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

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

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

Check it out here.


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Overly Sarcastic Productions contains examples of:

  • Achilles in His Tent: Featuring the Trope Namer in a sulky blanket burrito in his tent.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite her overall "eh" opinion on the Percy Jackson series, Red is willing to admit that Percy himself is a very well written protagonist.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: When Blue describes the individuals in Bolgia 4:
    Blue: There are no depths to which these depraved deadbeats won't dive!
    Red: (in the background) Woo! Alliteration!
  • Adorkable: Red and Blue, when they get really passionate about the work or point in history they're talking about.
  • Affably Evil: Several creatures in Hell. The Minotaur, the Centaurs, and the Biblical Giant particularly stand out.
  • A Hell of a Time: In Dante's Inferno, Paris's punishment for being lustful in life ... is to be trapped with all the most beautiful and lustful women in history.
  • Advertisement:
  • Almost Dead Guy: Lampshaded when Red talks about The Dunwich Horror, as Old Whateley provides a full-blown Exposition Dump while on his death-bed.
  • And I Must Scream: How Lancelot feels about becoming a monk.
  • Angrish: Menelaus is like this all the time.
  • Animesque: The channel's art style is heavily influenced by chibi, featuring cute, Moe-esque characters. The Journey To The West series affectionately parodies all manner of trope-laden shonen anime.
  • Answer Cut: During the Aeneid, King Latinus is informed in a dream that he should marry his daughter Lavinia to a "very specific foreigner". Cut to Aeneas eating pizza on the beach.
  • Asexuality: Red is ace, thought it's rarely brought up. It's often speculated that some mythological figures are asexual.
  • Bare Your Midriff: In Frankenstein, the wife that the monster asks Victor to make for him is dressed in this.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Discontent with real women, who do things like talk and have sex, Pygmalion creates Galatea and then, unhappy with her inability to return his affections, begs Aphrodite to bring her to life.
    Red: So now she can do things like talk! And have sex!
    [Pygmalion stares at the fourth wall, then sidelong at Galatea, looking queasy]
    Red: You kids have fun!
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Saint Bernard in The Paradiso is portrayed by a dog of that breed.
  • Big "WHY?!": Red does one of these when she finds out Odysseus's faithful hunting dog dies the moment he returns to his house in The Odyssey.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Hyacinthus is described as being “really pretty”.
    • Alcibiades is described as being "indisputably the most attractive man in the ancient world". He's even portrayed as Henry Cavill with Anime Eyes.
  • The Blank: Whenever Red refers to the person watching the video (EG by saying "You might be thinking..." or something to that effect), a stock character, representing the viewer, is shown. It's a standard character model in the show's art style with the word "YOU" written across it's chest. It's face only has eyebrows and a mouth, since Red has no idea what the viewer looks like.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Victor Frankenstein's little brother William.
    William Frankenstein: (to the monster) You, sir, are ugly and therefore morally reprehensible.
  • Broken Ace: Edgar Allen Poe had everything; Parental Abandonment, financial ruin, alcoholism, a dead wife, and an appropriately mysterious death at age 40. He also did most of the work of creating the gothic literary genre.
  • Bury Your Gays: In Dante's Inferno, Dante sees his teacher in Hell for being gay.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Character Shilling: Invoked by Red on Oskar Sommer's Galahad becoming a Christian ideal hero.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: The queen of faries quips that if she had known that Tam Lin would fall in love with a mortal girl named Bonnie Janet, she'd have petrified his eyes.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Red has red eyes and Blue has blue eyes.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The souls in College Hell are subjected to a range of bizarre punishments:
    • The punishment for the souls trapped in the First Circle (Limbo) is to simply not to go to college.
    • Those in the Second Circle (Lust) are punished by being hit on by a creepy person in a frat party for all eternity.
    • Souls in the Third Circle (Gluttony) are forced to eat nothing but dining hall food for the rest of time.
    • People in the Fourth Circle (Greed) are doomed to an eternity of working as a fry cook at Burger King.
    • Souls in the Fifth Circle (Wrath) are forced to stress and study forever. And if they ever take their eyes off their work, they instantly forget everything.
    • Those in the Sixth Circle (Heresy) hold office hours in burning cubicles forever.
    • Each of the three rings in the Seventh Circle (Violence) has a different punishment:
      • In the first ring (Violence Against Neighbors), these souls are forced to remain in their rooms with the sprinklers going off for the rest of time.
      • In the second ring (Violence Against Self), people are transformed into expensive textbooks.
      • In the third ring (Violence Against God, Art, and Nature), souls are forced to wear sweaters from rival universities and deal with the social consequences forever.
    • The Eighth Circle (Fraud) a.k.a the Malabolge has a number of punishments:
      • Bolgia 1 (Pandering): Those who refuse to contribute in group projects are forced to drag huge boulders around in a twisted infinite relay race.
      • Bolgia 2 (Flattery): Teacher's pets who endlessly kiss up to their professors are turned into actual pets.
      • Bolgia 3 (Simony): Those who sign up for prime-time class slots and sell them back for ridiculous prices are sentenced to eternal 8:00 am classes, and are also upside down and on fire.
      • Bolgia 4 (Sorcery): Those who try to cheat their own futures by procuring previous years' study material are doomed to always using the wrong study guides.
      • Bolgia 5 (Graft): Those who try and line up "business opportunities" with other students are sentenced to the worst job interview ever. They are unprepared, their suit is uncomfortable, one of their pockets is falling off, one of their shoes is brown and the other is black, and they spend the entire time hoping that the interviewer doesn't notice (but he does).
      • Bolgia 6 (Hypocrisy): Students who start off squeaky-clean and starry-eyed but wind up completely trashing their work ethic after a single semester are forced to explain their deteriorating grades to their parents over an eternally awkward dinner. Plus, they smell of weed the entire time, which tips off the parents right away.
      • Bolgia 7 (Theft): Criminals who callously steal unattended laptops in the library are doomed to an eternity of being hunted by Liam Neeson.
      • Bolgia 8 (Deception): The jerks who lie to their friends during housing by saying that they'll all stick together but leave to get a single all by themselves find themselves in the absolute worst room on campus: no outlets work, there's a sprinkler directly over their bed, the windows don't open, and the room permanently smells of pee. It's also right next to the RA's room and walls are paper-thin, and the neighbors on the other side are constantly having sex. Their roommate also has a significant other who never leaves and has the worst laugh.
      • Bolgia 9 (Schism): Gossipers who never stop spreading lies suddenly find themselves being gossiped about.
      • Bolgia 10 (Forgery): Those who plagiarize their work have the words they stole permanently and repeatedly branded on their skin.
    • And finally, the souls in the Ninth Circle (Treachery) are each subjected to a different punishment:
      • Round 1 (Traitors to their Kindred): People who spend all their parents' money are frozen in the nearest body of water.
      • Round 2 (Traitors to their Country): Those who leave their clothes in the washing machine for hours on end are subjected to a fitting punishment: being trapped in a washing machine with many other souls, as well as someone's laundry.
      • Round 3 (Traitors to their Guests): Those who make out with their significant other excessively while the roommate is still in the room (it doesn't matter if the roommate is asleep or not) are sentenced to be naked forever.
      • Round 4 (Traitors to their Lords): The people who are mean to their teachers are doomed to drown in the school's tuition vault while the university president watches and laughs.
  • Corrupt Church:
    • In Dante's Inferno, Dante places Pope Nicholas III in Hell. Nicholas III proceeds to complain about Pope Boniface VIII and Pope Clement V.
    • Blue discusses some pretty awful popes (including the aforementioned Boniface VIII) in his "Pope Fights" video.
  • Crack Fic: Red calls the Divine Comedy this at a few points.
  • Curse Cut Short: Happens a few times, especially in earlier videos:
    • Book 11 of the Iliad gives us this glorious example.
    • Odysseus' reaction to his crewmates getting turned into pigs by Circe.
    • The punishment for souls in the fourth circle of Hell is... confusing, to say the least, but Virgil cuts off Dante's protest before he can say anything too sacrilegious.
  • Cute Monster Girl: In Frankenstein's Monster, Victor thinks this much.
    The Monster: "She [the wife he asked Victor to create] didn't need to be reproduction-capable!"
    Victor: "Only a fool makes a monster you can't fu-"
  • Death Trap: The protagonist of "The Pit in the Pendulum" is placed in two of these by the Inquisition. Rats save him in the first one, the French Army saves him in the second one.
