction from Lindsay. Aside from the dubiousness of the claim, she points out that it's not exactly innovative to take previously gay-oriented tropes and make them about straight people, and furthermore, most of the tropes Cain "coined" seemed to be the general use of Romanticized Abuse and Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi, which aren't anything to brag about, either.
- Men Are Generic, Women Are Special: Lindsay's pretty annoyed by this, and has discussed it a few times:
- In part 5 of The Whole Plate, she discusses how female Transformers are almost completely ignored in the Transformers Film Series, mainly due to the writers thinking female-coded Transformers "require an explanation," whereas male-coded robots don't. As a counterpoint, she occasionally Shouts Out the ongoing IDW comics and their lack of a need to "explain" gender, and how much better and more interesting they are for it.
- Also discussed in "The Hobbit: Battle of Five Studios" regarding Tauriel. Lindsay argues that Hollywood often feels the need to justify women in films simply for being women, "or they might as well be men, am I right?", hence Tauriel being put in an inconsequential Love Triangle.
- Missing Episode: In addition to several episodes of Nostalgia Chick that Lindsay has declined to restore, the video essay "Dead Genres Tell No Tales" was quietly pulled from YouTube in mid-2020.
- Mondegreen Gag: In "Loose Canons: Captain America", when she discusses Captain America: The First Avenger, when we see Hydra agents shouting "Hail Hydra!" she would join in with a goofy Hydra salute, chanting, "Hang glider!"
- Mood Whiplash: She cites this as an issue with the film adaptations of The Hobbit, noting that the movies don't seem to be sure if they want to be like the book (charming and lighthearted stories you could read to your kid) or the prior Peter Jackson films (epic, battle-focused, and laden with grit), which leads to some really weird tonal problems. For instance, Desolation of Smaug has the dwarves engage in a slapsticky barrel-riding sequence where they bounce against rocks and rapids like beach balls and take down orcs in all kinds of silly ways... and then a few moments later, Kili gets shot in the leg with an arrow, and this is treated as a mortal wound that he could die from and his survival is played as very dramatic.
- Moral Luck: Discusses the poor use of this trope in Game of Thrones, especially the last season.
- For Dany: She points out how Sansa treating Daenerys with suspicion and hostility, and Varys and Tyrion randomly deciding to betray her to support Jon Snow for the Iron Throne instead, rested on the fact that the writers knew that Dany would eventually snap and become "Super Hitler" around the last episode, so their use of this trope to "justify" the Jerkass behavior toward her doesn't work since based on her actions in the story the other characters had no reason not to like or trust her, or think she would make a bad queen.
- For Jon: Likewise, it doesn't make sense for Varys to think Jon Snow would be a good candidate for the Iron Throne. Yes, we the audience know how much Jon has accomplished and grown as a leader in the Night's Watch since we've followed his journey for several seasons, but from an in-universe character's perspective, Jon's track record doesn't look that good. He's only led the Night's Watch for a short time, and had to deal with mutiny and disaster that left half the Night Watch dead. She argues that from Varys's perspective he shouldn't think Jon Snow would make a good king, thus it's only dumb luck that he's proven right.
- Moral Myopia: Her view on the claims that Dany's prior actions were "foreshadowing" her incoming lunacy, as she believes that the show up to that point had treated Good Is Not Soft or Pay Evil unto Evil as normal or even laudable in the Crapsack World of the series, but was now treating it as the oncoming signs of a murderous psychopath.
- Moving the Goalposts: In "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me," Lindsay notes that Cain originally reached out to Courtney Milan (a romance author with a law degree) on Twitter and asked her opinion of the case against Zoey Ellis. When Milan gave an opinion Cain didn't like, Cain suddenly decided Milan isn't a barred lawyer, and so doesn't know enough about the law to give an opinion... even though Cain was the one who asked her opinion to begin with.Lindsay: And this is kind of a running theme with Cain's aspersions against people. Like, Milan isn't barred, therefore she cannot opine on the whole case unless it's in favor of Cain. And Margarita Coale doesn't know what she's doing because she WAS a bankruptcy lawyer at some point in history, even though she's not anymore.
- MST3K Mantra: While Lindsay often directly addresses major Plot Holes and poor storytelling, "That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast" makes it clear she ultimately ascribes to this, and is very clearly annoyed by overly-pedantic internet critics that shoot right past Bellisario's Maxim and nitpick everything, including a self-described Fairy Tale, to a point where works have to pander to them and suffer for it.Lindsay: See, over-explaining everything in this case not only insults the intelligence of the audience — which is perhaps deserved because there is a certain sect of film commentators who have built careers off of complaining that their hands are not being held through the entire narrative — it also diminishes what should be a fairly simple but powerful story about love, forgiveness, redemption, and discovering your best self.
- Mundane Horror: In "Why Borat Works Better in 2020," she notes how the first Borat was uncomfortably funny in 2006 because it revealed a bigoted underbelly that most Americans believed was super fringe and dying out. But she finds Borat Subsequent Moviefilm scary in 2020 because, while exposing the bigotry and ignorance in Trump's America is not surprising, the film exposes just how many seemingly nice and normal people are just fine with terrible things happening (like a disguised Cohen asking to buy gas to kill "gypsies," a gun to shoot Jews, plastic surgery to turn his "teenage daughter" into a child bride, and so on) as long as it's no one they know and it doesn't happen in front of them. She particularly notes a random Trump supporter whom Cohen convinced he was an Israeli operative infiltrating an Antifa rally, placed chips on the backs of random protesters, and convinced the guy that if he pressed a button, it would kill those three random people they just passed... and the guy does it!Rando: I've never, uh, participated in someone's death.
Lindsay: And he's fine with it, because it happened off-screen and someone else arranged it.
- Musical World Hypothesis: Often brought up in her videos on musicals, with notes on some of the prominent modern examples. She believes that musicals going for a realistic setting should definitively mark down their status as Diegetic or All In Their Heads, while musicals with a more outlandish or flamboyant tone can get away with Adaptation or Alternate Universe.
- Never My Fault:
- Dead Horse Genres" are really the result of studios throwing a lot of money at bad films, then blame the genre when it fails instead of the quality of the film itself. In "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Genres Tell No Tales," she posits that a number of "
- That said, she acknowledges in her videos on The Phantom of the Opera (2004) and "Death of the Big Hollywood Movie Musical" that some movie trends are more lucrative than others, and if you're trying to release a film when its genre isn't popular (like a musical in a post-Hello, Dolly! world), you will have to work harder to make a better quality film and carefully stylize and market it so it appeals to a skeptical audiences.
- Notes how Addison Cain has a well-known track record of starting petty fandom drama and pursuing legal action against anyone she doesn't like (other women), and then frames herself as the persecuted victim if the people she allegedly targeted push back in any way.
- In "Mask Off," Lindsay notes how it is very common in social media spheres for bad faith actors to take a tweet or post out of context, interpret it in the worst possible way, and then publicly shame the poster for it. And even if the poster apologizes or is found to be not guilty of the thing they were shamed for, the people who originally shamed or harassed them rarely if ever acknowledge participating in declaring someone Convicted by Public Opinion.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: As she notes in her followup to "Into The Omegaverse," Lindsay tried to be fair to Addison Cain and refrained from bringing up things like her alleged history of slinging mud at other Romance writers that she thinks is encroaching on her territory, sometimes damaging their careers in the process. Needless to say, when Addison and her lawyer responded to the video by issuing a DMCA notice and sending veiled threats over email, Lindsay felt no such restraint the second-time around."I definitely withheld a lot of criticism and comments about Addison Cain because I was concerned that they might be a little unnecessarily mean. But trust me, I feel no such obligation this time."
