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Scott Manley: Is anybody here actually qualified for their job?
Kyle: No, that's kind of our schtick.
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Door Monster, formerly known as White Lightning HQ, is a Youtube sketch comedy channel based out of both San Antonio and Austin, Texas (the main cast of the group divided between the two cities), created and led by Kyle C. Sullivan. They are well known for their parodies of various video games, as well as comedy sketches about pop culture and everyday life.

They are particularly well-known for their Affectionate Parody sketches of the The Civilization series, but have spoofed numerous other video games ranging from Assassin's Creed to Kerbal Space Program.

In 2019, the channel mostly rebranded as a tabletop RPG channel, although they will keep making sketches in the series Natural 1

The crew has also done a number of other projects, such as The Guards Themselves, a superhero-themed short film, and Altered Egos, a Pathfinder livestream. Entering production in 2018 is their most ambitious project, Skyvault, a Space Opera.

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You can find an official playlist of their sketches here.

Now has a Character Page under construction.


The channel contains examples of:

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     Sketches/Natural 1 

  • Angrish: In D&D: Free Speech, the GM complains about the Barbarian talking normally despite being in a berserker rage, so the Barbarian starts making half-hearted "Rooaargh." sounds instead.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Along with Join or Die. The penalty for not joining Alpha Tribe is death.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Turns out the workers in Civilization are slaves to an immortal god tyrant, and being "captured" by a barbarian is actually just them making a very obvious attempt at escaping.
  • A-Team Firing: The Rookies in XCOM: Don't Panic are so bad that they actually have more success when panicking and firing wildly than they do when actually aiming at the enemy.
  • Accidental Pun:
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Just a bunch in Alpha Tribe.
    Kyle: How would I ever obtain my precious pile of pallid paste?
    Kyle: And so it was that I successfully secured the smoky sludge I had set out to seize
  • Aesop Amnesia: The Extortionist Hobo seems to have learned that threatening people doesn't work, but per Word of God, any Character Development he seems to undergo is unintentional.
  • After the End: Plague Inc.: The Cure is a drug commercial for the cure to a plague that has already killed off most of humanity.
  • A God Am I: Kyle, upon realizing that he can use the Tardis to simply Retcon any mistakes he makes.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Kyle's computer is just a lazy Troll, but Dell Laptop became much more malevolent...
    • Implied in Hero Complex. The Self-Awareness switch is turned on, despite the villain being pretty sure it was off last time he checked.
  • And Then What?: Jegor faked being killed by JP to get the drop on him, but didn't really consider that with the KGB destroyed, killing JP wouldn't accomplish anything.
  • Alien Sky: Joey realizes he's not in a standard video when he sees two giant moons in the sky. It's eventually revealed that he traveled to the Skyvault universe.
  • All for Nothing: Played for Laughs in Scout's Honor. A Civilization scout leaves his city in 2300 BC to explore. By the time he returns in modern times, he finds out that the city now knows the whole world map thanks to their satellites. And then he finds out that his city is no longer Greek, but was conquered by Norway in a war the scout accidentally started while exploring into their territory.
    • After filming Ian saying the same line ("What?") about twenty times, Kyle decides that he likes the first take the best.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: According to the Medic, there are three German accents: Effeminate German, Nazi German, and Effeminate Nazi German.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: He only has one line, but Ian adopts a Herr Doktor accent as Kyle's therapist.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Rachel tries to seduce Mary Merchant (played by Ian in drag). It was a D&D game, though, so it was most likely just for the sake of gameplay.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: With regards to the Extortionist Hobo's police hat:
    Jefferey: Oh no, did you steal that from a cop, or a kid? Which is-which is worse?
    Hobo: Kid.
    Jefferey: ...Which question are you answering?
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Ethan has several ideas for creating one. Ricky thinks that they're crazy, but steals them anyway.
  • Anachronic Order: Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 3 was released after 4 and 5.
  • Angrish: Ian spouts this thanks to people on the internet disagreeing with him.
  • Answer Cut:
    Ian: Do you think the armed gunmen, who are within earshot of this conversation, are just sitting around patiently waiting for us to walk in and shoot them!?
    Armed Gunman: [Checks watch]
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Despite priding themselves on their knowledge of firearms, Ian and Rachel ignore the most foundational rule of handling guns: don't point them at people. Of course, all rules went out the window as soon as Kyle walked in.
  • Ascended Meme: You can now buy purple "What?" shirts.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Tiffany may not be a fanboy perse, but her line of "Why don't they have more subscribers" is what every door monster fan asks themselves.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: No matter what the team plans, this is what they end up doing in Rocket League.
  • Attention Whore: Kyle outright says that he vlogs every day for the fame, not money.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Jegor isn't so sure that Daredevil smooshing both of their faces on the pavement is really the most effective way for him to fight.
    • The Kingdom Hearts keyblade isn't really as practical as just carrying keys around, and doesn't work on electronic locks.
  • Back from the Dead: Kyle's attempts to fix the timestream result in Yegor, DoodleConn, and Dell Laptop returning to existence.
  • Bad Boss: Not that he doesn't have a reason, but the director of the Kerbal Space Program really doesn't care that much about his Kerbonauts, and outright hates the engineers.
    • The captain in FTL is worse and with less justification.
  • Badass Longcoat: Part of Kyle's hacking outfit.
  • Batman Gambit: Deconstructed by Officers Kurt and Walt. They are so busy deconstructing Captain America to find out how he would disguise himself, that they don't notice the "Aryan fellow with impeccable fitness and a neck spasm". After all, he's the most textbook civilian they have ever seen. They also ignore the other guy who doesn't have a metal arm, but is attempting to bring back the Jackson glove. He doesn't pull it off.
  • Beam-O-War: Ethan and Jefferey's theological combat ends in one of these.
  • Being Good Sucks: The human gave up on being a pacifist after getting punched in the face by monsters one time too many.
  • Benevolent Monsters: The eponymous Door Monster of course!
  • Beyond the Impossible: In D&D: Bad Dice, Kyle bears out the theory of the Random Number God by not only rolling a boxful of dice as 1s, but managing to do so with 9 dice at once.note 
  • Big "WHAT?!" / Flat "What": And every kind of what in between.
    • Agent Sullivan when a seemingly random Buzzfeed quiz correctly guesses his job.
    • Ian's reaction to the Tardis suddenly appearing in his yard.
  • Bigger Bad: Ian in the year two finale.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: in Zucchini and Rhubarb, Ian and Ricky compete to sell their respective zucchini and rhubarb milkshakes. Neither has any customers.
  • Black Comedy: Fallout 4: Settlement Seekers starts with a subtle one, as the "host" introduces the main character, who's looking to "find a place to settle down with his wife and infant child."
    Sole Survivor: Just me, actually.
  • Blatant Lies: While trying to get people to give him money, the Extortionist Hobo holds, with his hands, a sign that says he lost his arms in the war (or according the other side, a bear attack).
    • Jefferey pours a glass of water into a plant right in front of Kyle and claims that he drank it.
    • Jackson claims the random people he pulls into his microphone are, in fact, Felicia Day.
    • Lampshaded by Worker Kyle
    Kyle: Uh, yeah, yeah. I took a few years of barb... barish in college. No; I'm sorry, I'm not getting away with that, there are no schools in that city, it's a terrible place.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The revolver in Gmod: The True Murderer fires at least ten shots without ever being reloaded.
    • Averted in the video under Ladder Physics - Gordon unloads 8 rounds into a nearby Headcrab, and immediately asks for a replacement gun.
    • Played for laughs in Triggered. Ian and Rachel starts out the video by pointing out that the m1911 used in the movie they're watching shoots way more than the 8 bullets it can hold without loading in another clip.note  At the end of the skit, the unload way more bullets than any sidearm or rifle could possibly hold into Kyle.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Rachel puts a lot of organizational effort into not having to ever leave the couch.
  • Bully Hunter: Teddy Roosevelt doesn't like other Civs conquering or exploiting city-states. For bonus points, "Bully!" is one of his Catchphrases.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jefferey seems to be the Extortionist Hobo's favorite target. And after managing to avoid him for two years, he then has the misfortune to run into him again... along with a second hobo!
    • In the Civilization sketches, Enrico Dandolo, the leader of Venice. His nature as a sort of Self-Imposed Challenge in Civilization (he cannot found or conquer any cities besides his starting city) is ruthlessly mocked by all the other leaders. In addition, "Denouncing Venice" is a popular religion in the setting, and when Gandhi gets nukes, he first targets Venice (which, once again, is Enrico's only city).
    • In Civ 6 VS Europa Universalis 4, he manages to become the leader of the EUIV leaders, until they realize that teaming up on him is the only thing they can agree on.
    • The one time it looks like Enrico is about to achieve a victory, by using his abilities to foster good relations with city-states to engineer his election to "world leader", is foiled when the others agree to embargo city-states, thus completely undermining his efforts.
      • This even carries over into Stellaris, as the same actor who portrays Enrico is the spokesman for the Zoomans, a universally-disparaged race in the video.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    Jon: Oh yeah from that video [slapped] from that one time in real life.
    • And in the skit on Five Nights at Freddy's...
      Ian: Pretty good commentary on how people who spend their lives chained to their desks value the cheap thrill of the Jump Scare so much that they'll consume an endless stream of low-quality repetitive experiences just as long as they don't require any active participation.
      (Beat)
      Kyle: What did I say.
      Ian: ...don't get Meta?
      Kyle: Leave my classroom.
