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"Just click on the totally NOT symbolic burning pencil to get started!"
"Tired of finding excellent and thought-provoking writing advice on the internet? Are you frustrated by the lack of useless and inane storytelling tips on the world wide web? Where can one go to find truly awful writing advice? Well, a lot of places, actually, but also, my channel!"
J.P. Beaubien, Welcome to terrible writing advice

Terrible Writing Advice is a YouTube channel by J.P. Beaubien, writer of Aeon Legion: Labyrinth.

His videos contain, as you might expect, amazing advice given in the most honest possible tone. Each episode will cover a writing topic (such as setting, character, taking criticism, publicity, love triangles, etc.) and will give bad-*ahem*-GOOD advice that only the soon-to-be-bestseller-authors employ, such as Mary Sue, Character Shilling, and, the most important of them all, THE LOVE TRIANGLE; often contrasted by what supposedly is considered actual thoughtful writing tips or good story fodder that he'll throw in before snapping you back to reality by reminding you of how bad/wrong/boring the "actual" advice was, and then proceeding to go right back to the real advice.

There is also an ongoing storyline featured at the end of each video in which the various stereotypical villains of the TWA-verse fight each other over the sponsorship of the week.

These are examples of the tropes this show contains, if you want add more, Go ahead! And don't worry about whether or not the trope fits the example. Worrying about such minute details is stupid, after all.

Tropes with their own pages:
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  • '90s Anti-Hero: His "Antiheroes" video mentions how the definition of an antihero is open-ended, but primarily focuses on this kind, which he calls the "cool" kind. He even suggests reading any comic book from the nineties for reference.
  • 419 Scam: "Avoiding Scams" heavily implies that Beaubien was the victim of one, since he claims to have let a Nigerian prince borrow his bank account.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Discussed in in Plotting a story. J.P. suggests to abort a side plot long after it has overshadowed the main plot, as long as doing so won't leave a satisfying conclusion to the side plot.
    • In "Revenge Plots", one of the options that's recommended is to give a vague revenge motive for the protagonist and then unceremoniously drop the motive midpoint.
  • Abandoned Catchphrase: “What this story needs is a love triangle" used to be a Once per Episode running gag but now J.P. rarely ever says it.
  • Actionized Sequel: In "Survival Horror", Beaubien is definitely not talking about the Dead Space franchise going from survivor horror to action game with some horror elements.
  • Adults Are Useless: Says this is one of the only options for portraying adults in his "Dystopias" video. The other two options are to make them villains or dead. This also comes up in the "Magic Schools" video in regards to how to portray the teachers.
  • Advertised Extra: One of the stock characters in "Giant Monsters" is the "Bait and Switch" character, who is played by an A-rank actor who needed a paycheck, gets killed off in the first third of the film, yet has a very prominent role in the trailers to trick fans of the actor into watching the film.
  • Aesop Amnesia: He suggests in "Character Development" that a character who moved past their flaws should regain them for a sequel, rather than getting a new character arc that's a natural outgrowth of the lessons they learned.
  • Affably Evil: The leader of the Cult of Cthulhu is oddly polite, despite his dedication to destroying human civilization.
    That's very rude of you, sir. We worked hard to lay the foundations of the fall of humankind, for only through dedication, good will, faith and empathy can we bring about the end of all things as the world as we know it slips into the inky abyss of suffering madness.
  • Affectionate Parody: At the end of the Star Wars themed video, he says he was harsh on the franchise out of love for it.
  • The Alcoholic: "Spies" recommends that the "Gritty" flavor of Spy Fiction protagonist have a serious drinking problem.
  • All According to Plan: "Intrigue Plots" suggests having the members of the story's secret society say this all the time even when things are working against their favor, primarily to distract the reader from the author's lack of a plan. invoked
    • During the advertisements at the end of the video, occasionally if things go well for the Ancient Conspirator, he'll utter this catchphrase.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: In "Dungeon Master's Guide", reading any edgy manga will cause an Edgelord to become "The Hentai Guy", who constantly makes the other players uncomfortable by injecting their fetishes at awkward places.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • The instance of Sincerity Mode in "Ending A Story" ends up being this, with JP freaking out at the thought of giving people actual good advice. Then he suggests a story being a dream to be great way to end a story, as long as the characters won't learn anything from the dream.
    • In "Filler Arcs", he says that the lazy writer would use this trope in filler arcs but filler arcs don't even need that as a justification as, according to his words, "we all know it's filler".
  • The All-Solving Hammer:
    • No matter what story genre or character archetype he's talking about, JP's advice almost always includes "add a love triangle".
    • The Evil Emperor's first solution to literally every problem is to "DESTROY THE ENTIRE PLANET".
    • If the CEO of Megacorp doesn't have something, then he obviously hasn't thrown enough money at it.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • More straightforward discussions of the genres and tropes he criticizes can be found on his official website.
      • The "Cyberpunk" video is especially bad at this. While the video itself suggests mixing up the terms "sapience" and "sentience", it does not explain what they mean at all, and only the footnote of the corresponding blog post states that sapience is the ability to reason, while sentience is the ability to feel and have emotions.
    • His "Beginning A Story" video ends with the advice to add a flowchart to your story so that readers don't get Lost in Medias Res.invoked
    • "Character Backstories" touches on packing a backstory with more and more plot hooks that never truly get resolved, often leading to needing a separate wiki to track everything.
  • Alpha and Beta Wolves: Brought up in "Alpha Heroes", where the alpha male is compared to an alpha wolf... then mentions that the popular idea of the alpha wolf isn't really a thing in the wild, since real alpha wolves are generally closer to parental figures than anything when in their natural habitats.
  • Ambiguous Ending: He suggests that while leaving ending ambiguous requires the right setup and the right tone for the story, the best way to use Ambiguous Ending is to cover up the fact that the author couldn't come up with a definite ending. Another reason to use ambiguous endings is to finish the work in time.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Lampshaded by Beaubien in "Noble Houses".
    Beaubien: Who knows? Anything is possible... (evil drawl) with enough ambition.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: In "Love Interests", Beaubien comments it's the worst thing that can happen to the hero's Love Interest when they have been kidnapped by a villain. He also comments (out-of-character) that it's Discredited Trope.
  • And Then What?: He recommends stopping a story right after the Evil Empire has been done in... otherwise the author might have to consider the civil strife, decapitated armies, war crimes tribunals, bloody reprisals, factional infighting, endless cycle of violence, and the backslide into utter chaos that usually happens when a major empire goes belly-up.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: In "Comic Relief Characters" the sample audience is shown to be happy over the death of the comic relief character.
  • Animesque: The "Isekai" episode has all the characters given big anime eyes.
  • Anti-Climax:
    • Beaubien advises that the rival's story arc should be concluded in such a manner.
    • At the end of "Filler", JP is about to disclose the real secret behind writing great filler, only to be notified that his video's finally long enough to monetize and he walks off without saying any more.
    • In the beginning of "Fantasy Battles", it was recommended for the actual battle to be only passingly mentioned, even if the whole work has been building up to that battle.
  • Anvilicious: Cycle of Revenge trope should be discussed in the most preachy and heavy-handed way possible, according to JP, so that the audience wants to take a revenge on the author instead. invoked
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Any fantastical material or energy source that can defy physics to make the setting's technology work in the name of Rule of Cool qualifies. JP calls this convenient material "Contrivium".
  • Appeal to Worse Problems: "Apology Video Template" suggests pointing to other celebrities and pointing out their transgressions so that you look good by comparison.
  • Arab Oil Sheikh: Suggested in "Alpha Heroes", where the alpha male's status as one helps to substitute for an actual personality.
  • Arc Fatigue: In "Filler Arcs" episode, JP recommends that if putting too many incoherent things in a filler arc doesn't work, an option would be to take a single theme and stretch it as long as possible, even if it's to and past the breaking point. invoked
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • From the "Cosmic Horror" episode, the "NOT Necronomicon" has the following Amazon review.
      "THIS BOOK TRIED TO EAT MY FACE OFF! Also, it summoned ancient horrors from beyond time and space and filled my mind with frightful truths. There are lots of other horrible things too like detailing human sacrificial rights to ripping souls from the body and sending them to a state of unlife, but the worst part is the author's clear POLITICAL BIAS!"
    • In "Lovemaking Scenes" the Spice Level ranks lovemaking scenes by how sexual they are. After listing increasingly explicit acts of lovemaking, what's the highest level of all called? Anime hand holding.
  • The Artifact: Inner Critic's name. In his early appearances, Inner Critic was supposed to be the manifestation of JP's internal doubts about his own writing abilities. This was later changed to make him a separate bad writer who had a rivalry with JP, making the "inner" part of his name a misnomer. note 
  • Art Shift: The "Cyberpunk" video, uniquely, replaces the normal sketchy hand-written font and grimy grey background with a sci-fi looking font and a background of constantly shifting hexagons, as well as giving Beaubien and his props a thematically fitting makeover.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: To quell the incoming dinosaur nerds in "Writing Dinosaurs", JP takes an aside to talk about how advancements in paleontology have revealed new details that make known dinosaurs vastly different from their portrayals in pop culture. After every major difference he knows is covered, he snarks that a nerd will still come in to correct him on another minor detail (or several) that he wasn't aware of, or a paleontologist will come up with a video that dissects the whole thing. Either way, the bottom line is to either blatantly ignore all palentology or just make a documentary.
  • As You Know: Encouraged and name-dropped in "Exposition", and ideally done as clumsily as possible.
  • Ass Pull: invoked
    • Encouraged in the "Plotting" episode, the more out of nowhere the better.
    • In "Ending a Story", changing the ending to surprise the audience, no matter how logical it is, is considered ne of the two ways to react if the fans have managed to guess the ending.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: In "Action Scenes", this is recommended. JP states that opponents should never consider retreat as an option.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Parodied in "Giant Monsters" with a giant prehistoric pug.
  • Audience-Alienating Ending: Invoked. Referenced in "Ending A Story" where J.P. points out that if the ending is bad, people will only remember the botched ending, no matter how well the rest of the story is written.
  • Audience Surrogate: "Giant Monsters" recommends using a "POV drone" to serve as one, with no explanation as to why they get to hang out with high-level politicians, scientists and military officers.
  • Author Tract:
    • "Megacorporations" suggests the writer to do this and take a Black-and-White Morality stance on corporations and constantly remind the audience that corporations are bad.
    • "Military Science Fiction" gives this advice for whatever political views the author has. The story should also be one-sided and only validate the author's viewpoint, rather than acknowledge that Both Sides Have a Point.
    • "Mentors" puts the mentor character in this position. Given they are supposed to be wise and intelligent within the story, the author uses them as a mouthpiece for their political beliefs.
  • Badass Boast: Delivers a weirdly powerful one in the last line of the Cosmic Horror video, when talking about Lovecraft Lite:
    "Human beings are mere insects compared to the eldritch gods, much like how humans are to ants. By the way, did you know that twenty to fifty humans a year are killed by ants? Isn't that an interesting statistic, Cthulhu?"
  • Badass Normal: Beaubien suggests giving your Anti-Hero no superpowers (other than Plot Armor) yet having him win all his fights. It's much easier than creating a hero who relies on tactics, subterfuge and pragmatism.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The series format discusses how you should use tropes badly and any deep and meaningful discussions should be avoided at all costs, especially if it gets in the way of the Love Triangle.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: In the "Urban Fantasy" video, he asks whether the story needs a Love Triangle, and says no... not when they can have a Love Dodecahedron.
  • Beach Episode: In "Filler Arcs" JP says that Beach Episode plot can happen even when there is a calamity going on.
  • Because Destiny Says So:
    • Offered as a reason why a Damsel in Distress princess's Arranged Marriage to The Evil Prince would be cancelled in favour of an Arranged Marriage to the protagonist.
    • In his "Characterization" video, he says that the only reason on why the protagonist would leave a safe and calm life to find a MacGuffin should be just because the plot knows where they live and will burn down their house if they refuse.
  • Beyond the Impossible: In his (Spot-on) parody of youtube apology videos, not only does his hypothetical apology video accrue tens of thousands of dislikes, but he somehow also gets a negative amount of likes.
  • Big "NO!":
    • He does one at the end of the Star Wars video when he's told that he forgot one major Star Wars cliché.
    • He yells one in "Mentors" episode when he's about to die.
  • Big Red Button: Sometimes there are big red buttons usually labelled after plot devices. Such as in "Mid-Series Shakeups" has a big red button that says "reset".
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: In "Mary Sues", he recommends making your antagonist outlandishly evil to make the Mary Sue protagonist look heroic, despite the protagonist's excessive violence. invoked
  • Black-and-White Insanity:invoked
    • "Giving Criticism" suggests only two options for reviewing someone else's work. One can either be a complete sadist who only cares about bashing a work, or a fan who refuses to admit the work has any flaws.
    • One Freeze-Frame Bonus in "Myths, Legends, and Gods" brings up how many stories commenting on religion tend to be one-sided Author Tracts that bash either religion or atheism depending on the author's stance on the issue.
    • In "Rebels", JP refers to the rebel vs. empire conflict as a "stark moral binary".
  • Black Dude Dies First: Discussed in the "Killing off characters" video, in which the author suggests the writer kills off the Token Minority characters first so on one hand he can claim that his work contains minorities, but at the same time he won't have to keep them around for too long, and thus not bother with any research or nuanced depiction of these minority groups.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Fills the screen at one point in "Plotting a Story" as the characters all Info Dump exposition at once.
  • Blatant Lies: Due to the nature of the series, these tend to pop up a lot. In "Grimdark", for example, he claims because Terrible Writing Advice is grimdark forever, he'll never be sarcastic again! A caption above brags, "This is the biggest lie I have ever told."
  • Bloodless Carnage: Reccommended in "Giant Monsters" to avoid getting "slapped with that dreaded, money-sapping R-rating".
  • Blue Blood: "Alpha Heroes" reccommends giving the alpha male some kind of noble title which would help substitute for an actual personality.
  • Boldly Coming: "Alien Ecosystems" briefly talks about how, if there's a manly starship captain, a good amount of the story should focus on his romantic conquests.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Action Scenes" suggests having your hero spout off one of these as he kills the Big Bad. The more groans and eyerolls it garners from the audience, the better.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • At one point in "writer's block" he mentions going back and completely redoing segments of your story. It's not fun, but to any writer wanting to do serious work, you would do well to heed it. Very boring, but often work comes out much better if you do.
    • "Science Fiction Weapons" has the narrator point out how nukes would be a much more useful alternative to the Awesome, but Impractical weapons sci-fi stories normally use.
    • During his Sincerity Mode moment in "Ending A Story", he says it's okay to make a simple and predictable ending to a story because convoluted endings often end poorly, and a badly done Twist Ending will attract far more backlash than a straightforward one ever will.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: "Traditional vs. Self Publishing" ends with an Honest Thoughts list of the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self publishing. For traditional publishers, using them will give your book a better chance of being sold in book stores, and thus better sales figures. However, there are gatekeepers who will make you edit your story for the sake of pandering to demographics. For self-publishing, writers have more freedom and aren't restricted to the whims of gatekeepers. However, a lot of things that the publisher would take care of (editors, cover design, etc.) are now the writer's responsibility. Despite these differences, both sides share the con that there's no guarantee of success.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In "Zombie Apocalypse", Beaubien makes this comment in relation to air vents:
    Beaubien: Darn air vents, always filled with zombies or aliens or spies or zombie alien spies.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: From the ad at the end of "Science Fiction Weapons":
    Ancient Conspirator: You can listen to a book while performing a separate task like writing, exercising, secretly pulling the strings of world leaders, or some other menial chore.
  • Brick Joke: In "Noble Houses", Beaubien tells the viewer to avoid a growing merchant class marrying into the nobility, because inevitably, the static worldbuilding will be ruined by said merchants trying to convert the aristocracy into a constitutional monarchy with limited noble powers. In the ending of the video it's revealed the merchants used the feuding between House Goodguys and House Badguys to draft a constitution and limit the Emperor's powers.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • Mentions in his "Environmentalism" video that it's okay for the nature loving heroes to use the same technology the villains use to stop them despite the story going on about how evil technology is.
    • His "Cyberpunk" video recommends similar advice. He suggests that the aesop should be about how Technology Is Evil, yet says that giving the protagonists cool weapons and technology won't undermine the intended aesop.
    • From "Grimdark":
      Beaubien: Exploring themes of moral ambiguity works great when our protagonist makes everyone's lives objectively worse and behaves like a 13 year old sociopath on a power trip.
    • "Megacorporations" suggests that the entire purpose of the mega-corporation should be to show the audience that money is bad and you should give the author as much of it as possible.
    • "Giant Monsters" suggests the day be saved by the smart scientist's plan, which emphasizes that Science Is Good, even though the rest of the story is about how Science Is Bad because it created the giant monster in the first place.
    • This comes up a few times in "Military Science Fiction". If you're going for a War Is Hell aesop and preaching about pacifism, then it's okay to indulge in power fantasy and show off a bunch of cool technology, even when said technology is used to murder people. It's also advised to have an aesop about going against the Hive Mind mentality and thinking for yourself, by making sure everyone's beliefs align with the author's political views.
    • "Revenge Plots" should hammer home the message that revenge is bad, even though the protagonist's attempts at seeking revenge only improve things.
    • "Rebels" only suggests one moral for the rebellion, and that's "Rebels are good, empires are evil". Even when the rebels start killing people for minor disagreements, they should still be described as heroic. The empire should also villified even if they're never shown doing anything evil.
  • The Bully:
    • The series criticizes how bullies are often depicted as one-dimensional caricatures (often of people the author knew) with no redeeming traits and are inferior to the protagonist in every way.
    • "Deconstruction" compares writers who do deconstructive works to bullies, as they tear down other people's works to make themselves look smart.
  • Butterface: At the end of "Alien Ecosystems", a starship captain hits on what looks from behind to be an attractive female alien. When she turns around, however, she turns out to have five alien eyes in the middle of her face and tentacles where her mouth should be.
  • Byronic Hero: "Anti Heroes" instructs writers to make their Anti-Hero protagonist brooding and laconic, communicating in grunts, snark, and "whatevers". The solitude serves to imply internal conflict to make him appear deep, rather than thinking about what to have for lunch.
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: In an instance of Sincerity Mode, JP does mention in "Noble Houses" that historically speaking, royalty would often hire foreigners into the royal guard because they wouldn't have any ties to the local nobility. He also mentions how this didn't always work out, as royal guards had a tendency of becoming their own political factions.
  • Call-Back:
    • In "Dungeon Master's Guide", one of the miniatures displayed on the gaming table is a monster from the "Cosmic Horror" video, and JP has a can of Lovecraft Light next to his Dungeon Master screen. Also, the description of the "Edge Lord" character archetype mentions the previous "Antihero" video by name.
    • "Player's Handbook" contains plenty of references to Dungeon Master's Guide (fittingly, since it's another video about tabletop RPGs). For instance, the player characters from Dungeon Master's Guide reappear, the Dungeon Master still has a can of Lovecraft Light next to the Dungeon Master screen and the same miniature, "That Guy" reappears as one of the Dungeon Masters archetypes...
    • In "Apology Video Template", Beaubien mentions that he has "starved imprisoned ghostwriters in [his] basement who write these episodes". In the "AI" video he says that his futile attempts to get an AI to write the script for the episode was to replace the imprisoned ghostwriters.
    • The "Isekai" protagonists and the Comic Relief from the eponymous video reappear in "Filler Arcs".
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Beaubien particuarly hates this trope.
    Beaubien: [...character development is] not nearly as interesting as subjecting the reader to endless pages of a character's internal pining and complete inability to just freakin' spit it out and finally admit what they actually want!
  • Can't Take Criticism: Has a whole video dedicated to this, encouraging this behavior in writers.
  • Captain Ersatz: A number of them show up, as part of the potshots at various popular series. Lampshaded in "Science Fiction Weapons", where a soldier facing a Humongous Mecha screams "IT'S legally distinct from A GUNDAM!"
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Lampshaded constantly.
    "Better have the Dark Lord throw some more kittens in his morning omelette."
  • Cassandra Truth: "Giant Monsters" does this to the smart scientist character, with everyone ignoring him until the halfway point when every other plan to stop the giant monster has failed.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: "Dystopias" has JP recommend adding a vague past disaster to explain how everything got ruined, rather than wasting effort on diving into the socio-economic problems that spark real-world dictatorships.
  • Catching Some Z's: When JP is asleep in "Ending a Story" mode, "ZZZ" is briefly seen over his head. This trope is also questioned in the Rivals video.
    "Why does the letter z represent sleep anyway?"
  • Catchphrase: "Comic Relief Characters" suggests letting the comic relief character have one, with the sample comic relief having the catch phrase "Zappers."
    Beaubien: Coming up with a catchphrase is as easy as THE LOVE TRIANGLE! Wait. Let me try that again...
  • Cerebus Syndrome: In "Killing off characters", JP suggests starting to kill off characters near the end of lighthearted story as one of the options in order to increase the shock value.
  • Chainmail Bikini:
    • Mentioned in "Alpha Heroes", where J.P. points out that when hot chicks wearing these show up on a cover, at least their faces are generally visible, while alpha male protagonists sometimes have their heads cut off due to the focus being on their abs.
    • In "Dungeon Master's Guide", the "Hentai Guy" player archetype has a player character wearing a plated thong, a tiny plated bra, black gauntlets, a garter belt and stokings, and high heeled shoes.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Defied; In the "Leader Characters" episode JP states that the title of leader should be a perk with no real drawback such as being the leader of the fighters, mages, assassins and thieves while not actually needing to deal with any of the responsibilities.
  • Character Alignment: Invoked. In "Traditional vs. Self Publishing", JP describes himself as "somewhere between Chaotic Neutral and Neutral Evil on the alignment chart".
  • Character Derailment: invokedThis is advised in "Grimdark" when characterizing the villain. JP starts off by saying the villain should have a reasonable motive for their actions and be characterized as an Anti-Villain. However, once fans start seeing the villain as Unintentionally Sympathetic and the hero as a Designated Hero, JP then recommends derailing the villain into a Hate Sink by having him cross the Moral Event Horizon so that the hero looks better by comparison.
  • Character Development: The focus of Episode #28. (On a serious note, the video delves into the difference between Character Development and Character Growth.)
    Beaubien: Character development is something every writer should learn... to fake!
  • Character Shilling:
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In "Dungeon Master's Guide", the miniatures displayed on the gaming table include miniatures of the Edge Lord, Roll Player, and Role Player characters, who are first seen before JP goes to describe them as player archetypes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The episode "LOVEMAKING SCENES" appears as an out-of-place video that plays no role in the Terrible Writing Advice Cinematic Universe since it is age-restricted, preventing sponsorship ads from being placed. However, the video turns out to have been necessary to protect the heroes and villains that desire to stand against Inner Greed and his Adageddon.
  • The Chosen One:
    • Dedicates a whole video to this trope.
    • In "Mentors" episode, JP suggests having mentor train the protagonist only because the prophecy says so, rather than seeing potential in the protagonist.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: "Noble Houses" must engage in this 24/7 to the point where, by the end of the story both The Emperor and the head of House Badguys have a betrayal flowchart.
  • Church of Happyology: "Writing Cults" has a skyscraper with a sign reading "Magicology" appear every time J.P. mentions cults with extravagant spending habits.
  • Cigar Chomper:
    • The recurring "anti-hero" character frequently has a cigar in his mouth.
    • The Mega-Corp's CEO also has a cigar, fitting for an evil businessman.
    • The "gritty" protagonist in "Spies" is never seen without a cigar in his mouth.
  • Circular Reasoning:
    • His reason for why the rival character should oppose the hero.
      Beaubien: The rival wants to defeat the hero because... the hero is strong and he wants to defeat him! There! Done!
    • Similarly, the Dark Lord's primary character trait should be that "he loves power because he... loves power".
  • Cliffhanger: He suggest Cliffhanger endings to be even better than Sequel Hook endings as they leave the audience in suspense. He also suggests for executives for it to be the best time to cancel the series for show's plot to be Left Hanging.
  • Clip Show: Another technique discussed and used in "Filler" to pad out a show's (and his video's) runtime, never mind that the recap episodes are far less acceptable in the era where streaming services are commonplace.
  • Clueless Aesop:
    • "Giant Monsters" mentions that having a serious and sober message in a campy story about Kaiju beating each other to pulp will probably not go down well.
    • "Urban Fantasy Reloaded" suggests trying to inject social commentary on a real world issue into your urban fantasy story. Don't worry that the story is about witches making out with fairies.
  • Commander Contrarian: In "Leader characters", JP recommends to use this character archetype for the sole reason to make the leader look smart and to slow down the plot. He also says that Commander Contrarian is great at causing contrived conflicts.
  • Compressed Vice: In his "Character Development" video he explains that a character should only have one flaw fixed per book, and one of his bullet points says "Have the protagonist suddenly become a racist for no reason before fixing it."
  • Conflict Ball: In the "Antiheroes" video, he recommends that the antihero specializes in forced, contrived conflict, and that no one else should question why they tolerate such an abrasive individual when they get in the way of teamwork.
  • Continuity Nod: Episode 26 talked about action scenes, and how to use an overabundance of explosions to compensate for lack of depth. Episode 27 starts with the intro completely destroyed and even the music distorted due to all the explosions from the previous episode.
  • Continuity Snarl: Lampshaded. In the Christmas Specials episode, the Inner Critic shows up as a ghost, causing J.P. to comment on how he killed his inner critic in his criticisms video, which was before the Rivals video, where the critic showed up very much alive. Critic then snarks about how J.P. has suddenly started caring about continuity. Then he comes back to life Through one of the "plot holes [J.P.] leaves lying around."
  • Conveniently an Orphan: "Spies" advises this for the Power Fantasy variant, saying the spy shouldn't have any family or loved ones to come back to. JP is then confused why such a depressing detail is in the Power Fantasy spy.
    Action Thriller Spy: I am unfortunately/conveniently an orphan.
  • Cool Airship: In "Steampunk", it's strongly encouraged to use them as much as you can, even if they aren't the most practical mean of transportation available, or the safest.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: At one point in "Comic Reliefs", the Chosen One extracts information from a mook by threatening to make the Comic Relief tell his catchphrase to him over and over.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: "Writing Dinosaurs" encourages just using dinosaurs as massive carnage machines, even better if you can pit one dinosaur against another. No need to explore how dinosaurs socialize or live in their environment!
  • Commander Contrarian: Discussed in the "Leader Character" episode, where it's stated that the role of such a character is to provide a strawman who opposes the protagonist no matter how nonsensical they come off as in order to prove the protagonist right and thus fulfill the power fantasy of winning an argument. He also states that there is no point in making this character someone who is there to provide an actual counterpoint or as an Honest Advisor actually attempting to help.
  • Cosmic Horror: The topic of Episode #34.
    Beaubien: (to Cthulhu) You can't end the world yet! I haven't bought my first Mercedes!
    • Cosmic Horror Reveal: It's encouraged in the video to do so with as little build up as possible to make the tone shift even more jarring.
  • Couch Gag: The videos have a Brick Joke comment at the end credits. For example: "The Dark Lord could also consider making his immortal MacGuffin out of titanium."
  • Crapsack World: In "Deconstruction", he suggests pushing this trope to the absolute limit when writing deconstruction stories because it automatically means Darker and Edgier, no matter how much it breaks the audience's disbelief as to how the setting didn't just implode on itself long before the story could even begin.
  • Creator's Apathy: Invoked.
    • In general, the series could be summarized under the sole advice of "give in to Creator's Apathy as much as you can", as recurring advice include "only use clichés already seen for a million times, and in the most boring/obnoxious way possible", "never try to deepen your setting by exploring causes, consequences, and implications of the universe", "all characters should be flat, except for the protagonist and maybe the big bad", "focus on writing action scenes, Info Dump, or Description Porn at the expense of subtly fleshing out your setting", "tell don't show"...invoked
    • Both "Urban Fantasy" videos emphasize Urban Fantasy is an interesting genre to use for creators, because it is set in our modern world, which greatly limits the amount of world-building needed.invoked
    • "Filler Arcs" explains filler episodes are practical because writing one doesn't require to put much effort in one and them being low quality is part of their nature, to the point he disadvices about adding a Love Triangle in one because it would require too much work.invoked
  • Creator's Pet:
    • His "Antiheroes" video mentions how the antihero is subject to the author's bias.invoked
    • "Myths, Legends, and Gods" also has the gods and goddesses of the Fantasy Pantheon ending up in this role, as the writer is so focused on their worldbuilding that they forget about the main plot.
  • Crocodile Tears: "Apology Video Template" advises people to fake tears to win sympathy points from the audience. However, J.P. also points out a Double Standard, in that only a cute girl could get away with this, while a grown man crying excessively would make him look childish, and would look even more immature.
  • Chromosome Casting: The majority of the characters are male, and all of the characters appearing in the sponsorship segments are either male or of ambiguous gender. This is likely since JP is the only voice actor, but there is no explanation for why the unvoiced characters are mostly male.
  • Cult: Discussed in "Writing Cults", where Beaubien states that the best way to write a cult is to just make them a group of evil guys in hoods following a nondescript Religion of Evil that serve as Cannon Fodder for the heroes.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: "Megacorporations" says that a Mega-Corp should do things that cut into their bottom line despite being an entity whose primary function is to generate profit.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Discussed in "Revenge Plots" episode. According to JP, this storyline should be done in the most heavy-handed way possible.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: "Giving Criticism" recommends that a "nice" critic try to avoid saying anything negative about someone's story, and find anything to compliment it on. The example brought up is somebody saying they like the font used to write a terrible story, saying it's better than comic sans.
  • Damsel in Distress: Beaubien has the hero's Love Interest get captured by the villain in order to save himself the trouble of having to actually write a romantic subplot.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Encouraged to give The Chosen One or the Anti-Hero this in lieu of actual challenges to face. In the Anti-Hero's case, it's to be merely implied so the Love Interest will want to provide Intimate Healing, rather than actually described in sufficient detail.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • This is the whole point of the "Grimdark" episode, and as such, the background gets changed to a pure black backdrop, while the whimsical background music gets replaced with dreadful, ominous music.
    Beaubien: This soothing gray background? GONE! KILLED IT! And you should feel bad! It's all BLACK now — ETERNAL DARKNESS FOREVER!
    • In his "deconstruction" video, JP says that any deconstruction must be this instead of exploring the cast, setting, etc. in any other way. For instance, instead of looking into how The Chosen One feels ill-prepared for the responsibility they're taking on or the political maneuvering they'll have to deal with, he suggests making the chosen one or everyone around them evil for no good reason.
    • In "Sequel Reboots" video, JP says that instead of maintaining the tone of the original or changing the tone of the franchise for new audiences, the reboots should be dark and gritty instead.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: One of the recurring "villain" characters is a man with a top hat and a curling mustache who's constantly rubbing his palms together.
  • Dead All Along: Briefly mentioned in "Ending a Story" episode where it was deemed to have as good plot twist as everything being a dream.
  • Dear Negative Reader: The theme of the "Taking Criticism" video.invoked
  • Death Glare: The recurring "anti-hero" character is constantly giving one.
  • Decadent Court: The focus of "Noble Houses".
  • Decapitated Army:
    • He states that once the leader of the Evil Empire is gone, then the conflict is over, even though a new successor could take their place.
    • In "Fantasy Battles", he states that the bad guys should rout or die after the hero defeats their leader in single combat.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best:
    • The tombstones for the protagonist's parents in "Intrigue Plots" have "RIP Perfect Mom/Dad" engraved on them.
    • This is one of the archetypes in "Fantasy Characters". Rather than creating a sprite like the other archetypes, this archetype is represented by two tombstones. This archetype is laughed off by JP, who claims that they'll be dead by chapter one if they're lucky. Otherwise they'll be dead as part of the protagonist's backstory. On the profile, their best feature is that they're the easiest characters to write.
    • One of the potential backstories discussed in "Character Backstories". Not only does it keep the writer from needing to flesh out the character's family, it can serve as an easy source of angst, especially if the character watched their parents die.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: In "Deconstruction", JP shows how this trope applies on a large scale to a genre. With a successful work, numerous others would invokedattempt to replicate its success (often poorly) and establish the cliches of the genre. Then, a deconstruction happens that takes apart all these cliches, becomes greatly successful, and many other imitators will follow suit until the deconstructive elements are the new norm until a reconstruction happens, perpetuating the cycle.
  • Decoy Protagonist: "Beginning A Story" criticizes this trope by suggesting that the writer spend time building up a character only to have the character die and/or turn out to be an extra in the grand scheme of things.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • The "Grimdark" episode notes that the fantasy genre is perfect for a grimdark tone as any criticism towards the story can be ignored by saying the grimdark setting is historically accurate, ignoring the fact that a fantasy world would be a Constructed World and how even the historical accuracy claim can be questionable at times.
    • Defied in "Isekai", as JP advises you to ignore this. A writer could use the modern values of the protagonist and have them clash with the values of the fantasy world they've been transported to, such as the existence of slavery. However, that distracts from the power fantasy and harem aspects of the plot.
    • Discussed in "Deconstruction" when it comes to overly dark works that use historical accuracy to justify their bleak, cynical tone by claiming that's how things really were back then. The people who claim this often have zero sources to back up their claims, and put so much emphasis on historical low points that they ignore the parts of historical societies that actually worked fine.
  • Demoted to Extra: In "Myths, Legends, and Gods" the writer becomes so focused on the gods of their fantasy world and its history that the mortal main characters end up getting ignored in favor of them.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Invoked in "Grimdark", with the protagonist's actions being so heinous, that it makes the villain look better by comparison. The author should justify this by claiming the protagonist is morally ambiguous even when he's doing something like slaughtering orphans.
    • This also gets advised in "Alpha Heroes", by having the main hero be abusive and controlling of the main heroine's actions. The author should use a Freudian Excuse to justify his behavior.
  • Destroy the Product Placement: "Giant Monsters" mentions that big companies will pay money to have their products be destroyed onscreen.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In "Cosmic Horror", he notes that for all the comparisons of Eldritch Abominations being as far above humans as humans are above ants, ants still manage to kill twenty to fifty people a year.
    • Parodied in "Isekai". The protagonists defeat Cthulhu with a trite friendship speech.
  • Die for Our Ship: In "Shipping", in fanfiction writing section, Beaubien suggest to kill off any characters in the meanest way possible if they get in the way of fanfiction writer's ship, if they don't want to make the ship-blocking character evil. He says this has to be done in the most unsubtle way possible. invoked
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: "Apology Video Template" has J.P. attempt to deflect criticism by claiming to suffer from depression and eosinophilic esophagitis.
  • Discredited Trope: Invoked. In "Love Interests", Beaubien uses the And Now You Must Marry Me trope as a possible fate of the hero's Love Interest after being kidnapped by a villain. Cue the following note:
    Note: This trope is practically dead. Please don't bring it back.
  • Disney Death: At the end of the "Killing off Characters", JP recommends unexplained recoveries as a way to bring characters back to life as one of the options, before being suddenly brought back to life himself.
  • Disposable Woman: "Spies" defies the Running Gag of adding a Love Triangle in the Power Fantasy variant of Spy Fiction. Instead, it recommends a Love Black Hole, which kills off every Love Interest to make way for a new one in each sequel.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Encourages writers to have their Mary Sue dish out a hundred times the violence inflicted upon her when her enemy actually manages to hurt her, and do so ruthlessly. invoked
  • The Dog Bites Back: "Giving Criticism" points out that if a critic only focuses on bashing someone's work, when that critic releases something of their own, those writers they bashed will be in the position of critic.
  • Domestic Abuse: "Alpha Heroes" suggests having the alpha male protagonist or love interest act like a controlling creep towards the woman he's into.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: invoked "Military Sci-Fi" recommends having an anti-war message... and also portraying war and the technologies used to wage it as incredibly badass.
  • Doomed Hometown: Brought up in a few episodes. For an example, in "Chosen ones", JP recommends a villain to invoke it to kickstart chosen one's prophecy.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Invoked in the "Slasher Films" video. Once the film ends up becoming a franchise, he advises to shift the focus from the targets of the slasher to the slasher himself, and to glamorize him while overlooking the fact that he is a Serial Killer.
  • Dreadful Musician: J.P. claims to be prohibited from singing by "several international treaties" in "Holiday Specials".
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In "Franchise Reboots" JP suggest killing off original cast in the most mean-spirited way possible as one of the options to give spotlight to new characters.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • "Rivals" has J.P. write "no one has time to read all this crap!" over one of Inner Critic's pages of notes. Considering the fact that having so much text in a video defeats the purpose of, well, a video, he's not wrong.
    • "Traditional vs. Self Publishing" has J.P. call out his Inner Critic on his high expectations when it comes to traditional publishers. He realizes that no publisher is going to sign a six-figure deal with a first-time author. He also knows that publishers will make authors rewrite their stories to pander to the broader market and inflate sales numbers.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
  • Easy Logistics: His video on "Fantasy Battles" enjoys pointing out that you should ignore the problems of commanding, training, equipping, and feeding a massive army, especially if they're pulling their troops from a wasteland where nothing seems to grow.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It's easier just to describe your Lovecraftian monster having a bunch of tentacles, mouths and Googly Eyes.
  • Ending Fatigue: Invoked in "Plotting A Story", in which "discovery" writers often fall into a habit of being unable to finish their story. The story on screen initially says "And then they fought the evil emperor and won. The end", but suddenly has addendums about how the dog was the evil mastermind after all, and devolves into a story about horse racing that is sponsored by the emperor's evil cat and somehow get sucked into facing off against an evil sapient disco ball in a competitive cooking show. Also mentioned in "Ending a Story" episode which suggest to tie everything up, even if that makes the ending go on and on.
    Average Joe Reviewer: One star. People don't act that way. The author must be insane.
    Author: You are wrong! The voices in my head told me to write that.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: There are constant mentions that you should put something in your writing, simply because the reverse has never happened before. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Equal-Opportunity Offender:
    • invoked"Villains" points out a lot of Discredited Tropes that haven't aged well, such as having the baron be a Creepy Crossdresser to make the audience feel uncomfortable, or having the emperor's troops wearing blue-face to mock an alien species. However, it also mocks cancel culture and the people on the internet who get so easily offended over such tropes, as they're shown in the flaming trash can of Internet culture wars. The villains also struggle to come up with tropes to apply to a villain that won't piss off the internet mobs.
    • "Military Science Fiction" takes potshots at common war aesops that authors use as political soapboxes. The War Is Glorious side sees everyone else as too weak-willed to get things done, but at that time, there's an image of JP with wings getting close to the sun saying "Let's see how close we can get to accidentally advocating fascism!" Meanwhile, the War Is Hell side is shown as hypocritical, preaching about pacifism even when the story is a high-octane power fantasy that portrays all the fights and weapons as cool.
    • "Addressing the Controversy" mostly takes jabs at internet celebrities who have apologized, as they tend to be insincere or give excuses as to why they're not to blame. However, the video also takes jabs at internet mobs who are quick to deem people guilty just because of rumors, as well as the internet's tendency to overreact to everything, because as JP puts it, no one is obscure enough to avoid an internet hate mob's wrath.
    • "Humor Writing" is not subtle about how mocking the LGBT community or a minority group will result in an absurb amount of backlash. However, JP also notes that worrying too much about who will be offended by your humor will result in bland, generic humor that doesn't appeal to anyone.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Despite his cheerful endorsement of just about everything having to do with bad writing, Beaubien is still adamant that an author who writes Cosmic Horror should avoid the racism, classism and xenophobia that plagued the works of H. P. Lovecraft at all costs.
    • He also seems to possess a particular hatred for the Plucky Comic Relief character, nearly breaking character multiple times in "Comic Relief Characters" just to voice how obnoxious he finds them. He doesn't even give the comic relief character a love triangle.
    • In "Humor Writing", JP refuses to give any advice on telling racist jokes beyond "good luck".
    • In Alpha Heroes, JP expresses genuine shock that "heroes" in romance novels actually kidnaps their love interest. This is followed by a "technical difficulties" screen card.
    • The Shipping video has JP seemingly suggest shipping underage characters, only to immediately laugh and tell the viewer "good luck with that", followed by a "technical difficulties" screen card yet again.
    • In "Isekai", he actually has to do a Double Take when he gets to the part of the script where he discusses the prevalence of the Hero's Slave Harem in the genre, and can still barely suppress his utter incredulousness at the fact that it's actually a thing.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
    • In a "Grimdark" setting, everything is trying to kill you, including and especially space where Cosmic Horror awaits.
    • "Dungeon Crawl" recommends you apply this to every element in the dungeon, especially with traps and ambushes that get the party so paranoid that they resort to systematically exterminate everything at the cost of the session's pacing.
  • Evil Chancellor:
    • One of the archetypes discussed in "Fantasy Characters". The profile also discourages playing with this trope, like making him the Only Sane Man keeping the royal court from collapsing on itself, or having him secretly funding the protagonists.
    • Discussed in Leader Characters. The episode recommends using evil advisors to make sure that every bad decision is not king's fault. After all, a person born into royal genetics cannot be a bad leader.
  • Evil Overlord: The "Dark Lords" episode discusses the trope as a whole, and the archetypical Dark Lord, with the other common villain archetypes, becomes a recurring character.
  • Evil Is Easy: In "Villains", the titular trio lampshade how this is supposed to be the case, with the whole point of being evil making obtaining power much easier as they took the moral shortcut. Nowadays, all you need is to be the protagonist and all kinds of power just gets handed to them on a silver platter with relatively less effort.
  • Evil Is Petty: In "Villains", the author's notes mention that to make a villain hateable, "petty" villainy (from generally being a dick to hurting/killing a single character the audience cares about) works better than offstage large-scale massacres like burning orphanages and genocide.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: "Intrigue Plots" opens with Beaubien thanking the sound engineer for making his voice sound deep and foreboding.
  • Evil Versus Evil: End-of-video sketches often feature various bad guys in conflict over... various corporate sponsorships.
  • Exalted Torturer: "Evil Lackeys" states that having your heroes torturing enemy mooks is a great and totally reliable way of getting info, all the while putting up disclaimers that state the contrary as well as noting how it makes your heroes look like jerks.
  • Excuse Plot: Encouraged in "Dungeon Crawl" — the backstory or relevance of the dungeon he's sending the adventurers into is not as important as the loot and experience they get along the way.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Briefly mentioned in "Exposition" episode where JP says it's a good thing for characters to explain their powers to their enemy, epecially when it grinds the scene to a halt.
  • Eyedscreen: In "Shipping", when describing what to do when two people disagree with other's ship, a letterboxed camera pans close to the eyes of two characters onscreen.
  • Famed in Story: "Spies" recommends that the "power fantasy" protagonist be well-known in-universe, even though that would be a detriment to somebody in a profession relying on stealth and discretion.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: "Urban Fantasy Reloaded" suggests writers to dump as many mythological pantheons as they can into the story with as little adjustments as possible. Beaubien also states that the question as to why these ridiculously powerful deities and figures need to stay in the shadows when they could easily dominate humanity is a question that doesn't need to be answered.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: This is the main focus of "Myths, Legends, and Gods".
  • Farm Boy: Mentioned as one of the possible stock backstories. The notes even struggle to come up why it's great. JP tells that this is a great character to be a subject of Doomed Hometown.
  • Fatal Flaw: In "Zombie Apocalypse" J.P. mentions not one, not two, but eleven flaws that stop zombies from actually being threatening creatures. All which are the product of their frail bodies and limited intelligence.
  • Fate Worse than Death: In "Comic Relief Characters", the comic relief character is rewarded with a free love interest at the end of the story. Said love interest thinks being devoured alive by Cthulu would be a more pleasant fate.
  • Faux Action Girl: The "Power Fantasy" flavor of protagonist in "Spies" has a female "highly competent" sidekick who always needs to be rescued.
  • Faux Horrific: In "Comic Relief Characters" the antihero manages to get an empire soldier to talk by threatening to make the soldier listen to the comic relief's jokes.
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Encourages in "War Stories" for writers to have soldiers to suddenly break into philosophical rambling in the middle of combat to create the illusion of depth.
  • Fetch Quest: One of the plotlines JP recommends in "Filler Arcs" episode to pad out the time.
  • Filler: Discussed in its focal episode, and he encourages its use of it as low-effort padding, creativity be damned. This includes high-stakes plot of a Big Damn Movie that doesn't really affect the story as a whole, or a new character who's shoehorned in and then vanishes afterwards. The bar for effort is so low that he can't be bothered to cram in a Love Triangle!
  • Filler Villain: The best Filler Villain, according to JP in "Filler Arcs" episode, is a villain who's evil, hammy and lacks motivation, except maybe to oppose the protagonist.
  • Flashback:
    • A possible method of starting a story In Medias Res, as discussed in "Beginning a Story". Also suggested is to use a Flashback Within a Flashback.
    • On the topic of using flashbacks for infodumping in "Exposition", he actually flashes back to the "Beginning a Story" episode. He also adds that flashbacks also lets you reuse footage in visual media.
    • In "Filler", he suggests using a flashback to pad out the runtime. For maximum padding, he flashes back to the time he talked about flashbacks in "Exposition", where he also flashes back to "Beginning a Story". That's right, a flashback within a flashback within a flashback.
    • "Character Backstories" suggests using flashbacks to exposit a backstory. This also causes JP to flashback to the whole flashback chain from the earlier episodes.
  • Flat Character: A frequent suggestion is that even the most plot-central characters should have no depth or personality beyond what is needed for the story.
    • Beaubien says that adding depth to an antihero is entirely optional in his "Antiheroes" video.
    • In "Alpha Heroes" the lack of characterization for the protagonist is veiled in mystery, which gets exploited as the reader would just project whatever they want to fill in the gaps.
    • "Giant Monsters" recommends that the main character should be a person with no personality traits nor skills whatsoever, yet who is allowed input on discussions between actually important people for no apparent reason.
  • Foil: Beaubien's Inner Critic, while a more insightful and skilled writer than his deliberately incompetent persona, is just as self-absorbed and incapable of acknowledging his own faults as TWA Beaubien is, and adds a bit of Never My Fault to the whole mess.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Encourages writing this between the hero and the rival instead of fleshing out the Love Triangle between them and the designated love interest.
  • Follow the Leader: This trope gets invoked in some of his videos:
    • His "Fantasy Races" video encourages writers to stay in the shadow of J. R. R. Tolkien by just copying his fantasy races. The only exception to this is Halflings (Hobbits), which should be completely ignored since ordinary people going out of their way and risking their lives for the good of others isn't as interesting as The Chosen One or the lost heir saving the world.
    • "Grimdark" suggests ripping off George R. R. Martin by killing off everyone instead of focusing on characterization.
    • Downplayed in "Cosmic Horror" as JP does suggest ripping off H. P. Lovecraft, but he also acknowledges that copying his racist beliefs is going to get a writer in a lot of hot water.
    • "Spies" recommends copying tropes from the James Bond franchise.
    • "Giant Monsters" says that if you can't be bothered to come up with a giant animal, you can just make your giant monster a copy of Godzilla with a slight modification to evade Copyright infringement.
  • Foreshadowing: This trope is mentioed and discussed many times (like in "Ending a Story"). JP usually says using foreshadowing is a bad idea...unless it's used overly excessively.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In "Filler Arcs" episode, JP says that new powers are okay to have during filler as long as they're forgotten about as soon the arc is over, no matter how useful they'd be later.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: In "Filler Arcs" episode, JP decides that when filler arcs has a Fetch Quest, A very powerful MacGuffin is a great thing to go after and then forgotten about once the arc is over, no matter how useful it would be later on.
  • For the Evulz: Played for Laughs in "Megacorporations", where the Mega-Corp's CEO says he cloned Karl Marx just so he could have the pleasure of shooting him.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • In his "Nature of Cliche" video, instead of giving silly advice, he gives a frank, serious lesson about cliches. The video is dubbed "Honest Thoughts".
    • "Cyberpunk" has a major stylistic departure. The fonts used are different, the "terrible author" now has sunglasses and a vaguely sci-fi pencil, "Best Story Ever!" is a hologram on a stick, and so on.
    • Downplayed with his "Survival Horror" video. While it still has the sarcasm and silly advice of his other videos, it's advice for a video game genre unlike his other videos which focus on genres in literature.
    • The "Holiday Special" video contains conversations with multiple characters rather than J.P. just monologuing to himself (albeit obviously all voiced by JP).
    • The "Megacorporations" video takes the form of a long ad for "MegaCorp: the only villain you'll ever need!"
    • "Apology Video Template" isn't animated, but instead has JP talking into a camera as a parody of Youtube apology videos.
    • "Villains" has a Hostile Show Takeover that has the Dark Lord, the Evil Emperor, and the Baron from "Noble Houses" reading over JP's notes on villains.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The videos tend to have a lot of Funny Background Events like the dialogue boxes said by the sample characters. Some are on screen long enough that they can be read without pausing, while others require pausing to read the whole thing, such as the Rousing Speech parody in "Fantasy Battles" and the symptoms on the bottle of evil concentrate in "Dark Lords."
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • "Alpha Heroes" suggests giving the protagonist a tragic backstory to justify their obsessive behavior towards the heroine. "Why explain behavior when we can excuse behavior?"
    • Encouraged in "Character Backstories" for quick sympathy without properly linking the backstory to their current motives. "Trauma should be used to excuse behavior, not explain it!"
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse:
    • In "Alpha Heroes", he does make it clear behind the sarcasm that when used badly it comes across as rather weak justification for horrendous actions, and should be used to explore the character and be more of a "eureka" moment rather than trying to cancel out any bad deeds.
    • In "Writer Self Care", he does acknowledge in a bout of Sincerity Mode that sometimes, there are circumstances beyond a person's control that lead to them developing self-destructive habits. That still doesn't justify wallowing in self-pity and blaming everything on how unfair society is without doing something to improve things.
  • Freudian Slip: Frequently.
    J.P. Beaubien: After defeating the main antagonist, don't forget to take the time to humiliate all the bullies who picked on me. (beat) I mean the protagonist.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: "Rebels" advises against this, as showing the rebellion devolve into an oppressive government of its own only undermines the generic "Rebels good, empire bad" moral he suggests writers follow.
  • Gambit Pileup:
    • "Intrigue Plots" focuses on these Tropes.
    • In "Noble Houses", The Emperor and the head of House Badguys both find themselves in need of a "betrayal flowchart".
    • "Villains" brings back the baron from the "Noble Houses" episode in a Hostile Show Takeover. He has a new flowchart detailing a convoluted plan which includes cake ninjas sent to assassinate a duke.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: He recommends all villains have no actual characterization. Each villain in his series has no motivations or characterization beyond the stock villains they’re based off of.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Beaubien rips apart cliche genres, and singles out how nonsensical they are:
    • In his segment on alien invasion, he establishes how an alien race would probably benefit with humans through trade rather than conquest, and even if they did conquest, they would prefer military targets and not just blowing up monuments.
    • "Evil Empires" discusses how empires that commit evil for the sake of it usually don't last very long, and how the forces that grind down an empire (treasury-draining foreign wars, bloated bureaucracies, more potent empires on the rise) take forever and aren't very cinematic. Beaubien also points out that as bad as it is to live in a dystopian empire, you really don't want to live in one once the empire has been decapitated and there's no one to pay the army or enforce law and order.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One appears in "Giant Monsters" as an example of a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, and is actually called "Giant Enemy Crab".
  • Godwin's Law:
    • Says in "Giving Criticism" that it is okay for a critic to compare a writer to any number of authoritarian leaders throughout history (with Adolf Hitler implied), and that the writer will totally take the critic seriously because of it.
    • In "Propaganda", JP encourages comparing the viewer's hypothetical online opponent to Hitler regardless of what they've actually said, even referencing the trope by name.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Invoked in "Steampunk" while describing stock Steampunk protagonist's attire.
    Seriously! Why are there goggles on everything in Steampunk?
  • The Good King: One of the archetypes that gets discussed in "Fantasy Characters". Ignore the Fridge Logic that comes with this character, like being able to enact policies that doesn't screw over anyone like real life laws do, or being shilled as a Reasonable Authority Figure despite being the one who hired the Scheming Advisor.
  • The Good Kingdom: "Fantasy Battles" has a parody fantasy map and has a country called "Noble Kingdom." Under its name is a caption that says "All of the best parts of monarchy with none of the historical drawbacks!"
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: "Worldbuilding Cultures" provides us with the Pure Republic of Mary Sue and the Evil Empire of Strawmanopolis. The former should be an Author Tract on what they believe an ideal society should be, while the latter should be a dystopia that represents everything the writer hates.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: "Megacorporations" describes the Mega-Corp's Private Military Contractors as having "savage bad guy scars".
  • The Grinch: In a departure from the usual formula, J.P. encourages people to write bad Christmas specials because of his annoyance towards the Holiday season.
  • Green Aesop:
    • The Environmentalism video mocks this concept, saying it's an easy message that doesn't require any research on the writer's part. He also criticizes how Anvilicious some works can get with this and how out of place a Green Aesop can be with certain stories. invoked
    • The nature god in "Myths, Legends, and Gods" should only represent the good side of nature, and the character profile has their story role listed as "Soapbox the author can stand on."
  • Guile Hero:
    • Defied in his "Antiheroes" video because writing a cunning hero who outsmarts his enemies is really hard compared to giving an antihero Plot Armor.
    • Also defied in "Intrigue Plots", as writing a conspiracy undone by its own greed as opposed to a smart protagonist subverting Villains Act, Heroes React would be far easier.
  • Guns Are Worthless: In "Science Fiction Weapons" he mentions that writers get bonus points for using a science fiction-themed sword against enemies who primarily use ranged weapons— especially if they have no protection against said weapons.
    Beaubien: Starts sniggering What author's dumb enough to do that?

  • Halloween Episode: Both 2016 and 2017 saw discussion of specific genres whose installments might be released on Halloween, namely the Slasher Movie and the Survival Horror game.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Couch Gag for "Grimdark" paraphrases the Nietzschean quote: "Make sure he who writes about monsters does not become one."
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: In "Alien Ecosystems", it's recommended that any and all herbivores get portrayed as passive and harmless.
  • Hero Insurance: "Grimdark" assures that it won't matter if the hero does more damage than the villain — because they're the hero, invoked and "the writer will still make the story demand you root for him even as he slaughters orphans along with all the couples who were going to adopt them."
    Civilian: Why did you butcher all those nuns and orphans?
    "Hero": Um... magic made me do it? (Beat) And all those orphans had it coming!
  • The Hero's Journey: Hero's journey is mentioned by name in the beginning of Plotting a story episode. J.P. accidentally calls it "Hero's template" at first. It is accompanied by a parody of a hero's journey trope's abuse and a disclaimer how the trope is easily abused.
  • Hero's Slave Harem: Discussed Trope in the "Isekai" episode, when he discusses harems. He breaks character in shock when he reads that this is a popular trope in his script, and then lampshades the creepiness of the protagonist supporting slavery instead of heroically ending it.
  • High-Class Glass: "Steampunk" mentions them as an alternative for goggles among outfit accessories, though Beaubien points they're usually not worn by the protagonist, only "snobby, rich dudes and evil military officers".
  • High-Tech Hexagons: Serve as the background for the "Cyberpunk" video.
  • Hive Queen: In "Alien Ecosystems", he says that every Hive Mind should have one, and should be easily defeated by killing her.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Myths, Legends, and Gods" does this by using the names of the gods whenever someone wants to swear in a fantasy setting, even though overuse of these swears would make the swearing lose a lot of its impact.
  • Hollywood Tactics:
    • In his Alien Invasion, he says that instead of attacking major population centers and making alliances with Earth Governments, the aliens should concentrate on attacking monuments.
    • His "War Stories" video suggests having the competent commander fight alongside his soldiers, even though it wouldn't make sense in modern warfare to do so.
    • In "Fantasy Battles", he says that the forces of evil should respond to an enemy army's charge with one of their own, rather than bracing in a defensive formation or deploying skirmishers.
    • "Giant Monsters" recommends that the military just shoot the monster a few times using tanks and fighter jets, then give up when that doesn't work.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: JP suggests making the main hero and his rival obsessed with what the other is doing and thinking, having them share long deep stares into each others' eyes and constantly call each others' names. Inner Critic later points out the subtext.
    • In the endcard, JP and Inner Critic are shown calling each others' names over and over.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: "Noble Houses" has The Emperor keep putting House Badguys in charge of important Imperial assets even though they keep on ruining them for the sake of being jerks, and later ally with them against House Goodguys only to be shocked when they start plotting against him.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: "Villains" has three of the stock villains tie up JP and throw him on a railroad track, while they read over his notes on what to talk about for the episode.
  • Hufflepuff House: Alluded to with House Backgroundextras in "Noble Houses," who are described as "very important in keeping the balance of power in the royal court, but not so important that the writer put any effort to fleshing them out."
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Parodied in "Grimdark". While giving examples on how make your setting dark, one example is making it turn out that hyperspace is Cthulhu's backyard.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • From "Grimdark":
      My sarcasm will most definitely not be coming back.
    • Later in the same episode, the Dark Lord tells the Chosen One "I do not repeat myself, nor do I fall into repetition."
    • From "Comic Relief Characters", when discussing what sort of comedy the comic relief should employ:
      Hyperbole, a science joke, and meta-commentary combined? That would be the most horrible combination since mixing matter and anti-matter, and I would never in a million years make such a joke on this channel.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: "Alpha Heroes" reccommends having the alpha male's Love Interest change him for the better through her love for him, up to and including curing any and all personality disorders he may have.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Retaliating against one is suggested in "Revenge Plot" as a way to let the protagonist kill the villain without having any weight on their moral conscience, thereby letting the writer have their cake and eat it too.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: The real Beaubien when appearing as himself in live action has large, piercing blue eyes.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: "Revenge Plots" suggests this as a way to balance a noble protagonist's morality checkbooks, never mind the number mooks he's mowed through across the plot.
  • Ignored Epiphany: A Running Gag is for Beaubien to lapse into Sincerity Mode about actual good writing tips before dismissing it out of hand. In particular, he devotes some time near the end of "Criticism" to realizing some of the criticism was politely constructive... then recommends getting even more defensive when critics bring up a valid point.
  • Ignored Expert: "Giant Monsters" has the "smart scientist" character, who nobody listens to until the halfway point.
  • IKEA Erotica: Discussed in "Lovemaking Scenes" as a crutch to write one quickly without describing it in explicit detail or just fading to black.
    "He then inserted tab A into slot B and repeated. He finished assembly quickly under 2 minutes, but his partner was unsatisfied with the results and they had to return the bed back to the store."
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    • "Taking Criticism" suggests both ignoring all criticism and trying to please everyone. invoked
    • "Finishing a Story" suggests both talking about your story ideas (and how your story will become a bestseller, of course) to other people endlessly, taking them being annoyed as a good sign, and being highly protective of your ideas, as, if you casually talk about them, they might get stolen.
    • The blog post for "The Nature of Clichés – Honest Thoughts" has one in a part of a sentence:
      I think that thinking is always bad.
    • In "Character Development":
      I've decided to change for good. From now on, I stand for true artistic integrity. Now, buy my book and give me your money!
    • "Spies" brings up some questionable things protagonist does, but follows it up by saying he doesn't torture people. The very next sentence talks about him torturing one of the villain's minions for information.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Recommends that the mooks in the Evil Empire should have terrible aim, at least as long as they're shooting at main characters.
  • In Medias Res: His "Beginning A Story" video suggests doing this if a story doesn't get exciting until the middle, despite the fact that an info dump would still occur later and drag down the pacing established from the earlier scenes, and the possibility of being Lost in Medias Res. invoked
  • Inaction Sequence: Encourages using exposition scenes in the middle of an animated fight scene as it pads the runtime and saves on animation budget. Bonus points if your characters outline how their powers work instead of actually using it!
  • Info Dump: A frequently suggested device by Beaubien.
    • In "Character Development", the easiest way to start Character Development is to infodump their Back Story during their introduction.
      Beaubien: We may have just met this character, but they will not hesitate to spill their entire back story to complete strangers who did not even ask!
    • It's the central focus of "Exposition", and JP talks about the "best" ways to put an infodump in your story.
    • In "Smart Characters", JP states that a Smart Character is the perfect tool for delivering massive infodumps.
    • In "Beginning a Story", JP highly recommends an infodump to begin a story, even if the information is not relevant after the intro.
    • In "Character Backstories", he suggests that the backstory exposition can be used whenever the author feels like it, regardless of whether it's appropriate for the current situation or if the backstory dump gives relevant information.
  • Informed Ability:
    • In the "Rivals" episode, Beaubien recommends that the rival be treated seriously even though the hero always defeats him.
    • In "Spies", JP says that since he can't write charismatic characters due to his lack of social skills, he'll just have other characters talk about how charismatic the "Power Fantasy" protagonist is. He also advises you to talk about how your spy is a master of subterfuge and stealth, but also never have him actually act inconspicuous and make every character already know who he is.
    • In "Character Development", JP advises avoiding putting in the effort of actually developing your protagonist when you can just have other characters constantly assert that the protagonist has changed.
    • In "Smart Characters", it's stated that a good way of showing a character is supposed to be smart is to have everyone talk up how smart they are.
    • In "Evil Lackeys", a good way of making said lackeys sound like a credible threat despite evidence to the contrary is to have them be talked up by other characters as being unstoppable.
  • In Medias Res: In "Beginning a Story", JP suggests to start the story in the middle if starting it from the beginning is hard. After all, anything Latin-sounding is probably a good idea. Then he suggests to follow In Medias Res up with Infodump anyway.
  • In Name Only: In "Franchise Reboots" episode, JP suggests completely changing the settings, plot and characters of the franchise while keeping the Franchise's profitable name as one of the options to get rid of the original cast.
  • Insistent Terminology:
  • Instant Expert: In "Dystopias," JP suggests having the protagonist immediately start succeeding at everything, even with minimal training.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Beaubien says one of these is pretty much a must for Kaiju movies in "Giant Monsters".
  • Invincible Villain: In "Dark Lords":
    Beaubien: Our Dark Lord can't be killed by weapons, magic, starvation, disease, or any other conventional method. Only our heroes can defeat the Dark Lord with... uh... um... Whoops! We accidentally made our Dark Lord invincible! Oh, Crap! Better make some MacGuffins for the heroes to find.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: During the sponsorship bit at the end of "Grimdark", the Dark Lord complains about JP saying his character skits take too long. He responds to JP's criticism by saying he's "the epitome of conciseness"... in a long-winded rant where he loses his train of thought partway through.
  • It's All About Me: "Giving Criticism" makes fun of this idea with critics who deride a story because it doesn't suit their personal tastes.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: From "Giving Criticism". invoked
    Beaubien: Don't try to break down a story to understand why it's popular. One can instead attack the story because it's popular, telling die-hard fans they're stupid for liking something will definitely win them over!
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: "Spies" recommends that the protagonist resort to torturing one of the bad guy's minions for information rather than using more humane and effective means of interrogation that could help establish his humanity and explore how evil organizations ensure the loyalty of their mooks.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: In "Dungeon Master's Guide", JP tells it's important to keep the Hentai Guy player under control and prevent him from injecting his fetishes in the game... not because it's making everyone else uncomfortable, but because the Hentai Guy's fetishes risk overshadowing the Dungeon Master's own fetishes already inserted in the campaign.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: "Intrigue Plots" focuses heavily on this kind of story.
  • Jitter Cam: "Giant Monsters" says that low-budget kaiju movies can always do 90 minutes of shaky cam.
  • Karma Houdini: Suggests in "Antiheroes" that the antihero should never suffer any consequences for his actions.
  • Kick the Dog: In "Dark Lords," the sample dark lord literally kicks a dog, which results in the sample fantasy hero saying "I think he might be the bad guy" as he witnesses the dog getting kicked.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: In "Intrigue Plots," he suggests that any character who is zeroing in on a conspiracy should be straight up killed by the conspirators, instead of simpler alternatives, like recruitment, bribery, or reassignment.
  • Killer Game Master:
    • "Dungeon Master's Guide" is all about how to be one, while section of "Player's Handbook" teaches how to defeat one.
    • "Dungeon Crawl" also shows you how to do the same to a slightly different game genre.
  • Kishōtenketsu: "Mid Series Shakeups" discusses stories where a midway twist changes everything and puts the story into a new context.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: In "Writing Dinosaurs", the sample dinosaur news website has a "generic fantasy" ad that bluntly says that none of the scantily clad ladies on it actually appear in the game.
  • Ladykiller in Love: "Alpha Heroes" suggests having the alpha male stop his rakish, promiscuous behavior to commit to a monogamous relationship with the heroine for no reason other than authorial favoritism.
  • Lame Comeback: One brief scene in "Noble Houses" has a member of House Goodguys respond to an Implied Death Threat from a member of House Badguys with "Oh yeah? Well, um... you're a poopy head!"
  • Last-Minute Hookup:
    • In "Character Development" episode, it was suggested to resolve the romance only at the end for more tension.
    • In "Love interests", JP says that if one must solve romantic tension, it must be done only at the end.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: His ideas on how to make a Grimdark story overly sinister:
    Everything powered by Contrivium? It’s made out of ground-up widows!
    MacGuffin everyone’s fighting over? Turns out it is actually powered by pure evil!
    Magic? That's energy harvested from the souls of the damned!
    Hyperspace? You have to travel through Cthulhu's back lawn!
    Crude oil? That’s made from ancient dead creatures!
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: In "Humor Writing", JP points out that humor won't work on the audience unless you do this.
  • Laugh Track: JP calls out one in the beginning of "Comic relief characters". It doesn't work so the comic relief is introduced.
  • The Leader: Discussed in more detail in "Leader Characters". According to JP, it's best for the leader to have being the leader its only trait.
  • Lecture as Exposition: In "Exposition", Beaubien says that while lecture and academic classes and its exposition could be used as a base to develop characters and add tension, the best way to do exposition lectures is to make them like real-life lectures — as boring as possible.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Invoked in "Noble Houses", as House Badguys' military strategy:
    Lord Badguy: Okay, here's the plan. Jenkins, you take point. We're going to execute a Zapp Branigan maneuver!
  • Legion of Doom: The Dark Lord, the Emperor, and the Baron all form one in the episode about villains. They are primarily lead by the Baron.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In "Filler Arcs" episode, JP says that any monster encounter adds tension, even if the audience doesn't actually buy into a tension as they know it's a filler arc. invoked
  • Little Sister Heroine: Discussed in the "Isekai" episode.
    Beaubien: Now, not boning one's sister is, like, the lowest of the low bars to clear, but if stumbling over this hurdle proves too much for the audience, then just say that the protagonist's sister isn't related by blood and that makes it all okay!... somehow...
  • The Load: "Giant Monsters" recommends adding a Tagalong Kid who will constantly have to be rescued from one danger or another.
  • Logical Fallacies: "Propaganda" shows a wide array of fallacies that get employed in online discourse.
  • LOL, 69: The 69th episode is about Lovemaking Scenes. J.P. can only give a sarcastic, unimpressed laugh at the obvious joke.
  • Long List: In the video on zombies, he rattles off eleven flaws to the zombie.
    Beaubien: Zombies are very dangerous. With their slow movement speed, loud moans that give away their position, slow reflexes, no anti-armor or anti-air capability, short-range communication, limited communication, limited coordination, inability to use vehicles, inability to use even the most rudimentary tactics or strategy, no capacity to avoid hazardous weather, susceptibility to the elements, and the fact that they can't even use a freaking door, clearly zombies are the height of apex predators.
  • Love Dodecahedron:
    • "Myths, Legends, and Gods" advises adding the standard Love Triangle to the mythology of your Constructed World, but ends up adding so many it becomes this. The Freeze-Frame Bonus even has JP saying that no author has ever been able to make a Love Dodecahedron as complicated as what's seen in several mythologies.
    • "Urban Fantasy Reloaded" episode says that a Love Triangle is not enough for the genre. Everyone needs to be connected so much that even the author can't keep up.
  • Love Redeems: "Alpha Heroes" suggests that no matter how sociopathic the protagonist can be, his relationship with the heroine will be able to correct these flaws, even those which would, in real life, require a lot of professional support. In fact, as the love interest as an embodiment of Wish-Fulfillment is so special that she can induce a thorough behavioral change in even the most morally bankrupt of boyfriends.
  • Love Triangle: Mercilessly mocked, to the point of becoming a Running Gag in the series and that he starts subverting his habits of including it from time to time.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Beaubien notes that it's easy to adapt Lovecraft to any genre, which is useful in not having to deal with his racism (Cue soda can "Lovecraft Light" — "Now with 30% less racism!") invoked.
    Beaubien: This is Lovecraft Light! The monsters of the dark can be beaten! They can be pushed back! Maybe the Universe is cold and pitiless, but we will face it nonetheless! Because in this Universe, we have something far stronger than the ancient, unknowable gods on our side: authorial bias! (cue the Love Triangle destroying Cthulhu)
  • Made of Evil: Dark Lords. They're evil because... they're evil!
    Beaubien: Our Dark Lord is evil because he is pure evil and probably made of evil and evil is a substance now, apparently.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: In "Myths, Legends, and Gods", JP lists the Goddess of Corruption (a cross between God of Chaos and Love Goddess) as one of the Gods to include in the pantheon. He has this to say about her role in the love triangle:
    Beaubien: "Always has dark hair, copious amounts of cleavage, and will 100% want the hero for herself. But thankfully the hero is immune to her Godly charisma, supernatural attractiveness, far more interesting personality, and invoked plethora of interesting story possibilities to instead choose the far more conventional love interest the story has saddled him with."
  • Mad Scientist: In "Smart Characters" episode, JP suggests to use Mad Scientists as a way for creating something for heroes to defeat. He also suggests to disregard the fact that in Real Life, most scientists on the mad side dd not create useful things. He also suggest conveying that only truly mad pursue science.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Discourages anyone who isn't a main character, up to and including armies, from defeating the Big Bad, because who wants to read about a group of ordinary people fighting destiny and choosing their own fates?
  • Malignant Plot Tumor: Expounded on in "Plotting a Story":
    Beaubien: We could add a subplot that goes nowhere! Adding a subplot to the story that is a natural outgrowth from the main plot and merges seamlessly to the final climax can work, but by this point, I'm getting sick at looking at the main plot. I think I'll become enamored with my subplot and let it take over the story!
  • The Man Behind the Man: Suggested to introduce a character this way in "Mid-Series Shakeups", but indirectly warns that if it's not appropriately built-up in the earlier parts of the story, it can come off as an Outside-Context Problem or even a invoked Big-Lipped Alligator Moment especially if that villain has no further influence on the plot.
  • Mary Sue:
    • Has an entire video, recommending basing them on the author, and removing all flaws, and putting them in a Love Triangle; Marty makes a cameo at the end.invoked
    • In "Character Development", the "Mary Sue" character sheet shows the "flaws" as "too beautiful", as "kind of clumsy" is being erased. Her Back Story is "The Chosen One" as a "half-dragon, half-human, half-elf, third angel, fourth Cherokee." "Powers and abilities" include Super-Strength, Super Beauty, Master of Love Triangles, Ultra Magic, and Super Tech, Super Speed, Laser Vision, Elemental Control...
    • In "Plotting A Story", the Inner Critic returns, holding a shotgun on Mary.
      Beaubien: No, Inner Critic! Don't kill Mary Sue!
      Inner Critic: Shut up, JP! Do you have any idea how long I've waited for this day?
    • The much later "Fanfiction Original Characters" took a moment to point out how watered-down of an accusation it's become over time. He offers this as a laconic definition: "A character that damages the story because of harmful authorial bias towards said character", and then emphasizes how unclear the line to be crossed in that regard is.
    • "Filler Arcs" episode recommends filler to be useful for inserting self-insert characters who are very powerful and special and who bend the plot and main characters for the sake of them.
  • Masquerade: He says that vampires and other creatures should do that, even if there is no reason for them to be weak.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: "Media Literacy for Writers" has JP complain about overuse of buzzwords, specifically that whenever they aren't dogwhistles, they're meaningless and annoying background noise. The visuals show a bearded man with a fedora angrily saying the word "woke" repeatedly, before moving to JP proudly labelling himself as an "Anachro Neopagan Vegan Cyborg" and saying that it's fine for him to do the exact same thing.
  • Meat Moss: "Survivor Horror" — every level must feature them.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: "Addressing the Controversy" is rendered in live action with JP talking directly to the camera, because the "apology" videos the episode parodies are often set up like this to make them appear more sincere.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard:
    • In "Chosen Ones", a wizard-like character appears beside an array of potential chosen ones with a sign beside him stating "Tragic Mentor Deaths 1/2 Off."
    • The "Mentors" video has JP realizing that, as he's passing on advice to the viewer, that makes him a mentor, and thus susceptible to this trope. He spends the rest of the video trying to pad it out and avoid this trope. He fails... but he remembers the "bring the mentor back as a ghost" trope, allowing him to finish out the video.
    • In "Killing off Characters" video, JP suggest killing off mentor early or in the middle, after outliving usefulness.
  • Mildly Military:
    • "War Stories" advises having the competent officer be able to keep the troops under control, despite never punishing anyone for any derelictions of duty.
    • "Military Science Fiction" has JP point out that in real life, the chain of command is everything in a military. However, he advises ignoring that and any commands a commanding officer gives should just be considered advice, rather than an order.
  • Militaries Are Useless:
    • "Giant Monsters" says that the military should just take potshots at the monster using tanks and aircraft, then quickly give up when that doesn't work and spend the rest of the movie sitting on the sidelines and gawking at the destruction.
    • "Zombie Apocalypses" notes that the military will obviously be helpless to defeat the zombies, because zombies are completely invincible except when they aren't. (Cue tanks blasting futilely at a horde of zombies shielded by a layer of Plot Armor). Conversely, he notes that explaining why the military was inexplicably so unable to handle what should have been a legion of moving targets might actually be an intriguing story delving into topics like political corruption, weak top-level command, poor disaster response, or the dysfunctions in real-life doctrine, and therefore should be ignored to focus more on gunning zombies down.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: In "Fantasy Battles", he says that neither the heroes nor the narrative should dwell on the sacrifice of the many nameless soldiers who don't survive the fighting.
  • The Millstone: He notes that the best way to make the Plucky Comic Relief likeable is for them to not only have no discernable talents or reason for being kept around, but also that they should frequently hinder the protagonists or even kickstart major conflicts with their stupidity.
  • Mirror Universe: For April Fools' Day, Beaubien did a video ostensibly coming from an alternate universe in which he makes a live action video series called "Amazing Writing Advice". He actually gives useful advice about finding one's voice as a writer. Then comes the Q&A section, which reveals that this universe's version of Beaubien despises genre fiction and writes mundane drama books about an Author Avatar. Unsurprisingly, it's implied that mirror-universe Beaubien isn't published.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Due to the Stylistic Suck nature of the series, this advice gets invoked a lot:
    • Whenever JP suggests copying the work of a more successful author, it involves him missing the point of what made those authors successful:
      • In "Fantasy Races" he states writers should copy and paste the fantasy races designed by J. R. R. Tolkien while completely ignoring the themes of his works.
      • For George R. R. Martin, he thinks writers should put more emphasis on killing off major characters for shock value rather than focusing on characterization to make readers attached to said characters.
      • With H. P. Lovecraft, he puts more emphasis on making cool monster designs rather than his themes of how the universe is a Crapsack World.
    • "Taking Criticism" suggests using this argument to avoid dealing with criticism. JP suggests that if a reader has negative criticism of a work, then the blame rests solely on the reader for reading it wrong rather than the author's bad writing.
    • For “Steampunk,” he points out that while many popular works have dipped their toes in the genre, there still isn’t a singular great work of the genre. He then spends the rest of the video pointing out that this is because it’s easy for authors to get caught up in the aesthetic of Steampunk without focusing on characters or using the setting in a meaningful way.
    • "Alpha Heroes" goes into detail about where the concept of Alpha and Beta Wolves originates, and mentions how people still believe in this idea despite it being outdated science. It's mentioned that the pack of wolves that expressed this dynamic were captive wolves, and that wild packs have very different dynamics, more akin to a family. He even mentions how L. David Mech, the scientist responsible for this idea, is frustrated that his research popularized the idea of the alpha male, especially as further research over the years have proven him wrong.
    • In the comments section of the "Antiheroes" video, JP pinned a comment from himself saying why he made the stock antihero resemble Guts, the protagonist of Berserk. His stock antihero is what he figured would happen if someone made a Guts expy, but only focused on the surface level elements of his character and ignored the deeper themes of Berserk.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: He suggests in "Fantasy Battles" that one should completely ignore how the presence of magic and monsters would require a complete overhaul of traditional medieval tactics and doctrine: nobody should question the presence of fortified walls when dragons or airships render them useless, and nobody should consider abandoning traditional tight marching formations when mages with explosive spells could wipe them out instantly.
  • Moment Killer: "Love Interests" recommends using one of these to avoid making a relationship official and keep the Unresolved Sexual Tension going.
  • Money, Dear Boy: An implied reason why bad writing practices are still being used today is because it drives up sales figures for minimal effort.
    • "Reboots Rebooted" is more explicit over how franchise reboots (especially those that have been rebooted multiple times) are more inclined to use marketing gimmicks at the expense of writing a good story. It even includes In-Universe Executive Meddling who cancels the whole project for extra personal profit.
  • Monochrome Past: In "Exposition" episode, flashbacks are black and white.
  • Monty Haul: One of the DMs featured in the "Player's Handbook" video is the "Pinata DM", who will drown the player in overpowered loot and ruin any sense of challenge or balance for their campaign.
  • Monumental Damage: In "Alien Invasion", he recommends that the aliens focus their efforts on destroying famous landmarks, even though it would make more sense for them to attack military targets or logistical infrastructure.
  • Mood Dissonance: "Giant Monsters" says that a scene with countless innocents dying of radiation poisoning is a perfect time for the comic relief character to start spouting snappy one-liners. It's also mentioned with regards to adding An Aesop that "this serious issue will be taken even more seriously in a story featuring giant monsters suplexing each other."
  • Mood Whiplash: In "Comic Relief Characters" the main purpose of adding a comic relief character is so the author can change the story's tone if things are getting too serious. Then when the final act starts up, the writer should Shoo Out the Clowns, which is still Mood Whiplash, just in the opposite direction (Silly to serious instead of serious to silly).
  • Mooks: The central focus of "Evil Lackeys", in which Beaubien states that they should primarily be moronic and easily defeated Cannon Fodder meant to make the heroes look cool rather than a force capable of challenging them.
  • More Predators Than Prey: "Alien Ecosystems" suggests having an alien ecology consist almost entirely of large apex predators.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: The Slash Fic writer in "Antiheroes" is very clearly female.
  • Mr. Exposition:
    • An advised source of information discussed in "Exposition". With regards to lecturers, he also ponders and brushes off other methods a lecture can be used to organically demonstrate fantastic elements.
    • In "Smart Characters" episode, he suggests using smart characters as a device to deliver an Infodump when neccessary.
    • In "Mentors" episode, he advises using mentors as a way to Infodump all the exposition to the protagonist.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Strongly advised in "Alpha Heroes", to the point that it's reccommended that their bare, well-muscled torso should take up the entire book cover.
    Beaubien: Remember: in the alpha club, no dad bods are allowed.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution:
    • "Intrigue Plots" says that the conspiracy should always use murder as its first resort, "no matter how messy or expensive it is."
    • Similarly, "Megacorporations" says that the mega corporation should resort to lawsuits only after attempting to use extralegal death squads "because I... ummm... it was in the memo somewhere".
  • Musical Episode: In "Holiday Specials", it's recommended that the special be a musical, even if it's part of an established series that's "never had a single musical number ever".
  • Mysterious Past:
    • His "Character Development" video suggests giving mysterious past to characters to save the writing from writing backstory for the characters.
    • His "Antiheroes" video also suggests doing this to your antihero character since it will make him look brooding and complex, and not because the writer is too lazy to come up with a history for the character.
    • His "Dystopias" video also suggests this for the Big Bad of the story. Like with "Antiheroes," painting him as vague and mysterious is an easy way out for the writer to avoid fleshing out the Big Bad.
  • Name McAdjective: The traitor among House Goodguys in "Noble Houses" is referred to as "Evil McSchemingson".
  • Nap-Inducing Speak: A running gag in the Rivals video has TWA Beaubien often falling asleep during Inner Critic's bouts of criticism.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: Recommends to avert this in the "Environmentalism" video, and only portray animals as kind and fluffy, since portraying nature in this way would actually let the bad guys have a point, which would just undermine the protagonists' stance on environmentalism.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: This trope gets mocked in a lot of his videos.
    • His "Evil Empire" video in particular lampshades how writers would actually have to put effort into research if they wanted to base their evil empire on any other historical empire such as the Ancient Romans.
    • In "Grimdark", he also encourages basing the bad guys off of Nazi Germany, but then shows a list of empires and how long they lasted, showing how short-lived the Nazi Empire was compared to other empires like the Ottoman and Roman empires.
  • Necronomicon: In "Cosmic Horror", always use the Ultimate Book of Doom — otherwise known as the "not-Necronomicon."
  • The Neidermeyer: "War Stories" recommends the inclusion of an incompetent, authoritarian officer. How he reached his position despite his complete lack of leadership abilities should never be addressed.
  • Never Live It Down: "Ending A Story" has JP mention this in-universe when he goes into Sincerity Mode. Even if you write a good story, if the ending ends up being a total trainwreck, then people will remember the ending and it will overshadow everything else about the story.
  • Never My Fault: "Apology Video Template" suggests starting the video by apologizing, but then giving a bunch of reasons why it's not your fault. Some examples include saying you're sorry others got offended by your actions, or a boss who abuses their employees saying they shouldn't have been so weak.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In the "Evil Empires" video, he notes that the heroes are responsible for the political chaos caused by destroying the evil empire.
    • "Comic Relief Characters" suggests having the comic relief be responsible for everything bad that has happened.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Invoked in "Cosmic Horror", as Beaubien advises that if viewers want to find out how a government can collaborate with a cult, they could look up Colonia Dignidad. "Or don't and sleep better".
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
    • "Mary Sue" suggests that the protagonist should have as many traits as possible to make her special and justify her array of powers, ending up with a half-dragon half-vampire half-angel half-elven and half-Vulcan princess.
    • "Alpha Heroes" has J.P. suggest making the alpha male a "billionaire highlander werewolf sheikh".
    • In "Zombie Apocalypse" J.P. complains about airvents always being full of zombies, aliens, spies and zombie alien spies.
  • No Bikes in the Apocalypse: His "Post Apocalyptic" video encourages every vehicle to be motorized, ignoring the fact that gasoline has a limited shelf life, humanity would eventually run out, and how something simple like a bicycle doesn't require fuel to operate.
  • No Biochemical Barriers:
    • In "Alien Invasion", he suggests having aliens devour humanity in spite of potentially deadly biochemical barriers.
    • On a similar note, in "Alien Ecosystems", he says that alien parasites should jump the species barrier to humans, even though human physiology is literally alien to them. It also claims that humans should be able to visit alien planets without any sort of protective gear and not suffer any ill effects (besides, of course, getting infected by the previously mentioned parasites).
  • Non-Indicative Name: In "Dungeon Master's Guide", JP adds note to tell the "Drama Queen" player archetype hasn't an entirely accurate name, because male players can behave like this too.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: One of these is used to represent poorly-written comic relief characters in the "Romantic Subplots" video.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Holiday Specials", JP mentions that he is barred from singing musical numbers due to several unnamed international treaties.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Killing the evil leaders automatically fixes everything — the empire vanishes, the large army just goes away, and the heroes come home to a completely refreshed homeland. Beaubien seriously notes that things just don't operate that way, and writers don't take into account that just because the Big Bad is killed doesn't mean there's still an oppressive society, for instance.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Points out that a school for children, in "Magic School" should not have so many dangerous monsters and artifacts.
  • No Romantic Resolution: "Love Interests" recommends leaving characters in "relationship limbo" if a writer wants to avoid shippers getting angry at them.
  • No Social Skills: In "Spies", JP says he can't write a charismatic character because he doesn't have any social skills, which is why he became a writer.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: invoked
    • "Giving Criticism" acknowledges that if a critic spends so much time bashing a work they don't like, that going overboard with their hatred towards that work will make the public interested in said work, rather than convince people to not give it a shot.
    • The sponsorship sketch of "Rebels" has the Conspiracy Leader point out that all cancel culture does is drive traffic towards the very thing people were trying to cancel.
    • In "Franchise Reboots", JP recommends hold the original franchise with disrespect by creative staff, as it causes angry fans to give the work free publicity.
    • In "Reboots Rebooted," JP cuts costs on advertising his franchise reboot by "going woke" through superficially inserting progressive politics, so that the "online whiny manbaby industrial review complex" will generate free press for him by complaining about "political correctness".
  • Not Blood Siblings: In the "Isekai" episode, Beaubien states that if one wants to make the protagonist's little sister a love interest then this trope will somehow make it all OK.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: "Mid Series Shakeups" episode is dedicated to this trope. JP suggests that the best reason to shake up a status quo is to make you feel like you've pulled one over on the audience.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Sometimes, as a form of Sincerity Mode, JP will show a caption on the screen to emphasize that what he's talking about has actually happened, even if it sounds ridiculous. Some examples include:
    • invokedIn "Taking Criticism" he shows such a disclaimer when he says that entire wikis are created to document the drama surrounding writers as they get involved in Flame Wars with critics.
    • "Survival Horror" has him explaining how a Survival Horror series doses its "horror" and "survival" proportion, while the screen shows the covers of the Dead Space games. He then adds that, by the time a series reaches its third game, the only way to keep it fresh is to add a Love Triangle. Cue text on the bottom of the screen telling that Dead Space 3 really includes a love triangle.
    • "Noble Houses": There's a quick gag where the Captain of the Royal Guard suggests auctioning off the position of emperor. A footnote confirms that the historical Praetorian Guard actually did that once.
    • "Holiday Specials" does this when he suggests adding the standard Love Triangle. He shows a poster of the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, with a caption stating that the movie really did put the Grinch in a Love Triangle.
    • "Alpha Heroes" has him listing off a series of toxic, obsessive, and negative romantic behaviors an alpha male can do but still be portrayed as being in the right because he's attractive. There's a caption saying everything he lists and more actually happens in romance novels.
    • In "Zombie Apocalypse" he advises potential writers to decide early on if they have fast or slow zombies, no really, it's a weirdly contentious issue amoung fans.
    • In "Isekai" he discusses adding depth to the protagonist by having him contribute to slavery, by making him look more sympathetic through buying a slave to add to his harem but treating her well rather than most slave owners. He stumbles a bit, double-checks his script, and the written script does mention that, yes, Hero's Slave Harem is a recurring trope in the isekai genre.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: After adding as many "bad boy" features in "Alpha Heroes" for maximum All Girls Want Bad Boys appeal, he realizes that the protagonist is so sociopathic that he's almost a villain in his own right.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Inner Critic more or less says this when he points out the homoerotic subtext in the "Rivals" video. Even saying that if done well rivals becoming romantic partners (gay or otherwise) could become an interesting dynamic.
  • Notzilla: "Giant Monsters" has Beaubien recommend simply ripping off Godzilla if a writer is too lazy and uncreative to even use the "giant version of a regular animal" idea for a monster.
  • Nuke 'em: One of the characters recommended in "Giant Monsters" is a high-ranking military officer who wants to skip straight to nukes after an initial attempt to stop the monster fails.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: "Mary Sue" recommends that the perfect protagonist should be this, because having her be aware of her own beauty might make her look vain, which is a flaw.
  • Obvious Judas:invoked "Noble Houses" says that the traitor among the ranks of House Goodguys should be clearly shady in demeanor and stick out like a sore thumb in terms of appearance.
  • Obviously Evil: Frequently used for villains. This is justified: given the nature of the show, the viewer frequently needs to be able to tell who the bad guys are at a glance.
  • Offstage Villainy: In his Evil Empire video, he suggests using it for the villains, instead of actually showing them doing evil things.
  • Oh, Crap!: In Dark Lords, he realizes they've just made their Dark Lord invincible, causing this reaction.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Liberal use of this trope is encouraged in "Myths, Legends, and Gods".
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Offered as a way to further distinguish The Chosen One.
  • One-Man Army: Instructs writers to have their Anti-Hero protagonist effortlessly slaughter enough people to form an army.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: "Megacorporations" points out that running a country includes spending money on things that don't generate revenue — like defense and social programs — which means it's counterproductive for a private company to also be The Government.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: invokedThe Dark Lord is so powerful that the author has to invent a Deus Ex Machina to defeat him.
  • Only Sane Man: In "Villains", the Baron of House Badguys gets traits of this, since even while he's blindsided at times (like on Political Incorrectness), he tends to understand the point of the Author's Notes he's reading far better than the other two.
  • Onrushing Army: "Fantasy Battles" says that the big final battle should amount to the two armies charging each other in a disorganized mass.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Will occasionally drop the silliness and take on a more serious voice in order to acknowledge serious consequences, like the ending of the "Evil Empire" video (noting the horrible consequences of an empire collapsing).
  • Opening Scroll: In "Exposition" episode, JP yearns the days where writers could just dump exposition in the first chapter or opening scene of the movie. While this is happening, text slowly scrolls in front of him.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In "Dark Lords" he asserts that a villain who challenges the hero is less interesting that one who spends ten books hanging around his doom fortress sending out progressively-stronger mooks to power-level the heroes.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Recommends that the writer should copy Tolkien's dwarves, and just add a Scottish accent.
  • Our Elves Are Different: He sarcastically states that the elves should be perfect and condescending, using only the movie versions of The Lord of the Rings as reference.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Recommends using the "Tolkienesque" flavor without bothering to address any of the hard questions raised by the existence of an Always Chaotic Evil society, something he notes J. R. R. Tolkien struggled with as well.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: invokedIn "Cosmic Horror" the unchecked parts of the checklist of things to rip off from H. P. Lovecraft include adding racism to the story, and the subsequent backlash that would ensue.
    Add unapologetic racism
    Then argue with people on Twitter about it
    Ask PR department about damage control
    Ignore PR department and double down
  • Overtook the Manga: Invoked in "Filler Arcs".
    Welcome to the Filler Tournament! Here you will be forced to fight to the death until the original manga is far enough ahead for the anime to cover another season!
  • Overt Operative: "Spies" has the "Power Fantasy" protagonist be caught because he chose to drive a red Lamborghini on a mission in Pyongyang.
  • Pair the Spares:
    • Invoked in "Love Interests" and "Ending a Story". JP suggests that every side character besides the Official Couple should be paired with another side character, regardless of whether the two had any chemistry or even interacted at all beforehand.
    • Invoked in "Shipping". If the fanfic writer doesn't want to kill or lobotomize the characters who are in ship's way, or make them evil, then just pair them with other characters.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • Invoked in his "Taking Criticism" video, saying that it's totally possible to meet the interests of every single person who reads any given work even when some interests contradict each other.
    • Also invoked in "Ending a Story" episode, saying that when there is a popular fan theory about the upcoming ending, the authors should abandon their original plans to meet the expectations of the fans, even when it means abandoning original plans.
    • In "Shipping", JP recommends that if the authors do not want to sink ships, then one option is to appease the loudest part of the shipping fanbase over making sure that their ships actually work. According to him, it also has a bonus of author having a chance to blame the fans if the pairing doesn't work.
    • In "Franchise Reboots", JP suggests to use fanservice in reboots as this makes fans unable to complain. After all, that's what fans wanted.
  • Paranormal Romance: JP does acknowledge that half of the tropes discussed in the "Urban Fantasy" episode are more applicable to this, which he ignores as usual.
  • Pass the Popcorn: In "Ending a Story" JP's avatar is seen eating popcorn when shipping wars is mentioned.
  • Percussive Pickpocket: Beaubien uses this trope as an example in "The Nature of Clichés - Honest Thoughts" to point out that Tropes Are Tools. He mentions that while this scene is pretty typical, it can be useful because it establishes a lot of information in one scene. He also offers ways to subvert the trope, such as an aristocrat purposefully getting robbed in hopes of finding a resourceful thief to help him on his journey.
  • Pet-Peeve Trope: JP's tone in "Comic Relief Characters" makes it very clear that he despises disruptive comic relief characters. His Honest Advice article makes it clear that a comic relief character who fits isn't a quarter as annoying; one idea is to create a World of Snark, where everyone has a turn being the comic relief.
  • Player Archetypes: "Dungeon Master's Guide" includes JP (as the Dungeon Master) defining player archetypes, sometimes using his own terminology. Usually feature a "typical character" as an avatar of the archetype, who reappears in later scenes featuring the whole party.
    • The Roleplayer: "This player will get lost in playing their character." Their typical character is an Elf bard dressed in green.
    • The Roll Player: "In contrast, the Roll Player is more engaged by the game itself than the drama. Sometimes called a power gamer, their eyes will gloss over during the story parts, but will get easily absorbed by the mechanics and strategy of the game system." Their typical character is a grinning armored-clad red-headed man with a horned helmet, and wielding a great maul and a chainsaw.
    • The Joker: "Some men just want to watch your campaign burn. This is one such players. Most are more focused on amusing themselves rather than others and their amusement is usually a result of taking random, chaotic actions that no sane character would ever do." Their typical character is a grinning man with thick white make-up, red lipstick smeared around his mouth, shaggy bleached hair, a green and purple tunic, and a purple domino mask.
    • The Rules Lawyer: Not actually described because JP started arguing about the rules with one (and still is). No typical character is shown (the picture of the scene is a wall of text consisting in rules lawyering), and they don't appear later.
    • The Edge Lord: "These players watched my 'Antihero' video and took all of its advices to heart." Their typical character is a frowning man wearing a black tunic with too many belts, a black cloak with an assorted hood, and wielding a black and red dagger with a serrated blade.
    • The Hentai Guy: "The Hentai Guy has one or more horrible sexual fetishes that they will try to put into the game at the worst opportunity". Their typical character is a long-haired blonde woman with huge breasts, a plated bra and thong, high heel shoes worn with stockings, and wields an oversized sword with one hand and a tiny shield with the other.
    • The Non Player: "Why is this person here? I don't know, and neither does the Non Player." Their typical character is a man wearing a black armor, resting on his mace while browsing on his smartphone. During his later appearances in the video, he's shown distanced from the other characters while the rest of the party forms a crowd.
    • The Snowflake: "The special Snowflake wants to play a homebrew self-insert, half dragon, kitsune, furry, multi-class demi-god in a human only historical setting." Their typical character is a white and red humanoid bipedal fox with several tails.
    • The Drama Queen: "In some ways, the Drama Queen is the opposite of the Role Player. Where as the Role Player gets lost in the drama of fiction, the Drama Queen brings their real life drama into the fiction." Their typical character is a frowning woman wearing a black tavern wench outfit. In her initial appareance when JP describes her, she carries a briefcase and a big wooden crate on which can be respectively read "emotional baggages" and "personal problems" ("yes, your characters have to help lug all this around. It's a class feature").
    • That Guy: A filthy, dumb, and obnoxious nerd whose behavior is basically the combination of all the drawbacks of the previous ones without their saving graces. Their typical character is a overweight man dressed like JP, with a neckbeard and a fedora, standing on top of a mountain of Cheetos while raising a sword toward the sky. This character doesn't reappear latter. In Tabletop RPG terminology, "That Guy" refers to a player whose behavior (both in the game itself, and their non-RP interaction with the rest of the group) ruins the fun of the other players. Here, in true Terrible Writing Advice fashion, JP describes That Guy as the most desirable player profile.
  • Plot Armor:
    • Invoked with "Evil Empire", and laser beams curve around the Han Solo and Princess Leia expies.
    • Also invoked in "Action Scenes". How else would the heroes survive diving headfirst into the line of fire without devising a strategy?
    • Becomes a Literal Metaphor in "Military Science Fiction", with JP saying to not put constraints on the main character's power armor, that way it can create New Powers as the Plot Demands.
  • Plot Hole: "Plotting A Story" finds Beaubien building one so large it's twice as tall as he is ("Eh, it's fine.")
  • Plot Tumor: In "Plotting a story", Beaubien suggests that instead of using side plots to complement and weave into main story, the side plots can be used for the authors when they get tired of the main plot. He suggests for the side plots to completely take over the main story, and only then abandon them.
  • Plot Twist: J.P. repeatedly suggest to use plot twists only to surprise the audience for the sake of susprise.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The "Comic Relief Characters" episode is dedicated to this trope.
  • Politically Correct History:
    • Inverted in "Worldbuilding Cultures", with a sci-fi setting that counts as a politically correct future, as everyone still maintains the same values as the modern day despite their improved technology.
    • Also played with in "Steampunk", in that while the world is a Constructed World, it should be influenced by the Victorian era, though without mentioning the darker aspects of that time period, or as JP calls them, "Unpleasant Realities", including but not limited to racism, classism, and the slave trade.
    • The "Noble Hero" archetype in "Fantasy Characters" has on his profile that he has modern views on Arranged Marriages, despite the fact that they are very common among the nobility in his setting. Despite being a noble, he is also able to blend in and get along well with the peasants despite knowing nothing about their lifestyle.
  • Power Fantasy:
    • "Spies" suggests turning the action thriller spy story into this.
    • Does an episode on this, and comments on how you should put yourself into them to the point of using them to get petty revenge against everyone who's slighted you in life.
    • "Revenge Plots" also takes a sarcastic potshot at the genre, implying the poorly done ones are "blind one-sided power fantasy edgefests".
  • Power of Love: The Kryptonite Factor of all alien invasions: the Love Triangle!
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: In "Chosen Ones", JP tells that prophecies have to be true and villain must make sure they are true by making them self-fulfilling.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality:
    • His "Mary Sue" video suggests having people be good or evil based on their opinions of the protagonist.
    • "War Stories" says that none of the main character soldiers should ever be punished for any lapses in duty, even if it would get any other soldier court-martialed.
    • "Spies" suggests doing this with the protagonist's more questionable actions. Anything they do should be justified because they're the ones doing it, while the villain should be the villain even though they haven't killed anyone.
    • "Power Fantasy" suggests the hero should focus on petty vendettas against obvious Straw Characters instead of using their powers for good. Despite this, the tone should be written in a way that sides with the protagonist, rather than being neutral or portraying them in the wrong for their actions.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: "Monkeys Spinning Monkeys", a royalty free song, is heard commonly throughout the series.
  • Purple Prose: "Alpha Heroes" suggests using excessive detail for the protagonist's appearance to highlight his position in the story.
  • Putting on the Reich: In "Evil Lackeys," JP recommends basing the mook uniforms on the Nazis, specifically the SS, as easy shorthand for evil. No exceptions, even if there are many other historical empires that you can base your faction on.
  • Rail Enthusiast: "Holiday Specials" reveals that the recurring "sci-fi evil emperor" character likes working on model trains.
  • Rape as Backstory: JP recommends for male writers to try this backstory for woman characters, no matter how overdone it is. "Honest thoughts" section says that this should be treaded very carefully.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Inner Critic gives one when J.P. starts building up to talking about adding a Love Triangle in "Rivals".
  • Rated M for Manly:
    • "Spies" emphasizes how masculine the "Power Fantasy" protagonist should be.
    • "Alpha Heroes" also puts emphasis on this with the leading male.
  • Rebel Relaxation: In "AntiHeroes", this pose is suggested as your Anti-Hero protagonist's default resting pose, complete with the Badass Arm-Fold.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Recommends this in "Killing Off Characters", bringing up how things will be really be awkward if the redeemed villian stays alive.
    Dark Lord: Hey guys! Remember that time I burned down your hometown and slaughtered all of your friends and family? Good times!
  • Red Herring: Briefly mentioned in "Ending a story" as a possible method to make sure that the audience have harder time guessing the ending...before JP dismisses it as he has better ideas to spend his time. Red herrings are brought up briefly again before he snaps and goes into Sincerity Mode.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: In "Smart Characters" the chapter on the impact mad scientists could make to your setting is titled "Reed Richards is Useless, and Doctor Doom isn't much better."
  • Reel Torture: The ending of the video on characterization shows the CEO of Megacorp torturing the Dark Lord by making him watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Subverted in a later episode, where it was revealed that the Dark Lord escaped and ended up watching the whole series in his own time.
  • Relax-o-Vision: "Revenge Plots" has JP show an image of a cute puppy while encouraging writers to use brutal grimdark violence in depicting the incident that sets off the revenge quest.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Brought up in "Giant Monsters", as an antagonist that shows up in the final act out of nowhere.
  • Revenge: This is the only motivation suggested for the Anti-Hero that'll totally be described in later events, though one shouldn't bother giving a reason for the Anti-Hero to be obsessed with vengeance.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: In the beginning of "Revenge Plot" episode, JP says that revenge plots give an opportunity to add "revenge" in the title to sound cooler.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome; In "Revenge Plots", Beabien says that it's a good idea for evil to commit heinous acts in the end of chapter 1 if they clash with the lighthearted tone of the rest of the series.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: In "Rebels", Beabien states that the rebellion should always be portrayed as unambiguously good and free from any political ideologies, with the fact that historical rebellions tend to have messy aftermaths should be ignored.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: "Writer's Block" recommends that instead of working through getting stuck, one should get inspiration to strike them. Of course, this quickly devolves into blatantly wasting time with increasingly flimsy justifications.
  • Right-Hand Cat: The Mega-Corp's CEO is depicted as having a white cat.
  • The Rival: The Inner Critic, as brought up in "Rivals".
  • Rock Beats Laser: "Science Fiction Weapons" says that the only ones who can defeat the hyper-advanced military are stone age primitives armed with rocks and sticks.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: invoked
    • Beaubien points out many promising story ideas devolve into romance, or at least shoehorn a romantic subplot somewhere, especially where the dreaded Love Triangle is involved.
    • In "Love Interests", one of his suggestions involves exploiting Unresolved Sexual Tension to excess to prolong the romance, causing the focal couple to become Strangled by the Red String in the process. The relationship is described as "an ivy that strangles everything around it as it takes over the story."
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Points it out as a consequence of making the empire more interesting than the protagonist. invoked
    • Also points this out in his "Environmentalism" video, noting that it's a consequence of giving the villains so much cool technology despite trying to go for an Anvilicious "Technology is evil" aesop.invoked
    • "Villains" has the three villains who took over the show discussing this trope, with them shocked that people root for the heroes. JP's notes on the episode point out that if this happens, then the writer needs to work on writing better heroes, rather than making the villain more heinous.
    • invokedIn "Rebels", the empire is more liked by the fans not only because of their style, but because they haven't done anything villainous on-screen, while the rebels verge into Designated Hero territory.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: From "Marketing And Promotion":
    ReasonableReviewer: Okay book. Not the best. The author could try using spell check.
    GreedyAuthor: Donut listen to this guyz. I does not need spelchick.
    TotallyNotGreedyAuthor: GreedyAuthor is write guyz. This "review" is trrilbe. Boook is awesome!!!!!!111
  • Rousing Speech:
    • "Fantasy Battles" suggests filling a speech with so many cheesy expressions, that the soldiers would rather charge to their deaths than continue listening.
    • "Leader Characters" begins and ends with J.P. giving a parodic one about how everything will "magically be okay" as long as the leader makes one, regardless of their actual leadership quality or if they're actually known to give speeches.
  • R-Rated Opening:
    • "Killing Off Characters" suggests using this to start your story, even if the tone doesn't match the rest of the story. This results in alienating huge chunks of your audience, as those interested in a light-hearted story will be turned off early on and assume the rest of the work will be just as dark, while those interested in a Darker and Edgier story will be pissed that the rest of the story doesn't fit the tone of the beginning.
    • The same is suggested for "Revenge Plots" in order to deliver the desired shock value to establish the plot. Bonus points if the author can fetishize the scene by indulging in some of their more deviant personal tastes.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: "Alien Ecosystems" says that one assumption about alien life is safe to make: that alien races will look like humans "but with forehead ridges or something".
  • Rugged Scar: In "Antiheroes", a scar is suggested as a visual cue for badassery, complete with Perma-Stubble. Of course, it shouldn't detract from your Anti-Hero's appearance.
  • Rule of Cool: "Writing Dinosaurs" encourages riding off the coolness factor of dinosaurs so as to avoid putting effort in anything else. The coolness factor being so great that you don't even need a love triangle!
  • Running Gag:
    • The Love Triangle completely overtaking the plot in every genre imaginable.
    • When considering actually doing research to provide thought-provoking nuanced stories, he inevitably refers to the resulting stories as taking too much effort and/or being "boring" while a green question mark is next to him. This is usually followed with the image of either the "bad writer" avatar giving a thumbs down next to a big red X, or, more rarely, a bunch of question marks in a trash can.
    • Villains think Undertale is overrated.
    • Suggesting an Unlucky Everydude as a protagonist, to prove that even average people can rise up and face overwhelming odds, only to toss it aside for someone destined for greatness like The Chosen One.
    • There are a couple of running gags in the "Steampunk" episode:
    • "Grimdark" has JP regularly kill off a small animal for shock value and telling the audience they should feel bad. It ends up Running Gagged as eventually, the bag of animals is empty, with JP noting that the audience is starting to catch on to that trick.
    • Some episodes feature a sentient, flaming trash bin representing the Flame Wars that ensue over controversial topics. It first showed up at the end of "Worldbuilding Cultures" when JP wondered how a writer should handle topics like religion and gender roles, and subsequently deciding Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
  • Same Plot Sequel: In "Franchise Reboots" episode, if fans demand they want a sequel instead of a reboot, JP recommends to recycle the plot of the original and then call it a sequel.
  • Sarcasm Mode: The entire video series is essentially an entire Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad diatribe.
  • Satellite Character: The Mentor Archetype in "Mentors" should only be defined by their relationship with the protagonist to emphasize how awesome they are. He shouldn't interact with anyone else, and should never think of training someone else on the side.
  • Satellite Love Interest: "Love Interests" has Beaubien claim that stuff like personality and motivation are optional for a love interest.
  • "Save the World" Climax: Encouraged in "Plotting a Story". He recommends to add the stakes of saving the world suddenly.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: In "Alien Ecosystems", he suggests ignoring the many unique possibilities of aliens with a Hive Mind and just making them space communists.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • "Cosmic Horror" includes the following (non-ironic) advice:
      Want some extra nightmares? Also want to see how a cult can cooperate with a national government? Look up Colonia Dignidad. Or don't and sleep better.
    • "Giving Criticism" advises labeling whatever you're criticizing the worst book ever even when compared to the likes of The 120 Days of Sodom, which he says makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like Sesame Street. He also shows the book on screen with a caption saying "If you value your sanity do not look up this book!"
  • Science Is Bad: Recommended in the "Environmentalism" video, even though the vast majority of solutions to environmental problems would require serious technological advances.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Invoked in the "Slasher Films" video. By making the main characters (excluding the protagonist) intentionally annoying, it will let the audience take pleasure in their deaths.
    • Also notes in the "War Stories" video that the comic relief character is this, stating that he doesn't match the tone of the rest of the story and that he'll be the only character the audience actually wants dead.
    • "Comic Relief Characters" is not subtle about how comic relief characters can end up in this position, with JP even mentioning Jar-Jar Binks and Scrappy Doo as examples of comic relief gone wrong.
    • "Giant Monsters" emphasizes that the Tagalong Kid ends up in this role.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: In "Alpha Heroes", it's reccommended that the alpha male's more... questionable actions be treated as right and he never get punished for them because of how hot he is.
    Beaubien: Blackmail? It's okay because he's attractive! Threatening violence? It's okay because he's attractive! Just outright abducting her and dragging her down into his dungeon? It's okay because— wait, that really happens in these books?
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • At the end of "Worldbuilding Cultures", JP wonders how a fictional culture should handle controversial topics like religion and gender roles. He then tells the audience they're on their own because he's not starting a Flame War on Youtube.
    • In "Revenge Plots", one of the the protaganist's companions realizes the protaganist is going to needlessly get everone killed, so he leaves.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The "Marketing and Promotion" video, about the ways desperate writers try to sell their books, ends with him musing "I do so enjoy throwing stones from my glass house."
    • In "Science Fiction Weapons", he brings up the idea of the hero using a Sci-Fi sword in a setting with primarily ranged weapons, then snickers and says "What author is dumb enough to do that?" Cue Aeon Legion: Labyrinth cover.
    • In "Megacorporations" the list of "Off the Shelf Villains" includes Dark Lord, Vampire, and Internet Comedian, with the latter being represented by JP's avatar.
    • In "Giving Criticism", this is a Running Gag:
      Beaubien: Instead, giving criticism should be seen as an opportunity to cut loose and put other creators down in order to elevate a writer's own position. (screenshot of the Terrible Writing Advice YouTube page with "Unrelated Image" as the caption.)
      Beaubien: Tearing people down is good entertainment, and an excellent way to stroke one's own ego — don't forget to be snarky too! (screenshot of the TWA page, again, with "Another Unrelated Image" as the caption.)
      Beaubien: In fact, the more one hates something the more time and energy they should dedicate to bashing it. Start entire blogs or even multiple YouTube channels dedicated to just how horrible this story is and go over every minor error in excruciating detail. (screenshot of the TWA page, again, with "Yet Another Unrelated Image" as the caption, and a split-second all-screen caption "I'm not a hypocrite!".)
    • From "Alien Invasion":
      Beaubien: There are many other motivations we can give them as well, from using humans as a host for their offspring, to attacking Earth for spamming out crappy Youtube videos.
      Alien: We followed your advice and our book didn't sell at all! <disintegrates Beaubien with its raygun>
    • The end of his video on Plucky Comic Relief has him note the traits of stereotypical bad comic relief: things like an irritating voice, using the same lame gags over and over ("Sarcasm!"), having a catchphrase that they wore out long ago ("Love triangle!"), making references to decades-old jokes (arrow pointing out that JP's avatar is the Awesome Face), and then having the gall to end on a self-deprecating punchline.
      "...Wait a minute."
    • For the episode on "Villains", JP is captured by the Evil Emperor, Dark Lord, and Baron, who do the whole episode mocking JP and his videos. Pretty funny when you remember he voices all of the characters.
      Evil Emperor: *holding a mask of JP's avatar face* Look at me, I'm JP. Sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm, self-deprecating joke, love triangle!
      Dark Lord: Ha! That is just like him. He is a living caricature.
    • After showing off how writers poorly use the trope in the Deconstruction episode, his final tip is to be careful who to listen to, especially someone who's been giving out comically bad advice for 78-79 episodes. He ends the episode realizing he's deconstructed himself.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: In "Revenge Plots", this should be used as a cop-out so your protagonist can have the moral high ground. The hero should refuse to kill the villain, only for them to try and kill the hero after being spared. This means that the hero can use self-defense to justify killing the villain.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Points out in the "Chosen Ones" video that the hero would've never started their journey to defeat the dark lord or ancient evil in the first place if the forces of evil hadn't attacked their home in an attempt to kill him and defy the prophecy.
  • Self-Made Man: Parodied in "Megacorporations", where the Mega-Corp's CEO says he made his way to the top by murdering baby seals with an oil tanker. Though he admits he's not sure how that made him rich.
  • Sequel Hook: J.P suggests using Sequel Hooks to end the show, no matter how little it makes sense or is interviened to the story. It gives opportunity for more profits after all. He says it's also okay to not mention the Sequel Hook in the sequel in the first place.
  • Serious Business: "Dungeon Master's Guide" discourages this attitude (in the usual Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad manner) noting that a DM seeing their campaign as a master work will probably turn it into an unfair, unfun, Vanity Project that punishes the players for daring to enjoy the game. He even says "We are all here to play a serious game of make-believe".
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In "Smart Characters", J.P comments that for a character to sound smart, they should pronounce some long winded buzzwords instead of just the Layman's Terms.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: If blatantly hammering in the message that Vengeance Feels Empty isn't enough, "Revenge Plots" suggests just killing off most, if not all, of the main characters, through the quest for vengeance even if this is an anticlimactic end.
  • Shaky Cam:
    • Encouraged in the "War Stories" video, claiming it won't get on the audience's nerves.
    • "Giant Monsters" suggests constantly shaking the camera if you lack the budget to show the monster convincingly.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: While a link to buy Aeon Legion: Labyrinth has appeared in all Terrible Writing Advice videos without fail, it is also a mocked trope, with Beaubien's Author Avatar (holding Labyrinth, no less) being one of the outcasts in "Cyberpunk". And, of course, being the focus of "Marketing and Promotion".
  • Shark Man: In "avoiding scams", con artists are represented by anthropomorphic great white sharks in business suits.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Defied in "Megacorporations" with regards to the soldiers who work for the corporation's Private Military Contractor. JP does bring up how the soldiers are likely war veterans who joined the PMC because of a bad economy, and how some might suffer from PTSD. He then says that because they work for the corporation, the protagonists should show no remorse killing them.
  • Ship Sinking: If the author wants tolet the audience know that the pairing won't happen, the best way to do it, according to JP, is the two to loudly say they don't love each other while adding a lot of shipping subtext in accident. JP also says that it's better to avoid adding any context why the ship won't work.
  • Ship Tease: JP suggests teasing with potential ships in "Shipping" but says to make sure that this is just bait and switch.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: invoked
    • Discussed at the end of War Stories, when the narrator reminds his audience that no genre is save from the Love Triangle, and that fans take shipping as seriously as war.
    • In "Shipping" episode, JP also suggests for the creators to deliberately invoke this reaction from the fans by teasing different ships. After all, it's free press, but JP also suggests to actually never delivering any ships. For the fans, shipping war is also the recommended approach to dealing with rival ships in.
  • Shock Fatigue: JP often recommends to disregard Shock Fatigue reaction from the audience, whether due to killing off character after character or adding plot twist after plot twist. invoked
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: "Comic Relief Characters" suggests getting rid of the comic relief for the final act, even if it results in Mood Whiplash and the story taking itself too seriously.
  • Shooting Superman: "Action Scenes" recommends that combatants continue shooting at the superhero or monster, even though they should know doing so is pointless.
  • Shout-Out:
    Beaubien: In the grim darkness of the far present of fiction writing, there is only cliches..... and a whole lotta grit.
    • In "Power Fantasy", an overpowered invicible protagonist instantly obliterates the Dark Lord while Beaubien comments "IDDQD and IDKFA!" (two cheat codes from Doom).
    • Also in "Power Fantasy":
    Beaubien: After all, with great power come great references to that one SpiderMan movie.
    • In the "Isekai" episode, the slavers that the protagonist does business with look like medieval versions of The Three Stooges.
    • In "Dungeon Master's Guide":
      • One player archetype is referred to as "the Joker". The Joker's player character basically looks like Heath Ledger's Joker reimagined as a fantasy character. JP ends the scene by telling the best way to deal with those players is to call Batman.
      • The Roll Player looks just like the character on the cover of the first Munchkin game, just drawn in the Terrible Writing Advice art style.
    • The "Leader Characters" episode features a king who states that he read a guide about getting the best ending by grinding the real estate minigame.
    • "Deconstruction" shows the edgy author giving a speech mirroring Rorschach's.
    • The opening spiel of "Dungeon Crawl" is inspired by that of Darkest Dungeon.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • In "Plotting A Story":
      Beaubien: (increasingly disgusted) Then have the action scene followed up with another scene in which the characters stand around and talk about what just happened even though the reader literally just read it a few moments ago because obviously we need a space-filling recap to explain everything!
    • The best way to use exposition is "wielded like a club to the face".
      Beaubien: Don't tease out little details that could tell the audience more about an event than a ten-page essay on the subject. Never turn tidbits of exposition into compelling plot hooks, foreshadowing, or interesting mysteries that could tease out future possibilities. Remember, exposition should never excite the audience or challenge them in any way, other than their patience!
    • "Character Backstories" discusses ways to illustrate a backstory without going into exposition dumps.
  • Side Effects Include...: From the end of "Megacorporations":
    Beaubien: Megacorp, the only villain you will ever need! Side effects may include zombie outbreak, xeno-parasites, author soap boxing, and poor reviews. Consult with an editor if soap boxing continues for longer than three paragraphs. Ask your beta reader if Megacorp is right for you.
  • Sincerity Mode:
    • This happens a few times in his videos when he breaks character.
    • He completely drops the ironic pretense to talk about clichés in "The Nature of Clichés"
    • The descriptions in his videos have links to his official website, where he gives sincere advice on the same genres and tropes he mocks in his videos.
    • Zig-zagged in his "Amazing Writing Advice" video, which he released on April Fools' Day. On the surface, it seems like he's giving sincere advice, and some of the advice at the start of the video, such as making sure to read a lot, is genuine. However, while his tone lacks sarcasm, he gives advice like avoiding clichés, which contradicts his other Sincerity Mode video "The Nature of Clichés". He also tries to pass off his sample story (A brooding Youtube artist meets a quirky girl) as original, even though this is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.
    • Some of the Freeze Frame Bonuses in JP's videos do contain genuine advice, or further elaborate on advice that gets ignored.
    • Averted in "Addressing the Controversy," where JP appears in live-action to mock the manipulative tactics used by some, especially YouTubers, to fake Sincerity Mode to sell their insincere apologies.
    • "Ending A Story" does this in a sequence that ends up being All Just a Dream. In the sequence, he says not to worry about making some amazing ending, saying it's the journey that matters, not the conclusion. He compares writing a story to running a race, and points out that even if you run the whole marathon perfectly, if you try to do something like cartwheels as you cross the finish line and mess up, people will only remember you for that even if you ran the rest of the race perfectly.
    • "Fantasy Characters" gives profiles for each character archetype. The last section of each profile is labeled "Ideas for Making them more Interesting", which is crossed out and then labeled "Avoid". These sections contain genuine advice on how to write these character archetypes.
    • invokedIn "Fanfiction Original Characters", some Honest Thoughts notes are shown for when someone claims your OC is a Mary Sue. The term has been thrown around so often that it's lost its meaning, and is often used as shorthand for "I don't like the character". Don't take a critic seriously if all they do is call your OC a Mary Sue. The notes do say to take criticism of your OC seriously, but only if it goes into detail and mentions specific issues with your character, like inconsistent characterization, or being a Vanilla Protagonist.
    • In "Evil Lackeys", the sequence where JP advises the viewer to write scenes where the heroes use torture to get information from mooks is illustrated by text reminding the viewer that 1) "torture isn't a very effective method of extracting information" and 2) "it makes your heroes look like jerks".
    • Near the end of the "Being Original" video, JP momentarily drops all sarcasm to urge his viewers to stop worrying about being original, and to just write what you really want to while keeping ways to improve it in mind(With the first part even being Punctuated! For! Emphasis! just to stress how important it is.)
    • In "Character Backstories" he slips in an honest note urging amateur writers to not use Rape as Backstory (or use other sexual assault in a similar way) due to how horribly awry it can go if done poorly.
  • Single-Biome Planet:
    • Suggested in the "Alien Ecosystems" video, because it saves the writer effort.
    • The "Star Wars" video also proposes using one such planet that is similar to the others that have been shown so far. To show the point, Tatooine's name is crossed out and replaced with Jakku.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: In "Grimdark", the protagonist and antagonist both wear armor with skulls on it.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Subverted in "Evil Lackeys" when JP brings up the possibility of using slavery to emphasize how horrible the Big Bad is, as JP realizes this will make the protagonist that buys enslaved women to add to his harem look bad as well.
  • Slow Laser: Laser guns are discussed in "Science Fiction Weapons", which says they're easy to dodge despite moving at the speed of light and very inaccurate despite having laser-precision shot grouping.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
    • His "Taking Criticism" video encourages this behavior in writers. The video starts with him stating that negative criticism is more important than actual death and real life political issues.
    • "Symbolism, Themes, and Motifs" has JP constantly preach that the point of symbolism is to show off how smart the writer is, while also looking down on their readers as morons who need everything spelled out for them.
    • Jokingly illustrated in "Smart Characters" where JP's own ego is shown to have become planet-sized over the years.
  • Small Reference Pools: He tends to tell you to reference only the most obvious and surface-level archetypes in history and fiction: for instance, if you have an evil empire, you have to base it on the Nazis, the Romans, or both.
  • Smash to Black: How "Ending a Story" concludes, even cutting off JP mid-word.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The Anatomy of an Antihero states that modern antiheroes should always smoke for this reason and adds that you totally shouldn't.
  • Soap Opera Disease: In "Mid-Series Shakeups", if you need someone to die dramatically but don't want to do it suddenly, give them an unspecified illness (so that you don't have to research it) that slowly kills them at the speed of the plot. You know it's fatal because of Blood from the Mouth (and no other symptoms).
  • Sociopathic Soldier: "War Stories" recommends that the story include a stock psychopath character in the unit that the story focuses on, so that he can commit war crimes which will allow the story to pretend it's morally complex. It also recommends avoiding the question of why he's still serving on the front lines despite his obvious mental instability.
  • Sock Puppet: Gives the advice to use them to respond to negative comments.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: J.P. has a noticeable twang, and he has a fluent understanding of narrative.
  • Space-Filling Empire: Gags involving maps will include this, often even named blatantly, such as the Noble Kingdom of Map Filleria in "Evil Empires" and the Space Filling Empire of South America in "Cyberpunk".
  • Space Whale Aesop: In "Giant Monsters", the POV Drone explains that the reason giant monsters attack humanity is because we abandoned the Gold Standard and failed to keep kids off drugs.
  • Spirit Advisor: In "Mentors" episode, he states that not even death can prevent a mentor coming back as a spirit when needed.
  • Spoof Aesop: His "Chosen One" video ends with the message that people should just wait for a special person to solve all their problems.
  • Spy Fiction: This is the main topic of the "Spies" episode. JP splits the video into two sub-genres: the action thriller Tuxedo and Martini variant, and the gritty, realistic Stale Beer variant.
  • Square-Cube Law: Whenever the topic at hand involves something big, like a giant alien organism or giant robot, he runs into this law, and frequently comes up with a way to Hand Wave it, or just advises the viewer to outright ignore it.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The protagonist from "Alpha Heroes" is this, but the heroine accepts his behavior rather than file a restraining order because he's attractive and has a tragic past.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: "Love Interests" claims that a simple arm grab can disable even the fiercest and most competent Action Girl to allow the villain to interrupt a relationship's development.
  • Standard Royal Court: "Noble Houses" has Beaubien say he'll just use the most off-the-shelf stock version of this trope that he can.
  • Stations of the Canon: "Fanfiction Original Characters" suggests having the OC do everything that happened in the canon story, but better, and turn everyone who was involved in the canon plot into shills for the OC. Don't think about taking the main story in a new direction or exploring something that was ignored in the original canon.
  • Status Quo Is God: In "Rebels", the story resets if there's a sequel, because writing a government reforming after a rebellion is really hard. Thus, the empire ends up back in control and the rebels are still fighting to overthrow it.
  • Stock Characters: His videos often suggest having this be the supporting cast, with each character only having one trait that gets beaten over the audience's head.
  • Stock Gods: "Myths, Legends, and Gods" suggests copying the gods of a mythology like Greek or Norse mythology, and then changing their names to avoid copyright lawsuits.
  • Straw Character: This advice comes up a lot:
  • Strong as They Need to Be: He claims that when setting out the abilities of a character or creature, they should wildly vary depending on the needs of the plot. The audience being unable to figure out what any given entity is capable of will create tension.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge:
    • In "Mid-Series Shakeups", he discusses the Sacrificial Lion and Sacrificial Lamb tropes and how their deaths can enhance a story. But setting up those characters requires a lot of legwork, so he instead suggests to make the sacrificial lamb an innocent character who is killed purely for shock value. This is accompanied by JP pushing a female character into a fridge. This character is also complaining that he's starting to run out of fridge room and can't afford to keep doing this.
    • Discussed, and suggested as an easy way to establish a motive in "Revenge Plots". He also suggests using this to eliminate a love interest that the author is not interested in developing, checking off two objectives at one move.
    • Referenced in "Character Backstories" when talking about writing backstory for female characters. When talking about how to use Rape as Backstory as a quick way to set up an angsty backstory, JP notes that his fridge is getting full and needs a new one.
  • Stupid Evil: "Megacorporations" advises that the evil corporation should take actions that would kill people, ignoring the fact that said people are customers who buy their products and are partially responsible for the success of the corporation.
  • Stylistic Suck: Most of the examples he gives are very poorly written, mocking clichés found in amateur fiction.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: In "Traditional vs. Self-Publishing", the rejection letter JP gets says that his manuscript caused an intern's face to melt like the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark and suggests that he should try submitting it to the Department of Defence as they might be able to weaponize it.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: Usually, the background music stops while JP delivers a final sentence of the episode to let the final punchline sink in.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy:
    • "Megacorporations" mentions it about weaponizing dangerous aliens:
      We will continue our attempts to turn this creature into a bio-weapon even after it escapes and destroys our multi-billion-dollar starship before forcing us to nuke our off-world colony complex along with our expensive secret lab. (cut to burning pile of banknotes) I mean we can't stop trying to weaponize the alien now. We've sunk too much money into this project.
    • "Avoiding Scams" gives the advice for writers to keep giving money to scammers and sinking further into debt because so much money has already been invested in the scam company, rather than accepting your losses and moving on.
  • Super-Persistent Predator:
    • "Alien Ecosystems":
      Beaubien: Huge predators need a large amount of energy, so choosing between attacking a slow-moving but large and injured herbivore or the comparatively small and less nutrious protagonist, the apex predator will obviously drop everything it's doing, and chase down our interstellar explorers instead! It will likely hunt our main characters for a good portion of the plot, expending far more energy than it would gain from eating a human. It will not give up the hunt even if our explorers manage to injure it and drive it away temporarily. Never should an apex predator know when to cut its losses for easier prey. Just treat them like a videogame monster! [+2000 XP]
    • "Writing Dinosaurs":
      Beaubien: Dinosaurs can be treated just like monsters. They attack people and each other on sight and they never retreat. What if the dinosaur in question was an herbivore? They still eat people and rampage around destroying everything in their path. Big predators in particular always fight to the death and never seek easy prey. They do use ambush tactics, though, but the [preferred tactic is] showing up out of nowhere like a movie slasher, rather than the one found in nature, where they blend into their surroundings and wait.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the "Evil Empire" video, he recommends ending any story about toppling an evil empire on a high note, rather than the aftermath that would occur like the struggles of reforming the government into a more democratic system, or the civil wars that would ensue from imperial successors.
    • In his "Post-Apocalyptic" video, he points how radiation doesn't turn people into mutated monsters. It just, you know, kills you!
    • His "Environmentalism" video points out that a corporation would take a massive PR hit if they started destroying the environment. It also points out that even if the evil corporation were wiped out, the reason they rose to power in the first place is because of the hyper-consumerist economy, implying that a new corporation would just take its place.
    • Beaubien points out in "Cyberpunk" that one Artificial Limb wouldn't stop its owner spine from breaking if they tried lifting a car, given that the rest of their body isn't enhanced.
    • The "Intrigue Plots" episode brings up the fact that murdering people is counterproductive to The Conspiracy, because it won't help cover it up, but instead draw attention to it, especially if too many people are killed.
    • In "Dark Lords" it's pointed out that the Evil Overlord would have no clue about the political situation of the world because they've been asleep for centuries.
    • "Holiday Specials" ends with JP's heart growing three sizes... then JP dropping dead from cardiomegaly.
    • "Antiheroes" includes a short gag where the antihero protagonist is on trial for war crimes.
    • At the end of "Isekai", JP tries to use his cell phone to get ahead in another world. However, he gets no signal because there's no infrastructure to support cell phones in this world.
  • Sympathetic Sue: One way to add sympathy, according to JP in "Character backstories", is to add one tragic events after another as more of those events makea a character more sympathetic and in no way make people laugh on how over the top things get.invoked
  • Technobabble: He recommends using technobabble to make smart characters look smart.
  • Technology Is Evil:
    • His "Cyberpunk" video suggests that any story in that genre should invoke this to Anvilicious extremes with pretentious symbolism and pseudo-philosophical speeches. invoked
    • In "Smart characters" episode, he claims that that one of the morals is that any technology past the time of writing the work is evil but even though any scientific advancements made up until then is perfectly okay.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: "Holiday Specials" recommends that even if you're not making your special a musical, there should be at least one musical number "awkwardly shoved in there".
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: invoked Conversed in many videos. Beaubien mentions just sticking to cliches rather than trying new, imaginative stories with complex themes.
  • Three-Act Structure: Mentioned in "Plotting a Story" with a diagram.
  • Throne Made of X: The "Taking Criticism" video features the Author Avatar sitting on a throne made of pencils as everybody praises his work.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • In "Comic Relief Characters", JP suggests this to be one of the types of comedy a comic relief character can do.
    • At the end of "Humor writing", he suggests to make a bunch of fart noises.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring:invoked
    • In his "Cyberpunk" video, Beaubien states that the audience should walk away from a cyberpunk story depressed and thinking they wasted their time, otherwise a writer isn't doing their job correctly.
    • This is also encouraged in his "Grimdark" video, and J.P. discourages contrasting the Darker and Edgier tone of the story with positive moments of hope or humor.
    • "Spies" says that stories of the "gritty" flavor should be depressing, featuring miserable protagonists who do horrible things.
  • Too Dumb to Live: "Survival Horror":
    Beaubien: As our characters lack any sort of preservation instincts, our writer is free to have them wander into increasingly suicidal situations no sane person would ever step into.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth:
    • Said verbatim in his "Mary Sue" video, though he does mention resurrection is an option for the protagonist.
    • According to "Grimdark", every good character should be killed off, and good characters should still exist in the setting despite how out-of-place they would be in a Grimdark setting.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Doing Character Development is too hard, and instead just have the character get more and more powerful to show how he's growing as a person.
  • Too Many Halves: In "Character Development", Mary Sue's character sheet says that she's "half-dragon, half-human, half-elf, third angel, fourth Cherokee."
  • Torture Always Works: Said word-for-word in "Spies". Cue an intertitle that says "no it doesn't".
  • Tragic Villain: Encourages writing such in "Character Backstories", without paying heed to when the tragic reveal is done and whether the backstory is consistent with the villains' present actions.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Touched on in "Giant Monsters", which says that the monster's appearance should be kept mysterious at first, no matter how much its design was already spoiled in the trailers.
  • invokedTrapped by Mountain Lions: The trope is cited almost verbatim in "Filler" as a potential technique to keep characters busy and drag out a story for minimal effort.
  • Troll: Some videos touch upon them, and generally use the popular "trollface" meme to represent them.
  • Tropes Are Tools: Frequently invoked:
    • A common gag is to take a common cliche or plot device, then point out that with a little thought, you could come up with an interesting story to justify that cliche or play it in a new fashion, revealing that it actually has a lot of mileage and is just often used poorly... and then he tells you to not do that, and instead play all its worst aspects straight (sometimes he goes further saying that even that could be used cleverly, only to, once again, choose the worst way to execute that variation of the trope). For instance, in his video on comic relief characters, he notes that despite the archetype's habit of being loathsome, they can easily justify their presence with a solid development arc, show off that they're actually vital members of the cast, or contrast with the protagonist in a meaningful way... or they can just say the same annoying catchphrase over and over again, which is much easier.
    • "Power Fantasy" points out how people tend to have a negative impression of power fantasy, seeing it as Wish-Fulfillment, and that critics using the term power fantasy usually use it in a negative sense. However, a Freeze-Frame Bonus in the video shows some Honest Thoughts notes where JP states that the power fantasy isn't inherently good or bad, and is just one of several tools in a writer's toolbox.
  • True Art Is Angsty: invokedMocked in "Power Fantasy", when he brings up a false dilemma of how a work should be completely thoughtless indulgence in Rated M for Manly cheese, or pseudointellectual pretentious garbage that looks down on the very idea of imagination.
  • True Love Is Boring: "Mentors" suggests making the mentor character single, and any past relationships should be tragic mistakes. JP laughs at the idea of a healthy relationship, saying the protagonist needs a good role model.
  • Truth in Television: Despite being noted as clichéd and unrealistic, commenters have noted various writing tropes that not only do exist in Real Life, but also in greater quantity and/or scale.
    • "Megacorporations" are filled with comments that state real-life examples like the East India Trading Company. Not only that, corporations doing things for short-term profit that'll hurt them in the long run is actually extremely realistic despite being seen as a sign of bad writing in fiction. See: The AAA video game industry.
    • "War Stories" have a good chunk of the comments note many of the supposed writing flaws actually have basis in reality. Officers being ill-suited for their rank is very common throughout history and even in present day thanks to commission buying. Even the scenario where the officer in question is fresh out of college is a real thing in the US army due to the existence of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Veterans have even complained that practically every trope listed in the video is true.
  • The Unapologetic: "Apology Video Template" recommends not apologizing, and instead using excuses and emotional manipulation to try to get people to drop the matter.
  • Unexplained Recovery: In "Science-Fiction Weapons", the Ancient Conspirators come back to life despite the Dark Lord killing off the last of them in the previous episode. Their leader being mistaken for a ghost (even by people who never met him before) became a Running Gag.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Invoked in "Dark Lords," with one of the symptoms of evil concentrate being using a tragic backstory to justify heinous crimes.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: "Love Interests" recommends using this trope to milk a romantic subplot for all its worth.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: J.P. himself, as lampshaded in "Characterization":
    After all, it's not like over the course of many, many TWA episodes I have been characterized as petty, greedy, self-serving. short-sighted, insensitive, mean, ignorant, ruthless and all around about as trustworthy as a used-car salesman trying to sell you timeshares on Neptune
  • Values Dissonance: invoked
  • Vanilla Protagonist: invokedThis is a recurring archetype character that shows up in the videos:
    • He first appears in "Characterization", with the biography of "Generic Protagonist Person" even stating his favorite flavor is vanilla. They shouldn't have any character trait except that they are the protagonist.
    • He shows up in "Giant Monsters" and is titled "POV Drone", and despite not being a specialist of any kind, is allowed input on how to defeat the giant monster. He's added into the story so for the sake of having a character the audience can relate to. His only trait on his character profile is "Likes Vanilla as much as he lacks insight."
    • In "Isekai", JP points out that a writer who isn't Japanese might have trouble writing a Japanese protagonist. However, he then points out that Isekai protagonists are so generic that their nationality and culture are interchangeable.
    • "Urban Fantasy Reloaded" also advises making the protagonist a blank slate so readers can insert themselves into their shoes easier.
    • This trope is discussed in more detail in "Everyman Protagonist" episode. JP suggests that the main way everyman should be used is a shortcut to avoid writing more interesting characters. He also says that everyman can be really boring in return.
  • Viewers Are Morons:
    • This comes up in a lot of videos, as he discourages the writer from delving into deep themes or trying to be nuanced and to focus primarily on action scenes.
    • "Dark Lords" in particular has Beaubien shooting down the idea of a story exploring the concept of evil, saying philosophy is the mortal enemy of power fantasy and Wish-Fulfillment. He also says that if the story gets the audience to start thinking, they'll begin to have actual expectations for that story.
    • "Spies" recommends that the writer visualize their audience as bloodthirsty cavemen who talk in Hulk Speak.
    • "Symbolism, Themes, and Motifs" suggests making the themes super obvious and having a character in the story spell it out for the audience. JP even says this is because he's so smart and explaining it directly is the only way his braindead readers will understand how intelligent he is.
  • Vigilante Man: "Antiheroes" suggests this as a possibility for the antihero, but that the "justice" aspect of vigilantism should be downplayed. He should kill enough minions to fill an entire army and be okay with torturing people.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Defied in his "Environmentalism" video, since giving the villains a reasonable argument would undermine the protagonist's own arguments. Instead, he suggests making sure no one in the evil corporation is smart enough to realize that they need resources to make products, which allows them to employ people and grow the economy.
    • In "Isekai", the stock baron entices the Isekai protagonist to join his kingdom by giving him a harem of his own, pointing out that he can actually sleep with the girls in this harem. They also won't smack him for any Accidental Pervert moments like the girls in his current harem.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React:
    • "Intrigue Plots" suggests this dynamic, as it'll be entertaining watching the heroes endlessly react to everything no matter how dumb it makes them look.
    • It's also suggested in "Plotting a Story" that only the villain should drive the plot, symbolized by the sample Evil Overlord driving a car with some of the sample heroes as passengers, refusing to listen to their demands to stop and ask for directions.
  • Visual Pun:
    • In "Ending a story", the part where Beaubien discusses Cliffhangers has the Antihero literally hanging from a cliff above a pit.
    • The thumbnail for "Filler Arcs" depicts JP reaching into a barrel — in other words, getting bottom-of-the-barrel content for the filler arc.
  • Vocal Minority: invoked"Humor Writing" suggests writing your humor to please this demographic, even if the end result is seen as bland and generic by everyone else.
  • Voice of the Legion: Employed in "Cosmic Horror".
    Couch Gag: I kept summoning Cthulhu when recording the voiceover for this video.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: A good way to pad out the plot, according to "Filler Arcs" episode, is to throw a random encounter after another, if Fetch Quest seems too much trouble to make.
  • Warrior Poet: The "War Stories" video recommends having the characters pontificate on the nature of conflict and human existence in the middle of a firefight.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: In "Mentors" episode, JP gets hesitant of giving advice about mentors and technical difficulties screen shows up.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: "Villains" — or, more precisely, its sponsorship section — has some members of La Résistance get in a massive argument over how they should brand their organization.
  • Wham Line: Generally one at the end of every video revealing which villain has stolen the episode's sponsor now.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Invoked in "Cyberpunk" when Beaubien points out that humanity is enslaving androids with super strength.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • In "Revenge Plots", the protagonist should take the moral high ground by not killing the villain they were seeking revenge against. The mooks the protagonist killed don't count as people, and thus he still has the moral high ground despite standing on a mountain of skulls.
    • In "Evil Lackeys", it's stated that the protagonists are free to enact whatever acts of violence the author wants without any reflection, up to and including torture.
  • What You Are in the Dark: "Characterization" opens with Beaubien quoting the aphorism verbatim, and follows it up with "but money is what you will have in the bank if you can fake characterization".
  • While You Were in Diapers: "Holiday Specials" sees the representative of The Conspiracy diss the sci-fi evil emperor by saying "I was manipulating world governments back when your empire was still a city-state on planet backwater".
  • White Man's Burden: Gets referenced and defied during a background event in "Steampunk":
    Steampunk Hero: We shall strike out into the wild lands and civilize the savages!
    JP holds up a sign saying "Keep it PG-13"
    Steampunk Hero: Um...I mean explore for lost treasures or something.
  • Wine Is Classy: In "Noble Houses", a note reads: "Wine glass. Oh, yes, all nobles must sip wine for some reason!"
  • Wingding Eyes: Dead characters are depicted with their eyes replaced with X.
  • Wish-Fulfillment: Encourages this a lot, and very prominent in the "Magic Schools" video which he suggests using to indulge in your darkest revenge fantasies.
  • Worldbuilding: Frequently discussed and has it's own video on the subject. Both that video and the one on "steampunk" note that it's easy to get caught up in world building while other aspects of the story are neglected.
  • World of Snark: Even the characters that aren't voiced snark.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Invoked in "Magic Schools" where he suggests making The Bully a caricature of someone the author knows in real life.
    • In "Power Fantasy", JP says that a hero sidetracking plot to beat up a professor who gave him a worse grade.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants:
    • invokedAccording to the "Intrigue Plots" episode, this is the best way to write an intrigue plot, rather than a writer detailing a plan in their personal notes.
    • Discussed in Plotting a Story episode. Notes discuss how those leaning into discovery writer's side tend to write better characterization and have easier time keeping characters consistent. J.P., however, suggest leaning towards this to the extent that the plot just goes on and on without progress.
  • X Days Since: When Beaubien is listing the stock horror games settings in "Survival Horror", the secret government research facility is illustrated by the drawing of a blood-splatted wall bearing a sign reading "Congratulations — It's been 0 days since our own experiments have escaped and slaughtered all of the staff!"
  • Yaoi Fangirl: The "Slash Fic Writer" in "Antiheroes" is a woman who very clearly doesn't care about the plausibility of an M/M pairing, just how hot she thinks it is.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: The framing device of the "Holiday Special" episodes, including lampshading how overused this is.
  • You Are What You Hate: Played for laughs. JP makes repeated mentions of hating the average comic relief character in various episodes, however during the ending of the "Comic Relief Characters" video, he has this realization.
    JP: How can anyone find my comic relief character boring? Just because he has an irritating voice, reuses the same lame gags over-and over again, wore out that catch phrase a long time ago, refers to decades-old unfunny jokes, and then has the gall to end on a self-deprecating punchline!
    *JP looks in a mirror and sees a reflection of the "Comic Relief" character*
    JP:... wait a minute...
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Recommended in "Cosmic Horror", since it saves the author from having to actually describe the Eldritch Abomination.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Discourages agency from anyone who isn't a main character, as the universe will only allow The Chosen One to bring about changes to their world.
  • You Have Failed Me: "Evil Lackeys" notes that this is a useful way of showing how evil a bad guy can be and can be repeated many times as needed without bringing up the question of why minions will continue following a leader who kills them on a whim for reasons other than fear.
  • You're Just Jealous: "Taking Criticism" recommends rebutting critics this way.
  • YouTuber Apology Parody: "Apology Video Template" explores how to make an apology in the show's typical, sarcastic style.
  • Zerg Rush: "Fantasy Battles" has the recurring antihero character recommend this tactic.
  • Zombie Gait: He notes that the most important question to ask yourself when thinking about writing a zombie story is whether or not your zombies are capable of running, because for some reason this issue is Serious Business. (He eventually resolves that you should have your zombies move and act however quickly is convenient and change the rules constantly.)
    The Terrible Writing Advice Expanded Universe 
  • Advertising-Only Continuity: The series only exists so that JP can advertise his videos' sponsors.
  • The All-Solving Hammer: The Knights of Artistic Integrity respond to every threat by issuing a stern warning.
  • Animation Bump: The series at large, including the TWAEU, generally has limited animation consisting of characters making static poses. This is not the case during the segment from "Being Original", for which Greed has actual animation, lip-sync, and even some bounce physics for his short Hair Antennae when walking.
    General Chainsaw: "Oh no! He's... fully animated."
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The power that the Sponsorship Wars segments unleash turns out to be a personification of Greed itself incarnated in the form of J.P.
  • Anti-Climax: Played for laughs and deliberately invoked during the advertisement at the end of "Myths, Legends, and Gods", where the Knight of Artistic Integrity tries to tell everyone to stop doing advertisements. Every villain is here, ready to fight and get the ad reading for themselves, but the Knight does it himself by accident and the villains steal the ad while the Knight is distracted. The only people left behind are the Cthulhu Cultists who are still standing there holding their baked goods.
  • Balkanize Me: The Federation senate’s response to Greed proclaiming that his sponsorships will make everyone in the Federation rich is to break it up and found their own successor states where they can still lord over the commoners.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The Knights of Artistic Integrity are a case of this, existing to vocally oppose the sponsorship that Beaubien places in his videos.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Lovemaking Scenes" not getting a sponsorship turns out to be plot-relevant during the episode that follows "Reboots Rebooted", as the party takes shelter near it. Advertisers being averse to pornography-adjacent material leads to that video being the only safe haven as an ad-pocalypse happens.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Knight of Artistic Integrity: We are the Knights of Artistic Integrity! And we have come to stop you from selling out!
    CEO of Megacorp: What's this integrity thing? And how much can you sell it for?
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: The representative of the Knights of Artistic Integrity talks like this.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Most of the heroes don't have any focus, instead the screentime is shared by the various villainous archetypes of the TWA universe.
  • Gambit Pileup: The TWA Expanded Universe is basically this, with various villains battling to win control of the sponsors.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: The Knights of Artistic Integrity are described as "look[ing] like a Renaissance Fair got raided by anarcho-communists".
  • Obvious Judas: invokedThe tendency for Obviously Evil characters that are newly introduced to the heroes to be this trope is lampshaded during the episode that follows "Everyman Protagonists": "The traitor could be any one of us! Except for Sir Newguy of course. He seems like the trustworthy sort."
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Inner Greed has a device to enable his animation, locked behind an AI that asks Ancient Conspirator for a password before he can proceed. Ancient Conspirator's first guess is "password one", which gets him in.
  • Perspective Flip: The skit for "Player's Handbook" has the Dark Lord and other villains imprisoned by the Sci-Fi emperor. They end up spouting stock phrases to the emperor that they are used to hearing from the heroes, and feel awkward saying them.
    Dark Lord: You fiend! Oh, that did not feel right at all.
    Cult Leader: We will stop you! You know, Dark Lord, you're right. That does feel weird.
  • Product Placement: Every part of the TWAEU advertises the video's sponsor.
  • Rousing Speech: The segment of "Leader Characters" has a genuine case, where Sir Adblock gives the Commander of the Knights of Artistic Integrity a speech about how they shouldn't give up against Greed because fighting against the odds to try and change the world for the better is what having integrity is all about.
  • Running Gag: The Ancient Conspirator appears to the characters using his hologram technology, only for everyone to call him a ghost (including characters from Science Fiction settings)note  much to his annoyance.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: After "Media Literacy for Writers" ex-General Chainsaw finds out that the military doesn't have much reason to follow an officer who repeatedly got them killed with his stupid tactics in pointless wars once he's no longer part of the chain of command, especially when he wants them to perform an illegal Military Coup.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: When the General gets thrown into jail, Greed's face shows up on a monitor in the cell. Right when the General is about to hurl a threat at him, Greed interjects and tells him to not bother responding, since the message is prerecorded.

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Terrible Writing Advice

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