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Podcast / Are You Scared of These Stories?

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Submitted to scare you...

"In the late 90's/early-Oughts, three friends met in the woods to tell each other scary stories. They recorded their stories, and captured unexplained, paranormal phenomena. The whereabouts of the members of the Scary Storytellers Society are unknown. All that remains are the tapes that were recovered from their abandoned campsite, and after you listen to them you'll have to ask yourself... Are You Scared of These Stories?"
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What if Are You Afraid of the Dark? starred three awful man-children in their late 20s instead of teenagers?

Robert Hibbs, a lonely boy obsessed with scary stories, pressures his friends into joining him around a campfire in the woods for one purpose: telling each other scary stories. While he records it all on a Talkboy. Robert Owens and Joshua Jenkins (a couple of losers in their own right) make no secret of their disdain for Hibbs and his plans, but that doesn't stop them from attending his meetings.

Unfortunately, they're all absolutely incompetent at storytelling, and most of their time is spent interrupting to offer up unconstructive criticisms. The real spooks come when the subjects of their stories inevitably break the 4th wall to terrorize them, or when they break formula to deal with occult sponsorships and saucy Armageddon.

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This podcast provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Mostly Hibbs, but they all seem to have a problem. On top of that, all of the boys' moms are proud winos (complete with t-shirts and koozies bearing wine püns).
  • All Just a Dream: "I Killed A Time Vampire To Get A Room, A PlayStation and A Copy of Crash Bandicoot" is a dream two levels deep.
  • All Webbed Up
  • Anal Probing: The aliens from "The Story of How Aliens Invented Gak, Bop It and Look Like Chris Kattan" do this solely for their own amusement.
  • Anyone Can Die: Episodes frequently end with one or all of our guys having died outlandish deaths (only to show up next episode without comment).
  • Apocalypse How: Sauce. Boiling hot tidal waves of alfredo sauce, burning buffalo sauce rain, sauce all across America, perhaps even the entire world.
  • Ass Pull: In-universe, one can't help but wonder how many of the stories are partially (if not wholly) improvised. For the most literal example, see Jenkins' tale of how he got Hibbs' name tattooed on his asshole, which suddenly ended with said asshole rescuing over 300 orphans, receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, and marrying Helen Hunt. Although, the story did turn out to be true...
  • Advertisement:
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever
  • Basement-Dweller: All the boys live with their parents, including Hibbs, whose parents were supposedly killed by his brother.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Especially if one of them is on fire.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Hibbs' brother loves "pranking" people... to DEATH! He means murder. Hibbs' brother is a psycho killer.
  • Black Comedy
  • Brainwash Residue: The boys start remembering previous meetings where they'd died, only to be brought back with no (apparent) memory of the events.
  • Brand X: Subverted. Brand names are thrown about freely, often playing a central role in storylines (Gatorade, Surge, Little Bites, and of course, the Talkboy).
  • Butt-Monkey: Hibbs.
  • Cassette Craze: There are so many cassettes floating around that Hibbs, aka the guy who's making the cassettes, is finding caches of "new" ones. Besides the SSS tapes (and it's implied that there have been more meetings in between episodes), there are Hibbs' personal diary tapes (and you just know there are boxes of those), and Hibbs' secret spy tapes from the Talkboys he hid in Owens' and Jenkins' houses.
  • Cat Girl: Cat Grandma
  • Childhood Friends: Hibbs and Owens have known each other since elementary school. Jenkins showed up in middle school, despite his fraudulent claims to have always been around.
  • Chupacabra
  • Clip Show: The boys get together to tell Christmas-themed stories... based on ones they'd already told. Unusually for the form, it drops a major potential plot point.
  • Collectible Card Game: Roseanne: The Playing Card Game
  • Comedic Sociopathy
  • Cool Uncle: Debatably Uncle Dutch.
  • Corpsing: The boys behind the boys (not like tha— oh, you know what I mean) have trouble keeping it together.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Owens gets possessed by his Uncle Dutch twice, along with Dreddo the Clown.
    • Owens is forced to possess a doll after some shenanigans with some Nigerian witch doctors. Then a serial killer possessing another doll takes over Hibbs' body, leaving Hibbs in the doll.
    • Owens (notice a theme here?) is possessed by an interdimensional ragtime entity named Able Abel, while the evil, dark, black Zatarains Baby Cane gets a hold on Jenkins.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Did you know that making too many prank calls could get you sent to Guantanamo Bay in the 90s?
  • Documentary Episode: "A Grizzly Boy's Journey to the Center of the Planet of the Bears" is partly a documentary where Werner Wersieg interviews the county coroner and the boys' moms after they're turned into a can of boy soup by a pack of bears.
  • The Doll Episode: "Plucky the Sailor Boy Doll".
  • Dream Weaver: Fredrico invades peoples' dreams to more effectively feed on their life energy.
  • Dream Within a Dream: The majority of "I Killed A Time Vampire To Get A Room, A PlayStation and A Copy of Crash Bandicoot", while ostensibly being Owens' story, actually takes place inside Hibbs' damaged brain after Jenkins bashes him in the head with a log.
  • Eaten Alive
  • Enforced Plug: Tennamen's Coffee and Sumptin Tea.
  • Framing Device: Though there's a tendency for the frame to interrupt the story, and the story to leak into reality.
  • Freudian Slip / Accidental Innuendo: Jenkins is sure that Owens is trying to say something via Fredrico's pronunciation of "wings" ("wangs") and his obsession with gum ("khuah"). It definitely has nothing to do with Jenkins' hangups about his gay brother.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Hibbs. Jenkins and Owens constantly insult him, telling him about how he sucks and stuff, yet they continue to attend his meetings. They sometimes try to justify it as being out of pity, but they don't seem to have much going on themselves.
  • Giant Spider
  • Hillbilly Horrors
  • Horrible Camping Trip: Almost every episode.
  • Human Resources: The secret to Sumtin Tea takes tea bagging to a new level.
  • In Medias Res: "Plucky the Sailor Boy Doll" starts with Hibbs and Jenkins returning from Owens' funeral, with the cause of his death being a mystery/point of contention.
  • Insistent Terminology: Despite the fact that the boys are all grown men in their late-20s, everyone insists on calling them "boys" (including the boys themselves). Later evolves into a kind of weird Lost Boys situation.
  • Interspecies Romance: Jenkins and Cat Grandma.
  • Jerkass: The entire cast, be they main, recurring, or one-off.
  • Karma Houdini: Owens and Jenkins escape a space ship using a two-man teleporter, leaving Hibbs to be raped by aliens. When Hibbs learns that they're almost certainly being turned into Dippin' Dots by the vacuum of space, he's visibly (audibly?) shaken, saying that they were his friends and they didn't deserve that. In actuality, Owens and Jenkins end up on a beach resort planet where they have the god-like power to make their every inane whim come true.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
  • Last Disrespects: Hibbs' eulogy at Owens' funeral.
  • Lethally Stupid:
  • Left the Background Music On:
  • Limited Social Circle: None of the boys seem to have anyone else to hang out with.
  • Long Title: The show title, and most of the episode titles. The current record holder is "The Time I Partied on Spring Break and Discovered the Dark Secret of the band Savage Garden" at 91 characters.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Surprise! The meeting in "I Killed A Time Vampire To Get A Room, A PlayStation and A Copy of Crash Bandicoot" is all just an illusion created by Fredrico to feed on Owens and "Hibbs"/Robert Mackey.
  • Losing Your Head: Jenkins is decapitated by bears and forced to sing for them.
  • Manchild: They're just boys, after all.
  • Monster Clown: Dreddo the Hell Clown.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Sacrifice his friends' lives or lose the Tennamen's sponsorship? One guess which Hibbs chooses. Partially in play when Bob Saget forces Owens and Jenkins to kill Hibbs—they're far too open to the idea.
  • Negative Continuity: Remember the time Hibbs froze to death, and Owens and Jenkins had to cut him open and wear him like a man sack for warmth? Neither do they... right?
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Especially if there are 300 of them—they'll get you in a death roll.
  • Noir Episode: "The Story of Bloody Joe: The Unofficial Retelling of the Super Mario Bros. Movie"
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Hibbs' obsession with scary stories and his constant references to his "spook pants". Unfortunately, neither Owens or Jenkins are able to meet his standards of scary storytelling.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Robert Hibbs, Robert Owens, Robert Mackey.
  • Opening Narration: Except that it's not exactly accurate. Yet.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Time vampires.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • "Ooh, my knees, I'm kneelin' down, I'm gettin' down on my knees here, ow my knees... *cartilaginous crankling noises*"
    • "Sweet tea is made of this..."
    • "Fuck you!" "No, fuck yooou!"
  • Paranormal Mundane Item: The evil Gatorade machine.
  • Parody Commercial: The mysterious "word from our sponsor" segments that don't reflect any of the in-universe sponsorships.
  • Parody Religion
  • Present-Day Past: Occasionally one of the characters will mention something that doesn't exist in the 90s/early-Aughts, leading to another to question what that is, or even point out that it doesn't exist yet. However, no one questions how the Roseanne sequel and its references to 2018 politics is around for the boys to make an entire episode about.
  • Rapid Aging: What happens when a time vampire gets a chrono-lock on you.
  • Rat Men: Country Rat and City Rat, who may or may not be human-sized. It's really unclear.
  • Reset Button: There's been talk of "Nexus Points", including a "Forbidden Fire" that can bring people back to life...
  • Running Gag:
    • Mistaking howling wolves for owls.
    • "Did you say 'gum', or..."
  • Sinister Minister: Pastor Tim (Tom) Mc Graw.
  • Skewed Priorities
  • Snuff Film: Bob Saget and other 90s TV sitcom dads love themselves a good snuff film.
  • Talkboy Before Reason Hibbs NEEDS to record everything. For posterity.
  • Stylistic Suck
  • Superhero Episode: The Surge Rangers.
  • Swarm of Rats: Jenkins uses his power over rats to send one of these after Hibbs and Owens.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Dialed up to absurd levels. Picture this scene, complete with gratuitous squishing and growling sound effects, punctuated by screams of pain:
    Jenkins:" My guts are mushin’ in with his guts… now they’re eating Owens’ guts… and all of our guts are mushin’ together. It’s a fucking gut-mush combo. Oh God, I only have an upper half now… that’s okay, though, I’m gonna try to crawl out… Oh, it got me! It got me by the end of my spine, it’s hanging out of my fucking torso! Jesus Christ, it hurts! I’m laying in a soup of gut mush. Oh God! These fucking wolves! They’re gonna be eatin’ for weeks off of us. Oh my God, they’re eatin’ me alive… MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS!"
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: There's always some weird, kooky book.
    • The Dark Book of Magic/The Book of Old Clowns
    • The spellbook used by the Nigerian witch doctors to transfer Owens' soul into a Plucky doll, even though they can't read it— because it's in an ancient language, not because they're Nigerian.
    • The Anderson Sisters' human skin-bound spellbook.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The whole town was in on the evil Gatorade machine conspiracy.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Especially Hibbs in "America's Funniest Home Snuff Videos".
  • Twist Ending
  • Unreliable Narrator: Any of the stories that are played as having actually happened to the narrator.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
  • Verbal Tic: Whatever...
  • Vulgar Humor: Then I shit my pants...
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?:
    • Fredrico. Owens says it's Middle Eastern, but it sounds more like a Swedish accent done by someone who's racist against Swedes, but has never heard of Sweden.
    • The French baker in Surge Rangers Part 2, which vacillates between French parody and Fredrico and ???
    • Morticia, Hibbs' timeskip mail-order bride is supposed to be from Transylvania... but she sounds nearly identical to Fredrico. Note that all these voices are done by Jenkins.
  • Weirdness Magnet
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: They give their location as "Scary Storytellers, USA".
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The boys are pretty selective about which absurd elements of each others stories they're willing to suspend their disbelief for. Expect constant nagging interruptions.
  • With Friends Like These...: The boys treat each other like complete shit.
  • Worst Aid:
    • Missing limb? Surge will clean out the wound and chemically cauterize it.
    • Poisonous spider bite? Put some leaves on it.
    • Crushed arm with compound fracture? Make a splint out of empty beer cans and a shoelace, then pack the wound with sushi.
  • You Are Fat: Hibbs is a fat fuck.
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