- Non-Indicative Name: She notes in her Omegaverse video that much of the confusion surrounding it was that the lawyers, unfamiliar with the term, seemed to think the "verse" part of the name meant that it was an actual fictional universe, making "Omegaverse" stories fanfiction by nature. In reality, A/B/O is just a set of worldbuilding rules that can be applied to any setting (well, if you ignore the In Spite of a Nail issues, anyway), including fully original fiction, making it more comparable to a subgenre than a copyrighted fictional universe.
- Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used To Be: The subject of "The Upside-Down of Nostalgia", that looks at the popularity of Stranger Things and It (2017), both of which take place in The '80s. Restorative Nostalgia and Reflective Nostalgia are examined, and she adds her own: Deconstructive Nostalgia, which is more this trope.
- One for the Money; One for the Art: "Hercules, Disney's Beautiful Hot Mess: a Video Essay" frames the creation of the film as this for co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker. Following their success in co-directing The Great Mouse Detective, Disney pushed them around for 16 years to direct The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and finally Hercules before they could work on their dream project, effectively "Treasure Island in Spaaaaaace".
- Old Shame: She has no good memories of The Nostalgia Chick or her time associated with Channel Awesome. She pretty much says that no one should watch any of her work from before 2015 - although she says she still likes the Freddy Got Fingered review.
- Oscar Bait: She has a Mini-Canon video detailing the history behind it, as well as the consequences it resulted in. Her breakdown of Bright also has a great deal of discussion on Oscar-bait, largely to put the film's own race-discussion into context. She also discusses how Oscar Bait applies to movie musicals in the video on Cats - with adaptations going for "hyper realism" (despite that being quite difficult when adapting a musical) to garner favor with the Academy.
- Overshadowed by Controversy: Dedicates quite a few reviews to discussing this trope.
- "Is Beauty and the Beast about Stockholm Syndrome?" says it all, really. Downplayed as Beauty and the Beast is a beloved movie, though Lindsay posits that not only does Belle not have Stockholm Syndrome (she shows none of the symptoms), but focusing on whether or not she does causes most people to miss out on the film's other great themes and messages. Like how decent people are often Othered by a shallow society that doesn't reward and often doesn't see the goodness in them, how bullies are often rewarded because they possess a set of traits that society does find value (usually masculinity, arrogance, and good looks), how Beast and Gaston serve as great foils who start out both wanting to possess and control Belle, but one learns his lesson and is redeemed and the other doesn't and dies. And all of this gets ignored in favor of, "Does Belle have Stockholm Syndrome?" She also argues that the "Stockholm Syndrome" debate overshadows the actually-valid feminist critiques of the film, such as Belle's passivity in the plot and lack of significant development in favor of centering the narrative on the Beast's growth.
- Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Lindsay discusses how society's prevalent They Changed It, So It Sucks attitude regarding the Disneyfication of Victor Hugo's Downer Ending book causes people to miss all the great themes and messages the film has going for it. Especially the Values Resonance in its discussion of race, sexism, justice for the oppressed, persecution of and mercy for the outcasts, pride and humility before God, men who really loathe (and feel entitled to own) the objects of their desire, Quasimodo and Frollo as foils, it being the first adaptation to explore the abusive nature of Quasimodo's relationship with Frollo, and having him overcome it - and it all gets buried under the criticism "they softened the ending, and thereby weakened it." In "The Case For
- In "The Revisionist World of Disney: Mary Poppins, Walt Disney and Saving Mr. Banks," Lindsay posits that Saving Mr. Banks is an artistically good movie in its own right that discusses a lot of interesting themes, like: Who owns ideas once they're out in the public consciousness? Is it ethical to pressure the owner of an intellectual property to sell you the rights to their creation and then make changes they don't like? Is it better to hold firm to your artistic integrity or "Sell-Out" for the greater good of mass consumption and commodification? It's also one of the few movies that explores a troubled relationship between a father and daughter, where the daughter's moment of self-actualization isn't through marriage. But unfortunately, the only thing most people really remember about this movie that it's pro-Disney propaganda that "selling out is good!" and sanitizes its own history of how Walt ground Travers down into letting him change her beloved work by implying she grew to love it, when she didn't.
- Pandering to the Base: Credits many issues in later Game of Thrones to this, such as Tyrion being turned from morally grey to an attempted voice of reason because his actor was too popular to be made unsympathetic. She also discusses "Cleganebowl", a fan-theorized confrontation between the Hound and the Mountain, which became an Ascended Meme in the series, even though by the time it happened, it was a guy with no desire for revenge fighting a mindless zombie for absolutely no reason.
- Parents as People: She considers this a major theme of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as well as the sub-theme of abusive parenthood.
- Periphery Hatedom: Loosely acknowledged in "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there." Lindsay acknowledges that in her previous "Into the Omegaverse" video she had been pretty dismissive of "wolf porn" erotica, before conceding that she is also a fan of niche obscure fetishy erotica (mostly sci fi aliens and monsters), and just because Omegaverse/werewolfy smut isn't for her doesn't mean it isn't for anyone.
- Playing the Victim Card: In "Into The Omegaverse: How a Fanfic Trope Landed in Federal Court", Lindsay gets a lot of mileage making fun of how Addison Cain — an author who pursued filing fraudulent and bad-faith DMCA takedowns against a competing work — persistently kept trying to frame herself as a victim once she ended up faced with litigation, trying to twist the narrative to "prove" that she was in the right all along while ignoring the perjury she was revealed to be guilty of.
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: The nature of this as well as other "calls to action" is discussed to great length in "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (For Fun and Profit!)". Lindsay brings up the channel "How To Cake It" as a mostly-positive example where despite its intrusive 11 calls to action per episode, she's able to forgive them because the show's business model makes sense and its content is engaging.
- Plot Hole: She's not a fan of this term due to its excessive misuse on the internet, preferring to describe lazy writing hiccups as "contrivances," acknowledging that the story needs to get from point A to point B, but phoned the path in. She considers the two terms less as distinct, black and white flaws, and more of a gradient with lots of overlap.
- Poe's Law:
- Satire being a transgressive art that challenges harmful societal constructs to being too subtle and in danger of people missing the point, possibly even being interpreted as an endorsement of the societal constructs they critique. Discussed in "Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about N@zis" as "the satire paradox," pointing out how there isn't a definable line between
- lengthy Twitter essay about Blazing Saddles and why so many critics of political correctness feel the need to protect the film from the "woke police." She comes to the conclusion that a lot of people missed the point about what Mel Brooks was saying about the stupidity of racism and came out of the film saying "Why does Mel Brooks get to say the n-word and I can't?" Ellis did a
- Politically Correct History: Lindsay tends not to be the biggest fan of movies that gloss over the horrors of past discrimination just to make modern white gentile audiences feel more comfortable. She doesn't dig Pocahontas pinning centuries of colonialism and genocide on one Big Bad, The Princess and the Frog glossing over 1920's Jim Crow Deep South, nor Captain America's Hydra and Red Skull existing to make Those Wacky Nazis seem more palatable to kids, and easy to sidestep the horrors of the Holocaust.Lindsay: The Princess and the Frog [goes] so far out of its way to portray the wealthy white family as so nice and well-meaning and "What systemic oppression? What Jim Crow? I'm just a nice wealthy white patrician here for some beignets from mah favorite black-owned establishment on the other side of the tracks."
- Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie:
- She goes into great detail of the subject in her Loose Canon two-parter of 9/11, describing how media (and not simply Hollywood) reacted to the disaster and the various stages of interpretation as the years go on.
- Also discussed again in her video on Independence Day and War of the Worlds (2005) (the latter of which she had described in her Loose Canon video "the most successful 9/11 movie"), finding the event to have singlehandedly changed how Alien Invasion fiction is made. Gone are the days of invasion narratives being campy spectacles with happy endings whose only casualties are monumental, as thanks to an actual invasion that claimed the lives of thousands, audiences have a much harder time accepting such stories anymore.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In "The Revisionist World Of Disney", she mentions that most of the changes made when adapting Mary Poppins to film were necessary to make it work as a full-length film (such as giving Mr. Banks a character arc with the bank run) or made due to societal changes (such as making Mrs. Banks a suffragette to explain why a stay-at-home mum would want or need a nanny).
- In her video on the film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, she contends that due to the inherent unrealism of musicals and stage productions, film adaptations need to be heavily changed or stylised to work.
- Pretender Diss: Lindsey's extensive knowledge of film theory and literary criticism leave her with zero patience for Vanessa's amateur dismissal that the Creepy Crossdresser in Troubled Blood isn't transphobic solely on the grounds that "he's not really trans". note Blaire White: Now people are calling the book transphobic because [...] it has a character who is a "cis man" who dresses as a woman when killing his victim."Lindsay: Eh, nah, honey, that's not how it works.
- Product Placement: "Product Placement and Fair Use", appropriately enough, has Lindsay go over the modern motivations behind this, as well as the distinction between it and non-endorsed Fair Use.
- Protest Song: "Protest Music of the Bush Era" is an extensive dive into the various ways this concept has manifested over the years, primarily basing itself on the deluge of these made throughout George W. Bush's presidency.
- Public Medium Ignorance: Spends a good chunk of her first Game of Thrones retrospective explaining how this trope helped launch the show's popularity. Most average, mainstream viewers don't know much about High Fantasy beyond The Lord of the Rings, so George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire being a Deconstructor Fleet to Tolkien-esque High Fantasy (not to mention Darker and Edgier and Hotter and Sexier) helped launch the show straight into mainstream popularity.
- Putting on the Reich:
- "The Ideology of the First Order" discusses this trope's use in Star Wars, exploring the ideological similarities (or lack thereof) between the First Order and real-world fascist movements, its increased narrative importance in comparison to that of The Galactic Empire of the original trilogy, as well as how Disney even gets away with marketing it to the extent it does.
- In the same video, she discusses how Captain America: The First Avenger and its sequels make Red Skull and HYDRA more evil than the real Nazis In-Universe while still using variations of Nazi rituals, salutes and imagery in a way that ignores actual fascist ideology in favor of a more generic and commercially-friendly evil.
- She also largely lambasts the use of this trope with Daenerys, believing that the creators chose to invoke Nazi imagery and anti-Nazi rhetoric as an easy shorthand for evil and extremism without thinking about whether it made any sense.
- Reality Subtext:
- Discussed in her re-examination of Hercules. When co-directors John Musker and Ron Clements were tasked with making Hercules a financial success if they wanted to make their dream project (essentially "Treasure Island In SPAAAAACE!"), one can easily see that frustration worked into the script: Hercules is told he must become a "true hero" to get what he wants (a place to belong), then being frustrated when the fame and fortune his heroic deeds earn still aren't enough to get him into Olympus, just as Musker and Clements were told they must make Hercules to get what they want (to make Treasure Planet), and all the money and success they earned with The Little Mermaid and Aladdin didn't seem to be getting them any closer to their dream project.
- the theory, with how the author does or doesn't present themselves being an omnipresent element of Para Text, one becoming increasingly more relevant in a modern world where "personal brand" is king. This concept is discussed in "Death of the Author" as one of the pitfalls of
- In the beginning of "Protest Music of the Bush Era", Lindsay explicitly comments how she bumped the video ahead of intended schedule mainly because how its subject matter — examining the relationship between politically-charged art calling for change and the actual push for change — got incredibly topical due to the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter protests.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: Not a fan of how Game of Thrones handled this trope in later seasons. Female characters who shed their femininity and show disdain for traditionally feminine traits (like Sansa and Arya) are depicted as "empowered," but female characters who retain their femininity and ambition (like Daenerys and Cersei) are at best depicted as God Save Us from the Queen!.
- Reconstruction: Lindsay has said that she was uncomfortable with her original reviews being "Like Doug Walker but a girl", and she has re-examined some of the films she did as Nostalgia Chick under her current review style - Pocahontas and Hercules for instance.
- Retraux: Several segments of "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (for Fun and Profit!)" and "Death of the Author", in which Lindsay presents critical theory imperative for the topic at hand, are made to look like an educational video from a 90's VHS tape recording.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons:
- In "Is Beauty and the Beast About Stockholm Syndrome?", Lindsay concedes that Beauty and the Beast does have some troubling less-than-feminist undertones with its portrayal of Belle, but argues that it's not "whether or not she has Stockholm Syndrome" like the common talking point claims, but rather "Why does she have little agency or character development beyond learning to like and ending up with a guy?", while the Beast gets a much meatier and more thematically appropriate character arc that ties into the movie's message and themes.Lindsay: This is a trend we see in a LOT of Renaissance movies: The heroine states a want—be it, you know, legs, or "adventure in the great wide somewhere", or love-marriage, or not being in service to Satan anymore—but the solution at the end always seems to wind up being... guys [...] And personally, I find that little trend of "Woman's self-actualization being defined by what guy she ends up with" WAAAY more insidious than "Whether or not this movie is about Stockholm Syndrome."
- Lindsay isn't against Daenerys becoming a brutal tyrant that the heroes have to kill in principle, but hates the way the showrunners handled it. She argues that in the books it's clear that Daenerys feels entitled to take Westeros "through fire and blood," but she also views herself as a "liberator" who expects people to trip over themselves worshipping her after she "saves" them, and harshly retaliates against people she feels aren't sufficiently grateful (like Miri Maz Dur). This would make it plausible to happen on a larger scale when book Dany reaches Westeros. However, the show made Dany consistently caring, humble, and patient with Westeros' mistrust of her until the day she randomly snaps and burns an entire city of surrendering civilians alive for no in-universe reason other than her crazy Targaryan genes kicking in, and the showrunners' asinine Central Theme that "believing in a noble cause too much will inevitably make you turn evil over it."
- In "Is Beauty and the Beast About Stockholm Syndrome?", Lindsay concedes that Beauty and the Beast does have some troubling less-than-feminist undertones with its portrayal of Belle, but argues that it's not "whether or not she has Stockholm Syndrome" like the common talking point claims, but rather "Why does she have little agency or character development beyond learning to like and ending up with a guy?", while the Beast gets a much meatier and more thematically appropriate character arc that ties into the movie's message and themes.
- Roadshow Theatrical Release: Her video on "The Death of the Hollywood Movie Musical" greatly discusses this, how it was the standard for big releases — including epic Hollywood musicals — until the threat of home TV came alone, pretty rapidly making them obsolete and tiring.
