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"if your chair is on the floor, here is how to get it back and pick up all the pieces of something broken and unfair."
Alan, "How to Pick Up a Blue Chair Off the Ground"

alantutorial is a Psychological Surreal Horror/Surreal Humornote  Web Video series about an ambiguously mentally handicapped man named Alan who is seemingly obsessed with creating tutorials, and loves teaching his viewers how to accomplish various things. His tutorials vary wildly in topic, from things like creating paper airplanes, eating chips, and finding wood. As the series progresses, the viewer begins to realize that something is very wrong.

alantutorial is, in truth, an art project by Alan Resnick, who plays a fictionalized version of himself.

You can find alantutorial's tutorials here, and you can watch each of them in (almost) order, starting from the first, here.

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  • Affectionate Parody: Alan seems to be parodying typical YouTube tutorials that are clearly not prepared for and incessantly ask for likes and subscribers. Initially, before it gets creepy.
  • Big Bad: The ambiguous nature of the videos make it hard to tell, but both halves seem to feature an antagonist of some sort. In the first half of the series, it is implied that Alan is being abused/exploited by someone, but who is never directly revealed. In the second half, the antagonist is whoever it was that kidnapped Alan, assuming they are not trying to cure him, even though this antagonist seems to be neglecting Alan as well, allowing his room to decay into a filth-strewn hellhole.
  • Blatant Lies: In the description "desk demo, broken microphone help?", Alan asks how to fix his broken microphone, even though it's picking up audio just fine. Alan just isn't talking.
  • Body Horror: Whatever the unidentifiable hunk of spinning meat is, it certainly is this.
  • Buffy Speak: Typically Alan invents words that go beyond this trope, such as "snipper dongle", but every now and then he plays this trope straight. For instance, "Once the quarter-sized spot's ready for 2TB, you take the quarter and... Splop the middle."
    Alan: "Then you gotta find a... a whole mess of line of water."
  • The Cameo: Alan shares a memime video with the viewer during one of his later tutorials.
  • Captain Obvious
    • The title "BIG_(part of the group).avi its an avi file".
    • "tutorial" is the description for at least a few of his videos.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Hey YouTube!", "Hey tutorialheads!", "My name is Alantutorial!" and later on a simple "tutorial". Also, "Don't forget to comment and subscribe", usually with some sort of variation, like Alan promising that you can "like it" (the video) or that, if you do subscribe, you can add a picture of yourself to his Bluetooth page.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Even excluding the bizarre topics of his tutorials and his eventual sanity slippage, Alan's apparent obsession with tutorials is enough to qualify. Helps that the real Alan Resnick is ostensibly one as well, just a more self-aware one.
  • Color Motifs: A few subtle ones:
    • A light baby blue is frequently tied to Alan's emotional states, infamously with the mysterious blue chair that he nearly breaks down trying to pick up, but also in his happier states, with a few of the items he works with being the same color. Given how they're most frequently associated with his tutorials and his personal need to cope through them, it seems it mostly represents his innocence.
    • Red is also sporadically introduced here and there, namely in the points in a few tutorials where he suddenly starts bleeding for no apparent reason. As it would be later explored following his induction into the white room, red eventually comes to represent antagonistic forces trying to challenge or exploit his naïveté, appearing when something is seemingly trying to force him into doing tutorials against his individual will.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: His tutorial on how to find water doesn't exactly tell you how to find water (he just comes across a large canal under a cliff), but his method of obtaining it from a significantly lower altitude (cutting a milk jug in half to use as a bowl, then tying its handle to a long-enough rope) is actually pretty handy.
  • Companion Cube:
    • In the white room, after accumulating five one dollar bills, Alan arranges each dollar into the shape of a humanoid and proceeds to talk to it. It continues to show up in subsequent episodes, gains George Washington's face when he receives a sixth, and he makes sure to grab it and take it with him when he finally breaks out.
    • The blue chair. Though Alan never talks to it, he expresses great distress when it's lying on the floor, as evidenced in the page quote. It also shows up a few times later when Alan is out in the forest.
  • Cool Shades: Apparently worn in Alan's tutorial on how to smoke. Though the only reason we know that he was even wearing them is that they fall off and hit the floor when he leans over.
  • Cope by Creating: Alan attempts to cope with his problems the only way he knows how: by doing the one thing he loves and making tutorials for the internet, even if he's stranded in the wilderness.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Almost nothing goes explained by either Alan or any sort of a third party. At most, viewers are given the occasional background event for even the slightest inference, and even then a number of them seem to just be there to add mystery and strangeness. Essentially everything is left to viewer interpretation.
  • Disguised Horror Story: The series begins with a bumbling, tutorial-obsessed man making tutorials and asking for likes and subscriptions in what seems to be a parody of typical YouTube tutorials. Things go downhill when Alan is locked out of his room, creating tutorials that make even less sense than before, and seems to live as a recluse in the woods before being kidnapped and stuck into a small white room by an unknown person or people. Alan's room gets progressively filthier and freakier (and he creates a man out of dollars to keep him company) until he is apparently abandoned, the lights go out, and he breaks out of the white room by smashing through a wall with the money man in tow.
  • Driven to Suicide: Thankfully averted.
    • Early in his YouTube career, Alan stated on Twitter that if he didn't gain more followers, he would "just die".
    • It happened again and more directly in his terrarium tutorial; Alan threatened to take his own life if he did not gain about 1000 subscribers within two days after the video was uploaded.
  • Drop the Hammer: Alan is delivered a box full of small wooden mallets in "ARM tutorial".
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Alan's voice sounds notably different in his first few tutorials, especially so in the very first one. Additionally, he adds annotations, and there's the occasional glitch in his videos.
  • Easter Egg: In Alan's tutorial on elephant glue, the blue paper he uses to wipe his hand off is the script to Live Forever As You Are Now, another project by Resnick that was made for Adult Swim. Interestingly, Live Forever aired roughly a year after the elephant glue tutorial was uploaded, making it Foreshadowing in a sense.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Though Alan hasn't uploaded another tutorial in several years, and he's broken out of the white room, there is no clear indication whether or not Alan's most recent tutorial is his last.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "You need green slime, which is a... a big bucket of slime."
  • Finger Gun: Alan inexplicably opens fire upon three one dollar bills with his finger after declaring his excitement to receive them. He also does it once more to the laptop seen in "How to watch youtube clips in HD 720p (computer tutorial)", and later pops the money man in "ARM tutorial".
  • Forced Creativity: Alan usually had a passion for his tutorials, which helped to get him through rough times and connect to an audience. However, on two separate occasions, he was forced to do tutorials against his will. Not only did he literally and symbolically bleed each time, but he was locked in a room with nothing to do but make tutorials, in one case being beaten if he refused. The second time resulted in him eventually being abandoned in the locked room as it got progressively filthier and filthier, until he finally broke out and stopped making tutorials entirely.
  • Forced from Their Home: The first few episodes of the show all take place inside of Alan's house, where he does his tutorials in a relatively safe environment but is living with a neglectful brother. Eventually, he's forced to begin making tutorials for money rather than for his own love of them, and lashes out by destroying his brother's construction projects. Then comes "Locked Out Of Room Tutorial", where it's revealed that he's not only been locked out on the roof but that "someone packed up all of (his) stuff". The rest of the series takes place outside of the house, as Alan was forced to live alone in the wilderness...until eventually being kidnapped, where he spent the rest of the series in a single room.
  • Genre Shift: In-universe: at one point during his stay in the white room, Alan switches gears and becomes a news channel instead of a tutorial channel, flat out stating he doesn't like tutorials. However, it's implied that whoever had been keeping him in the room had eventually made him revert to his old format.
  • The Ghost: Almost every single person except for Alan and his Companion Cubes end up being this. In fact, there is only one other person ever seen in any of Alan's videos, and they are only ever seen once. However, when they are seen, Alan appears to be afraid of them.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Alan eventually gets locked up in a room alone for months, and during this situation his videos, words and actions become more erratic and chaotic, until he's trapped in a filthy prison of his own design and can only say "tutorial".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Averted in Alan's AC tutorial and "AlanVideo.mp4 tutorial", where Alan is seen injured (thankfully only minorly) on camera, but played straight in "disk tutorial", where Alan appears to be covered in blood. It is implied that he was beaten by whoever captured him.
  • Hell Is That Noise
    • The sounds heard while Alan is trapped in the white room are particularly ominous, though they reach their peak in spook factor when Alan is initially kidnapped and in the back of the truck in his disk tutorial.
    • In "tt", after Alan tries to open the door and repeatedly yanks on it, someone (or something) can be heard hitting the door from the other side, clearly attempting to get in...
  • Insane Troll Logic: Alan seems to run off this trope in his tutorials, which make no sense and are given the most random of names, utilize made-up words and Buffy Speak, are full of unrelated items and other non-sequitur, among other things.
  • Intentional Mess Making: This has one tutorial where Alan starts tearing apart planks of wood in a house his brother is implied to be building, angry that he's been forced to do tutorials against his will and lashing out in the only way he can.
  • Jump Scare: Notably mostly averted, but in at least one of Alan's earlier tutorials, the video hangs for a moment before resuming with an abrupt, glitchy sound effect.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Especially in Alan's later tutorials, Alan sometimes silently surveys the scene before him or occasionally lets the recording continues after the tutorial seems to have ended.
  • Madness Mantra: "Tutorial! My name is alantutorial..." And later we have "Two dollars. Big guys in town, got two dollars. Those are my dollars, I earned two bucks. Two fatty dollars. So those are my two dollars, I'm pretty excited to keep these dollars..."
  • Manchild: With the way Alan acts, he comes off as this quite often. Alan says at one point, "my name is Alantutorial, and I'm a little kid!"
  • Mind Screw: The first several episodes can be explained away by Alan just being eccentric, but when the status quo starts to change, things make less and less sense.
  • Missing Steps Plan: It's not uncommon for Alan to declare something done when either nothing appears to have been accomplished or if Alan has insufficiently explained his steps, which are already typically ambiguous at best.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Alan is pretty excited to receive two dollars. Granted, at that point, Alan is locked away in the white room with nothing to his name but a gown, a pillow, a table, piss bottles, and whatever is given to him to create tutorials.
  • Nobody Poops: Inverted. Despite being trapped in the white room with no contact with anyone for months on end, he still manages to flood it with his feces despite lacking any sources of food besides what appears to be a pair of spinning legs.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: One early episode has Alan not speaking, claiming in the title and comments that his mic is broken- even though the audience can hear noises in the background.
  • Non Sequitur: Alan's statements commonly jump from one topic to another. In the case of his tutorials, he often includes objects that ordinarily bear little relevance to what he is attempting to achieve, like a buzzsaw to make guacamole. Even his tutorials themselves eventually become this. "Changing" apparently involves sawing and chopping up burning furniture.
  • Nothing Is Scarier
    • Alan's YouTube and Twitter avatars are both mostly black with subtle, blurry, and indecipherable shapes.
    • There is the occasional blank annotation in Alan's earlier tutorials. They're especially prominent in "desk demo, broken microphone help?"
    • "how to change" is completely devoid of audio until about halfway through the video, when a jazzy tune begins to play. This was, however, apparently due to some sort of error over at YouTube, as the video has been transcribed by viewers who have seen it pre-error.
    • Viewers see very little of exactly what's going on in the white room after the lights go out. Alan goes mostly silent from there on out as well.
    • The whole series, really. You never see a real explanation for what's going on with Alan and have to infer a story from nothing more than his tutorials and his Twitter, and some of the implications get quite horrific.
  • Obviously Not Fine: The normally cheery-but-quirky Alan would sometimes have moments of getting upset about his troubling home-life and forced tutorial-making. When this would happen, he'd usually have to post on Twitter about how he was definitely okay and how he loved making his Tutorials, in posts written with uncharacteristically proper grammar, proving that something was wrong. Alan's inability to express his negative emotions came off as obviously forced and was Played for Horror.
  • Ominous Knocking: Played with, where one early video shows that something is very wrong in Alan's house when he's doing a paper-airplane tutorial, and we hear someone repeatedly banging at his door as he insists for them to stop so he can make his tutorial. However, it's not the knocking itself causing the scene to feel wrong; it's the fact that, due to the camera shaking as the knocking occurs, it seems that it's Alan himself stomping on the ground to make the audience think someone is at his door.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted; the money man's name is also alantutorial, if Alan's conversation with it is anything to go by.
  • Postmodernism: The exact meaning of the series is never actually explained, but through several clues in the background and through alantutorial's Twitter account, a common interpretation about the series is that it's a microcosm of a typical cycle of an internet celebrity or even artists in general; explaining how something one would do for their own enjoyment ends up being exploited by others in adult situations that the childlike, naive creator can't understand, eventually leading to their ruinous breakdown.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: Early in the series, Alan tried to show his viewers how to pick up a blue chair, only to fail because it was making him too emotional. He was later forced from his house, including the chair. The chair would later appear during his time lost in the wilderness despite this, due to its unclear significance to Alan's life.
  • Sanity Slippage: Alan already comes off as a Cloudcuckoolander from the start, but his tutorials become progressively less coherent as the series goes on. He also seems to become less focused, losing his train of thought increasingly frequently and either stuttering or turning his attention to something else. His voice in earlier tutorials is more relaxed and even deeper in tone, but quickly takes on a higher pitch and and a more frantic tone.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In one tutorial, Alan describes his two dollars as looking like "the photos of two dollars".
  • Smoking Is Cool: Alan certainly seems to think so in "How to Smoke". However... it seems as if he doesn't have a good idea of what smoking is besides setting stuff rolled up in paper on fire.
  • Talkative Loon
    • Alan is typically very talkative, particularly as his videos progress, eager to guide viewers through his tutorials. He also becomes harder and harder to follow as the series progresses.
    • Exemplified at its best in "BIG_(part of the group).avi its an avi file", where Alan goes on a one minute-long, nonstop monologue where he strays to a new topic every other sentence (everything from digital piracy to being a team player) and makes absolutely no sense throughout.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: As the videos are all made by Alan, the series is entirely from his perspective. It's unknown whether this affects how reality is being viewed, but given the blue chair's appearances outside, this could be one explanation.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: During his time lost in the wilderness, Alan posts videos of himself eating from dumpster bags and getting his water from eating snow; of course, they're framed as tutorials teaching his audience how to survive being homeless in the woods. Later, Alan becomes desperate for the money given to him by his captors and willingly gives up his own free-will to make tutorials for them in return, even though he was initially insistent on defying them.
  • Unknown Character: The person(s) who capture(s) him and lock(s) him in the white room. And every/anyone else, if there is anyone else.
  • Vehicular Kidnapping: When Alan posts a video of him bloody and inside a truck, it's made clear he'd been kidnapped, a situation that continues for all episodes afterward.
  • Verbal Tic: Particularly as the series progresses, Alan occasionally throws "tutorial" into his sentences.
  • Wham Episode: A few.
    • "AlanVideo.mp4 tutorial", where Alan scurries through an alley with a tarp, frequently jumps topics as he speaks, digs through someone's garbage and mistakes canine fecal matter for mud as he smears it in a dictionary. And it only gets worse as the next tutorials are released.
    • Later, "disk tutorial", where Alan is seen in the back of what seems to be a truck, covered in blood. Horrific sounds are constantly heard in the background as he struggles to find materials for a tutorial, eventually declaring that a small metal disc itself is the tutorial. Oh, and there are things such as "THE BEATINGS SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES" and YOU'RE NOT BEATEN UNTIL YOU ADMIT IT written all over the walls. Not to mention, in the very next episode, Alan is trapped in a cell of some sort.
    • Things really seem bad in "ARM tutorial", in which Alan really shows off the state of the white room. The place is generally filthy with unidentifiable debris; piss bottles litter the floors, a few of which are knocked over; scribbles cover the walls; and where the blue chair was painted, there seems to be a splatter of feces in its place. Additionally, Alan goes silent for a few moments as he sidetracks into a brief rampage with a hammer, smacking everything in sight before he is seemingly pacified by the money man. He then pans the camera around the white room as though he's contemplating what he's done.
    • Then there's two joint Wham Episodes of sorts with "V-2014-83-4324" and "tt". The lights in Alan's room have gone out, the place is filthier than ever before, and in tt, Alan desperately tries the door to see if it's unlocked, there's some loud banging coming from an unidentifiable source, and there's some mysterious spinning meat seen at the end. Oh, and Alan says little beyond the occasional "tutorial" at this point.
    • And again in "tutoiral" — Alan has smashed a hole in the white room's wall big enough for him to crawl through.
    • To make things worse, months go by between these videos. Meaning Alan has been living in his own feces, blood, urine, and the remains of some kind of unidentified meat that might even belong to a human or dog, for months by himself.
  • World of Symbolism: A common theory is that various objects and occurrences in Alan's tutorials have a much deeper meaning than simply being odd or spooky.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Alan has made tutorials that teach the viewer how to do things such as pick up pencils and chairs, eat chips, and take pills, often in elaborate and unnecessarily complex ways.
  • Your Size May Vary: The table in the white room shrinks in height as if its legs were mysteriously sawn off between the events of two of the videos.

Tutorial! Hello.