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Barshens is a collaborative YouTube channel between Barry Lewis of My Virgin Kitchen and Stuart Ashen. They are joined by producer Paul Gannon and Eli Silverman of the CheapShow podcast, Stuart's nephew Ryan (A.K.A. "Cousin Dan"), their omnipresent but usually silent tech crew, and the occasional guest as they engage in quizzes, competitions, eating unpleasant foods, laughing at strange news articles, and finding any excuse to say and write "shart".

The team also has a podcast available on iTunes and SoundCloud. Same shart applies.


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This channel provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: The standard intro is one for cheesy 80s sitcom intros, complete with corny piano music and the guys turning to smile at the camera while Stuart slaps at a laptop and Barry yells at someone over the phone.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: In one Sharticles episode Barry claims to like the smell of methane, which is impossible as methane is odourless.
  • Ascended Extra: The show was originally focused on just Barry and Stuart, with Eli appearing as the model for "Poor Man's Cosplay", Paul producing the show and co-hosting the podcasts, and Ryan filling in a seat when needed. They have since gone on to be as much of the show as the main duo.
  • Berserk Button: The King of Plasticine really hates raisins.
    King of Plasticine: I'd like to take this, put it in your silly face, and I RIP YOU! I TEAR YOU! I TEAR YOU! I HATE RAISINS! MUMMY DON'T GIVE ME RAISINS! PULL THE RAISINS OUT!
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  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Google Translate Quiz, where Ryan ran famous film quotes through Google Translate into Japanese and then back into English. Barry and Stuart try to guess the original quote and the film. The strangest results include "Yeah, my grandmother!" ("Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!" from Die Hard) and "Why are you leaving, half a bunch of frightening hawks, relying on half!" ("Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!" from The Empire Strikes Back).
  • Clickbait Gag: In the recurring called Sharticles, Stuart and another presenter, usually Barry, look at 'slow news' publications. When the articles aren't reporting on completely trivial matters (IE - a church stacking their chairs in a different manner), they branch into this. Specifically, one article suggested that Justin Bieber visited the small town the article was from, but the text of the article made it clear that Bieber's private jet had only flown over the town.
  • Credits Gag: The credits often hide additional jokes, such as sarcastic or bizarre "roles" employed by the crew (Linton Davies - Courage), and the omnipresent Shout-Out to The Day Today where Bono is credited for providing the carpets.
  • Crossover: The channel is this for Barry and Stuart, born out of their occasional food-related crossovers on their respective channels. Barshens also crosses over with the Cheapshow podcast via its hosts Paul and Eli.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone's preferred mode of speaking is dry British sarcasm, with Stuart as the reigning king.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Stuart seems to really like referencing this trope as he often does during Barshens videos and on his own Ashens videos.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Barry's by far the least foul-mouthed out of the crew. In the early episodes he never swore at all and when reading Sharticles he frequently substitutes swears in the articles for tamer alternatives. More recently however he's loosened up and will occasionally swear, mainly during some of the more heated competitions.
  • Inherently Funny Words:
    • "Shart," which the guys will find any excuse to use.
    • Eli enjoys saying the words "amplitude" and "modular".
  • Nausea Fuel: Invoked by the numerous food-tasting videos. The food is usually designed to be revolting, causing nausea in the hosts.
  • Odd Name Out: The names Eli gave to the race donkeys in "Donkey Derby" are; Pantry Raider, Derek Smitters Wondermitten, Piss Streak McDavy, Shoog Knight's Nurse, and Melanie.
  • One Steve Limit: There have been multiple Dans involved, some in the same video: Daniel Hardcastle, Dan Tomlinson, and Ryan being nicknamed Cousin Dan.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: The "Good Mythical Porning" video was about Paul and Ryan guessing if various porn parody titles given by Barry were real porn films or made up by Barry. The episode title itself is one for Good Mythical Morning
  • Poor Man's Substitute: invoked "Poor Man's Cosplay", where Barry and Stuart try to replicate a costume using the cheapest construction materials they can get.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Barry, to the point where its a running joke and the subject of several games.
    Stuart: How many films have you seen Barry?
    Ryan in a Paper-Thin Disguise: ...Two?
    Stuart: Barry's only seen one film: Back to the Future! *takes off Ryan's disguise* Cousin Dan! How could you?
  • Portmantitle: "Bars" for Barry, "hens" for Ashens, scooted over from "Bar" and "shens" for evenness' sake. Their original collaborations were called "Bashens", but there was already a channel with that name.
  • Running Gag:
    • Any time Barry's mum comes up in conversation, he reminds everyone that she was an extra in Blackball: MILF 1.
    • Eli's love of noodles and things modular.
    • Barry often loses points or whole games through Stuart's or Paul's mistakes. Editor Linton adds "#BARRYWASROBBED" in post as a form of protest.
    • The cast often jokes about their videos getting demonetized.
  • Shout-Out: Bono is credited in every episode with "Carpets", a reference to the same Credits Gag employed by the 1994 satire news show The Day Today.
  • Small Reference Pools: Several jokes and games are based around Barry's lack of knowledge about films, television and games. A running joke is that the only film he's ever seen is Back to the Future. Barry openly accepts his ignorance; when he hosted the Geek Quiz, he skipped questions when he knew the answers.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • One of the recurring challenges is of Eli wearing a speculum to hold his mouth open, and Barry and Stuart must try to figure out what he's saying.
    • The Cracker Quiz has Stuart and Paul becoming this by eating crackers and trying to describe a piece of media without saying its name, and each time Ryan and Barry respectively get the name right, they add another cracker. By the fourth cracker they can barely get sounds out of their mouths.
  • Visual Pun: Some of the team's shirt logos are these for their names: Barry has bars, Stuart has hens, Paul's is a cannon ("Gannon"), and Eli's is an E lying down.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Paul and Eli are always sniping and snarking at each other.
    Stuart: [My Barshens-themed park ride] would be the "Paul and Eli's Relationship Roller Coaster." You get on and it just goes up and down, you feel sick constantly, and occasionally an automated Paul cups you on the back of the head.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: "Sharticles", a series where Barry and Stuart read out ridiculous and often pointless news articles, usually from Barry's native Bristol or Stuart's native Norwich.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Paul decides to "play the odds" in the EuroPop or EuroPlop? quiz. As he proceeds to lose considerably, Stuart points out that it doesn't work to play probability statistics when there are definite outcomes.
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