John Peter Bain (8 July 1984 24 May 2018), better known by his screen name TotalBiscuit, was a British-born creator of YouTube videos and commentary showcasing his first impressions of whatever game has only just been released. He did fast-paced Starcraft II Multiplayer commentary, first-impression videos of indie games on Steam and other digital-distribution platforms through a series known as WTF is..., and collaborations with other channels, such as co-op playthroughs of Magicka and Trine 2 with Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane of the Yogscast and a Terraria series with Jesse Cox. As for his Starcraft II involvement, he became a sponsor for Team Dignitas' BlinG and founded Team Axiom, which had five players before his real-life illness forced him to shut it down.
During his time with Wow Radio, TotalBiscuit hosted a few shows - Dungeon Master (a short-lived non-intensive raid guide), Titan, TB's Show About Videogames, and EPIC! - but, in the world of podcasts, he is best known for both his "shock-jock"-inspired persona and Blue Plz, a World of Warcraft weekly podcast, Cataclysm expansion beta (and afterward, published content) playthroughs with commentary, and daily updates of "WoW news and content" through his Azeroth Daily videos. He discontinued his regular World of Warcraft videos as of May 2011 and, although he continued it for a few weeks afterward, confirmed that Blue Plz is "done for good" as well. He did 27 videos of an ambitious Let's Play for Shining Force III (which he was unfortunately been forced to take down due to copyright claims by Sega Japan), and had been embarking on a playthrough of DC Universe Online after a handful of beta content videos were well-received on his channel.
You can find his YouTube channel here, TotalHalibut. In August of 2011, he created another YouTube channel, TotalBiscuit, which he used to host exclusively Starcraft II content. He was yet another member of Polaris, and ever since it was called TheGameStation helped run a weekly podcast, now called The Co-Optional Podcast.
In April 2018, Bain formally retired as a game critic, due to failing health caused by increasing issues with the cancer he had been diagnosed with back in 2015. He passed away due to complications from the disease on 24 May 2018.
Tropes that apply to TotalBiscuit:
- Aborted Arc: Several videos he intended to make were scrapped or never made
- He said he'd give a WTF is... of Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition in his Dannish Inquisition episode. He didn't.
- He'd mentioned that he created a LOT of videos, had a lot of ideas for video series, but had to cut a lot of them because they didn't meet his strict standards, he didn't have the time for it, or other reasons (such as his boycott of SEGA related content).
- Accidental Innuendo: He did this from time to time, at which point either he or someone he was playing/casting with would inevitably tell people not to look into it. Crossing a Watermelon field while playing a female engineer in Guild Wars 2: "Look at that advanced melon technology. No, not THAT kind of melon technology."TB during his WTF is of Binary Domain: You will notice the camera is sort of jerking off to one side or another - no not like that, jerking off to one side - no, this is not going to sound good regardless of how I say it, let's just abandon that sentence.TB during his WTF is of OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood: I was swearing like an aircraft carrier's worth of seamen. That... That didn't come out the way that I wanted it to.
- Actually Pretty Funny: During "WTF Is...Duty Calls," he was clearly pissed that it was made in place of a proper demo for the PC version of Bulletstorm, yet couldn't help but laugh at it from beginning to end.
- And Another Thing...: "Oh yeah, and it crashes when you try to quit it!", at the end of one of his videos after the usual ending.
- And That's Terrible: During one of the Dead Rising 2: Broken Record videosTB: (to Jesse) Stop doing that or you'll break the game. And that's bad.
- Angrish: Lapsed into this when playing punishingly difficult games, and since he played quite a few of those, he spoke it almost fluently.
- In Terraria, Angrish is apparently "Hell-ese" and TB was very fluent in it, though it mostly involved asking for cooking ingredients.
- At the end of his WTF is The Tiny Bang Story video he actually resumes recording after the designated end and almost immediately descends into this.
- He had since done a WTF Is... of I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden. He set a record for giving in to rage about 2 minutes in and doesn't let upnote .
- Apologetic Attacker: During his Blood Bowl game against Dodger.
- Author Appeal:
- Top hats and monocles appeared to be high on his agenda. If there were in-game cosmetics for one's avatar, TB was certain to go and seek them out.
- While the monocle never became such, TB did wear a top hat on "official" videos in which his face was shown. One example of this would be his coverage of the Games Com show.
- TB was a big Terry Pratchett fan, sometimes encouraging people to read the books. The origin of his name? From the book Carpe Jugulum, TotalBiscuit, a "horrible" name given to a child because of the child's culture. His first online handle also came from Terry Pratchett, Soulcake.
- Given quotings during his bout as Darkhalibut in DC Universe Online and also during his videos against Angry Joe in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, his love of Frank Klepacki's music and knowledge of events that occur within the series, it seems likely that TotalBiscuit was a fan of Command & Conquer.
- Awesome McCoolname:
- John Bain. Lampshaded in one of his DC Universe Online videos, when he fought the other Bane.
- And again in episode 35 of Terraria - The Next World Generation, where Jesse in his 'Bane' (him talking into a cup) voice...Jesse: Ah, John 'TotalBiscuit' Bain. It is I, the real Bane...
- Even better is his son, Orion Bain, who may or may not be defender of the galaxy.
- Badass Baritone: Had a very deep and characterful voice.
- Averted for the last 6 months of his life, as various cancer complications caused pressure against his chest, which raised the pitch of his voice about an octave.
- Badass Boast:
- Badass in a Nice Suit: His casting attire.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: When TB started streaming Faeria, he thanked a small number of viewers for sending him in-game chests, and informed the rest of his viewers that they could add him as their recruiter to send him a gift and get a prize of their own. He later regretted doing this, when the game became borderline unplayable as fans sent him chest after chest.
- Berserk Button: He had a quite a few of these. Lord help you if you pressed one...
TB: Ughh... I'm gonna be honest. I'm mostly doing this stream so you guys'll shut the fuck up about this stupid thing.Genna(in a super-cute voice): ANIME SENPAI!TB: Ugh, oh God. I'm already regretting this.Genna (still in cutesy voice): Awww...
- Don't mess with Husky Starcraft — the guy was responsible for getting TB his YouTube partnership, and the job to provide for his family, or, in TB's own words: "Husky is the reason my family still has a roof over their heads".
- Fan Dumb — both his own and that of others. It doesn't matter if you like his videos, you love kittens or you like Ponies — if you were being a dick about what you liked, you would piss him off. Had a bit of a trigger finger on banning
- Also, don't touch his hat, as Jesse found out the hard way in Terraria.
- Don't. Diss. Charity! Be it the Humble Indie Bundle or Red Cross. You WOULD get shouted at, banned from his channel, and possibly set on fire through the internet.
- League of Legends and its publisher Riot Games ever since his falling-out with both note . He talked about the game from time to time during his Content Patch news discussions, but asking him why he didn't stream it anymore was a quick way to get his wrath.
- Newest one... Moogles, which made TotalBiscuit punch a kitten.
- His biggest one yet at the time: Do not, under any circumstance, question TB's morals as a commentator and as a game consumer. Nearly an hour of the fourth GameStation podcast was devoted to a debate/shouting contest between Jesse and TB on this.
- Minecraft. He found the game itself to be overrated, thought the community was the worst on the internet, and had come to hate Mojang themselves, especially after Notch bad-mouthed the Yogscast on Twitter after the first Minecon.
- Censorship, the mess with Day One: Garry's Incident showcased perfectly how enraged TB could become when someone abuses fair use or other copyright laws to censor opinion.
- Making crappy sequels to beloved franchises of his.
- Companies he found terrible such as The Chinese Room.
- Hand-holding in video games, such as forced tutorials.
- Horrible game title screens, limited option menus, and generally bad interface designs or UI. TB tended to give these more attention that the average critic, as he spent the first part of each "WTF Is..." video breaking these aspects down.
- The claim that 30 FPS is ideal for video games because "it's more cinematic" tended to set him off, especially since he'd shown that games can markedly improve at 60 FPS and many modern computers can handle it. In July 2015 he started a Steam curator list called "The Framerate Police," dedicated to pointing out games that are locked at 30 FPS, alongside any possible means of unlocking the frame rate.
- Pre-ordering and Early Access games on Steam and the people who support these practices with their money. One of his rants succinctly states why.
- One particular influx of overzealous people seemed to irk him quite a bit, as set from the opinion he set on the Giant Bomb controversy and when fellow content creator JonTron came under fire from them.
- Anything falling under TB's "anime bullshit" umbrella, particularly the stuff that his wife forced him to play with her. He explained that while he recognized Japanese culture's eccentricities, the main reason for his distaste was the obnoxious fanbase and the tendency to be overly Japanese/cute/perverted/etc. for its own sake.
- Transphobia and intolerance among his community, which was quite understandable. His response to the unpleasantness with reddit's response to LauraKBuzz's appearance on the Co-Optional Podcast makes this quite plain; if you're a bigot and expressed hatred in his community, he did NOT want you as a fan and he would do whatever he could to ensure that your hate speech was silenced.
- Big "NO!": See Big "WHAT!?" below.
- Big "WHAT?!": During his livestream of XCOM: Enemy Unknown on Classic difficulty with Iron Man mode on he missed the alien with an 83% chance to hit. This is his reaction immediately followed by a Big "NO!". Jump to 15:13 if you'd like to see.
- Blasphemous Boast: In TGS Podcast #39.TB: I have more Youtube money than GOD!note
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Male Version. The 6th Podcast has Jesse, TB and Simon Lane respectively, beards and all.
- He might not be fond of cursing in front of his audience in regular videos, and if he did do so, expect a warning from him in advance.
- Averted for WTF Is... Long Live The Queen ? episode, though. The preparation stream with his wife Genna had TB calling the game on having tons of "anime bullshit", and for the actual episode, TB said "anime nonsense" right once.
- Humorously used during the WTF Is... Hatoful Pigeon?, another collab between him and Genna. He initially names the protagonist "FUCKOFF PLEASE" in a fit of annoyance, but after making an Accidental Pun a few minutes in, he restarts and names the new PC "FLOCKOFF FTHERFCE" as a funnier and more family-friendly alternative.
- Brutal Honesty: Came hand in hand with the Caustic Critic trope, he never softened the blow when picking faults.TB (Speaking about Q.U.B.E. - a puzzle game): "A well designed game with a lot of thought behind it... but has honestly the character of your average plank of wood."
- Buffy Speak: Phsysicsy Style (From his WTF Is of Intrusion 2) "Is that even a word? It is now."
- Bullying a Dragon:
- When the makers of an indie game TB snubbed tried to claim copyright to censor his extremely unflattering opinion, they wound up looking like idiots and generating even more negative press by showing how poorly they took criticism. The mess with Day One and Guise Of The Wolf had left both companies humiliated and their reputations utterly tarnished. And that's not even half of it when you take into account his fanbase's (sometimes overkill) reactions to said threats.
- The makers of Guise Of The Wolf actually threatened to sue, TB's response roughly amounted to "bring it on". They backed down within the day since no sane prosecutor would take a case that censored free speech (a constitutional right) and the fact that TB has access to Polaris' lawyers.
- Even funnier is that although he didn't pursue it as his career, he actually graduated college with a Law degree.
- The Cameo:
- As pointed out by TB and Jesse in their Q & A video together on OMFGcata, Simon Lane (a Gnome) and Lewis Brindley (then named Zephir, a Night Elf) are literally right there when TB is accepting and recording the "Peacebloom vs Ghouls" quest, back in the days when the Yogscast's flagship channel, TotalBiscuit, and OMFGcata had a friendly rivalry uploading World of Warcraft content as quickly as they could.
- Simon decides to finally add TotalBiscuit to his Steam friends list during one of his Terraria livestreams.
- Another one where he cameos during the Yogscast's Earth Defense Force Livestream (audio only as the video is game footage). Notable of reducing Sips to a blithering fanboy.Sips: Say my name. Oh please say my name!
* TB chats for a while then leaves*
Sips: He probably thinks I'm a weird fanboy now...
- And now Lewis is a cute necromancer girl followed by 4 meatpatchworked monsters while TB is a furry with a charrzooka and stabby stabby daggers in the GW2 beta.TB: Greetings Lewis, how are you today?
- In Tom Syndicate's 6th August Minecraft Project livestream, TB called him up on Skype after 15 minutes to help him with streaming lag issues.
- Catchphrase: Numerous. Some of the most frequent ones seem to be more along the lines of a Verbal Tic, in fact."Fire ze missiles!"
"I'm working on it."
"Covered in X!"
"Yes, it is delicious!"
"My name is TotalBiscuit and I'm here to ask and answer one simple question... WTF is [insert game title here]?"
"By any stretch of the imagination"
"Free X! My favorite kind of X!"
"Big fan of that."
"X is/are the worst thing/things in the world..."
"Not the worst thing to ever happen/in the world..."
"Death to you!""Death to the heathens!""Onwards, for great justice!"
"Let us rock and/or roll... whichever comes first."
"Lets kick it off, shall we?"
"Funny how that works."
"I can tell you that for a fact."
"...in any way, shape or form."
"Honestly" or "If I'm being totally honest."
"For the good of the land!"
"Beta is Beta." or "Alpha is Alpha"
"At the end of the day..."
"...as much as Humanly (sometimes Zergly) possible
"...see what he can see..."
"...streaming across the map"
"Bit of a bugbear;..."
"Welcome to the Game Station Podcast where we occasionally talk about Videogames."
"...as a direct result..."
"I have more... than god!"
"This/that is not ideal." or "Not the most ideal X...""This/that is not brilliant."
- Catch Phrase Interruptus:"Onward, for great (*Meat Boy runs into buzzsaw*) ...death"
- A game called No Time to Explain also does this to him a few times;TB: "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Totalbiscuit and I'm here to as—
PC: *Crashes into the room* "I am you from the future, there's no time to explain! Follow me to — OH CHRIST!! WAAAAH!!" *giant claw grabs PC*
TB: "What the Chr—? *Beat* My name is Totalb—"
PC, still in Claw: "Use the arrow keys to move!! UAAHGH!!"
TB: "--iscuit... and I'm here... to ask and answer one simple question..."
- He also namechecks the trope during WTF is... Dustforce.
- By the end of his critique on WASTED - A Post Apocalyptic Pub-crawlerTB: If you have enjoyed this video, then by all means please feel free to hit the like button, and if you don't, the dislike—
- TB unexpectly stoped in his tracks, TB checks down and saw a bear trap clamping his feetTB: ....it's a bear trap. *draws breath* The DISLIKE BEAR TRAP is right here!
- Right after, TB shot a mutamutt, the mutamutt exploded into a bunch of tiny flying enemies chasing TBTB: "NO! NO! GO AWAY! GOD DA-$%@$^— I'll see you next time OH BLOODY HELL...."
- A game called No Time to Explain also does this to him a few times;
- Can't Hold His Liquor: During the Star Wars Kinect Dance Off and the 14th podcast, TB visibly drinks the least amount of Champagne among the three of them, but looks even more drunk than Jesse (downed his whole bottle note , yet only acts slightly more silly than usual) and Dodger (almost finished her bottle and does not look drunk at all).
- Can't Take Criticism: He fell under the common Youtube commentator curse of being able to dish criticism but being unable to take it.
- Caustic Critic: At times, but less often than the name "Cynical Brit" would suggest. He's actually quite fair, and often finds something to appreciate even in a game he doesn't like.
- Cerebus Syndrome: A number of relatively recent commentators on his Super Meat Boy Wipe-A-Thon 3000 video note that he seems a lot happier in that relatively-early video.
- Cluster F-Bomb: At times when he's streaming, especially during particularly awful/frustrating games (in example: Let's Not Play: Guise of the Wolf). Normally averted in "regular" Youtube videos (including WTF Is...) as TB tries to maintain a certain level of professionalism there.
- Comically Missing the Point: Upon going to Paris and witnessing the Eiffel Tower lit up, his reply is this:TB: That is NOT energy efficient.
- The Comically Serious: What really makes TB's WTF is... episode of Scribblenauts Unlimited funny is the way TB maintains his Stiff Upper Lip and avoids corpsing despite constantly looking for an excuse to spawn miniguns and Eldritch Abominations.
- Cool, but Inefficient: TB's most well known Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft series of videos was Lord of the Legendaries, where he played a deck composed entirely of impressive-seeming legendary cards, most of which are Awesome, but Impractical. Despite being a non-viable joke deck and getting stomped quite a bit, he never gave up on trying to make the deck work somehow.
- Corpsing: Almost never in proper videos, but on the Co-optional Podcast he had his moments of laughing so hard that he couldn't find his composure or continue talking. Naturally, it was Jesse's goal to get TB to corpse as often as possible, to which the others will joke about TB temporarily being out of order or broken since he's in hysterics.
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*: During his WTF Is... of Game of Thrones - A Telltale Game Series, he had this to say about the voice acting:TB: Pretty much solid across the board. Nobody phoned it in, which is nice, considering we have had some recent instances of celebrity voice actors kind of phoning it in lately. *cough*Peter Dinklage*cough* Sorry there about that, had to clear my throat there.
- Critical Dissonance: Invoked for discussion as part of this video released in the wake of the Critical Dissonance surrounding Mad Max.
- Crossover: With other members of Polaris such as Dodger and Jesse, as well as various members of the Yogscast, such as Simon, Lewis and Strippin.
- Cuteness Proximity:
- He was not usually a victim of this, but then the Popori appeared. "IT'S A BEAVER!"
- That said, this trope is possibly parodied for the most part. There have been quite a few times where he said something that isn't stereotypically cute (like the cyber-skull in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine) being adorable.
- One instance of this happened during Easter Day where his twitter avatar became a cute rabbit, followed up by him linking to bunny videos on YouTube and posting random cute bunny pictures throughout the day. Subscribers and followers of his Twitter had a Wild Mass Guessing about whether he was momentarily possessed, drunk, sad, hungry for rabbit meat, Trolling, if it was his wife, or if he had a soft spot for bunnies.Subscriber: Cynical Fleet currently experiencing bunnies, please try again later.Then he linked a demonic looking bunny.
- If he couldn't acquire a guest host (or one of the regular hosts was unavailable) for the weekly TGS Podcast, he'd replace the spot in the overlay with either a still image or video of a cute animal, often one of his own pet chinchillas or dogs.
- The Cynic: It's in the name.
- Decoy Protagonist: In all three runs in his Death Road to Canada stream, his character always died in the middle (with the true protagonists being Jesse Cox in the first two, and PeanutButterGamer in the third).
- Deadpan Snarker: He does this quite often.
- He could be quite persistent in his efforts to complete a task set before him, be it by a game or by a person. When it came to I Wanna Be the Guy, though...I'm not leaving until this is done! I don't care if this is a three-hour freaking video! It's gonna happen!
- In terms of his personal life, Bain managed to fight off getting cancer twice. Even better? The second time was Metastatised Pancreatic cancer, generally agreed to be a guaranteed death sentence with no cure, And he still beat it.. Ultimately, he succumbed to the disease in May 2018, after it spread to his liver.
- He could be quite persistent in his efforts to complete a task set before him, be it by a game or by a person. When it came to I Wanna Be the Guy, though...
- Doing It for the Art: He mentioned in his WTF Is.. episode on the Blizzard Arcade that managing his competitive StarCraft team Axiom is a passion project.
- Double Take: During his WTF is Darkspore."Hold stuff down and you get this combo, called the 'voltic slash' it's got a cooldown right there, two meter range... Two meter range? That's fairly impressive, quite the reach on that guy!"
- Epic Fail:
- Even the Guys Want Him: He went on record admitting that he's straight. That said, he called Rashid "a hot, hot man."
- Everything Trying to Kill You:
"Did I just get killed by an elevator? *Beat* I just git auhg-uhhug... Everything in this game is out to kill me! And is doing an exceptionally good job of it.
- During his multiplayer WTF of Section 8: Prejudice, he gets killed by an elevator slamming him into the edge of the door.
- Also during his Halloween playthrough of Amnesia: The Dark Descent:"Nothing is bloody safe in this game!"
- Evil Brit: He liked to fashion himself as a heartless sociopath sometimes, though at the end of the day he was just a Cynical Brit.
- Evil Is Hammy: During his Dungeonland videos.
- Evil Laugh:
- Expansion Pack Past: To date, he has been recorded saying that he had been a drummer, singer, game store clerk note , economic consultant, radio caster note , and game commentator note .
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He occasionally released videos titled "I will now talk about [subject] for just under/over n minutes", in which he talked about [subject] for just under/over n minutes.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: In his Dungeonland videos, TB acted as a Killer Game Master to the 3 adventurers: Jesse playing as a warrior, his wife Genna Bain as a mage, and Dodger as a rogue.
- First-Name Basis: He's one of the few people to refer to Strippin as "Sam" on a constant basis, typically referring to him as "Strippin" only when introducing him to an audience.
- Flat "What":
- Friendly Fire: Warning! There is an Imperial issue frag grenade heading in your general direction. I anticipate six seconds before total evisceration.
- Fun with Acronyms: During his Magicka Let's Plays with Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane, they began to repeatedly use (and fail with) a spell combo they call "ARSE Mines" due to the keys needed to execute it.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: The developer of Day One: Garry's Incident issued a copyright takedown notice under the justification that, "Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license" (sic). TB was NOT happy.
- Gag Dub: The Cynical Redub series of videos, which riffed video game conferences. The description even says it was inspired by other Abridged Series, though it currently doesn't fit the description of the trope.
- General Ripper: During the WTF Is... Long Live The Queen episode, TB proceeded to turn Princess Elodie into a military-oriented baroness with total focus on the army and navy the moment Genna is watching. This fails to protect her when she unwittingly eats poison chocolates, to TB's incredulity.
- Godwin's Law: Played straight and lampshaded in his Mailbox for February 15, 2012:You want hate? You see what the Nazis did, that's hate! Yes I brought the Nazis in. —TotalBiscuit, disagreeing with the term "hater" to describe someone who strongly dislikes a game.
- Gone Horribly Right:
- His WTF is of I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden. He made it intending it to be a parody of "rageplayers" on Youtube who overreact to everything, getting outraged over the smallest things and throwing in plenty of Out Of Character Moments in order to emphasise this. Unfortunately, he managed to do a rage video a bit too well and created a genuinely funny video. Naturally, most people didn't get the joke.
- Inverted with his time with Squirrel Girl in Marvel Heroes. He assumes that the person who gifted him her did so as a joke. After playing with her, and doing some research into the character, he becomes a fan of the character (citing her as one of the funniest Marvel characters out there)
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: A portion of his humor, especially in the Terraria LP.
- Hidden Depths: One might be surprised to find out that he's actually a pretty good singer (he even had a brief stint of trying to be one) and that he's quite well-versed in law. The latter is because of his law background- while he didn't take the bar exam, he still got his degree.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The trope name was actually name dropped in his March 21, 2012 Mailbox.
- Hypocritical Humor: Emphasis on humor. He has a personal disdain of Let's Plays because he finds them devoid of creativity, but his Let's Plays with Lewis Brindley, Simon Lane and Jesse Cox are some of his most popular and hilarious videos.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every single part of the Terraria LP with Jesse Cox has the subtitle "Jesse is bad at X".
- Insistent Terminology:
- He doesn't do reviews -- he does FIRST IMPRESSIONS.
- The Terraria LP with Jesse is not a Let's Play, it's a talk show. There's even a video to prove this.
- More of a pronunciation insistence but he has stated on numerous occasions that the British way of saying 'issues' (ISS-yews) is much better than the American way (ISH-ews)
- It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Inverted, TB generally disliked the "hardcore" gaming crowd who disparaged games for appealing to casuals, as it drove away potential players (and customers). While he acknowledged that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm both dumb things down for newcomers, this is not necessarily a bad thing for the consumers that are willing to sacrifice tactical depth for ease of entry.
- It Was with You All Along: In Episode 39 of their Terraria series, TB and Jesse decide to make some Spelunker potions to help with finding the new ores to make better equipment. They head out to find Moonglow, which is one of the ingredients, and continue to search for it throughout episodes 40-42. They return with only 2 Moonglow and one Moonglow seed, and when Jesse opens one of the chests to find clay to make a pot...Jesse: Uh, we have a chest full of- ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There's a chest filled with 5 Moonglow!
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: How an innocent fishing boat turns into a boat full of Satan's diseased orphan spawn.
- Jump Scare: Encounters one with impeccable timing in "An Early Look At Outlast".TB:If you blow your load too quickly with jump scares-(Opens the door, cue Scare Chord) AAHH, JESUS CHRIST!
- Just One More Level!: TB suffered from this so hard that he accidentally completed XCOM 2 before the game was officially released.
- Knight in Sour Armor: TB could be extremely bitter and realistic about the motives of publishers, developers, even gamers, and always pointed out the flaws in the industry... but it was very clear that he utterly loved his job, and believed Gaming would continue to be a hugely beneficial medium.
- Large Ham: He tended to seemingly overreact to certain things.
- Leitmotif: The Ballad of TotalBiscuit, also available in shortened version, played during the ending of most of his videos. He originally used "He's a Pirate", until he was asked not to for copyright issues. The artist then made the ballad using a similar melody.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: Had a training sword in real life dedicated to this, according to the 45th TGS podcast.
- Literalist Snarking: Along with Deadpan Snarker, usually towards some stupid question already answered by him.Guy on twitter, having missed TB's announcements about the assembly in Finland: What's in Finland?
- Madness Mantra: During his WTF is of Lone Survivor.TB: There was no jazz at all! NO JAZZ AT ALL!
- Memetic Badass: Invoked. Jesse is incredibly flattering towards TB during their Terraria Let's Play, among other situations.
- Jesse: Is this where you tell me, "I ate steak off the back of a naked Asian woman [for breakfast], then I went and killed a rhinoceros with my bare hands, upon which I took his horn and made a flute- even though it seems impossible. And I did that all before 6 A.M."
TB: Ah, so you do follow my Twitter.
- Mind Screw: He starts thinking this near the end of Thirty Flights of Loving. Although he feels there's some sort of significance to everything, he feels as if he's too stupid to get it.
- Missing Episode: The three lost Terraria videos. All of them had the videos lost (the second and third by accidental deletion on TB's part) but the audio saved, and TB has released the second and third lost episodes (meant to be before episode 32) as an audio podcast. The first one, meant to be before episode 13, has not been released, though; TB has said in an AMA on Reddit that the file for Episode 13 was "completely fucked" and therefore was never released.
- Mood Whiplash: On his WTF episode for This War of Mine near the end he is sneaking up on a woman with a rifle on the second floor of a building and kills her with a sneak attack, alerting the woman upstairs to his presence. At first he is pumped and ready to fight the other person rushing towards him... Until she runs past his character and cries over the corpse of the other woman (her sister) stunning him into silence before remarking what a horrible person he is for killing her.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Behold, Cranky Cat! Too good for Greenlight!
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: During WTF is... Poker Night at the Inventory, he describes the players as "Four internet celebrities... and me."TB: Looks like they ran out of budget, when they went for their fifth unlockable character.
- Oh, Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us!: When Jesse found out about the existence of Jesse/TB slash fics, all TB had to say on the matter was a Flat "What" and a declaration that he's lost the will to live (even moreso than usual around Jesse). Jesse on the other hand encourages fans to produce more and to add some tentacles and Warcraft chicks next time.
- Nausea Fuel: Invoked. He got motion sickness from playing Datajammers: Fast Forward.
- See also "WTF Is...The Binding of Isaac". He said several times that the game, while fun and very well-made, is absolutely disturbing and disgusting.
- Needs More Love: [Invoked] He thought Section 8: Prejudice was becoming so massively underrated that he decided to feature it a second time, to the point where he created an entire series based on the concept, called "This is why we can't have nice things."
- Nice Hat:
- Why yes he did own a top hat in Real Life, and if there was a top hat to be obtained in a game he'd make it one of his top priorities to get it.
- He owned a variety of other hats. A running gag on TGS Podcast is that every episode he wore a different hat, either sent in by a fan or self-purchased.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: TB's immediate reaction to the title screen of Revelations: 2012. The entire video has his continual reaction before he just gives up after playing through one level.
- Only in It for the Money: Averted, he thoroughly enjoys doing his work (The Fan Dumb that comes with it, not so much), and is not above doing charity work and donating to charity. Of course he has to earn a living from his work, but money is not the primary motivator.TB (speaking of money he earned): "As regards to the money I don't really care, so I went and bought a goat."
- Only Sane Man: On the TGS/Polaris podcasts, he was in charge of keeping things on-topic and somewhat resembling a constructive discussion. Bless his heart, he tried...
- OOC Is Serious Business: When the US government/ISPs tried to shut down net neutrality again in mid-2017, he prefaced a video on the subject by altering his usual customary intro.Totalbiscuit: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is John Bain. You know this is serious when I'm using my real name.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: One of his catch phrases was to call a game "The Premier [*insert short, few word description pertaining to one aspect of the game*] Simulator."
- Poe's Law:
- He starts off his Star Wars Pinball video by stating that said video isn't meant to be a joke, and that the positive words he says about it are legit.
- His Let's Play of I Wanna Be The Guy: Gaidan was a not-too-subtle mockery of "rage gamers" who overreact to everything with abundant yelling and cursing. Despite acting quite unlike himself for a lot of the video, some people still missed the parody and thought he was dead-serious.
- Polygon Ceiling: Part of his Trine 3 WTF Is... involved him discussing this (in fact, it's one of his primary complaints when it comes to Trine 3).
- Precision F-Strike:
I am the master of my own balls! (sees a ball-required pressure pad) Bollocks.
- At the end of his video WTF is GLaDoS doing in The Ball?, after having struggled with a simple ball-based physics puzzle and (finally) passing it:
- In fact, pretty much any use of profanity on TB's part (outside videos containing "spur-of-the-moment" reactions such as his Hallowe'en special on Amnesia: The Dark Descent or daily VoDs of his raw I Suck At Starcraft stream) - due to its irregularity, even despite his tendency to rant/be cynical - could be considered one of these.
