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"Hello. I'm Kevin Perjurer, and welcome to my new series, Defunctland, where I will be creating my own amusement park from attractions that are no longer operating."
Kevin Perjurer, Defunctland: The History of ExtraTERRORestrial: Alien Encounter

Defunctland is a YouTube channel and series created in February 2017 by Kevin Perjurer, who makes (mostly) documentary videos on the history of theme park attractions that have closed down or have been completely revamped.

The main Defunctland series is divided into three seasons:

  • Season One: Kevin brings us through the history of various rides, attractions, and even whole parks from Disney and Universal that are no longer there. A lingering story throughout the Disney episodes is that of Michael Eisner's rise to prominence.
  • Season Two: Much of the same as the previous season, only with a focus on international or more local parks, such as Nara Dreamland or Alton Towers, and a lingering storyline primarily about the Disney theme parks and attractions that were created or failed under the stewardship of Michael Eisner, and his downfall as CEO of Disney.
  • Season Three: A much more historical series about the myriad parks and attractions that contributed to Walt Disney's youth and the road he would go down in order to up-end the entire amusement business in creating Disneyland, as well as an exploration of the rise and fall of the optimistic futurism associated with it.

The channel also features a sister series about defunct TV shows called DefunctTV — focused primarily on kids shows from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s — as well as two podcasts: "Defunctland", where Perjurer interviews other YouTubers who specialize in theme parks and people who conceived or worked on attractions, and "Where We Parked", where Kevin and Jack (Park Ride History) discuss whatever theme park-related topic comes to mind. There is also a smaller series of Debunkedland videos hosted by Noah Randall, who debunks theme park-related Urban Legends. Lastly, Perjurer has released three feature-length documentaries through the channel, which are not formally connected to Defunctland, but instead explore a particular Disney-related subject in detail.

Defunctland provides examples of:

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    Tropes A-L 
  • Accidental Pun: During the "Top 10 Forgotten Disneyland Attractions" video, Disney Dan interrupts Kevin to point out a pun on "driving the point home" while discussing AMC's sponsorship of Circarama USA.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Disney's FastPass: A Complicated History touches on how in 2009, in the midst of planning a complete overhaul to Walt Disney World's tech infrastructure, the chairman of Disney's theme park division Jay Rasulo was suddenly transferred to the position of Chief Financial Officer, with the current CFO Tom Staggs set to take his place. This was done at the behest of CEO Bob Iger, who was planning to retire in 2015 and wanted to see which of the men would make a more suitable successor. Staggs found himself in the unenviable position of overseeing a project with a billion-dollar price tag and no clear way to turn a profit. Despite the many issues it caused, Staggs saw the ambitious project through, and with Rasulo stepping down once 2015 rolled around, he seemed to be the clear winner of Iger's succession game. A year later, however, Staggs would also leave the company for unspecified reasons, with Iger staying on as CEO until 2020, retiring briefly before replacing his own successor Bob Chapek in 2022.
    • The War for Disney's America details how a group of historians successfully fought against a Disney theme park in Virginia to preserve the historic battleground it was to be built upon, only for the end to reveal that the site ended up becoming a suburban development.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
    • The History of Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg touches on the tradition of the two Busch Gardens parks receiving similar rides at the same time as each other. Drachen Fire itself was intended to be Arrow Dynamics' answer to Bolliger & Mabillard's Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa, since B&M were too busy to build a second coaster for Busch Gardens, but it failed due to Arrow's inexperience at mimicking the B&M style.
    • Defunctland has repeatedly noted that Michael Eisner greenlit projects which were extremely similar to what their competition was doing in basically the same locations. Examples of this include Disney-MGM Studios (Universal Studios Florida), Animal Kingdom (Busch Gardens Tampa), DisneyQuest (GameWorks), and Club Disney (Discovery Zone).
    • The video regarding Nara Dreamland mentions that, while the park appeared to be a Shoddy Knockoff Product, it was really intended to be a fully-licensed version of Disneyland, and only became an alternate company equivalent when the negotiations for Disney's characters fell through. Nara Dreamland's visitors saw it as the next best thing to the Disneyland, at least until Tokyo Disneyland opened in the '80s.
    • Disaster Transport was basically presented as a pre-existing bobsled coaster being retrofitted into an Alternate Company Equivalent of Space Mountain, though not as successful; Kevin even had a "Disney ripoff counter" listing the ways Cedar Point copied Disney with Disaster Transport.
  • Arc Villain: Though Michael Eisner could in a way be considered this for most of the early episodes, it's the elitist, self-serving Robert Moses who really comes across as the heavy of Season Three, demolishing old Coney Island, planning the disastrous 1964 World's Fair as a self-rehabilitation project and legacy builder, and even potentially having a hand in the downfall of Freedomland U.S.A.
    Kevin: "Robert Moses Park". He liked the name. After all, he was Robert Moses.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • In "The Handwich: Disney's Failed Sandwich of the Future", the narrator introduces Kevin as a documentarian, a filmmaker who investigates important topics such as injustice, crime, and rollercoasters. This ended up being a Chekhov's Gag come "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery," which is partly about Kevin's struggle about documenting "low art" and whether to call himself a documentarian or just a YouTuber.
    • In "The American Idol Theme Park Experience", Kevin lists three technological innovations from the late 90s/early 2000s: portable devices, the internet, and denim.
  • Artifact Title: The series was originally started with the intention of detailing the history of closed attractions, and while it still does that from time to time, it has since branched off into discussing theme park and corporate history overall, such as the unbuilt Disney's America and the initial financial failures of Euro Disneyland (now known as Disneyland Paris) and Hong Kong Disneyland. That said, the core theme park videos are the only ones with "Defunctland" in their names; non-theme park videos are distinguished by either the "DefunctTV" branding (for television history) or by not having a label at all (for documentaries like "Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story" or "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery").
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A good number of the attractions covered closed due to being too expensive to maintain despite their popularity.
    • The Times Square Toys 'R' Us was undoubtably an awesome toy store, featuring numerous product launch events, fun attractions such as a Ferris wheel and a robotic T-Rex, and a huge amount of retail space. However, the location and size of the store resulted in enormous rent costs that prevented it from ever turning a profit, which in addition to its failure to rehabilitate the reputation of the Toys 'R' Us brand contributed both the store closing and the company as a whole eventually going under.
    • Walt's original EPCOT concept had some truly groundbreaking and forward-thinking innovations in urban planning, but the way he would attempt to keep it ahead of the rest of the country technologically, as well as with its autocratic government and denial of human privacy among other problems Walt failed to think about (such as what would happen if a company laid off its workforce when all residents were required to hold a job, or how it would deal with the major social issues of the day, or how serious crimes would be treated) meant that it was set up to fail as it was and would've likely destroyed Walt's reputation.
  • Author Avatar: Kevin used to use a picture of Brad Pitt to represent himself.
  • Badass Boast: A truly spectacular example from George Tilyou in "The History of Coney Island", after his entire park burned to the ground in 1907. The very next day, he posted a sign outside the wreckage reading thus:
    George Tilyou:I have troubles today that I did not have yesterday; I had troubles yesterday that I have not today. On this site will be erected shortly a bigger, better, greater Steeplechase Park. Admission to the burning ruins: 10 cents.note 
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The video on Club Disney describes how after Discovery Zone filed for bankruptcy, they were bought out by "a powerful rat... named Charles Entertainment Cheese."
      • "The Failure of Disney's Arcade Chain, DisneyQuest" begins by introducing Sega's creation of live amusement centers in the 90's, leading to a partnership with "a familiar entertainment company that starts with a D"... DreamWorks.
      • The joke is subverted in "The Curse of Sesame Street" when Kevin mentions that Jim Henson had managed to get someone to accept his pitch for what would eventually become The Muppet Show, a "young, energetic executive at ABC... named Michael Eisner".
      • Double subverted in the Garfield's Nightmare video, where it shows a silhouette of Garfield ...and then reveals a completely different picture of Garfield.
    • In the "Electric Park" episode, he talks about Alligator Joe, a man that created alligator farms all over the United States, and sometimes got inside to wrestle them. He says that Joe died in 1915 after losing a battle... with pneumonia.
  • Bait-and-Switch Silhouette: A Running Gag on the channel is introducing something as a silhouette that then changes to what the thing actually is when Kevin says its name, with the silhouette and revealed image often not matching each other at all.
    • The Club Disney video says Discovery Zone was bought out by their main competitor, who is referred to as "a powerful rat" and is initially presented as a silhouette of a Mickey Mouse suit. Upon Kevin saying "Charles Entertainment Cheese", the silhouette changes into a picture of an old Chuck E. Cheese animatronic.
    • The DisneyQuest video opens by saying Sega partnered with "a familiar entertainment company that starts with a D" to make arcade entertainment centers, which is accompanied by a silhouette of the D in the Disney logo... and promptly changes to the DreamWorks logo of a child fishing from a crescent moon once Kevin says who Sega was actually working with.
    • The Garfield's Nightmare video has a downplayed version where both the silhouette and revealed image are of the same thing, but different versions of the same thing: the silhouette is of Garfield's modern look, while the revealed image is from a late '70s comic where Garfield smokes Jon's pipe.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The History of the 1964 New York World's Fair concludes with resolutions of varying tones: despite growing numbers by the end, the fair had significantly underperformed, and Robert Moses' behavior surrounding the fair firmly cemented his status as an immensely corrupt stain on New York. Walt Disney, meanwhile, found major success through the Disney-run attractions and managed to pave the way for his next contribution to the world, EPCOT... and then he died.
    • Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery ends with Kevin finding someone who knew the name of the author of the theme: Alex Lasarenko. However, Lasarenko had passed away two years prior, so the world will never know his personal feelings on the theme and, more importantly, if he would have approved of Kevin making the video or even want to be remembered as the guy who made a commercial bumper for a TV channel. On the positive side, Kevin reveals he used Lasarenko's music for the soundtrack of the video as a way to bring more attention to it, and finds an interview where Lasarenko states that he has no regrets and wouldn't do anything differently.
    • invokedThe History of Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego ends with Kevin lauding the show as an overwhelming success, considering it not only one one of PBS's greatest children's shows, but also one of the greatest Game Shows made for children. However, he points out that, because the show was built on now-outdated information, it will never see an official re-release, and fans that want to watch it will be forced to Keep Circulating the Tapes. invoked
  • Black Comedy: Kevin's dry, professional narration occasionally clashes with the occasionally grim or morbid subject matter he sometimes comes across, accentuated by delivering it as bluntly as possible. One example from "Walt Disney's Childhood Amusement Park, Electric Park"...
    Kevin: In the fall of 1895, Ferdinand Heim, a successful businessman and brewer walked into a restaurant in Kansas City. [...] As the 65-year-old Austrian immigrant dined in Kansas City that fall of 1895, his legacy seemed strong and secure. Which was good, because he was about to die.
  • Bodily Fluid Blacklight Reveal: In "The Bizarre Garfield Dark Ride", the Garfield ride's first blacklight scene is noted to have spatters of fluorescent material all over the walls. Kevin insists that this spatter was definitely added deliberately while refurbishing the ride and is not "the result of 103 years of bad aim".
  • Blunt "Yes":
    • In the re-recorded Superstar Limo video, this is Kevin's reaction to his own question of "So was it as bad as they thought it would be?"
    • invoked The intro to "The History of Journey into Imagination" features a previous interview with Ron Schneider, the actor for Dreamfinder of the original ride. Kevin asks him if even with the current version, the original ride's spirit has been lost, and before he can even finish his question, Ron bluntly states "It's gone. It's completely gone."
  • Body of Bodies: The FastPass Monster from the FastPass episode is made of dots, which represent people, that fell into an abyss that cracked in the ground. Said monster later becomes an attraction in and of itself.
  • Book Ends: His series tributing Jim Henson started with a short animation of Jim creating Kermit, which ended with the phrase, "Kermit was alive." The last episode ended with a similar animation, and the phrase, "Kermit was alive, and so was Jim Henson."
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In Electric Park, Kevin says that the park became so popular that they frequently got performances from different showmen, like strongmen, magicians, and strongmen magicians.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In the Black Hole video, he says that the guests at Alton Towers in the 1890s could watch fireworks, clowns, and torture devices.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Journey to Epcot Center: A Symphonic Journey lacks any narration from Kevin Perjurer, with the history of Epcot Center being told entirely by music, practical effects, live-action reenactments, and archival footage instead of narration.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After failing to win over the Bureau of International Expositions with his proposed 1964 New York World's Fair, an incensed Robert Moses made a public statement saying he would hold the fair without their approval, decrying the bureau as "three people living obscurely in a dumpy apartment". Unsurprisingly, the international regulatory body for world's fairs didn't take kindly to this insult and organized a boycott, dramatically decreasing the number of countries that were willing to support the event.
  • Butt-Monkey: Whenever Kevin talks about estimated attendance figures, he uses the same Shutterstock accounting character to represent the figure in charge of said estimation. Said estimate is always wrong.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": In The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland, following the uncovering of a massive amount of unexploded bombs and artillery shells while dredging the waters of the construction sitenote :
    Kevin: Local bomb experts assured Disney and the workers that bombs that old won't go off, although they did mention that sometimes they do.
  • Call-Back:
    • Kevin's reciting of the characters on the Nickelodeon-themed Ferris wheel car in "The History of Toys 'R' Us Times Square" is done in similar fashion to his list of walkaround characters in the "Nickelodeon Hotel" video, down to both lists ending with Little Bill.
    • Kevin calls back to the Superstar Limo episode in "The War For Disney's America", where he compares the idea of building a history-centered theme park near an actual historical site to "building a theme park based on California in California", a reference to California Adventure.
  • Call-Forward: In Season 3, which details attractions that lead to the development of the ideas behind Disneyland and the original concept of EPCOT; there are references to the techniques, shared concepts, and direct lines of dialogue that would be used in future attractions.
  • The Cameo:
  • The Cat Came Back: Metatextually: The Season 2 finale of Defunctland, "The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland", centered around Michael Eisner being let go from Disney, more or less ending his narrative in the overall series. And then, during the Sesame Street episode of DefunctTV's Jim Henson miniseries, when talking about Jim's struggles to get The Muppet Show off the ground:
    Kevin: Luckily, Jim would eventually convince one of the suits. A young, energetic executive at ABC, named... Michael Eisner.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early in Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery, Kevin mentions how Hilarious Outtakes from the Disney Channel wand bumpers went viral some time ago before moving on. Much later in the video, a "Eureka!" Moment inspires him to dig up the online articles where the outtakes first went viral, leading him down the trail to solving the mystery.
  • The Chew Toy: Superstar Limo, a rushed ride so absolutely godawful that Kevin re-recorded his entire episode on it because he hadn't gone into enough detail about why it was so terrible. Whenever Kevin needs to give Michael Eisner's career a swift kick in the pants, expect to see Superstar Limo get a mention.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • His mini-episode on the 'Country Bear Christmas Special', complete with Rhymes on a Dime.
    • Then he made another one the next year centering around Christmas-based theme parks with a hint of noir films mixed in.
  • Close on Title: "The Awful Wiggles Dark Ride" ends with a Wiggles-themed version of the Defunctland logo... followed by Kevin admitting the title card didn't show up at the beginning because he couldn't figure out a place to insert it that fit in with the video's pacing.
  • Cold Ham: Kevin's delivery is utterly deadpan at all times, which creates quite the contrast when paired with the whimsical language he often uses in his narration.
  • The Comically Serious: The subject matter of the videos is generally lighthearted and at times veers into being downright absurd, but Kevin almost never breaks away from delivering his narration as though he were a dry academic.
  • Content Warnings:
    • At the beginning of the video for Mac Tonight, whose image had been appropriated for an alt-right meme "Moon Man", a disclaimer appears saying that the video doesn't promote or condone the racist views espoused by it.
    • The early episode on Disneyland's America Sings contained a warning with a skip point before covering the death of Debbie Stone, and one at the end asking to be respectful of her in the comments.
    • The Garfield's Nightmare episode has a more comedic example, where a disclaimer is included before Kevin discusses the sexual escapades the ride's guests sent him. The timestamp to skip this section is, naturally, called the "Chicken Exit".
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The finale for Season 2 starts with a series of TV screens showing the openings for all the previous Season 2 episodes. At the end, clips from each episode are also shown.
  • Continuity Nod: "The Bizarre Garfield Dark Ride" introduces Garfield as "a powerful cat named Garfield", complete with the same Bait-and-Switch Silhouette joke as back in "The Failure of Disney's Chuck E. Cheese Ripoff, Club Disney" (showing Garfield's modern design in silhouette but switching to his original design for the reveal).
  • Control Freak: The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw and Walt Disney's City of the Future: EPCOT touch on Walt Disney's obsession with personal control, such as his anger towards his employees for attempting to unionize or his attempt at creating a planned community with EPCOT.
  • Creator's Apathy: invoked Despite the long list of reasons given by the CEO for Wonderland Sydney's closure, Kevin makes it clear that the real reason for the failure of the park, which was still massively popular and a cultural icon, was because the owners just didn't care.
  • Creator's Culture Carryover:
    • One of several reasons why the French public condemned the opening of Euro Disney near Paris, as the locals viewed the resort as an example of American cultural imperialism - not aided by Disney overseers demanding solely English-language development meetings, enforcing American hair and dress standards on employees (something actually illegal under French law), and banning all wine from the premises.
    • The very name "Euro Disney" is based on the distinctly American view of "euro" as a prefix for anything "European" — Most actual Europeans associate it with "euro" the currency, making the park's name seem rather clueless.
  • Crossover:
    • Does one with Disney Dan in his video on extinct walk-around characters in Disney World as well as one for now-defunct opening day attractions at Disneyland.
    • He also does one with Park Ride History on Body Wars.
    • He also did part one of a two-part video on Journey into Imagination with Yesterworld.
    • His biggest one comes in the form of his video on Disney's America, which featured Lindsay Ellis, Disney Dan, Bright Sun Filmsnote , Alicia Stella, Podcast: The Ridenote , Yesterworldnote , Quinton Reviews, RobPlays, and Park Ride Historynote 
  • Dark Reprise: In the Adventures Thru Inner Space episode, the cheery "Miracles from Molecules" theme song that backed a showcase of synthetically created consumer products in the attraction is turned into a military marching song playing over a montage of chemical weapons, which the attraction's sponsor Monsanto helped create, being aerially spread over the landscape in The Vietnam War.
  • Deadpan Snarker: During Season 1, Kevin often made snarky jokes in the captions on his videos, as well as in his narration. With the captions no longer appearing from Season 2 onwards, the snarkiness in his narration has been toned down, although it sometimes still appears.
  • Death's Hourglass: Evoked with the Jim Henson retrospective, which repeatedly cuts to a ticking clock (a shot from Henson's short film Time Piece) foreshadowing Henson's premature death. As the day of his death closes in, other shots from Time Piece begin to appear.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: In The Failure of Hong Kong Disneyland, rumours started circulating during the titular park's construction that Disney was planning to open another park in Beijing, sparking complaints from Hong Kong officials who worried it would draw away potential tourists from the mainland. In response, Michael Eisner issued a statement reassuring them that Disney had no intention of building another Chinese park for at least eight years, and that if they did it would be in Shanghai, not Beijing. All this did was make it more obvious that Disney were considering expanding into the mainland (and ultimately, they did with Shanghai Disney Resort a decade later).
  • Disguised Horror Story: Discussed. According to Kevin, one of the reasons for the eventual mixed reactions to Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour at Tokyo Disneyland was that the walkthrough was advertised as a simple tour of the titular castle, instead of the terrifying Gothic Horror-themed journey featuring the Disney villains that it really was. This confusion was compounded for international guests due to language barriers, to the point that cast members eventually learned to outright tell non-Japanese speakers to avoid taking the tour.
  • Disneyland Dad: Both types are discussed in "The History of Beverly Park Kiddieland", which somehow became a local hangout for Disneyland Dads. As divorce rates climbed in the 1970s, a common ruling was that fathers were only given custody/visitation on weekends or even just Sundays; on those weekends, divorced L.A. dads began to frequent the inexpensive and well-established Kiddieland en masse in what Kevin calls "a full-blown daddy epidemic" — some under the compulsion to make the visit fun in some way, others just not sure what else to do with the afternoon. Once there, they could entertain their children, network with other divorced dads, and — being newly single — even attempt to pick up women, although the stigma of visiting clearly embarrassed some men (one father quoted for a Los Angeles Times profile about the influx said, 'don't use my name'). By the admission of founder David Bradley, who had himself recently divorced and remarried in 1970, Kiddieland had become "very much a daddy park".note 
  • Distanced from Current Events: invoked This was the undoing of "Superstar Limo"; the attraction was originally going to be based on a high-speed paparazzi chase, until the death of Princess Diana in a car crash while being chased by paparazzi made this idea unpalatable. However, the creators didn't have the time or money to completely redo the ride, which resulted the ride becoming a much slower and more boring limo ride instead.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Halloween Productions, the company tasked with revamping Kennywood's Old Mill attraction into Garfield's Nightmare were ordered upfront by park officials not to make it too spectacular, as the ride's limited capacity would have made it a poor fit for drawing crowds. This ended working well for a while, as despite the ride's debatable quality and lack of upkeep, it mananged to live a quiet and uneventful sixteen operating seasons before being rebranded back to the Old Mill.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The War for Disney's America ends with the planned park being scuttled, but the land that would have been the park was ultimately turned into a housing development, meaning that the historical sites opponents of the park were trying to preserve were destroyed anyways.
    • Walt Disney spent the last years of his life on a project that wouldn't even leave planning stages before he died, then got unceremoniously cancelled by his brother right after, before being revived as an In Name Only theme park. Worse, it's heavily implied that this was the best thing that could have happened. If Walt had succeeded at building EPCOT as he had planned it, at best it would have failed; at worst, it could very well have ruined his entire legacy and left people thinking of him as an out-of-touch dictator.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: At the end of the Action Park episode, he shows off a news report about the ride, which shows one of the newscasters ogling the bikini-clad on-scene reporter and making advances towards her, before the cameraman gets uncomfortable and cuts the feed and his co-host berates him. Kevin typically doesn't speak during ending segments like this, usually meaning to just show off something he didn't have any room for in the main body of the episode, but the lack of comment reads as deafeningly silent contempt.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • invoked Early episodes of the series, everything pre-Back to the Future: The Ride featured Kevin utilizing voice changing software to deepen his already pretty deep voice and notably labeled the series as "The Perj Special Series". This was due to Defunctland starting off as a side project for Kevin's "The Perj" series before quickly eclipsing the main series' popularity and causing the channel to be re-branded to Defunctland.
    • The Pretzel Dark Rides episode stands out for two reasons: it's about a mass-produced model of a ride instead of an individual example, and a number of Pretzel rides are actually still open.
    • Kevin used a cartoony portrait of Brad Pitt as well as his wax figure as avatars in early videos.
    • Season 2 abandons the Framing Device from season 1. It also becomes a straight, though humorous at times, documentary series. The snarky captions have also been completely dropped.
    • DefunctTV initially had each episode end with a specific final shot. note  Starting with the series on Jim Henson, these have been dropped.
  • Either/Or Title: The title card of the segment about product launches hosted at Toys "R" Us' flagship store reads, in full, "And Now... Some of the Product Launch Events Held at Toys "R" Us Times Square, or One of the First Times the Early 2000s Unique Visual and Cultural Aesthetic can be Viewed in Retrospect, or Oh My God. Am I Nostalgic for 2003?"
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery", Kevin is struggling to find the composer of the Disney Channel theme and goes to have a Shower of Angst. Whilst there, he sympathises with the stars' attempts to draw the famous Mickey Mouse ears in the blooper reels for the famous "You're Watching Disney Channel" promos when he fails to do them himself. It is then that he has a realisation - there was no way those bloopers could have come from Disney officially, so whoever uploaded them had to have been from an employee who worked with the company at the time. It's this realisation which manages to lead Kevin to his answer.
  • Executive Meddling: invoked According to Kevin, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss was ultimately moved to Nick Jr. for its second season and Retooled along the lines of a traditional Preschool Show; this also resulted in changes like the Cat in the Hat going from a trickster like his book counterpart was to a kind and excited host and other Dr. Seuss characters being Demoted to Extra.
  • Fake Band: Live from the Space Stage: A Halyx Story is all about one, a sci-fi rock group called Halyx which performed on the Tomorrowland Space Stage for the summer of 1981. The plan was for Halyx to become a real band by first using Tomorrowland as its proving grounds, with a record deal even being signed, but plans fell through at the last minute and the group disbanded after their summer season ended.
  • False Utopia: The entire focus of the episode "Walt Disney's City of the Future". EPCOT's design was truly visionary — an unprecedented level of planning towards a futuristic way of life featuring total convenience for all, with a forward-thinking focus on technology and renewable energy sources. It would've also, as Kevin details, been a cross between an inhospitable Tomorrowland showroom and a micromanaging company town: residents would've served as involuntary guinea pigs for testing out the city's innovations and experiments, basic privacy wouldn't have existed due to the entire city being an industrial exhibition, seemingly no thought was afforded to issues like racial discrimination, workers' rights, or criminal justice, children's education curriculums would've been dictated by Walt himself, teenagers would've been endlessly monitored for signs of delinquency, and the concept of retirement didn't exist.note  When the topic of representative government eventually came up, with the lawyers pointing out that permanent residents would want to supersede Disney's absolute authority by voting on how the city was run or by holding elective office, Walt switched to a temporary leasing program to deny them the chance. Not surprisingly, following Walt's death, Roy Sr. would immediately retool his brother's unfeasible ambition and divert all resources towards the planned theme park area, a place that would become known as "Walt Disney World".
  • A Father to His Men: In The Craziest Party, it's stated that Walt Disney tried to be something of a fatherly/uncle-like figure to his employees. However, since his own father was a workaholic who instilled within his children a tireless work ethic and gave praise sparingly, when applied to his own employees this ended up straining relations with them and would eventually give on up on doing this entirely.
  • Follow the Leader: invoked
    • Kevin theorizes that this is what happened with season 2 of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, given its new format made it similar to Bear in the Big Blue House, with a calming host and his small friends whose problems he solved.
    • Arrow tried to copy B&M's philosophy when designing and building Drachen Fire for Busch Gardens Williamsburg, rather than focusing on their own strenghs. Their inexperience in mimicking that style was what lead to many of the coaster's problems.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • Kevin's video about the Handwich is, fittingly, a cooking video.
    • A variation: "The History of Worlds of Fun's Destroyed Classic, The Orient Express" concerns an amusement park that Kevin actually lives near.
    • Kevin fully acknowledged in the comments that the video on Eastern Airlines would most likely be the only Defunctland video concerning the airplane industry. The vast majority of it concerns Eddie Rickenbacker founding the company and Eastern's struggle to compete with other major airways as jetliners became the norm, resorting to corporate acquisition, union-busting, and hasty power restructuring to turn a profit; Disney itself plays only a cursory role, and the dissolution of their partnership just signifies what terrible shape Eastern was in if the Disney company, in 1987, wasn't willing to retain them.
    • "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw" doesn't concern a defunct anything in the slightestnote . Instead, it concerns three key things: the fraternal atmosphere of Walt Disney Studios, the infamous (titular) wrap party for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the start of the Disney union strikes.
    • "The History of Mickey Mouse Park" is a particular variation, as Mickey Mouse Park was never under construction. In developing the park, it soon became apparent to Walt Disney that his ideas weren't feasible for the small location next to the studio he was intending to use. So, he instead moved to a larger location and retooled Mickey Mouse Park into a theme park called "Disneyland".
    • In the Santa Claus episode, the "Baby It's Cold Outside" section stands out, as only one of the three parks talked about in it is currently abandoned. The other two, including the original at Lake Arrowhead, were abandoned for a period of time before reopening and were both still operating at the time the video released, and both still counted as Santa Claus parks due to still including Santa's Village in their names.
    • "Journey to EPCOT Center: A Symphonic History". Instead of being a straightforward recounting of EPCOT Center's history, the episode is, in Kevin's words, "a visual and musical documentary" with no narration from Kevin, using dramatic reenactments, archival audio and quotes from Disney executives, and animated sequences set to an original music score to explain how EPCOT evolved from Walt Disney's city concept into the theme park it eventually opened as in 1982.
  • Foreshadowing: Kevin points out how one of the stock photos used for Submarine Quest's concept images is of a kid that's utterly bored, and thus served as this trope for the ride itself.
  • Foul Ball Pit: In his video on Club Disney, Kevin portrays indoor children play places this way:
    Kevin: These were a mix of tubes, slides, ball pits, nets, stairs with steps taller than your body, socks, socks with holes in them, vomit, disinfectant, vomit, disinfectant, those net bridges that your feet would get stuck in, a kind of terrifying helicopter thing where the mean kids would jump up and down and it would shake a lot, the open slides with only like one hill, which is just a waste; I mean, I climbed all the way up there, I'm gonna take the tube slide; and rug burns, so many rug burns.
  • Framing Device:
    • In Season 1, Kevin's main goal is to assemble a virtual theme park of decommissioned theme park attractions. The Defunctland video series initially acts as his thought process regarding what attractions he finds interesting to talk about and which would be interesting to add to the park. This was abandoned after season 1 and Defunctland became more of a straight, though humorous at times, documentary series.
    • Occasionally used within the episode themselves. The Club Disney video is framed as a 90s sitcom, with a laugh track to boot, while The Demise of Australia's Biggest Theme Park, Wonderland Sydney is framed around the perspective of Maniac, a giant and homicidal crocodile.
  • From Bad to Worse: Kevin's assessment of Eisner's reign during the first half of the Turn of the Millennium.
    Kevin: The development of DisneyQuest was indicative of the state of the company after the tumultuous seven years into Euro Disneyland's opening. And it was a mere preview of the mind-boggling creative choices and shocking business decisions that the next seven years would bring. Their renaissance was over, and Disney was about to enter the 2000s. Buckle up, this is going to be a bumpy ride.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Episodes from Season 1 tend to have a lot more snarky quips through captions, though this has been done away with as of Season 2.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: Kevin would release improved versions of early Season 1 episodes (such as the Superstar Limo and Videopolis episodes) with more in-depth research and citations, more footage, improved voice recording, and better editing, to make the episodes more in line with Kevin's work from Season 2 onwards.
  • Funny Conception Story: While recounting the history of the infamous ride Garfield's Nightmare, which had a reputation as a Tunnel of Love, Kevin shares testimonies from many many riders who claimed to have gotten it on during the ride and even knew somebody who was conceived on the ride. He remarks that there is a plausible chance such a person may be watching this video right now.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • The CEO of Disneyland Paris/Euro Disneyland, Robert Fitzpatrick, attempted to assuage the French backlash against the park's opening by claiming that they weren't going to do something offensive like, in his words, "put a beret and a baguette on Mickey Mouse". The video then silently cuts to a photo of Mickey wearing a stereotypical French costume; namely a striped shirt, ascot tie, and beret.
    • "Disney FastPass: A Complicated History":
      • Kevin mentions that one lucky family won a "Golden FastPass" that allowed them to skip the line for every ride at Disneyland, and reads a newspaper quote from them: "Things like this don't happen to the Dillons." Cut to PART FOUR: THE DILLONS, where Kevin begins detailing the history of one Jebediah Dillon stowing away on a cargo ship to America... before trailing off and admitting that he's lost his train of thought.
      • Kevin describes how Disney implementing FastPass on too many attractions lead to congested foot traffic, and the wait times for high-capacity attractions actually increasing. After FastPass was removed from said attractions, he says that this showed how it was a bad idea to put FastPass everywhere. Cue the actual PART FOUR: PUT FASTPASS EVERYWHERE.
      • Kevin explains that in order to estimate the impact of a virtual queue system like FastPass, they would have to pay an Industrial Engineer to create a complex computer simulation of a theme park, populated with agents, all with unique preferences, riding attractions of varying capacities in order to compare and contrast wait times, number of rides ridden, and other factors with and without a virtual queue system "[...] just to get to the bottom of this ridiculously niche curiosity." Immediately cutting to Part 6, the title revealing that Kevin did exactly that.
    • In "The Awful Wiggles Dark Ride", Kevin explains the dilemma of having The Wiggles as walk around characters to interact with park guests: children wouldn't be convinced by local actors portraying the band and the only other option would be for park employees to wear mascot costumes, which only really work for cartoon characters and animals. He then says that a theme park would never ever attempt to create these to represent four human men. Cue smash cuts to each Wiggle's horrifying mascot head in all of their plastic-faced glory.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • This is how Kevin describes Michael Eisner's work ethic in the revamped Superstar Limo episode:
      Kevin: Eisner had a simple technique that he often used when he decided on new projects. The technique is known as "jealousy". Whenever Eisner saw another company doing something successfully, he decided that Disney would do the same thing. Moreover, he would take the idea and do basically the same thing in basically the same place. invoked
    • In "The Failure of Disney's Arcade Chain, DisneyQuest", the desire to venture into its volatile market was not due to any direct competition compromising Disney's success, but likely because Eisner wanted to one-up GameWorks due to its connection to DreamWorks, in turn, because of his personal beef with its co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.
  • Groin Attack: Kevin makes several remarks in the Green Lantern: First Flight episode about how the ride's constant zig-zagging mixed with tight restraints resulted in a "pelvic nightmare," especially after alterations reducing the number of rotations in the ride.
    "The reports of crotch-botches plagued the ride's reputation. The ride was advertised as 'squeezing a lifetime of action into 90 seconds,' but many riders claimed after the change that it only squeezed one's ability to make a life out of them after 90 seconds." [insert screencap of a YouTube comment saying, "I'm not able to have children ever since I rode the Green Lantern"]
  • Heteronormative Crusader: "The History of Disneyland's Teen Nightclub, Videopolis" examines a lot of Disney's history of doing its best to ban "homosexual fast dancing" and keep it that way through legal loopholes, going so far as to allow a gay couple who sued them to dance, but only that couple.
  • Hypocrite: As Kevin cheerfully pointed out, Walt Disney had little room to object to the interoffice romances between the animators and ink-and-paint women when he found his wife, Lillian, in the ink-and-paint department.
  • Insane Troll Logic: "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery" has a Freeze-Frame Bonus of a newspaper that claims a YouTuber going three months or longer without uploading a video means they're dead, and uploading again only proves the YouTuber isn't currently dead as opposed to having never died in the first place.
  • In the Style of: "The War on Disney's America" was formatted in a style reminiscent of Ken Burns' The Civil War, complete with describing Disney's business conflict like a military one, and the narrator and guest cast reading historical figures' statements with their best attempt at copying their voices.
  • Irony: Towards the end of his life, one of Walt Disney's greatest fears was that he'd be remembered solely as an entertainer and not, as he hoped, a world-changing industrialist like Henry Ford. However, as Kevin discusses Disney's proposal for EPCOT he directly compares it to Ford's own Company Town Fordlandia, and suggests that had the former actually been built, it would have suffered from many of the same problems that doomed the latter. In essence, Disney's efforts to chase Ford's legacy ended with him mimicking one of Ford's greatest failures.
  • Legacy Seeker:
    • One episode of Defunctland explores how Walt Disney became disillusioned with his work in entertainment and grew obsessed with leaving a more "meaningful" legacy, leading him to design an Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow as his Magnum Opus in the belief that it would leave a permanent impact on society. However, the impractical nature of the project meant that E.P.C.O.T. never got beyond the planning stages before Disney died of cancer, and if it had, it would have been a nightmarish False Utopia that might very well have ruined his reputation. His legacy still endures today, but despite his best efforts to become known for something different, his image in history remains that of "Uncle Walt," the beloved animator and entertainer - a professional persona that Disney had come to despise in his final years.
    • The History of the 1964 New York World's Fair details Robert Moses's underhanded attempt to use the fair as a means to complete his Magnum Opus, thereby escaping the negative reputation his redevelopment plans had gained him. This did not work out for a variety of reasons, and Moses' career would be sunk by how badly he would manage the development and running of the fair.
    • The Disney Channel theme tune episode establishes Kevin himself as this somewhat: despite enjoying what he does for a living, he's worried about how he will be remembered when he's gone, being in the public consciousness only as a YouTuber making videos on childish matters.
    • "The Final Jim Henson Hour" shows a notable shift in the titular creator's goal as he unknowingly approached the end of his life. Henson had been driven largely by his desire to explore the boundaries of film and television, but in his final years he became concerned about the future of his creations after he passed. Impressed by how Disney had managed to carry on Walt's legacy after his death, Henson actively tried to sell his company to them as he believed they would be the best stewards for his legacy.
  • Leitmotif: Any reference to Cedar Point's 'Disaster Transport' rollercoaster is met with a distinctive "Oh yeaaah!" soundbite, taken from a song from the episode on Disaster Transport itself.
  • Long List: When listing the reasons Sunway Group gave for Wonderland Sydney's closure:
    Kevin: The company's CEO listed the September 11th attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings, the collapse of HIH Insurance, the SARS Virus, the Bird Flu virus, consistent losses during the Asian financial crisis, the collapse of Ansett Australia, the Iraq War, and the 2003 bushfires as the reasoning for the park's closure.

    Tropes M-Z 
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • "The History of the Terrifying Splash Mountain Predecessor, Tales of the Okefenokee" briefly mentions that the ride was popular among teenaged guests of Six Flags Over Georgia looking for a (relatively) private place to "revisit the classic tales of Joel Chandler Harris."
    • "The Bizarre Garfield Dark Ride" details how the Old Mill of Kennywood was a very popular location for couples to do the deed despite attempts by the staff to deter such proclivities. Kevin asked online for the exact locations of where the business could happen (while explicitly asking for no details) and was given a collection of incredibly explicit stories.
  • Mood Whiplash: One particularly dramatic example in the tag for "The History of Busch Gardens' Swinging Classic, the Big Bad Wolf", which mentioned its sister ride XLR-8 at Astroworld:
    Kevin: I wonder whatever happened to XLR-8...
    [Dramatic shot of empty Astroworld lot]
  • Motor Mouth: Kevin can bring up a lot of facts and details in rapid succession without pausing.
    • Perhaps best illustrated in the video about the history of Captain EO, in which he lists all of the high profile artistic contributions and their major work in a short amount of time, then takes a breath.
    • In the FastPass video, Kevin describes the Genie app Disney introduced to replace the FastPass system as being "simple" to use, followed by almost a minute of him describing how it works, gradually getting faster as his explanation grows more complicated.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Kevin Perjurer is a historian and documentarian, yet his assumed surname is the legal term for someone who speaks falsehoods under oath in court - in other words, a liar.
  • Noodle Incident: From the Garfield's Nightmare video, describing a previous version of Kennywood's Old Mill ride:
    Kevin: The loading area was also given an animatronic band of monkeys, that would play music for guests in the queue, which was apparently auctioned off just one month before I started writing this video. Although it sold for 23 hundred dollars, which is more than I've ever spent on an animatronic monkey band.
  • Not Hyperbole: In The History of Coney Island, Kevin describes Steeplechase Park's founder George Tilyou as the kind of man who "could sell sand to beachgoers", before clarifying that this was something Tilyou actually did as a teenager.
  • Not Me This Time: In the Eastern Airlines video, which details the downfall of the company that was once Walt Disney World's official airline, many people were genuinely surprised to learn that the issues with the company had nothing to do with Michael Eisner or the Disney company in general.
  • Obsessive Hobby Episode: "The History of Mickey Mouse Park" deals with how Walt's nostalgia of his past (which included amusement parks, the wild west, trains) turned into an obsession that eclipsed his animation and film projects that led to the creation of Disneyland.
  • Oh, Crap!: In "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery", Kevin watches recordings of the Disney Channel from September 2002, when its four-note theme song allegedly debuted. Cut to multiple segments of the network's teen stars talking about how 9/11 impacted their lives, which briefly raises the disquieting possibility of the Disney Channel theme being interminably associated with one of the most tragic days in American history. He breathes a sigh of relief when it turns out that its actual first use was in a fairly innocuous promo.
  • On the Next: Season 2 often had tags at the end of the credits hinting at the subject for the next episode.
  • Once Original, Now Common:
    • invoked Discussed in the FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman episode regarding Zoom, which was originally lauded for its reality television concepts in the 1970s, but lost ratings in the early 2000s following the boom of mainstream reality television, in addition to having to compete against shows for kids aged 8-12 from kid-oriented networks like Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
    • invoked Discussed in regards to Buffalo Bill's Wild West in "Walt Disney's Childhood Amusement Park, Electric Park". Kevin notes that while to a modern audience the show is full of tired tropes and stereotypes about The Wild West, it was actually the origin point for many of those tropes, which were popularized in the first place due to the show's widespread fame and success.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative:
    • In "The War on Disney's America" and getting to the 1994 Senate hearing for and against the park, Kevin describes how the press and public flocked to Capitol Hill expecting "the most exciting Senate Public Lands and National Monuments Subcommittee hearing since its inception." To its credit, it didn't disappoint.
    • Lampshaded when reading a promotional news piece for Green Lantern: First Flight.
      Kevin: It was celebrated as the first-ever "completely vertical-pattern zig-zag roller coaster featuring 360-degree spinning seats" in North America. What took them so long?
  • Pastiche: Animator's Retreat, a song used in both the intro and credits for "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw", is a nod to late '90s pop-punk from the likes of Sum 41 that tended to show up on college movie soundtracks.
  • Poe's Law: In "The History of Cedar Fair's Berenstain Bear Country," Kevin discusses some of the Berenstains' earlier works for adults, including "Office Lover Boy," a collection of comics showing men behaving extremely inappropriately towards women in the workplace. Kevin describes it as being a hilarious satire of workplace sexism "of the early 1960s and mid-forever".
    Kevin: These books were either gripping satirical on the problematic climate of the corporate workplace, or they weren't, in which case... invoked Wow.
  • Polish the Turd: This is how Kevin characterizes Superstar Limo and its successors. After events beyond their control (the death of Princess Diana) made the original "chased by paparazzi" concept suddenly come off as in extremely bad taste late in development, the designers were stuck trying to get anything usable out of it. Although Michael Eisner loved the new version at first, he eventually realized what a dud it was going to be, and offered two further suggestions to try to save it — get rid of the "DreamJerks" gag that had likely been put in to appeal to his ego, and replace the ride's original framing device featuring himself with the talent agent Swifty La Rue, both of which conveniently removed any of Eisner's visible culpability in the trainwreck. The video also showcases a failed attempt at it from a "cast of The Drew Carey Show goes to Disneyland" special; while Drew himself makes an attempt at feigning excitement, everybody else is increasingly obvious about being unimpressed and after the ride, they walk off without a word.note 
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: In "The Awful Wiggles Dark Ride" episode, while discussing the history of Dreamworld, Kevin explains how Dreamworld founder John Longhurst found the location for the park. He tried multiple times to find a good location and failed, and asked God, "Lord, where am I going to build my park?". The reply, according to Longhurst, was "Ten miles out. On the Gold Coast." Sure enough, there was land for sale there, and the location was a prime site for tourism.
  • Private Eye Monologue: The episode about various Santa Claus and Christmas-themed parks is framed as Kevin giving one as he "investigates" the various parks and what made them so popular (and what made so many of them close down). Complete with Deliberate Monochrome and typing his theories on a typewriter!
  • A Rare Sentence: In "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery," Kevin is going through old Disney Channel footage from September of 2002. The first thing he hears is Lalaine Vergara-Paras saying "It does help to talk about September 11th..." Kevin has to pause the video and take a deep breath in sheer disbelief before resuming the footage.
  • Reality Is Unrealisticinvoked: Although he meant it in the sense of being a Cash-Cow Franchise, a "Defunctland Bear Fact" pops up in "The History of Cedar Fair's Berenstain Bear Country" to confirm that you can literally milk a bear.
  • Red Scare: "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw" implies this as a major factor in Walt's belligerent attitude towards the animator's strike. A quote from Ward Kimball claims that Walt was misled by his lawyer, Gunther Lessing, who claimed the strikers and the union they were a part of were Communist subversives. Since Walt was politically naïve on top of being in love with his ideals of America, he wholeheartedly believed what Lessing told him, even though Lessing was, in Kimball's words, "a pack of lies".
  • Repeated Cue, Tardy Response: In "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery", Keven has a segment talking about iconic TV channel themes and who created them. When he gets to the Disney Channel theme, Kevin repeats the phrase "The Disney Chanel theme was created by..." several times without being able to say who made it, which segues into the main topic of the video; namely, that nobody actually knows who created the Disney Channel theme.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In "The History of Mickey Mouse Park", Kevin remarks that after the Disney Strikes ruined the family-like camaraderie Walt Disney had with his employees he began ignoring his animation studio in favor of recreating the tight-knit atmosphere with his team working on Disneyland.
  • Rich Recluse's Realm: "Walt Disney's City of the Future: E.P.C.O.T." discusses a memorable real-life attempt at this in the form of Walt Disney's E.P.C.O.T. (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow). Towards the end of his life, Disney became obsessed with the creation of a model community that would serve as a showcase for futuristic technology installed in the homes of the residents. He also began fantasizing about the possibility of living in E.P.C.O.T., even suggesting designs for a park where he and his wife could enjoy the evenings. Disney did all of this because he wanted to leave a legacy beyond just being an entertainer and an animator, and felt that contributing to mankind's future was a good way to do that. Unfortunately, Walt Disney also wanted total executive control over the community, and the showcase aspect would have made it necessary for the residents to be on display at all times and for the company to regularly upgrade the entire city just to stay on the cutting edge — a prohibitively expensive process. Plus, Walt was more-or-less expecting everyone in the theoretical town to have the same endless work ethic which he did, a prospect which simply wasn't viable. In the end, E.P.C.O.T. never got off the drawing board before Walt Disney died of cancer. Even if it had, Kevin openly speculates that E.P.C.O.T. would have failed, at best. At worst, it would have turned into a False Utopia that would have permanently stained Disney's legacy, making him go from an entertainer into a wannabe dictator.
  • Rule of Three: Parodied. The famous one from Beetlejuice is utilized during Kevin's video on Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue as he realizes that he's mentioned the titular character twice before in the series before realizing that he's fallen into the reference and resignedly utters the last "Beetlejuice" to start the video proper.
  • Running Gag:
    • His "the George Lucas everyone loves not the George Lucas everyone hates" line certainly qualifies.
      • Pictures of Lucas (including a few where the focus is on someone else but Lucas appears) are often accompanied by a subtitle describing which "version" of Lucas it is, ranging from "the cocky George Lucas that everybody still loved" to "the George Lucas that was in preproduction for Howard the Duck" to "Oh my god. It's Lucas cleanly shaven."
    • Whenever budget cuts are mentioned, expect to see a picture of Disney's CEO from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, Michael Eisner. Even when it's not in a Disney park or not his fault at all.
    • Whenever a ride gets replaced with a new ride that's particularly screen-heavy, expect "SCREENS!" to show up in the captions.
    • Any time Kevin references estimated attendance figures, he uses the same set of stock photos to represent the accountant in charge of calculating such figures. Said accountant is always hilariously inaccurate in his predictions.
    • Any time a movie is successful, Kevin launches into a list of increasingly improbable, niche, silly, and all real merchandise, which always ends with "theme park attractions".
    • Noting that defunct roller coasters that were either entirely indoors or had an indoor queue have a bizarre tendency to have their queue buildings turned into haunted houses.
    • Using a Bait-and-Switch Silhouette to introduce characters, often with the initial silhouette and the revealed image blatantly not matching each other's shape.
    • The episode on the The Wiggles dark ride uses increasingly-truncated clips of the song "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car" to emphasize just how frequently the song played within said ride.
    • The episode on The American Idol Experience features two:
      • Kevin rates reality TV's ability to create successful Boy Bands and Girl Groups by how many of a band's members have their own Wikipedia article and whether or not each article has a photo. For instance, The X Factor gets an A+ because all five members of One Direction have articles with photos, while American Juniors gets an F because Lucy Hale is the only member with a Wikipedia article.
      • Kevin repeatedly notes that each winner of Idol would visit Walt Disney World and film segments for The American Idol Experience. Each time he mentions it, he plays clips of previous Idol winners giving advice to contestants of the attraction, each of them stating "have fun" or some variant thereof. Much like in the Wiggles episode, these clips get shorter as the episode goes on.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • One of the inside jokes of Superstar Limo, "Please keep your hands, feet and egos in the limo at all times". Cue an annoyed "Ha..." from Kevin.
    • After listing off all the high-profile talent working behind the scenes on Captain Eo, he comments "believe it or not, they were overbudget".
  • Screwed by the Network: invoked In the episode on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Kevin states that the show was abruptly cancelled after two seasons for unknown reasons.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • The "Top 10 Forgotten Disneyland Attractions" (with Disney Dan) features a plug for the quiz show app SwagIQ and is titled "Kevin and Disney Dan's Selling Out Clickbait Patwooza 2018".
    • Kevin doesn't hesitate to rag on Kansas, his home state.
    • "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery" has several newspapers on a table referencing previous videos. One mocks Perjurer's infrequent video release schedule, one calls him an imposter documentarian, and one with an article on the FastPass video pokes fun of its popularity on YouTube's algorithm:
      "YouTube User: If I See That Thumbnail Again I'm Gonna Burn It All Down"
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "The History of the 1964 New York World's Fair" is partially a history on Robert Moses' attempt to rectify his almost assuredly unfavorable legacy as a corrupt racist who solely served the rich. These attempts were massively stifled by the fact that he continued to be corrupt, racist, and solely serving the rich, and by the financial failure of the 1964 World's Fair and the scandals following it, his grave was completely dug.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • A small example at the end of "The War on Disney's America". After winning an uphill battle to prevent Disney from building a theme park next to a Civil War battlefield, it is revealed that the proposed site today is a sprawling suburban housing development.
    • From "The History of the Worst SeaWorld Ride, Submarine Quest" — the ride was meant to be a bounce back for SeaWorld following the crumbling of their reputation from the Blackfish exposé, and one which they put a lot of confident trust into (partly driven by the vision of their new CEO, Joel Manby), even sacrificing the Blue World Project (an initiative to improve the quality of life for its orca whales) to fund it. Unfortunately for them, Submarine Quest was a harshly-panned disaster invokedthat SeaWorld was almost embarrassed to admit they were even closing down, and with the departure of Manby only 3 years into the company, SeaWorld has since returned to square one, suffering slumping profits and a massive identity crisis.
    • In "Disney's City of the Future, E.P.C.O.T.", Walt Disney, not wishing to be remembered for a cartoon mouse and a theme park, wanted to make a "real" impact on the world before his passing, and envisioned the E.P.C.O.T. project, a futuristic, ever-changing city that simultaneously served as a showcase for cutting-edge technology, as a means to this. In the end, he would succumb to cancer before his dreams of a futuristic utopian city would even leave the planning stages, with his brother Roy scrapping the project entirely due to how terrible of an idea it would be in practice. In its place would be Walt Disney World, derived from the theme park aspect from the project, which did take design cues from the original E.P.C.O.T. project. E.P.C.O.T. would eventually be built, albeit as an In Name Only theme park addition to Disney World with none of the "community" aspects Walt himself envisioned for the project. Walt himself would be remembered for his cartoons and theme parks, the very thing he was trying to avert.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: In the conclusion of "The History of the Worst SeaWorld Ride, Submarine Quest", Kevin notes that there was a clear amount of work, attention, and even love being put into the ride, but specifically in the technology of the vehicle and virtually nothing in the actual experience, ostensibly an underwater-themed dark ride in broad daylight. As a result, it was widely panned as being a bad idea plagued with worse execution, proving to be a costly mistake by SeaWorld.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Used occasionally for comedy, such as in the "Nick Hotel" episode, where cheerful music plays over a montage of photos and videos showing the hotel's decay after 10 years of use.
  • Souvenir Land: Of course, Kevin doesn't confine himself to the major operators like Disney and Six Flags. Particularly notable is the Santa Claus episode which talks about just how many Santa-themed theme parks there have been.
  • The Stinger:
    • "Green Lantern: First Flight" ends with a brief pastiche of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" about a previously mentioned rollercoaster called Dinoconda.
      Kevin That's enough. (Smash Cut to black)
    • After the credits roll, "The Bizarre Garfield Dark Ride" ends with Kevin reading out one of his tweets: "Look I can't think of another way to say this, a lot of you were gay in the Garfield dark ride."
  • The Stoic: Kevin delivers all of his narration in a flat and measured tone.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: In "The Awful Wiggles Dark Ride", Kevin is describing a scene where Wiggles character Wags the Dog slides down a slide... extremely slowly. To emphasize the awkwardness, the goofy background music fades out, leaving only ambient noise.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In "The Bizarre Garfield Dark Ride", the first blacklight scene has splatters of florescent material on the walls, which Kevin unconvincingly asserts "was definitely added by Halloween Productions during the refurbishment and was not the result of 103 years of bad aim".
  • Take That!:
    • Kevin makes multiple jabs at Michael Eisner, from his incompetence as CEO to saying that he operated off of jealousy instead of more rational thinking.
    • He also had little trouble making his opinions on Action Park's almost-nonexistent safety regulations and eccentricities known via subtitles on his b-roll.
    • A number of jokes have been made at the expense of Universal Studios, for closing great rides and shows based on "staples of pop culture" (sic) like Back to the Future: The Ride, Ghostbusters Spooktacular and Kongfrontation and keeping rides based on Dudley Do-Right and Waterworld.
    • In the Nick Hotel video, Kevin plays clips of Mr. Krabs showcasing his greed whenever he mentions Nickelodeon making money off of advertising due to SpongeBob SquarePants' popularity.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In "The Bizarre Garfield Dark Ride", Kevin notes that, since every amusement park ride has definitely been used for Making Love in All the Wrong Places, he normally doesn't bother mentioning it, but the Old Mill has such an open reputation as a Tunnel of Love about it that he found it unusually interesting, and a newspaper article interviewing couples about their canoodling experiences on the ride "pushed [him] over the edge. ... Not what I meant." Mere moments later, he repeats his mistake by saying that another newspaper article convinced him he "had to go deeper — dang it!".
  • The Theme Park Version: invoked "The War for Disney's America" documented this as being a major reason for the theme park's opposition, with many worrying about the impact of a Disneyfied sanitization of American history it was likely to be, especially since its location was near an actual Civil War historical ground. One early gaffe by Disney's PR team in response to this opposition had them claim it was instead going to be "painful, disturbing, and agonizing" in its historical realism. That defense didn't go well.
  • They Changed It, So It Sucks:
    • invoked Kevin's opinion about the revamps of Space Mountain. Otherwise though Kevin tries to avoid this, he won’t hesitate to criticize the faults of even the most nostalgic ride (or show) and will quickly point out the strengths of a worthy replacement.
    • In the DefunctTV episode of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Kevin speculated the show's cancellation may have been due to the negative response towards its Retool in its second season.
  • This Is Going to Be Huge: A recurring theme in many of the videos is how Disney had sky-high expectations for many of their projects in the '90s (Euro Disney, DisneyQuest, Club Disney) only for them to be very disappointed when said projects didn't even come close to reaching their expectations.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In his guide book about old attractions in Disney World's Magic Kingdom, frequent punching bag Michael Eisner shows up to give a reasonable defense of why theme parks change over time. Then he saves the reader from prison in a daring lightsaber duel with his successor because the book had gone a bit weird by that point.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: The Guide to the Magic Kingdom book starts as a fairly straightforward humorous guide book to the park as it explores the history of various attractions. Once you're through all the lands it takes a sudden turn and tells you to break into the service tunnels to steal props, and from there, there's a hard shift into the Second-Person Narration of your daring heist.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Kevin refers to teenagers engaging in intimate relations on Tales of the Okefenokee as their "revisit(ing) the classic tales of Joel Chandler Harris."
  • Vocal Evolution: The earliest episodes of the series had Kevin use a voice changer effect for the narration, and it stopped once the series proved to be popular.
  • Wham Line:
    • Throughout the first episode of Season 3 focusing on the Ferris wheel, Kevin frequently discusses the son of a farmer who lived in Chicago around that time and his involvement in the construction of the Ferris wheel. It isn't until the end where it's revealed who this person was, when discussing the children the farmer's son would eventually have. More specifically, the third and fourth.
      Kevin: The Exposition led to a prosperous career in Chicago, so much that he suggested to his wife that they name their third son "Columbus", after the Columbian Exposition. She wasn't thrilled about the name, and the couple decided on the name "Roy" for their third child instead. The farmer's son wouldn't raise the issue again for their fourth child, choosing to name him after his friend Walter Parr. Although they would refer to him as simply... "Walt".
    • When discussing the Disney family's move out of Chicago in 1906:
      Kevin: The rising crime in the city got to him, so the farmer's son, Elias, and his family, packed their bags, and headed... for Marceline, Missouri.
    • Earlier on, the "World's Fair Hotel" was mentioned as a minor detail, only for it to come back as it's revealed just who owned it:
      Kevin: The fair's achievements would be slightly overshadowed as it was revealed that the owner of the hotel referred to as the "World's Fair Hotel" had turned out to be a new kind of killer. A serial killer, murdering many of the residents of the inn. The U.S. now had its own Jack the Ripper, and the danger of Chicago that had once been romanticized was now feared.
    • In the feature-length FastPass episode, Kevin makes a simulated theme park he names "Shapeland" to examine how a few statistics are impacted with and without the additions of the original FastPass system and its successor in FastPass+. After discussing the results he found and how the FastPass+ system creates a privileged class of guests, he notes that the viewer might be questioning the validity of this experiment, since Shapeland is just something Kevin made up. "But that's not actually true. Because Shapeland is actually Animal Kingdom." Kevin's simulated park is modeled on an actual day at Animal Kingdom, March 23rd 2019, that had medium-high crowds, and after getting the simulation as close to that day as possible, the FastPass-relevant aspects were altered/disabled for the other two simulation runs.
    • Toward the end of "Disney Channel's Theme: A History Mystery," Kevin expresses doubts about publishing the video at all. A small part of him has reservations about only being known as a YouTuber and not a "documentarian," and he doesn't want to possibly do the same to the late Alex Lasarenko by reducing his legacy to a simple four-note progression that he may not have even paid much mind to.
      Kevin: There is an obvious solution to this, and that is to expose you to some of Alex's other work while I have your attention, to give you a broader sense of his talents and artistry outside of this four-note mnemonic. I could play a few clips from his other compositions, I could link to some of his work and encourage you to go listen to it on your own, but I don't have to... because you've already listened to his music. In fact, you are listening to it right now, and you have been, the whole time, since the beginning. You've been listening to the music of the late Alex Lasarenko.
  • What Could Have Been: invoked A frequent part of the series, where the original concepts of many rides and parks were actually quite interesting but got changed for various reasons.
    • The infamous Superstar Limo was originally about the rider trying to escape the paparazzi, but this was changed after the death of Princess Diana.
    • The proposed expansion of Discoveryland in Euro Disney, primarily an enormous Jules Verne-inspired pavilion surrounding a new From the Earth to the Moon-inspired Space Mountain, reduced to just the ride due to budget constraints.
    • The infamous idea of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was planned to be an Alien themed attraction.
    • E.P.C.O.T. was originally an idea for a functioning city of tomorrow, with a monorail/people mover-based transportation system, remote classes, no traffic, and various other innovative ideas. However, Defunctland also pointed out the various problems with the original concept, such as the residents lacking basic freedoms, the people being effectively put on display for the tourists, and the massive expense it would take to keep the city of tomorrow from constantly falling behind.
    • The entirety of Disney's America is this, with the episode primarily documenting the increasingly uphill battle Disney faced following its inception, which it ultimately lost before it could be made.
    • If not for the fact that it got too big for its original planned location, what we know as Disneyland would instead be the scaled-down Mickey Mouse Park.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: In "The History of Coney Island", Dreamland and Luna Park both met a firey demise after one of their star attractions was set alight, with the flames spreading from there to engulf the rest of the park. In both cases, the attraction's name summed up the role it played in the disaster so aptly that Kevin can't help but snark about it when covering them:
    "In the darkness one of the crew members knocked over a bucket of hot tar, setting Hell Gate ablaze, which was quite fitting."
    "On August 12th 1944, a fire started in the Dragon's Gorge attraction, because of course it did."
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: "The History of Disney's Worst Attraction Ever, Superstar Limo".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Part of his assessment of the American Idol Experience was that some of the actors playing the "mean" Simon Cowell-esque judge got a little too close to Cowell's mannerisms and scathing assessments. While that may work on television when the judge has to not only provide brutally honest feedback but also put on a good show for the viewer, it's a completely different story at a theme park attraction, where openly insulting paying customers and making them feel bad is usually held to be a very stupid idea that ensures they won't come back to your park, or at least that attraction.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Fitting the "90s college party movie" motif of the entire episode, "The Craziest Party Walt Disney Ever Threw" ends with explaining what happened to some of the major players in the story.note 


Video Example(s):


A powerful rat...

When Discovery Zone filed for bankruptcy, its remaining assets ended up purchased... but not by who you might think. Kevin plays with this expectation by showing a silhouette that is unmistakably Mickey Mouse, but revealing a picture of Chuck E. Cheese that blatantly doesn't even match it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (31 votes)

Example of:

Main / BaitAndSwitchSilhouette

Media sources: