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Podcast / Big Grande Teachers' Lounge

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Class is out and the coffee's on.
Teachers lounge is an improvised comedy podcast on the Earwolf network which follows the lives of four highly questionable education professionals played by Drew Tarver, Dan Lippert, Jon Mackey and Ryan Rosenberg. Indifferent to their students and focused on their own short term goals and aspirations, the teachers find themselves in many unlikely scenarios and even far outside of the teaching profession.

Teachers' Lounge contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • The first episode of season 8 sees the teachers dead and in Hell, but the second episode has them out on work release in a mall on earth. Their being dead isn't totally abandoned (The Devil is mentioned to be observing their behavior and the season ends with them being brought back to life), but the season is overall much more about them working in a mall than it is about them being dead and in Hell.
    • The minisode season begins with the teachers in Washington DC, but moves them to New York City a few episodes in after it becomes apparent that they all have Small Reference Pools regarding DC culture, and can't come up with anything interesting to do there. By the end of the season, they also run out of stuff to do in New York, and the final few episodes are a string of random one-offs.
    • After spending several episodes at the beginning of season 9 preparing for the school's winter formal, the teachers agree to drop the subject entirely due to lack of interest, causing it to have no kind of conclusion.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • Despite looking like a human, Todd is apparently a single-celled organism and lactates an energy drink-like fluid.
    • While Howard begins the show seemingly as a human, his soul is able to inhabit the rotting husk of another man and regrow his body from within it. After being reborn, he suddenly gains immortality.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: From season 5 onward the show is occasionally "hijacked" by a rival podcast featuring a Similar Squad of four different characters played by the members of Big Grande. So far, these include "The Preachers' Lounge" (starring four local preachers), "The Bleachers' Lounge" (starring four local dads with sons in the same little league), "The Creatures' Lounge" (starring four blues musicians), "Van Thieves" (starring four van thieves), "The Teachers' Barge" (starring four members of the crew of a trash barge) and "The Beachers' Lounge" (starring four beach bums). These episodes generally have nothing to do with any of the ongoing plots in the main show.
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  • Animorphism: Bill's alternating addictions to Ostragen and Bearoids cause him to mutate into an ostrich and a bear, respectively.
  • Anything That Moves: The teachers have collectively dated and/or been engaged to a number of truly terrible men and women, along with a countless number of animals and inanimate objects.
  • Apathetic Teacher: While each of the cast are often distracted from their duties to their students, Todd treats his theater students almost exclusively as an annoyance or as a means to his own selfish end.
  • Armored Closet Gay:
    • Bill is an extremely campy and effeminate fellow who regularly finds himself in blatantly sexual relationships with other men but nonetheless emphatically insists that he "ain't gay no more" whenever his sexuality is called into question.
    • Todd similarly has had numerous homosexual experiences (even starring in a series of hardcore gay pornography films at one point) yet will insist that he is straight whenever he believes someone thinks otherwise.
  • Artifact Title: The "teachers" spend seasons five through eight doing things completely unrelated to teaching. Season nine finally puts them back in the original Hamilton High setting, though they're still only inclined to do anything related to their jobs when they feel like it.
  • Axe-Crazy: Sam Weatherman tends to be the most violent and destructive of the four.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: The meek and mild-mannered Howard will transform into an Expy of Alex Jones when sufficiently riled up.
  • Born Lucky / Born Unlucky: The teachers arguably qualify as both. Sure their lives consist of pretty much nothing but humiliating themselves and ruining everything they take part in, but they're always able to find a new endeavor to screw up when all's said and done, with few (if any) lasting consequences for their previous actions.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: Bill, Todd and Sam all start to use Howard's "Kick it!" in season 9 in order to "beat" him at introducing the show.
  • Butt-Monkey: While all of the teachers have terrible luck, Todd tends to suffer the most humiliating punishments in life. Within their group dynamic, though, Howard is distinctly at the bottom of the pecking order.
  • Catchphrase: A few:
    • Howard sheepishly states "We've been recording this whole time." at the top of each episode, followed by "Kick it!" when "officially" starting the show.
    • Every episode ends with the group telling their audience to "Stay Flippy!"
    • Todd abrasively telling someone to "Fuck off", generally when they rightfully point out a mistake that he made.
    • Bill's "I ain't gay no more!"
    • One of the teachers stating that "Guinness screeched to a halt." after hearing certain news, followed immediately up by another declaring "Guinness is back, baby!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: While all four of the teachers are clearly nutcases (Todd dates mannequins and seemingly lacks object permanence, Sam enters into a three-way relationship with his tapeworm and cannibalizes his own body for no real reason, and Howard transforms into Alex Jones when pissed off), Bill stands out as the loopiest of the bunch. It's rare for him to stay on the same wavelength as the other three for very long before bursting off into another new and wild tangent.
  • The Corruptible: Bill falls under the control of shady and manipulative men practically once per season. In season 6, he full-on joins a cult under the mistaken belief that it is a frat.
  • Death by Sex: With a particularly pathetic twist; Howard dies of a heart attack caused by the panic he felt at the thought of losing his virginity.
  • Death Is Cheap: Howard dies and is absent for almost an entire season (with Mackey instead playing a different character known as Stu Taylor) but comes back from hell at the end of the season- much to the dismay of the other teachers. At the end of season 7, all of the teachers die, but are revived by the end of the next season.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Bill, Todd and Sam all show attraction to both sexes at one point or another and are all sleazy creeps.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Despite being a driving instructor professionally, Sam is an extremely dangerous driver who almost always causes major property damage and leaves a body count when put behind a wheel.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season features background music outside of the top of the show, and has Bill speaking at a much lower, more normal-sounding register.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Todd has a very deep bass voice and is a despicable coward.
  • Expansion Pack Past: The teachers reveal more and more improbable things about their pasts in nearly ever episode.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Todd Padre's crippling addiction to paint.
  • Flanderization: Bill Cravy's voice becomes increasingly more high-pitched and absurd-sounding across the first three seasons, to the point where the fourth season acknowledges it by canonically revealing him to suffer from "ridiculous voice", which is alternatively used as an analogy for being a closeted homosexual and having a terminal illness. Howard being a pathetic wet blanket virgin also steadily starts to overtake his character as soon as his virginity is established.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Bill, Sam and Todd hate Howard pretty openly, to the point where he at one point says that he feels like the podcast is "three against one every goddamn episode".
  • The Ghost: Several characters are often mentioned but never appear, the most notable examples being Todd's ex-wife and O.J. Simpson.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Band Director Stu Taylor fills in for the deceased Howard throughout most of the fourth season before dying near the end of the second-to-last episode. In the season finale, his corpse is possessed by Howard's ghost and he hasn't been heard from since.
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: All of Todd's plays, when not outright autobiographical, are clearly based on his own life, and are without fail absurdly self-aggrandizing. The most famous example is "My Conversations With the Devil", which consists of nothing but him (who is described in the script as being flawless) giving a "Reason You Suck" Speech to the Devil, who serves as a blatant stand-in for his ex-wife. The rest of the cast consists of a fake audience who applaud and cheer whenever Todd's character says anything.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The teachers are all good friends with and greatly admire O.J. Simpson and El Chapo.
  • I Am A Humanitarian:
  • Is This Thing Still On?: An inverted example; Howard always accidentally starts recording before the teachers are ready, causing the top of every episode to consist of embarrassing small talk that the audience ostensibly is not intended to hear.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: The setting's version of Jesus is consistently portrayed as being an obnoxious gym rat who is seemingly in a perpetual state of getting gains while blasting bad Nu Metal. He's also apparently a diva, as he had the Devil cast out of Heaven for being prettier than him.
  • Juggalo: Sam becomes immersed in the Juggalo lifestyle throughout the 4th season, even gaining a girlfriend from the Family known only as "Curly Fry".
  • Karma Houdini: If the teachers face any consequences for their actions, expect them to miraculously escape relatively unscathed in the end.
  • Kiddie Kid: Hamilton is ostensibly a high school, but its students often engage in activities that are associated more with middle or even elementary schoolers; such as using a supervised pickup lane after school.
  • Leader Wannabe: Howard considers himself to be The Leader of the teachers due to being the one who introduces the show. Not only do the other three not agree with him, but he's pretty consistently the member of the group with the least amount of sway over their decision-making.
  • Lighter and Softer: Parodied and subverted in season 4, which sees the teachers return to being regular staff members at a school as opposed to running one as they had in the previous season in an attempt to stabilize their lives. Their mantra throughout the season is even "We're normal now". Despite this, the season is no less off the wall ridiculous as the previous one, and only continues to get weirder as it goes on.
  • Loser Protagonist: The teachers are one of the most pathetic bunches you'll ever encounter. Any success they find in life is always temporary.
  • Meaningful Name: Bill Cravy's last name is one letter away from being "Crazy", and he's generally the most deranged of the four. This is actually acknowledged in-universe, as he is apparently called "Coach Crazy" by many of his students.
  • Meaningful Rename: Sam Weatherman changes his name to Sam Silver after becoming a successful Hollywood agent in season 5, and goes back to his old name after losing the job at the end of the season. He occasionally takes up the Sam Silver name once again whenever he's feeling particularly cocky.
  • Miles Gloriosus: While all of the teachers have traces of this, Todd fits it the most cleanly. He's a talentless old loser who nonetheless believes himself to constantly be on the verge of a career breakthrough as an actor.
  • Must Have Caffeine: The teachers have any interesting spin on this; they only drink awful coffee from old, overused and uncleaned coffee pots, and wretch at anything of even slightly higher quality.
  • Of Course I'm Not a Virgin: Howard spends most of season three attempting to deny being a virgin. The others never buy it and he's eventually forced to cave in and admit to being one.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Howard is referred to almost exclusively as "Blunt" throughout season 7 due to asking if he could be blunt with the others in the first episode of the season.
  • Only Sane Man: Howard, relatively speaking. He's still a despicable loser and idiot, but he consistently has the highest moral standards of the group, and is generally a bit more intelligent than the other three.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: While we get occasional glimpses of the four hosts doing their jobs (and inevitably doing terribly), it's common for them to go entire seasons without so much as mentioning anything related to the teaching profession. And they continue to refer to themselves collectively as "the teachers" even in the (several) seasons where none of them actually are.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The teachers are all at various points shown to be racist misogynists. If any of them (usually Todd) expresses any kind of progressive thinking, expect it to be blatantly motivated by a desire to appear sophisticated and get praised.
  • Retool: Happens at the beginning of every season from season 3 onward, to the point of being a Running Gag:
    • Season 3 sees the teachers founding their own charter school as opposed to merely being staff members at a public school as they had in the previous seasons.
    • Season 4 sees the teachers return to their original jobs, but with a newfound focus on being "normal".
    • Season 5 sees the teachers "go Hollywood" and try to make it big in Los Angeles.
    • Season 6 sees the teachers go back to college in an attempt to start their lives over again.
    • Season 7 sees the teachers become camp counselors at their childhood summer camp.
    • Season 8 first sees the teachers dead and in Hell, but quickly puts them on work release in a run-down mall.
    • Season 9 has a soft Continuity Reboot, returning the teachers to Hamilton High while downplaying (but not outright dismissing) discussion of the events of the previous seasons.
  • Random Events Plot: While the seasons are each generally able to weave together a fairly coherent and consistent storyline within themselves, there are occasions when they fly so far Off the Rails that it can be close to impossible to identify what the overarching plotlines are.
  • Recycled Plot: By sheer accident, Bill ends up placing himself and Howard in a plotline in season 9 (with them competing for the same position in what is a thinly-veiled allegory for the presidential election) that is nearly a complete rehash of the plot they had in season 7. Two episodes after the recycled plot begins, Todd Lampshades that it's a rehash.
  • Running Gag: Too many to list. To name a few:
    • Howard realizing that he had already started recording the podcast without realizing it, exposing the teachers' embarrassing top of the show chatter to the world.
    • Season 9 introduces a new variant of the gag that has one of the other three teachers "beating" Howard at introducing the show by abruptly saying "kick it!" to cue the music at the top. One episode begins with Sam doing this, before anything can even happen.
    • The Guinness World Records van screeching to a halt on the scene of the teacher's antics to immediately identify something that one of the teachers has done as a new (generally terrible and/or pathetic) world record, followed by one of the teachers (generally Bill) exclaiming "Guinness is back, baby!".
    • Todd either being in a romantic relationship with or getting life coaching from a mannequin.
    • Bill constantly taking about how long and real his hair is.
    • The teachers going off on a tangent of heavily enunciating Inherently Funny Words like "beef" or "scramble".
  • Secretly Wealthy: Howard is actually the heir to the Levi's Jeans fortune, but chooses to live outside of his family's wealth to prove his own merits.
  • Similar Squad: From season five onward, it has been revealed that the universe the podcast takes place in is home to several similarly-named podcasts starring four men who sound and act remarkably similar to, but not quite the same as, the teachers.
  • Smart Ball: Held most frequently by Howard, but can be passed to any of the teachers at a moment's notice. This practice is occasionally mocked when the others call out the ball's current holder for straight manning right after having said or done something ridiculous just moments before.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Todd abruptly gets engaged to another man in a poorly thought out attempt at being a feminist (by his logic, the most considerate thing he can do for women is go gay).
  • Teeny Weenie: Todd's penis is apparently so small that it's the only thing the media can focus on once it's revealed during coverage of his post-murder police chase.
  • Villain Protagonist: All four of the teachers are selfish and despicable people.
  • Virgin-Shaming: Howard is repeatedly made fun of by the rest of the cast for his assumed virginity early in the series.
  • Wild Card: Bill Cravy (and by extension his performer Drew Tarver), through a combination of his short attention span and Cloudcuckoolander personality, can on a whim completely upend plots that have been ongoing for several episodes by introducing new and totally unrelated topics.
  • With Friends Like These...: The teachers will sell each other out for their own gain in a second.
  • Younger Than They Look: Todd is apparently seventy-something but looks a hundred.


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