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Todd In The Shadows / Q to S

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This page covers tropes in Todd in the Shadows.

Tropes A To C | Tropes D to F | Tropes G to I | Tropes J to M | Tropes N to P | Tropes Q to S | Tropes T to V | Tropes W to Z

  • Questionable Consent: Brought up in the "Blurred Lines" video when he's describing the controversy surrounding the song.
  • The Quisling: Played with when Todd mentions that with Lorde taking over the charts in 2013, and Kimbra assisting Gotye the year before, Todd figures he'll help the viewers understand our "Kiwi-driven future" by covering the One-Hit Wonder group OMC and their 1997 smash hit "How Bizarre."
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  • Rage Breaking Point: Happens in "Sexy and I Know It", after several minutes of Deep Lyrical Analysis. After going into depth about why he doesn't like the song — comparing it to "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred, and how that song pulled off the same thing that "Sexy and I Know It" couldn't — Todd drops all of the analysis and says that "it sucks because it sucks".
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Played for Laughs with Todd's One Hit Wonderland review of "Right Now" by SR-71. When he learns that the band originated from Baltimore, he goes off on a rant about how crappy the very concept of Baltimore is, meanwhile being interrupted by official statements from the production stating that they don't agree with Todd's views and have nothing against Baltimore.
  • Rated G for Gangsta: Todd notes that Far*East Movement defines "poppin' bottles in the crib" as "gangsta". He then proceeds to demonstrate by unscrewing the cap of a liquor bottle, which is accompanied by the caption "STRAIGHT UP THUGGIN'" and the chorus of N.W.A.'s "Gangsta Gangsta".
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  • Readings Blew Up the Scale: He implements a "Douche-O-Meter" to analyze the lyrics of Justin Bieber's "Sorry." It ended up breaking after the first line, or so Todd thought.
    Justin: You gotta go and get angry at all of my honesty. [METER REACHES 100% AND CRACKS]
    Todd: Th-the Douche-O-Meter's busted. He broke the scale with the first line!
    Justin: I'll take every single piece of the blame if you want me too, but you know that there is no innocent one in this game for two. [METER REACHES 10000% AND BLOWS UP]
    Todd: Wha-I-I thought it was.. brok... the Douche-O-Meter wasn't even on!
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • A minor occurrence: The "DL Incident" referenced in "Like A G6" actually happened.
    • Todd alludes to the 2014 Polar Vortex as the main reason why Neighborhood's "Sweater Weather" made his Top 10 Best Songs of 2013.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech
    • He gives Mike Posner one of these during his review of "Cooler Than Me", saying that Posner comes across as insufferably smug in the song, and yet him trying to win back the girl he's singing the song to somehow makes him even more pathetic.
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    • Todd's "Deep Lyrical Analysis" of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" breaks down into one of these. Even though the Deep Lyrical Analysis gives some insightful critique, Todd can't keep it up and just starts yelling about how the song "sucks because it sucks," refusing to go any further.
    • The "Turn Up the Music" review is essentially a 14-minute speech directed towards Chris Brown about how Chris Brown is wholly unlikeable, how he's shown no remorse for beating up Rihanna in a way that just makes him look even worse, and how he's nowhere near talented enough to get all of the cult-like worship he gets from his fans in Team Breezy. Todd barely even touches on the song itself during the "review," essentially just using the whole video to rant at Chris Brown for a while.
    • "The Top 10 Worst Songs of 1991" has his reaction to Bryan Adams requesting AllMusic to get rid of all information about him:
      Todd: He threatened to sue unless every bit of information about him was erased. They're a reference publication; that's like suing the dictionary! They didn't have to just delete negative reviews, they can't even list basic information like his name or his albums! Rock stars have been assholes since the dawn of time, but I have never heard of artists using their power to bully critics into erasing reviews! This offends me on a level I didn't even realize I was capable of!
    • In the "7 Years" review, once he hears the part with the crowd chanting "LUKAS GRAHAM!!!" he goes on one of these and even points out how he named the band AND both of their albums "Lukas Graham".
    Todd: EAT MY BALLS, you raging egomaniac! "Oh, I don't care about glory, so in the middle of my song about aging, I'm gonna insert the sound of a roaring crowd screaming my name"! "Oh, fame. How boring." Bullshit! I knew you were lying about that because you named the band after yourself! Why would you even do that? Like, if you're the guitarist or something, that'd make sense so you don't get overlooked, but you're already the goddamn frontman! Were you not getting enough attention? It doesn't even sound like the name of a group of people. It sounds like you're trying to trick people into thinking that the other guys don't exist. Like, at least the name "The Dave Matthews Band" lets you know that it's a band. But no, it's not enough that Lukas Graham named his band Lukas Graham, he also has to have a crowd shout "Lukas Graham", on his song from the album, Lukas Graham. Not to be confused with their previous album named, no joke, Lukas Graham. I'm surprised the name of this song isn't "Lukas Graham."
    • In "Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2019 (Pt. 2)", he gives one to Lewis Capaldi:
    Todd: When I said in the intro that no-one was brave enough to really suck, Capaldi was the exception. He threw himself into utterly, transparently sucking with unrestrained gusto. Lewis Capaldi sings like a cross between Gilbert Gottfried and an angry Velociraptor. Lewis Capaldi writes lyrics with the same care as a bathroom graffiti artist writing dirty limericks. Lewis Capaldi is bad at music in a way that suggests he only recently found out what it even is. He is one of the most purely talentless artists of the 2010s, and he tries to mask it with self-deprecation, like how his album's named "Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent". Ha ha ha, it's funny 'cause it's true.
  • Record Needle Scratch: When the innuendo of "Suit & Tie" dawns on Todd.
    Justin Timberlake: Oooh, so thick / Now I know why they call it a fatty
    *scratch* *Todd thinks for a moment*
    Todd: Did... Are you talking about her ass?!
    • Used again in the Top Ten Worst Songs of 2014 (Part 1):
      5 Seconds of Summer: She looks so perfect standing there / in my American Apparel underwear...
      Todd: I'm sorry. I believe I just heard a lyric so bad that it made my digital internet video make a record scratch noise somehow.
    • Lampshaded in his review of "Closer" by The Chainsmokers.
    Todd: Sorry. I-I do keep an actual record player down here for uh, for when I need that sound.
  • Recurring Character: Due to the nature of the pop charts and the music industry, many artists have been featured multiple times, including but not limited to Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Jay Sean, Lil Wayne, the Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga.
  • Recycled In Space: In the Worst Pop Songs of 2012 list, he calls Hunter Hayes "country Justin Bieber".
  • Red Herring:
    • In his review of "Fifteen" by Taylor Swift, he tells a very sad story about how when he was fifteen, his girlfriend started acting strangely, before breaking up with him at the school dance. Then he reveals that it didn't happen to him, it happened to Zach from Saved by the Bell. Subverted later on, as he mentions in the Blip intro to the review that most of what he described did happen to him.
    • In two of his "Top Ten Worst Songs" lists to date, he starts a diatribe that leads to an easily mocked song by an easily mocked artist... and then reveals that he likes the song in question. 2009 has the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" and 1987 has Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now". He also curses the name of Barry Manilow in his 1976 list before revealing that he really has nothing against the guy.
    • In his "Best Songs of 2010" list, when he reaches #5, he plays Katy Perry's "California Gurls" before tiredly laughing it away and ranting about how much he hates her... and yet keeps finding songs of hers that he likes. After listing a number of them, including begrudgingly not being able to hate "California Gurls" despite its many flaws, he gets into his song of choice, "Teenage Dream". And then "California Gurls" turns out to be #2.
    • His ill-fated attempt to review "What's My Name" by Rihanna and Drake.
    • While reviewing Rihanna's "S&M", he comes to the conclusion that the reason he likes it is because it samples Depeche Mode... And then remembers that he doesn't care for Depeche Mode either.
    • For his 2012 Top 10 Best Pop Songs list, Todd brags about not having a Katy Perry song on his list for the first time. Ke$ha's Die Young is instead. Todd promptly snarks, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
    • Even he's disturbed by how all of his criticisms of One Direction's "Best Song Ever" end up turning into compliments by the end of the sentence.
    • The entirety of the Worst and Best of 2013 videos are done using the hashtag font from "Blurred Lines". It's only one of the honorable mentions for the Worst list (which does not use that font).
    • When he starts talking about Nicki's music in "Anaconda", he says that it is one of the worst, most unlistenable songs ever, only to reveal that he's talking about "Starships". He then moves on to talking about how she's better when she's spitting fire like in "Anaconda"... and then reveals that he doesn't like that song either.
    • Michael Bolton is a Running Gag on the "Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 1991". Just before the #1 entry, Todd notes how Bolton enters Acceptable Targets, and after relistening to his songs for the list he came to the conclusion he's not that bad, especially compared to the actual list-topper, Bryan Adams.
    • More than two years after throwing in some negative jabs at Rockwell in his "Party Rock Anthem" review, he finally does a One Hit Wonderland on "Somebody's Watching Me." He starts off talking about the hit by saying "I'm not going to say too many nice things about Rockwell in this video, so let me get this out of the way now: 'Somebody's Watching Me' is just an awesome song." Admit it: you thought he was going to say "awful" too.
    • For his #1 song of 2016, he starts talking about the Chainsmokers' inconsistent body of work, from the awful "Selfie" and "Don't Let Me Down" to the better but clumsy "Closer". This eventually leads him to bring up their first hit of 2016, a duet with Rozes called "Roses". He plays the song for a few seconds, then tosses it out and goes back to "Closer" as his #1 pick.
  • Running Gagged: Retires the "As far as you know" gag in the "This is America" review.
"I'm not black. In case that wasn't excruciatingly obvious from everything I've ever thought and said, no, I'm not black. I'm a shitload of other things, but no, black isn't one of them."
  • Re Run: Two of his YouTube reviews, "Sexy Chick" and "Carry Out," were brought over to TGWTG early on, probably because, at the time, they were still recent enough to pass as current pop music. Todd had initially said he wouldn't bring all of his old YouTube videos over, but he changed his mind on September 2011, uploading them with short intros to provide context.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: invoked
    • In his opinion, Kenny G's sax solo in Last Friday Night was a lifetime of suck nearly redeemed!'
    • "Die Young" did this for Kesha to him.
    • While he had put three of One Direction's songs on the "Worst of 2012" list as dishonorable mentions and called them "con artists" with "no goddamn personality", Todd softened his opinion of them after they released "Best Song Ever", which avoided many of his previous criticisms. He later put it as the 6th best song of 2013, and admitted he never hated the group on a personal level, unlike Justin Bieber or Chris Brown.
    • Subverted with Bruno Mars, as while Todd mentions that he likes Bruno again, it's only when he's not being himself ("Locked Out of Heaven", "Treasure", "Uptown Funk"). Otherwise, he states in the "Holy Grail" review that "Bruno Mars makes a bad Bruno Mars".
    • After his harsh criticism of Ed Sheeran when reviewing "Little Things", including listing plenty of problems with "The A-Team" and pointing out that this is one of his good songs, he is visibly alarmed when two of Sheeran's songs ("Sing" and "Don't") end up on his Best of 2014 list. Complete with "Most Improved" award.
    • After tearing apart "Call Me Maybe" just a few years earlier, Todd calls "Run Away with Me" one of the best songs he's ever heard, and laments that he can't put it on the Top 10 Best Songs of 2015 list because it didn't chart on the Billboard Hot 100. He stated on Twitter that it would probably have topped his Best Of list had it been eligible.
    • Having made it no secret that he has loathed Beyoncé for so long, Lemonade is one of the very few things in 2016 that he thoroughly enjoyed.
    • Coldplay. Todd found them boring and lifeless until "Viva la Vida," and says that the songs they released after people got tired of them were actually better than their earlier songs. He proves this by putting "A Sky Full of Stars" in the honorable mentions of his Best of 2014 list and "Adventure of a Lifetime" at #10 on the Best of 2016 list. note 
    • Mike Posner was pretty much a joke for Todd until his surprising comeback with "I Took a Pill in Ibiza." The song impressed Todd so much it was #4 on the Best of 2016 list.
    • Although he flip-flopped a bit with the Chainsmokers, the duo managed to top the Best Hit Songs of 2016 list with "Closer", and reach second on the Best Hit Songs of 2017 list with "Paris".
    • Retroactive example: Despite hating "The Right Stuff", he's pleasantly surprised when he does a deep dive into the discography of New Kids on the Block, considering them an interesting and elastic group who were largely So Bad, It's Good at worst.
    • He is downright amazed at how often this occurs on his Best of 2017 list. Aside from unexpected and appreciated tone shifts in several aforementioned artists, his newest three surprises are hearing "Slide" (a Calvin Harris song featuring Frank Ocean), listing "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" by Shawn Mendes in the honorable mentions, and most shocking of all, actually putting a song by Charlie Puth on the list, thanks to "Attention".
    • Todd didn't have much time for Post Malone before 2018, but has come to appreciate some of his work, especially "Circles".
  • Repurposed Pop Song: His review of "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons and "Feel It" by Portugal. The Man delves into the issue of these bands selling their music for commercials. Todd had no problem with them doing it, because if it means affording to pay the bills in this day and age, more power to them. What he finds fault with, is that both of these bands are Indie Rock bands, and totally flips the Hipster archetype on its side when he wonders if all this new music from unknown bands are intentionally being created for commercial purposes in the first place.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Todd's opinion on Carly Rae Jepsen. "Even her name is cutesy!"
    • Kali (the dog he shares with Lindsay) and Amy (his own dog).
  • Rimshot: "3, what? I dunno. 3 years past her expiration date?" (plays Rimshot by setting his keyboard to the drum settings)
  • Rock Bottom: "Tonight..." according to him.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Calls out Enrique Iglesias for this, in his review of "Tonight...". And he finds this in so many songs later ("E.T.", "Blurred Lines", "Gorilla") that at a certain points complains that "#rapey" songs have become a Running Gag of the show.
  • Rule 34:
    • In his review of "S&M," when he's explaining how nothing shocks him anymore, Todd mentions that he's seen porn of himself.
    • When naming "Boy With Luv" at #5 on his list of the best songs of 2019, he noted that he was bracing himself for the BTS ARMY to write Slash Fic of him and the band.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: How he sees Billie Eilish. On "Bad Guy", for instance, he notes that she's only talking about how she might seduce your dad. In this case, it's not a bad thing; "Bad Guy" was his favorite hit song of 2019, and he finds it a testament to her talent that she can pull off her Darker and Edgier pop star persona while also making it no secret that she's a kind-hearted, well-adjusted goofball sweetheart in real life, especially in light of artists whose aren't half as intimidating as her even with legitimate "bad guy" reputations (such as Justin Bieber, whose verses on a remix of "Bad Guy" saw him completely outshined by Billie).
  • Running Gag: Todd himself said he tries to avert this during videos. However he still has at least three (besides the Lupa obsession).
    • "Finish the Rhyme."
    • And conversely, "NOT A RHYME."
      Todd: Oh my god. I'm hitting the "Not A Rhyme" button as hard as I possibly can!
      • After a long dormant period, this gag finally popped up again in his review of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", when Thicke asks "what rhymes with hug me", with the implication being "fuck me". After Todd thought about this, he admits that it's kinda clever, but still not a rhyme.
      • In Jason Derulo's "Wiggle", after hearing the lyric "Wiggle wiggle wiggle, shake it shake it girl, just a little bittle...", the joke is expanded to "NOT A RHYME - OR A WORD - SERIOUSLY WTF".
    • His lack of ethnicity. Though in "Accidental Racist" he declares he is white with nothing disputing it, and in "This Is America" he states that he is many things, but black isn't one of them.
    • Punctuating his unfounded claims about his appearance with the "as far as you know" caption is a notable running gag unto itself. He eventually claims to be sick of this gag in the review for "This Is America".
    • On his Twitter, Todd frequently mentions watching a film that one of his Channel Awesome partners did a review for and yells "WHY DID NO ONE WARN ME!"
    • On the Glitter review, Todd guessing if something will become a plot point, followed by "NOPE." He has a meltdown after the third. And goes "I hate this movie" by the fourth.
    • When reviewing early 90s rock bands on OHW, Todd tends to find that the band's musical style was seen as the wave of the future, before cutting to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teens Spirit" to show how the overnight success of Grunge and alternative rock put a kibosh on that. Todd finds that trend so often that he'll lampshade any subverted example, such as the OHW of "Pepper", noting that Butthole Surfers actually were helped by Nirvana's success because they were one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands.
    • By Bruno Mars' "Gorilla", Todd is shocked that songs that sound #RAPEY are becoming a running gag.
    • If a song uses The Four Chords of Pop he always points it out: "Pop song chords - they own the world, they own you. Deal with it!" or "Pop song chords - No. No. Yes!" or, "Pop song cho- AAAAAAAAAAGH"
    • In his "Top 10 Best Hit Songs" retrospects, the "fluke indie hit sweepstakes", where a vaguely indie-rockish song makes it onto the Top 40, uncomfortably sitting alongside Usher and Lady Gaga.
      • 2009: "Good Girls Go Bad" by Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester, although the "fluke indie hit sweepstakes" didn't start earnestly until 2010.
      • 2010: "Animal" by Neon Trees.
      • 2011: "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People.
      • 2012: "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons, "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye ft. Kimbra, and "Some Nights" by fun.
      • 2013: "Sweater Weather" by The Neighbourhood, "I Will Wait" by Mumford & Sons and "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities, although the latter two only made his honorable mentions.
      • 2015: After no "fluke indie hit" songs made his best list in 2014, the sweepstakes returns with "Ex's and Oh's" by Elle King and "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon.
      • 2017: "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man as an honorable mention.
      • In his review of "Pompeii" by Bastille, Todd has remarked that due to the changing pop scene making songs with an "indie" sound much more common, he should rename the phrase "Increasingly Common Vaguely Alternative Electro-Pop Hit Entitlement Program".
      • In his "All of Me" review, he calls Pharrell the winner of the "fluke retro soul hit sweepstakes", Lampshading it by that saying old jokes don't die, they just adapt to the times.
      • Defied in 2018, when "Broken" by lovelytheband made the dishonorable mentions of that year's Worst List. Todd called "Broken" a ripoff of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" and MGMT's "Kids".
    • "Toddstradamus", his inability to predict anything. Anytime he predicts that someone's song will go away or they won't matter and he's wrong he uses clips to showcase it.
    • Todd almost always refers to Lil Wayne as a human lizard.
    • His hate-crush on Katy Perry.
  • Sanity Slippage: He thinks Bruno Mars got a touch of this during "Grenade."
    • After noting the increasingly bizarre lyrics of their songs, Todd believes Train lead singer Pat Monahan has gone insane.
  • Sarcasm Failure:
    • In his "BedRock" review.
      Gudda: And I got her, nigga... grocery bag.
      Todd: ... I got nothing.
    • Also played with in his "Tonight..." review:
      Todd: You know, as a comedy reviewer, this is where I'm supposed to put in a funny analogy, you know?
      Enrique: Tonight I'm fuckin' you!
      Todd: "Oh, my God, I can't believe he said that! That's so bad, that's like if he—" If he... what? If he what?! I... I can't come up with anything worse!
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • In Hannah Montana: The Movie, when Billy Ray Cyrus mentions that they created Hannah so that Miley could have a normal life.
      Todd: Yeah, she's clearly already beset by paparazzi, and if a child star's life isn't screwed up enough, why not add a thick layer of secrecy and lies? Yeah, that's an interesting definition of "normal life," Billy Ray.
    • "Let's keep listening. I can't wait to hear more!"
  • Sassy Black Woman: The Weather Girls used to be two pretty heavyset black women originally named "Two Tons of Fun", but were convinced to change their name when "It's Raining Men" was pitched towards them (after many rejections from notoriously famous singers of the 70's and 80's.) While they were a serious band under their previous name, Todd can't help but point out that both ladies took this trope stereotype and ran with it, noting how much fun they were having in the music video for the song.
  • The Scapegoat: In "Want U Back", Todd rags on how much worse British pop music will FOREVER be compared to American pop music. Now matter how bad it is over here, It will always be worse across the pond. He says that if any British people are offended or disagree with his opinion, they should send all their hate mail to
  • Scare Chord: Uses one in his Top 10 Worst Songs of 2004 video after wondering why there was barely any rock on the list. Cue Nickelback.
    • Has a minor one in the "Tonight, Tonight" review when talking about Christian Rock.
    • Uses one to introduce Justin Bieber in the "Eenie Meenie" review.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • His first video for Channel Awesome has him talking about the massive opportunity he's been given... then quitting when he finds out he's got to review Kesha's "Blah Blah Blah". Credits roll... and he comes back and demolishes the song.
    • At the end of his crossover review with The Rap Critic, they agree to do another review together and Rap Critic suggests the new Lady Gaga song. Todd promptly vanishes. He later pulls the same trick on Film Brain.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • Todd concludes that "Whip My Hair" singlehandedly created the very detractors it was meant to be dissing.
    • In his comparison of "Counting Stars" and "Demons", he concludes that the song about taking risks to achieve dreams did just that, and the song about admitting to one's flawed and greedy nature ultimately felt like a sell-out.
      Todd: Maybe if I stop constantly making jokes about how broke and alone I am, I'll stop being broke and alone!
  • Self-Plagiarism: Todd defends that while "E.T." was bad, Katy Perry did something unique - unlike Ke$ha, who "released the same song five times" and Lady Gaga, who tanked with "Judas" because "it was just like 'Bad Romance,' including being about a bad romance".
  • Sell-Out: Todd is usually not a fan, but also admits that Tropes Are Tools, specifically pointing to Sugar Ray and Coldplay as two bands he felt got much better after they sold out. For added Irony points, Coldplay's sellout involved a transition towards EDM, normally one of Todd's most hated genres.
    • Todd finds "Moves Like Jagger" to represent this for Maroon Five, but retroactively felt the song was still a brief positive sellout experience for the band, especially after sinking lower than ever with "Payphone".
    • Also, considering how Katy Perry and Lady Gaga weren't known for inspirational ballads, "Firework" and "Born this Way" also fit.
    • He goes further on Maroon 5's decay on "Payphone" — which features Product Placement to show Todd himself sells out at times.
    • Subverted in his One Hit Wonderland video on Chumbawamba, where he described selling out as a "fun experiment" for the band and said he couldn't really disagree with their reasons for temporarily signing on with mega-label EMI. As he put it, if other angry political bands like Rage Against the Machine had recorded the odd silly dance-and-drinking song, they might not have burnt out so quickly.
    • He considered "Demons" to be this for Imagine Dragons, in spite of the temporal Fridge Logic (the song was on their first EP), and their career trajectory since then has confirmed his suspicions; "Radioactive" is the last song of theirs that he likes.
    • He also considers "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" to be this for Kelly Clarkson.
    • Taylor Swift goes straight into this with "Shake It Off" after showing traces in songs such as "I Knew You Were Trouble". He admits that while he's not Swift's biggest fan, he respects her earlier albums for their sincerity and uniqueness, but considers nearly all the singles released from her album RED as generic pop music. Subverted when two singles from 1989, her first fully pop album, made it onto Todd's Best of 2015 list, with "Style" straight-out topping the list specifically for being as sincere and unique as her older songs, but also a lot more mature.
    • He had no sympathy for the Baha Men's sellout, especially since they weren't exactly making pop-unfriendly music prior to signing their first record deal. Todd speculates this is why the band's original lead singer decided this was a good time to join Lenny Kravitz's backing band.
    • He feels that indie rock as a whole has done this in the 2010s, particularly as the genre has become the soundtrack to commercials, citing "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons and "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man as examples. While he can sympathize with artists licensing their music to marketing firms to sell products, with the collapse of the record industry in the '00s making this one of the few surefire ways for mid-tier musicians to make a living, he worries that the association of indie rock with advertising has warped his perception of the entire genre, especially since it now seems like bands are recording songs specifically for use in such. As he sees it, every time an indie song gets used in an advertisement, the line between "indie rock" and "commercial jingles" grows ever blurrier. Appropriately enough, that episode's closing song was "Sell Out" by Reel Big Fish.
    • He initially feared that Panic! at the Disco was going the Maroon 5 route of selling out, but instead, he concluded that they had become the new Weezer, a band that got a lot Denser and Wackier but one where critics and fans still vigorously debate whether or not they're still good. He said that he wanted to go back in time to 2006 and tell a group of Emo Teens that their favorite band would become "a cheesy lounge act". In this case, he actually didn't mind; he put "Hey Look Ma, I Made It" at #10 on his list of the best songs of 2019, acknowledging that Brendan Urie had sold out but admiring the sheer gusto with which he threw himself into it, right down to the fact that the song is literally about selling out, and noting that his band always had a sheen of self-conscious artificiality to it.
  • Serial Escalation: Todd and The Rap Critic get into a debate over Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's "Accidental Racist" over whose participation in the song is stupider. Todd tries to claim that Brad is stupider because he's the one who pitched the idea of the song and wrote it. J somehow ends up showing respect to the Civil War generals who tried to ensure the complete subjugation of his entire race. By the end of the video, both of them just start bickering at each other due to the song.
    Rap Critic: Quit telling me what I should be offended by!
  • Sequel Hook: "Your Love is My Drug" sets up "Alejandro", "Give Me Everything" sets up "Tonight, Tonight".
  • Seven Minute Lull: He references this trope in his review of Usher's "OMG", as the backup chanting breaks off just in time for Usher to deliver the lamest lines in the song. He even mentions in that episode's commentary that the idea came from TV Tropes.
  • Shallow Parody: Invoked. He points out that the chorus of "The Time (Dirty Bit)," which uses the chorus of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, can't get the lyrics right. Instead of "And I swear, it's the truth," the Peas instead sing "And I swear, this is true."
    • He says that the sampling of the riff from "Take On Me" in "Feel This Moment" by Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera is the musical equivalent of the pop-cultural reference humour used in the Seltzer & Friedberg 'Movie' movies.
    • And "#selfie" is not a good parody of the shallow girls that like to take pictures of herself.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    • (On Kesha) "It's like Fergie, but with severe brain it's like Fergie."
    • "I define bad as the absence of good." note 
    • "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry is a funk song performed by white musicians singing about playing funk music as a bunch of white musicians.
    • "There is basically one trick and one trick only to Rednex's Europop re-working of 'Cotton-Eye Joe': mainly, that it's a Europop re-working of 'Cotton-Eye Joe'."
    • From "Someone You Loved": "The way you make Understatement work is by understating it."
  • Shared Universe: As a notable Channel Awesome reviewer who was part of most of the anniversary specials, he's automatically part of the Reviewaverse, though the cameos and crossovers help.
  • Shipper on Deck: The character has an OT3: Ke$ha and 3Oh!3. His only wish is that this doesn't yield children.
  • Shout-Out: Enough to have his own page.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In the "One Hit Wonderland" episodes, he does a complete rundown on artists' careers, often pointing out some rather obscure details. For instance, in the "Achy Breaky Heart" review, he points out that the song was originally recorded by an obscure group called the Marcy Brothers (albeit under the title "Don't Tell My Heart"), and even shows footage of them singing it.
    • He also researches the functions of different parts of the brain so he can make fun of an awkward metaphor in "Hey, Soul Sister":
      Todd: I did some research on what the left side of your frontal lobe does. Apparently [it] controls the language centre...let's just say that explains a lot about the rest of these lyrics.
    • In the Chumbawamba "One Hit Wonderland" episode he actually had to skip over entire years of their career just to get the video done as they had a career spanning over three decades.
    • In the "Meant to Be"/"The Middle" dual review, he differentiates between the two Country Music charts when measuring the former song's success, pointing out that the song has topped both Hot Country Songs (which factors in streaming, downloads, and sales) and Country Airplay (which measures only radio airplay).
  • Sincerity Mode:
    • In the One Hit Wonderland episode on Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life", he spends most of the review criticizing Debby's entire body of work, but points out that she at least seems like a genuinely nice lady, and looks amazing for her age.
    • In his "Worst Hit Songs of 2016" video, he criticizes "Jumpman" and says that "Hit 'em High" from the Space Jam soundtrack is a better song when it comes to basketball rap songs relating to Michael Jordan, then clarifies "I'm not making a joke, it's seriously a much better song."
    • In the Cinemadonna review of the Madonna documentary I'm Going to Tell You a Secret, he goes out of his way to say that he finds Madonna's children adorable.
  • Skewed Priorities: Calls Henry Gross out on this for finding the death of Carl Wilson's dog to be a worthy topic for a song, while Carl's brother Brian was in the middle of a mental breakdown.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Averted In-Universe. Todd categorizes the songs he listens to as either "Bad" or "Good", so songs that are So Bad It's Good for him (such as "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark) are categorized as "Good".
    • Though he mentions Big Sean's "Dance (A$$)" is horrible, but somewhat fascinating in its awfulness - unlike "Sexy and I Know It". Unfortunately, he admits that it didn't quite reach that point when he compiles his list of 2012 favorites.
      • Similarly, in the "Worst Songs of 2013" review, he mentions that "this was the broiest year in country music history" and couldn't decide which song best represented that. He dismisses Blake Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here" as too silly and Luke Bryan's "That's My Kind of Night" as awful but "an interesting awful; it at least has some kind of flavor to it."
    • Subverted when reviewing Rihanna's S&M. He's aware the song is bad, but he still likes it... and notices this is basically sadomasochistic in itself!
      "It's so bad it hurts. More, please! Can I have another? It's so bad! That's why I don't show my face."
    • He discusses this concept reviewing PSY's "Gangnam Style", stating that any song that enters So Bad It's Good is because of having enough fans to be massively successful or filling some prejudice (against shallow girls with Autotune, Insane Clown Posse, or crazy Asians).
    • This is how he views Biz Markie's "Just A Friend" - Biz clearly didn't take either the song or himself too seriously, which is precisely why it sounds ridiculous, but at the same time, he's what makes it so very enjoyable to listen to.
    • In his Worst Songs of 2014 video, he talks about the fact that while most of the songs on that list just piss him off, he calls "Animals", his #10 pick, "the funniest piece of hilari-garbage of the year".
      • In the same video, he lists "Anaconda" as an honourable mention, but states that he'll be putting it in the Best of 2014 honourable mentions as well - and does.
    • His verdict on Crazy Town's "Butterfly". The song was immediately mocked, and rightly so, but he considers it original, upbeat and amusingly bad compared to the rest of the band's output, which was just bad.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Todd calls "Replay" this, as well as boring. He even opens the review (and later the blip intro) saying that a bland song is hard to discuss, unlike a good one or a bad one.invoked
    • He also describes both "Born This Way" and "Firework" as "acceptably mediocre".
    • He puts Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" at the top of its "Top Ten Songs About Mediocre Romance" because the song is as mediocre as the love story described in it (where a guy decides to stay with his girl because both like Breakfast at Tiffany's).
    • In the "Just a Kiss" review, he says that most of Lady Antebellum's output is this, although he did list "Need You Now" as his favorite pop song of 2010 and said that he liked "I Run to You" as well.
    • He doesn't hate "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", but he admits he's certainly heard better. The main reason why he doesn't hate it is because the subject content is stupidly realistic. It's stupid, but it's something you would expect people to actually say and describe their ex's quirks and issues, unlike villainizing them like a Saturday morning cartoon like other break-up songs tend to do. Not only that, but he compares it to the other chart-toppers that were present then note .
      Todd: I am giving it my prestigious "Not That Bad" Award.
      • Todd also found "Fifteen" to be this. While he didn't hate the song, he found it to be pretty mundane and undeserving of its acclaim.
      • Actually, he seems to feel this way about Taylor Swift in general. That is until he called Blank Space a very solid, witty pop song, placed two of Swift's songs note  on his Best of 2015 list, and called her 'one of the defining talents of our time'.
    • In the prelude for his review of "Feel This Moment", he briefly discusses Pitbull's previous hit, "Don't Stop the Party", which he considers to be this, but says that Pitbull should not be going for a mood more serious than the yodel he does before his verses, saying it's "at least harder than it looks".
    • The dual "Meant to Be"/"The Middle" review has him showing this opinion of Maren Morris's singing voice.
  • Something Completely Different: He decided to take a stab at movie reviewing with Hannah Montana: The Movie. He didn't like it. And followed it with the Guitar Video Game.
    • Ironically, his "Club Can't Handle Me" review opens with him admitting that he was enjoying reviewing movies and video games...while the Critic forces him back into music reviews.
    • He does it again for "The Top 5 Most Awful Moments in U2's Rattle and Hum" (it opens at his keyboard, then he invites the viewer to come watch a movie).
    • Glitter is similar. Todd is at his keyboard, says he likes Mariah Carey and follows with some exposition on her before going to the TV to watch it.
    • His alleged "review" of Chris Brown's "Turn Up The Music" is actually an episode-long rant about his public image. Todd even admits that "this is gonna be a different episode for me". He spends about 15 seconds critiquing the song in question.
    • Claiming writer's block, he puts out "Top Ten Groin Shots in Movies".
    • His Trainwreckords episode on Two the Hard Way by Gregg Allman and Cher, which was not a career-killer for either performer, but was a relationship killer for Allman and Cher as a couple.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: He specifically references this trope (and the actual song) during his review of Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me," saying, "But of course, it doesn't matter that it didn't rhyme, because all Flo Rida songs are basically gibberish till the chorus anyway. No one cares. Blah blah blah blah, Leonard Bernstein, whatever."
    • Then he does it with the actual song in "Top Ten Songs About Mediocre Romance".
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Every once in a while, he sarcastically uses slang in the middle of musical analysis.
    Todd: How dare thy stain mine good lady's name. Her! The most sexiest of all biatches!
    • Pushed one point further in "Niggas in Paris", where he does an impression of a British Kanye West.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep:
    • Parodied in his "Sexy Bitch" review.
      Todd: ... but even though I did like "I Gotta Feeling", I'll admit you could maybe call it a little repetitive. ... Yeah. But at least they were repeating something besides "Sexy Bi-Chick" In case I haven't made myself clear, I think this song is a chick-king piece of dog sh-chick!
    • Kenny G's "Songbird" being one of the most popular pop songs of 1987 led him into a cursing rant that had to be bleeped out.
    • He ends his pseudo-review of "Turn Up the Music" with another bleeped cursing rant.
    • In most of his reviews, Todd is inconsistent about how much he censors. Most of the time, Todd only censors F-bombs from himself (unless he's directly quoting a lyric or title, or if he wants to make a point) and refuses to say anything worse. The songs he reviews are generally uncensored.
  • Spear Counterpart: Refers to John Legend as the male equivalent of Alicia Keys, including the strengths and weaknesses of their bodies of work.
  • Special Effects Failure: Invoked. "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls is your typical early 80's affair in this department. Todd points out how even he can do a better green-screen effect in his video editing, and demonstrates the trope upon himself to make it look like the corner of the room that Todd films his reviews in is itself a part of a really bad green-screen effect.
  • Squick:invokedHis reaction to comparing himself to a sperm bank in "Imma Be".
  • Standard Snippet: When Miley/Hannah has a Two-Timer Date in Hannah Montana: The Movie, Todd reacts by grabbing a saxophone and pretending to play "Yakety Sax".
    • Also, given "Come On Eileen" starts with a violin playing "Those Endearing Young Charms", he confesses that he can't hear it without expecting Daffy Duck blowing up.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: In two crossovers - first when The Rap Critic suggests a Gaga review, and when Film Brain suggests another Asylum movie.
  • Stealth Insult:
    • The songs he uses as transitions in his "Worst of" videos are all stealth Take Thats at the songs he considers the worst.
      • "Worst Hit Songs of 2009" has The Pussycat Dolls' "I Hate This Part".
      • Averted with "Worst Hit Songs of 2010", with is very blatantly "Fuck You!" (Cee Lo Green)
      • "Worst of 2011" had "Blow" by Ke$ha.
      • "Worst of 2012" had "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" by P!nk. ("I think I finally had enough, I think it's time for you to BLOW ME!")
      • "Worst of 1987" had "Bad" by Michael Jackson.
      • Averted with his "Worst of 1976" list, as it had "Silly Love Songs" by Wings.
      • "Worst of 2004" had "Sorry 2004" by Ruben Studdard.
      • Worst of 2013 had "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift
      • Worst of 2014 had "Break Free" by Zedd featuring Ariana Grande ("This is the part where I say I don't want it...")
      • Worst of 1991 had "Here We Go" by C+C Music Factory, which could be another way to say This Is Gonna Suck.
      • Worst of 2015 had "I Don't Fuck with You" by Big Sean featuring E-40.
      • Worst of 2016 had "Sucker for Pain" by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and Imagine Dragons featuring Logic, Ty Dolla $ign and X Ambassadors. Although this one could be directed more at Todd since the main line highlighted is "I'm just a sucker for pain".
      • Worst of 2017 had "All Time Low" by Jon Bellion.
      • Worst of 2018 had "Thank You, Next" by Ariana Grande.
    • His review of "I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Remix)" by Mike Posner shows that even reviews of songs he likes can drip with sarcasm and backhanded compliments.
    "You know, there are plenty of depressed has-beens in the world. This song needed something that only Mike Posner could provide."
  • Stealth Parody:
    • He can only assume that Akon's "Sexy Chick" is one of these. Right? Right?
    • He also believes Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" to be more suited to Dr. Demento than mainstream pop radio.
    • And he finds himself forced to wonder if "Carry Out" is Justin Timberlake doing a throwback to his Saturday Night Live appearances.
    • Wasn't entirely sure if 3OH!3 were faking being douchey fratboy singers or if they were serious, though once they said "Who I is" in Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah", he decided that they were trying too hard, as "No one says that".
    • Wondered the same thing about LMFAO, although their lack of talent and wit, especially in "Sexy and I Know It" seemed to render it all moot.
  • Stealth Pun: Todd says that in "Born This Way", Lady Gaga talks about you being free to be who you are no matter the way you choose to "express yourself." (which kinda doubles as Foreshadowing - see the entry on Suspiciously Similar Song)
    • He gets away with two in a row in the "Hey, Soul Sister" review, both of which are lampshaded by the captions.
      Todd: And that was 7 years ago. And I hadn't heard a single thing from them since, so I just assumed that Train's career had derailed. But to my eternal surprise, Train kept rolling.
    • A very sneaky one, but at the very end of his "Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 2012" video, after he finishes discussing the number-one song on the list, he says, "I'm Todd in the Shadows and I'm out. Take care."
    • "I do not like this,!"
    • On Justin Bieber in his "Worst Hit Songs of 2013" review: "Once his testicles finally dropped, he basically became just another vacuous pop singer, and in 2013, I saw a lot less of him as him demographic started moving in one direction away from him."
    • His conclusion on Eiffel 65 in his One-Hit Wonderland on "Blue (Da Ba Dee)": "Eiffel 65 blew."
    • In his "Worst Hit Songs of 1991" video, he refers to UB 40 lead singer Ali Campbell's vocals as a "dead, dead whine", playing on their chart-topping hit Red Red Wine (which he introduces their segment with).
    • Some of his credits music is a pun on the artist. Train: "Stop That Train"; Robin Thicke: "Thick as a Brick"; Ed Sheeran: the Mr. Ed theme; Magic!: "Magic"; The Weeknd: "Lonely Weekends"; Alessia Cara: "Cara Mia"; Marshmello: "A Marshmallow World"; Halsey: "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey".
  • The Stinger: Employed in the end of his review for "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran, where after the names of his Patrons are shown, the video cuts to footage of Todd playing "Wonderwall" by Oasis on his piano (until he realizes that he left his camera on).
  • Stoner Flick: Reviews Mac and Devin Go To High School with The Rap Critic, where one of their biggest complaints is the opening Breaking the Fourth Wall to demand that the audience get high before watching it, rebutting that a Stoner Flick should be funny on its own merits and not just because you're high while watching it.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Inverted. He lauds Far*East Movement for defying stereotypes associated with Asians which include being intelligent, respectable, and good at music.
    • Played straight with Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah", which he says is what pop music must sound like to people who hate pop music.
    • Geraldo Mejia received criticism from the Latino community for his one hit "Rico Suave". After many failed follow up songs where he sampled other people's music while still basically rapping about the exact same thing as "Rico Suave", future albums revealed that it was pretty blatant that he was entirely stealing songs. Todd mentions that the Latino community was right: He DOES perpetuate negative stereotypes — that Latinos like to steal and are lazy.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In-Universe, Todd has this reaction to both "Cooler Than Me" and "Rude", remarking that the the narrators in both songs come off as whiny, self-absorbed douchebags and the other characters' dismissal of them seems entirely justified.
  • Stunned Silence
    Bruno Mars: Yes, I would die for you, baby / But you won't do the same?
    Todd: ... Holy shit, dude.
    • Also on "Deuces", after the line "Like Tina did to Ike in the limo, it finally hit me".
    • When The Black Eyed Peas shift from sampling "Time of My Life" to their "DIRTY BIT!"
    • And Mars causes it again with the second stanza of "The Lazy Song".
    • During the "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" One Hit Wonderland, when it's asked if Elmo and Patsy deserved better, Todd just sits there, motionless. He doesn't even speak for about 15 seconds.
    "... This episode was a mistake."
    • Happens again in "Freaky Friday" when Chris Brown says "ain't nobody judging 'cause I'm black, or my controversial past." He describes the subsequent silence as his brain crashing.
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: Todd tackles the issue head-on in his review of Anaconda;
    Todd: Butts. Butts butts butts butts. Lots of butts. Piles of butts. Miles of butts. Butts as far as can be seen with the naked butt. Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher butts. Asses and backdoors and rear ends and butts! (sigh) Butts.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: He admits that Rihanna dressed as Slash is "really hot in a really confusing way."
  • Sturgeon's Law: Todd invokes it twice, saying in his Top 10 of 2010 that "Nothin' On You" really stands out because "songs with bad pickup lines are all I hear", and in his Worst 10 of 1976 that the good music of that year makes the bad ones look even worse than they are.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • For the title card for the "Lazy Song" review, Todd's title card artist Krin leaves the card half-finished, specifically the part with Bruno Mars.
    • For the title card "Feel This Moment" review, Krin literally recycles the "Give Me Everything" title card, perfectly demonstrating how recycled the song in question is.
    • For the title card "7 Years" review, Krin drew it as if a 7 year old had drawn it. Krin states that she drew it as a joke, since the music video didn't give her sufficient inspiration; however, Todd said he liked it, and it stuck.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: During his FINISH THE RHYME segment in his review of "Black and Yellow", Todd had to mockingly give kudos to Wiz Khalifa for completely DESTROYING the rhyme track of the song and not even attempting to find a suitable substitute for the line that came before it.
  • Suckiness Is Painful:
    • "Break Up" by Mario featuring Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett is so horrible that it made Todd's hair fall out in clumps and made his nose bleed. The song's Suckiness Is Painful enough that Todd later says he's lucky it didn't give him cancer. (and in the TGWTG forums, Todd called it the worst song he's reviewed)
    • Yet in his Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2009, "Break Up" only managed to be Number 2 on the list. "Diva" by Beyoncé was Number 1, and was apparently so bad, it gave him bouts of nausea.
    • Miley Cyrus' "Hoedown Throwdown" induces agonized writhing (plus depression and suicide threats) throughout its course.
  • And Todd's contortions during Hannah Montana are recycled when he discusses the Transformers film.
  • He states that "Drive-By" is "Vogon poetry bad" and he feels bad reviewing it.
  • In his One-Hit Wonderland on "Play that Funky Music", he says that he'd rather be tased than listen to "Ebony and Ivory".
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: From time to time, perhaps most notably in his "Eenie Meanie" review.
    • Also done to illustrate a point in "Someone You Loved". When describing how to use understatement, he speaks very slowly and quietly; then, to demonstrate how Lewis Capaldi takes the exact wrong approach with his histrionic vocals, he quickly ramps up to a shout.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Played with. Todd points out how Men Without Hats borderline-qualified as a One-Hit Wonder because they did have another song that peaked at #20 on the charts called "Pop Goes The World". He says that as far as cheery 80's synth pop music goes, it's probably as cheerful and sugary as they come, but there is a noticeable apocalyptic undertone with the lyrics, specifically just "pop goes the world" by itself.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel:invoked
    • In his review of One Direction's "Best Song Ever", he admits that he actually likes the song despite all of their previous songs being creepy and not that great.
    • He notes that OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" was a major improvement over their previous work, although he was less surprised due to his belief that "Good Life" was a step in the right direction.
  • Surreal Music Video: Something that always makes him question his sanity, as "Bad Romance", "Alejandro", "S&M" and "We Can't Stop" proved.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:invoked
    • He discusses how "Born This Way" is accused of being an "Express Yourself" rip-off.
    • In his "Blank Space" review, he notes that the song in question sounds similar to Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love."
    • Todd is amazed at how 1991 offered two forgettable easy listening songs in the year-end Hot 100, which not only sound alike but have similar-named artists (Stevie B and Timmy T).
    • His "Rhythm of the Night" review notes the uncanny similarity between the chorus melody of "Save Me" by Say When (which served as the basis for the video's eponymous song) and that of "Stand Back" by Stevie Nicks.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: What Todd thinks of Sorry's line "I'm missing more than just your body."
    Todd: These are the words of a guy who knows what the wrong answer is, just not necessarily the right one. [...] "Hey Bieber, where were you the night of the murder?" "Why, I remember I was definitely at 'not at the victim's house between 12:45 and 1:30 then driving to the river to dispose of the murder weapon'"
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: In the video for One Direction's "Best Song Ever", one of the band members dresses up as a woman and Todd admits that he is strangely attracted to this woman.


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