Follow TV Tropes


Podcast / Trashfuture

Go To
A podcast about business success and making yourself smarter with the continued psychic trauma of capitalism.

What if we made the Soviet Union, but shit and expensive?

What if a Swedish man was Italian?

Trashfuture (TF) is a UK comedy & political podcast, originally hosted by Riley Quinn, comedian Milo Edwards and Charlie Palmer. Since Palmer's departure, the roster has expanded to include Alice Caldwell-Kelly, Hussein Kesvani & producer Nate Bethea.

TF takes aim at the idea that technology will lead a utopian future, usually by pointing out overhyped, overvalued Silicon Valley startups that are based on worker exploitation, financial black magic, spying on their userbase, or all of the above.

Besides mocking institutions of the internet (Amazon, Netflix, Spotify) and obscure, pointless and exploitative startups, the show also provides insight into the conditions that have created the dystopia of the modern world.


Beginning in 2017, the show has since spawned a rich and sprawling universe of in-jokes, associated twitch streams, merchandise and Dutch synthpop.

The Nate Bethea extended universe also includes, by way of shared hosts, the podcast Well There's Your Problem, Hell of a Way to Die, Lions Led By Donkeys, Kill James Bond!, and many more.

This show provides examples of:

  • Amoral Afrikaner: Milo's Afrikaner mercenary character Jerk van der Klerk.
  • Butt-Monkey: Many, but some particular targets include UK media commentator Brendan O'Neill and 'human labrador retriever' Matt Hancock.
    • Graham Linehan, the once-distinguished creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd, whose virulent transphobia rendered him effectively unemployable and cost him his marriage. The hosts take active glee whenever he appears in the news as it always precedes him humiliating himself further.
    • Self-styled “celebrity gangster” Dave Courtney, to the point where the first episode of the sub-series Britainology was devoted to a documentary about him.
    • Advertisement:
    • The entire Labour Party under Keir Starmer, which they ignore as much as possible, and insist on calling the “Loser Party for Losers”.
    • Among the hosts, Riley often gets ribbed for his very expensive tastes in food and fashion.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: The podcast is explicitly socialist in its outlook, and most episodes involve some discussion of the absurdities of capitalism.
  • Cop Hater: Showcased during discussion of police treatment of protesters, particularly after the murder of Sarah Everard.
  • Crapsack World: The name and entire premise of the podcast.
  • Crapsaccharine World: London as a whole. The hosts have very little time or patience for all the “fun” activities and businesses that get promoted in hip publications like Vice or Time Out, seeing them as twee, annoying, exclusively filled with smug moneyed City boys on tertiary incomes, and only made possible through constant gentrification and selling off assets to billionaires. The shining example of this is the much-vaunted 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, where a pageant showing off a rose-tinted idealised version of Britain was only made possible by demolishing East London housing estates to create the Olympic Park and displacing the residents, with housing prices only getting higher and higher in the years since.
  • Cultural Cringe: Often features discussion of the unique perversions of British culture, including referring to the UK as 'nonce/TERF island'. The sub-series Britainology has Milo introducing Nate to a different bizarre aspect of the UK, ranging from rave culture, 1970s television and the national obsession with Princess Diana, and trying to unpack it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Really all of the hosts, but especially Alice.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first year of the show was more loosely structured, frequently going off-topic, and recorded in Riley’s living room or whatever Airbnb the hosts were staying in. Audio difficulties and tech issues were frequent, especially with Milo joining remotely from Moscow. Fast forward to 2018, where they began recording in a studio in Tower Hamlets, Nate came on as a dedicated producer, and Riley ran a tighter ship, taking detailed extensive notes before recording and keeping the discussion focused. Grace Blakeley, who’s been among the most frequent guests, noted in 2020 how “serious” the show has gotten and that the usual process was to get drunk and record for hours.
    • Sex and horniness comes up frequently in the first year of the show, especially from Riley; nowadays, he has to stop the conversation from getting too horny.
  • Fake Band: Johannes Vonk and the Clogheads.
  • Five-Man Band: The full squad: Riley, Milo, Nate, Hussein, and Alice
    • Sixth Ranger:
      • Devon co-hosts the Twitch stream and served as the DM for their Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and occasionally appears on the podcast if it interests them.
      • Olga Koch, Russian-born British comedian and friend of Riley and Milo, will sometimes join the hosts.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The show makes mockery of many acceptable targets, such as war criminals, tech billionaires and people who make the world a worse place, and the episode descriptions always include links to fundraisers and tenant unions.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Milo, who can go from calm and sardonic to furiously ranting at something annoying or insipid. Whenever he does this, he develops what Riley calls a “relaxation vein”.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Milo's talent for voices has birthed many of the show's bits.
    • Zigzagged with Riley; Milo theorises that he can be this trope, but only if he’s trying to impersonate someone else, like the Enigma machine.
  • Musical Episode: Between the two songs from Johannes Vonk and The Clogheads and Richard Highsmith’s ‘track’ “Call Me Mr. E”, the show has started to use original music to emphasize its political and comedic points.
  • Oktoberfest: While doing standup in Russia, Milo recounts how he was frequently booked to do gigs at various Maximilian’s, which were often the biggest venues at the small towns on the tour. The menu was almost entirely identical varieties of German sausage, apart from the odd Ukrainian dish “because that’s basically German”.
  • Running Gag: So, so many. What if a Swedish man was Italian? Boston Asimo. What if your x was the cops?
  • Start of Darkness: Riley’s Law - “Anyone who discovers transphobia never posts normally again”. Examples include Graham Linehan, JK Rowling, the Internet forum Mumsnet, and most British media outlets, particularly The Times and The Spectator.
  • Uninhibited Muscle Power: Devon has a very muscular build, and for a princely sum will tear off their t-shirt on Twitch. It’s become a Running Gag that the show has to reimburse them for going through countless Tesco t-shirts.
  • Upper-Class Twit: A frequent target of the show, but particularly relevant for the two-parter covering the failed coup d’etat in Equatorial Guinea, where most of the collaborators were wealthy Old Etonians and Harrovians who craved adventure. Sir Mark Thatcher (yes, son of Margaret) gets it particularly bad; his nickname at Harrow as “Thicky”note , and he once went missing during the 1982 Paris-Dakar rally because he didn’t know how to read the map.
  • The 'Verse: Every member of the gang started or hosts at least one other podcast, all of which are produced by Nate, during the Covid-19 pandemic:
    • Riley: The Bottlemen with Dan Boeckner, covering Canadian politics and culture
    • Milo: Masters of our Domain with Phoebe Roy, a podcast “allegedly” about Series/Seinfeld, and Тумач (“Too Much”), a Russian language podcast with Olga Koch
    • Hussein: 10,000 Posts, also with Phoebe Roy, about how social media has warped everyone’s brains
    • Alice: Well There's Your Problem, and Kill James Bond, a scathing evaluation of Bond movies co-hosted with Devon and Philosophy Tube.
  • What If?: The show uses this snowclone to poke fun at the high-concept scifi of Black Mirror ('What if your phone was the cops?'), cultural stereotypes ('What if a Swedish man was Italian?') and the state of the modern world ('What if we made the Soviet Union, but shit and expensive?')
  • Wretched Hive: The UK as a whole, but of special mention is the south-east of England, where all the British hosts (Milo, Hussein and Alice) originate from. Alice in particular describes her hometown of Bromley as exceptionally grim.