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Web Animation / OverSimplified

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Have you ever wanted to brush up on a war, but didn't want to devote the time to studying such a complex and intricate war that started to come together well before the actual fighting happened, and the consequences of which were felt long after the fighting ended?

OverSimplified is a YouTube channel dedicated to doing just that. It takes complex historical topics (usually wars) and boils them down to a few short minutes and some animation, but with lots of added humor and more than a few Running Gags to keep things interesting.


Now some of you might be thinking, "But TVTropes, it wasn't YouTube who discovered OverSimplified. It was the Vikings." And you'd be wrong. Oversimplified was created in 2017 with a two-part video about World War One, later followed up with videos about Adolf Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War, as well as other mini-episodes covering such topics as the Falklands War, the Football War, and William's invasion of England.

As a whole, it comes across as a web series similar to Crash Course, but with longer videos, more humor, and more of an eye to the build up and consequences of each war.


This web series contains examples of:

  • Bullying a Dragon: Duke William II of Normandy's enemies kept insulting the Duke over his bastard heritage and his mother being a Tanner's daughter. The Duke punished them by cutting off their arms.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Lu Bu, who betrayed everyone he ever fought for.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: "Court Culture" in the Three Kingdoms video, featuring power-hungry eunuchs, scheming uncles, and child emperors, all vying for power.
  • False Reassurance: Lu Bu, reassuring every warlord he fought under that he wouldn't betray them.
  • Genre Savvy: Cao Cao and his men killed Lu Bu rather than let him work for them, because of the fact that he betrayed everyone he ever worked for.
  • History Repeats: A common theme in most videos where new regimes end making the same mistakes as the old one. (eg. The Han Empire fell due to corrupt ministers, scheming Eunuchs and tyrannical rule, a fate that befell the Three Kingdoms and led them be conquered by the new Jin Empire.)
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  • Major Injury Underreaction: Several characters will get stabbed brutally and obviously, and will react with mild surprise at best.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Now some of you might be thinking, "But OverSimplified, It wasn't the X who discovered [subject matter]. It was the Vikings." And you'd be [right/wrong].
    • "This enraged his father, who punished him severely," accompanied by a picture of Alois Hitler spanking young Adolf. First used to describe every way in which Hitler's father beat him growing up, later the animation was used to show how badly Dong Zhou's army was pillaging the Eunuchs.
    • "Dude.(beat) Not cool."
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Dong Zhou didn't seem too concerned that his ward Lu Bu, who betrayed everyone he ever fought for, could potentially betray him.

Example of: