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We ask the important questions.

"Because seriously, who deals with super weapon sanitation and imperial employee agreements?"

Plumbing the Death Star is a Podcast run by the Melbourne-based Sanspants Radio network.

Each episode is based on a different question regarding Fridge Logic in a particular film, comic book, video game, or any other piece of popular media, whether it be Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" or The Muppets. Based around Rule of Funny more than anything else, the show has never taken itself seriously, so expect the cast to take the most ludicrous tangent possible away from the topic of the episode.

The show is hosted by the affable and silly Jackson Baly, editor-in-house Joel Zammit, and the loud and aptly named Joel Duscher, who have taken the not-so-elegant name "The Plumbing Boys." The Boys frequently make use of guest stars to add some variety, most frequently the Dungeons And Dragons expert and the nerdiest of the bunch, Adam, Sanspants regular Zoe Bilotta, Ducktales-podcaster Michael Williams, and others.

The podcast also has two sub-series: Plumbing the Death Eaters, which exclusively deals with Harry Potter and is largely just a part of the larger podcast, and Plumbing the Death Star Presents Movie Maintenance, which eventually branched off into its own show with a rotating cast. It also gave rise to a podcast dignifying recurring guest Adam, known as DND Is For Nerds.

The podcast can be found here, alongside a YouTube channel called "Sanspants Cinemascope."


Plumbing the Death Star contains examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Subverted Trope. Zammit is absent for the from "Would You Prefer to be Suddenly 30 or 17'd again?" with Adam taking his place, only for him to walk by the recording halfway into the episode and jump right into the conversation midway through a point about Big.
  • Abusive Parents: Of all the humanoid Super Smash Bros. characters, Wario is deemed the worst to be a parent, in part because he would join his child's bullies if he found out his kid did anything vaguely intellectual.
  • All-Star Cast: invoked In "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain," the hypothetical Special Guests for Michael Williams's "life" include Brad Pitt, Lil Wayne, and Bill Clinton. Oh, and they're all related to him, apparently.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: An unexpected conclusion from "Why Donkey Kong Wears a Tie?" is that Donkey Kong doesn't wear clothing and doesn't talk (in contrast to others like Funky Kong and Lanky Kong) is that he has a severe mental handicap.
  • And Zoidberg: When describing The Avengers, Zammit intentionally mentions the two weakest of them last to point out how out of place they are among a group of superhumans.
    "As I said so many episodes ago, the Avengers is like strong guy, strong guy, strong guy, very strong guy, bow and arrow, guns."
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: In "How Dare Wizards?!", Michael Shanks shares that he thinks Harry Potter's wizards separated from Muggles because they wanted to wait for Muggle societies to become more advanced. He compared it to the idea of the Prime Directive from Star Trek.
  • Almighty Idiot: Sauron, the Dark Lord of Middle Earth, is portrayed as senile in "Are There Better Ways to Invade Middle Earth?", having become so broken and delusional without his Ring of Power that even Saruman can't talk him into an actual strategy. Instead, the darkest force in Middle-Earth is reduced to simply screaming about throwing armies straight at his enemies.
    "OOOOORCS!"
  • Alternate History: Jackson is adamant that evidence Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory like the poverty of Charlie's town, Wonka's incredible technology, and the fact that the winner of Wonka's context is a blonde, white child all prove that the Roal Dahl film is set after a Nazi victory of World War II which Wonka contributed to as a Nazi scientist.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: Not caring much for his biblical omnipotencenote , Jesus can only perform miracles in a range of twenty feet around him, if "A Christmas Heist" can be trusted.
  • Author Appeal: Everyone on the show has a topic they like discussing:
  • Bad Santa:
    • The Plumbing Boys conclude in "Which Fictional Character Would Make a Better Santa Claus?" that Professor Xavier would eventually brainwash kids to want their parents to donate to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngster for Christmas. This has the result of making the kids legitimately happy in their messed up heads, but eventually they would look back and be sincerely disturbed by their strange childhood obsession.
    • Near the end of the Christmas episode, Jackson and the Joels begin to suggest incredibly violent potential Santas including the Predator, the Xenomorph from Alien, the planet-eating Galactus, a serial killer called The Punisher, and the demonic Ghost Rider.
  • Beat: Jackson stuns his co-hosts into a silent confusion by casually insinuating that guy-on-goose sexnote  is perfectly fine in "Which Fictional Doctor Would Make the Best GP?". Zammit almost stutters a response, but then rolls his head, twitches a little, and puts his head into his hands as the silence is filled by the crowd's laughter, all while Duscher stares at Jackson in awe.
  • Benevolent Precursors: "Why is the Matrix so Poorly Programmed?" ends with the realization that the robot overlords who enslaved man must work hard to understand humans and maintain the comfortable world they inhabit in The Matrix. After all, they could just keep them in a coma, but they instead dedicate 100% of their time to giving humanity a collective dreamworld where they can live in peace.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Jackson somehow ends up defending the idea of sex with sentient animals in "Which Fictional Doctor Would Make the Best GP?". Specifically, he casually mentions there's nothing wrong with a man having sex with a swan so long as the swan was originally a person. His co-hosts, Zammit and Duscher, are too stunned to respond with a complete sentence before resorting to just asking for some type of justification. Jackson reasons that as long as its consensual, its fine, but Zammit ends the discussion by asking the audience to applaud if they agree with Jackson. The silence is deafening... until two people applaud and cause the everyone around them to stare at them in disgust.
    Jackson: Are you telling me if I mind jumped into a swan and then made sweet love to someone, that wouldn't be okay?
    Zammit: *nods head* That's not okay.
    Duscher: That's textbook not okay, that's like rule one!
  • Bond One-Liner: Every time he catches a criminal, Duscher's version of Batman from "Which Comic Book Hero Would Make the Best Horror Movie Villain?" makes sure to say "GOT 'EM!" as deeply as he can.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Jackson connects the dots between their Professor X being a homophobe and the X-Men being used as a metaphor for homosexuals to deduce Professor X must be using his telepathy to repress his own homosexuality.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "Which Comic Book Hero Would Make the Best Horror Movie Villain," Duscher establishes "GOT 'EM!" as a catchphrase for Batman. A few minutes later, Zammit goes through a scenario where Professor X is wiping his student's memories, and Zammit finishes the bit by imitating the Professor's voice and whispering a quiet, "Got 'em."
  • Brainwashed: The cast of Plumbing the Death Star frequently portray X-Men's Professor Xavier as a unapologetic villain who uses his Telepathy to make his students to whatever he wants. Whenever they describe his abuse of power, they make sure to accompany it with beeping sounds, showing he's treating people just like a computer program.
  • Breakout Character: Professor Xavier is probably the character brought up most on the show after Zammit and Joel imitated his voice once and fell in love with it.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Duscher portrays himself as a clever B-student who just didn't care in "Which One of the Plumbing Boys Would Make a Better Boy Who Lived and Why is it Joel Duscher?".
    Zammit: That type of shit? Like, "Just imagine what you could do if you tried, you have so much potential!"
    Duscher: Yeah, and I'd be like, "Yeah, but imagine how much less Gamecube I would play."
  • Broke the Rating Scale:
    • One episode ranks the original Super Smash Bros. cast's stepfathering ability on a scale of ten. Things start off pretty bad when the two Pokémon both get zeroes for being wild animals, but things get even worse with Donkey Kong, a wild ape who can't talk, and worse, comes with in-laws. He gets a negative ten out of ten.
    • When rating "The Pros and Cons of Dating Monsters," Zammit is so taken aback by the sheer travesty of a boyfriend the Mummy would be that he tries to give it a negative ten out of ten. Duscher and Jackson talk him down to a negative one, arguing that a negative ten would have to be something worse than endless torture.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Professor Xavier's Telepathy is referred to as his "boop-boop-boop powers" because someone always accompanies discussion of his powers with computer-like noises.
    • The cast stops "If You Were a James Bond Villain What Would Your Scheme Be?" to make sure everyone knows that "sinkholing" is not an actual word and that anyone who uses it will be laughed at.
    • The title of "Would You Prefer to be Suddenly 30 or 17'd again?" used 17 Again as a verb to describe suddenly becoming young again. The rest of the podcast similarly uses 13 Going on 30 and Big to describe being suddenly turned into an adult.
  • The Bully: Each candidate in "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad?" is measured by how they would cope if they found out a stereotypical bully was hassling their kid. By the end of the episode, the bully has to deal with bounty hunters, magical deadbeat Italians, and actual wild animals who all come down on him with extreme force. After getting eaten and spit back out by the final stepfather, the bully doesn't even want to associate with his victim and just wants to stay away from his terrifying family members.
