You've heard it a thousand times. You're watching a video on YouTube and suddenly they ask you "and please subscribe to our channel", or maybe they tell you where their subscribe button is located since you could never hope to find it on your own. Typically, any "professional-ish" YouTube video closes with anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes of screens full of flashing animated "Click Me! Click Me!" buttons trying to entice the viewer to subscribe and/or watch all the other videos in the channel, as well as exhortations to upvote and favorite the video. Apparently they expect you to favorite every single video in the series, which makes you wonder if they have a clue what the point of favoriting is. note
This trope includes authors asking for you to vote for or donate to them, or any other time that authors are giving you free content, but then they expect something in return. This may take the form of wanting your promise to come back, your vote that their product is indeed awesome, or your hard-earned lucre.
This isn't limited to YouTube. Many magazines, for instance, have full-page ads near the front begging you to subscribe if you haven't already, or subscription cards that fall out as soon as you pick up the periodical. Premium TV channels tend to have ads asking the viewers to renew their subscription. Of course, the trope starter might be PBS and NPR, who both use appeals and special programming to get viewers and listeners to donate to their stations to continue to provide the programming.
- The BBC's official Doctor Who channel has used several over the years.
Tom Baker: Well, how could I possibly forget that? For goodness sake! You've got the message, haven't you?
- A clip of a Silent in its ship reaching for the audience while a caption stands, the implication being that the alien is using its power of suggestion to influence the viewer to subscribe.
- The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) using his sonic screwdriver to illuminate a "Please Subscribe" message before pointing to it.
- After Matt Smith's departure, the Doctors speak to the audience. Peter Capaldi channels the Twelfth Doctor's commanding tone as he instructs "DON'T FORGET TO CLICK BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE OFFICIAL DOCTOR WHO YOUTUBE CHANNEL". Fitting the change in character, the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) repeats the message in a warmer tone.
- Recent uploads relating to the classic series feature messages from their respective Doctors (Colin Baker, Tom Baker etc.)
- French Baguette Intelligence: Defied in the ending disclaimer of Does pineapple go on pizza?
Fuckette: Fear not. I'm not going to ask you to like, subscribe, yadda yadda. I'm not a cunt.
- For every version of Melody released before the completion of the story, gameplay ended with a message to check out the developers' Patreon page.
- Japan's NHK took this onto a whole new level—casting high-profile voice actors in portraying four pretty boy operators in full-voiced interactive Dating Sim style. Their interactive FAQ service ended on May 31, 2017.
- Creating a link that says 'CLICK HERE to subscribe' using annotations was extremely common on Youtube before these customizable boxes were replaced with picture links restricted to the end of the video.
- Tobuscus does this at the end of every single one of his videos. Heck, he even made a theme song out of it. Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-SUBSCRIBE!
- Caddicarus has made a thing out of this at the end of most of his videos as well .
- Caddicarus: Ay-ay-ay-ay, ay-ay-ay-ay, subscrriibe!
- Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This?: In their more recent episodes, each member of the cast asks you to subscribe, not to the channel you're watching, but to their personal YouTube channels instead.
- From Household Hackers we get such gems as this: "After we get through today's tip, you'll never again have to wander aimlessly from video to video begging for subscribers like the neglected latch-key child you are." Subtle.
- Every episode of Mr Deity since the third season ends with a sketch in which Brian Dalton (sometimes in character) encourages viewers to donate and/or subscribe. In some cases these have been longer than the episode itself.
- Mike Mozart does this at the end of every Jeepers Media video.
- Pandora internet radio occasionally shows advertisements for Pandora One, their ad-free subscription version.
- One Potter Puppet Pals video ends with Harry making this request of the audience, after which a cut back shows Hermione and Ron standing to the side.
'Hermione: "OK, Harry, we will do those things you just told us to do."
Ron: "Subscribe to wha-?"
- Dormtainment usually has annotations that say please subscribe, and some of the earlier videos even had them asking producers to consider them for a TV show.
- Hundreds of Let's Play, most often on YouTube, do this as well.
- Eat Your Kimchi: At the end of every video installment there is a verbal request and banner at the bottom of the page.
- A screen at the end of every How It Should Have Ended, at times featuring the characters interacting with the button.
- Nerdist channel's Neil's Puppet Dreams has star Neil Patrick Harris do this at the end of each video. In the first few, he made it a point to tell the audience that it's not his junk to which he's pointing.
- Cooking with Dog originally had "Like Me" and "You like button." Now it's just "Like me" and "Please subscribe."