  • Depending on the Writer: Red states that the characters of Lancelot, Guinevere, and Arthur depend on whether Lancelot or Arthur are the hero of the story. If Lancelot is the hero then he and Guinevere are justified in their affair and Arthur is painted as deserving to be cheated on. If Arthur is the hero then Lancelot becomes a selfish Ungrateful Bastard.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In Frankenstein's Monster, Victor refuses to create a wife for the unnamed monster he created because he fears they'll produce an entire brood of monsters. Red mentions that Victor could have just made the monster's bride barren, but Victor doesn't consider this option.
    • In Pygmalion's story Red points out the downfall of Galatea's existence and becoming human. Pygmalion has extremely high standards with women and the only "woman" who met his standards was handcrafted by him. Galatea coming to life contradicts the very purpose of her existence.
    • In "Hou Yi and Chang'e," the archer god Hou Yi and his wife are banished for killing 9/10 of the Jade Emperor's sons-turned-suns.
      Red: The Jade Emperor is shocked—shocked, I tell you!—that the arrow guy he commissioned to shoot arrows shot arrows at the people he pointed them at.
      Hou Yi: Look, I don't know what you were expecting.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: At the end of the Edgar Allen Poe episode, Blue makes some puns. Red finds this annoying ... and so walls Blue up in catacombs to suffocate. Don't worry, though- the ninjas broke him out.
  • Double Standard: Majorly brought up in the Trope Talk of Mary Sue, where Red points out that female characters tend to get the accusation a lot more than male characters. Specifically, while it's true that male characters are often referred to as this, the threshold for a female character getting the label seems to be "plays an important role and has any kind of unusual ability or skill."
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Red does not approve of Selene using a permanently slumbering Endymion to have 50 kids.
    Red: Whoa! Not cool lady! He's asleep!
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Discussed in the Titus Andronicus video, where Red explains that some people have a hard time believing that this play was actually written by William Shakespeare.
    Red: Shakespeare, the man who made a three-day fling between underage teenagers the most iconic love story in history. The man who explored the tortured psyche of kings and princes driven to murder. The poet who practically defined half of our modern character archetypes over the course of his career —that’s the guy who supposedly wrote this two hour pointless gore fest.
  • Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: The possible meanings of "Pryderi" — "worry," "concern," and "I'm going to strangle those handmaidens for telling everyone I ate you."
    Red: It's a language of many beautiful complexities.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Blue considers "the Great" to be a terrible nickname because of its blandness. His rationale is that the heroes in Greek Mythology always have unique and descriptive epithets to describe people (Homer giving his Heroes five each), so "the Great" is underwhelming for someone who conquered more land in one lifetime than any Greek person before him. Blue suggests "Alexander who fights in the Front Line", "Alexander the Excellent", "Alexander the Horseman", and "Alexander the Conqueror" as more appropriate nicknames.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: They discuss the trope and note how undeserved it is. They point out that the two questionable things he did was kidnap his wife (common for Gods, and by all accounts he treated her well) and imprison two Greek Heroes (who deserved it).
  • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Asu-shu-namir, an intersex person created by Ea, is able to rescue Ishtar by seducing Ereshkigal. Subverted in that Ereshkigal cursed gender non-binary people to be outcasts in retaliation, and double subverted in that Ishtar gave them the gifts of healing and prophecy to counterbalance this.
  • Evil Counterpart: Inverted with Galahad. He's a GOOD counterpart to his biological father Lancelot. This is most obvious during the quest for the Holy Grail; while Lancelot is forced out of the room by a ball of fire because he is unworthy of seeing the grail, Galahad is carried up to Heaven alive once he touches the grail.
    Red: Galahad is basically Lancelot but better. Like "not sleeping with another man's wife" better.
  • Fainting: Dante does this a lot in The Divine Comedy.
  • False Start: The Beowulf episode begins with a history of Hrothgar's family tree, which features several guys named Beowulf. Red discusses each, building all of them up to be the real deal, only to stop each one with a record scratch and say it's not the titular Beowulf. It's only after the person watching the video shows up and complains that Red is taking too long to talk about the real one that she finally gets to him.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in the first April Fool’s Day special. Red addresses the criticism that she talks too fast and leaves out important details, so she intends to correct those — while summarizing Les Misérables. She doesn’t make it past the first few pages describing Madame Baptistine.
  • Five-Man Band: Red discusses the trope, with the non-gender-specific Heart substituted in for The Chick.
  • Flat "What.": Red has one of these when she discovers how Dante describes God's true form in The Paradiso. It's three rings surrounding a book surrounded itself by rainbows. Rings surrounding a Reading Rainbow as it were.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Red mentions in one video how there's evidence that Cerberus means "spotted"note , which means that Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, named his enormous three-headed hellhound Spot.
  • Forgot About His Powers: In a somewhat silly case, Thor seemingly leaves his "magic, goat-drawn chariot at home," and then proceeds to get stuck on the edge of a turbulent river. This is somehow challenging to the Norse god, which forces him to argue with a ferryman to get across.
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall: In the Beowulf episode, the viewer appears as a character, chewing Red out for taking so long to talk about the real Beowulf.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The animated episodes are full of these.
  • Freudian Excuse: Red describes H.P. Lovecraft thusly at the start of the 2018 Halloween video.
    Red: It would be inaccurate to describe Howard Phillips Lovecraft as "a man with issues". It's more like he was a bundle of issues shambling around in a roughly-bipedal approximation of a man. Chronically depressed, hyper-sensitive to criticism, almost-certainly agoraphobic, prone to horrible nightmares and nervous breakdowns, and thoroughly racist even by the standards of the time, it'd be easy to come to the conclusion that H.P. Lovecraft was simply afraid of everything. But this isn't true either - he was just afraid of anything that wasn't his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Funny Background Event: Blue going Super Saiyan in the background after Red finally says "bolgia" correctlynote .
  • God-Mode Sue:
    • Invoked in Trope Talk, where Red points out that Beowulf is one by pretty much any definition, as part of a thesis of why the Mary Sue is an overstated or overhated trope.
    • Both Mwindo and the Monkey King from Journey to the West are this, but both being way O.P. are a part of the lesson being told by their respective myths.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery:
    • In Dante's Inferno, one woman is in Hell because she cheated on her abusive husband with his brother and both were executed. Yet despite her being in Hell, Dante feels sorry for her.
    • In "Legends Summarized: King Arthur", this is discussed with Guinevere and Lancelot's relationship. Chrétien de Troyes, who created Lancelot, painted his affair with Guinevere as morally rightous and something that makes them both more sympathetic (as the ideas of Courtly Love and Love For Love's Sake were popular in his time). Later on Oskar Sommer, who created Galahad and the quest for the Holy Grail, paints Lancelot and Guinevere's relationship as a vile sin and a betrayel of Arthur's trust (as a religious revival made Love For Love's Sake no longer acceptable). Modern renditions can go either way, though Red herself seems to be on the "adultery is bad" side.
  • Good Is Not Nice: This is Red's take on Hades. He's a loving husband to Persephone, and altogether commits less cruelty than his contemporaries, but as Pirithous and Sisyphus can tell you upsetting him is still a very bad idea.
  • Good Name For A Rock Band: The Odyssey gives us "Penelope and the Suitors".
    • The Kali video gives us "Durga and the Matrikas".
    • Quetzalcoatl gave us a possible name for a tabletop RPG set in feudal Japan - "Katanas and Kimonos".
  • Halloween Episode: There have been four annual Halloween videos so far. In each one, Red talks about a well-known piece of gothic literature, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, several poems by Edgar Allan Poe, and several stories by H.P. Lovecraft.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Both Blue and Red, who are only ever represented by their avatars outside of their two Q&A videos. Red has a quick appearance in her Trope Talk “Writing What You Know”, and later on, both of them did entire video without their animated equivalents in the 2018 April Fools Day special.
  • Here We Go Again!: "The Journey Of Ra" has Ra travel across the sky every day, die, and travel through the underworld as a corpse before being reborn every morning and repeating the cycle over again.
  • Hide Your Gays: Parodied. While Patroclus appeals to Achilles to help out the Greeks, Achilles is overcome by "brotherly affection". This is, of course, immediately followed by THREE close-ups of their faces to the tune of "Careless Whisper".
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Persephone falls for Sisyphus' ruse and allows him to return to the world of the living, even though he has a reputation for murdering guests.
  • Hot Teacher: Red admits in the Eros and Psyche video that she saw her Greek studies teacher as "absolutely gorgeous" with a "beautiful accent" and having the most "piercing of eyes".
  • Ho Yay: Invoked Red notes that Lancelot and Galehaut have a really close relationship, with the latter surrendering to King Arthur just to be friends with Lancelot.
