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Podcast / The Adventure Zone: Amnesty

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We're gonna show 'em that the fine folks of Kepler, West Virginia ain't so easily shook.

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The Adventure Zone: Amnesty is a Monster of the Week themed arc of The Adventure Zone Podcast featuring the McElroy Brothers (Justin, Travis, and Griffin) playing the Monster of the Week RPG system with their father Clint. As in Balance, Griffin runs the game while the other three role-play.

In the fictional Kepler, West Virginia, a town bordering the Monongahela National Forest and situated within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone, the economy is in rough shape. It used to depend on tourists coming to ski, but larger resorts have created stiff competition, and its location makes it unlikely that another industry will move in anytime soon. Duck Newton (Justin), a ranger stationed at Monongahela, believes that the town can market itself based on the area's natural beauty. Ned Chicane (Clint), on the other hand, has decided to capitalize on local urban legend and folklore with a cryptid "museum", but the townspeople would have mixed feelings about it even if Ned didn't seem like a two-bit huckster. And then there's Aubrey Little (Travis), a traveling stage magician—the Lady Flame—desperately trying to get her act off the ground. The three of them collide when a strange woman who calls herself Mama reveals to them a magical Gate in the forest and her constant battle to save two worlds: the Earth, menaced by mysterious "Abominations" who pass through the Gate near the full moon, and Sylvain, a planet of supernatural creatures threatened by an encroaching curse. After reluctantly joining Mama's Pine Guard, Duck must come to terms with a magical destiny he would rather ignore, Ned struggles between his capacity for good and his greed, and Aubrey must learn to effectively wield her suddenly very real magic.


Amnesty was originally pitched as an "experimental arc" of The Adventure Zone, to allow the McElroys to experiment with the Monster of the Week system. Amnesty was later confirmed to have been picked up as Season 2, and the first episode of its second arc premiered April 12th, 2018. The season concluded on September 23rd, 2019.

This podcast contains these tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Agent Stern was introduced as a potential hazard, the idea being that he would pose a persistent threat of exposure. However, the players fend him off without much trouble, and eventually he fades into the background, only becoming relevant again after the Masquerade is broken.
  • An Aesop: If the show has one central theme so far, it's the danger of prejudice and an "us vs. them" mentality.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The aliens try to create a duplicate of Duck's little sister to help them parley. Duck is so squicked by this that he immediately destroys the device before it can complete the process.
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  • Alien Among Us: The Sylphs in Amnesty Lodge.
  • All Just a Dream: Griffin jokes in Episode 13 that the entirety of The Adventure Zone: Balance is a fever dream of Kepler's deputy, but is very quick to confirm that it's just a goof and not actually the canon explanation of the relationship between Balance and Amnesty.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Sylvain is actually another planet in the same universe as Earth, and the party doesn't seem to need to worry about pressurized suits or oxygen tanks when they visit.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In Episode 8, the Water invades the Lodge's hot springs, putting an even tighter time limit on the Guard's quest to defeat it, as the Sylphs need it to survive.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Episode 5 of the pilot arc ends this way, serving as it does as the setup for Season 2. Aubrey is badly worn out from the final battle, but is recovering; she also receives a letter from Mama, who is off on an unspecified mission. Duck finds himself no longer able to ignore his destiny, and Minerva assures him he will have more adventures in the future, whether he wants them or not. And Ned finds the Cryptonomica becoming more popular after the footage of Barclay in his bigfoot form fighting a bobcat goes viral, meaning a lot more people will probably be showing up to Kepler in the near future.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Beast is a bizarre amalgam of different animals on a bear body. Not different aspects of animals, literally entire bodies of different animals jutting out from the bear torso in a patchwork. It also leaks a black oil that can gather more carcasses and deploy them as minions.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Several bird-based names are associated with various characters, starting with "Duck" (though it's a nickname), a member of city administration called Pigeon, an astronomer working at the Green Bank telescope named Drake, and Billy the goat-man's human form, an exact likeness of Ryan Gosling.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Moments after Mama warns Aubrey and Ned that no one else can be allowed near the portal, Duck walks out of the damn thing.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Fly Master, a magically powered and extremely fragile jet pack that may explode any moment. Despite asking for it to be made, Duck insists he will never under any circumstances actually wear it. It rapidly careens out of control when Ned uses it in Episode 14, nearly killing him.
  • Bad Liar: Duck. It's a rambling, hilarious trainwreck every time he tries.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Griffin first describes the Enchanter as a giant cat, it seems like he's leading up to another Mythology Gag involving Garfield the Deals Warlock, who has been mentioned in every other campaign thus far. Instead, the Enchanter gives his name as Heathcliff.
  • The Bait:
    • Ned in the first arc, dressing in a Wookie costume and covering himself in animal dung to lure the Abomination into the caves.
    • Ned later acts as this again, alongside Calvin, in order to keep the Water distracted while Aubrey and Duck accomplish other tasks.
  • Bald Mystic: Duck's spirit advisor is one.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy:
    • According to Vincent, Tommy Wiseau is a Sylvan exile. A mummy, to be exact.
    • Episode 10 reveals that Sylvain is not another dimension but another planet that can be reached through mundane space travel, meaning that Barclay, aka Bigfoot, is technically an alien (and so is Tommy Wiseau).
  • Big Red Button: The Fly Master has one that activates it.
  • Body Horror:
    • It may not be human bodies, but the stuff the first Abomination does with the bodies of the local wildlife is pretty horrifying.
    • The shapeshifter is far worse, especially as its power starts to break down: it becomes a sort of ambulatory pile of random body parts.
  • Book Ends: Aubrey's show in Episode 1 begins with a monologue about an Egyptian magician thousands of years ago. She attempts to give the speech again before attacking the Beast in Episode 5. Subverted in that she is hardly able to get two words out before the creature cuts her off by screaming at her.
  • Botanical Abomination: The Calamity Tree, which resembles a massive cottonwood tree with branches that twist in the shape of a nervous system.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Ned attempts this in his parting letter in episode 28, saying he wants her to hate him if it will allow her to live life to the fullest.
  • Breather Episode: The Lunar Interludes, just like in Balance.
  • Brick Joke: in the second episode, Aubrey mentions that she's going to use the bathroom before she goes into Amnesty Lodge with Mama, because nobody ever uses the bathroom in media. Twenty episodes later, over a year in real-time, Aubrey mentions she's going to the bathroom again, which prompts the other hunters to remember that they haven't gone in over a year, either.
  • Broken Masquerade: Although it starts to crack when Aubrey uses magic to make Keith slip and fall, the masq gets blown clean off when Sheriff Owens chases (an Abomination disguised as) Bigfoot through town, with a terrified Duck holding onto the back of his squad car while riding a skateboard and carrying a sword. The next episode has the Pine Guard, the police, and the Hornets trying to figure out how to deal with the fallout. The masq is then totally broken in episode 28 when Sylphs trying to restore Sylvain rip the top off Mount Kepler and suspend it in the air, before the spell fails and it crashes back to the ground.
  • The Cameo: Episode 12 has a special appearance from the boys' grandmother, who tells them about the best French onion soup she's ever had.
  • Catchphrase: Duck has "My name's Duck Newton, it's a nickname." Invoked with "What the fuck!" which the boys try to make Duck's new catchphrase after he says it numerous times in a single episode.
  • Cellphones Are Useless: Invoked by Griffin. Kepler is within the National Radio Quiet Zone, which limits the usage of radio, cellular and wi-fi service.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: During the Pizza Hut Incident, the Fly Master flies off into the woods, supposedly never to be seen ever again, only to unexpectedly return and save Ned's life by colliding with one of the Goatmen during the fight with the Tree.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Beacon is a sentient example, fulfilling his purpose when Duck plunges him into Reconciliation in the finale; the addition of Beacon's aggression to the Hive Mind causes the net aggression of the system to reach unacceptable levels, triggering the failsafe that deletes Reconciliation's inhabitants.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Sylvain is ruled over by Alexandra, a young girl no older than thirteen.
  • Close-Knit Community: In the wake of losing its major industry, the townspeople have banded together to try to drum up more tourism. Some people have taken to advertising the town as a cryptid hot-spot.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Whenever Duck tries to lie, it inevitably breaks down into these. Travis jokes that this is the origin of the nickname Duck; when lying over text, autocorrect kept changing "fuck" to "duck."
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting:
  • Cool Car: Ned's 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III.
  • The Corruption: The Beast appears to take over and re-purpose the bodies of wild animals.
  • Creator Provincialism: Takes place in the McElroy's home state of West Virginia.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: The Pine Guard, formed in 1988 to protect Kepler by hunting down the Abominations that come through the Gate.
  • Dark Secret: Ned realizes that his botched final job with his old partner was robbing Aubrey's house and being partially responsible for the fire that killed her mother. Jeffandrew only knows what will happen if she finds out.
  • Deer in the Headlights: In episode 7 Duck becomes overwhelmed by the realization that he has no idea how to defend Ned from the Water. He freezes up so badly that Aubrey has to feed him step-by-step directions just to keep him from having his turn skipped entirely.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: As per the rules of his class, at the beginning of every arc Duck has a dream dictating something that will happen during the adventure. He gets a failing roll every time, resulting in bad times for someone around him.
  • Dying Town: Kepler used to be a popular vacation town thanks to its ski lodges and water parks. The nearby town of Snowshoe wound up drawing away tourism thanks to having larger and more modern resorts. Certain town residents, including Ned, have attempted to rectify this by turning the town into a cryptozoological hotspot (which certain other residents are not happy about); if the end of Episode 5 of the pilot arc is anything to go on, this plan is finally starting to work out.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first, experimental arc, Audrey has a pet rabbit named Dr. Harris Bonkers, PhD who she keeps on hand at all times as an assistant in her magic show. In subsequent arcs, he is barely mentioned and makes appearances even more rarely.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: It's obvious something is wrong with Sylvain. The residents of Amnesty Lodge seem like normal, pleasant people, so why were they exiled? The crystal's light is rationed to residents, who have to form the equivalent of bread lines to receive a portion. Dani also implies at the end of the Water arc that Sylvain has to do terrible things to keep the curse ravaging the outlands at bay.
  • Evil Phone: Happens in Episode 13 when a payphone mysteriously goes off after the group has a run in with that arc's Abomination, and a voice over the phone tells them that Leo Tarkesian will be crushed to death in three minutes.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: During an expedition in Sylvain following the victory over the light beings, Aubrey starts magically growing plants to feed the group, and decides to get fanciful, creating a pudding tree, a carrot tree, and a cheese bush.
  • Fantastic Nature Preserve: The town of Kepler; specifically, Amnesty Lodge. Most every patron of the lodge is a monster of some sort; Barclay, for example, is Bigfoot - the Bigfoot.
  • Fetch Quest: In each arc, the player characters are given a list of specific items to retrieve for Heathcliff in exchange for him enchanting and creating new items for them.
  • Final Battle: Games of Monster of the Week are set up to lead to this. Players must learn about the arc's monster until eventually they know enough to fight and defeat it.
  • Foreshadowing: When Ned first takes Duck to his "chicanery" in episode 5 to reclaim the sword, Beacon, Griffin makes a brief mention of a necklace that fits the description of the Flamebright Pendant which Aubrey discussed in a previous scene. Neither Ned nor Duck are aware of the significance of the item, nor does Aubrey know its whereabouts, until 9 episodes later, when a semi-comatose Ned hears Aubrey's story of burglars breaking into her house the night before she left home and he puts two and two together.
  • Formally-Named Pet: Dr. Harris Bonkers, PhD.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the intro to episode 36, the usual series of recaps becomes distorted and faded, indicating that the protagonists have been captured by the aliens and are having their memories searched.
  • Functional Magic: According to Janelle all magic in the Amnesty universe basically boils down to theurgy, but with the planet itself acting as the deity. Due to this, a magic user's ability is based on how well they can communicate with the planet. Aubrey is an anomaly because she can conjure magic instinctively without a need to learn the planet's "language". This is because she was born with the planet's spirit inside her, giving a uniquely strong connection.
  • Genius Loci: The whole planet of Sylvain is said to be alive.
  • Given Name Reveal: Boyd begins describing One Last Job for Ned, to steal a statue from a local artist named Madeleine Cobb. When Boyd mentions that she works at a nearby hotel, Ned realizes with horror that he means Mama.
  • Hate Plague: Simply being in Sylvain causes humans to become aggressive and violent. Wearing clothing made of sylvan materials, such as a scarf or even an iron-on patch, negates it. In the same way, if the Sylphs are not able to bathe in the hot springs (see below), then they "go feral" before dying altogether.
  • Healing Spring: The hot springs of Amnesty Lodge, which are used by its Sylph residents as a source of feeding.
  • Heroes "R" Us: The Pine Guard.
  • Hope Spot: Episode Three ends with the gang seemingly on the cusp of defeating the Beast, only for it to start raining, extinguishing the fire that was damaging it.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: the french onion soup served at the Wolfember is so good that it caused Duck to abandon his destiny as The Chosen One because if he died, he couldn't eat any more french onion soup. The recipe is closely guarded by the Wolfember's head chef, and eating it causes Duck and Ned to each gain an experience point.
  • Insistent Terminology: the water park the Pine Guard fights the Water in is called, in full, "H2Whoa: That was Fun!". Whenever Griffin tries to shorten it to "H2Whoa", Justin and Travis are quick to interject with the rest of the name.
    • Deputy Dewey insists that he's a specter, not a ghost.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The three main characters are all about 20 years apart from each other, in either direction. Aubrey is in her early 20's, Duck is in his mid 40's, and Ned is possibly in his 60's.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Each Abomination has a weakness of some sort that can be exploited. The basic cycle of each adventure involves finding out the monster's weakness, finding a way to contain it so they can engage it safely, and developing a plan to lure or drive it to a location that gives them an advantage.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The show's main theme blares while Duck uses Beacon to finally destroy the hivemind of aliens who have been orchestrating the show's events.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Abominations are eventually revealed as another alien race attempting to engineer a war between Earth and Sylvain. A similarly faked conflict already ravaged Minerva's planet long ago; the reason she connected with Leo and Duck was to prevent it from happening to Earth.
  • Living Weapon: Beacon, Duck Newton's talking sword.
  • Magical Library: Aubrey has one of these set up in the basement of Amnesty Lodge.
  • Magic Eater: Sylphs subsist on the ambient magical energy of Sylvain. Those in exile at Amnesty Lodge get their energy from a hot spring behind the lodge.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Invoked. Aubrey is initially a perfectly mundane Stage Magician specializing in fire-based tricks.
  • Masquerade: The sylphs at Amnesty Lodge all wear accessories that magically disguise them as humans, and the Pine Guard endeavors to deal with the Abomination threats without allowing the town to be any of the wiser.
  • Meaningful Rename: Played for Laughs. After the Pine Guard and Pigeon inadvertandly destroy H2Whoa: That Was Fun! while fighting the water, the park changes its name to H2Whoa: That Was Fun!, to emphasize the past-tense nature of the water park's largest structure (which was destroyed in a fight with the Water).
  • The Men in Black: Agent Stern, an agent from the FBI's paranormal division, stays at Amnesty Lodge to investigate Ned's Bigfoot video and learn more about the paranormal activity in the area. He, of course, does not realize that he is served food by Bigfoot every single day.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: Ned's middle name, as a running gag. In order, he's currently up to "Ned Fuckin' Danger Discretion Aloysius Superstar Butterfly Nimbly Ninja Pacifist Black-Diamond Friendly Trust-Worthy Pissed Off Vamoose Chicane".
    • Beautifully contrasted in Ned's final letter to Aubrey, signed simply "Edmund Kelly Chicane".
  • Monster Compendium: Thacker's old Macintosh PowerBook, which contains the records and information of every Abomination fought by the Pine Guard prior to his disappearance.
  • Monster Mash: although the focus is primarily on cryptids (Bigfoot, Mothman, etc), thus far vampires, mummies (although the only named one is Tommy Wiseau), Beast Men, elementals, and a race of beings who may or may not be Krampuses all make an appearance.
  • Mood Whiplash: The show contrasts genuinely disturbing monsters and supernatural situations against the McElroys' usual brand of comedy. This is especially true in the first half of episode 14: Aubrey's magic malfunctions, which has been always played for comedy. Except this time it nearly crushes Duck and three civilians under a Pizza Hut sign. Aubrey is horrified and immediately goes into a Heroic BSoD. Ned gets out Duck's jetpack and tries to ram the sign in his usual goofy fashion. He crashes and suffers severe burns. There's a quick breather when Duck tries to explain the incident with an overcomplicated lie. Cut immediately to a Dark Reprise of "Arms Outstretched".
  • The Mothman: A major figure in the third arc. He is conflated with the similar figure of Indrid Cold and calls the protagonists up on multiple occasions to warn them of upcoming disasters. However, he himself isn't their cause — he's simply able to see potential futures, and trusted the Pine Guard to take care of some particularly bad ones.
  • The Multiverse: Clint jokes that Balance and Amnesty, while not taking place in the same universe, take place in the same multiverse, although Griffin says that this is not true.
  • Murder Water: The second Abomination, the Water, is an elemental that takes the form of water to kill its victims.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: Ned's cryptid museum, The Cryptonomica.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • At one point in the pilot arc, Clint, in character as Ned, attempts to write a letter to his landlord, Mr. Garfield. Griffin immediately cuts him off, claiming that only the GM has power over "the Garfield cameo".
    • The four players make several references to components of Balance, the previous long-running TAZ series before Amnesty. These include stating that Heathcliffe's enchantment services serve the same purpose as Fantasy Costco in the previous arc note , or off-handedly mentioning that H2Whoa: That Was Fun! got "Phandalin-ed". note 
    • Griffin jokes in Episode 13 that the entirety of Balance was actually just a fever dream of Kepler's deputy, but is quick to confirm that this is absolutely not the case.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The story begins in late fall of 2018 (Aubrey references Black Panther), but first aired in January the same year.
  • Nobody Poops: Inverted. At one point, Aubrey goes to the bathroom. Travis says he did this for the sole purpose of inverting this trope.
    • And about twenty episodes later, Aubrey says that she's using the bathroom again, because according to Trav/Aubrey, she hasn't gone in over a year (in real-life time, not in-game).
  • No Name Given: Names for specific arcs or Abominations are never actually given, leading fans to name arcs according to the villain of that arc, themselves named after their themes on Griffin's SoundCloud account: Arc 1 has the Beast, Arc 2 has the Water, and Arc 3 has the Calamity Tree.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently Ned once stole an Oscar from George Clooney; we don't know how he pulled it off or why exactly he did it (other than that he though it would be cool to steal something from Danny Ocean). He also has some briefcases that seemingly belonged to Mal Evans, one of The Beatles' roadies.
  • Our Monsters Are Different
    • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: Beings from Sylvain, called Sylphs or Sylvans, generally fall into either this category, such as Barclay (Bigfoot) or Vincent (Goatman), or folktale monsters, such as Dani (vampire) or Moira (ghost). Episode 10 reveals that Sylvain is not another dimension but another planet, making all these creatures aliens as well.
    • Our Ghosts Are Different: Sylphs who die in the presence of Sylvain's light become ghosts, and are partially (possibly selectively) corporeal. The fact that Aubrey was able to turn Dewey, a normal human who has never been to Sylvain, let alone see the crystal, is treated as extremely unusual, in the realm of impossible.
    • Our Monsters Are Weird: Abominations, creatures that come through the gate that are neither from Earth nor Sylvain, are this. Examples include a necromantic beast that can absorb other creatures into it's body, and a being seemingly made of water.
    • Our Vampires Are Different: When pressed by Aubrey, Dani reluctantly compares herself to a vampire, but she knows she's not quite the same thing. All her teeth are sharp and she can be out in the daylight just fine. She does subsist on a sort of "life force", but it's pulled from the planet, not other organisms, and that applies to all Sylphs, not just the ones that look like her.
  • Plot-Triggering Death:
    • The death of Rick Dannon, chief arborist of the Monongahela Forest Service, is what kicks off the third arc.
    • A massacre at the Hornets' favorite bar, the Little Dipper, kicks off the third arc, as the police look for answers and the Hornets for revenge.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: As with Dust after it, it was pretty obvious that the Amnesty was designed to serve as a potential pilot for Season 2 of The Adventure Zone; it turned out to be successful.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • Aubrey gives one to the Beast as she's burning it from the inside.
    Aubrey: Fuego, ya bastard!
    Clint: [Ned] opens his mouth and yells out-
    Ned: (gargling sounds)
  • Recap Episode: Episode 29 consists almost entirely of clips from previous episodes, framed by short scenes of the present characters.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: "The Arch in the Woods" is a redux of a backing track that appears in the Balance Candlenights live show in Tacoma, Washington without the original version's sleigh bell part.
  • Refusal of the Call: Duck receives visions in his dreams telling him that he's some sort of Chosen One. He wants nothing to do with it.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • Kepler is a town slowly dying after its single key industry left, which has been going on in many rural areas of the US in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and was a key issue of the 2016 presidential election.
    • The situation with Sylvain also mirrors the current state of U.S. immigration politics, complete with strict policies dictating who can cross the "border", refugees from one world seeking asylum in the other, and the residents of one world dehumanizing the other for being "dangerous".
    • In the aftermath of defeating Reconciliation, Duck opts to fly to Brazil to help replant the rainforests there. The Brazilian rainforests had been recently burning as of the time the final episode was posted.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ned's middle name changes a lot, but it almost always includes "fuckin'".
    • Similarly, Ned's collection of items stolen from famous people. So far, he's claimed to have George Clooney's Oscar from Syriana, Michael Phelps' gold medal, Eliot Ness' revolver, and Paul McCartney's personal recording of "Live and Let Die" on 8-track. Even his Continental may have been stolen.
    • Duck being completely unable to tell a convincing lie.
  • Screw Destiny: Duck and Leo both have a vision of Leo dying at the Green Bank Telescope, and Duck decides to prevent it coming to pass by refusing Leo's help. Leo comes on his own anyway, but survives.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Ned's Nerf gun, when enchanted by Heathcliff, slowly morphs into a "Narf" gun so that they can sell it as merchandise.
  • Ship Tease: Travis specifically asks whether Aubrey would think Dani is cute, so as to determine whether or not the nervousness would prevent Aubrey from using magic.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Ned's NARF Blaster, a toy gun enchanted by Heathcliff that can shoot magic blue darts of energy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Aubrey is partly inspired by Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files, which is made most clear when she uses "fuego!" as an incantation in episode 5.
    • On Sylvain, Griffin introduces the players to a giant anthropomorphic cat who is an enchanter. His name? Heathcliff, of course.
    • The item Ned has enchanted by Heathcliff is a Nerf blaster, although Griffin forces Clint to change it to a Narf Blaster so that they can sell merchandise of it without getting sued.
    • One of the defunct water parks in Kepler is called "Kevin Costner Presents: Waterworld: the Wet Park".
    • When visiting "H2Whoa: That Was Fun!", the "tinny pirate music" playing faintly in the background is the Kingdom Hearts II arrangement of "He's a Pirate".
    • In another Kingdom Hearts reference, Justin jokes about visiting the Fairy Godmother to gain the power to summon Leo Tarkeesian in episode 14.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Justin did some research to learn the kinds of things park rangers actually do, as well as something about their ethos, and some facts about the Monongahela National Forest in particular. For instance, in episode 4 he unhesitatingly gives the exact square mileage of the park.
    • Griffin has clearly done research on at least some of the cryptids featured in the show. The most detailed is Mothman, who is conflated with Indrid Cold; these are separate cryptids who appeared around the same time and region, so some believed them to be the same being. He represents Indrid Cold's tendency to warn people about impending disasters by phone, and correctly cites the number of victims of the Silver Bridge collapse.
  • Show Within a Show: "Saturday Night Dead", a late-night show filmed at the Cryptonomica in which Ned introduces and discusses an old sci-fi or horror movie.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Balance.
    • While Tres Horny Boys were prone to "accidentally" murdering NPCs, the Pine Guard is much more concerned with protecting innocents and even throw themselves directly into harm's way to help others.
    • There is a much bigger emphasis on actions having consequences, such as how a failed manipulation roll led to Agent Stern staying at Amnesty Lodge and becoming a reccuring character or the dreaded "Pizza Hut" incident. NPCs are also much more prone to distrust the main cast and tend to confront them when they do something suspicious.
    • The cast comments in episode 20 that Amnesty is the opposite of Balance in terms of plot structure, as while Balance started very loose structurally and became more focused over time, Amnesty started out very structured and has become more flexible over time.
  • Team Pet: Dr. Harris Bonkers PhD, Aubrey's pet rabbit.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Duck loves the french onion soup at the Wolfember restaurant so much that the first time he had it, he gave up being The Chosen One on account of how much french onion soup he wouldn't be able to eat if he were dead. This is likely a case of Author Appeal, as Justin later states that he'd bury a bowie knife in any one of his present family member's chests to get some french onion soup (and the other McElroys agree).
  • Title: The Adaptation: Kevin Costner Presents: Waterworld: the Wet Park, one of Kepler's many defunct water parks.
  • Trophy Room: Ned has one in the back of the Cryptonomica called "The Chicanery". It contains all the items and jewelry he has stolen over the years, including the Flamebright Pendant that likely gave Aubrey her magic in the first place.
  • Twisted Christmas: Arc 3, which takes place near Christmas time and involves the Pine Guard hunting down a luck-controlling Abomination.
  • Uplifted Animal: Animals from Earth that pass through the gate into Sylvain eventually become these.
  • Vampiric Draining: Sylphs need to drain Life Energy in order to stay alive. On Sylvain they get this energy from the planet itself, but those exiled to Earth have to get it from another source. The residents at Amnesty Lodge are generally able to get by on the geothermal energy from the local hot springs, but Sylphs without a consistent energy source often resort to feeding on living beings.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 14. Aubrey accidentally causes a sign to crash into Leo's General Store and nearly crushes Duck and Leo in the process. Ned tries to push the sign out of the way using Duck's jetpack and ends up in critical condition, while Duck barely manages to shield Leo with his body. Aubrey is traumatized from nearly causing the death of both her friends and at the hospital reveals that she caused a fire that ultimately killed her mother. At the same time Ned overhears and realizes that he was one of the burglars who broke into her house on the night of the fire. Also, the mysterious caller is revealed to be Mothman.
    • Episode 26: The already heavy revelation of Aubrey finding her mother's pendant in Ned's inner sanctum is almost immediately followed up by the Shapeshifter taking Ned's form, and going on TV to fully rip away the Masquerade and not only reveal the existence of monsters to Kepler at large, but also attempt to start an armed uprising against Sylvain.
    • Episode 28 has quite possibly the most shocking moment in TAZ so far, with the first official player character death in the series, as Ned died after taking a bullet meant for the feral Dani.
  • Wham Line: Episode 19. Ned comes home to find the inner sanctum cleaned out and a note.
    Boyd: For my cut, plus interest. Not quite even yet. I'll be in touch. - B
    • Episode 29: At the end of the episode, despite Ned being dead, we hear Clint gasping, somebody saying "It worked!", and Clint asking "Where am I?"
    Barclay: You're home, Thacker.
    • Episode 34:
    Janelle: Aubrey, you're not from Sylvain. You are Sylvain.
    • The finale has a Wham Word when Duck refers to Minerva as "honey" in the epilogue, indicating that they've developed a romantic relationship.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The fate of Pigeon's friend Pete, apart from briefly being seen hiding from the Abomination, was unresolved until Griffin confirmed that he survived in Episode 7.
    • In episode 7, the team convince a group of senior citizens to move their exercise regimen from the community pool to the hot springs at Amnesty Lodge, because said pool is occupied by a water monster. After fending off the monster, the party return to the Lodge, but the senior citizens are never seen.
    • Pigeon herself gets hit with this after she helps the Pine Guard fight the Water. In an episode of The The Adventure Zone Zone, Griffin explains that having someone who works for the City simply hasn't been as useful as he thought it would be, and Travis jokingly suggests that Pigeon's actor simply hasn't been available for filming. Then she comes back in Episode 28 in the most heartbreaking way.