  • The Butler Did It: Michael Williams's criticism of theories about the identity of Snoke from The Force Awakens is that they mostly involve a minor character secretly being Snoke even if no one in the story has any meaningful relationship to this minor character. This is most explicitly conversed when the idea that Snoke is Vanee, a character from Rogue One who's only characteristic is being an older villain's butler.
    "The most evil, cunning man in the universe... now that we now know he was a butler, how does that make it better?"
  • Butt-Monkey: A whole episode is dedicated to "Why is Hawkeye in the Avengers?", and he's frequently brought up as the worst of the Avengers. They make a point of killing him off in their What If? "Would the Avengers be Better off Without the Hulk?", they characterize him as an emotionally-fragile whiner in "Which Avengers Would Make the Best Friend?", and they waste no time "Professor Charles Xavier's Crazy Summer" having Professor Xavier fire Hawkeye just before accidentally destroying his mind and killing him.
    "Chances are you think you're better than Hawkeye thinks he is."
  • Caper Crew: With all of Christmas stolen and put in one of the Grinch's bank vaults, Duscher, Zammit, and Jackson are left to assemble a team of Christmas characters to pull off "A Christmas Heist", with Santa Claus himself backing them. The team they assemble is as follows:
    • The Gadget Guy: Kevin McCallister of Home Alone fame already has experience using make-shift tech to ruin his enemies from his childhood adventures, but with the funding of Santa Claus, McCallister is ready to get back into the game. Duscher also has a suggestion in the limo driver from Die Hard with a Vengeance. Why? Because his car has a phone in it.
      Jackson: No, Kevin McCallister is still the clear winner.
      Zammit: But Jackson, he can drive, and make—a phone call.
    • The Conman: With enough stealth expertise to sneak into Santa's sack and more passion for the mission than any other operative, Buddy from Elf is more than prepared to lie his way into the bank security and get gunned down if it means saving his favorite holiday.
    • The Pickpocket: Malcom McDowell from the derivatively named Home Alone: Holiday Heist uses his genius-level intellect to assist in the actual stealing of Christmas.
    • The Burglar: Catwoman, having been featured in the Christmas-set Batman Returns, gets in on the caper and is the one to open the vault containing Christmas in it, although her involvement brings a big problem for the crew: Batman. Still, that downside doesn't make her worse than Duscher's suggestion, the very alcoholic, very diseased Bad Santa.
    • The Driver: In a win for Duscher, the others' suggestions of The Polar Express and Tim Allen prove too chaotic to work into the plan, so the team agrees to bring in the limo driver from Die Hard with a Vengeance as their getaway driver.
    • The Muscle: Die Hard's John McClanenote  serves as the main source of firepower in the heist. He gives Catwoman the time she needs to get into the vault, and knowing him, probably blows the entire building down with C4.
    • The Reserve: When the heist goes wrong and all seems lost, the three Masterminds have little choice, but to call in their most dangerous pick, the only Christmas character with no sense of morality and no reluctance to take a human life. Worse than that, it has parasitic abilities that allow it to cause "ego death" by overriding of anyone it touches and controlling them, most often to force its victim to kill him or her self. It has no name, but it did once possess an inanimate object, one with a name befitting a monster with a heart cold as the abyss: Frosty the Snowman.
    • The Fall Guy: With one role left to fill for the heist, Zammit puts forward Bad Santa as a fall guy before offering the perfect option: the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to being able to distract crowds with His miraclesnote , the King of Kings would also put any police coming to arrest Him in a moral dilemma.
      Jackson: They'd be like "Ah, I don't really want to arrest Jesus."
      Duscher: "Last time this happened, we looked like the biggest jerks."
  • Cast from Calories: This is referred to as the "Joel Duscher Bird Theory;" Duscher answers "Why Isn't Nightcrawler Fat?" by positing that using mutant powers like Nightcrawler's teleportation would expend energy like flight does for birds. Problem is, other mutants like Cyclops and "the one with the bees" can't turn their powers off, so under this theory those characters should be constantly exhausted and starved.
  • Casual Time Travel: Shanks points out in "How Dare Wizards?!" that if Time-Turners are commercially available in Harry Potter, they should be used for everyday purposes. Specifically, he points out Time-Turners could help with venting anger by allowing people to kill whoever they're mad at and to then turn back time to return everything to normal.
  • Catchphrase: Duscher's imitation of Batman in "Which Comic Book Hero Would Make the Best Horror Movie Villain?" gruffly says "GOT 'EM!" to himself every time he snatches a criminal.
  • Cat Scare: A negative of having Aquaman as a horror movie villain is that any time he popped out of the shadows after a long bit of tension his victim would immediately have a sense of relief after seeing a beautiful blond man in a silly orange outfit.
  • Character Alignment: invoked The ambiguity of the character alignment system and its strange loopholes fuel the discussion in "What is a Baby's Alignment?". The episode starts with Zammit, Jackson, and Adam asking when sentience begins and ends with them segregating society by moral status while using magic to Mind Rape people into the ideal alignment.
  • Child Soldier: "How Many Crimes Does the Agent Cody Banks Program Commit?" points out that Cody Banks is trained more to be a soldier than a legitimate spy, and clearly murders others for the sake of the government, making him a child soldier in all but name.
  • Chummy Commies: Zammit suggests the monsters of Monsters, Inc. would excellently take over for Santa because they could steal whatever presents they needed and give them to the children who need it most; Adam realizes this is basically redistribution of wealth and exclaims that he "knew this was a socialist podcast from the beginning."
    "Support my socialist Christmas, Adam."
  • Clark Kenting: One of the best replacement jobs they can come up for Clark Kent with in "What Kind of Job is Journalism for a Superman?" is acting, since he already has the acting ability to keep the whole world in the dark about his Secret Identity as Superman.
    "He'd be a good actor. Know how I know he'd be a good actor? Because he puts on glasses and does his hair slightly differently and no one thinks he's the same person, so he has to be really good at nuanced performance."
  • Clickbait Gag: The episode "What Kind of Job is Journalism for a Superman?" concludes that Clark Kent would best be employed at Buzzfeed, because then he could write low-effort articles with obnoxious headlines like "16 Things You Think X-Ray Vision Doesn't Work On That It Totally Does" or "If You Were a Kansas Kid You Would Remember THESE."
    "It's sad because you know Superman would never realize that that's not journalism."
  • Complete Immortality: Jackson's answer to "What Would Be the Ultimate Crime Causing Power?" is immortality through possession. Essentially, if a supervillain had the power to become the closest person brain upon death, they would be unstoppable. You could hold him for ten minutes or ten decades with everything from cryogenic freezing, satellites, and telepathic blocks, but outside of the annihilation of all sentient life, there's no way to kill him. Still, there's one permanent option to stop him: find someone that's physically completely immortal for him to possess and then lock him up.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Jackson chooses this in "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain?" because he could carry around a pocket TV, wonder aloud whether he could ever find something, and then look at his TV to find an advertisement for some competition where the reward is exactly what he needs. Duscher points out that at that point Jackson would have to actually win the competition, and even if it was a podcasting competition, there are still plenty of people to beat out Jackson at it.
  • Connected All Along: Jackson identifies the "idiot detective", a phenomenon where movie-goers will experience a brief rush of satisfaction upon seeing a previously established character, even if the character has no reason to appear or any connection to the relevant characters. This is the best answer they have for the question "Why Does Your Snoke Theory Suck?", referring to theories that the new Star Wars villain was an alien rabbit, Darth Vader's butler, or Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Continuity Nod: Throughout "Which Disney Princess would make the Best Step-Dad?", constant references are made to the fact previous step-dads under consideration included from the two episodes about Super Smash Bros..
  • Conversational Troping: Essentially, the whole podcast is spent discussing scenarios and conventions of popular culture, especially those from the Fantasy and Superhero genres.
  • Cool Horse: One of the only reasons Link, a mute kleptomaniac with a nagging fairy, gets more than a two out of ten in "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad?" is because he has a horse, which means he gets the 1.5 horse multiplier bonus. This same bonus later applies to other characters with cars and dinosaurs.
  • Costume Copycat: Jackson's strategy in "How Would You Take Down the Bat Man?" is to make a Batman costume and menace Gotham, not by committing anything as serious as murder, but by displaying public nudity and just acting strange publicly in order to shame Batman's name.
  • Create Your Own Villain: "Professor Charles Xavier's Crazy Summer" sees the titular professor humiliate Thor with mind control, leading the Prince of Asgard to return to his home and rally an army to take over Earth.
  • Creator Provincialism:
    • To tie in with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, an episode was made about what other wizarding schools besides Hogwarts would be like. What country did the Melbourne-based cast choose to focus on? Australia, of course.
    • If you can't tell from the title what "Would It Really Be Nice if the World Was Cadbury?" is about, don't worry. The guys immediately admit that making an episode about an obscure ad for Cadbury chocolate might alienate their listeners who aren't Australians born in the mid-eighties.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Hutts immunity to the Jedi Mind Trick make them "like slug atheists," in Jackson's words.
    Duscher: Not like slug atheists, that implies there are slug atheists!
  • Cuckold: When Hawkeye comes up in "Which Avengers Would Make the Best Friends?", the main advantage the Plumbing Boys can see to having him as a friend is that he'd be away enough that they could have an affair with Hawkeye's wife.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check:
    • In "Is the Death Star a Good Weapon?", Zammit posts that that for the expense of one murder-beam from the Death Star, the tyrannical Galactic Empire could instead buy gift baskets to boost the morale of the government employees while they loom over the cowering citizenry.
    • "Why Doesn't Superman Get a Job"? is built on the point that if a man had Super Strength, Super Speed, and Flight, wouldn't he find a job using those skills rather than writing about Wall Street in a single bound?
    • Willy Wonka comes under fire in "Does Wonka Know How to Run a Business?" for not using his amazing technology to help the world, though they reason this is because he's a manchild who took over the company at a young age and possibly a Nazi scientist.
  • Deadly Game: The guys jump off the slippery slope in "What Would You Use The Suicide Squad For?" and decide to just throw them in The Hunger Games to fight to the death with one victor. The more Squad members you kill, the more you get off your sentence if you win, but there's no equipment given except boots, putting guntotters like Deadshot at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, Captain Boomerang would enter the arena feeling natural in his Australian thong and win the Hunger Games while Deadshot is distracted by the Captain's ridiculous getup.
    "Poor Riddler."
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Jackson's answer to "What Would be the Ultimate Crime Causing Power?" is the ability to take over the consciousness of the nearest sentient being upon death, which Jackson intends to exploit by killing himself, becoming a bird, crashing into the White House, and becoming the President. Sure, the President isn't great at robbing banks or petty crime, but being President is the ultimate power when it comes to war crimes.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Johnny Cage entered the Mortal Kombat tournament to prove his own stunts; Johnny Cage's signature move is to punch someone's head off. Using these two facts, it's assumed that he likely has a photo of him raising his enemy's head out for all to see on his Instagram.
  • Decapitation Required: The guest from "How Effective is the Suicide Squad?" suggests Superman could be killed by decapitation, which confuses Jackson since, as he puts it, he didn't know Superman was a vampire. Zammit and Jackson then list off other vampiric qualities Superman has, like only being able to come in if you invite him to sucking the blood of the innocent to having to... count any panties dropped on the floor? They go farther and farther on the tangent until they read from Dracula, realize decapitation wouldn't kill Superman, and decide to move move on from Vlad Kent.
    "'Oh, creatures of the night, what beautiful music they make, I have to save Metropolis!' Superman!"
  • Defeat by Modesty: The cast reasons that Johnny Cage, an actor, could manage to defeat Goro, the four-armed demon monster from Mortal Kombat, by removing Goro's loincloth and embarrassing him.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Much to his co-host's horror, Zammit's answer to "What Would Your Ultimate Crime Fighting Super Power Be?" is the ability to relieve one's self and then live the potential life of one of one's sperm before dying and returning to the moment of relief. Jackson and Duscher are disgusted, not only by how weird the power itself is, but by how strange it would be to live the life of your children, only to die, and then raise the child who's life you lived. Jackson attempts to move on with his less disgusting power, but Duscher is too disgusted by Zammit's suggestion to discuss anything else. Zammit gets either a negative four hundred or a ten out of ten for that one.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: "Why is Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat?" wrestles with how in the world Hollywood actor Johnny Cage could conceivably fight an undead ninja, a soul-sucking sorcerer, and a thunder god with only his stuntwork and charm.
  • Disappeared Dad: When going through "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad?", the wife and step-child in question are characterized and discussed, but no mention is given to what happened to the original husband.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The man who killed M and sunk MI6 into the ground in Duscher's Bond classic, Sinkhole, was MI6's janitor, out for revenge after Q failed to give him the proper equipment to clean the place up.
  • The Don: According to the second Super Smash Bros. episode, Donkey Kong is unknowingly a mob boss, who goes into a rage upon hearing about anyone in his debt and violently extorts Wario, forcing Wario to give up on being a stepfather.
  • Dr. Jerk: When ranking how good of a GP Dr. Mario would be, Jackson shows how bad his beside manner would be by cheerfully yelling "Guess-a what? You got cancer!" in an Italian accent. Duscher retorts that it sure would be better than Dr. Wario, who would just curse the patient out and laugh at them as soon as they learned about their cancer diagnosis, but Jackson points out Mario would probably invite Wario and all the other Mario characters to compete over the diagnosis for new game, Super Mario Medical Diagnosis.
    "Hey, guess what's gonna happen in three to six weeks? Your wife, she's single now eh-eh!"
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Michael Williams plan to defeat James Bond is to cyberbully him and bombard him with spam until his life is a living Hell, forcing him to suicide.
    • By the end of "What Would Your Ultimate Crime Fighting Super Power Be?", Duscher is so disgusted by Zammit's "cum baby powers" and Jackson's bacterial Hive Mind that he decides the best super power to have in this world would be hanging himself, to stop himself from committing crimes.
  • Easy Amnesia: Thanks to memory wiping from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jackson figures that showing The Wizard of Oz would just cause mass hysteria for non-magical folk who would suddenly remember all the terrible magic that wizards tried to hide.
  • Eats Babies: In the episode "Which One of the Plumbing Boys Would Best Be Consumed by the Symbiote?" Duscher argues that if you have to eat a human being, the best option is to eat newborns, a conviction Jackson agrees with. Zammit tries to argue against them, but he gets quickly exhausted arguing with people who insist killing babies is swell.
    Duscher: What's the difference between eating a cow and eating a newborn?
    Zammit: So much, so much!
    Jackson: No, I'm with ya!
    Zammit: Aw, Jesus. [...] Why is it that I'm arguing "Let's not eat babies" and I'm the minority here?
  • Emotion Bomb: Mr. Sunday Movies flips the monkey from Outbreak so his dehumanizing virus now instead spreads love, happiness, and tolerance throughout the entire world, a power shared by the Facehugger from Alien. The episode, by the way, is "When Bad Guys Do Good."
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • In-Universe; Duscher tries to pitch "How Does Dating Work in Beyoncé's Single Ladies?" by asking why "he" needs to "put a ring on it" in this universe, only for his two co-hosts to answer his question and leave him with nothing to say five minutes into the episode. This leaves the cast with another twenty minutes of the episode to fill, so they end up fumbling into an absurd theory about how Beyonce is a Green Lantern talking about the madness Hal Jordan suffered in Zero Hour.
    • Wild theories are the subject of "Why Does Your Snoke Theory Suck?", where real theories about the identity of the villain from The Force Awakens are discussed and rated. The best theory is that the villain is another villain mentioned once in passing from a film ten years ago and the worst one is that he is literally a bag of snakes. In the end, they come to the agreement that no theory about Snoke is good.
  • Everyone Is a Super: Adam excitedly decides that the best way to make sure Muggles and wizards can find peace is "forced interbreeding," so that everyone will eventually get magical powers in their family line.
    "Like, if you take away forced, I'm with ya."
  • Evolutionary Levels: When discussing "How Did the Hutts Rise to Power?", Jackson mentions that they may have been a more monstrous and athletic species before years of wealth and luxury devolved them into the immobile, slug creatures that grace the Star Wars universe today.
  • Evil Twin: Duscher gets out of the negative consequences of living through a Twisted Christmas once Adam points out that if he's living in a soap opera world, he could just have all his enemies go after his secret evil twin.
  • Exploited Trope: The episode "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain?" is all about how the Duscher, Zammit, Jackson, and their two guests would abuse the conventions of television to make their lives easier. Jackson chooses to exploit Coincidental Broadcast, Duscher chooses Soapland Christmas (since merged with Twisted Christmas), Adam chooses Treasure Map, and Michael Williams chooses Special Guest.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Having survived naked in the Himalayas all his life, the Abominable Snowman would have no trouble replacing Santa and relocating to his facility in the North Pole.
  • Exposition Beam: One suggestion for how Professor X of X-Men would update someone who missed the past fifty years is quite blunt; Xavier would immediately upload all fifty years of history into the person's mind in a single moment and wheel off while leaving the updated person to cry blood from the information overload.
  • Expy: In "What are the Consequences of Mario Living in New York City?", Michael Jones does an imitation of Don Corleone of The Godfather with the only spin on it being that it's in the pitch of the nasally Toads from Mario.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: The villain of Duscher's proposed James Bond film, Sinkhole, is named Stinkhole. Not only does it rhyme with the title, it reflects the character's dark backstory as a janitor.
  • Fake Interactivity: In "Why Does Your Snoke Theory Suck?" Steele Saunders prepares the audience for his Snoke theory by telling them to grab a drink, talk to their family, and take a seat before listening to him; after maybe a half a second pause, Saunders continues, with Zammit and Jackson complimenting the listener on how quickly they managed to get everything done.
  • Fake Memories: One of Professor Xavier's methods of replacing Santa Claus is to telepathically induce memories of a present into the minds of every good child on earth and then adding another memory of losing it a few days after Christmas. This causes problems when kids begin trying to compare notes with friends, who notice they all lost presents at the same time.
  • Fanboy: In "Why is Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat?", a cyborg supercriminal from the game is made into such a fan of Johnny Cage that he's willing to throw a life-or-death fighting tournament for an autograph.
  • Fanfare: When discussing Link's capabilities as a stepfather, the conversation shifts to whether Link's stepchild would know he's having sex because of the bombastic "Victory!" and "Item Get!" fanfares that play whenever something goes well for Link.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The first episode topic discussed on the show the lack of any alien forces in the Galactic Empires ranks from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi. Jackson excuses it by pointing to the costs of making a uniform for everyone and the need to keep a brand going, but the whole branding argument falls apart when Zammit points out that the Empire blow up planets without consulting their PR department. It also falls away when they realize that the Rebellion is just as lacking in aliens, and that even when they have an alien admiral in Return of the Jedi, he is only allowed to serve on a ship full of personnel of the same species, implying some sort of segregation.
    • The topic of species-ism is revisited in the sixth episode, where Jackson posits another theory: Darth Vader's mother was not just a slave, but a sex slave for her alien master. Without an actual father figure, this leaves Vader to put together that his father was his gross, goblin-headed alien master, creating a hatred for aliens that lead Vader to carry out an ethnic cleansing of his Galactic Empire that left only humans to serve in it and the Rebellion.
      Duscher: You are arguing that the Imperial army is only racist because the head of it (well, the second-in-charge behind Emperor Palpatine), Darth Vader, believes his mum was raped by an alien, he was conceived, and now he hates all aliens to the point where he has murdered a lot of them?
      Jackson: Yup.
    • Playing on this is part of guest star Gabe's suggestion for how Sauron could have won the war in The Lord of the Rings. Instead of relying on wave after wave of Orcs, Sauron could have easily played on the hatred the elves, dwarves, humans and hobbits have with each other to sow discord and tear down the other kingdoms before coming to claim what's left over.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: A problem with the afterlife of Pirates of the Caribbean is the presence of fictional sea gods, Davy Jones of Nautical Mythology, the Greek Poseidon, and the Christian Holy Grail which all present completely different ideas of what the afterlife is.
    "There are very few mentions of a kraken in The Bible."
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: One of the last two tropes mentioned in "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain" is the tendency for characters to strike oil in their backyard, find money on the bus, or find some other crazy method to get rich instantly. However, they conclude that if they followed the trope completely, they'd have to lose the money since these type of scenarios tend to involve a form of Friend or Idol Decision where they either must return the money to its rightful owner or keep it, wherein the character always chooses to return it out of moral obligation.
  • For the Evulz: Michael Williams hypothetical Bond villain ruins 007's life with leaks of personal information, denial-of-service attacks, and cyberbullying tactics for one reason, encapsulated in his pithy, but devious Motive Rant:
    James Bond: Why, why in the world did you do this?
    Cyberbully: For the lolz.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • According to "Why is the Death Star Spherical?", putting a friendlier management on the Death Star and renaming it the "the Peacemaker" would make the Stormtroopers more open about the Death Star's structural problems; this would allow the Empire to cover up the exhaust port, allowing them to destroy Alderaan, the Rebellion, and Luke while derailing the entire Star Wars saga.
    • The point of "What if Hagrid was 5 Years Too Late?" is obviously how things in Harry Potter would change if Hagrid was late, but there's a problem: late for what? Depending on what he's late for, the world of Harry Potter ends up with the Chosen One growing up either a feral snake king, a goth fan of terrible 90's music, or dead by dragon breath at age fourteen.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip:
    • When discussing Freaky Friday, they assume that in any situation in which people disagree in that universe, they must have a body switch. This initially makes it a candidate in their minds as one of the best fictional universes, as people can switch bodies with others so long as they agree to disagree and each refuse to learn a moral. However, the Boys quickly realize the Fridge Horror of this idea since it means people may start to use this to have children solely to have people to swap bodies with before death.
    • Professor X uses his telepathic powers to switch bodies with Dumbledore in "What if Professor X Ran Hogwarts? (Live!)", allowing Professor X to manage Hogwarts for the seven years Harry attends the school. Dumbledore is too busy learning to be a cripple to do anything useful until the very end of those seven years.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: The reason it's decided that A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted is too difficult to exploit is that if you randomly find money on a bus in fiction, the choice to return the money is always presented and characters always return it.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: invoked Jackson points out the problem with having a lot of Celebrity Guest Stars as relatives: it means that a lot of your relatives turn out to be pedophiles.
  • Genocide Dilemma: The cast did an episode on the In-Universe Character Alignment Dungeons & Dragons, only to end up arguing about whether it's okay to commit genocide on populations of objectively evil people. Zammit and Adam both think the genocide itself is evil, but Jackson decides (in a Dungeons and Dragons world) he would to go with a genocide and then commit suicide once he's the only evil person left.
  • Genre Refugee: The Plumbing Boys switch the discussion in "Which 80s Horror Villain Would Make the Best Boyfriend?" from Michael Myers of Halloween (1978) (emphasis on "1978") to Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, who end up being placed second and third as boyfriends.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: The one problem with dating Freddy Kruegar is that everyone would assume you're just making him up to puff your ego, since he only exists in the dreamworld. Zammit is very put off by this, not wanting to be "that guy."
  • Glad You Thought of It: "Why Isn't Nightcrawler Fat?" ends up becoming a discussion of Professor X, where the Plumbing Boys become convinced he's using Telepathy to increase the food budget by implanting the thought to increase it in the mind of the rest of his staff.
  • Glamour: Zammit and Jackson conclude that Professor X, considering he doesn't walk and uses his Telepathy for everything, must be simply implanting an image of a healthy version of himself into others, while in reality he is morbidly obese and unkempt.
  • The Good Guys Always Win:
    • When Jackson proposes exploiting Coincidental Broadcast in "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain," the others point out that he isn't exploited the trope that the protagonist always wins, so Jackson would end up losing any singing and soup-making competitions he had entered. On the flip side, this helps out Adam, who's exploit of the Treasure Map trope makes him the bad guy to the kid heroes who inevitably will hunt the treasure; with no storytelling convention to help them, Adam's adult fists easily give him the advantage over his infantile adversaries.
    • Shanks denies that Muggles have to worry about the dark wizards of Harry Potter taking over because, historically, the good guys will win. He has trouble naming the concept, and calls it "Plot Armor."
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: When talking about the Harry Potter witch who faked death in the Salem Witch Trials for fun, the episode's guest (Shanks) calls her "masochistic sex witch hanging around Salem" and decides to name his next rock band that after everyone else laughs at his naming.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Boys hypothesize that if every disagreement in the Freaky Friday universe resulted in people switching bodies, people would come to abuse this by having children and forcing them to perform a body switch, allowing immortality for anyone willing to having children with sole purpose of letting them die.
  • Green Christmas: The main objection to letting Ronald McDonald become Santa Claus is that he'd ruin Christmas by turning it into McDonalds's Day and only giving children Happy Meals instead of actual presents.
  • Groin Attack: A tangent about Ant-Man in "Professor Charles Xavier's Crazy Summer" delves into Ant-Man's ability to use his size-shifting abilities to blow up the gonads of any of his enemies.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Justified in "Why Does Donkey Kong Wear a Tie?", where they figure Donkey Kong refuses to wear anything besides a tie because of some Ambiguous Disorder. Once the similarly pants-less Diddy Kong is brought up, they brush him off and don't explain his outfit.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The reason Aquaman is proposed in "Which Comic Book Hero Would Make the Best Horror Movie Villain?" is that his origin as the child of an affair between a nonhuman sea creature and a fisherman raised in a lighthouse make him sound like some sort of alien monster.
  • Hand Wave: An explanation is given for how Johnny Cage could defeat every original Mortal Kombat fighter in "Why is Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat?" until they reach Scorpion, an undead ninja with no moral code. The closest they could come with is that Scorpion could impale Cage with a spear in the shoulder and pull him towards himself, only for Cage to raise his fist and decapitate Scorpion, though this scenario ends with Johnny Cage bleeding to death soon after this. The Plumbing Boys decide to ignore Cage's death so they can match him up with the three remaining fighters.
  • Hate Plague: Duscher's "ultimate crime causing power" is riot vision, the ability to make anyone he makes eye contact with enter into a violent frenzy for twenty-four hours. Not the best for robbing banks, but if you want to see the Pope, the President, or Greenpeace clock some guys, it's for you.
  • Harmful to Minors: A big point of discussion in the two Super Smash Bros. episodes is how each character would manage to conceal their sexual activities from their stepchild. The worst violation of this is Wario, who would go so far as to take his step-child to a strip club as a birthday present, and then tell the stepmother.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Madrox the Multiple Man has the power to make exact copies of himself and absorb them for their knowledge; "Is Madrox just the worst for the MU?" makes the case that he could potentially take over every job in the world economy, learn every possible skill, become everyone's significant other, and become the dominant species on Earth by himself solely through his one superpower.
    • Whenever a generic spell needs to be brought up in "How Dare Wizards?!", the Plumbing Boys always go with a spell they made up that turns water into flowers. They start off making jokes about how pointless it is, but they eventually figure out that this spell could be used to escape waterboarding and empty the oceans in the style of Ice-9.
  • Heaven Above: In their Let's Play of Ultimate Chicken Horse, Duscher abuses the ability to have his character looks upwards to make his cute chicken man look to the sky as if he were pleading to God while talking about how he wants to be spared from a violent death.
  • Heel–Face Turn: "When Bad Guys Goes Good" is a discussion of what movie villains would be like if completely inverted. So now the four sharks from the Jaws movies are a group of savvy crimefighters trying to bring peace to the Middle East with Hal 9000 as Mission Control.
  • Heroic Build: One of the key reasons "Why Isn't Nightcrawler Fat" exists is that there are no conventionally fat members of the X-Men even if most of them have powers with no relation to physical exertion.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: The podcast's increasingly villainous interpretation of Professor Xavier is quick to judge homosexuals and uses his mind control as a form of conversion therapy.
    "We don't have a 'Don't ask, don't tell,' policy here, we just have a 'Don't,' policy."
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The cast in "What Alignment is a Baby?" tries to think of a way to create a good society in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, where people can be objectively evil thanks to In-Universe Character Alignment. Adam keeps his hands clean of any extreme matters and Zammit proposes simply kicking Evil people out of villages, but Jackson immediately goes over the line by committing genocide on any Evil or Neutral aligned villagers. Zammit tries to weasel out of the morality issue, but Jackson just accepts the fact that he'd be Evil by doing it and agrees to kill himself after his purge of the village, leaving the Good people to question the origin of their society.
  • Hive Mind: Professor Charles Xavier of X-Men gets voted as the most horrific superhero because he takes control of the minds of all of his students regularly as part of his lessons. Any telepath who would come to his school would quickly find the entire class staring at them as one entity, as Xavier asks the telepath to allow him to take control. This would also allow him to force students into battle, prevent them from leaving, and erase memories of any of Xavier's wrongdoings.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jackson's scheme from "If You Were a James Bond Villain What Would Your Scheme Be?" ends with his villain happily bragging about his evil plan on his Mars colony, not knowing that Bond has used his own bombs to send the Moon hurdling not towards Earth, but straight towards the villain's Mars base. This happens to be the last scene of Marsraker.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Jackson reasons that the answer to "Why Is The Matrix Programmed So Poorly?" is that the robots have such a failed understanding of humans that any attempt to program a world better than the nineties is beyond them. Initial attempts to make a utopia for humans just end up being a world of endless grass because the robots can't distinguish between a human's ideal world and a cow's.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: One of the suggestions in "How Would You Use The Suicide Squad?" is to execute them by putting them in the wild, giving them some sort of handicap, and allowing eager citizens and big game hunters to hunt them to death. James compares it to The Most Dangerous Game, although the whole thing falls apart when magical members like Enchantress and El Diablo come up. They conclude that the best member of the Suicide Squad to hunt would obviously Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, despite not being a member of the team, because he's the more annoying than any of them.
    James: What about Slipknot?
    Duscher: Slipknot just kills himself.
  • The Illuminati: Jackson sees the use of mind wiping and mass secrecy as evidence the wizarding governments of Harry Potter are just like the Illuminati, controlling the world in secret.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Fittingly, the Mortal Kombat episode is based around how Johnny Cage's experience with fight scenes don't translate to experience with actual fights, leaving the Plumbing Boys to figure out how he could defeat actual warriors.
  • Immune to Drugs: Realizing that a Healing Factor prevents any type of drug from taking effect, Wolverine's cigarette smoking takes over the conversation for a bit of "Why Isn't Nightcrawler Fat?".
  • Insistent Terminology: Despite only being referred to as such in one scene in seven movies, Duscher and Jackson refuse to call the main characters from The Fast and the Furious anything besides La Familia and refuse to describe with anything less than pure excitement.
  • Instant Allegiance Artifact: The "Alignment" spell from Dungeons & Dragons becomes the center of a plan by Jackson to create a village full of Good people by either forcing people to accept the spell and turn into good people or be shot in the head. Zammit and Adam aren't sure whether they like this plan.
  • Info Dump: After listening to an excessive debate about the afterlife of Pirates of the Caribbean, Michael Williams vocalizes his hope that the 2017 film starts with a forty-minute speech directly to the audience explaining the afterlife and discrediting all the theories in the episode.
  • Ironic Echo: Adam points out one of Zammit's suggestions in "Which Fictional Character Would Make a Better Santa Claus?" involves redistribution of wealth and says "I knew this was a socialist podcast;" moments later, Adam suggests using Ronald McDonald and the millions of McDonalds to take over for Santa and his elves, at which point Zammit complains that this is capitalizing Christmas and says "I knew this was a capitalist podcast."
  • Job-Stealing Robot:
    • A fantastic variation. One of the problems with Elsa's ice cream business in "Who's the Best Disney Business Princess?" is that it would create zero jobs, since she can create ice golems to do any labor she needs without paying them a single dime.
    • A fantastic variation in "How Dare Wizards?!", where Adam points out that introducing magic into the human world would simply leave wizards and dragons to take over jobs while Muggles are left unemployed.
  • Joker Immunity: It comes up in "How Would You Use The Suicide Squad?" that Batman, as he appears in the film, should have no recurring enemies like the Joker because this Batman is okay with killing criminals.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Two examples from "Which Comic Book Hero Would Make the Best Horror Movie Villain?"
    • Among many, many attempts Professor Xavier makes to take over the mantle of Santa Claus, one of them is to brainwash the rich so that they pay for the gifts of all the children in the world.
    • The monsters from Monsters, Inc. could use their access to any door to rob whatever gifts children would want. Adam then denies this would be charitable by saying "it's less Robin Hood than just hood."
  • Kill 'em All: In the final judgement of "How Effective is the Suicide Squad?", Zammit presents a scenario where the nine-man squadnote  is lined up on the White House lawn facing an evil Comic Book/Superman on the opposite side. He reckons Superman's opening salvo of laser vision would immediately decapitate five members of the team, leaving Superman to fly like a speeding bullet at and through Harley Quinn, blow out the flames of El Diablo and calmly squash the Enchantress's head like a grape before moving on to kill the President.
    "So I think without a doubt, the Suicide Squad is uh... useless."
  • Killer Rabbit: Krypto the Super Dog may be a cute white puppy, but as "Which Comic Book Hero Would Make the Best Horror Movie Villain?" spins it, he's also an invincible, lightning-fast alien monster with the strength of a locomotive and no capacity. If anyone upset him, there'd be no way to calm him down before the amoral hound ripped out their jugular. There's a reason he gets voted the third most horrifying hero ahead of the likes of Wolverine.
  • Kill the God: If "Why Did God Make Bruce Almighty?" is anything to go by, Morgan Freeman's character in Bruce Almighty isn't actually God, but someone who was temporarily given God's power (like Bruce) and used it to kill and replace God. This is how the Boys justify the more questionable action of Freeman's character in the film.
  • Lack of Empathy: In "A Christmas Heist", one of the Christmas characters they consider to be "The Muscle" for the heist seems promising due to their ability to possess others, until they realize just how depraved someone would have to be to control the body of another man and make them kill their own friends. They decide its best to shelve the idea, until later in the episode when they realize their team is unable to take the bank without asking for back-up, forcing them to bring their original Muscle in to slaughter some guards. Its lack of morality is to the point that when Duscher wants to betray the group to claim heist's prize for himself, he thinks its best to have the original Muscle possess him so that he won't feel any guilt while the Muscle murders everyone else on the team. It's a little gruesome and serious for a comedy podcast, but that's only if you don't know who this murderer's name: Frosty the Snowman.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "If You Were a James Bond Villain What Would Your Scheme Be?", Jackson hopes that someone in Duscher's Bond film points out how convenient it is that a man named Stinkhole just happened to have an evil plan themed around sinkholes.
  • Land Downunder: Jackson calls this "Hollywood Australia" in "How Effective is the Suicide Squad?" and that it is made exclusively out of dirty shanty towns, the Outback, and Sydney. Since the DC Extended Universe is probably following this version of Australia, Captain Boomerang's feet of robbing all the banks in that country is much more feasible, since he really only had to rob the ones in Sydney.
    "He steals money and steals from the indigenous culture. So, uh, well done, Boomerang, you're the worst."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: "How Dare Wizards?!" starts off as a condemnation of the wizards from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for wiping away days of memory from all of New York City without any sort of consent or oversight, before it goes on to discuss Harry Potter as a whole.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: "What if Hagrid Was Five Years Too Late?" at one point applies the question to Hagrid's birth, meaning Hagrid stays in his mother's womb for five years after she was supposed to go into labor. As a giantess, she's cool with it.
  • Loophole Abuse: In "Which One of the Plumbing Boys Would Make a Better Dumbledore and Why is it Joel Zammit?", Zammit!Dumbledore learns of a curse that prevents any Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from teaching for more than a year. How does he undo this Dark Magic of old? He re-names the class.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Every episode opens with, "Welcome to Plumbing the Death Star, where we ask the important questions like [episode title]," where the episode title is the question the episode sets out to answer.
  • Magical Clown: Ronald McDonald gets some points in "Which Fictional Character Would Make a Better Santa Claus?" for being sort of a magician, but they point out that most of magic is fabricated by the corporation he works for, who would commercialize the holiday and ruin the Christmas magic Santa Claus represented.
  • Magitek: Zammit argues the Masquerade in Harry Potter is bad because wizards and muggles could be working together to make, in his words, "A MEGA-NUKE" by combining magic and science.
    Jackson: No, a nuke with a dragon in it!
    Zammit: With three dragons!
  • Make a Wish:
    • The second half of "What are the Ramifications of Liar Liar?" is a discussion of how the wishing in the film works, how Jim Carrey's character would abuse his son's wishes, and how eventually the Jim Carrey would need to sacrifice his life or the son's to stop him from devastating reality with his wishes.
    • Jackson initially tries to exploit the wishing in Ted to make an army, but decides instead to use the variant in Liar Liar. Specifically, he decides to get a factory full of kids, have them each blow out a candle, and make them all wish for Jackson to get diamonds. The group very quickly realize this would be a horrible idea, since eventually some kid would wish Jackson's head would explode.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: In order to differentiate himself from the other three sharks, the shark from Jaws 3D would wear 3D glasses. This would also emphasize his wackier and funny personality relative to the other members of the crime-fighting Jaws gang Zammit lines out in "When Bad Guys Do Good."
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex:
    • In "Which Superhero is the Best Lover?", Duscher argues the Incredible Hulk would make a great lover and gets laughed off by the rest of the cast when they realize that coitus with Hulk would definitely end with him accidentally ripping you to shreds from sheer strength.
    • The topic in "Why Doesn't Rogue Use Protection?" is Rogue's inability to have sex due to her mutant powers, though the discussion veers into the problems most of the mutant population and the Fantastic Four must have. They conclude that Tony Stark and Reed Richards, with their ridiculous intellect, could simply make de-powering collars or full-body suits to prevent superpowers from interfering with coitus.
  • Masquerade: "How Dare Wizards?!" is a long session of outrage from Jackson over the fact that the wizards in Harry Potter cover up magical disasters and handle them on their own without telling Muggles anything, leaving them in the dark on life-threatening matters. Jackson is so insulted by this he proposes nuking the wizards, which ultimately convinces the others that the wizards may have a point in hiding away.
  • Mental Time Travel: Exaggerated? Played With? Unbuilt? Zammit's answer to "What Would Your Ultimate Crime Fighting Super Power Be?" is difficult to categorize, as it supposes that every time Zammit... relieves himself, he would then live the potential life one of his sperm could have lived, only to die, and return to the moment he relieved himself, where he could use the knowledge of his potential life to solve crimes that hadn't happened yet. This unorthodox method of crimefighting has the side effect of allowing Zammit to live thousands of years into the future, assuming each potential life can use the same power, and warn of the great calamities that would threaten humanity. The again, it's not like beat cop Zammit could do much to stop an asteroid hitting the Earth, and even knowing about future serial killers wouldn't help much since he couldn't very well arrest them before they commit a crime, so all Zammit managed to accomplish was disgust his co-hosts in one of the podcast's most off-the-rails episodes.
  • Mirrors Reflect Everything: Based off his signature sunglasses, Johnny Cage's ability to survive the Mortal Kombat tournament is justified with his ability to reflect ice beams and lightning with his eyewear. Zammit has none of it and points out that neither of those things remotely work that way, forcing the others to explain Johnny's victories through even more contrived means.
  • Monster Modesty: Taken to its logical extreme in "Why is Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat?" while trying to reason how stunt actor Johnny Cage could defeat a four-armed monster that wears only a loincloth. Duscher realizes that if the monster wears a loincloth, it must feel shame, so if Cage can manage to rip off its loincloth, the monster will run off in shame and give Cage the victory by default.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • In "Would the Avengers be Better off Without the Hulk?", Jackson believes that if Thor was in charge of getting rid of the nuke from The Avengers he would try to return it to the Pentagon and blow up all of Washington D.C.
    • Duscher's proposal in "If You Were a James Bond Villain What Would Your Scheme Be?" involves an attempt to use bombs to make sinkholes engulf all of London's major monuments, ending with James Bond fighting villains on the hands of Big Ben as it sinks into the ground.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Lily, the mother in question in "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad?", ends up marrying a ten-year old and a seventeen year old within the same year, severely confusing her only child.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Jackson's ideal Harry Potter world is one where everyone is bred to have magical blood so Everyone Is a Super, but Shanks tears this down when he points out the existence of Squibs, people with magical ancestry who can't perform magic.
  • Muggle Power: Jackson is a big proponent of genocide for Mutants, Wizards, and basically anything more powerful than a normal human. He explicitly denies any comparison to the real racism when Adam calls him a Nazi for it in "How Dare Wizards?!", since normal minorities don't have the powers on the scale of nuclear weaponry.
    "Minorities are not like 'Guess what? I can mind wipe you, torture you, mind wipe you again, make you shit your pants on purpose, mind wipe you, and then kill you,' they're just like 'We're existing.' It's very reasonable to kill all wizards!"
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The question in "Why Isn't Nightcrawler Fat?" centers around the idea that if Nightcrawler and the other X-Men have these fantastic powers of flight, levitation, and teleportation, why not just use them and forgo walking?
    • Zammit decides the best use of the Suicide Squad is to rent out the members for menial labor suited to their skills, like having Captain Boomerang cut grass with his boomerangs or sending Killer Croc to swim through pipes to clean the plumbing.
  • The New Rock & Roll: Inverted in "When Bad Guys Do Good," since if the preacher from Footloose was a good guy, he'd be sharing the power of dance with his whole town. In fact, his whole town would be a loving, musical community preaching through song from the USA to the battlefields of the Middle East.
  • No Endor Holocaust: A frequent topic of discussion, like in "Why Did God Make Bruce Almighty," where they conclude that Jim Carrey's character from that Bruce Almighty is as evil as Hitler for erasing stars to make his night more romantic. He may have erased entire planetary civilizations on a whim.
  • Nominal Hero: Ever since "Is Xavier a Jerk?", the Plumbing Boys have consistently portrayed Professor Xavier of the X-Men while playing up his manipulative and callous side, despite his role as a Big Good in the comics proper.
  • Noodle Incident: Jackson casually mentions a time he fell out a window as a child and went to the GP in a live show, with no audience reaction to this new fact. Duscher stops the show to point out that the only reason no one reacted to that is that it is exactly what you would expect from Jackson.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: In the Harry Potter episode "How Dare Wizards?!", Michael Shanks pitches the idea that all the holy texts of the world were created by wizards to test how Muggles would react to a higher power to gauge whether they would treat wizards like people. After seeing humans worship gods, the wizards decided to isolate themselves from Muggles to avoid the eventual creation of the Church of Albus Dumbledore.
    "Walk on water? Motherfucker can walk through fire."
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo:
    • Three sequels are envisioned in the Liar Liar episode, finishing off with Liar Liar Four: Quantum Boogaloo.
    • It's proposed in "Would the Avengers be Better off Without the Hulk?" that Thor: The Dark World should have really been named Thor 2: ANOTHER, based on a gag from the first Thor film.
  • Offing the Offspring: The natural conclusion of Liar Liar is that the father of the film must try to kill his son at some point to stop him from doing something horrible with just a single wish on a birthday cake.
  • Offscreen Afterlife: The lack of a clear afterlife in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe becomes the center of discussion in "How Does the After Life Work in Pirates of the Caribbean?".
  • Omniscient Hero: If Jim Carey's character from Liar Liar can't lie, can't he predict the future just by having someone ask him what will happen tomorrow? This concept is the focus of the first half of "What Are the Ramifications of Liar Liar?".
  • One Steve Limit: Averted Trope; of three main cast members, two have the first name "Joel," so they are distinguished by their last names, Duscher and Zammit. This is given a Lampshade Hanging at the end of every podcast with the two.
    Duscher: On that note, I've been Joel.
    Jackson: I've been Jackson.
    Zammit: And I've also been Joel.
  • Overly Long Gag: Episodes begin with a one-sentence joke demeaning Sanspants Radio, the podcast's company, but "What Would Your Ultimate Crime Fighting Super Power Be?" breaks from this pattern for a two-minute long joke about three men and their encounter with a genie.
  • Parental Neglect: "Why haven't we done a Vs Episode LIVE?!" gives Batman orphan points because regardless of whether his parents died, he'd be raised by a nanny, leaving him a metaphorical orphan.
  • Patricide: The natural conclusion of Liar Liar, in the Plumbing Boys' eyes, is that Jim Carey's character will eventually be killed by his reality-warping son after the boy realizes Carey only valued him for his magical wishes.
  • The Peter Principle: "Why Isn't Nightcrawler Fat" devolves into a discussion of why the X-Men are made teachers. The most contentious hire among the cast is Wolverine, who's success with fighting supervillains has no relation to his ability to teach history classes.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Duscher realizes that in the roleplay portion of "Is the Death Star a Good Weapon?" that any if his character insulted the Emperor, he would hear it through The Force and kill him from across the galaxy. To allow the episode to continue, Zammit handwaves it away by saying the Emperor had the radio on so loud it clogged the Force.
    "It's not a disturbance in the Force, it's just Abba!"
  • Polyamory: Discussed in "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad All-Stars Edition." Zammit's second pick for step-dad is Ice Climbers, a pair of mountain climbers. Ice Climbers stable relationship and competency in groups make them perfect as a potential step-dad, since the mother has come off a string of unstable marriages and could use the Climbers synchronicity.
  • Power Copying: The main advantage to having Kirby as a stepfather is that he can absorb a mother's abilities and become more of a second mom rather than the twelfth stepfather to one very troubled child.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • One of the purposes of "Which Superhero Would Make The Best Lover?" is to discuss how superheroes could use their powers to improve their love life.
    • Duscher points how Professor X's powers wouldn't work on Thor, only for Zammit to respond in his Xavier imitation, "Well let's try. Boop-boop-boop, fist your own asshole. [beat] Yes, I think we know who's in charge here." All three burst out laughing and can barely continue the episode.
    • A point of this is almost made in "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad?" when Yoshi's abnormally long tongue is brought up, but Duscher shuts it down by pointing out it only goes straight, and also that Yoshi's a dinosaur.
    • Shanks concludes in "How Dare Wizards?!" that if Harry Potter's wizards were to come out and integrate with normal society, magical porn would immediately become a thing, and that wizards' ability to turn into animals would rapidly see some weird results.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: One of the arguments in "Is the Penguin the True Hero of Gotham?" is that the Penguin is more heroic than Batman because he offers a secure job market for the population of Gotham, since half the city's population (by Zammit's estimation) works as a criminal.
  • Questioning Title?: Every episode sets out to answer a question about a work of fiction and that question is almost always the episode title. The few exceptions include "A Christmas Heist" and a few of the early episodes before the format was set.
  • A Rare Sentence: Jackson tries to combine the mechanics of the superpowers he and Jackson proposed and comes up with a confused sentence about how a Death-Activated Superpower works against someone who controls Laser-Guided Amnesia.
    Jackson: And you, I'll never remember you to kill myself to become you!
    Zammit: ... that's a good sentence.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless:
    • Whenever Adam is on a Harry Potter episode, he'll try to bring up how stupid it is that no wizard walked into Auschwitz and stopped the Nazis with magic. He makes a big stink about it in "How Dare Wizards?!", while also going into how wizards could cure cancer, re-grow limbs, and educate the people of Harry Potter about the reality of souls and love. Ironically, the end of that episode actually sees Adam ranting against wizards sharing magic when the tricky subject of love potions comes up, since those would only serve to introduce mind control into normal society.
    • "What Kind of Job is Journalism For Superman?" begins with the boys pointing out what a waste of superpowers it is to put them into print journalism instead of making diamonds, firefighting, or magicianing. Jackson goes so far to suggest he just use his powers to make a profit by prospecting for gold and then investing it in the stock market.
  • Refusal of the Call: Zammit proposes this as the best way to survive the hostile world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: ignore the destiny of the Dragonborn and go hide on the farm. The rest of the cast are quick to point out that if the Dragonborn doesn't finish his quest, the world is destroyed, putting a damper on Zammit's quiet farm life.
  • Remembered Too Late: "What if Hagrid was Five Years Too Late?" assumes Hagrid was late because he remembered what he was supposed to do five years after the fact. The question is flexible enough to be applied to everything Hagrid did in the books:
    • Hagrid forgets to got to Godric's Hollow to pick up Harry, resulting in him being fired by Dumbledore and Harry being raised by wolves in the wild.
    • Hagrid remembers to pick up Harry from the Dursley's five years too late, meaning Harry's abusive parenting by the Dursley's has reduced the Chosen One to a drug-addicted, Muggle-hating Grunge-lover.
    • Hagrid remembers to tell Harry about the dragon from The Goblet of Fire five years after the fact, which is problematic since Harry is a cinder by this point.
    • Hagrid remembers to teach his class five years too late, which results in him rambling to an empty classroom about how all his students graduated.
    • Hagrid remembers to be born five years after he was supposed to, meaning he doesn't get to Hogwarts soon enough for Tom Riddle to use him as a scapegoat. Thus, due to Hagrid's fetal forgetfulness, Lord Voldemort is exposed and arrested fifty-six years early.
  • Reset Button: After completely failing at roleplaying Dumbledore in "Which One of the Plumbing Boys Would Make a Better Dumbledore and Why is it Joel Zammit?", Zammit abuses Harry Potter's concept of Memory Charms to wipe every the memories of every character in the roleplay to force a fresh start, one where he doesn't kill Harry four books into the series.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Exploited Trope in "What are the Ramifications of Liar Liar?", where the hypothetical sequels to Liar Liar involve the father character's yearly suicides meant to waste his son's birthday wishes on resurrecting the father, rather than using them for anything sinister.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Michael Williams, jumping on the trend of Bond villains that deal with issues, decides to make his Bond villain a cyberbully who leaks Bond's Tindr information. He even cites Julian Assange as an inspiration, since he looks like a Bond villain at the least.
  • Robot Me: In the What If? scenario of "Professor Charles Xavier's Crazy Summer," Iron Man creates the evil robot Ultron based off the mind of Charles Xavier, who in this scenario is a Machiavellian homophobe who waged intergalactic war to take power.
  • Running Gag: In "What if Professor X Ran Hogwarts?", every single time Professor X kills someone, he tells Hagrid to grab his shovel, implying that the Professor's going to force Hagrid to bury whatever dog, twelve-year old, or demon horde he's murdered today.
  • Sampling: After the advertisements and Duscher's Catchphrase, each episode opens with a small snippet of a song or theme related to the topic at hand. For example, about five seconds of Creator/Beyonce's "Single Ladies" is used in "How Does Dating Work in Beyoncé's Single Ladies?", while the opening of John Williams's "Hedwig's Theme" is chosen for "Is Harry Potter a Good Wizard."
  • Samus Is a Girl: One of the disadvantages of having Samus from Metroid as a step-parent is that her new stepchild would assume the masked mercenary his mother married was a man, before seeing Samus take off her helmet and shatter the child's view on sexuality.
    "If Mom's gay does that mean I'm gay?"
  • Secret Identity Vocal Shift: In "What Kind of Job is Journalism for a Superman?", Clark Kent's ability to put on a wholly different voice for Superman gives Duscher a less narcissistic reason to suggest the Man of Steel should think of taking up Podcasting.
  • Sequelitis: invoked Even before seeing the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, Duscher is adamant that the fourth film will be the worst of the five planned with nothing to back him up but his gut instincts.
  • Sequel Episode: The episode "What if Professor X Ran Hogwarts? (Live!)" is intentionally modeled off ""Professor Charles Xavier's Crazy Summer," with Professor X taking over the wizard world this time instead of The Avengers. They even end the episode with Professor X talking about what a crazy winter he's been having.
  • Serial Spouse: The premise of "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad?" is that a woman named Lily marries all twelve characters from the original Super Smash Bros. within one year. By third video on the subject, she's had nearly twenty-seven spouses, several of which were straight-up animals.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: The Thing, from John Carpenter's "The Thing", ends up winning "Which 80s Horror Villain Would Make the Best Boyfriend?" because it can turn into anyone he kills, meaning he could potentially take the form of America's dad, Tom Hanks.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Shant explains how The Good Guys Always Win in Harry Potter by comparing it to "betting on Sebulba, he always wins," a quote from The Phantom Menace. He lampshades how strange it is to reference something so specific as Jackson passionately puts forward that there just aren't enough good Phantom Menace references.
    • In "When Bad Guys Go Good," Zammit tries to explain the dynamics of his good-aligned versions of the sharks from Jaws by comparing them to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the X-Men. Jackson laughs at how recursive their pop culture references have become.
      "We use pop culture references to explain older pop culture references."
  • Shrouded in Myth: One of the metrics by which characters are ranked in "Which Fictional Character Would Make a Better Santa Claus?" is "mysticism," or how discrete and mysterious the new Santa Clauses are. Naturally, this makes the mythical Abominable Snowman a highly appealing choice, while picking Ronald McDonald is equated with ruining Christmas.
  • Special Guest: In "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain," Michael Williams suggests exploiting the tendency for characters to have relatives played by celebrities who only appear once. He points out having Lil' Wayne as a relative is great because it means you get a wild adventure with him and he can never be an annoying since the studio can only afford one appearance from him. Ultimately, Michael's suggestion is unanimously voted the best trope to exploit.
  • Speed Round: When Duscher and Zammit tie at the end of "Which Super Smash Bro would Make the Best Step-Dad All-Stars Edition," the winner is decided by whoever can come up with the best step-dad in ten seconds and then debate why the other one is terrible. Zammit picks Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Duscher picks Toon Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker; Zammit ultimately wins because the mom in question is looking for a man like Ganondorf, not a mute boy like Toon Link.
  • Spin-Off: The cast pitches many Harry Potter spin-offs throughout "How Dare Wizard?!", ranging from a Rogue One-esque heist film where wizards fight in World War II to a film about a "masochistic sex witch hanging around Salem."
  • Status Quo Is God: One of the reasons Duscher can get away with picking Soapland Christmas in "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain" is by pointing out because the writers will want to get back to a comfortable status quo by the next season, so they'll just write him out of whatever trouble he finds during his holiday horrors.
  • The Stool Pigeon: The Plumbing Boys partially resolve "Why is Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat?" by figuring that Johnny Cage could easily rat out four of the nine fighters to their bosses (who don't want them to kill a celebrity in a death tournament) or their enemies (who kill them for Cage.)
  • Studio Audience: When discussing Special Guest Stars, Jackson yells "Woo!" and claps in imitation of the loud and long applause celebrities get when they guest star on sitcoms.
  • Subbing for Santa: "Which Fictional Character Would Make a Better Santa Claus?" centers around the idea that Santa Claus has died and some fictional character (whether it be Ronald McDonald or the entirety of the X-Men) has taken over the role with none of his powers.
  • Take That!: Jackson describes Lee Arenberg (who plays a recurring comic relief character in Pirates of the Caribbean) as "little fat goblin lad". This prompts Adam to ask Arenberg to come on the show if he's a listener.
  • Talent Contest: Rather than approaching versus episodes from the perspective of "Who would win in a fight?", the Plumbing Boys instead focus on a variety of ridiculous competitions of merit, ranging from a soccer match between Madrox the Multiple Man and Professor X and Batman v. Superman in a competition to see who's the best orphan. Superman wins, because like Little Orphan Annie, he has a great singing voice.
  • Title Drop:
    • "Professor Charles Xavier's Crazy Summer" is one of the few episodes not to have the central question in the title, so it doesn't get dropped in the opening catchphrase. The title came up naturally throughout the episode as they imagined Xavier explaining his adventure to the X-Men and writing it off as just a fun summer, with it ultimately being the last thing they say in the Xavier voice before the three of them sign off for real.
    • Parodied in "How Would You Use The Suicide Squad?", where apparently Deadshot's first action upon being put in a gladiator death match would be to help out the audience and ask "What are we, some kind of Hunger Games?". While distracted by his own wit, he would then be murdered by the competition.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In "What are the Consequences of Mario Living in New York City?", the panel becomes fascinated with the idea of a bunch of Toads (the small, mushroom headed citizens of Mario games) stacking on top of each other in a trench coat during their efforts to get employed in New York.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The answer of "Why Does Donkey Kong Wear a Tie?" is that he keeps it to remember the slavery and torture Mario put his grandfather through in the 1985 Donkey Kong game.
  • Treasure Map: Adam's suggestion in "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain" is to use the trope where a person's attic has a treasure map to execute the following plan: hunt down the treasure on the map in your attic, use it to buy more land, get the maps from the houses on his new land, and then keep going until you've accumulated a ludicrous fortune.
  • Troll: Part of Michael Williams's James Bond scheme is to get Imageboards's trolls to spam James Bond until he hates his life.
  • Twisted Christmas: In "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain," Duscher chooses to exploit the tendency for soap operas to end their Christmas episodes with horrible disasters by inviting all his enemies to town for Christmas. Once they're there, his enemies will inevitably end up in jail, suffer an unexpected pregnancy, die in a fire at a school dance, or be killed. The others point out that terrible things could happen to Duscher, but he replies that he'll always end up fine because Status Quo Is God.
  • Unperson: Professor X's ability to wipe memories culminates in "Mahogany Boy," an X-Men who went missing with no trace except a suspicion from his roommate, who tries to ask Professor X about his lost friend to no avail.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In "A Christmas Heist", the three hosts map out how their plan to steal Christmas back from the Grinch could go off without a hitch, but as soon as that's done, they realize any good heist movie has the plan looking great before the heist, but as soon as it actually starts, everything goes wrong and some of the team dies. With this in mind, the Plumbing Boys revisit their plan with the assumption that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and everyone from Buddy the Elf to Jesus dies this time around.
  • Vice City: The Plumbing Boys are convinced that all jobs available in Batman's hometown, Gotham City, must either be related to crimes or law enforcement, with nothing else available. They go so far to suggest that instead of a job fair, that schools probably just invite the Joker and Batman's other villains to introduce students to their gangs.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Lines from The Godfather sound less dramatic when voiced by Michael Jones—doing his highest pitched Toad impression.
  • We Have Reserves: Zammit hopes to put the suicide back in Suicide Squad in "How Would You Use The Suicide Squad" by sending a squad of fifty or so criminals into intense, low-survival areas that scientists can't explore because of how dangerous they are. The logic is that eventually one criminal will survive and tell us what the areas are like, and if the first fifty die, Batman will just capture some more criminals to send in!
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In order to keep the magic of Santa Claus alive, Professor Charles Xavier brainwashes all the adults in the world to randomly give to whatever child Xavier needs them to. Moreover, Xavier also reads the minds of kids with divorced parents and then uses his telepathy to make the parents get back together until the next Christmas, at which point he lets them split apart again because he needs to focus on a gift for this Christmas.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: "How Effective is the Suicide Squad?" tests the motivation for forming the Squad, to defeat villains with incredible superpowers, by grading how each individual member would fare against Superman. Of the nine members, seven get less than a one out of ten, because their incredible powers of shooting, boomerangs enthusiasm, sword enthusiasm, acrobatics, climbing, humanity, and ordinary cannibalism don't really mean much against an unkillable flying bullet that can vaporize you with a glare.
    Zammit: Now they're all gathered there on the lawn of the White House. There's evil Superman coming down like 'I'm going to kill the President.' They're there in a line; what happens?
    George Dimarelos: Okay. Firstly, is Superman concerned?
    All: *cackle wildly*
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Mario gets a 5/10 as a stepdad largely because he's too busy plumbing, saving princesses, going go-kart racing, holding massive parties, and mastering sports to raise a child with love and care.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: One of the suggestions in "Who's the Best Disney Business Princess?" is to have Elsa uses her ice magic to run an ice cream shop. She can not only make the ice cream herself, but she can also create ice Golems to serve the ice cream without having to give to waste money on wages.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jackson suggests to Adam in "Exploiting Television Tropes for Financial and Personal Gain" that the best way to exploit the Treasure Map trope is to let a bunch of kids find the treasure and then just punch them while you take the treasure without having to do any of the hard work.
  • You Are Fat: Duscher claims he would have self-control and not eat all of the fantastical food if he were to live in the post-apocalyptic nightmare of Adventure Time, only for Zammit to counter by simply saying "look at you!"
    Duscher: ... at my peak physical shape, nailing it!
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: An nine minute discussion on the economics of Zootopia leads George Dimarelous to believe that by attempting to buy an elephant-sized ice cream cone, the fox played by the "Arrested Development lad" was destroying the economy and tearing apart the trust-based systems that kept Zootopia together. Jackson tries to argue that the fox was merely exploiting and unjust system that discriminating against him, only to realize "it depends on whether you see him as a freedom fighter or a terrorist."

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