The year is 1999. In Pennsylvania's Brimstone Valley Mall, four demons masquerade as humans. They were sent up from Hell to lead humans into sin, but found that they much preferred life on Earth to life in the fiery pit, and drag their feet on their assignment as much as possible. Instead, they prefer to work menial jobs in the mall, mess around with the latest human fads, and play in their band, appropriately named Mall Rat. Recently, they've landed the gig of the millennia — literally. Playing as the opening act for Hell's Y2K concert, this could be Mall Rat's big break. And, if they play their cards right, they might be able to persuade their superiors to "misplace" their Earth contracts, "forcing" them to remain there indefinitely.
There's just one problem. Their lead singer is missing, and his demonic powers are needed to summon all the other demons to the concert, and, more pressingly (at least, according to their superiors), kick off Y2K. This gives the gang less than two weeks to find him, or face the wrath of Satan herself.
Brimstone Valley Mall is a podcast produced by Whisperforge, and it began on December 19, 2019. The first ten-episode season has been released, with a second season on the way.
Today's Weiner World Special is: Tropes
- 20 Minutes into the Past: The series began airing in 2019, and is set twenty years prior.
- The '90s: The first season begins in December of 1999 and ends at midnight on January 1, 2000.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: According to Asmoraius, this has been the status quo for thousands of years. Heaven and Hell are locked into an eternal war and each have their agents on Earth, trying to claim as many souls as possible, but for the most part it's just a stalemate. As he explains to Xaphan:Xaphan: So the fight is still happening?
Asmoraius: Oh, certainly. The fight is still happening, it has always been happening, and it will always continue to happen.
Xaphan: Who’s winning? Heaven or Hell?
Asmoraius: Hard to say.
Xaphan: Isn’t that… important?
Asmoraius: Meh. The score has been pretty much even as long as anyone can remember.
- Black Comedy: And lots of it. Cannibalism, murder, and damnation are all the sources of many, many jokes.
- Black Comedy Cannibalism: Misroch's habit of using dead bodies in their food at Weiner World is a Running Gag.
- Bland-Name Product: Almost all of them, such as Gadget Hutnote , Toys-R-Wenote , Chloe'snote , Borderline Personality Bookstorenote , and Prepercrombie and Binchnote . As a result, real names, such as Hot Topic and the Furby, jump out.
- Book Ends: Every episode begins and ends with someone leaving a voicemail.
- Burger Fool: Weiner World is about as shitty as minimum wage jobs get; ugly uniform, Mean Boss, lousy pay, human remains in the fryer...
- Celestial Bureaucracy: Hell, at least, involves lots of contracts, menial jobs, a corporate-like hierarchy, and paperwork.
- Circles of Hell: Referenced; the characters mention having to travel through different circles to get to where they need to be (Hell is a big place), but since they're demons and not the damned, we don't see what, exactly, happens in each one.
- Cliffhanger: The first season finale ends with Hornblas, revealed to be on the side of the angels, kicks off the Reckoning, which Trent implies will not be good for the demons. Lampshaded by the creator during the outro.Yes, of course there's going to be a second season, we're not cruel.
- Couch Gag: The outro notes end with the daily Weiner World special.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Who Do We Want? Hornblas!" focuses primarily on Trainee as she hangs out with Raven and Damien.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: There is some sort of hierarchy in Hell, including seven princes who, while below Satan herself, are still considered to be "a big fucking deal." Securing a deal with them and serving directly under them is considered to be quite a feat.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: The legions of Hell don't care about your gender, sexuality, or race, so long as you make yourself useful.
- Fallen Angel: Satan is confirmed to have fallen from Heaven, and it's implied the other demons did as well.
- Female Rockers Play Bass: Belzagor is the only female member of the demons' band Mall Rat, and is also the bassist. Until the first season finale, when the also-female Xaphan is finally allowed to perform with the band and takes on the lead singing position to replace the absent Hornblas.
- Flyover Country: Brimstone Valley Mall is in south-central Pennsylvania.
- Forever War: The war between Heaven and Hell has been raging on at a stalemate for as long as any demon can remember, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Played with. Some demons have black wings, but it's not universal. However, angels all have white wings. Which is what gives Trent away.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The woman who does the mall's announcements has the same voice actress as the Port Authority's announcer. Belzagor remarks that the voice sounds oddly familiar, but she can't quite place it.
- Love Triangle: Asmoraius flirts with everyone, but clearly has genuine feelings for Misroch, who sometimes grudgingly hints at feeling the same way. The two were once lovers, but the full extent of their relationship, and why it ended, has yet to be revealed. Over the course of the first season, Asmoraius dates and falls for Trent, which clearly doesn't please Misroch.
- The Mall: The primary setting of the series, as well as its namesake, is the Brimstone Valley Mall, where all the demons work.
- Meaningful Name: Of course four demons would wind up in a town called Brimstone Valley. Possibly invoked, as it's mentioned that Hornblas specifically requested they all be assigned there so they could be together. It's entirely possible he got a kick out of the name and chose it on purpose.
- Non-Heteronormative Society: Despite the series taking place in Flyover Country in the 90s, no one cares that Asmoraius is as flaming as they come, or that Misroch is non-binary, using their proper pronouns with no trouble.
- Once an Episode: Twice an episode, someone leaves a voicemail. Excepting the first season finale.
- Our Demons Are Different: Demons can appear as humans if they so please, but also have monstrous forms which vary wildly, often with tentacles, extra eyes and mouths, horns, and the like. They can eat if they want to, but it's not a necessity. Each demon in Hell is given a job, and "Earth contracts" are randomly assigned; if your number gets picked, you get sent up to Earth to lead humans into temptation. For each sin you inspire a human to commit, you get a sin coin; earn enough coins, you can buy a ticket back to Hell and return there. Invoking the name of God will cause them to burst into flames, but they can get drunk on Holy water. Oh, and they hate Christmas.
- Running Gag:
- Belzagor coming up with a piece of technology that will become extremely popular in the 2000s, but scrapping it because It Will Never Catch On.
- Xaphon's total lack of knowledge about Earth, or much of anything beyond her role of the stoker of the bellows of the flames of Hell.
- The mall's announcements tend to be a little disquieting.
- Trainee always tries to tell people her name, but is always cut off.
- The Secret of Long Pork Pies: Misroch makes their hot dogs out of human flesh, and then sells them to the unsuspecting public. Or at least they would, if anyone would actually buy from them. Xaphon thinks they're delicious, but they were also literally the first thing she ever tasted, so her endorsement doesn't mean much.
- Serious Business: Band practice. The main characters consider their band to be this in general, to the point where Carpasinus exasperatedly has to point out that to the legions of Hell, their performance is really inconsequential when compared to the plans for Y2K.
- Title Drop: The name "Brimstone Valley Mall" comes up a lot. There's also a drop in every episode.
- "Where the Hell Are You?!":Misroch: Hornblas! Where the Hell are you?! You were supposed to be here, in the food court, in uniform and ready to work, 37 and a half minutes ago!
- "Goth as F*ck":Asmoraius: Carousels are, in fact, goth as fuck.
- "Moral Kombat":Xaphan: [reading the name of a game] "Moral Kombat: Chaotic Neutral Edition"?
Asmoraius: Oh, good, you can read.
- "Don't Call Me Darling":Misroch: Don't call me darling.
Asmoraius: You used to love it when I called you darling.
- "Boo, Earth Bad":Belzagor: No way! No! We all... hate humans!
Asmoraius: Yeah! And we definitely totally hate Earth too! Boo, Earth bad!
- "Who Do We Want? Hornblas!":Trainee, Damien, and Raven: WHO DO WE WANT? HORNBLAS! WHEN DO WE WANT THEM? NOW!
- "Little Sinning Monster Machines":Asmoraius: It’s turning children into little sinning monster machines!
- "Attention Port Authority Bus Terminal Degenerates!":Announcer: Attention, Port Authority Bus Terminal Degenerates! The next Bus to Hell leaves in approximately 15 minutes from terminal 666. Or maybe not. It’s Port Authority so we might just change it up on you! Why not, let’s make it... Terminal 8? Or “Blue”? Or, let’s just close our eyes and pick one. Good luck!
- The first part of "Happy Y2K" doesn't have one, but the second part does:Satan: Here, why don’t you kids take a couple of drink tickets on me, go grab yourself some libations and enjoy the festivities! Happy Y2K!
- "Where the Hell Are You?!":
- To Hell and Back: Inverted. Demons can visit Earth from Hell, but all tickets to Hell are strictly one-way.
- Urban Fantasy: Demons running around in suburban Pennsylvania.
- Weirdness Censor: Lots of people notice that the demons act weird, but no one suspects that they're not human unless they're told, even though they're really bad at hiding it. Trainee thinks it's strange that Misroch calls her "mortal," but shrugs it off.
- Wham Episode: The first season finale completely shakes up the status quo. Trainee, Damien, and Raven are now demons working under Mammon, Trent is revealed to be an angel, and Hornblas is revealed to have defected and become an angel as well. And the "main event" of Y2K, a band called the Reckoning? They're angels here for an actual Reckoning.
- Wham Line: Several from the first season finale.
- Xaphon makes a surprising discovery.Xaphon: How did this happen to you?
Trainee: I thought it would be obvious. We sold our souls to Mammon, one of the seven Princes of Hell. Then he turned us into real, live, demons!
- The Reveal of who Trent from Hot Topic really is.Asmoraius:' Is this... black eyeshadow? All over your... Trent, these wings are white underneath... [...] These are real wings. They’re… they’re warm to the touch. I can feel the pulse...
- Finally, one from Hornblas, revealing his true purpose in Y2K.I once walked among you. A member of the fallen. A creature of the dark. But now the time has come for a shift in the paradigm. No more will there be stalemate between Heaven and Hell. My Fellow bringers of the light, shed the black dust from your wings, and begin the countdown, for the glory of Heaven!
- Xaphon makes a surprising discovery.