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Creator / Tom Scott

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And that is something you might not have known!
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Tom Scott is an English YouTuber known for his Citation Needed series. He has a degree in linguistics, but also regularly makes videos about computers, engineering, history, and many other topics. He and fellow youtuber Matt Gray have a series called Park Bench, on their shared YouTube channel Matt and Tom, where they talk about experiences and what happened behind the scenes on their videos, on a park bench.

Tom also maintains his own YouTube channel, Tom Scott, with his own musings on society and technology as well as a variety of video series:

  • The Technical Difficulties: A radio group Tom formed in uni, consisting of Tom's friends Chris Joel, Gary Brannan, and Matt Gray. Most of their material are panel games, where they can show off their one-of-a-kind sense of collective humor.
    • The Technical Difficulties (2010), a three-show pilot of a potential live-action adaptation of their university radio show. Unusually for the TechDifs, this show was more of a talk/sketch show.
    • Reverse Trivia Podcast (2012-2014), where Tom takes a deck of classic trivia cards, reads out an answer and the gang tries to guess the question.
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    • Citation Needed (2014-2018), where Tom pulls up a Wikipedia article and challenges the rest to guess who or what the article is about. Easily their most successful series so far.
    • Two of These People Are Lying (2019-present), where Chris, Gary and Matt all give three different definitions of a given subject, and Tom has to pick which one is the true definition.
  • Things You Might Not Know, where Tom discusses cool factoids and information.
  • Amazing Places, where Tom visits and discusses interesting attractions or geographical oddities in the world, mostly in Europe, Canada, and the US.
  • Built for Science, where Tom visits facilities designed to help understand and better the world around us.
  • The Basics, computer science issues and challenges explained by Tom.
  • , videos from any of several possible futures where technological advancement has surpassed social growth.
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  • How to be Popular on the Internet, Tom discussing his personal experience with his occasional flirts with virality on the internet, and his more general online popularity.
  • Tom's Language Files, a discontinued series where Tom discusses quirks in human language.
  • Game On,Lateral, and The Game Garage, other, smaller game shows hosted by Tom.


And These are Some Tropes You Might Not Have Known:

  • Curtains Match the Window: Not so much in his earlier videos but starting around 2014 his hair started going from brown to blond. In bright lighting it appears the same colour as his eyes, which are greenish-grey.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: So You've Learned to Teleport. A video that could be the Trope Codifier for this entire trope, as he explains how someone with the power of teleportation could literally become a billionaire overnight... instead of taking the tired old route of becoming a superhero and fighting crime.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The premises for Things You Might Not Know, Amazing Places, and Built for Science are rather self-explanatory.
  • Grammar Nazi: Defied for the most part. In his series of videos about linguistics, he describes himself as a descriptivist which means he explains the grammar rules of a language but doesn't insist that they should be followed; he focuses on whether someone could be understood. However, he makes an exception for the gender-neutral pronoun "they", and takes exception to languages like German and Spanish that use different genders for a wide array of subjects. He is run over by a bus sent by the Descriptivist Mafia at the end of that video.
  • Iconic Outfit: Is seen mainly wearing red T-Shirts or gray hoodies in his videos.
    • He's also had one he's since retired: his "Nordic" hoodie. In 2013 he retired it, in front of a live audience at Thinking Digital by telling the hoodie's life story, and then lighting it on fire.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted. Color-wise (see Iconic Outfit) Tom wears red and Matt wears blue. However, as seen on Matt and Tom and Citation Needed, Tom is usually the calmer one while Matt is the one that gets stuck in 2-minute giggle loops.
  • Shout-Out: Tom's video about the Ilulissat Icefjord, "The Front Falls Off", is named for the Clarke and Dawe sketch "The Front Fell Off." Consequently, the comment section is loaded with references to it.
  • Something Completely Different: Tom sends garlic bread to the edge of space in a video, then eats some.
  • Special Guest:
    • Whenever Tom takes a vacation, he lets other Youtubers host episodes of Things You Might Not Know.
    • His buddies from the Technical Difficulties have each appeared in at least one of his videos: Chris Joel swings the banhammer in We Made a Banhammer (which has another, non-TechDif example with NerdCubed), Gary Brannan plays and comments upon the titular sport in Goalball: Blindfold Paralympic Reverse Dodgeball, and Matt Gray is a recurring guest and audio editor in several of Tom's videos.
  • Springtime for Hitler: How he got elected as Student President at the University of York, in the personification as a pirate. He got connected with the American founders of "Talk Like a Pirate Day" and created the persona "Mad Cap'n Tom". Eventually got into radio interviews and children's tv programs and even going to Alton Towers Theme Park. While he was in another country, a friend of his filled an application in for him as candidate. He went through with it, including joke proposals and wanted to lose by one vote, just to mess with everyone. He won, and aggravated the other serious candidates.
    • Failure Gambit: After losing a bet of who would win the 2010 Super Bowl, he ran for Parliament. He ran for London and Westminster as the same character, and knew that he wouldn't affect the elections in any way. He lost.
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