- Rule-Abiding Rebel:
- Her video on RENT sees her discussing the phenomenon of "bourgeois theatre", specifically the youth-oriented "we have been left behind by the system" musicals that have proliferated on Broadway since The '60s. In her argument, while they purport to be countercultural and revolutionary, their values in practice tend towards validating the middle-class status quo and the views of their mostly Bourgeois Bohemian audiences rather than challenging them. She segues from there into Augusto Boal's Marxist concept of the "theater of the oppressed", which argues that, barring a genuine revolution to break the dominance of the ruling class over access to media, the Rule-Abiding Rebels are the only members of the counterculture who can possibly get their works disseminated to a mainstream audience. In addition to RENT, she also cites Les Misérables and Hamilton as examples, though she comes down substantially harder on RENT because while the other two were set in and critiqued different times and cultures, thus allowed to be more honest of what they were, RENT explicitly positions itself in direct opposition to the values of the culture it was produced in but fails to walk the walk.
- This is also her opinion in "Woke Disney", where she discusses many Disney films of the late 2000s and 2010s in relation to this. Most of them do express liberal ideas, but also consistently show the problems in society to be unnatural outliers rather than inherent to the system, introduce sympathetic characters on the other side in an effort to show that Both Sides Have a Point (which undermines the resulting message), avoid bringing up things that could frame Disney or corporations in general in a negative light, and mainly poke at things that pretty much everyone has long since agreed are bad (i.e. animal abuse). She describes the resulting message as "we need more female CEOs."
- Running Gag:
- Within Loose Canon, her ability to work Tom Hardy into anything.
- In general, if a piece of media she's discussing has a particularly funny and/or stupid line, Lindsay will be sure to use it repeatedly in the video. Examples include:
- "It's fine. It's fine! This is fine. It's fine. She's fine. This is fine."
- Playing "Turn Down for What" and applying a copious amount of Blingee effects when discussing problematic figures, scenes, or elements. Except for Leni Riefenstahl. She gets "Photograph".
- She's fond of filling Beats of "deep, beleaguered sighs".
- Throughout "That Time Disney Remade Beauty and the Beast", Lindsay repeatedly interjects her critique with a pleasant yet furious "Thanks, I hate it!"
- In her "How Aladdin Changed Animation (by Screwing Over Robin Williams" video, every mention of Jeffrey Katzenberg and the films he oversaw includes "Petty Asshole" in pink shiny letters.
- In her "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there," video, Lindsay calls Cain's lawyer a different name every time.
- Sand In My Eyes: During "The Revisionist History of Saving Mister Banks," in her defense of how wonderful the effect Mary Poppins has had on the world, she shows a little girl during her Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyland meeting Mary Poppins, while the father speaks of her watching the movie over and over again during her stints in the hospital. Lindsay gets audibly choked up before stating "I'm sorry there's something in my eye."
- Santa Claus: An episode of Loose Canon explores this character. Lindsay notes a duality in modern depictions, portraying Santa with or surrounding transgressive elements as a way of challenging the traditional innocent status quo, yet also preserving said status quo by the end.
- The Scapegoat: In "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia," Lindsay discusses how the media archetype of the Creepy Crossdresser Serial Killer (most notably Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill) sprang from newspapers blaming Ed Gein's real-life serial killing of women on "unnatural" feminine inclinations like wishing to be a woman, even though Ed Gein was a heterosexual cisgender man who showed no signs of having ever crossdressed. (Although his Female Misogynist mother didn't help.) Lindsay discusses how most real-life serial killers "resent women" (at best), yet acknowledging violent misogyny as a byproduct of Western society teaching people to revere "strength" and cruelty as masculinity and to despise women and femininity would force society to question its values and how it teaches men to view women... So it's just easier to blame women and femininity for their own violent misogyny by implying that only men with "unnatural" feminity (whether trans women or just men In Touch with His Feminine Side) are violent toward women due to envying or wanting to replace them.
- Sci Fi Ghetto: In the "Genre" episode of The Whole Plate, she makes her annoyance of this trope brief, but clear, accompanied with images of Arrival and WALL•E.
- Self-Demonstrating Article: In part 3 of The Whole Plate, Lindsay explains the difficulties caused by having more than one focal point the audience will have to pay attention to at the same time. Demonstrating this, she gives her explanation on the bottom half of the screen, while the top of the screen features a scrolling Starscream/Megatron High School AU smutfic.
- Self-Serving Memory: Lindsay has a lot of fun riffing on Addison Cain for this in "Into The Omegaverse: How a Fanfic Trope Landed in Federal Court" video. After Cain was publicly revealed to perjur herself for one case, then another case against her was dropped for unrelated reasons, only for Cain to publicly change her stance to try to frame herself as right all along and the case against her being dropped because the judge actively took her side, rather than the judge dismissing the case for lack of prosecution.
- Sequelitis : In "Love Never Dies: A Magnificent Musical Trashfire Sequel to Phantom of the Opera", discussing (obviously) the many problems with Love Never Dies, but also how sequels can fail more broadly. She says that what makes many sequels bad is trying to repeat the beats and character dynamics of the first installment exactly, even if that installment wrapped up in such a way that those beats no longer make sense. For instance, she takes issue with how Men in Black II pushes J back into the role of rookie, essentially undoing his character arc from the first movie, which was about growing out of that role. Or, in Love Never Dies, the Phantom once again being obsessed with and trying to gain possession of Christine, thus invalidating his choice to let her go in the original.
- Serial Numbers Filed Off: Referenced verbatim in "Into The Omegaverse: How a Fanfic Trope Landed in Federal Court," where Lindsay explains how some fanfic authors pull their fics, change key names and details to avoid Copyright Infringement, then re-publish it as their own original fiction to make money. The pitfalls of this trope, of course, is that the copyright holders might notice the Paper-Thin Disguise and take legal action.
- Shout-Out: Due to the nature of her videos, she makes a ton of references to titles across different media, but she also makes references to other fellow creators and video essayists:
- ContraPoints, including her "It's fine. This is fine. It's fine" Running Gag and her use of "daddy." "Independence Day vs. War of the Worlds" even sneaks in a very brief reference in how "The 90's had a very different, shall we say, mouthfeel." "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia" jokingly frames the video as an aborted-crossover-turned-feud with Natalie over her previous video infringing on Lindsay's, and so Lindsay more overtly copies jokes of Natalie's in spite. Lindsay admits to stealing several jokes from
- In her Loose Canon of Elizabeth I, she plugs Brows Held High for a more in-depth analysis of the sheer insanity of Anonymous.
- She occasionally references and quotes Mikey Neumann of Movies with Mikey, and in her Bright video, she's amused the orc also named Mikey.
- Lindsay admits her Bright video was structurally based on frequent co-contributor Dan Olson's video essay on The Book of Henry, right down to starting by "simply, factually recount[ing] the events of the film without commentary, questions, or asides. Alright? Alright." After doing so, she also describes Bright as "not being a Book of Henry situation."
- Her intro to "Protest Music of the Bush Era", where she gives a brief overview of America's invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the controversy that followed, has its script copied almost entirely from that of Todd in the Shadows' Trainwreckords video on Madonna's American Life. Todd appears to call her out on it, but decides to give it his blessing after Lindsay points out that his video's intro was itself a reference to her own video on RENT (and as also pointed out, Todd is credited with helping write this video's script anyway).
