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Gaming Garbage was the name of Something Awful founder Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka's YouTube channel which, beginning in the Spring of 2013, became primarily a Let's Play channel in which both he and The Flash Tub co-founder Dave "Shmorky" Kelly searched the internet for the bottomest of the very bottom of Video Game barrels to find crudely designed homebrew freeware games, often programmed in entry-level template software programs such as Game Maker and Unity. The videos involved Lowtax (usually) attempting to play through barely (if at all) playable digital cacophonies of primitive and unprofessional one-man graphic and sound design, often relying on stolen assets in order to give the illusion of something that wasn't made by a delusional child, while both he and Shmorky provided appropriate commentary.

The channel initially was a dumping ground of either personal or Something Awful related videos under Lowtax's "lowtaxico" account until he decided to do a Let's Play of the Survival Horror Cry of Fear. Despite Lowtax's lack of experience with the medium, the videos garnered massive praise from the Something Awful community for his dry, sarcastic and highly critical commentary as well as his honest criticism of concentrated Narm and flaws in game design. When Shmorky took to the microphone in the fourth installment, a chemistry was established (along with a much-beloved Breakout Character) and the two ran with it. During the Cry of Fear run, the two took much-needed breaks (up to six months in length) to LP other games, beginning with an obtuse Survival Horror game named "Slenderman.exe", followed by a handful of homebrewed Grand Theft Auto clones. Finally, the two branched out into any messed up game of any kind they could find on the YoYo Games website (and later, Game Jolt for their increasing Unity-engine fixes, and Steam Greenlight) to expose in all their Bile Fascinating glory.

The first official title that was used for the channel was Interactive Gaming Television Online Video Entertainment, or IGTOVE. It proved to be short-lived, replaced by the more appropriate Video Game Abomination Broadcasting (VGA), and the name stuck for the remainder of 2013 before eventually being changed to Gaming Garbage in late Winter of 2014.

In September of 2014, Lowtax announced via Twitter that he would no longer be doing videos for the Gaming Garbage channel "in the foreseeable future". In 2015, the channel became more active as Lowtax started livestreaming new content (either alone or with his then-wife and daughter), and it was essentially reborn in 2017 as Lowtax recruited his friend Jonathan as the new official co-host, and the Shmorky era was regarded as a bit of an Old Shame for the channel.

After Google suspended Lowtax's monetization efforts, he and Jonathan slowed down on the comparatively labor-intensive work of Let's Plays in favor of a Gaming Garbage podcast, "Murder the Internet". However, by late 2019 the podcasts had stopped and gaming content made a return, usually in the form of livestreams with Jonathan, until Jonathan got a job elsewhere. After that, just like in the beginning, the channel served as Lowtax's solo effort consisting mostly of livestreams while still retaining the Gaming Garbage title.

In November 2021, Lowtax committed suicide after being overwhelmed by debts, putting an end to the channel.

Do you want to read a complect of tropes?:

  • Aborted Arc: "Let's Watch: The Story of London" had a "Part 1" uploaded June 20, 2014, and to date has had no follow-up. And there probably never will be.
  • A Cappella:
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • The creator of The Endless Stairwell not only admitted that a video on his game was funny, but also became a big fan of the channel ever since.
      Zykov_Eddy: I'm so glad I've discovered Gaming Garbage two months ago, it quickly became one of my favorite channels on youtube. I've never had so much fun watching someone playing horrible indie games. It's a comedy goldmine.
    • Clash of Aggression was much more coherent and playable than the channel's usual fare, to the point where Lowtax actually enjoyed playing it.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The premise behind the Lady Moon Rider commentary.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Lowtax likes to do this to a lot of the characters in the games they play. The monster in Halls, for example, is just a real estate agent who can only communicate in screams and circling her customers rapidly. Batman is a Kleptomaniac Hero who keeps stealing things to add to his giant collection in the Batcave. Pac-Man is a selfish, egotistical, megalomanic and sociopathic Jerkass that just so happens to be the main protagonist for whatever reason.
  • Anachronism Stew: Clash of Aggression has modern day soldiers and medieval fantasy warriors fighting against zombies, aliens and kaiju in the streets of Akihabara.
    Lowtax: Oh, our tank has shown up. With the archers and the Amazon women. So this is actually happening.
  • Animated Adaptation: Some of the best moments from the series are animated by Shmorky in Let's Play CARTOONS. Here are all the cartoons so far.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper: invoked In-Universe, the fact that Smarty Lab Counterattack really, really wants the player to know which keyboard key is used for opening doors becomes a Running Gag.

  • Bait-and-Switch: Part 13 of "Let's Play: Cry of Fear" is actually a live-action parody of the game shot in the Something Awful offices.
  • Battle Cry (Of Fear): The Rambo-style scream from Prevention 1 leans more towards "cry" than "battle".
  • Bears Are Bad News: One of the prime factors in the brutal difficulty of Sherlock Holmes vs. Dr. Frankenstein, as well as Lowtax's unsurprising rage quit. (see Demonic Spiders)
  • Berserk Button: Slender Man is this to Shmorky. The mere mention of him or anything similar in terms of character or game mechanics (collecting papers or 8 of anything) is enough to send them into a screaming, swearing tirade.
    • Shmorky feels this way about anything related to SCP as well, though to a lesser extent.
  • Black Comedy: Particularly during the old ones:
    "Dontrel, the dolphin with Downs!"
    "Who knew 9/11 could be so much fun?" followed by a ":)" caption.
    "You know what I feel like doing today? Killing myself. I just wanna slit my wrists. I just wanna die." "Oh, that's cute!"
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Any time a game is of non-native English origin, you know this is going to happen.
    What did I just say?!
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": In the Nine-Eleven LP: "Everybody escaped, but not everybody."
  • Call-Back: There are callbacks to many videos throughout the channel's run. Cry of Fear and The Groundskeeper are two popular sources.
    • When Lowtax makes a prison smuggling joke involving the TARDIS, Shmorky shows they haven't learned the Doctor Who theme.
  • Cancelled: Twice!
    • As mentioned in the above summary, in 2014 Lowtax announced on his Twitter that he will providing no more Gaming Garbage content (or at least Let's Plays).
    • In 2017, after few months of new Gaming Garbage content (and attempts to increase revenue for the channel), Lowtax and Jonathan ceased making new Gaming Garbage content and switched to making their own podcast titled Murder the Internet instead.
  • Captain Obvious: The protagonist of Nine-Eleven, a game revolving around a character escaping the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. The end of the game has him simply proclaiming "What a disaster."
    "The time was September 11, 2001 when 9/11 had begun..."
  • Caption Humor: Usually in Deadpan Snark mode.
  • Catchphrase: Lowtax has many catchphrases.
    • "(Because) I'm (really) good at video games."
    • "I've/I'm/(S)He's got/playing with all the right moves."
    • "God bless this mess."
    • "It's the oldest trick in the book!"
    • "He died doing what he loved: dying."
    • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "(Well,) (you know,) [x] is nature's [y]."
      • Shel Silverstein's...
    • "Wads", "Orbs" and sometimes "mounds".
  • Censored for Comedy:
    • That's the video title. Here's the video description:
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Shmorky! There's a reason fans prefer to think of them one of the non-human cartoon entities they draw.
    • Lowtax himself becomes one big time while playing The Last House 2.
  • Characterization Marches On: Being new to the Let's Play medium, Lowtax was more hesitant and low-key in his dialogue and delivery, but within only a couple months became the ultra-snarky Large Ham we all know and love. Shmorky's voice and personality started out as that of a laid back, nasally accented voice, before evolving into a exuberant Keet and then descending into a quivery Shrinking Violet, all while becoming higher and higher in pitch with every video.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Torture.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: It's been theorized that the horrible things that Lowtax makes his daughters witness for the channel are this.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: A common side effect of template-based design software falling into the wrong hands. Stock assets are overwhelmingly recycled, and titles such as DOOM and Sonic The Hedgehog have their graphics and sounds blatantly borrowed wholesale.
    • Crimelife: Somertun takes this up to eleven by consisting entirely of the Adventures game template with absolutely no changes. It is literally the exact same game.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Nine-Eleven. Despite being in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks and trying to escape, not only is everything eerily silent and calm, but the protagonist doesn't feel the need to move any faster than a casual stroll.
  • Cliffhanger: A few of the Cry of Fear LPs end on this sort.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Shmorky becomes reduced to these on occasion, especially in Slenderman-inspired games.
