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C.G.P. Grey is an Educational Youtuber whose 3rd video, “The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England” went viral in 2011. As of April 2018 he has passed three million subscribers. His videos can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/CGPGrey. He also takes part in a podcast alongside Brady Haran called "Hello Internet" that can be found here: http://www.hellointernet.fm/
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He also narrated an animated retelling of The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant.


Tropes:

  • Advertising Disguised as News: Thankfully, only subverted in an episode of "Hello Internet" where he mentions being offered payment from an on-line currency company to do an episode on the history of virtual money, with the ending portraying them as the future of virtual currency.
  • And I Must Scream: The right brain in You Are Two.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Political entities such as countries and states are often represented as dress-wearing stick figures, with the entity's flag patterning the dress.
  • Anything That Moves: Noted as one of the requirements for Domestication in his video on the topic.
    Grey: Hunter-gatherers needed an animal so eager to breed, it gets it wrong sometimes.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Inverted in his video "This Video Will Hurt", listing what people believe cause allergies:
    Grey: People get sick from WiFi or windfarms or windfarms with WiFi...
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  • Brown Note: He places a faintly-audible sound in "This Video Will Hurt" that will cause sickness in listeners...is what he claimed in order to make viewers think that, so he can provide viewers with a firsthand example of the nocebo effect.
  • The Cameo: Grey has had many in other YouTuber’s videos, and some have cameoed in his own:
    • He appeared in "Favourite Numbers" and "Numbers confuse Americans" from Numberphile.
    • In an "Ask Emily" episode of The Brain Scoop, Emily answered a question he submitted about how caterpillar metamorphosis works.
    • The "You Are Two" video featured Kurzgesagt at the end, and he cameoed at the end of their sister video "What Is Something?"
  • Catchphrase: “Hello, Internet”
  • The Chains of Commanding: "The Rules for Rulers" is a rather sobering video on the idea that being the leader of a country is not all that it's cracked up to be in terms of being able to enact solutions to problems. Whether as a dictatorship or a democracy, Grey argues that most of the ruler's job is allocating enough "treasure" (straight-up cash in dictatorships, more legal favors like subsidies and tax breaks in democracies) to placate the key entities to his rule, or else face being taken out of office by ballot or bullet. Anything leftover that a ruler spends on the country as a whole (or keeps for himself) is potential money that a rival could use to entice those key entities to switch sides.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: His personal opinion towards things he disagrees with when stating the facts. Especially with scientific misconceptions, obvious logical thinking and political actions that only looks out for their interest while missing the big picture.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: According to "The Rules for Rulers", modern day representative democracy isn't without its flaws with specific tax codes for wealthier segments, gerrymandering, and complicated election process to remain in power. On the other hand, democratic countries—specifically stable ones—tend to have higher quality of life than dictatorships due to the fact that improving the lives of voters also improve tax revenues and approval ratings.
  • Determinator: "The Race to Win Staten Island" recounts Grey's mission to find out the truth behind the dubious story of Christopher Billopp securing Staten Island for New York. In pursuit of this goal, Grey flew to New York to visit the New York Public Library to see if the crucial editions of Richmond County Gazette. After confirming that the copies really are missing, he takes a boat to Staten Island to visit the Billopp House and Dissoway's gravestone. The video ends with him laughing maniacally as he wanders through the Staten Island Cemetary in a rainstorm.
    Grey: "Ignore my emails? I might just show up!"
  • Don't Try This at Home: When discussing the law you won't be told:
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Humorously averted in "Politics in the Animal Kingdom: Single Transferable Vote." The law-making Council is made up entirely of monkeys despite the fact that they are not a majority in the Animal Kingdom, but always get the most votes due to how the districts are drawn up (often by other monkeys). With the monkeys getting all the representation, and the rest getting none, this leads to vast amounts of dissatisfaction for the whole population, prompting Queen Lion to try and experiment with the STV voting system.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A few videos have blink-and-you'll-miss-it flashes of text that viewers would have little to no chance of reading without the pause button - a good example is "Quick and Easy Voting for Normal People" (which actually has two instances - one as a gag and one as a footnote).
    • A rather off-color one occurs in "Who Owns the Statue of Liberty?"
      America: Bffs, France! Bffs forever!
      France: The F stands for forever, you idiot.
      America: You pretentious bitch. I hate you. Forever.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: In "The Rules for Rulers," he lists that these rules are exactly the reason why revolutions so often see a ruler become even worse than his predecessor. The keys to power expect a greater cut from him, else they would simply stamp him out, so he has little choice but to provide that larger cut at the expense of the people.
  • Funny Background Event: In "How to Become Pope", the bishop takes the cardinals' electronics away before they can vote for the new pope. One of the cardinals can be seen pocketing his phone and is later playing with it when he should be praying.
  • Gossip Evolution: In "The Race to Win Staten Island," Grey recounts how this happened with the Christopher Billopp story. Later versions of the story have Billopp using empty barrels to increase his sailing speed, but this detail does not appear in earlier versions. Also, early versions have Billopp living in the manor before the race, but later versions made it a prize for winning.
  • Homage: Hank Green’s VlogBrothers video, "Apples! (CGP Grey style)" is this to C.G.P Grey’s videos.
    • Creator/Conjecture makes a parody video of V Sauce, Vlogbrothers, and CGP Grey, the latter using Grey's iconic stickman animation.
    • When discussing a hypothetical "Videocators Guild", CGP Grey in its coat of arms includes, besides his own logo, the logos of MinutePhysics, Vi Hart and CrashCourse.
  • I Call It "Vera": For a video recapping a journey from San Jose, California through the desert of Nevada to Moab, Utah, Grey borrows an acquaintance's Tesla Model X. He dubs it "Bailey".
  • Inherent in the System: Why are governments so corrupt? Why don't they ever cater to the people and instead devote their resources to the benefit of the rich and powerful? Because according to "The Rules for Rulers," it's easier to win and maintain the support of a few key entities than it is for the masses. And any ruler who doesn't keep these key entities satisfied will lose them to a rival who will.
  • Interface Screw: He inserts a brief series of fake buffers into his "Net Neutrality Explained" video to demonstrate the experience for non-"fast lane" users in a Net Neutrality-less world.
  • The Last DJ: Defied. After explaining the brutal realities of politics in "The Rules for Rulers," the viewer is told that while the political game is hard, not engaging it means you can't change a thing.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In "Zebra vs. Horses" (about animal domestication, the follow-up to the Americapox video), the first three traits he lists for a good candidate for domestication are friendly, feedable, and fu-, er, fecund. (The fourth is family-friendly.)
  • Magic Countdown: Invoked as a metaphor in his description of the debt limit of the U.S. federal government, in which it is a ticking Time Bomb set by Congress that Congress also has the ability to disarm at any time. In cases where congress and the president are at odds, they can milk the debt limit for political points by delaying "disarming" it until the last possible moment.
  • Memetic Mutation: Discussed in his video "This Video Will Make You Angry", which is a pretty good rundown on meme theory and their propagation.
  • Mexican Standoff: In "Who Owns Antarctica?" there's a two-second scene of the Axis and Allied powers pointing guns at each other to illustrate who was threatening who (if you're wondering what that has to do with Antarctica, Argentina and Chile made claims that overlap with the UK who they believed wouldn't be able to object because of the impending World War II). America, who's looking off the right edge of the scene whistling, is apparently not paying attention to Japan.
  • Motor Mouth: In his United Kingdom video, he lists off about dozen or so countries in the Commonwealth Realm at a very rapid pace. He also blurts out a very fast disclaimer in The Law You Won't Be Told.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The "Steffen Perfect" boarding method. It's just a theoretically more efficient method of boarding a commercial airline plane, but it's treated as downright utopian.
  • Nations as People: From "How Many Countries are There?" on. In earlier videos, they are either depicted as flags or have speech bubbles on a map. Notably, nations use his female stick figure model (with Vatican City as the major exception as it is demographically at least 90% male), with the nation's (or other political unit like a state) flag as her skirt.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: In the "How Many Countries are There" video, when talking about China–Taiwan relations:
    Grey: Thus, the innocent question "how many countries?" has led us straight to a big 'World War III: Press Here To Start' button which is getting depressing so let's move on to...
    [shows map of West Bank and Gaza]
    Grey: ohhhh, right. [sigh] No more politics.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Grey's pet peeve.
    Grey: This message has been brought to you by The Society of People who Think that Names Should Mean Something.
    • Though, his own logo is a case of this: while it depicts science and technology, and the man wanted to make videos about the two fields since he thinks that they are the most important, most of his videos are about history, politics and nomenclature.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: If Grey's speech departs from the usual Motor Mouth (i.e., he speaks more slowly and it's easier to follow what he's saying), it's a sign the video is going to be depressing and sobering - "Humans Need Not Apply" is about how robots are set to displace humans in all aspects of the labor force beyond just manual labor, the first "Americapox" video starts off with the historical fact that ~90% of the population of pre-Columbian America was killed by diseases from Europe (and why the reverse didn't happen), "The Rules For Rulers" explains why politics and all the seeming backstabbing and corruption among those in power is nigh-inevitable (short answer: if you don't you won't stay in power for long). "Why Die?" dissects the ethics of mortality.
  • Precision Swear Strike: Describes zebra as "bastards" and "pain-in-the-ass" animals in "Zebra vs Horses: Animal Domestication". The fact that this is the same video with the above mentioned Last-Second Word Swap makes this even more jarring.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Look at Running Gag, and also used multiple times in his video about the UK's worst election ever.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The episode "The Better Boarding Method Airlines Won't Use" features a lot of rhyming.
    Grey: Let's put our monkey brains to work to tackle this cue, which is what boarding groups do: prioritizing planely packing primates precisely... primarily. [later] The first boarding group [in the Back to Front method] walks to the back of the plane. Everything is smooth right until the first to go reaches their row and starts to stow. So slow. And for passenger two, while their seat is in view, there's nothing to do, the isle's one cue where all can not but stew stuck like glue until this guy's through. Phew! [later still] This [Steffen Perfect method] maximizes pull always and parallels, pristinely packing people in a pinch. [even later still] One,two,free, four: we can't ask people for more. [at the end of the video] How do we deplane? That's right; front to back, row by row, no slower could we go.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Algorithm-Bots from "How Machines Learn", to the point that many viewers wished for a plushie. Almost a year later, they got their wish.
  • Running Gag: The History Channel
  • Self-Deprecation: In "The Better Boarding Method Airlines Won't Use", CPG Grey describes one person who brings three carry-on bags because he doesn't think the rules should apply to him and who also fiddles around with getting his laptop out after stowing his bags. This figure is CPG Grey himself.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When explaining the many kinds of Daddy Longlegs, he casually mentions that the Australian version does indeed have venom and fangs and adds that "then again, so does everything else in that bloody country" as the screen changes to images of several animals and a politician, with the distinctive stick figure on yellow background of Caustic Critic Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw hiding in the corner of the video.
    • For "How To Become Pope", two of the questions the Apostolic Nuncio asks potential bishops are "What is your quest?" and "What is your favorite color?"
    • In the "American Empire" video, the formation of the United States from the original 13 is depicted as forming Voltron.
    • For the "Who Owns The Statue of Liberty?" video about the surprisingly complicated question of where the border between New York and New Jersey runs (due to the original English charter being both wordy and vague), New York claimed the whole river (including Staten, Ellis, and the future Liberty Island) as theirs — even the Hudson River piers New Jersey built. "All New York. All belong to us." Said while the New York avatar is wearing a blue cape mimicking CATS.
    • When discussing Svalbard in the "Where is Scandanavia?" video, he mentions that it is guarded by armoured bears
  • Something Completely Different: Once discusses Reddit.
    • His video "History of the Union Jack" has him not speak at all. Corresponds with Early Installment Weirdness, as this is his earliest video on the channel.
    • His video "Humans Need Not Apply" about automation has a outright serious and existential tone, as well as being significantly longer than his usual videos at 15 minutes and a tad depressing.
    • He takes a similar tone in "Americapox: The Missing Plague", at 12 minutes and on the rather depressing subject of plagues (specifically, how Old World diseases decimated the people of the New World but the reverse didn't happen). In addition, he intentionally slowed down his Motor Mouth habit for this video.
    • He takes this tone again in "Rules for Rulers", his longest video so far at almost 20 minutes, has a machiavellian tone on how people are suppose to get in possitions of power and how they keep it.
    • He takes this tone again in "Why Die?" where he thinks the idea of accepting aging and death to be similar to having fondness for a criminal that tortures you, and that people should fight it.
    • "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant" is a departure from his usual art style and hard reality style in favor of Grey narrating a fable by Nick Bostrom about the wonders of human progress and the tragedy of accepting horror, with lush and detailed artwork to boot.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: In explaining why the Perfect Steffen boarding method can't be used, one of the reasons Grey lists is that passengers would "flip the hell out" upon seeing that they were in boarding group 123.
  • Southern Gentlemen: With a name like "General Beauregard Lee" he concludes that Georgia's native groundhog seasonal predictor must be one of these, and lists off a few characteristics he assumes said groundhog must have.
  • Stick Figure Animation: Humans (excluding portraits of Historical Domain Characters) are drawn as stick figures, including CGP Grey himself.
  • Uranus Is Showing: Discussed in one video, where he mentions the problematic pronunciations of Uranus, i.e. "yoo-RAIN-us"note  and "YUR-in-us"note . In The Stinger he asks the viewers to avert this trope and pronunce it like the Greek Ouranos ("oo-RON-ohs") instead.
  • Visual Pun: In "How To Become Pope", when it comes time for the College of Cardinals to begin the voting process to select a new pope, their means of communication with the outside world are confiscated. This includes electronic tablets, though people only paying attention to Grey's narration might not notice one of the cardinals has a tablet made of stone.
  • The Voice: Grey considers himself ‘a pretty private person,’ so in most of his videos, he becomes this trope. When appearing as himself, however, various methods are employed to hide his identity. These include framing his face out (People Pronouncing Uranus video), or standing behind a tree in Numberphile’s "Favourite Numbers" videos.
    • In Vlogbrothers videos where he is in frame, he is usually censored with a large black box, sometimes annotated with his name. (The same courtesy was extended to John Green's wife, "The Yeti," before she started hosting The Art Assignment)
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: This attitude is thoroughly mocked in "Why Die," where Grey dissects the idea that one should accept the decay of their body as natural.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: A few of Grey's videos seem like they're about to conclude when they're not anywhere close to the end of the bar. The most extreme example is "How Many Countries Are There?", where he notes counting the number of United Nations members gets you 193 ("Fastest video ever, right?") but it's only 25 seconds into a video that's over 5 minutes long.

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