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"Say hi, intrepid heroes!"
"Hi, intrepid heroes!"
The Cast, trying Brennan's patience yet again.

A tabletop adventure anthology show on CollegeHumor's spin-off site, Dropout. Dimension 20 is hosted by Brennan Lee Mulligan and the cast is mostly made up of past and present CollegeHumor cast members. Besides starring mostly people with comedy and improv backgrounds, Dimension 20 also decidedly focuses on shorter adventures than most tabletop actual-play. Their "seasons" always keep it under 20 episodes and usually feature a new setting or characters.

The first season, "Fantasy High," quickly proved to be a fan favorite, and before it even finished airing, two follow-ups were greenlit: another season with the original cast in a new setting, and a 6-episode "side quest" with a whole new cast. Pumping out whole new stories at rapid speed, their popularity only grew. Dimension 20 has now expanded to become arguably Dropout's biggest draw, with multiple series starring the original cast (affectionately called the "Intrepid Heroes") across five (so far) unique settings, plus a variety of spin-offs and totally different adventures.

Dimension 20 is usually considered alongside Critical Role and The Adventure Zone as some of the best-known Actual Play TTRPG shows on the internet.

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Seasons and casts

    Season 1, Fantasy High 
Follows a group of misfit students at Aguefort Adventuring Academy, a high school for heroes in a strangely suburban area of a traditional high fantasy realm. Thrust together under the most Breakfast Club of circumstances, they very quickly get embroiled in a mystery that it seems like adults should probably be handling. And things just spiral from there. 17 episodes, plus 2 bonus episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Siobhan Thompson as Adaine Abernant, high elf wizard
  • Lou Wilson as Fabian Seacaster, half-elf fighter
  • Ally Beardsley as Kristen Applebees, human cleric
  • Zac Oyama as Gorgug Thistlespring, half-orc barbarian
  • Emily Axford as Fig Faeth, wood elf / tiefling bard
  • Brian Murphy as Riz Gukgak, goblin rogue

    Season 2, Escape from the Bloodkeep 
Follows the lieutenants of Zaul’nazh, the Lord of Shadows and their adventures at the afformentioned Bloodkeep. The final push towards conquering the world of Man has gone awry, and our team of villains must sort out what has gone wrong while trying to survive. 6 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Amy Vorphal as Efink Murderdeath, high elf cleric and Far-Seer of the Lands of Midnight
  • Mike Trapp as Sokhbarr, Kashai ranger and Master of Beasts
  • Erika Ishii as Lillith, drider druid and Mother of Spiders
  • Matthew Mercer as Kraz-Thun, Pactwraith warlock and King of the Vinguri
  • Ify Nwadiwe as Markus St. Vincent, human rogue and Captain of the Forgotten Fleet
  • Rekha Shankar as Maggie, tiefling barbarian and Daughter of Darkness

    Season 3, The Unsleeping City 
Takes place in a fantasy version of New York where magic is hidden from the waking world. Six residents of NYC have come together to fix the upset that has come between the realm of the waking and the unsleeping world. 17 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Siobhan Thompson as Misty Moore, fairy bard
  • Lou Wilson as Kingston Brown, human cleric
  • Ally Beardsley as Pete the Plug, human sorcerer
  • Zac Oyama as Ricky Matsui, human paladin
  • Emily Axford as Sofia Bicicleta, human monk
  • Brian Murphy as Kugrash, rat druid

    Bonus Season, Dimension 20 LIVE (Fantasy High: Sophomore Year) 
A continuation of Fantasy High and the first Dimension 20 season to be produced in a livestream format rather than prerecorded. Follows The Bad Kids and friends during spring break of their sophomore year as they travel around Spire to find the crown of The Nightmare King. 20 episodes, plus 2 bonus episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Siobhan Thompson as Adaine Abernant, high elf wizard
  • Lou Wilson as Fabian Seacaster, half-elf fighter
  • Ally Beardsley as Kristen Applebees, human cleric
  • Zac Oyama as Gorgug Thistlespring, half-orc barbarian
  • Emily Axford as Fig Faeth, wood elf / tiefling bard
  • Brian Murphy as Riz Gukgak, goblin rogue

    Season 4, Tiny Heist 
Follows the tiny denizens of the little world in your own backyard. The land of littlefolk and fairies isn't as friendly as it seems, and our heroes are out to snatch a big score from this world's most influential crime boss. Features the McElroy family from The Adventure Zone as players. 6 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Griffin McElroy as Bean, Moocher monk
  • Travis McElroy as Car-go Jones, Car-Mo-Bot rogue
  • Justin McElroy as Rick Diggins, Click-O rogue
  • Clint McElroy as Boomer Coleptra, beetle fighter
  • Jessica Ross as Agnes, fairy bard
  • Lily Du as TI-83, tik-tek artificer

    Season 5, A Crown of Candy 
Follows the royal family of Candia in the continent of Calorum, where political machinations threaten the food-themed land's uneasy peace. 17 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Siobhan Thompson as Princess Ruby Rocks, red licorice rogue
  • Lou Wilson as King Amethar of House Rocks, rock candy barbarian
  • Ally Beardsley as Liam Whilhemina of House Jawbreaker, peppermint ranger
  • Zac Oyama as Chancellor Lapin Cadbury, chocolate bunny warlock
  • Emily Axford as Princess Jet Rocks, black licorice rogue
  • Brian Murphy as Sir Theobold Gumbar, gummy bear fighter

    Season 6, Pirates of Leviathan 
The first season to be a spinoff of a previously established Dimension 20 universe, as it's set in the Fantasy High universe but does not feature The Bad Kids or Elmville. Instead, it takes place in the floating pirate settlement of Leviathan within the oceans of Spire. It's here we follow a motley crew of buccaneers as they adventure through the briny deep. 6 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Carlos Luna as Cheese, forest gnome wizard
  • Krystina Arielle as Barbarella Sasparilla Gainglynn, aasimar bard / cleric
  • Aabria Iyengar as Myrtle, merfolk cleric
  • B. David Walters as Marcid, bugbear ranger
  • Marisha Ray as Sunny, aarakocra paladin
  • Matthew Mercer as Jack, ratfolk barbarian

    Season 7, The Unsleeping City: Chapter II 
Taking place three years after the initial events of The Unsleeping City, the Dream Team, joined by two new faces, reunites to confront the unfettered capitalism presented by the massive media corporation Gladiator as it threatens both the dreaming and waking worlds. 18 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Siobhan Thompson as Iga Lisowski, human warlock
  • Lou Wilson as Kingston Brown, human cleric
  • Ally Beardsley as Pete Conlan, human sorcerer
  • Zac Oyama as Ricky Matsui, human paladin
  • Emily Axford as Sofia Lee, human monk
  • Brian Murphy as Cody "Night Angel" Walsh, human paladin

    Season 8, Mice & Murder 
Set in an alternate version of Victorian England populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. The cast, a motley crew of criminals and detectives, attend a lord's birthday party rife with intrigue and murder. 10 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Ally Beardsley as Lars Vandenchomp, canine fighter
  • Sam Reich as Buckster $ Boyd, javelina rogue
  • Katie Marovitch as Gangie Green, weasel rogue
  • Raphael Chestang as Vicar Ian Prescott, owl bard
  • Rekha Shankar as Daisy D'umpstaire, raccoon rogue
  • Grant O'Brien as Detective Sylvester Cross, fox rogue

    Season 9, Misfits and Magic 
Set in a world much like ours, where a prominent wizarding school has accepted four American students to learn the ways of magic. Endless shenanigans and culture clash is sure to ensue. 4 episodes.

  • Aabria Iyengar as the Dungeon Master
  • Erika Iishi as Karen Keiko Tanaka aka Dream
  • Danielle Radford as Sam Black
  • Lou Wilson as Whitney “Sandwich Man” Jammer
  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as Evan Kelmp

    Season 10, The Seven 
Welcome back to the world of Spyre, home of the Aguefort Adventuring Academy! But this isn't about the Bad Kids this time. Instead, our adventure focuses on The Seven, maidens who have forged their own adventuring party, and their incredible adventures. 10 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master and as Zelda Donovan, satyr barbarian
  • Aabria Iyengar as Antiope Jones, human ranger / fighter
  • Erika Ishii as Danielle 'Yelle' Barstock, half-elf druid
  • Rehka Shankar as Katja Cleaver, half-orc fighter
  • Persephone Valentine as Sam Nightingale, water genasi sorcerer / bard
  • Isabella Roland as Ostentatia Wallace, dwarf cleric
  • Becca Scott as Penny Luckstone, halfling rogue

    Season 11, Shriek Week 

Welcome ghosts, ghouls, and non-boo-nary pals to Bram University, an institution of higher learning for mortals and monsters alike. We'll be following four college students who are looking for love in all the wrong places. Four episodes.

  • Gabe Hicks as the Storyteller.
  • Ify Nwadiwe as Terry Talbo, business major and werewolf.
  • Ally Beardsley as Megan Mirror, psychology major and ghost.
  • Danielle Fernandez as Seven, accounting major and vampire.
  • Lily Du as Tuti IV, structural engineering major and mummy.

    Season 12, A Starstruck Odyssey 

Set in the universe of Starstruck, a graphic novel series by Elaine Lee, this season is a space opera that follows the crew of the spaceship "The Red Hot" as they try to make a living in a tough, lawless galaxy. Uses the SW5e (Star Wars Fifth Edition) RPG system instead of regular 5e. 18 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Game Master
  • Emily Axford as Sundry Sidney, android sentinel
  • Brian Murphy as Big Barry Syx, cloned human berserker
  • Siobhan Thompson as Riva, Aguatunisian consular
  • Lou Wilson as Gunthrie "Gunnie" Miggles-Rashbax, human cyborg engineer
  • Ally Beardsley as Margaret Encino, human scholar
  • Zac Oyama as Captain Norman "The Skipper" Takamori, human operative (and the cerebroslug that takes over his body)

    Season 13, Coffin Run 

Taking place in late 19th century Transylvania, followers of Count Dracula eagerly await his return from a long journey away… only to find them and their dark lord besieged by enemies and danger from all angles. With Dracula gravely injured, four of his followers – his vampiric bride, a mad scientist, his first sired vampire, and a vampire-to-be – make a desperate, mad dash to get his coffin back to Castle Dracula before all is lost. 6 episodes.

  • Jasmine Bhullar as the Dungeon Master
  • Zac Oyama as Squing, first blood child of Dracula
  • Erika Ishii as May Wong, aspiring actress and bride of Dracula
  • Isabella Roland as Dr. Aleksandr Astrovsky, mad scientist
  • Carlos Luna as Wetzel, a mortal who wants to be a vampire very badly

    Season 14, A Court of Fey and Flowers 
The who's-who of the fey realms gather for the Bloom, a surge of magical power and the event of the season. Blends DnD 5e with Good Society. 10 episodes.

  • Aabria Iyengar as the Dungeon Master
  • Emily Axford as Lady Chirp Featherfowl, Countess of Cluckingham
  • Surena Marie as Gwyndolin Thistlehop
  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as Captain K.P. Hob
  • Oscar Montoya as Delloso de la Rue, Mistrex of the Bloom
  • Omar Najam as Andhera, Prince of Air and Darkness
  • Lou Wilson as Lord Squak Airavis, Earl of Peckersburg

    Season 15, Neverafter 
Once upon a time, there was a land of folklore and fable that many have known. But not all is as it seems, as the world has become a grim place where various folklore figures have become twisted by darkness. Now our ragtag band of would-be heroes must navigate the worlds beyond as they fight to survive the Neverafter. 20 episodes.

  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as the Dungeon Master
  • Emily Axford as Ylfa Snorgelsson, lycanthrope barbarian
  • Ally Beardsley as Mother Timothy Goose, human bard
  • Brian Murphy as Prince Gerard of Greenleigh, frog fighter
  • Zac Oyama as Puss in Boots, cat rogue
  • Siobhan Thompson as Princess Rosamund du Prix, human ranger
  • Lou Wilson as Pinocchio, puppet warlock

    Season 16, The Ravening War 

Taking place 20 years before the events of A Crown of Candy, we come to a very different version of the continent of Calorum, where a new band of adventurers must navigate the machinations of their nations in the midst of the upheaval of the Ravening War. 6 episodes.

  • Matthew Mercer as the Dungeon Master
  • Anjali Bhimani as Queen Amangeaux Epicée du Peche, mango rogue
  • Aabria Iyengar as Karna Solara, chili pepper bard / warlock
  • Brennan Lee Mulligan as Bishop Raphaniel Charlock, radish rogue / bard
  • Zac Oyama as Colin Provolone, provolone cheese fighter / rogue
  • Lou Wilson as Thane Delissandro Katzon, pastrami on rye fighter

Dimension 20 contains examples of:

    Fantasy High 

  • The Ace: Fabian Seacaster generally comes out on top whenever he's asked to do physical feats.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Doctor Asha (an adult) believes he's in a relationship with Doctor Keller (an adult), but she's just a disguised Fig (a teenager).
  • Alcoholic Parent: Although most of the party's parents drink alcohol, Fabian's mother Hallariel takes it to another level, being almost insensate to the world around her because of the wine glass that is always in her hand, or her sensory deprivation egg in the Seacasters' basement.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the epilogue of Season 1, Principal Aguefort notifies the party that the Nightmare King's crown has gone missing from his office. They retrieve the crown in the second season, only for it to end in a similar cliffhanger situation.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Zelda kisses Gorgug on the cheek.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Episode 15 starts off with everyone being arrested for the litany of crimes they've committed while thwarting the season's villains.
  • Badass Family: The Gukgaks. Riz is a private investigator with lots of potential, Sklonda is a police detective and Pok was a secret government agent.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • Gorgug kisses Ragh in an effort to convince him that there are other fish in the sea.
    • Fig and Ayda have one in "Crustaceans and Crushes".
  • Boats into Buildings: Fabian lives in a giant dry-docked ship, since his father is a semi-retired pirate captain. Leviathan, visited in Season 2 and in the Pirates of Leviathan campaign, is an entire city built out of boats.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: The Cubby family, halfings whose patriarch, Bud, basically sound like they're far-left anarchist extremists. Bud breaks the Bad Kids out of jail in one of the final episodes of Season 1.
  • Break Them by Talking: Kalvaxus tries this on the gang during the prom battle while using his draconic fear inducing abilities and he's able to get Fig and Adaine to turn tail by calling them unlovable and worthless, respectively.
  • Brick Joke: Bill Seacaster offhandedly says that when he dies he will leap into Hell and kill the Devil himself. After dying, he not only goes to Hell, he turns Kalvaxus into a hellish, fire-breathing pirate ship and sets off to conquer all the Nine Hells.
    • And earlier, they ask Besrar to surprise them with ice-cream at a later point - it starts raining ice-cream during the Dénouement.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Biz Glitterdew wants to be a suave smooth-talker that seduces all the women he's attracted to, but he is just a nerdy A.V. Club President whose predatory advances repulses others.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Episode 15 contains a prophecy which ties a lot of unresolved plot hooks together, including the tiny detail of restoring Prom King and Queen from the very first episode.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The party gains a pocket watch that stops time when they defeat Aelwyn, but they don't use the item until the final battle when Arthur Aguefort returns to life and tells Kristen to use it. According to Brennan Lee Mulligan, he was "mortified" during the final battle while the characters were having their asses kicked, as he had no way of reminding the players that Kristen had the watch until Kristen rolled a Nat 20, allowing him to create a plot excuse to remind Kristen of the watch in the form of Arthur Aguefort.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: Principal Aguefort's speech in the first episode mentions the strongest magic in the world being chronomancy - the watch that stops time is what saves the day.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In season 2, The Bad Kids find the name of Garthy O'Brien suspicious and figure it to be an anagram. The ultimate solution they come up with is "Night Yoarrbe", which most likely isn't a lead whatsoever, considering "Yoarrbe" (which they later shorten to "Yorb") isn't even a real word. However, the Hangman takes it extremely seriously as if it was a real and dangerous entity, screaming "SPEAK NOT OF THE NIGHT YORB!" Later, while high, Riz gets the name tattooed on his chest. The Night Yorb then becomes somewhat of an inside joke in the fandom, the joke being that it couldn't possibly mean anything. However, In the epilogue of the finale, Riz is shirtless and his mom scolds him for getting so many tattoos. When Riz reads his chestpiece back to her, he starts floating in the air as the sky blackens and booms "You have spoken the name of the Night Yorb! An age of darkness forevermore!", turning what was previously day into eternal night. As it turns out, the Night Yorb is a very real and very dangerous entity, possibly being the Big Bad of season 3.
  • Closet Key: Tracker kisses Kristen when they first meet at a nightclub, which causes Kristen to acknowledge her attraction towards other women.
  • Cool Bike: The Hangman is a living demonic bike that can drive itself and give dating advice to its master.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Basrar is a djinn who can only grant wishes relating to ice cream.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The religion surrounding the sun god Sol and his son the corn god Helio is an obvious satire of modern American Christianity.
  • Curbstomp Battle: The Season 1 finale against Kalvaxus is one twofold. Despite their best efforts and the intervention of both Jawbone and Gorthalax, the entire party is wiped out, with everyone left unconscious and bleeding out on the ground while barely getting him to half health. Kristen, however, turns the tide with a natural 20 on a DM approved "chance" roll (after previously becoming stable yet unconscious by successfully completing her death saving throws) bringing her back to consciousness after a short sidetrack to Heaven where she creates a new deity and allowing her to bring the party back and use Aguefort's pocket watch to give everyone 12 hours to rest up and prepare. With everyone at full health and with all their spells back, the second half of the battle is more of a massacre than a fight.
  • Darkest Hour: At the climax of Season 1. The forces of Kalvaxis attack and burn down the household of every member of the party, and there's genuine tension as the DM explains what happened to them all. Nearly all the party members get off light, with the exception of Fabian, who fights a Harvestman to help save his father, loses an eye permanently in the battle, and fails the saving throw to save his father's life, leading to his father's death.
  • Dawn of an Era: Kalvaxus returns, the sun god Sol falls from the heavens, with "Yes!" the new god to replace him.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Nobody seems to bat an eye at Riz carrying an arquebus— a primitive form of firearm— around a public school.
  • Deus ex Machina: Literally: Kristen dies and goes to Heaven for the second time during the final battle where she gets to enter the Void, has her answers about the universe answered, creates a new God called "Yes!" and returns to life with Arthur Aguefort in tow, and turns the tide of the fight.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: The Abernants like using this a lot whenever they get into trouble with the law.
  • Dumb Muscle: Most of the orc and half-orc characters don't show much intelligence, but do deal a lot of damage to their surroundings.
  • Eldritch Location: The Forest of the Nightmare King. The forest has bizarre, shifting geography that operates on dream logic and is filled with twisted, gnarled trees. In the forest, bad dreams and illusions become real and expose the people within to their worst fears and anxieties. It can only be defeated by facing those fears.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vice Principal Goldenhoard, aka Kalvaxus, the BBEG of the entire campaign, reacts to Penelope being clocked in the face by Fabian with "Jesus Christ! No, no, no!"
  • Eyes Always Averted: Both Zelda and Gorgug have difficulty looking at each other when conversing.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Fabian after he loses one eye in a fight at his house.
  • Fake Defector: Riz pretends to join the conspiracy, but he immediately pulls a gun on the person inviting him.
  • Fantastic Drug: Several. "Snuff" is Spyre's equivalent of cocaine or other stimulant drugs, and gets the characters, including Riz, extremely wired. Ficus smokes a plant very similar to marijuana in its effects and legality. "Dusk moss" is Spyre's equivalent of acid, and has similar precautions and supposed benefits.
  • Fantastic Racism: Implied with Adaine's parents, outright stated with Kristen's.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Zig-Zagged. The guns in this setting are largely various forms of arquebus, which are primitive by firearm standards, but seem to be commonplace, at least among Elmville's police force.
  • Feghoot: In an unusual non-literary example, two of the Fantasy High one-shots are feghoots: One involving a Beholder with a magical enchantment in her eye that makes her appear as a beautiful woman - thus, "beauty is in the eye of the Beholder" - and two, five evil spirits known as the Fouls turn up at a party and try to ruin it for everyone, making them, of course, "party Fouls".
  • First-Episode Resurrection: Gorgug and Kristen die in the first battle, but are almost immediately resurrected in the most insane way possible.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The Bad Kids are made up of three boys and three girls.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The campaign frequently subverts, plays with, and otherwise lampoons common tropes of the fantasy adventure genre. Arthur Aguefort especially enjoys Lampshade Hanging during his speeches about what it means to be an adventurer, ie, "a mentally deranged psychopath committing violence on a whim... with no consequences."
  • Genre Shift: From Mystery Fiction and 80s high-school movie in the first season to straight up Horror in the second season.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Riz makes up a fake partner called Baron, from the Baronies, to hide his disinterest in romance.
  • Guy on Guy Is Hot: When Ragh Barkrock kisses Gorgug, everyone but Fabian (and Gorgug) wants to stick around to see what happens next.
  • Happily Adopted: Everyone thinks the Thistlespring family is amazing except for Gorgug.
  • He's Back!: Arthur Aguefort returns to life in the final battle against Kalvaxus; however, he instantly gets possessed and is unable to help in the battle.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The oft-mentioned KVX bank is actually a front for Kalvaxus' wealth, allowing him to have his "glittering hoard" right in the heart of Solace.
  • Hollywood Psych: Jawbone turns into a miraculous guidance school councilor despite having hit rock bottom in drug-dealing right before getting the job.
  • Homoerotic Dream: Lampshaded
  • Hot for Student: Fig has a consistent streak of trying to seduce adults into having sexual relations with her.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Gorthalax the Insatiable and Sklonda Gukgak wind up together.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Tracker kisses Kristen's hand when they first introduce themselves.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Episode 9 reveals that Shellford — the aloof turtle member of the A/V Club — is this.
    Adaine: You know, kindness begets kindness, Shellford.
    Shellford: (Mentally) How could I ever be kind to somebody when I've never been kind to myself? (Aloud) Alright, fuckin' doinks! I'm happy.
  • Inspiring Sermon: Parodied in the "Fantasy High" campaign. As a cleric, Kristen has the ability to give speeches which inspire and strengthen her teammates with divine magic. But as her deity lets her down and the Crisis of Faith sets in, the speeches start to go off the rails, fast. Amazingly, she usually manages to inspire people anyway, almost in spite of herself.
    Kristen: Guys, I'm not gonna mince words. There's no God.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: After defeating Biz, Riz gets so angry that Penny has been taken that he points a gun at him and gives him five seconds to answer his questions. When Biz hesitates, Riz blows off one of his fingers, then blows off a second. Subverted when it's revealed that Biz had false memories implanted, Riz apologizes and sews the fingers back on.
  • Knight Templar: Coach Daybreak is a heavy believer in the Church of Sol. He is later revealed to be the leader of the radicalized terrorist cult called the Harvestmen.
  • Lady Drunk: Hallariel Seacaster is always seen with a drink in hand.
  • Lecherous Licking: Aelwyn does this towards Fabian after their initial meeting.
  • Likes Older Men: Fig flirts with three characters in the series: Dr. Asha, an adult dwarf, Vice Principal Goldenhoard, an adult dragonborn, and Hillariel Seacaster, Fabian's mom.
  • Magitek: Everyday items in the real world have magical equivalents in Elmsville. Crystals, for example, can function as both cell phones and go-pros.
  • Mind Screw: Quite a lot in the second season due to its focus on dreams and illusion.
    • The Forest of the Nightmare King in general is full of this, due to its reality-warping tendencies. Canonically all of the main characters spend days running around inside it, but experience those days as a matter of hours due to tripping on dusk moss. Brennan even states openly that if the player characters tried to comprehend what was going on they would go insane, because the Forest of the Nightmare King operates on dream logic and refuses to make sense.
    • The circumstances surrounding Kristen's death and resurrection towards the end of Season 2 - specifically the fact that when the others find her skeleton it's been there for 850 years.
  • Mighty Glacier: Gorgug was the only one who could handle any of the railway golem's attacks.
  • Munchkin: While the Bad Kids stay mostly on track with the plot at hand, Arthur Aguefort openly states that the Aguefort Adventuring Academy is designed to create "violent, deranged lunatics" who "freak the fuck out all the time, and just fuck shit right up".
  • Murder-Suicide: Arthur Aguefort kills Mr. Gibbons and then himself, firstly to save the lives of Gorgug and Kristen, and secondly as part of an insane gambit involving Sol, the Sun God and an ancient prophecy.
  • Nice Guys Finish Last: Biz uses this as the reason why he imprisons the women he is attracted to.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Adaine finally bests her sister and has her arrested for attempted murder...which leads to war being declared on Solace within the day for imprisoning a diplomat's child.
  • No Social Skills: Before joining the group, Gorgug didn't have many friends.
  • Not Afraid of Hell: Bill Seacaster fully acknowledges he's going to Hell when he dies after his long life of piracy and pillaging, but shows no fear, boldly declaring, "I SHALL LEAP INTO HELL AND KILL THE DEVIL HIMSELF!" Fig thinks this view is too badass for words.
  • Not Completely Useless: Tasha's Hideous Laughter is a first-level spell, and by the time the party is fighting Aelwyn at the house party, Adaine has several better options. That doesn't stop her from ending the fight entirely with the spell, even getting praised by Hudol students, who mock Aelwyn for getting stopped in her tracks by a first-level spell.
  • Only Sane Man: Federal Agent Angela Worrel shows up and is shocked and appalled that the town is fine with the party going rogue (so to speak) and killing people just because they're in adventuring school and 'that's what adventurers do'.
    • Lawful Stupid: Then again, they broke the law while trying to stop Daybreak from ending the world and Johnny Spells from kidnapping more girls.
  • Orc Raised by Elves:
    • Gorgug, a half-orc, was raised by a pair of loving gnomes.
    • Fig is Gorthalax the Insatiable's (a literal devil) daughter, but she's been raised by Gilear and Sandralynn (a pair of wood elves).
  • Our Demons Are Different: In the Fantasy High universe, there is a distinct difference between devils and demons. Devils are lawful evil religious entities, working simultaneously in opposition to and in tandem with the angels of a given religion. Demons, on the other hand, are chaotic evil and not affiliated with religious dichotomies. There may be times in the series where a devil character is mistakenly referred to as a demon, but they aren't synonyms.
  • Pair the Spares: Most of the single parental figures in the story wind up with each other.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • At the start of Season 1, much of Fig's angst comes from not knowing her biological dad or why he was never part of her life.
    • Gorgug doesn't know his biological parents, and spends much of Season 1 asking if people are his dad as a result.
    • Ayda has grown up (multiple times) alone and harbors resentment to her father, Arthur Aguefort over it. This is because lifetimes ago she expressed to him that she never wants to see him again, something she does not remember.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
    • While the party isn't afraid to kill anyone, Kristen does revive any students who got manipulated into doing the conspiracy's dirty work. Notably, the only two that they leave dead are Penelope and Dayne, the two unrepentant masterminds.
    • Biz is very nearly on the receiving end of this also, and is only saved when Adaine realizes he's also been manipulated.
  • Police Are Useless: Comically so, as all but Riz's mom are utterly inept, to the point of misplacing evidence within the precinct.
  • The Power of Rock: The basis of Fig's bardic magic. More specifically used to free Gorthalax from his imprisonment.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • "You fucking cunt!"
    • "Fuck! You! Dawg!"
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Although the prophecy seemed ominous, Aguefort offers a different interpretation that is a lot more mundane, much to Adaine's chagrin.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Principal Aguefort gives a speech to the incoming freshman that truly stuns every character listening.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Adaine tells Biz the exact reasons why his flirting and cocky attitude will never get him the respect that he wants.
  • Recovered Addict: After William Seacaster's death and Fabian's scolding, Hallariel decides to stop drinking and start training her son in the art of fencing.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Fig is part-demon, and as a result she's an exceptionally talented bass player. Her father, Gorthalax the Insatiable, is also a fuckin' sick guitarist, at least according to Brennan.
  • Rousing Speech: Kristen's uses of her skill "Inspiring Speech" often inspires her friends in unintended ways.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Gorgug constantly suspects anyone to be his dad.
    • Gorgug quietly singing to himself when he's angry, especially in earlier episodes. Usually followed by him Raging.
    • Kristen occasionally gives inspiring speeches that are far too confusing or emotional, always prompting at least one character to mutter the phrase "It's going to get inspiring soon".
    • Gilear's almost supernatural pathetic and mundane-ness causes him to constantly be in situations where he is humiliated, endangered, and maybe even killed. But don't worry, he's always brought back (albeit reluctantly).
    • Fig's ability "Bardic Inspiration" manifests in the form of her winking towards someone. This makes everyone affected sexually confused.
    • Fig playing the bassline to "Longview" by Green Day for a magical or charm effect.
    • "Hi, intrepid heroes!"
    • Adaine's Identify spell manifests as an effete-voiced automated assistant, who always starts their pronouncements with, "Ah, yes, the _____" and ends them with "This has been another use of the Identify spell."
    • Riz and his mom are goblins who talk normally and act like regular people, but they're also very messy eaters who noisily eat food in the way you would expect a goblin to eat food. This comes to a head when they noisily chow down on Kalvaxus's face as vengeance for eating Riz's Dad.
  • Running Gagged: The running gag of Gorgug asking people if they're his dad is finally ended when Gorgug actually meets his dad. In the first episode of the second season Murph makes a joke relating to it when Gorgug rolls badly, and Brennan responds "We concluded this bit in the final episode of the last season!"
  • Sacred First Kiss: Kristen basically takes everyone's first kiss when she outs herself for the second time and tells them to go to therapy if they feel disturbed by her actions.
  • Schizo Tech: The setting has the vibe of a movie made in The '80s set in The '50s, with malt shops, hot-rods and station-wagons, but also all the characters have crystals which act as stand-ins for smartphones, computers, cameras and hard-drives.
  • Sequel Hook: The first campaign ends with Arthur Aguefort asking if the kids remembered to lock his office door... because the crown of the Nightmare King seems to be missing.
    • Happens again at the end of the second campaign. This time, Riz accidentally summons the Night Yorb by speaking its name aloud, causing a pillar of darkness to explode from his chest into the sky, turning it instantly from day to night. A voice proclaims there shall be "an age of darkness, forevermore!" and suddenly Principal Aguefort appears, asking if Riz has given thought about his junior year project...
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Adaine and Aelwyn constantly bicker and cast magic spells on one another. It accelerates into a Cain and Abel relationship.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Adaine, Gorgug, and Kristen have difficulty in speaking with others, especially those who they are attracted to.
  • Stress Vomit: Riz always barfs whenever he finds clues relating to his missing babysitter.
  • Time Stands Still: In the finale, Kristen is reminded about a pocket watch on her person that allows her to stop time. She manages to do it for twelve whole hours, allowing the party to take a long rest in the middle of the final battle, after which it turns into a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Twice Shy: Gorgug and Zelda.
    Ally: It's like watching Michael Cera talk to another Michael Cera.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: One of Bill Seacaster's ex-crewmembers is a tornado.
  • The Un Twist: In the penultimate episode, Murph says that he thought Vice Principal Goldenhoard was mean so that meant he was a good guy.
  • Urban Fantasy: The story seems to take place in an anachronistic 1960s city with all of their technology powered by mystical means.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: The Seven Maidens are all captured to fulfill the prophecy of Kalvaxus having seven virgins at the foot of his lair during the Prompocalypse.
  • We Can Rule Together: Riz is offered this by Biz Glitterdew, but he immediately rejects the offer by pulling a gun on the fairy.
  • Wham Episode: This campaign is built on several revelations:
    • When Gorgug and Kristen die in the first battle, Principal Aguefort performs a murder-suicide with Guidance Councilor Gibbons in order to revive the player characters.
    • Aelwyn is a part of the palimpsest conspiracy.
    • The penultimate episode of the campaign hits us with the twin reveals that Principal Goldenhoard has been arc baddie Kalvaxus this whole time and that Adaine became the elven oracle when the original one died the day before the campaign started.
  • Wham Line: In the penultimate episode...
    [examining a school payroll roster]
    Riz: Hey guys... there's no dragonborn on here.
    Kristen: What?
    Riz: Vice Principal Goldenhoard isn't on here.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The last couple minutes of the season one finale is this.
  • World's Best Warrior: Bill Seacaster refers to his wife, Hallariel, as the greatest fencer in the world , much to Fabian's surprise.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The entire gang, including heavy hitters Gorgug and Fabian, don't hold back against Penelope during the final battle, even though they don't feel great about it.
  • Would Hurt a Child / Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Zig-zagged. The adventurers are willing to fight skateboarding middle schoolers to find clues about the conspiracy, but they are relieved with word of their survival.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: When Johnny Spells dies, Gorgug takes his jacket and Fabian tames his demonic motorbike.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: Gorgug is comically tall compared to his adoptive parents, as revealed in the very first episode

    Escape from the Bloodkeep 

  • Affectionate Parody: Of The Lord of the Rings
  • Affably Evil: All the player characters, as well as some of the side characters, are generally incredibly nice and supportive to each other.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Maggie and Leiland are arguing over whose fault it is that Zaul'nazh has been irrevocably punted back to the realm of nightmares, she shuts him up with "where's the crown, Leiland?" (To add insult to injury, everyone else agrees with her.)
  • Artistic License – Physics: Acknowledged when Maggie uses a combination of Lilith's Reverse Gravity spell, her magic locket which allows her to jump higher, and a chain wrapped around an elf to swing into the air and kill Kasara. The players and Brennan acknowledge that with real physics it probably wouldn't be possible even with magic to help...but it's D&D, and since her rolls succeed, who cares, it's awesome.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: All the player characters refer to themselves as evil.
  • Civilized Animal: John Feathers, and the eagles in general. Society does not typically recognize them as such, though.
  • Cutting the Knot: As the final battle over the Boatman's blessing rages on around her, Efink decides to usurp the Boatman themselves to grant the power of the Lord of Shadows onto Leiland Jr.
  • Dark Mistress: Maggie, who is Zaul'nazh's girlfriend.
  • Disappointed in You: Happens in episode 3, as Lilith tells her brood that she's "Not angry, just disappointed" for their failure to win a fight.
    Brennan: You guys have never seen a thousand spiders all lower their heads at the same time.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: One of the main things that draws people to Zaul'nazh's forces is the fact that absolutely anyone is welcome, especially the grotesque monsters of the world and people outcast from elsewhere. Sokhbarr, Lilith, and Markus at least all decide to usher in the age of a new Dark Lord because it's their only opportunity to carve a place for themselves and/or the creatures they protect in the world.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Leiland thinks child labor is wrong, and Sokhbarr actually calls him out on this.
    • Both Maggie and Leiland agree that Zaul'nazh is terrible for objectifying Maggie and Leiland.
  • Enemy Civil War: Brennan's original plan was to set all the player characters against each other. When this doesn't work out, he sets one up anyway with the players fighting Olag, the remaining Vinguri, and Hobbert and Frod.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Much to Brennan's annoyance. The Vile Villains get along reasonably well before the death of Zaul'nazh. There's some friction between them immediately afterward, but they focus on defeating the encroaching Forces of Light and learn to truly rely on each other, rather than just work together. This comes to a head when the Boatman calls them out on this trope, only for them to defend themselves. Just because their evil doesn't mean they can't care about each other.
  • Evil Overlord: Zaul'nazh, Lord of Shadows
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Bloodkeep, being a giant obsidian tower of doom. (Maggie's adjoining tower is red and much prettier.)
  • Expy: Most of the NPCs and some of the PCs are very obviously based on characters from The Lord of the Rings.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire story takes place over the course of less than a day.
  • Family-Values Villain: Lilith and her spider children.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Sokhbarr is this, with J'er'em'ih and the lava mog.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Sokhbarr, especially towards monsters.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Galfast Hamhead's weapon of choice.
  • Implausible Deniability: The crew's brief attempt to pretend that everything is fine after Zaul'nazh bites it and that he's just having "a sneeze". Lilith even lampshades it, pointing out that the entire zombie army just collapsed all at once, so obviously something is wrong.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Leiland, towards Zaul'nazh.
  • Mind Screw: Everything that J'er'em'ih does. Even Sokhbarr doesn't get all of it.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In Bloodlines and Lifelines, Brennan describes all of the player characters as being united, plus J'er'em'ih and Old Pickering.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Efink Murderdeath. She gave herself this name.
  • Off the Rails: According to Word of God, the final encounter was going to be the Player Characters fighting each other to become the new Dark Lord. They wound up becoming such Fire-Forged Friends that Brennan had to improvise a different encounter. Even then he didn't see Efink deciding to usurp the powers of the Boatman themselves.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Kasara says it verbatim when she gets yanked into the lava and instantly destroyed in episode 2.
  • Overlord Jr.: Maggie's baby, Leiland Jr.
  • Punctuation Shaker: J'er'em'ih.
  • Sky Pirate: Markus, who comes from an entire kingdom based on this concept.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Lilith is one, complete with constant wine-drinking.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: They might be the bad guys but between being Affably Evil, a number of Pet the Dog moments and the fact that several members of the Forces of Light are jerks you will find yourself rooting for them
  • Team Spirit: GO TEAM SPIDER!
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Maggie, Daughter of Darkness. Also, the Vinguri, who all have normal-sounding names, though they were renamed by Zaul'nazh.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Old Pickering, after his incompetence contributes to the destruction of the Siren.
  • The Power of Friendship: Where Efink gets her powers after her spirits leave her.
    • Turns into an Ignored Aesop when she abandons that and decides to become the avatar of Evil's power in the world, infusing her with nigh-limitless divinitory powers.
  • The Unpronounceable: The full name of the Scary Volcano.
  • Villain Protagonist: A whole team of them, as this is an evil campaign
  • Villains Out Shopping: Maggie takes John Feathers to the Market of Spines to buy a hat, and discuss another shopping trip at the end of Episode 5.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 5, "Bloodlines and Lifelines" in which Maggie gives birth, the party swears fealty to her child and then do a Hazy-Feel Turn from Evil to "a different sort of evil" blowing Brennan's plans for a battle royale Evil Civil War out of the water
  • We ARE Struggling Together: In the first episode, the team is reeling from Zaul'nazh's death and haven't entirely bonded yet, so they spend a lot of time bickering and blaming each other. Also, Markus tries to convince the treasurer that the Lord of Shadows ordered the entire treasury moved to the Siren, which leads to another argument because the others think he's trying to cut and run (he's not, he just wants to make sure he gets paid).
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Johnathan Feathers points out that Eagles tend to get left out of the equation when discussing the "Free lands of Men", with Dwarves and Elves sometimes getting mentioned. This leads to Johnathan and another Eagle making a Face–Heel Turn and joining the party, as neither one is entirely happy with the Forces of Light in the matter.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: It's practically The Lord of the Rings, but the bad guys' side - specifically, their side after the Artifact of Doom is destroyed, killing the Evil Overlord.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: All the PCs reassure Leiland of this when he's feeling useless.

    The Unsleeping City 
  • Aborted Arc:
    • In Season 1, the concern with Robert Moses getting people hooked on drugs and then letting vampires drink their blood to get high is dropped after Pete blows up a night club filled with vampires.
    • In Season 2, Iga's connections to organized crime in New York aren't elaborated upon beyond her using them at one point to find some dirt on Gladiator.
  • Ambiguously Human: Stephen Sondheim. He appears to be just a normal human at first, but he's at least a 10th-level Bard, knows of the Unsleeping City, recognizes Rowan after she's reborn from Misty, and in season 2, somehow spontaneously reconstitutes himself to get the Dream Team out of Nod as Null is tearing it apart.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear if Kingston magic doesn't work outside of New York, or if it specifically doesn't work in New Jersey.
  • Apocalypse Cult: People who work for Gladiator are this, unwittingly, to Null. Null is described as being worshipped by people who have lost the ability to care about the past, present, or future, even if only briefly.
  • Ass Shove: Lowell Masters is a side character who is capable of casting the Identify spell... but only if he places the object he's trying to Identify up his ass.
  • Badass Normal: Sofia Bicicleta/Lee, who even before learning about the magic of the city stabs a troll in both eyes with her stilettos via Flurry of Blows.
  • Balloonacy: The party have to climb several balloons from the Macy's Day Parade in order to defeat several monstrous clowns. No, not people in makeup, but real clowns.
  • Batter Up!: Esther Sinclair wields a silver baseball bat as her Arcane Focus to great effect. Ricky takes it up in the third-to-last episode of Season 2, after Esther has been kidnapped.
  • Big Applesauce: It all takes place in New York City.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Ricky Matsui's noble steed Ox, a dalmatian whom the party are extremely protective of (especially Sofia).
  • Body Horror:
    • Pete's wild magic has horrific effects on his body, with the most consistent descriptor involving his arm bursting open so that the spell can come forth, before re-sealing itself.
    • The balloon weapons wielded by the True Clowns during Season 2 cause parts of the characters bodies to just burst on impact, going so far as to reveal bone beneath.
  • Breather Episode: "Home for the Holidays" is a mostly calm, comedy-focused episode about what the characters get up to over the winter holiday, with a few plot-relevant moments of intrigue.
  • Cannot Dream: In Season 2, Gladiator's 'Cipher Energy Formula' disrupts REM sleep, rendering anyone who drinks it unable to dream, severely damaging the Sixth Borough.
  • Cathartic Crying: Pete has such a moment in episode 7.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Played for Laughs when, after a particularly intense battle, members of the Dream Team plug Adam Ruins Everything to various citizens of New York; all of the party members in this season, except for Ally, have appeared on that show at some point, with Emily and Brian being primary recurring characters.
  • Central Theme:
    • In Season 1, the central theme is the power of dreams and the conflict that arises from trying to actualize them— dreams can take many forms, but if it's made reality, it's made concrete, and the dream might die.
    • In Season 2, the importance of past, present and future are examined in the confines of New York City. Iga represents the power of the past, memory, and stories, with her family heirloom being capable of restoring missing memories in the Metropolitan Museum of Memory. Kingston represents the present, with his central conflict in the season being grappling with the gentrification of New York by Gladiator. Pete represents the power of the future, with dreams being potential that hasn't been realized.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In season 1:
    • The eagle artifact that Kingston pulls out of a man's ass becomes very important later on.
    • The Bagel of All Things is crucial to defeating the Big Bad at the end of the season.
  • The Chosen One: The Chosen Two, actually. Known as the Vox Phantasma and the Vox Populi, each act as the representative of the two sides of New York, the Sleeping World and the Waking World respectively. There have been many Voxes throughout New York's history but the campaign has the first occurrence where a Vox Phantasma and Vox Populi exist at the same time.
    • The Vox Phantasma is the envoy for the Dreaming World, and their power is derived from the dreams, wishes and nightmares of New York's people and the creatures that live in Nod, the Dream Realm and Sixth Borough. Pete is the current Vox Phantasma.
    • The Vox Populi is the voice of the Waking World and their power comes from the city itself and the people that are unaware of the magical world that exists. Kingston is the current Vox Populi.
    • There is a legend about a chosen one for the Order of the Concrete Fist, meant to be chosen at the top of the Empire State Building. Dale tried to become the chosen one by having The Chooser of the One choose him, to no avail. Sophia remembers that nothing in the Order of the Concrete Fist tells you who the chooser is, and realizes that's because the chosen one is whoever reaches the peak of the building and chooses themself.
  • Christmas Episode: Both seasons released so far take place around the holidays; Season 1 takes place in December, while Season 2 starts in late October and ends a few days before Christmas.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Kingston is the Vox Populi of New York, literally the Voice of the People; as such, his magic is flavored as drawing from the people of NYC. For instance, during the Balloonacy fight, he's able to cast Bull's Strength by drawing upon the power of the people in the crowd below, who are wishing they could lend their strength to somehow grab onto those balloons.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: To the outside world, the defence of New York is, according to Ricky's sister, "some thing at Clinton Hill."
  • Crazy-Prepared: One particular miniature in Times Squaremageddon, namely Stephen Sondheim dual-wielding broadswords. That's a full custom 3D-printed and painted figurine just in case the party managed to summon both Sondheim and Santa and have them interact.
  • Down the Drain: The party enters the New York sewers in order to rescuse Em, the statue of Bethesda fountain, from the Rat King.
  • Dream Land: Nod, the Sixth Borough of New York City is described as a combination of this and Magical Land. It is shown as a surreal realm of endless night where the sky has more stars than darkness, and any rain or snow falls upwards out of the ground. The borough is home to a plethora of bizarre creatures like unicorns, a woman who lives in the moon, chimerical angel-bird-monkeys and is ruled by Nod, the Grey Orphan and Monarch of the Sleeping World.
  • Eye Scream: When Sofia drives a bunch of trolls away from a bachelorette party, she uses Flurry of Blows to jam her stilettos into a particularly unlucky troll's eyes. It doesn't kill him, but it freaks the trolls out enough that they book it.
  • Feathered Fiend: Chesley Sullenberger's apparition teches us that the geese that fly into the reactors of planes fully intend to do so, with a Dark Council of Geese masterminding every one of these instances in order to kill people.
  • Historical Domain Character: The Big Bad of Chapter I is Robert Moses, the legendarily controversial "master planner" of New York in the mid-20th century.
    • The former champions of the Questing Blade are all this, from Lou Gehrig to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
    • One of Pete's predecessors as Vox Phantasma was Emma Lazarus, author of The New Colossus, the poem that adorns the Statue of Liberty.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy:
    • Averted with Sofia in Season 2; Dr. Lugash said that due to her having concieved a child with an angel, New York could get obliterated completely and the fetus would still survive.
    • Played straight later in the season when Esther gets kidnapped by Tony. Even then, she's just banished to another plane of existence, so she avoids most of the fight.
  • Joisey: In Chapter II, several devils from New Jersey (including the Jersey Devil himself) try to get into New York via the Lincoln Tunnel. They are all huge jerks who Juul toxic smoke. Furthermore, Kingston's attack shorts out at the start of combat due to New Jersey's influence.
  • Magical Library: A varaition of it; the Gramercy Occult Society's headquarters are beneath the main branch of the New York Public Library.
  • Masquerade: Most of New York has no idea about the magical world that co-exists with their own.
  • Metaphoric Metamorphosis: Kugrash's curse has matched his "greedy rat" heart with his external form, turning him into a literal rat-man.
  • Mega-Corp: Gladiator in Season 2 has enough influence in New York to do things that would be Beyond the Impossible in real life, from buying up landmarks and museums to creating humanoid delivery drones.
  • Monumental Battle:
    • Both the first and final battles of Season 1 take place in Times Square, and the battle with Moses occurs in the New York Stock Exchange.
    • Season 2 has a battle at the Ellis Island museum.
  • Monster Clown: Chapter II introduces us to the concept of True Clowns, which Brennan clarifies as being distinct from entertainers dressed in make-up. They are in this instance terrifying, sadistic creatures from the dream realm who hijack the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and attempt to kidnap Wally (aka Santa Claus).
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Pete is a drug addicted and drug dealing cowboy sorcerer chosen one.
  • Noodle Incident: Kingston and Misty often refer to a mummy that they fought several decades before the campaign started, which Kingston now keeps in an obsidian ankh underneath the salad bowl on the top of his fridge.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • In Showdown at the Stock Exchange, Robert Moses hits Pete with a Power Word Kill spell, which instantly kills anyone who is below 100 hitpoints. Thankfully, Kingston has revivify prepared.
    • In Times Squaremageddon, as Sofia leaps towards The American Dream, it fires a two-attack beam that does 49 and 89 Points of damage respectively, and also forces a saving throw... which Sofia fails, causing her to be outright dead on the spot.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Esther and Sofia immediately notice Ricky struggling to be his usual happy self when Cody is given the Questing Blade over Ricky.
  • Painting the Medium: Played for Laughs in Chapter IInote . When Sofia casts Silence on Ricky, Zac mutes his microphone so he can't be heard screaming.
  • Phantom Zone: Nod/the Sixth Borough serves as this, especially during the crowded subway battle in Chapter II.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Kingston Brown gets one in during the Stock Exchange fight: "You come for my family, you come for my friends, I will fucking drop you".
  • Precision F-Strike: Ricky takes a more pacifistic approach to being a paladin in Season 2, with his Rebuke the Violent spell essentially him saying variations of "Hey, stop that". But his reaction to finding out that Esther has been kidnapped, and that she's pregnant, is simply "I need a fucking weapon."
  • Put on a Bus: Rowan is absent at the start of Season 2, with Siobahn playing a new character, as she felt that Rowan's story was completed. She returns after Iga gets captured by Null at Ellis Island.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The "Sparty" Delivery Drones used by Gladiator in Season 2, in contrast to real-life quadcopter drones used for delivery, are humanoid in shape.
  • Running Gag: Because Sofia lives in Staten Island (which is a ferry ride away from most of New York), despite the fact that she's happy to have guests over, almost no one takes her up on it.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Null's appearance in the museum is accompanied by a pulse of mental damage that instantly kills all the lighthearted familiars and animal companions (except for Cody's motorcycle), establishing the harrowing and serious stakes.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Pete looking at a cocaine brick and its connection to capitalism shows him someone trying to escape cartel slavery and being summarily executed. This is not at all Played for Laughs and is clearly meant to be a statement damning Pete's ethical code up to that point.
    • On a slightly more lighthearted note, Cody's obsession with looking cool and having badass swords bites him in the ass when he gets a fusion of three swords, dubbed Thirsting Blade Dark Excalibur Mega Genesis... and it is completely unusuable. It deals extra necrotic damage and heals him on a Nat 20, but since it weighs more than he does, Cody rolls with disadvantage (meaning he would have to get two Nat 20's to even trigger that effect), has to make a DC 15 athletics check to even swing it, and he severely wounds himself with it on his first ever attempt to attack with it. As part of his Character Development, he takes it apart, selling off the Dark Excalibur and Mega Genesis portions.
  • Take That!:
    • If you can't tell Brennan Lee Mulligan doesn't like SantaCon the first time it comes up (it sure says something that the normal drunk humans dressed as Santa are perfect cover for messed up magic Santa clones), you will definitely know by the end of SantaCon Mutant Melee, which is exactly what it sounds like and features some of the most horrific minis ever used in the show.
    • In a rare instance of a twofer Take That, Robert Moses is the main villain of Chapter I, and one of the first true confirmations that he's actually evil is when he wholeheartedly agrees with Pete when the latter lies by praising Ronald Reagan, and goes on a rant about what a genius he was.
    • In the Subway Battle in Chapter I, Alejandro uses a spell to get the train to Nod to arrive. He mentions that this is an extremely powerful magic, and Brennan notes that "no act of magic could be stronger than making the MTA run on a timely schedule." And it only gets better the longer the fight goes on and the odds keep stacking more and more in the party's favor and the train keeps not arriving due to bad dice rolls.
    • The haunted subway train in Chapter II is similarly a very obvious dig at several types of annoying subway passengers.
    • Gladiator is a clear stand-in for Amazon, and the gentrification of New York is explored in detail throughout Chapter II.
  • Traintop Battle: During the Subway Battle in Chapter II, Sofia and a Frankenstein's monster end up atop one of the carriages.
  • Urban Fantasy: There really is magic happening within NYC.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Pete and the rest of the group are able to speak to Nod, who they constantly refer to as "grey baby", much to the Monarch of the Sixth Borough's chagrin.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Misty/Rowan pulls an odd twist of this on the American Dream itself. She rejects the temptation it offers and severely weakens Robert Moses's attempt to make it manifest in his image by telling it, with conviction, that it doesn't need a physical body to be "real" - it already is in the minds of the people who dream of it.
    • And by "severely weakens", it's revealed that Brennan HALVED its hit points afterwards.

    Tiny Heist 
  • And I Must Scream: Rick's backstory involves the fact that he was trapped behind a car seat for two years, in the dark, unable to move, able to hear, and subjected to endless arguments between two children who he has grown to hate. It was not pleasant, and was traumatizing enough that he's willing to die rather than get the love of a human child.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Inverted; it's not the person in question who doesn't want to talk about it, it's the people who hear the answer. In his Man About Town body, Rick has little to no filter, and when one of Ruthie the Shell's assistants asks him what it's like to be a toy without a human child to love him during a poker game, he explains his entire tragic And I Must Scream backstory, visibly disturbing basically everyone within earshot. Ruthie breaks in and asks everyone to keep table chatter to a minimum.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Only toys with faces can come alive, so Felix Flick carries around a cigarette lighter to burn the faces off toys who displease him. The only reason it doesn't happen to Car-Go is that Felix's moll Minetta begs him not to.
    • Special mention goes to Felix's demise. After being forced and bound into the seats of Car-Go's vehicle form, he is subjected to the unfortunate reality of being crushed to death via transformation sequence. Much rejoicing was had.
  • Delayed Explosion: After being established in Episode 4, the bomb that TI plants in Car-Go's chest and its associated detonator get tossed around and stolen by several characters throughout most of Episode 5. Eventually, Rick gets ahold of it and hurls it at Felix, surrounded by a swarm of goons... and it bounces harmlessly off his head. Nothing happens until the next round, when TI attacks the swarm of goons with a flamethrower.
    Justin: Hey! ...That didn't blow up the bomb?
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Garbanzo the bug mafioso lights a regular-sized match to light Agnes's cigarette, due to its size compared to him he can't just blow it out and spends a good amount of effort and almost lights himself on fire trying to put it out.
  • Interspecies Romance: Appears to be quite common in the setting, with Garbanzo Buglass the beetle and Agnes the fairy lightly flirting, Felix the steward dating Minetta the music box figurine and The Incredible Dantes, the turtle, aggressively flirting with pretty much everyone.
  • Mouse World: The entire campaign takes place in a suburban backyard.
  • Stylistic Suck: In-universe, the only scripts Boomer can find (that he didn't write himself) are horrible assignments from a play-writing class Dylan's mom teaches. Which explains why nobody comes to see him.

    A Crown of Candy 
  • Anthropomorphic Food: A good portion of Calorum are people that are sentient foodstuffs, with several denizens of Candia being literal desserts or sweets that have faces and limbs on them. Special mention goes to King Amethar's right hand Lord Calroy Cruller, a slice of cake whose demeanor is so grounded Zac had to remind himself he was imagining a talking piece of cake with arms and legs.
  • Anyone Can Die: Brennan's already challenging battles are even more ruthless in this one, with completely unbalanced enemies fighting as smartly as the heroes. As a result, Lapin Cadbury and Jet Rocks both die before season’s end.
  • Cerebus Call-Back:
    • As seen below under Running Gag, whenever King Amethar talks with someone who he fought alongside in the Great Ravening War, the conservation always circles around to fond memories of watching each other shit and piss in the trenches. Then, when Lord Cruller stabs King Amethar in the back, the treacherous Lord points out that "a man shits himself when he dies," and that he'd be "happy to watch [Amethar] shit one last time."
    • Early on, Liam says that he's not "a war guy" and is more of "a seed guy." While this is funny at first, each successive mention of being "a war guy" is more tragic than the last. Soon, Amethar is lamenting his status as "a war guy" in genuine resignation. Eventually, Liam's mother, who was nowhere near when this phrasing came about, mourns to herself about Liam's penchant for violence: "Oh, no. They took my sweet baby and made him a war guy."
  • Corrupt Church: The Bulbian Church reveals itself to be this, having plotted the assassination of King Amethar, unseat him from his position as king and using its influence to declare war on the nation of Candia.
  • Crapsaccharine World: A colorful and whimsical world of food with Game of Thrones-esque politics and passing references to a bloody conflict known as the Great Ravening War that occurred two decades before the campaign's start.
  • Darker and Edgier: To the point that Brennan on Dimension 20's official Twitter account had to warn people that the campaign would be darker in tone than previous campaigns and that characters would not be getting Plot Armor. Of course, this isn't surprising considering that it's inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire, which is itself a Darker and Edgier take on High Fantasy.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: At one point, Gooey grabs a hesitant Sir Theo by the groin. The table laughs, and later the other players' characters jokingly order him to have sex with her, though they do walk back from that.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Jet's funeral is an extremely somber affair, to both the characters in-universe and viewers. However, it is then described that nearby, a little gumball farmer accidentally dropped some jellybeans and is trying to pick them up. The funeral-goers eventually pause the funereal tone of the scene to ask if he needs some help.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Enforced by the players. Brennan has asked during character creation that each backup character add another level of darkness into the show, and sure enough, all the players agreed:
    • Cumulous Rocks, Zac's secondary character, is an agent of the Spinning Star, an order that curates the magic of Candia to keep it accessible to its people. He's single-mindedly devoted to protecting the magic of Candia, and is completely merciless in his mission. He has, in his words, "a complicated relationship with death", as he doesn't mind that much people dying and in fact kills or tries to kill a lot of people and animals for a temporary boost of vitality or because they annoy him.
    • Saccharina Ghee, Emily's secondary character, is Amethar and Catherine Ghee's daughter, who was ruthlessly abused during all her childhood by the Bulbian nuns who run her orphanage. After an even more traumatising experience where she lost her connection to her aunt Lazuli, the only reassuring presence in her life so far, her hatred of the nuns and their Church grew even more, and she drowned them all. With her army of marauders at her side and as the High-Priestess of the Sweetening Path, she's had to fight dirty all her life to even think of winning against the Church and keep Candia's magical legacy away from them. Her tragic existence throws Amethar's failings back in his face, and greatly heightens them, and her terrible longing for a family of her own makes Ruby's rejection even harsher.
    • While none of the other cast members were able to use their backup characters, the unseen characters consisted of the revenant sugarless corpse of General Rococoa back from the dead for revenge (Siobhan), the angry and violent knight who secretly lusted after Queen Caramelinda (Ally), a necromancer with a body made entirely of melting molasses (Lou), and a horrific bubblegum monster (Murph).
  • Level Ate: Calorum is a world where the populace and surrounding landscape are made of food. The six concordant kingdoms of Calorum are divided into the various groups within the food pyramid: Candia (where all the protagonists hail from), Fructera, Vegetania, Ceresia, the Dairy Islands and the Meat Lands.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Siobhan had played immigrant characters in the two previous main campaigns which had given her an in-game reason not to adopt an American accent. Here, however, Ruby is the only member of the Rocks family with (what we know as) an English accent.
  • The Reveal: Episode 5, "Lapin's Big Day" ends with three bombshell revelations, all in quick succession:
    • King Amethar had a secret marriage to a woman from the Dairy Islands, which was not recognized by the Bulbian Church nor properly annulled.
    • His first marriage means that his second marriage to Queen Caramelinda is illegitimate and Amethar has no rightful claim to the throne. His children Jet and Ruby are also illegitimate bastards and have no claim to the throne.
    • The Pontifex of the Bulbian Church strips all three royals of land and official title, and since Amethar, Jet and Ruby are no longer royalty the title of Candia's ruler goes to the next in line - Duke Joren Jawbreaker - whose family stands in defiance of the Condordant Empire and the Bulbian Church. This leads to the Concordant Empire declaring war on Candia.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever King Amethar talks with someone who he fought with in the Great Ravening War, the conservation somehow always circles around to the fact that they've seen each other shit and piss in the trenches in an attempt to get honest with them.
      • Comes back to be Played for Drama when Lord Cruller stabs King Amethar in the back. The treacherous Lord points out that "a man shits himself when he dies," and that he'd be "happy to watch [Amethar] shit one last time."
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: When the campaign takes a significantly darker turn, lighthearted Team Pet Peppermint Preston is killed in the ensuing fight, while Lord Swirlie and his wife are executed shortly afterwards.
  • Tempting Fate: Brennan looks right into camera during the first fight and says if he kills Peppermint Preston, no one is allowed to get mad at him. Guess what happens a few episodes later?
  • Wham Episode: Again, the reveals of Episode 5 significantly alter the course of the story, with the other five kingdoms declaring war on Candia and their former royal family being forced to go on the run.
  • X Meets Y: This season is Game of Thrones meets Candyland.

    Pirates Of Leviathan 
  • City of Adventure: What else would you expect of a city that's basically a giant floatilla full of pirates?
  • Mundane Utility: A rare evil version. The villains of the campaign want to use a divine artifact in order to sink the city... so they can collect the insurance money.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The city consists of galleons slapped together by pirates with no sense of civil engineering. It's a miracle the city is still floating.
  • Not-So-Safe Harbor: This is Leviathan in a nutshell. How safe it is depends on how comfortable you are with everybody being a pirate.
  • Spin-Off: A direct spinoff to Fantasy High: Sophomore Year.

     Mice & Murder 
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: For Dimension 20 as a whole; this season is a murder mystery and as such, is based around intrigue and politicking.
  • Agent Mulder: Lucretia Brockhollow insists that ghosts, and several other supernatural entities, are real, and is portrayed as very gullible.
  • The Alleged Expert: Daisy, who is meant to be this setting's equivalent of Irene Adler, gets hit hard by Rekha's abysmal rolls in the first few episodes and comes off as incompetent at times. This is Justified as her being thrown off by the presence of her ex-fiance, Sylvester Cross, and she gets better as the series goes on.
  • Anachronism Stew: A couple of minor examples, somewhat Played for Laughs.
    • Daisy is described as tearing open a garbage bag, which didn't exist until over fifty years after this season takes place. Furthermore, the word "Dumpster", from where her surname originates, wouldn't be coined as a term until 1935.
    • A figure named "Eel Musk" is said to own the "5G" phone company and is spying on people through their phones.
  • At Least I Admit It: After Buckster has a conversation with the Squire regarding the deaths in their respective businesses, Ally comments that they prefer Buckster, since he openly states that his workers have died and he doesn't care, while the Squire tries to cover it up.
  • Call-Back: When Sylvester is framed for the murders and seemingly doesn't contest it, Rekha points out that if this is actually the case, it would be the second time where Grant has been the murderer in a murder mystery she's been involved with, referring to an episode of Game Changer where this happened.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The bust of Emperor Barkus Aurelius: it is not only the murder weapon, but the incorrect date on the statuette itself is the combination needed to open the door to the Squire's underground vault of stolen treasure and the morgue where the fake corpses are assembled.
  • Expy: A good portion of the player characters are parodies of figures from Sherlock Holmes, with Sylvester Cross being Sherlock, Lars Vandenchomp being Watson, Daisy D'umpstaire being Irene Adler, and Fletcher Cottonbottom being James Moriarty.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: The mystery is completely solvable for the audience with all the clues laid out by both Brennan and the players even before watching the finale.
  • Faking the Dead: This was the original plan before Squire Brockhollow decided to turn coat, where the deaths of his whole family and their spouses would be faked so that they could go into hiding overseas while Fletcher Cottonbottom dealt with their debt. When the squire got cold feet and attempted to back out, Cottonbottom actually killed him.
  • Foreshadowing: This is a murder mystery, of course there are going to be clues that are brought up later as the mystery gets solved.
    • The fine ground glass that was discovered underneath the secret door into the study: it's the debris of a camera's shattered flash bulb.
    • When Lars, Gangie and Buckster confront the deadly masked assailant at the top of the elevator Gangie strikes them as they're retreating. When his shovel makes contact it causes an audible crunch on the figure's body: turns out Gangie broke the camera on the assailant's person.
    • Daisy can't quite shake her hunch that she's not looking at the real Squire Badger's body. It is in fact the Squire's real body but clues her and the rest of the sleuths into the fact that there is a conspiracy involving decoy corpses.
    • The sleuths are informed that there is a secret third floor to Loam Hall that is solely accessible via the elevator and only at 3 o'clock in the morning. They initially write this off as a little strange and are forced to wait until 3am until they can explore this avenue, until Buckster realizes 3 o'clock doesn't refer to a time, but a direction in which one has to turn the elevator's key to access that floor.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Armand, being an armadillo, is capable of rolling into a ball; he's mentioned that he's being used in a local mill as a millstone.
    • Daisy, a raccoon, eats trash as a Running Gag, even having some stored on her hat.
    • At Daisy and Sylvester's impromptu wedding at the end, the two lick each other affectionately rather than kissing, as actual animals would.
  • Hidden Depths: Gangie, an orphan with no formal education, manages to convey to Sylvester, who is this setting's equivalent of Sherlock Holmes, information about a species of mushroom that uses cyanobacteria in order to generate electricity.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: The collective noun for people in this universe isn't "men", but "beasts", as illustrated by Buckster quite a few times.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Vicar Ian Prescott isn't a Cleric like one might expect, but instead a College of Eloquence Bard. This might be due to the fact that Bards in D&D Fifth Edition are spontaneous casters, and the whole season takes place in a single night, so Ian wouldn't have time to re-prepare spells.
  • Never Suicide: The death of Squire William Brockhollow is initially seen as a suicide due to the fact that the victim was seen stabbing himself with a knife moments before he died but this is quickly disproved by Detective Cross.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: In the same vein, the most obvious murder suspect is the maid Mrs. Molesly as she was the only person present in the room where Squire Badger died. Sylvester Cross again quickly rules them out as a major suspect due to being incapacitated by photosensitive epilepsy during the time the murder took place.
  • Our Mages Are Different: As this takes place in a semi-historical time period, Vicar Ian's bard spells are instead said to be extensions of how well he can interface with people, with Detect Thoughts just being a form of further insight.
  • Politically Correct History: LGBT couples are more commonplace in this setting than would've been expected in the Edwardian era.
  • Running Gag: After a while, Rekha attributes her bad rolls as Daisy to other people looking at her, so in-character she asks people to turn away and attempts to be alone when rolling. Bafflingly enough, it seems to work, with her hitting a Nat 20 while going over some files in the bathroom letting her discover that there's wiring in Loam Hall that allows images to be projected to other parts of the house.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The murder has heavy overtures of the supernatural, as the main setting of Loam Hall has a history of spectral activity and many of the guests believe that a ghost was responsible for the murder. In fact, the electromagnet that was used to kill Squire Badger inadvertently made it appear as if a poltergeist ravaged Squire Brockhollow's study as he was being killed.
    • Additionally, when Fletcher's henchmen are framing Sylvester for the crimes that have taken place in Loam Hall, it's made to seem like that the supposed killer is able to commit murder through magical and psychic means.
  • Secret Stab Wound: Squire Brockhollow never revealed that he was injured in the Schnauzer War, because he was injured while engaged in a war crime— to be specific, looting.
  • Shout-Out: A badger lady named Constance.
  • The Summation: Parodied in the finale. Buckster, not Sylvester, does end up gathering everybody in the drawing room claiming he has solved the mystery but in fact is acting as a diversion while the rest of the Sylvan Sleuths are busy uncovering the real killer's identity.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While there are fairly high skill scores across the board, the party is still at 3rd Level, which is barely out of the gate in most 5e campaigns. In addition, several of them have HP that barely breaks into the double digits; Lars barely survives an attack from the Masked Figure, and said attack would most assuredly have outright killed some of the other Sleuths who were with him.
  • Webcomic Time: Barring a couple of flashbacks, the entire season takes place over the course of a few hours in-universe, while the season is about twelve hours long.
  • World of Funny Animals: Set in an alternate world where everyone is an anthropomorphic animal of one kind or another.
  • X Meets Y: This season is a Victorian murder mystery (Sherlock Holmes, the oeuvre of Agatha Christie) meets The Wind in the Willows.

    Misfits and Magic 
  • Badass Creed: The exchange students coin one for Chimeron: "Mess with the goat, get the horns!"
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Sam adopts an adorable little piglet as her magical familiar she says she's going to name it after her favorite movie. Danielle is clearly teeing up to say Babe but instead calls the pig Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Breaking Old Trends: This is the first season of Dimension 20 where Brennan Lee Mulligan is a player, leaving the DMing duties to Aabria Iyengar. This is also the first season to use a completely different system from D&D5e.
  • Deconstruction: The entire campaign is a massive one for the kind of magical society and school Harry Potter had popularized, from its utter disconnection to the real world to how terrible the Wizarding School system would actually be for the students involved.
  • Deconstructive Parody: It takes the piss out of Harry Potter by ruthlessly parodying all its famous tropes.
  • Expy: Judging from their character art and introductory scene the trio of Digsby, Fergus and Tallulah are meant to be parodies of Harry, Ron and Hermione respectively.
  • Muggle: This is actually considered a slur in this universe.
  • Portmanteau:
    • In episode 1 the term "wandmart" is given to a theoretical Walmart of wands.
  • Punny Name: The magical item that sorts students into the houses of Gowpenny is called the Confirmation Dais.note 
  • Shout-Out: Evan is pretty much an Expy of Tom Riddle with shades of Severus Snape. The shadow that torments him is also possibly a reference to A Wizard of Earthsea, in which the main character is also tormented by his shadow and defeats it in a similar way, by accepting it and making it part of himself.
  • Small, Secluded World: The wizarding world is completely isolated from the modern world to the point where radios are unheard of. They don't even have the concept of modern plumbing.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Gowpenny Academy is occasionally spelled as Galpenny in the subtitles.
  • Take That!: Pretty much everybody onboard has stated this series would be a ruthless takedown of Harry Potter and its creator.
  • Toilet Humor: There are no restrooms at Gowpenny, wizards just go anywhere and then magic it away.note 
  • Tomato Surprise: Episode 4 has one on the level of The Matrix - magic ability is already latent in everybody.
  • Wizarding School: Gowpenny is basically Hogwarts in all but name, down to the very similarly divided house system with appropriately stereotyped animal crests.
    • Noble Bird of Prey: Hercinil is the heroic red and gold house in the same vein as Gryffindor. It also seems like they're the faculty favorite.
    • Scary Scorpions: Aqrabus is the cunning green and black house like Slytherin. They're also stereotyped as evil.
    • Cunning Like a Fox: Messanteu is the smart blue and copper house a la Ravenclaw. It's even explicitly stated that students can fail out of Messanteu for poor academic performance.
    • Extreme Omni-Goat: Chimeron is the yellow and pewter Hufflepuff House, and like Hufflepuff they're often ignored but they get the best food. Naturally, these are where our misfit protagonists are thrown in.

    The Seven 
  • Amazon Brigade: The party is made up of every kidnapped maiden from season one. Kicking ass and taking names all on their own.
  • Apocalypse How: Quests monitored by the Ministry of Adventure are classified from an A to F scale, which is determined by how impactful to the world at large the quest's conflict will be. For reference:
    • F class is the smallest, affecting a municipality.
    • E class quests affect a region within a country.
    • D class quests affect a country/continent.
    • C class quests affect a planet.
    • B class quests affect a plane of existence.
    • A class quests are the largest, and put the entire multiverse at risk. Talura grants Sam's accidental wish by initiating a class A quest, which she exploits to bring her sisters back into the physical realm but doom the multiverse to unmaking in the process.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Invoked, due to some of the Seven being close to graduation. This causes all the girls to figure out a way to prevent breaking up via quests and a GED.
  • Deconstruction: A lot of the zaniness of the original Fantasy High campaign is replaced by more serious dramatic character work, deconstructing some elements of the original campaign such as Sam and Penelope's relationship and Ostentatia's troubled home life. This is especially true with regard to the Bad Kids' impact on Elmville and the world of Spyre. Though that's not to say there's not also lot of jokes.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "The Seven" refers to both the Seven Maidens and the Seven Eidolons, with deliberate parallels between the two.
  • Found Family: All of the Seven consider each other sisters and will do whatever it takes to stay together.
  • How We Got Here: The opening of the first episode has the maidens chained up from the events of Fantasy High before they flash forward to their lives in Elmsville.
  • One Last Field Trip: Or in this case, one last epic quest before the group can graduate. Whether or not they'll be able to stick together is the underlying theme for this season.
  • Retcon: As a result of the Seven now being player characters, a lot of character details are adjusted from their Fantasy High incarnations.
    • Ostentatia has become "Jersey mansion trash". Additionally, thanks to a bit on Adventuring Party, the pronunciation of her name is changed to /wəˈlɑːt͡ʃˌeɪ/ ("wuh-LAHTCH-ay") to reflect her being the fantasy equivalent of an Italian-American.
    • In her short appearence in Fantasy High: Sophmore Year Danielle was much more emotive, openly showing frustration about Ostentatia dating a guy she liked, than she would at the beginning of The Seven.
    • Some classes have changed from the character builds released prior to Sophomore Year, to benefit the players and give them more control.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever Brennan describes a potentially arousing scene (i.e. an attractive NPC or a player's epic turn), everybody at the table whips out their fans in approval.
    • Yelle getting high on various psychoactive plants she ingests and contemplating her hands.
  • Share Phrase: Originally drawn from Ostentatia and her family, the Seven develop a habit of angrily, but affectionately, shouting "I LOVE YOU" at each other in a Joisey accent.
  • Spin-Off: The second spinoff series to Fantasy High which involves other students from Augefort Academy.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In a world where teens are schooled in the art of deadly adventuring, the death of one of their own for trying to instigate an apocalypse has devastating effects for her immediately family.

     Shriek Week 

  • Botanical Abomination: The sentient, monster-eating plant that slowly infiltrates and abducts the student populace.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Megan's fermentation projects are usually bizarre and off-putting concoctions that everyone around her are reluctant to consume. Some are genuinely good, while most others are downright foul to the point it's painfully acidic to the evil plant monster taking over the campus.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Monsters from mythologies from all over the world appear as students and faculty at Bram University.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Bram University's is "B. U.", a play on the phrase "Be You."
  • History with Celebrity: Seven frequently mentions the fact that her father is The Count from Sesame Street and name drops other Muppets as among her godparents and family friends.
  • Monster Mash: The main cast alone is made up of a werewolf, a ghost, a vampire witch and a mummy. The supporting cast ranges from other vampires and werewolves, a Frankenstein's monster, a chupacabra, Mothman, the descendants of Van Helsing and many others.
  • Once an Episode: Every morning when the main characters wake up to a new day, it always features a pre-recorded clip from the university's local radio show announcing the day's events.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Wacky College: Bram University is a college populated by classic horror movie monsters who get up to all sorts of shenanigans.

     A Starstruck Odyssey 

  • Action Prologue: The first episode immediately opens with the crew of the Red Hot weaving through an asteroid field while being assaulted by an armada of drone ships.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Despite Margaret's insistence that Lucienne is all in on Crown & Scepter's evil acts, not to mention her engagement to the future CEO, the more the show goes on, the less simple Lucienne's motives look. When Lucienne finally shows up in person and has a somewhat-candid conversation with Margaret, she seems more selfish than really bad, but is still adversarial. She's in a dangerous position with UFTP after being dragged into Natalia's schemes, and while she views Gnosis as a wonder who deserves protecting, she also absolutely wants to use them to save herself.
  • Arc Words: "The ball is rolling up!"
  • Berserk Button: Barry hates Fantanimalland, since it was where the Barry massacre happened.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are a truly staggering number of major antagonists in A Starstruck Odyssey, from small-time proldiers like Jan De La Vega to high ranking executives like Lucienne Rex. Ultimately though, the two main antagonists are the corrupt Amercadian Admiral Gust Weatherall and the Cerebro Slug King Prilbus, with the latter being the true Big Bad behind the main plot, and the former being the most persistent enemy hunting the crew of the Wurst in order to bury his heinous crimes. For the most part, the various antagonists are unrelated to each other, and when they’re all in the same place for the finale, it doesn’t take much to turn them all against each other.
  • Cain and Abel: More like Cain and Abels. For unknown reasons, Barry's brother Barry Nyne killed all of their other siblings, and would have killed Barry Syx too if not for the fact his power cell was empty. Subverted when it turns out that Barry Nyne wasn't responsible—he was hijacked by a brain slug when he split off from the other Barrys.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Aurora Nebbins is a royal blue mastiff entered in a dog show. A royal blue mastiff is apparently a spine-covered, fanged, venomous twenty-foot beast.
  • Continuity Cameo: Captain Galatia 9 and Brucilla from the original comic series make an appearance at the final battle, helping out the heroes. They don't stick around very long.
  • Crapsack World: From what has been seen so far of this setting it is a harrowing place to live in. Special mention has to go to Gunthrie and Sundry Sidney's backstories in particular. Gunthrie was turned into a cyborg after a disastrous first trek into space and is renting his robotic body from a greedy insurance company who literally charges him for every breath he takes, while Sidney is from a discontinued line of multi-purpose service androids and was about to be melted into scrap before she made her escape. Best exemplified by the original comic's mantra, repeated by Brennan here: "It's a tough galaxy out there, but somebody's gotta live in it."
    • Crapsaccharine World: The Griivar worlds put a lot of effort into being picture-perfect, cheery theme parks, but they are just as bad as the rest of the galaxy, featuring a totalitarian government, zoo exhibits with people in them (the Aguatunisians are at least free to come and go, but they're still being exploited), surveillance and ominous "correction" centers fronted by smiling Uncle Bobs.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: While the fight against the Sheriff isn't actually this, due to a well-timed natural 20 on an intimidation check, the mess left behind makes it look like it was. As a result, the rest of the cops believe they're dealing with people much stronger than the Gunner Channel actually are, and decide to skip town.
  • The Dinnermobile: A sci-fi variation of one. The spaceship The Red Hot is shaped like a giant hot dog; it's explained that it is a former Amercadian lunch freighter that Captain Norman repurposed into a smuggling ship.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sidney forgives Auma for selling out the Gunner Channel basically immediately, reasoning that this character's betrayal was not about the money, but about UFTP's claim that giving up the Wurst's location would ensure the Gunner Channel wouldn't be hurt. Later she adds that she's only forgiven this character for putting her in danger, but she's mad on behalf of the rest of the crew.
  • The Enemy of My Enemy: The great big finale battle looks like all the Wurst's enemies against the Gunner Channel...until our heroes savvily deploy the evidence they gathered of UFTP's planned buyout of the Grivarr Worlds. Uncle Bob chummily thanks them for "helping a pal out" and swings around to aim at the UFTP ships.
  • Frame-Up: After Gust Weatherall's strange interaction with Skip, during which Riva gets a clear sense of danger from Weatherall, the news immediately starts reporting that Norm Takamori is responsible for the massacre of twelve nuns. Later turns out to actually have been the Sisters of the Cosmic Veil, and they weren't specifically targeting Norm—it was just bad luck that Weatherall took advantage of. The Sisters stole the valuable crystals that the Gunner Channel thought they were stealing, and covered up the theft by making it look like a proldier attack.
  • Free-Range Children: The Galactic Girl Guides seem to have no adult supervision whatsoever. (It is Anarchera, after all.)
  • Gold Digger: Lucienne, Margaret's very close friend (and quite possibly more in the past), gets a sweet promotion after becoming engaged to a scion of Crown & Scepter's majority owners, and basically admits to Margaret that the marriage is just for her own career. Later revealed to be faked—Lucienne made up the engagement to save herself from being collateral damage in Natalia's plan to fake her own death.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The bachelerotte party Riva recruits to sell Pleasure Putty end up being a little too into it. Zvoon gets so excited about being her own boss that she accidentally blows up the factory.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Edwina Castor is about to say something unflattering to Sidney, except:
    Dr. Castor: There's good engineering work in you, it's just the concept is fl—
    Riva and Margaret: [meaningful negative noises]
    Gunnie: No.
    Dr. Castor:fine.
  • Historical Domain Character: Of a sort. In episode 6, it's revealed that Gnosis's programming was based on the late '90s/early 2000s Microsoft AI assistant Clippy.
  • Manchild: The Barrys, before their deaths, were a downplayed version of this, enjoying going to a theme park and eating ice cream as their reward for a successful mission, and basically acting like giant kids—justified, because Barry and his brothers were all decanted fully grown, so they kind of are giant kids.
  • Meet the New Boss: Happened in the backstory of the setting. The Evil Empire was overthrown...and then the evil Crown & Scepter corporation took over. In fact, the new boss is almost literally the same as the old boss, because the main stakeholders of Crown & Scepter are the evil dictator's descendants.
  • Mistaken Identity: At the dog show, a mercenary mistakes a disguised Barry for one of his own comrades and starts chiding him for not following the plan. It soon becomes clear that he recognizes Barry just fine—he's just wrong about which Barry he's talking to.
  • Mood Whiplash: Barry's backstory flips suddenly from a fun action-movie-esque adventure of big, buff brothers saving innocents and celebrating their accomplishments at an amusement park to a brutal scene of fratricide.
  • Mundane Utility: The Galactic Girl Guides found the Plinth, an ancient, eldritch alien construct of immense psychic power which hates all organic life and longs to destroy the universe, in the heart of a dying star, and have been using it a battle royale several years running.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Zortch, the youngest royal of Rubian V, has no experience living outside the palace, and sucks at any kind of intrigue or sneaking around. They're aware they're not good at it, which stresses them out.
    Zortch: I hope you're the good guys, because I've just been trusting everybody.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Plug of Plug's Butt-Ugly Stuff Hut wryly says he's heard every possible permutation of the obvious "butt plug" joke.
  • Oh, Crap!: A mutual one during the dog show (see Mistaken Identity). The random merc tells Barry that his number is upside down, leading Barry to realize who exactly the merc has mistaken him for. His reaction in turn tips the merc off.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: Several corporations exist in this universe that basically act as ruling, governmental bodies. Two of note include the UFTP (United Free Trade Planets) and its parent company Crown & Scepter. Together these two companies own a large number of planets, and their executives actually outrank the ruling monarchies and leaders of said planets.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Dr. Edwina, one of the scientists who developed Sundry Sidney, gives her the tacit approval she needs to escape before she's melted down. Later it turns out to be actually have been Auma Lu, who came up with the idea for Sidney in the first place, who made sure Sidney could escape.
    • When Lucienne realizes that Margaret is on the Griivar worlds at the same time the Guernican Art Squad plans a strike, she sends her an unusually candid warning to get off the planet immediately.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: When a Smash 'n Grab employer asks the team for a spurious "proldier's license", clearly as a way to swindle them out of their payment (conveniently, the "expedited fee" for the license is exactly the amount of credits the job was supposed to pay), a pissed-off Skip says "I've got your proldier's license right here!" and kicks him in the head with his new gun boots. And then proceeds to roll a natural 20 on initiative.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: In episode 2 we meet Zac's real character, the parasitic creature that takes over Takamori's body.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The main cast is the very definition of a motley crew, with the eternally frustrated captain possessed by a runaway prince brain parasite, a people-pleasing rogue android, a meathead clone trooper, a happy-go-lucky psychic alien roped into a multi-level marketing scheme, an unlucky cyborg who is literally renting his own right to live by a miserly insurance company and a businesswoman.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite their sheltered upbringing, Princeps Zortch has taken an active hand in trying to protect their moon.
  • Serious Business: In episode 3, the team is offered a job with a massive payout in great secrecy that turns out to be sabotaging a show dog so it can't compete.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Margaret reacts with great embarrassment to anyone pointing out that her feelings for Lucienne are obviously not platonic. When Riva describes her as being in love with Lucienne on Baustin, she lets out an exasperated yell and stomps dramatically behind a cactus.
  • Shipper on Deck: Riva and Sidney have gotten really invested in Margaret and Lucienne getting together. Riva repeatedly describes Margaret's feelings as romantic, and when the Gunner Channel meets Lucienne in person for the first time, they read her mind solely to see how she feels about Margaret. Sidney, meanwhile, wingwomans her heart out every chance she gets.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • When the ship is being attacked, the manager from the lower deck asks Norman if he can push it back 90 minutes, since they're having a quarterly meeting and it's really hard to schedule those.
    • The Fantanimalland protector droids do nothing about violence inside the park...until it interfers with Gunnie trying to buy a maple cake. Gunnie takes advantage of this by dragging out the purchase as long as he possibly can so he can keep using them as a shield from the Guernican Art Squad.
  • Space Opera: Appears to be leaning into this side of science fiction, set the time of Anarchera after the fall of a tyrannical dictator and the galaxy has been plunged into lawless chaos.
  • Spin-Off: An actual play series based in the universe of Starstruck written by Elaine Lee (who also happens to be Brennan's mother). While it shares continuity with the comic, it follows a completely original cast of characters on their own adventure in the same galaxy.
  • Unfazed Everyman:
    • The Jib Job workers, despite being otherwise ordinary white collar professionals, consider a "hot exit"—ie, the ship their coworking space is on leaving a port under heavy fire—no more objectionable or frightening than heavy traffic.
    • The Swallop's employees are completely used to massive shootouts happening inside the restaurant. The only thing that surprises them is the Gunner Channel tipping them afterwards.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Averted hard when Norman becomes drastically nicer in Episode 2 due to being possessed by whatever "Skip" is. Everyone is delighted with his new personality and makes absolutely no move to reverse the situation, even though they all know full well Skip isn't Norman because of Riva's psychic powers.
  • Wham Episode: "Every Day is Our Wurst Day", Episode 4, has the reveal that "Skip" is in fact a cerebroslug prince who is running away from an unspecified plot of the cerebroslugs, the moon of Rubian V is powering a massively powerful AI called Gnosis, Barry Nyne is on Rec 97 with them and has been hired to assassinate the Princeps, and Norm is accused of having murdered twelve nuns.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Played for Laughs. Barry is originally opposed to taking the job to sabotage Aurora Nebbins and insists they find a way that won't hurt the animal, but when he realizes that a royal blue mastiff is actually a hulking, venomous monstrosity he's much more willing to just shoot her.

     Coffin Run 
  • Adoptive Peer Parent: May is Squing's stepmother and also younger than he is, due to having been turned centuries after him.
  • Berate and Switch: Aleksandr calls out Florina for trying to dupe them, and then declares that he loves it.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Isabella Roland chews every single available piece of the landscape as Aleksandr.
  • Double Entendre: When May sees Dracula's seal on a letter, she excitedly declares that she "loves the D".
  • The Eeyore: Drago, the group's carriage driver, is extremely depressed because of his wife's death and cannot be cheered up. Wetzel teaching him how to do affirmations only makes him slightly less sad.
    Drago, still in a depressed monotone: I have large manhood.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Dimitri's attempts at being dramatic are repeatedly foiled by the fact he is a very small, very cute bat, so everyone just squees at whatever he does.
  • Godiva Hair: When Marina transforms back to her human form, she has no clothes, but her hair is long enough to cover most of what clothes would anyway.
  • His Name Is...: Dracula is very worried about some important issue, but just as he's about to explain what, half his head gets taken off by a cannonball. (He's not actually dead—he is Dracula, after all—just out of commission.)
  • I Never Got Any Letters: The other end of this trope. Aleksandr has sent loads of letters to his wife...and Squing ate all of them.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The Fang Gang all feel this way.
    May, after being told immortality "gets old": I never get old! That's the point!
  • Mirror Monologue: Wetzel carries a little mirror around so he can do these whenever he feels sad. Later he tries to help May out by lending her the mirror, but it backfires because she just gets upset that she has no reflection.
    Wetzel: Hey, buddy. You're doing good. No need to cry in the bathtub.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Turns out that when Aleksandr traded gifts with one of the monster hunters, the "gift" she gave him was actually a tracking charm that is cursed so he can't take it off on his own. To compound it, the gift he gave her is a perfectly functional device.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Dimitri, Dracula's tiny bat familiar who wears an adorable tiny schoolboy outfit to match. Carlos Luna jokes that if anyone wants to draw him, the Fang Gang are photorealistic, but Dimitri is an "adorable cartoon".
  • Running Gag:
    • Squing's propensity to eat letters.
    • Zarb's six buttholes will somehow come up every time he appears.
    • In episode 4, Squing says "I've heard of a CAT scan, but..." in an attempt to set up a joke about cats vs dogs. But he's prevented from completing the joke because he doesn't actually know what a CAT scan is, so he just keeps repeating it every time he attacks a werewolf in the hopes somebody will give him a punchline.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the Fang Gang discuss whether to just take the letters from Dimitri, Wetzel asks "isn't that a federal offense?" as if breaking a law is their biggest problem right now. (The answer is apparently yes, even though Dimitri is a magical bat and they're in Transylvania.)
  • Skyward Scream: Aleksandr stabs himself in the leg and howls upward when he realizes not a single letter he's written to his wife the past seven years actually got posted.
  • Street Urchin: Florina, a sassy Tomboy orphan who has been on her own since her father died.
  • Vampire Vannabe: The human members of the Fang Gang want to be vampires. Florina later seeks out Dracula because she wants to be a vampire too, and demands the Fang Gang write her recommendation letters so Dracula will turn her in exchange for her help getting food.
  • Weakened by the Light: The vampires lose all their racial abilities when the sun comes up (for instance, they no longer have their bite attacks), though they can still cast their spells.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Anti-Vampire Vampire Club want Dracula dead because they think it will turn them back human, which they all want. The Fang Gang, even the human members, find this idea ridiculous.

     A Court of Fey and Flowers 
  • Berserk Button: Hob is very, very protective of his fellow Goblin Court members, particularly the Viscountess Gribalba. Whatever happened to cause the strictly hypothetical engagement between her and Apollo to be called off is also clearly a sore spot for him—he nearly loses his temper when it comes up.
  • Beneath Notice: When Gwyndolin's reputation tracker falls low enough, the social-climbing-obsessed Bloom guests start to regard them as irrelevant, and are all too happy to ignore her as much as (or more than) politeness allows—so much so that she gets a bonus d10 to every stealth check.
  • Blatant Lies: Hob insists that Gribalba's engagement to Prince Apollo of the Court of Wonders was merely in discussion, and never fully formalized (presumably because this is less embarrassing for her). This would be more believable if the couple hadn't basically made it to the altar before whatever it was that scuppered the nuptials happened—and if Hob wasn't making this claim to the face of Rue, who planned the whole shebang.
  • Central Theme: Both "be yourself" and "connection is important". Everyone's circumstances improve dramatically when they stop trying to force themselves to be things they're not and genuinely reach out to the rest of the party for help and companionship.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Suntar gives a dramatic speech about how the archfey live forever and she will destroy Andhera later and casts Dimension Door, only for Chirp to immediately counterspell her and Hob to literally boot her through the door to the material plane.
  • Foreshadowing: Rue, despite being the person who knows everyone who's anyone, and despite her being from the same court as them, doesn't recognize Gwyndolin. She's also quite good at deception and stealth for a Naïve Newcomer wallflower who's always lived in her famous sister's shadow. Because they're not "Gwyndolin" or from the Court of Wonder at all.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: The archfey are...somewhat unclear...on how humans work. Squak has to be told that human toddlers don't have favorite drugs.
  • I Meant to Do That: When Andhera orders an advisor to get out of his personal space, he crit fails, leading the advisor to lean even closer. He awkwardly declares that he was actually trying to make the advisor do that.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Upon Chirp revealing that she's already married, Squak mixes together pretty much every liquor they've got.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    • When Rue and Hob are obviously on the verge of an emotional discussion, Andhera says they need to go "see the outside" and invites Binx to come along.
    • For a second round, Binx awkwardly declares that she has a "thing", and Andhera adds that they have to make sure the "thing" doesn't get out of hand, before both of them literally flee the scene.
  • I Never Got Any Letters: Wuvvy very specificially does not deliver the second letter Rue writes to Hob, despite saying that she will.
  • Intimate Healing: Invoked. When Theodore accidentally throws him off a little too hard during the hunt, Squak lies on the ground and declares that he's injured and needs "sexy help" from Theodore and only Theodore. (Andhera, who's also there, is confused to no end until Chirp explains he's flirting.)
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: According to the Lords of the Wing, anyway.
  • Really Gets Around: Squak and Chirp have spent the previous Blooms sleeping around. A lot. Squak is challenged at the initial soiree by a woman whose two sisters he became, ahem, acquainted with and then jilted. And then manages to apologize so suavely he seduces her too.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Andhera tells his mother that she and his sister clearly aren't getting whatever it is they're trying to do done, so she'd better tell him so he can actually accomplish it.
    Andhera: And if that hurts your tender feelings, I suggest you pack it down.
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever Squak and Chirp talk about their grandfather, they look up, and then explain he's not dead, he's just literally in the sky.
    • Squak and Chirp sabotage one of their chairs in a (failed) attempt to pull a power move on Rue. They forget to get rid of it, and their other guests keep sitting on it.
    • Squak being a total menace with the Polymorph spell.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Prince Apollo tries to kill him in a secluded area, Hob simply books it as fast as he can. Sure, he could beat Apollo, but as Hob is significantly lower in standing from a court with much less social cachet, all of the negative consequences of a fight between them would fall on Hob, regardless of it being self-defense.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • At the masquerade ball, Rue and Hob try to literally push Binx and Andhera together.
    • Binx and Andhera return the favor for Rue and Hob, with both eventually just straight-up telling Rue that Hob is in love with them.
  • Stealth Pun: When one of their warlocks asks for more invocations, Binx says he needs more experience first.
  • Take a Third Option: Andhera declares that he will join Binx's court, but he's not forswearing his birth court, because he doesn't see why a person should have to choose only one. This is an unstable situation, but Andhera's successful saving throw means he's making it work.
  • A Threesome Is Hot: Several courtiers look disappointed when Squak and Chirp clarify they're looking for separate spouses.
  • Verbal Backspace: Literally. When Chirp accidentally reveals to her grandfather that she went to the material plane, she casts Gift of Gab. This replaces the remark that tipped him off with a more anodyne comment about how excited she is to make a good match.
  • Wham Line:
    • At the end of episode 4, Baroness Ephendra of the Seaform Court addresses Squak as "my betrothed".
    • Continuing the trend of the Lords of the Wing dropping these, in episode 6, Chirp says, "Cousin, I'm married!"
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Even when Gribalba and Apollo's wedding was called off, the party still went on, since Rue's party planning skills are far too superior to be thwarted by an issue so trivial as the bride and groom not actually getting married. This apparently led to many regrettable drunken incidents.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: While Cinderella's stepsisters are implied to have been just as bad as in the fairytale, their deaths by way of being eaten by their own mother is still portrayed as horrifying.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Said outright by Baba Yaga when the Stepmother comes to her seeking answers as to why her life has turned out so badly. Getting those answers really, really doesn't help.
    Baba Yaga: I give you something now which will break you, because you have asked for it. And let this be a lesson to be careful what you ask for.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There are several overarching villains, all with their own goals, and none of which appear to be working together.
    • The Fairies want to keep everyone trapped in their stories, dictating how those stories go and getting Control Freaky when things don't follow their plans.
    • The Gander, at least according to the Golden Goose, is the force responsible for the Time of Shadows, as wherever the Gander travels, things turn dark and sinister.
    • The Stepmother appears to be the worst of them all, as while the Fairies maintain stories for better or worse, and the Gander corrupts them, Stepmother outright consumes them, something that has turned her into an Eldritch Abomination.
    • The Council of Princesses seek to free themselves and everyone else from the horrific stories they are trapped in by erasing them outright and hoping something better will be made from the aftermath. This plan would doom the rest of the Neverafter to unmaking, pushing them into Anti-Villain territory.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: In the dark world of the Neverafter, there are few purely good characters, even amongst the main protagonists (Rosamund and Timothy being the exceptions). The villains of the Neverafter range from the irredeemably vile (the Gander, the Stepmother) to evil but with understandable motives (the Fairies, the Baron of Bricks) to antagonistic but not without reason (the Princesses).
  • Black-and-White Morality: This is Pinocchio's main problem. He comes from a story where things are only either bad or good, with no consideration for circumstances. He's blamed and berated for lying about Gepetto's name, even though telling the truth would have gotten Gepetto killed.
  • Blatant Lies: Gerard finds a lot of dead bodies in cocoons in the spiders' lair. To spare Miss Muffet's feelings, he insists that everybody in the cocoons managed to cut their way out and escape.
  • Body Horror:
    • Princess Rosamund du Prix awakens after 100 years of slumber with thorny briars growing out of her mouth and nostrils. The roots are in her stomach.
    • The partially transformed inanimate objects transformed by the fairy godmother include a man with a literal barrel for a chest who struggles to breathe without lungs and an anvil-headed blacksmith who pounds his head with hammers, presumably in an attempt at echolocation.
    • Since Pinocchio is made of wood, rather than bleeding when hurt, his limbs fall off and bugs start to burrow inside him. After the TPK in episode 3, he starts episode 4 full of insects.
    • Little Miss Muffet's spider half is joined badly to her human half, more like something clamped onto her than actually her own, and bleeds curds and whey (simulated in all its gooey horror by the special effects team).
    • Seeing the Stepmother's true from causes the Wicked Fairy to rupture her voice box with screaming and tear out her own eyes.
    • Mira - a.k.a. the Little Mermaid - describes walking as total agony and like stepping on knives. This is a case of Shown Their Work as this is true to the original fairy tale.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: This campaign gradually evolves into one, once the characters are reborn twice upon a time and discover the multiversal nature of their existence. Both the Gander and the Stepmother are dangerous dimension-traversing entities with a penchant for inducing madness. Even the Authors are treated like Eldritch Abominations of such vast, unknowable power whose attention you really, REALLY don't want to grab.
  • Crapsack World: The Neverafter is going through a period known as the Times of Shadow, turning the realm into this trope. What was once a land of pure and happy fairy tales has turned into one of horror and trauma due to the Gander's influence. This also applies to the realms of the Endless Nights and the Land of Birds and Beasts.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Nonfatal, though not for lack of trying. After watching Timothy's book absorb Cole, everyone but Timothy and Pib immediately touches it. Gerard and Pinocchio get off okay, but whatever Red sees forms wolf jaws and tries to bite her, and Rosamund at first sees a false vision of a prince before getting an armored woman who addresses her as "sister" and expresses surprise that she's awake. When Timothy looks back at that page, the parchment forms into the sister's hand and tries to strangle him.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The Baba Yaga gets distracted by giving Pib belly rubs for a solid thirty seconds.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Pinocchio points out that Toy Island can make plenty of money without turning anybody into donkeys.
  • Exact Words: When Rapunzel came to put the princesses' proposal to the Baba Yaga, the witch threatened to pull out her tongue if she told a lie. At the end of her speech, the Baba Yaga asked if, had she told Rapunzel to tell the truth rather than not lie, she would now have Rapunzel's tongue—and Rapunzel politely curtsied and left without answering.
  • Flat Character: Discussed. Various characters talk about how it feels like they aren't allowed to be complicated or change as people—Elody is unhappy in her marriage to Gerard because it feels like they're just supposed to be a one-note, generic happy couple, Miss Muffet laments that the only thing anyone remembers about her is that she's scared of spiders, and so on.
  • Forced Transformation: Shortly after arriving in Elegy, the party meets a group of mice who live in fear of the fairy who transformed them into footmen.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Neverafter portrays fairy tales characters and stories, but with a lot of elements twisted beyond recognition. For example, Cinderella's stepmother - who also happens to be Pinocchio's stepmother - turned into a monstrous creature after eating Cinderella's stepsisters to gain the magic she has now.
    • The party later encounters a hideous spider creature who turns out to be Little Miss Muffet. Her transformation is specifically noted to be an aberration and not usual of the Neverafter's dark nature, but something else entirely.
  • Grimmification: A horror themed campaign where the party are a collection of classic fairy tale characters with a dark twist.
  • Happily Ever After: Deconstructed with Gerard. While his story ended happily with him marrying the princess, that was not the end of his story, as a love story doesn't end with marriage. Since he never put in the effort to maintain his relationship beyond marriage, it fell apart and he was turned back into a frog.
  • Hero of Another Story: Episode 5 ("Down Came the Rain") introduces Scheherazade (of One Thousand and One Nights fame), another storyteller who owns a magical book very similar to Mother Goose's. She exists in a separate realm known as the Endless Nights and can only communicate through her book. Like the party, she has also discovered the true nature of her realm and is travelling with her own party made up of at least Sinbad the sailor and his giant Roc.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: When the party is on their second life, they come to a Neverafter where the giants never invaded the kingdom of Marienne. It's an aberration where it distinctly feels like something has been edited. When they travel to the Land of the Giants, they descend a beanstalk and to their surprise discover they are in fact the giants in this version and have destroyed a swath of the Lilliputians' countryside on pure accident.
  • Mind Rape: The mice that were transformed into footmen by the Fairy Godmother weren't just forcibly transformed into people (which was traumatizing enough on its own), but also made to be perfect servants, which included making them want to serve.
  • Mood Whiplash: The entire table corpses for almost a minute at "Grandma, your teeth are honkin' big!" But then, of course, the answer is "All the better to eat you with"—except instead of the wolf eating her, Ylfa gets stuck in her tale, as the woodsman never arrives, and she slowly begins to starve to death as time progresses without the story progressing.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Timothy's son Jack was killed by the Gander. His desire to get his son back is what causes him to make the wishes that resulted in his getting his book and setting out towards Shoeberg.
  • Portal Crossroad World: The Lines Between, an extradimensional library that acts as a hub between the various realms of stories.
  • Rage Against the Author: Quite a few characters have a beef with the people who wrote their story, namely the Stepmother and the Princesses. Though the Authors have not appeared in the flesh, many characters wish to fight and kill them.
  • Resurrective Immortality: If you're a character in a fairy tale, when you "die", you simply move to a new version of your tale. However, this is a risky business; you'll reset back to the start (separating you from companions, possibly putting you back in a dangerous situation), and there's a high chance that you'll end up in a nastier version of your story, as most of the Lighter and Softer versions have already been destroyed.
  • Running Gag: Gerard's book of fancily-named sword forms, which get name-checked whenever he fights someone.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Stepmother tells Pinocchio that she'll give him more power, but it requires blood—and since Pinocchio happens to be made of wood, that blood is going to have to come from somebody else, namely Gepetto. When Pinocchio tries to refuse her gifts, she tells him that he's perfectly free to do so, but that means Gepetto will be returned to the normal world sick and alone, with no one to look after him. Pinocchio backs down and accepts the magic.
  • Speak of the Devil: Upon learning of the Authors' existence, the party fears that saying their names might draw unwanted attention or even worse, invoke their presence. They resort to writing their names down or substituting it by calling them the Arthurs.
  • Straw Nihilist: This is essentially the Princesses' perspective on the world. Having suffered through these awful, traumatic stories they see nothing worth salvaging and plan to erase their stories and by extension destroy the entirety of the Neverafter. Because as Snow White puts it, even if they do write something better, it will always be a reflection of what came before and no one deserves to be in a story like that.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The Authors are successfully fought off, and the characters are allowed to write their own endings. The Gander, the Stepmother, the fairies and the princesses all perform Heel-Face Turns and join the others in the Happily, the dead heroes are resurrected, and Puss In Boots steals back all the things the party gave to Baba Yaga.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Puss in Boots' backstory is that, after the end of the fairy tale, it turns out that a miller's son was not quite prepared for statecraft, nor for the emotional toll of constantly lying to his partner, resulting in the kingdom collapsing as soon as there were any actual problems.
    • It becomes clear that Gerard isn't an Upper-Class Twit for no reason—it's because being a frog for a large chunk of his youth meant he missed out on normal social development, not to mention the education a head of state normally requires. Being turned into a small prey animal, it turns out, doesn't impart any valuable life lessons, it's just exhausting and traumatizing.
  • Total Party Kill: Episode 3 ("No Place for a Prince or Princess") ends with Dimension 20's first total party kill, with the characters getting killed by either the Fairy Godmother or her army of animated objects. However, while these versions of their characters die their story continues with other iterations that exist in the Neverafter.
  • True Love's Kiss: Mentioned several times as the antidote to any given curse. Rosamund managed to wake up without one (although the briars are still there), while Gerard's apparently has a take-back clause.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The fairies really do think they're doing the right thing. Unfortunately, their idea of the "right thing" doesn't include believing that happily ever afters might not actually make people happy. Turquina's stance is that a generic happy ending you might not be completely satisfied with is better than attracting the attention of The Authors and possibly causing them to rewrite reality into an even Darker and Grittier version of itself.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The Fairy Godmother was stabbed in the heart by her princess with a shard of the princess's glass slipper. She is for some reason unable to remove the shard and is still bleeding and leaking magic.

    The Ravening War 
  • Call-Back:
    • In the trailer, Matt asks Brennan and Aabria if there's a campaign they want him to focus on and they list past campaigns that they've run. When Matt finds the Box with the Crown of Candy, it's also surrounded with boxes labelled with past campaign titles (except A Court of Fey and Flowers which is labelled Fey Bullsh*t).
    • The first word of Matt's narration, "Water", mirrors to the opening line of Brennan's narraction for the Exandria Unlimited: Calamity campaign he ran for Mercer's Critical Role channel, "Fire".
    • Senator Ariana Gemelli says a variation of Liam's infamous "get slammed down, big style" when she is seducing Delissandro in episode 1.
  • Consummate Liar: Brennan's character, the Bulbian Bishop Raphaniel Charnock, "is built to lie" and thanks to modifiers and lucky rolls is able to decieve the other players, even as they know something isn't quite right, with startling efficency.
  • Festering Fungus: The society of underground people from episode 3 appear to be rot and decay incarnate. They emerge periodically to collect refuse and rotten flesh/bones, radiate poisonous spores as a defense mechanism and are psychically connected to a vast mycelial network. It's noted that rot is a very rare occurrence in Calorum, so to encounter a creature made up entirely of it is extremely strange.
  • He Knows Too Much: After a knight catches sight of one of her faces, Karna deliberately spooks his yam steed to make it fall on him and crush him. Downplayed, though, as when he survives, Karna decides being hospitalized for months works just as well for her purposes as being dead does, and lets him live.
    • Episode 3 has Colin dispatching an unfortunate banana boatsman who happened to be nearby as they were ambushing the Candian convoy.
  • Mole Men: Episode 3 reveals a society of people living in cave systems deep beneath Calorum, who seem to be composed of the rot left behind by the food from the surface. Their existence is so well-hidden that even a high Arcana check from Raphaniel gives him absolutely no information whatsoever.
  • Mysterious Note: The Scrumptious Scoundrels first come together when they each receive a mysterious note that calls them to the yet incomplete Food Pyramid.
  • Prequel: To A Crown of Candy, showing the root causes and actions taken during the eponymous Ravening War.
  • Punny Name: The Fellowship of Destiny's Architects or FDAnote  a pun the players didn't notice until Mercer spelled it out in the following Adventuring Party.
  • Time Skip: The first episode ends with a time skip with Mercer narrating the larger events between sessions with the players summarizing their own actions at the beginning of the next.
  • Weather Report Opening: The campaign starts with Matt narrating a storm as the party members make their way to Comida.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 3, "Yonder Where the Fruit Do Be Lyin'" is a sharp shift in tone where the players discover the true scale of the stakes at play in this campaign.
    • First they discover the target of their assassination: Not a Fructeran or Ceresian as they were previously led to believe, but Queen Pamela Rocks whose death at their hands draws the previously neutral Candia into the Ravening War.
    • Then after that they encounter a mysterious being made of rot and mold whose appearance leads to the discovery of a society of fungal creatures living deep beneath Calorum.
    • And if that wasn't enough, the episode ends with one member of the Fellowship of Destiny's Architects revealing their face: the Archbishop Camille Colliflour. She explains the Architects' true purpose: to bring war and death so the rot and decay that springs forth will stave off the Hungry One's appetite and prevent it from consuming all of Calorum.