    • Though he usually sticks to precision strikes, Lowtax engages in a particularly memorable one at the end of "Let's Play: Smarty Labs Counterattack".
      "God damn this! This motherfucking stupid-ass game! With the fuckin' meatwads, the fuckin' trains, fuckin' white man, fucking globules... all this shit, fuck it! Fuck it! Fuck it! Fuck this, fuck Pounland, I'm not even playing any more of these games again, ever! Never again! 50 fucking minutes of this shit!"
  • Creator Cameo: In Freak Out 2, the teenage designer puts his own picture in the game.
    Shmorky: Now I just feel bad.
    Lowtax: Yeah, I don't. Like, he could've Photoshopped the acne out.
  • Darker and Edgier: Nintendo Nightmare note  is a crossover of many video game franchises, none of which had this much blood and use of "What the crap?!"
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • In the opening to "Let's Play: Flapper Racers", Lowtax tells Shmorky he feels like killing himself. After playing the game, he closes the video saying that he is going to "blow [his] brains out". The fact that Lowtax has gone on the record as to consider Flapper Racers the worst game he's ever played makes this particularly more stark.
    • Shmorky gets themselves dead with a pistol after losing a bet and going completely nuts in "Let's Play: Horse Racing".
    • During Horse Storm Escape, Shmorky eats a Cyanide Pill hidden in their tooth to escape being tied to a chair.
  • Downer Ending:
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • The end of the Nine-Eleven LP has Shmorky get serious to proclaim that the entire concept of the game is actually pretty horrible.
    • During the standard FPS Creator menu in Night Terrors, Shmorky comments on the stock ambient background track:
    Shmorky: I just hear... I just hear a constant drone. Is this Obama's game?
    [long silence]
    Lowtax: Speaking of night terrors—[clears throat]—and not speaking of what he just said...
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Shmorky can be heard talking to Lowtax at a few points in the background of the very first Cry of Fear video.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: If you want to have a Gaming Garbage marathon, you'll have to watch home videos of Lowtax hanging around with Chinese people first.
    • Shmorky doesn't appear until Cry of Fear Part 4. And even then their trademark Keet voice had yet to be developed; rather it resembled more of a stereotypical "nasal nerd" style.
  • Eleventy Zillion: Sometimes the video captions will exaggerate things such as time passages for comedic effect.
  • Ending Fatigue: invoked Any video that goes on for more than 30 minutes will leave Shmorky and Lowtax bored and looking for a way out. Slenderman.exe, Batman, and Nintendo World 2 EX are some of the more memorable examples.
  • Exploding Barrels: And that's just the tip of the Game Maker community's DOOM fetish iceberg...
  • Expy:
    • The Terminations FPS series.
      Lowtax: This is the guy who always makes the fucking stupid Half-Life rip-offs!
    • Mega Lord, a game based on Mega Man. At least you can aim up.
  • Eye Scream: Ends up being one of Torture's biggest draws, unsurprisingly.
  • Fake Difficulty: A given, really, since the developers' disregard for programming effort is more than likely to carry over to mechanics and difficulty balance.
  • Fanart: Lowtax stumbles upon Crimelife 2's creator's DeviantArt gallery in an in-game museum.
    • The show itself gets some from various viewers, usually posted in the Something Awful forums, sometimes tweeted by Shmorky.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: In Dernhald: Reveng [sic], Wingham gets a nasty cut with one press of the enter key.
  • Fantastic Racism / Unfortunate Implications: One of the pink Bob-ombs in Super Mario 64 tells the player to "go kill the black guys". It Makes Sense in Context, but Lowtax will have none of it.
    "What does this remind me of? Oh yeah, racism."
  • Faux Horrific: One of Lowtax's Crowning Moments of Funny is "Let's Play: Death Unknown", where he parodies the overblown "scarecam" style popularized by PewDiePie and Markiplier by playing a horror game almost completely devoid of any readily identifiable horror elements and acting comically horrified at everything. This was also done in an earlier video: "Let's Play: Nightmare!", though without the camera and was done with Shmorky, rather than a solo run.
    • Taken up to eleven in "Let's Play: ''Real Life''" where Lowtax takes footage of a typical workday and scarecams the hell out of it.
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • The school administration in Prom Protector is apparently so fed up with the senior class that they've decided that if even one student acts up, prom will be cancelled. This ranges from students smoking and cutting class to throwing paper airplanes and running back and forth in the hallways.
    • Lowtax hates Batman because his parents died and "that's just stupid". Also because he fell down a well.
  • Filler: Old episodes of Shmorky's web cartoon, The Flash Tub, were uploaded from time to time.
  • First-Person Shooter: A playlist of every first-person shooter LP can be found here.
  • Flat "What": Lowtax's response during Cry of Fear when he is told that after reaching the subway train past the gateway that required three scattered fuses to unlock, he now has to go back to the gateway panel and bring the fuses to the train.
  • Follow the Leader: Numerous DOOM, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, Amnesia and Slender clones end up on the show.
  • Flanderization: Both Lowtax's Large Ham and Shmorky's Cloudcuckoolander Keet personas become more and more pronounced with each successive video. The late 2013-2014 videos showcase Shmorky adopting a highly frail and effeminate "cracking voice" affect.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • During several episodes, a folder named "PHOTOS OF NUDE BUTTS" is seen. One of the games they play ("GAME.exe") is actually shown inside of it.
    • Contre Mafia 2 is in a folder named "THE WORST FUCKING GAME IN THE WORLD".
    • Lowtax's desktop displays a link to "dontrel.jpg", as well as games that unsurprisingly are played in future videos, in "Let's Play: Real Life Minecraft".
  • Fun with Acronyms: Video Game Abominations will likely remind viewers within a decade or so of Lowtax's age bracket of a rather significant landmark PC graphics technology.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Most of them leave Lowtax jaded enough to end the video. It helps that they usually come in the form of crashes that make the decision of whether or not to quit the game a bit easier.
  • Gangbangers / Unfortunate Implications: In all Grand Theft Auto clones, the only African-American NPC's are these.
  • Generic Graffiti: "Stay out of Studworth" from ''The Groundskeeper''.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere:
    • "Batman" features lots and lots of fights with Batman villains with no rhyme or reason, seemingly just so there can be a fight with that particular villain.
    • In Prevention 1 you are told to hunt down and kill "the General", yet the sole boss you face is a giant, floating head with its mouth permanently agape. Which turns out to not be the General the game keeps preparing you for.
  • Gratuitous Rape: When PewDiePie is brought up on the show, you can count on Lowtax suddenly replacing the humor in his commentary with rape references.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Batman features stealth segments in which guards can inexplicably only see about a foot in front of them and have to be subdued with special "Stealth Batarangs".
  • Heel Realization: In Nightmare: Creepy Factory, Lowtax finally goes too far.
    Lowtax: This game will get scarier, folks! ... I feel bad for saying that.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Rotten Prison is made worse by the audio - the game was supposed to play slowed-down baby cries that sound like demonic roars. Except they didn't slow down.
    Shmorky: Somebody shut that baby up!
  • High-Pressure Blood: The wildlife in 1.exe.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Slender: The Arrival was at least arguably So Okay, It's Average enough to put a child through, but when it was followed by an abysmal SCP "game" consisting of nothing more than a stairway and comical Jump Scare, as well as the video game and musical works of infamous Beestmeel creator Steward HK Lar Lover, viewers actively started to become worried about Lowtax's parenting.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place:
    • Luigi's Forgotten Mansion
    • Fear House
    • Nightmare Dungeon
    • Dark World
    • Caves of Hell
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: Slenderman Must DIE has the player restore health by drinking cartons of milk and eating whole pizzas that are found just lying around an abandoned sanatorium. Shmorky is quick to point out how disgusting this is.
  • Insistent Terminology: Often games will be referred to by the name of their executable file rather than the official name itself. For instance, Behind You is called Behind You Windows in both the commentary and the official video title. This is especially common if there is no title shown in the folder ("GAME.exe") or the game itself ("1.exe"). This also goes for spelling and grammar mistakes, such as Lowtax always pronouncing "theif" as "the-if" in "Let's Play: Burglar Simulator: A House Theif", though sometimes he lets it slide a bit, such as during "Let's Play: Sonic for Begginers".
  • Jerkass: Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen in "Let's Play: Jay's Mod", playing off his Internet Jerk persona and relationship with Lowtax.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lowtax likes to screw with Shmorky's emotions (especially in the beginning of most of the videos), but also has his ways of inevitably appealing to their best interests.
  • Jump Scare: Almost a guarantee if they're playing a Survival Horror game. They usually only react with either annoyance or amusement.
    • Nightmare Dungeon easily cranked this up to eleven by including near-constant jump scares, until one was happening every 2-3 seconds and Lowtax was just trying to kill himself as fast as possible so they'd stop.
    • The Chair at the End of the Corrider actually warns the player about its Jump Scare at the title screen, thus ruining the whole point of its existence.
  • Keet: A common description of Shmorky's voice and demeanor is that of a living cartoon character.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: After seeing Batman's strange collection of trophies in his Batcave during during the aforementioned Batman game, Lowtax starts making jokes about Batman stealing random things from his various cases (including heroin, an entire ferris wheel, and eventually all of Gotham City itself) to display them in the Batcave as well.
  • Leave the Camera Running: In Let's Play: "Sonic Under Fire", Sonic simply runs and jumps into the water. The rest of the video proceeds to focus on moving the camera around, and even Shmorky and Lowtax attempting to close the game with Task Manager.
    • A YouTube comment jokes "He was under fire so he jumped into water to put it out."
  • Loser Protagonist: Josh, the video game addict who made the school project Josh.exe.
    Lowtax: You suck! "I'm not addicted to normal addictive things, I'm addicted to a non-addictive thing!".
  • The Mafia: Possibly averted in Contre Mafia 2, given that that it's impossible to tell what it is in the first place.
  • Male Gaze: Lowtax shows immense delight upon encountering a woman bending over.
    Lowtax: Gasp! Oh, I see a bu-utt!
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: For a man who relied on text for most of his career, Lowtax has a surprising talent for impressions. To say nothing of Shmorky, who already built a superb reputation for this with the Flash Tub.
  • Mega-Corp: LG in Crime Line runs fast food and gun clubs around town.
    Lowtax: LG's burgers are people!
  • Mockbuster: Sonic Unleashed, Dead Space and Metroid Prime are extreme demakes of their respective sources in the form of severely broken MSPaint-drawn platformers. Far Cry 3 takes it even further by being a half-baked Doom II WAD with Wolfenstein 3-D map design whose only connection to any actual Far Cry game is a basic fractal generated wall tile meant to resemble greenery of some sort.
  • Motif: The horror and sci-fi B-movie clips at the beginnings and ends of the newer videos.
  • Mind Screw: Unsurprising when one combines an outsider artist's publishing wet dream (YoYo Games) and a website highly versed in mining out said outsider art (Something Awful).
    • Potato Pushur is undeniably this trope concentrate. It turns potatos into one big motif and combines it with Deranged Animation, Gorn, Body Horror, Epileptic Flashing Lights and whoTF knows what else, all within a narrative too twisted to make up.
    • Dontrel Dolphin is the ultimate example of a Mascot Platformer gone horribly wrong. From the concept to the execution, the whole thing literally looks (and sounds) like a disturbed child's nightmare. After a while, it becomes hard to tell what anything is supposed to be.
      Lowtax: If I had to ask one question about one thing in this game, I'd be like, what is it?
    • Erned Laser. You shoot crudely drawn "aliens" with a crudelier drawn gun that has a perpetually offset crosshair in a small, square map with textures made up of random, MS Paint-drawn patterns while you search for the crudliest drawn floating potato, where you can walk straight off the map into a black void where sprites representing basic rectangles pop out from underneath the floor. All of this while a seemingly random arrangement of sound effects comprise the "background music".
    • Space Blaster does this intentionally, taking a relatively normal space shooter game and then playing with the visuals and mechanics, all while making obtuse statements towards the player regarding their interaction with the game itself and other mysterious topics.
    • Survival Horror is not, in fact, a Survival Horror game in the traditional sense, but rather a maze with solid magenta walls and a floor that consists of a snapshot of a villainous-looking Bishōnen and randomly scattered Zero sprites while the "music" from CrazyBus plays.
    • "Let's Play Doland8". Shmorky and Lowtax walk the player through an indecipherable Free-to-Play Game Maker MMO using creepy animated avatars while Jump Cutting to obscure pre-2000s computer games and making up lots of non-sequiter shit. It's better if you see for yourself.
    • The artsy games attempt this but just end up getting heckled.
    • Beestmeel might be by far the biggest Mind Screw of them all. The video title has "ABSOLUTELY INSANE" in brackets, and the video even begins with a personal health warning telling the viewer to stop the video. See for yourself.
  • Mother F-Bomb: Lowtax lets loose more than one of these during Caves of Hell. It's quite understandable.
  • Motor Mouth: The Greenlight Eye videos, though the digital timeshifting effects on Lowtax's voice are very obvious.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • "Let's Play: Real Life" consists of home movie footage of Lowtax at work and at home, to which he applies comically terrified scarecam reactions to everything over the music from Gunstar Heroes.
    • Lowtax and Shmorky reacting to and rationalizing cookie-cutter Slender knockoff Goldrush in the Forest as the GREATEST GAME EVER.
    • After Lowtax invariably makes a fart joke in "Let's Play: ''Urban Streets''", the footage suddenly pauses with a posterization filter over it and "FART JOKE" in huge, stylized letters at the bottom of the screen while the fanfare music from Final Fantasy plays.
      • Escaping the game is also cause for celebration.
  • Narm: In-universe. Absolutely unavoidable throughout the amateur Survival Horror games.
    • The game Torture - where your character tortures a helpless victim - was especially notable for this (fortunately so, as it would be a rather disturbing theme for a game otherwise)
      • Immediately after choosing a torture action, the victim cries out for the torturer to stop. However, he cries out based on the specific action the player chose for the torturer, even before the victim sees what it is ("Don't punch me in the right eye!")
      • After cutting the victim's right leg off with a chainsaw, Lowtax gives the command "stitch right leg", and watches as the torturer walks straight past the victim offscreen looking for the now missing right leg.
    • The mixture of custom 2D animation with 3D Unity assets in Viral Compiracy is a sight to behold, and neither Jonathan or Lowtax can keep themselves together during scenes where the custom animations are featured.
  • The Nicknamer: Lowtax will give nicknames to pretty much anyone, even if they have an official name. One of the most memorable is the "Poopy Bloody Baby" from SCP Containment Breach.
  • Nintendo Hard: See Fake Difficulty above. Luckily most of the developers are too lazy to even bother with creating a challenge in the first place, and when they do, you can bet it will be a disaster.
  • No Indoor Voice: Lowtax and Shmorky will read certain things in ALL CAPS at the top of their lungs. This includes games such as The Endless Stairwell where the use of capitalization is stylistic.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction:
    • Upon seeing "INSPIRANO NO GAME Cry of Fear" in Insanidade's opening credits.
    • The video description for "Let's Play: Dontrel the Dolphin 3":
      Ugh. No. NO. NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!
  • No Periods, Period:
    • Defied when Lowtax discovers the toilet in Terminations 4 to possess some conspicuous red pixels.
      Lowtax: I don't want to make a 'that time of the month' joke, but...
    • Defied again in Mario-The Lost Chapter, this time by Shmorky in reference to the creator's decision to just put blood on trees, rocks, and pretty much everything else.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: "Let's Play: ''Slender Lost''" has not one, but two messages stating that the gratuitous Motion Blur sequence is in fact generated by the game itself and not the video, both before and during.
  • Rage Quit: Lowtax will typically quit out of most games before completing them after something makes him bored or frustrated enough. Smarty Labs Counterattack is one of the few times where he actually ragequit after legitimately trying to beat it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: His dialogue in "Let's Play: ''Crimelife: Somertun''" is almost entirely one of these, getting increasingly personal and intense as it progresses.
  • Reference Overdosed: Every video contains at least one pop culture reference within the rambling.
    Shmorky: Oh okay, you were above it for a minute but then you were below it.
    Lowtax: Uh huh, I was up above it, now I'm down in it.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Unsurprisingly, hilarious typos abound within the verbal content of such titles. One of the more memorable moments is Nightmare: Creepy Factory's spectacular A Winner Is You ending: a blank screen that reads "Thaks for playing!"
  • Rule of Cute: The Super-Deformed graphics of Earth Defiance play a major part in Lowtax's strange appreciation for the game.
  • Running Gag:
    • fern.png
    • Hoping that there isn't a twist ending involving Slender Man.
    • "Get fucked!" in the livestreams.
    • Singing certain things to the tune of the DuckTales (1987) theme song, usually if they involve houses and/or ghosts.
    • Lowtax bragging about how good he is (supposedly) at Video Games.
    • Asking or stating whether or not something is "the real Minecraft", a meme originating in the comments on "Let's Play: Minecraft 3D" left by Yogscast subscribers.
    • Lowtax following any utterance of "here I/we am/are" with "Miss America".
    • Lowtax referring to indiscernible objects as wadsnote , mounds or globules.
    • The toilet in Terminations 4.
    • "Obama's America" and some variation thereof.
    • Lowtax commenting that a character has "all the rights moves." (see: Catchphrase entry)
    • Shmorky yawning into the mic and then being chastised by Lowtax.
    • Lowtax complaining about art-based games and calling them pointless.
    • Claiming to know all about a work of popular culture and then making up fake characters that are not actually a part of said work (Batman, Pokemon, My Little Pony, etc.).
    • Saying corporate slogans.
    • "_________________ was my nickname in college/high school."
  • Sarcasm Mode: Lowtax is in this at least half the time.
    • "Let's Play: Goldrush in the Forest" takes this up to eleven. (See Mundane Made Awesome above)
  • Sanity Slippage: Dontrel Dolphin 2 and 3 have a tendency to cause this in Lowtax and Shmorky. Shmorky goes insane, starting to speak to Dontrel, and eventually starts peeling the flesh off their leg in 2, while Lowtax starts doing a deranged Dontrel impression in 3.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Lowtax himself frequently skips or otherwise ignores instructions and documentation, then proceeds with frantic Button Mashing, typically breaking the game in the process.
    Shmorky: There's ... only jump? You can't ... like, move out of the way of the bullets?
    Lowtax: I don't know! I purposely didn't read the instructions!
  • Self-Deprecation: In Elementary Memories:
    Shmorky: And here comes Markiplier!
    Lowtax: Oh God! Run away, it's one of the few people less funny than us!
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Shmorky and Lowtax, respectively. Especially so in the 2014 videos.
  • Sensory Abuse: Intentional or no, it happens with a lot with the games they play, with lots of bad MS Paint graphics and ear-bleeding music.
  • Slasher Smile: The titular character in the Dontrel Dolphin 2 title screen. It fits the rest of the game surprisingly well.
    Shmorky: Thumbs up... your corpse!
  • Song Parody:
    • Lowtax improvises one once Crime City 2 launches and the game itself is shown.
      Lowtax: [to the tune of "Paradise City"] Take me down to the Crime City where the textures are terrible and everything's shitty.
    • Also breaks out a theme for HouseGhost to the tune of the DuckTales (1987) theme song. "HouseGhost, woo-ooh! Dun duh-da-da, every ghost is getting houses..." This becomes a Running Gag in later videos.
    • From the beginning of "Let's Play: Timore":
      Lowtax: When the moon hits your game / and it turns out really lame / that's Timore
  • Sophisticated as Hell: This video proves you to can be this when upgrading to an Xbox One.
    "Dear sir, if I may, please allow me to notify you and the public in general of my opinion of your play style. I find it trite and shallow, to be generally lacking in skill as evident in your selection of weaponry. May I suggest you find solace in a completely different video game entertainment system, one with titles that suit your strengths accordingly. Once this has been accomplished, please entertain the option of altering your life state to that of which directly opposes the one you currently inhabit. Sincerely, Weed420GokuXXX."
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The background music during the entire duration of should-be Mascot Platformer Dontrel Dolphin 2 is literally a piece of horror movie score.
  • Special Guest: Mike Nelson of RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 appears in place of Shmorky for a few games.
    • Lowtax challenges TotalBiscuit to a speedrun of A Nightmare on Elm Street: Blood Days.
    • Also parodied during their playthrough of "Rainbow Wizard," which features Mark Levin (Lowtax) and Robin Williams (Shmorky).
    • Fellow Something Awful co-founder Kevin "Fragmaster" Bowen joins (and heckles) Lowtax as he plays Jay's Mod (a clone of Garry's Mod that succeeds about as well as you'd think) and Belly of the Beast (a borderline unplayable Survival Horror game).
    • Lowtax's 8-year-old daughter Lauren gives her thoughts, along with her father's, on the inexplicably popular Slender: The Arrival, Minecraft Adventure mod/Endless Stairwell clone Cube SCP-087 and Beestmeel follow-up Prep Froth Time Travel 2.
  • The Stinger: Most of the newer videos end with a clip from an unrelated 70s/80s b-movie.
  • Stupid Crooks: In Burglar Simulator: A House Theif you play as a criminal hired to steal ketchup bottles and fire extinguishers. And Lowtax doesn't even get away with that.
  • Survival Horror: A frequent target. Especially ones that require the player to walk around a map and collect papers ala Slender. A playlist of every survival horror LP can be found here.
  • Take That!:
    • PewDiePie and Markiplier are common targets. In fact, the original Cry of Fear LP was made solely as a takedown against PewDiePie and PewDiePie-style "LP recording over-exaggerated reactions during gameplay" Let's Plays - lowtax would link to random ones he'd find in the original thread, ask the goons how the hell they would be considered funny, and let the goons go to town.
    • Cry of Fear itself is torn apart as being a dimly-lit, badly-designed game, especially ripping into the voice acting and teenager angst. Lowtax and the goons held special contempt for the Jump Scares, calling them cheap.
    • The commentary in "Let's Play: Evicted" is a Take That against Google/YouTube, who had been causing Lowtax grief with his account at the time.
    • Greenlight Eye is a Take That! against Steam Greenlight and its lack of quality control.
    • Lowtax makes fun of Men's Rights Activists when mocking the possessed abusive husband in Phantasmagoria.
    • Every now and then, former co-host Shmorky can also take a beating at the hands of Lowtax, with Lauren gladly joining in.
    • Take That, Audience!: The compilations of dim Yogscast fans questioning if they know they're playing a fake clone of Minecraft.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: invoked Slenderman Must DIE. Lowtax himself laments that as appealing as a game based around killing one of the prime inspirations for terrible indie games and overused memes is, it doesn't make up for the fact that game itself is, well, terrible.
  • Timed Mission:
    • The second stage of Mega Lord contains a series of segments that you must complete before an off-screen bomb explodes while the invincibility music from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 plays.
    • Hunt or be Hunted gives you only a few minutes to find and kill a sociopathic bystander in a large maps with no clues as to his location.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • The FART JOKE in "Let's Play: Urban Streets"
    • Terminations 4's infamous "Go into the toilet and stay there" line singlehandedly invokes this.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Both Lowtax and Shmorky are noticeably more forgiving to the channel's usual fare than they are towards Cry of Fear, despite the vast majority of them showing noticeably less competence. Probably because they only have to play them for a minute fraction of the time.
  • Translation Trainwreck: This gem from Restaurant Rush: "C'mon man! Is this takes that much time, uh?! I dont think so i get back here to drink a goddamn beer!"
    Lowtax: He's drunk and I didn't even serve him a beer!
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: We get to see Fragmaster and Lowtax's unusual relationship in "Let's Play: ''Jay's Mod''" and "Let's Play: ''Belly of the Beast''".
  • Vocal Evolution: During the Cry of Fear/GTA clone videos, Lowtax's delivery was dryer and less hammy. Shmorky started out speaking in a relatively deeper, flatter tone resembling a stereotypical nerd voice before adopting a more whimsical, emotive style, and becoming increasingly higher pitched. Starting in late 2013/early 2014, Shmorky's voice started becoming very frail, dainty and timid, often breaking and constantly squeaky in tone. They later some of his confidence back, but their tone still remains rather shrill and harsh in the latest videos. A more broad summation of their voice and overall inflection would be going from an "uh" sound (IGTOVE-era) to an "ah" sound (VGA-era) to an "ee" sound (GG-era).
  • Wall of Text:
    • The dialogue in Nintendo World 2 EX is ungodly drawn out ham and melodrama that serves no purpose given the otherwise simplistic subject matter. Lowtax naturally skips through the vast majority of it as quickly as possible.
    • "Killer Jeff" ends with a literal example that thnaks [sic] the player and refers them to game's creepypasta source material.
    • "Space Survivors Shooter" starts with a hangar that is just long enough for every paragraph of the instructions to fit on a single line.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: A playlist of every wide-open sandbox LP can be found here.

Thaks for reading!