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Web Animation / Overly Sarcastic Productions

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Red: Hi, I'm Red.
Blue: And I'm — wait, did we ever give me a name? Are we going with colors, or...?
[cut to several seconds later]
Red: Hi, I'm Red.
Blue: And I'm Blue.
Red: And we make videos about boring nerd books.
Blue: And history.
Red: Don't worry, we make it fun.
Blue: That way you actually remember it.
— An apt summarisation of the channel and its owners.

Red likes books and tropes. Blue likes history and philosophy.

Started in late 2012 with a summary of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, this YouTube channel wants you to learn one thing and one thing only: learning isn't scary.

There are two people currently involved with the channel: Red, a passionate lover of books, and Blue, a lover of history. Together, they aim to not only educate viewers on the plots of classic novels and the summary of important points in history, but also inform you why you should care about such seemingly trivial matters in your everyday life.

Check it out here.


Overly Sarcastic Productions provides examples

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  • Abusive Parents: In the Greek myths, Hera literally throws away an infant Hephaestus, and her relationship with her other son isn't the best either.
    Ares: My mother was the most selfish woman I ever met! She never gave me anything!
  • The Ace: Aeneas is seen as an Expy of Odysseus, only without the severe flaws.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Featuring the Trope Namer in a sulky blanket burrito in his tent.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In Miscellaneous Myths: Loki's Wager, Red draws Brok and Sindri as way more attractive than what was written in the Nordic texts. She justifies this decision by explaining how Dwarves and Dark Elves were considered the same species, so by that logic they should be the same size as a human. She also explains how Ivaldi, forefather of the dwarves, had a beautiful daughter, Idunn, who became the Aesir goddess of youth. Combining these ideas, she depicts Brok and Sindri as muscular, bearded men who are bigger than Loki.
  • Adaptational Badass: Discussed in Red's video about Bellerophon, Red explains that being demigod wasn't as impressive as you were lead to believe. As a demigod, your powers weren't as great and powerful as your parent's. As the son of Poseidon, Bellerophon had innate abilities with equestrianism. Heracles only gained his infamous strength after he was brought to Hera and she breastfed him, only to realize who he was after he bit her.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Discussed in Red's video about Don Quixote. In several adaptations, Don Quixote is depicted as a misunderstood dreamer with a heart of gold, whose odd dreams are admirable and noble. In the book, however, Don Quixote is delusional, violent and volatile. Whose dreams have no basis in reality and are dysfunctional from minute one. Red attributes this change to censorship since Don Quixote can be misinterpreted as a mockery of mental illness, when it's actually about how reality can be just as engaging and interesting as the fiction he emulates.
    • Downplayed in the Oresteia video. Aegisthus, Clytemnestra's accomplice and co-conspirator, pretty much tags along in her wake and Orestes is said to kill him "just because."
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Achilles was bi in the original Illiad but anytime he is depicted here, he's pretty firmly homosexual with many a joke about his lack of interest in women/anyone besides Patroclus. It was actually pretty common for Greek heroes to sleep with men, though Achilles is easily the most known perhaps because he was a rare example of the most prominent love interest being a same-sex relationship.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Red points out that in the original Frankenstein, the monster was quite attractive with only his eyes looking wrong.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Red explains that Marvel misrepresented Mjolnir, which was far more dangerous than how Marvel depicted it. As Marvel depicted Mjolnir as a weapon that can be only wielded by Thor or by anyone of his calibre and it will become immovably heavy if someone unworthy tries to wield it. In the actual Norse Mythology, however, only Thor, or anyone of his calibre, could wield Mjolnir without disintegrating from its sheer power.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: When Blue describes the individuals in "Bolgia 4":
    Blue: There are no depths to which these depraved deadbeats won't dive!
    Red: [in the background] Woo! Alliteration!
  • Adorkable: Red and Blue, when they get really passionate about the work or point in history they're talking about.
    • One of the furies in the Oresteia. When Athena makes them prosecutors in court, she dresses in a suit and seems to genuinely enjoy herself.
  • Affably Evil: Several creatures in Hell. The Minotaur, the Centaurs, and the Biblical Giant particularly stand out.
  • Age Lift: Chryses, an elderly priest of Apollo in the Iliad, is illustrated as a relatively young man.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Lampshaded when Red talks about The Dunwich Horror, as Old Whateley provides a full-blown Exposition Dump while on his death-bed.
  • Always Someone Better: One of the morals of the story of Mwindo: it doesn't matter how awesome you are, there will always be someone more awesome than you.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Red covers a Lenape myth that says the crow was originally rainbow-colored, but turned black because its feathers got burned while it was bringing fire to Earth.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The Jorogumo story ends this way. Did the spider demon eat the lumberjack, or did they become a couple?
  • Analogy Backfire: When Phaedra starts coming on to her stepson Hippolytus, she claims to be inspired by the story of Oedipus... in which the Parental Incest is accidental, and once they find out the queen commits suicide and her son blinds himself.
  • And I Must Scream: How Lancelot feels about becoming a monk.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Downplayed in the ending of "Perseus." Perseus accidentally kills his filicidal grandfather with a discus. The video then cuts right back to the Happily Ever After shot that was just interrupted, with everyone completely unaffected.
  • Angrish: Menelaus is like this all the time.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Red gives Atalanta a bear motif due to her history with bears.
    • Anansi is depicted as a human with a spider motif, often with spider features.
    • Io is given a bovine motif due to her transformation into a cow after she was raped by Zeus.
  • Animesque: The channel's art style is heavily influenced by chibi, featuring cute, Moe-esque characters. The Journey to the West series affectionately parodies all manner of trope-laden Shonen anime.
  • Answer Cut: During the Aeneid, King Latinus is informed in a dream that he should marry his daughter Lavinia to a "very specific foreigner". Cut to Aeneas eating pizza on the beach.
  • Archenemies: Aphrodite and Artemis hated each other. Aphrodite hated chastity and would torture worshipers of Artemis.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When discussing Tantalus' crimes, Red lists kinslaying, cannibalism, theft in breach of hospitality and, worst of all, being Agamemnon's ancestor and stealing a dog.
  • Asexuality: Red is ace, thought it's rarely brought up. It's often speculated that some mythological figures are asexual.
  • Aside Glance: Crossed with Disapproving Look when Red gets to the part of H. P. Lovecraft's life summary where he's said to "not have the constitution for math." She just stares at the "camera" for a split second, no other jokes included, before moving on. For the record, Red's degree was in mathematics.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Acrisius locks up his daughter to prevent her from conceiving any children. When Zeus still manages to impregnate her, he tosses her and his infant grandson into the ocean, technically avoiding filicide by not spilling their blood personally. Needless to say, nobody mourns when the adult Perseus inadvertently beans him in the head with a discus as he's thinking about how he loves thwarting prophecies.
    • Red brings up that the only time Hades legitimately and willingly screwed with the lives of others was when he used snakes to strap Theseus and Pirithous to their chairs and let the Furies have their way with them. Red considers this fitting and well deserved since the two of them tried to literally kidnap Hades wife.
    • Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter, refuses to ransom his Sex Slave, and brings another Sex Slave home to his wife. Then he gets murdered by his wife and her lover.
      • In the Oresteia:
        Cassandra: She'll kill us all! And only he deserves it!
      • In the Aeneid:
        Agamemnon: [being stabbed by Clytemnestra] Damn you negative consequences!
      • And even in Achilles's Imagine Spot in the Iliad:
        Agamemnon: [impaled by a spear] Oh I am slain! If only I hadn't been a giant prick!
  • Attractiveness Isolation: Psyche is described by Red as being so beautiful that men are too anxious to talk to her.
  • Author Appeal: Urban Fantasy is a topic Red likes to bring up in her videos, and Blue makes no secret of his love for Venice.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: Odysseus is depicted as wearing one in Classics Summarized: The Iliad, which is always blowing in the Dramatic Wind regardless of where he is. Combined with his beard, cardboard box, and his role as the sneaky guy, it makes him look somewhat familiar...
    • He also ends up wearing the magical anti-drowning scarf as a bandana in Classics Summarized: The Odyssey, and is shown wearing his old one in his flashback to before he got stranded.
  • Badass Bisexual: Many Greek heroes were depicted as bisexual or, at least, having male lovers because of Greece's patriarchal system. Being gay was considered the ultimate form of manliness. For example, Heracles was considered a symbol of masculinity and virility because he had 4 wives and 7 boyfriends.
  • Bare Your Midriff: In Frankenstein, the wife that the monster asks Victor to make for him is dressed in this.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Discontent with real women, who do things like talk and have sex, Pygmalion creates Galatea and then, unhappy with her inability to return his affections, begs Aphrodite to bring her to life.
    Red: So now she can do things like talk! And have sex!
    [Pygmalion stares at the fourth wall, then sidelong at Galatea, looking queasy]
    Red: You kids have fun!
  • Bed Trick: Zeus' primary tactic for sleeping with mortals is to assume the form of a mortal. Heracles' mother, Alcmene, slept with Zeus when he took the form of her husband.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big Friendly Dog:
  • Big "WHY?!": Red does one of these when she finds out Odysseus's faithful hunting dog dies the moment he returns to his house in The Odyssey.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Hyacinthus is described as being "really pretty".
    • Alcibiades is described as being "indisputably the most attractive man in the ancient world". He's even portrayed as Henry Cavill with Anime Eyes.
    • Red really likes drawing men, young and old, this way - Valentine Michael Smith of Stranger in a Strange Land is depicted as a really cute prettyboy.
  • The Blank: Whenever Red refers to the person watching the video (EG by saying "You might be thinking..." or something to that effect), a stock character, representing the viewer, is shown. It's a standard character model in the show's art style with the word "YOU" written across its chest. Its face only has eyebrows and a mouth, since Red has no idea what the viewer looks like.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Victor Frankenstein's little brother William.
    William Frankenstein: [to the monster] You, sir, are ugly and therefore morally reprehensible.
  • Broken Ace: Edgar Allen Poe had everything; Parental Abandonment, financial ruin, alcoholism, a dead wife, and an appropriately mysterious death at age 40. He also did most of the work of creating the Gothic literary genre.
  • Bury Your Gays: In "Dante's Inferno", Dante sees his teacher in Hell for being gay.
  • ...But He Sounds Handsome:
    Sun Wukong: [disguised as the Bull Demon King] Whoa, Tripitaka? But I hear he's under the protection of the terrifying and devastatingly handsome Sun Wukong! You best be careful — that tricky monkey could be anywhere. Looking like anyone!
  • Call-Back:
    • When Ra is sick and dying, one of the gods called to help him is Wadjet, who tells him she can't help. Ra is offended, and threatens to sic his other eye at her.
    • The Atlantis video very briefly brings back the old running gag from the Lovecraft video.
      Text flying by the screen: Oh hey it's a mysterious color unlike any seen on Earth
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Red's video on "Robin Hood" has footage of Smaug's hoard from The Hobbit used as an "artist's representation" of the rich choosing to hoard their money rather than spend it, and the problems this causes for the poor, in a society that associates wealth with social standing.
  • Cartwright Curse: To say Apollo is unlucky in love is an understatement. All of his would-be lovers end up dead, either to avoid being with him or because another god got envious. At the beginning of "Hyacinthus," Red cues up a montage that includes three separate people diving off a cliff to escape. Hell, one of them went as far as to turn themselves into a laurel tree just to avoid dating him.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Character Shilling: Invoked by Red on Oskar Sommer's Galahad becoming a Christian ideal hero.
  • Characterization Marches On: Explored in Red's videos on the Greek gods Dionysus, Aphrodite, and Hermes, as she discusses the changing cultural contexts and how that influenced how they were portrayed and worshipped.
  • Chivalric Romance: Don Quixote deconstructs chivalric love and explains how it can't exist in the modern world. These lovestruck men are just petty manchildren who refuse to take no for an answer and objectify their crushes. When they can't succeed they bitterly run away from society, cursing the women who turned them down. Their gestures of romance are irritating and borderline threatening to their respective crushes.
  • City of Gold: Red covers the Trope Codifier, El Dorado, in one of her "Legends Summarized" videos. In the video, she points out how the entire city is a myth fabricated by conquistadors consumed by their own greed and the natives sending them on a wild goose chase just to make them go away, and how the greed motivating searches for this sort of things means that no matter how much gold you end up finding, you still won't be satisfied and will likely convince yourself that the real, even richer City of Gold must still be hidden somewhere else.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The queen of faeries quips that if she had known that Tam Lin would fall in love with a mortal girl named Bonnie Janet, she'd have petrified his eyes.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Red points out that despite being the goddess of love, Aphrodite has serious issues involving her marriage to Haephestus.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Red has red eyes and Blue has blue eyes. Specifically, Blue was left unnamed until the characters noticed that there was already a color theme with Red, and just went with it. (Per the channel trailer, anyway.)
  • Color-Coded Characters: The gods Red draws are usually drawn with one colour. For example, Aphrodite is pink, for their association with love and romance. In "The Aeneid", Aeneas is depicted with reddish-pink hair since he's depicted as the son of Aphrodite.
  • Continuity Snarl: Red often points out that stories are also different from telling to telling and that one myth may contradict with another myth, especially with Greek mythology. For example, with Hippolyta:
    • In her Heracles video:
      Red: They (Amazon) dogpile on him and in the chaos, Heracles kills Hippolyta, for some reason, and bail with the girdle.
      Heracles: Sorry, Hippolyta.
      Hippolyta: It's cool. Pretty sure I have to be alive to marry Theseus later anyways.
    • Hippolyta is briefly mentioned in the video about Hippolytus as the mother of the titular character, one of her footnotes is "Banged Heracles and died (???)."
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The souls in "College Hell" are subjected to a range of bizarre punishments:
    • The punishment for the souls trapped in the First Circle (Limbo) is to simply not to go to college.
    • Those in the Second Circle (Lust) are punished by being hit on by a creepy person in a frat party for all eternity.
    • Souls in the Third Circle (Gluttony) are forced to eat nothing but dining hall food for the rest of time.
    • People in the Fourth Circle (Greed) are doomed to an eternity of working as a fry cook at Burger King.
    • Souls in the Fifth Circle (Wrath) are forced to stress and study forever. And if they ever take their eyes off their work, they instantly forget everything.
    • The Sixth Circle (Heresy): Those who continuously badmouth their professors are forced to hold office hours in burning cubicles forever.
    • Each of the three rings in the Seventh Circle (Violence) has a different punishment:
      • In the first ring (Violence Against Neighbors), the souls of those who trash others' rooms are forced to remain in their rooms with the sprinklers going off for the rest of time.
      • In the second ring (Violence Against Self), people are transformed into expensive textbooks.
      • In the third ring (Violence Against God, Art, and Nature), souls who whine continuously about college, despite choosing to go there, are forced to wear sweaters from rival universities and deal with the social consequences forever.
    • The Eighth Circle (Fraud) a.k.a the Malabolge has a number of punishments:
      • Bolgia 1 (Pandering): Those who refuse to contribute in group projects are forced to drag huge boulders around in a twisted infinite relay race.
      • Bolgia 2 (Flattery): Teacher's pets who endlessly kiss up to their professors are turned into actual pets.
      • Bolgia 3 (Simony): Those who sign up for prime-time class slots and sell them back for ridiculous prices are sentenced to eternal 8:00 am classes, and are also upside down and on fire.
      • Bolgia 4 (Sorcery): Those who try to cheat their own futures by procuring previous years' study material are doomed to always using the wrong study guides.
      • Bolgia 5 (Graft): Those who try and line up "business opportunities" with other students are sentenced to the worst job interview ever. They are unprepared, their suit is uncomfortable, one of their pockets is falling off, one of their shoes is brown and the other is black, and they spend the entire time hoping that the interviewer doesn't notice (but he does).
      • Bolgia 6 (Hypocrisy): Students who start off squeaky-clean and starry-eyed but wind up completely trashing their work ethic after a single semester are forced to explain their deteriorating grades to their parents over an eternally awkward dinner. Plus, they smell of weed the entire time, which tips off the parents right away.
      • Bolgia 7 (Theft): Criminals who callously steal unattended laptops in the library are doomed to an eternity of being hunted by Liam Neeson.
      • Bolgia 8 (Deception): The jerks who lie to their friends during housing by saying that they'll all stick together but leave to get a single all by themselves find themselves in the absolute worst room on campus: no outlets work, there's a sprinkler directly over their bed, the windows don't open, and the room permanently smells of pee. It's also right next to the RA's room and walls are paper-thin, and the neighbors on the other side are constantly having sex. Their roommate also has a significant other who never leaves and has the worst laugh.
      • Bolgia 9 (Schism): Gossipers who never stop spreading lies suddenly find themselves being gossiped about.
      • Bolgia 10 (Forgery): Those who plagiarize their work have the words they stole permanently and repeatedly branded on their skin.
    • And finally, the souls in the Ninth Circle (Treachery) are each subjected to a different punishment:
      • Round 1 (Traitors to their Kindred): People who spend all their parents' money are frozen in the nearest body of water.
      • Round 2 (Traitors to their Country): Those who leave their clothes in the washing machine for hours on end are subjected to a fitting punishment: being trapped in a washing machine with many other souls, as well as someone's laundry.
      • Round 3 (Traitors to their Guests): Those who make out with their significant other excessively while the roommate is still in the room (it doesn't matter if the roommate is asleep or not) are sentenced to be naked forever.
      • Round 4 (Traitors to their Lords): The people who are mean to their teachers are doomed to drown in the school's tuition vault while the university president watches and laughs.
  • Corrupt Church:
    • In "Dante's Inferno", Dante places Pope Nicholas III in Hell. Nicholas III proceeds to complain about Pope Boniface VIII and Pope Clement V.
    • Blue discusses some pretty awful popes (including the aforementioned Boniface VIII) in his "Pope Fights" video, even dubbing Benedict IX the "meme Pope" before highlighting it as A Rare Sentence.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Nerites gets turned into a shrimp in two different myths, one because he didn't take Aphrodite up on her offer to join her on the surface world, the other by Helios just because. Red jokes that she imagines the myths took place sequentially and he gets turned into a shrimp every week or so by random gods venting their frustration over petty things like other gods hogging the remote.
  • Courtly Love:
    • Deconstructed in Don Quixote, where the relationship between Dorothea and Don Fernando is entirely false. Don Fernando was creepily persistent and selfishly lacked any form of self-awareness. He bombarded Dorothea and her family with gifts, letters and money until her family told Dorothea that they support her choices and completely understand why she isn't interested in Don Fernando. When he realises that Dorothea is liable to marriage, he comes to the logical idea of breaking into her room in a last-ditch effort to seduce and then marry her. She only agrees to it because the marriage will bring status to her.
    • Red discusses this concept to give context to why Chretien de Troyes's version of King Arthur portrayed Lancelot's and Guinevere's love affair as morally right (in fact, Lancelot is an invention of Chretien de Troyes), as it was used as an example of various virtues of courtly love such as distant yearning that can never be fulfilled. It didn't last long, as every other version of King Arthur frowns on the love affair as just plain adultery.
  • Crack Fic: Red refers to the Divine Comedy as Dante's self-insert crack fic at a few points.
  • Credits Gag: After the video's end, stray observations or factoids that didn't make it into the video often play through before Patrons are credited.
  • Curse Cut Short: Happens a few times, especially in earlier videos:
    • Book 11 of the Iliad gives us this glorious example.
    • Odysseus' reaction to his crewmates getting turned into pigs by Circe.
    • The punishment for souls in the fourth circle of Hell is... confusing, to say the least, but Virgil cuts off Dante's protest before he can say anything too sacrilegious.
  • Cute Monster Girl: In "Frankenstein's Monster", Victor thinks this much.
    The Monster: She [the wife he asked Victor to create] didn't need to be reproduction-capable!
    Victor: Only a fool makes a monster you can't fu
  • Death Trap: The protagonist of "The Pit in the Pendulum" is placed in two of these by the Inquisition. Rats save him in the first one, the French Army saves him in the second one.
  • Dead All Along: One of the stories she featured in her Halloween special of H.P. Lovecraft's stories is "Cool Air," which had a twist that Doctor Muñoz was dead 18 years ago but was able to keep himself alive with the air conditioner until it eventually broke down and death caught up to him.
    "Turns out "Dead All Along" is an older twist than it looks."
  • Depending on the Writer: Red states that the characters of Lancelot, Guinevere, and Arthur depend on whether Lancelot or Arthur are the hero of the story. If Lancelot is the hero then he and Guinevere are justified in their affair and Arthur is painted as deserving to be cheated on. If Arthur is the hero then Lancelot becomes a selfish Ungrateful Bastard.
  • Designated Hero: Red is often befuddled by Stranger in a Strange Land, in which the hero is free to murder people, force himself on others and start a sex cult, and it is never portrayed as a bad thing, she even points out in the end that, since he is a literal angel of heaven, all of his actions were in the right.
  • Didn't See That Coming: While Utgard-Loki is successful in messing with Thor and company with his tricks and illusions, the fact that Thor managed to get anywhere with his tasks put the entire world in danger much to Utgard-Loki's surprise and dismay.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In "Frankenstein's Monster", Victor refuses to create a wife for the unnamed monster he created because he fears they'll produce an entire brood of monsters. Red mentions that Victor could have just made the monster's bride barren, but Victor doesn't consider this option.
    • In Pygmalion's story, Red points out the downfall of Galatea's existence and becoming human. Pygmalion has extremely high standards, didn't like how regular women did bothersome things like talking or having sex, and the only "woman" who met his standards was handcrafted by him and was essentially a static, unmoving representation of physical beauty without the complications of a person coming with it. Galatea coming to life contradicts the very purpose of her existence.
    • In "Hou Yi and Chang'e", the archer god Hou Yi and his wife are banished for killing 9/10 of the Jade Emperor's sons-turned-suns... after the Jade Emperor explicitly commanded Hou Yi to deal with the aforementioned suns who had been roasting the Earth.
      Red: The Jade Emperor is shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that the arrow guy he commissioned to shoot arrows shot arrows at the people he pointed him at.
      Hou Yi: Look, I don't know what you were expecting.
    • Red is clearly very confused by Tantalus's idea to honor the gods with a sacrifice... by feeding them his own son during a party, even though familicide and cannibalism are probably the big no-nos of the classical world.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: At the end of the Edgar Allen Poe episode, Blue makes some puns. Red finds this annoying... and so walls Blue up in catacombs to suffocate. Don't worry, though — the ninjas broke him out.
  • Double Standard: Majorly brought up in the Trope Talk of Mary Sue, where Red points out that female characters tend to get the accusation a lot more than male characters. Specifically, she says that, while it's true that male characters are often referred to as this, the threshold for a female character getting the label seems to be "plays an important role and has any kind of unusual ability or skill".
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Frequently mentioned in discussions about the Greek pantheon. Zeus is the main contestant due to his tactic of shapeshifting into a mortal so he can have sex with an oblivious mortal. Selene developed a crush on Endymion and succeeded in having children with him by making Zeus put him in an eternal sleep.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Discussed in Red's video on Stranger in a Strange Land
    Red: There's barely a concept of consent in here because none of these people in the nest would ever say no, so why would you ask? And Ben, who is saying no to a lot of this is being treated like he'll learn or come around. For the record, he does not, but that doesn't stop someone from having sex with him anyway. Heinlein, did you just write one of your male leads being assaulted by your sex cult and treat it like it was a good thing?
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Discussed in Red's video on Stranger in a Strange Land; the sex cult believes the true meaning of life is have ritualistic orgies until they get superpowers as a result of breeding with the protagonist. Valentine Michael Smith is constantly pursued by the authorities for his multitude of sex crimes but the authorities always disappear before they can arrest him. Red is appropriately horrified by this and openly wonders why Valentine is considered morally superior for all of this.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked. When discussing Avengers Endgame with Hello Future Me, Red gets extremely agitated at Thor's undignified treatment in the movie, both because she's a big Thor fangirl, and because Thor's mental trauma is callously Played for Laughs both in- and out-of-universe, even though Tony Stark's was Played for Drama in Iron Man 3 despite the former having even greater reason to suffer it.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Red does not approve of Selene using a permanently slumbering Endymion to have 50 kids.
    Red: Whoa! Not cool, lady! He's asleep!
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Discussed in the Titus Andronicus video, where Red explains that some people have a hard time believing that this play was actually written by William Shakespeare.
    Red: Shakespeare, the man who made a three-day fling between underage teenagers the most iconic love story in history. The man who explored the tortured psyche of kings and princes driven to murder. The poet who practically defined half of our modern character archetypes over the course of his career — that's the guy who supposedly wrote this two-hour pointless gore fest.
  • Edutainment Show: The show's purpose is to present literature and history in a entertaining and thoroughly sarcastic manner while poking fun at historical sensibilities and tropes.
  • Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: The possible meanings of "Pryderi" — "worry," "concern," and "I'm going to strangle those handmaidens for telling everyone I ate you."
    Red: It's a language of many beautiful complexities.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Blue considers "the Great" to be a terrible nickname because of its blandness. His rationale is that the heroes in Greek Mythology always have unique and descriptive epithets to describe people (Homer giving his Heroes five each), so "the Great" is underwhelming for someone who conquered more land in one lifetime than any Greek person before him. Blue suggests "Alexander who fights in the Front Line", "Alexander the Excellent", "Alexander the Horseman", and "Alexander the Conqueror" as more appropriate nicknames. This is just a tiny selection of the total used in Blue's full video on the subject.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Spoofed with Atalanta's father, who has no problem with abandoning his newborn daughter on a mountain but would never dream of disrespecting her gender identity.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: They discuss the trope and note how undeserved it is. They point out that the two questionable things he did was kidnap his wife (common for gods, and by all accounts he treated her well) and imprison two Greek Heroes (who deserved it).
  • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Asu-shu-namir, an intersex person created by Ea, is able to rescue Ishtar by seducing Ereshkigal. Subverted in that Ereshkigal cursed gender non-binary people to be outcasts in retaliation, and double subverted in that Ishtar gave them the gifts of healing and prophecy to counterbalance this.
  • Evil Counterpart: Inverted with Galahad. He's a GOOD counterpart to his biological father Lancelot. This is most obvious during the quest for the Holy Grail; while Lancelot is forced out of the room by a ball of fire because he is unworthy of seeing the grail, Galahad is carried up to Heaven alive once he touches the grail.
    Red: Galahad is basically Lancelot but better. Like "not sleeping with another man's wife" better.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: When introduced, Diomedes waves to the audience with one hand while spearing an offscreen Trojan with the other.
  • Fainting: Dante does this a lot in The Divine Comedy.
  • Fair for Its Day: invoked Red discusses this in Legends Summarized: Atlantis. She points out that while Plato would be considered sexist today, his belief that women could be just as virtuous and capable as men was very egalitarian by the standards of Ancient Athens. One of the things she specifically points to is the fact that his idealized version of Athens in the distant past had complete gender equality.
  • The Fair Folk: Referenced and explained in the videos about "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Tam Lin". Fairies were orginally far more malicious than the modern Disney interpretation of fairies, as they abducted children, seduced wives and hubands, lead travellers astray and caused mayhem for anyone they locked eyes with.
  • False Rape Accusation: Theseus's second wife, Phaedra, accuses her stepson Hippolytus of raping her after he rejects her advances.
  • False Start:
  • Family Eye Resemblance:
    • "Perseus": Perseus, his mother, and his maternal grandfather are drawn with green eyes.
    • "Heracles": Alcmene and her son Heracles both have gold hair and gold eyes.
    • "The Oresteia": Clytemnestra and all three of her children have periwinkle eyes, implicitly contradicting Apollo's claim that only the father contributes to the creation of a child.
    • "The Shadow over Innsmouth": Nearly all of the Innsmouth natives have green eyes, but Obed Marsh's most human-looking daughter is drawn with blue eyes — like her great-grandson Robert.
  • Fantastic Drug: Red explains in the Halloween special of "Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde" that Mr Hyde wasn't originally a seperate, chaotic entity created from a divided mind. Mr Hyde was literally just Doctor Jekyll without his inhibition, making him a representation of substance abuse. Doctor Jekyll feels liberated while drinking the potion but his addiction to it creates a gateway sin that escalates from hedonism to anarchy.
  • Five-Man Band: Red discusses the trope, with the non-gender-specific Heart substituted in for The Chick.
  • Flaming Hair: Red draws Hestia, Greek goddess of the hearth fire, with flaming orange hair.
  • Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras: The characters drawn in the videos are drawn in a way to make them stand out from the other characters. Brok from Miscellaneous Myths: Loki's Wager is the best example of this; all the dwarves were drawn as muscular bearded men, so Brok was able to stand out when Red depicts him with an "Old Dutch" beard.
  • Flat "What":
    • Red has one of these when she discovers how Dante describes God's true form in The Paradiso. It's three rings surrounding a book surrounded itself by rainbows. Rings surrounding a Reading Rainbow, as it were.
    • Red has another one when she discovers the Internet's reaction to Rey from The Force Awakens.
  • Flipping the Bird:
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Red mentions in one video how there's evidence that Cerberus means "spotted"note , which means that Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, named his enormous three-headed hellhound Spot.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In a somewhat silly case, Thor seemingly leaves his "magic, goat-drawn chariot at home," and then proceeds to get stuck on the edge of a turbulent river. This is somehow challenging to the Norse god, which forces him to argue with a ferryman to get across. Doubles as Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? for the ferryman, who is seemingly very comfortable insulting the god of thunder.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The animated episodes are full of these, with multiple jokes, rants and aside comments being included in scenes only present on-screen for a split second.
  • Freudian Excuse: Red describes H. P. Lovecraft thusly at the start of the 2018 Halloween video.
    Red: It would be inaccurate to describe Howard Phillips Lovecraft as "a man with issues". It's more like he was a bundle of issues shambling around in a roughly-bipedal approximation of a man. Chronically depressed, hyper-sensitive to criticism, almost certainly agoraphobic, prone to horrible nightmares and nervous breakdowns, and thoroughly racist even by the standards of the time, it'd be easy to come to the conclusion that H.P. Lovecraft was simply afraid of everything. But this isn't true either — he was just afraid of anything that wasn't his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall: In the Beowulf episode, the viewer appears as a character, chewing Red out for taking so long to talk about the real Beowulf.
  • Funny Background Event: Blue going Super Saiyan in the background after Red finally says "bolgia" correctlynote .
  • Furry Reminder: In Miscellaneous Myths: Animal Brides, the swan maidens may have a human form when removing their skins, but are still swans as they talk about their aggressiveness and diet.
    Swan Maiden: "My diet is mostly bugs."
  • God-Mode Sue:
    • Invoked in Trope Talk, where Red points out that Beowulf is one by pretty much any definition, as part of a thesis of why the Mary Sue is an overstated or overhated trope.
    • Both Mwindo and the Monkey King from Journey to the West are this, but both being way O.P. is a part of the lesson being told by their respective myths.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery:
    • In "Dante's Inferno", one woman is in Hell because she cheated on her abusive husband with his brother and both were executed. Yet despite her being in Hell, Dante feels sorry for her.
    • In "Legends Summarized: King Arthur", this is discussed with Guinevere and Lancelot's relationship. Chrétien de Troyes, who created Lancelot, painted his affair with Guinevere as morally rightous and something that makes them both more sympathetic (as the ideas of Courtly Love and Love For Love's Sake were popular in his time). Later on Oskar Sommer, who created Galahad and the quest for the Holy Grail, paints Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship as a vile sin and a betrayel of Arthur's trust (as a religious revival made Love For Love's Sake no longer acceptable). Modern renditions can go either way, though Red herself seems to be on the "adultery is bad" side.
  • Good Is Not Soft: This is Red's take on Hades. He's a loving husband to Persephone and altogether commits less cruelty than his contemporaries, but as Pirithous and Sisyphus can tell you, upsetting him is still a very bad idea.
  • Good Name For A Rock Band: It's a bit of a Running Gag that, usually on describing a mythical character alongside a group of people, Red will comment on how that might make for a good band name.
    • The Odyssey gives us "Penelope and the Suitors".
    • The Kali video gives us "Durga and the Matrikas".
    • The Bram Stoker's Dracula video gives us "Lucy's Boyfriend Squad"
    • Quetzalcoatl gave us a possible name for a tabletop RPG set in feudal Japan — "Katanas and Kimonos".
  • Growling Gut: Hermes' tummy growls in the in-depth video on him, as does Tripitaka's at the beginning of Journey to the West (Part IV)
    This is your daily reminder that you're a squishy mortal
  • Halloween Episode: There have been five annual Halloween videos so far. In each one, Red talks about a well-known piece of gothic literature, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, several poems by Edgar Allan Poe, several stories by H. P. Lovecraft, and The Strange Case Of Dr Jekylland Mr Hyde.
  • A Hell of a Time: In "Dante's Inferno", Paris's punishment for being lustful in life... is to be trapped with all the most beautiful and lustful women in history.
  • Here We Go Again!: "The Journey Of Ra" has Ra travel across the sky every day, die, and travel through the underworld as a corpse before being reborn every morning and repeating the cycle over again.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Both Blue and Red, who are only ever represented by their avatars outside of their two Q&A videos. Red has a quick appearance in her Trope Talk “Writing What You Know”, and later on, both of them did entire video without their animated equivalents in the 2018 April Fools Day special.
  • Hide Your Gays:
    • Parodied. While Patroclus appeals to Achilles to help out the Greeks, Achilles is overcome by "brotherly affection". This is, of course, immediately followed by THREE close-ups of their faces to the tune of "Careless Whisper".
      Achilles: I couldn't save my hetero life partner, Mom! This life isn't worth living anymore!
    • Further parodied in the Aeneid, where the men engage in "healthy, sporting, and 100% heterosexual activities".
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Persephone falls for Sisyphus's ruse and allows him to return to the world of the living, even though he has a reputation for murdering guests.
  • Hot Teacher: Red admits in the Eros and Psyche video that she saw her Greek studies teacher as "absolutely gorgeous" with a "beautiful accent" and having the most "piercing of eyes".
  • Ho Yay: Invoked Red notes that Lancelot and Galehaut have a really close relationship, with the latter surrendering to King Arthur just to be friends with Lancelot.
    Arthur: If you surrender, I'll introduce you.
    Galehaut: DEAL.
  • Humiliation Conga: Utgard-Loki, almost everyone involved is embarrassed in one way or another, but Thor gets the brunt of it, getting the worst weekend of his life.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Izanagi lets loose a stream of fire-related puns after Kagu-tsuchi is born, completely oblivious to the fact that Izanami is dying right in front of him.
  • Hype Backlash: In-Universe, Red claimed to have been surprised to find that Momotaro was a popular story, pointing out that "not a whole lot happens, there's hardly any drama, and Momotaro just kind of... wins." She ultimately concludes that the story owes a lot of its fame to the fact that its narrative of a newcomer underdog of blessed origin resolving the bickering of his underlings to take on a distant enemy and return with fortune and fame was a narrative that Imperial Japan found quite appealing.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The video on Robin Hood opens and closes on it!
    Red: Capitalism sucks. (don't demonetize me youtube)
    • Then at the end, she starts complaining about how people keep trying to build a coherent narrative out of mostly disconnected stories from very different authors and times... before quickly realizing the problem with her making that complaint.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Both Apollo and Zephyr fall in love with Spartan prince, Hyacinthus. Zephyr then kills Hyacinthus by blowing a discus into his head for choosing Apollo over him.
  • I Let You Win: Invoked with their telling of the story of Atalanta, where she figured out early on what Hippomenes was doing with the golden apples, but liked him well enough that she deliberately threw the race.
    Red: Of course you could say that Atalanta was totally captivated by the allure of the golden apples, unintentionally kneecapped herself as a result, and got married out of a bout of shockingly out-of-character stupidity and ended up without a say in who her husband was. But like, why would you WANT to? It's up to interpretation and that interpretation is gross.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Achilles and Paris are in the Second Circle of Hell, which means he's in a windy place with all the beautiful and lustful women in History. While Paris is staring at them eagerly, Achilles just awkwardly points out that this isn't his kind of party.
  • In Name Only: In Blue's "History Summarized: Samurai" video, he points out that Samurai Jack, despite being classified as a samurai, really doesn't fit any of the characteristics or attributes that samurai warriors possess. He doesn't wear the armor of a samurai, he's out on a quest which samurai never did, and he has no master to serve (which would make him more analogous with a ronin, but Blue notes that even that has issues), which was seen as the most important thing to a samurai.
  • Interactive Narrator: Appears in Red's videos on The Divine Comedy occasionally, when the characters have a Lame Pun Reaction.
  • Intercompany Crossover: December 3, 2018 saw one between Overly Sarcastic and Extra Credits.
  • It's All About Me: Red accuses Victor from "Frankenstein's Monster" of being extremely selfish, and she has a good point. Victor almost never considers how his actions might adversely affect others, i.e. when he completely fails to consider that Elizabeth might be harmed instead of him. Red goes so far as to say that Victor crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he lets Justine get executed for a crime she didn't commit, simply because he doesn't want to face consequences for creating the monster that's actually responsible.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY":
    • Blue hates the mispronunciation of "Bolgia".
    • In her video about Cú Chulainn, Red mispronounced his name (Coo HULL-ann) as Koo Cull-ane. She does excuse herself on her pronunciation of Celtic and Gaelic because numerous different pronunciations are used throughout Ireland and she's bound to mispronounce it either way.
  • I Will Show You X: From the video on the Poetic Edda, when Thor threatens Loki to stop insulting the other gods.
    Loki: Couldn't stay away from my sparkling wit?
    Thor: I'm about sparkle your wits halfway across the ocean.
  • Just Friends: The whole friend zone concept is vivisected in Don Quixote. Marcella insults Chrysostom by calling him a selfish manchild who felt entitled to her affections.
    Red: Her argument is basically that her beauty makes them feel entitled to her, but the fact that someone finds her attractive doesn't mean she owes it to them to find them attractive. They're acting like she's choosing to not be interested when she certainly can't and won't force herself to pretend to be attracted to someone she isn't, just because they'll be upset she doesn't reciprocate their feelings. She didn't lead Chrysostom on, he just refused to processes emotions like an adult and treated like it was an act of malice for her not to be interested in him.
  • Kid Hero: Deconstructed by the Youth Corp in Cú Chulainn. With the titular protagonist comatose from his injuries, they are left the only defenders available and are massacred by the end of Red's sentence.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Downplayed in "Trope Talk: Magic". While Red doesn't actually mention this, she does mention how The Masquerade being upheld would have the implication that magic-users were allowing atrocities they could have prevented.
    Wizard: [speaking to a grieving woman] Yes, yes, very sorry to hear about your mundane family, but you know the rules. They'll just have to sort out this "kitler" fellow themselves.
  • Kubrick Stare: Monkey delivers a pretty epic one to Pigsy in "Journey to the West: Part 3".
  • Les Yay:
    • Red notes that when researching her video on Fionn Mac Cumhaill, she couldn't find anything specific about the exact nature of the relationship between the title character's female guardians. So she goes on to refer to them as "fighter mom" and "druid mom".
    • Later discussed in her video on the myth of the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu, which she reads as an almost literal Coming-Out Story. See the entry for "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer for details.
    • Averted with Artemis. Red points out that, while Artemis did swear off men, she didn't really show any preference for women either, and argues that she may have been asexual.
  • Malicious Slander: In Don Quixote during a meeting of goatherders, someone mentions how a man called Chrysostom had feelings for a woman called Marcela but she kept turning him down. Then all the other goatherders speak of their own experiences with Marcela, specifically how she turned them all down. During Chrysostom's funeral, they proceed to insult her by reading out Chrysostom's poetry about how mean Marcela is for refusing to date them. Marcela interrupts the funeral by calling Chrysostom a selfish manchild who didn't respect her choice to not date him.
    Priest: By request of the deceased, "my girlfriend is in denial and also a huge skank, chapter 1" "I shall compare thee to a giant bit—

    Marcela: AHEM!
  • Mama Bear: Quite literally with Atalanta. Frigg made everything swear an oath to not kill her son Baldur. Aphrodite's loyalty to her children was unrelenting.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: This happens in too many myths to count and is often how heroes are conceived.
  • Marty Stu (Invoked): In the "King Arthur" video, regarding Lancelot:
    "Yeah, Lancelot "Best Knight in the World" Du Lac, an exiled prince raised by the Lady of the Lake in her magical fairy kingdom who's super handsome and totally unbeatable and all the girls like him and also he totally gets the girl instead of Arthur, is somebody's Original Character Do Not Steal. Try and contain your shocked disbelief."
    • Then in the Vulgate Cycle, Galahad was created to out-Marty Stu Lancelot.
  • Masquerade: In "Trope Talk: Magic", Red deconstructs this trope by pointing out how poorly it reflects on the magic-users and how implausible it is that this secret would be kept.
    Red: Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead and the third can only speak in spoonerisms.
  • Men Are Tough: Discussed in Red's Trope Talk about Manly Men, where she finds it bizarrely common for even intellectually-inclined male protagonists to be physically strong in media.
  • Metaphorically True: Agamemnon argues that "from a certain point of view" he did arrange Iphigenia's marriage... to the war effort. Clytemnestra doesn't buy it.
  • Mind Screw: Red gets a little googly-eyed trying to wrap her head around how Tantalus could have stolen a golden robot dog built by Haephestus that was guarding baby Zeus, given that the two of them are Zeus' children (when Haephestus isn't solely Hera's child via parthenogenesis). And no, Zeus wasn't pulling some shapeshifting shenanigans, his mother Rhea was using the golden robot dog to protect Zeus, as an infant, and Tantalus, Zeus' son, stole the dog.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Red references the story of Zeus sewing the fetus of Dionysus into his legnote  in Dionysus, the birth of Athena from his head in Theogony and the story predating Aphrodite's birth story with Kumarbi giving birth to Ishtar after biting Anu's balls out.
  • Moral Pragmatist: Discussed in the trope talk about pure evil. To Red; morality is a spectrum and she believes the definition of evil is hurting others without justification or necessity, as hurting others was a necessity for the progress of science and medicine.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain:
    • To conceive Heracles, Zeus disguises himself as Amphitryon and sidles up saying "Hi there, pretty lady who is my wife." Subverted when it turns out that that's just the way Amphitryon actually talks.
    • "Pwyll, Prince of Dyved":
      Hafgan: Arawn! We meet once again!
      Pwyll: Yes. I am Arawn.
    • The Oresteia:
      Orestes: Uh. Your son's dead. And not me.
  • Motor Mouth: A signature part of Red's presentation style, which goes double for the various City Reviews short segments.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Red talks about the two contradictory backstories for Aphrodite (daughter of Zeus and the Titaness Dione vs. created when Ouranos' severed testicles fell into the sea), and how Ancient Greece tried to explain them.
  • Musical Spoiler: "We're So Sorry" starts out as a standard apology video, but its status as an April Fools skit is quickly blown by the "sad music" actually being a piano cover of Megalovania.
  • My Beloved Smother: Aphrodite was a bit "intrusive" with her children's lives. Aphrodite hated Psyche for being prettier than her and went to great lengths to ensure she never dates Eros. With Aeneas, she chooses to encourage a relationship between her son and Dido, despite the relationship hindering Aeneas' journey.
  • Mythology Gag: Where does the founder of Rome order pizza from? Little Caesar's, of course!

  • Never My Fault: In the prelude to the Oresteia, Agamemnon tells a weeping Iphigenia it's really Clytemnestra's fault she's being killed, since she fell for the cover story about the marriage to Achilles.
    Agamemnon: Your mother should have known you weren't Achilles' type.
  • New Eden: In Red's trope talk episode on "Post Apocalypses", she admits that she prefers the more optimistic version. Where nature was able to regrow and humanity was able to recover, unlike most apocalypses where everything is either dead or dying. She summarises the episode by saying, people shouldn't depict the apocalypse as nihilistic, as it can depress the audience.
  • Ninja: Blue getting attacked by them is a Running Gag.
  • No Fourth Wall: To be expected, as Red and Blue are talking to their viewers.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Queen Dido's suicide, burning herself alive and stabbing herself with Aeneas' own sword.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: In Red's Hermes video, she didn't bother trying to pronounce Péh2usōn (a pastoral god who was an "ancestor" of Pan and Pushan, a Vedic god)
  • Nominal Hero: Red interprets Aeneas as one, noting that he doesn't actually accomplish much, comes across as "a bit of a knobhead", and does many of the same things the story condemns the Greeks for doing. She suggests this may have been a Writer Revolt on the part of Virgil, since Aeneas is pretty similar to Augustus, and plenty of scholars believe Virgil wasn't a fan of the guy.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Red comments that "Inferno" is an odd name for a story about Hell, considering that only a few of the circles are on fire and the worst ones are frozen.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*:
    Hyacinthus: [dying from a head injury] No more peanuts for me, stewardess.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever reason Blue became an atheist...he really doesn’t want to talk about it.
  • The Nothing After Death: Limbo, the first circle of Hell and the only one without suffering.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Red concludes that it was Lovecraft's fear of the unknown (read: virulent xenophobia and distrust of modern science) that's led his work to endure for so long, even as Society and Science marching on preclude his specific fears.
  • Not in the Face!: Blue shouts this when Red kicks him for interrupting her video on The Aeneid.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • Red assures us that she is neither joking nor exaggerating upon revealing that the plan that ends up successfully luring Amaterasu out of the cave she's been sulking in is to get Ame-no-Uzume, the goddess of fun, partying, and the dawn, to do a striptease.
    • During the video on Cu Chulainn, the disclaimer applies to Scathatch's evil twin sister Aife.
    • She also feels the need to say she's not joking when she says the Athenian tyrant Peisistratos got the Athenians to worship Dionysus by telling a story about the horrible things Dionysus did to the genitalia of people who tried to block his worship.
  • Not Me This Time: Loki has a moment of this in the video on the Poetic Edda, when Thor mistakenly believes he took Mjolnir. The trope is pretty much summed up by this exchange:
    Thor: (from offscreen) LOKIIIII!
    Loki: I don't think I did anything to warrant that... today.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: When giving some historical background to All Quiet on the Western Front, Red calls the Second World War "World War II: Electric Boogaloo".
    • Also when she's talking about Frankenstein, she refers to the making of the monster's girl as "Crimes against nature 2: Electric Boogaloo.
  • Offhand Backhand: Krishna gets to the point where he's punching out the demons his Evil Uncle sends after him without even looking up from his book.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In their Trope Talk about The Hero's Journey, Blue walks in after apparently fighting off a horde of ninjas. Then in the final moments of the video, Red returns from her own quest, boon and all.
  • Oh, Crap!: Four of Mauna Kea's kupua have this reaction when they realize the woman they just pissed off was actually Pele.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Red has never revealed her actual given name, Blue on the other hand has been called Gregory on several occasions.
  • Operation: [Blank]: In "Perseus", Polydectes' plan to get Perseus killed so he can marry Danae is called "Operation: Get Some" on his diagram.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: "Reverse centaurs" — horse heads on human legs — show up as gags in maps during videos on Greek myth.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: "Perseus" mentions that Hera is "oddly cool" with the title character, an illegitimate child of her philandering husband Zeus, arriving in her garden.
  • Parental Incest:
    • In one of the more famous examples, Oedipus and his mother Jocasta, although in their case it was Surprise Incest.
    • Heavily implied in Paradise Lost, as the ones guarding the gates of Hell are Satan's daughter Sin and his son/grandson Death, to which Red says "Really, don't ask, it's gross."
    • It's also referenced in the story of Hippolytus, where Phaedra tries to seduce her stepson while under the influence of Aphrodite. Red responds with retching noises.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Aphrodite is depicted as pink, and she's probably the (for lack of a better word) girliest of the Olympian goddesses.
  • Power Echoes: Powerful deities have a noticeable echo effect to their voices.
  • Pregnant Badass:
    • Psyche faces several trials set by Aphrodite to win back Eros while pregnant with his child.
    • Bonny Janet rescues her lover Tam Lin from the Queen of the Fairies while pregnant. Even when the Queen of the Fairies transforms Tam Lin into various dangerous creatures and harmful objects, she never lets go.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Athena does this while repeatedly wacking Arachne over the head with a weaving shovel after she got the brilliant idea to detail Zeus and Poseidon's numerous affairs in her tapestry.
    Athena: What. Were. You. Thinking?!
  • Punished for Sympathy: In "Dante's Inferno", Virgil chews out Dante for feeling sympathy for the the magicians whose heads are backwards.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: In the flashback in the Aeneid covering the Trojan Horse, Sinon flashes these while pretending to be a hapless Human Sacrifice.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Red's hair can basically double as a full-body blanket for her avatar. Live-action videos reveal that her hair really is that long.
  • A Rare Sentence:
    • Blue qualifies Benedict IX as a "meme pope" in his Pope Fights video, words he never imagine saying back to back.
    • Red's conclusive sentence in the Atlantis video is her surprise not on the Minoan eruption, the imaginary mud shoal described by Plato, Doggerland, the fact fiction depicts Atlantis with a Greco-Roman architecture which is not accurate, but the fact that Critias and Timaeus are not just made-up names from a filler arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the fact that Yu-gi-oh! knows more about Atlantis than her.
      Red: "That one... that one kinda stung."
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The hilarious mess that is the search for El Dorado, eventually culminating in the conquistadors discovering platinum and then dismissing it as worthless and throwing it away because it wasn't gold.
    Red: This whole debacle is such an incredibly apt metaphor for the flaws inherent in the colonial system and how the lust for gold literally blinded them to the true, unique value of the New World, that if I read it in a book, I would have called the writer a hack.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Blue is surprised at where he finds one in Hecuba.
    Blue: In a shocking twist of fate, Agamemnon is... actually helpful in this story?
  • Record Needle Scratch: One of these occurs when Blue is caught singing along to the Skyrim theme in his video on vikings.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Red, who walled Blue up in a catacomb to suffocate... twice.
    • This trope is also responsible for Red being called Red, as she made a youtube channel with the name of this trope, people just started calling her Red as an abbreviation of the name, and it stuck even after the channel's name changed to what we now know today
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue-skinned Krishna, who has divine levels of chill, is contrasted with his older brother Balarama, who is drawn with red accessories and has no chill whatsoever.
  • Relax-o-Vision:
    • When discussing All Quiet on the Western Front, Red fills in the footage gaps (the adaptation she used didn't cover some parts) with pictures of kittens.
    • In "History Summarized: Medieval China", Blue refuses to show pictures of foot-binding, so instead he shows Song Dynasty-era paintings of birds while talking about it.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Red frequently points this out when discussing classic tales and mythology, as shown by her videos on H.P Lovecraft, the Oresteia and Pandora. Lovecraft is lambasted for his racist views and overall agoraphobia, while the others because of Greece's patriarchal — and consequently quite sexist — system during that era. Red has no mercy for The Taming of the Shrew because of this very reason. The main character psychologically tortures a woman into marrying him, yet the play is still hailed a great love story.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Invoked. Dante used his story to put all the people he hated in Hell. Of special mention are the heroes from Greek mythology, because Dante was an Italian (and thus descended from the Romans, who are descended from the Trojans, whom the Greeks wiped out during the Trojan War).
  • Running Gag:
    • Red constantly pronouncing "bolgia" wrong in the "College Hell" video, much to Blue's frustration.
    • "Hey kid, you like proving yourself?" "Do I!" pops up whenever someone sends a young hero off on a dangerous task in the hopes of getting them killed (which almost always backfires).
    • In early episodes, Blue decided that any video pertaining to an empire will include the Star Wars crawl.
    • Red predicting audience reaction to supposedly controversal things she is saying by depicting the comment section of the video as a fight from a kaiju movie.
    • In "The Journey Of Ra", the running gag is snakes and how they seem to find ways to show up in every part of the underworld.
    • "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Kiss From a Rose" tend to play lot in the background during romantic moments.
    • "Careless Whisper" and "Guy Love" for moments of Ho Yay.
    • "Paradise Lost" has Red explaining Satan's rebellion as daddy issues.
    • "ENORMOUS F**K-YOU DRAGON!" is said whenever such a creature appears in a story that Red is summarizing.
    • Blue occasionally explains actions surrounding Sparta's prestige simply by saying "I mean, come on, they're Sparta, you know?"
    • Red is pretty annoyed by how utterly useless and Out of Focus the horse is in Journey to the West is, at one point grinding the video to a halt to rant at him about how, being a river dragon, he could've easily overcome the pilgrims' obstacle of getting across a troublesome river that Sha Wujing was hiding under.
    • Parties are depicted as raves with flashing colored lights and deep bass techno music thumping.
    • The H. P. Lovecraft video has a few:
      • Red offers various suggestions for what the "H.P." stands for, including "Horrible Phobias" and "Hippo Potamus".
      • Later in the segment covering "The Colour Out of Space", the mysterious color unlike any seen on Earth! complete with Scare Chord. So many times that Red starts cutting herself off.
      • "Place your bets" and an accompanying multiple choice set of conclusions that the Genre Savvy reader is likely to have reached well before The Reveal for a particular short story comes up three times throughout the video.
    • Frequent use of the Metal Gear Solid "Alert!" sound when a character is startled.
    • Particularly on Irish myths, the phrase "Metal!" is often used to describe general Crazy Awesome moments.
    • Alexander the Great is generally referred to by other epithets, such as "Alexander the pretty alright". Stems from Blue's opinion that "the Great" is a horribly generic epithet.
    • Red mentioning a character's name followed by that of a group (i.e. Penelope and the Suitors) and then commenting on how that sounds like a Good Name For A Rock Band.
    • Whenever a sex scene takes place in a story, Red will substitute it with playing Yahtzee or cards.
  • Sadly Mythcharacterized: A few times, usually to provide a Lighter and Softer alternative interpretation of a myth:
    • Amaterasu and the Cave: Other interpretations of the myth portray Ama No Uzume's striptease with different motives and results: to pique Amaterasu's curiosity as to what all the hubbub is about and seeing herself reflected in the mirror, thus thinking they are cheering her on, or having Amaterasu hear all the uproar over Uzume's dance making her wonder why all the gods could make so merry without her divine light, and stepping out to see what could be replacing her so easily. Red offers an alternate interpretation: that Amaterasu comes out of the cave due to all the ruckus, and once she does so, she finds Uzume's striptease attractive.
    • Atalanta: Ignoring a common interpretation, that Atalanta was distracted by the golden apples, in favor of Atalanta playing along with Hippomenes's plot and letting him win; the commentary in the end credits states this to be a deliberate choice, as Red found this particular interpretation more attractive.
    • Red points out that, as a personal preference, she prefers the interpretation that Hades and Persephone actually were in love, and the whole myth was more a case of Demeter throwing a tantrum.
    • She uses the "sex with Poseidon in a temple" version of Medusa's origin story but leaves out the part where it was rape, presumably to avoid having Perseus and Athena murder a rape victim. It is, somewhat, corrected in the video about Hippolytus, where Poseidon responds to Theseus' demand that Hippolytus be killed for (alleged) rape by saying "Oh crap, that's a crime now? I mean, uh, sure!" and in the video on Nerites where she says that Poseidon wouldn't recognize consent if bit him in the trident. She also points out that this version of the myth was created by Ovid and doesn't appear in older stories, which instead depict Medusa as simply the gorgon daughter of sea gods with two other gorgon sisters tormenting humans without Poseidon factoring into it in any real capacity.
    • H.P Lovecraft provided his own example due to his severe pantophobia, as he saw Dagon (a Mesopotamian grain and fertility god) as an aquatic demon.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • Red takes certain artistic liberties in concerning how mythological creatures are depicted, likely to make them easier to draw or less gruesome. A notable example of this is the Chimera, which is somewhat different from its depiction on ancient greek art.
    • Andromeda is depicted as white in the Perseus video. The video's description has Red say she didn't know Andromeda was from Ethiopia... which is also incorrect, since to the Ancient Greeks, "Ethiopia" (also spelled "Aethiopia") referred to the Levant. So if anything, Andromeda was Middle Eastern.
    • The summary of the Iliad leaves out the actual ending — the return of Hector's body and subsequent funeral — and skips ahead to the death of Achilles via an Achilles' Heel (which he didn't actually have in this version of the story).
  • Secret Identity: Red notes that despite the pop culture interpretation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mr. Hyde isn't a case of Split Personality but rather this. Mr. Hyde is just Dr. Jekyll with a science-induced change in appearance, allowing him to do some (initially) consequence-free indulgence of his darker impulses he's been keeping repressed.
  • Screaming Birth: The birth of Perseus is accompanied by a lot of agonized screaming by his mother Danaë.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Alcibiades's reaction to his fleet losing horribly, verbatim.
  • Self-Deprecation: Blue refers to his History Makers series as "where he gets to go into extremely esoteric analysis of the political and literary context of famous historical writers. You know, the first fifteen minutes of the lecture that nobody ever pays attention to."
  • Self-Insert Fic: How Red basically describes The Divine Comedy due to it being about Dante teaming up with his idol Virgil.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Frequently invoked in the summary of The Aeneid, with Red practically making a Running Gag out of the number of times Virgil rips off a scene or setpiece from one of Homer's works.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: "Animal Brides" discusses a story of a female selkie who's forced to marry a fisherman who steals her skin that comes from the Faroe Islands.
  • Share the Male Pain: In "History Summarized: Ancient China", Blue visibly winces when he describes how Sima Qian was castrated for speaking too openly about his opinions to the emperor.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Aphrodite, who started the Trojan War because she refused to let a little thing like Helen already being married get in the way of shipping her with Paris. She also had a hand in making sure Hippomenes x Atalanta, Pygmalion x Galatea, and Aeneas x Dido all set sail. She emphatically does NOT ship Eros x Psyche, however.
      • In the 2019 Valentine's Day video focusing on her, a new aspect of her characterization, Aphrodite Areia, raises the subtle implication that provoking a war was her intention in the first place, or at least not something she was opposed to.
    • Victor Frankenstein's mother ships him with his foster sister Elizabeth, and pushes them together on her deathbed.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • "Frankenstein" takes this Up to Eleven.
      Red: So if you're keeping track, that's an exhaustive life story note  inside another exhaustive life story note  that poor Captain Walton is transcribing in its entirety to mail to his sister.
    • The monster listens to and recounts the life story of a family he was following, adding yet another layer to this.
  • Shower of Angst: Red speculates that Aphrodite "spent the next few millennia showering with a Thousand-Yard Stare" as soon as she realized the circumstances of her creation in her video on the Theogony.
  • Shout-Out: Now has its own page.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Captain Walton finally meets the monster in Frankenstein, he's unimpressed by the Freudian Excuse after learning about how said monster murdered three innocent people.
    Red: Just like his creator, the monster spends an inordinate amount of time waxing eloquent about all that horrible stuff he did really hurt HIM, and isn't THAT the important thing to consider right now?
    The Monster: You think it was easy for me to ruin Victor's life? I'm not a monster, I have feelings too!
    Walton: Yeah, I'm sure Clerval would be so sympathetic.
  • Side-Effects Include...: Spoofed in the Theogony video with "Ask your doctor if absorbing your pregnant spouse is right for you."
  • Silent Snarker: Helen of Troy is this when she gets kidnapped by Theseus as a twelve-year-old, flipping Theseus off and glaring at Pirithous for being stupid enough to try and kidnap Persephone.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Inverted in "Tantalus," as the title character's punishment is worsened thanks to the actions of his great-grandson Agamemnon.
  • Skyward Scream: Invoked for a brief second in the Dionysus video by a distraught Midas cradling his daughter who was turned into a golden statue.
    Dionysus: You got me, I thought it was foolproof.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Apophis is an exaggerated example of this trope in "The Journey of Ra", as every single night he attempts to eat Ra and end the world. Subverted with every other snake in this myth (of which there are many), who are shown to be neutral at worst and benevolent at best.
  • Space Whale Aesop:
    • If you're gender non-binary then you have the gift of prophecy, Ishtar loves you, and the queen of Hell thinks you're hot.
    • According to Stranger in a Strange Land; You shouldn't bother with finding answers to the whys and hows of life, your only priority is to have interplanetary, hetrosexual sex until you get superpowers.
  • Speech-Bubbles Interruption: May double as a Curse Cut Short, depending on your definition of 'curse'. In the Poetic Edda, Odin tells Agnar stories about the Aesir, telling him about the time Loki tied a goat to his testicles. Of course, the fire pillars next to him cut off the final word.
  • Spider People: The jorogumo is depicted as taking a drider-like, centaurine and eight-eyed form in addition to a fully human shape.
  • Squishy Wizard: Circe says she's a mage and has "like two hit points" when Odysseus pulls a sword on her in The Odyssey.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In-Universe, In Red's video about Aphrodite, she discusses how Sparta converted Aphrodite into a war goddess due to Sparta's philosophy on war. This was an unpopular choice by the other Greek locations, so their interpretation of Aphrodite was unique to only Sparta and Kythera. Red points out in the ending that the Spartans were right: Aphrodite's actions in The Illiad were the actual cause of the Trojan war and later iterations of the story wrongly blamed Helen of Troy for the war.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: Blue amusingly pegs Napoléon Bonaparte as one, pointing out how in a society of pompous nobles in powdery wigs, the most powerful man in the world was a young, handsome guy who came out of nowhere and rose not through Blue Blood or divine mandate but simply because he was better at asskicking than everyone else around him.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: When Dante and Virgil encounter a man with his eyes sewn shut in Purgatorio, Red gives a sudden loud scream. Doubles as a pretty effective Jump Scare as well.
  • Suicide Is Shameful:
    • In "Dante's Inferno", those who commit suicide go to Hell and are turned into trees. A demon rips their leaves off just to make them suffer further.
    • Subverted with Ajax. When the titular hero commits suicide over being tricked by Odysseus and Athena, two of his former friends demand he be dishonored and denied a proper burial. Odysseus insists Ajax be buried. While narrating this story, Blue openly shows contempt for the two people who oppose burying Ajax.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After describing Aphrodite Areia, a goddess of both love and war, Red finds the Iliad a bit too vehement about Aphrodite's complete lack of combat ability.
    Zeus: Aphrodite, you silly girl! What were you doing out on the battlefield?
    Aphrodite: [bandaged from her encounter with Diomedes] Oh, tee-hee, I don't know what I was thinking~!
  • Take That!:
  • Tempting Fate: In "Perseus", King Acrisus' last thoughts are "I love foiling prophecies" — right before the prophecy of his death is finally fulfilled.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: invokedThe final part of Red's video on plot twists notes this opinion of Quicksilver in the film Avengers: Age of Ultron, pointing out the potential intrigue that could have come out of him surviving (how would he handle the death and return of his sister? whose side would he take in Civil War? what is the full potential of his abilities as a speedster?) that was thrown out in the name of killing someone off besides Hawkeye to "surprise" the audience—and it wasn't even surprising.
  • Threesome Subtext: "Perseus" has Danaë, Dictys and Clymene raise the title character in a three-parent household. As if that weren't enough, two shots include a smiling Danaë combing Clymene's hair.
  • Title Drop: Lampshaded when Red talks about Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado, with Montresor exclaiming "Whoops, dropped the title" immediately after.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Osiris merrily climbs into his own coffin (well, sarcophagus).
    • Yes, Arachne. Using your tapestry to graphically depict many of Zeus and Poseidon's sexual conquests and showing said tapestry to Athena is such a good idea.
  • Too Many Halves: In her examination of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Red describes Cthulhu as a "half-human, half-octopus, half-dragon thing".
  • Trade Snark: Used in the analysis for Dracula for the "Dude Squad".
  • Tranquil Fury: In "Miscellaneous Myths: Krishna", Krishna doesn't go into a screaming rage when Canura finally manages to anger him by insulting his father. He just calmly and quietly says "perish" and starts fighting him.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Per Blue, the Battle of Gaugamela was this for Alexander the Multiply-Nicknamed and King Darius of Persia. Alex won.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • The protagonist of "The Tell-Tale Heart".
    • Red in the "Legends Summarised: Underworld" video establishes the structure of these myths, then it turns out only one in the video follows it.
      Red I am such a reliable narrator.
  • Uriah Gambit: Heroes, like Bellerophon, Perseus, and Hercules were actually sent on suicide missions in their respective myths.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: Red uploaded the video Miscellaneous Myth: Aphrodite on Aphrodite and the origin of her on Valentine's Day 2019.
  • Values Dissonance: invoked
    • The source of Red's discomfort with The Taming of the Shrew (featuring spousal abuse), the Greek myth of Pandora (featuring a woman ruining everything), and the final act of The Oresteia (featuring matricide being pardoned because mothers aren't actually related to their children like fathers are).
    • Thoroughly discussed in their video on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, who Red remarks was racist even by the standards of his own time.
    • Don Quixote both averts and plays the trope straight. While she's pleasantly surprised at the modern feminism shown in the story, she's wide-eyed mortified at Sancho Panza thinking he could get rich selling African slaves.
      Red: OKAY!!!!!
    • The Miscellaneous Myths episode on Nerites addresses the Ancient Greek practice of pederasty, and how it's considered completely unacceptable in the modern Western world.
    • Stranger in a Strange Land; Red is disgusted by the author insert character shaming Duke for being horrified by cannibalism because Duke has native american ancestry and his ancestors were also cannibals.
  • Villainous Friendship: In Red's The Power of Friendship video, she notes that it's extremely rare for villains to have The Power of Friendship, while showing a villain, with his friends beside him, confronting a hero.
  • Villainous Incest: Blue talks about the Borgia Family (and how Lucretia Borgia had sex with her father and brother), and about the Ptolemy Family (which involves numerous generations of brother-sister inbreeding). Blue finds these incestuous relationships weird and wrong.
  • Visual Pun: In The Paradiso video Red decides to represent one of the Saints as a Big Friendly Dog, namely Bernard.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Best summarised in Don Quixote. The concept of the friend zone is deconstructed and explained as something fabricated by entitled, disgruntled manchildren who believe that women romantically reject them for no other reason than spite and cruelty. No matter how many compliments or tokens of affection they give.
  • War Is Hell: The video on All Quiet on the Western Front actually has a "War is Hell Counter".
  • Waxing Lyrical: The grave of the unnamed protagonist of The Swan Bride tale has the epitaph the lyrics of the chorus of "How Could This Happen To Me?"
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Red's video on the myth of Bellerophon mentions that he's the demi-god son of Poseidon, and as a consequence of this, is a stellar equestrian... because outside of young adult fiction, being a demigod only earns you the lamest of your deific parent's abilities.
    • When Paradiso informs her that children used to have a Get Into Heaven Free-card, but post-Jesus, they need to be baptized, or else they're thrown into Limbo, aka Hell.
    Red: Thanks, Jesus.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Red has pointed out before that Acrisius, Aphrodite, and Hera could've easily just killed the person that was troubling them. Those people being Danae (and by extension, Perseus), Psyche, and Heracles, respectively.
  • Wife Husbandry: Theseus kidnapped Helen of Troy when she was a child with the intention of doing this. Red does not approve.
  • Woman Scorned: The Greek Goddesses do not approve of hubris or rebellion. Aphrodite hated Artemis for her promotion of virginity and abstinence. Since Hippolytus was a follower of Artemis, Aphrodite used her powers to make his step-mother lust for him. Naturally, Hippolytus is repulsed by this and Phaedra orchestrates his death with false accusations. Aphrodite kickstarted Psyche's trials because she was seen as the most beautiful woman in Greece.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks:
    • Red blames this trope for the origins of the "El Dorado" legend; To the indigenous South Americans who lived before the Spanish conquistadors arrived, gold was beautiful enough to make jewellery and sculptures, but had little actual value in their barter-based economy. To the conquistadors, gold was symbolic of wealth, fame and everything their society valued, and the sight of natives decked out in gold jewellery could have convinced them that there was an abundance of it somewhere in the New World.
    • The same episode also mentions how the conquistadors became so obsessed with the pursuit of gold that they completely overlooked the hauls of rarer and more valuable platinum they were finding, considering it a poor imitation of silver and dumping most of what they found of it into the ocean.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • H.P Lovecraft was actually homeschooled and had poor math skills. This was explained under the erroneous belief that he "had too delicate a constitution for math". Red (a college graduate with a degree in maths) is baffled by this excuse and mocks it whenever she notices a mathematical flaw in his works.
    • A non-writing example involves "El Dorado", as the conquistadors didn't understand why the natives had so little value in gold and came to the conclusion of the natives having so much of it that it became trivial. A funnier example involves their treatment of platinum, as no conquistador had actually seen platinum before and they dismissed it as being "unripe silver" and having less value than gold. When people used platinum as counterfeit gold, the government responded by dumping most of their supply of it in the ocean without ever learning of its rarity and true value.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: Ame-no-Uzume manages to lure Amaterasu out of the cave she was hiding in with a striptease.
  • YouTuber Apology Parody: Red apologizes for not being as sarcastic as the channel name suggests, and this escalates into both Red and Blue apologizing for things like the sinking of Atlantis, the Tunguska Event and the sacking of the Library of Alexandria.


Overly Sarcastic Productions discusses the following tropes

  • Anti-Hero: In the "Antiheroes" Trope Talk, Red ends up concluding that this is one hell of a subjective trope. The definition of hero constantly fluctuates depending on social values (pointing out how, for instance, Captain America stayed an Ideal Hero despite going from perfect model soldier in wartimes to maverick challenging authority in the name of his own values in a more peaceful age, or how Classical Mythology would set a guy as antiheroic simply for favoring brains over brawn); and with it, so does its opposite number, the anti-hero. She tries to design a chart based around motives and methods, only to point out that this reasoning puts The Punisher, usually the example of an Anti-Hero, as a straight-up Villain Protagonist. Then the Twitter poll she set up only gives out the result that most people can't agree whether characters are anti-heroes or just grumpy/tragic regular heroes (except Deadpool). In the end, this is ultimately more of a subjective label set by the readers than a true archetype.
    Red: If you're writing a character... write the character. Maybe they'll be seen as an Anti-Hero, maybe they won't. Maybe anti-heroes just don't mean anything. Language is made up anyway.
  • Anvilicious:invoked Red discusses this trope in the "Post Apocalypses" video. She mentions how stories in this genre tend to put more emphasis on message in comparison to other genres. She splits stories into three key elements, those being characters, theme, and message, with the latter being the major focus of several After the End stories. She also goes over some Stock Aesops that get used a lot in the genre, admitting she hates the Humans Are Bastards aesop because of how overdone it is, as well as the fact that it can lead to Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
  • Apocalypse How:invoked Red discusses this trope in "Post Apocalypse". While she notes that the Post-Apocalypse is bleak and hopeless by the nature of the story, the hopelessness varies in many different types of apocalypse with Zombie Apocalypse being at the extreme end of cynicism with Nuclear Apocalypse, Robot Apocalypse, and Supernatural/Alien Apocalypse having a lot of variables, and the Studio Ghibli Apocalypse being at the end of optimism slide. She states that Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy is the biggest risk of the story if the setting is too bleak and the characters are too unsympathetic, though she does note subversions and uses of these as appeals like in I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and There Will Come Soft Rains.
  • Arch-Enemy: Covered in the Tropes Talk episode Nemeses, including the various types, like the Evil Former Friend. She points out how arch-enemies are far more personal enemies which can lead to more emotional drama but on the downside plot of said relationship is very simplistic being more like a boxing match compared to a chess match regular villains or antagonists can bring.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:invoked Cited as one of the worst kinds of plot twist in the video focusing on them, especially if the story seems to think the twist is a lot cleverer or more unpredictable than it is. She particularly cites Avengers: Age of Ultron, noting that it isn't surprising that Quicksilver died and Hawkeye didn't—the film had been foreshadowing so hard that someone was going to die and dropped so many death flags for Hawkeye that it was clearly gonna be someone else, and Quicksilver was clearly the most expendable one anyway, since he was at the epicenter of various Disney/Fox rights issues that put a lot of his more interesting conflicts off-limits. She particularly cites the attempt to do an Ironic Echo of "You didn't see that coming?" (taking it as a meta nod to the audience) when, yes, she did.
  • The Chosen One: Red talks about this trope in one of her videos, along with It Sucks to Be the Chosen One and The Poorly Chosen One. She also delineates several recurring variants of this trope:
    • The Prophesied Chosen One, like Harry Potter or Anakin Skywalker, who is fated by some otherworldly and usually unspecified power to do something specific. This sort of destiny is often literally unavoidable, although it may often resolve itself with some sort of Prophecy Twist, and attempts by either heroes or villains to derail it will likely backfire and cause the prophecy to come true anyway. Issues with free will and the having your life inescapably mapped out for you may also crop up.
    • The Literally Chosen One, like Po, who is actively chosen by another person to fulfill a specific role. This case may come with issues stemming from The Chooser of The One being, as a person, potentially fallible — so what if they chose wrong? This may be exacerbated if previously chosen Ones ended up as washouts, failures or outright villains.
    • The Chosen Wielder is instead chosen by some sort of powerful artifact, which will in some way select them as its wielder. This comes with the bonus of a handy super-tool that will almost certainly be perfectly suited to dealing with whatever it's chosen you to do, although the definitively amoral nature of an object means that it's entirely possible for it to choose a villain as its wielder.
    • The Chosen Incarnation, like Aang or Link, is a reincarnation of some past hero, and may have been born multiple times over history. They may either be reborn only when some crisis arises that they have to deal with or be reborn at regular intervals, in which case they may have some specific role to play in the world even in times of peace.
    • The One True King, like Simba or Aragorn, is exactly that — the rightful ruler of some specific place. Exactly what this means varies from work to work, and can range from cases where the Rightful King Returns to reclaim the throne from usurpers to ones where the Rightful King is a foreign conqueror with a divine mandate to take over rule of the land. It can also overlap with the Chosen Wielder in cases where the king is chosen by a magic sword à la Arthurian Legend.
  • Classic Villain: Red discusses this type of antagonist in Pure Evil. She notes their core qualities can make them fun to watch in a Love to Hate fashion but they can be boring if they come off as a Generic Doomsday Villain. She advocates against adding sympathetic motivations as a means to give depth to such a villain as the compromise between an Anti-Villain and a Pure Evil villain end up creating a watered down version of both villain types. Red instead insists on fleshing them out personality-wise and focusing on their interactions and differences with other characters, particularly with a more complex antagonist serving as a foil; just because the Pure Evil archetype produces a simple character, doesn't mean they are not a character.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Red discusses this trope and its variety relating to the trope. She notes that the use of this trope is largely dependent on how it is balanced to avoid the problems based on its extremes. In the 100K subscriber Q & A, she also states that this is her favorite trope since watching morons bust out badass moves never gets old for her.
  • Damsel in Distress: Red discusses this trope and even admits that she is a huge fan of this trope, despite being very tomboyish. While she is not a fan of the classical damsel who are non-characters, she is a fan of when an established characters are the damsels. She does note that the big issue of the trope is the "damsel mindset" where the character in distress is helpless like the classical damsel and the result of the writer forgetting about who the distressed character is. She is a fan of it because of the dynamic of how the trope is handled and seeing the distressed needing help. It also overlaps with Damsel out of Distress, Badass in Distress, Distress Ball, etc.
  • Darker and Edgier: Red takes issue with people who use "Realism" as shorthand for "Grimdark" since it runs on the misconception that making things realistic means trying to make things as dark and depressing as possible even when it causes the story to be (well) unrealistic.
  • Darkest Hour: Covered in the video of the same name. Red notes how every plot can be argued to have a point when things look at their worst to generate suspense. She argues that the real meat lies in personal varients where the protagonist enters a “Belly of the Whale” scenario and must undergo Character Development to move out of the darkest hour. She does warn against making the characters not taking their situation seriously, or on the other hand make the story too miserable to watch or have the protagonist be rescued by outside circumstances, all of which mitigates the chance for character growth.
  • Downtime Downgrade: Discussed in both her videos on romantic subplots and sequels. Red makes it very clear that invoked she really, really dislikes this trope, as it makes it seem like writers are afraid to actually write characters in a relationship.
  • The Empire: This shows a foil to the Heroes as well as a large obstacle to overcome, but most of the time The Empire is not well thought-out and the aftermath of overthrowing it — such as the effects of the story's largest government collapsing, or how the heroes aim to fill the power vacuum left over afterwards — gets ignored.
  • Evil Overlord: Evil emperors are discussed as part of the video on evil empires, where Red outlines the most common varieties and how they tend to affect the characters of their empires and the role they play in the story.
    • The major variants of villainous rulers include the more hands-off types, like Sauron and Palpatine, who leave their minions to run the show while they pursue their own agendas and whose supernatural control over their empires is equally likely to free their thralls as to cause the whole thing to collapse under its own weight once the emperor dies; the indolent Caligulas more interested in pursuing their passing whims than governing and who are often little more than figureheads, whose defeat won't likely impact the empire much at all; the maniacal tyrants a la Joffrey, who rule through fear and kill people left and right for any and no reason, but who luckily almost inevitably have rebellions brewing against them that the heroes can join forces with; and the treacherous usurpers like Scar and Zant, who stole the throne from the rightful ruler and are likely awful monarchs themselves but who conveniently tend to come with legitimate heirs hanging around somewhere in order to sidestep the question of what happens to the Empire after the Emperor dies.
    • Evil empresses tend to come in one of two specific types — the (sometimes literal) ice queen, cold and unfeeling and generally either a harsh but fair ruler or a heartless tyrant, and the fiery-tempered seductress in skimpy clothing, who will be gleefully sadistic, probably associated with slavery in some form and likely to try to force a hero into being her consort. Either type is also likely to be Daddy's Little Villain.
  • Fantastic Racism: "Robots" discusses how using this can fall flat in stories that try to act as a metaphor for real world racism, and can end up falling into Clueless Aesop territory. One big issue is that people of different races are all humans and are all the same species, whereas beings like robots, orcs, and goblins, are inherently different species that will have different values compared to humanity, so it's a false equivalence to try and use bigotry towards robots or a fantasy race as a metaphor for real world racism. Red even refers to the backlash Detroit: Become Human and Bright faced trying to comment on real world bigotry because it seemed like the writers didn't really fully understand how real world racism works. With Bright, she points out how people hated the orcs, who are supposed to be a stand-in for black people, because of crimes their ancestors committed 2000 years ago, even though the prejudice black people face in reality has nothing to do with the Sins of Our Fathers and is more about irrationality.
  • Fatal MacGuffin: Trope Talk series, "Macguffins" episode discussed this kind of Macguffin. Called "Instakill Macguffins", here at 7:04:
    Instantly kills whoever messes with it.
    Again, usually villains-only
    Kind of a basic karmic punishment
    Renders the whole race for the Macguffin retroactively pointless
  • Five-Man Band: As stated earlier, one of Red's Trope Talk videos discusses this trope.
  • Happy Ending Override: Discussed in her Sequels video. Red argues that this can be one of the causes of invoked Sequelitis, as writing a follow-up to a story with a definitive end requires you to do this, which when handled badly will not only make your sequel a bad work but retroactively render the first story pointless. The best sequels retroactively make the ending of the original feel like a natural midpoint.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Red discusses how a villain turning good is full of potential. However, she also acknowledges the biggest issue with this trope is convincing the audience that the villain has genuinely turned good, and that depending on the scale of their crimes, can look like a Karma Houdini if handled poorly.
  • The Hero's Journey: Blue discusses the steps this story type follows and how it's nowhere near as common as Joseph Campbell would have you believe but also how it can be used to great effect.
  • Kaiju: Red covers Kaiju with the original Godzilla as an example. She actually states that Kaiju are frequently personification of political topics that made if these personifications were giant monsters. For example, Godzilla being a personified worry of nuclear fallout with Japan suffering several nuclear disasters including the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing and the radiation poisoning from the Bikini Atoll testings.
  • MacGuffin: In the Trope Talk for "Macguffins", Red discusses the topic of MacGuffin. She defines this trope as something that drives the plot by being wanted, and solely by the fact that people want it; it could be replaced with anything else and the story would barely change (in fact some examples, like the briefcase from Pulp Fiction, never even show what the item is). If it actually does something for the plot, then it's not a MacGuffin. For instance, she contrasts the Unobtainium from Avatar, which has a theoretical use, but that use is never relevant and it only matters as the source of the central conflict, and the One Ring, which factors very heavily into the story by its nature and not just because characters are fighting over it.
  • Mary Sue: invoked Red talks about the evolution of this trope and how disproportionate it is that the traits that could be used to describe a male character get a female character branded as a Mary Sue. She also briefly discusses some of the offshoots of this trope: the Jerk Sue, the Villain Sue, and the Possession Sue.
  • Mentor Archetype: They get a whole video dedicated to them, describing a variety of types (including the classic Obi-Wan model, the Trickster Mentor, the Evil Mentor, etc.)... and also why exactly do they seem to die all the time. Red posits that the mentor is prime Character Death fodder because not only having a character around that's both a crutch to and more competent than The Hero is not a good idea, they are also often SatelliteCharacters with little personal arc beyond their relation to their pupil; making them quickly irrelevant as the story progresses, and thus allowing them to be killed off for emotional impact with little damage to the story's potential. Then she dedicates a good third of the video to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a movie about a kid dealing with half a dozen mentor figures, all with different roles and methods.
  • Mind Control: Red discusses the different ways this can play out and offshoots such as the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, Fighting from the Inside, and Not Brainwashed.
  • Not So Different: Red finds invoking this trope to be cringe worthy because the majority of works that use it do so very poorly; either the villain convinces the hero of this when they have nothing alike (making the hero look like an idiot), or when there are similarities invokedthey are not looked at. Red states that a better use of this trope is when there are actual similarities to explore, or when the hero does comes to this conclusion on their own.
  • The Paragon: Red actually loves seeing The Paragon in stories because they facilitate character growth on those around them. She also states that this trope can be deconstructed by having them be misguided or by having their opponents refuse to negotiate ‘em on the basis that they’re sure they’re doing the right thing because of how charming/good they seem.
  • Planet of Hats: Red examines the various types of common Hats (historically-based or otherwise) and explains its origins. She also explains how, while many fantasy races are based on either Tolkien's Legendarium or real-life cultures, the trope is actually subverted by both of those instances: a Planet of Hats is what you get when you take a cursory glance at most cultures and then apply that stereotype to the whole.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Briefly mentioned in Red's episode on Saving the World. She discusses how a villain often gives the hero a Sadistic Choice between the world and their loved one. Choosing the loved one is objectively dumb, but to an audience who knows said loved one better than they know 7 billion anonymous faces, it might seem like the best choice.
  • Rule of Three: Red explains that everything comes in threes in stories because three is a large enough number to be interesting without being too large to keep track of.
  • invokedShipping Bed Death: In the Trope Talk about "Romantic Subplots", Red points out the commonly cited idea that the audience cares more about the journey to the relationship rather than the relationship itself. But when that's resolved, a lot of stories don't actually explore the couple as a couple, as the rest of their time together is spent either being non-characters outside of the coupling or having drama infect the plot so that they can remain "interesting" to the audience.
  • invoked Sequelitis: Red has a whole episode on sequels, splitting the discussion into two broad categories (it should be noted that she doesn't consider works that were always planned as one story in multiple parts, like The Lord of the Rings, to be sequels):
  • Unfortunate Implications: invoked"Robots" discusses this trope when it comes to using robots or a fantasy species like orcs or goblins as a metaphor for the discrimination minorities face in the real world. Red notes that humans have a tendency to recognize patterns, so if all members of the species have some common trait, such as laziness or greed, the audience will analyze this and think this is how the author sees the minority group that species is supposed to represent. Red also notes that real world bigots use excuses like "they aren't human" and "they're monsters" to justify their bigotry of different groups, so using a different species like robots as a metaphor can backfire on the creator, even if they're trying to take an anti-bigotry stance. Red points out that this isn't racism on the audience's part and not how they see the group, but rather the audience believes this is how the author sees that group, which can make them seem unintentionally racist.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Discussed in "Urban Fantasy", where Red mentions how writers will often pull mythological creatures or deities of ancient cultures into a modern setting without realizing the dissonance removing them from their original context causes. She stresses how important it is to do your research when including mythological figures in your fiction, or you may end up with invokedUnfortunate Implications, especially if the mythology you're drawing from comes from a religion still practised today. She also discusses how writers often use names from native cultures like "Wendigo" and "Skin-Walker" for generic monsters because they sound cooler than, say, "snow beast" and "shape-shifter", while ignoring the folklore behind those names.
  • Values Dissonance:invoked Mentions in "Post Apocalypses" that it is difficult for modern audiences to truly understand the depth of the "Nuclear Weapons Are Bad" aesop that started in the midst of the Cold War because in those times, the fear of nuclear war was much more prevalent than in modern times.
    • Appears in a lot of their videos, such as Red's summary of the Pandora myth. Subverted in the H. P. Lovecraft video, as Red claims that Lovecraft was racist even by the standards of the time.
  • Write What You Know:invoked In her opinion, that doesn't mean you have to live the exact experiences you're writing; but you can simply bring up the nearest equivalent that you have already experienced. And if you can't, then it doesn't hurt to get in touch with someone who can do such a thing, to help your writing. And then there's the issue of writing diversity. Red admits that the topic is so politically charged, any answer you pick will have someone complaining about it. Avoid diversity altogether? Bigotry! Stereotypes? Even moreso! Have a diverse cast, but don't really do anything special with that diversity? Meaningless tokenism! Actually do your research on other people, and use it as part of your writing? Cultural appropriation! She has no clear solution for that and admits it's a big reason as to why she prefers writing fantasy and/or sci-fi.
    • Meanwhile, Blue actually brings up an example of that having awkward consequences: Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Bill fashioned his show around what he knew of life in the West, but his own life was so over-the-top (he was a cowboy, yes, but also a veteran, an adventurer, and a serious adrenaline junkie) his massive success ended up popularizing The Theme Park Version of early America over what it was really like.


Video Example(s):


Trope Talk - The Paragon

Red discusses this trope, in her show Trope Talk, talking about how it can be used to facilitate character growth, with those around him.

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Example of:

Main / TheParagon

Media sources:

Main / TheParagon