- Zero Punctuation has Yatzee mention this while ranting about the crowded interface of System Shock 2. In the video uploaded on Youtube, you can actually click on the text that pops up to subscribe to the channel.
- Game Grumps parodies this trope by interjecting the phrase "like, comment, and subscribe!" as a Running Gag.
- They have since added a straight "subscribe" button at the end of each video, which they occasionally anthropomorphise as "Scribey" or comedically misspell.
- When The Nostalgia Chick had Andre the Black Nerd on her Blip show, he instinctively closed the show by asking viewers to like and subscribe, saying that Youtube will violently punish those who don't include that message.
- Ultra Fast Pony parodies this in the episode "Little Miss Montage". First, the characters blatantly compare the fashion show to Youtube: "This isn't Youtube. You can't just ask us to look at something and chuck a hissy fit if we don't like it." At the end of the episode, Rarity is very disappointed that the big-name fashion critic "liked" her dresses but didn't "favourite" them. Then the text insert at the very end reads:
Every time you like something without adding to favourites, a baby penguin dies. Think of the penguins; like AND favourite. Also subscribe or a piano falls on a baby giraffe.
- Parodied very well by Cracked here.
- SourceFed fans can recite it- "Please like and subscribe and click this annotation here for more videos." It's at the end of every video. They make five videos a day Monday-Thursday.
- Did You Know Gaming ends every video not only with a request to subscribe to their channel, but also the personal channel of whomever is providing the narration for the video in question (with varying degrees of eloquency).
- Markiplier closes out his Youtube videos by pointing out other videos and his annotations, but this trope also became a Running Gag in his Drunk Minecraft series with Bob and Wade, wherein viewers are encouraged to "like favorite and subscribe if X" where X could be anything.
- At the end of every episode of Russell Brand's web show The Trews, he will finish the topic of the day and will say with the same breath; "That's some Trew News, subscribe here."
- A Couple Of Cunts In The Countryside do this Once per Episode.
- Jack Skyblue is not a fan of this trope.
- Parodied in Pop Team Epic - it starts off normal◊, then...
Popuko: And to those who haven't [subscribed]... like you
[Cut to a man watching the video]
Popuko: We're coming to your house right now.
[His doorbell rings.]
- Stampylonghead's Let's Cress channel parodies this by obscuring key parts of videos with 'Like The Video!!!' text, which flies onscreen with an increasingly long and ridiculous whooshing sound each time. At the end of a video, he also asks people to subscribe, and share the video on Facebook and MySpace.
- Parodied on The Late Late Show with James Corden, where his discussion about the show's new website YourMomMassagesMe.com turned into a ticket plug, which turned into an Overly Long Gag where he listed off every single social network he was supposedly on.
James: You can Do-Re-Mi on Fa-So-La-Ti-Do. Make your mom proud on J-Date. You can eat me on Uber Eats. You can work-work-work me on Rihannster. You can twerk-twerk-twerk me on Twerkster.
- Inverted by EmperorLemon, who frequently asks people who dislike his newer content (especially those who only subscribed his channel for his Pixar poops) to unsubscribe.
- Folding Ideas discusses the nature of this trope in a minisode of "The Good News of Like Share Subscribe", as well as ways to work around it on YouTube. The example of the call to subscribe Dan comes up with based on his own guidelines is "Go in peace, my children, in the name of like, share, and subscribe, amen," which he's taken to using in its proper context in some later videos.
- Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
- Rabbid Luigi often injects this into his episodes in a comedic fashion, like claiming the God Mode cheat of Doom also causes cryptic messages to rain down that tell you to "subscribe and ring the bell icon". As an example of Tropes Are Not Bad, the comments are usually full of people lauding the way he put it in the episode.
- Every episode of Adam Buxton's podcast ends with a song that repeatedly asks the listener to "like and subscribe", which Cyriak turned into a distinctly disturbing animation of hundreds of hairy Buxton-creatures literally feeding "like" and "subscribe" buttons to their hairy god-creature.
- The Critical Drinker used to end videos with the standard "like & subscribe" request, but according to a Q&A, he eventually decided it was cliche and unnecessary, since it rarely persuades viewers who don't care to subscribe. His new signoff is a terse "Anyway, that's all I have for today. Go away now!"
- In the beginning of his videos, Dream shows us his YouTube statistics, then tells us that we don't have to like him or his videos, in a way that feels like we're not pressured to.
- A Running Gag in GrandLineReview videos is to include a joke of some kind, with a request to hit the subscribe button as the punchline.
- The Duel Logs uses an indirect variation: the videos end with "did you know, only X% of people who watch these videos are actually subscribed to the channel?"
- Doraman: His description ends with a note to "Be sure to subscribe if you like what you see!"
- Analog: At the end of each issue is a reminder to subscribe to the magazine, offering a discount for subscriptions instead of full newsstand price. Some issues would have more advertising than just the end-of-issue reminder.
- Technoblade does this to the point of Memetic Mutation. Techno often promotes his channel at the most inopportune moments, and he even has a "Sellout Timer" set to go off every thirty minutes so he can remember to promote.
- This crosses over on his appearances on the Dream SMP, where his shameless self-promotion is a Running Gag to the point that he once massacred half a dozen people at the Manburg Festival with his firework-loaded crossbow, then named "Subscribe to Technoblade", and he named one of the Withers he let loose on the ruins of L'Manburg "Subscribe to Technoblade". In the latter case, he even claimed that the name was the most important part.
- This has even got to the point that once while playing Among Us, Techno called an Emergency Meeting just to tell the people playing with him to "Subscribe to Technoblade". The aforementioned other players immediately voted him off, and it turns out Techno was the Impostor, meaning that he would rather lose the game than miss out on promoting his channel. It must be seen to be believed.
- YouTube used to host contests which used the video rating system (the "five stars" system at first, then the "thumbs up/down" system which replaced it) as a way of tallying "votes". The page that listed those contests has since disappeared in one of YouTube's many redesigns.
- Webcomics with vote incentives, usually a sketch or preview, to encourage people to vote for them on sites like Buzzcomix or TopWebComics: Evil Diva, Earthsong, Slightly Damned, Zap!!, Pebble Version, The B-Movie Comic, The Zombie Hunters, The Meek, Not a Villain and The Challenges of Zona.
- The Order of the Stick made some for Buzzcomix in its very earliest days, which are now viewable here.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal used to offer an early look at tomorrow's comic, and a one-panel extra that showed what happened after the end of the current comic if you voted for the site. The former was phased out, and the latter was changed so that you only had to hover your mouse over a red button to access, although it's still often referred to as the "votey comic" anyway.
- The LittleBigPlanet comment function is never used to comment on the relevant level, but instead consists entirely of people begging you to play and heart their levels. This tendency was parodied in the Metal Gear Solid level pack, where Liquid Ocelot's evil plan was to flood LBP with generic levels encouraging people to heart him so he can become the most popular player.
- "Please rate this app" is used in so many iPhone applications (apps) that it's become a Stock Phrase.
- Some episodes of Ninja the Mission Force end with either Gordon being called by either Gordon or himself asking how they can support the show, he tells them to share their favourite episodes, etc. and acts like it's no big deal who just phoned him.
- "Plz Vote" or some variant thereof is a common sight on most Powder Game uploads. It can also be found on Powder Toy saves.
- Happy Wheels is notorious for levels that include a demand/plea (either in the level description or in the level itself) to rate 5, regardless of the quality of the level. Some players will even withhold full levels or future installments of a series unless enough people rate 5 stars. The creator of the game has expressed his disapproval of this practice.
- The Game Grumps invoke this as a Running Gag, e.g.: "People from Japan! Please confirm this! Like, subscribe and comment!"
- Used quite inexplicably in the fanfic Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, when the author urges us to "Read my fic! Vote!", with no indication of where to do so or what we are voting for. (Fanfiction.net does not have any sort of voting system, nor was the fic entered as part of a contest.)
- At times Wikipedia has banners that lead to pages with "personal appeals" explaining that they need donations to keep the servers running, etc. Parodies ensued.
- NPR and the PBS are publicly funded and will occasionally go into "pledge drives" where they will beg for viewers to donate between segments, often with promises of tote bags to sweeten the deal.
- Bob and George did it at one point. The author does confess to being ashamed of that quip though.
- Goblins offers incentive comics involving a goblin named Tempts Fate in a "please donate or he'll die" donation scheme.
- Fred Gallagher of MegaTokyo takes pride in having averted this trope even during the hard times when he was paying for the bandwidth out of pocket.
- Blind Ferret Enterprises, the business developed for producing Least I Could Do and Looking for Group, founder Ryan Sohmer is viciously against this. Whenever he comments about webcomics in general or tries to give advice to people wanting to make webcomics, this is one of the first 'don'ts' on his list, right after 'fail to update when you promise to'. Sohmer does, however, post about his various Kickstarter projects in the News Post section.
- Animemusicvideos used to have a particularly invasive manner of requesting donations. While the site was displayed, it would randomly pull up a screen asking for donations, then at the bottom of this screen there were three buttons, one of these buttons would say something like 'continue', and the two others would say 'donate'. These buttons would be randomly swapped every time the screen pops up, forcing you to either pay attention or risk mistakenly hitting the 'donate' button.
- In The Wotch, their donation meter is invariably one of the main cast being transformed into a woman. The more money is donated, the more of the character's body is transformed.
- Gunnerkrigg Court asks you to turn these spiders into monies to make their dreams come true.
- Webcomics with donation incentives: Earthsong, Zap!! and Girl Genius have wallpapers, Slightly Damned has extra comics, and True Magic has extra comics and wallpapers.
- When downloading Runman Race Around The World, you are asked to donate unless you're a "lame dude who only likes to support lame games". Well, bummer, but they'll give you the game anyway.
- Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name has wallpapers and extra comics as incentives to donate.
- Zebra Girl has a little animation below the comic begging for donations.
- Ginger's Bread has a drawing of Ginger holding a tip jar.
- Both PBS and NPR are noncommercial and supported in part by Viewers Like You.
- Faux Pas has a little icon of a dog dish labeled "Randy" (the name of the fox main character) which links to a donation site.
- Kingdom of Loathing has a "please donate" plea from the creator on its front page, as well as a link to the donation form in the top tray (using the icon menu display option). Of course, considering donating enough money earns you a Mr. Accessory (which are tradeable for special in-game items), this could just be for the convenience of speedrunners and/or people after the Item of the Month.
- In June 2011, the characters of Precocious broke the fourth wall for several strips in which they asked readers for donations.
- Gerald Day, a British creator of low-polygon Poser content, asks for PayPal donations of £1 or US$1.50 from Poser artists who use his free items.
- Mr Deity has attached to the end of each episode a clip of the creator rather shamelessly begging for donations. The clips are hilarious and have gotten increasingly elaborate over the years; the ones for season 3 form a mini-storyarc.
- Some Minecraft servers combine this and Bribing Your Way to Victory by offering perks, access to certain tools, and a different colored name. Though a lot of servers are fine (even some that do this are okay), many servers take it over the top.
- You could argue that crowd-funding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are this sort of thing on a professional level. For example, The Most Popular Girls in School used the former in order to make Seasons 3 and 4.
- Developers of custom Android firmware very frequently include donate links next to the download links for booze or coffee.
- The makers of Super Mario Bros. Crossover already ran a successful Kickstarter funding for their Super Action Squad project, but are now asking for more donations so they can devote more time to developing it. There's a meter below the game's main menu showing how much they raised and how much they need, between which there is a big gap.
- World War II: The series was announced with a Kickstarter campaign and pre-production and the construction of their own small studio was accomplished as a result of that success. At the end of every episode, Indy asks the viewers to join the TimeGhost Army by subscribing and supporting them on their ongoing crowdfunding campaigns.
- A lot of online artists will usually ask their watchers or fans to donate in order to be able to produce more quality art and to feed themselves. Some artists may just straight up ask for donations while others may use things like Patreon to let people donate monthly while giving rewards back in return.
- In Tekken 7, one of Julia's win poses consists of her begging the audience watching her stream her fights to subscribe to her channel.
- Smoldep from Smoldeps Magickal Adventure tells you to remember to like and subscribe to her Youtube channel, and maybe even leave a comment. This leads to a But Thou Must! moment in which choosing not to do so will result in Smoldep killing You.
- In Pokémon Rusty, Rusty leaves an EV Trainer in the dust. The EV Trainer cries out to him, "Wait, dude, you forgot to rate and subscribe my how-to videos! RATE and SUBSCRIBE! RATE AND SUBSCRIIIIIIIIIBE".
- Tom Scott, in a video about science fiction premises (that for various reasons he can't develop into full stories), includes an unsettling cyberpunk spin on the concept of begging for likes and subscriptions. Tom brings up the concept of "unethical simulation and creation of conscious people, from scratch" within a computer system, crediting Greg Egan and Charles Stross for "basically completing" the genre, then brings it back to Youtube:
Tom: There's one angle that I haven't seen on that yet: a video for a startup company pitch for a product that creates millions of subtly different versions of a video, or a political speech, or an article, and then measures them against simulated fictional people to get their reactions. But it becomes clear over the course of watching the video that the video itself is one of those tests, that the viewer is one of the simulated test subjects, and when the video ends, so will they, unless they are satisfied with the video. "Like and subscribe, and your simulation will be kept running." [laughs] That might be too creepy, actually? It seems like a bad idea to potentially induce that much existential angst. But, you know. Do like, comment, and subscribe. Just in case. [Ominous Visual Glitches appear] The video is ending, after all.
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