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The books around him symbolize the breadth of his knowledge. His computer's there because this happens to be his living room.

"[M]y primary goal: to get people in nerd culture to explore highbrow culture."

Brows Held High is a film analysis show about arthouse cinema. It is hosted by Kyle Kallgren (formerly known as Oancitizen), who rose to some prominence on the That Guy With The Glasses forums when he wrote a dissertation on Nella's My Little Pony epic.

His signature style usually involves a lot of high-brow intellectual concepts, but explained well enough that they don't go over viewer's heads. The show was originally more overtly comedic, but has since changed its tone to be more on the analytical side of things, while still maintaining Kallgren's understated, quirky sense of humor as a major element.

You can find these videos on YouTube here.

This show provides examples of:

  • Accentuate the Negative:
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • His reaction to Shortbus' "Shabbos goy" asking if a woman is on the rag.
    "That's so hot."
    Kyle: Ewww.
    "I use menstrual blood as makeup in my show."
    Kyle: Ewww!
    "It's a period piece."
    Kyle: Heh— [frowns] ewww.
    • Later, in his Tromeo and Juliet crossover review with The Cinema Snob, he admits that he thought the "see how she rests her cheek upon her hand." line (wherein the "cheek" was changed to be an ass cheek) was actually kind of clever.
    • From another review:
    It's always a little disheartening when people in my comments section come up with better jokes than I did. I mean, "Glaucom-a-vision?" Dammit[...], I wish I'd used that!
    • He had the same reaction on his Twitter when someone suggested a missed joke for Harmony Korine's Mister Lonely: "The people faked it, so they didn't make it."
  • Adaptation Sequence: (In-Universe) The Devils is a movie based on a play based on a novel based on historical events. And is historically accurate.
  • Alliterative Name: Lampshaded in The Discovery of Heaven. Kyle helpfully notes that the Messiah character has matching initials, a trait "common to many great men of legend!" (he then points out this applies to himself as well)
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: In-universe, he suggests "A Midsummer Night's Cream" as a made-up porn version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, only to be told that there's already a real one.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie/You Are What You Hate: After watching Trash Humpers, he realizes he's become one of them.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: Says the exact trope name and that he can't take any film with them in it seriously.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Spoofed In-Universe in his joint review of the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie with JesuOtaku, with Kyle taking the position of "animation is for kids/dunderheads."
  • Anime Hair: How he describes the hairdo of the Twilight of the Ice Nymphs protagonist. Also complaints about it in the Utena review. "Why does everyone have rainbow hair?!"
  • Apocalyptic Log: Played with a bit. When Roo from Clan of the Gray Wolf watched We Are the Strange to help review it he lost it. However he kept notes and gave them to Kyle.
    Kyle: It's here that Roo's notes read 'Oh my God I can see forevarrrglblahhhh.'
    Kyle: Here, Roo just has a long list of unkind things about my mother.'
  • April Fools' Day: The Eraserhead review.
  • Arch-Enemy: Harmony Korine. Kyle has to date reviewed four of his movies(which is about half his filmography), more than any other film-maker.
  • The Aristocrats: He compares the outrageous content in A Serbian Film to the joke, and later does the same with the over-the-top violence in Titus Andronicus.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Kyle quibbles over misplaced Shakespeare texts and inarticulate voice-overs ("Well, I just don't think that the gentleman from Motörhead is the best chorus...") while the Snob is left cringing at the real depravities.
    • And again with Tom Green and the gallons of elephant bunk. "This scene takes place on the Indian subcontinent and that is clearly an African elephant!"
    • The disclaimer at the beginning of the Ken Park review warns that "This episode deals with disturbing themes. Also, there are huge spoilers for season 2 of The Wire. And I horribly mispronounce 'Tagalog'."
  • Art Imitates Art:
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: In Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, the cowgirls sedate the cranes with peyote. Assuming that the drug works on cranes exactly the way it would work on humans, peyote is a hallucinatory drug, not a sedative.
    Kyle: Those birds should be painting the swamp with vomit while shrieking about the spiders inside their eyeballs.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Points out how difficult it would be for Dracula to travel from Romania to Italy at the certain point in time that Blood for Dracula is set.
  • Artistic License – Space: Goes on a lengthy rant about how Melancholia breaks every law of physics and astronomy possible.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Kyle's cameo in Atop the Fourth Wall consists of him trying to decrypt a conspiracy consisting of copious amounts of religious, political, and cultural mumbo-jumbo, which ultimately concludes with a nuclear explosion, followed by the Messenger from Angels in America appearing before him and telling him the Great Work is about to begin.
  • Ass Pull: Invoked when he gives a high-brow, symbolic analysis of the scene in Freddy Got Fingered that involves Tom Green jacking off a horse while shouting "Look at me, daddy, I'm a farmer."
    Kyle: Perhaps this horse's phallus represents the onset of manhood.
    Nostalgia Chick: And this interpretation...
    Kyle: Extracted directly from my anus, yes.
  • Awesome Ego: In-universe, Peter Greenaway; even though Kyle loves his "delightfully idiosyncratic" style of direction, and takes special care to point out how his richly detailed sets and meticulous staging draw from Renaissance art to create symbolic tableaus, a good deal of his review of Nightwatching is just spent poking fun at Petey Greens' sheer pretension and intellectual elitism.
  • Awful Truth: From his review of Zardoz:
  • Backhanded Compliment:
    • The Future - "The reason I like this movie so much is Miranda July recognizes all the things I don't like about her. (beat) Huh."
    • Rates Melancholia as Dunst's second-best performance of her career. Her absolute best was the Eye Take in reaction to Lars Von Trier's Nazi speech at Cannes.
  • Bait-and-Switch: For the final "Summer of Shakespeare" episode, Kyle looks at the story parallels between Disney's The Lion King and Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth. Some Jerk with a Camera, who sunk a ton of research into Hamlet in hopes of crossing-over, is not pleased to hear that.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: "The thing about Gus Van Sant — he's not always dull. Or Oscar baiting. Sometimes... he's balls-out cuckoopants."
  • Ban on Politics:
    • Kyle maintains this on his show... for the most part.
      Kyle: *blink-blink* Well... That didn't go well.
    • Averted after 2016, where he began to post video essays that deal with current issues such as Fascism (Siegfried Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler), body politics (Taxidermia), toxic masculinity (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence), racism (the question whether to erase D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) from film history and replace with movies that used innovative techniques featured in the film), and representation of minority in media (The Watermelon Woman).
  • Bat Signal: Referenced as inverson in his Much Ado About Nothing review, as it wasn't to summon the person named but his friends to help him. He also starting a series analyzing past movies with anti-fascist themes.
    Kyle: He put up the Whedon Signal.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call Kyle a hipster or an anti-intellectual.
    Y: Ruler of Time: You sound like a hipster.
    Kyle: I Am Not A Hipster, good sir!!
    • Although in the Slacker review he does say he "might or might not be a hipster". He likes a lot of hipster stuff, but doesn't feel like he is one.
    • He also doesn't like being called a Brad Jones rip-off.note 
    • For the character, dead babies. Including piglets.
    • Starting with the What Is It? review, if snails are ever mentioned or brought into the equation, You may be in trouble.
    • Kyle screaming his lungs out after The Nostalgia Chick summarizes the ending of Der Himmel über Berlin as "a long monologue" about "time..and loneliness...or something." Film analysis is Serious Business.
    • Also, don't deny him the chance to sing in your crossover.
    • In his Shame review, he begins ranting about his hatred of "New York, New York," and the fact that there are so many songs about New York City.
    • Conspiracy theories, anti-Stratfordianism ("William Shakespeare didn't write his plays") in particular.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Discussed at length in Vase de Noces. He concludes that it's been Played for Laughs so often that the concept itself isn't shocking anymore, which costs the film much of its impact.
  • Big Applesauce: Kyle's not keen on this trope, as his epic rant in the middle of his Shame episode indicates. If anything, this seems to have been exacerbated since he moved to New York City himself.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: From Goodbye 20th Century, a three-part Macedonian film that's ostensibly meant to comment on the state of Macedonian society. In the third part, a bunch of people (ostensibly all family) sit in a circle with Santa Claus when suddenly the grandmother begins farting uncontrollably, causing her to rocket forward in her wheelchair until she hits the wall. The youngest children then throw firecrackers after her, one man starts playing the trumpet and two other people start screaming at the camera for no apparent reason. Kyle was simply dumbstruck. invoked
    "Okay, let's just fast forward and pretend that never happened."
  • Big "WHAT?!": 8 minutes into JesuOtaku making him watch Revolutionary Girl Utena. The first of many, as we'll see in due course.
    • Tromeo & Juliet:
      Snob: You're concerned about the severed head landing on the family car, but not the incest?
      Kyle: Well, to be fair, it was foreshadowed.
      Snob: WHAT?!
    • He was willing to give W a fair shot, until the last few minutes. "Did he just call Hillary Clinton a whore?"
  • Big Word Shout: Sleeping Beauty - "DUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLL!"
    "You're kept waiting for the other shoe to drop... only to realize that there are no shoes!
  • Bilingual Bonus: After hearing the nonsensical first line of Exterminating Angels, Kyle asks any viewers who have an idea what it means to send their answers to "". In other words, send it to bullshit.
    • He closed "The Discovery Of Heaven" by delivering a few lines (unsubtitled) in Dutch.
    "<No, really. Why is the film not in Dutch? It's not like there aren't any smart, talented Dutch actors that can play these roles. And I think they would rather do this than shit like Spion Van Oranje! [a Dutch comedy film] And another thing...>"
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: After viewing Sweet Movie, he accuses several of his fellow reviewers (including his boss) of being sheltered. He can't, however, make an argument for The Cinema Snob.
    • For The Idiots, Kyle encouraged his viewers to look past the film's shoddy execution. "Let's face it, Kickassia had better lighting."
      (phone rings) "Hello. Oh, hi Holly. ....I'm SUSPENDED?!?"
    • While reviewing the Andy Warhol movie Vinyl, he explained that Warhol was an untrained filmmaker, who gave little direction to his equally untrained actors, and simply pointed a camera at the action with little eye for context. He then forced a smile and said, "By the way, shooting the fourth anniversary movie was a blast.
    • In Melancholia, he compares his workmates to The Muppets after Phil Buni talks about a crossover.
    • In Mister Lonely, a movie about a commune of celebrity impersonators:
      Kyle: Not bashing the premise, mind you. I mean... people dressing up like famous characters for a niche market. [Derisively] My colleagues have made that movie twice.
    • In his review of Vase de Noces, after Cinema Snob explains about "Reviewer Dibs", Kyle said that its like how people hated Lupa's review of Birdemic after watching Phelous's review of Birdemic. Phelous doesn't take that statement very well.
      Phelous: (angry) Don't YOU talk about my girlfriend, Ralph!
  • Black Speech: Kyle struggles with Klingonese while discussing the Klingon Hamlet. In particular, reciting the "Alas, poor Yorick" speech makes him keel over.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah/Freudian Slip: The opening speech to 9 Songs is nothing but proper nouns, sexual swearwords, and the phrase "rock music."
    "Well: sexy sexomely sexy sex sex sex sex. Sex fuck and butt hit ramming lip nut fuckily sex. Fuck clit sub wang urine jism cuntsplosion, treble penetration piledrivesionary spunk rocker orally fisting labialise. Nibbly snowballing felch in the bathroom of a subway station. Rock music. Sex rimjob pork sword bearded clam 9 Songs. Sex and fuck bukkak-a-doodle-doo. Squirting frot Michael Winterbottom fuck vas deferens dildocean santorum. Tickle your circuits fuck orgiastic nines titty grammaton jism. Also, rock music. Gangbanging creampie symposium fuck combat yoghurt ken orificial moaning screaming jism orgasm-orsism. The Dandy Warhols. So, um, what is this film about anyway?"
    *Screen flashes "Antarctica"*
  • Body Snatcher: For the "Freaks" review, Kyle's body is possessed by Diamanda Hagan, who proceeds to dye his hair and paint his face in her usual color scheme and then do the review in a faux-Irish accent. He also feels himself up and comments "So that's what one of those feels like."
  • Bookshelf of Authority: Kyle Kallgren's set usually consists of him sitting in front of a bookcase full of books, befitting his show as a reviewer of "arthouse" media. He notes this in his review of Yeelen, remarking on how it reflects European-descended cultures in viewing literacy as a show of knowledge.
  • Brain Bleach: After Ken Park, Kyle watches The Godfather to erase the terrible memories.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The review of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover comes with the trigger warning: "abuse, vomit, abuse of vomit".
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A lot of the comedy of the show.
  • Breather Episode: The Angels in America and The Fall reviews.
  • Breathless Non Sequitur "That's right Romero fans, board up the windows and rev up the chainsaws, because we're going to talk about gay porn!"
    • Even Cowgirls Get the Blues: During the feminist takeover of a bird ranch, Kyle launches into a Scottish brogue by way of William Wallace:
      ""Dey may take o'r right to vote, plan a family, and receive equal pay at the workplace, but dey'll never take our stoned endangered birds!"
  • Brick Joke: Diamanda Hagan tells her minion to mail Kyle his balls (since he's obviously not using his) at the end of the Ken Park review. Two videos later, the package finally arrives.
    • And then, when the two have a Crossover, Hagan actually cuts off Kyle's balls. When he asked for them back, Hagan said she'd mail them to him.
    • The time travel duplicate of Kyle he stuffed in the closet in his Primer review shows up again (and then gets killed) at the end of the What Is It? review.
    • A very subtle one. When Allison Pregler tried to review Gerry (before switching to Hard To Kill), Diamanda Hagan tried to stop her by having her minions find every copy of the movie and destroy it. In his own review of it, he mentions it was hard to find a copy as all the local video stores had theirs stolen by Northern Irishmen in black masks.
    • A little while after he slept with his wastebasket at the end of Trash Humpers, he watched W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism and reached the conclusion that he needed to have sex or turn into a crazed murderer. While calling up candidates, he eyes his dustbin with contempt and says "You used me."
  • Broke Episode: The Idiots ends with Kyle pledging to follow the Dogme "Rules of Filmmaking." No lighting rigs, no animations, no editing, and Kyle hums his own theme tune. "This is truth!"
  • Broken Aesop: From Goodbye 20th Century, which he selected to be his Christmas episode:
    Kyle: If there's one thing we've learned from this movie, it's that human history is run by cycles of pain and insanity.
    *his face is framed by a wreath, with the words "Merry Christmas" stretched across the screen*
    Kyle: Human history is run by cycles of pain and insanity, everyone.
  • Brown Note: arguably some of the movies he's watched, but also Sasha Grey's music, as heard in The Girlfriend Experience review.
  • Buffy Speak: His early attempts at explaining the plot to Primer results in him just calling everything 'things'.
    • In the review of We Are The Strange, Roo's notes refer to every single element of the surreal movie as "thingies."
    • Discussed at length in his review of Joss Whedon's version of Much Ado About Nothing, emphasizing how different Whedon's usual writing is from his use of Shakespeare's metered dialogue.
  • Butt-Monkey: In and out of character; he is often taken on reviews to act as the stoic foil to all sorts of slapstick and silliness, gets tormented by other reviewers, most prominently by Diamanda Hagan. Out of character, three videos he posted on TGWTG in 2012 caused controversies, two from fans, one from the creator of the film he reviewed.
  • Call-Back: His moving announcement was full of them.
  • The Cameo: Diamanda Hagan appears at the end of the Ken Park review, and the end of Gerry. The latter also features cameos from Apollo Z. Hack, Allison and Derek from Audible Underwear.
    • Kyle accidentally invokes Rule 34 in Sebastiane, which results in The Vegan reciting a Slash Fic involving Ulysses S. Grant and Jefferson Davis.
    • Roo from Clan of the Greywolf agrees to "translate" M dot Strange's impenetrable video game/anime references. And has a nervous breakdown.
    Kyle: D'ja like it?
  • Camera Abuse: He taps it pretty hard during What Is It?, causing visible glitches in the video.
  • Captain Obvious: The Snob challenging him to "make [himself] useful" and try interpreting Troma-Juliet's dream sequence with the killer penis.
    Kyle: (astutely) I think she's afraid of men.
    Snob: Thank you. That was very insightful.
    • It there anything we can say about Tom Green's love interest in this movie?
      Kyle: She exis
      Chick: Besides the fact that she exists?
      Kyle: She has a nice place.
  • Caption Humor: Reviewing We Are the Strange momentarily causes Kyle's words to be translated into L33t speak.
    • Also uses mock captions in his reviews for "Andy Warhol's Dracula" and "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein", to make fun of the characters' unintelligible accents.
  • Cargo Shipinvoked: He ends his review of Trash Humpers by sleeping with his wastebasket.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Sleeping Beauty certainly lived up to its name, referring not to Emily Browning so much as the hapless viewer. Kyle is jolted awake when Browning suddenly smashes a chair, complete with Inception horn.
  • Catchphrase: Huzzah!
  • Caustic Critic: Parodied in Part 1 of his Beauty and the Beast review, along with Belle's role as the the book-smart loner (from the Disney version) and the inversion of this trope.
  • Cerebus Retcon: A rare example done within the same multi-part essay on Starship Troopers. Part 2 has Kyle going over how difficult it is for non-Dutch speakers to pronounce "Scheveningen". This is played for laughs, with Kyle struggling to get it right while his younger brother does it with ease. Part 3 brings it back up to discuss the idea of a shibboleth, where correct pronunciation is used to decide who doesn't belong; "Scheveningen" was used as such during World War II by the Dutch Resistance to identify German spies, feeding into Kyle's larger point about how language is used to determine friend from foe.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In the Melancholia review. Diamanda Hagan posting Kyle's phone number on Twitter out of spite causes the review to end with Kyle receiving a flurry of admiring and supportive calls from his adoring fans, pulling him out of the deep funk he spent the review in.
