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Due to the nature of the SMP, all spoilers will be unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

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"Welcome To Shady Oaks SMP. A Place for the original Minecraft creators to peacefully place during our twilight years. What could possibly go wrong?"
ThnxCya's description in his videos
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The Shady Oaks SMP is a private Minecraft survival multiplayer server started by iBallisticSquid. It features several "OG Minecraft YouTubers" such as DanTDM, Thinknoodles and Thnxcya, as well as Squid himself. Later additions to the server include Cupquake, BigBStatz, JeromeASF, YammyXOX, EckoSoldier and TheAtlanticCraft.

The SMP seemingly works like the average Minecraft SMP — players building shops, going on adventures, playing pranks on each other, and getting into various shenanigans. However, in the midst of the fun and games, tensions rise and sinister forces stir, as friendships are tested and drama ensues... all revolving around a series of netherite items, starting with a sword called Kindness.

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The Shady Oaks SMP provides examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: Squid's quest shop, Kraken's Hollow, gives out quests like these to visitors.
  • Abandoned Mine: The players find one in a ravine in the first stream. Many more are found and explored in following streams.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The gambling booth can take the form of this if you bet high-stakes items. At one point, Squid is willing to bet Kindness in Dan's gambling booth — if Squid wins, Dan owes him double the netherite equipment; but if Dan wins, he keeps the sword. This is eventually defied because Squid outgambits Dan using a scheme involving a deal with James and invoking Exact Words.
  • An Axe to Grind: Several members of the SMP use axes as their main weapon as opposed to swords.
  • Audience Participation / From Beyond the Fourth Wall: People viewing the livestreams are free to suggest impromptu ideas to the YouTubers in real time, such as pranks and pets' names. They can also ask questions about the stream and the series.
  • Big "NO!":
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    • The Gamble Stream:
      • Justin's reaction to losing his diamond axe to Dan in a gamble.
      • Squid's reaction to losing the diamond pickaxe to Dan in a gamble.
      • Dan's reaction to falling in lava in the Nether, losing all the diamond items he previously gained and his saddle.
    • During an In-Between Stream/Episode:
    • After the Hunt for Netherite stream:
      • James rowing a boat out to the middle of the ocean at sunset, and realizing that he forgot to bring his bed with him.
    • During the Slice of Life Stream:
      • Cupquake after her arrow hits a zombified piglin by accident.
  • Birthday Episode: Squid's birthday stream on 29 January 2021.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Dan: Guys, don't look at the chat, nothing happened.
    • Squid promising to get rid of Kindness in the first stream.
    Squid: Nah, I'll get rid of it, don't worry. Just trust me, I'll get rid of it.
    [Everyone else laughs.]
    • After pranking Squid, Dan claims to have died in the Nether to make it seem like he didn't have the diamond pickaxe for mining the obsidian involved in the prank. Of course, the chat log proves him dead wrong, and he had a minor Oh, Crap! moment upon realizing this. Squid's following livestream also reveals that he didn't fall for it either.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Downplayed in the Gamble Stream, where two of the ten bones Dan gambled James out of are used to tame Gamestop the dog.
    • Played Straight on Ecko's perspective of the Chaos Stream, where he, Squid, Justin and Yammy encounter a floating potato and James using an invisibility potion when gathering in the central hub. Later, when visiting Dan's house, Justin accidentally breaks a hole in the basement to reveal a piston and an underground space. Then, after that, Dan gets killed by Justin, apparently in self-defense. This turns out to all be related to Dan and his investigative work on the netherite items, which Ecko lampshades in his episode.
    Ecko: At this point in the video, what I'm about to show you is something incredibly fishy that we didn't really think anything about it, until later on in this episode. Justin, James and Squiddy are up to something, and again, it makes more sense later on. [plays the clip] Aha! So that is the confirmation from Squiddy that James and Squid have been messing around with potions. Come to think of it, I don't think Justin was involved in this, but he's still acting a little bit suspicious. But again, it makes sense later on.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • On Squid's YouTube videos, funny quotes are subtitled with white text with differently coloured outlines — Justin in red, Dan in light blue, and James in green.
    • On Yammy's perspective, quotes are similarly subtitled with outlined white text — Yammy with pink outlines, Squid with dark blue, Justin in orange, Dan in sky blue.
  • The Commandments: The "Shady Oaks Rules", as formerly listed in the central hub, goes as follows:
    • No trading with Villagers.
    • Crafting Netherite Armor or tools is FORBIDDEN.
    • No griefing or stealing.
    • NO SNITCHING CHAT.
    • Don't trust Squid...
  • Company Cross References:
    • During the Gamble stream, Squid gets lost and offers Dan "a kiss for a TP", but Dan replies that "last time you offered a kiss... you killed me", referencing a previous Among Us collaboration on the Proximity Chat mod.
    • Crazy Craft 3.0 is mentioned in the Hunt for Netherite stream.
  • Cool Horse:
    • Dan's horse E-Boy, was a fast chestnut horse with a lot of health and shiny golden armour, and could jump four blocks high as well.
    • One of Squid's horses, Twinkle Toes, wears diamond armour and is very fast, being able to speed through 15 blocks in seconds and is thus regarded as the fastest horse on the server.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Shady Oaks is promoted as an idyllic retirement world for Minecraft YouTube veterans... sike! There are evil netherite items hidden all over the server and out to corrupt anyone that uses them!
  • Death Is Cheap: As a Minecraft series in survival mode, players respawn after dying.
  • Epic Fail: There are so many instances of this, it might be wiser to check out the Funny Moments page.
    • ThnxCya had barely played Minecraft in ages and apparently had to look up the crafting recipe for sticks and other basic items in the first livestream.
    James: How do you make torches again?
    • In the first stream, Squid tries to test out Kindness on Justin near the world spawn, only to receive the chat message "Sorry, but you can’t PvP here."
    • During Squid's birthday stream, James tries to charge down a witch with Kindness but gets stuck on a sweet berry bush.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: People on the server are capable of this when using the Proximity Chat plugin.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The shop Kraken's Hollow is built and decorated primarily out of Nether-based materials, such as crimson stem, nether brick, and blackstone.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the Curse stream, Squid says that "[Dan] will be dead in a second" because he Cursed Kindness with Vanishing. In the Post-Curse stream the day after, Kindness possesses Squid to kill Dan in revenge for the Curse.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Acquiring all pieces of netherite gear — both armour and tools/weapons — would make a person the most powerful player on the SMP.
  • Gotta Have It, Gonna Steal It: Downplayed. Occasionally, when people want building materials, they would just steal it from either someone else's base or the local NPC village, and spruce wood can be obtained by chopping down the artificial trees near the Shady Oaks central hub.
  • Griefer / The Prankster: People on the server are free to prank and grief each other, and sometimes both actions go hand in hand, though griefing and stealing are listed to be against the server rules as of the New Member stream.
  • Inevitably Broken Rule:
    • Deconstructed in the case of Squid's restricted quest. Dan breaks the rule of not telling others about the quest by telling James about the quest and using the quest to plot their revenge against Squid. This gets both of them banned from Kraken's Hollow. Though James' ban has since been revoked, Dan's is still in full force.
      • Played for Laughs about the aforementioned ban, though, where Dan and James enter the shop after Squid ragequits the stream, and sneak in to eavesdrop on Jerome and Yammy's introduction to the Hollow in the Post-Curse stream.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Dan and Squid's friendship is sometimes called "Double D", referring to the fact that their first names both start with the same initial.
  • Left the Background Music On: Invoked at Kraken's Hollow, where the "13" disc soundtrack is played to give the quest shop an ominous, spooky vibe.
  • MacGuffin: There is only one piece of each type of netherite gearClarification  on the server, and they cannot be crafted, so getting all the netherite gear would make a player the most powerful person on the server. So far, only the sword (Kindness) and pickaxe (Unearthing Revenge) have been found.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Near the end of the Curse stream, there is a climatic scene where Squid confronts and eventually bans Dan and James from his shop. The scene is also interspersed with attacks from various hostile mobs as it took place at night, from phantoms swooping down on everyone, to Dan getting attacked and killed by a zombie villager in the middle of the scene, something so unexpected that all three started Corpsing on the spot. The latter part was even lampshaded by Dan, who said that it was "ruining the moment". And then that hilariously out-of-place death was instantly followed by Squid murdering James in cold blood with his sword, sPAIN.
    • Near the end of the Post-Curse stream, right after a casual conversation with Jerome and his berry business, Squid gets possessed by Kindness and chases Dan down to murder him in Revenge.
    • In the Hunt for Netherite stream, everyone was just talking in front of Cupquake's house about the new weather border… then Justin kills James and starts to chase Dan down to kill him.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Squid's quest shop, Kraken's Hollow, is decorated with lava and blue fire. It only took a week for there to be an accident involving someone falling into the lava and burning themselves.
  • Older and Wiser: You'd have the impression that the OGs would know what they're doing, since they had been playing the game for years, but considering that Squid smacked an enderman in the first livestream without armour, tools or weapons, probably not.
  • Out-Gambitted: Dan walks into the gamble stream believing he has a 2/3 chance of getting Kindness, even when trying to do things legit... and walks out with 0% chance of doing so because Squid made a deal with James with the sword and invoked Exact Words against him. He did hear a little bit about it before it was revealed from Justin's espionage, though. At the same time, James gets out-gambitted as well, as Squid's announcement that there would only be one piece of each type of netherite gear on the server ruined his plans to get a netherite sword like Kindness in the future.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: In the hub building, the floor tiles of the Gamer Girls' bathroom are pink and white, while those of the Gamer Guys' are blue and white.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: During the Curse stream, Dan and Squid have a massive falling out over Kindness, which gets lampshaded on both ends several times throughout the stream.
    Squid, on Kindness: It's cursed, my friend. It's damaged. Like our friendship.
    Dan, sometime after Squid ragequit the game and the stream: Oh, man… what have we done? He was literally— so, the awkward thing is, he was our best friend on the server, and, um… yeah, we made him mad. [laughs hysterically] He's always on at the same time, and now we've made our— our most loyal friend mad.
  • Precursor Heroes: All members of the server are "OG Minecraft YouTubers"note .
  • Retired Badass: Everyone on the server was a prominent Minecraft player in their time, and they are all supposedly retiring on the server. However, it appears that their adventures are far from over...
  • Running Gag:
    • The Twitch chats and YouTube comments sections blasting with requests to add Stampylongnose to the SMP.note 
    • In the first stream, Thnxcya dying by falling in lava — it happens once during the mining trip, and several more times while in the Nether. And then he gets killed by a zombie villager.
    • Everyone getting stuck on sweet berry bushes while walking. Once, this even resulting in Dan dying.
    • Squid's house and the terrain around it getting blown up by creepers.
    • Everyone calling Squid's donkey GanDONK (pronounced GAN-donk) "Gadonk" (pronounced guh-DONK).
    • Before the addition of a plugin which makes it so that players can fast-forward to day by having one person sleep in a bed, Squid going AFK in his house, making it impossible for the other players to skip the night... and him getting subsequently trolled for this.
    • Thinknoodles getting blamed for every other prank on the server.
    • Dan and/or his gambling stall being called a scam, to the point that Yammy had heard the rumours and brings them up in the stream where she was introduced to the server.
    • Squid's face being distorted via rotation on his Kraken's Hollow billboard.
    • Rule 5note  being brought up.
    • In the earlier streams, Justin and his perpetually unfinished house.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The name of the SMP itself is confirmed to be a reference to the retirement home in Up, and was sometimes called the "Shady Oaks Retirement SMP" while it was in development.
      • Justin has plans to build "the Up house" on top of the savanna mountain with his "Paradise Falls".
    • Kindness has been referred to as the "one sword to rule them all", and Squid and his obsession with the sword has caused him to be compared to Gollum... which is then complete with the fact that Squid lives in a hobbit hole, as James points out in the Post-Curse stream.
      • Squid's donkey was floating in a tree after he lagged, causing viewers to speculate he was a wizard and subsequently name him "GanDONK", a Portmanteau of Gandalf and donkey.
    • Since the first four players have all played Among Us, several times together, references to it are made as far as the first livestream. For instance, the YouTubers have called each other "sus" multiple times throughout the series, and the pharmacy is called the "medbay" half the time.
    • Dan's horse E-Boy is partially named after the character he voiced in the UK version of Ralph Breaks the Internet. Another horse that he tames is named Neighblade, as he was seen spinning around a lot during the stream where he tames him.
    • One of Squid's quests in Kraken's Hollow is named "Headless Nick", only for Justin to point out that Nick was nearly-headless, making the quest name inaccurate.
      • Similar to GanDONK, Dan's donkey is named "Dumbledonk".
      • One of the in-between streams — namely, the one on 23 February where Dan gets a pair of glasses — is rife with Harry Potter references.
    • One of Dan's diamond pickaxes is named "Peppa Pick" by his chat, pun intended.
    • In both Dan and Squid's YouTube renditions of Squiddy's Birthday Stream, sound effects from Mario Kart were edited in to signify the start of the E-Boy VS GanDONK race.
    • Squid's enchanted trident is named "Pogseidon".
  • Switching P.O.V.: Many of the YouTubers livestream their perspectives of Twitch (some of them condense their streams into YouTube episodes featuring the highlights of the streams), with Thnxcya and Big B being notable exceptions, who post their POVs in the form of YouTube videos only.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Type 2. Shady Oaks appears to be a nice, idyllic place for OG Minecraft YouTubers to retire, but the founders of the server are actively trying to cover up a sinister schism plot involving evil netherite items. Dan and James invoke this during the Curse stream, where they promise to keep the Kindness affair a secret from the newcomers set to join the next day. New members are told about the existence of the netherite items, most notably Kindness, but not the fact that they are driving a wedge between the members and are in fact Artifacts of Doom.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Many of the server-mates are close friends but still tease and prank each other mercilessly. It even gets lampshaded in the Secret Project stream, where Squid tells Ecko that fluency in banter is practically a requirement on the server.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The Curse and Post-Curse streams take place back-to-back and caused the situation with Kindness to escalate from the pursuit of a MacGuffin to imply and eventually outright state that something far more sinister is stirring beneath the surface. To summarize:
      • Dan takes on the restricted quest to kill the owner of Kindness and return it to Squid. However, he and James had pre-agreed on using this opportunity to get revenge on Squid for scamming both of them during the Gamble stream. Dan completes the quest and enchants the sword with Curse of Vanishing, succeeding in both of his goals.
      • Squid finds out about this after the quest is completed and confronts Dan and James, eventually banning them both from Kraken's Hollow.
      • Kindness starts speaking to Squid and possessing him, causing him to find a compass leading to the next netherite item.
      • Squid confides in Justin about Kindness speaking to him and gives him the compass to the next netherite item. He then seeks help from Dan to heal his still-red right arm and also confides in him about the Hearing Voices part.
      • After introducing the new members, Squid is confronted about his arm and Kindness by Dan, James and Justin. Squid lies about not having Kindness, causing Justin and James to suspect Dan has it. The three discuss the situation in private, and Dan and James talk about their sides of the story with Justin, until they realize they are being spied on by a slippery Squid.
      • Squid retrieves Kindness from his house near the end of the stream and becomes possessed by it, killing Dan in revenge for the Curse (the first death inflicted by a netherite item) and announcing the existence for the next netherite piece.
  • Wham Line:
    • In the First Stream, James announcing that he found Kindness, kicking off the first story arc of the series.
    James: Why have I got a sword called Kindness?
    • In the New Member stream, from Dan's perspective, Squid's restricted quest giving him and James a prime opportunity and structure to their plan to get revenge on Squid for scamming them.
    Squid's Restricted Quest: KILL whoever has KINDNESS, bring it back to me.
    • From Dan's perspective of the Curse stream, after Squid ends his perspective but while Dan is still streaming, Squid gets possessed by Kindness and has this to say, showing that there are sinister forces at work here.
    <iBallistiicSquid> what do you mean we should follow the compass?
    • In the Post-Curse stream, they are primarily delivered by Kindness.
      • First, from Squid's perspective, when the sword first starts speaking to him.
      Kindness: Squid...
      • Then, from everyone else's perspectives, when Squid speaks to everyone while being possessed by Kindness.
      Kindness (through Squid): Revenge… is coming…
      • In the same scene as above, Kindness revealing the next netherite item's existence being discovered, foreshadowing the events of the Hunt for Netherite stream.
      Kindness (through Squid): A new piece of netherite has been found.
    • In the Secret Project stream, Squid accidentally reveals that a second piece of netherite has been found since the last event stream. However, this time the wham factor is limited to Dan's perspective, as Justin had sworn the existence of said netherite piece to secrecy, the excavation mission being a joint one between the two, and Ecko was a Naïve Newcomer.
    Squid: Now, so far, on the two-three weeks that we've been on the server, there has been two that have been found.
  • Wham Shot:
    • From Squid's perspective in the Curse stream, Kindness being returned, but being enchanted with the Curse of Vanishing.
    • In the Post-Curse stream, possessed!Squid killing Dan, marking the first death on the server which is directly caused by a netherite item, let alone Kindness.
    • In the Hunt for Netherite stream, Justin killing James.
    • In the ‘Hunting For Netherite’ stream, from Justin’s perspective, SB killing Justin.

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