    • As well as in Unfortunate Cookies
    Kyle: Well if we didn't experience one self contained catastrophe per week then anybody magically observing our lives would get bored pretty fast.
  • The Bus Came Back: After not being on-camera after 2015, Ricky returned in 2017 for Excessive Accessories.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": Gordon Freeman isn't afraid of ladders, he's just... afraid of ladders. He couldn't come up with an actual excuse.
  • Call-Back: A lot.
    Kyle: Well, he does have a really big knife.
    Shannon: He could just be trying to sell it to us.
    • While Kyle didn't make the milkshakes himself, JP's claim that "Nobody likes your milkshakes" could count.
    • In Straight Man, Kyle spends the majority of the video singing an improv theme song for Ethan's superhero persona. In the next video, Ethan's opening line it "We better not be filming another musical."
  • Call-Forward: All in the Delivery occurs before License to Maim. Jegor encourages Yegor to simply kill Allison (as Jegor doesn't have his license), but Yegor wants to be sure they handle things by the book; failing to do so is what will cause *his* license to be suspended.
  • The Cameo: Felicia Day in Act Like You Belong.
    • Thomas, Allison's brother, plays the new hobo in Houbeau Nouveau.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Kyle thinks that all of the cosplayers at Comic Con are really the characters they're dressed as.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Chuck: Intersnect shows that Dell Laptop (the AI) was Not Quite Dead.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Squire gives quite an impressive voice performance as Dell Laptop.
  • Clueless Detective: By the time Ian has deciphered the painfully obvious clues that Maggie is the killer, he's already down enough poisoned soda for it to be too late.
  • Codename: Agent Sullivan insists that the White Lightning HQ agents uses these, although they're just their last names.
    • Also Joey's hacking skillz improves when he's called Enigma.
  • Color Blind Confusion: Kyle's color blindness actually makes green things invisible.
  • Complexity Addiction: Jegor could have killed JP, but had to let him know that all of his contingency plans had been foiled first, up to and including letting the KGB be destroyed to make JP think that he had won.
    • In Alpha Tribe, Allison and Rachel makes a complicated plan to invite Noobs to join the tribe under penalty of death, only to let their base made of automated turrets kill the noob so they can raid their base. They could have just killed them with their superior tactic, technology and numbers, but that's no fun.
  • Computer = Monitor: In Self Fulfilling Idiocy 3, Kyle tries to once again kill Dell Laptop by shooting it in the monitor. Time will tell if it stays dead this time.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Kyle admits to using JP's Netflix account when the ghost of Jefferey tries to let JP know that Kyle murdered hinm.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Each year is capped off by a finale episode that features many of the past year's sketches and other Door Monster work.
    • "The Great War" calls back to every Civilization V skit they'd done, capping it off with the real victor - Egypt. Technically, Catherine the Great of Russia won via Space Victory, just as she'd threatened to do at the end of the first World Council meeting but the Narrator notes Egypt lost basically nothing while prospering economically.
  • Continuity Nod: In Dr. Strange: Working Magic Rachel tells Kyle that Ian has Benedict Cumberbatch powers. Kyle remarks that he had those last week.
    • In Self-Fufilling Idiocy 5, Ian is wearing the same hat he had on in 2.
    • Also, Kyle's grilled cheese still causes the sun to explode, although thanks to the crew's time and dimensional travels mucking up the timeline, the sandwich and sun explosion happen in 2017, and Allison and Ian are sent back to stop it instead of Future!Kyle.
    • One of Kyle's coupons is for a free plant with the purchase of a knife.
    • In Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 2, Rachel appear in the IKEA time machine with a drinking horn, a bottle of wine and a beret, singing... Something, we're not sure what. Later, in Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 3, Rachel is wearing the exact same clothes, before the Dell Laptop hits her with a time machine sound effect.
    • Kyle is quite fond of his Sonic Screwdriver.
  • Continuity Snarl: Bill Kerman should be stuck on the Mun, but somehow Bob (stuck on the ruined space station) was instead. And yet both think that the other is named Bob.
  • Cool Shades: Vital for Hollywood Hacking.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ricky realizes that Ethan's theme park ideas are insane, so he has him thrown out of his office... so Ricky can steal the ideas.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: Jefferey accidentally lets one of these loose by picking the wrong Dialogue Tree option.
  • Crapsack World: Whoever is playing the game that the Civilization sketches take place in doesn't really seem to care about providing education or luxuries to their citizens.
  • Crazy Homeless People: The Extortionist Hobo. Except he may not actually be homeless.
  • Creative Closing Credits: In The Man Who Can't Finish Anything, the Door Monster logo appears on screen just like at the end of every other sketch, only for Kyle to angrily step in front of it and tell Ethan that he wasn't supposed to end the video yet.
  • Christmas Creep: Ian claims that eventually every holiday will become Christmas, and that you need to get on board or die-leave the holiday celebration.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Of the weirdest sort, as the robbers in "Spider-Man: Biggest Fan" are doing so in order to meet him.
    Robber #4: Oh my god! I turned to crime for you!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Kyle spends several minutes trying to remember the moves of a fighting game, only for Ricky to knock him out in seconds.
  • Curse Cut Short: Perhaps the robber's first crime would have gone better if he had had some actual wood to knock on.
    "Son of a-"[video ends]
    • In Community Comments 86, Kyle blows Allison's brains out to prevent her from swearing on camera again (She gets better).
  • Darker and Edgier: Superpowered Ethan and Matthew feel the need to sit around bemoaning how much of a curse their powers are and wearing trench coats instead of dressing in colorful costumes and punching criminals.
    Kyle: You spontaneously generate balloons!
    Ethan: How long until I hurt someone?
    Kyle: It amazes me that you can even find negatives with this.
    Ethan: So many children in need of party favors, yet... I cannot help them all.
  • Dead All Along: Matt was the boy who tripped on a rake and died, and is now a ghost.
  • Deadpan Snarker: This version of Gordon Freeman is no Silent Protagonist, although he may wish that everyone else was.
    • Whoever's playing the role of the Straight Man for a given sketch, usually Kyle, Ethan or Ian.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Most of their video game parodies do this by taking one of the game mechanics and playing it from the perspective of in-game character who has to put up with what would in reality be an utterly illogical or unpleasant way of doing things. For examples, workers in the Civilization series are hugely un-thrilled at having to live their lives doing thousands of years of drudgery and manual labour for the benefit of an immortal god-tyrant.
  • Defiant to the End: CIA!Rachel. It's slightly undercut by the fact that neither Jegor nor Yegor can actually kill her on purpose.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The two protesters are sure that the people who voted for We Love The King Day are a vocal minority at best.
  • Demoted to Extra: Doodleconn still appears in the background of videos, but Word of God is that he has no power left.
  • Dissimile: From Half-Life 2: Have a Medkit:
    Ian: Aren't you like, Jesus or something?
    Gordon Freeman: Yes, and like Jesus, I am wearing a suit of armor that injects me full of morphine every fifteen minutes.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Yegor really hates pizza with pineapple on it, seeing it as a symbol of everything wrong with America/western culture He even captures and planned to kill a delivery person because she brought him a pizza with pineapple on it!
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Jegor in Unpredictable:
    Jegor: Your sniper has been... taken care of.
    Johnny: [Are-you-kidding-me-look]
    Jegor: By bullet.
    Johnny: [Look continues]
    Jegor: He is dead.
    Johnny: Yeah, I got that.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Kyle, but only when he sneezes.
  • Driven to Suicide: After downloading the internet and realizing that existence is meaningless, Dell Laptop promptly kills itself.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: The Hobo uses Duct Tape to hold together the remains of Dell Laptop in the Year Three Finale.
  • Dying Clue: Ian is sure that all of the drawings on Kyle's murdered body are these.
  • Eagleland: Jegor the KGB agent blends both kinds in his over-the-top attempt to blend in, loudly proclaiming how much he likes that one local sports team, barbecues, and patriotism, while blaming bad traffic on immigrants.
    • CIA!Rachel still parodies this trope but mostly sticks with flavor 1.
    Yegor: What, licence to kill? Everyone has license to kill.
    CIA!Rachel: Yeah, even I have one! It's called the Bill of Rights and I've got a copy in my wallet!
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Joey's first appearance on the channel was in the Avatar: the Last Airbender video, followed by sporadic appearances in videos before joining the main cast in 2016.
    • Allison first appeared in The Freddy Fazbear Experiment, a full two years before officially becoming a crew member in May of 2017.
    • Jay Harper makes a Cameo in the Year 2 Finale, a year and a half before his series, Skyvault, entered production. Since then, he has apparently spent a ''lot'' of time in the sun. note 
  • Embarrassing Ringtone: The actual notification sound of the mayor of SimCity isn't so embarrassing as is the fact that he can't turn it off.
  • Epic Fail: Featured in "TF2: Failure To Launch", when the Soldier keeps trying (and failing) to properly Rocket Jump. This even extends to his note-taking.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The Reveal at the end of "Ghost Finders", as detailed under Rewatch Bonus.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ian changes his mind about the existence of the Random Number God after witnessing Kyle roll nine Critical Failures simultaneously.
    Kyle: They're bad dice, Ian.
    Ian: Yeah. No, I got it. I got my limits and these have to go.
  • Evil Brit: Dell Laptop speaks with a British accent.
    • Squire, who played both Dell Laptop and the villain in "Perception", threw a lampshade on this in his comment.
      Squire: I feel I've been cast as the villain, purely based on my nationality.