- Subverted in his Super Meat Boy video:TB: You have any idea how difficult it is (*Meat Boy runs into buzzsaw*) to resist the urge to say FFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!
- He outright stated during a League of Legends livestream that it wouldn't be going up on his YouTube channel because he was swearing so much. It would go against his personal expectations when it comes to the quality of his videos.
- His first death in I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden produces one of these, and a subsequent death provokes a, "SON OF A BITCH!".
- Pungeon Master: Quite literally in the Dungeonland videos.
- Rage Quit: Normally the "WTF Is..." series ended when TB reached the end of the game demo or ran out of time (if he/the audience wanted more, he'd usually remind them that it was just first impressions). Sometimes, though, games were just so terrible or unplayable that he was clearly at the end of his patience and stopped playing in disgust.
- Reality Subtext: TotalBiscuit admitted that his overall behavior in WTF is...Papers, Please was affected by his own experiences with immigration.
- Real Men Wear Pink:
- He mentions tea parties in his WTF is... of The Binding of Isaac (though it was most likely a joke based on the situation).
- He also mentioned Robot Unicorn Attack in his WTF is... of Who's That Flying.
- He also has a tendency to make some of his character avatars (special mention to his Krogan from the Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer) wear mostly or completely pink. If not pink, some other ridiculous color.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Normally TB could easily be the Red Oni to a duo because of his Large Ham moments... but compared to Jesse Cox, he was a true blue Deadpan Snarker that was frequently exasperated with his partner's antics.
- Rousing Speech: He was a surprisingly good speaker.
- Rule of Fun: Pretty much the point of TB's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft "Lord of the Legendaries" and "Lord of the Gimmicks" series of videos. Despite having a thorough understanding of the metagame, he dislikes playing viable competitive decks and would much rather play more interesting gimmick-y decks that are objectively worse.
- Running Gag: Numerous.
- TotalBiscuit's and Jesse's ineptitude with explosives in their Terraria Let's Play.
- Earlier, he Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley had issues with explosives (a spell combination Simon discovered, which they began calling "ARSE Mines" after the keys needed to cast it) in their and TB's Magicka series.
- There's also the completely unrelated matter of TB describing games he plays as simulators:Magicka: The premier mage suicide simulator!
Nitronic Rush: The premier car breakdancing simulator!
Limbo: The premier get-stabbed-by-shadowy-spider simulator!
Envirobear2000: The premier bear driving simulator!
Orcs Must Die!: The premier orc stabbing and trap placing simulator!
Journey: The premier cloth flying simulator!
Zeno Clash: a punch-alien-bird-men in the face simulator!
The War Z: The premier being-killed-by-a-floating-rucksack simulator!
Dear Esther: The premier Hold-W simulator!
Shelter: The premier badger survival simulator!
The Last of Us: The premier tragic walking simulator!
Antichamber: The premier brain melting out your ears simulator!
Go Home Dinosaurs: The world's premiere BBQ defense simulatornote
Thief: The premier candlestick-larceny simulator.
- A Meta-example: Whenever a YouTube Video receives recognition from TB (via a Like or share on his channel), expect one of the top liked comments to be some variation of "The Cynical Fleet has Arrived" because of the legion of TB fans watching the video.
- This originated from TB's tendency of 1-base Battlecruiser-rushing on Starcraft II before he switched to Zerg: It got popular enough for the subscriber icons in chat to be Battlecruisers, the subscribers to be named the Cynical Fleet, and the cruisers themselves to be renamed "Biscuitcruisers".
- A variation of this is "A TotalBiscuit army is approaching from the west!", derived from the Terraria in-game message 'A goblin army is approaching from the west/east!'
- TotalBiscuit pronouncing M. Night Shyamalan as Shyamalalalal.
- Sarcasm Mode: Absolutely overloaded during his video "Behold Cranky Cat, too good for Greenlight"... With a rather strange twist that turns it into... Something else altogether... It's easier to just watch the video and watch the magic unfold before your eyes, than trying to explain it.
- Schedule Slip:
- In regards to his Magicka co-op with Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane; the three had increasingly busy schedules starting after Part 8, and Part 14, a 40+ minute episode, had audio issues that TotalBiscuit still hadn't edited out yet when it was released two months after recording.
- This happened with his Terraria series, although that's due to a combination of a very busy schedule and complete apathy to continue the series.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: TB had a strong set of principles and ethics that he applied to his work and expected the same from other content producers, reviewers, and game developers/publishers he would work with. As a result of this, he turned down a number of "incentives" or outright bribes to influence his opinion in his videos, as he discussed in several videos. While not a Berserk Button, he expressed strong disdain whenever he heard news of dishonest business practices going on in the industry, as he himself adamantly refused to take part in paid positive promotions of video games.
TB: I present to you the top 5 worst pieces of shit that I put on my channel in 2012, because good lord, there have been a lot of bad videos.
- If his video on his role in Awesomenauts is any indication, he didn't seem to have all that much confidence in the lines he recorded for the game, or whether or not he thought he was the best choice for the character.
- The Top 5 Worst videos I made in 2012.
- In the Game Station podcast, while talking with Jirard the Completionist, he did some good-natured ribbing on his own tendency to look at options menus first during WTF Is? (and FOV sliders in particular) by coming up with a hypothetical Let's Play channel called "TB Doesn't Complete It" ("the worst LP channel on the entire Internet"). It consists entirely of him looking at the options menu, fiddling with the FOV slider (or complaining if it isn't there) and then ending the video.
TB: I used to have frames...and then I took a deluge of chests to the fa - NO! (game briefly runs so slow that it seems to have crashed)
- During his Hearthsone: Lord of the Arena videos, he explicitly calls for the Heart of the Cards to come help him when he's in a hairy situation.
- One from when TB streamed Faeria and began receiving a never ending stream of in-game chests sent by his viewers, to the point where the game ran at 11 frames per second:
- Spoonerism: Mentioned by name in his WTF is... video for Dustforce.
- Oh, so very much during his video WTF is Warhammer 40k: Space Marine?. He even admitted that the only two things in the world he admits to being a fanboy of are Warhammer 40k and Deus Ex.
- During his WTF Is... Magicka video, half of the video is explaining why the game is so good, and the other half is Totalbiscuit enacting the lighter counterpart of angrish.TB: You can actually set yourself on fire!
- This trope is also in full effect during One Finger Death Punch. When TB is enjoying a game, it's very noticeable.
- Straight Man: To Jesse Cox's Wise Guy, when paired up in projects such as DC Universe Online and Terraria.
TB: Behold, the one time I'm actually funny on the podcast.
- Hell, he was pretty much the Straight Man to the entire Game Station. Which says a lot about the Game Station. Regarding his "GOLD RUSH!" rant on the co-optional podcast #24, this his remark in the Youtube comments:
- He lampshaded it himself in the Terraria series.TB: "You're the funny guy, I'm the straight guy, start singing, dammit!"
Jesse: "I dunno if I'd call you the straight guy! HEY-O!"
TB: *Disgusted Sigh*
- The Snark Knight: He appeared to have a worldly disdain for anything and anyone around him, including some of his closest e-friends...
- ...To the point where he clearly reacted positively when the trope itself was referenced in relation to him during the 14th TGS Podcast.
- Sophisticated as Hell:
TB: "There is a statistical likelihood that I can 'bring it'. But there are certain inherent risks within the 'bringing it'. So I have to carefully consider the consequences of 'bringing it'. The conclusion so far is that it may be worthwhile to 'bring it.'"
- TB had a tendency to talk about some subject in a technical and professional manner (such as game UI design or current industry practices) while peppering his speech with "bloody" or "bollocks" or other unprofessional language.
- TotalBiscuit's response to Dodger challenging him to 'bring it' during TheGameStation's Blood Bowl league:
- Stealth Parody: He clarified that his I Wanna Be the Guy Gaiden's video was a satire, and that it included lots of fake rage and Out of Character Moments in order to hint people about the true nature of the video. But much to his chagrin, no one understood the true joke, mostly because it was a genuinely funny video. The fact that he denied it halfway through with his, "No, this game is PAIN" quote didn't help.
- Streisand Effect: There were a few times where a few individuals tried to organize a mass unsubbing of his channel. They backfired quite spectacularly and even resulted in an influx of subscribers and people donating to charity to mock the attempt. With quite a few news subs not even being aware of TB until people actively tried discrediting him.
- Stiff Upper Lip: Discussed several times as what TB considers to be an important part of being British. It really showed when he was around Americans.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Brought this up whenever referring to the overly-defensive fanboys of The War Z, particularly when said defensiveness was juxtaposed around the... questionable approach to the game's release and advertising. In general, he theorized this was why people continued to defend questionable practices of companies they'd given money to.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix:
- Superego: In a Freudian Trio with Lewis Brindley's ego and Simon Lane's id in the Magicka and Trine 2 videos.
- The Team Benefactor: TB and his wife, Genna, owned their own competitive StarCraft team, before having to close its doors while undergoing cancer treatment.
- That One Level: Discussed in-universe with the entirety of "WTF Is Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters". The second level involves making risky low-level bombing runs in an extremely hilly area, without passing over a radar ceiling that ends the mission instantly. He spends the entire episode trying to get past this level.
- Tempting Fate: During his WTF is...? of South Park: The Stick of Truth near the tail end of the video he discussing the game difficulty and how it seemed rather easy on normal. Not only does he immediately get mauled after that just as he says it an annotation pops up on the video reading "YOU KNOW WHAT'S COMING. I SHOULD NOT HAVE SAID THAT."
- Took a Level in Cynic: Relatively recent comments on his old Super Meat Boy Wipe-A-Thon point out that he was a lot happier then.
- Totally Radical: Occasionally attempts this ironically, with predictable results.TB: Yo yo! The west side! Lemme - lemme spit for ya... and such.Jesse: That... that is... no. No. Never - on behalf of the world, no. Don't spit for us.
TB: Yo, yo, yo! Fo' shizzle and so forth...
- Inverted (?) in his reading of Limp Bizkit's Rollin.
- This likely stemmed from a segment in his Blue Plz series titled Rappin' The Forums, in which he took an near-incomprehensible rant thread from the official World of Warcraft forums each week and (badly) rapped it for the sake of mockery and amusement.
- Tranquil Fury: Used in his video about the school shootings in America in late 2012. He also gave the media a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for focusing on the shooter and not on the victims.
- Troll: Even TB is not above this sometimes.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Discussed in-universe when playing The Binding of Isaac and Dear Esther.
- Understatement: Frequently used these as part of keeping a Stiff Upper Lip about things. It's especially apparent when he was with Jesse; a turn of events that makes Jesse panic or react loudly might only get a calm "That's quite unfortunate" from TB.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: In his Death Road to Canada stream, he was amused that PeanutButterGamer was a woman.
- Verbal Tic: Overlaps with Angrish. His version of distinct from others. It sounds like a weird combination of a squeak, squawk and screech.
TB: The dungeon is to the left all the time, if I recall correctly. I might be wrong.
- Also has a tendency to throw in "right?" and "yeah?" at the end of sentences, often after he makes an interesting or obvious observation. Parodied in episode 7 of the Next World Generation Terraria Let's Play:
Jesse: I don't know! Don't ask me this.
TB: That's fine, we're going left, right. I've got my midas helmet on and you got your orb of light, so let's go.
Jesse: (Beat) Wait, we're going left right?
TB: We're going left...right? Yes?
Jesse: No, we're going left.
TB: No, we're going left, right?
Jesse: Pick a direction!
TB: We're going left, right?
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Initially thinks the Mechanic in Terraria is male.
- Vitriolic Best Buds:
- With Jesse Cox of OMFGcata, though he admitted that it was a bit played up. A bit, but not very much: he still hated Jesse. Even in front of their TGS associates.
- Now in song form...
- He used to get along pretty well with Lewis Brindley of the Yogscast, at least better than he did with Simon Lane. Unfortunately for professional (and possibly personal) reasons, the friendships between the creators ceased.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Or more to the point, Why did it have to be puzzle games (or any game that requires puzzle-solving skills)?? TB is Dyspraxic, which according to a comment, is a motor learning difficulty that can affect planning of movements and coordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body, which means it took TB around twice as long to solve puzzles as someone who doesn't have this.
- Despite this, he seemed to really like Super Meat Boy, which was hard enough already for a person without dyspraxia!
- We Sell Everything: Discussed and basically ranted about in Part 4 of his Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning livestream.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": When Wowcrendor's skink player "Lil Skittles" became very famous in the TGS Blood Bowl league, TB named his bull centaur "Big Skittles" upon buying him.
- Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things:
- Minecraft video due to the Fan Dumb: According to TB, once you go Minecraft, you never go back because of never ending fan demand. Funny enough, his wife, Intricacy, had her first Cynical Brit Community News video with Minecraft in the background, even lampshading how she's going against TB's "no Minecraft" rule. Will never ever post a
- Ditto for Heroes of Newerth. TB isn't going to cover it mostly because the community is so horrible, but especially because, when he'd done his first League of Legends video, he received a massive amount of hatemail from Heroes players insulting him and demanding him to cover their superior game instead. Yeah. Not too hard to believe.
- TB no longer reads the YouTube comments in his videos because of the sheer amount of stupidity that resides there. He used to read them, but blocked them on his personal computer after his doctor told him they had given him stress-related illness. Now, his volunteer mods and his wife read them for him and relay the best and most frequent comments. Whenever he does occasionally read and respond to comments, it is like seeing chum thrown into a shark pool.
- At this stage, the Skyrim community is nearing this point as well, as despite having stated on several occasions that he will not do Skyrim content (because he wouldn't be able to live up to the standard for content on his page (as well, he's outright stated that he just doesn't like Skyrim, so that's probably why), and also because everyone and their mother is doing it), he still gets tweets, Facebook messages and YouTube comments on whether or not he will do a WTF is... Skyrim.
- It's gotten to the point where he has made a video solely to explain why he doesn't take requests. He called out a commenter for accusing him of being a jerk just because he stated, in a neutral tone, "I don't do requests". His explanation basically boils down to the fact that taking requests results in going straight down a slippery slope, would make it harder for him to do his job, and would just be a massive disservice to his viewers. Sadly, it's inevitable that some people will not get the point.
- No longer does giveaways thanks to massive bile from a particularly vocal minority amongst the non-North Armerican viewerbase over a graphics card giveaway. Why were they angry? Because the giveaway was limited to North America due to contest laws varying wildly outside it and massive shipping costs across continents, which could very easily have gone up to $1000. Once again, a case of a few bad apples spoiling the rest of the basket.
- Some exceptions are made, usually where shipping is not an issue (i.e. giving away Steam keys for titles, such as Retro City Rampage.)
- And now he's disabled the voting feature on Youtube's comments on all his videos.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Has an irregular show called this, and in a sense it fits the description of the trope: The show focuses on good and memorable games that didn't sell all that well because of either bad rep by review sites or questionable decisions by the developer. Like his "WTF is", this sometimes leads to a massive sales increase for a short while after.
- Why Won't You Die?: Says this word for word after trying (and failing) several times to kill Lil' Skittles during the final match of the TGS Blood Bowl tournament.
- Word Salad Humour: TB refers to it as "purple monkey dishwasher" and doesn't much like it.
- Worst Aid: I'm sure you can perform surgery with an axe, right?
- You Keep Using That Word:
- Used the term "8-bit" to describe any game with Retreaux graphics, despite the fact that most of them are actually representative of 16 and 32-bit systems.
- In "5 Words I'd like to see Retired from Game Discussion", he discusses five terms that people insist on using incorrectly:
- "Pay-to-win": He calls it a "thought-terminating cliché" used primarily by people who complain about F2P games they don't play, also criticizing the term for having so many definitions ranging from "pay to skip" to "literally buying power" that it's essentially meaningless. He believes the only context in which "pay-to-win" has any meaning is when discussing an F2P game with someone who's actually played it for an extended period of time, as they'd likely give accurate information on it.
- "Cinematic": While initially used in a review article describing the movie-like cutscenes of The Order: 1886, he points out that developers and publishers have misused the term to essentially mask possible performance issues if a game were to run at 60 frames per second, with the most often-used reason being "television runs at 24 FPS". He believes the comparison should be dropped completely, as comparing two different forms of media is comparing apples to oranges.
- "Overrated": Calls the term "lazy criticism" and is of the opinion that it's used solely by fan haters who are annoyed by a large crowd of people who like a thing they don't like. He then goes on to say that offering alternative game suggestions that are better than the "overrated" game would be a more productive use of one's time than essentially making fun of other peoples' opinions.
- "Roguelike": Points out that the term has strayed far from its original definition of "like Rogue" (e.g. NetHack or Angband). Instead, it's misused in a way to describe a game that has any gameplay elements in common with Rogue, like Randomly Generated Levels, Permadeath, or turn-based combat. He does at least acknowledge the existence of the term "Roguelite" as an effort to remedy this problem.
- "Beta": Notes that developers misuse the term to describe what is essentially a demo, instead of a game in a "feature-complete, but buggy state" as is commonly used in software development jargon. He then goes on to use Rainbow Six Siege as an example, pointing out that the "open beta" for it went largely unchanged when the game actually came out. He also believes the term "beta" is used to deflect criticism, pointing out that several games have supposedly been in beta for years, and he takes particular issue with supposed "betas" that have monetization.
- Younger Than They Look:
- If you estimate using his voice and the way he looked without his Nice Hat on here and here, it's easy to forget that he was actually younger than Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane of the Yogscast who were respectively born in 1983 and 1978.
- Going purely by their voices and demeanor, you could be forgiven for thinking that TB was in his late 30's or so that's constantly admonishing a Manchild in his 20's when he's with Jesse. TB was actually 3 years younger than Jesse.
- My name's been TotalBiscuit, and I'll see you next time...