- "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there" makes some references to Mean Girls. She puts on the video thumbnail the caption "Mean Girls, but stupid", and one section of the video is called "Everyone personally victimized by Regina George", a popular line of the movie.
- Signature Style: In Part 2 of The Whole Plate, she says that it's a good point of The Auteur Theory, that directors having certain key themes that show up throughout their bodies of work.
- Sissy Villain: Briefly discussed in "Queering Michael Bay" of The Whole Plate, going over the popularity of depicting effete villains via effeminate queer-coding, from Joel Cairo to various animated Disney villains including Scar, Governor Ratcliffe, and Ursula (a gender-inverted example explicitly designed after a drag queen). Lindsay also makes a point that queer-coded villains aren't always a negative thing, as some have been openly embraced by LGBT communities as a reclamation of power.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With ContraPoints in "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia", played for laughs. Lindsay claims this is a feud video and occasionally calls her a whore and even steals a joke from her. She also reveals merch for the feud, with the team to get most pins (Team Natalie and Team Lindsay), deciding to which charity the profits of the sales go. Natalie won.
- Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: "Designing the Other: Aliens on Film" discusses alien designs through multiple films that go all over the scale, exploring what information each individual design is imparting to the audience and what function they serve in the narrative.
- So Bad, It's Good: She herself has this reaction to a few works covered, especially in Loose Canon:
- Regarding the 70's King Kong remake, Lindsay has a hard time deciding whether or not she hates the movie because it sucks, or loves it because it's such a "frankly wonder-terrible, awesome-nine addition to the entire Kong legacy."
- In part 2 of the episode on Phantom of the Opera, she gives a shout-out to Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge not to really discuss the differences of its Phantom, but to share its sheer 80's-ness and hilariously ridiculous plot.
- Her reaction to the horribly fake-looking and over-the-top depiction of the 9/11 attacks in the Bollywood film Madhoshi says it all.Lindsay: What the fuck, India!?
- Lindsay firmly considers Love Never Dies the worst musical she's ever seen, yet finds it hugely entertaining because of just how absurd and nonsensical it gets, with a video entirely about diving into (and laughing at) just how misguided, ill-conceived, yet weirdly fascinating the whole show is.
- So Okay, It's Average: Her general opinion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, finding it exhausting, but not evoking any particularly strong feelings for most of the individual films. Her opinions on the movies tend to range from "Eh, it's fine" to "Eyeh, it's pretty good!"
- Social Media Is Bad: "Mask Off" discusses the ways social media (particularly Twitter) is used to incentivize bad faith attacks, misinterpretations of people's intent, and public shaming.
- Space Jews: The phenomenon is analyzed in her video on Bright.
- Spiritual Adaptation: She considers Moana to be an extended "stealth remake" of Pocahontas, albeit a superior one due to it addressing several issues its predecessor had. "Pocahontas Was a Mistake, and Here's Why!" begins with an extended synopsis of effectively both movies, with their footage put side-by-side to show the similarities.
- Stepford Smiler: "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (For Fun and Profit!)" dives a great deal into "emotional labor," the need to maintain the potentially-exhausting affect of a certain job, specifically the need to be "authentic" in entertaining and engaging with an audience.
- Stockholm Syndrome: She has a video going through the common accusation of Beauty and the Beast being about this. It's a thorough debunking, with Belle failing to properly meet any of the symptoms, never putting up with any of the Beast's shit, and only returning affection after he acts to improve himself of his own volition. Lindsay also makes a point that Stockholm Syndrome isn't even considered a diagnosable mental illness, with its status as an actual thing being contested among psychiatric and law enforcement communities, making the accusations even more sensationalist.
- Straw Fan: Occasionally featured in some videos is the Twitter account @what_is_nuance, run by Angelina M. as a parody of Fan Dumb audiences.
- Streisand Effect: Lindsay feels that Addison Cain's attempts to take down Ellis' "Omegaverse" video constitutes this.
- String Theory: She makes one for her third Hobbit video to explain the long-lasting consequences of The Hobbit on New Zealand and the various parties involved.
- Sugary Malice: Addison Cain likes to portray herself as a sickeningly sweet Nice Girl in public, but ruthlessly bully, silence, and ruin the livelihood of any woman she feels has wronged her in any way (and there are many) in private.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Argues that the showrunners abandoning this trope is another reason that later Game of Thrones seasons plummeted in quality. Being a Deconstructor Fleet to High Fantasy, part of what made earlier seasons so compelling was Wrong Genre Savvy characters making choices expecting things to go their way, only for reality to bite them in the ass, with following episodes or seasons to explore the consequences of their actions. A prime example is Joffrey executing a powerful and beloved noble For the Evulz, which sparked a huge civil war that lasted for several seasons. However, later seasons tried to up the ante by having characters commit even more reckless or brutal actions for shock value, only to not want to follow through with exploring how these actions would affect the world around them. A key example is Cersei wiping out the entire powerful and beloved House Tyrell and blowing up the Sept of Baelor, both far more extreme acts of brutality and political suicide than Joffrey beheading Ned (and would have fueled several seasons of story in its own right), yet her actions are quickly ignored and forgotten.
- Take a Third Option: Lindsay often tackles controversial topics surrounding media (especially nostalgic or nerd media), where a number of people will condemn something wholesale because of something Problematic about it, while another portion will deny there is anything Problematic about it defend why they still like it. Lindsay consistently falls somewhere in the middle, admitting that something about it is flawed or unethical while still unashamedly loving it, and often posits that you can acknowledge something is flawed without having to condemn it.
- She points out in several videos that she doesn't believe that no good can come from capitalist-driven art and media, nor that people can't enjoy media despite acknowledging its Merchandise-Driven roots. With regards to Transformers:Lindsay: There is a big problem in nerd communities with coming to terms with the fact that a product they kind of love is only exists for gross, hyper-capitalistic Reagan-y reasons. Personally, I do not care. I buy my Starscreams, I read my comics, and I can still talk about the fact that the series only exists due to deregulation designed to target children and benefit big businesses.
- Discussed quite heavily in her Saving Mr. Banks video. Lindsay admits Walt Disney was unethical in how he strong-armed Travers into give up creative control over her own intellectual property, and it was unethical of the Disney Company to sanitize that history with Saving Mr. Banks, but she argues that Mary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks are still artistically great movies in their own right, and one can acknowledge their unsavory histories without being required to condemn them wholesale.
- She points out in several videos that she doesn't believe that no good can come from capitalist-driven art and media, nor that people can't enjoy media despite acknowledging its Merchandise-Driven roots. With regards to Transformers:
- Take That!:
- Her video on "The Time They Remake Beauty and the Beast" takes potshots of YouTube videos that exist to offer half-baked hot takes tearing down works, most explicitly calling out CinemaSins.
- "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia" has one to Blaire White, regarding her now infamous affirmation that there's only one reference to the villain being transgender in Rowling's Troubled Blood, despite Lindsay being able to point out multiple of them. Lindsay jokingly refers to her as "reader of books" to mock White's dubious timeline and inconsistency on whether she got it physically or digitally making it unclear if she actually read the whole book, and puts multiple of the quotes she found on the book over a clip of White saying there was only one phrase.
- In "Loose Canon: Captain America", she refers to Mark Millar as "the patron saint of angry thirteen-year-olds" and "odious f*ckboy"."People from all political walks of life can aspire to be compassionate, intuitive, trustworthy, adaptable, and just. And that is just the character that Captain America has evolved into. As long as Mark Millar isn't writing him."
- Take That, Audience!: An implicit, but firm one in "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (For Fun and Profit!)". While discussing how on YouTube, the need to maintain a parasocial illusion of authenticity and availability for fans can be dangerous since if either falters, fans are often quick to perceive it as a breach of trust and revolt, Lindsay follows it up with this, said with a Kubrick Stare and ominous silence:Lindsay: ...but lucky for me, I don't have to worry about you guys. You're the good ones.
- The Theme Park Version: Lindsay has repeatedly critiqued works that do this while directly trying to comment on political themes or conflicts, which she believes is mostly done to not scare away potential audience members, end ends up oversimplifying them to the point of insult.
- This is among her biggest complaints about RENT, a work explicitly taking place during the AIDS crisis which encourages a self-righteous and nebulous mentality of rejecting "the system." Lindsay argues that this completely misses the point since that wasn't what actually solved the crisis — namely, the aggressively direct, active protesting to pressure the government into doing its job and save its people.Lindsay: RENT takes an inherently political issue and depoliticizes it to create something comforting and consumable. RENT looks pretty, and does as little as possible.
- Bright for its discussion on racism, not just for its nominal relation to the central plot and sloppy execution, but for the fact that while the film is trying to be topical and seek truths, it only explores exaggerated "cartoon racism" that is so unrealistic that no audience member could possibly see it in themselves, cheapening their own discussion. She comes down on
- This is among her biggest complaints about RENT, a work explicitly taking place during the AIDS crisis which encourages a self-righteous and nebulous mentality of rejecting "the system." Lindsay argues that this completely misses the point since that wasn't what actually solved the crisis — namely, the aggressively direct, active protesting to pressure the government into doing its job and save its people.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- She feels this way about Mikaela in the Transformers Film Series. She argues that Mikaela was the best-written character in the first movie and would've made a far better protagonist than Sam Witwicky, given that not only is her character the one in the whole film who displays an interest in cars (in a film that's very much about cars, albeit ones that are actually robots in disguise), but her arc lines up with the film's themes of self-sacrifice. Unfortunately, her framing in the films used her mainly as Ms. Fanservice, to the point where audiences largely forgot she even had a character.
- She also takes this view of many latter-day Game of Thrones characters, especially Cersei, whom she noted had nothing to do after her destruction of the Sept. In a sane world, an already unpopular and dubiously legitimate ruler blowing up the equivalent of the Vatican should have had massive consequences for her, and had the people of King's Landing rallying en masse around any alternative. Cersei being forced to deal with the fallout of her actions could prove fascinating, give lots of material for one of the show's strongest performers, and fall perfectly in line with the series's themes. But since the logical consequences of her actions would have been the people siding with Dany and made her fall from grace even more nonsensical, Cersei avoids dealing with anything and is actually played as remorseful and sympathetic at the massacre.
- This Is Gonna Suck:
- In “Wicked Witch Of The West” Loose Canon, when it comes to Tin Man, she just leans back in her chair and groans. And then when it comes to The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, she immediately facepalms.
- In "Pocahontas Was a Mistake, and Here's Why!", she prefaces her discussion on cultural appropriation with an awkward, faltering smile and "RIP comments section."
- This Loser Is You: Analyzes it a bit in The Whole Plate, comparing Guardians of the Galaxy to Transformers: both have a crude, jerkish, perverted, entitled manchild as their lead character and the presumed audience-identification character. However, what makes Peter Quill work where Sam Witwicky doesn't is that Guardians makes an effort to treat Quill's character flaws as, well, flaws, and has him genuinely go through hell or develop because of them. Meanwhile, Sam's flaws are treated as just wacky comedic stuff that's meant to make him relatable, and he's never really challenged or forced to change by this (if anything, he gets worse). Notably, she points out that Peter Quill Did Not Get the Girl, while Sam gets multiple girls. This makes Quill actually have a character arc and impresses a genuine moral upon the audience, whereas Sam impresses upon the audience that being an asshole is perfectly fine and comes across as static and unlikable.
- This Means War!: Pretty much Lindsay's reaction to Addison Cain attempting to deplatform her for her "Into the Megaverse" video.Lindsay: I don't want to say "This is war," but...
- Three-Act Structure: First discussed in her video on Hercules to lay out the film's rigid adherence to the formula. She did an additional, more thorough dive into the subject later on, also discussing its place in film theory and as a tool.
- Throw It In: Discussed in "YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (For Fun and Profit!)", where silly mistakes or fourth-wall breaks that break down the idea of professional production lend themselves to a more casual and "authentic" feel, which sometimes increases their appeal and success. However, some shows try and exploit this idea, resulting in a manufactured facade of this sort of natural improvised authenticity, more prone to showing cracks (as is the case with "Man About Cake").
- Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: Her personal reaction to Beauty and the Beast (2017), which she finds detestable in part due to finding the characters and overall tone too cynical and mean-spirited.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: Lindsay cites this as a factor for why she considers Love Never Dies to be So Bad, It's Good. While she'd normally assess its very existence as a retread sequel as being a lazy, cynical cashgrab, she instead finds that there's a weird level of sincerity that was put into it, where everyone — from Andrew Lloyd Webber, to the cast, to the set designers — genuinely believed in it and wanted it to work. Lindsay still deems it to be laughably awful from a critical standpoint, but found the attempt to still be immensely watchable and entertaining.
- Trapped by Mountain Lions: One of her biggest critiques of The Hobbit trilogy is this. The movie, in the name of Adaptation Expansion, adds on a number of new scenes and plotlines, but they don't really go anywhere or inform the actual main story because they were haphazardly bolted onto a narrative that wasn't really meant to accommodate them. The result is "plot cul-de-sacs" that end up feeling like wastes of time and pull focus away from the actually important stuff.
- This is also mentioned in her video on Bright. The protagonist's bigotry towards orcs has no major impact on the plot, Jakoby isn't meaningfully affected by it, none of the villains are perpetrators or meaningfully affected by it and the Big Bad is an outlier to the corrupt system. She contrasts this with Who Framed Roger Rabbit and District 9, where the central plots of both (Toontown being bulldozed and the prawns being relocated) do tie into their main theme of a Fantastic Underclass.
- Trash of the Titans: Used as a Funny Background Event in her Titanic video, where her desk is covered in stacks of empty Mountain Dew cans.
- Trolling Creator: Lindsay got married in June 2018 and invited lots of her YouTuber friends, fueling some confusion and speculation that her new spouse was one of them. While the actual truth is that her husband is simply a private person with no online presence, Lindsay fueled the rumors anyway by posting suggestive photos from the wedding reception, all with the garbled caption "MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE".
- Tropes Are Tools: A recurring theme of her videos is that many tropes and conventions are not inherently positive or negative, even if they are perceived as such. For example, she refers to cultural appropriation as, strictly speaking, being a neutral tool, not inherently good or bad. It can be used harmfully, but it isn't necessarily the case.
- Troubled Production: Repeatedly mentioned in her miniseries on The Hobbit, most prominently discussed in its second part: "The Hobbit: Battle of Five Studios". It even features an interview with John Callen (who played Óin in all three films) providing a firsthand account of the increasing troubles it all went through.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Not a fan of this mentality, and one she tears to shreds for Reality Bites and RENT.Lindsay: Their approach to documentaries is... shoot whatever and call it art because "it exists, and I made it."
Mark: From here on in, I shoot without a script.
Lindsay: To quote Nathan Rabin: "Last time I checked, those are called home-f*cking-movies and nobody thinks that's High Art."
- Unintentional Uncanny Valley: She discusses the infamous case of this in Cats in her video on it, which by her observation was merely one result of a misguided attempt to make Cats seem "realistic" in an attempt to gain critical respect.
- Ungrateful Bitch: Discussed in "Into the Omegaverse," when Lindsay notes how quickly Addison Cain turned on her publishers when she couldn't hide behind them anymore, even though they'd agreed to throw themselves in front of the bus in order to protect her reputation. In "Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me," Lindsay further elaborates that Blushing Books alleges that Cain was the one who reported them to the RWA and is the reason they are on advocacy alert, and openly hates them and badmouths them to anyone who will listen.
- Unfortunate Implications: Points out several from across the series in her Game of Thrones videos:
- Season 4's plot point of Tyrion murdering Shae still happening the same way as in the books despite the massive changes to both their characters, and altering the direction Tyrion's arc went in afterwards results in a scene where a man smothering his girlfriend in revenge is still meant to be sympathetic. She also cited in part 2 the denouement at the end of the final season with Jon Snow and Tyrion framed as morally correct for killing Daenerys as mirroring the narrative of domestic abusers, "You made me do it...don't you see I had to do it", especially since Daenerys' own narrative is about a girl in an abusive relationship overcoming that and gaining agency for herself.
- The finale has the unfortunate side effect that the only living non-white characters are all for Daenerys's plan to unleash a reign of terror on the world. So the white characters have to stop an army of barbarian non-white characters from making the world even worse. Her second video noted that Tyrion's speech about Jon Snow which was intended to invoke You Monster! on the audience for cheering Daenerys' Pay Evil unto Evil, while also being a paraphrase of Martin Niemoller's famous poem about gentile indifference to Nazi anti-semitism, morally equates Daenerys' slaveowner victims with the victims of the Holocaust, which she notes is even more tone-deaf as a comparison.
- A point Ellis brings up in her second video is that the later seasons seem to imply that Sansa's earlier compassion and empathy for others is a sign of weakness and childishness, and that acting like a stone cold Manipulative Bitch, who is frequently openly hostile to anyone who isn't her immediate family is a sign that she has become mature and empowered. Ellis argues that Sansa’s true flaw that she must overcome isn't that she's 'too kind', but that she's too naive and needs to learn who is genuinely worthy of her compassion and who is just trying to manipulate her.
- Discussed more broadly in "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia". She points out that even if a property may be aware of potential anti-trans messaging and explicitly makes the point that its deranged, murderous cross-dressing male villain is in fact a man and not a trans woman (as Silence of the Lambs and Troubled Blood both do), it still correlates "person perceived as male dressing in a traditionally feminine way" with deception, psychopathy, and violence, particularly violence against women, which feeds into transphobic stereotypes. (Especially as the real trans people these villains are compared to almost never actually get to be in the story; they're just mentioned, while the Buffalo Bill types take up all the narrative space.)
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: She rips into Love Never Dies mostly for this, pointing out that while the Phantom in the original play was certainly a violent, self-centered jerk, he was sympathetic because his life emphatically sucked, and therefore it made sense that he was a jerk. However, the Phantom in Love Never Dies has tons of friends, wealth, and success, and the musical tries to frame him as a good guy and Christine's real true love... and yet he still comes across as a violent, self-centered jerk.
- Unwanted Assistance: Part of the reason for her disgust towards Addison Cain in the Omegaverse lawsuit is that Cain claims to be acting in defense of writers, by locking down people for stealing her material. However, Lindsay argues the opposite: that Cain's tactics of abusing the DMCA will set a terrible precedent, as it means that anyone not willing or able to battle it out in court can have their work taken down, placing independent writers at the mercy of the whims of large corporations.
- Unreliable Narrator: An episode of It's Lit is dedicated to this, detailing the various reasons and means of execution for this to occur in fiction.
- Values Dissonance: A recurring trend of works that came out in The '90s, most notably RENT and Reality Bites, is that she believes the characters in those works tend to look very unsympathetic to audiences since then. In her view, their focus on Clinton-era middle-class ennui merely makes the characters seem whiny when people in the modern day would kill for the "dead-end jobs" and "art for profit" that those characters disdain.
- Values Resonance:
- Discussed in "The Case For Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame," where Lindsay notes the film was not very well-received in The '90s due to its dark tone, but speculates that it's gaining more appreciation in The New '10s because its themes and issues resonate more with what's going on in the changing sociopolitical climate.Lindsay Ellis: I think [Hunchback] would be more appreciated if it came out today, because we need stories like this today. Fasci-y abusive Frollo, justice for the oppressed, the focus on how some men really loathe the objects of their desire, the wholesale demonization of ethnic groups... Maybe this movie wasn't appreciated in its time because it didn't resonate as much in 1996, but it does resonate now in 2017.
- Also discussed in "The Most Whitewashed Character In Literary History", a video surrounding the chronic adaptational removal of The Persian from The Phantom of the Opera, making a case for better treatment not just because he was important to the plot, but because his positive depiction as an ethnic character was greatly ahead of his (and Lindsay might argue, our) time. At the end of the essay, Lindsay notes having delayed its release due to real-world tensions between America and Iran, but suggests that during such times of stress where people are more drawn to looking back at familiar, but potentially regressive and hostile narratives, it should be worth challenging them and looking more critically at what can really be done.
- Discussed in "Why Borat Works Better in 2020". While edgy racial and sexual humor had fallen severely out of favor since 2006, and Borat's use of such earned it accusations of promoting stereotypes against marginalized people under the guise of humor, what helped Borat hold up far better than other 2000s raunch and prank comedies was that it made such retrograde views the butt of the joke, with Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat getting people to reveal on camera that they weren't nearly as enlightened as they thought they were and that the violent, raging bigotry that Americans thought they'd buried long ago still lurked under the surface. She said that Borat in 2020 was "the hero we need right now, but he is certainly not the hero we should want."
- Discussed in "The Case For Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame," where Lindsay notes the film was not very well-received in The '90s due to its dark tone, but speculates that it's gaining more appreciation in The New '10s because its themes and issues resonate more with what's going on in the changing sociopolitical climate.
- Verbal Tic: Much like Jenny Nicholson, she has a habit of beginning a topic with "So..."; unlike Nicholson, she usually does this when moving to a new topic mid-video, rather than at the start.
- Villain with Good Publicity: She's really baffled by the attempts in Beauty and the Beast (2017) to "justify" this in Gaston, with the film feeling the need to make him more sympathetic by giving him backstory as a war hero suffering from PTSD, made even more confusing and questionable by the film also doubling down on his more violent aspects that the more skeptical townsfolk are shown to need bribes to look past.
- Visual Innuendo: Her video on the Omegaverse lawsuit has her playing with silly string at one point, and whenever she mentions "knotting", she demonstrates by inflating a balloon.
- Voice Clip Song: The episode intro theme to The Whole Plate, using the namesake line from Transformers.
- Voodoo Shark: She regarded the entirety of Beauty and the Beast (2017) as this trope in a nutshell, feeling that the film was just Disney attempting to respond to every criticism of the original film no matter how much of a nitpick it felt like, in the process creating something that utterly lacked the soul of its inspiration while raising all manner of new questions. For instance, the film tries to explain the servants being cursed by having them claim responsibility for not raising him better... but what, does that mean the child son of a tea brewer was somehow responsible for the decisions of a literal monarch?
- Warts and All: Discussed in "Woke Disney", wherein Lindsay notes that, while there is discourse over how exactly things like the Crows from Dumbo should be handled with regards to the rather...uncomfortable racial symbolism they employ, completely removing them as the remake did is not the answer, as they are as much ingrained into both the movie and Disney's history as the Pink Elephants and "Baby Mine" are.Lindsay: The original Dumbo is kind of beautiful in how flawed it was, including the elements that are abrasive to modern audiences. Which HAPPENED, and are a part of Disney history and we're not doing ourselves any favors by pretending that they're not.[...]And I know there is discourse on how to handle history like this, but pretending that it just didn't exist? Just ignoring it altogether and pretending it didn't happen? How is that helping to make the world better or educate people?
- Wham Episode: Mask Off is quite different from Lindsay's other fare. She addresses point-by-point the critique of her many "sins" and she admits that a good portion of those are legitimate. Lindsay also gets Forced Out of the Closet by admitting that she's bisexual and thus has mixed feelings about being accused of biphobia, was assaulted in college as was her roommate, and the resulting "Rape Rap" was never supposed to be published because she knew that it was in bad taste and should remain a coping mechanism and in-joke between friends. Only then does she go into a deeper analysis of the tweet that started this whole controversy.
- Wham Line: Two from the end of "The Hobbit: Battle of Five Studios":Tom Augustine: Just so you know, what the Hobbit actually did for New Zealand was... well it kinda fucked us.
Lindsay: We've just been informed by the studio that this actually going to be three videos now.
- What Could Have Been:
- Her Patreon patron-exclusive notes for "Loose Canon: Death" show that she originally considered including Marvel Comics' Death, Shinigami, and other personifications of death from global religions.
- In a response to one comment, she said that she was considering doing a Loose Canon episode about Jesus, but found it impossible to condense the sheer glut of information about and interpretations of him into a twenty minute video, saying that it could have been a web series unto itself.
- She was going to do a video discussing gender in Game of Thrones but got fed up halfway through and cancelled it. Some of her points, however, got woven into her two "postmortem" videos on the series.
- Has said she would love to do a video explaining why she doesn't like Shrek - something she did touch on in her 'Dreamworks vs Disney' two-parter. But knowing how beloved it is by early 2000s kids, she compared the idea to "A Gen-Xer telling 90s kids why Aladdin sucks..."
- She considered doing an essay on The Prince of Egypt - as she does not like the film or the idea of adapting organised religion for pop culture. But again she does not want to deal with the inevitable backlash it would get.
- Lindsay considered doing a follow-up video on the internecine "Disney wars" that she touched upon in her video about Aladdin starting the Celebrity Voice Actor trend, but shelved it when she saw people in the comments of that video using thinly-veiled anti-Semitic language when talking about one of the key players in that situation, Jeffrey Katzenberg.
- At the end of her video on Titanic (1997), Lindsay explains that the video was supposed to be based on a different topic — presumably about pandemics, given that she plays clips of Outbreak — but it was shelved for being too topical and heavy.
- Lindsay hinted that she was planning a video about Hamilton in a few interviews and social media comments, and did talk about it in passing in some of her other videos. She's since said that the amount of discourse surrounding Hamilton's release on Disney Plus in July 2020 ultimately discouraged her from tackling it.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Invoked, Deconstructed, and partially played for self-deprecating laughs regarding The Whole Plate, where she uses the Transformers Film Series as a vessel for various political readings, from The Auteur Theory to feminist and Marxist theory. As she points out several times in the series, the point of critical media studies is less to pin down a deliberate, intended political message in the work, but rather to raise questions about how audiences consume media and what it says about the culture that created and surrounds it, even if the subject she chose is considered "lowbrow." This is supported by the fact as pointed out in her episode on auteur theory, Michael Bay considers himself a deeply political person whose worldview seeps into his work, even if he doesn't like actively discussing what that means.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Discusses Real Life examples in "Why Borat Works Better in 2020." Lindsay theorizes that most Trump supporters don't want actual bloodshed, since Sacha Baron Cohen exposes many of them to be kind people to those they encounter—even people from groups they dislike in theory. (Like two Trump supporters helping what they think is a Funny Foreigner.) But Cohen exposes how many Americans are just fine with people from groups they don't like (political enemies, minorities, women, etc) being hurt in the abstract, as long as it's no one they know and they aren't there to see it.Rando: I've never, uh, participated in someone's death.
Lindsay: And he's fine with it, because it happened off-screen and someone else arranged it.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: Lindsay recruited H.Bomberguy to read excerpts of Troubled Blood aloud for her "Tracing the Roots of Pop Culture Transphobia" video, and he keeps having this reaction.Harris, reading from a passage castigating the murder victim for possibly getting an abortion: "Imagine aborting your husband's—" What the fuck? When you asked me to read these, I didn't think it would be this bad.
- Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Discussed in her videos on The Phantom of the Opera (2004) and Cats as specifically pertains to stage musicals and film, and how both mediums have different thresholds. With both cases, Lindsay points out how generally speaking, unreality on a live stage is inherently much easier for audiences to accept than on a live-action screen aided by all kinds of technology, but that good movie musicals can get around it through broader stylism. Where the film versions of Phantom and Cats fail is in part due to their insistence on playing into the inherent realism of film, creating drastic tonal dissonance with their decidedly unrealistic source material that breaks disbelief (while still failing to capitalize on their new format).
- Woman Scorned: She has a lot of issues with Oz the Great and Powerful, but finding out that this is why the Wicked Witch is wicked really drove her up the wall. She also complained about how X-Men: The Last Stand reduced Mystique's motivations to this trope.
- X Meets Y: Invoked in her discussion of Hercules, which she considers to be more "Rocky meets Superman: The Movie" than anything to do with the actual Greek myth. She argues it's a misplaced effort, as not only are the references a little too obvious to work, but the themes don't mix well when you try to combine a sports film about a rough-and-tumble underdog with a superhero film about a Messianic Archetype. (The phrase "Go the distance!", for instance, makes very little sense in a movie that lacks the Second Place Is for Winners element in Rocky.)
- You Keep Using That Word: After Addison Cain attempted to deplatform Lindsay for her "Into the Omegaverse" video, Lindsay spends a great deal of time explaining in her follow-up video, "Addison Cain's lawyer emailed me" how Cain does not have a legal leg to stand on since most of the terms they accuse Lindsay of (slander, defamation, copyright infringement, verbal harrassment, etc) are terms she isn't even using in the right colloquial context, never mind legal application.Lindsay: It does not work like that. "You hurt my feelings, ipso facto copyright infringement." That's not how copyright works.
- Earlier Addison Cain was boasting how the case that started this whole thing was dismissed WITH PREJUDICE like it's a rare, end all be all result. Like it was a victory for her and for authors in general. In reality, "with prejudice" is generally implied when a case is dismissed. It would have been stranger if the case was dismissed without prejudice. And this is ignoring that the case was dismissed because of a failure to prosecute. Therefore, nothing was actually accomplished.
- You Sexy Beast: "My Monster Boyfriend" circles around the modern popularity of romances between women and monsters in media, explaining the long history of social evolution that eventually led into it, culminating in the mainstream and critical success of The Shape of Water.