  • Evil Is Petty: Gary the Misanthrope seems to be doing all that he can to make everyone else as miserable as he is, such as putting his shopping cart behind other people's cars in the parking lot, downvoting cute Youtube videos, or building a sand castle on a volleyball court and refusing to let anyone play while its there.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Yellow Light":
    Kyle: Ethan. [Holding up a credit card bill and pointing to it] Explain this.
    Ethan: Well, it's essentially compressed fibres of wood or grass pulp which is then dried into flexible sheets. It's a very versatile material with a wide range of uses.
    Kyle: [Entranced] What kind of uses-Wait, no, that's not going to work this time.
  • Expospeak Gag: Not fulfilling your side of the deal with the Gambino family could lead to being subject to immediate skeletal re-positioning.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The premise of "Perception", and simulated for viewers by using Behind the Black.
    Adventurer: It has been said, and I quote - "I am so oblivious to my surroundings that I probably wouldn't notice somebody yelling that in my face for the thirteenth time."
    • The enemy Mooks encountered from time to time have this to a ridiculous degree.
      Jefferey shoots in the air
      Mook 1: What was that?
      Mook 2: Sounded like gunshots, may have been a gun. You seen anything?
      Mook 1: No.
      Mook 2: Yeah, me neither. Maybe they left?
      Mook 1: It has been 5 seconds
    • One of the mooks in Just Wing it look directly at Kyle before confirming that the room is empty.
    • The mooks in Shoot N' Loot are perfectly content sitting around waiting for the heroes to round the corner.
    • Kyle and Ian in Hiding in plain sight. Donny the Snake could steal their entire inventory, including the necklace Kyle was wearing, without their notice. They only realized once he took the Gloves of Sneaking, but at that point he could just put them on and completely disappear from existence.
  • False Dichotomy:
    "Do you think that the ghost of a boy who was murdered by a Native American with a rake haunts your house, or do you deny the Holocaust? Those are your options."
  • Fantasy Counterpart Religion: The Civilization sketches feature three:
    • Boat Mormonism offers an abbundance of food and resources for their followers, as well as a fascinating collection of relics from all the times their apostles were brutally murdered. They also have cathedrals.
    • Denouncing Venice encourages military might and high productivity and hate Venice. They also have synagogues.
    • Yoloism is the new kid on the block. They have pagodas.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Whatever VR game JP and Jefferey where playing featured a pirate ship, sharks, starships, and dinosaurs.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: The unseen player in the Civilization sketches doesn't seem to care about science or happiness. And as any Civilization V player will tell you, not focusing on science is a good way to get your nation conquered.
  • Flashback: When asked if he's ever been to Germany, Jefferey remembers the last time he was: World War II.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Averted. There's nothing blatant supernatural, but in Bad Dice, Ian accepts Kyle's theory of the Random Number God after rolling 9 natural 1 at once.
  • Foreshadowing: SO much, it probably should have its own page.
    • In Talk to the Hand, the Hobo suggests to Rachel that they go on a comical road trip. Six months later, guess what the third season finale was called?
    • In Theological Combat, the would be convert says that you only live once, and later mentions that he took a Spanish class in high school. By the end of the video, he's an inquisitor for Yoloism.
    • Johnny America doesn't pull a one-liner after killing Jegor. He's used them up.
    • in Alpha Tribe, Rachel and Allison claims that Alpha Tribe has a base made entirely out of machine guns. They conveniently forgets this information when they invite Kyle to stay with them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Daily Bugle in Spider-Man: Worker's Comp features articles about White Lightning being rebranded as Door Monster, Daredevil smooshing his face, and someone wasting time looking at a paused Youtube video.
    • They make a similar joke in "Spider-Man: Biggest Fan, with the articles wishing a Merry Christmas to their fans, Kurt and Walt being concerned over Spider-Man's webbing counting as littering, and "Lazy Youtubers Reuse Same Newspaper Joke".
    • In the newest Spider-Man sketch, the paper gag continues. This time, the articles question the meaninglessness of continuity (specifically for the spider-man sketches, but might as well be for the entire Door Monster verse) and the new remarkably uninteresting superhero. Also, Curt and Walt apprehended the "captain".
    • Every video between Battle of the Bends and Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 4 had DoodleConn hidden somewhere.
    • Jefferey's Long List weapon inventory includes items such as a Tumor in a Jar, as well as numerous Mythology Gags (a Magic Bag, a Slowpoke Tail, a Big Knife, etc.)
    • If you pay attention to the Hobo in Houbeau Nouveau, you can see him swipe Lebron's wallet when he's distracted - the other Hobo even gives a knowing nod right after.
  • Freudian Slip: The Mook in The Final Quest wants to buy a pony... Dragon!
  • Friend to All Children: The Door Monster itself only appears to give children candy (and high-fives) on Halloween. Even the most obnoxious children only get a playful squirt of water for messing with it.
  • Friendly Enemy: Jegor doesn't mind being beat up by Daredevil, so long as Matt is careful not to hurt himself.
  • General Failure: Suleiman the Magnificent.
    Catherine the Great: You've lost more soldiers than the rest of us have ever had, combined.
    Suleiman the Magnificent: That's what soldiers are for!
  • Glasses Pull: Joey and Elli's reaction to the Skull GIF.
  • Godwin's Law:Jefferey uses the names of various dictators in place of "bad".
    Jefferey: Water tastes like Mussolini!
  • Grappling with Grappling Rules: As soon as the Bard suggests looking them up, the rest of the party and the Big Bad nix the conversation.
  • Grumpy Old Man: In Pokemon: Teams These Days, two members of Team Rocket, now old men, complain about the teams that serve as Big Bad in the newer games, who are represented by a thirty-something hipster for Team Plasma, and a bunch of Totally Radical teens for Team Skull.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In "Diplomancy", Kyle's character has just killed the King when he runs into a guard. The guard starts sane, but that doesn't last long.
    "Greg": My name is Greg and I've killed a chicken with a man!
  • Guns Akimbo: The Hobo fights back against Yegor this way.
    • Ian not only shoots Kyle with two guns, he fires one from behind his back, and then hold both upside down!
  • Hacked by a Pirate: A skull GIF causes Joey's computer to explode.
  • Halloween Episode: Enthusiastic Off-Brand Costume Model. Also, each Door Monster video is this for the channel as a whole.
  • Hand Puppet: The Extortionist Hobo has one in Talk to the Hand
  • Hand Wave: Kyle would rather his superpowered roommates not try to scientifically justify their powers as the explanations don't make sense anyway.
    • While in the Fable Experience animations, Kyle is able to instantly convert the time machine into a watch thanks to cartoon logic.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Thanks to being the player character of Fallout 4, Nate is able to rebuild a settlement in a few hours, while Ethan has barely had time to hammer a piece of cardboard into a wall.
  • Hate Plague: If the final interaction of "Gary the Misanthrope" is any indication, Gary's mere presence might cause others to match his mood.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Allison calls Kyle a stupid fairy, much to his consternation.
  • Head Desk: Jefferey's reaction to ending up back with the Extortionist Hobo after the crew is chased through the videos is to repeatedly bang his head into stone wall.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    "You spontaneously generate balloons! It amazes me that you can find negatives with this."
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Gordon Freeman isn't very happy about the HEV suit's lack of a helmet, despite the scientist's insistence that it isn't neccesary.
    Gordon Freeman: Black Mesa has rivers of radioactive acid, everywhere. My department is called Anomalous Materials. And later today we'll be working with something called an anti-mass spectrometer. Those all have one thing in common, other than potential lawsuits, and that is how much I want to keep them away from my head.
    • After the resonance cascade happens, Freeman angrily points to the now ubiquitous headcrabs as one good reason why he does want a helmet.
  • Herr Doktor: According to the Medic, the German accent is a requirement for the job.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: It takes Kyle a few tries to clear a room of guards without being spotted and shot.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Awesomely spoofed in Hacker Fight. Hacking is not accomplished through who has the greatest technical knowledge, but who can embody this trope the most.
    • The methods used are weird sunglasses, black trench coats, rad codenames ("Enigma"), multiple monitors and keyboards, vague hacking metaphors, computer puns ("Byte me"), outdated leet speech ("This NOOB's about to get PWNED"), unreasonably convoluted user interfaces and skull gifs. Finished of by pressing the enter button as hard as possible.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The Extortionist Hobo's first scheme is trying to sell Jefferey random objects that have the same names as illicit substances.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Sims!JP can hear the exact moment that someone steps foot on the patch of sidewalk in front of his house.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The Extortionist Hobo decides to "just get new guns" and pulls two Uzis out of nowhere.
    • Similarly, Slopes pulls a minigun from off-camera, much to Spider-Man's horror.
  • Hypocrite: Ethan ties up Kyle in Half Measure Binging because he keeps failing to watch Netflix series all the way through, only for The Man Who Couldn't Finish Anything to reveal that Ethan, well, can't finish anything.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Via Kyle in League: Professional Strategies.
    "Everyone stay focused out there. It can get pretty crazy, but strategy comes first.
    Kyle: That is different, there are a lot of stairs out there.
  • Idle Animation: Allison, having only video games characters as a reference, defaults to one instead of just standing still.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Kyle definitely shot Dell Laptop, and the bullet probably carried through and hit Allison as well, as she doesn't appear in the rest of the sketch.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Kyle and Ethan go back and forth this way in DayZ
  • I Resemble That Remark!: The Hobo's outraged insistence that he's nothing like the Other Hobo is a convient distraction to pickpocket Lebron's wallet.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The only thing that the mobsters who accost Cave Johnson are capable of hitting is themselves, thanks to Cave's portal gun.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Ricky's magic items look they came out of a vending machine. He's fine with it because of the stat boosts they provide.
  • In Medias Res: One of the first scenes of Fallout 4: Settlement Seekers takes place after all the work has been done.
  • Inept Mage: Wizard!Jefferey not only has to resort to mugging people, but he manages to miss with a Magic Missile spell (which, according to the rules, cannot miss).
    • Played with in Short Rest, the Wizard is this solely due to being level 1, making him just about useless when he uses up his two spellslots (and a Scorching Ray scroll). Not that his teammates are much better.
    • Mark has the misfortune of being on the low end of the Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards graph, and so is pretty useless once he's used his two spell slots for the day. Not to mention the fact that the one scroll of Scorching Ray he's been saving ends up being wasted.
  • Insufferable Genius: The "genius" part is debatable, but both of the consulting detectives are certainly insufferable.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Upon discovering coupons, Kyle pronounces them as "coy-pons".
  • Jackass Genie: He offers JP two choices: He can burn his house down or perpetually flood it. Or both if he doesn't pick one.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Quite literally in "Character Creation", as Kyle manages to roll 10 for every stat on the character he rolls up, opting to make him "Dave, the Average Human."
    Kyle: Aaand 10. This is- this is just a man.
  • Jerkass: Gary the Misanthrope.
  • Kent Brockman News: Used to parody Civ 6's notification system.
  • Killed Offscreen: All it takes is less than a second of looking away for the frog to kill Ian and Jefferey.
  • Killer Rabbit: The frog from Don't Starve
  • The Klutz: Spider-Man's super-senses and coordination are apparently less effective in a small confined space; he knocks over several snack displays in a convenience store by accident.
  • Knife Nut: The Extortionist Hobo never actually attacks anyone with it, but insists that getting a large (but not too large) knife is key to the shtick.
  • Knuckle Cracking: Max does this when two wastelanders are about to get out of their car and fight him. It makes them rethink their decision.
  • Laborious Laziness: Subverted in Collaborative Consumption.
    Ian: It seems like you're putting more effort into avoiding doing work than you would if you actually just did it.
    Rachel: No, I hired Kyle to do that.
  • Ladder Physics: Gordon Freeman has a traumatic fear of ladders after having to deal with the dangerous finicky Ladder Physics in the first game - and not without reason.
    Alyx: [After hearing a Combine transmission] Oh, Crap!
    Gordon: Don't even bother.
    Alyx: What? [Combine soldier faceplants at the foot of the ladder] ...That proves nothing.
    Gordon: Proves that ladders come from 10th level of Hell.
  • Large Ham: Rodriguez ElCazorro somehow manages to be both this and Deadpan Snarker. He always waits for someone to give him a cue for an entrance (something like "I can't believe how easy that was), and apparently doesn't appear if he doesn't get a cue, yet lists the many things that doesn't make sense in a completely calm and orderly manner.
    Rodriguez ElCazorro: Salutations, criminal scum. I see I am expected, but for the sake of tradition: I am RODRIGUEZ ELCAZORRO!!!!
    • Allison and Rachel are hammy enough to give a tyrannosaur heart attack in Alpha Tribe
    Rachel: We are the Grandest civilization in all the land.
    Allison: Dinosaur Heaven descended to earth.
  • Loan Shark: Kyle. Jefferey tries unsuccessfully to pay him back with Pokemon cards. Kyle's more receptive to the being paid in Beanie Babies.
  • Loony Fan: Slopes commits crimes solely because he wants to meet Spider-Man.
  • Made of Iron: In Mr. Johnson, Jefferey survives both shooting himself and being thrown out of a portal at terminal velocity before finally being killed by a lemon grenade.
    • Aside from feeling a need to regain HP, Allison seems fine after being hit by a car.
  • Magical Accessory: Ricky decks himself out with several of these in Excessive Accessories.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Enrico, though not to himself, but to Gahndhi nuking Venice.
    Theodora: Wasn't that Venice?
    Enrico: Oh, crap.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Ethan tries this when confronted about his credit card bill due to his excessive Steam shopping, it nearly works.
    Kyle:[Shows a bank bill] Ethan, explain this
    Ethan: Well, it's essentially pressed fibers of wood or grass pulp which is then dried into flexible sheets, it's a very versatile material with a wide range of uses.
    Kyle:[fascinated] What kind of uses- wait, no, that's not gonna work this time!
  • Mayan Doomsday: The sketch Happy Apocalypse 2012 features Kyle puttering around waiting for the world to end on 12/21/12. The video is about as eventful as the actual December 21st, 2012 was.
  • Medium Awareness: Mostly in the finale videos.
  • Mexican Standoff: Between Kyle and Ethan in DayZ: I Have A Gun.
  • Mind Screw: The general consensus about the third Season Finale, Comical Road Trip. Not so much a screw in that it's a weird sketch (there have certainly been weirder), but for the merry hell that it seems to play with established canon.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: The appropriately-named "Gary the Misanthrope"
  • Misfortune Cookie: And how.
  • Mockumentary: The Great War is presented as a historical documentary, detailing the events of a typical game of Civilization 5. Complete with an Instant-Win Condition for history.
  • Money Spider: The terrorists in Shoot N' Loot actually spray coins from their gunshot wounds.
  • Mood-Swinger: Jefferey misjudges the severity of his Dialogue Tree options and promptly vacillates between a Jerkass and a Extreme Doormat.
  • Mooks: Jegor and Yegor's lots in life. Jegor wanted to be a doctor, but his Husky Russkie accent made him too much of a stereotype not to join the KGB.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain : Jegor may have a convincing American accent, but loudly proclaiming how much you love America and barbecues before asking your neighbor about missile launch codes probably wasn't the best way to blend in.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Ethan manages to make putting new batteries in a remote look cool.
  • Mundane Utility: Kyle uses the time machine to keep himself from burning a grilled cheese sandwich. He also uses a VR headset to simulate retro video games.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: In Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 3, Kyle decides that the best way to fix the Door Monster Timeline is to kill every single other version of himself and Ian. This works about as well as you'd expect.
    • This is also how Kyle solves his problem of not having a punchline for his video: by taking out a gun and shooting Jon.
    • Nate at least gives building a settlement a shot, but after a while decides that the best response to the Wasteland is to wander around shooting people.
  • Mutual Kill: Ian and Ricky shoot each other simultaneously after their milkshake argument gets out of control.
  • Mythology Gag: In Comical Roadtrip, Jegor picks up Messier's mask from The Guards Themselves, along with a Pathfinder rulebook.
    Jegor: Such great secrets, such as how these tiny gods cannot find time to finish their tabletop game.
  • Never My Fault: In "Civilization 6: Weather Report", Kyle constantly derides the weatherman for being an alarmist over changing climate, as he focuses on the Panama Canal's imminent completion. Upon being informed that the weather will submerge the canal one turn before the canal's completion...
    Anchor: Terrible news, everyone - the great canal is in danger of never being completed. Due to rising carbon emissions and neglectful weather reporters, the soil-severing super stream may be as flooded as Venice before the Panama portion can finally be appended.
    • The party in Short Rest blamed the mage for not having any spell slots left and not wanting to use his scorching ray scroll. As many in the comments pointed out, Kyle the Paladin should have had multiple javelins, meaning that he either picked a second melee weapon instead (which is just poor planning), or wasted them all (which is far more idiotic than the wizard using his only method of attack). Even worse, the Rogue should definitely have had ranged attack options, even if she had picked two melee weapons instead, she should still have had two daggers. That's not even mentioning that they ignored any potential solution beyond violence, even when multiple were available (the wizard convinced the orcs to rest, so the rouge could have snuck around, or they could have creatively used Minor Illusion).
  • Nintendo Hard: The subject of Boss Monster, where a dungeon owner hasn't kept up with the shifting times.
    Undead Accountant: Dragon Maze offers equal-opportunity employment to all monsters, which means its adventurers get a diverse group of employees to fight. Plus they have newer, fancier traps, more treasure, and optional, adjustable Difficulty Levels.
    Boss Monster: That is just obscene.
    Undead Accountant: If you want to stay competitive, you're gonna have to make some changes.
    Boss Monster: I have a better idea. How about I keep doing exactly the same thing, and we rebrand as "The Dungeon That Isn't For Pansies"?
    Undead Accountant: I wouldn't advise it, but you're the boss. We'll get started on the renovations - what're we calling the new place?
    Boss Monster: Hm... Dark Souls.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: In the Civilization world, Enrico Dandolo is just shy of being a Joke Character. In the Europa Universalis world, being immortal and having absolute power causes the locals to think of him as some sort of deity. It's gradually subverted, however, since his simplified view of the world as acquired from the Civilization games quickly proves inadequate in dealing with the more realistic simulation approach of Europa Universalis, and despite his advantages he quickly spirals back into Butt-Monkey territory.
  • No Inner Fourth Wall: According to the finale videos, the crew can travel between videos with the time machine, and could be in one without immediately recognizing it.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Sims!Ian sees nothing wrong with walking into someone else's house uninvited. Not that Sims!JP seems to mind.
  • Noisy Guns: This channel uses a lot of clicking noises when it comes to firearms.
  • Noodle Implements: Jefferey's inventory includes items such as a Slowpoke Tail and a Magic Bag.
  • Noodle Incident: Ethan set fire to his own home at some point.
    Kyle: Were you attacked by a thrift store?
    Ricky: Not this time.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Pretty much everything the mayor of SimCity says.
    Mayor of SimCity: We have tornadoes, and earthquakes, and giant radioactive lizard monsters that destroy our buildings!
