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Starting from the left: Soren, Dan, Katie, Michael.
Soren: But we don't have to get into a thing.
Dan: Look around you Soren, we are in a thing. This is us. In a thing.
Katie: Did she hear me say "No raisins"? I mean, she didn't write it down.
Michael: What are we talking about?

After Hours is a Web Original comedy miniseries produced by Cracked, usually taking place in a diner after the workday has ended. Starring Cracked writers Katie Willert, Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien and Michael Swaim as themselves,note  the series mainly draws humor from discussing and deconstructing various aspects of both modern and nostalgic pop culture.

In late 2017, Cracked laid off 25 writers, including the majority of on-screen personalities in the segments, killing the series along with every other video series they hosted. A finale was filmed, but never unaired — though in 2020 the cast did a live reading of the finale for Youtube, which can be found here.

Not to be confused with the 1985 Black Comedy of the same name, or the Seinen yuri romance manga of the same name.

Currently, Michael Swaim is doing a spiritual successor called Off Hours, which also features Katy Stoll and a rotating cast.


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  • Accentuate the Negative: The group tends to focus on finding the worst possible interpretation or conclusion to take about the shows / movies / characters they discuss.
  • The Ace: Soren's character, as evidenced in their discussion about movie Musicals.
    Michael: How many hours does it take to become expert at something?
    Dan / Soren: 10,000 / 5. (Both double-take at each other's answers)
  • Ad-Break Double-Take: Demonstrated in "14 Super Powers That Every Movie Character Apparently Has"
  • And That's Terrible: Katie notes that in Footloose, people's idea of a good time involved punching women, and a voiceover adds, "Not Cool!"
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Soren proposes turning Pokémon into this to avoid discussing religion with Michael.
    Soren: We're not going to talk about religion, are we?
    Michael: Yes, or Pokemon again.
    Soren: All right, which Pokemon would taste the best?
    Michael: AWESOME!
    Katie: Jigglypuff!
    Michael: Jig-! Yeah, I was gonna say Jigglypuff.
    Dan: Yeah, I'm just gonna leave.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Michael and Katie. Despite their history, his obnoxiousness and her standoffishness, she (visibly) finds his antics and sense of humor occasionally adorable, and he seems to go out of his way to entertain (and annoy; almost alternating between the two) her.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Mike uses this as a point against Bowser.
    Dan: He's an ugly rage monster.
    Michael: No genitals!
  • Batman Gambit: Soren has a minor one, and in the Batman episode, no less.
    Soren: The winner of this conversation will be the first person to say 'Batman's the best' and 'You're an idiot.'
    Mike: Batman's the best! A-
    Soren (deadpan): You're an idiot, I already said it. I've already won, or Batmanned, this conversation.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Katie and Soren have this in spades in the "Why Batman is Secretly Terrible for Gotham" episode. However, after they both snap and make out for a few seconds, things quickly go back to normal. Also with Michael. They dated and had sex at least once. Mike refuses to let her forget it.
    • Katie and Soren have it again in the "5 Reasons James Bond Might Be The Worst Spy Ever," but Michael ruins the moment.
  • Berserk Button: The live-action Mario movie is a big one for Dan.
    Katie: He (Bowser) was a T-Rex in...(realizes what she just said, looks horrified) nothing! (Soren and Mike look shocked, Dan goes berserk).
    Katie: I'm sorry, I forgot myself (hangs head in shame).
    Mike: He's just mad because they made Toad a goomba (rolls eyes).
    Dan: I'm mad because it SUCKED and it's inadmissible evidence in this conversation.
    • Dan spends the entire Spider-Man (his idol) episode trying not to engage, but finally loses it and has a breakdown, because Peter Parker's This Loser Is You persona hits a little too close to home for him.
      • Specifically, while he manages to bite his tongue throughout the episode while still visibly seething with hurt rage, it's when Michael dismissively refers to Peter Parker 'having fun' as Spider-Man that sets him off.
    • Soren also loses it after Katie disses Batman for just a bit too long.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb
  • Black Comedy Rape: Michael greedily threatening to rape Christopher Columbus in If You Could Have Dinner (And Sex) With Any Famous Figure. Including a diagram of a Rube Goldberg-style Rape Machine that would take days to work.
  • Butt-Monkey: Daniel, and he knows it. He doesn't seem to have a problem with it, either, or is at very least long resigned to it.
    Soren: You've all been zombies for weeks, (points at Dan) months for some of you.
    Dan: Sure.
    • Later in that same episode:
    Michael: So what do we do? Bone. Bone City, Bone Central; anything to take our minds off of our impending doom for a few hours, (points at Dan) minutes for some of us.
    Dan: Sure.
    • He is also hypothetically killed off in Why Movie Cops Are Terrible at Their Jobs.
  • Call-Back:
    • Many episodes either start, end or repeat the conversation "Don't make it a thing." "Oh, it's a thing. This is US in a THING."
      • A later episode implies, via flashbacks, that this means they're in a cyclical loop conversation.
    • In the Cereal Mascots episode, Michael does an impression of Count Chocula. He later dresses as Count Chocula in the Halloween episode.
    • Also, in the Mario episode.
    Michael (to Soren): All of the stuff you said about Batman (flashback of Soren angrily defending Batman to Katie plays), man, but now, about THIS!
    • In the James Bond episode Soren complains about again being the only guy defending a character who single-handedly thwarts maniacal supervillains on a regular basis. This is again a callback to the Batman episode. He and Katie almost repeat their Slap-Slap-Kiss moment from that episode as well, but Michael interrupts them this time.
