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Recap / The Angry Video Game Nerd Season One

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Once word-of-mouth went about the two videos, James Rolfe decided to try out his old concept and attempted to make a series out of it. It would become what was then known as the Angry Nintendo Nerd.

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    The Karate Kid 
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The Nerd opens his criticism of the NES version of The Karate Kid with the awkward controls: one must press up to jump in defiance of the common practice of using a face button to jump in a side-scroller, which makes the platforming segments a chore to accomplish. Getting hit sends the player back a ways, preventing them from doing any meaningful damage to enemies in addition to potentially knocking them into bottomless pits. Stage 3 has wind that blows the player back constantly, increasing the difficulty of the platforming segments. Stage 4's enemies have weapons that make getting close enough to attack nearly impossible. And as a final insult to injury, the ending sucks.

This episode contains examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: The Nerd was displeased when he realizes the game is only four levels long, but really difficult, and the ultimate payoff was Mr. Miyagi winking.
  • Nintendo Hard: It is theorized that the game is this way because of how short it is (4 stages).
  • Old Shame: James Rolfe has mentioned retroactively that he got himself killed in this game on purpose to make it look harder than it is. He had since regretted it and reassured his audience that any game overs he receives are genuine.
  • What Could Have Been: Rolfe originally intended to cap off the Bad NES Games trilogy with the featured game but never got around to it. It is safe to say that thanks to the surprise popularity he garnered, he kick-started a new series instead.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 
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The Nerd initially has some fun in the NES version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit punching Roger Rabbit, but the fun is short-lived due to how long it takes to build up enough power for a good punch. The driving segments are awkward. The Weasles' riddles are dumb. Everything is out to kill you, and the passwords in the game are incredibly long.

Jessica Rabbit gives players a tip to call her phone. The number is hidden under a table (an incredibly obtuse place to find it). There is no phone in-game to call her on, though: the player would need to actually call the number in the real world. It would have a recording of Jessica giving the player useful hints.Update 

Shopping for items is a tedious process, requiring the player to select the wallet in their inventory, then using it at the cash register to get the item on sale to drop. The item in the store is also randomized for each visit.

Judge Doom is the final boss, but is incredibly hard to beat. The Nerd gives up at this point.Update 

This episode contains examples of:

  • Butt-Monkey: The Nerd really enjoyed beating up Roger Rabbit.
  • Password Save: A game state example, although the Nerd complained about how long it is.
  • That One Boss: Judge Doom, who the Nerd couldn't figure out how to beat the first time.How to beat him 
  • Violation of Common Sense: The shop. Does it have the item you want? If not, you better keep walking in and out til they carry it in stock.

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 
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The Nerd's first criticism of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is the annoying beeping sound when health is low. There is a segment in the game where enemies swarm the area above a ladder, making it impossible to advance without endangering one's life (unless they're playing as Donatello, whose staff can reach through the floor and kill enemies, and who is the most useful character in the game thanks to his long attack range).

The Dam stage is given focus, due to it being gruelingly difficult: the player must navigate an underwater area to disarm a series of bombs within a time limit. Hazards abound, making it hard to make it through the segment alive.

The Nerd also criticizes the lack of recognizable villains like Krang in favor of generic enemies, and the lack of the iconic theme song to the cartoon.

A platforming segment later in the game is criticized for the abundance of enemies hitting players into the water below, causing damage (and also pondering why the turtles can't swim). Other segments suffer from awkward physics. The Nerd is baffled over a pair of platforms with a hole in between, which he instinctively attempts to jump over it (failing so forces him to go all the way back to the ladder to try again, respawning enemies and all). Then he simply walks over it. The review ends with the Nerd baffled and angry about this and rage quits the game.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Department of Redundancy Department: "You fall down, so you have to go around all over again. The enemies keep coming back, so you have to kill them all over again."
  • Nintendo Hard: The game appears to be intended for children, yet the Nerd notes that the difficulty may turn them off from playing this.
  • Rage Quit: The Nerd gives up after being too upset about the platforms you were suppose to walk over, and ends the review on an anger-induced rant.
  • Respawning Enemies: Enemies will respawn off-screen. The Nerd claims that the kind of enemies are randomized to a degree.
  • Shared Life Meter: A strange example; when you ride the turtle van, it still uses the life bar of the turtle you have selected.

    Back to the Future 
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Featured: Back to the Future (NES) & Back to the Future Parts II & III (NES)
Episode of interest: Back to the Future Trilogy (2010)

From the beginning of the NES adaptation of Back to the Future, the looping background music annoys the Nerd. The game auto-scrolls and tasks players with helping Marty (who doesn't really look like Marty in the game) collect clocks to extend the time limit. Hitting dangers and hazards (of which there is no shortage) stuns Marty. Players can defend themselves with a bowling ball power-up (which perplexes the Nerd further, as it has nothing to do with the films). There is also a skateboard power-up which speeds the player up, but its utility is limited since it makes it easier to run into hazards.

Aside from the walking stages, there is also a cafe stage where Marty is tasked with tossing milkshakes to customers before they reach the counter. Accuracy issues make this harder than it need be. The only welcome change in this segment is the lack of background music.

A second game was also made for the NES, based on the two sequels to the film, which plays more like a traditional platformer. The Nerd is already put off by the bizarre enemies, among them Goombas and Spinies from Super Mario Bros.. The Nerd finally gives up after botching a bonus round.

In 2010, James Rolfe would release a re-revisiting of these games, and a few others, as extensions and corrections to his previous reviews, as indicated for the episode of interest above.

This episode contains examples of:

  • In Name Only: The first game has virtually no connection to the film. Marty doesn't even look anything like himself.note 
  • Updated Re-release: The DVD and Blu-ray versions omit the clips and music from the movies, mainly to avoid copyright infringement.

Cinemassacre link

This is the first episode to feature the theme song for the Angry Nintendo Nerd, provided by Kyle Justin.

McKids is a game for the NES that served as an advertising vehicle for McDonald's. The game plays similar to that as Super Mario Bros. 3, even coming packed with a map-screen just like it, although the game does have some original elements (such as set pieces that make your character move upside down). The objective is to collect enough cards per world in order to advance to the next world. The card placement is noted to be obtuse and requires a lot of patience to search for them.

As the game went on, the Nerd did reach the end of the game as he had to navigate a place full of lava by using a platform, which suddenly changes how the buttons work. After enduring that frustrating event, he finds himself at a dead-end, and decides to conclude the review by committing suicide.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Silver Surfer and Bugs Bunnys Birthday Blowout were mentioned in this video before they received their own episodes.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Despite Ronald being portrayed as he is in other medias, the Nerd couldn't help but voice is discomfort toward how scary he looks.
  • Shout-Out: "Toasty!"
  • Unwinnable by Design: Likely may had miss something in the final level, but because the Nerd was unable to progress due to the instant death lava, he stops the review right there.


    Wally Bear and the NO! Gang 
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Wally Bear and the No! Gang for the Nintendo Entertainment System appears to be an unlicensed game, given the baby-blue colored cartridge, and even possessing a circle on the top that said "Press Here" (which is likely an instruction for when you insert the game into the system). When playing the game, the Nerd finds the game to be boring, and how it fails in its attempt to get kids to stay off of drugs.

The review concludes with the Nerd reminding the audience to say no to drugs, and to say no to this game.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Drugs Are Bad: The core message of this game. The Nerd is convinced that the designers may had been on drugs themselves.
  • Updated Re-release: The DVD and Blu-ray versions (which was eventually released on youtube) featured an extended ending.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Parodied; The Nerd ridiculed the button on the cartridge that said "Press Here" by saying that it should had said "Press Here, You Dumb Fuck"
    "Durrr how do I put the game in?"

    Master Chu and the Drunken Hu 
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In this review, the Nerd brings in a special guest: Shit-Pickle, who is a fictional character created by James Rolfe for a mini-series he did. The both of them would review Master Chu and the Drunken Hu for the NES. The game is about finding the Yin Yang symbols in order to battle the boss of that level.

The Nerd complains about the bad controls, as well as how lacking the presentation is. The gameplay is also easy and monotonous as the process rinses and repeats for each level. It ends with the best ending ever: A ''The End'' screen with Chu flying across the screen in front of a geisha

This episode contains examples of:

  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Nerd expressed disappointment in all the bosses being easy to defeat, especially the final boss who is just a stationary Shiva statue that shoots a projectile at you.
  • Hypocritical Humor
    Nerd: "Couldn't they pick another putrid color other than green?"
    Shit-Pickle: "...picklepicklepickle"
  • Talking to Himself: Shit-Pickle is voiced by James Rolfe.

    Top Gun 
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Featured games: Top Gun (NES) and Top Gun: The Second Mission (NES)

The Nerd reminisced about how Top Gun for NES was revolutionary for its time, but argued that it sucked back then, and it sucks now. The problems he complained about is how dull and boring the presentation is, along with numeric values that don't seem to serve a purposenote . The main thing that would haunt him throughout his career as an angry nerd is the infamous landing the plane segment. At the end of each level, you are suppose to follow on-screen prompts to properly land the plane, a feat that the Nerd had not been able to do properly. Although you still progress in the game if you fail, you do lose a life. A similar problem arises when it comes to the plane refueling segment, where the Nerd supposedly followed the on-screen prompts, but still failed to successfully refuel. He was allowed to continue playing, except now he would lose his last life due to running out of fuel.

Unable to finish the game, the Nerd vents his frustrations before moving on to the sequel: Top Gun: The Second Mission, for NES.

In this game, he does consider it to be an improvement over the first game, but still claims that it has problems of its own, such as missiles not coming nearly as close as they did in the first game, and how much more difficult it got. He also expressed disappointment in the two player versus mode where the CPU always has the advantage, and where defeating your opponent doesn't really kill them (they end up escaping at the last second).

This episode contains examples of:

  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The CPU in the second game's versus mode can easily wipe the floor on inexperienced players.
  • Press X to Not Die: Sort of; The Nerd had followed the on-screen prompts for landing the plane, and for the refueling segments, but failed both.note 
  • Running Gag: Ever since this episode, he would always unsuccessfully land the plane, and if he did, it was done by accident.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The second game is considerably harder than the first.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He ends up venting his frustration on his television set when he was unable to finish the first game.

    Double Dragon 3 
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The Nerd anticipated an uproar when talking about Double Dragon 3 for NES. He clarifies that he loves the first and second games, but hates the third game. His main complaint is the fact that the game is very difficult compared to the first two games, owing to how the AI is merciless in their assaults, the special moves are harder to perform (especially bad considering it appears to be your best method to avoid getting trapped) and how you have only one life to use per character (until you beat the level, in which your characters are fully restored). Because of this, he was unable to get past the third level.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Anti-Frustration Feature: The Nerd did mention that the designers were merciful enough to fully restore all your characters and their health bars.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The enemy AI is a lot less merciful than the previous two games, preferring to trap the player. Even the spinning kick that the Lee Brothers have isn't very reliable.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: When starting the two player game, the infamous spelling error: Bimmy, presents itself in the intro screen.
    "Wait. Bimmy and Jimmy? Bimmy isn't even a real name! [...] I'm sorry, there's a typo in an Nintendo game, let alone a fucking Double Dragon game."
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Compared to the first and second games, this is what doomed the third game from the start.

    Friday the 13th 
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The first Halloween themed episode for the series.

The review of Friday the 13th for NES has the Nerd talk about how good it is. He goes on about how some of the gameplay elements, such as the Jason alarm (the game makes a loud sound whenever any of the camp counselors or the children are being terrorized), the confusing map orientation that supposedly adds to the challenge, and how the rock goes over enemies, forcing you to strategize (though it is suggested that you grab the knife since it shoots straight).

It turns out to be a facade as the Nerd would break into a rant against the name... only for Jason Voorhees to appear and threaten to kill him should he behave negatively towards the game. Fortunately, Jason is blind to sarcasm, so the Nerd attempts to get away with his criticisms to the game.

The Nerd does express genuine complements to the game for two things: It's smooth day-to-night transition (which happens as you go through different screens and never interrupts the game), and the most blunt game over screen he has ever seen, even offering how to one-up this screen.

Unfortunately, Jason refuses to let him stop playing the game, causing the Nerd to drop his sarcasm and quickly goes into an anger-induced rant, building up to him fighting back at Jason by slapping him around with the NES controller, then blowing his head off with his NES Zapper.

The review concludes with the Nerd drowning himself in beer and passing out... only to wake up to a claw belonging to Freddy Kreuger.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Boom, Headshot!: The Nerd manages to defeat Jason by blowing his head off with an NES Zapper.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Nerd gets cornered by Jason at one point and pleads "don't kill me". Jason then pulls out the Friday the 13th game to the Nerd, in which he shakes his head and pleads "kill me".
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Uncharacteristically invokes this trope, but mainly out of self-preservation.
  • Halloween Episode: Part 1 of a 2 part special.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted; The Nerd is genuinely accepting of the game over screen "You and your friends are dead. Game Over", and even offers a much harsher follow up.
  • Sarcasm Mode: The only way the Nerd could criticize the game without angering Jason Voorhees.
  • Updated Re-release: The DVD and Blu-ray version removes the clips from other Friday the 13th films, as well as the music, and replaced such music with similar songs.

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 
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After the previous episode, the Nerd is sleeping on his couch from a drunken stupor. Then he's suddenly bound by video game controllers as Freddy Krueger approaches him, and offers him a choice: To play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or to play A Nightmare on Elm Street. The choice was obvious.

Unlike the previous episode, the Nerd was allowed to be aggressive to the game as he relentlessly criticizes all the problems with it, even some of the more quirky moments of the game. The problems he discussed had to do with the set-up (in which you have to stop Freddy from appearing in your dreams by collecting his bones to burn them in a furnace), the dream and awake world mechanics, how the route is never obvious, and the uninspired enemy roster (a lot of them belong more into a generic Halloween-themed game than they do in a Nightmare on Elm Street game). The moments he did seem to enjoy involve how the dream & awake world transition is handled, how the game made punching snakes and spiders awesome, and how the Freddy's Coming(tm) surprise was handled (although the trademark symbol ruined the effect, and Freddy is a disappointing boss).

The episode reaches its climax with the Nerd commenting on the four player mode, wondering out loud who would want to play with him. He ended up self-consciously cloning himself, now with four nerds, as all of them agree to stop playing the game, and one volunteers to take a shit on it. Unfortunately, Freddy decides to kill them, one by one, with the last surviving Nerd hiding in the closet. Freddy then confronts that Nerd, imitating and mocking the Nerd, even going so far to say that experiencing bad games is all his fault, and proceeds to kill him. However, the Nerd retorts his argument by bringing out the power glove, and ultimately smashing his face in.

The Nerd wakes up from his nightmare, with everything apparently looking ok, except for the power glove strapped to his hand.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Anti-Climax Boss: Freddy himself, who just swats in the air and jumps now and then.
  • As You Know...: James Rolfe provides an opening and closing narration in some releases of this episode, basically summarizing what happened in the Friday the 13th episode.
  • Halloween Episode: Part 2, being a continuation of the Friday the 13th episode.
  • Noodle Incident: The Nerd tries to explain the game's odd depiction of Freddy's knivesnote , but trails off and decides "nah, they just fucked it up". Apparently the second Nightmare movie had something to do with it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Freddy gives this to the Nerd in the end, telling him about how him playing video games and causing his own misery is all his fault.

    Power Glove 
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Featured NES games: Super Glove Ball, Metroid, Double Dragon, Castlevania, Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest, Kung-Fu Heroes, Bubble Bobble, Lifeforce, Jackal, Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, R.C. Pro-AM, Rad Racer, Top Gun, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Contra, and Super Mario Bros.

"I love the power glove. It's so bad. (beat) And I mean baaad"
The Nerd holds up the power glove, proclaiming how bad it is. As he explains, the power glove is an interesting piece of technology where it relies on motion sensor technology (similar to the Wiimotes used for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U systems today), but it ultimately doesn't work very well. After setting up the bulky sensor equipment and having to type in different codes to make the glove work for different games, the Nerd goes through a long list of NES games, but is unable to find a game where the glove really shines, except for driving games (such as R.C. Pro-AM, and Rad Racer).

The problems with the glove boils down to the motion sensor technology never working properly (may it be too sensitive or not sensitive enough, unintuitive controls, functions of the controls working independent of player input, and a host of other problems.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Flipping the Bird: A unique example in which he does so with the power glove, in conjunction with the NES Zapper.
  • Rage Quit: A subdued example where he gives up after playing Super Mario Bros, calmly stating that he cannot take it anymore.
  • Waggle: The motion controls, suffice to say, don't function very well, unless it involves driving.

     Chronologically Confused About Bad Movie and Video Game Sequel Titles 
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Games featured: Street Fighter franchise, Mega Man & Mega Man X, Super Mario Bros 1 & 2, and the Final Fantasy franchise
Movies features: Halloween, Star Trek, Rocky, Rambo, Alien, Bruce Lee films, Armour of God series (aka Operation Condor), Zombi, and Naked Gun

Unlike previous episodes thus far, this one focused on the naming trends of video game and movie sequel titles. The Nerd expresses his pet peeve on how the naming convention can never stay consistent or just ends up confusing entirely, with examples presented being worse and worse.

It should be noted that this is technically the first episode to use the name "Angry Video Game Nerd", though the title character does not show up on screen until the proper game review that followed.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Nerd notes the consistency of the Alien trilogy, with the first movie called Alien (there's only one), the second called Aliens (now there's many), then the third movie was called Alien 3 (there's only one again, and it's the third movie), then there's Alien Resurrection (uhhhhh).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A famous example in the case of Rambo. As the Nerd already criticized the title of the sixth Rocky film, titled Rocky Balboa, he then mocks the fourth Rambo film (in pre-production at the time) by calling it John Rambo. Guess what the film ends up being called (before the change for the US release)?
  • No Export for You: A common problem that necessitates renaming the title to prevent confusion. Ironically, it ends up causing even more confusion. Examples include the Final Fantasy series, and the Zombi franchise.
    • Another example is the Armour of God movies, where the second movie was released in the US first and was renamed with the subtitle: Operation Condor. The first movie did eventually come out, but had to retitled: Operation Condor 2: Armour of God.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The Naked Gun movies, and how there were so many missing sequels

    Rocky (SMS) 
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Alternate version youtube link

This was his first Non-Nintendo review. It was Rocky on the Sega Master System. It was to honor the new (and final) Rocky movie Rocky VI. From that point on, The series was renamed from The Angry Nintendo Nerd to The Angry Video Game Nerd.

The Nerd celebrates the release of Rocky Balboa by having all of the first five films playing in different rooms in different mediums in his apartment. He has one last television set he has yet to fill, which happens to have the Sega Master System set up, and a copy of Rocky for that system.

As he plays the game, he finds that the bonus stages that occur before each fight are boring and take a long time to get through, and the actual fight against Apollo Creed is rather underwhelming. The controls are also unnecessarily convoluted, and it doesn't become a problem until the next fight where he faces Clubber Lang, where the game's difficulty suddenly jumps and causes the Nerd to get a game over every time.

He decides to put himself through a training montage, attempting to beat Lang, but always failed. He eventually concedes and decides the game isn't worth beating anyway (since the only other opponent is Ivan Drago, meaning there are only three levels in the game). He does mention that the game isn't very bad, but it hasn't aged well at all.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Difficulty Spike: Apollo Creed was easy, if annoying to defeat (mainly due to how he never stays down), but Clubber Lang easily destroys the Nerd!
  • Training Montage: Attempted; The Nerd does take the bonus stages seriously, but that doesn't change the outcome of his fight against Lang. Also present in the alternate ending.
  • Updated Re-release: For the DVD and Blu-ray versions (as seen in the youtube link), the review was heavily altered to prevent copyright infringement, but does include an alternate ending.

    Bible Games 
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Games featured: Bible Adventures (NES), Bible Buffet (NES), Super 3D Noah's Ark (SNES), Spiritual Warfare (NES), and The King of Kings (NES)

The first Christmas themed episode in which the Nerd decides to review a bunch of games based on the holy bible, all of which are unlicensed games.

The Nerd starts off with Bible Adventures, where at first he was ecstatic, but his attitude changed when he analyzed the game. Despite being amused by the concept of Noah carrying a ludicrous amount of animals at once (except Oxen, who falls off when he jumps), and being able to throw baby Moses in the water, he tears into how boring all the games are and how remarkably similar they are in play style to Super Mario Bros. 2. Ultimately, he couldn't bring himself to finish any of them.

He then moves on to Bible Buffet, and finds that it's a knock-off of Candy Land, with minigames that add variety to the game, and was even surprised by the high quality voice bits in the game. His main complaint is the bible questions, where you have to answer true or false, but the questions themselves are not presented on the screen (you need the manual to know what questions they are asking). Despite some flaws, he admits to actually liking it.

Moving onto Super 3D Noah's Ark, he reveals that it is a copy of Wolfenstein 3-D, only the textures and other ascetics are changed. He explains the rumors about ID Software deliberately providing the code to Wisdom Tree to have them create this game. He find it to be inferior due to how the graphics are designed (some goats are supposed to kick Noah, but they are actually programmed to shoot).

To further prove his point on these games being similar to other established games, he presents Spiritual Warfare and starts listing off the assets it presents (such as sprites of the ladders, overhead to 2D transitions, general layout, gameplay style, etc), and compares it to Legend Of Zelda. He does give the game credit for having some original elements, such as some enemies turning into devils when they die, and the abundance of trash cans.

Finally, he plays the King of Kings, only to be upset that there are three games to play. Once again, they play similar to Super Mario Bros. 2, but worse. The third game, Jesus and the Holy Temple is where he stops due to how random the descending platforms behave, preventing him from progressing any further.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Bookend: The episode started off with the Nerd excited about having Bible Adventures including three games in one. The episode ends with the Nerd disappointed that the King of Kings also has three games in one.
  • Cliffhanger: Originally started as a two-part episode where the first part concluded on Bible Adventures. All releases since then just combines the two parts.
  • Colbert Bump: It's safe to say that sometime after this review was posted, Bible Adventures was made free to play on Wisdom Tree's website at some point.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Nerd made a rather violent joke, and then immediately takes it back.
    "You'd rather listen to your only infant child puking to death, that is choking on his puke chunks. (beat) That's disgusting, I apologize."
  • Loop Hole Abuse: The Nerd mentions that Super 3D Noah's Ark was the only unlicensed SNES game he could find, and it manages to bypass the SNES' lock out chip by having another SNES cartridge plugged on the top.
  • Would Harm A Child: In Baby Moses, if any of the guards catch Moses, they throw him into the river.

How well does it match the trope?

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