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"This week on Buzzfeed Unsolved we look into the mystery that's been plaguing the internet: is TV Tropes capable of ruining one's life?"
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BuzzFeed Unsolved is a Web Video live-action/documentary series created by BuzzFeed that discusses unsolved mysteries, covering both True Crime and Supernatural cases. It is produced and hosted by Ryan Bergara and co-hosted by Shane Madej, with whom Ryan maintains a very... intense friendship. Each serves as the resident believer and skeptic respectively.

The series premiered on February 4, 2016, as part of BuzzFeed IRL. The first episode, The Mysterious Death of the Somerton Man, began Season One of the True Crime segment and was hosted by Ryan and his friend Brent Bennett, who played the role of skeptic. Brent stayed on for much of the first season of True Crime, and co-hosted the first episode of Supernatural, but was replaced by Shane in late 2016.

Unsolved updates on Fridays, with post-episode Q&A sessions (known as Postmortems) being posted the following Wednesday. The True Crime segment has run for 5 seasons, with the 5th season premiering on March 21, 2019. The series began on one of Buzzfeed's subsidiary YouTube channels; Buzzfeed Blue, but from the 5th season of the Supernatural segment onwards (arguably the more popular of the two), the show switched to a new Unsolved-only Buzzfeed channel, Buzzfeed Unsolved Network.

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There's also a sports segment. So that's cool.

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     BuzzFeed Unsolved True Crime episodes 
  • Season 1:
    • The Mysterious Death of the Somerton Man
    • The Horrifying Slaughter at Hinterkaifeck Farm
    • The Bizarre Death of Elisa Lam
    • The Chilling Mystery of the Black Dahlia
    • The Strange Deaths of 9 Hikers at Dyatlov Pass
    • The Mysterious Death of Tupac Shakur - Part 1
    • The Mysterious Death of Biggie Smalls - Part 2
    • The Horrifying Murders of the Zodiac Killer
    • The Mysterious Disappearance of the Sodder Children
    • The Odd Death of Michelle Von Emster
    • The Shocking Case of O.J. Simpson
    • The Strange Disappearance of D.B. Cooper
  • Season 2:
    • The Terrifying Axeman of New Orleans
    • The Mysterious Death of the Boy in the Box
    • The Bizarre Road Trip of a Missing Family
    • The Tragic Murder of JonBenét Ramsey
    • The Odd Vanishing of Amelia Earhart
    • The Creepy Murder in Room 1046
    • The Strange Drowning of Natalie Wood
    • The Mysterious Poisoned Pill Murders
    • The Disturbing Murders at Keddie Cabin
    • The Suspicious Assassination of JFK
  • Season 3:
    • The Grisly Murders of Jack the Ripper
    • The Thrilling Gardner Museum Heist
    • The Ghastly Cleveland Torso Murders
    • The Enigmatic Death of the Isdal Woman
    • The Strange Killing of Ken Rex McElroy
    • The Scandalous Murder of William Desmond Taylor
    • The Historic Disappearance of Louis Le Prince
    • The Disturbing Mystery of the Jamison Family
  • Season 4:
    • The Sinister Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa
    • The Bizarre Collar Bomb Bank Robbery
    • The Mysterious Death of the Eight Day Bride
    • The Incredible Alcatraz Prison Break
    • The Covert Poisoning of an Ex-Russian Spy
    • The Odd Death of Charles C. Morgan
    • The Bizarre Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar
    • The Treacherous Treasure Hunt of Forrest Fenn
    • The Chilling Black Dahlia Murder Revisited
  • Season 5:
    • The Eerie Case of the Watcher
    • The Unusual Australian Shark Arm Murders
    • The Suspicious Case of the Reykjavik Confessions
    • The Unexplained Murder of Bugsy Siegel
    • The Horrifying Texarkana Phantom Killer
    • The Shocking Florida Machete Murder
    • The Puzzling Disappearance of Walter Collins

     BuzzFeed Unsolved Supernatural episodes: 
  • Season 1:
    • The Creepy Real-Life "Men in Black"
    • The Secret Society of the Illuminati
    • 3 Horrifying Cases of Ghosts and Demons (The Winchester Mansion, the Island of Dolls, the Sallie House)
    • The Chilling Exorcism of Anneliese Michel
    • The Bizarre Toxic Death of Gloria Ramirez
    • The Spirits of the Whaley House
    • The Haunted Decks of the Queen Mary
  • Season 2:
    • The Ghosts and Demons of Bobby Mackey's
    • Bigfoot: The Convincing Evidence
    • 3 Creepy Cases of Ancient Aliens
    • The Haunted Halls of Waverly Hills Hospital
    • The Strangest Disappearances in The Bermuda Triangle
    • The Murders that Haunt the Lizzie Borden House
    • The Spontaneous Human Combustion of Mary Reeser
    • The Haunting of the Salem Witch Trials
    • The Haunted Quarters of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel
    • The Bizarre Voodoo World of New Orleans
  • Season 3:
    • The Ghost Town at Vulture Mine
    • Three Bizarre Cases Of Alien Abductions
    • The Captive Spirits of Eastern State Penitentiary
    • The Demonic Goatman's Bridge
    • The Horrors of Pennhurst Asylum
    • Roswell's Bizarre UFO Crash
    • The Mysterious Disappearance of the Roanoke Colony
    • London's Haunted Viaduct Tavern note 
    • The Chilling Chambers of Colchester Castle
    • The Subterranean Terrors of the London Tombs
    • The Legend of Krampus (an animated Christmas Episode)
  • Season 4:
    • The Search for the Mysterious Mothman
    • The Shadowy Spirits of Rolling Hills Asylum
    • The Demonic Bellaire House
    • The Phantom Prisoners of Ohio State Penetentary
    • The Unexplained Phoenix Light Phenomena
    • The Spirits of Moon River Brewing
    • The Horrifying Sorrel-Weed Haunted Mansion
    • The Mystical Villa Montezuma Mansion
  • Season 5:
    • Return To The Horrifying Winchester Mansion
    • The Demon Priest of Mission Solano
    • The Terrors of Yuma Territorial Prison
    • 3 Videos From The Pentagon's Secret UFO Program
    • The Haunted Town Of Tombstone
    • The Haunting of Hannah Williams
    • The Hunt for La Llorona

     BuzzFeed Unsolved Sports Conspiracies episodes: 
  • The Mysterious Retirement of Michael Jordan
  • The Frozen Envelope That Rigged The NBA Draft
  • Tom Brady’s Infamous Football Cheating Scandal
  • The Conspiracy of Muhammad Ali’s Fixed Fight
  • The Controversy of The Crooked Referees: Lakers vs. Kings
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Let's get into it:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Ryan's reaction to the Hot Daga at times, especially during the Jamison Q&A in response to Shane using poorly stitched together voice clips of Ryan for one of his characters.
  • Adult Fear: Some of the True Crime stories qualify as Nightmare Fuel because of this.
    • Hinterkaifeck farm: An entire family was slaughtered while they slept, possibly by someone who was secretly living in the attic for months. On top of that, the heads of the bodies were all lost and never found.
    • Black Dahlia: Elizabeth Short, a young woman, was brutally murdered and dismembered and her killer has never been found.
    • The Sodder Children: On Christmas, the Sodder family house was destroyed by a fire, but five of the nine children did not escape. That would be scary enough, but evidence later came to light that those five children almost certainly didn't die in the fire, but were abducted, with the fire being intentionally set as a cover.
    • JonBenét Ramsey was kidnapped during Christmas from her house and her father found her dead body in their basement.
    • The Watcher talked about the Broaddus children several times in their letters, somehow finding out intimate details about them, and implied that they intended to hurt or kidnap them.
  • Agent Mulder / Agent Scully:
    • Almost definitely intentional, given the Genre Savvy nature of the show. Shane always rebutts Ryan’s claims of the supernatural by offering possible real-life explanations and/or making fun of them. He also dismisses the more outlandish theories, such as aliens being responsible for the disappearance of the lost Roanoke colonists or the existence of an “Underwater Area 51” in the Bermuda Triangle. By contrast, Ryan is a true believer, always left shaking his head at Shane's defiant antics and trying in vain to make him see the supernatural side.
    • They briefly swap roles in the Bigfoot episode, with Shane being a fan of the theory, and Ryan admitting that he's "not the biggest believer in Bigfoot". Shane scoffs that it's only because Bigfoot is flesh and blood, too scientific and solid for spooky Ryan.
    • Brent fulfilled the role of Scully before Shane joined the show, particularly in the "Men In Black" episode.
    • Rarely for both tropes, they've talked about being slightly jealous of the other one; Shane in the Voodoo episode wanting to not think so much and get swept up in something, and Ryan in Pennhurst wanting his brain to stop eating him and just trollishly enjoy it like Shane does.
  • Alien Abduction: A frequent theory, and the topic of an entire episode dealing with three famous cases. The boys also joke that Shane would be the perfect candidate for an abduction, because he would be so unrelentingly snarky and skeptical that the aliens would just toss him back.
  • Angry Mob: One was involved in Ken Rex McElroy's murder, although it was a lot less violent than the trope is usually associated with. After a town meeting where everyone was airing out their grievances with him and getting no solutions, they got a call that he was nearby and about 60 people went out to confront him. It's not certain whether the mob meant to kill him, as they mostly just intimidated him by standing around his car and it was only one or possibly two people who actually shot him, but they all remained quiet on who the shooter(s) were.
  • Anticlimax: All the goddamn time, usually lampshaded and Played for Laughs. Most notably in the first-season demon special, when Ryan says he'll stay in the infested house until 5, then gives up at 3. Shane needles him about it, casually saying he doesn't have the guts to fulfill his promise. The video then slows and pulls out the dramatic music, intercutting Ryan's conflicted face and Father Thomas saying "do not be afraid". The speed returns to normal as his expression grows resolved, and he says....."Yeah, you're right. Let's get out of here."
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Shane, depending on your personal beliefs of the supernatural. It's a running joke on the show that a ghost would have to "rock bottom him through the floorboards" for him to even consider the existence of the paranormal. While he does put stock into the existence of Bigfoot, he mentions that he doesn't see it as paranormal, just as a rare, unusual creature of meat and bone. The most "out there" he gets is his belief in aliens (although he will still shoot down most alien abduction theories). According to Ryan and Quinta, the type of aliens he typically believes in are tiny bacteria on other planets.
  • Arc Words: During the demon special, the phrases uttered by the priest "Do not be afraid" and "Do not do anything to invite the demons in" come up frequently. They’re immediately followed by Shane shouting at the demons to harm them.
  • Ascended Meme: The famous "Hey there demons, it's me, ya boy" line became a popular internet meme. It was then used in the season 3 trailer ("Hey there demons, ya boys are back") and the line appears on the official merchandise.
  • Asshole Victim: Ken Rex McElroy. This man spent so much of his life terrorizing the inhabitants of his own town and had escaped the law so many times that no one felt sorry for him when he was killed in an act of vigilante justice or felt any desire for the mystery of who killed him to be solved. Shane, Ryan, and most of the viewers reacted with a sense of cheering on whoever pulled the trigger, feeling that McElroy deserved it.
  • Audience Participation: Though the actual episodes are recorded in advance, the aftershow BuzzFeed Unsolved: Postmortem is recorded weekly and has Shane and Ryan answering questions about the previous episode submitted by fans via Twitter and Instagram.
  • “Awesome McCool” Name:
    • C.C. Tinsley, the detective hired by the Sodder family to find their missing children, and then went missing himself. Both Ryan and Shane agree that, that is the perfect name for a private investigator.
    • They both agree that D.B. Cooper, which was the result of a printing press error, and not the original name of the unknown criminal printed on the airplane ticket, is a much cooler name than Dan Cooper.
    • Doctor Fear, a doctor who worked at the Pennhurst Asylum. Shane notes that with a name like that he was morally obligated to be an evil man. Shane and Ryan eventually conclude that Doctor Fear is the reason C.C. Tinsley went missing, as they were obviously archnemeses.
  • Badass Gay: Maisie from the Hot Daga, who has a wife and takes not being able to catch a break in her stride.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Ryan asks Shane whether he thinks Pennhurst Asylum is haunted. Shane shockingly says he does not. Ryan then asks if Shane wants to know if he thinks it is.
    Ryan: Actually, maybe not.
    Shane: Wow.
    Ryan: (beat) But probably.
  • Bat Out of Hell: In the Vulture Mine episode, Ryan and Shane are repeatedly startled by (admittedly harmless) bats.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Employed by Ryan's alter ego "Ricky Goldsworth," who can get anything he wants just by being super-confident and aggressive, until whoever he's talking to has to back down.
  • Becoming the Mask / Became Their Own Antithesis: Played for Laughs in the Waverly Hills Hospital episode. Shane realizes with horror that he is a ghost hunter.
  • Bermuda Triangle: Covered in one episode.
  • Berserk Button: The Hot Doga and Shane's Arbitrary Skepticism for Ryan. Outlandishly supernatural theories for Shane.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Bigfoot is the unsolved mystery in one episode. A Yeti attack is also given as a possible theory for what happened at Dyatlov Pass.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Shane has mentioned that he would eat a pickle from a pond and that once he took a whole bite out of a pumpkin.
  • Black Comedy: This is what a lot of the series banter falls under, since they're frequently joking about things like murder, serial killers, ghosts, death, creepy places, and demons in order to lighten the mood. They said in an AMA that they try to make fun of the ridiculousness of a case/mystery and not in any real suffering.
  • Body In A Bread Box: Discussed in two different episodes. Tragically, in one, a young woman's body was found in a water tank, and in another, a young boy's was found in a refrigerator box. In both cases, no one is quite sure how the bodies got there.
  • Breather Episode: The Missing Family episode, a case with no deaths, takes place right between The Boy in the Box and JonBenét Ramsey episodes, both of which involve the murder of a child.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In The Strange Killing of Ken Rex McElroy, there were 60 witnesses to his murder but no one other than McElroy's partner Trena McCloud would report it. However McElroy had terrorized the small town for years and those 60 witnesses remained in complicit silence as to who the murderer was.
  • Call-Back: A few in the Forest Fenn post mortem, with Ricky Goldsworth obviously pretending to be Ryan, to the William Desmond Taylor episode with Shane getting paid to polish Ryan/Ricky's watch and to the Russian Spy episode with Shane saying again he wants to live forever. They also have a side by side comparison with the first shot of the first post mortem.
  • Canon Immigrant: In "The Odd Death of Charles C. Morgan" Ryan accidentally mentions the Hot Daga, much to Shane's joy, who declares that having done so Ryan made the Hot Daga real in the main series.
  • Cat Scare: Happened on the Queen Mary when a pigeon flew into Ryan's face.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • Ryan starts off each Supernatural episode with "This week on Buzzfeed Unsolved we investigate [name of place] as part of our ongoing investigation into the question: 'Are ghosts real?'"
    • Ryan ends each episode with some variation on "For now, the mystery of [topic of video] will remain Unsolved."
    • Ryan says, "Shut up, Shane" a lot.
    • You could make a drinking game out of the number of times Ryan says, "That being said..."
    • (wheeze)
  • Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: Bears v Sharks, in "The Odd Death of Michelle Von Emster" and "The Strange Drowning of Natalie Wood".
    Ryan: I mean, [a great white shark] is not a bear, but it's...it's a powerful animal.
    Shane: It can certainly kill a bear, hands down, if you dropped a bear in the ocean-
    Ryan: We've been over this before, the bear is the most deadly animal of all time.
    Shane: No, it's not.
    Ryan: Yes, it is.
    Shane: No, it's not.
    Ryan: Yes, it is.
    Shane: No, it's not.
    Ryan: If you put a bear on any playing field in the world: water-
    Shane: Nope. Hippopotamus.
    Ryan: No, fuck you dude, a bear's the most-
    Shane: Hippopotamus would kill a bear in a heartbeat.
    Ryan: You know what, we're getting the h-this is a different episode.
    Shane: [impulsively] Fuck you.
  • Character Development: Ryan has gotten noticeably more confident and assertive when dealing/communicating with spirits, which is lampshaded by Shane in "The Spirits of Moon River Brewing".
    Shane: I feel like this season you've gotten very aggressive.
  • CIA Evil: Many of Ryan's theories include possible CIA coverups and other forms of foul play.
  • Continuity Nod: Shane brings up Father Thomas, the man who they consulted in their first season of Supernatural about demons, to Ryan in the third season of Supernatural, in a episode where they were again covering demons. He wonders if Father Thomas would be disappointed in Ryan. Ryan sighs and says he probably would.
  • Creepy Monotone: Ryan's "theory" voice, which he uses to narrate each of the episodes.
  • Crime Reconstruction: Used in True Crime episodes as of Season 3, namely in the Gardner Museum, Isdal Woman, and William Desmond Taylor episodes.
  • Cryptid Episode: Bigfoot and Mothman.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: When asked who caused his extensive injuries (consisting of being stabbed in the chest, being beaten in the head and being tied up and strangled), Roland T. Owen denied the involvement of anyone and told the detective that he fell against the bathtub.
  • Darker and Edgier: The JonBenét Ramsey episode. Not the case itself per se, as you can see Shane and Ryan merrily joking away in other episodes with missing/dead children, but here (possibly due to the relative recency of the case and how well-known it is)they're more toned down. Notably, Ryan says that, for this particular episode, they're legally not allowed to say who they think did it.
    • The entire Ken Rex McElroy episode was incredibly dark in comparison to previous episodes with little to no comedy being featured (so much as that a viewer discretion warning had to be put up).
  • Dead All Along: Invoked in "The Haunting of the Salem Witch Trials", in which Ryan has Shane dress up in pilgrim outfits with him, hoping the ghosts will be more receptive to something familiar.
  • Deadly Hug: This was how William Desmond Taylor was suspected to have died, embracing his killer before being shot in the back.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both have their moments, but Shane shines due to Ryan's antics giving him plenty of material.
  • Death of a Child: Two episodes so farNote  have centered around the murder of children. "The Murder of JonBenét Ramsey" in particular is uncharacteristically somber.
  • Demonic Possession: Covered in The Chilling Exorcism of Anneliese Michel, and discussed with an exorcist named Father Thomas.
  • Dirty Cop: Discussed frequently in the True Crime seasons, since this trope is sometimes the reason why cases are unsolved in the first place. This was particularly notable in the Sodder Children episode, where the authorities located only a few miles away showed up hours after the house was set on fire, and in the episode about the Keddie Cabin Massacre, where it has often been theorized that the authorities were covering something up, due to the sheer negligence that was shown to the case.
    Shane: 70s and 80s police were always just like, oh you murdered someone? *beat* Got 40 bucks?
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Apparently, Arthur Leigh Allen's nickname was the Zodiac. Ryan and Brent wonder if he was obnoxious about it.
    Ryan: Could you imagine if he was like super douchey about it too, like he wouldn't respond unless you called him Zodiac? You'd be like "Arthur, wanna go out?" And he'd be like "That's not my name.""Sighhh".
    Brent: [laughing] Yeah, "ugh!"
    Ryan: "Okay, Zodiac do you wanna go out?" "Okay!"
  • Downer Ending: Majority of the True Crime episodes end with the discussed deaths/murders/disappearances remaining unsolved with little to no closure for family and friends.
    • Bizarrely averted in Ken Rex McElroy. Despite his death being unsolved, everyone sees it for the best due to the utter chaos he had wrecked on the town.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Discussed in the Alcatraz breakout episode, where Ryan mentions that, if they're even still alive, the statue of limitations will expire when the escapees turn ninety-nine. He and Shane agree that, if it were then, they'd totally roll into the US Marshal's office on their their ninety-ninth birthdays, sunglasses on and Flipping the Bird, telling the cops to go fuck themselves, before promptly dying right there in the office.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Ryan's been in the show since the beginning, but Shane only joined in the Illuminati episode. Before then, Ryan's co-host was Brent Bennett.
    • Early episodes were much shorter (4-10 minutes), covering fewer theories (if any at all, the earliest, like Hinterkaifeck farm, mention them in passing) while later episodes range from 20 to 40 minutes. The graphics and filming location when not on-site were also not as high-quality.
    • BuzzFeed Unsolved did not become its own series until The Black Dahlia episode. The episodes before that were considered part of the BuzzFeed IRL series, though they were retroactively made into BuzzFeed Unsolved episodes.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: Alluded to in "The Haunting of the Salem Witch Trials", in which Ryan uses an EMF reader. More dramatically, it's seen in the Sallie House, where Shane taunts the demon to turn a flashlight on and off, and it does, more than once. In the voodoo episode, a fan turns on in a house without electricity, and it did not turn off when Shane tried to turn it off. As of Season 3 of Supernatural, they have been using the spirit box at haunted locations, as per fan request. In the London Tombs episode, a light turns on randomly, and the boys prove that they are not motion censor lights and mention that they are alone.
  • Everybody Has Standards:
    • Even Ryan laughs off the idea of actual witches being in Salem, or all politicians secretly being lizard people.
    • On the flipside, even Shane will occasionally admit to finding an area or story genuinely creepy, even if he doesn't believe in ghosts.
  • Evil Is Cool: Discussed in a few episodes, especially the ones about D.B. Cooper and the Gardner Museum Heist. In the former, Ryan and Shane both admit to finding Cooper's calm demeanor and method of committing the crime kind of cool, and are a little disappointed when they realize he was probably kind of an idiot. In the latter, Shane's outright rooting for the thieves, and is delighted by how awesome and movie-like the heist was. Ryan also admits to liking the thieves, and notes that in heist movies, most audiences are inclined to root for the criminals.
  • Exact Words: During the post show, Shane frequently insists he'll progress his ongoing tale of hot dogs jousting on crabs but instead flashes back to the lives of the hot dog couple. He finally insists on the post show of the Poison Pill Murders episode that there will be some crab action. It's the backstory of the crabs that the hot dogs are jousting on.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: They've lampshaded numerous times that they'll never solve anything.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Per the name of the show, the questions surrounding the culprit of the crime cases and existence of the supernatural are never given a definitive answer, although Ryan and Shane will sometimes give individual opinions.
  • Ghost Ship: The Queen Mary, where they spend the night. This is also noteworthy as the site that made Ryan believe in ghosts at the age of seventeen. He saw a tube of toothpaste fly off the sink.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In The Thrilling Gardner Museum Heist episode, the night guard openly admitted he was usually drunk or high during most of his shifts. He even told the police the reason he let the robbers (disguised as cops) into the building was because he had a Grateful Dead concert to go to the next day. Ryan wonders why the museum would hire him in the first place.
  • Gut Feeling / This Is Gonna Suck: Ryan's typical reaction to approaching a haunted location, especially at night.
  • Ham and Deadpan Duo: Ryan spends most of the Supernatural episode visits loudly freaking out and demanding questions of the spirits, while Shane stands off to the side joking.
  • Haunted Castle: They visited and ghost-hunted at the supposedly haunted Colchester Castle in England during Season 3 of Supernatural. They recorded some interesting evidence, including a sound that some interpret as a woman singing.
  • Haunted House: They have visited many. "Three Horrifying Cases of Ghosts and Demons" has the Winchester Mystery House (mansion variety), the Sallie House (suburban version), and a haunted island.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": In "The Ghost Town at Vulture Mine," Shane and Ryan both laugh uproariously at the location known as "The Glory Hole," though they do acknowledge the phrase meant something innocuous back when the town was founded.
  • Hellhole Prison: They're more horrified at the conditions of Ohio State Penitentiary than any ghost stuff, and even apologize to one of the prisoners who decided to set himself on fire just to be free from it.
    Ryan: But before we leave, once again, sorry what happened to you happened to you. Pretty awful.
    Shane: May you know peace.
  • Hell Hotel: Twice.
    • The Cecil Hotel in the Elisa Lam episode. While the hotel is technically normal, it has a reputation for having housed several serial killers and being the site of an unusually high number of suicides. Ryan proposes ghosts as an explanation for Elisa's psychotic behavior right before her death.
    • The Dauphine Orleans Hotel, which is famously haunted with the spirits of former prostitutes. Visitors (including Shane and Ryan) report being kept up all night by loud, pacing footsteps and other eerie noises.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The episode about the Australian Shark Arm Murders. Ocean and marine-based puns abound.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Discussed in the Roanoke episode. Researchers found evidence of mass cannibalism on the island, leading some to theorize that a zombie plague wiped out the colony. Ryan does admit that they were going through a harsh winter, and may have just turned to good old Donner dinners to survive, with John White gone to get supplies.
  • Karma Houdini: Several criminals/serial killers in the True Crime episodes have yet to be identified and brought to justice for their crimes, including Jack the Ripper, the Zodiac Killer, JonBenét Ramsey's murderer, etc.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Discussed in the episode about the murder of Ken Rex McElroy. After literal decades of terrorizing his small town, and always wriggling his way out of legal punishment, someone finally said, "To hell with legal punishment" and just shot the bastard. To make it even better, out of sixty witnesses, no one ratted them out.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: All members of the Tromp family in The Bizarre Road Trip of a Missing Family don't have any memory of what caused them to go on their sudden road trip or any event that happened during said trip.
  • Lightmare Fuel: Part of the series' popularity. Disturbing murders and haunted places are interspersed with a lot of comedy, often at the genuinely scary situation's expense.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The Natalie Wood episode brings up the possibility of one happening. Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner were married but there were rumors that Wood was infatuated with Christopher Walken (to the extent Wagner was concerned about it) and Wood was jealous of Wagner's on-screen romance with his co-star Stephanie Powers. Ryan also brings up the possibility that their friend Captain Dennis Davern being in love with Wood.
  • Love Triangle:
    • The William Desmond Taylor episode posits that Taylor possibly had romantic entanglements with Mabel Normand. Another star Mary Miles Minter was also in love with Taylor but he did not appear to reciprocate.
    • In "The Mysterious Death Of The Eight Day Bride", there was one between Christina, her husband Jack and Jack's best friend Ronald. However, the question of who was in love with who drives the mystery of Christina's death. Her family believed Ronald loved Christina but others claim that Jack and Ronald were in a relationship.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: What pretty much all of their paranormal investigations come down to. They find a fair amount of evidence, but it's rarely dramatic and often has a mundane explanation.
  • Men in Black: Featured in an episode, with video evidence. Brent, the resident skeptic at the time, was not impressed.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Their own channel hosts other videos to do with crime/mysteries, and one discusses how mothers of pretty missing white girls who don't mourn hard enough are slandered and deemed guilty by the media and public.
  • Mood Whiplash: Happens a lot. You'll hear the terrifying details of a crime scene, and then it'll cut to Shane and Ryan making jokey commentary.
  • Multiple Identity IDs: The Isdal Woman was found to have several passports in her luggage, leading to Ryan and Shane theorizing she was a spy.
  • My Beloved Smother: In "The Scandalous Murder of William Desmond Taylor", one suspect was Mary Miles Minter's mother, who was overbearing and controlling of Minter's life, including having Minter steal the name of a deceased relative so Minter could work.
  • Nice Guy: They both are, which works to their favor in some of the more upsetting True Crime episodes. Ryan will put trigger warnings before graphic descriptions of violence towards women, and they're both understanding of Mcelroy's wives defending him.
  • Nerves of Steel: Regardless of whether you believe in ghosts or not, a lot of the supposedly haunted locations the duo visits are creepy as hell, and would scare the living daylights out of most people, particularly when visited alone at night. Shane, however, is calm and even relaxed in most cases, and frequently Trolls Ryan by daring any ghosts that may be there to come after them.
  • Never Live It Down: Enforced In-Universe by Shane. Shane intended to end the Hot Doga in the episode in which it essentially began, but Ryan pulled a To Be Continued. Since then, Shane has decided that he will never end the Hot Doga (which Ryan hates), and often reminds Ryan that he could have avoided it if he hadn't taken narrative control for the sake of a Cliffhanger.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Both of them, naturally. When a fan sent them true crime baseball cards, Ryan described it as feeling "so wrong and yet so right at the same time".
    Ryan: I gotta say, of all the serial killer cases I've read about-and I've read a lot-
    Ryan: I am not a sicko!
    [later in the same episode]
    Shane: Tell you what. I love when serial killers have a fun little thing.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Subverted. In the Eastern State Penitentiary episode, a lot of viewers noticed that Shane seemed a little off and theorized something there may have seriously scared him. It was later revealed in the post show, that he ate some bad hot-dogs before arriving on set.
    • Played Straight in the JonBenét Ramsey video, where Shane appears genuinely miserable and even horrified when talking about the case.
    • In general, if the boys aren't laughing and cracking jokes, the case is probably really getting to them.
    • In the Ken Rex McElroy episode, it's very telling that Ryan says he's glad McElroy's dead, and that his killer got away with it.
    • According to the almost 70th episode, when they were in the shoot at Waverly and heard the noise, Shane ran off. Mark their camera-man said that he knows if Shane is scared by something, something is actually wrong.
  • Paranormal Investigation: The Supernatural seasons. At least, on Ryan's side.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The death of Ken Rex McElroy. After literal decades of imposing a reign of terror upon the town of Skidmore and never suffering more than a slap on the wrist for his crimes, McElroy was finally gunned down in the street by at least one enraged citizen. To this day, the people of Skidmore have not disclosed the identity or identities of those responsible despite the dozens of witnesses present at the crime scene, making it a case of evil-paying shared by an entire town.
  • Poison Is Evil: In one episode, the duo covers multiple people's death by poisoned Tylenol caplets. Ryan theorizes that the killer may have been Ted Kaczynski (more infamously known as the Unabomber), but anyone willing to do such a thing certainly falls under the "Evil" category.
  • Police are Useless: Shows up all over the place in the True Crime episodes, with a truly depressing (and, frankly, kind of scary) number of law enforcement officials, as well as other professionals who were brought in to help with investigations, who are corrupt, utterly incompetent, or just plain lazy. Lampshaded by Shane in the Amelia Earhart episode, who snarks that half these cases wouldn't be unsolved if people just did their freakin' jobs right.
  • Properly Paranoid: Natalie Wood who was terrified of water, ended up drowning in 1981.
  • Rasputinian Death: Roland T. Owen was discovered with critical wounds indicating he was struck repeatedly in the head, fractured his skull, stabbed in the chest several times, had a punctured lung and was possibly strangled. Somehow though, he was still alive and conscious for several hours before being discovered and eventually dying from his injuries.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • The Ramsey episode is dark anyway, but Shane delicately asks how gross they're going to get when Ryan mentions DNA on Benet's underwear. Ryan reassures that he doesn't mean like that.
    • In the Ken Rex McElroy episode, Ryan warns the audience that he's going to discuss sexual assault — and, sure enough, among McElroy's many crimes is the the assault and rape of multiple teenage girls. This, along with his infuriating ability to wriggle out of legal repercussions for anything, is what gets the guys (and most of the audience) to agree that McElroy deserved what he got.
    Shane: Fuck this guy.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Shane is so skeptical of demons that he casually lays down where a pentagram once was in the basement of the Sally house. Notable for being a case that features one of the few examples of possible supernatural activity caught on camera (a flashlight mysteriously turns on after Ryan and Shane challenge the demon to do so).
    • On the Goatman's bridge Shane starts swearing at the Demon right off the bat, and continues to do so through the whole episode, and when they try to communicate with him via Ouija Board, Shane eventually goads Ryan into claiming the bridge as their own if the Goatman didn't communicate with them (which he didn't).
  • Relax-o-Vision: In "The Shocking Case of O.J. Simpson," the guys show a picture of a cute little Akita when the case gets too depressing or disturbing.
  • Rooting for the Empire: An In-Universe example:
    • During the Whaley House episode, Ryan and Shane both sympathize with the most feared ghost, Yankee Jim, and hope that he has a sweet speed boat in the afterlife.
    • In The Thrilling Gardner Museum Heist, from the very beginning Shane outright is rooting for the thieves.
    • In the episode about the Alcatraz breakout, Ryan says he sort of hopes the men survived and got away, partially because their plan was so ingenious.
  • Rule of Three: Discussed in the episodes centering around demons, since the Rule of Three is allegedly significant in mocking the Holy Trinity. Ryan mentions when spending the night at the Sallie House, that at 3:00 am he's going to be quiet for 3 minutes to see if any demonic activity happens at that specific time. When they go to a demonic bridge, Ryan mentions that according to lore, if you knock on it three times, the demon that haunts it will throw you off. They try it: nothing happens.
  • Running Gag:
    • Ryan frequently brings up his fear of bears, insisting that they are the most fearsome and dominant creatures on the planet. Shane vehemently disagrees.
    • The Hot Dog Saga / Hot Daga. Shane insists on keeping the story alive, and expect him to continue with the tale at the end of every Post-Mortem episode.
    • Shane looking into the camera and shaking his head every time Ryan asks "are ghosts real" at the beginning of the supernatural episodes.
    • Father Thomas. Ryan reminds himself of Father Thomas' advice, "Do not be afraid" when visiting haunted locations. Father Thomas' advice against interacting with ghosts and demons is often replayed before they do just that.
    • The concept that Ryan has an alternate personality named Ricky Goldsworth (a very willful and domineering con man in sharp contrast to Ryan's usual demeanor) and that Shane is actually a demon.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Ryan, Shane, and Pepe all get the fuck out of Dodge when they see that the Island of the Dolls is full of huge spiders. Of course, the fact that it's Creepy Doll Central probably doesn't help. Even Shane admitted to being creeped out by that place.
    • In the same episode, Ryan can't make it through a night in the Sallie House, and bolts.
  • Scrolling Text / Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Dialogue between Shane and Ryan is portrayed as this with Shane's being in yellow on the left and Ryan's being in dark blue on the right. Prior to Shane taking Brent’s place, Brent’s dialogue was also in yellow text while Ryan’s dialogue was a light blue colour instead.
    • If a third party participates in the conversation, their dialogue is centered and in purple. So far this has included Daysha, a major fan of Tupac Shakur (and to a lesser extent, Biggie Smalls) in "The Mysterious Death of Tupac Shakur" and "Biggie Smalls" episodes; Pepe from Buzzfeed Mexico, who acts as Ryan and Shane's guide during the Doll Island part of "3 Horrifying Cases of Ghosts and Demons"; and Ryan's girlfriend, Helen, who Ryan calls for moral support in "The Haunted Halls of Waverly Hills Hospital".
  • Selective Obliviousness: In The Scandalous Murder of William Desmond Taylor, some neighbors including the apartment manager, heard what sounded like a gunshot but write it off when no other disturbance follows. One of the neighbors spotted someone leaving Taylor's home, dressed like a burglar, but again, didn't think too much about it.
  • Serial Killer: They've done surprisingly few, but the ones that do feature serial killersNote are colorful. They're typically peppered with Ryan and Shane joking about the killers Growing the Beard in regards to their "fun little things".
  • Serious Business: As the resident Agent Mulder, Ryan of course takes the supernatural seriously, but there's one particular rule he's incredibly staunch about.
    Ryan: I've lived my life by one adage, and that's don't fuck with demons.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: How the Axeman of New Orlean's operated. He would wait for the victims to go to bed before attempting to murder them with an axe. Attempting because as Shane and Ryan do point out, for someone murdering people in their sleep, he's not actually all that successful. He managed to actually kill his victims in less than 50% of his attacks.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Strikes a careful balance between them, with some episodes being more serious and some being more light-hearted, and all having a mix of scary and snarky moments.
  • Smug Snake: Ken Rex McElroy, who was awfully full of himself for a creepy, universally loathed crook, with a boatload of gloating to go with it. It's for this reason that Shane admits he'd love to know what McElroy's last thoughts were, after someone just shot him in the middle of the street.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Unsolved Mysteries, down to the creepy background music and the dramatic Robert Stack-style narration delivered by Ryan. This show is just considerably funnier.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: It's unknown why the Watcher was terrorizing and stalking the Broaddus family, even knowing intimate details like the children's nicknames and their birth dates.
  • Stealing the Credit: Ryan accuses Thomas Edison of stealing the credit of inventing the motion picture from Louis Le Prince.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Practically Shane's hobby. He has yelled for demons to kill him, given Ryan's home address away so any ghosts could follow him home, laid down on a pentagram in a basement supposedly used for Satanic rituals, and declared a possibly demonic bridge to be his if said demon didn't show itself.
    • Most of the episodes that take Shane and Ryan to haunted locations end with them sleeping in the haunted places as a final act of provoking the supposed spirits.
  • That Came Out Wrong: After Shane dismisses the idea of Lizzie Borden not being able to change her clothes unassissted:
    Ryan: I'd like to see you put on a dress from that time period.
    Ryan: That came out weird, I could've worded that better. I would not like to see you in a dress. I would like you to try - you know what, you get what I'm saying. OK.
  • Town with a Dark Secret:
    • Keddie. Possibly. The fact that the town had maybe 50 inhabitants and yet nobody saw or heard a series of brutal murders leads Shane and Ryan to speculate that somebody was covering for the killer.
    • A good portion of the Skidmore town knew who murdered Ken Rex McElroy, having 60 witnesses to his murder, but refused to say who.
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: “The Treacherous Treasure Hunt of Forest Fenn”. They didn’t get the gold, unfortunately.
  • The Un-Reveal: At the end of the JonBenét Ramsey episode, Ryan explains that they are legally not allowed to say who they think is the killer, so Ryan blinks his answer in Morse code. Turns out, he doesn't actually know Morse Code and just said "TTTT".
  • The Unsolved Mystery: Well, duh.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • In "The Creepy Murder in Room 1046", they frequently lampshade how many suspicious things (like a guy lying on the bed surrounded by a dark stain) the hotel staff discount/walk away from with no comment.
    • Shane posits that the Keddie killer got away clean because "in the 80s, you see someone running down a back road covered in blood, you just move on".
  • Values Dissonance:
    • In-universe, they're always willing to point out misogyny/racism/homophobia of the time, especially when it's to do with a motive. In the Bobby Dunbar episode, they get genuinely angry at a newspaper vilifying Julia Anderson (a single mom who was obviously far less well off than Lessie Dunbar) for not recognizing her child right away and calling her "a big coarse woman".
    • Ryan being Mexican/Japanese hunting old-fashioned ghosts doesn't come up a whole lot. He mentioned that Shane would fit in more to the Sorrel-Weed house being a white guy, but that banter was cut out of the show thanks to feeling like it wasn't funny and halting the momentum.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds / Like an Old Married Couple: Shane and Ryan. Their bickering is the trademark of the show, arguably even more so than the Unsolved Mysteries aspect.
  • Voodoo: Covered in an episode. Shane and Ryan team up with New Orleans Voodoo priest, Bloody Mary. They learn that Voodoo is not necessarily an evil practice and can be used for good.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole?: The main question surrounding the death of Ken McElroy. It's really a testament to how big an asshole Ken was that not has the entire town of Skidmore remained silent on who killed him, but also that Ryan, Shane and the show's fans are perfectly okay with letting the mystery go unsolved.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Though ghosts and monsters freak Ryan out, nothing gets him more scared than demons. He has said he will only do one demon related episode per season, and it usually ends with him sweating bullets if things went well, screaming and whipping around at every noise if they didn't.

It seems that despite all the evidence pointing to it being true, the theory that this site will ruin your life is still up for debate, and will likely remain Unsolved.


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