    • In the Romantic Comedy episode:
    Soren: Yes! Pretty Woman is a perfect example! Or... or watch Maid in Manhattan! Or Sex and the City!
    Michael: OK, no. Fool me once...
    • In the Harry Potter episode, Daniel complains that he is locked out of the conversation because he has neither read the books or seen the movies. Later on, in the episode where they discus fictional afterlives, he displays knowledge of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The others look surprised, and he admits he watched all eight movies in a single sitting just in case it ever came up again.
    • In the "4 Worst Lessons Disney Movies Taught Us" episode they are discussing how the movies portray ugly people as bad. This causes Soren to say, "so being good looking IS a superpower. I would like to revise my answer from the super power conversation."
    • In the "6 Insane Stereotypes That You Still See In Every Movie" episode Dan references "handedness" as a stereotype, specifically pointing to how characters and even the After Hours crew part their hair as evidence - Soren, the suave hero, is right-handed and parts his hair toward the right, while Michael, the goofball, is left-handed and parts toward the left. Later, in "11 Movie Alternate Dimensions With Horrifying Downsides," Michael and bizarro Soren have swapped hair parts.
  • The Cameo: Cody Johnston, one of Cracked's top editors, appears as a waiter in the Batman episode.
    • And to date several more, leading up to a subplot where he is some kind of secret society spy/monitor to the "After Hours" cast (8 Mind-Blowing Connections Between the Works of Joss Whedon).
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Dan in the worst way at the start of this video, as he even blames her for being attractive.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Discussed in "Six Creepiest Sitcom Characters" with everyone coming up for reasons why Judy Winslow and all of Zack's girlfriends disappeared. They eventually decided that Carl and Principal Belding murdered them all.
  • Closet Geek: Soren. He changed out of his Comic-Con costume before meeting up with the others because he's not "out" yet.
    • He was also extremely eager to role-play, until he realized he was getting excited about role-play.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: And yet again, Michael. And, yet again, so, so very much.
    Katie: Gordon and Batman both work hard to help the world. But only one of them has to file paperwork and obey the system, while the other one gets to expense smoke bombs and plow Catwoman, and it has nothing to do with who worked harder!
    Michael: Whaaat? You guys don't expense smoke bombs? How (falters under castmates' looks of derision) are you paying for your smoke bombs?
    • The guy eats hot dogs with chocolate sauce. Doesn't get any weirder than that.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Again, Michael, and again, so, so very much.
    Soren: Dan, I'm a survivor. I play to win. I can't risk your slowing me down, or you (to Katie) falling in love with me, or you (to Michael) trying to trade me to the zombies in exchange for leniency.
    Mike: I was just thinking that exact thing.
    • Another example:
      Katie: Oh my God, don't even get me started on Forrest Gump! You wanna talk about a creepy rape scene?
      Soren: *shrug*
      Dan: Not really.
      Mike: Yeah, alright.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Michael, frequently. Most notably at the end of "Stupid" Movies That Are Surprisingly Progressive, when he chides the others for not being aware of Gamergate, despite clearly knowing only the name himself.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: They spend an episode debating which catastrophe would be the coziest. They conclude that the most fun, and most peaceful one, would be an asteroid that would without a doubt destroy everyone, so there'd be no reason to panic and nobody to fight leaving the world open to spend their final moments "boning".
    • Asspocalypse.
  • Crazy-Prepared.
    • Katie and Soren in the Mario episode.
    Michael: Jesus, they are spending a lot of time in the jump-man era.
    Dan: They came a lot more prepared that I thought they would. I told you we should have had cards!
    Michael: Fuck your cards.
    [Katie then pulls out index cards and starts reading from them, which causes Dan to glare at Michael]
    • Dan the rest of the time. After being unable to contribute to Harry Potter topic, he watches all the movies in a row just in case it came up again.
    Michael: How can you know that? How can you possibly have architect job satisfaction statistics prepared for this?!
    Dan: It's... It's on the card. (Holds up a card with "53" written on it)
    Michael: ...what else does the card know? Ask it how I die!
  • Creepy Stalker Van: One episode was about unintentionally creepy sit-com characters, and a running joke was referring to Cody from Step by Step as being incredibly creepy, primarily because he lives in a van. Even moreso that than his constant flirtations with his not-quite-cousin.
  • Cringe Comedy:
    • The gang describing their various pop culture sexual fantasies at the beginning of the Indiana Jones episode. Especially Katie's. It's awful - particularly her description of how Indy would use his whip.
    Michael: Yeah, plus, I think that handle's all inter-woven leather and jungle grime, so you don't want to go there.
    • They also seem to expect this from Michael. Take this gem (keep in mind they're in a public diner):
      Daniel: Why don't you tell us [why Ariel would be grossed out by sex with Eric], in a voice that I'm sure will be 10% too loud for everyone's comfort?
      Daniel: *winces* There it is.
    • "The 9 Creepiest Things Movies Portray as Romantic" starts off with Dan hitting on a waitress. When he realizes he's wasting her time, he manages to dig himself even deeper especially when he ends up blaming her for being so attractive.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: The foursome regularly takes apart various topics in their discussions. Is the hero really that much of a hero? Are the ideals presented that ideal? Are our villains so unsympathetic? All deconstructed each episode (more or less).
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • It takes a few promptings, but Michael eventually realizes this about his plan for the It Follows curse. Namely, that it eventually ends up with him being horribly fucked to death.
    • In "5 Evil Organizations We Wouldn't Mind Joining (in movies)", Soren initially says he wants to join the League of Shadows from the Christopher Nolan Batman films. He's initially thrilled at the prospect of bringing justice down on corrupt cities, until Daniel points out that his hometown of Los Angeles would almost certainly be on their list of targets.
  • Disposable Girlfriend: Pauline, Mario's girlfriend in Donkey Kong.
    Soren: The first time that we meet Mario in Donkey Kong, what's he doing?
    Dan: Jumping over barrels and fighting a giant monkey.
    Michael: To save Peach! So that they can share delicious ape steak.
    Soren: No. Because Peach wasn't in Donkey Kong. The girl in the cage was only introduced as Pauline, his girlfriend.
    Katie: Oh, and then when he's done saving her, he either cheats on her or dumps her and moves on to save Peach!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Soren's solution for clowns.
    Katie: All right, Soren, I think we all recall, from you behavior at last year's screening of the movie It, your nightmare twig-snapper is a clown.
    Soren: Okay, I have proven time and again that I can control clowns by putting them into a choke-hold.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In one episode the others get upset when Soren won't wear his cosplay in public, to which Soren responds that he "isn't out" like them.
    • The comparison between closet geek/closet gay is also made in a later episode about gay stereotypes. Soren starts out saying they're all straight (Michael quickly proves him wrong) but is made out to be Daniel's geek friend/boyfriend throughout the episode, complete with Daniel getting jealous when Soren laughs at Michael's impression of Snagglepuss and Soren acting like a boyfriend who's been caught flirting with someone else.
  • Double Entendre: Katie has a subtle one.
    Katie: Okay, I will concede that ninja turtle selection is seminal to young boys..
    • She has a long series of much less subtle ones about having sex with Indiana Jones.
      Dan: Nobody knows what you're saying!
      Michael: [With a haunted expression]I know...
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Often invoked, since their frequent use of Alternate Character Interpretation frequently involves viewing a character considered by the narrative to be a villain in as heroic and forgiving a light as possible. Subverted in one episode, however, when Katie's efforts to redefine Ursula as the real hero of The Little Mermaid because (in Katie's eyes) she was trying to teach Ariel the value of self-reliance and hard work are undermined when Soren points out that Ursula's own actions would have knowingly sabotaged Ariel's efforts, meaning she was still a villain.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: The Star Wars episode. Mike, of all people, points out how, other than Leia, there are no female role models in the original movies. Katie and Soren both grudgingly agree that his apocalypse is the best, eventually forcing Dan to go along. Katie's analysis of the four ninja turtles as each representing one of the four humors lends credence to Michael's theory that your favorite ninja turtle reflects your personality. Michael has this more frequently than the others, especially Dan, would like to admit.
    • Probably the best example is in the Which Apocalypse Would Be The Most Fun episode. Mike comes up with a winner: an asteroid that is going to kill everyone, so there's nobody to fight and nowhere to waste energy on running to. The only thing to do is to "bone." The others have no way of finding a flaw in this but are unable to concede the point because Mike is putting it in such terribly offensive terms that it repulses them.
    • In their discussion on rom-coms, Michael(very accurately) points out that the easy part of a relationship, which is the one that rom-coms cover and nothing else, is falling in love, and that people fall in love by accident with terrible people all the time... Cue illustrations of Amy Winehouse with Pete Doherty, Tina Turner with Ike Turner, Rihanna with Chris Brown and Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love.
  • End of the World as We Know It: The "Which Apocalypse Would Be the Most Fun?" episode. The winner? An asteroid that is without a doubt going to destroy Earth. The reason? Everyone Has Lots of Sex, of course!
    Michael: No one's running, no one's fighting 'cause there's nowhere to go, and nowhere to hide. So what do we do? Bone.
    • He even namedrops the trope:
    Michael: It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel like sticking it in stuff.
    Katie: That's not how the song goes.
    [everyone concedes that Michael won]
    Dan: [referring back to Dumbass Has a Point, above] I feel terrible about what just happened.
  • Expanded Universe: Mike mocks Dan for his knowledge of Star Wars' extended universe, and forbids all EU material from their discussion of how Star Wars is terrifying for women.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Daniel is unrepentant about his lust for Benjamin Franklin in If You Could Have Dinner (And Sex) With Any Famous Figure.
    • Dan also has a very noticable crush on Spider-Man... which becomes weird, when you consider that he once dresses as Spidey for Comic-Con. This is an extension of a long running gag on Cracked in general that Dan is so similar to Peter Parker (turbo-nerd, socially awkward, etc.) that one might reasonably conclude that he's also Spider-Man.
    • Soren. Both Michael and Daniel have expressed attraction to him. Soren doesn't seem to mind, seemingly used to being desired by everyone. He usually just reacts with a smug smile.
  • Fan Disservice: The cast list for Michael's proposed "Ass-pocalypse" include Danny Devito, Randy Quaid, and several other men with Kathy Kinney as "The Girl".
  • Fanon Discontinuity: invoked Enforced in the Mario episode, where Katie brings up the live action movie, to the chagrin of Dan, Michael and Soren.
    Katie: I'm sorry, I forgot myself.
    • Among the ground rules Soren set for "The 3 Worst Lessons Taught by 80s Sports Movies" was that "'Rocky 5' and '6'note  never happened".
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: They spend an episode analyzing famous ensembles of four into the temperaments as they talk about how they also fit. They define choleric and sanguine inversely from how this wiki does, though. By their own definition, they fit as follows: Michael (sanguine), Katie (choleric), Soren (melancholic), Dan (phlegmatic).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Pick just about anything Michael's Brain (illustrated by Winston Rowntree) comes up with and hit pause to find a ton of referential humor.
    • Also, when everyone weighs up their chances in a zombie apocalypse, detailed stats are visible for a moment. Their specialities include "Beatboxing" for Daniel, "Crying" for Michael, and "Chair Spinning" for Katie.
