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"Hello! Am I on the intermanet?!"

Chester A. Bum, on nearly every movie he sees in his life.

*cue Luigi Boccherini's "Minuetto"*

And now it's time for a trope description, with Chester A. Bum. Tonight's page... "Bum Reviews".note 

Chester is a homeless guy who reviews current movies on Channel Awesome. Since he's just happy to be in a warm building while seeing them, he likes almost every movie he sees.

This character was partly inspired by Doug Walker's first video review of the first Transformers, where he acted very enthusiastic, and by Doug's silly voice in his review of Cloverfield.

Doug usually lets the viewer know his real opinions on the movies. Older episodes had a "Seriously..." message on the ending card, while newer episodes are each accompanied with a separate review vlog where he can go into more detail. This became the basis for a new webshow called Sibling Rivalry, where he and his brother Rob will discuss the movie (if Rob has seen it).


The theme music is Minuet in A Major by Boccherini in a parody of Masterpiece Theatre.

The series provides examples of—SPOILERS!!

  • Acceptable Targets: In-universe.
    • The Twilight series. Eclipse had manic sarcasm in the place of gushing, and Breaking Dawn was just outright snark.
    • Transformers. In the review of The Hunger Games, he called the third film "testosterone-filled mindlessness".
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides review.
    "Blackbeard's Big Bad Bitchin' Boat... Barbecue"
  • All Women Are Doms, All Men Are Subs: Doug's Author Appeal comes back in the Fifty Shades of Grey review, as Chester has a mistress into blindfolding and whipping.
  • Ambiguously Bi: He'll comment on a woman's attractiveness in a movie without fail, but he did make out with Lester and the “conquering Canada” video confirmed that that he's willing to sleep with men if they give him money or a warm place to stay.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • In the Watchmen review, "one superhero blows up New York, one shoots women and children, and the last one just flashes people."
    • And in the review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, with a bit of Take That!:
    "Voldemort gets all these evil wizards to do all his evil deeds like kidnap people, burn down houses, and work for Fox News!"
  • Ass Shove: Chester mentions the scene in Hancock and expresses hope that it happens in The Dark Knight.
    "He defeats people by putting them up other people's asses! That better happen in the new Dark Knight movie! The Joker will be like 'I am going to kill everyone!' and Batman will be like 'You are going inside an ass!' Bloo-bloo-bloo-bloo-splut! THE END!"
  • Audience Surrogate: Often acts like the mouthpiece for the more entitled “we just want you to parrot our opinions on movies and nothing else” part of Critic's fanbase.
  • Author Appeal: It's Doug, so of course Chester likes dominant women along with all his other characters.
  • Author Tract: Reviews starting from 2013 had a lot more lucid rants on how child stars always grow up crazy or how he was going to get away with offensive jokes because his reputation is 'adorable bum'.
  • BDSM: He actually has a better understanding of it than Christian and Ana do in 50 Shades, as he has a Safe Word, his mistress is happy to let him do what he wants with permission, and he's in a good position getting paid to be a sub.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He is one of Doug Walker 's most beloved characters but then again, he is an odd, eccentric bum.
  • Big "NEVER!": Him while playing Jacob of Twilight being told to put on a shirt.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Not that he doesn't have lots of nice moments too, but he used his "innocent harmless bum" persona in a plan to destroy the world (and succeeded as well!), took money from a church and wibbled at Nash to convince him not to tell Holly, always defends the Critic but also acts like the voice for his entitled fans, and tries to steal things at cons.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Fittingly at the end of Deadpool, as, while talking to the camera, he complains that talking to the camera makes it obvious that you're a fictional character, and Doug takes off the hat and declares no ending because he has a lot of Critic-related work to do.
  • Breakout Character: Bum Reviews has become one of the most popular features on That Guy's website. Quite a feat for a spin off character, and rather ironic when you consider that Doug's brother, Rob, openly despises the entire concept.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Mockingjay Part 2, he explains his absence all summer by explaining he was busy having the greatest high ever.
  • Butt-Monkey: In his coverage of the 2011 Chicago Blizzard.
  • Captain Ersatz: Lester B. Bum , Spencer D. Bum, Aleister D. Homelesssb’sterrd, Huebert J. Flank and at least two unnamed ones. There's also Pester, who died of alcohol poisoning in his first appearance; the Cinema Bum, who rather than review a movie, lamented the fact he didn't have a job or home; and Ted the Bum, who... has nothing whatsoever to do with film reviews.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "SPOILERS!"
    • "There's this guy/girl! Called..." (usually the second line of the review)
    • "HOORAY!"
    • When something bad follows, "Haroo..."
    • When it's in the middle "... don't ask."
    • "And (insert character here) was like...!"
    • Often a duelling series of these ending with "and he was like - 'okay'."
    • "I used to be/had a (something relevant to the movie) once!"
    • "You know, for a smart guy I'm pretty dumb/stupid"
      Chester: I used to be an Asian Boy Scout! Wasn't that a weird week.
    • "And at the end they play the famous theme song! *sings said theme song with added lyrics*"
    • "This is Chester A. Bum saying... CHANGE!! YA GOT CHANGE!?!? OH COME ON, HELP A GUY OUT WILL YA!!! C'MON, CHANGE!!! I promise I'll use it to educate people on the difference between a subversion, an inversion, and an aversion!"
    • The 2012 Christmas episodes have "Don't go away Christmas, I want to stay in this room!"
  • Cardboard Box Home: Chester lives in a box, and once sued someone for a better box.
  • Celeb Crush: Has a tendency to treat Jennifer Lawrence like she's The Messiah of the celebrity world, which is clearly Doug talking.
  • Caustic Critic: Usually averted. Chester is convinced every film is the greatest he's seen in his life, while Doug's real views given at the end are almost always at least lukewarmly positive. The exceptions don't really change his style that much either.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He is a weirdo, there's no denying that. But he's also sweet.
  • Corner of Woe: In Mockingjay Part 2, the concept of “bombs falling on refugees” coming out when that's happening in real life (this is November 2015, regarding Syria), makes him retreat to the same “uncomfortable corner” Critic had when he got upset at an “ayds” chocolate commercial.
  • Comically Missing the Point: All this time, Chester was wishing on stars to help him out, and it turns out he needs to work hard, even get a job. Then he says perhaps he should wish on a star for that.
  • Crazy Memory: He seems to go through a lot of crazy stuff like having been an Asian boy scout.
  • Credits Gag: For the first four years, the episode's end credits would contain a small comment that always begins, "Seriously," that outlines what Doug really thought of the movie.
    • That blurb was eventually dropped for a complete second video outlining what Doug really thought of the movie. That series morphed into Sibling Rivalry in late 2012, where Doug would bounce his opinions off his brother Rob, who'd give his own opinion.
  • Curse Escape Clause: In the review of The Princess and the Frog:
    "What's up with all the loopholes? Seriously, was this fairy tale written by a lawyer!?"
  • Deconstruction:
    • Briefly in Critic's review of Christmas Story II, as instead of reviewing a movie clearly indoors, he's sitting outside the studio with his change cup, and trades his coat for a cigarette, obviously freezing but thinking he made the right choice.
    • Also in the Force Awakens trailer video, putting him next to Brad's more hopeless bum and having him go on about how great the film is while Cinema Bum is too hungry to care.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Subverted and discussed at the end of Mockingjay Part 2, as he thinks Katniss just having nightmares but nobody ever coming after her again and her having a family is not realistic PTSD/too happy of an ending for him.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: His review of The Artist is presented as a silent film with captions.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In the review of The Princess and the Frog:
    "So Tiana saves up all her money, and she finally gets her own restaurant! But these two guys are like: (as the two guys) 'We have to close you down because we found a higher bidder!' (as Tiana) 'It's because I'm black, isn't it?' (as the two guys) 'Well, it's the 1920s, so sure.'"
    • Ironically, the film itself goes out of its way to avoid even mentioning racism, despite its prevalence at the time being historical fact. The scene Doug references is the only one that comes close.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After nearly freezing to death in a night snowstorm, his reviews started giving more focus to flaws in movies, instead of just scatterbrained gushing about everything.
    • He gets a lot more cynical and depressed when Critic sacrifices himself in To Boldly Flee, and Critic coming back didn't change anything as he had no patience for Chester anymore.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When failing to answer a couple questions about the plot in TRON: Legacy, he just says "There's a hot chick!"
  • Dominatrix:
  • Double Standard: He brings up in the Age Of Ultron review that there's no Black Widow toyline because boys wouldn't buy Black Widow toys (because there aren't Black Widow toys to buy) and decides he'll be like Fox News and pretend there's no prejudice in the world.
    • In reference to Jennifer Lawrence's editorial on the difference between how much she and her male co-stars get paid, he says in Mockingjay Part Two that even though he's a bum he'd get paid more than her.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Acknowledged in-universe in Deadpool, where after he says he had cancer once, he can't think of a joke that won't hurt someone so he'll move on.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Later videos in the series were less about Chester's warped interpretation of the movies and became much more focused on pointing out various flaws in the movies.
  • Eat the Dog:
    Chester A. Bum: I had an aardvark that took up tap dancing. Until I ate him.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: His show essentially stopped in 2016, and while he's still appearing on Critic's show, it ended because he's happily with Doe and their adopted daughter.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: "A" is for Alfred.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Unlike Bella from Twilight, even a bum wouldn't forget to put on a coat while hiking in the mountains.
  • Expansion Pack Past:
    • Chester did/was a lot of things once!
  • Expy: The first Nostalgia Critic video was actually the Critic acting like the future Chester A. Bum doing Transformers (2007). This is given a nod with the Critic doing Revenge of the Fallen, and Bum popping up after he leaves, asking if the Critic stole his act.)
    • Not to mention this being brought to its logical conclusion with the Dark of the Moon review when right at the start of the Critic's review, he gets a letter informing him that Chester's suing him for stealing his act (in case you're curious, there IS a review... of Chester's when the judge asks how he'd review it).
  • Extreme Omnivore: Chester claims to have eaten a TV set once.
  • Fanservice: Like Critic, played for creepy Black Comedy. He somehow got himself into both pole-dancing and prostitution at least once. For anyone who wanted a Doug character being blindfolded with an (offscreen) dominatrix paying him for Whip It Good sex, the Fifty Shades of Grey review is for you.
  • Foreshadowing: The Paranormal Activity 4 review was surprisingly negative for a movie that Doug actually enjoyed. The next episode, Wreck-It Ralph, has him going through a hard-to-watch breakdown because he doesn't have fun in his job anymore.
  • Former Child Star: Is revealed to be one in Critic's review of his home movies. Ending up like him is the "normal route".
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
  • Fridge Logicinvoked: Pointed out In-Universe, and then often spoofed.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: When Scott Pilgrim fights a female evil ex, Chester desperately hopes for a flashback. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he hopes Black Widow will have sex with and then kill Kat Dennings.
  • Kill the Cutie: The end of his review for Paranormal Activity III. Teddy Ruxpin shoots him for not much reason. He's fine by the next episode of course.
  • Lovable Nerd: See Adorkable above and Nice Guy below.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: His spoiler warnings.
  • Medium Awareness: The Chicago Snowstorm episode, which combines it with a defiance of Offscreen Inertia.
  • Mood Whiplash: A British accented voice with soft violin music opens every episode, followed by "OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!"
    • Possibly the most extreme case was the end of his review for Paranormal Activity III. The light cuts out, he gets shot by Teddy Ruxpin, and we see red eyes and hear "come dream with me tonight...". Followed immediately by the usual classical music for the credits.
  • More Popular Spin Off: Doug's vlogs. Not that Chester still isn't loved, it's just Doug's talent for "real" reviewing took a lot of people by surprise.
  • Motor Mouth: Something the other bums never quite managed to pull off.
  • Morality Pet: People being nasty to him is usually a way of showing their Jerkass-ness and Critic giving him money and offering a place to stay manages to get the interviewer in True Internet Story to begrudgingly admit that Critic's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Mister Seahorse: Implied reference to this trope in his Wreck-It Ralph review, describing Fix-It Felix as "...if Mario and Luigi finally did it, this would be their offspring."
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Though one episode reveals that at one point, he was a smooth-talking, shades-wearing car salesman who introduces himself as "Chester Alfred B."
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Calling Star Trek fans that.
  • Never Heard That One Before: He was told by the subtitles to not compare Real Steel to "Rock 'em Sock 'em" robots, as everyone had already made that joke. Same with comparing it to Transformers. Fortunately, Transmorphers comparisons were free.
  • Nice Guy: Chester seems to be amongst Doug Walker 's most lovable character, despite that he is eccentric bum. Even in a Christmas special, The Nostalgia Critic said Chester has always been nice to him.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: As a result of his occasional Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick lines.
  • Nightmare Retardantinvoked: The vampires in Twilight, according to Chester (especially how they eat tofu).
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: District 9 inspires the Bum to make a movie called "Batman and the Terminator Go to Jurassic Park", and the sequel "Batman and the Terminator in a Steven Seagal Christmas".
  • No Indoor Voice
  • Noodle Incident: Often.
    • "I used to be an Asian boy scout!" And adds. "Wasn't that a weird week."
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Once an episode, usually Punctuated! For! Emphasis!. For example: "So Mulder and Scully are out to stop evil doctors by using a paedophile priest who is also a psychic! I swear to God, I am not making that up! More movies need paedophile priests who are psychics!"
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Chester's surface persona is too in-your-face brain-fried to be taken seriously. However, much of his commentary is actually insightful and well-phrased.
    • He acts In the Style of... a more traditional film critic... until That Guy With The Glasses steals his corncob pipe back from him.
    • In the Transformers III Bum/Critic review, he realizes that Critic is conning people, he just hasn't figured out exactly how.
    • At the end of Critic's Dreamcatcher review, he goes on a rant about how shittily mentally ill people like him are treated, even by other ill people like Critic.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: During Part 2 of Linkara's review of Countdown, Chester hijacks all of Earth's nuclear weapons and plots to take over the world (OF COURSE!). He finally gets fed up with arguing with the Critic about it and just destroys the entire planet.
  • Only Friend: Critic might hang around with other people more, but Chester is the only one who shows up to defend him in the James and the Giant Peach press conference.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: While reviewing The Avengers, Doug literally breaks character, takes off the fright wig, and says in a serious tone how wonderful the movie is. And he does it again at the end to make sure you know to go see it.
    Chester: OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! *beat* No, I'm serious, it's the greatest movie I've seen in my life...*Takes off the wig*
    Doug: Okay, look, I'm gonna do the bit for you and everything, but you guys really have to know this is probably like one of the greatest movies ever. *Proceeds to gush*
    • A few years earlier, Doug didn't break character for it, but Chester himself is stunned into reverent near-silence by The Dark Knight.
    • In his review for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, he rushes through his usual Catchphrase and goes into just how weird the movie is.
    • Subverted in his Citizen Kane review. Chester was unusually serious throughout, going on and on about how he thought the film was crap and everyone who calls it "the greatest movie ever made" is an idiot. Of course, that was the whole joke of the review, and Doug himself likes the film.
    • He spends a lot of time calling out on the flaws of them in a much snarkier way than he usually does.
  • Political Correctness Is Evil: He calls anyone who complains about racism in Django Unchained a "conservative pussy who's just looking for stuff to complain about".
  • Precision F-Strike: Chester's language usually doesn't go past PG-13 (unusual considering some of Doug Walker's other characters), but he drops a few F-bombs in his Iron Man 2 review while doing his Samuel L. Jackson impression.
  • Prison Rape: In Thor: The Dark World, he was in a jail cell once, and cries that 'they' did 'things' to him.
  • Progressively Prettier: While it would be unfair to expect Doug to make himself look like a real close-to-death bum for a five minutes episode made on a next-to-zero budget, Chester used to at least have a load of make-up-as-dirt on his face and hair like he'd had an accident with something electrical. Now he just looks like he needs an updated wardrobe and a haircut.
  • Proud Beauty: Played for Laughs in The X-Files: I Want to Believe review, where he says only he can pull off a beard and long hair, and sings "don't you wish Fox Mulder was hot like me".
  • Psycho Psychologist: In The Wolfman (2010), he says he was captured by an asylum who “smelled like hurting”.
  • Queer People Are Funny: He criticizes How to Train Your Dragon 2 for having a gay character that's only there for one joke and isn't actually proper representation.
  • Red Ones Go Faster: In the review for Thor: The Dark World Chester traded in his old styrofoam cup for a large red Solo cup even though it "gets pulled over by cops more."
  • Retool: The reviewing style in Doug's first Nostalgia Critic review would later become the standard operating procedure for the Bum Reviews section.
  • Running Gag: He seems to have a thing for Danny DeVito references.
  • Running Gag Stumbles: Occasionally the "I [did something related to the movie] once!" gag gets subverted:
    • In the Captain America: The First Avenger review,
      "So Catain America ... finds he has to crash the plane in the Antarctic in order to save the world. I... never did that."
  • Sanity Strengthening: While it sadly comes with Took a Level in Jerkass, he lampshades in How to Train Your Dragon 2 that the more lucid complainy reviews of the past couple of years have come from being clean from drugs, and that he's just eccentric now.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The attorney Chester hires to help him sue Family Guy for stealing one of his jokes quits upon learning that the settlement will be a box.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: invokedThe announcer confuses Red Riding Hood for being another Twilight film due to this.
  • Shout-Out: He christened the Winter Soldier the Elric Soldier when he saw his metal arm.
    "I was consumed by a giant sand fart once! It was coarse, rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere."
    • His Catchphrase appears to be a Shout-Out to the old bum in the movie UHF (especially the scene where the old bum begs the villain, R.J. Fletcher, outside of his station, complete with 'Aww c'mon! Cantcha help a guy out?!').
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "This is Chester A Bum saying, Change! You got change? Aw, come on. Help a guy out, will ya?! C'mon, change!"
  • Sincerity Mode: Doug breaks character a few times during his The Avengers review to assert that no, really, it is a great movie, and that whoever's watching the review should go see it now.
    • Every review also ends with a caption of Doug's actual opinion on the movie.
  • Slut-Shaming:
    • Equal opportunity in "Hunger Games: Catching Fire", as he complains of both Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake being child stars who "whored themselves out" as they grew up.
    • Miley was mocked earlier in Ender's Game, when he says if there was an award for child star dancing sluttily in a contest, she'd win. Plus he bitches at a male child actor who “will have to slut himself up at 18”, and calls it a child actor law.
  • Stepford Smiler: A good chunk of episodes imply it. Like in The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008):
    Chester: I don't live with lights, cars or electricity and I get along just fine! Please shoot me.
  • The Stinger: Chester always adds an extra punchline about the movie into his calls for "CHAAAAANGE!" at the end of the videos. The end credits had a written stinger too (in which Doug Walker gave a one-sentence summary of how he actually about the movie, always starting with "Seriously, though..."), but that's been replaced by a separate and longer "Doug's Review" video that runs below the Bum Review.
  • Stoners Are Funny
  • Streetwalker: Mentioned a few times in-show and outright confirmed by Word of God. Just be grateful we don't have to see any of it. Even in the Fifty Shades review where a dominant woman is paying him “quite well” to be a whipped and blindfolded sub, it's for obvious reasons only heard and not seen.
  • Take That!:
    • Doug takes a minute during his Bum Review for The Princess and the Frog to thoroughly trash Randy Newman.
    • In both the Twilight and New Moon Bum Reviews, Chester often points out how boring and forgettable Edward is, especially compared to Jacob.
    • His District 9 review, where he declares that it's totally unoriginal.
    • Same with Avatar.
    • At the end of Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2, even he felt dirty touching a Chick-Fil-A cup after bashing them for their anti-gay policies.
    • In the Fifty Shades of Grey review, he compares Christian buying (unsafe) BDSM tools in a hardware store to (the many) creepy wannabe dom guys on tumblr.
    • In his WALL•E review, he says this about one of the title character's obsessions:
    Bum: And he has been on earth for so long that he becomes delusional! he actually thinks Hello, Dolly! is a good movie! Poor soul...
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Despite Critic in reboot ignoring him at best or kicking him at worse, he gets to save the day at the end of Matrix Month while also lampshading how bad Critic's reviews are. And in Dreamcatcher he gets to call Critic out on his ableism. In "I'll Be Home For Christmas", Critic both apologizes for any time he was mean, and he gets a girlfriend.
  • Uncanny Valley: His problem with the Rankin Bass Christmas specials In-Universe.
  • Unexplained Recovery: At the end of the Paranormal Activity III review, Teddy Ruxpin shoots him for no reason. Come the next review and he's in one piece.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Mentioned in Deadpool, as he thinks the only reason why Deadpool gets together with the hot lady in the end is to give their main demographic (13 year old boys) some hope.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Adds the syllable "ma" in randomly, e.g. "that nice Nostalgiama Critic man!" or "Hello! Am I on the Intermanet!?"
    • His cardboard box computer is labelled "Com-pu-ta-ma-ter".
    • "Oh I get it, it's like one of them Sila-ma-tent pictures."
  • Vocal Evolution: Compare the 2008 episodes to now and it sounds a lot less natural back then, almost like he was clogged up from a lot of coke snorting.
  • Wham Episode: Secondhand. The Dark Knight was so great that it left a huge impression on him. Such that at the end of it he just told us, "You know what? Keep the change."
    • Similarly, The Avengers had Doug briefly break character to emphasize that Chester isn't just doing his typical gushing and that it's really that good.
    • Wreck-It Ralph for Character Development reasons. Seeing Chester cry real tears over being self-loathing is not a fun experience.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Chester states this in-universe about some movies.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Chester has an... interesting drawl than none of Walker's other characters share. It sounds remotely Irish, complete with lazy pronounciation of L's, which is probably best explained by the fact that Walker is a Chicago native, and so is (presumably) Bum.
  • With Lyrics: Chester commonly does this for film adaptations.
    Star Trek is now here to stay
    They're all assholes who always get laid
    [stops singing]Unlike their fans.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The end of the snowstorm episode. A nice person from across the street took him inside and gave him a blanket and a hot drink. Then it starts snowing indoors.
    Chester: [anguished] How does that work?!
    • After Critic dies and he gets more depressed, he makes friends with Donnie and is actually happy talking to him. Well... you know how bad Donnie's ending was. To make things worse, Critic came back and now treats Chester like crap when he'd actually looked after him in the past.
  • You Bastard!: He thinks the audience is sick for watching him nearly freeze to death in a snowstorm for entertainment.


Video Example(s):


Chester A. Bum Spoofs

In what would later be called the "Reviewerverse", various parodies of Chester A. Bum exist.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / CaptainErsatz

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