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In Play:

  1. Don Hertzfeldt (SP: 100, A: 8, D: 7)
    • "Experimental animated filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt inspired more than a series of Poptart commercials. The existential undertones of his work permeate the conventional."
    • Motif: Emily
    • Cardholder: The Author
  2. Charles Laughton (SP: 95, A: 7, D: 7)
    • "A theatrical actor at heart, Charles Laughton tried his hand at directing with Night of the Hunter in 1955, only to be booed out of the chair forever."
    • Motif: Hate Fist
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  3. Charlie Chaplin (SP: 95, A: 6, D: 9)
    • "Visually iconic and endlessly influential, Charlie Chaplin headlined numerous one and two-reeled silent films before sitting in the director's chair. He also played Adolf Hitler 79 years before Taika Waititi made it cool."
    • Motif: Chaplin Hat and 'Stach
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  4. Céline Sciamma (SP: 93, A: 8, D: 6)
    • "Progressive French writer-director Celine Sciamma often tackles heavy themes on sexuality and the gender spectrum. Her "Girlhood" trilogy knocks Richard Linklater's Boyhood on its ass."
    • Motif: Hermaphrodite Symbol
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  5. Sean Baker (SP: 93, A: 6, D: 6)
    • "Something of a cinematic Robin Hood, Sean Baker studied rich to make stories about the poor. What more would you expect from the "shot on iPhone" guy?"
    • Motif: Vase
    • Cardholder: The Author
  6. Greta Gerwig (SP: 93, A: 6, D: 5)
    • "Actor turned critical-darling director, Greta Gerwig has emerged as a progressive feminine voice in modern moviemaking. Watch her coming-of-age dramas perturb the Hollywood boys' club."
    • Motif: Hourglass.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  7. Jim Cummings (SP: 93, A: 5, D: 5)
    • "Jim Cummings, in his infinite indie talent, must never be allowed to blow up. He must remain the accessible martyr who instills hope in aspiring filmmakers."
    • Motif: Wolf
    • Cardholder: The Author
  8. Agnès Varda (SP: 92, A: 6, D: 8)
    • "A left-bank French new Wave auteur to her core, Agnes Varda persevered through the decades and directed Varda par Agnes in 2019, the year she passed at 90."
    • Motif: Eyeball
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  9. Bong Joon-ho (SP: 91, A: 8, D: 8)
    • "Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho Broke the one-inch tall international awards barrier in 2019 with his Oscar-winning Parasite. After all, it's so metaphorical!"
    • Motif: Rock
    • Cardholder: The Soldier
  10. Federico Fellini (SP: 89, A: 8, D: 8)
    • "Inventor of the 'director looks back on his own career' genre and true creator of the Pulp Fiction dance, Fellini is an enduring sacred cow for neorealism."
    • Motif: Roman Pillar
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  11. Stanley Kubrick (SP: 89, A: 8, D: 6)
    • "Don't get too comfy, or Kubrick will make his move. Stanley doesn't care who stands in the way of his shot, making him a heavy hitter."
    • Motif: Axe.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  12. Edgar Wright (SP: 89, A: 7, D: 7)
    • "Whip pan pioneer Edgar Wright proves to be a devilishly stylish auteur. With his friends Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the three can have fun playing in any genre."
    • Motif: Ice-cream.
    • Cardholder: The Author
  13. John Cassavetes (SP: 88, A: 6, D: 8)
    • "One of the most influential American directors of all time and the godfather of indie moviemaking, John Cassavetes could make a winning film with nothing more than couch cushion change."
    • Motif: Martini
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  14. Riley Stearns (SP: 88, A: 5, D: 5)
    • "A cultist filmmaker with an inevitable cult following, Riley Stearns continues to provide subversive genre mashups as he carves a name for himself."
    • Motif: White Belt
    • Cardholder: The Author
  15. Akira Kurosawa (SP: 87, A: 9, D: 9)
    • "The inventor of practical camera movements and lighting techniques, Akira Kurosawa is both respected and revered among the best auteurs worldwide."
    • Motif: Seven Samurai Flag
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  16. Rian Johnson (SP: 86, A: 6, D: 3)
  17. Martin Scorsese (SP: 85, A: 8, D: 10)
    • "Is he the greatest director of all time? Possibly, but in America, it's even harder to argue. Scorsese is an almost untouchable addition to your deck."
    • Motif: [[Film/{{Goodfellas Fedora]]
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  18. Yorgos Lanthimos (SP: 85, A: 6, D: 6)
    • "The favorite of many in terms of Greek directors, Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his deadpan, genuinely off-beat writing and static camera moves."
    • Motif: Dogtooth Symbol
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  19. The Coen Brothers (SP: 84, A: 8, D: 6)
    • "These serious men really know how to tie a movie together. Joel and Ethan Coen can spin some dark yarns about the godless, morally grey actions of tragically human oddballs."
    • Motif: H.I.'s Tattoo
    • Cardholder: The Author
  20. Ingmar Bergman (SP: 84, A: 7, D: 8)
    • "The Swedish machine that practically shat cinematic paradigms, Ingmar Bergman reigns as the heavyweight foreign film champion of the world. Let loose existential dread on your enemy."
    • Motif: Drama mask.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  21. Paul Thomas Anderson (SP: 84, A: 7, D: 6)
    • "Occasionally turning lower denominator entertainment (Sandler, porn, etc.) into arthouse gold, PTA assures that in any concept film, there will be blood."
    • Motif: Magnolia
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  22. Joss Whedon (SP: 84, A: 5, D: 7)
  23. Werner Herzog (SP: 83, A: 7, D: 5)
    • "A believer that the common denominator in the universe is chaos, hostility and murder, Werner Herzog is a (possibly crazy) diligent filmmaker and documentarian."
    • Motif: American Flag in a Bottle
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  24. Josephine Decker (SP: 83, A: 6, D: 4)
    • "Josephine Decker's films come with the label 'unrefined indie.' Even with something as formulaic as a biopic, she can find a way to breathe fresh air."
    • Motif: Stuffed Pig Head
    • Cardholder: The Author
  25. Charlie Kaufman (SP: 81, A: 9, D: 6)
    • "Ever the anxious writer, Charlie Kaufman specializes in depressing, often deconstructive dramas. His films feel personal; that must be his personal touch."
    • Motif: Script
    • Cardholder: The Author
  26. Miranda July (SP: 81, A: 7, D: 5)
    • "Miranda July's quirky style could spellbind me and you and everyone we know. She's sun-danced out of the hearts of her niche and into the great ranks of your deck."
    • Motif: Me & You Slippers.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  27. J. J. Abrams (SP: 79, A: 6, D: 5)
    • "Once upon a time, J.J. Abrams was known as more than just a Star Wars director. With credits from Lost to Super 8, don't underestimate this Trekkie."
    • Motif: Flaming lens.
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  28. George Lucas (SP: 79, A: 4, D: 4)
    • "Blockbuster codifier George Lucas has since sold his best assets. His innovative successes have been weighed down by indefensible failures, though he's helmed the director's chair less often than his legacy may imply."
    • Motif: Lightsabers.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  29. Tim Miller (SP: 78, A: 4, D: 5)
    • "Deadpool director Tim Miller opted out of the sequel in favor of directing the sixth Terminator for some reason. He also happens to be a skilled VFX artist."
    • Motif: Deadpool mask.
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  30. Jon Watts (SP: 78, A: 4, D: 4)
    • "The filmmaking equivalent to a sweatervest, Jon Watts continues a healthy workflow into Marvel's Phase 4 with the Spider-Man series. He did other films, too, but who cares?"
    • Motif: Spider-Man symbol.
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  31. David Lynch (SP: 77, A: 8, D: 5)
    • "Walk with me down the lost highway of David Lynch's filmography. A sound designer on many projects, Lynch will always try and avert a straight story."
    • Motif: Damn Good Coffee
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  32. David Cronenberg (SP: 76, A: 7, D: 5)
    • "A sci-fi body horror icon (and possibly the only one to dip his toes into the mainstream), David Cronenberg has carved out a career of unforgettable imagery."
    • Motif: Fly
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  33. Jon Favreau (SP: 75, A: 6, D: 6)
    • "It wasn't long after Chef! that Jon Favreau was chained somewhere in the basements of Walt Disney studios and forced to pump out reboots and episodes of The Mandalorian."
    • Motif: Chef Hat.
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  34. David Leitch (SP: 74, A: 5, D: 4)
    • "Uncredited John Wick co-director David Leitch has since snatched up the Deadpool movies, adding the sequel to his pantheon of gun movies with Atomic Blonde and more."
    • Motif: Pistol.
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  35. The Russo Brothers (SP: 72, A: 8, D: 5)
  36. Woody Allen (SP: 72, A: 7, D: 3)
    • "Woody Allen has directed a positively annoying amount of films over his 60+ years in the business. You know what? I think I'm just going to leave it at that."
    • Motif: Crying Eyelash
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  37. Adam McKay (SP: 71, A: 4, D: 4)
    • "Will Ferrell's ringleader for a decade, Adam McKay now attempts directing the worst Best Picture nominee of every year, finally succeeding in 2018 with Vice."
    • Motif: Checkered flag.
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  38. Thomas Vinterberg (SP: 70, A: 6, D: 6)
  39. Francis Ford Coppola (SP: 69, A: 7, D: 9)
    • "Francis Ford Coppola can miss as many times as he wants. Who cares how badly Twixt bombed when it came 'from the director of The Godfather trilogy?' "
    • Motif: Puppet Strings
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  40. Terry Gilliam (SP: 69, A: 6, D: 4)
    • "Whether directing a masterpiece or audacious flop, Terry Gilliam knows two things: his Python days are over, and anything that could go wrong on his set surely will."
    • Motif: Chalice
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  41. Gaspar Noé (SP: 65, A: 7, D: 4)
    • "Always egregious, the French extreme Gaspar Noe will indulge in a sensory - often controversial - narrative over a story-driven one any day of the week."
    • Motif: Melting Clock
    • Cardholder: The Ambassador
  42. Ridley Scott (SP: 63, A: 6, D: 8)
  43. Ron Howard (SP: 60, A: 3, D: 9)
    • "He may have a dull bite, but Ron's strong defense keeps him around for the long haul. This director and his 25+ films (such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) are a solid addition to any deck."
    • Motif: Oscar.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  44. Hannah Fidell (SP: 59, A: 4, D: 3)
    • "Hannah Fidell's career is an indie success story oddly fixated on retelling the same tale of a student-teacher relationship. Well, she got our attention."
    • Motif: Apple
    • Cardholder: The Author
  45. Josh Boone (SP: 58, A: 3, D: 4)
  46. James Wan (SP: 56, A: 3, D: 5)
    • "James Wan kickstarted a key horror franchise in his late 20s. Doesn't that just piss you off? Since then, he's helmed horror flicks and blockbusters. You go, James."
    • Motif: Saw swirl.
    • Cardholder: The Lynchpin
  47. Guy Ritchie (SP: 53, A: 5, D: 5)
  48. Zack Snyder (SP: 51, A: 5, D: 3)
    • "THIS. IS. SNYDER. With a horde of loyal fanboys, you'd think this auteur would have a stronger defense, but Zack Snyder has proven to be a contentious blockbuster apparatus."
    • Motif: Watchmen Symbol
    • Cardholder: The Stoner
  49. Todd Phillips (SP: 51, A: 4, D: 5)
    • "If you only know the Academy Award-nominated Todd Phillips for Joker, then you're missing out on some really forgettable comedies and Hangover sequels."
    • Motif: Clown Makeup
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  50. Harmony Korine (SP: 50, AA: 4, D: 3)
    • "The trash-humping beach bum himself, Harmony Korine specializes in crafting chaotic, often anti-narrative films that leave an audience feeling dirty."
    • Motif: Pot Leaf
    • Cardholder: The Alcoholic
  51. M. Night Shyamalan (SP: 46, A: 3, D: 3)
  52. Michael Bay (SP: 37, A: 4, D: 3)
    • "He may not have invented the modern blockbuster, but he certainly transformed it. Michael Bay's name on anything is a telltale sign that things are about to get loud and boring."
    • Motif: Transformers Logo
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  53. Frank Coraci (SP: 28, A: 2, D: 2)
  54. Tommy Wiseau (SP: 24, A: 2, D: 9)
    • "The enigmatic auteur of all unholy structural decisions, Tommy Wiseau is an American legend. He initially set out to make an Oscar-sweeping spectacle. He did not do it. He did not."
    • Motif: Spoons
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  55. Andrew Lawrence (SP: 23, A: 2, D: 1)
    • "You wanna bet on a guy fucking up a movie? Andrew Lawrence. Youngest of the Lawrence brothers, Andy is perhaps best known for directing Money Plane."
    • Motif: Airplane
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  56. Steven Brill (SP: 21, A: 2, D: 2)
  57. Andy Sidaris (SP: 14, A: 2, D: 3)
    • "Andy Sidaris defined a decade (between 1985 and 1998) of Shreveport-based B-movies with his 'Bullets, Bombs and Babes (BBB)' series. They must B seen to B believed (heheh...)"
    • Motif: Bomb
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  58. Jeremy Saville (SP: 0, A: 0, D: 0)
    • "Insensitive, ignorant, and infinitely offensive, Jeremy Saville's filmography represents every pitfall into which a racist, sexist, clueless writer can easily fall."
    • Motif: Microphone
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  59. Doug Walker (SP: N/A, A: 2, D: 1)
    • "The Nostalgia Critic himself, Doug Walker revolutionized online film critique while earning his crown for 'King of Cringe.' Admit it, you liked him in middle school."
    • Motif: Channel Awesome Satellite
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  60. Neil Breen (SP: N/A, A: 1, D: 3)
    • "Either the worst filmmaker to roam the earth or an unrecognized 'Breenius,' Neil Breen nonetheless continues to dully whine his way through misfire after hilarious misfire."
    • Motif: Computer
    • Cardholder: The Joker
  61. Fen Tian (SP: N/A, A: 1, D: 1)
    • "Chinese director Fen Tian wowed audiences with her directorial debut Love on a Leash in 2011. She was born in 1939 and is mysteriously difficult to find information on."
    • Motif: Leash
    • Cardholder: The Joker

Bonus Cards

  • Sam Thompson: "The ever-inspiring Sam Thompson was put on this earth to do one thing only: write movies. Maybe he'll direct and pat some cats along the way, but the man will radiate film in all he does."
    • Motifs: Insulin Needle, Toast, The Hunted Tracker
  • Davis Rohrer: "Sergeant Rohrer is one run-and-gun filmmaker who knows how to get shit done real, fast and dirty. Catch him making shit while everyone else sits around and talks."
    • Motifs: Cross Necklace, Davis Jacket, Poop Dollah

A lot more went into this picture than you realize.note 

jeffbloggessis a video creator who releases original content on Instagram. With the help of his roommate Rob Simmons, the two made it a goal to release a 60-second short every week starting March 4, 2019. This lasted throughout the rest of the year, with a conglomeration video on New Year's Eve to celebrate. Since then, Jeff has continued to upload videos sporadically while his creative partnership with Rob ended on pleasant terms. They also happen to be freelance videographers with experience on both commercial and creative film sets, so the production value of the shorts can have an extensive range.

Additionally, they've collaborated on YouTube content that extends beyond their 60-second Instagram constraints, though all the Instagram videos can still be found under Jeff's channel. Rob's YouTube channel can be found here.

Frequently displayed tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: The first short not to feature Jeff at all is "Little House on Private Property," which he shot while Rob was unavailable. He's also absent in the Sammi T.D. short, but still provides a voice over.
  • Affectionate Parody: The "Master Class," "Brain on Drugs PSA," "Banana Phone," "Little House on Private Property," "ASMRJ," and "Lose Your Spaghetti" videos all play this trope straight. The Folger's ad averts this with its scathing jab against Folger's and the fact that it doesn't remotely resemble anything the company's ever put out.
    • "Survachelors" functions effectively as both a parody of shows like Survivor and The Bachelor. Really just reality TV in general.
    • The 2020 season includes a parody of both Buick and Iams commercials, Drake & Josh and the Class of 2020 graduation TikTok craze.
  • The Alcoholic: Jeff's been drunk in three videos to the point where he started worrying about overusing the trope.
  • ASMR Video: "ASMRJ" is an Affectionate Parody that functions completely within the same perimeters of ASMR.
  • Bottle Episode: The "Wedding Videographer," "Brain on Drugs PSA," and "Diaper Dan" videos are all static oners. "ASMRJ," "Replacement Rob," and "How to Carve a Jack-O-Lantern" play out this way, as well.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Rob distinctly fell into this role in "Garbage Food." Outside of the Instagram videos, Jeff also ditches him in Pittsburgh in the short That's What Friends Are For.
    • Alex as Rob's replacement gets the brunt of this.
  • Christmas Episode: "White Christmas" and "Justice4Jesus," both at the end of 2019.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Rob has appeared once since 2019 in the video "February Breeze." This is a result of him leaving Morgantown, though the videos never acknowledge this.
  • Corpsing:
    • It's subtle, but ASMRJ is having a hard time keeping a straight face after his overdose.
    • Jeff is usually pretty composed in his on-the-street interviews, but the first Halloween video ends with him cracking up.
  • Crapsack World: Zoom U, which plays into the COVID-19 pandemic angst.
  • Cyanide Pill: Used in the "Long Stick" video, where Jeff and Dallas would rather kill themselves than get up to change the channel.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The entire point of the "Justice4Jesus" video, which takes a jab at the War on Christmas.
  • Dirty Coward: Aaron, after watching his friend get abducted in an alleyway, peels off in his '07 Buick Lacrosse instead of trying to help.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Jeff is incredibly calm during the zombie apocalypse. He's also incredibly drunk.
  • Documentary Episode:
    • The Entire History of Dogtown, a four-minute long short Jeff put on his YouTube channel, is a sincere recap of the lives of the stuffed animals he played with as a kid.
    • A late June video centered around Jeff talking about his own Instagram content and insisting that he's a creative genius.
  • Double Entendre: Sammi T.D.'s discography is loaded with these, referring to romantic relationships without ever being explicitly sexual, but including titles like "Her Peace" and "Tender to the Touch."
  • Double-Meaning Title: See Double Entendre above.
    The New Yorker: Get tested, Sammi.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Jeff in the "ASMRJ" video, though it's all part of the roleplay.
    • Done for the first time a week before with Jeff and Dallas' characters when their plan to change the TV channel without getting off the couch fails.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Done in the zombie video, "Pizza Man 3."
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Naked Man With a Hammer."
  • Extra-Long Episode / Multi-Part Episode: Several IGTV videos break the typical minute-long runtime, but since the Instagram algorithm doesn't favor these, longer concepts are usually split into swipe-over posts. Sometimes these continue a single story, such as "Hide & Seek & Evolve." Other times, they take a single concept and execute it several different ways, such as the "Garmin G-Pal" commercials. The YouTube reposts typically post the formers as an Extra-Long Episode, while the latters receive the Multi-Part Episode treatment.
  • Genre Shift: The duo's longer form videos typically diverge into more serious territory, such as The Entire History of Dogtown, Food Journal and especially Mobile Identity. Notable exceptions include "Naughty Boy" and "February Breeze."
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Not easy considering the time frame, but pulled off several times.
    • "Bags" plays out like a pretty normal PSA spoof before dropping that angle completely and having Jeff go off the rails on his ex-girlfriend.
    • A quadruple post at the beginning of September starts off each video stylistically alluding to Nationwide's infamous childhood injuries commercial before doing a complete 180. Most notably, the first one seamlessly morphs into a Viagra commercial.
      Jeff: I'm never going to get my chance at life. Because I'm not alive. I was never born. The man who would've been my father struggles to maintain an erection.
    • "Survachelors" starts off as a pretty typical Survivor parody before also revealing that its contestants each episode by receiving a rose from a random woman.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The "Master Class" video starts with Jeff urging the viewer not to call their ex-girlfriend and ends with him desperately trying and failing to get in touch with her.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jeff and Jeff both fill this role when they're confused at the prospect of a Santa Claus that isn't white.
  • Milestone Celebration: The only reason that 90% of these videos exist was due to the weekly challenge to which Rob and Jeff held themselves accountable. After staying true to it from March through December, a compilation video "A Minute to Remember" was released as the fourth season Series Fauxnale on New Year's Eve.
  • Mood Whiplash: The short "Blueberry Buddies" is a fun video about Rob and Jeff throwing blueberries into each other's mouths. Then, Rob chokes to death.
  • The Movie: Nothing feature-length, of course, but Jeff does consider his short film The Finish Line to essentially be a more serious adaptation of his IG content. The fact that its Troubled Production ended up absorbing two short concepts that never made it onto his profilenote  only reinforces this.
  • Musical Episode: The pothole video.
  • Naked People Are Funny: "Naked Man With a Hammer."
    • Also Gordon Gee at the end of his campus address is revealed not to be wearing pants.
  • No Fourth Wall: Some of the videos fall into this, their entire concepts being based off of vlogs or PSAs that speak directly to the camera.
  • Nose Bleed: Jeff gets one on a phone call while awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test.
  • Out of Focus: Due to Rob going on a month-long trip to Africa in May, his last appearance before a six week absence is in "Diaper Dan." He finally returns in "Lose Your Spaghetti," which he also wrote, shot, and edited.
  • Pepsi Challenge: Done in real life at World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia, though instead of choosing which is Pepsi and which is Coke, the tasters were given straight Pepsi and asked to guess "the flavor of Coke."
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • The "ASMRJ" video is a relaxing roleplay video... about your friend overdosing on heroin. Things get even worse from there...
    • The 4th of July video starts with a genuine thanks to the people who make America "the greatest country in the world" and ends with Jeff burning down his ex-girlfriend's house.
    • The 2020 videos include things like a person getting abducted in a Buick commercial, a teenager overdosing on ketamine and a scathing jab at the American medical system's handling of COVID-19 testing.
  • Running Gag: Jeff getting drunk or lamenting about his ex-girlfriend Cheyenne are common, especially in the early videos.
  • Sequel Episode: "A Hand in Need" in season three is this to the massively popular "A Round of Applause" from season one.
  • Series Fauxnale: Though Jeff never claimed that he'd stop making videos after 2019, "A Minute to Remember" was clearly meant to serve as a finale to the weekly video challenge. Another standard Instagram video wasn't released until over four months later (discounting "February Breeze").
  • Shocking Swerve: Invoked in the drive-thru video, where progressive inability to complete simple order requests leads to the revelation that the restaurant has actually been closed for five years.
  • Single Tear: Jeff sheds one of these at the end of the Folger's ad.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Little House on Private Property" includes the triumphant theme of the show it's parodying, all while three stragglers are running for their lives.
  • Speed Sex: The punchline of the Handthony video, in which "applause" is the equivalent of sex, and Handthony insists that a good applause only lasts about seven seconds.
    Cheyehand: Whatever you gotta tell yourself.
  • Stepford Smiler: In Rob and Jeff's actual short film, Mobile Identity, Rob's character plays one of these. Unlike their Instagram content, it's Played for Drama.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Jeff in "Garbage Food," in which he bullies Rob for no reason and takes full credit for all his Instagram content.
  • Un-Canceled: The fate of the IG videos was up in the air at the end of 2019. After "A Year to Remember" (see Milestone Celebration above), Jeff only posted twice over the course of four months, with one of the videos (an unused clip from the previous Halloween interviews) being taken down within 24 hours. Production ultimately resumed again by May, though much more infrequently than the previous year.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In the world of talking hands, "applause" is a term for sex.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Jeff attempts this in the Folger's ad, but it doesn't go the way he would've liked.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The "Little House on Private Property" is just a spoof of the Little House on the Prairie intro.


    The Battery Bunch 
The Battery Bunch is a 2015 band-fic based on the HHS drum line (and marching band by extension). The series revolves around the suburban exploits of Sean McSteweister's eight adopted teenagers: Jeffrey, Nathan, Dallas, Emily, Branden, Lewis, Tanner, and Essence. As it's name suggests, it draws inspiration from The Brady Bunch and other family values shows, and derives most of its humor from inside jokes, ironic sincerity, and Affectionate Parody.

The sections of the band are portrayed as parallel households, such as Le Front Ensemberu, who live under Sean's brother Tyler in a trailer in the boondocks, or the Donathan household, who live across the street from the Battery Bunch under guidance of Sean's long-time friend John Tyler Donathan. These households occasionally steal an episode or two, but the central coming-of-age arcs come from under the McSteweister roof.

The Battery Bunch provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adorkable: Jeffrey, Dalton, Chloe, Emma, and Delaney.
  • The Alcoholic: "Drunkle" Tyler. Usually Played for Laughs, but viewed at from a dramatic angle in "Laissez-faire Parenting," which implies his inability to properly provide for his kids leads to his alcoholism.
  • The Alleged Car: Le Front Ensemberu drives around in a dune buggy.
  • All Love Is Unrequited
    • Said word for word by Jeffrey when referring to his unnamed Love Interest.
    • Applies to Tanner's Precocious Crush on the group's one-time babysitter Bailey.
  • Black Comedy: Very prominent in parody-heavy episodes implied to feature drugs, gangs, and hitmen, as well as episodes describing the poor living conditions of Le Front Ensemberu.
  • Big Brother Bully: Nathan affectionately bullies his younger siblings, save for Tanner whom he genuinely dislikes.
  • Big Eater: Branden, Peyton, and Nathan.
  • Big "NO!": Done by Jeffrey in "The Battery Bunch (Part 2)" when he realizes Dallas is going to try to talk the brown-haired girl into talking to him.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • "Turf War": Dalton falls in love, but in the end she has to leave and he doesn't know if he'll ever see her again.
    • "The Battery Bash (Part 2)": Chloe and Dalton are reunited and everybody has a great time at the party except for Jeffrey, who speaks to his Love Interest for the first time only to have her give him a nonsensical response and never be seen again.
    • "The Fridge System": Ethan spends the entire episode trying to prove his worth only to have his father overshadow him in the end by his accomplishment. However, he does learn that allowing his father gratification for his own frequently unmentioned successes is more important than his own pride.
    • "Goodbye to Brendan": Brendan is leaving to pursue a career on Saturday Night Live, but Thomas stops trying to contact CPS and decided to take the good of his family with the bad of their living conditions.
  • Breather Episode:
    • After five emotionally draining episodes in season one, "Time to Say Goodbye" is written like this. Despite being Dallas and Nathan's farewell episode, it was written with a purposely much lighter and enjoyable tone than previous episodes to maintain the theme of family happiness.
    • "Tanner Runs Away" takes place between "The Battery Bash" and the aforementioned five episode strain of drama. It features Nathan and Lewis trying to sell lemonade while being chastised by a neighborhood bully.
    • Of the five episode strain (starting with "All the World's a Stage" and ending with "Goodbye to Brendan"), "Goodbye to Brendan" also features less drama than the previous episodes, all of which had a heavy impact on the canon.
  • Bumbling Dad: Sean is too much of a Reasonable Authority Figure to fit this role, and though Tyler is closer, he's more of a Deconstruction. Their lifelong friend JT, however, fits pretty well.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tanner. Even if he just gets a cameo, you'd better believe it's an abusive one.
  • Catchphrase: Branden makes these up for himself often. His most notable one is calling himself "that guy you know, Brando."
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: It's implied that Sean accidentally walks in on Tanner masturbating in "Emily hits Lewis."
    Tanner: Ever heard of knocking?
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first three episodes are basic wacky hi-jinks and Affectionate Parody, while "Laissez-faire Parenting" is the first Deconstructed look at the show's parodiable nature, impling that the reason Tyler drinks is because he feels unable to properly provide for his kids. Succeeding episodes are more likely to venture into emotional territory.
    • Cerebus Rollercoaster: "Laissez-faire Parenting" isn't the only episode to be primarily drama, as episodes like "Dallas's Secret" and "He's Coming Back" quite clearly display. These episodes, however, are pretty well spread out over the first season, with Breather Episodes purposely placed inbetween. Even in the case of the Breather Episodes, they can range from light-hearted all the way through to Sudden Downer Endings.
  • Christmas Episode
    • "A Very Battery Christmas," featuring the Battery Bunch learning to respect each other's beliefs (about Santa).
    • "Wreck the Halls (A Front Ensemberu Story)," featuring Le Front Ensemberu arguing over what to do with a stash of Christmas money.
    • "Waving Johnson Saves Boxing Day," featuring Molly tracking down a Christmas toy for her mentally challenged brother
  • Comically Missing the Point: When a big sum of money is left for Le Front Ensemberu in "Wreck the Halls," Thomas tries explaining that it wouldn't be fair for some people to take a portion of the money by alluding it to a giant pancake.
    Rocky: Thomas is right! We should use all the money to just buy one giant pancake!
  • Cranky Neighbor: Old Man Leffingwell, whom the kids refer to as "old man" despite him only being in his forties.
  • Creator Career Self-Deprecation: Played for Drama when Jeffrey begins writing stories about his family in "All the World's a Stage" exactly like the narrator does about his friends in real life. Interestingly, this is Played for Laughs fourteen episodes prior when Chloe is described as doing the same thing.
    Chloe liked to take interesting moments from the lives of her family and jot them down for future romanticization. This lead to tons of stories featuring caricatures of the people she spent a majority of her time with getting wound up in wacky exploits. Pretty geeky, right?
  • A Day in the Limelight
    • The Donathan kids occasionally get their own episodes. "The Fridge System" and "Waving Johnson Saves Boxing Day" feature Ethan and Molly as their respective protagonists.
    • "Goodbye to Brendan," as its name suggests, is dedicated to Brendan.
    • After spending the whole first season as the member of Le Front Ensemberu with the least focus, Jacob arguably takes primary focus in "Some Other Beginning's End," which marks a major turning point for the series as a whole.
  • Disappeared Dad: Uncle Tyler fulfills this trope in "Some Other Beginning's End" when he leaves his kids to fend for themselves in order to deal with some messy gang business without their involvement.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The moral of "A Very Battery Christmas" is that it's important to respect each other's beliefs. Of course, this is accomplished through debate over Santa Claus.
    • The reveal in "He's Coming Back (Part 2)." Dallas has been involved in the illegal sugar trade.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bailey, the Battery Bunch's one-time babysitter.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episodes relied much more on Affectionate Parody than the later episodes, and thus used more direct Black Comedy and Lampshade Hanging. Similarly, the early episodes clearly stated their morals at the end, while the later episodes deal more with character-based drama and more mature themes.
  • Gainax Ending: "The Battery Bash (Part 2)" ends with the girl Jeffrey had been pursuing telling him "he's not ready" when he tries talking to her, followed by her absence in all subsequent stories. It's also implied that Sawyer can hold intelligent conversation with Jeffrey's dog, BT.
  • Genre Savvy: Branden behaves more like a cliched sitcom character than any of the other characters.
  • Heroes Love D Ogs: Jeffrey, Sean, and Bailey.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: There are plenty of close relationships that exist within the families, but the two most notable examples outside of family boundaries are JT and Tyler, and Lewis and Ethan.
  • Hidden Depths
    • The episode "Everything is Not What it Seems" reveals that the Battery Bunch's neighbor Old Man Leffingwell used to be a Vegas composer and swinger back in the day, and has an entire room in his house filled with accolades.
    • Sawyer, the mentally challenged Donathan son, is implied to be aware of the judgement the world puts on him, as evidenced by his poem on the fridge. If "The Battery Bash (Part 2)" is anything to go by, he's hiding something.
  • Idiot Plot: "Like Tyler, Like Son" revolves around Tyler and Dallas thinking they might be father and son, despite the fact that Tyler is only eight years older than Dallas. The conclusion seems to be aware of its ridiculousness.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: "The Fridge System" displays Ethan trying to prove he's special by getting something of his pinned on the fridge.
  • Informed Judaism: Tanner is constantly called a Jew by his siblings. Even the narrator uses "jewed" as a substitute for basic words like "said" or "yelled."
    • Ambiguously Jewish: Whether or not Tanner is a Jew, however, remains open to debate. He never explicitly states that he is one, though he uses common Jewish expressions such as "oi vey," and has a Jewish board game in his and Nathan's closet.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Lewis tells Hannah in "The Battery Bunch (Part 2)" that he wants to go "all the way" with her after Tanner tells him that "going all the way" means kissing on the lips.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Seth certainly qualifies after he disappears at the end of "Tanner Runs Away" without any retribution. Four episodes later, however, the Battery Bunch inadvertently wastes his time and makes him look like a complete idiot, so he does get what he had coming to him.
    • The guys come across this way in "Guys' Day Out," specifically Nathan. After continuously undermining the girls of the household, Emily borrows their GameCube without permission. When Nathan finds out, he takes it back despite Emily's efforts to stop him.
  • Large Ham: Nathan.
  • The Leader: Dalton is this to Le Front Ensemberu
    Peyton: Why should Dalton get the special privalege?
    Jacob: Because he's basically the leader of this family.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Eight Battery Bunch members (excluding Sean), eleven Front Ensemberu members (excluding Tyler), and nine Donathan kids (excluding JTD), not including the many recurring characters outside the respected families.
  • Lovable Jock: Nathan and Lewis.
  • Mall Santa: Nathan slips one of these a twenty to make Tanner think he's been naughty.
  • Origins Episode: "Dallas' Secret" reveals a good portion of Dallas' past, while "The Baby Bunch" focuses on the entire group's time at the orphanage.
  • Out of Focus
    • The eight members of the Battery Bunch are essentially the main crew, but Jeffrey, Dallas, Nathan, Tanner, and Lewis seem to be the only consistently prominent characters. Branden serves primarily as a side character, having only one major story so far ("What We Do With Our Mouths," the fifth episode nonetheless). In the case of Essence, one could hardly consider any role she's had thus far to be major.
    • Sean is more prominent in the earlier episodes, as they deal more with family situations and morals instead of character driven drama. This is even lampshaded in "Goodbye to Brendan."
      "Amen!" Sean called out, as he hadn't been getting his word in much in these latest episodes.
    • Emily's case is not as bad, though it's been done deliberately after the poor reaction to her role in "Guys' Day Out."
  • Parental Neglect: Deconstructed in "Laissez-faire Parenting" in which Tyler's treatment of his kids is initially Played for Laughs before it's implied his inability to properly provide for them has led him to alcoholism. Interestingly enough, it seems to be used as a source of Black Comedy in subsequent episodes.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Seems to be Branden's primary role.
  • Precision F-Strike: Seeing as that cursing is completely absent from the first season (aside from "What We Do With Our Mouths," which primarily deals with potty language), the last line in the season finale certainly comes across as this.
    Chad: Don't piss me off.
  • Precocious Crush: Tanner tries hitting on the family's one-time babysitter throughout "Laissez-faire Parenting."
  • Product Placement: Played for Laughs in "Emily Hits Lewis." Characters tediously specify that they're eating Marco's pizza (with the restricted rights symbol after each specification), and the narrator even dedicates a paragraph to describing the authenticity of the Marco's pizza business.
  • Put on a Bus: Dallas leaves when he reveals to his family his double life with Victor and their plans to move to Mexico with his biological father. Nathan leaves when his band signs a contract with Marshall Records after playing at Brendan's farewell party; Brendan leaves after his Saturday Night Live audition tape was accepted.
  • The Quiet One: Joey, the bassist for We Slayin', says "yeah" twice in his only appearance, and doesn't speak at all in his second.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his absence in several episodes due to his unspecified job, Sean rightfully intervenes in his children's shenanigans when they get out of hand. "Responsibility" even showed that he'll leave work when one of them gets hurt.
  • Running Gag: No one ever plays Guitar Hero with Tanner.
  • Santa's Existence Clause: Nathan and Dallas spend "A Very Battery Christmas" arguing with each other over whether Santa Claus exists until Sean convinces them to respect each other's beliefs. Immediately after this, a Santa Claus who Sean thinks is actually Tyler in a costume bursts through the door, only for Tyler to reveal he's in the bathroom. Sean runs the unidentified Santa off and alerts the neighbors that there may be a prowler on the loose.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jeffrey is the sensitive guy to Dallas's manly man. Nathan is also commonly displayed as the manly man to Lewis and Tanner's sensitive guy.
  • Sequel Episode: "Dallas' Secret" ends with Dallas being admitted to the Red Hot Orphanage, which is where "The Baby Bunch" begins.
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted. There is a distinct norm established within the household, but characters seem to retain the lessons they learn at the end of each episode more often than not. Downright averted at the end of the first season when Nathan and Dallas leave, and Maggie, Caleb, and Le Front Ensemberu all move in with the Battery Bunch. This, however, leads to a new Status Quo.
  • Team Pet: BT to the Battery Bunch and Fluffy to Le Front Ensemberu.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: There's one given in the first episode in keeping with the Affectionate Parody to The Brady Bunch.
  • Token Minority: Essence is the only African American main character.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Emily and Essence respectively, though it would be more accurate to say authoritative girl and girly girl.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lewis spends the entirety of "Emily Hits Lewis" blackmailing his sister into doing whatever he wants. It's even Lampshaded near the end.
    Jeffrey: You know, you're being kind of a jerk.
    Lewis: You're right.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tyler makes hot-dogs and Branden eats them. Every time.
  • True Companions: Both the Battery Bunch and Le Front Ensemberu. The Donathan kids are implied to be less of this than the two aforementioned groups.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Emily and Essence are the only girls in the Battery Bunch. Simialrly, Savannah and Molly are the only girls in the Donathan household.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Dallas's Secret," as it's name suggests, reveals the truth behind why Dallas regularly goes into town for extended periods of time. He's taking care of the baby he rescued as a street kid, who's basically become his little brother.
    • The previous episode, "Emily Hits Lewis," has Nathan stowing away in Dallas's jeep and discovering Victor for himself.
    • "The Battery Bash," certainly qualifies as this, especially part 2. Jeffrey talks to the brown-haired girl for the first time, who gives him a response he doesn't understand, leaves, and is never seen again afterwords. On top of that, Sawyer and BT might hold the occasional conversation.
    • "All the World's a Stage" features Jeffrey coping with the existential crisis of an inability to control the rapidly changing world around him. It's one of the most mature themes tackled by the show to date.
    • The entirety of "He's Coming Back." Dallas's entire family finds out he's been taking care of Victor and has been involved in illegal activities (albeit the illegal sugar trade). By the episode's end, it's also been revealed that Dallas has had plans to move to Mexico for months.
    • "Goodbye to Brendan" features Nathan and his band signing a record label, signifying his exit from the show. It also ends with Tyler being threatened by a Cabel Clan member.
    • "I Love Jew" ends with Sean bringing in Maggie and Caleb, two new members of the family. As if that wasn't enough, Le Front Ensemberu shows up with their entire trailer.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: You wouldn't guess that Thomas is one of the youngest members of Le Front Ensemberu by the way he uses smart analogies and an extensive vocabulary.

    The Battery Bunch YMMV 
  • Anvilicious: Some episodes come across this way intentionally, others that try taking themselves more seriously are still not immune.
    • "A Very Battery Christmas" features the message that other people's beliefs should be respected. It features Dallas and Nathan fighting for the bulk of the episode, and besides the gift exchanges between characters at the end, its the only plot.
    • Despite "All the World's a Stage" being one of the most mature episodes to date, the presence of the central problem being the only concern of the episode makes it come across slightly this way.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • "Emily Hits Lewis," which was the episode directly following the controversial "Guys' Day Out," was written to rectify Emily's character and make it known that she's respected in the house for her genuine leadership skills. The feminist attitude she'd also displayed in the previous episode was written off as a phase.
    • Le Front Ensemberu moving in with the Battery Bunch in the season one finale rectifies the complaints that they don't get enough focus.
  • Base Breaker: Branden is either an enjoyable, Genre Savvy addition to the cast, or an unnecessary, one-dimensional annoyance. His status as what seems to be a permanent background character, however, tones down the prominence of the issue.
  • Broken Base:
    • "Laissez-faire Parenting" is the first major example of this trope. It turns up the drama significantly over the first few episodes, and whether or not it was portrayed effectively is a common grounds for disagreement. It was successful enough, however, for later episodes that focused on drama to be some of the more critically acclaimed episodes of the first season.
      • Also upon its release there was some disappointment that Le Front Ensemberu was not more prominent, though this died down when entire episodes were dedicated to them later on.
    • "Guys' Day Out" received the most polarized reaction of any episode to date. While praise is given to the episode's particular grasp on character driven humor, the central theme comes across sloppily in the end regarding a group's ability to have fun regardless of gender. The guys come across as a bunch of Karma Houdinis, while Emily, who'd been working the entire episode to have a female variation of their fun (which was already a Base Breaker in and of itself), ends up with a less than happy conclusion.
    • Tyler leaving Le Front Ensemberu in "Some Other Beginning's End" is given too little context to be done cleanly. Some believe it to be noble that Tyler would leave his kids and apparently spend the last of his money on stocking up for them beforehand in order to keep them from getting involved in hid gang business, while others believe the whole thing was poorly thought out and sloppily executed.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • After stealing the spotlight in the very first episode, Uncle Tyler has been a fan favorite.
    • Among Le Front Ensemberu, Thomas has garnered a sizable fanbase, though he became more of a Base Breaker as his CPS pursuit and constant complaints about Tyler began to take more prominence.
    • Bailey was popular after her first appearance, and though she was supposed to become a regular recurring character, she only received one more episode.
    • Sawyer is used rather sparingly, as the author does not want to overuse his distinct appeal.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: "Waving Johnson Saves Boxing Day" teaches that blackmail is okay and can get you what you want.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Before the brown-haired girl was given much focus, common speculation was that she was Molly, despite Molly already being named and established as an acquaintance of the Battery Bunch. This is even given a small nod in "The Battery Bash (Part 2)."
  • Growing the Beard: The first three episodes were primarily comedic antics, while "Laissez-faire Parenting" Deconstructed Le Front Ensemberu and gave some less than family friendly characterization to Tyler. After that, Le Front Ensemberu began appearing more often ("Turf War" and "Le Front Ensemberu Hits Town" are two of the most popular episodes of the first season) and the Donathan kids started receiving some focus, too.
    • "Dallas' Secret" deepened Dallas's characterization and began setting up more drama for future episodes.
    • "The Battery Bash," served as the first two-part episodes, developing characters around the board and providing drama while still maintaining the series' brand of humor.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Sure, Tanner may be a petty pathological liar, but the guy's family gives him so little empathy that it's hard not to feel bad for him. Anytime he's featured prominently in an episode, it's almost always guaranteed to end poorly for him, and it's even worse whenever he's not even a central character and he receives physical harm in just a small cameo. Despite what "Tanner Runs Away" suggests it's about by its title, the primary conflict is Nathan and Lewis running their lemonade stand. When Tanner comes back at the end, he has to convince his family that he ran away because none of them even noticed.
  • Jossed: The brown-haired girl is not Molly.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Steven the pizza delivery guy.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Episodes that revolve around Le Front Ensemberu generally tend to be the most popular.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Bailey's debut was acclaimed due to the way her snarky attitude mingled with Tanner's Precocious Crush on her. She was only ever featured again twenty-two episodes later, in which she was written off the show.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Emily, one of the only two female members of the Battery Bunch household, is constantly having to overcome gender stereotypes to prove her worth. In "Turf War," it can be waved of somewhat as Truth in Television. In "Guys' Day Out," however, it's less excusable.
    • Essence, the only main ethnic character, is given considerably less screen time than the rest of her siblings.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jeffrey is this nonstop. He's very emotional, and bad things are quite prone to happening to him. He runs over a dog in "BT Comes Home" and spends the rest of the episode distraught. When he finally works up the courage to talk to the girl he has a crush on, she gives him a response he doesn't understand and never shows up again. After going through an existential crisis in "All the World's a Stage," his two oldest brothers reveal they're leaving the household to start their own lives. He can't seem to catch a break.
    • Tyler. He bit off more than he could chew when taking in eleven kids and resorted to alcoholism to hide his feelings of insufficiency.

    The Battery Bunch Trivia 
  • Troubled Production: Episodes in the latter half of the first season take much longer to release than the first half. Due to The Battery Bunch being based on real life, blame can be partially attributed to positions in the HHS drum line and front ensemble still being up in the air. This also delays the release of season two, as the author wants to start of the second season with a decently established new Status Quo.
    • After the real life drum line was set, Maggie had to miss almost an entire week due to health problems with her knee. The following weeks were spent questioning whether or not she'd be cut from the drum line due to how behind she'd fallen. The hiatus leading up to the season finale eventually became so ridiculous that the author continued writing even with the possibility that Maggie would be cut.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • "Goodbye to Brendan" was originally written as a birthday episode for Hannah in which Tyler received a large sum of money (similar to "Wreck the Halls") and threw her a big party featuring Nathan's band, which she would've hated. It was rewritten to give Brendan a proper sendoff.
    • The final version of "Time to Say Goodbye" features a completely different story than the first draft. Originally the family went to a national park and raced down a path in the rain while spending family time together, and the end was much more emotional and personal to the author. It was rewritten to better maintain the spirit of The Battery Bunch, making the published version more humorous.
    • Bailey was originally intended to serve as the family's frequent babysitter, but the author just never got around to transposing another episode in which she could be prominent.
    • "He's Coming Back" was originally written with Jeffrey in the jeep with his siblings.

    Dalton: The Man, The Myth, The Horror 
  • The Ace: Jeffrey is literally a physical embodiment of all the things good about the band. Therefore, he's portrayed as constantly being on top of things. That is until Chaz defeats him in "The Showdown," which puts emphasis on the theme of Balance Between Good and Evil.
  • Action Survivor: The few people who survive the war without being brought to life certainly qualify. Three of these are Hannah, Peyton, and Logan, the last of the three having a badass cyborg arm as a battle souvenir.
    • Thomas may also count, considering he never died, but also taking into account his sub-diety powers.
  • Actual Pacifist: Brendan is very opposed to any kind of physical violence, and even gets broken up about verbal conflicts.
    • Delaney is also implied to be one of these, as she sits out the war to read a C.S. Lewis novel. It's nowhere near the levels of Brendan, though.
  • Affably Evil: John Tyler is supposedly Satan, but he has a likable and goofy personality when he's not accepting sacrifices or possessing people's bodies.
  • All Just a Dream: Chapter 20, "The (Alternate) Ending," portrays the entire story as a bad dream by Jeffrey, who awakes in the Battery Bunch household shaken up, and is calmed back to sleep by his father, Sean.
  • All-Loving Hero: What sets Jeffrey above the rest of the band kids (aside from his acquired evolutionary super-human abilities) is that he actually has hope in Dalton (although he still won't make direct contact with him).
  • Ambiguously Gay: Brendan. Dallas also has a moment in "The Epilogue," when he feels Dalton's newly formed biceps.
    • It's also mentioned in "The Pit" that the titular Pit was the only non-gay bar Dallas knew.
  • Badass: Tons. Jeffrey, Sawyer, Thomas, etc.
    • Action Dad: Sean, implied to be a father figure to the drum line, leads an army of the udnead out of purgatory and back onto the battlefield. The dad aspect becomes literal in "The (Alternate) Ending," in which Sean is their literal father.
    • Badass Driver: Essence is a valuable asset to the percussion section when performing her band truck drive-bys. Unfortunately, she'd taken down by Sawyer.
    • Badass Normal: Thomas beheads Nathan with nothing but expert swordsmanship. It's later revealed, however, that he's actually...
    • Took a Level in Badass: Dalton demonstrates his evolution of character in "The Music."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "The Showdown" has Chaz kill Jeffrey by firing a pink rocket at him.
    • Similarly, "The War Part 2" has Chaz snap Dallas' neck.
    • "The (Alternate) Ending" displays Chaz striking down Tyler's van with Dalton on board as he wreaks havoc on the band. However, this eventually turns into All Just a Dream.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Jeffrey and Chaz represent what's good and what's bad about the band expressed in powerful physical forms. By the end, both of these physical forms are destroyed, but the two live on as conflicting concepts.
  • Big Bad: Chaz.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Both Jeffrey and Dalton get one of these moments in "The Showdown" and "The Music," respectively. However, Dalton's is the only one that works.
  • Big Good: Jeffrey seems to fit this role pretty well.
  • Big "NO!": Several throughout the story.
    • Tristen does this when Mikey dies in "The War Part 2."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Hannah does this when Logan asks her where Madelaine is.
    Hannah: She didn't want to be in the story.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Tyler, who is implied to be high a majority of the time and occasionally trips on acid, is surprisingly successful at training Dalton how to play vibraphone.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tanner dies throughout the story three times. First, he's killed in battle by John Tyler in Nathan's body. Second, Bailey fires a gun into the crowd of recently deceased band kids in purgatory, shooting him in the nose and causing him to bleed out. And for the third and final time, he's killed in hell when a rogue sound wave coming from the epic fight between Jeffrey and Chaz hits him and he is essentially vaporized.
    • Ethan also qualifies. During the war, he's hit repeatedly on the head by Tori and Madison's trumpets, to the point where his head begins to bleed. Later in purgatory, it's revealed that Savannah got so annoyed by him that she just strangled him to death.
    • Dalton himself is the epitome of this trope. It was bad enough that characters openly state that they don't have any hope in him to his face, but the narrator himself even admits to exaggerating his grotesque characteristics.
  • The Cameo: Steven gets one at the end of "The Cage."
  • Catchphrase: Lewis has a habit of saying "Classic whoever" after somebody does something.
  • The Chick: Brendan is undoubtedly the heart of the group, though most people ignore him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Molly.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The story is noticeably mild of too much foul language— that is until Savannah shows up.
  • Cool Car: Jeffrey's 2012 Nissan Versa, which he conjures out of midair, can travel through dimensions unfathomable to human minds. On the fathomable side, it can also transform into a giant tank with enormous fire power.
  • The Dark Side: Chaz has become a sub-deity that lives through the immoral aspects of the band. Contrast with Jeffrey, who lives through the good times and personal confidence of the individual band members.
  • Demonic Possession: John Tyler inhabits Nathan's decapitated corpse to kill Tenner with. He also takes control of Dalton's body for about ten seconds before leaving out of disgust.
  • The Dragon: Sawyer serves this role to Chaz.
  • Driven to Suicide: This is done in "The Chaos" by Emily upon seeing Sean in control of the drum line once again.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first chapter in particular has nothing to do with the rest of the story and is never mentioned afterwards (save for Dallas' dad's cameo in purgatory later).The story doesn't really find its footing until around "The Sacrifice". Sean even lampshades his own character's inconsistency later on.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Dalton in "The Epilogue," gets a lot of attention from the guys in the group. See Ambiguously Gay above.
  • Evil Gloating: Chaz does this in "The Music" after Thomas reveals to the band that Chaz had defeated Jeffrey in battle.
  • Evil Is Cool: Sawyer. He has a flamethrower saxophone for crying out loud!
  • Goal-Oriented Evolution: Sub-deities like Jeffrey and Chaz evolved into what they are from normal people who displayed inhuman skill on their respective instruments.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Done by Nathan once Sean regains control of the band's will in Purgatory. Sawyer is also mentioned to have one in "The Epilogue," and is even counseling Mikey and Tristen's relationship.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Implied to be one of the reasons Dalton joined the band to begin with.
  • Imaginary Friend: Branden, as a possible subliminal coping mechanism for spending three years away from human interaction (except for possibly Steven), invented one named Robert.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Sawyer has a saxophone that can spit fire.
  • Inspiration Nod: The story is often accused of borrowing many elements from Star Wars. The entire exchange between Jeffrey and Chaz in "The Trailer" focusing on Chaz trying to convince Jeffrey to join him was directly influenced by Emperor Palpatine's attempt at doing the same to Luke Skywalker. At one point, Chaz even asks if Jeffrey would join him if he was his father.
  • Jerkass: Almost every other character applies. Nathan, Emily, Matt, Hannah, etc. Especially towards Dalton.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Happens to Sawyer during his moment of redemption. Creates a Mood Whiplash, as Branden did it completely on accident, and doesn't even notice afterwards.
  • Killed Off for Real: A majority of the band is killed in battle, including the entire guard. All of these people come back, however— except for Tanner, who dies three times, and doesn't come back by the end.
    • Jeffrey and Chaz, in their physical forms, don't come back once they've been obliterated. It is stated, however, that they live on in the essence of the band in its good and bad forms.
  • The Lancer: Lewis likely fits this role for the percussion. Matt could be considered this for the brass, with Sawyer being The Leader.
  • The Leader: Due to the percussion's disrespect toward Nathan, Dallas essentially becomes their leader after the revolution.
  • The Lifestream: Sub-deities like Jeffrey and Chaz exist through this outside of their physical forms, through the good vibes and the immoralities of the band, respectively.
  • Made of Explodium: The band truck, after crashing into the press box and knocking it over, explodes.
  • Moment Killer: Branden accidentally in "The Redemption." See Mood Whiplash below.
  • Mood Whiplash: Happens in "The Redemption," when Sawyer is experiencing a meaningful moment of redemption, only for Branden to accidentally kill him by dropping the barrel of the tank on top of him mid-Heel Realization.
  • Multiple Endings: "The Fallout" is the true end of the story, while "The Epilogue" takes place a week later and simply answers some questions as to where the band members ended up. The last written chapter, "The Alternate Ending," serves as an alternate conclusion to the events of "The Music." See All Just a Dream above.
  • Nice Guy: Despite the fact that every other character has Jerkass tendencies, Jeffrey and Sean fall into this category. Tyler and Dallas may also qualify, though the latter's non-violent solution of ejecting Dalton from the band may or may not have stemmed from genuine kindness.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: L, who's supposedly in charge of running Band Heaven, gives Chaz the keys to the trailer. This leads to the defeat of Jeffrey in his physical form, and almost the downfall of the entire band.
  • No Inside Voice: Savannah.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jeffrey has one of these moments right before his physical form is wrecked by Chaz's pink rocket.
  • Out of Focus: Branden. The reveal that he was the person inside the cage is given a lot of build up, but after "The Cage," his character is not put to much use, save for accidentally killing Sawyer in "The Redemption," which happened at a point where almost all the violence had been resolved anyway.
    • Aside from being The Hero of the story, Dalton sits out large gaps in the story, such as missing the events of the war in chapters four and five, and disappearing after chapter eleven to train with Tyler, only to come back six chapters later once Jeffrey's arc has concluded.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Chaz may be small, but he kills Dallas with his bare hands, and later defeats Jeffrey and Thomas in instrument-to-instrument combat.
  • The Power of Rock: A common theme expressed by Tyler is how the music is what actually holds the band together. This makes sense, considering that there's no music being played by the band throughout a majority of the story, where the band members are fighting each other. It's not until Dalton returns to play "Mad World" in "The Music" that the band members unify and finally defeat Chaz.
  • Power Trio: Jeffrey, Branden, and Dalton.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Chaz does this when telling the band to stop harmonizing with Dalton in "The Music":
    Chaz: You're tearing me apart! Stop it! Right! NOW!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dalton gives a minor one to the band when he decides to leave for Cap City after saving them all from Chaz.
    Dalton: I shouldn't have to save all your asses just so you'll finally tolerate my presence.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Played with in "The Redemption," where Sawyer begins undergoing a Heel–Face Turn, but is accidentally killed by Branden crawling out of the tank mid-moral realization.
  • Satanic Archetype: John Tyler fits this role. He's never outright called a devil or a demon, but he must be summoned in odd ways to appear, is appeased by animal or human sacrifices, and has a pretty prominent role in the affairs of Band Hell.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Sean says this word for word when L threatens to stick him with bailey's old desk job.
  • The Smart Guy: Thomas. He constructed a bionic arm, for starters.
  • The Stoner: Tyler.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Branden is technically one of these, though it's given very little focus once he returns to the band.
    • Like a Fish Takes to Water: Though it's given little focus, Branden seems relatively unfazed by how much things have changed while he's been gone, giving particularly little commentary on all the conflict.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Jeffrey uses one of these in "The Showdown" when Chaz uses a drum solo against him.
    Jeffrey: Puffy solo, bitch!
  • Token Minority: Essence.
  • Ultimate Life Form: Jeffrey, Chaz, and Thomas are depicted as sub-deities who can manipulate physics and take physical forms as they please. The three of them got this way by demonstrating inhuman talent on their instruments. The end of "The Epilogue" also implies that Dalton has become one of these.
  • Unflinching Walk: Sawyer pulls one of these off right after crashing Essence's band truck into the press box and blowing it up.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In "The Cage," the narrator openly admits to describing Dalton as more grotesque than he actually is. Even after specifying certain details, such as the fact that he does not sweat butter, the story goes on to blatantly ignore them later on, when he's described as sweating butter again.
  • Where Are They Now: "The Epilogue" kind of serves as one of these. Dalton has gone away to Cap City, and has become much more tolerable and attractive by doing so. Nathan has made a complete Heel–Face Turn and is hanging out with the drum line again, and Thomas took over Tanner's spot on the drum line after Tanner didn't come back. Sawyer also made a Heel–Face Turn and became a relationship counselor for Mikey and Tristen. Bailey returned to the position as drum major, while Seth left the band to start an all-male military band and likely ended up directing parking at McDonald's, which may not even be a real job.

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