  • Fridge Horror: Another staple of the show. invoked
    • A good example of this is the gang naming Ferris Bueller's high school as the worst '80s high school of all time.
    DOB: You go to a high school that comes to a grinding halt the minute one kid calls in sick. At best, it's a benevolent dictatorship. At worst, it's frigging Jonestown, except your cult leader is a seventeen-year-old who dresses like a lesbian.
    • Lots and lots of examples from the "4 Ads That Depict Terrifying Alternate Realities", like how in feminine product commercials all women seem to secrete windshield wiper fluid instead of y'know, blood.
    • Also inverts fridge horror, of all things.
    " you realize what you just did? You've actually made horror... boring."
  • Funny Background Event: In "Why Mario is Secretly a Douchebag" their waitress looks like Peach and a guy who looks like Mario is working the grill.
    • And in the Indiana Jones one, someone dressed like Indiana Jones is in the background.
    • The diners change after Michael's antics.
    • In "8 Mind-Blowing Connections Between the Works of Joss Whedon", we have two members of the diner's staff acting slightly panicky after Katie declares the subject of the episode. Later on it's reveal that Katie's theory is right, resulting in the group having to be mind wiped. Again.
    • In the Movie Musicals episode, shortly after it's discussed about how background actors may get their own songs that just never appear on-screen, outside the diner a waitress and several other people can be seen dancing/posing as if they were in the middle of a musical number themselves.
    • At the conclusion of "11 Movie Alternate Dimensions With Horrifying Downsides", Soren (or possibly the Soren of an alternate dimension) appears outside through a portal, then apparently decides that this is the wrong dimension and disappears again.
    • Possibly calling back to the Joss Whedon episode, in "4 Movie curses with unexpected upsides" when they start questioning the Strictly Formula nature of the show everyone in the dinner turns around and starts ominously staring at them.

  • Genius Ditz: Michael, so very much.
  • Getting Hot in Here: Katie takes off her jacket, revealing tank top and bra straps, and then her glasses when her argument with Soren about Batman gets really intense, leaving Michael bemused and Dan terrified. When Soren finally gives up, they release some of their Belligerent Sexual Tension with a kiss.
  • Godwin's Law: Played With when Soren is called out on this by Dan when comparing Sauron to Hitler. Dan's problem isn't the invocation of this trope, it's that it was made too early in the argument.
    Dan: Do you think America would've helped out in World War II if TJ was President? Probably not, I bet. Next stop - Hitlerville.
    Soren: You just said-
    Dan: Now is the appropriate time!
    • Katie in general has a tendency to throw around comparisons to Nazis when deconstructing things she doesn't like. Lampshaded in the movie musicals episode, when she tries to compare singing and dancing along with the protagonist's song to people being swayed into following Adolf Hitler. Daniel irritably points out that it could also be compared to everyone being swayed into following Martin Luther King, and that there's no need to automatically leap to the worst possible interpretation in order to "ruin everything".
  • Growing Up Sucks: Lampshaded in "Why Movies Want Us To Torture Adults", where the group note how a lot of movies from the 80's and 90's (Hook, House Arrest, Camp Nowhere, etc.) seem to subliminally instill a deep seated fear/hatred of adulthood.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Michael is secretly a fan of Twilight. He is also aware of how creepy Edward and Bella are as an Official Couple and is the 1st to bring it up as an example in "The 9 Creepiest Things Movies Portray as Romantic".
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Michael in the bathroom with Dan and Soren.
    Soren (trying to pee): Dan, I really don't want to talk about that here.
    Dan (pacing back and forth behind Soren): What, did General Mills do a bunch of studies to demonstrate what kids are gonna respond to? And if they did do polls-
    Michael (from the adjacent stall, magazine covering genitals): HA! "They did polls!"
    • And, in the Mario episode:
    Katie: Even when he's the protagonist, Mario's still a dick with a mustache. (Soren, Dan, and Michael picture mustachioed cocks while giggling).
  • Humans Are Bastards: They reach this conclusion by accident when discussing which Superhero universe would be best to live in.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Dan to Katie.
    Dan: Yeah, guess I sorta came at it half cocked. I had you guys, though, for a while.
    Michael: I'm still totally cocked, buddy.
    Katie: Oh, my God, he is.
    Dan: Thanks, man.
    Michael: All cocked up, whatever we wanna do.
    Soren: Are we getting cocked up? I didn't realize...
    Dan: We're gonna get cocked up.
    Katie: I...can't do that, guys. Can I get vag'd up?
    Dan: No, don't be gross.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Discussed In-Universe, in the apocalypse episode, for Independence Day.
    Michael: Hey, if Dan's Goldblum, does that make me Will Smith?
    Dan: No, Soren is Will Smith. You're Randy Quaid.
    Michael: (slightly upset) That's distasteful.
    Katie (to Michael): If you make me the alien, I will punch you in the throat.
    Michael (considering): There's a stripper in that movie.
    Dan: There it is! You're the stripper. (Katie facepalms)
    Katie: I've never been a stripper! Why w-
    Soren: Yeah, I think she's the wife of Will Smith in that, so you're not doing too bad.
    Katie: She's a stripper.
    Dan: She's still a stripper.
    • In a similar vein, Katie gets annoyed during the group's discussion of Ferris Bueller when the guys decide to cast her as the "hooker nurse" who shows up briefly at one point.
  • I'll Be in My Bunk: Michael pulls this in the Ninja Turtles episode. He feels the need to drop everything and run to Blockbuster once somebody clues him in about "pseudo-porn for women" (also known as Sex and the City).
    Dan: Well, he's in for a disappointing evening.
    • Later:
    Dan: So it's really porn for women?
    Soren: It's pseudo-porn. It's not what you think. It's just a bunch of people in boring situations where sometimes nudity happens.
    Dan: I'm not gonna lie. That sounds amazing.
  • Insistent Terminology: Michael, again.
    Katie: Why does Bowser keep coming back game after game? He rallies enough troops-
    Mike: Troopas.
    Katie: (Gives Michael a Death Glare) to create armies-
    Mike: Armoopas! (gives a 'Did I not just make this clear?' shrug to Soren and Dan).
  • Irony: The old main cast of After Hours being Daniel, Michael, Soren and Katie tend to discuss/criticise common tropes in shows and movies along with their character archetypes and wonder what life would be like if it played common movie/tv tropes, while they fail to realise that they themselves are parodies of common character archetypes. Even the world around them paraodies the tropes that they tend to talk about such as the background characters having a random musical numbers in "The Horrifying Truth About Life Inside of Movie Musicals".
  • Kissing Cousins: Van-dwelling Cody from Step by Step may have had this with an adoptive relative.
    Katie: You know who's really creepy? Cody from Step by Step.
    Dan: Yeah, but not murder creepy.
    Katie: He lived in a freaking van.
    Dan: Yeah!...Yeah, he did that.
    Katie: Patrick Duffy just kept insisting that this eight-foot-tall van dweller was a member of the family, and yet he spent all his time hitting on his relatives.
    Soren: From the van...that he...lived in.
    Dan: To be fair, he only hit on one relative, and they weren't related by blood. The heart wants what it wants, van or no van.
    Soren: Ideally, no van.
    Katie: Yeah, romancing a family member? Still romancing a family member.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In the Matrix video, when Michael inevitably starts freaking out wondering if the world he lives in is real or just a simulation/dream/web series, Katie attempts to soothe him by singing him a nursery rhyme...only to realize exactly where it's going, requiring an alteration of the lyrics.
    Row, row row your boat
    Gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is...real. Totally real.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Matrix episode makes Michael question whether the diner is real. For all he knows, it's just part of some web series getting more meta by the second.

  • Made Myself Sad: Dan accidentally does this, even name-dropping the trope, when he finds out that the Orcs in The Lord of the Rings are captured/corrupted elves, drawing parallels between their treatment and how US veterans tend to get ignored.
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: In the Joss Whedon episode it's revealed that the gang is being watched by a shady crew of people who occasionally wipe their memories when needed. That explains a lot.
    • It has always been a running joke that Soren, Katie, and Michael don't remember a lot from their previous conversations at the diners, nor consider each other close. This saddens Dan who remembers almost everything and thinks of them as his friends. Turns out it's because their minds have been wiped more often than Dan's.
    • Michael has steadily gotten weirder over time. Turns out it's because his mind has been wiped 12 times. Could explain his obsession with aliens. He might remember something, but has replaced The Crew with a different kind of monsters.
    • In the Creepy Sitcom Characters episode they notice the waiter Cody and wonder why he has been following them from diner to diner. They think he's just a stalker, but he turns out to be the leader of The Crew.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: The reason why mind-reading is panned as the ultimate superpower.
    Katie: I mean, I only get to hear like three percent of what people are thinking and I already hate almost everyone. If I could read minds, I'd probably just end up knocking motherfuckers out.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Soren mistakes Michael.
    Michael: Yeah, it's not like he (Cody) was a violent bully! Like your Carl Winslow or Uncle Phil!
    Soren: Is this where we find out you're a racist?
    Michael: They were JERKS! Uncle Phil threw his nephew's best friend out the front door on a daily basis! Carl was abusive to his son, and a total prick to Urkel, moreso than anyone else. Those guys got their kicks from physically and verbally abusing their kids' friends!
  • Mortality Phobia: This is more or less Soren's hat. Whenever it comes to psychological fears or what the cast finds truly terrifying, it comes out that Soren fears growing old and dying. Oh, and clowns.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Soren.
    Michael: You have to cull your booty call list?
    Soren: *grinning* It's actually more of a booty base. *winks at a waitress*
    • Trying to find an entirely original premise for a show in The Only 8 Types of TV Shows That Get Made, one suggestion is "Screw the Protagonist". The promo that pops up for it consists entirely of Soren winking at the camera.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Katie, somewhat. In the Comic-Con and Halloween episodes, she wears low-cut cleavage-baring costumes. This is lampshaded in the opening title sequence, featuring four different depictions of the group, one from the mind of each cast member. In Michael's, she wears a stripperific dress and heels (seen in the page picture, an amalgam of the four versions), and in Soren's she wears a slinky dress. In Katie's, on the other hand, she's a bitter-looking spinster, and in Dan's she's a nun.
  • Mythology Gag: In the Rocky episode, Michael imitates a judge. A Running Gag in Agents of Cracked was that in that series Michael was a former judge.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Averted by the Pokémon universe, according to Michael.
    Michael: It's not just that a few people are fine with animal cruelty; the entire society's economy is based on it. (Gives examples).
    Soren: You either have to breed or fight or support the breeding and fighting of Pokemon.
    Michael: What happens is that all the power goes to the guy with the strongest Pokemon. You rise to power on the strength of your Pokemen, and you can only be dethroned by a dude with a stronger Pokeman. It's like the Old West, and Ash Ketchum is basically Al Swearengen.
  • No New Fashions in the Future: Discussed and deconstructed in the Star Trek episode, where Dan tries to use this to prove that the Trek universe is actually a Crapsack World where human civilization has gone stagnant. He claims that Starfleet is obsessed with discovering new life in outer space because humans in the future have completely lost their sense of creativity and independent thought, and can only experience wonder at new things by looking for them in other worlds.
  • Noodle Incident: Michael and Katie's first date. Also the time they had sex.
    • Also, Michael's Bio-Dome Theorem.
  • Noodle Implements: Michael and Katie's lone (possibly) sexual encounter occurred in a bowling alley. Their first date happened after Mike allegedly won the Indy 500, and an allegedly retarded Katie showing up at Mike's dorm room. Obviously, due to Mike's incredible comedic sociopathy, it is likely none of this is true, with the possible exception of sex in a bowling alley, if only because it's actually (somewhat) plausible (not to mention in keeping with Mike's malicious nature) and Katie doesn't state otherwise. Still, Katie was more occupied telling Soren and Dan they only had sex once, because Mike referred to the bowling alley as 'the last place we had sex.'
    Katie: I'd give him the keys to my Short-Round, if you know what I am saying.
    Dan: No one knows what you are saying
    Micheal(Obviously horrified): I know.
  • Odd Friendship: Jockish, handsome, sometimes dim Soren and nerdy, unlucky Dan seem to be the closest out of the group of four.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dan has this is the Mario episode.
    Dan: Every pipe is a former inhabitant that Bowser trapped! Because he's EVIL!
    Soren: Everything?
    Soren: Every brick?
    Dan: Y- Ah. Ahhhhhhhh.
    Soren: So, whereas I thought Mario was just showing up and destroying a kingdom like a terrorist, what you're actually saying that he was murdering all those people and stealing the gold coins from their corpses! That brick was probably somebody's son, Daniel.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Aversion stipulated to in their discussion of the merits of a Zombie Apocalypse as a doomsday scenario.
    Waitress: Doesn't that kinda depend on what kind of zombies you're talking about? (loud, collective groan)
    Soren: There's only one type of zombie.
    Waitress: No, I mean if you're talking about the 28 Days Later type of zombie-
    Dan and Soren: The slow, mindless, disorganized zombies. (Katie and Michael imitate Romero zombies).
    Waitress: There's a lot of other-
    Dan: OKAY! If you're going to get into every Tom, Dick and rage virus reimagining, we will be here all night. Romero zombies are the only zombies. We literally cannot advance this conversation otherwise. (waitress looks enormously hurt, leaves).
    Michael: And you've driven another woman away from us.
  • Power-Up Food: What Michael thought Bowser planned for Peach.
    Mike: Are you sure he loves her? I thought he was going to devour her Peach flesh, to get...princess powers, or something.
    Dan: No, he does love her. They say as much in Super Mario Sunshine.
  • Progressively Prettier: Katie starts showing more skin as the series has gone on.
  • Protagonist-Centred Morality: Raised in the discussion of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. When everyone challenges Dan when he claims it's the worst high school in 1980s movies, he points out that they're assuming it'd be great because they're also assuming they'd be Ferris instead of one of the minor characters.
  • The Quisling: Michael gleefully admits that, if a Zombie Apocalypse occurred, he would trade his friends to the zombies in exchange for his own life.
  • Quote Mining: Some statements that Makes Sense In Context will result in a quick infographic utilizing this quote, such as Dan equating Martin Luther King Jr. to Adolf Hitlernote .
    • The discussion about Disney kingdoms has this exchange.
      Dan: I think we can all agree that it'd suck to live in a kingdom like Frozen. Anytime your teenage princess can't control her emotions, everyone who's outside of the castle freezes. To death!
      Michael: "Women can't control their emotions", hyphen Dan O'Brien.
      Dan: "Only teenage girls", hyphen Daniel O'Brien! Wait- (Graphic with "Only Teenage Girls - Daniel O'Brien" pops up over his face) No, shit, oh no... no.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Michael points out that if Spider-Man patented his web-shooters and sold the technology to the police, it would make things better for everyone.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Discussed in a debate about the best single superpower.
    Soren: That's the problem with any one power. Without the whole suite, they just suck.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Michael asks "Can you think of a better metaphor for growing up than becoming a Gremlin?"
    Katie: Oh, okay, a newborn baby horse that's all gooey and sweaty and standing up for the first time.
    Dan: Leftover mayonnaise that grows fur.
    Soren: A hawk taking flight at dawn.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Frequently invoked by the Alternative Character Interpretation, since many of them frequently depend on interpreting a given character's actions in the least flattering ways possible. Lampshaded in-universe by Soren in the Batman and James Bond episodes, when he points out with some frustration that he seems to be the only one of the group willing to defend the guys who routinely risk their lives trying to protect innocent people from psychotic murderous maniacs while the others keep trying to find ways to view them in the worst possible light.
    • Also lampshaded in the musical episode when Katie tries to compare everyone joining in with a main character's song in a musical as applicable to slavery or Nazism, because it represents everyone falling under the spell of a charismatic leader such as Adolf Hitler and following along with his vision. Daniel irritably points out that they could also be compared to everyone falling under the spell of a charismatic leader such as Martin Luther King, and that there's no need to try to "ruin everything" by always going for the worst possible comparison / interpretation.
  • Running Gag: Michael accusing the others of having Aspergers in the Batman episode.
    • And throwing sugar packets on the table and asking them how many it was, ala Rain Man
    • Someone will inevitably be about to take a bite of their food whenever bodily fluids are discussed.
    • Dan finding some way to include Spider-Man into any conversation.
    • Dan doing a terrible impression of someone (it's usually the same voice every time), and Soren thinking that it's spot-on.
      • Subverted in the "Alternate Dimensions" episode, in spite of Dan actually doing a rather impressive take on Krang.
    • Michael trying to complete Dan's point with something completely different and Dan responding "Close," before finishing his own explanation.
    • Each of the Crew has a few running jokes to their names.
      • Soren's Jerk Jock tendencies and occasional vaguely Nazish tendencies.
      • Katie's tendency to fumble with puns and/or innuendos.
      • Dan's lack of social graces and disconnection to the real world via pop culture.
      • Michael's utter depravity and affinity for outdated forms of media.

  • Schmuck Bait: Scientology for Michael.
    Michael: Scien what now?
    Dan.: No. No, impossible.
    Katie: You've never heard of Scientology?
    Michael: I've heard of it! It's like a science show, right? Yuck.
    Soren: Uh, actually, it's science fiction. You'd like it.
    Katie: Yeah! It's about a few simple rules that could help form a perfect utopia. Just if we can overcome the evil aliens trying to thwart us.
    Dan: I think Beck's one.
    Michael: Wow! I am, like, super down for this! What do I do?
    Soren: You know what, you paid, so I will do you a favor and set you up with one of their reps. It's called an e-reading. It's very exclusive.
    Michael: You're a good friend. Wai- I don't have to read a lot, do I?
    Soren: No, you don't have to read at all. They do all the reading for you.
    Michael: You're a good friend.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Dan and Michael decide to (quietly) leave the diner as Soren and Katie's argument near the end of "Why Batman is Secretly Terrible for Gotham" gets more and more heated (although, they should've stayed a bit longer).
    • We see Dan do a Double Take look back at them through the window, showing he did see it.
  • Self-Demonstrating Article: For most of "14 Super Powers That Every Movie Character Apparently Has", some of the example superpowers are demonstrated as they're being described, like the Orphaned Punchline and the Ad-Break Double-Take.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: The show revolves around this trope.
  • Sex Bot: Dan had one, kinda.
    Michael: Dan, you like Donatello because he's a nerd and is open to sex with electronics.
    Dan: First of all, 'does machines' is not literal. Second of all, it was a foot massager that I got for my birthday, and I told you all of that a thousand times.
    Soren: And not one of us ever asked.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In If You Could Have Dinner (And Sex) With Any Famous Figure, Michael briefly mistakes Mary Todd Lincoln's name for Martha Jones Lincoln.
    • The "Robot spider!" aside in "Why the Scariest Sci-Fi Robot Uprising Has Already Begun" has a conference room full of robots given their thumbs up - including EDI.
    • In the Batman episode, a chart illustrating Wayne Enterprises' business profits is accompanied by the charts of Umbrella Corporation, Aperture Science, Bluth Corporation and Blue Sun.
  • The Singularity: Comes up in a conversation about the scariest robots in movies.
    Katie: When robots become smart the first problem that they try and solve is how to make robots smarter. And a few minutes later they're so much smarter than us we can't even begin to comprehend the ways that they're gonna kill us.
    Michael: Yeah, that's called Judgement Day. So "The Singularity" is just the math-y name for the death-metal album cover of an apocalypse that is Terminator? And you guys choose to use the math name...
  • Soapbox Sadie: Katie's criticisms of Batman and James Bond take on this edge.
  • Straw Nihilist: There are a fair number of implications that Soren is this. He fears weakness, believes he is an Übermensch, shows little empathy for others, and it's been theorized that the working class is "invisible" to him.
  • Stunned Silence: Follows after Katie points out some Fridge Horror inherent in Forrest Gump.note 
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Benjamin Franklin, according to Dan, was a Pimp!
    • Spider-Man is very seductive.
    • Dan rails against the "handsome, blond shithead" in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame who gets the girl and wasn't in the book. The whole time he's pointing his thumb at Soren, who waggles his eyebrows and grins.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: The Pixar episode has the four maliciously destroy each other's food for no particular reason. Katie dumps Dan's milkshake on his plate, Dan takes Mike's chicken leg and drops it in Soren's soup, and Soren, deciding that this means no one gets to eat, pours the soup on Katie's meal. Dan eventually gives in and attempts to drink his milkshake off the rest of his food with a straw, however.
    • As a side note, as the video progresses you can see that the milkshake spill was being too messy to keep filming so they cleaned up. And then there's a different burger in Dan's plate, so they ruined 2 perfectly good sandwiches.
  • Take That!: In the background of one of Michael's thought-bubbles about which Superhero universe would be the best to live in, a store is named "Maybe This Isn't the Most Optimal Name for an Aquarium Supply Store, But Nonetheless — Tim Allen is an Unbearable Sack of Shit"
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Dan's flash cards are prepared for literally everything, down to Michael's insults.
  • Time Stop: Declared to be the ultimate superpower in "The Best Superpower (is Not What You Think)". Specifically, the Zack Morris "Time Out" from Saved by the Bell.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: Discussed in "4 TV Ads that Depict Terrifying Alternate Universes," where the group discusses how you would probably become the smartest person in the world if you lived in the world of infomercials as yourself.
    • Same video also displayed the Unfortunate Implications brought on in other types of commercials - for instance:
      • Car commercials that show a car on empty roads, which works well until you realize you're the only car out there.
      • Yogurt commercials and women's health products (decongestants, anti-histemenes, fiber) all show dressed-down women who look like they just rolled out of bed. Plus the women in the yogurt commercials apparently just want spouses who don't know what yogurt is, and seem to keep it a secret as hard as possible, "men who will sleep through their colds and be amazed at air freshener technology."
      • Allergy ads: when these people get allergies, their body turns blurry, and colds make the world turn black and white.
      • Alcohol ads: everyone seems to party all the time and the only people who even do any sort of work are the bartenders. Also, no one except Soren (the one who suggested it) would ever drink as it's illegal for an ad to depict someone actually drinking, meaning he would be the only to get wasted, puke in the toilet, ruin his liver, and die. And everyone would be partying at his funeral.
  • Unfortunate Implications: invoked Dan views Back to the Future as having these for black history, specifically the civil rights movement and rock music.
    Dan: Marty gave this random black guy the push he needed to succeed in 1955, the year the civil rights movement started.
    Katie (bewildered): you're saying...?
    Michael: Black people invented hoverboards!
    Dan: Close. I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised if the original rough draft of Back to the Future was Marty time-traveling and crafting black history. (Gives examples).
    Michael: I would watch that movie.
    Dan: All I'm saying is that Marty influences history in exactly two ways, not related to parental boning. One, he gives black people the idea for rock music. And two, he gives a black guy political aspirations the year the civil rights movement started.
    Katie (conceding): Okay...
  • Unsound Effect: Asperger's!
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Everyone.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Everyone briefly reveals, via internal thoughts, their worst fears, in "4 Terrifying Psychology Lessons Behind Movie Monsters". Dan's afraid of being alone, Soren fears growing old, Katie fears death, and Michael fears getting an std.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: In the episode, Movie Epilogues, they talk about epilogues that would make for interesting sequels.
    • They then spoof the very trope with their own Where Are They Now Epilogue at the end of the episode, accompanied with appropriate freeze-frames of each of the characters.
    "Katie later married a kind, intelligent, handsome man unaffiliated with her beloved 'diner gang,' although that hardly warrants an inclusion here, since a woman's life is comprised of so much more than just who she marries (but it's still factually accurate, and now I'm afraid we're out of time.)
    "Michael founded a band that saw moderate local success until other life priorities intruded and they all stopped practicing as much, secretly wishing they hadn't committed to such a huge obligation in the first place.
    "Dan was in a serious car accident two weeks later. He tweaked his neck badly, and doctors said it should go away in a few weeks, but it didn't. It didn't go away for two months."
    "Sen. Soren Bowie had sex so fast he caught on fire and died." (Added hilarity with the title card afterwards says 'Written by Soren Bowie')
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Voldemort.
    Soren: Wizards are supernatural. What good's a Muggle gonna do?
    Mike: There's a bunch of us, and we have helicarriers and assault rifles. We killed Hitler, Hussein, and Houdini. You think we can't nuke "Volter-man" into next week?
  • What If?: Dan compares Leia going to Tatooine to save Han to George Washington abandoning his troops to rescue Martha during the Revolutionary War.
    Katie: Wait, wasn't that what The Patriot was about?
  • Wild Mass Guessing: Michael forces Soren and Dan to do this at the beginning of the Star Wars episode.
    Dan: The logistics of warp speed.
    Michael: No.
    Soren: The tactical stupidity of putting your base on a monster-filled ice planet.
    Dan: Lando Calrissian as an ideal version of Machiavelli's Prince.
    Michael: No to both.
    Katie (sitting down): Okay...something about Star Wars.
    Dan (ignoring Katie): Jawas as a metaphor for the Armenian Genocide...somehow.
    Michael: No, but that's a good idea.
    Dan: No, it's not.
    Soren: If it's possible to have sex with someone across the room using only The Force.
    Dan: Sub-question; is that technically cheating if you're in a relationship when it happens.
    Soren (responding to sub-question): No.
    Katie: Okay, so what specifically-
    Dan: Michael wants to talk about Star Wars but he's making us guess the exact aspect. How improbable it is that Imperial crew members have British accents.
    Michael (with a flourish): Nay!
    Soren: Something about how Chewie can fly a ship like a man but doesn't have to wear pants like an animal.
    Michael: (Gives a long, loud imitation of Wookiee language).
    Soren: That was a 'no.'
    Dan: That was a 'no.'
    Michael: Okay, I'll give you a hint: my wiener is-
    Katie: Oh! Women!
    Michael: Nailed it.
  • The Woobie: invoked One of Katie's alternate character interpretations for Bowser. Challenged by Michael.
    Katie: So he loves her, but he just doesn't know how to express it! He's like a very competent Lenny from Of Mice and Men.
    Mike: Except covered in spikes! (Michael's brain shows a weeping George loading a revolver behind Bowser, on whose spikes are impaled a bird, a dog, Curley's wife, and a bag of chips.)
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Soren demonstrates this when discussing the alternate universe of Quentin Tarantino movies. He believes he's best qualified to survive in the world of the films because of his experience with guns and his strong self-preservation instinct. The others point out that you need to be a different kind of sociopath than he is to survive.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Soren of all people, but when Dan brings up Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Michael says he "would be Sloan", Soren imagines Cameron about to make-out with Swaim.
    • And Katie in the Harry Potter episode, who's doing a collage of everything that canonically hints at Dumbledore being gay.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Soren's preferred doomsday scenario.
    Soren: It's simple. They're just an easily defeated opponent. They're a worse version of normal people.
    Michael: Who you also dominate.
    [then, later]
    Dan: Well, Katie, nobody wants a zombie apocalypse.
    Soren: Really? Because it's all I can think about, now... Who won?


Video Example(s):


4 TV Ads That Depict Terrifyin

Discussed in "4 TV Ads that Depict Terrifying Alternate Universes," where the group discusses how you would probably become the smartest person in the world if you lived in the world of infomercials as yourself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TooIncompetentToOperateABlanket

Media sources: