FreedomToons is an American animated political comedy series on YouTube, created by Seamus Coughlin. It can be viewed here.
Describing itself as "Educational Cartoons about Freedom and Liberty", it mainly comments current political issues and internet culture from an American right-libertarian perspective.
- Actually Pretty Funny: In his Sincerity Mode video "Snopes vs. Babylon Bee", Seamus admits that he finds the controversy Snopes got into for thinking Babylon Bee, a satirical Christian website, was a serious news source unintentionally hilarious. That being said, despite finding the situation funny, he does admit he's troubled that Snopes couldn't tell apart satire from serious news.
- Adaptational Badass: Parodied. Pintsized Jewish and Nerdy right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro has hex vision.
- Adaptational Dumbass: The way that Dave Rubin is portrayed is basically FreedomToons's answer to Matt Damon from Team America: World Police. The only barely coherent phrase Dave can utter is "I agree with that".
- Appeal to Consequences: Parodied. Ben Shapiro's response to the healthcare debate is to assert that free healthcare amounts to "stealing the labor of doctors", which means doctors are slaves, which means doctors will be forced to work on plantations, which means some doctors will be raped by their slave masters, so what happens to the half-doctor half-human babies born as a result of free healthcare?
- Argument of Contradictions: "Debates with Strawmen: Fake News" is just left-wing and right-wing media outlets accusing each other of being fake news in "I'm not! You are!" format.
- The Assimilator: "Bloomberg for America!" mocks Mike Bloomberg's bid for the 2020 Democratic nominee through non-stop advert shelling by depicting him as a virus only interested in making more copies of himself. It even mimics the YouTube commercial format as you're playing it.
- Author Tract: Seamus Coughlin is a Libertarian and also hosted animations for the Foundation For Economic Education.
- Author Avatar: Seamus will occasionally appear as himself in several cartoons.
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: Talkshow host Dave Rubin is parodied as being obsessed with the word "regressive". He uses it about thirty times in a single minute.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat: His videos tend to be against centralizing specific services because of the amount of red tape and bureaucracy that would result from doing so. "The Debunkers vs. The New York Times: America Isn't Great" discusses this with regards to several topics like medical services and education. For education specifically, the debunkers point out how America used to lead the world in education in the 1960s and 70s. However, in 1979, the Department of Education was formed, and instead of schools being allowed to teach their own personal curriculum, they were forced to follow a federal standard. This also resulted in educational spending skyrocketing, and America's global ranking in education has been dropping since the department was founded.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In-universe example. In "Debunkers vs. G*n Control Nonsense" the video they're analyzing ends with a message bashing the electoral college. The Debunkers are dumbfounded as to what the point of that statement was, as the video they were analyzing was about gun control, and the electoral college was never mentioned beforehand, so it had no relevance to the rest of the video.
- Big "NO!":
- Alex Jones lets out a dramatic "No!" as he's erased from existence by an Infinity Glove-wearing gay Pepe the Frog.
- All Seamus can do is scream "No!" when he's consumed by a horde of NPCs.
- Black and White Insanity:
- Dr. Mac has a rather bad case of this because he views the world exclusively through a power-plus-prejudice ideological lens. He actually argues that a survivor of a terrorist massacre is an evil racist... because he's white, so he can never be victimized. Meanwhile, any group or idea endorsed by his team has to be wonderful by default, facts be damned.
- This is the entire point of the Debates with Strawmen series.
Conservative Strawman: There is only one gender, sir!
- Burning with Anger: In "JBP, Trump's Wind Mill Cancer, Jussie Smollett", Alex Jones goes on a Conspiracy Theorist rant about the dangers of windmills. He keeps getting angrier and his face keeps getting redder until his hair catches fire.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: In "Gun Control with Piers and Cenk", Dr. Mac calls on Piers Morgan and Cenk Uygur to help him name several firearms that they want banned. They list a bunch of fictional guns from games such as Halo and Call of Duty: World at War.
- Catch-22 Dilemma: In the Dr. Mac short "Gentrification" Dr. Mac scolds guest speaker Timmy for moving into the inner city, referring to it as gentrification, saying it would drive up the area's prices and kick out the poorer locals. However, when Timmy suggests moving out of the city, Dr. Mac gets mad that he's no longer giving his money to the inner city's local economy, allowing poverty in the area to rise.
- Clickbait Gag: Parodied. Most political content on YouTube, especially if it's ripped from the original source, tends to be advertised with hyperbolic titles such as "X
- Convicted by Public Opinion: "Biden v. Kavanaugh" presents the sexual assault allegations against both as being tried in a literal courtroom of public opinion, with mainstream media conglomerates as the Joker Jury. Unsurprisingly, they receive very different treatments.
Dr. Mac: [holding up picture] Mr. Kavanaugh, did you, or did you not, make this angry face after being called a rapist 60 times?
Brett Kavanaugh: Well, yes, but...
Dr. Mac: I rest my case!
- Crawl: The bottom crawl on The Echo Chamber is deliberately hostile and condescending to the audience as part of its Strawman News Media nature.
- Crying Indian: At the end of "Dem Debate 2: Electoral Boogaloo", Elizabeth Warren (dressed as a native chief) cries a single tear when the other candidates start fist-fighting each other on stage.
- Dastardly Whiplash: The GOP is depicted as a mustache-twirling villain who wears a black suit, top hat, and eye mask.
- Dead Guy on Display: A background joke shows the mounted head of Cenk Uygur hanging on the Shapiro family's dining room wall.
- A Degree in Useless: Dr. Mac claims to be knowledgeable about firearms because he has a PhD, but when queried further, he clarifies that he's a doctor in "lesbian poetry".
- Double Standard:
- Mercilessly parodied in "HOW TO CRITICIZE THE LEFT". Dr. Mac hosts a game show called "Dilute That Criticism" that is about exactly this.
Dr. Mac: Whenever you critique a group of people the Left sympathizes with, you have to find a way to lather your critique and caveats about how other groups are just as bad, if not worse!
- Elephant in the Living Room: Dr. Mac shows a Spreading Disaster Map Graphic detailing terrorist attacks committed by Islamists that overlaps with Muslim-majority countries and countries with increasingly large Muslim minorities. He then calls the reason behind the surge of attacks a mystery for the ages.
- Eye Beams: According to "Thanksgiving With Ben Shapiro", this is hereditary in Ben's family.
- Freudian Slip: In the Dr. Mac short "Gentrification" Dr. Mac, despite always claiming to be against racism, refers to the inner city as a "minority infested neighborhood", which guest speaker Timmy is quick to pick up on.
- Gasshole: The FreedomToons version of Cenk Uygur is constantly burping and occasionally farts.
- Hope Spot: Jordan Peterson makes an impassioned speech advocating for free speech as the music swells, before a Record Needle Scratch cuts him off and a Canadian judge sentences him to electroshock therapy for his "horrible abuse of children" by using the wrong pronoun.
- Hypno Pendulum: In "Dem Debate 2: Electoral Boogaloo", Marianne Williamson attempts to hypnotize the other Democrats and the studio audience to vote for her.
- In "Bernie Hates Women" Dr. Mac frowns at Bernie for his supposed claim that a woman can't be president, before hysterically laughing at Warren for saying she should be President.
- In-Joke: In "Every Rubin Report Ever", the brief back-and-forth between Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson about the definition of truth isn't half as funny unless you've listened to their several hours-long discussion that was almost immediately derailed because they couldn't come to an agreement about objective truth vs. darwinian truth.
Harris: This is clearly... not... an honest person that we're dealing with. I view him... truly as a bad actor.
Peterson: Well, that depends on what your definition of truth is, Sam.
Harris: Oh, not this again.
- Insistent Terminology: In "Noah's Ark 2018" the Hipster in charge the ark claims that it's not an Ark but an "Authortarian Resistance Carrier", until Seamus points out that Islam has the Noah's ark narrative at which point she admits it's an ark.
- Interrupting Meme: Kanye West interrupts Dr. Mac's show to take him to task for his white savior complex and collectivization of black people.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: "Liberals on Women's Issues" portrays Dr. Mac, the host of The Echo Chamber, as this when it comes to women's issues. Every issue he lists is just a different way to say abortion, and guest speaker Jackie ca
- Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: Often, the videos will point out how some statistics that could be seen as a good thing give off a false impression.
- This is the bread and butter of "The Debunkers" series, which stars two men living in a bomb shelter who spend their free time debunking Youtube videos. If a video they're analyzing gives a statistic, they'll cite the full context of the statistic which usually gives off a different impression than the out-of-context statistic implies:
- "Debunkers vs. Medicare for All" goes into detail about the Canadian Healthcare System, and the myth that universal healthcare would fix everything. While it does have a universal healthcare system, there's so much red tape and bureaucracy that people can end up waiting months for emergency surgery, and citizens end up leaving Canada to find better healthcare in other countries. It also notes that despite the problems with America's healthcare system, the nation ranks first in the world in terms of quality, whereas Canada is ranked seventh.
- "Debunkers vs. Abolishing the Electoral College" makes a statement that a pure popular vote is a bad idea. Claiming that it would lead to a case where states with large cities (Chicago for Illinois, Los Angeles for California, etc.) would eclipse the voices of less populated states.
- Metaphorgotten: "The Fable of Jordan Peterson" at one point parodies Jordan Peterson's use of archetype and metaphor to express meaning and life lessons.
You think she's telling the truth? Yeah, sure. Just like Little Red Riding Hood
, walking down a path to grandma's house... but then it turns out, it's not grandma... it's The Big Bad Wolf
... and he gobbles you up! ...and that's how you get Nazi Germany
- Milking the Giant Cow: Bernie is often portrayed as waving his hands around with every word he says, it also sometimes extends to his supporters.
- Mondegreen: From "Fighting Nazis Then vs. Now":
Soldier #2: What else are these Nazis doing?
Blond Scientist: They believe there are only two genders.
Soldier #3: Well, of course, there's more than two genders.
Red-haired scientist: Thank goodness.
Soldier #3: Yeah. The Russians have their a-gender, the Germans have their a-gender, the Japanese have their a-gender, everybody's got an a-gender.
- Moon Logic Puzzle: In "Ben Shapiro OWNS Dr. Mac", Ben aces a question that no mere mortal could answer, despite his IQ slowly draining.
Look at this Wechsler IQ test! "If Uncle Mordecai calls you a meshugenahnote
each time three successive dreidelnote
spins result in a number adding up to less than seven, how many yarmulkesnote
surround the menorahnote
on the 11th day of Hanukkahnote
Well, the answer is obviously "12" folks. Dr. Mac: See
?! And he got that answer correct after speaking to me upwards of sixty seconds. You know how low is IQ must be at this point?
- Motor Mouth: Ben Shapiro is portrayed as this more so than usual.
Dr. Mac: Are—are you speeding this guy up? I can barely understand him.
Assistant: Speeding him up?! Mac, we're playing him in slow motion!
- Mushroom Samba: Joe Rogan is consuming various drugs throughout the "Joe Rogan interviews Tim Pool & Jack Dorsey" cartoon. At the end, when he asks everyone if they've tried DMT, Joe himself is shown as a unicorn with a human face.
- Noble Savage: Elizabeth Warren's spurious claims to Native ancestry are mocked by sarcastically depicting her as a Pocahontas-type figure who fears the White Man's DNA test influx into their lands.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Seamus does many of the vocal impersonations himself.
- Not So Different: In the "Nazis vs. Commies" episode of "Debates with Strawmen" both strawmen are shown to be bronies due to their "My Little Pony" t-shirts, just that the word "My" is translated to "Mein" for the Nazi and "Mao" for the Communist. They also end up forming an alliance at the end after realizing their ideologies have killed a lot of people.
- Offing the Annoyance:
- Ben Shapiro While arguing with a college student, gets so annoyed that he just kills them
- Same thing happens to the Shapiros' Thanksgiving turkey after someone claims "socialism works".
- Quicksand Sucks: Seamus criticizes the way government measures unemployment (anyone who has given up on looking for work is not considered "unemployed") by depicting a census taker observing several people drowning in quicksand, then declaring the problem solved when their head goes under.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: After Dave Rubin's guests vow never to come back because he's too agreeable, he instead decides to interview Rave Dubin, a webshow host who is very... agreeable. And wears glasses.
- Poe's Law: This is the focus of the Sincerity Mode video "Snopes vs. Babylon Bee". Snopes, a website focused on fact checking news articles, and Facebook both came under fire for treating the satirical Christian website Babylon Bee as a legitimate news source that needed fact checking. Yet the headlines for some of their articles include gems like "Did Democrats Demand That Brett Kavanaugh Submit to a DNA Test to Prove He's Not Actually Hitler?" and "CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine to Spin News Before Publication". Snopes did damage control by labeling the Babylon Bee as satire after the backlash, but the damage to their reputation had already done
- Pompous Political Pundit: Dr. Mac is a "progressive" version, embodying the worst stereotypes of left-wing pundits: he's Holier Than Thou, thinks that the west is an evil imperialist patriarchy, has Selective Obliviousness towards violent behavior perpretated by islamists, and is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All on topics such as gun legislation.
- Punny Name: "What White Knights Actually Believe" features an internet white knight named "Chris Cucker".
- Running Gag: If a video is about gun control, then expect the gun ban in Australia to be mentioned.
- Self-Botched Catchphrase: Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro flubs his Catch Phrase, "Facts don't care about your feelings", after Dr. Mac causes his intelligence to degrade, perverting it into "Feelings don't care about your facts".
- Self-Serving Memory: In "Bernie Hates Women" Elizabeth Warren's story about Bernie saying woman could never be president grows more and more ludicrous, from Bernie being insulting and mocking, to vandalizing her house and accepting a call from his "Best Friend Donald Trump" who joins him in mocking and calling Warren names.
- Sincerity Mode: Some of his videos have an animated version of himself talking directly into a microphone, lacking the satirical tone of most of his videos, with him instead being serious about the topic he's discussing. "Racist Bingo" and "Who Will Pump the Gas?" are two examples of videos that lack the satirical tone his videos tend to have.
- Spooky Painting: The family portraits in "Thanksgiving With Ben Shapiro"; the portraits' eyes blink in tandem with the entire Shapiro family.
- Stealth Pun: He doesn't say it outright, but Seamus seems to be referencing the 'Clown World' meme in "JBP, Trump's Wind Mill Cancer, Jussie Smollett", focused on various short skits depicting a Bizarro upside-down world where Jordan Peterson's refusal to use Newspeak causes Trans people to literally stop existing, President Trump develops cancer from exposure to constant media windmills, and Jussie Smollet is vindicated as a saint
- Strawman Fallacy: Through the use of actual strawmen
- This becomes a Literal Metaphor in the recurring "Debates with Strawmen", where each side of a debate is depicted as an actual strawman who unironically argues the most extreme possible caricture of their side's position on a given topic.
- In "#NotAll", a Flubal (basically a simply-drawn Hobbit who talks in a slow voice) keeps reading his own, distorted interpretations into whatever Seamus's Author Avatar is actually saying about Flubals.
- "Jordan Peterson's Translator" mocks the infamous Cathy Newman Channel 4 interview and her repeated attempts to restate his arguments in a way that made them sound extreme or ridiculous. "So what you're saying is...?" At one point, Cathy herself is drawn as a Flubal.
- Dr. Mac debates one of the Strawmen in "Dr. Mac DESTROYS Strawman". They're just throwing talking point clichés at each other without getting anywhere.
- Strawman News Media: The Echo Chamber hosted by Dr. Mac is an In-Universe news show with an extreme left-wing bias replete with Demonization, Strawmanning, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics, and Insane Troll Logic.
- Strawman Political: Leftists tend to be portrayed as blue-haired hipsters, Rightwingers as corporatist sell-outs.
- Strong Family Resemblance: In "Thanksgiving with Ben Shapiro", Ben Shapiro's family members all look exactly like him and talk with the same nasal high-speed voice. When we see his wife (who is a doctor!) she looks like Shapiro with lipstick.
- Talking to Themself: In-Universe, After Dave Rubin interviews Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and others, "Every Rubin Report Ever" ends with him interviewing "Rave Dubin."
- Upper-Class Twit: The European Union is depicted as an out-of-touch aristocrat who worships St. Merkel of the Migrant and doesn't want the United Kingdom to leave the organization because "it's racist it's racist it's racist it's racist...".
- Verbal Tic:
- Visual Pun: "Journalism in 2018" has two reporters literally patting themselves on the back repeatedly while engaging in a bloviating and self-aggrandizing speech about the moral fortitude of the fourth estate.
- Wheel of Decisions: The host of The Echo Chamber uses a giant spinning wheel to determine what kind of "bigot" the guests he disagrees with are.
- Where No Parody Has Gone Before: After Donald Trump announced the establishment of a space force as an official new branch of the U.S. military, there's "Trump Trek", parodying the original Star Trek, with Trump himself as Kirk, Mike Pence as Spock, Kim Jong-Un as Sulu, and SJWs as the Klingons.
- White Man's Burden: The video "Muslim Representation" plays with this idea. The Echo Chamber is trying to celebrate the fact that The Police Show has introduced a transgendered, homosexual Muslim character. However, guest speaker Muhammad, who is Muslim, doesn't see the character as proper representation. Instead, he sees the character as a mouthpiece for white writers to promote their political ideology.