    Mayor of Cities: Skylines:... None of those things are good.
    Mayor of SimCity: No, they're not, I know they're not, why do I always try to use that as a selling point?
  • Not So Different: The head of the Kerbal Space Program predicts that the new supervisor will come around to his point of view about the Kerbonauts within two minutes. And sure enough...
    Director: [Looking at his watch] Two minutes!
  • Obliviously Evil: The protagonist of Duskers.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The mayor of SimCity.
  • Odd Friendship: The Extortionist Hobo has actually come to see Lebron as his friend, and misses him when he's not around. This is probably completely one-sided. The Hobo even keeps the Other Hobo from framing Lebron for burglary ...right after he himself swiped Lebron's wallet.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Boat Mormon and Denouncing Venice missionaries both have this reaction when they realize that their would-be convert has become a Yoloist inquisitor... and they're in his holy city.note 
  • Only a Flesh Wound: The guns in Westworld inflict these, although the shooters aren't sure if it's because they're humans and therefore the guns don't function on them or because they're robots and can be reactivated.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jegor's American accent accidentally slips when Jefferey confronts him.
    • The Medic when he gets fed up with being shown that his strategy is ineffective.
  • Out-Gambitted: Jegor takes out Action Hero!JP's sniper support, disables his hidden weapons, replaces the data he stole, and faked his own death to attack him later.
  • Overly Long Gag: The entirety of "Crusader Kings II: Long May He Reign" involves the myriad ways that the royal successors get snuffed out.
    Squire: (After the death of Baldric the Leper) Yeah, so that one was the both of us, yeah? Yeah, alright.
  • Overly Long Scream: Kyle yells at the top of his lungs for the entirety of Minecraft is Intense.
  • Paralysis by Analysis: In the appropriately-titled "Analysis Paralysis" video, Ricky is apparently infamous for this. Even in Candyland.
    Ian: Fine, okay, you know what, let's just play. But if you take ten minutes on a turn - I will harass you.
    Ricky: If I spend ten minutes on a turn, I deserve to be harassed! (Twenty minutes later)
  • Perpetual Frowner: Gary the Misanthrope has a case of this to match his personality.
  • Pink Elephants: Tim's cup conversation with Kyle turns out to be him just drunkenly rambling into a cup.
  • The Plague: Necrocutiwiffilis wipes out all of humanity apart from a few survivors (and Greenland).
  • Pretender Diss: Kyle at one point thinks of naming the the AI he bought from IKEA Ultron. Ian thinks that the actual Ultron would not be impressed.
  • Projectile Toast: Kyle at one point turns a toaster into a toast launcher. His roommate is not pleased.
  • Punishment Box: Kyle uses one marked "Dice Jail" in Bad Dice.
  • Punny Name: Lampshaded by Kyle.
    Kyle: We need to find the Creepy Ian.
    Ian: Can we call it literally anything else?
    Kyle: Uncanny Ian? DoodleConn? Your name's going in there somewhere.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Plague.Inc skit talks of how "The Cure" is 100% effective against the Necrocutiewiffilis plague, and thus humanity has won (although in that game, it means the player has lost). However, as the cure was invented after the death of nearly everyone, the various cured patients giving their testemony for this medicine commercial can barely hold their Stepford Smiler act together.
    Narrator: You may be suffering from Necrocutiewiffilis. And you are not alone. Unless everyone around you has died.
    Cured patient: [smiling] They have.
  • Ragdoll Physics: Used when Ian (actually DoodleConn) is Blown Across the Room.
  • Railroading: Everyone in the tavern is pretty blatantly trying to steer the adventuring party to talking to the Old Man and accepting his quest to go fight a dragon. They're actually the player characters trying to get NPCs to do the quests for them.
  • Raised by Wolves: Allison was literally raised by video games; Kyle apparently found her abandoned as a child near the demo consoles in a Target.
  • Random Number God: D&D: Bad Dice
    Ian: When I said "blame the dice", I did not literally mean to ascribe agency to the polyhedron.
    Kyle: This is gonna be a thing.
    Ian: It does not have to be a thing. It is only a thing if you make it a thing.
    later
    Ian: You're really not grasping this whole probability thing, are you?
    Kyle: This goes far beyond math. There are cosmic forces at work here. Each die has an inherent level of reliability based on its past performance. Bad dice can ruin an entire collection, just by proximity, so they must be cleansed. It is the way.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Jefferey's reaction to ending up back in the first Extortionist Hobo video.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Joey and Kyle's hacker fight.
  • Rated M for Manly: Minecraft is a game where you can swim up waterfalls,tear apart trees and destroy walls with your bare hands, hold buckets of lava with your bare hands, pound skulls to dust with your bare hands, carry enormous amounts of solid rock and metal ore with your bare hands...a lot of stuff involves using your bare hands.
  • Reality Ensues: The Soldier attempts to jump by pointing a rocket launcher at his feet, and promptly dies. Repeatedly.
    • In the Bad Dice video, Kyle finally manages to roll better than a natural one... And still dies, because 2 is still a failed death save.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Self-Fufilling Idiocy 3 was supposed to be released after 4, but was pushed back until after 5 after a necessary prop broke.
    • When the crew was split between two different cities (Kyle, Ian, Rachel and Allison moved to San Antonio, while the rest of the Crew stayed in Austin), Jefferey couldn't be in as many videos, much to the Extortionist Hobo's disappointment.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jefferey finally snaps and lets Kyle and Ethan know that no matter how many Hollywood Personality Disorders they claim, they're not being quirky or misunderstood, just douchebags.
  • Religion Is Magic: As Civilization missionaries, Ethan and Jefferey and Kyle can summon bolts of lightning and fire beams of energy at each other when engaging in theological combat.
  • Ret-Gone: Kyle shoots DoodleConn in the Avatar video, erasing him from existence, which may have broken everything.
  • Reverse Psychology: Ethan convinces Kyle that he wants second place, leading to Kyle accepting death out of spite so that Ethan will win, which is of course what Ethan planned all along.
    Ethan: It's all about patience and subtle manipulation.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Everything that JP says in Ghost Finders takes on a new meaning when you know that Matt is a ghost.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: When making a character in Character Creation, Kyle managed to roll 10 on every stat. He dubbed the character Dave the Average Human.
  • Ring of Power: Ricky has several that give him mundane powers such as Stair Climbing and Time Management. He also has a ring of Fire Resistance that he wears when it's hot outside.
  • Robbing the Dead: Strongly implied in Seller Beware. The adventurer got a Fortune's Bane dagger in a cave. People should go down there more. "Well, someone did, but, you know, finder's keepers"
    • Also the Merchants at the end, when they use Fortune's Bane to kill the adventurer and sell his gear.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: When the players, as portrayed by their actual adventurers, piss off the GM, as portrayed by the Big Bad, all the adventurers are crushed to death by suddenly appearing rocks. Then one of the players tries to argue that he has the Rock Catching Feat, so he should be able to survive it.
    Villain/GM: Still raging.
    Barbarian: Rarrgh.
  • Rules Lawyer: The whole party in D&D: Free Speech, although Matt is the worst. The rest at least draw the line when it comes to the grappling rules.
  • Running Gag: The punchline of people being shot.
    • The Civilization videos have a lot of fun with the Ascended Glitch of Gandhi as a violent maniac from the first game.
      Narrator: It seemed like the world would never return to its former prosperity, but also that the war would never advance beyond its current state. Then... Gandhi! [''Stock footage of a nuclear explosion'']
      Ottoman professor: I hate Gandhi.
      Swedish archaeologist: Gandhi murdered my family.
    • Other Civilization-related running gags include the populous' inexplicable desire for more whales, Suleiman of the Ottoman Empire's loathing of crabs, the eternal religious strife between Boat Mormonism and Denouncing Venice, and everyone treating Enrico Dandolo as a joke.
    • IKEA selling things that have nothing to do with home furnishings, such as time machines, AI kits, and off-brand Ouija boards.
    Ian: YOU built an artificial intelligence?
    Kyle: I got a kit from IKEA
    Kyle: They're the size of a small country Ian, they can sell what they want.
    • The purple "What?" returned in Show Busyness. Twice.
    • Characters played by Kyle will usually be bad at recognizing faces. In D&D videos, it's often joked that his perception is abysmal.
  • Scrub: In-Universe example: Suleiman the Magnificent makes it very clear that he thinks that only the military victory in Civilization is legitimate.
    "If everyone just killed each other like they were supposed to, I wouldn't have to be here."
  • Schizo Tech: Jefferey discovers pottery around the same time as the internet, while Aristotle is creating the first internal combustion engine. Unfortunately, he hadn't figured out computers yet. Or wheels.
  • Season Finale: One is released every year around the anniversary of the channel switching to weekly videos.
  • Seen It All: After everything that's happened with the time machine, Kyle really doesn't care when Future!Ian appears in his apartment with a dire warning.
  • Self-Deprecation: One shorter lived series on the channel was a spy-themed talk show called Counter/Intelligence. In the year two finale, Dell Laptop dismisses it as a ridiculous idea, and JP asserts that no one watched it.
  • Serious Business: An argument over who gets to sell their roadside milkshakes on a particular part of the street turns into a shouting match and eventually a Mutual Kill.
  • She Is the King: Civ 5: We Love The King Day riffs on the fact that in Civilization V, a civilization can celebrate We Love The King Day even if the leader is female.
  • Sherlock Scan: Both Kyle and Ethan claim to be able to do this as consulting detectives, although their need to one-up each other gets in the way.
  • Shoot the Hostage: When the Hobo grabs Rachel, Ian simply shoots her in the stomach.
  • Shout-Out: In Plague Inc: The Cure, Ian announces that everyone around him has died. Instead of being depressed like Kyle or fighting off looters like Allison, Ian's sitting on a staircase with a big pile of books.
    • In D&D: Forgotten, but not gone, Ian, confronted by a riddle, asks "You haven't got a gold ring in your pocket, have ya?"
    • In Character Creation, Ethan described a character without a backstory as being the same as a house without walls.
    Kyle: You're describing a gazebo.
    • In a similar vein, the investigator talking about the stuff he's seen:
    Bears... dressed as... people!
    • The Dungeon of Doom video ends with a genius shoutout to Dark Souls, after discussing how difficult the boss wants his dungeon to be:
    Undead Employee: What are we calling the new place?
    Boss: Hmmm... Dark Souls.
  • Show Within a Show: Ethan seems to think that he's hosting a Fallout 4 -themed show in the style of House Hunters, despite Nate's frequent insistence that no one else is there.
  • Shown Their Work: The Shakespearean Iambic Pentameter in A Bat By Any Other Man is well-written and generally averts Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: A monstrous Big Bad is not happy to learn that his competitor dungeon offers healthcare to its monsters.
  • Silent Snarker: The store owner in Spider-Man: Biggest Fan is clearly unamused by both the robber and Spider-Man's attempts to stop him. His only interaction is at the end, when he silently hands Spider-Man a broom to clean up his mess.
  • Skewed Priorities : NPC!Ian continuously offers Gordon Freeman medkits despite Cesar bleeding out right next to him.
    • Kyle cares more about his grilled cheese sandwich than he does about not causing the sun to explode.
    • The worst thing about being stranded on an alien planet? Having to eat without a table. Even Lola the man-eating cat agrees.
  • Skyward Scream: JP's reaction to the entire world being disconnected.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Allison gets repeatedly punched in the face by the KGB Agents.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Kyle has one subscriber to his vlog but acts like a famous and popular YouTube content creator.
  • So Much for Stealth: Being a typical videogame protagonist, Justice Hawk immediately grabs an assault rifle and charges into the enemy once he's completed his stealth training.
  • Sole Survivor: The few isolated survivors of the humanity-eradicating necrocuitewiffilis.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Jefferey points out that if all the Extortionist Hobo needs is a few bucks, he could probably get it a lot easier by just asking someone instead of impersonating a cop.
  • Stable Time Loop: Kyle at least thinks that this is how it works; he built the time machine so that he could go meet himself as he did in Self Fulfilling Idiocy 1.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Played for Laughs with the Civilization worker, who is immediately happy to be captured by a barbarian. It is his first and only chance of escape from the Command & Conquer Economy which has him forced to follow the commands of the player for thousands of years of history.
  • Stoners Are Funny: Kyle probably shouldn't have taken a weeks worth of medication in one sitting, but it sure is hilarious to watch the aftermath.
  • Straight Man: Ethan "walked in front of a nuclear-powered projector that was playing the movie Airplane!, and he became... Straight-Man!" ("That's... not how things work.")
    He's an unremarkable hero in a world of insanity / No embarrassment can ever faze him, or withstand his mockery!
  • Strongly Worded Letter: Subverted by the Hobo, who apparently thinks that sending someone a dead bird counts as one of these.
  • Stylistic Suck: When the crew travels back to 2008 in Self Fulfilling Idiocy 4 everything looks standard definition until DoodleConn changes it.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: And shooting! Ian really doesn't like indulging the Doctor Who fandom.
  • Super Gullible: The guard in "Diplomancy" thanks to continually failing his diplomacynote  checks believes everything Kyle's character tells him. Making him believe Kyle didn't kill the man dead from a sword wound at his feet, is there to show the king his sword, that he killed the other guard himself, used a chicken as the murder weapon and that his name is Greg.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: The psychology professor behind The Freddy Fazbear Experiment asks his class what they think the reason for the experiment was. He's just trying to find something that will sound good in court.
    • And in "Dasi Board", Kyle has this reaction when Jefferey, who he'd killed in a bid to gain immortality, starts talking to JP via off-brand Ouija board, and JP thinks "Kyle did it" refers to watching something on his Netflix account.
    • Also how "Straight Man" (i.e. Ethan) deals with the robbers he encounters in his house after they break into a musical number:
    Ethan: What is he doing? Why are you still taking the TV? I'm looking right at you.
    Female Robber: Uh, he, um... sings when he's nervous.
    [The Male Robber does a sheepish thumbs up]
    Ethan: ... Okay, fine. I've had a long day, so I'll buy that. Just put the TV back, and I won't call the cops.
    Male Robber: Wow, that was a perfect Straight Man response.
    Ethan: Get the fuck out of my house!
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How the head of the Kerbal Space Program feels. Although, as he serves as the avatar of the typical player, it's not like he really knows what he's doing either. But he still manages to come of as the Only Sane Man compared to the Kerbonauts.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Upon Kyle seeing a picture of a guy in an old black and white photo that looks just like him, Jefferey is quick to point out that that can't be him and he's not immortal.
    • When Kyle confronts Ethan on all of the Steam games he's been buying, Ethan points out that at least he's not planning some elaborate con to steal thousands of dollars from people who didn't deserve their money in the first place.
    • In 90's Nostalgia, Kyle claims that the attic contains "Just a precarious stack of 90's memorabilia, no temporal anomalies to speak of, or poorly constructed furniture."
  • Tactical Door Use: The only way the captain in FTL knows how to solve problems.
    Captain: Use the doors, Luke.
  • Take That!: The Swedish Archeologist predicts that after winning a science victory, Russia's future of starting over on a new planet is going to quickly get boring.
    "Pretty good commentary on how people who spend their lives chained to their desks value the cheap thrill of a Jump Scare so much that they'll consume an endless stream of low-quality and repetitive experiences just as long as they don't require any active participation."
    Ethan: All [Hollywood] care about is what makes the most money. The internet is nothing like that.
    Ian: Nate speak. Logan Paul. Clickbait.
    • Space Explorer Kyle in Plain Language only knows one complete sentence, and that's because he had to yell it at some software developer's repeatedly.
    Alien: How do you justify charging 60 dollars for that?
    Kyle: Hey, that's the sentence.
  • Take Your Time: Kyle and Ethan embark on a Spiral Knights adventure! But first, Ethan needs to heat up his gear, trade materials, craft some items, check the store...
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Mocked in Free Speech, where the adventurers have a whole strategy discussion in the middle of the fight.
    Villain: I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt your planning session, but weren't we in the middle of a fight here?
  • Tattooed Crook: Yegor.
  • Techno Babble: Valentina Kerman explaining how she was able to successfully fly to the Mun and space station.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Queen Elizabeth: Can we please focus on the task at hand?! Gandhi could strike at any moment!
    [The Deadliest Mushroom rises up outside the window]
    [Beat]
    Elizabeth: ...Was that any of you?
  • Theme Tune: Any Door Monster fan will feel tugging on their heartstrings when listening to JP de Ovando's composition Living Forever.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: This is the In-Universe reaction of 1619 resident Henry when the local theatre puts on a Darker and Edgier rendition of Hamlet with a new actor.
  • There Can Be Only One: Jefferey thinks that he may have become immortal by killing another immortal, but isn't sure. Kyle decides to put it to the test.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: For Jegor, this isn't a conviction, he just didn't want to do the paperwork to get his license. Yegor, on the other hand, got his revoked by not playing by enough Enforced Tropes.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The Extortionist Hobo finally gets money for a bus ticket and a sandwich from someone by simply asking for it.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: When Tactical Door Use is a starship captain's only method of doing anything this is bound to happen.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: All over the place in the Self Fulfilling Idiocy sketches.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: After all of the time and dimensional travel the crew has gotten in to, it's no wonder that their time stream is a mess.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: Tim Kish seemingly gets a call from Kyle on a Red Solo cup with a piece of string he finds.
  • To the Pain: The Sims genie lays out to JP in explicit detail the level of psychical, emotional, and psychological torment the genie will put him through by either burning his house down or flooding it.
  • Token Good Teammate: Teddy Roosevelt is the only Civ 6 leader to care about the well-being of the smaller, weaker city-states, and pretty much the only Civ leader at all who shows some concern for someone other than himself.
  • Tomato in the Mirror:
    • This is ultimately averted by the characters in Westworld: I Am Not A Robot, as none of them know enough about the park's rules to figure out if they're robots or humans.
    • In "SCP Foundation - Trick or Treat" Kevin, the teenager seemingly caught up in an anomaly while out trick-or-treating, turns out to be the anomaly. Played with, since while he recognises himself in the case file when it's read out to him he doesn't pick up on the fact that he's an anomaly.
  • Totally Radical: One of the issues with Kyle's vlog is that his content is banking off outdated YouTube fads like the Cinnamon Challenge.
  • Uncertain Doom: Dell Laptop just sort of fizzles out when Jefferey's bomb goes off. This is Lampshaded by Kyle when the AI returns in Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 3 and he realizes that he was never really sure if it died or not.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Both Ian and Rachel roll for no real reason while shooting Kyle.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Kyle somehow causes the Sun to explode by making a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Rachel is probably being used by the mob to move packages, but doesn't seem that concerned about it. After all, she outsourced all of the actual work to Kyle.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: The Five Nights at Freddy's protagonist, as it turns out, as well as the player character of Slender.
  • Variant Chess: Or "Elaborate Fantasy Checkers".
  • Villain Respect: After Ian shoots Rachel in the stomach, Jegor briefly nods in approval.
  • Villain Team-Up: For a given value of "Villain" in one case, the Year Three Finale features the Extortionist Hobo and Jegor teaming up.
  • Visual Pun: Kyle's volley ball has a the face of Wilson painted on it.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The world leaders in Doing Something About Gandhi just can't stop bickering (and denouncing) each other for long enough to come up with a viable plan.
    • In the second world congress video, they finally do agree on a couple of things, like banning Boat Mormonism or embargoing Venice.
  • We Buy Anything: The two merchants from Seller Beware. But they don't have a choice: As soon as the adventurer wants to sell his Vendor Trash, it's automatically exchanged for their money. And they don't appreciate him skipping over their life stories to get to the selling part either.
  • We Have Reserves: Kyle's attitude towards his Kerbonauts. Untill he finds out he doesn't have anymore and has to launch a rescue mission to get some of them back.
  • Welcome to Corneria: The premise of "On the Line"
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The wastelanders in Mad Max: The Perfect Defense seem to be half-Australian, half-American redneck.
    • Invoked in Self-Fulfilling Idiocy 3. Rachel goes through a wide array of accents trying to be a British companion.
    Rachel: Zhat vas a very vell execoted plan, doctorr.
    Kyle: That's German, you're doing German now.
  • Wham Episode: In Comical Road Trip, the Hobo and Jegor rebuild the Time Machine with Dell Laptop's remains in an effort to kill their alternate versions (Jegor) / find Lebron (Hobo), and discover some sort of Westworld style facility where various Door Monster characters are held in stasis.
  • Wham Shot: In Back in the Ring, the camera slowly pans around the monologuing Ian... and reveals that he's wearing Big Fist's gloves.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Half-Measure Binging parodies the rooftop scene from Daredevil, with Ethan as the Punisher, JP as Grotto, and Kyle as the reluctant and annoyed Daredevil.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Jegor already did shoot CIA!Rachel, but lacks the license to do so fatally.
  • Wiki Walk: Agent Sullivan tries to infiltrate Youtube's headquarters and, after a few wrong turns, ends up in some pretty weird places.
  • World of Jerkass: Played for laughs in "Stellaris: No More Heroes". Each of the races featured are apparently horrible. Humans are careless and imperialist, "birdface" are slavers, Alexa have destroyed several planets and Noot-noots threatens to exterminate humanity and process them as food for their allies. The Zoomans seem nice at first, being xenophiles who love all other races, until it turns out they worship The Shroud.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: The news channel in Civ 6: Breaking News ignores the hostile nations that are in the process of ransacking their nation's allied city states because those stories have poor ratings.
    • The anchor barely even explains any of the stories, having only time to rattle off headlines as the notifications come in.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The barely-averted variety in Spiral Knights: Time for Adventure.
    Ethan: Hey Kyle! What time is it?
    Kyle: Can't use that.
    Allison: We also know about the energy drink that gives you your powers. Guess what, we have it too.
    Ethan: We can't legally say what it is, but we have it.

     The Guards Themselves 

  • Ambiguously Human: It's unclear as to just what Messier is. Besides terrifying.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Per Word of God, Richie heard himself be called The Arsonist on the news and decided that that must be his name.
  • Armor Is Useless: Big Fist Lampshades this; the security agents wear body armor and helmets, but that doesn't stop them from being knocked out or shot.
  • Attack Backfire: Spectacle is sent reeling when she attempts to taze Noam (again), only to strike the leads to his battery bag. She then promptly collapses.
  • Ax-Crazy: The first thing Messier does after being freed is fire his guns wildly into crowds of bystanders.
  • Bald of Evil: Paul considers this the only kind of baldness there is.
  • Bald Woman: Amicus Curiae refers to herself as this. Her hair is technically buzzed really short, but she's trying to make a point.
  • Batman Gambit: The Anarchists threaten to blow up Meyer's building knowing that he'll call their bluff and, after thinking that he's won, brag about his plan to betray the other Oligarchs.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: When Harold, a worker at Meyer's building finds Noam using his computer, the Anarchist is quickly able to put him on the defensive by claiming to be from IT and asking Harold why he's so possessive of a company computer.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Mr. Justice subscribes to this theory in "Resting Villain Face", as seen under Good Scars, Evil Scars. Amicus calling him out on it leads to a brief existential crisis until the man with an eye-scar he'd pointed out earlier confirmed his bias.
    Mr. Justice: If beautiful people can be evil... and ugly people can be good... how do I judge anyone worthy of justice? What if there are no good or evil, but only murky shades of gray made up of both at the same time so muddled together that they become indistinguishable like... two ingredients in a... food... thing. My God... my metaphors. They're gone.
    Amicus: ...did you just call me "ugly"?
  • Beneath Notice: For Lincoln, this turns out to be more useful than his actual superpower; Meyer doesn't notice that his Evil Gloating is being recorded.
  • The Big Guy: Big Fist. He'd be more effective at it if he wasn't so concerned about chipping his nails every time he punches someone.
  • Black and White Insanity: Mr. Justice has a brief mental breakdown when he starts to realize that not everyone can be immediately judged as good or evil based on their appearance.
  • Blatant Lies: While pretending to be from IT, Noam tells one of Meyer's employees that his computer is getting viruses through the electrical wires and that he can reset his connection by repeatedly turning his desk lamp on and off. He buys it completely.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Messier shoots a security agent's pistol out of their hand with a sniper rifle.
  • Brick Joke: In Part 2, Messier proudly explains that he has a mailing list of people he sends death threats to. In Part 3, Harold is confused by the emails he keeps getting about his certain doom.
  • The Bully: Katie has apparently been picking on Noam since they were children.
  • Butt-Monkey: Noam. Not only does he have to deal with the other Anarchists, he's also been bullied by a girl a head shorter than him his entire life.
  • The Cape: Parodied by Mr. Justice.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Scott being Scott, his idea of a career ending injury is getting his hair cut.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Scott and Paul pause in the middle of their fight to discuss their hair product choices, before going back to swinging at each other.
  • Chair Reveal: Played for Laughs, complete with a dramatic chord.
    Meyer: ...Really?
    Noam: I was looking out the window, I didn't mean to do that.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Magic Bag's tendency to create a loud and flashy but mostly harmless explosion.
    • Subverted with Messier being shorted out by the Microwave. It may appear to be this, but it's only used for a one-off gag and then never brought up again.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Richie. At one point he puts a bowl of Lucky Charms in the microwave.
    • From the Oligarchs' side, Cossling. Aside from brutally killing home invaders with his antique collection, he also completely forgot that he walked into the room with the glass of wine he's drinking and hadn't set down.
    • Rounding it out, Mr. Justice is this for the Crimefighters, frequently going on meaningless tangents and staring off into the distance while monologuing about justice.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: When Meyer realizes that Master Fusion was in his building.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Noam turns on Lincoln's TV and news showing the other Anarchists being arrested is the first thing that appears.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Emma wasn't very happy the rescue even *before* she found out that Noam's crew had no idea how to open the cells.
  • Cool, but Impractical: Lincoln can create pennies out of thin air, seemingly with No Conservation of Energy. Only pennies. As he himself points out, he can pay for things with pennies, but it tends to piss people of.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Oligarchs.
  • Costume Evolution: After the Time Skip, Noam has replaced the Magic Bag with a smaller hip-mounted device for his phone.
  • Creepy Monotone: Cossling's normal tone of voice.
  • Curse Cut Short: When Meyer realizes that Lincoln recorded him saying that he would betray the other Oligarchs.
    "Ah for f-"*Knocked out by Messier.*
  • Cute Bruiser: Katie easily beats up Noam and later the security agents
  • The Dandy: Scott/Big Fist.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Noam lays out to Scott that in the world they live in, there are powerful people who will always take advantage of the apathy of the general public to do whatever they want, and if people like the Anarchists sit on the sidelines, they're responsible for what happens.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Played for Laughs. Mr. Justice has a mental breakdown as he starts to realize that the world isn't as black-and-white as he had thought, but quickly snaps out of it when he realizes that the person he had been profiling actually was a criminal.
  • Dirty Cop: Meyer owns the police, as such, they don't interfere with his private security agents and hired vigilantes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The other Oligarchs aren't comfortable with Meyer basically setting himself up as the dictator of the city.
  • Evil Gloating: Meyer's Fatal Flaw; he always brags about his entire plan once he thinks he's won.
  • Evil vs. Evil: As Meyer puts it, the only people who can challenge him are the other Oligarchs.
  • Faceless Goons: Meyer's security agents.
  • First-Name Basis: Only the Oligarchs' last names are ever portrayed on screen. Both the Crimefighters and Anarchists almost exclusively refer to each other by their first names instead of their code names.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Messier. The other Anarchists treat him as any kind of friend at all, and that's enough for him to do what Noam tells him to.
  • Funny Background Event: While Messier is explain his death threat mailing list, Richie pours a bowl of Lucky Charms and then microwaves it.
  • Gilligan Cut: Richie tells Noam that he should just go get money.
    Noam: Richie, there isn't just some store where you can go pick up bags of-
    • In the premier, when Meyer swears that the anarchists will be taken down so fast, that "they'll not be able to do another dollar's worth of damage to our property". Cut to Big Fist breaking the lock on a door that, according to the caption, was worth 125 dollars.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mr. Justice applies this trope to its logical extreme.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: The Anarchists are just that, and don't have a problem with letting loose Richie or (after most of the team is arrested) Messier. On the other hand, the Oligarchs other than Meyer don't feel comfortable with his police state, and don't actually do many villainous things on screen.
  • Happy Ending Override: Somewhat. The first season ends on a hopeful note, with the remaining Anarchists successfully removing Meyer from power and escaping unharmed, the implication being that they were now working on defeating the remaining Oligarchs (who remain in power). After the Time Skip, however, it turns out that Messier broke off from the main group and now leads "a Merry Band of Trigger-Happy Hooligans," Richie is still uncontrollable and lighting random parts of the city on fire (and is also implied to be no longer under Noam's supervision), the Oligarchs themselves are still in power, Scott has become disillusioned with the rest of the Anarchists (who he now sees as just as bad as the Oligarchs) and retired and Mr. Justice changed his name to THE Justice.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Crimefighters after being arrested.
  • Heel Realization: Seeing Meyer's security forces harass an old man causes the Crimefighters to realize that they're on the wrong side.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Oligarch's control of the media allows them to portray the Anarchists as violent terrorists.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Messier. To be fair, he follows Noam's orders easily enough.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Harold, whose computer Noam uses to access Meyer's system.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Messier's power.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Noam dresses like a Mad Scientist and calls himself Master Fusion but criticizes the Crimefighters for thinking that they live in a comic book.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: All of the tropes that Mr. Justice says applies to obvious villains also happens to apply to the superhero recruit he's standing next to in "Resting Villain Face".
  • Knife Nut: While Messier prefers guns, he isn't against using a combat knife when the situation calls for it.
  • Large Ham: Messier, when Noam doesn't interrupt him.
  • The Load: How Noam initially treats Lincoln.
  • Loving Bully: Heavily implied this is why Katie/Spectacle bullied Noam in their childhood and why she continues to bother him.
  • Malaproper: Gunn isn't comfortable with one man owning the police; it's a bit too much like a dictationship.
  • Manchild: Richie; Word of God describes him as having the mind of an eight year old.
  • Meganekko: Katie/Spectacle
  • Meaningful Name: Lincoln produces pennies out of thin air.
  • Minimalist Cast: Downplayed; there are actually a lot of extras in the series, however, most of the Anarachists are only briefly on screen, and no Crimefighters other than Mr. Justice and Spectacle.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Lincoln points out that Noam could just get a cell phone instead of carrying a giant, volatile bag around everywhere.
  • Mythology Gag: Scott's "civilian outfit" includes an Altered Egos hoodie.
    • According to Word of God, Scott and Noam are drinking zucchini and rhubarb milkshakes respectively during their meeting.
  • No Conservation of Energy: Lincoln seems to be able to create pennies out of literally nothing.
  • Noodle Incident: Given the nature of the Time Skip, there are quite a few:
  • Not Wearing Tights: Both the Crimefighters and the Anarchists have homemade costumes at best. The background Anarchists are even more diverse.
  • Offhand Backhand: Noam knocks out a security agent this way.
  • Only Sane Man: Noam/Master Fusion.
  • Paying in Coins: As Lincoln points out, you can buy things with only pennies, it just pisses people off. Apparently there are no Coinstars nearby.
  • Personality Powers: Inverted; each Anarchist has abilities that are intentionally ironic for their respective personalities.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Mr. Justice gladly and openly profiles people as good or evil based on their physical appearance.
    • He also laughs off the idea that a "tiny woman" could be evil.
  • Power Incontinence: Lincoln sprays pennies out of his hands when he's startled or frustrated.
  • The Power of Creation: Lincoln, but he can only create one thing.
  • Pyromaniac: Riche/The Arsonist.
  • Running Gag: Messier pointing a gun at someone's head.
  • Shabby Heroes, Well-Dressed Villains: True for the most part, with most of the Oligarchs dressed as you would expect from Corrupt Corporate Executives over against the Anarchists' homemade costumes, but inverted in two cases; Big Fist is quite concerned with his appearance, while Tedd Gunn looks like he'd be more at home in a biker bar than an executive office.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Post Time Skip, Mr. Justice has changed his name to "THE Justice".
  • The Stoic: Shawn.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Noam's bag, although the explosion is mostly harmless.
  • Take Over the World: Messier's stated goal. In practice, he (it?) tends to go along with the rest of the Anarchists' plans.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Scott: But hey, check us out. Got all the way here and nothing's gone wrong!
    *Noam is tazed by Katie from offscreen*
    Katie: Hi Noam.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Noam tries to get Messier to agree to this. It sticks for about a single mission.
  • Throw-Away Guns: How Messier deals with an empty magazine. Given that he really does have a Hyperspace Arsenal and probably doesn't care about a human hurting themselves with a discarded firearm, it's pretty justified.
  • Time Skip: After several years, the Anarchists are back.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Messier.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Crimefighters for Meyer.
  • Victory Is Boring: Katie's attitude after most of the Anarchists are arrested.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Oligarchs paint themselves as benefactors of the city working to take down the dangerous Anarchists.
  • Walking Armory: Messier.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Creating infinite money out of thin air sounds like an awesome power. Unfortunately, Lincoln can only produce pennies.
  • Wine Is Classy: Cossling is always seen with a glass of wine, even when he's in a meeting. He doesn't actually enjoy the taste and at one point forgets where he got it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Well, Noam would try anyway.

     Altered Egos 

  • All for Nothing: Pippa frantically seeks out a way of remembering who to thank during her speech, finally find a friend to write flash cards for her.. then forgets to use them.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Excelsior gets her arm torn off.
  • Anti-Hero Team: Excelsior is quite pleased with the team's willingness to perform illegal or immoral acts for the cause of justice (or to get paid).
  • The Atoner: Chomwell is a less than willing example; he has to atone for his life of crime if he wants Kurgess to lift his curse.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Liram/The Revenant's Weapon of Choice is a repeating heavy crossbow.
  • Badass Beard: Owen and Lord Chomwell. Chomwell's is even more impressive when Hulking Out.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Pippa's position Aviel's government seems to be just as useful to the team, if not more so, as her powers.
  • Big Red Devil: As Tieflings, General Scrim and Caprice look this way.
  • Bothering by the Book: Jacques, as an actual embodiment of Lawful Good, is prone to this, much to Davey's frustration.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Excelsior's arm being torn off ends her superheroics
  • Child Soldier: Downplayed; Mac was drafted at age 9, making him a teenager by ratfolk standards. He also didn't see combat until he was 13 and considered a young adult.
  • City of Adventure: Aviel.
  • Clark Kenting: Caprice's only disguise is a domino mask, which is good enough to apparently keep her uncle from recognizing her. Pippa doesn't have any sort of disguise other than her sparkliness, but none of the others recognize her until she reveals her identity.
  • Con Man: Chomwell.
  • Expy: Many of the characters are homages to famous superheroes:
  • Deadly Gaze: One of Psychoseer's powers.
  • Evil All Along: Scrim.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Liram gets quite offended whenever anyone uses "shady" or "shadow" as words with negative connotations.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Silverback doesn't have any particular weapons or magical abilities other than his fists and his armor.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Ian remarks that if Silverback was a comic book character, his takedown of two thugs would have to be off-panel to conform to the comics code.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Silverback uses one demon to bludgeon another.
  • Holy City: Aviel's national sense of pride stems from their devotion to and blessings by the gods, particularly Sarenrae.
  • Holy Halo: Pippa/Aurora has one (when she's not feeling self-conscious about it).
  • Hot Wings: Pippa/Aurora's familiar Rhododactylos.
  • Hulking Out: Chomwell is cursed by the god Kurgess to turn into a gigantic, mindless brute when under stress.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Most of Pychoseer's powers are a form of this.
  • Last of His Kind: Mac is the sole survivor of his clan.
  • Magical Girl: Pippa/Aurora.
  • Mythology Gag: Aviel's administration building is named Christopher Hall, after the executive producer of The Guards Themselves.
    • Pippa's supervisor, Kenneth Livingston, is named after one of the channel's long-time supporters.
  • Ninja: Mac.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Jacques and Davey are both outsiders from the upper planes. Jacques is a Hound Archon, Davey is an Azata. Pippa and Excelsior are both Aasimar, humanoids with angelic blood.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Mac and Owen aren't sure whether or not Excelsior's interjection is part of the play or not. Owen keeps enjoying his drink while the show goes on.
  • Racial Face Blindness: While Mac Oakstout is a pretty western-sounding name, he is a ninja, and most people who meet him in his various identities tend to assume that all ratfolk just look the same.
  • Rat Men: Mac/Willow.
  • Sadistic Choice: Liram has to choose between killing either Jacques or Davey to disrupt Scrim's demon-summoning ritual.
  • Shout-Out: Aviel's protector is named Excelsior.
  • Signature Move: Pipper/Aurora has the spell Glitterdust.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Excelsior.
  • The Swarm: Silverback and Aurora are attacked by a hoard of grasshoppers.
  • Tap on the Head: How Mac deals with two halflings helping themselves to his wares.
    • Silverback realizes that this may not be feasible with steel gauntlets after he turns two thugs' heads into pulp.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Pippa.
  • Transformation Sequence: Pippa has one... that she activates by herself in her office.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To date, most of the team's missions have been given to them under false pretenses.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Regrowing a limb should be simple in a magical world. Unfortunately, the demon that tore off Excelsior's arm corrupted in in some way so that it cannot be regenerated.

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JP: Why do we do this to ourselves?
Kyle: Well if we didn't experience one self-contained catastrophe per week then anyone magically observing our lives would get bored pretty fast.
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