"And will not treat you like a cow."
"And will not treat you like a cow?"
"Sofa Wolf Press!"
Ursula Vernon, and her husband Kevin Sonney, get drunk once a week and review (generally terrible) prepackaged foods. The show commonly devolves into Ursula ranting about whatever is on her mind, with Kevin gamely attempting to drag the conversation back on topic. Despite, or perhaps because of, Ursula being a children's book author, the show often strays into adult topics ranging from tax law to the hosts' sex lives.
This work provides examples of:
- Berserk Button:
- Ursula hates it when the package promises things that aren't in the actual food.Ursula: [muttering angrily] I was promised a sixth cheese.
- Ursula also despises the word "Hazelnut" and repeatedly emphasises "filbert" as an alternative.
- Special guest John (now ex-boyfriend of Lizardbeth) hates misuse of the word "superfood" and unnecessary removal of things like fat to make something seem healthier.
- Ursula hates it when the package promises things that aren't in the actual food.
- Blatant Lies: In episode 192, "Spam and Lutefisk", Ursula is about to explain what ayahuasca does...and then realizes that a wild teenager has appeared. At which point she says that ayahuasca is about staying in school, doing your homework, and moving out of your dad's house. (For the record, ayahuasca is a potent psychedelic.)
- Canine Companion: New hound Lacey and sad hound Ernie are the new blood; Brandon the border collie and Gir the kitchen beagle both passed on during the run of the show.
- Much of the opening spiel.
- "Hello out there in Internet land!"
- "Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap - where we eat it, so you don't have to!"
- "You're on notice, [company whose product they are unimpressed with]".
- "A wild teenager appears!"
- The food is "Oddly compelling".
- "Don't do drugs, kids."
- "How are you, Internet?"
- "Made of food"/"Not made of food"
- Does Not Like Spam: Both hosts are so over-exposed to red and green bell pepper they detest everything they encounter it in.
- Drinking Game: Developed by fans.
- Drives Like Crazy: Ursula tells several stories about the semi-terrifying things her friend Tina will do when she's birding, like backing up on the freeway and doing a three-point turn in the middle of a highway. (Although, to be fair, no one else was on the highway at the time.)
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's Kevin and Ursula, eating foods they have purchased cheaply. In later episodes, they have often obtained them for free, since fans have started gifting them with items to review on the show.
- Formula-Breaking Episode: The letters shows, often recorded in advance of con appearances as filler episodes, generally do not include any food at all.
- Idiosyncratic Ratings Scale: Instead of sticking to something boring like stars out of 10, each episode replaces the stars with something relevant to the events of the episodes ("I give this four and a half penguins...") and also randomly varies the maximum number ("...out of seven"), sometimes followed by Kevin complaining that this is going to result in very strange numbers if he ever gets around to adding the feature where all the scores are automatically translated into scores out of 10 for comparison purposes.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: One of their advertising openers for Gryphon Winds LLC, an instrument repair business, is "when your woodwind is no goodwind".
- Large Ham: Both Kevin and Ursula, upon occasion.Kevin: EMULSIFYYY!
- Metaphorgotten: Ursula is prone to this, especially when she's drunk.Ursula: So what I am getting at, is that Red Velvet Oreos are like f**king a fake corpse. ...Moving on.
- Once an Episode:
- The opening, typically consisting of a disclaimer that the show is not for children, a recounting of the animals in the kitchen ("This podcast is recorded in front of a live kitchen beagle..."), and Ursula greeting the audience with "Hello out there in Internet land!"
- Sponsor segues, generally terribly off topic, almost always starting with "You know what won't [insert random comment here]...?" Apparently this has become so prevalent in their household at this point that they respond to any question with that opening with "Sofa Wolf Press!" There is an extensive list here. Often followed by an exhortation to please not mention what their ad actually said.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Tortie, Tiny/Little Orange, and Hound all have actual names (Rose, Cammie, and Lacey respectively), but Kevin and Ursula hardly ever use them. Even now that they have two hounds, Lacey is still "Hound", and the new hound is known by his actual name Ernie.
- Title Drop: Inverted. They name the episodes after they're done recording them, so often the title will be something they said.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Kevin and really spicy things. At one point he eats an entire Carolina Reaper (spicier than ghost peppers!)
- Shaped Like Itself: In "Sergei vs Internet", Episode 124, one of the things they review is described as "certified organic by organic certifiers". There is much head-scratching about what exactly that's supposed to mean.
- Suddenly Shouting: The loosely-defined rules of screed-reading dictate that anything bolded MUST BE READ REALLY LOUDLY, so Ursula does this a lot.