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Web Animation / Dr. Crafty

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This page contains unmarked spoilers for Dr. Crafty's storyline. You Have Been Warned.
It's time to get Crafty!

Dr. Crafty is a weekly YouTube art series created by Alexander Tansley, a DeviantArt title card artist known for Atop the Fourth Wall, Positively Dreadful, and various original pieces of art. Each episode has Dr. Crafty, and his assistant Nurse Worse, work on creating an art piece — which they call a concoction for branding — which can cover original creations, commissioned artwork, or fan art. As the art footage plays in the background, the two partake in some riffing, with some hilarious outcomes. Among other things, it is very common for characters from other works to appear and interact with the show's cast. Typically, episodes are released weekly under a particular monthly theme, with each theme lasting four episodes.

The show gained a few spin-offs, whose contents function as additional segments for the main show. With those spin-offs comes a new character to help Crafty host them. Each of their episodes air monthly, coinciding with the main show's monthly themes. They are listed here in the order they were released:

  • Crafty's Chara-Cafe has a format similar to the main show's, with an exclusive focus on original characters. The specific theme of each episode's character design is voted upon by the show's Patreon supporters, from a selection of theme-appropriate choices. The show is co-hosted by Pepper the Octo-Chef and Pickles the Sea Cucumber.
  • Crafty's Top Ten Tub provides top ten lists of theme-appropriate subjects. The show is co-hosted by Messibelle the Slime Maid.
  • Crafty's Questionable Qloset serves as the show's QnA segment, with three questions answered per episode. The show is exclusively hosted by Crystelle the Mysterious Fortune Teller.
  • Crafty's Shake-Up Salon shares a similar format to both the main show and the Chara-Cafe. This time, Patreon supporters vote on theme-appropriate existing characters for the show to improve upon. The show is co-hosted by Stylene the Witch.

As the series continues, however, it becomes clear that a larger narrative is at play. In addition to new cast members being introduced with their own arcs, details regarding Crafty and Nurse's storied, unusual histories are elaborated upon, and they are forced to confront them whether they like it or not. Soon enough, the Crafty Crew finds itself involved in a plot with divine consequences, all while still trying to keep Crafty's show afloat.

The show has an official website that you can visit here.

Dr. Crafty provides examples of:

  • Absent Animal Companion: Both Crafty's pet skeleton dog Bonnie and Nurse's pet blob monster Goozie have disappeared without a trace after their debut. The Top 10 Tub reveals what happened to them: Bonnie ran away from the doctor, and Goozie went to join "The Society of Blobs", a cult for Mr. Blobby. Although, since they were more or less a demonstration of creature concoctions for Crafty's commission rules, it's somewhat justified that they're not on the show anymore: they effectively served their purpose already.
  • Adam Westing: Crafty's "agent in the Disney Parks" during Disney Month is Alex Tansley, the voice of Crafty and the show's creator, going on rides and making various snarky jokes.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Dr. Mindstein and Screw take over the castle for the Season 3 finale, "I Need a Hero Academia."
  • Amoral Attorney: Guest character Jedah Dohma is characterized as a crackpot lawyer. He even has his own law firm: “Jedah & Jedah,” which specializes in Faustian deals and comedic abuse.
  • Ancient Artifacts: The Infinium Relics, which first appeared in the third season. There are seven in total, and so far four of them have been revealed.
    • The Infinium Torch, which can bring gods Back from the Dead. Doctor Mindstein used it to resurrect Zorc and Bill Cipher as part of her plans.
    • The Infinium Flute, which inflicts a Brown Note on gods. Mindstein also got her hands on it, using it to "convince" Bill to work for her.
    • The Infinium Sword, a weapon that can make a god Deader Than Dead; even the Torch can't bring back someone killed by the sword! Sasha currently wields it, and used it to make Bill meet his end once again.
    • The Infinium Door, which holds all the secrets of the universe and its creation. It requires all seven relics to open, and it's the ultimate goal of Doctor Mindstein to research its secrets for scientific purposes.
    • The Infinium Heart, which is used as a focal point for all the eldritch energy of the universe. It was incomplete due to the extinction of almost all of the Infinia, but Mindstein managed to create a near-perfect replica. It was essential in creating Nurse Worse, as Mindstein planned on using her to rule over the eldritch powers of the universe after opening the door.
    • However, it was eventually revealed that the original Heart was finished, and it turns out Crafty himself has it! It allowed him to have a mental connection with Sasha so they can share their powers.
  • And I Must Scream: In "The Foreshadow Game," all four hosts' souls are trapped in the Shadow Realm, with nothing for them to do but draw to pass the time as they wait for rescue. Fortunately, they manage to escape with the combined might of Crafty and Sasha.
  • Anti-Villain: All of Crafty's co-hosts are Type IV. Aside from working for a(n alleged) supervillain, there is really nothing villainous about them.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Throughout Disney Month, the main show focuses on drawing human representations of the Walt Disney World areas based on each park's iconic centerpieces.
  • Artifact Title:
    • The Chara-Cafe is clearly a kitchen, which made a little more sense when the show was to be called Crafty's OC Cook-Off.
    • Unlike the other spin-off shows, only Crystelle hosts Crafty's Questionable Qloset, which only retains the "Crafty" prefix to maintain consistency with the other spin-offs' titles.
  • Art Shift:
    • In dramatic scenes, the show likes using new art and assets outside of the typical pose sets it relies on under normal circumstances. "I Need a Hero Academia" utilizes new art a ton.
    • Starting with Season 3, Skittlezjuice was hired to create new video thumbnail art pieces to replace most of the original ones. The replacement thumbnails are drawn in her distinctive style.
  • Author Appeal: Crafty is an unashamed Nintendo and Disney fanboy. In fact, you'll see a lot of Crafty's favorite series be the subjects of episodes, including Darkstalkers, The Addams Family and Scooby-Doo. Sexy ladies and pieces influenced by JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are also common trademarks.
  • Beach Episode: Season 2's Beach Month covers aquatic and beach-themed content.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Crystelle, despite her immense cosmic powers, cannot interfere with the timeline. Thus, whatever is set to occur in Dr. Crafty's universe will happen regardless of her clairvoyance.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Crafty may be a Card-Carrying Villain, but he's actually quite Affably Evil and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Even his self-proclaimed evil deeds fall under the realm of Cartoonish Supervillainy and end up being rather harmless in the grand scheme of things, even played for laughs most of the time. On the other hand, there's Doctor Mindstein, a Knight of Cerebus with truly evil ambitions, including torture, mind-raping, Offing the Offspring, and mutilation. Also, while she talks politely to her victims, she comes across as Faux Affably Evil in contrast to Crafty's genuine kindness.
  • Black Comedy: Whatever happens to characters of different intellectual properties that are often subjects of videos? They get stuffed in a crate a-la Indiana Jones and get eaten by Overwatch character Junkrat.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The Crafty Crew lives inside a massive castle with quite a bit of extra space. Episode 58 finally gives us a look at Crafty's lair from the outside, as seen here. It's depicted as an elaborate castle located in the Florida Everglades, complete with specific sections for the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Cards of Power: On the Questionable Qloset, Crystelle randomly selects from a deck of Dr. Crafty-themed tarot cards to determine what her next question shall be about.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Thought Crafty's Nigh-Invulnerability was a result of him being an Iron Butt Monkey? Well, in I Need a Hero Academia, it's revealed that he's so durable because he has an Infinium Heart within him (and it's a real one instead of the replica Mindstein made for Nurse).
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Starting with "The Foreshadow Game," the show starts going into a more serious, story-driven direction.
  • Character Filibuster: The #1 entries on the Top-Ten-Tub episodes typically receive a praise-filled speech from Crafty.
  • Crossover: In Season 3, all three of the then-current Dr. Crafty spin-off shows crossed over with each other for "I Need a Hero Academia," as all three hosts are put into the dungeon by Mindstein.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Most of Crafty's cohosts are cute monster women, and quite a diverse bunch at that. The first is Nurse Worse, a cheerful and plump young woman reminiscent of Frankenstein's Monster. Season 2 introduces viewers to the remaining core characters: Pepper, a kindhearted Octopus mutant, and Messibelle, an energetically lewd slime maid, and both are occasionally portrayed as some of the most desirable women in the cast (Pepper receives Valentine's gifts in abundance in "Ad-ORC-Able," and Prince Sidon reveals that Messi is quite famous for her beauty in "Aquatic Characters").
  • Deal with the Devil: In Episode 23, Crafty makes a deal with Jedah to trade the souls of his YouTube commenters for more views and Patreon money, but Jedah later voids the contract because the souls he obtained were nothing but internet memes. Jedah seeks to get revenge on Crafty for his scam ever since.
  • Deep Sleep: Crafty ended up in a coma after The Foreshadow Game. He wakes up after four months — just in time for the Season 3 Premiere — but not before having a conversation with Sasha while he was still unconscious.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Crafty had a romantic relationship with Sasha in his youth. While they've broken up several years ago, it turns out that they still love each other, opening up the possibility of getting back together.
  • Die or Fly: The Infinium Hearts (both Crafty's genuine one and Nurse's artificial one) are activated through a body's natural fight-or-flight response.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Every episode begins and ends with a flash of thunder, and starting with the third season, there are occasional glimpses of outside the castle, where one can see the lightning directly.
  • Drop-In Character: If the subject of the episode's art is fan art, expect the characters depicted to drop in.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Some of the Season One episodes were kinda rough around the edges. The sound-mixing made the music and sound effects louder than the characters' voices, there were a lot more technical difficulties with the footage, and the talking bits were shorter and contained a lot more throw-away jokes.
  • Edutainment Show: Partially, thanks to Nurse Worse's frequent drawing advice.
  • Flashback Echo: It's very common throughout the show for something to trigger either Crafty or Nurse's memories of their distant pasts.
  • Foreshadowing: Throughout the series, there is some subtle build-up to a larger narrative than the show initially presented:
    • Sasha was first hinted at in Episode 19 as the woman Nurse Worse saw in her vision thanks to Mismagius.
    • Crafty receives a ton of punishment across the entire series, frequently taking lethal damage yet being back on his feet soon after. One particular highlight is when the Hyrule Champions blast him to kingdom come in "Legend of Lonk." While Crafty's charred and barely able to stand up, he's very much alive; he returns to normal one week later. At first, such incidents seem to be just cartoon slapstick. However, it turns out this Nigh-Invulnerability applies even during serious moments, such as during "Crafty Hearts Re:Grouped," when Crafty wakes up from a four-month-long coma in perfect health. "I Need A Hero Academia" finally explains why Crafty has this ability: within his chest, he has an authentic Infinium Heart (which, as he and Sasha realize during "Questions and Answers," he may have obtained when he and Sasha first made love). Mindstein even cites the violent slapstick moments as she rants about the heart.
    • In the final scene of "The Beachles," Nurse catches Crafty gazing forlornly out at the sea again. She wonders aloud why he's so down... then suddenly has a tiny flashback, where she remembers seeing a young Crafty sitting beside Sasha at a beach. The exact significance of this scene is elaborated upon throughout season 3's Cartoon Month episodes; they reveal that Nurse and Crafty met in passing during their high-school years, and that Nurse developed a crush on him. "GEMS! Truly Outrageous!" fleshes out that memory, revealing that Nurse walked in on Crafty and Sasha enjoying each other's company on a beach.
    • The Top Ten Tub's "Crafty Fan Characters" hints at something involving one of the applicants, Rob Otto, who is already working for Crafty. We then see Rob constructing a giant robot, saying "don't worry; your morphin' time will soon come..."
    • There's a flashback played during "This is Crack(ship)," taking place after a young Crafty recovered from his attempted suicide. When he brings Sasha home with him to introduce her to the family, Crafty's mother is initially confused. The doctors told her that the girl who brought Crafty to the hospital was quite chubby, while Sasha is quite lean. Sasha quietly confirms to Crafty that she couldn't have called for help — she didn't own a phone. Crafty's mother writes the confusion off, concluding that the hospital just made a mistake. But later, "Friendship is Arcane" reveals that it was a chubby girl who got Crafty medical attention. It wasn't just anyone, either — it was Nurse, back when she was Crafty's classmate, Greta.
    • In "Something Weird This Way Comes," Mindstein plays a certain tune on the Infinium Flute, to get Bill Cipher under her control. That tune is a rendition of Disney's "It's a Small World." A few episodes later, the Disney Month episodes begin... And in the very last one, Mindstein launches her attack on Castle Infinia.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Crafty's Questionable Qloset is the show's QnA segment, where the audience asks questions about the show's characters. Before this show was created, Crafty also had mail slots via Curious Cat and AskFM, but both accounts have since been deleted after the Qloset's premiere.
  • Halloween Episode: The finale for Season 1 is the HalloWinter Special, a set of Halloween episodes that aired in December.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Just about every character on the show has cracked at least several puns. Given the right subject matter, they can really let them loose in a single episode.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Any time Crafty needs to clean out his storage, which is usually filled with guest characters who he's drawn fanart of (or even some of the art itself that may or may not have come to life), he feeds them to Junkrat.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: A common wannabe antagonist on the show is Disgustilda, who wants to take over the world, starting with Crafty's castle, but just can't.
  • Lemony Narrator: If a narrator appears in an episode, they will either grow increasingly annoyed with the show or end up annoying the Crafty Crew.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: During Death Debate Month, the main show creates art depicting two characters fighting against each other, with Crafty and Nurse rooting for one of them as the combatants argue over who would win.
  • Love Triangle: One has opened up between Crafty, his Old Flame Sasha, and his lab assistant Nurse Worse. The latter is only one-sided; despite how obvious Nurse's crush is on him, Crafty is blissfully ignorant of her feelings, and Nurse can't bring herself to express them directly.
  • Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves: Crafty's design is notably sharper and more angular than his female co-hosts, who all have smoother, more rounded designs to them.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The show is a time-lapse of artwork, hosted by a flamboyant Mad Scientist and various Cute Monster Girls.
  • Mythology Gag: A stained glass window in the laboratory depicts Fiona Frightening, another character created by Alexander Tansley. Notably, the updated laboratory removes this reference, as between seasons 2 and 3, Fiona Frightening and the Wicked Wardrobe had been canceled.
  • Negative Continuity:
    • Crafty flat-out admits that the Patreon-sponsored episodes are non-canon.
    • Commissions involving the show's characters are also non-canon, as explained in Episode 28. Crafty regards the depicted Crafty Crewmates as "stunt doubles," who fill in for the actual characters so as not to affect the show's overall plot. "This is Crack(ship)" implies there is an agreement made between the interacting characters setting down those terms.
  • No Fourth Wall: Given the nature of the show, they'll frequently address the production problems they have on occasion, like missing voice actors and schedule slips.
  • The Power of Friendship: Love and friendship are recurring themes in the show, with many characters finding the willpower to fight on because of how much they care for one another.
  • Punched Across the Room: A running gag throughout the series involves Nurse's incredibly strong JoJo punches. She usually employs them to deal with unwanted guests.
  • Rage Against the Author: It's quite common for the show's writing and editing team to try and get one over Crafty, who tends to mistreat them.
  • Rebuilt Set: The third season introduced a new laboratory for the background, which is much brighter and bigger and includes a stained-glass window of all four hosts. Although at the end of "Crafty Hearts Re:Grouped," it's revealed the lab was created using a green screen and special effects. However, later episodes imply this projection quickly became a reality. Exterior shots of the castle, such as the ones in "LoveCrafty" and "GEMS! Truly Outrageous," show that the stained-glass window is now fully integrated into the castle's facade. And in "Magic Kingdom Mania," when Screw sends Crafty flying through the window, it shatters apart, cementing its authenticity.
  • Rule of Three: Befitting for a comedy show, a ton of jokes like to come in threes.
  • Running Gag: Several have been established throughout the series, but here are some highlights.
    • Crafty summoning a dragon with a d20 die, shouting "Roll for dragon!"
    • Everyone pointing Crafty doesn't have a legitimate doctorate.
    • Fan-art characters dropping in when least expected, and the fact that they're stuck in storage after every episode.
    • Pepper being connected to different kinds of ocean life, whether it be real-life species like puffer-fish or video game races like Octarians or Zorans.
    • Jedah Dohma as an Amoral Attorney.
    • Mr. Blobby is depicted as an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Shared Universe: Thanks to Linkara's cameo in the second Patreon video, Dr. Crafty is now officially part of the Reviewaverse. This gets followed up in both of their respective series. Dr. Crafty makes a cameo during Linkara's review of Franken Fran chapters 1 & 4, and Linkara and Pollo both appearing when Dr. Crafty steals Neutro from them with Iida's help.
  • Stunt Double: In an In-Universe example, Crafty explained in Episode 28 that the depiction of the show's characters in commissions are body doubles that just happen to share their likeness and name, referred to as "non-canon clones".
  • Summoning Artifact: Crafty's typical weapon of choice is Draconian Vicennial (aka the "ROLL FOR DRAGON!" die), a die that he uses to summon a dragon to take care of a threat or unwanted visitor. The history behind it is covered in "The Little Purple House." The die has existed for several millennia and can summon a single dragon to assist the person who used the die. However, there's a chance the dragon won't be obedient to its summoner, and the die can be subject to a critical failure roll, which doesn't summon anything. With these risks, Crystelle advised that the user should be careful using the die... but since Crafty's the current owner, you can see how well that turns out.
  • Take That!: The whole Crafty Crew (including Pepper, the nicest of the bunch) makes a point to call out things that they don't like throughout the series.
  • Take That, Audience!: Anyone who commissions their original characters can expect their designs to be mildly riffed upon.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: Season 3 has a Valentine's-themed Month, which contains a sub-plot concerning Crafty's past with Sasha, and how the breakup affected him.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Technical difficulty signs are a semi-common running gag, especially throughout Season 2.
  • Wham Episode: The show begins shaking up its format as early as Season 1:
    • Episode 24, shows a flashback to a younger Crafty being saved from drowning by a mysterious sea woman. The flashback is drawn in a different style and is without humor.
    • Episode 26 opens with a surprisingly emotional parody of "Jack's Lament". While it contains some humor in the form of Self-Deprecation, it still has an element of foreshadowing that hints at a larger narrative for Season 2.
    • Episode 35 has another flashback presented in the same art style of Episode 24 and revealed Crafty (or Colin) almost drowned because he fell off a cliff.
    • Episode 38 reveals the sea woman's name is Sasha. She was driven by instinct to save Colin from drowning and has eventually taken a liking to him. Colin even invited her to come home with him after he leaves the hospital.
    • The set-up and premise episodes of the Foreshadow Game arc are all Wham Episodes so far, cementing the show's darker turn. But the episode that really takes the cake is the finale part of the finale, which formally introduced us to the Big Bad of the series, Dr. Mindstein.
    • Episode 58 is without a doubt, one of, if not the darkest episode in the show so far, with no comedic breaks whatsoever. The most shocking part was when Crafty revealed he jumped off the cliff voluntarily in an attempt to kill himself.
    • Episode 62 has all the same wacky shenanigans you'd come to expect from the series... and then there's an epilogue where Dr. Mindstein visits the grave of Bill Cipher, and brings him back to life.
    • Episode 70, being the set-up of another four-part season finale, is naturally another shocker, with Mindstein showing up at Crafty's castle, paralyzing Nurse Worse in fear before Screw knocks her out and sends Crafty flying. Then Mindstein's drone army completely takes over the place, taking Pepper, Messibelle, and Crystelle captive. Then Crafty lands just outside U.A. High School, in need of a hero, or a whole class of them.
  • World of Buxom: Pretty much every main female character sports an exceptionally impressive bust, ESPECIALLY Nurse Worse, Pepper, and Screw. Even guest female characters tend to follow this trope.
  • World of Weirdness: Just about anything can happen on Dr. Crafty; the castle invites itself to tons of invited and uninvited guests alike from a wide array of franchises. Often, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The "Closet" in the Questionable Qloset's name is spelled with a Q for the sake of alliteration.

Alternative Title(s): Dr Crafty


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