    Arthur: If you surrender, I'll introduce you.
    Galehaut: DEAL.
  • Kubrick Stare: Monkey delivers a pretty epic one to Pigsy in Journey to the West: Part 3.
  • Les Yay:
    • Red also notes that when researching her video on Fionn Mac Cumhaill, she couldn’t find anything specific about the exact nature of the relationship between the title character’s female guardians. So goes on to refer to them as “fighter mom” and “druid mom”.
    • Later discussed in her video on the myth of the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu, which she reads as an almost literal Coming-Out Story. See the entry for "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer for details.
    • Averted with Artemis. Red points out that, while Artemis did swear of men, she didn't really show any preference for women either, and argues that she may have been asexual. If you manage to look past the Author Appeal, it's a valid point.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Izanagi lets loose a stream of fire-related puns after Kagu-tsuchi is born, completely oblivious to the fact that Izanami is dying right in front of him.
  • Hype Backlash: In-Universe, Red claimed to have been surprised to find that Momotaro was a popular story, pointing out that "not a whole lot happens, there's hardly any drama, and Momotaro just kind of... wins." She ultimately concludes that the story owes a lot of its fame to the fact that its narrative of a newcomer underdog of blessed origin resolving the bickering of his underlings to take on a distant enemy and return with fortune and fame was a narrative that Imperial Japan found quite appealing.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Both Apollo and Zephyr fall in love with Spartan prince, Hyacinthus. Zephyr then kills Hyacinthus by blowing a discus into his head for choosing Apollo over him.
  • I Let You Win: Invoked with their telling of the story of Atalanta, where she figured out early on what Hippomenes was doing with the golden apples, but liked him well enough that she deliberately threw the race.
    Of course you could say that Atalanta was totally captivated by the allure of the golden apples, unintentionally kneecapped herself as a result, and got married out of a bout of shockingly out-of-character stupidity and ended up without a say in who her husband was. But like, why would you WANT to? It's up to interpretation and that interpretation is gross.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Achilles and Paris are in the Second Circle of Hell, which means he's in a windy place with all the beautiful and lustful women in History. While Paris is staring at them eagerly, Achilles just awkwardly points out that this isn't his kind of party.
  • Interactive Narrator: Appears in Red's videos on the Divine Comedy occasionally, when the characters react to an Incredibly Lame Pun.
  • It's All About Me: Red accuses Victor from "Frankenstein's Monster" of being extremely selfish, and she has a good point. Victor almost never considers how his actions might adversely affect others. Red goes so far as to say that Victor crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he lets Justine get executed for a crime she didn't commit, simply because he doesn't want to face consequences for creating the monster that's actually responsible.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Downplayed in "Trope Talk: Magic". While she doesn't actually mention this, she does mention how the Masquerade being upheld would have the implication that magic users were allowing atrocities they could have prevented.
    Wizard (speaking to a grieving woman): "Yes, yes, very sorry to hear about your mundane family, but you know the rules. They'll just have to sort out this "kitler" fellow themselves."
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: This happens in too many myths to count and is often how heroes are conceived.
  • Masquerade: In "Trope Talk: Magic", Red deconstructs this trope by pointing out how poorly it reflects on the magic users and how implausible it is that this secret would be kept.
    Red: "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead and the third can only speak in spoonerisms."
  • Metaphorically True: Agamemnon argues that "from a certain point of view" he did arrange Iphigenia's marriage... to the war effort. Clytemnestra doesn't buy it.
  • Mythology Gag: Where does the founder of Rome order pizza from? Little Caesar's, of course!
  • No Fourth Wall: To be expected, as Red and Blue are talking to their viewers.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Queen Dido's suicide, burning herself alive and stabbing herself with Aeneus' own sword.
  • Nominal Hero: Red interprets Aeneas as one, noting that he doesn't actually accomplish much, comes across as "a bit of a knobhead", and does many of the same things the story condemns the Greeks for doing. She suggests this may have been a Writer Revolt on the part of Virgil, since Aeneas is pretty similar to Augustus, and plenty of scholars believe Virgil wasn't a fan of the guy.
  • Nonindicative Name: Red comments that "Inferno" is an odd name for a story about Hell, considering that only a few of the circles are on fire and the worst ones are frozen.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*:
    Hyacinthus: [dying from a head injury] No more peanuts for me, stewardess.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Red concludes that it was Lovecraft's fear of the unknown (read: virulent xenophobia and distrust of modern science) that's led his work to endure for so long, even as Society and Science marching on preclude his specific fears.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever reason Blue became an atheist...he really doesn’t want to talk about it.
  • The Nothing After Death: Limbo, the first circle of Hell and the only one without suffering.
  • Not in the Face!: Blue shouts this when Red kicks him for interrupting her video on The Aeneid.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Red assures us that she is neither joking nor exaggerating upon revealing that the plan that ends up successfully luring Amaterasu out of the cave she's been sulking in is to get Ame-no-Uzume, the goddess of fun, partying, and the dawn, to do a striptease.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In their Trope Talk about The Hero's Journey, Blue walks in after apparently fighting off a horde of ninjas. Then in the final moments of the video, Red returns from her own quest, boon and all.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Red has never revealed her actual given name, Blue on the other hand has been called Gregory on several occasions, and if you go looking for his book "Philisophical Phridays" his last name is listed as Kerr.
  • Parental Incest: Heavily implied in Paradise Lost, as the ones guarding the gates of Hell are Satan's daughter Sin and his son/grandson Death, to which Red says "Really, don't ask, it's gross."
  • Power Echoes: Powerful deities have a noticeable echo effect to their voices.
  • Punished for Sympathy: In Dante's Inferno, Virgil chews out Dante for feeling sympathy for the the magicians whose heads are backwards.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Red's hair can basically double as a full-body blanket for her avatar. Live-action videos reveal that her hair really is that long.
  • Record Needle Scratch: One of these occurs when Blue is caught singing along to the Skyrim theme in his video on vikings.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Red, who walled Blue up in a catacomb to suffocate ... twice.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Invoked. Dante used his story to put all the people he hated in Hell. Of special mention are the heroes from Greek Mythology, because Dante was an Italian (who are descended from the Romans, who are descended from the Trojans, whom the Greeks wiped out during the Trojan War).
  • Running Gag: Red constantly pronouncing "bolgia" wrong in the College Hell video, much to the frustration of Blue.
    • "Hey kid, you like proving yourself?" "Do I!" pops up whenever someone sends a young hero off on a dangerous task in the hopes of getting them killed (which almost always backfires.)
    • In early episodes, Blue decided that any video pertaining to an empire will include the Star Wars crawl.
    • The "Comment Kaiju" from Trope Talk.
    • In the episode "The Journey Of Ra", the running gag is snakes.
    • "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Kiss From a Rose" tend to play lot in the background during romantic moments.
    • "Careless Whisper" and "Guy Love" for moments of Ho Yay.
    • "Paradise Lost" has Red explaining Satan's rebellion as Daddy Issues.
    • “ENORMOUS F**K-YOU DRAGON!” is said whenever such a creature appears in a story that Red is summarizing.
    • Blue occasionally explains actions surrounding Sparta's prestige simply by saying "I mean, come on, they're Sparta, you know?"
    • Red is pretty annoyed by how utterly useless and Out of Focus the horse is in Journey to the West is, at one point grinding the video to a halt to rant at him about how, being a river dragon, he could've easily overcome the pilgrims' obstacle of getting across a troublesome river that Sha Wujing was hiding under.
    • Parties are depicted as raves with flashing colored lights and deep bass techno music thumping.
    • Throughout the H.P. Lovecraft video, Red offers various suggestions for what the "H.P." stands for, including "Horrible Phobias" and "Hippo Potamus". Later in the segment covering "The Colour Out of Space", the mysterious color unlike any seen on Earth! complete with Scare Chord. So many times that Red starts cutting herself off.
    • Frequent use of the Metal Gear Solid "Alert!" sound when a character is startled.
  • Sadly Mythcharacterized: A few times, usually to provide a Lighter and Softer alternative interpretation of a myth:
    • Amaterasu and the Cave: Other interpretations of the myth portray Ama No Uzume's striptease with different motives and results: to pique Amaterasu's curiosity as to what all the hubbub is about and seeing herself reflected in the mirror, thus thinking they are cheering her on, or having Amaterasu hear all the uproar over Uzume's dance making her wonder why all the gods could make so merry without her divine light, and stepping out to see what could be replacing her so easily. Red offers an alternate interpretation: that Amaterasu comes out of the cave due to all the ruckus, and once she does so, she finds Uzume's striptease attractive.
    • Atalanta: Ignoring a common interpretation, that Atalanta was distracted by the golden apples, in favor of Atalanta playing along with Hippomenes' plot and letting him win.
    • She points out that, as a personal preference, she prefers the interpretation that Hades and Persephone actually were in love, and the whole myth was more a case of Demeter throwing a tantrum.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Red takes certain artistic liberties in concerning how mythological creatures are depicted, likely to make them easier to draw or less gruesome. A notable example of this is the Chimera, which is somewhat different from its depiction on ancient greek art.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Alcibiades' reaction to his fleet losing horribly, verbatim.
  • Self-Insert Fic: How Red basically describes The Divine Comedy due to it being about Dante teaming up with his idol Virgil.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Frequently invoked in the summary of The Aeneid, with Red practically making a Running Gag out of the number of times Virgil rips off a scene or setpiece from one of Homer's works.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Aphrodite, who started the Trojan War because she refused to let a little thing like Helen already being married get in the way of shipping her with Paris. She also had a hand in making sure Hippomenes x Atalanta, Pygmalion x Galatea, and Aeneas x Dido all set sail. She emphatically does NOT ship Eros x Psyche, however.
    • Victor Frankenstein's mother ships him with his foster sister Elizabeth, and pushes them together on her deathbed.
  • Show Within a Show: Frankenstein takes this Up to Eleven.
    Red: "So if you're keeping track, that's an exhaustive life story note  inside another exhaustive life story note  that poor Captain Walton is transcribing in it's entirety to mail to his sister.
    • The monster listens to and recounts the life story of a family he was following, adding yet another layer to this.
  • Shout-Out: Now has its own page.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Captain Walton finally meets the monster in Frankenstein, he isn't sympathetic in the slightest after learning about how said monster murdered three innocent people.
  • Silent Snarker: Helen of Troy is this when she gets kidnapped by Theseus as a twelve year old, flipping Theseus off and glaring at Pirithous for being stupid enough to try and kidnap Persephone.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Apophis is an exaggerated example of this trope in "The Journey of Ra", as every single night he attempts to eat Ra and end the world. Subverted with every other snake in this myth (of which there are many), who are shown to be neutral at worst and benevolent at best.
  • Space Whale Aesop: If you're gender non-binary then you have the gift of prophecy, Ishtar loves you, and the queen of Hell thinks you're hot.
  • Speech-Bubbles Interruption: May double as a Curse Cut Short, depending on your definition of 'curse'. In the Poetic Edda, Odin tells Agnar stories about the Aesir, telling him about the time Loki tied a goat to his testicles. Of course, the fire pillars next to him cut off the final word.
  • Squishy Wizard: Circe says she has "like two hit points" when Odysseus pulls a sword on her in The Odyssey.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: When Dante and Virgil encounter a man with his eyes sewn shut in The Purgatorio, Red gives a sudden loud scream. Doubles as a pretty effective Jump Scare as well.
  • Suicide Is Shameful:
    • In Dante's Inferno, those who commit suicide go to Hell and are turned into trees. A demon rips their leaves off just to make them suffer further.
    • Subverted with Ajax. When the titular hero commits suicide over being tricked by Odysseus and Athena, two of his former friends demand he be dishonored and denied a proper burial. Odysseus insists Ajax be buried. While narrating this story, Blue openly shows contempt for the two people who oppose burying Ajax.
  • Take That!: The Beowulf video has a quick one to the film, where the infamous "naked golden Angelina Jolie" interpretation of Grendel's Mother appears for about half a second, before being stomped into a gold puddle by the actual Grendel's Mother.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Osiris.
  • Too Many Halves: In her examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Red describes Cthulhu as a "half-human, half-octopus, half-dragon thing".
  • Unreliable Narrator: The protagonist of "The Tell-Tale Heart".
    • Red in the "Legends Summarised: Underworld" video establishes the structure of these myths, then it turns out only one in the video follows it.
    Red I am such a reliable narrator.
  • Values Dissonance: invoked
    • The source of Red’s discomfort with The Taming Of The Shrew, the Greek myth of Pandora, and the final act of The Oresteia. Thoroughly discussed in their video on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, who Red remarks was racist even by the standards of his own time.
    • Don Quixote both averts and plays the trope straight. While she's pleasantly surprised at the modern feminism shown in the story, she's wide-eyed mortified at Sancho Panza thinking he could get rich selling African slaves.
      Red: OKAY!!!!!
  • Villainous Incest: Blue talks about the Borgia Family (and how Lucretia Borgia had sex with her father and brother), and about the Ptolemy Family (which involves numerous generations of brother-sister inbreeding). Blue finds these incestuous relationships weird and wrong.
  • Visual Pun: In The Paradiso video Red decides to represent one of the Saints as a Big, Friendly Dog, namely Bernard.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Red has pointed out before that Acrisius, Aphrodite, and Hera could've easily just killed the person that was troubling them. Those people being Danae (and by extension, Perseus), Psyche, and Heracles, respectively.
  • Wife Husbandry: Theseus kidnapped Helen of Troy when she was a child with the intention of doing this. Red does not approve.

Overly Sarcastic Productions discusses the following tropes:

  • The Chosen One: Red talks about this trope in one of her videos, along with It Sucks to Be the Chosen One and The Poorly Chosen One.
  • Damsel in Distress: Red discusses this trope and even admits that she is a huge fan of this trope, despite being very tomboyish. While she is not a fan of the classical damsel who are non-characters, she is a fan of when an established characters are the damsels. She does note that the big issue of the trope is the "damsel mindset" where the character in distress is helpless like the classical damsel and the result of the writer forgetting about who the distressed character is. She is a fan of it because of the dynamic of how the trope is handled and seeing the distressed needing help. It also overlaps with Damsel out of Distress, Badass in Distress, Distress Ball, etc.
  • Darker and Edgier: Red does take issue with people who use "Realism" as shorthand for "Grimdark" since it runs on the misconception that making things realistic means trying to make things as dark and depressing as possible even when it causes the story to be (well) unrealistic.
  • The Empire: This shows a foil to the Heroes as well as a large obstacle to overcome, but most of the time The Empire is not well thought-out and the aftermath of overthrowing it gets ignored.
  • Five-Man Band: As stated earlier, one of Red's Trope Talk videos discusses this trope.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Red discusses how a villain turning good is full of potential. However, she also acknowledges the biggest issue with this trope is convincing the audience that the villain has genuinely turned good, and that depending on the scale of their crimes, can look like a Karma Houdini if handled poorly.
  • The Hero's Journey: Blue discusses the steps this story type follows and how it's nowhere near as common as Joseph Campbell would have you believe but also how it can be used to great effect.
  • Mary Sue: invoked Red talks about the evolution of this trope and how disproportionate it is that the traits that could be used to describe a male character get a female character branded as a Mary Sue. She also briefly discusses some of the offshoots of this trope: the Jerk Sue, the Villain Sue, and the Possession Sue.
  • Mind Control: Red discusses the different ways this can play out and offshoots such as the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, Fighting from the Inside, and Not Brainwashed.
  • Not So Different: Red finds invoking this trope to be cringe worthy because the majority of works that use it do so very poorly; either the villain convinces the hero of this when they have nothing alike (making the hero look like an idiot), or when there are similarities they are not looked at. Red states that a better use of this trope is when there are actual similarities to explore, or when the hero does comes to this conclusion on his own.
  • The Paragon: Red actually loves seeing The Paragon in stories because they facilitate character growth on those around them. She also states that this trope can be deconstructed by having him be misguided or by having his opponents refuse to negotiate him on the basis that he's sure he's doing the right thing.
  • Planet of Hats: Red examines the various types of common Hats (historically-based or otherwise) and explains its origins. She also explains how, while many fantasy races are based on either Tolkien's Legendarium or real-life cultures, the trope is actually subverted by both of those instances: a Planet of Hats is what you get when you take a cursory glance at most cultures and then apply that stereotype to the whole.
  • Rule of Three: Red explains that everything comes in threes in stories because three is a large enough number to be interesting without being too large to keep track of.
  • invokedShipping Bed Death: In the Trope Talk about romantic subplots, Red points out the commonly cited idea that the audience cares more about the journey to the relationship rather than the relationship itself. But when that's resolved, a lot of stories don't actually explore the couple as a couple, as the rest of their time together is spent either being noncharacters outside of the coupling or having drama infect the plot so that they can remain "interesting" to the audience.


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