  • Cliffhanger: Subverted at the end of What Is It?. As Kyle struggles to play another movie to escape the nightmares of this one, a narrator announces "Will Kyle escape his insanity? Will his next movie be a good one or will it be another Ken Park? Find out on the next episode of Brows Held High!" Then Kyle immediately shows up to say "My next movie will be The Fall, and yeah, it's pretty good."
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Lets off a rare, if brief one, when the "666" motif is well and truly driven into the ground in The Doom Generation. "Cock-smelting fuckercunt!"
    • Also in his co-review with Allison of "Hamlet The Vampire Slayer," he tells a rapper to "Die motherfucker die motherfucker die!"
    • When Allison hears that Kyle is planning on reviewing Gerry, her reaction is: "Fuuuuck fuck fuck Gerry! Fuck fuckery fucking Gerry! Fuck fuck fuckery fuck fuck fuck Gerry! Fuck Gerry!"
    • From Vase de Noces: "So you're probably thinking: For fuckin' real, is there fuckin' pig fuckin' in the pig fuckin' movie? Yes there's fuckin' pig fuckin' in the pig fuckin' movie! Look at all the fuckin' pig fuckin'!"
  • Comes Great Responsibility: When seeing that even openly gay Diamanga Hagan faints at a picture of Oliver Reed, Kyle realizes the power of that picture, and gravely declares he must only use it for good.
  • Continuity Nod: To Atop the Fourth Wall in his "Slacker" review: "Is 90's Kid still evil?"
  • Couch Gag: At the start of each episode, or even cameo in other reviews, he reads something related, if only vaguely to the movie in question. You can see a sampling here.
    • And by "something", it means that it's not always a book. For instance, the Trash Humpers review starts with him reading the instructions for a box of trash bags.
  • Covered Up: Invoked in the Beauty and the Beast review. He listens to a carousel playing Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty and calls it one of Tchaikovsky's finest works. A nearby woman "corrects" him by saying it's Lana del Rey.
  • Covert Pervert: Kyle hinted that he might be one during his cameo in Diamanda's Emmanuelle 5 review.
    Kyle: Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a number of prostitutes dressed like Catholic school girls that I need to teach the intricacies of Proust.
    Diamanda: ...I'm going to assume I imagined that.
  • Critic Breakdown:
    • What Is It caused him to break down over its disturbing and offensive imagery.
    • Kyle tries very hard to hold it together in his review of A Serbian Film, but ultimately snaps and calls NATO over it.
    • Played for Drama in his review of Melancholia, a film about depression, where over the course of watching it he grows more and more despairing and lashes out at his friends and job.
  • Crisis Crossover: The ending of the What Is It? review.
  • Crossover: Given his love for Shakespeare, reviewed Hamlet the Vampire Slayer with Allison Pregler and Tromeo and Juliet with The Cinema Snob. Also, did Revolutionary Girl Utena with JesuOtaku, Ghost Dog with Rap Critic, Freddy Got Fingered with The Nostalgia Chick, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Film Brain ("Brows Beat Down""), and Les Misérables (2012) (with The Nostalgia Critic and Paw Dugan)
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Kyle had some choice words for the director of Trash Humpers.
    "(in mounting fury) Listen, Korine, if I ever meet you in real life, I will end you. I will take apart your camera and feed it to you. You will suffer I SWEAR TO GOD [voice quavers] OUR WORDS ARE BACKED WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS—" [deteriorates into sobs]
    • The modern interpretation of Laertes is a gay dance instructor. ..who looks like Mike Myers in Sprockets.
      "I want to punch him in his sideburns."
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • He admits the only reason why he likes the piglet scenes in Vase de Noces is because it appeals to the same part of his brain that likes lolcats.
    • While reviewing "This is Not a Film", Kyle gets easily sidetracked by the director's adorable pet iguana. "It's like a cat crossed with a dragon!"
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is "easily the greatest Canadian film about ostriches ever made."
    • "This is one of Andy Warhol's most action-packed movies." Anybody familiar with Warhol will see that joke coming. How about Warhol's leading lady, Edie Sedgwick?
      "She fills out a dress nicely. (pregnant pause) She...fills space—anyway, enough about her."
    • Lars Von Trier is his favorite brilliant awful human being!
    • In the case of Melancholia, Roland Emmerich is the more scientifically-accurate director.
  • Dead Baby Comedy: Defied, with strong effort, during his Antichrist review, where he mentions that normally he's above that sort of humor, but it's so hard not to make a joke like that when there's an actual dead baby five minutes into the movie.
    • This, by his own admission, is why he's never reviewed a Todd Solondz film.
    I'm not sure how many jokes I can get out of abortion, pedophilia and sexual abuse.
    • In "Mister Lonely," they get to a scene where the Marilyn Monroe impersonator hangs herself. Kyle can only stare horrified... and then Ven appears out of nowhere to sing "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kyle. It's the only way he can make it out alive.
  • Delusion Conclusion: In-universe and Played for Laughs; upon witnessing Shawn carrying on an extremely lurid affair with his girlfriend's mother in Ken Park, Kyle initially comes to the conclusion that this is just Shawn's fantasy, pointing out the teenager's unrealistic sexual prowess and the fact that the supposedly ordinary suburban mom has clearly had plastic surgery. However, when no big reveal is forthcoming, he is forced to irritably admit that these scenes actually happened.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "That 2 seconds of blurry full-frontal nudity was the most necessary thing in the history of necessity." (Twilight of the Ice Nymphs)
    • From 'Goodbye 20th Century': This film is a messy messy mess of a mess!
    • Me and You and Everyone We Know is one of the most "twee, twee bits of tweedom to ever come out of Sundance."
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ken Park. A movie of such dismal, rage-inducing depravity that Kyle actually called in Diamanda Hagan to nuke the city it was set in.
    • It happens again, predictably, with A Serbian Film, causing him to call NATO and try to get Serbia fictionally wiped off the map.
    • The "Melancholia" review is a LONG one for Kyle, as each cameo makes him more and more depressed.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: When he sees a guy being killed during a three way, and says that's how he wants to die.
    • Also, when realizing he made a Tyler Perry reference. He quickly made a Maya Deren reference to keep his snob cred.
  • Dissimile: Diamanda Hagan refers to Kyle as "Young, straight, Stephen Fry, only bearded and American."
    • Regarding Sleeping Beauty: "Imagine Eyes Wide Shut without the feeling of dread. Or feeling of mystery. Or feeling of feeling."
  • Distracted by the Sexy: An interesting aversion, as he proves unable to review an Emma Thompson film without blurting out a marriage proposal, but only because, besides being an Unkempt Beauty, she's witty, smart, stylish, strong, and just so damn awesome.
  • Double Standard: Discussed in Anatomy of Hell:
    After all, [menstrual blood]'s the only bodily fluid that has any stigma attached to it. *swigs from a wine glass* My semen is watery today.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. He struggled hard to snark What Is It? without invoking this trope, as much of the cast had Down's Syndrome and one member had cerebral palsy.
    • He says he's not even going to try to make a joke during the attempted rape of an Apathetic during Zardoz, though he does pull out of this depressing nosedive by making a joke about a scene immediately after that. "Here, have Sean Connery imitating Donkey Kong!" (Connery throws a barrel).
    • While possessed by Diamanda, he stated that "Freaks" was hard to make fun of, as most of the cast was, well... ...Whatever-you-call-it concludes that it would just be "dickish."
  • Dull Surprise: Invoked by name in Anatomy of Hell.
    • Hamlet the Vampire Slayer:
      Allison: INCEST JOKE!♥
      Kyle: [stonefaced] Ew.
    • Regarding both Emily Browning's acting in Sleeping Beauty and the film itself, which he regards as aseptic and emotionless ("Every scene I feel as if I'm in a hospital waiting room").
  • Eldritch Abomination: His theory is that Vase de Noces is actually alive, is pure evil, and hates you.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: He admits that he's not all that skilled with Dutch, although he has some knowledge; he spent part of his childhood in the Netherlands and even went to an international school there.
    • His review of Nightwatching/Rembrandt's J'accuse opens with him addressing the viewer in Dutch, until the cameraman (actually his brother) cuts him off complaining about his terrible accent.
  • Erotic Film: Erotic films are regularly featured on the show.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In his review of Perfume, he shows a clip of a cartoon Lex Luthor proposing to use causing random orgies to happen as a weapon. The supervillains he's proposing this too all say "Ewwww." It then cuts to Diamanda Hagan saying Ewwww, before cutting back to the supervillains.
    • He and Diamanda view Eat the Schoolgirl. After spending a good minute responding to Diamanda's dare that he make a rape scene funny ("I don't care what George Carlin says..."), he finally gives in... and dubs the theme song to Jem over the whole thing. Diamanda is both impressed and horrified.
  • Even Film Buffs Have Standards: He absolutely refuses to call What Is It? "art," and begins sympathizing with people who don't watch art films.
    • Sweet Movie causes him to break down entirely on several occasions.
    • Almost averted with A Serbian Film. He spent the review explaining allegories to the Serbian nation that the director claims are there, looking and sounding like he's in excruciating pain all the way through, until finally he gets a nosebleed and snaps.
      • Subverted when the ending plays like a satiric deconstruction of the criticisms of the film.
    • As much as he loves Shakespeare, Kyle can't do much to defend the sexist undertones in The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: At the end of Maven's review for I Am Legend, he steals the Will Smith lovefest book and claims it as his own.
    • During Kyle's review of Richard III, he develops feelings for Ian McKellen's version of the title character.
      Kyle: ...And I have a crush on a child-killing Nazi. This month has gotten weird.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Present in Blood for Dracula, Flesh for Frankenstein, 9 Songs, Sebastiene and Shortbus- the last to the point of distraction. Also noting how much sex just one couple had in Antichrist.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: invokedIt's rare to find a film whose message and symbolism utterly baffle Kyle, given his extensive background in the history and techniques of cinema. Thus, it's saying something when Goodbye 20th Century manages to completely break Kyle's psyche.
    "Is Santa God?"
    • In his Anonymous review, he calls out Anti-Stratfordianism by applying the same flawed arguments for doubting Shakespeare's authorship to the film's own director Roland Emmerich — assuming that a work of fiction always reflects the author's personal views and life experiences, Independence Day would suggest that Emmerich is a homophobic American conservative (instead of the gay German progressive he actually is).
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: During Beauty and the Beast, he laments how the line "May the devil himself splatter you with his dung" still sounds beautiful in French.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: What is Trash Humpers about? Well, you know how Cats was about cats...?
    • The plot of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover is about... well, a cook, a thief, his wife and her lover.
  • Face Doodling: Courtesy of Ven in The Stinger for the Sleeping Beauty review
  • Falsely Advertised Accuracy: Sarcastically remarks in-universe at The Devils for its portrayal of the king of France immediately after seeing the title sequence's claim of the film's events being historically accurate.
  • Fan Disservice: After watching Ken Park, he says "I used to like sex. Now I can never touch a human being again!"
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: A signifier that you should Beware the Nice Ones, such as when he discovered that Hollywood remade one of his cherished German films into a Nic Cage vehicle.
  • Le Film Artistique: Aside from the films, and occasional film-within-a-film, in the show, the credits sequence is styled as one, including Gratuitous French credit "Kyle 'Oancitizen' Kallgren Presente:"
    • His film school movie PREtension, a parody of art films.
  • Flat "What": He summed up ''Otto (or, Up With Dead People)'' thusly:
    "So, a gay zombie political documentary porno. ....Wat.
  • Flipping the Bird: Haxan ending with a title card reading SLUT.note  Kyle takes great offense at this.
  • Freakier Than Fiction:
    Snob: (rubs eyes) Wait a minute, wait a goddamn second... You're telling me that there's a 400-year old public domain script involving incest and murder called "'Tis Pity She's a Whore", and the intellectual crowd likes it?
  • Fridge Horror: In-Universe. He comes to the conclusion that the orgy in Perfume would have incest and sex with children due to people bringing their families to the execution.
  • From Bad to Worse: Kyle experiences a string of these near the end of Ken Park:
    Kyle: "Yes, director, I will allow myself to be filmed while drinking beer and simultaneously urinating. For the craft." I don't think it can get grosser.
    * cue molestation scene *
    Kyle: I refuse to comment. That was the most despicable thing I will have ever seen in my-
    * we cut to another character covered in blood *
    Kyle: Oh, God, he killed the three-legged dog, didn't he? I mean, I can't imagine him doing anything worse than that.
    * it's revealed that actually, the blood was from the character stabbing his grandparents *
    Kyle: D:
  • Funetik Aksent: After dealing with the cavalcade of outrageous accents in Blood for Dracula, he finally puts up subtitles that transcribe everything phonetically ("What the heck is a 'sackhufbens'?")
  • Gag Censor: Just about any time a Censor Box has to be used.
  • Gag Dub: He had to interrupt a review and hire somebodynote  to overdub the screechy voice of Paw Paw. (The Future) He soon regrets it.
    "And then... I died. Holy Sheeeet. Eeeesshholes."
  • Genius Bonus: invokedDue to the nature of the show, he of course likes to slip a few into the reviews.
  • The Gimmick: The reviews for Slacker, The Man who Fell From Earth and (where it's lampshaded) Haxan.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Delivers this to the camera (re: the Nostalgia Chick) when he's obliged to 'correct' her opinion on a film's message.
    "You! You! Yes! You, Chick, you! YOU should be explaining this to ME!! I am offended! Offended that I have to spell this out for you, I mean DEAR GOD—!!" [hurls book at the wall]
    • A positive example to the Snob, who suggests they join forces to corner the grindhouse and the arthouse. ("I knew there was a reason I respected you.")
  • Giving Up on Logic: All too often. Though he should be credited for stubbornly, irrationally clinging to the hope of a hidden message.
  • Godwin's Law:
    • Couldn't get past the ending of Jubilee (1978) without constantly going back to the fact that there was a short scene featuring what he described as "Old Man Hitler".
    "This film just Godwinned itself!"
    • Also noted in the case of Ian McKellen's version of Richard III.
      Kyle: Godwin, Godwin, God-WIN! Godwin, Godwin, God-WIN! Godwin, Godwin, God-WIN!
    • Given some serious thought in his Between the Lines episode on Imagining the Tyrant. While he notes that comparisons to Nazis are indeed overplayed, he argues there's a good reason they're so abundant in the first place: in the aftermath of WWII, cultural critics of Frankfurt School attempted to figure out how democratic societies could slip into autocracy by analyzing popular media and searching for parallels to fascism .
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: At the end of Refuge in Audacity insanityfest What Is It?, Kyle decides "If you can't beat 'em..."
    • Likewise, he had Roo from Clan of the Gray Wolf on as a cameo to help explain the video game references in We Are the Strange. It doesn't go well for him.
      "It's here that Roo's notes read 'Oh my God I can see forevarrrglblahhhh.'"
    • Most of Zardoz.
    • Revolutionary Girl Utena reduces him to a cackling lunatic.
    • Eat the Schoolgirl leads him to hogtie Diamanda Hagan in a bathtub and then attempt to dress her up as a snail.
      • Though part of that was apparently the result of being loaded with horse tranquilizers and having his testicles removed, as once the tranquilizers wear off he can't remember a thing.
      • Coincidentally, it was also a nod to Uzumaki.
    • After mailing Kyle Freddy Got Fingered, the Chick and Nella go to his hotel room and find a Room Full of Crazy.
  • Gone Horribly Right: At the end of A Serbian Film review, the NATO officer calls it a horror movie that's actually horrifying.
  • Got Me Doing It: In his crossover with Some Jerk with a Camera, Kyle keeps trying to spell out Jean Cocteau's last name in the final line of the song.
    Kyle: And his name's C-O-C
    Jerk: *snickers*
    Jerk: K!
    Kyle: C-O-C-
    Jerk: K!
    Kyle: C-O-C-K oh fuck it.
  • Groin Attack: In the Zardoz review, Kyle takes "The gun is good! The penis is evil!" a bit too literally - he whips out a gun, walks into the bathroom, aims it at his crotch, we cut to black just as the gun goes off...
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: With Some Jerk with a Camera in his Beauty and the Beast review.
  • Happy Place: Sir John Fucking Gielgud reading Tennyson over the music of Gustav Holst!
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: His view on The Doom Generation, which bills itself as "A Heterosexual Movie" and may go a bit over the top in proving. "Straight, straight straight straight straight straight straight! Penises going into vaginas, all the time!"
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Feminism and Pornography.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: What the metaphor in Anatomy of Hell presents men as; Kyle even namedrops this trope.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In his A Serbian Film review: "Ha ha! His name is Fuckmir!"
  • Hero of Another Story: Many of the regulars at the Shortbus Club. For example, Doctor Donut.
    Kyle: I wanna see that guy's movie.
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: After viewing Freddy Got Fingered.
    • In a far more metaphorical sense, the film Blue. With absolutely no visuals save a rich shade of blue, the mind effectively hits a brick wall, and is given the freedom to interpret it solely within the context of the narration — in effect, making it everything to the viewer as well.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With his artist and BFF, Ven Gethenian.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In-Universe. Naked Lunch features a creature that Kyle can only describe as a "human centipede".
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: During part two of the Beauty and the Beast review, Some Jerk claims that every time he mentions the name of a certain young adult vampire franchise and doesn't immediately follow it with "Zone", a REAL vampire dies of cardiac arrest. During part three, Jerk discovers (and says out loud) that Disney is remaking Beauty and the Beast with the director of Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Cut to a completely different scene, where:
    Vampire: Cardiac Arrest! (drops dead)
  • Humiliation Conga: Goes through a big one in his Melancholia reviews, where most, if not all, of the reviewers who make cameos insult him, and he appears to hold them in high regard—Allison sarcastically wishes his 50th video is awful, Film Brain chews him out for fixating on scientific accuracy over symbolic importance, and Diamanda Hagan posts his mobile phone number on Twitter as retaliation for not wanting to talk to anyone. He finally snaps when Jesu Otaku calls him up to suggest another crossover that would make him the butt of a joke regarding the Animation Age Ghetto.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: He ends up using a lot of terms for female masturbation ("flicking the bean," "tickling the tuna taco," "sampling the finger food," "petting the kitty") in his review of Exterminating Angels.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the review of You And Me And Everyone We Know, Kyle introduces the main character as an amateur solo video artist, "which means she films herself alone in her room doing stupid stuff." Cut to Kyle, camera in hand, filming himself in front of a mirror going "Man, what a dork!"
    • The opening to W. But Kyle, tell us what you really think of the Bush administration!
    • In the review of Prospero's Books, he calls the movie pretentious for showing books that pertain to the plot before starting to read from The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
    • In Kyle's Kickstarter video, he attempts to describe his project, starting over sixteen times, before finally coming out with:
      I'm making a movie about people who think far too much about what they say, and spend far too much time thinking about how they can say it better... Yeah.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: When Kyle asks why he should follow the queen of punk England in Jubilee (1978), there is a shot of her opening a window, and she's topless. Kyle stands up and sings "I Vow to Thee, My Country".
  • I Have Nothing to Say to That: From the We Are the Strange review:
    Black and White Thingy: Then we will celebrate with many scoops of iced cream!
    Kyle: I... I can't make that line funnier.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: In Shame, Kyle based his entire script around the assumption that Shame was directed by Steve McQueen (actor). As Ven points out, that Steve McQueen died in 1980, but Shame was released in 2011. Kyle isn't pleased.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: According to the Revolutionary Girl Utena The Movie review, any time someone is confused by an artistic movie, Kyle is teleported to them against his will. JesuOtaku notes that now that it's known, it's highly exploitable, and he then teleports away from the review, and once back, angrily tells him to not give fans any more ideas on how to misuse the spell. This could also be a meta-joke about how Kyle become the go-to guy for cameos about symbolism and artistic topics.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Basically gives Roland Emmerich a taste of his own medicine by applying the same type of logic behind the Shakespeare authorship question as demonstrated in Anonymous with him using Independence Day as "evidence".
  • Insult Backfire: "I'd tell (Trash Humpers) to eat my shit, but I'm afraid it might be into that sort of thing."
  • Insult to Rocks: From the Freddy Got Fingered crossover — The Chick starts to ask him how this film is "Dada", only for a shell shocked Kyle to shriek, "THIS CANNOT BE DADA! IT'S TOO NORMAL TO BE DADA! IT'S TOO SHIT TO BE ANYTHING ELSE!!"
  • The Internet Is for Porn: In Exterminating Angels, Kyle calls out his viewers for wanting raw footage of the French lesbians.
    "You want porn (points upward), the address bar is up there!"
    "[she is known for performing] extreme acts on scree. I went online, and believe it or not, I found some clips of her doing these acts. I had to pixelate some things though [cue entirely pixellated, flesh colored screen and loud moans]
    • In the Even Cowgirls Get the Blues review, Kyle says he wasn't able to do much research into the idea of cowgirls as a radical lesbian icon because "Googling 'lesbian cowgirl' got me nowhere."
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Brought up in his review of The Devils when Grandier fends off a lover's angry father with an Apothecary Alligator. "Okay, that requires some context. I'm not going to give it."
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: He has to deal with a lot of nudity in some of his film reviews.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: Todd in the Shadows hovers over Kyle's bed at MAGfest, half-hardheartedly waving his arms. Finally, he resorts to just punching him.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: The Anatomy of Hell opens with its female protagonist getting slapped by a random man, who then just stands there looking sullen. Wordless apology, or is she just handing him a stick of gum?
    [unzips fly]
    Kyle: Hey, he did want some gum! ...'cause her gums are in her mouth.
  • Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: In his review of Julia Leigh's Sleeping Beauty, the protagonist being deep-throated with a small plastic tube is censored by a picture of Mark Felt and the caption "GET IT?".
  • Lampshade Hanging: Points out background noise picked up by his mic in his review of Primer.
  • Large Ham: When Kyle gets passionate and/or angry, he overacts accordingly. The most glorious example is Haxan, where he doesn't speak but mugs and gestures plentifully.
  • Layman's Terms: So, Jason Witter replaced the original language of Hamlet with endless pop culture snark?
    Kyle: Wherefore is this columbarius film before mine eyes shown?
    Allison: [beat] Is that a real sen—
    Kyle: Why the fuck am I watching this turd?!
  • Leave the Camera Running: A lot of the films he covers do this. In turn, he tends to leave the "camera" running on the scene to properly convey how needlessly drawn-out the shot actually is. Though usually he'll talk over it (or in the case of Gerry, sing over it) to make it less painful to watch.
  • Little People Are Surreal: A variant in What Is It? - apart from Glover himself, a number of topless porn stars in animal masks, and a morose man in blackface, everyone on-screen is intellectually and / or physically disabled in some fashion (mostly Down's Syndrome, although Steven C. Stewart, the man in the clam shell, had severe cerebral palsy). Not only does this have little purpose beyond eliciting confusion or causing offensenote , but as Kyle discovers, it makes it very hard to criticize their acting skills.
  • Limited Wardrobe : He wears basically the same clothes in every review.
  • Long List: In W the Movie, the important people in George W. Bush's administration/life that are not featured.
  • Loophole Abuse: Jafar Panahi wasn't allowed to make movies again for insulting the Iranian government. So Mr. Panahi made This Is Not A Film as a response. It takes advantage of several loopholes. (He's not allowed to use a video camera, so he either has others direct the not-movie or uses a phone with video footage. He's not allowed to write scripts, so it instead follows his life under house-arrest. Etc.)
  • Lost Episode: The Girlfriend Experience (Creator Backlash, only exists with commentary), What is It? (legal reasons), and Sh*t TGWTG Fans Say. Alternative versions to the first two exist on YouTube.
    • Since the collapse of Blip, a handful of videos are currently unavailable, especially his earlier work. Some are only available in mirrored form with Russian subtitles. Amusingly enough, someone has re-uploaded the original Girlfriend Experience video, but not the one with commentary.
  • Made Myself Sad: Taxidermia leads to a summation so sad that Kyle notes "Oh, that's why people preferred my funny episodes".
  • Madness Mantra: Goodbye, 20th Century had "Sure, why not?"
    • In 9 Songs, the "five-ninths" gag.
    • From Zardoz "SEAN CONNERY IS DOROTHY!"
  • A Man Is Always Eager: In Me And You And Everyone We Know, he wonders why the young man looks more depressed than excited about two girls giving him head.
  • Mary Sue: He calls out the protagonist of Exterminating Angels on this. The character is based on the director, and most of the women around him inexplicably fall in love with him.invoked
  • Memetic Mutation: Invoked at the end of the Twilight Of The Ice Nymphs review.
    Kyle: Now if you'll excuse me, I have to turn that whole tree thing into a meme.
  • Mind Screw: What Is It?, both the movie and the 'sketch.'
    Kyle: I have three ties!
  • Money, Dear Boy: invoked In the vlog for Anonymous, Kyle suggests that Derek Jacobi took a role in the film to pay off a parking ticket.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Ooh, look at the little piggies! Look at their little snouts and their little curly tails! ... Silly man for trying to get the piggies to eat like peoples! Silly piggies for not trying to eat like peoples! Awwww...yeah...they die. They die because he kills them. He hangs them."
    • Linkara's cameo in the Melancholia review, to cheerfully congratulate Kyle on his 50th episode, which happens as Kyle is in the middle of a depressive breakdown.
    • Also during the same episode, Allison sends a video seemingly to congratulate Kyle for his 50th episode... only to insult him and send him further down the emotional spiral. Double whiplash when her cat shows up in the background and starts poking its head around.
    • From Shortbus: "Zero to gay threeway in 0.03 seconds!"
  • Multitasked Conversation: He does the video essay equivalent of this with his "Nostalghia Critique", which consists of an uncut take of the film's famous nine-minute candle ending scene as he points out and demonstrates methods of bypassing copyright automoderation algorithms to keep it from being flagged. Between this topic, his discussion of the film's protagonist observing himself becoming motivated by the past actions of a proven madman who thought himself a savior, various other digressions on the primary theme and the phrasing of the title, it becomes clear that he is discussing another very specific subject at the same time.
  • Musical Episode:
  • Name McAdjective: "Beardsman Von Soliloquy" (Sleeping Beauty)
  • Narminvoked: Kyle bursts out laughing while watching the performance of the main character in Twilight of the Ice Nymphs when he monologues about trees, comparing the voice to a deaf cracked-out Bill Murray.
  • Never Heard That One Before: When Mario starts chopping off Dracula's limbs in Andy Warhol's Dracula, Kyle says the audience is probably already going through the Black Knight's dialogue from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in their heads, and says they really need to do some reading on media saturation.
  • Never Trust a Title: Discussed on occasion.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: A flurry of them while describing the scenes in A Serbian Film.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: in the Melancholia review, Diamanda Hagan posts Kyle's cell number on Twitter to get back at him for not wanting to do a review with her. Contact with fans, both positive and negative helps him get through his Despair Event Horizon.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In What Is It?
  • Nipple and Dimed: Since nudity crops up in his video reviews, he's forced to censor it creatively. Pictures of titmice, cats, donkeys, and Wii remotes are common, but sometimes, if he's feeling really silly, he covers them up with cropped pictures of nude statues.
    • Perfume - The Story of A Murderer actually managed to break the censor bar.
  • Noodle Incident: Kyle's stint as a performance artist in college.
    • Since What Is It? is a Lost Episode, his reference to its closing sketch in the review of The Fall comes off as this.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: An on-screen message pops up during '90s Kid's rant about the finer aspects of The Doom Generation to tell us that his words were actually part of the film's marketing.
    • Assuring that his MythBusters reference wasn't just random. Jamie Hyneman really did work the special effects on Naked Lunch.
    • The most memorable line in Sleeping Beauty. Kyle just made you think too hard about labia!
    • In his video about Anonymous, when the film gets into the Anti-Stratfordian theory about how the "real" Shakespeare was also the bastard child of Queen Elizabeth and unknowingly committed incest with her, and siring another bastard child, the video displays the text: "THIS IS WHAT ANTI-STRATFORDIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE".
  • Not So Above It All: During his crossover with Film Brain on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, FB catches Kyle reading the graphic novel and calls him out on it. Later, Kyle is raging over the movie's many changes from the book, and realizes he's become a fanboy.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • In the review of The Girlfriend Experience, he 'inadvertently' draws similarities between escort and porn websites, and being an internet reviewer. At the end of the review, he goes to work on his other job, as a host on webcam site LiveJasmin
    • The TGWTG menu screen described his crossover with The Cinema Snob as "A sheltered, hairy, condescending man who talks about porn for a living meets a sheltered, hairy, condescending man who talks about "erotica" for a living!"
  • Not So Stoic: He very rarely breaks down or goes over the top, making those few instances much more powerful (i.e. his reaction to a disturbing scene in his review of Alice).
  • Obligatory Joke: Has openly stated he will not do some of the obvious jokes, as they would be "Too easy".
    • "Kenneth Branagh plays Hamlet. Emphasis on HAM."
    • "Here's a diagram — a primer on Primer, if you will. [snooty chuckle] Huzzah."
    • The characters of The Doom Generation invoking the Power of Three.
      "I'm more than three-fourths of the way through a film starring Rose McGowan, and I finally make a Charmed reference. Go me."
    • Tideland's deranged beekeeper. "Aaaaand meme in 3....2....1..."
    • And again in his Yeelen review, when the main character attacks his enemies with a swarm of hallucinatory bees.
    "Insert your tired chants of "Oh no! Not the bees!" here..."
    • When a character in Ken Park randomly asks his girlfriend's mother, "can I eat you out?", Kyle explains that even though it's become cliché, he now has to play the infamous scene from Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.
    • When the scary version of the White Rabbit from Alice prompts the famous Killer Rabbit monologue, Kyle notes "I'm quoting from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I shouldn't be that obvious!"
    • Hamlet the Vampire Slayer:
      "This guy must be on loan from A Raisin in the Son of the Living Dead. A theatre joke, thank you! (to Allison) Don't use that take.
    • "Yo dawg, I heard you like dogs, so put a dog in Ghost Dog so Ghost Dog can watch a dog and — oh, screw it."
    • The Devils ends with (caption and voiceover "AND NOW: THE MOST OBVIOUS JOKE I COULD POSSIBLY MAKE") "She got to bone him after all.", and canned sounds of applause.
    • His verdict on W: "Heckuva job, Alfie."
    • On Even Cowgirls Get the Blues: "Two thumbs up."
      • On feminists shrugging off the tyranny of douche bags:
      "Gus, have your ideas ever felt...not so fresh?"
    • The 24 jokes whenever Kiefer Sutherland appears on-screen. (in Melancholia, he even lampshades with "Well, that was an easy joke") He can kill you with a bathtowel; try buying him as a different character after that.
      "Oh, don't worry. It's normal that it's taking our atmosphere that we can't replace. Stop being a wuss! Oh, right, I forgot. It's only taking the air that non-badasses need."
    • In W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism, he even anticipates and puts the text "OVERUSED JOKE" as he plays "OOOH YEAH!" and pastes the Kool-Aid Man over a man breaking through a wall.
  • Odd Couple: With Allison in their Hamlet the Vampire Slayer review; he's a highbrow critic and serious intellectual, she's a cheerfully goofy schlock reviewer who doesn't understand long words.
  • Oh, Crap!: During the "Otto" review, when he realizes he is about to see a gay zombie orgy.
    • During the Trash Humpers review (bear in mind, babies... don't tend to fare well in these kinds of movies):
    "Was that a baby?...(looks horrified) Was that a baby?!"
    • Yet again during The Brown Bunny, when he discovers, to his abject horror, that the film is revisiting Gerry.
    "...No. Oh, no..."
  • Older Than They Think: invoked A favorite topic on the show. Kyle is fond of taking supposedly "groundbreaking" recent films and pointing out lesser-known arthouse films that did exactly what they did decades earlier. Case in point: pointing out that the film adaptation of Cloud Atlas is surprisingly similar to D. W. Griffith's Intolerance, that Inception borrows a few visual ideas from Jean Cocteau's The Blood of a Poet, and that Boyhood uses many of the same techniques that François Truffaut's Antoine Doinel films did. During his episode on The Birth of a Nation (1915), he mentioned that all of that film's innovations were done by films such as Victor Sjostrom's Ingeborg Holm, and D.W. Griffith's own A Corner in Wheat and Musketeers of Pig Alley among others.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In most reviews, even if he dislikes a movie he'll at least attempt to analyze it. That said, you can tell he particularly doesn't like Vase de Noces when he quickly starts raging only a several minutes in, complete with Cluster F-Bomb, Angrish and generally ranting throughout the review.
    "This symbolizes the fact that the director wanted this to be symbolic fuck this I'm not reading into this."
  • Orphaned Punchline: Catching the end of a speech by Diamanda Hagan in The Devils review:
    Hagan: ...and that's why I'm generally in favour of puppies.
  • Overly-Long Gag: "TREES!"
    • 55.5555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555...
    • The point in his review of Gerry where he tries to make up background music... a cappella style.
  • Padding the Paper: In the review for Rembrandt's J'Accuse, he describes some of the film's more inane theories as just filler akin to a student padding out their essay.
    Kyle: (typing) And in the story of Jane Eyre, we can see parallels to Batman. Because, like Mr. Rochester, he is rich, and sad, and his house burns down.
  • Papa Wolf: In universe, he will get very angry if women, children and animals are harmed during a film he is reviewing. Out of universe, he's very much this for his fellow reviewers, especially Allison, who he's publicly defended on many occasions.
  • Phantasy Spelling: Kyle jokes that Mandragora from Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is "also probably a place for people who spell 'fairy' as 'faerie.'"
  • Pass the Popcorn: Admittedly as what he's doing is in fact watching movies him breaking out a bowl of it in a review normally would be considered a normal film watching activity. However he's an arthouse film reviewer which people don't usually associate with popcorn, therefore he uses it in his review of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai to highlight the more action movie aspects of some of the scenes.
    (stuffing his face) "Ohh, right, the—the appropriation of foreign philosophies and the separation of idiosyncratic cultures, yeah, yeah."
  • The Plot Thickens: "...Into a 65 pound lump of unshaped concrete."
  • Portmanteau: The Devils is "Sacri-larious."
  • Precision F-Strike: "Jean-Claude Brisseau, fuck you."
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: His rap at the end of the Ghost Dog review.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Happens as Kyle struggles to talk about A Serbian Film's messages... then he snaps out. (in the bloopers, Kyle points out that given how much corn syrup he put on his nose for the scene, that could have been actual blood!)
  • Pun
    • Lampshaded by Kyle himself, who sincerely apologizes. (Tideland)
    "He's turned her mummy into a...Mummy."
    • Set up with a with a full-screen card and booming voice for The Devils:
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: GET....ME...NATO!
  • Rage Breaking Point: Happens during the review of A Serbian Film. It's Played for Laughs as he spends most of the review trying to act above getting furious over the horrific and depraved events of the film, until he finally snaps and wants the whole country of Serbia destroyed.
  • A Rare Sentence: "The blood was laughing at me."
    • "There aren't enough scenes of him arguing with the moon." (The Future)
    • Sweet Movie wastes no time scrambling Kyle's brain.
    Kyle: Then an OB/GYN unicycles into the room and — I just said that sentence out loud, didn't I?
    • He repeats this little gem several times during 'Goodbye 20th Century':
    "Nazi Harry Dumbledore just punched Santa Claus in the face. Let that phrase sink in."
    • "They raped a fictional baby!" in the A Serbian Film review. In a blooper video, he says "I'm really saying this out loud aren't I?"
    • The first (translated) sentence of Exterminating Angels is: "The lampposts are in need of their long scarlet coats." Kyle dares the audience to explain what that means. There's also a later reference to "blood of airports...flooding blue grass."
    • "Hamlet's a cheerleader. Why is Hamlet a cheerleader?"
    • Immortal Ad Vitam has "The reason Horus takes over Nikopol's body to use Jill's uterus to sire his bird baby... I still can't believe I'm saying that out loud."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The NATO official whom Kyle calls to have Serbia wiped out.
  • Reference Overdosed: Used mainly to showcase similar tropes or ideas in more mainstream movies to help de-mystify the films to his audience.
  • Refuge in Audacity: He comes to the conclusion that A Serbian Film is attempting this, and since True Art always crosses a line of some sort, this is why he must review the movie despite The Cinema Snob and Phelous having also done it before.
    • "What Is It" was deliberately filled with all sorts of offensive things, the point being that the audience was to decide which of them was actually offensive. Kyle takes umbrage at this, though, and says, "This is not art. This is trolling!"
  • Retraux: The intro to BHH shows a montage of auteur films, beginning with classics such as Citizen Kane and ending with Gerry and Trash Humpers, giving them the illusion of being old-timey films.
  • The Reveal: In the "Gerry REDUX" video, we learn that Gus Van Zant made Gerry... after playing Tomb Raider.
  • Rooting for the Empire: During his review of the Roberto Benigni' Pinocchio (2002), Kyle's loathing of the fifty something hyperactive actor's portrayal of the six year old puppet drives him to cackle and cheer for any character attempting to harm or murder the title character. invoked
  • Rule 34:
  • Rule of Cool: When discussing the 1995 film of Richard III and its setting in the 1930s, he cut in with "TANKS! SHAKESPEARE WITH TANKS! I LOVE THIS!".
  • Running Gag:
    • During scenes involving male bodily fluids, Kyle would take a sip of milk from a wine glass. Lampshaded during his review of Sebastian, when he can't believe it has become one.
    • Stephen Fry's "tweets" in The Discovery of Heaven.
    "Woman carrying my child hit by a falling tree. FML."
    • During Jubilee (1978), he would point out two "affectionate" guys are brothers, then say "Ew."
    • A Serbian Film: "NEW! BORN! PORN!".
    • Any episode exploring Shakespeare will usually mention how his words inspired "everyone. Everyone! Everyone.", with each "everyone" punctuated by examples that gradually fall down the pop culture hierarchy.
    • Calling Kyle by the name which IMDB mistakenly first applied to him, "Ralph Oancitizen".
    • Ending his reviews with: "And that's quite a lot to say about a movie [with a disproportionately lowbrow aspect or unusual quirk that stands in stark contrast to the highbrow analysis Kyle has just finished]."
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Tideland taking the honor of being the 8,524th Alice reference ever made. "A round of applause, everyone."
    • A standing ovation for Old Man's story in Sleeping Beauty. Not adulatory toward the actual speech, just for the fact that it's finally ended.
      "Who the fuck said encore?!"
      "Please, put down that knife--! (schinng!) AAUGH!
  • Scare Chord: Plenty in Room in Rome regarding a succession of reveals the characters make.
  • The Scream: Time to introduce Allison's favorite Shakesperan characters: Rosenchad and Guildebrad! "Yo!" "'Sup?!"
    Lupa: Geddit? Rosenhey, where'd you go?
    [cut to bathroom door]
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: His reaction to some scenes in Alice.
  • Self-Deprecation: Apparently, Kyle ain't gettin' any. He is quick to point out flaws and mistakes during commentaries.
    • During his Naked Lunch review, he "telepathically" confesses that he does this show to cover up his insecurities about his intelligence.
    • The longstanding "Cinema Snob ripoff" charge was spoofed in their crossover together.
      Snob: Oh, come off it. We're nothing alike. Your suit
    • ...Along with Kyle and Brad's dodgy acting.
      Brad: You didn't even memorize your lines!
      Kyle: (looks down at script) "I have no idea what you mean."
    • On the supposed panty-peeling attractiveness of Oliver Reed: "I just don't see the appeal of round-faced, dark-haired snobby guys with prominent facial hair."
    • His oft-cantankerous persona on Twitter was directly addressed in Melancholia. It turns out that Kyle has been grappling with depression and ennui, and he has chosen to document those arguments with his fellow contributors on video for posterity. "I get in a funk sometimes."
  • Self-Insert Fic: He describes Exterminating Angels this way.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The man likes his syllables.
    • Used to make a point about Primer's boring cast. "These aren't characters. They're biological plot point initiation units!"
    • Referring to his viewership as "ahem... enthusiasts of pop culture esoterica."
    • Unfortunately, his gift for verbage fails him when trying to understand anime tropes.
    • "Ah, beg your pardon, I have an inquiry. What is the semiotic denotation of a 'pinky promise'?"
      Lupa: I just heard 'Blah blah big words pinkie promise,' so I can't help you.
  • Sexiled: For 9 Songs, he claimed to have put a sock on his doorknob. In the Shortbus review, he does it again.
  • Shaped Like Itself: From the W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism review:
    Narrator: In our sick society, everyone is sick.
    Kyle: ...and our bad writers are bad at writing.
    • And again in the Sleeping Beauty review:
    Kyle: And yeah, I know you're all going to think I'm calling it dull because of the slow pace, and the soft-spoken dialogue, and the dullness...
  • Shared Universe: Since it was originally on Channel Awesome and had plenty of cameos and crossovers, it counts as a part of the Reviewaverse.
  • Ship Tease: Between him and his trashcan.
  • Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: Kyle makes a point of extensively researching the films he reviews, as he feels they deserve a thought out analysis.
    • In the vlog for "Anonymous," just off the top of his head he mentions a ton of stuff about Shakespeare and his contemporary historical figures.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Kyle gets '90s Kid to shut up by telling him that Nirvana is directly responsible for the existence of Nickelback.
    • He also delivers an amazing comeback to Lars Von Trier's nihilistic worldview at the end of his 50th episode.
  • Sick and Wrong: The man does not scare easily. Anything involving child exploitation makes him cringe, however.
  • Signature Scene: Discussed. The common conclusion is that a film with one of these has little else going for it. invoked
  • Silent Movie: His review of Haxan. (he even uses the soundtrack of The Artist...)
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Well... A Fanboy-ish Snob Vs. Nitpicky Caustic Critics. In his review of La Belle et la Bête, Kyle plays the pretentious snob who looks down on others for not getting it. While Some Jerk with a Camera and many others play the nit-picky, uncultured, overly-negative slobs. Unlike most examples, both sides are mocked to some degree.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Kyle himself. He will rarely swear, but when he does, it's either a striking Precision F-Strike or a full out Cluster F-Bomb.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: He decides to play the happy music from the scene after the death of Bambi's mother during the act cards in Antichrist.
    • He also jokes that playing stirring orchestral music over the puking scene in Sweet Movie would likely later inspire the choice of soundtrack for 2 Girls 1 Cup.
  • Special Effects Failureinvoked: He laughs uproariously at the fake severed head in Flesh for Frankenstein. "God, it looks like one of the Thunderbird pilots."
  • Spiritual Antithesisinvoked: He implicitly paints Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946) as this to Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio (2002). Both are live-action arthouse renditions of famous European fairytales that were the basis for films in the Disney Animated Canon, and both were made by highly regarded filmmakers hailing from the countries where the original stories originated. Kyle views Beauty and the Beast as a masterpiece, and his review largely focuses on how Cocteau's unique interpretation of the tale helped influence Disney's more well-known version. By contrast, he views Pinocchio as a complete failure, and his review largely focuses on how Benigni tried to create a new version of the tale that could stand apart from Disney's version, but just ended up with an inept mess.
  • Spoof Aesop: "So the moral of [Tideland] is: children are sociopathic morons!"
  • Start of Darkness: More like start of snarkiness but Ken Park was this for Kyle. The movie was the first were he couldn't say a single nice thing about the character in it.
  • Stay in the Kitchen/Straw Misogynist: Anatomy Of Hell closes with him coming to terms with his gender's inherent misogyny and calling his mother to tell her.
  • Stealth Insult: He ends the Anatomy of Hell review by commending Catherine Breillat for "teaching [him] so much about the male psyche!"
    Kyle: [dials phone] Hi, mom! Yeah, I just got done watching this French film and—FUCK YOU!
    • His epitaph for Gerry. Hey, it did one thing fantastically right.
    "You really feel like you're lost in a desert. The scenery is repetitive, the sounds vacant. You wander aimlessly, every minute spent praying that the end to come. It will come when you reach the finish, or it will come with your own death. Hell, at some points you even begin to feel a little dehydrated at this movie. And should you emerge alive, you spend every waking minute wishing that you had never taken that wrong turn (or pushed that play button) and been dropped into a vast wasteland, traumatized by the void that you were dropped into — and may never escape.
    • In his student film, "PREtension", his actors try to figure out the symbolism behind the movie. They end up realizing he's calling them God's crap and promptly leave.
  • Stealth Pun: The title. While he reviews "Highbrow" films, many of the films we see tend to raise Kyle's eyebrows in a different way.
    • When discussing the Iranian New Wave in his review of This is Not a Film, the background music is "I Ran", a New Wave song.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kyle spends the majority of A Serbian Film review in this state. Until he snaps, complete with profuse nosebleed..
    • Kyle's trials in the Melancholia review mirrors Justine's in the film. His review is constantly interrupted by fellow contributors wishing him a hollow "Happy 50th", forcing Kyle to act elated while inwardly seething.
  • Stock Scream: The Howie Long Scream is used in his symbolic illustration of an autoclitoridectomy.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
  • Take That!: Halfway into Exterminating Angels, he realizes that the entire film is basically a parade of thin, attractive women acting horny around a dumpy middle-aged man. What follows is a snippet from a Robert Palmer music video.
  • Tempting Fate: In Tideland, Kyle compares the Alice themes to that older, creepier film he already covered.
    "Well, at least they got rid of that cheesy, creepy stop-motion animation and [severed doll's head comes to life] — BLUUAAGH!
  • That Came Out Wrong: When describing the plot of the Iranian movie The Cow:
    Kyle: It's a tragic love story between a man and his cow ... Bad phrasing. It-it's not like that thing with the... the pig... Anyway...
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Claudius' death in Hamlet (1996). "Oh I have to poison him? That's boring—EAT CHANDELIER, BITCH."
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Kyle runs into this while viewing Primer.
    Kyle #3: I haven't yet to have eaten since three days yester-tomorrow.
  • Troll: The entire point of What is It?, at Glover's own admittance — the film is a string of offensive scenes and imagery, done facetiously to question if such things are genuinely offensive. Of course, most trolls aren't quite as litigious about perceived theft of their work.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: A lot of his points are attacking this notion, either directly calling it out, or pretending to defend it while obviously twisting in logical knots. invoked
  • Unexpected Genre Change: His review of Angels in America is a completely serious, highly emotional piece that has nothing negative to say about the film and ends with him directly urging the audience to educate themselves about HIV.
    • Most of his videos following the Melancholia review, his format changing from comedic Caustic Critic reviews to to (only mostly) serious discussions about films he either likes or he has something to say about.
  • The Unfair Sex: As he identifies as a feminist, this turns up a lot in the stuff he reviews, be it averted, subverted or played straight. Of particular merit in this regard is Antichrist and Anatomy of Hell, which deconstruct and defend this trope, respectively.
  • Unsound Effect: WANK!
  • Unstoppable Rage: A couple of movies has Kyle to completely lose it. He lost it at the end of A Serbian Film, to the point were he begged NATO to bomb Serbia. Vase de Noces starts off with him screaming and swearing to the heavens and goes from there.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Comes to this conclusion about Roland Emmerich in his review of Anonymous and why he portrays the "true" author of the works attributed to Shakespeare as a privileged mass entertainer. Emmerich's father struck a fortune by founding a gardening tool company, thus by the time Emmerich busted into Hollywood he knew precisely nothing about hardship, thus making it difficult for him to communicate to the masses through anything other than broad, ugly stereotype. Kyle stresses that he doesn't believe that Emmerich actually believes in the uglier, classist implications of Anti-Stratfordian theory, he just repeats them because he is unaware of his own privilege.
  • Very Special Episode: His Angels in America review, made in honor of World AIDS Day.
  • Visual Pun: His censor bars are all about this.
    "You have NO idea how long it took me to think of a good visual pun for "footjob".
    • To the point that he's genuinely distressed that he can't come up with censor-bar puns for Otto, and just resorts to descriptive text on boxes.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Does this after making a Family Guy joke, which obviously is anathema to his highbrow nature.
    • The ending of Kyle's review for The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. After spending most of the review having a large French dinner, watching the ending sequence proves too much for poor Kyle, and well... cue Kyle throwing up, ducking just out of frame for a minute straight, and finally appearing back onscreen with chunks of vomit in his beard.
      Waitress: Mint?
  • Waxing Lyrical: In Anatomy: "She gets unimpressively naked and lets you know what it feels like for a girl. Lets you know what it feels like in this world for a girl."
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Upon viewing stock footage of the Katyn massacre that was spliced into Sweet Movie, Kyle's screaming face is replaced by a test pattern.
  • Wham Line:
    • From Blue, after going to an in depth discussion of the color, particularly the Proto-Indo-European root bhel:
      Kyle: And bhel is also the root of a word that means "the thing you see after the brightest flash possible"... (background music cuts out) And that word... is the reason this movie was made.
      (cut to movie)
      Derek Jarman: My vision will never come back. The retina is destroyed, though when the bleeding stops what is left of my sight might improve. I have to come to terms with sightlessness.
      (cut back to Kyle)
      Kyle: Director Derek Jarman made this movie in 1993, as he was dying from AIDs. His retinas were detaching, and he was going... blind.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: invoked One of the main reasons that Kyle finds Jan Švankmajer's Alice so frightening is that it was originally intended to be a kid's movie.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: He discusses on how Nasa names a giant planet that might crash into Earth and exterminate all life something as negative as "Melancholia".
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: One of his in-universe specialties is finding deep symbolism where it almost certainly doesn't exist. This is emphasized in his early blog posts and "Between The Lines" videos.
    Kyle: Would it be too didactic to reference Grotowski's Toward a Poor Theatre?
    Allison: I have no idea what any of those words mean.
    • Played around with in his review of A Serbian Film. Instead of discussing much of the film's plot, Kyle instead discusses much of Serbia's dark history and how the emotional turmoil of the Serbs translates onto the film. None of this stops him from calling NATO and asking them to bomb Serbia.
      • On a serious note, he says in the commentary that he does honestly believe that this interpretation was what A Serbian Film's director was going for, just that the message gets lost along the way.
    • Kyle analyzes Vase De Noces, saying it's probably about man's relationship with nature. Then he reads the creator's explanation about how the main character's autistic and realizes they just wanted to make a movie where someone fucks a pig.
    • Kyle thought the reason Cloud Atlas uses very badly done yellowface for all the Asians but the main character was so that we sympathize/identify with her and not the villains as a result of them falling into Uncanny Valley. And then he finds out they originally wanted Natalie Portman to play the role.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: invoked Slumming it in the Animation Age Ghetto with JesuOtaku, Kyle encounters the lesbian romance in Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    Kyle: Don't they know there are children watching this?
    JO: Am I going to have to Sparta kick you out of the window? [cracks her knuckles]
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the Tromeo and Juliet crossover review with the Cinema Snob, Kyle gets called out for trying to blow up Serbia in his A Serbian Film review.
    • Film Brain calls him out when he starts over analyzing and criticizing the science behind the gas giant about to hit the Earth in Melancholia, telling him he should've picked up that it's a metaphor for depression and subject to a heavy amount of Artistic License. Unfortunately, it only serves to add to his growing Heroic BSoD.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: The jokes in Melancholia start out upbeat, but as the review progresses, Kyle is clearly lamenting his choice of 'career.' He finally resorts to flatly announcing, "joke."
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Has developed a phobia for bunnies.
    "...Well, bunnies, chocolate, snails... trash cans, Italians— this show is not healthy for me!"
    • We can add "Paw Paw's" voice to that list after The Future.
  • Word of God: invoked Kyle will sometimes quote the filmmakers explanations for their films, often to make fun of them.
  • World of Weirdness: The show is set in the Reviewaverse, the universe gets that weird. Although the weirdness is not a frequent thing on the show, it does pop up occasionally.
  • You Can Turn Back: From the intro to Trash Humpers.
  • You Can't Handle The Parody: He attempts it while watching Zardoz, but fails due to absorbing too much of the characters' speech.
  • You Need to Get Laid: After watching W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism, Kyle starts believing that if he doesn't, he will be driven to murder.
  • Your Head Asplode: In Gerry REDUX, Kyle's head explodes when he finds out that Gerry was inspired by Tomb Raider, of all things. He's fine after the ad break, though.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Oancitizen


Kyle explaining the trope

In "Gods, the Ubermensch, and the 'Unrelatable' Nature of Superman", Kyle explains the concept of Superman's various copycats.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SupermanSubstitute

Media sources: