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Podcast / Smash Fiction

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Smash Fiction is a weekly podcast on which the hosts and occasional guests debate which fictional characters would win in various contests, from out and out fights to eating contests to heists (among other things). The battles are now biweekly, with an Actual Play RPG (Extraordinary League), collaborative storytelling (Collaboratory), a shipping "reality game show" (Shipwrecked), and competitions over who would best replace the characters in an existing story (Surprise Party) filling in the other weeks.

Episodes, fanart, transcripts, and other bonus content can be found here


Smash Fiction

  • Actor Allusion: In Thor vs. Wonder Woman, Thor finds the idea that Chris Hemsworth is a “middling actor at best” highly offensive.
  • Adaptational Badass: Waldo in Carmen Sandiego vs. Waldo
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Many of the arguments run on this. Most notable in Candyman vs. Slenderman, when Team Candy argued that their interpretation of Slendy as just wanting some money and then leaving was just as valid as Team Slendy’s interpretation of him as an immortal, indestructible force, and Skeletor vs. Mumm-Ra, when Team Skeletor made an Author Filibuster about how Skeletor was the hero of HeMan
  • Anachronism Stew: Frequently a part of the setup for a match and/or lightning round. For example, Sweeney Todd vs. The Phantom of the Opera featured 80s music videos (of the 1880s) and “Ye Olde Tiger Beat”
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  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Extraordinary League (a monthly RPG) and, later, Collaboratory, Surprise Party, and Ship Wrecked fill in the weeks between biweekly Smash Fiction matches
  • Angrish: In Five Nights at Freddy's vs. The Scooby Gang, Kit subjects Dan to this after he implies the game is easier than it is.
  • April Fools' Day: Two specials for the holiday have been made: Dan vs. Colin and 2 Foolish, 2 April
  • Babysitting Episode: The Lightning Round in Aquaman vs. Namor has the two kings of Atlantis taking care of li’l deep ones for Cthulhu
  • Blatant Lies: Miles promises that he won't use his terrible British accent again repeatedly in Dresden vs. Constantine, only to use it again and again.
  • Bond One-Liner: In episode 105, used word-for-word when the contestants had to craft a brief scenario with their character filling in for 007.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Particularly in Dresden vs. Constantine and Phantom vs. Sweeney Todd
    Liz: Sorry, England.
  • Cabin Fever: The reason Dan and Colin fought to the death in April Fools 1.
  • Cain and Abel: Dan vs. Colin ran on this scenario, with Colin ending up dead in-continuity.
  • Canis Latinicus: A “no-brainer” is a “non cerebri” if you’re feeling fancy and bad at Latin, as MeganBob often is.
  • Catchphrase: DOOM! (Also, less frequently, ICE)
  • Corpsing: Some of the hosts occasionally laugh during their opening arguments, despite trying to keep a “professional” tone.
  • Darker and Edgier: Calvin vs. Doug Funnie gives the Neighborhood of Make-Believe this treatment.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: While the audio quality is much worse than later episodes, early installments were also much shorter. Claire also goes by “Colin” in earlier episodes, since they were before she came out as a woman. Many of the hallmarks of the podcast, including several Running Gag memes, the opening Catchphrase, and the elaborate continuity that ties many of the episodes together develop slowly over the first ten or so episodes.
  • Ear Worm: MeganBob claims that after trying to catch The Phantom of the Opera, the only thing Javert will catch is a bad case of these.
  • Edutainment Game: The Lightning Round in Nico vs. Zatanna. Team Zatanna created Magisoft Arcana 95: the Demonic History, Artifacts, Runes, and Basic Spellcraft Knowledge System. Team Nico created In the Nic-o Time: Birth, Life, and Death by Nico Minoru, The Cycle of Life, How to Make the Most of Your Life.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Nearly all of the hosts.
    Miles: If we take nothing away from this [Captains Jack episode], I think that I managed to put a little bit more accuracy behind the "everybody's bi" portion of our tvtropes page
  • Exiled to the Couch: In the spouse fight River Tam vs. Leeloo, Dan and Miles faced off against Kit and Sharon.
    MeganBob: I was gonna say, I mean, this is a spouse fight. It does not matter who wins or who loses, someone is sleeping on a couch.
  • Four Is Death: According to Kit's bio, they decided to invite Claire (then Colin) onto the podcast because of her skills...and because four is an unlucky number.
  • Hero Insurance: Averted in Vixen vs. Black Panther, where the property damage from their fight is the topic of one of the negative headlines.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Skeletor, according to Miles.
    • In Vixen vs. Black Panther, Anansi turns the internet against the heroes so that they need to repair their public image.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Painfully frequent.
  • Joke and Receive: In the opening to The Phantom of the Opera vs. Sweeney Todd, Javert’s assistant Reynolds makes some sarcastic, absurd suggestions about who else could be committing the murders aside from Javert’s explanation.
    Reynolds: Probably that barber is like a demon or whatever and the ghost guy is a...I don’t know, a music teacher who throws fireballs from his hands.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    MeganBob: We have to burn the podcast now.
  • Land Downunder: Brought up in The Phantom of the Opera vs. Sweeney Todd by Rafael.
    Rafael: Fucking Australia...which top Australiologist and noted Irish human Dylan Moran identifies as "located three quarters of a mile from the surface of the sun surrounded by a sea inhabited almost exclusively by things designed to kill you. Sharks, jellyfish, swimming knives, they're all in there."
  • Long List: Dan’s defining strategy, to the point where they are referred to in-show as #danlists
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: “Welcome to Smash Fiction, the podcast where we pit two or more nerd icons against one another in a battle of strength, or wits, or ____, and see who would win."
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Some of the fights start for this reason.
  • Mythology Gag: To DC Comics' habit of rebooting in Thor vs. Wonder Woman.
    She said that she was going to be in Coast City, which is in some other universe. Earth 1? Earth 0? New Earth? Prime Earth? One of those. I can’t really remember. It definitely sounded like some deep-cut joke satirizing how frequently a fictional world gets rebooted.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: With the cross references and anachronism stew, these are occasionally necessary.
    Miles: Later in life, Roland and six companions, half of whom had never been in a battle before, successfully took on—I swear this is true—sixty Doombots wielding lightsabers and throwing around Harry Potter golden snitches that explode!
    Claire: If I hadn’t read the book, I would not believe you. However, I have read the book, so go on.
  • Running Gag:
    • Pitch, yaw, and roll
    • DOOOOOM! (*sigh*)
    • #Danlist
    • Sharks/Space/Ice/Science
    • ___ moved the moon!
    • ___ invented time travel!
    • Feline martial arts
    • Chess vs. Poker
  • Russian Reversal: “In Soviet Russia, helicopter rides you.”
  • Shout-Out: At the end of every episode to those who liked, reblogged, reviewed, etc. Also “plug corner” and deep cut references.
  • Sibling Team: The podcast is mostly hosted by the Mulkerin siblings, their partners, and a handful of guests and other friends.
    • Occasionally taken to another level when Mulkerins end up arguing for the same people, such as in Maleficent vs. The Wicked Witch of the West
  • Subverted Catch-Phrase: Whenever Liz Logan is the judge, she never gets the catchphrase right.
    Miles: You know, I keep hoping that one of these days you learn the intro. Now I just hope you never do.
  • Take That!: In The Phantom of the Opera vs. Sweeney Todd, Miles mocks how both musicals center around Damsels in Distress without any agency.
    MeganBob: Take that, musicals!
  • Theme Song: "Hitman" by Kevin MacLeod
  • Trivia
  • Trust-Building Blunder: Mentioned as part of the chain of events that led to D. and C. Mulkerin getting stuck in a cabin together.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the Nic-o Time takes a very, very dark turn in Chapter 4 when both the character and the player have mental breakdowns.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Or, “who names their kid Google Translate?”
  • World of Pun: In the werewolf match, the lightning round is structured around four puns on werewolf: the contenders must design a fashion statement (proving skill as a wearwolf), sell something to make a profit (proving skill as a warewolf), dam a river (proving skill as a weirwolf), and find an invisible invisibility cloak (proving skill as a wherewolf).

Extraordinary League


Note: these tropes apply to all episodes. For specific episodes, see the recap page.


  • Crossover Ship: The series takes characters from different franchises and sets them up on blind dates.
  • One True Pairing: If two characters independently choose each other to go on a second date, then they are labelled as this.

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