Follow TV Tropes

Following

Podcast / The No Sleep Podcast

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nosleep_5.png
As the sunlight fades to darkness...
Advertisement:

The Nosleep Podcast is a podcast dedicated to horror fiction, originating from a subreddit named /r/Nosleep. It features stories of various topics all based around the horror genre.

The show is hosted by David Cummings who introduces each tale. There are a number of narrators that contribute regularly to the podcast as well as some illustrators and a composer. Many of the stories, due to their themes, are NSFW.

The podcast is currently on it's thirteen season. Each season consists of 25 episodes (except for the first season, which has 18), including some bonus episodes.

As of June 2019, it costs $24.99 for a season pass (except for the first two seasons, where all episodes are full and free), or $1.99 for an individual episode. Partial episodes (usually the first two or three stories out of five or six) are available for free on the website as well as podcast apps.

Advertisement:


Works/Authors featured on the Nosleep Podcast with their own pages include:


Seasons, narrators, authors, and production provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Matthew Bradford, who up until then had only been in about ten stories, was given the starring role in the season seven finale, "Borrasca", often regarded as the best episode of the series.
  • Central Theme: Almost all the regular authors on the podcast have a theme that is common thought their works.
    • Anton Scheller's signature is stories about forbidden places or things and his character's interactions with them.
    • Meghan O'Hara Murray's stories are full of ghosts and the way they affect the living.
    • Matt Dymerski loves ambiguous endings and leaving the reader with more questions at the end of the story than when they started.
    • Advertisement:
    • C.K. Walker's stories all focus on the evil in humans, not from supernatural beings... although she occasionally subverts it.
    • Milos Bogetic is a fan of combining the evil in humans with the evil of the supernatural.
    • C.M. Scandreth tends to draw heavily from British Isles folklore, and a lot of her stories are closer to dark fantasy than horror.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Many narrators that were regulars in the first two seasons (Christina Scholz, Chris Eddleman, Jessica Prokuski, Jinny Sanders, Max Glaspey) all but disappeared from the podcast by the end of season three. This is partially due to the fact that David decided to charge for full seasons staring then, and therefore needed the narrators to be available on a regular basis, which most of them were unable to do. Additionally, It was around this time that he started hiring professional voice actors; many of the original cast were volunteers directly from the Nosleep subreddit and had no prior experience.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Wendy Corrigan stopped narrating tales after season two, but due to her being good friends with David, she appeared occasionally, most notably in season four's "Viola's Baby". After that, though, she left for good except for a special appearance in the season seven finale, "Borrasca".
  • Creator Cameo: C.K. Walker, author of "Copper Canyon", lends her voice to one of the characters in the podcast's adaption.
    • Ditto with Paul Bae in "My Grandfather's Journal" and Marcus Damanda in both "Dusk on Old Arcadia" and "Till Childhood's End".
  • The Bus Came Back: James Cleveland disappeared from the podcast during season three, but came back early on in season six and has resumed his position as a regular narrator.
    • Sammy Raynor left the podcast at the end of the first season, but came back fourth. By the fifth, he had left again.
  • Doing In the Wizard: A common theme in stories by C.K. Walker, with a side of Humans Are the Real Monsters, but also occasionally dipping into Real After All territory. Also features heavily in "She Was Just a Child," "I Regret Ever Working in the North Pole" and others.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Corinne Sanders narrated the first season story "It's Locked", then disappeared for awhile before becoming a regular narrator during season three.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first and second season's episodes were much shorter - sometimes going for only 25 minutes. The stories didn't last as long as the usually do now as well, and they didn't feature as many narrators. Some episodes were narrated entirely by David.
  • Horror Host: David does this sometimes, especially from season six onwards.
  • Large Ham: Jesse Cornett, especially in "Feed the Pig" and "Great White". David can also ham it up with the best of them.
  • One Shot Narrator: The earlier seasons were full of narrators that would narrate one or two tales and then never work on the podcast again. Averted towards the later seasons, as the show got its fixed cast.
  • Opening Narration: David introduces each tale with a short summary of what the story is about without giving too much of the plot away. He then tries to make a sentence that incorporates the title of the tale into it (such as "..When they encounter..."The Cross by the Railroad Tracks"). If he can't, then simply says: "It's a story titled..." and then the title.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: David is notorious for doing confusing and out-of-place accents when characters don't really need them. This is especially noticeable in "Dinner by Swamplight", where the narrator is from New England, but David narrates it in a bizarre combination of a Scottish accent and a Minnesota Nice one right out of Fargo.

The stories from the podcast provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    #-E 
  • The '50s: "1957" is, unsurprisingly, set in this decade.
    • "63 Years Ago" as well.
  • The '70s: "You May See Some People" is set in 1976.
    • "Drains in the Floor" as well.
  • The '80s: "My Best Friend's Grandmother", "The Devil Lives on Old Mill Road", and "The Bunk Bed" are set in this decade.
  • The '90s: "The Screaming Corpse", "American Whitehair", "The Copycat Neighbors" and "Why I Didn't Shower For 21 Years" are all set in this decade.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: "Have You Seen This Child?", "This Is A Warning", and "Burnout" all feature one of these as a major setting.
  • The Adjectival Man: "The Midnight Man", "The Friendly Man", "The Smiling Man", "The Screaming Man", "The Glaring Man", and "The Bald Man".
  • Affectionate Parody: "American Whitehair" is a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", set on a college campus.
  • After the End: "The Warren", "The Slog", "Forget Me Not", and "Silent Night".
  • Alien Invasion: Implied in "Nine Brief Scenes from the End of the World" and "Low-Hanging Clouds."
    • Confirmed in "Forget-Me-Not", where aliens have taken over the world and cause people to think everything is perfectly normal and happy while the world decays around them from no one keeping it up.
    • One of the possible explanations for the mysterious number stations in "2,300 a Day".
  • Alpha Bitch: Most often seen in school stories; there is usually at least one 'popular girl' that will harass our middle ground protagonist.
  • Ambiguous Ending: It's never made clear at the end of "Writer's Block" if the narrator actually killed someone or if the murder was all part of the book he was writing.
    • At the end of "Flooded" we never know if the narrator's parents are dead, or alive, or possessed, or anything about their state, really.
    • "Calls From My Girlfriend" never reveals if the narrator's girlfriend is alive or dead at the end.
    • We never do find out exactly what the mysterious creature that haunts the woods in "The Midnight Hike" is.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The main antagonist in "The Passenger" is a person with a sweatshirt hood over their face and gloves on. We never do find out if it was a man or a woman.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The creatures in "The Tall Dog" and "My Dog Was Lost" may try to masquerade as dogs, but they fail miserably at it.
    • The antagonists of "The Deer Gods", "Driftwood", and "The Camping Trip" are some kind of strange combination of man and deer.
  • Anachronic Order: "Edith's Memory" and "My Name is Jennifer and I Live Alone" are not told in the order of the story's events.
  • And I Must Scream: The narrator of "The White Room" is possessed by a mysterious old man after having sleep paralysis. He can only watch in horror as the old man takes complete control of his body and prepares to slaughter his wife and daughter.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The endings of "He Howls at the Moon", "The Monsters are Already Here", "My Grandmother's Doll", "The Room That Echoed", "The Dry Man", "Dust", "Gristle", "Dead Milk", "Row Boat", "Soft Teeth", "The Name Eater", "500 Yards", "How to Summon the Butter Street Hitchhiker", and "Best Left Buried"..
  • Annual Title: "1957", "October 9, 2013", "March 29, 2015", and "October 17, 1989".
  • Antagonist Title: Too many examples to list.
  • Anti-Climax: Jeremy in "The Strangest Security Tape I've Ever Seen" can control time and reality itself. What does he do with his powers? He steals a few gallons of motor oil from the gas station he works at and sets a building on fire, with the implication that he's done this several times before.
    • Chris's father in "Butcherface", after watching hours of videos of the titular character commiting horrendous acts of violence against himself, animals, and the house he currently lives in, sits back in his chair and says...'That was creepy'.
  • Apocalypse How: "Nine Brief Scenes from the End of the World", "Low Hanging Clouds", and "YUSDABEE".
  • Artistic License – Biology: The narrator's grandfather in "I Still Don't Know What to Think" manages to climb up some basement stairs and stand there despite being paralyzed from the waist down. Justified, as it seems that he is possessed.
    • Taken up to eleven in "Why I Didn't Shower For 21 Years", where an old, invalid woman escapes a hospital, travels sixty miles without a car, breaks into a house, and scares the narrator while he's in his shower.
    • Both "A Horrible Game" and "Ultrasound" deal with a mysterious tone that apparently causes headaches and visions of shadowy creatures. While this tone does actually exist and causes a feeling of unease, there is no evidence that proves that hearing the tone causes headaches or the appearance of mysterious shadows.
  • Asshole Victim: Many people that die the stories featured on the podcast are horrible people. This has become so prevelant that it has lead to complaints of a specific genre coming out: so called "Person dies because they were an asshole" stories. The most controversial examples of this include "Tales of the Backroads" and "The Executrix".
  • Atomic Hate: "The Nuclear Incident on Bumblebee Lane."
  • Awful Wedded Life: The narrator and his wife of "When One Window Closes" fight constantly and cheat on each other. Ultimately averted at the end of the story, however, as they reconcile and even have children together.
  • Babysitting Episode: "My Last Night Babysitting", "The Doll with the Lifelike Eyes", "Poor Little Babysitter", "Cindy", "I'm Never Babysitting Again", "Why I Stopped Babysitting", "The Thing in the Yard", "Jenny Martin", "The Bald Man", "The Boy Who Cried Sheep", and "Bedtime at the Coopers".
  • The Bad Guy Wins: It's a horror fiction podcast. What did you expect?
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The narrator's friend in "They Were Looking Back at Me" throws a frog against a wall, killing it, shortly before he goes insane.
    • The narrator's abusive older brother in "Sibling Rivalry" kidnaps the narrator's kitten and holds it underwater until it almost drowns.
    • Taken up to eleven with Christina from "Jesus Camp". She kills two deer, a squirrel, a dog, and a fox and does disgusting things with their corpses.
  • Bad Santa: Several in the Christmas episodes. "Chimneysweep" might take the cake, as not only does its Santa swear, get drunk and murder people on his naughty list with a sharpened candy cane, but he's the genuine article.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Magic in "The Yule Tithe" turns the narrator into a hare, a fish, a rook, and a deer to help her get away from fairy hunters.
    • The narrator of "Driftwood" is turned into a deer for a short period of time before turning back.
  • Bandaged Face: The narrator of "The Accident" has one, after suffering from the titular accident.
  • Bedlam House: "Precious Machine" is set in a decrepit old asylum where the workers have long stopped caring about the patients.
    • Both "Editic Memory", "Bigger Fish", and "Ludlow Sanitarium" are set in one of these.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The narrator's friend from "The Crawling House on Black Pond Road" commits suicide rather than slowly be eaten from the inside out by wasp larve living in his stomach.
  • Big Brother Bully: The narrator's brother in "I Can't Look My Brother in the Eyes Anymore" and "Sibling Rivalry".
    • The narrator's sister in "Christina Took Things".
    • Actually subverted in "I Love My Big Sister", as the evil ones turn out to be the parents.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The eponymous house from "The Crawling House on Black Pond Road" has a gignatic insect nest covering the bottom of it's foundation.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The hotel from "Say Cheese!" and the eponymous fort in "Box Fort"
  • Big Storm Episode: "Dust", "Hide and Seek", "You May See Some People", "Midnight Storms", "Shelter from the Storm", "A Message in a Very Old Bottle", "Never Give Directions to Strangers", "It Came with the Storm", "Head in the Clouds", and "The Reason Why I Lock the Door During a Storm"
  • Bittersweet Ending: "The Showers" ends with the narrator safe and sane after his traumatic experiences, but unable to explain any of them and unable to just write them off as hallucinations or dreams.
    • The narrator's daughter is taken by the ghosts of the dead(?) children in "The House of Painted Doors, but it is implied that she is happy, wherever she is.
    • The heartbroken narrator of "Just Another Night" is able to help his beloved brother reach the afterlife after he dies.
    • The narrator of "Forget Me Not" is able to free her boyfriend from the alien's manipulate visions but is unable to save herself.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The house, with it's dark paneling, self-closing doors, and low ceilings in "Stairs of Dark Oak".
    • The house in "The House of Painted Doors" has doors painted into its walls, ceilings, and floors.
  • The Blank: The narrator's nephew's imaginary friend in "Silly Boy".
  • Blob Monster: The antagonists of "Creeping Crimson" and "Dead Milk".
  • Bloody Horror: "The First Person To Surgically Remove Their Own Brain" ends with the narrator finding his roommate dead on their blood-soaked kitchen table, apparently having surgically removed his own brain.
    • "An Unexpected Guest" ends with the narrator's friend's wife finding her aunt's decapitated head in her uncle's bloody bedroom.
    • "First Time at the Movies" has a man tying his neck to a telephone pole with a chainsaw chain while he's in his car and then gunning the engine.
    • "Old Mac Donald Had A Farm" is basically one long stream of the narrator's brother discovering bloody corpses of butchered animals and eventually, people.
    • The police break into the antagonist's house in "The Darkness in the Fields" to find bloody, dismembered body parts, over 50 corpeses, and a suit made out of human skin.
    • In "Christina Took Things", we are given a graphic description of a woman getting an involuntarily abortion with a shovel.
  • Body Horror: The narrator of "Decedent: Elaine Anderson" has her skin slowly turn black with wrapping tendrils.
  • Body in a Breadbox: The narrator of "I've Been Intimate With a Ghost" has the the "woman in white" that is haunting him stuff herself into his backpack in order to smuggle herself onto his campsite.
  • Body Horror: All over the place.
  • Body Surf: The protagonist of "Bounce" is some kind of spirit or entity that needs to find a new human to possess and become every three days.
  • Bookcase Passage: Dr. Masters of "Precious Machine" has a secret room behind the bookcase in her office where she conducts unethical experiments on the patients of the asylum.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: "The Open Secret of East Hall" is about a college student who ends up dating a werewolf. See "My Girlfriend's Loving Limbs" for a gender-flipped version.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Anna, the namesake of the story "Anna", constantly injures herself and then blames it on the narrator of the story just to get him in trouble.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Christina from "Jesus Camp" pisses all over herself while being possessed by a demon.
  • Bury Your Gays: Except when they're the narrator, gay characters are usually killed, such as the ones in "The Highway Dancer", "I Should Have Known", and "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Keeps Screaming".
  • Came Back Wrong: Chuck in the story "Chuck Came Back Wrong".
    • Steve in "A Horrible Game".
  • Camping Episode: "The Camping Trip", "Laurel Highlands", "The Cross by the Railroad Tracks", "Tent Number 7", "A Campfire Story", "The Deer Gods", "Off the Beaten Path", "The Week it Rained", "South of Seattle", "The Bonfire Girls", "Video Footage", "Don't Go Camping Alone, Ever", "Half Moon Island", and "The Start of a Haunting".
  • Careful with That Axe: When the stories call for a bloodcurdling scream, the narrators are more than happy to oblige. See Jessica Mcevoy in "Mr. Leaves" and David Cummings in "I Was the Victim of an Internet Prank" and "The Lovers" for some of the best examples.
  • Casts No Shadow: The narrator of "Neither Here Nor There" gets his shadow stolen by a ghost...or a demon ...or whatever the hell it was that was stalking him.
  • Character Title: "Cindy", "Victoria", "Christopher", "Charlie", and "Olivia", which was actually used twice.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The narrator's pet dog in "Box Fort".
    • The man in the orange hoodie in "I Regret Ever Working at the North Pole".
  • Closed Circle: The narrators of "Hide and Seek" and "You May See Some People" are trapped in isolated cabins during a snow storm in the middle of the wilderness.
  • Conjoined Twins: In "My Sister Was Murdered," the protagonist and her sister are conjoined at the head.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Mickey of "2,300 a Day" spends countless hours listening to and writing down all content from a mysterious radio station that does nothing but say numbers 24/7.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: "A Scarecrow for God", "Halloween Under the Irish Cultural Center", and "The Turtles".
  • Creepy Basement: "The Stairs and the Doorway", "The Basement", "Don't Ever Turn it Off", "Basement Cameras", "My Basement", "The Church Basement", "The Jack Monster", "The Church's Grimm", "We Tried to Keep Them Out", "They Told Me to Stay Out of the Basement", "Down in the Library Basement", and "63 Years Ago".
  • Creepy Child: The narrator's son's friend in "The Soul Game" has blonde, almost white hair and piercing blue eyes. Later in the story, it is revealed that he comes and kills you in the night if you know the rules of the game of the story's title.
    • The ghost child in "The Late Bus" is silent and stares out the window constantly. There's no way of knowing what it would have done to our narrator if he didn't run out of the bus and call the police.
    • Alice, the ghost girl from "The Forbidden Third Floor", cuts herself with scissors and admits to killing her sibling's pets.
    • Christina from "Jesus Camp" practices satanism, pisses herself, and kills animals and puts their corpses in sex positions.
    • Abigail from "The Lucienne Twins".
  • Creepy Doll: "The Doll With the Lifelike Eyes", "Betsy the Doll", "Dolls", The 'Red Maggie' segment of "Ash Hollow", "My Grandmother's Doll", "Lily Doll", "My Birthday Dolls", "What Was in the Attic", "Three-Faced Thelma", "The Haunted Items Business is Closed", and "The Time-Out Doll".
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Steve in "A Horrible Game" is apparently killed by a long, dark shadow that is reality itself, and it possessed him after he's dead. This one explanation of what happened, as it's a pretty confusing story.
    • Gertie from "American Whitehair" is Entombed alive in a wall, left to starve or burn to death, whichever comes first.
    • "Says Who" has an eight year old child killed by getting his heart cut out in a Satanic ritual.
    • Amy in "Ultrasound" bleeds to death from her eyes after scratching them out with her own fingernails.
    • The narrator's coworker in "Monster in the Forest" is left to die of starvation in a ten foot deep hole.
    • The bodies found inside the abandoned bar in "Georgie's" belong to people who were Dismembered while they were still alive and then seen together..
    • The serial killer's victims in "Hacksaw" are slowly dismembered as the killer work his way up the body, trying to keep the victim alive for as long as possible.
    • The two children in "Snow" are Tied to posts and left outside in sub-zero temperatures until they are buried in snow.
    • Twenty children die in "The Ice Cream Man" by eating ice cream that has been laced with cyanide.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: "Say's Who?" is about two brothers venturing out into the fields before climbing a tree. While they are up there, a group of Satanists come below the tree and begin a ritual. One brother dares the other to drop an acorn, and he does, alerting their presence. It is then revealed that one brother lured the other to the tree so he could be part of the Satanist group. The story ends with the lured brother being sacrificed.
    • At the end of "She Was Just A Child", it is revealed that the narrator made the whole story up, that there was no ghost at all, and that it was him that killed his daughter, and not a ghost.
    • The poor narrator of "The Accident" has his face bandaged, blocking out his sight. A patient in the hospital bed next to him says that he's in a bright, clean, hopsital, and that he will be released soon. At the end of the story, someone takes off the narrator's bandages and it's revealed that he's being kept in a dark and filthy basement. The other "patient" was actually the psychopath that kidnapped him and cut the skin off his face so he could wear it like a mask.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: "Daddy Found a New Family". The narrator's mother killed him years ago.
  • The Dead Can Dance: Fritz and his dead wife do a waltz in "Life of the Party".
    • The titular dancing dead from "The Dancing Dead."
  • Dead Man Writing: The narrator's dying sister in "October 29th, 2013" leaves her notes that need to be opened up on specific dates.
  • Death Notification: Two soldiers show up to a soldier's house in "What the Paperboy Saw" to tell his wife that he was killed in action.
  • Diet Episode: Particularly hideous examples can be found in "Heart of Plastic" and "The Best Weight Loss Treatment Ever".
  • Disappeared Dad: The narrator's father in "Daddy Found A New Family". Justified, as it is revealed that the narrator's mother killed him years previously.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Happens in most of the sad stories, most notably "The Disappearance of Ashley Morgan", "The Good Thomas Shea", "I'm Not One of Those Cops", and "The Lucienne Twins".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: What does the narrator's fellow construction worker in "The Monster in the Forest" get for stealing some of the jobs? He gets left in a ten foot deep hole to starve to death.
    • The narrator of "The Smell of Gasoline" is a fireman and tries desperately to save a girl from a burning car, but can't due to the flames. What does her ghost do? She kills his family in a house fire and successfuly frames him for their murders.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: "I've Been Intimate With a Ghost" ends with the narrator reconciling with his divorced wife.
  • Domestic Abuse: Mr. Curtis in "The Curtis's Dragon" and the narrator's father in "Hide and Seek".
    • The mother of the girl the narrator is babysitting in "Poor Little Babysitter" is implied to be one.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Don't listen to this podcast if you love hiking. The woods will never be the same again.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "The Murder in My Backyard" refers to the crows that hang out in the narrator's backyard as well as the fact that the little girl that lived in her house before her was raped and murdered there.
  • Downer Ending: So prevalent thought the podcast that it's actually surprising when there's a happy ending to a story.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: "A Dream My Mother Had" has the narrator's mother dreaming of being in a house but never opening a door. She finally opens it in one dream and promptly dies the next morning.
    • "I Saw it Coming" has the narrator dreaming of a blood-covered man coming to his door in the middle of the night begging for help. After two nights of dreaming the same thing, he opens the door on the third night and shoots the man. The narrator realizes too late that this time he wasn't dreaming.
  • Driven to Suicide: The narrator's coworker in "Losing a Friend on Facebook" kills herself after being harassed by an old woman that lives in the hospital she works at.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The narrator of "I've Been Intimate With a Ghost" spends six months being haunted by an insane, rotting ghost of a bride that wants to have sex with him before he finally reconciles with his ex-wife at the end.
  • Eaten Alive: The narrator's friend from "The Crawling House on Black Pond Road" is eaten alive from the inside out by wasp larvae.
    • The demonic narrator in "The Executrix" does this to Tyler after he tries to rape and kill her.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The antagonist of "The Hidden Pool". Also seen in "A Scarecrow for God" and "Creeping Crimson".
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Most of the antagonists in the technology-based horror stories speak with one of these. Seen in "The Hidden Webpage", "A Friend For You", "Gateway Into Dreams", and "An Internet Mystery".
  • Empathic Environment: Take note: when the weather turns bad in this podcast, expect terrible things to come.
  • Evil Elevator: Seen in "Working Late" and "Don't Use Elevators".
  • Evil Knockoff: Occurs surprisingly often.
    • This is the twist at the end of [[spoiler: "My Friend's Mother" and "My Last Time Babysitting".
  • Evil Laugh: The titular character of "The Girl in the Log" has one of these, and it's bone-chilling.
  • Evil Old Folks: The main antagonists in "My Best Friend's Grandmother", "Why I Didn't Shower For 21 Years", "In The Darkness of the Fields", "The White Room", "Losing a Friend on Facebook", "The Lady at the Mail Slot", "Bed Rest", and many others.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: The narrator of "Fake Beats" receives headphones that lets him hear in on his neighbor's radio conversations, which always seems to happen right when they are talking about their plot to murder him and his wife.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "The First Person To Surgically Remove Their Own Brain" is about the narrator's roommate being The First Person To Surgically Remove Their Own Brain.
    • Also, "Being a Detective Ruined My Marriage", "Why I Didn't Shower For 21 Years", "Midnight in Kentucky", "A Dream My Mother Had", "She Found Her Way Into My Home, "The Figure in the Nursery", "I Still Get Letters From My Dead Best Friend", and many, many others.
  • Excited Show Title!: "Say Cheese!"
  • Eye Scream: "They Were Looking Back At Me" is about one of the narrator's friends cutting out one of his other friend's eyes and keeping them in a box in his room.
    • The insane narrator of "Psychosis" stabs out his eyes with a pencil after the police arrive to arrest him.
    • Jake of "Ultrasound" burns his eyes out with a hospital-grade laser. A girl named Amy from the same story bleeds to death from her eyes after scratching them out.
    • The titular little girl of "Cindy" was apparently killed by her neighbor's dog scratching her eyes out.

    F-J 
  • Fate Worse than Death: Steve, the narrator's friend in "A Horrible Game" is somehow dead but still alive while being controlled by a dark, looming shadow that is apparently reality itself.
    • Dr. Masters in "Precious Machine" ends up having her body decomposing and falling apart while she is hooked up to a machine and still alive.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: "A Seaside British Pub" and it's sequel - the titular pub's clientele includes a banshee, a were-eel and a succubus, and its proprietor is a sorcerer.
  • Forbidden Zone: Many, many stories deal with the narrator being told by someone to not go into a certain house, room, town, or whatever, only for them to go in there anyway.
  • Fortune Teller: Luvia of "The Thing That Will Kill Me' delivers several prophetic warnings to the narrator and his friend.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The narrator of "The Soul Game" tells the listener the rules of the "soul game" of the title, then reveals that hearing the rules of the game immediately passes a curse to to the listener that entails being killed in the night by ghostly children. The only way to get rid of the curse is to tell the rules to someone else.
    • The narrator and his girlfriend of "Bird Flu" both catch parasitic worms from eating eggs and both almost die. The narrator than says that you might want to be wary the next time an egg farm is closed due to Bird flu, as it might be something else...
    • Mysterious shadowy creatures haunt the narrator of "Once You See Them". At the end of the story, it is revealed that once you are told about the creatures, they will haunt you, too.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Features heavily in the plots of "Fresh Luck To It's Owner" and "Bounce".
  • Friendly Ghost: More often than not, the twist at the end of a ghost story is that the ghost was actually helping the protagonist rather than trying to scare them. Examples can be found in "A White iPhone 4S", "The Girl in the Log", and "Restricted Caller".
    • The protagonist of "Bounce"...assuming he is a ghost.
  • Frame-Up: The man who owns the mansion in "The Atlas Room" attempts to frame his murders on the protagonist, but luckily for him, he has an alibi. Not that this means he gets arrested, however...
  • Gainax Ending: Stories on this podcast are notorious for having Mind Screw endings and generally not revealing much of anything about what was going on. Good examples include "The Devil's Toybox", "Edith's Memory", "I Though Corn Mazes Were Supposed to be Fun", and "Mummer Man".
  • Ghost Town: The narrator's hometown is deserted in "All the Swans are Gone" because of a mysterious creature that kills anyone that comes out at night. It's even implied that the narrator is the only person left in the town.
    • Seen also in "The Lost Town of Deepwood, Pennsylvania", "Groundskeeper to a Ghost Town", "Exit 21", and others.
  • Genre Anthology: The "Suddenly Shocking" volumes of stories that come with the season passes.
  • Genre Blindness: The tremendously stupid narrator of "Grow Up" refuses to believe that there are monsters in his house, despite his son crying every night, photographic evidence from his wife, and hearing the monsters growl himself.
    • The narrator of "Never, Ever Go Into the Morgue" goes into said morgue at an abandoned hospital and finds a rotting body from the ceiling with his name written on its chest in blood. He leaves quickly, but what does he do a few days later? He goes back to look at it again, of course!
    • One of the most frustrating aspects of "Trust" is that the narrator lets his adopted daughter go see a movie with her biological father, without any sort of background check, calling the adoption agency, or anything. Of course, it turns out that the man is not actually her biological father...
  • Genre Savvy: In a refreshing change of pace, the narrator of "Georgie's" spends the weekend at a hotel rather than go to the aforementioned bar that a creepy old man on his bus keeps telling him to go to.
  • Ghostly Goals: About 98.7% of ghosts in the podcast all have the same goal: kill everyone that is alive, or at least, psychologically torture them to the point of insanity.
    • A rare aversion occurs in "Olivia", where the ghost of the narrator's best friend visits him to say goodbye before moving on to the afterlife.
      • The young girl (who may or may not actually be a ghost) in "A Walk Home on Halloween" congratulates the narrator on outrunning the malignant ghost who wanted to kill him.
  • Ghost Story: Both "The Cross by the Railroad Tracks" and "A Campfire Story" concern an old campfire legend turning out to be more true that the narrators originally thought.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: It's entirely possible that the events of "Hide and Seek" never happened and that the narrator is simply insane.
  • Harassing Phone Call: The narrator of "Unknown Caller" receives many of these thought the story from someone who is stalking her.
    • The poor narrator of "EATOIN" works at a suicide hotline and is constantly harassed by a mysterious caller saying that he is going to die if he doesn't get out of the building he works at. Ultimately subverted, as the last call saves the narrator's life from a murderer trying to break into the building.
    • The narrator of "DECEASD" is a telemarketer and receives a phone call from a creepy old woman.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: "Olivia" is basically one long suicide note that the titular character wrote to the narrator.
  • Government Conspiracy: There's a huge one in "The Scarecrow Corpse", where it's possible that government agents killed the narrator's coworker because he performed the autopsy on the titular corpse.
  • Grand Theft Me: The protagonist of "Bounce" is some kind of spirit or entity that possess people, taking complete control of their mind and body, all while to person blacks out and doesn't remember anything that happened when they were possessed after the spirit leaves. Luckily for the person, the spirit hates depriving people of their lives and rarely stays in someone for more than a few days at a time.
    • "Fresh Luck to It's Owner" concerns a watch that causes back-to-back wearers to switch bodies.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The narrator's friend in "The Cross By the Railroad Tracks" is ripped in half by a vengeful ghost.
    • David from "Torso" is ripped in half by heavy machinery in an abandoned warehouse.
  • Haunted House: With it's mysterious sounds, dark figures appearing on security cameras, and apparitions, the house in "Stranger in the Night" plays this straight at first. Ultimately averted when it is revealed that it wasn't ghosts at all, but rather homeless people breaking in.
    • The house the narrator watches in "Cindy" is haunted by the ghosts of a little girl and the rabid dog that killed her.
  • Hearing Voices: The narrator of "White Noise", after suffering an accident, can hear the voices of the Fates that decide what happens to each and every person.
    • This also happens to the narrator of "The Silence Experiment" after hearing true silence.
  • Hell Hotel: The hotel in "Say Cheese!" has a maze of interlocking corridors, mysterious laughter, and was apparently abandoned very quickly.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The young mother narrator of "The Neighbors Upstairs" is sick of her upstairs neighbors making loud noises while her baby is trying to sleep. She finally gets the landlord to unlock the door only to find out that no one has lived in the apartment above her for years.
    • The sound of the narrator's friend's wife's uncle crying in the attic in "An Unexpected Guest" was unsettling to begin with, but it becomes ten times worse when the crying continues after he dies.
    • The narrator sees a ghost playing a hauntingly beautiful song in "The Melody" and nearly goes insane trying to replicate it.
    • The creature in the narrator's daughter's room in "The Thing in the Nursery" makes an unsettling "chhh" noise that frightens the narrator.
    • The narrator of "BANG" constantly hears a hellish banging noise wherever she goes.
  • Here We Go Again!: "Hacksaw" has the narrator reading about a killer who would hack his victims to death with a hacksaw. The first person to find the body would then kill the person who killed the found victim beforehand in the same manner, and so on. The detective that found the last body put himself away in an institution so he wouldn't kill anybody. Of course, the narrator, after reading the story, is now obsessed with killing the detective.
    • In "The Thing in the Walls", the narrator's friend complains that there is a monster living in his walls and begs the narrator to help him. Having seen the monster as a child, the narrator refuses, and the friend commits suicide. Days later, the narrator gets a text reading "How thick are the walls in your house?"
  • Hillbilly Horrors: The narrator's grandfather and his friends are chased through the woods by cannibalistic hillbillies in "1957".
  • Hollywood Autism: Hannah, the little girl from "Poor Little Babysitter" is described as having autism, but she has the effects of many different mental illnesses, such as tourette's and down's syndrome.
  • Hollywood Satanism: "Jesus Camp" is full of tropes and cliches of satanism, including animal sacrifices, pentagrams, and words written in blood.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: "Mor Mor's House" has the narrator's deceased great grandmother obsessed with making small bundles of horsehair, human teeth, and cloth. She then proceeded to stick them all around the house in odd places.
  • Hospital Surprise: Happens often in the stories, usually more of a result of an Ass Pull on the author's part rather than actually making sense in the story's plot. This is especially noticeable in "Say Cheese!", where the narrator and his friend collapse and pass out from exhaustion and dehydration after stumbling around a never-ending maze of hotel hallways for days only to inexplicably wake up in the hospital.
  • Horny Devils: The narrator of In My Line of Work and The Executrix is a succubus, according to Word of God.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The monster that haunts the narrator in "Hide and Seek" is described as having incredibly long arms and fingers as well as yellow eyes.
    • The creature crouched under the desk from "The Figure in the Nursery" is not explicitly described as looking like an abomination, but then again, narrator never does get a good look at it and it makes a strange, 'chhh' sound instead of talking.
    • The creature of "Calls From My Girlfriend" looks exactly like narrator's girlfriend, only with longer arms and fingers, wound-covered skin, and a slightly misshapen face.
    • The narrator is stalked by a mysterious, man-shaped shadow that plays a drum in "Heat Stroke".
    • "The Thing I Saw in the Woods" turns out to be a man-like creature with razor-sharp claws and teeth.
    • "Obscurity Man."
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: This is the moral of "The Monster in the Forest". A man with crippling debts takes a job digging very deep holes in a forest from an old man who wants to catch a monster that lives in said forest. The pay is so good the narrator can pay all his bills. But then his wife gets cancer and the old man hires another worker. The narrator gets revenge by waiting until his coworker has dug a ten-foot deep hole and then taking his ladder, before filling in the hole two weeks later.
    • The endings of "I Regret Ever Working at the North Pole" and "She Was Just a Child".
    • Although "The Jack Monster" appears to play this straight at first, it's averted when it's revealed that the man tied up in the basement actually is a monster.
  • Hypocrite: This is the reason that the narrator of "Just $3 a Day Can Save a Child's Life" is stalking his friend: the friend preaches about giving to charity, the narrator gives away most of his possessions, and then the friend reveals she barely gives any money to charity At all.
  • I See Dead People: "The Scarecrow Game," though the protagonist doesn't realize it until the end.
    • The narrator of "A Simple Photo" finds a snapshot of her and her father dated October 16th, 2001. The only problem? Her father died the night before.
    • "You May See Some People" is about the narrator and his grandmother battling out a snowstorm in an isolated winter cabin while their dead friends and relatives plead to be let in from outside.
    • The narrator of "A Face in the Crowd" sees people as what they look like when the die. For example, a man that will hang himself has a blue face and bulging eyes.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted hideously in "The Ice Cream Man", where eleven children die from eating poisoned ice cream.
    • Averted In "The Devil's Breath", where the aforementioned drug is apparently so powerful that it causes users to lose their will. This amounts to a drug dealer using the drug to make a father kill his own son after he can't pay him.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "The Silent" features one of these, although it should really be considered an Ironic Poem.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: This is the motto the summer camp from "Jesus Camp" tries to impose on its campers.
  • Jump Scare: The narrator's friend of "The Terrorizing of a Substitute Teacher" scares the titular teacher buy jumping out at him while wearing a clown mask.

    K-O 
  • Killer Robot: Though it starts out fairly friendly and benign, the robot in "Talent Show" quickly becomes this when it realizes that it is going to be destroyed and sold for scrap metal.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The killers in "Strangers in a Graveyard" try to do this to the narrator and his girlfriend.
    • Also attempted by the villian in "My Friend" on the protagonist.
  • Life Drinker: The workers in the abadnoded factory in "Have You Seen This Child?" apperantly kidnap children and turn them into old people. The reason they do this is never explained.
  • Light Is Not Good: The narrator and his friends of "The Midnight Hike" are stalked through the woods by a mysterious floating light.
  • Long Title: "The Strangest Security Tape I've Ever Seen" and "The First Person to Surgically Remove Their Own Brain", to name a few.
    • Anton Scheller seems to be the most guilty of this, with titles such as "My Grandfather Knows Why We Run From the Dark" and "Always Act as if Somebody is Watching You".
    • As the podcast wore on, titles got longer and longer, as the Nosleep subreddit got more popular and writers needed to come up with titles that would interest readers rather than just one-or-two word ones.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: "The Wilson Ranch Incident", "The Warren", and "Borrasca" have pretty substantial casts.
  • Lost in the Maize: "The Cornfield", to no one's surprise, is about two girls getting lost in a cornfield and one of them being killed.
    • Happens to the protagonists of "I Thought Corn Mazes Were Supposed to be Fun".
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: "Forget Me Not" seems to take place in the aftermath of a Robot War, where the victors keep humanity trapped in a delusion that the scorched, decaying world around them is perfectly normal.
  • Love Letter: The narrator of "Love Notes" constantly receives creepy love letters from who she thinks is her ex boyfriend...only to be told that he hasn't lived in his apartment for a month and there was no possible way he could have been sending the notes.
  • Mad Artist: All four of the narrators of "The Artist", "The Thing in the Rust", "Hives", and "Do You Remember the Little Red Bear?" each have one of these as a girlfriend.
  • Mad Doctor: Though she appears to be a nice person at first, Dr. Masters of "Precious Machine" quickly plays this trope very straight indeed.
    • "The Horrible and Awe-Inspiring Experiments of Dr. Kalivaki."
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: The narrator and his girlfriend in "Strangers in a Graveyard" decide it's a good idea to have sex in an abandoned graveyard in the middle of the woods at midnight.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The hotel in "Say Cheese!".
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Did the substitute teacher in "The Terrorizing of a Substitute Teacher" actually curse the narrator's friends to have shitty lives for scaring him all those years ago? Or is it just fate and the narrator is paranoid?
  • Mind Screw: Just what is going on in "5.5"?
    • In "A Horrible Game", a group of office workers set an air control system to somehow create a tone that causes reality itself to shift, resulting in strange, jerkily-waling gray blobs, a mysterious black shadow that wants to swallow them up, and the narrator being able to see through her coworker's skin.
    • "5:19" is about the narrator looking out his window at 5:19 AM and seeing an old man dressed in all black, leading several dogs and cats on leashes, and holding a candle peering into the windows of the houses on his street.
    • "Why I Didn't Shower For 21 Years" has the narrator being watched by an old woman that lives across the street. In the end, she escapes from a hospital, travels sixty miles without a car back to the neighborhood, attacks him while he's showering, despite the fact that she's an invalid. 21 years later, he takes his first shower in a while, and his wife joins him. It's then that he realizes that he looks like the old woman's dead husband, and his wife looks just like a younger version of the old woman...
    • "Heat Stroke" has the narrator suffering from heat stroke while being swallowed by a mysterious, man-shaped shadow. He then wakes up in the hospital and leaves, but not before seeing a shadow out of the corner of his eye...
    • By far the most confusing story is "The Showers". Did the narrator's teacher tell the whole story? What was the empty, bare room above the tunnel? Why did the tunnel dip down the three feet in some places? Why was the door to the room a suburban front door? What is the room below ground, anyway? What is the thick gunk that leaks out of the showers? Why were the children below ground? Why was their hair never cut and they were never washed? What caused the whimpering coming fro the room? Who was the voice outside the entrance to the tunnels if the narrator's friend was across the clearing? The author of the story quit Reddit after publishing it, so we may never know...
    • Why did the window mysteriously appear in the narrator's wall in "When One Window Closes"? Who was the dark figure in the rain? And, more importantly, what did his final words to the narrator mean?
    • "Mummer Man". Just..."Mummer Man".
  • Meaningful Echo: From "Have You Seen This Child?": "Mine.".
    • From "Autopilot": "My phone was on the counter".
    • From "The Red Light in the Warehouse": "A showman until the very end".
  • Mirror Scare: Featured heavily in the plots of "Elevator Ride" and "How to Write a Nosleep Hit".
  • Mr. Seahorse: "The Anomaly."
  • Mundanger: Sometimes a serial killer, sometimes just cruel circumstance.
  • Mundane Ghost Story: Although it appears to avert this at first,"The Crawling House on Black Pond Road" plays this straight when it's revealed that the cause of all the story's horrifying events is a gigantic insect nest built under the house.
    • "Autopilot" is simply about the narrator forgetting to take his daughter out of his car one hot day...
    • This trope is actually used as the twist at the end of "Paradise Pine".
    • In several stories, so little information is given about the events that it's impossible to tell if they're supernatural or not. Stories most guilty of this include "5:19", "The Cornfield", "The Basement", "The Neighbors Upstairs", and "R.E.M Behavior Disorder".
    • "The Jack Monster" actually plays this trope straight and subverts it three times in a row, when the father says there's a monster in the basement and the evidence supports it, the monster turns out to be a man he chained up in the basement, then it turns out the man is a shapeshifting monster.
  • My New Gift Is Lame: The narrator of "The Voice on the Radio" receives a old CB radio from his grandpa for his birthday, which he hates...at first.
  • Never Trust a Title: "Baked Beans" sounds like a lighthearted story, but the actual events that take place (the narrator cleans up a mess in a dark room while unknown to them they are being watched by a serial killer) are quite unsettling.
    • "The Woman Holding an Orange" sounds like the name of a children's book, but it's actually about a woman who stalks the narrator by holding a rotting orange and cooing to him in a child-like voice.
    • "Eggs", a failry innocent sounding story, is about a deranged old woman going on a shooting spree in a grocery store.
  • New House, New Problems: Too many examples to count, but the most notable include "The House of Painted Doors", "Sibling Rivalry", and "The Neighbors Upstairs".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: "The Basement" has the narrator hiding in a basement for two hours while he hears strange noises and crashing sounds. In the end, some of the sounds are explained by his neighbor stumbling into his house and dying of heart attack, but the rest of the noises are never explained.
    • "Midnight in Kentucky". What were those creatures hanging around in the dark outside the gas station?
    • "The Midnight Hike". The hiking instructor protagonist and his charges are chased through the dark woods by some kind of creature with a floating light on its head.
    • "Find Her". Exactly what it was that killed the narrator's girlfriend is never explained.
    • "Box Fort". What was the creature that stalked the girls as they crawled through the structure?
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: These factor heavily into the plots of "Silly Boy", "Baby Sister", "Betsy the Doll", "Do You Remember the Lullaby Girl?", and "Magic Marty".
  • Novella: Many of the longer tales (sometimes running over two hours!) could easily be published as one of these. Examples include "Operation Stingray", "Borrasca", "The Showers", "Stranded on Lake Michigan", and "The One-Way Tunnel".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: It's pretty clear the "tech-savvy investor" that funds the protagonist of "What it Said" 's space research program is supposed to be Elon Musk.
  • No Ending: The narrator of "New Neighbors" witnesses screams, banging noises lights coming from a shed in his neighbor's backyard. Him and his friend break in and find a hallway lined with rotting filing cabinets and a peephole in the wall. The narrator and his friend go back to his house, they hear screams coming from the shed again, and the story ends, with no explanation of what the room in the shed was or the source of the screams and lights.
    • Several stories, such as "The Crushing Fist" and "Someone, Somewhere, Is Lonelier Than I Am," are parts of larger narratives whose later chapters haven't appeared in the podcast, so their "endings" come off as abrupt and ambiguous.
  • No Fourth Wall: "How to Write a Nosleep Hit" is basically Paranoia Fuel about how to make a scary story you are writing seem true.
    • Take up to eleven in "5.5", "Nobody" and "Clinical Trial", where the reader (or in this case, listener) actually serves as the story's protagonist.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: "Winter Memories" and "Gristle".
  • Noir Episode: "I'm Not One of Those Cops", which is more like a mystery than a horror story.
  • The Ophelia: Stacy from "I Though Corn Mazes Were Supposed to be Fun".
    • The narrator of "Decedent: Elaine Anderson".
  • Our Fairies Are Different: "How Many Fairies?" gives us a truly macabre example.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • "He Howls at the Moon". They have long fingernails and yellow eyes but the similarities between wolves stop there.
    • Seasons 10 and 11 feature more traditional werewolves in two unrelated stories- Fitz in "500 Yards" can transform at will into a 14-foot-tall wolf, and can still speak even while transformed. Parker in "The Open Secret of East Hall" transforms only when the full moon rises and doesn't retain any self control or memories during that time. Or at least, that's what he tells everyone.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Fritz's wife in "Life of the Party" is a zombie, but rather looking like a rotted body, she just looks like a skeleton.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Much to some listeners' dismay, the podcast sometimes delves into other genres besides horror, such as fantasy ("A Seaside British Pub", "The Gossip"), noir ("I'm Not One of Those Cops", "The Price of Truth"), thriller ("Unknown Caller", "A Hunt in Pennsylvania") and even comedy ("Not Now, Eric", "The One-Headed Hound", "Does Anyone Know a Good Plumber?", "Escape the Dungeon").

    P-S 
  • Paranormal Episode: Practically every episode, except when a Mundane Ghost Story comes up.
  • Paranormal Romance: "The Open Secret of East Hall"
  • Parental Favoritism: Seen hideously in "I Keep Beautiful Things", "The Disappearance of Ashley Morgan", "Christina Took Things", and "I Can't Look My Brother in the Eyes Anymore".
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Occurs in "Good Luck" and "Fresh Luck To It's Owner". Both protagonists encounter something that promises to give them good luck. What happens to them is anything but, but the logic is "things could be much worse".
  • Phlebotinum Pills: "The narrator of "This is a Warning" takes a pill that causes vivid nightmares, simply for the reason that he loves being scared.
  • Police are Useless: To an absurd degree, as are medical services - to the point where the doctors at a hospital in "Fresh Luck to It's Owner" tell the narrator the address of the nearest pawn shop so he can pawn his car to pay for an operation.
  • Portal Door: The many doors painted into the walls, ceilings, and floors in "The House of Painted Doors" lead to a dark...place where children are.
  • Protagonist Title: "Decedent: Elaine Anderson".
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The protagonist of "Bounce" is some kind of entity or spirit that possess people, taking complete control of their mind and body, while the person blacks out and has no memory of being possessed or what happened during that until the spirit leaves their body. Luckily for them, the spirit hates depriving people of their lives and just bounces (hence the title) from person to person to survive.
  • Questioning Title?: "How Many Fairies?", "Do You Remember the Lullaby Girl?", "Do You Remember the Little Red Bear?", "Is Anyone Else Feeling Thirsty?", "Have You Ever Been to Bunnyman Bridge?", and "Does Anyone Know a Good Plumber?".
  • Random Events Plot: "Ash Hollow", "Search and Rescue" and "The Things They Left Behind" consist entirely of short stories where the only common theme is a certain character that appears in each story.
    • "Anecdotes in Ashes" consists of twenty extremely short and unrelated stories.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Uttered by the narrator of "The Hobbit Hole" after all the lights go out in the hallway he's in.
  • Rape as Backstory: Implied heavily on the poor narrator of "R.E.M Behavior Disorder".
  • Real After All: "The Curtis's Dragon" is about a preschool teacher reading a story from one of her students. In it, the student describers her unhappy home life and how her only friend is a dragon. In the end, the dragon is fed up with the abuse and ill-treatment of his friend and mauls everyone else in the family to death. The teacher founds out later that the girl who wrote the story's family has died. How? By being mauled by a mysterious, large creature...
    • In "I'm Sorry, Daddy", a father comes home to find his son crying. The son says that monsters came out of nowhere and ate his babysitter. The dad laughs this off a dream until he hears growling behind him and his son tearfully reveals that the monsters caught him but said they would let him go if he distracted his father long enough.
    • The narrator of "R.E.M Behavior Disorder" has dreams where she sees a man in her room and screams. Soon, she wakes up one night and realizes that it isn't a dream this time...
    • In "Whispers" a girl is told that a mysterious person calls you in the middle of the night and whispers into your phone sometimes. The girl doesn't believe it, but three guesses as to what happens that night.
  • Reality Warper: The narrator of "PHDSD - A Case Study" and whatever the hell's going on in "The Screaming Man".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The narrator's girlfriend in "Apartment 1702" gives him one of these after his abusive behavior.
  • Red Herring: In "Unknown Caller", all the signs point to Seth being Nicole's staker... Only for it to be revealed as Nick, her boyfriend.
    • The narrator of "My Best Friend's Grandmother" spends quite a bit of time discussing her best friend's grandmother's backyard, with it's tall, menacing trees, mysterious shadows, and broken bottles. In the end, it has no bearing on the story whatsoever
    • After being haunted by a ghost for most of the story, the narrator of "I've Been Intimate With a Ghost" hears a scream in the night while he's camping. It's later revealed that it was just another camper's wife having a nightmare.
  • Russian Roulette: The narrator and his friends in "Drinking Games" play a game of this, to horrifying results.
  • Same Story, Different Names: "We Don't Live There Anymore" and "The Silent" have the same framing device (family moving into a new home), the same plot (mysterious sightings and whispers), and even the same ghost (the ghost of an old woman that died in the house). The only really difference between the two is that the family in "The Silent" doesn't move out of the house at the end of the story.
  • Sanity Slippage: The narrator in "Psychosis" thinks that the world has been taking over by mind-controlling aliens and stabs his eyes out when the authorities finally come to arrest him. In the end, it turns out he was right.
    • The events of "Hide and Seek" may not have actually taken place, as the narrator may have gone insane from the years of abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: The narrator of "A Game of Flashlight Tag" watches his neighbor get murderd while a flashlight is held under her face.
  • Scrapbook Story: "The Long Face", "correspondence://", "Copper Canyon", "Psychosis", "The Mary Hillenbrand Cassette", and "The Girl in the Tree".
  • Sea Stories: Though the framing device takes place in an asylum, most of "Bigger Fish" takes place on the open sea.
  • Second Person: "5.5" and "Nobody" are told from this perspective.
  • Serial Escalation: "Edith's Memory" starts as your average, run-of-the-mill story about an old woman with Alzheimer's recalling an incident from her past, but things quickly get more and more confusing as Kudzu Plot after Kudzu Plot pile up on each other, with healthy doses of Mind Screw and Time Travel thrown in for good measure, all leading up to the story's Gainax Ending.
  • Serial Killer: Everywhere. Sometimes narrating.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: The narrator of "Fake Beats" buys a pair of Beats By Dre off of eBay, only to revieve a cheap knockoff.
    • Many stories set in a restaurant don't explicitly state which fast-food chain they worked or ate at, but it's usually pretty easy to tell which one they're talking about.
    • Averted on "Jack in the Box" as the restaurant of the title is, in fact, the popular fast food joint.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: "I'm Not One of Those Cops", in which our policeman narrator lets a pregnant 15 year old girl die from stab wounds so he can finally pin a rapist, murderous drug dealer for a serious crime and put him behind bars for good. It was all in vain, though, cause the security camera he thought was recording the while event was broken and the dealer ends up OD'ing a week later anyway.
  • Sinister Subway: Seen in "Tales of a New York Subway", "The Last Train Home", "I've Been on This Train Forever", "YUSDABEE", and "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight".
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Most of the characters in most of the stories. Take a shot Everytime a character says "fuck" and you'll be dead by the end of the episode.
  • Slasher Smile: Not surprisingly, the antagonist of "The Smiling Man' sports a pretty unsettling one.
    • Far too many stories have the Villain of the Week sporting a "creepy smile". It's become so prevelant that many users of Reddit complain about stories that feature one.
  • Snuff Film: One is filmed in "Moderated".
    • The tapes in "It Doesn't Stop After Halloween" are implied to be these.
  • The Something Song: "The Shredder's Song" and "The Gargoyle Song".
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: While "The Cocoa Jumping Spider" is a terrifying story, the spider of the story's title does not exist. If that wasn't bad enough, it is actually impossible for 'jumping' spiders to gather in clouds and float over a suburb to kill it's inhabitants.
  • Special Guest: Allie Brosh, creator of Hyperbole and a Half, wrote "Cologne".
  • Spiritual Sequel: "Ultrasound" is this to "A Horrible Game".
    • Also, "The Deer Gods" to "The Camping Trip".
  • Spooky Photographs: The narrator of "The Figure in the Nursery" owns a video monitoring system that feeds from her daughter's room to the living room. One day, she looks into the camera and sees a smiling creature crouched under her daughter's crib...
    • The narrator of "Say Cheese!" receives a photograph of him and his friend surrounded by dead people in the rundown hotel they just explored.
    • Also features in "No Photo to Sleep", "Family Portrait", "Her Seventh", and "A Simple Photo".
  • Stalker with a Crush: The villain in "Just £3 a Month Can Save a Child's Life l" denies he is this despite acting like one. The one in "I Couldn't Resist You" is a bit more open about it.
  • Stealth Sequel: "Blue Ridge" is a sequel to "Paradise Pine", and it would be up to the listener to figure this out if David didn't spoil it in his opening narration.
    • "Midnight Rendezvous" to "Fairweather Nightmares".
    • "Corn Maze 44" is set in the same universe as "Christmas Land". In all likelihood both are sequels to "What I Saw Beneath the Riptide".
    • "House Full of Eyes" to "The Cats of Sycamore Grove", "A Lesson on Applied Narratives", and "Taco Tuesday".
  • Suck E. Cheese's: "Uncle Jerry's Family Fun Zone" features one of these.
  • Summer Campy: "Jesus Camp" is set in a bible camp. Needless to say, things go south very quickly.
  • Survivor Guilt: After being the only person to escape the antagonist's torture cellar, the narrator of "Captivity" suffers from this.

    T-Z 
  • Take That!: David makes his dislike of furries very clear in the introduction to "Clown 4 Rent".
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: A monster lives under the bed of the kid our narrator babysitting in "Poor Little Babysitter".
  • Time Master: Jeremy in "The Strangest Security Tape I've Ever Seen" can apparently control time and reality itself.
  • Time Travel: Features heavily in the plots of "Stranded on Lake Michigan", "My Friend From College", and "The Strangest Security Tape I've Ever Seen".
  • The Sleepless: "The Djinn Bottle."
    • Other stories, such as "The Silence Experiment" and "This is a Warning" deal with this in passing.
  • The "The" Title: "The Stairs and the Doorway", "The Midnight Man", "The Cornfield", "The Neighbors Upstairs", "The Smiling Man", "The Djinn Bottle", "The Figure in the Nursery", "The..."
  • Those Wacky Nazis: "Hitler's Favorite Concentration Camp," which is distinctly more action-heavy than most stories to boot.
    • The narrator's grandfather in "My Grandfather Knows Why We Run From the Dark" was one.
  • Torture Chamber Episode: "Captivity" and "The Church Basement".
  • Too Dumb to Live: It's Creepypasta. Half the stories would last about five minutes if the narrator didn't say "I knew I shouldn't do it, but I had to."
  • Torture Cellar: The mysterious monsters from "My Grandfather Knows Why We Run From The Dark" keep the the narrator's Nazi grandfather and his troop locked in a cellar, forced to eat dead bodies and excrement to survive.
    • The whole point of "Captivity" is the narrator trying to escape the torture cellar of the psycho that he's been kidnapped by.
  • The Tooth Hurts: The narrator's great grandmother of "Mor Mor's House" had a nasty habit of pulling out her family member's teeth.
    • "The Holes in My Teeth" takes this trope and cranks it up to eleven. Basically the whole plot is a creepy old woman breaking into the narrator's home and pulling all his teeth out with rusty dental equipment
  • Trash of the Titans: "Mor Mor's House" concerns the narrator and her family cleaning out her great grandmother's house, which is full of junk, odd trinkets, and souvenirs from many travels around the world.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Most often featured in stories by C.K. Walker, most notably, "The Disappearance of Ashley Morgan": In this order, The narrator's sister dissapears, her brother moves to Japan, her parents ignore and beat her, spending all their time mourning the sister, her parents get divorced, her mom gets addicted to drugs and OD's, her father shoots himself, the narrator inherits the house and finds her brother's body in a shallow grave in the backyard (the whole Japan story was a fake), she thinks her father killed him and throws his ashes off a freeway underpass, the police find her sister's body, the police reveal that the narrator's brother raped and killed her sister, her father killed her brother and the narrator just decimated his corpse, the narrator now lives in shameful agony and depression over being the last member of her family left alive.
    • "The Lucienne Twins", in which one of the twins goes through every insufferable thing imagineable, including her twin dying, being haunted by demons, being bullied, having her mother commit suicide right in front of her and living for a month with her corpse, involuntarily killing an old woman, and finally dying painfully in a house fire.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The narrator of "American Whitehair" says that Gertie deserved to die because of all the horrible things she did to him. But considering what the story is based on, this is up for debate.
  • Vignette Episode: "Anecdotes in Ashes", "What Stays Behind", "Ash Hollow", and "Search and Rescue".
  • Villain Protagonist: The narrators of "I Couldn't Resist You", "I'm No Angel", "She Was Just a Child", "A Hunt in Pennsylvania", "Just £3 a Month Can Save a Child's Life", and "Method Acting".
  • The Voiceless: The birds in the woods around the narrator's house in "The Bird Box" don't make noise. This is because her mother is stealing their song and keeping it in said box.
  • Wham Line: In "Jack in the Box": "DON'T EAT IT."
    • In "Cologne" the very cautious narrator checks every corner of her house before going to bed. She awakes to her bed shifting under her and the sound of a recorded voice saying: "No one ever thinks to check inside the mattress."
    • In "The Midnight Hike", the hiking instructor narrator and his charges are chased through the dark woods and almost caught by a mysterious, ghostly light. Once getting everyone to safety, the narrator calls his friend, who usually leads the hike the narrator did. After asking the narrator how many people were on the hike, he asks this: "How many came back?"
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The narrator of "The Greater Good".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happened to the narrator's neighbor after she was held captive by Mr. Friendly for months in "Mr. Friendly".
    • The fate of the narrator's dog after the house fire in "The Lucienne Twins" is not revealed.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp:
    • The narrator of "I Used To Sit There" sees faint lights in the woods across the lake that he visits.
    • A mysterious light stalks the narrator and his friends in "The Midnight Hike".
  • Woman in White: The narrator of "I've Been Intimate With a Ghost" is haunted by one.


Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback