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Amateur Surgeon is a series of medical-based action puzzle video games developed by the British studio MediaTonic (plus Burke & Best for its most recent installment) and published by AdultSwim for Flash and mobile ports (or to put it simply, Trauma Center with idiots). The series is mainly centered around former pizza delivery boy Alan Probe and his life after entering his dream job world of surgery, with later installments introducing his disciples and successors. The games provide plenty of examples of Black Comedy and gross-out humor with a unique difficulty curve, easily seen with Alan's arsenal of improvised medical tools. The most iconic of these is a pizza cutter, which he and other playable characters in the games use as a scalpel.

The first game, Amateur Surgeon, was released on May 4, 2008, and involves Alan starting his surgeon career after treating his later mentor Dr. Ignacious Bleed, whom he accidentally ran over in a pizza delivery van, with household objects as surgery tools. With Bleed's help, he treats a number of other people (mostly criminals) on the streets, many of whom were injured in rather unusual traumatic events.

The game led to a number of follow-ups in the series:

  • Amateur Surgeon: Christmas Edition (December 2008): A pack of additional Christmas-themed levels for the first game. Taking place about 10 years after the first game, Alan has become an infamous surgeon, and conceived the set of tools he had used before as a new innovative form of surgery (referred to in later games as "Improvised Surgery"). When he accidentally crashes against Santa Claus on a private jet to the North Pole, he has to treat him and several others injured by the crash to save Christmas.
  • Amateur Surgeon 2 (June 2010): 41 years after Christmas Edition, Alan is forced to retire after Improvised Surgery was banned in his home country of the United States. An aide to the US president, Bradley, wants to help him bring Improvised Surgery back, but Alan soon finds out that the overall context of this is a lot deeper than that.
  • Amateur Surgeon 3: Tag Team Trauma (August 8, 2013): The first game to be released exclusively for mobile devices (the previous games were released simultaneously for Flash and mobile). Set around the same time as Christmas Edition, the game deals with Alan's first known student, Ophelia Payne, who's tasked to treat people in surreal places around the world.
  • Amateur Surgeon 4: Regenerations (December 1, 2016): In this game, you play as Dr. Ignacious Bleed II, a clone of Bleed created shortly before the events of Amateur Surgeon 2 who has to reintroduce Improvised Surgery to the rest of the world and cure "Clone Disease". The game features almost every procedure from the preceding games (yes, including Amateur Surgeon 2), along with several side storylines and in-game events (including a crossover event with the Rick and Morty game Pocket Mortys).
  • Amateur Surgeon Hospital: A Facebook spinoff game that focuses on running one of Alan's "Bleed Everywhere" clinics.

Most (if not all) mentions of the games have been removed from Adult Swim's website, and the servers for Tag-Team Trauma, Hospital, and Regenerations have since been shut down, putting the current state of the series into question.


This series provides examples of:

  • Amusing Injuries:
    • If you're able to beat the stage, the patient will somehow survive your Meat Grinder Surgery and turn out completely healthy and good-as-new, no matter how serious their injuries were or what their final heart rate was.
    • There are two levels in the series where you give patients "body modifications". The first one is Donny Debonair from the first game (act 2, patient 5), where (among other things) you saw off a large piece of flesh tissue from him and insert a golden plaque there. The second is Miss Distress from the second game (act 1, patient 6), where you stick large piercings into her lungs and heart. Neither cases harm them in the slightest.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Let's see... you use a pizza cutter to cut into organs, a stapler to stitch cuts and similar open wounds together, a chainsaw to cut out bones and organs, and a syringe to suck out poison. You can also perform transplants on vital organs such as hearts, brains, and stomachs and fasten bones together using nothing but the chainsaw, a lighter, and some healing gel. Some surgeries even involve using a car battery, and it won't harm the patient at all as long as you aim it correctly. Basically, any injury that would otherwise require serious medical attention in real life can be completely fixed in the games with simple household objects. Granted, if the games were realistic, then they wouldn't be fun.
  • Anachronic Order: Regenerations shows the Acts from the other 3 games in non-chronological order, switching between the first, second, and third game's storylines each time. To make things even more confusing, it's all but stated that the game takes place before Amateur Surgeon 2 (or at least before that game's act 3, since you perform a surgery that ends up causing it), and the fact that you perform surgeries in that game is Hand Waved as the device you use being able to have you perform surgeries from the future.
  • Assist Character: The third and fourth games feature Tag Team Partners with various abilities, such as healing the patient for a set amount of health, stopping time, and even bringing the patient back to life with voodoo magic.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: The premise for the whole shebang. Alan's performed surgery in a warehouse, the North Pole, the bathroom at an old folks' home, a chicken coop... heck, the one time Alan performs onscreen in a hospital, it's in an Abandoned Hospital! After the events of the first game, Alan even opened back alley clinics.
  • Big Bad:
    • In the first two games, Dwayne Pipe, Horace D'Obscene's true identity. He's responsible, directly or indirectly, for most of the bad things that happen to Bleed, Alan, and their allies.
    • Hubris D'Obscene, Dwayne's clone, takes his place in the third game. He eventually made a Heel–Face Turn at some point before the fourth game, where he's Promoted to Playable in one surgery.
    • While the main story of the fourth game has No Antagonist, the epilogue has one in the form of Faker Hubris.
  • Body Horror: A lot of the injuries are this. Anthills, barnacles, and boils filled with poison formed on the body, animals and bugs burrowing into organs (including one Partner Special in Regenerations that has earthworms protruding from the patient's heart), and large foreign objects in the flesh that are either clearly puncturing it or have to be cut out.
  • Born as an Adult: As seen in the intro of the fourth game with Bleed II, the clones are processed and created like adult humans. However, as seen with Hubris D'Obscene, they're able to age just as normally, making them Younger Than They Look.
  • Bungled Suicide: Bleed's first surgery is eventually revealed to have been due to this. Crosses over with Mid-Suicide Regret, as he called Alan for help immediately after the attempt.
  • Captain Ersatz: It is probably not a coincidence that Reverend Robot Apocalypse from Tag Team Trauma, with his slicked white hair, obnoxiously-bright yellow coat, and pink Round Hippie Shades, bears a passing resemblance to Damon Gant.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The first game's intro, where a drunk Bleed gets run over by Alan because the latter was reading a magazine while driving? That was actually a suicide attempt on Bleed's part. Believing himself to be wholly responsible for the Old Hospital Fiasco and high off his ass on cough syrup, Bleed threw himself in front of the pizza van. It's a good thing the magazine Alan had in hand was tangentially related to surgery, at least.
  • Chainsaw Good: All games have the protagonists use a chainsaw to perform life-saving surgeries on some patients. It's good for getting past that pesky rib cage, anyway. And removing organs for transplants.
  • Chekhov's Skill: More like Chekhov's Lack of Skill in this case. It happens twice in the first two games.
    • In the final level of the first game's first act, Alan removes a bug infestation from Horace without Bleed there to overlook the surgery. Later in the third act, Alan discovers that he accidentally overlooked Dwayne's worst one... which ends up incapacitating the guy when he tries to escape during the climax.
    • At the climax of the second game, Dwayne threatens the life of both Alan and his grandson, but it turns out that Alan has again forgotten to deal with the worst bug in his body, which he uses to blackmail Dwayne into giving up the vendetta.
  • Christmas Episode: Christmas Edition is one for the first game.
  • The Comically Serious: Dr. Bleed's notes in the first game tend to veer into this, since he's pretty much the only person in the entire cast with a doctorate.
    Alan: [refering to Tommy Gracefuls, who crashed through a window] Multiple extractions were required to fix the pain in the glass.
    Bleed: [beneath the former quote, in red pen] Alan, that doesn't quite make sense - Dr. Bleed
  • Compilation Rerelease: The fourth game contains most surgeries from the previous games (except the ones from Christmas Edition and the bonus ones from Tag-Team Trauma), with the justification that you're a clone of Dr. Bleed viewing Alan's memories so that you can get yourself back up to speed.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Christmas Edition reveals that Dwayne Pipe's punishment for attempting to murder everyone was... helping Officer Brutality with his cooking classes. This was so torturous for him, in fact, that he willingly chose exile to the North Pole over it.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • After the first game, Dr. Bleed is relegated to just brief cameos or mentions throughout the series. The closest he gets to a "prominent" role is being a bonus patient in Amateur Surgeon 2.
    • Alan, who was featured in a major role throughout most of the series, isn't shown in the story of Regenerations until the last two surgeries of the main plot (though he does have a prominent role in the game's epilogue).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • After being put through years of misery by Dwayne Pipe, Bleed manages to rebuild his reputation with Alan's help at the end of the first game.
    • Alan himself goes through the same thing as Bleed in Amateur Surgeon 2, with the addition of reconnecting with his family by the time of the main storyline's ending.
  • Easily Elected: Lampshaded in the cutscene after the final surgery in the second game. Bradley questions how Dwayne Pipe, a convicted murderer was able to win the US presidential election in disguised, despite having already been arrested once and being one of the most wanted criminals after he escaped prison. In response, Alan tells Bradley not to think much about such a "Plot Hole".
    Bradley: I had no idea the president was the bad guy! I mean, how does a criminal imprisoned for MURDER manage to get out of jail, disguise his identity, and then run for, and become, president of the United States?
    Alan: Ha! Listen... grandson. invokedWe could sit here and poke holes in the plot all night...
    Alan: ...but I think I'd rather we went and visited some of our family, and started rebuilding some bridges! Whaddya say?
  • Enemy Mine: Occurs early on in the fourth game, where Bleed II and Faker Hubris (a clone of Hubris) must find a cure for "Clone Disease".
  • Evil is Petty: In the fourth game's epilogue, it's revealed that Faker Hubris' plan was to use a rare blue coffee bean to... turn everyone's skin blue. That's it. In fact, he had no idea that his scheme would cause everyone affected by it to get severely ill, and is shocked once he finds out.
  • Exact Time to Failure: If the clock hits 0:00, the patient dies immediately, regardless of what their vitals looked like at 0:01.note 
  • Extreme Omnivore: Junkyard Guts from the first game. You have to remove a magnet from his stomach, and it draws out screws. In the last act, he even eats a bomb that was disguised as a sandwich using two pieces of bread.
  • The Faceless: One of the partners in the fourth game, Ted Rando, has never been seen without a mask and is reported to not know what his own face looks like. During the surgery on him, you have to look under his mask to get all the bullets out... but all that's under there is just a smaller mask covering his face.
  • First-Name Basis: In the fourth game, to distinguish him from the original Bleed (who had a Last-Name Basis in contrast), Bleed II is mainly referred to as "Ignacious" by himself, other characters, and the game itself.
  • Formally-Named Pet:
    • Bug-Eater Peter's pet Komodo Dragon is known as "Mister Caruthers."
    • One of the partners in the fourth game, a cat, is called "Lord Meowington."
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Alan becomes this in the third game, generally when it comes to the concept of DLC.
  • Framing Device:
    • The third game's story is Ophelia and Alan narrating the events of the past few weeks.
    • The fourth game has most of the surgeries from the previous games (with exception of Christmas Edition). This is justified in that Bleed II is relieving Alan's and Ophelia's memories.
  • Giant Space Flea Out Of Nowhere: In the final mission of the fourth game's main storyline, where you perform brain surgery on Alan himself, you must extract a weird tentacled one-eyed psychic Eldritch Abomination from his head. It's never quite explained how it got inside his head or even what is it beyond memory-monster, nor there is any comment about it once it's destroyed.
  • The Gift: Alan is a natural genius when it comes to trauma surgery, capable of even performing brain surgery using a lighter, a chainsaw, a pair of tongs, a corkscrew, and a bottle of liquid pain reliever.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The first game has several surgeries that cross into this territory:
      • Unless you know that you can shock the tapeworm more than once each time he pops his head out (and you have to shock it five times), you are not going to beat Bleed's second surgery (the penultimate one overall), because the tapeworm's going to make just too many little bleeding cuts that will drop his heart rate really fast. You need to be careful, though, lest you miss and stop Bleed's heart instead. If that happens, you're basically screwed, unless you react quickly enough.note 
      • The final regular patient, Dwayne's second surgery, has a centipede crawling around inside him. It makes little bleeding cuts just like a tapeworm does, but it doesn't pop its head out. You have to chainsaw a little ahead of the last cut it makes, then you can deal with the bug queens and mooks it spawns in the various body cavities.
      • The Bio-Utility Mechanoid, or B.U.M., is one of the bonus patients that you can unlock. To even get inside it, you have to apply gel to its red button.
    • In later games, you don't zap the Scorpions — you chainsaw them.
    • The fourth game tries its best to avert this by making all the revamped surgeries more straightforward; it even outright omits Napoleon Trotterski's surgery from the second game. The only surgeries that really require trial-and-error gameplay are those with bugs and poison.
  • Healing Shiv: In the third game, Officer Brutality is a partner whose ability is to beat injuries out the victims by whacking them with his police baton.
  • Heal It With Fire:
    • One of the tools in most games is a lighter, which is a respectable cauterization method. Yet, this somehow also repairs bones, cuts in vital organs, and metal. Alan is a frickin' genius.
    • In Christmas Edition, the lighter is replaced by a match and a can of aerosol spray. Very precise.
    • Amateur Surgeon 4 has the partners Chad Burnem and Iron Wang, who use a flamethrower and a clothes iron respectively.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • In the first game, the penultimate patient from the second act is Animal the Cannibal, who quite clearly has human remains in his stomach. He gets another surgery in the fourth game.
    • The third game has the similar Sweetmeat Pete.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Ignacious Bleed II from the fourth game is essentially Dr. Bleed when he was younger, and boy, he got a magnificent beard and killer chest hair.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The fourth game casually says early on that Dwayne and Hubris were the Big Bads of the previous games.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the second game, Alan tells Bradley that they made a video game about him at the height of his fame. Bradley claims that he played it, but laments that he never got the hang of the corkscrew and hopes that if a sequel is ever made they replace it with "something less awful." Then they both wordlessly look at the player. Fittingly, this is from the intro cutscene to the level that introduces the syringe, which replaces the corkscrew from the first game.
  • Like a Son to Me: Inverted with Hubris, Dwayne's clone. While he's aware of how they're actually related and has clarified it once, Hubris commonly refers to Dwayne as his "father" for having his DNA, although how close they really were is never elaborated on.
  • Luke, You Are My Father:
    • Midway through the second game's second act, Bradley reveals during an argument with the President that he is Alan's grandson.
    • In the third game, Ophelia reveals herself to be Dr. Bleed's grandniece.
  • Mad Doctor:
    • Alan becomes pretty much a heroic version of this from Christmas Edition onwards.
    • Played straight with Dwayne, who has poisoned multiple victims and surgically put bombs inside a few of them.
  • Meat Grinder Surgery: Given that the improvised tools Alan used went on to become the essential equipment for a new form of surgery, it goes without saying that the series is based all around this. Why use a scalpel when you have a pizza cutter? Lighters can cauterize pretty well, and a chainsaw makes for a perfect bonesaw. Poison can be cured with a few nicks to the area and a vacuum cleaner just fine, and if the patient's heart stops, just shock them back to life with a car battery!
  • Medical Game: The series is a parody of Trauma Center, wherein your job is to perform increasingly harder surgeries on increasingly more gruesome patients.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Karl Puccino, a patient in the first, third, and fourth games, suffers from this, which makes his surgeries require a No-Damage Run.
  • My Greatest Failure: Dr. Bleed considers The Old Hospital fiasco, in which many, many people died to be this. It turns out that it wasn't his fault after all.
  • No-Damage Run:
    • Required in Karl Puccino's surgery in the first game (specifically, once you get inside him). Karl is a coffee addict, and as a result, his heart rate gets faster as time passes, rather than slower. You have to remove the coffee beans and the poison to stabilize his heart rate, then heal all the cuts you had to make. Dr. Bleed warns that the slightest injury (meaning any unnecessary damage) will kill Karl. He will also die if you let his heart rate get to 200. Add that to the fact that every surgery is a Timed Mission anyway, and you've got yourself a Nintendo Hard level.
    • Tag-Team Trauma and Regenerations feature "Sudden Death" versions of surgeries, where you must complete the stages without any mistakes whatsoever.
  • No Name Given: For whatever reason, the fake identity Dwayne used for his presidency in the second game isn't given an actual name, instead being simply referred as "The President".
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Uncle Chuckles from the second game strives to be this, but his habit of sitting on doves and rabbits, laughing instead of yelling in pain whenever the player messes up and being the only patient whose eyes follow your cursor around culminate in Alan himself yelling in fear upon first meeting him.
  • No Smoking: In the fourth game, Horace's trademark cigarette was edited out of his remastered cutscene sprites and hidden behind the leaderboard in his pre-op screens, in an effort to keep the game's age rating below an M.
  • Nostalgia Level: Many of the stages in the fourth game are revamped versions of the ones from the first three games.
  • Only Sane Man: Ophelia in the third game. While Alan generally doesn't ask any questions and comes off as barely smarter than his patients, Ophelia is constantly shocked and amazed by the situations they get themselves into and is quick to call them out on their stupidity/insanity.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Alan is the only source for criminals to get medical care, ranging from lacerations to poisonings... with the occasional extreme body piercing and mechanical restoration.
  • Optional Boss: The first two games have bonus patients that you have to unlock by fulfilling certain conditions. Their surgeries are also extremely unorthodox, playing out in ways that make them stand out from the main patients.
    • The first game has Stuporman (unlocked by filling Donny Debonair's "pimp meter" to its maximum level in Act 2), the B.U.M. (unlocked by amassing a total score of 1 million points throughout your high scores in the game), and the DeLerium (unlocked after finishing the main game).
    • The second game dials back on the Guide Dang It! unlock requirements, but does still require you to achieve a perfect "A" rating for all surgeries in both acts, a challenge in-and-of itself. For Act 1, you unlock Vladimir Ampire, and for Act 2, you unlock Dr. Bleed's corpse. The mobile-exclusive Act 3 doesn't give you a bonus patient.
    • Regenerations does have all the bonus surgeries from the first two games, in addition to some new exclusive ones. Thankfully, the surgeries are easier to unlock, since they have the game's typical amount-of-stars requirement instead.
  • Pimp Duds: One of the patients in the first game's second act is Donny Debonair, an implicitly fake pimp who, aside from wearing sterotypical pimp clothes and proclaiming himself to be a "Pimp Extraordinaire", wants Alan to bling his insides with things like a golden ribcage, a golden kidney, and jeweled staples.
  • Punny Name: Alan Probe (anagram for "anal probe"), Ignacious Bleed ("I bleed"), Lumbar Jack ("lumberjack"), Ophelia Payne ("I feel ya' pain")... The list goes on with tons and tons of them. Not surprising, considering MediaTonic's track record.
  • The Reveal:
    • Parodied and lampshaded with Alan's mystery patient at the end of the first act of the second game. After Alan leaves the room, the patient tells Bradley to turn the lights on before he leaves, so he can have his dramatic reveal...
      The President: DUN DUN DUN!
    • The actual reveal happens in the second act, where the president finally reveals himself to be none other than Dwayne Pipe.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: In this case, vampire. Applying healing gel on Vladimir Ampire from the second game hurts him, but his heart rate is always zero, so it doesn't matter.
  • Roadside Surgery: Almost every level in the games takes place in an unconventional location to do surgery. Only a minority of them are set in risky places, to say the least.
  • Running Gag: Alan and his allies/successors seem to always have problems when it comes to dealing with exterminating bugs, especially when it comes to Dwayne's bugs.
  • Sampling: After the Pocket Mortys event, the fourth game's menu theme sampled various sound effects from the former game.
  • Save the Villain: Occurs with Dwayne's second surgery in the second game and Hubris' second surgery in the third. In the pre-operation cutscene of the latter level, Alan justifies it to Ophelia by claiming that saving everyone is one of Dr. Bleed's standards.
  • Saving Christmas: Parodied in the plot of Christmas Edition, where Alan decides to save Christmas by finding and performing surgery on Santa... after he ran over Santa in the first place.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Alan does this in the intros to the first game and Christmas Edition. Amusingly, both situations happen to involve him driving a vehicle and running someone over while he's distracted reading a surgery magazine.
  • Shared Universe: With invokedSpiritual Successor games Amateur Ninja and Gigolo Assassin.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One level in the first game tasks you with disarming a bomb, like in Trauma Center. In fact, save for the order of operations, disarming the bomb is little different from the bomb in Under the Knife; detonator pins, wire cutting, and burning things out (although you burn out fuses instead of microchips, and handle the wires first.)
    • The Optional Bosses in the first game are pretty much walking Shout-Outs, the referenced works including Back to the Future, Superman and Short Circuit.
    • The second game has you giving a pig named Napoleon Trotterski opposable thumbs and a voice, in a reference to Animal Farm.
    • In the fourth game, you get rid of ghosts by sucking them up with your vacuum.
  • Significant Anagram:
    • Flip the "lan" in Alan's name and you get... well, at least it's not called Amateur Proctologist.
    • Same case goes to Bradley's real name of Buttley Probe Jr. if you remove the "ley".
  • Suck Out the Poison: You do this with syringes, and it will automatically cure the person of their poisoning... for some reason.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In the third game, when Ophelia and Alan deal with a woman that's stuck wearing a cursed chastity belt her overprotective dad forced her to wear:
    Ophelia: Alan, quick! I'm going to try to get inside her underwear!
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The emotron in the fourth game is stated to be able to have user relive memories that happen in the past and future. Don't question how it works.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Almost all of Alan's clientele fit into this category, with this trope being what got them to him in the first place.
  • A True Story in My Universe: It's mentioned by Alan in Christmas Edition and Amateur Surgeon 2 that the first game was developed and released in-universe at some point after its actual events.
  • Turbine Blender: In the intro sequence of Christmas Edition (a recreation of the intro to the first game), Alan, flying his private jet distractedly while reading an article about his rise to fame, collides with Santa's sleigh. One of the reindeer is sucked into the jet's turbines and shredded, causing it to crash into Santa's workshop.
  • Two-Donor Clone: As the former explains during their first meeting in the fourth game, Hubris and Bleed II were created from a combination of Bleed and Dwayne's DNA, which was being hidden from the latter as he was told that he was just a pure clone of Bleed. For this reason, both share Bleed's surgical talent and Dwayne's bug infestations. Hubris also treats Ignacious as if he was his brother, much like how he refers to Dwayne as his father.
    Hubris (to Ignacious): I was my father's child, with a touch of Bleed... And you were almost pure Ignacious - but with a touch of the obscene!
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The mobile version of the second game features a third act in addition to the standard two from the Flash version. This act would be carried over to the game's remastered surgeries in Regenerations.
  • Vigilante Man: Across the late second act and most of the third act in the first game, Alan patches up returning patients from earlier in the game, who this time are the victims of a rampaging vigilante. The third act reveals that the vigilante was Aureola, who was trying to get revenge on Dwayne Pipe, who killed her parents in the Old Hospital fiasco.
  • Walking Spoiler: Insects. Any time they appear in a character, they're almost guaranteed to be tied to either Dwayne or Hubris.
  • Warmup Boss: Dr. Bleed in the first game, Generic the Elf in the Christmas edition, Tommy Gracefuls in the second, and Mr. Giblets in the third.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: In the first game's third act, Junkyard Guts, who had been previously treated in the first act, asks for Alan's help again specifically because he was ticking. Turns out the "sandwich" given to him by "an attractive stranger" that "tasted like metal" was a timed bomb, which you have to defuse in the eventual surgery.
  • Women Are Wiser: Ophelia is the only female protagonist of the series, and perhaps the only character with anything resembling common sense.
  • Worst Aid: One of the missions in the first game's second act involves separating the hemispheres of a woman's brain with a chainsaw, temporarily removing part of the brain in order to destroy some unusual growths, and putting it back with just your lighter and some healing gel... all while using a dumpster as an operating table. And she survives long enough to at least thank Alan.

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