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"On the Internet, reality is often more difficult to discern."
— Fredrik Knudsen
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Down the Rabbit Hole is a documentary series created and hosted by Fredrik Knudsen. A self-described series of "weird documentaries," it explores a wide variety of subject matters, mostly relating to strange phenomena, be it in real life or on the internet.

The style of the videos are overall fairly neutral and unbiased in their point of view, but otherwise remains informative; with Knudsen by and large sticking to stating the known facts about the subject matters he tackles and letting them speak for themselves.

The series can be found on Knudsen's channel here.

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Down the Rabbit Hole provides examples of:

     Tropes A-L 
  • Acceptable Targetsinvoked: Defied. Knudsen has a rule of being as neutral and unbiased as possible towards the subjects he covers, even when it regards people he openly dislikes (namely Phil Burnell and Norman Boutin) and things that are outright illegal (calling the practice of Swatting "morally dubious"note ).
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jordie Jordan admits that "I'd donate but since I'm in Great Britain it's in pounds and you obviously don't need any more of those" is a joke he can actually respect.
  • Adult Fear: From Purr Cat Café, leaving your beloved cat at a café while you take care of a sick relative, only for the owner of said cafe to severely neglect it and lead to its euthanasia.
  • The Alcoholic: While Fredrik doesn't directly touch on it beyond the facts, several Facebook comments and one genuine incident in which she was found near-passed out surrounded by wine bottles and in the midst of a suicide attempt indicate Diane, the owner of the Purr Cat Café, had problems with alcohol. It leads one to wonder how many of her infamously abrasive Facebook posts were the result of Alcohol-Induced Idiocy.note 
  • All Take and No Give: Some of the content creators Fredrik covers are notable for this behavior towards their fans and friends.
    • Noah Antwiler started off averting this, but over time his inability to focus on finishing projects, his Insufferable Genius mindset, and inability to filter his thoughts meant that as time went on, he began to take fame and influence over his peers, and when that got him to lose support, he turned to Patreon to get financial support. By the time of the video, Noah had faulted on many of his promises to Patreon supporters, made almost no videos, and disappeared from the internet.
    • Jordie Jordan's impulsive behavior and inability to apologize for his mistakes has poisoned his friendships to the point they've cut him out of their lives. Most notably, after Kyle spent a month on helping Jordie lose weight, even spending $5,000 to renovate the bathroom to accommodate his size, Jordie would not only fail to uphold his diet but also ducked out of a camping survival trip without so much as a phone call.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Despite his intelligence, Henry Darger was a compulsively disruptive and aggressive child and only worsened as an adult due to his reclusive lifestyle. He would impersonate people he hated while arguing with himself, developed bizarre habits regarding his birth info and daily routines, and had an obsession with children and the weather; the former of which was to a point where he suffered a Creator Breakdown after a news photo of a murdered child vanished from his possession.note 
    • Jordie Jordan from WingsOfRedemption displayed symptoms of anxiety, mood swings, an inability to socialize, and take criticism. Unlike Christine Weston Chandler and Terry A. Davis (who were diagnosed with autism and schizophrenia respectively), it's unclear how much of Jordan's behavior stemmed from a mental condition and how much was just his personality. It's noted by Fredrik that Jordan's anger issues subsided after he started taking medication following his surgery.
    • Homer and Langely Collyer were both massive hoarders who never sought out any outside relationships and chose to stay with their parents well into their adult years. After Homer became crippled, the two refused to seek medical treatment and eventually shut themselves off from the world when black families started moving into their neighborhood. Langley also refused going back into the work force despite financial troubles, and would do supply runs late at night to avoid interacting with anyone.
  • Anti-Climax:
    • In the episode on Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, Christine's online drama comes to an anti-climactic end when she curbs her online presence and focus on her slowly dwindles as a result. While a few dedicated onlookers remain in the form of the Christorians and sites such as the CWCki and KiwiFarms, the tone of their material goes from being that of bullying, to a distant fascination with and documentation of Chris's ongoing life and her various misadventures. Many former trolls nowadays even hope that maybe she'll someday find satisfaction and happiness after everything she's gone through.
    • The Rajneeshpuram episode; tensions between the titular cult and their neighbors were steadily increasing, with the Rajneeshi trying to arm themselves in the event of an eventual stand-off, and things could have escalated into full-blown violence after the salmonella plot and the assassination attempts (even though they weren't successful). However, Rajneeshpuram's end came not because these incidents, but because their leaders had evaded immigration laws and were indicted by a jury for it. As the video pointed out, this case has been building against the cult for some time, and there was nothing that the Rajneeshi could have done to halt it, so all their attempts to preserve their commune were ultimately for nothing.
    • The WingsOfRedemption episode ends this way. After giving up on the workout program and alienating pretty much all of his remaining friends, Jordie opts for surgery to lose weight. He felt very anxious about the procedure, especially when one considers that the doctor he chose had a higher failure rate than the safer but more expensive option. Jordie was determined to go forward with it, although he incorrectly believed his life would dramatically improve in every possible way (like being able to pursue things outside the house he wouldn't normally do, have more energy, or find a loving relationship). While Jordie survived the surgery and achieved what he wanted, he realized that his situation didn't improve one bit in regards to his weight loss, and he's still stuck doing a job he hates.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: In the Purr Cat Café episode, Diane has absolutely no idea how to properly care for the cats, with the café lacking such basic necessities as beds, hiding places, cages, toys, cat trees, or scratching posts. It ultimately culminates in one of them being neglected to the point of having to be euthanized.
  • Asshole Victim: His Digital Homicide Studios, Christian Weston Chandler, DarksydePhil, Noah Antwiler (Spoony), TempleOS, WingsOfRedemption, and Purr Cat Café episodes make no secret of how much the respective subjects of the videos screwed themselves over through their own actions. However, Christine, Noah, Terry of TempleOS, and Jordie of WingsOfRedemption are shown to be tragic victims, stemming from each of their own mental health issuesnote .
    • Fred made it clear in a livestream that the episode on Noah/Spoony was meant to portray him as such. Noah was clearly a guy who had a lot of talent and passion, but not recognizing and/or dealing with his mental health problems until it was way too late caused him to hemorrhage support from his fans.
    • Jordie/WingsOfRedemption would find new ways to alienate people. During his golden years, Jordie would look down on people who had jobs that didn't pay as much as his own, while gloating that he'd made more money than them and that he didn't need to work. He would drive away many other COD Commenters on Youtube due to his outbursts of insults and drama, leaving few people willing to back him up. He drove many of his legitimate fans away with his awful, gloomy attitude and ban-happy tendencies, leaving trolls and drama lovers who kept watching just to see him freak out. He would even drive the last of his friends away for helping people harassing them, and refusing to take sides by somehow believing "he could be friends with the both of (them)".
    • Diane Kelly, the owner of Purr Cat Café, is an alcoholic who bullied her subordinates/partners (see Bad Boss below for more info on that) and responded vitriolically to advice and criticism while playing the victim card. When running her business, it became clear that she cared more about profit than the welfare of the cats, and often left them in a basement with little to no care, with one cat (who was surrendered by her owner) having to be euthanized because its condition had gotten so bad. Eventually, dwindling attendance and bad publicity lead to her trying to sell the café to no avail, and she was sued by her landlord for failing to pay rent, resulting in Purr Cat Café's forced closure, as well as Diane becoming swamped in debt.
  • Author Appeal: The main reason Fredrik made the Hurdy Gurdy episode is because he owns and plays a hurdy gurdy.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Sheela of Rajneeshpuram is revealed to be a ruthless psychotic who engineered a mass outbreak of salmonella in an attempt to sabotage an election which could have killed dozens, possibly hundreds of people. That's not even getting into all the assassinations ordered by her. Fortunately, each attempt failed spectacularly.
    • Andrew Ronseblum of GameLife reveals himself to be disturbingly unhinged when he threatens his girlfriend with a school shooting the day after the Virginia Tech Massacre.
  • Bad Boss: Diane Kelly from Purr Cat Café, big time. She not only belittled her employees and ignored their advice (for the record, some of them were trained feline behaviorists while Diane herself had no idea of how to handle cats), but went as far as attempting to shame an ex-employee's sexual life in Facebook in retaliation for said former employee revealing her shady and unscrupulous practices. This drove away any help her business could have received, leading to its demise.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Ma Anand Sheela was without a question an utterly ruthless maniac with detailed plans to murder dozens if not hundreds of people. However, every last one of her plans ended in complete and dismal failure, and she wound up losing the support of the commune and Rajneesh himself, who openly condemned her actions.
  • Big Eater: WingsOfRedemption was a compulsive eater due to his depression and anxiety issues, which were exacerbated following his defeat to ProSyndicate and made him put even more weight. Best illustrated when the Painkiller Already podcast discusses his eating habits with a clip played over the audio where he wolfs down on a frozen dinner very ravenously.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Fredrik himself has a thick and highly expressive pair.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Many of the subjects Fredrik covers often end on these notes as they document individuals whose own actions often bring about their downfall, with the occasional Downer Ending cropping up.
    • The Christian Weston Chandler video ends with Chris being all but left alone, with trolls and other onlookers only watching from afar. But Chris-Chan's health and grasp on reality is continuing to deteriorate, with the prospects of her future being uncertain to say the least.
    • Henry Darger ends with Darger dying, but he ends up Vindicated by History as his work is eventually found and preserved.
    • The Austrian Wine Poisoning ends with those involved in adding diethylene glycol to wine being implicated and sentenced to jail. Those who survived the scandal also created new wine colleges across Austria and Germany, along with new growing techniques developed to improve the quality of the grapes. However, the Austrian wine market basically collapsed after the scandal, going down to less than five percent of what it was in terms of exports before the scandal broke out. This even occurred to Austrian wine companies and vineyards who had done nothing wrong. It would take a decade for the Austrian wine industry to recover completely, but once it did so, Austrian wine became the most trusted in the world (a reputation it maintains even today) thanks to the strict standards and regulations imposed as a result of the 1985 scandal, to the point of the official seal of approval becoming a viable marketing tool.invoked
    • Deep Blue ends with the titular computer defeating world chess champion Garry Kasparov, as its creators had intended. And yet, the victory was tainted by bad press following cheating allegations, and IBM higher-ups deciding against a third match to maintain their victory, despite Kasparov's willingness and Feng-hsiung Hsu's desire to keep working on Deep Blue. While both men would continue to lead successful lives (with Kasparov becoming an advocate of technological innovation), Deep Blue would never play another game, and was split in two halves, each placed in two separate museums, never to be reunited.
  • Body Horror:
    • Plague Doctors describes the horrific effects of the Black Death on its victims, up to and including showing an image of a hand afflicted with necrosis, with almost the entire hand covered in black, dead flesh.
    • In The Austrian Wine Poisoning, Frederik notes that drinking too much of the contaminated wine led to necrosis in the liver, renal failure, vomiting, shivers, kidney stones, and even brain damage because of the diethylene glycol in the wine.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: WingsOfRedemption ends on such note. Jordie finally gets his long-desired gastric surgery to lose weight because he couldn't achieve it through workout. After getting it, he realizes that his life didn't dramatically improve like he expected it would - he thought he might have been able to move from a career he now detests. Instead, he is now stuck reading troll commentaries out loud in exchange for donations (essentially a short-term revenue, since people will eventually move on) because he can't do anything else.
  • Book-Ends:
    • In the Henry Darger episode, early in Henry's life, his father became crippled and was taken to St. Augustine's Catholic Mission home. This place would also be the same place where Henry died.
    • In the Noah Antwiler (Spoony) episode, albeit in a meta-sense, the episode starts and ends with the same clip being used.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The Kevin Macleod song "Spyglass", which is played during beginning of every video. In the Hurdy Gurdy episode, a remix of "Spyglass" is used in place of the original.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • The timeline in his video on Noah Antwiler makes it appear that Noah leaving Channel Awesome was ultimately what began to break his career on the internet. His videos never peaked the same, and his efforts to build his channel never quite managed to reach the heights it had when with them. Only a few short years after leaving, his content had slowed to a halt, and he admitted to having various disorders.
    • In the WingsOfRedemption episode, Jordie's match with ProSyndicate was the tipping point of his YouTube career. Up to that point, he'd been mocking Syndicate's play style and even boldly declared he could play Zombies better than Syndicate on his first try. A 1v1 duel was set between them on the map Bog, which had several open portions of terrain, and both were using M-16s, which favored Wings' style of play in controlling certain portions of the map from a long range. Syndicate still went on to win the match by a substantial margin (14-9 in his favor). This loss wound up causing Jordie to break his controller, lash out at his friend Woody for streaming the match despite it being his idea, and later attempting to bribe Syndicate to throw a $5,000 dollar rematch in an attempt to salvage his reputation. He never truly recovered from the loss, as it remains one of the focal points of Jordie's fall from grace.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The titular character of the Mother Horse Eyes video ends up doing this with his post addressing the readers' suspicions about him.
  • Breather Episode:
    • The "Anime and Otaku" two-parter, which is a more optimistic story of Japan recovering from its postwar devastation, and even once its bubble bursts the video doesn't go into much detail about the darker side of otakuism.
    • Finger Family Videos, a lighthearted piece exploring a series of strange meme videos on children's channels, is right between the fairly bleak and depressing Henry Darger, and the downright nightmarish Mouse Utopia Experiments.
    • Digital Homicide: Finale, which follows up the Mouse Utopia Experiment also qualifies, being both shorter lighter in tone.
    • Furries, while not without its darker content, is certainly a lot less disturbing than the nightmarish Final Fantasy House and depressing Noah Antwiler (Spoony) episodes that came before it.
    • Hurdy Gurdy, which comes off the heels of the somber TempleOS episode and before the drama-heavy WingsOfRedeption, focuses on the history of the titular instrument and the growing fanbase it has acquired over the years. Fredrik even shows off a hurdy gurdy of his own, allowing him to show off the instrument's features more easily.
    • Deep Blue, coming after the pretty disturbing Austrian Wine Poisoning, describes both the creation of the "Deep Blue" chess-playing computer and its matches against chess legend Garry Kasparov.
  • Broken Ace:
    • Noah Antwiler was a very talented individual, whose skills at reviewing and comedy helped make him one of the most popular members of Channel Awesome, an already popular group. However, his personality flaws and mental health issues proved to be a millstone around his neck, and he ended up as a tragic example to others.
    • Terry A. Davis was a bona fide genius at programming, who was able to write an entire operating system by himself. Unfortunately, he was also severely mentally ill and extremely racist.
    • Both of the Collyer Brothers. Homer was a Child Prodigy in his youth, and Langley performed at Carnegie Hall. After their parents died, their hoarding problem and isolation led to their deaths.
  • Call-Back: Entirely unintentional and in the background to it all, but during the WingsOfRedemption episode, when Fredrik is showing a stream of a Kiwifarms troll stream attacking a Discord user (from a server also dedicated to trolling the same guy), one of the comments declares "these are the types of fags that killed Terry"; due to the timing of the stream, they likely meant Terry A. Davis, the subject of the previous episode.
    • Similarily, one of the forum commenters shown in the TempleOS episode mocks the system by saying it "runs on a Time Cube".
  • Came Back Strong: By the time the Austrian wine market recovered from the diethylene glycol poisoning scandal, the Austrian winemaking culture had changed drastically for the better. Gone were the mass-produced dessert wines that both foreigners and Austrians now refused to buy and whose creators had gone belly-up due to it happening, in favor of high-quality craft dry white wines, marked with a mandatory seal of quality and safety that ended up becoming a marketing tool. As a result, Austrian wine now has an excellent, if not prestigious, reputation.
  • Can't Take Criticism: A lot of people he covers tend to have this problem.
    • The Romine brothers in Digital Homicide. They started a feud with Jim Sterling after the latter did a video lambasting The Slaughtering Grounds, one of their games, which eventually escalated until they ended up suing Sterling for ten million dollars. They also tried to sue any and all Steam users that left negative comments or reviews in their games, which resulted in all their games being removed from Steam and Digital Homicide being banned from publishing on the platform.
    • Exaggerated with Empress Teresa. Norman Boutin's intense narcissism led to him having volatile arguments with literally any critics of his work, with the major argument only stopping because the thread hit the post limit. Bear in mind said limit is thousands of posts.
    • DarkSydePhil shows on multiple occasions Phil's antagonistic behavior to his critics.
    • invoked One of the first signs in Noah Antwiler (Spoony) towards Noah's eventual Creator Breakdown was his tendency to ban people on his forums who criticized his work. He also flat out admitted he couldn't take criticism very well, and when discussing why he left Channel Awesome, he made it clear he didn't see what he said as wrong, but instead how he handled himself.
    • Terry from TempleOS had a tendency to refer to his detractors by racial slurs.
    • This, ultimately, is the root of the problem concerning WingsOfRedemption. While Jordie Jordan's career started off well, it was his inability to handle criticism of his play style, his weight, or his opinions (and his strong emotional reactions to such criticism) that made him a popular target for trolls. The constant harassment he faced as a result embittered him to his entire choice of career, which manifested itself in an overall toxic and abusive attitude towards his friends and followers. To make matters worse, he admits being aware about this shortcoming, but says he can't help it.
    • Diane Kelly in Purr Cat Café completely disregarded the criticism of her employees and lashed angrily on Facebook at any negative comment, creating a bad PR image that would be one of the causes of her business' failure.
  • Catchphrase: In Purr Cat Café, Diane Kelly used to finish all her Facebook posts with "Meow. Meow. PURR!!!".
  • Celeb Crush: In the TempleOS episode, Terry had one of these for YouTube personality Dianna Cowern (AKA Physics Girl). Because of his schizophrenia, and some trolls taking advantage of said schizophrenia, he came to believe that he and Dianna were actually involved in a relationship and eventually that they were officially married even though they had never even met in real life.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Both the Time Cube and Purr Cat Cafe episodes starts off fairly mundane but then suddenly becomes dark towards the end.note 
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Terry A. Davis of TempleOS certainly believed the former, and was certain that the CIA was after him.
  • The Comically Serious:
    • Frederik tries to be as objective as possible no matter how ridiculous the facts he's reading out are, making for some unintentional comedy as he goes over bizarre events without a hint of comedic reaction.
    • Something that occurs very frequently is Fredrik reading text out loud exactly as it is written, including any spelling or grammatical errors, all while never breaking his deadpan delivery.
  • Compassionate Critic: WoodysGamertag, one of Jordie's few friends, tries to be helpful by highlighting his black-and-white mood-swinging attitude. Given that this happened before the eventual spiral-down of their friendship, Jordie doesn't heed him.
    Woody: You are a guy who thinks a little bit short-term, you know? When cash comes into bank, you feel wealthy. When bills roll in, you feel broke... If you have a good day, you feel awesome. If you have a single bad day, you feel the world is crashing.
  • Conspiracy Theorist:
    • Gene Ray in Time Cube firmly believed that universities and educators in general were actively trying to prevent the "truth" of his cubic time theories from being known by the public at large.
    • As result of his schizophrenia, Terry A. Davis in TempleOS believed he was being stalked and harassed by the CIA, African Americans, Athiests, and the British Northern Irish. He even thought his parents were in on it.
  • Consummate Professional: Frederik's style of commentary in a nutshell. In contrast to many internet reviewers, the tone of DTRH is almost entirely non-comedic, and Frederik tries to recap the events he's discussing in as unbiased and journalistic a manner as possible, refraining from inserting jokes or his own opinions on the events in question.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: A number of them in The Austrian Wine Poisoning. The scandal all started because they used diethylene glycol in their wine, which is poisonous to humans, because it was sweet and thus improved the flavor of their popular sweet wines, extremely cheap and easy to get in large quantities, hard to detect before updated methods and due to the government branch that was responsible for the quality of wines being grossly understaffed, they assumed it'd be unlikely they'd be found out. There also was little to no information available about the effects of diethylene glycol on the human body at the time, meaning that since the various wineyard owners couldn't find any information about its toxicity, they assumed it'd be safe to mix in with their wines. Once they were caught, the executives blamed the vineyards for adding it (they didn't), blamed the government for faulty testing (it was updated to be even faster and more accurate, meaning testing was more accurate than ever), and finally blamed the public, saying they should have been more careful in picking wine. They never blamed themselves or admitted fault.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Diane Kelly from Purr Cat Café might be the epitome of this trope. She was absolutely obsessed with having cats in her titular store despite having no idea on how to take care of them while ignoring advice of pretty much everybody around her. Her constant fights on social media against her critics really takes its toll on her, and it's revealed that she's an alcoholic struggling with thoughts of self-harm.
  • Creator Breakdowninvoked: Explored in detail as the subject of several videos.
    • Henry Darger shows Darger experience one after one of his pictures of a murdered child goes missing and he goes into the deep end, building a shrine for her and subjecting his characters to horrifying torture. Unlike the following examples, Darger keeps more or less an functional life and eventually recovers later from it.
    • Christian Weston Chandler presents a significant example in the form of its namesake, Chris-Chan. She started off as the lazy, entitled, desperate and hopelessly jealous creator of Sonichu, but as her life gradually became disassembled and constantly manipulated by the trolls, she suffered a near-complete meltdown over the years following her discovery by the internet, reaching a head when she pepper-sprayed a Gamestop employee as a result of her rage against SEGA making Sonic the Hedgehog's arms blue in the Sonic Boom games. While Chris has some ability to recover and dust herself off from these traumatizing events that are continuously thrown at her, it is undeniable that they have still left her broken and disconnected from reality.
    • A major theme in Noah Antwiler (Spoony) is how Noah's increasingly unstable behavior proved detrimental to those around him, culminating in him alienating much of his fanbase and getting his Twitter account suspended. As Noah himself discussed in his video about why he left Channel Awesome, since he was representing Channel Awesome online and he refused to change being Brutally Honest, he was making the site look bad.
    • Andrew Rosenblum from GameLife is an example of this as during the show's run his ego increasingly grew, and after breaking up with a girlfriend, he began harassing her via emails culminating in a school shooting threat the day after the Virginia Tech tragedy occurred on April 17, 2007, threatening to "bring a fucking gun to your school and kill you and K (another female student) and everyone you love", even saying that it would be Virginia Tech all over again and that the best part would be when he pulled the gun on himself too. He was charged and put on house arrest for two years as sponsors and partnerships dropped, effectively putting your daily dose of gaming goodness on withdrawal.
    • TempleOS presents an even more severe one with Terry A. Davis (who was never stable to begin with) growing even more erratic after his discovery by the internet, leading to him being arrested, becoming homeless and living in a van with him becoming more and more insane by the day, and performing vlogs during all this time until his tragic death.
    • WingsOfRedemption has Jordie suffer one after being humbled in a duel match with Syndicate while he was still on an ego trip due to his meteoric rise to fame. He never recovered from that defeat and his infamous reactions to it, and became extremely insular and depressive to a point where he flat out admitted he hated his job.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Both of the Collyer Brothers die nasty deaths, with Langley being pinned to the ground by one of his own traps and suffocated (with rats gnawing at his corpse) and Homer slowly starving to death, blind and immobile.
    • Terry A. Davis getting hit by a train (likely a suicide).
  • Creepypasta: The SCP Foundation and Mother Horse Eyes recount the story of these respective creepypastas.
  • Cult:
    • Rajneeshpuram is about the notorious tale of the Rajneesh commune.
    • The Final Fantasy House sounds like this - it is a commune of Final Fantasy VII fans led by Jennifer Cornet and a person who goes by the name Hojo, joined together by the concept that all of them have the soul of a character from the same game (with Jen being Jenova) and getting stranger from there. Jen definitely played the part of a cult leader in it, getting all the money flow to herself and generally taking charge while being eerily convincing to all that came to her. Later, Greta (Aeris) broke off to do a similar group with Suikoden characters instead, complete with insane rituals and demanding plentiful donations for "showing them the truth".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Henry Darger's mother died shortly after giving birth to his younger sister, his father gave her up for adoption because he felt he wasn't fit to raise both of them, his father became crippled, Darger was institutionalized for masturbation, and his father died just as Darger reached adulthood and escaped the asylum.
  • Dated History: In the Star Citizen video, Knudsen details how No Man's Sky failed to live up to the marketing hype and how Hello Games went silent in the face of the backlash. He also detailed Elite: Dangerous's crowdfunding controversy and its initially shallow gameplay, leading Knudsen and many others at the time to believe that Star Citizen and Squadron 42 were the best hopes for the space sim genre. In the months after the video's release, it would turn out that the radio silence from Hello Games was because they were working on free major updates to No Man's Sky that brought the game up to fan expectations. Likewise, updates and DLC to Elite Dangerous have managed to considerably increase its popularity and reception.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • In the DarksydePhil episode, Phil accidentally streams himself masturbating, though the act itself wasn't shown on camera. Ironically, this ends up causing a spike in interest in him, and Phil would actually use that as a way of getting attention. Machinima (Phil's then sponsor), on the other hand, tried to copyright-claim or take down fan videos depicting the act, which didn't work.invoked
    • In the Henry Darger episode, this was the reason why Henry was institutionalized in the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children, for what was called "self-abuse".
    • The TempleOS episode had Terry masturbating on livestreams conducted in his van while browsing the internet. Luckily for him, since he was streaming from his own site, he received no repercussions for it.
  • Daydream Believer:
    • As depicted in the self-titled video, Christine Weston Chandler is one of these, which, combined with her autism, is one of the reasons she's so protective of her life's work and so resistant to criticism of its quality.
    • The cult leader "Jen" in the Final Fantasy House video actively encouraged this in her followers as another method of controlling and Gaslighting them, but it's not certain whether this was merely another manipulation tactic or whether she actually believed it herself.
  • Deader Than Discoinvoked: As shown in the DarksydePhil episode, Phil was once very popular on YouTube, even being among the first creators to be seen on the website when he was at critical mass. But his numerous poor decisions led to an increasing number of fans getting fed up with him. Phil's inability to learn from his mistakes and accept criticism, annoying and antagonistic attitude, and a similarly annoying and antagonistic companion in the form of PandaLeeGames, caused his fanbase to turn against him. Not helping was Phil's constant refusal to adapt to changes in viewer's tastes and YouTube's business model, because he believes people will still watch his type of content regardless (i.e. eschewing direct capture in favor of recording directly off a TV screen with a camera, and not editing his playthrough because of his beliefs people wanted to see "raw unedited" gameplay). evilaj2010's "This Is How You DON'T Play MGS2" video drove the final nail in the coffin.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Despite the unbiased nature of his show, Fredrik is not above making occasional snarky comments or observations about the subjects he covers.
    • When he read quotes and online posts, he changes his tone to reflect the often angry or unstable attitudes of the original writer and regularly refrains from correcting typos, speaking the word as it was incorrectly written. When he finishes, he will immediately say "unquote" in his normal, flat tone of voice. Similarly, when talking about social media posts, he will occasionally spotlight comments he finds funny treat them like pertinent information for comedic value.
  • Deep South: In the Time Cube episode, Gene Ray hails from Cumming, Georgia, and has the accent to match. One person who attended one of his lectures compared his speech to Jeff Boomhauer's.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Diane Kelly from Purr Cat Café was adamant about going through with her titular cat cafe, no matter how many bridges she burned, how much bad publicity she garnered, or how ill-prepared her business was to perform the service it provided. However, when a cat she was trusted with died under her care, "Diane's psyche diminished": she became suicidal, her alcoholism became worse than ever, and her business dwindled until it went out of business.
  • Development Hellinvoked:
    • His Star Citizen episode explores on the protracted development of the game.
    • He discusses the Spoony Movie in his video on Noah Antwiler, wherein Noah set a Patreon goal as being a movie he would make, but its clear Noah never intended to actually do it, because when people did manage to get that goal shortly after he opened it, he was hesitant to do so and openly stated he wasn't sure about it. Since then, despite commenting on it, nothing has come from it.
  • Dirty Coward: Behind the bluster and tough guy act, Jordie Jordan is this at heart. He once threatened to dox Keemstar and his girlfriend to his face, but only when he thought they weren't being recorded, so he wouldn't suffer public backlash for it. The most egregious example, however, was when he ducked out of a camping survival trip with his co-hosts, Woody and Kyle. Not only did his excuse amount to "I just didn't want to go", he didn't even extend the courtesy of letting them know until they called him first, because he didn't want them to talk him into it. He was willing to betray his friends' trust and let them sit in the woods, unaware that he never intended on showing up, simply because he was too scared to go.
  • Double Take: An auditory example occurs in Fredrik's livestream of the Channel Awesome exposé at around the 1:44:48 second mark. Fredrik reads out and glosses over the complainant's point "Mike Ellis was upset that I would not pursue a relationship with him (he was married)", goes off on a tangent about the previous paragraph, then abruptly processes what he just read and bursts out in horrified laughter when the realization sinks in.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Collyer Brothers ends in Langley killed in one of his own traps, and Homer starving to death.
    • The Time Cube episode ends with both advocates, Gene Ray and Richard Janczarski, having passed away and the Time Cube website expiring soon after. It also tells how Gene Ray served, in hindsight, to highlight how the internet would start preying on people with mental health problems and eccentric personalities for the sake of humor.
    • Noah Antwiler (Spoony) culminates in Noah getting his Twitter account temporarily suspended after his increasing Creator Breakdowninvoked alienates his fans.note 
    • The TempleOS episode comes to an end after Terry is struck and killed by a train in Oregon, months after his mental health had completely deteriorated. The train's conductor believed it was suicide. (Fred himself speculated as such in a livestream on the episode that Terry committed suicide in a moment of clarity. However, Fred admitted he couldn't find anything conclusive one way or the other, and the world will most likely never know if Terry intended to kill himself or not.)
    • WingsOfRedemption ends with Jordie managing to get the surgery he wanted, but his life doesn't improve the way he thought it would. Instead, he's now left alone after he alienated all his friends, kicked off the podcast he created, reviled by the communities he plays in, and stuck doing a job he openly despises because he can't/won't do anything else.
    • Purr Cat Cafe ends with the titular cafe being closed permanently and Diane possibly being made bankrupt following her failure to pay the rent to her landlord. She also successfully alienates nearly all of her patrons with her unprofessional and antagonistic behaviour.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Ma Anand Sheela in the Rajneeshpuram episode served as Rajneesh's secretary and second-in-command, but it was pretty clear that she ran the entire commune while he was a figurehead, as well as being the mastermind behind the salmonella plot and various assassination conspiracies.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Richard Janczarski in Time Cube killed himself shortly after returning from his trip to the United States to meet Gene Ray. It's implied he couldn't cope with being publicly denounced by the man he idolized.
    • Terry A. Davis' death in TempleOS is believed to have been a suicide.
    • Subverted with Jordie in WingsOfRedemption, who would occasionally make suicide posts (or murder/suicide if he was angry at someone else) over the course of his career, which people would criticize him for seeking attention. Much later, during his career slump, posts of very suicidal, nihilistic posts on Facebook, along with photos of the ammo he planned to use for his suicide would not be uncommon. He doesn't go through with it, however.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • In Time Cube, Richard Janczarski creates a video in which he awkwardly transitions from talking about the then recent death of Steve Irwin to plugging the titular website. Naturally, many criticize him for his lack of tact, leading him to clarify that he did not intend to insult Irwin or otherwise cause any offense.
    • Infamously, Noah Antwiler's rape joke made towards Jesu Otaku caused many of his fellow content creators to react negatively and call him out on it.
  • Dying Alone
    • In The Collyer Brothers, both of them die alone in their apartment, isolated from society for almost two decades and only being found out by the public weeks after they died. And isolated from one another, too, as one of them was trapped elsewhere in the house, crushed to death under a mountain of trash while the other, blind and immobilized, starved to death on his usual spot.
    • In TempleOS, Terry was thrown out of his parents' house following a domestic abuse incident with his father that ended in jail time and a stay in a mental hospital. Following this, he lived in his van and moved to Portland. Even though a few locals familiar with him got to hang out with him, his deteriorating mental health resulted in getting struck and killed by a train.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: A mild example, but the early Down the Rabbit Hole episodes tended to be somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes long, compared to the later ones which tend to be 30 minutes or longer. The Anime & Otaku episode was uploaded into two parts and is currently the only episode to be such.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: In Austrian Wine Poisoning, after the scandal was uncovered, people began referring to Austrian wine as "antifreeze wine", due to the use of glycol as engine antifreeze.
  • Enemy Civil War: Of a sort, but WingsOfRedemption took the time to show how the communities that formed around mocking Jordie's outbursts quickly fell apart into drama and infighting of their own, as elements that were just as bad if not worse than their original target took prominence.
  • Epic Fail:
    • In Rajneeshpuram, Fredrik discusses how every single one of Sheela's attempts to preserve the cult's existence and get rid of her enemies failed spectacularly. As 1985 came, the situation was getting worse as the Rajneeshees would be expelled from Oregon and their leader expelled from the United States. But Sheela was willing to make one final series of efforts to preserve Rajneeshpuram. All in all: the total death count by Sheela and her cronies through various murder attempts and terrorist activities? Zero.
      • Sheela's three-stage plan to sabotage the local election would involve contacting other candidates to make them denounce the cult and use those calls as leverage to damage their campaigns, bringing homeless people across the country so they could vote in their candidate and win the election, and contaminating the populace with salmonella to prevent them from voting. This backfired as the salmonella incident did nothing to stop even more local people from voting; the cult managed to infect over seven hundred people with salmonella poisoning, but by some miracle, no one died. On top of that, the cult's candidate was barred from taking a county seat anyways, and many of their votes were thrown out because of voter fraud.
      • They tried to kill Wasco County's city planner by burning down his office, but the crude equipment (namely candles) was insufficient to destroy the building made of concrete. The office was repaired in two weeks.
      • A former Rajneeshi was targeted for trying to win a court case of 1.7 million dollars, and Sheela sent a group of hitmen dressed as hotel staff to poison her, but they were unable to find an opportunity to do so.
      • A councilman of the Dalles was recovering from ear surgery, so Sheela sent a nurse to poison him with an injection of potassium and adrenaline into his IV tube. The nurse Sheela assigned for this panicked and backed out at the last minute when she saw the councilman didn't have an IV to inject the substance into... and when the nurse and her compatriots tried to leave, their car had a dead battery.
      • Two medical personnel from Rajneeshpuram were targeted because Sheela feared they were getting too close to Rajneesh and would have helped him commit suicide, since he was suffering depression at the time. Sheela's hitmen were meant to use ether to knock their targets out, and later inject adrenaline into their bloodstreams. The hitmen couldn't break into the first target's house and knocked themselves out with their own ether. The attempt on the second target was more successful in that the hitmen managed to knock him out and inject him, but the victim managed to run to the hospital in time to save himself.
      • Finally, Sheela planned on loading their own personal plane with explosives and crashing it into the city's council, further escalating their terrorist activities. However, the commune's leadership vetoed this plan due to Sheela's ever-growing string of failures, and refused to go along with any other assassination attempts.
      • Ironically in the same episode, the Islamist terrorist who attacked an Rajneeshi-owned hotel was also severely injured by the bombs he planted. Though he didn't manage to kill anyone, his attack was used as evidence by the cult leadership that outsiders were aggressive.
    • In The Austrian Wine Poisoning, the winemakers' attempt to get rid of the contaminated wine by throwing it into sewage water only made the authorities even more aware of their actions when the diethylene-glycol in the wine began killing the bacteria used in water treatment plants.
    • In Deep Blue after Feng-hsiung Hsu has fought an uphill battle to design Deep Thought and proven his method works. In 1989 he finally gets a chance at his dream of playing a computer against Kasparov. Unfortunately, Kasparov destroys Deep Thought with ease.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Rajneesh was quick to denounce Sheela's actions after she fled from the Rajneeshpuram commune, stating he was unaware of what she was doing until someone told him. Prior to this, he warned that anyone who got close to him could be targeted by her, which was often the case.
    • That being said, the commune itself is an example of this, crossing into Even Evil Has Loved Ones; make no mistake, in spite of the corruption amongst the leaders of the commune, it was more of a miniature state than just a mere gathering - even having its own airline, and Fred notes in his Mistakes video as a follow up that the commune did succeed in bringing back vegetation to the barren area. He also noted that people from the local area would often visit because the commune produced very good Indian food.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: The comments section of the "Mistakes" video is littered with self-proclaimed straight men talking about how handsome Fredrik is, joking about performing various sex acts on him, and making multiple "rabbit hole" innuendos.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex:
    • The Rajneeshpuram episode talks about the rampant casual sex that occurred within the Rajneesh movement which Fred notes led to some of them getting STDs.
    • Knudsen notes in the Furries episode that this was a notable perception the Furry community get by the public at large, with many people showing up to furry conventions just for the promise of orgies.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Diane from Purr Cat Cafe may be a somewhat delusional Bad Boss, but even she seemed horrified with herself after the death of one of the cats she was supposed to be caring for.
  • Everything Is Racist: Sheela loved to paint Rajneeshpuram's critics as being bigoted against their religious beliefs to deflect the cult's own underhanded practices like dis-incorporating a small town for their own use. It did have some success (at least initially) as the movement received donations from outsiders sympathetic to them and they felt validated by some incidents such as an Islamist terrorist that tried to burn down one of their properties. As part of her Wasco election master plan, she tried to use comments from rival politicians as leverage by constructing them as "racist", even though (as Knudsen perplexingly notes) most of their members were white Americans from rich backgrounds.
  • Fat Bastard: Jordie Jordan in WingsofRedemption is overweight and his personality worsens over the years, becoming more and more vitriolic.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • In Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, Chris' naivety and tendency to reveal her personal information with little regard to the consequences.
    • In the Collyer Brothers, their reclusiveness bites them hard when Langley is crushed by his own traps whilst his blind and immobile brother starves to death, with no one on the outside to contact for help or even aware that anything was wrong.
    • In DarksydePhil, Phil's obnoxious and egotistical behavior, as well as his antagonistic behavior towards anyone whom he deems to have inconvenienced him.
    • In Noah Antwiler (Spoony), Noah's inability to take criticism, and his overly vocal and hostile attitude online caused him to alienate himself from his peers and viewers. Even though he was presented with several chances to grow and wise up to his faults, he never did, and continued to alienate himself until eventually his presence online faded away.
    • In WingsofRedemption, Jordie's increasingly volatile attitude and social ineptitude make him extremely vulnerable to harassment from trolls.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The only things that prove that the Collyer Brothers and Henry Darger ever existed are a small park named after them that was built on the site that formerly housed their brownstone apartment, and a museum located in Henry Darger's former residence, respectively.
  • A Fool for a Client: In Digital Homicide: Finale, James Romine didn't hire a lawyer in his lawsuit against Jim Sterling, compiled his own evidence, and wrote his own documents for submittal to the court. It didn't do him any favors. Sterling averted this by getting his own legal counsel immediately after being served with the lawsuit.
  • Forced to Watch: One of the Final Fantasy House's individuals was found out lying to get away from the two house-runners. They apparently decided to punish him by tying him to a chair and forcing him to watch them "rape" each other, which was an unsurprisingly traumatizing ordeal.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Time Cube, Gene Ray makes an update to his website saying that his website is the sole official site for the Time Cube and tells people to beware of associates. This is an indicator that the relationship between Gene Ray and Janczarski was starting to sour. Later in the same episode, Fredrik notes how Gene Ray would become an early example of how people on the internet would soon target the mentally ill and the eccentric for the sake of humor.
    • During a proto-Drama Alert call with Keemstar, Jordan was advised to ignore the trolls that would upset and depress him, but Jordan said that it wasn't in his personality to "back down", which would eventually lead to the building levels of trolling against him years later.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: One of the central themes of the series. While several subjects of episodes have very obvious neuroses on display - Noah Antwiler, Christine Weston Chandler, Terry A. Davis, etc. - the show neither excuses them nor condemns them for their behavior. It instead shows that these people needed serious mental help before things got so far out of hand, and either never got that help or didn't take the initiative to get it on their own until it was too late, if they ever got it at all. As such, the message boils down to "you're still responsible for your own actions, and if you need mental health assistance, it's ultimately on you to get it."
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The video on WingsOfRedemption/Jordie Jordan presents him this way to the small social circle that he had. In spite of genuinely wanting to help Jordan with his weight loss, career and lifestyle, Jordan's friends are all met with hostility. It takes Jordan blowing off a camping trip they were going to go on at the literal last moment before the ties are broken.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit:
    • The Romine brothers' penchant for filing these at the slightest perceived slight turned out to be their career's undoing. Their lawsuit against Jim Sterling ended up dismissed with prejudice, and their lawsuit against anonymous Steam users ended with Digital Homicide's account with Steam being permanently shut down due to blatant anti-consumer behavior.
    • Jordie in the WingsOfRedemption episode seriously considered doing this to people beating him on Twitch by asking their fans if they could get their names or home addresses so he could sue them. He obviously doesn't do it.
  • From Bad to Worse: Several episodes end up with this situation, such as the Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, DarksydePhil, Time Cube, Rajneeshpuram, TempleOS and WingsOfRedemption episodes.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Rajneesh's secretary Ma Anand Sheela was just a waitress in India before becoming effectively the cult's unofficial leader who seemed to believe Murder Is the Best Solution. Downplayed in that she was (thankfully) inept in this regard, but still her ever-growing extreme measures made her look no less of Bin Laden-lite.
  • Frozen Dinner of Loneliness: In WingsOfRedemption, Jordie's diet consists solely of Banquet frozen dinners, complimenting the fact that — aside from his family and his already small circle of friends that he'd later end up driving away — he's functionally alone in life.
  • The Fundamentalist: In TempleOS, Terry A. Davis fits this trope in virtually every way. A born-again Christian, he believed the titular operating system to be his way of communicating with God and regularly attacked atheism in his online posts.
  • Funny Animal: His video on Furries covers them as being where the Furry Fandom got its roots, with the Furry community first forming as fans of funny animals began communicating and gathering.
  • Gamer Chick: In GameLife, Melissa is a quintessential example of this trope. Sadly but not atypically, she is hit by accusations of being a "fake gamer girl" and playing off her looks despite her proven competence and professionalism in the matter as well as her clear enthusiasm for the hobby. It's also telling that one magazine article about the group omits her last name unlike the other members.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: In Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, Chris's seclusion slowly takes its toll on her mental well-being. She becomes extremely paranoid of everyone who interacts with her, and her already tenuous grasp on reality is eroded to the point that she literally cannot distinguish between reality and fiction.
  • Grand Finale: He makes an episode as this to Digital Homicide Studios, fittingly starting from their attempt to sue 100 Steam users and finishing as the studio collapses, leaving the brothers with nothing to do but resell keys and games to earn any money at all, and everyone being on to their shenanigans.
  • Grumpy Old Man: In the Time Cube episode, Gene Ray fits this trope to a T, with elements of Cloud Cuckoolander as well due to being, by his own admission, schizophrenic.
  • Guilt by Association: During a rant defending his attacks against Spoony, LordKat angrily claims that Spoony's famous "BETRAYAL!!" skit in the wake of the announcement of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified got him blacklisted from the games industry, destroying his chances of a dream job in game development he claimsnote  to have spent years working towards, because of this trope.
  • Hanlon's Razor: While unmentioned, it comes into play in the Finger Family Videos episode: Fredrik addresses the common theory that the reason the channels and videos have absurd amounts of views, near-perfectly divided like/dislike ratios and completely nonsensical comments isn't because of programmed bots that auto-watch the videos for the sake of abusing the Youtube revenue system and leaving likes and comments so as to not trip any searching algorithms. Rather, it's just neglectful parents that think plopping their toddlers in front of a tablet with kid videos on autoplay counts as parenting, the Youtube algorithm playing along and looping them all onto the same videos again and again because clearly that's what people want to watch, and the kids themselves fumbling with the screens and leaving the nonsensical comments and likes entirely by accident. Coding a bot would take too much effort in comparison to simply letting things happen.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: An incredibly strange attitude that Jordie Jordan expressed during the WingsOfRedemption episode. During a drama beef early in his career, he looked down at another COD Commenter for having a managerial job, saying he doesn't actually do any work but still has to obey orders from higher ups like a dog. He would then brag about the fact that he makes more money "simply playing games", but also bemoan the fact that he hates his high-paying job and wanted to leave, but refusing to go back into the workforce.
  • Hikikomori: His Anime and Otaku episode explores on this issue.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In the Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler episode, Chris going after the trolls, which included releasing all her personal info (such as her home address) in an attempt to one-up the trolls, led to the trolls becoming more and more belligerent towards her and leaking more and more info of hers.
    • Langley Collyer died by accidentally triggering one of his own traps meant for intruders.
    • In the DarksydePhil episode, Phil's heavy amounts of gameplay footage in his playthroughs because he refuses to edit any of them are what have allowed detractors to create "This is how you DON'T play x" and parody "DSP Tries It" videos.
    • Sheela's never-ending insult-based rhetoric more or less created more enemies than allies, which proved to be very detrimental in her commune's future.
    • The Austrian wine makers who had been adulterating their wine with diethylene glycol tried dumping the wine into the sewers to evade the authorities when they found out about the testings. In doing so, however, the diethylene glycol kills the bacteria colonies used in the sewage treatment plants, leading them to be found out by the authorities. And as the scandal was blowing up, they sought to hide the glycol by diluting the tainted wine with clean one, and found the right proportion... and also discovered that, thanks to how widespread the process was, there wasn't enough clean wine in the entirety of Austria to fix it, because everyone else was tainting it too.
  • Holier Than Thou: Because of his technical skills and being a fundamentalist Christian, Terry A. Davis considered himself superior to the Pope, as he stated that he himself was Solomon's successor due to having built the "Third Temple of Jerusalem".
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Sheela to Rajneesh in the Rajneeshpuram episode. While he enjoyed the perks of his opulent lifestyle like driving his ever-growing fleet of Rolls-Royces daily, she was for all practical purposes the leader of the commune; effectively running the day-to-day things and secretly plotting the cult's crimes, but she still deferred all the authority to him regardless.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Fredrik points out in the Rajneeshpuram episode that the cult's leader had a taste for fine goods and conspicuous consumption which ran contrary to the minimalist lifestyle he preached about.
    • LordKaT is one in his tirade on Spoony. He calls Noah a waste of talent, when he himself no longer produces any edited content in favor of podcasts, then complains about Noah's unprofessionalism when he's well known for his aggressive, hateful tendencies, and takes his rant way too far by taking a pot shot at his breakup with Scarlett and basically telling Noah to kill himself.
    • It becomes somewhat difficult to feel sorry for Jordie in WingsOfRedemption when he complains about trolls harassing him, despite knowingly donating money and giving financial advice to two trolls attacking his friends' and co-hosts' families, and in one egregious instance, accusing Woody's autistic son of bestiality under the assumption he could "be friends with both (of them)", i.e. he could be friends with both groups and not be involved in their drama.
    • Diane from Purr Cat Cafe is a major one. She constantly complains of being attacked and bearing the brunt of negative comments on her Facebook page, but openly uses the same page to make rude and abrasive remarks against her own (former) workers as well as vitriolically attacking anyone who criticises her.
  • Ignored Expert: In the Purr Cat Café episode, Diane has no experience with taking care of animals, but repeatedly ignores professional feline behaviorists who tell her that she can't house multiple cats in a cold, poorly-lit basement with with barren floors and no food or water bowls, litter boxes, carpets, toys, hiding places, or other things that cats would need. In fact, she tells them to "fuck off" and to never contact her again. As a result, Boston's Forgotten Felines refuses to send cats to the café, out of concern for the animals' welfare. Diane responds by saying in her Facebook posts that they were "not dependable to provide cats for PURR".
  • Ill Boy:
    • In the Collyer Brothers episode, Homer Collyer gets crippled by Rheumatism, making him confined to his house and forcing his older brother Langley to care for him.
    • In the Rajneeshpuram episode, the leader of the titular community already has chronically poor health by the time he was in his forties, and it shows in his appearance.
    • In Noah Antwiler (Spoony), Noah reveals that he has vasodepressor syncope, a neurological condition that causes his blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels whenever his heart rate gets above around 130bpm.
    • In WingsOfRedemption, Jordie suffers from severe obesity, leading to numerous unsuccessful attempts to combat it, with Jordie eventually settling on gastric bypass surgery. Although he does eventually receive the surgery after years of crowdfunding, it ultimately does little to improve his situation.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: The titular Purr Cat Café was heavily mismanaged, with the building being poorly equipped for housing cats (who were all noted to be very uncomfortable by customers) and Diane causing all sorts of bad PR due to her constant online spats with former employees and anyone trying to give her advice.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Unlike many of the other people Fredrik's done videos on, Terry A. Davis was a legitimate wizard at coding, and let's not forget the fact that he wrote an entire operating system all by himself, a fact which one engineer compared to building an entire skyscraper single-handedly. He was also incredibly arrogant, referring to himself as "the smartest programmer who ever lived", claiming that his revelatory software work on TempleOS was sent to him in a vision from God, and constantly attacking his detractors, including referring to them with racial slurs on numerous occasions.
    • Discussed in his video on Noah Antwiler. LordKaT describes Noah as "one of the biggest wastes of talent" he had ever seen, and its clear Noah was talented at what he did even when he first started off. The issue was that Noah, for all his talents, was hostile and rude to people, meaning that no matter how talented he was, gradually people just started hating him.
  • Irony: Jordie Jordon has a negative stance on manual labor, and often boasted of his earning a higher wage than laborers for essentially sitting around and playing video games. Years later, he's grown to hate his "dream job" because of his social ineptitude, the troll circles that constantly harass him, and his complete inability to ignore them, which only fuels further harassment.
  • Jerkass:
    • Sister DePaul from Henry Darger was an verbally abusive nun at Henry's job who at one point threatened to return him to the Bedlam House he was locked up as a child (even though he was too old to be admitted). While Henry took it quietly, it was clear that he nursed a deep resentment from her treatment and during his private moments, he would play verbal arguments with her where he won most of the time.
    • The Empress Theresa, DarksydePhil, and Spoony (Noah Antwiler) episodes detail how extremely antagonistic Norman Boutin, Phillip Burnell, and Noah Antwiler are towards people, with the first even attacking Fredrik Knudsen himself on Amazon.com over his book The Distended Eye.
    • Sheela in the Rajneeshpuram episode, on top of her other crimes, also employed crude and caustic interactions with other entities, which further heightened hostilities towards their community and brought nothing but bad PR.
    • Jen from The Final Fantasy House; she emotionally, psychologically and physically abuses her housemates and her lovers, fakes a suicide attempt to goad sympathy from her "friends" after a falling out with one of them, tried to trick two of her housemates into having sex as part of their "past-life rememberance" and even goes so far as to force one of her companions to sell her blood for money, which she proceeded to spend on frivolous things for herself. And that's only the initial stories about her. Later installments confirm that she only got worse along the way.
    • Andrew Rosenblum is an especially unpleasant case. GameLife portrays him as an egotist who strained the production of the series due to his desire to increase its production values, despite not even being out of high-school. And that's before it's revealed that he was actually a seriously unstable Yandere who sent his ex-girlfriend an email threatening to kill her and her friends the same day as the Virginia Tech massacre.
    • In the WingsOfRedemption episode, Jordie Jordan is shown to be an unpleasant person stuck in a rut of his own making. His episode showed that even early into his career, he was more than happy to stir controversy with other COD Youtubers, including getting into a feud with a future Keemstar where he openly threatened to dox him and his girlfriend. It was his own hubris that led to his memorable match against Syndicate where, after losing the match and being forced to eat crow, he blamed one of his own friends for streaming the match, despite said match being Jordie's idea in the first place. His continuing, growing alienating behavior eventually led to him being kicked off the podcast he had co-founded and all of his friends turning their backs on him.
    • Diane Kelly from Purr Cat Café is shown to be an abrasive, rude woman who not only Can't Take Criticism, but on many occasions rudely insults her concerned commenters (even calling one woman a bitch for deciding not to adopt a cat from her), but even exposed another former employee’s lifestyle for the sake of making herself look like the good guy by comparison.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: LordKat's message to Spoony. In spite of his aggressive and hateful demeanor, he is ultimately right about Noah's unprofessional behavior having a negative impact on those around him.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • In the Rajneeshpuram episode, Ma Anand Sheela, the one most responsible for causing the issues that plagued the titular commune (including orchestrating the salmonella attack on The Dalles), only ended up serving 29 months of her 20 year prison sentence and fled to Switzerland soon after, whilst Rajneesh was deported back to India where he ultimately died from his poor health.
    • Jennifer Cornet's whereabouts as of the Final Fantasy House episode are entirely unknown, and Greta/Aeris is revealed to still be running a cult to this day, now in the Hannibal fandom after having gone into hiding.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Diane Kelly from Purr Cat Café demonstrates that despite her professed knowledge of what goes into taking care of cats, she really doesn't have the first clue on how to look after their basic needs, such as beds, litter boxes, and toys, and she routinely ignores the advice of professionals trying to help her in favor of her own flawed way of thinking. It's only after one of the cats dies under her watch that Kelly finally sees how much damage she's doing.
  • Large Ham: In the Time Cube episode, Richard Janczarski's videos had him delivering most of his lines in this manner, which along with their modest production values led many to believe that he was actually mocking Gene Ray's theory or at least trying to make campy humour out of it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Digital Homicide Studios shows how the Romine Brothers' arrogance and constant output of poorly-made Shovelware onto Steam not only made them a laughingstock, but ruined them financially, got them banned from Steam and most likely exiled them from the game industry for the rest of their lives; as of the Finale episode they've been reduced to reselling Steam keys and games and trying to mooch ad revenue.
    • In the DarksydePhil episode, Phil blocking evilaj2010 for professing that PandaLeeGames was the cause of Phil's change in attitude and freefalling views since her debut with him was what caused him to make the "This is how you DON'T play MGS2" video, thus exposing Phil as a laughingstock.
    • In the WingsOfRedemption episode, Jordie insults COD Zombies player ProSyndicate, saying he could do better than him on his first try. Syndicate then goes on to utterly humble him in a 1v1 on Bog with M-16s, which specifically catered to Wings' long ranged play style.
  • Lazy Bum:
    • Chris-Chan and Sonichu notes that Chris "reeked of rotting watermelons" and "body odor masked in gallons of Axe", indicating that Chris seldom showers and instead uses body spray as a form of cleaning herself. Even her house reflected this, as it is cluttered with junk all over, including a Christmas tree that has been in the living room since 2004. It also notes that Chris and Barb become more and more sedentary following the July 10, 2012 trial with Michael Snyder.
    • Some of the people involved in the Final Fantasy House were also described as such in several sources. The most extreme example may be Jen, who refused to get a job, clean her home, or even shower; she would instead try to smell nice by applying tons of scented oils, with the result instead smelling like rotting meat according to one witness.
    • Jordie, from WingsOfRedemption, is depicted as an overweight slob who refuses to exercise or leave his social bubble, often relying on friends and fans for income. Even his diet reflects this, as it consists primarily of Banquet frozen dinners, i.e. low effort microwave food.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Several of his episodes deal with people who live largely secluded from society, such as the Collyer Brothers, the Hikikomori, Christine Weston Chandler, Henry Darger, Terry A. Davis, and Jordie Jordan.
     Tropes M-Z 
  • Made of Iron: It's not nearly the focus of the episode, but during The Austrian Wine Poisoning details are given about a man that apparently survived the utter destruction of his own liver after drinking too much tainted wine at once, well enough to give an interview four years later.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: In the Henry Darger, Darger takes on the voices of many other people, to the point that neighbors spoke of how it sounded like a whole host of people were in his room, with many different dialogues and registers, when it was just only Darger.
  • Memetic Mutation:invoked One of the primary topics that the series explores, such as Chris-Chan, the Finger Family Videos, and the Time Cube. However, it does so in a documentary style that explores how such people came to be known.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, Time Cube, The Final Fantasy House, TempleOS and WingsOfRedemption discuss this, and The Internet's tendency of exploiting those who suffer from mental disorders.
    • Henry Darger and possibly The Collyer Brothers also qualify as this. Unlike the previous examples, they didn't have to deal with assholes on the Internet, since they died before it became a thing.
  • Mind Screw: The Mother Horse Eyes episode shows how much the author pulled this off.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: In The Austrian Wine Poisoning, the whole thing started when a wine truck driver saw that one particular distributor was using two hoses to pump the wine into his truck. He then found out the second hose was pumping water, which diluted the wine. After the driver complained to the government, it eventually caused a nationwide scandal than nearly took down the entire Austrian wine industry. (The distributor was diluting the wine with water in a feeble attempt to dull the effects of the poisonous diethylene glycol that they had added to the wine.)
  • Mission from God: Terry A. Davis believed that his TempleOS project was this, stating several times that God had told him to make it and intended for it to be the fabled Third Temple.
  • Mood-Swinger: Despite all of his previous problems, Jordie Jordan didn't seem particularly prone to this until his defeat to ProSyndicate and his Machinima's contract termination. This lead to him becoming even more sensitive, angry and depressive all at once. Case in point, during a particularly frustrating match on Twitch where he gets defeated several times, he trashes his controller by nearly snapping it with his hands and throwing it in anger, punches a hole in the wall and breaks down in tears during the stream.
  • Moral Guardians: The Burned Furs initially began as a movement to reform the Furry Fandom and fix its reputation among the general public. But due to the lack of organization and a clear direction, it devolved into a group dedicated to attacking anything deemed sexual or perverse, including homosexuality.
  • Morton's Fork:
    • The disillusioned Rajineeshi are faced with this choice when the commune's condition begins to deteriorate: most were forced to stay in the cult and endure the leadership's draconic rule because simply leaving wasn't a viable option, as many sold their possessions to get into Rajneeshpuram in the first place and they'd end up homeless otherwise. The choice was eventually taken out of their hands after the commune was closed and the leaders arrested for evading immigration laws.
    • By the end of the WingsOfRedemption episode, Jordie has come to openly despise making gaming content but is forced to continue doing so anyway due to having no other viable source of income, as he's practically unemployable due to his weight and bad attitude.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: WingsOfRedemption has the Call of Duty duel match between the titular Youtuber and ProSyndicate given the full Battle Documentary treatment, complete with strategic diagrams and breakdown of every key moment. While not intended as humorous (understanding the playstyles is key to understanding the grudges that followed), it does still have much more pomp than usual for what was just a streamed multiplayer match in a videogame.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A possible case with Diane in Purr Cat Cafe, when a cat she was supposed to take care of fell deathly ill, leading to Diane trying to kill herself. It's probably the only moment of self awareness she's shown to have, and oddly enough, it was about something proven to have not been her fault.
  • Narm Charminvoked: A recurring theme in GameLife. The first episode the team did was obviously of poor quality, being filmed with a handheld camera that constantly shook, obviously unscripted reviews that tended to devolve into rambling and poor sound editing. This is noted multiple times to have been a major factor of the series' appeal, as the amateur quality made the series more entertaining and relatable in the eyes of viewers, and creates a stark dissonance with Andrew's desire to push the series into a professional quality production.
  • Never My Fault: The wine executives responsible for The Austrian Wine Poisoning blamed anyone and everyone they could, from the vineyards who had nothing to do with the scandal, to consumers for buying cheap wine without consideration. None of them took responsibility for their own actions.
  • No Ending: The Empress Teresa video ends with the Flame War fought among Norman Boutin and his Amazon reviewers abruptly stopping due to the site's limits on review posts. It's unknown whether they finally stopped or even if their fighting has moved on to somewhere else, as Knudsen couldn't find any trace of the argument anywhere else.
  • No Social Skills:
    • In WingsofRedemption, Jordan displayed a strong tendency towards this:
      • He is incapable of telling criticism and trolling apart, and tends to react in a volatile manner towards the latter.
      • Was prone to viewing things in the short term while ignoring the long term. If something good happens to him, he feels like he's on the top of the world. If something bad happens to him, he feels like a complete failure and his life is about to end - there's no middle ground. Needless to say, such a black-and-white attitude of happiness and sadness is not healthy.
      • Kyle reminisces about one time where Jordan was staying in his house and he had no problem using the bathroom in the full view of Kyle and his kids, and when yelled at to close the door, responded that he wasn't pooping.
      • Even before his problems became worse, he was specially arrogant and not afraid to intimidate people like one time he threatened to dox Keemstar and his girlfriend to his face following an argument. Jordie was fortunate that nothing really came of it since that stunt could have easily landed him into trouble.
    • Also the reason Christine Chandler came to the attention of the online community, as she publicly asked for "boyfriend-free girls," posted Sonichu online and advertised it in person without being prepared for criticism, and engaged with trolls without considering the embarrassment she would suffer at their hands, and engaged in behavior which got her banned from public establishments. This is explained to some extent by her autism.
  • No Sympathy:
    • In the first test to see if the Salmonella could be used in their plan, Sheela infected three Wasco County commissioners with the bacteria to see if it worked. The men indeed suffered effects in the very next day and one of them would have surely died if he wasn't hospitalized. This did not prevent the Rajneeshi from continuing with their plot, knowing it would very likely result in a fatality. It was a sheer miracle that even though over 700 people were infected with the bacteria, no one actually died.
    • When it comes to Jordie Jordan, he gives the impression as lacking much empathy, or even loyalty, for people other than himself. Not only did he treat his friends / podcast cohosts like crap, to the point of not even bothering to mention his bailing out of a camping trip with them until after they had already tried to meet him half-way, but he even assisted a troll harassing one of his friends with financial aid and search optimization advice, even though said troll was literally mocking his friend's family, including his autistic son.
  • Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: When the friends of Jordie Jordan showed up at his house to go on a planned camping trip, Jordan backed out at the last minute. Jordan then pulled this trope two-fold: one, when asked why he was backing out, Jordan just said "because I don't want to go." Two, when asked why he didn't tell his friends this until they were literally on his doorstep, Jordan said "because I didn't want you to talk me into it."
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • Noah Antwiler's infamous rape joke towards Jesu Otaku was bad enough, but when Obscurus Lupa found out and called him out on it, Noah's response was to mockingly suggest he should physically hurt himself to "accept forgiveness" for the joke. It was this response that ended up making the already tasteless joke essentially end his role on Channel Awesome.
    • Jordie Jordan initially didn't want to have a match with ProSyndicate because he wouldn't hear the end of it for years, in spite of his arrogant and disrespectful behavior towards the latter. He ended up taking the match anyway, and his bad attitude upon losing highlighted Jordie as a Sore Loser. Then Jordie tried to convince Syndicate to throw a five thousand dollar rematch, letting Jordie walk away with the victory to try salvaging his reputation. Syndicate leaked the private messages, ensuring that no one would be forgetting it anytime soon.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: It's easy to see Sheela as a comical cartoon villain that fails every episode because of her incompetence or her minions. Keep in mind that we are talking about someone not deterred from committing what amounts to domestic terrorism that could potentially claim several lives such as the salmonella plot, which miraculously had no fatalities (and even then, there were several close calls). And before even that, a female member of the group wrote a letter to Rajneesh criticizing Sheela. How did she react? She had the woman's uterus removed.
  • Not the Intended Use: In The Austrian Wine Poisoning, after the scandal was largely over, the Austrian government suddenly had 270 million liters of poisoned wine that they somehow had to get rid of. Lucky for them, an Austrian power plant had a way to use wine to create electricity, and a cement plant could use the wine as a coolant. This let the government give away all the tainted wine in a way that ensured it would eventually all be destroyed.
  • N-Word Privileges:
    • Terry A. Davis used the N-word liberally, be it in text posts, videos or livestreams. Almost came to a head when he used the word towards an actual African-American man while doing a vlog. He was incredibly fortunate that he didn't get his ass kicked by said black man. Knudsen himself does read out any written instances of the N-word, but notably, these are the only profanity he has ever bleeped out in his videos.
    • Jordie Jordan was called out on his usage of ebonics early on in his career, despite his admittance of being "white as a ghost", but claimed that he got a pass because he grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood in South Carolina as a child.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: In the Mother Horse Eyes video, several people on Reddit questioned if _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 was seriously mentally ill due to the way how his posts were written. He responds that he isn't, though not everyone is convinced due to his elusive nature and contradictory backstories.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Several people on Reddit also claim that _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 is actually well-read and a professional writer, and that any mistakes he has made were done deliberately to add to his narrative, though due to the above, not everyone is convinced of this either.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Downplayed example with WingsOfRedemption's defeat to Syndicate in their Call of Duty match. In fact, he was unwilling to accept the challenge in the first place saying that if he lost, he'd hear about it for years. It's downplayed in the sense that while his career does take a nosedive following the incident, his reputation is soiled by later actions (notably his failed attempt to have a fixed rematch and the breakdown with his small circle of friends) with the defeat to Syndicate being little more than an afterthought.
  • One Degree of Separation: The main theme of The Final Fantasy House episode, where anecdotes about Jennifer Cornet/"Jenova" and her Final Fantasy House were gathered into one website by fans around the country who have experiences with her. Not to mention the way Greta/"Sarah" was identified and pinned as one of the original members of the house after the respective Soulbound cult was talked about in a "Housemate Horrors" post: turns out a Something Awful poster had once dated her, right before she left for the House itself but just in time to watch her start losing her mind, and he recognized every last behavior pattern.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In WingsOfRedemption, Keemstar, in a rare act of kindness while talking to Jordie near the end, drops his online persona and speaks to him as Daniel Keem in order to tell him to quit the internet as a way to make him happy, as he believed the internet was the cause of Jordie's depression and antagonism. Considering that not too long ago, Jordie threatened Keemstar with murder on a stream and Keemstar himself actually had harassed Jordie earlier in his career, this comes off as Keem making an attempt to make right something he realized he did wrong (though in the Q&A corresponding to this episode, Fredrik posits that Keemstar's online actions are motivated less by right and wrong than by whatever would make for a more interesting story, and in this case, Keemstar decided that the more interesting story would be him actually attempting to help Jordie).
  • Otaku: Discussed in the episode about them and Anime.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: invoked The Christian Weston Chandler, Darksyde Phil, Noah Antweiler, TempleOS, WingsOfRedemption and Purr Cat Café videos discuss how their respective subjects came to be so.
  • The Paranoiac:
    • Christine Weston Chandler fits the trope in almost every way: She's a jerk to those she thinks caused her harm as well as being openly racist and homophobic, she doesn't take responsibility for any of her actions, wants to get revenge on the trolls who she claims killed her father (he passed away from a stress related heart attack), and is filled with extreme paranoia over trolls who she thinks are out to get her. It didn't help that her parents also had their share of paranoia where her father believed a local hobby store owner was the one behind the trolls that were harassing Christine.
    • Terry A. Davis from TempleOS was even worse in this regard than Christine as result of his schizophrenia: not only did he share Chris' prejudices, he believed that the CIA were out to sabotage his software's Third Temple by any means necessary. In the Motherboard article discussing him (which as Frederik points out, is only Terry's side of the story and thus rather unreliable), he ran afoul of the police when he thought he had tracking devices on him and tried to steal a truck, which resulted in him breaking a collar bone and serving time.
    • Sheela in Rajneeshpuram stands out from the other two due to not suffering from any natural mental illness, but becoming suspicious of anyone that could threaten her position in the cult - even her own leader Rajneesh warned other members that anyone who got too close to him would become Sheela's target. For example, she ordered the phones and rooms of perceived rivals to be wire-tapped. Being overloaded with work and being under use of medicine to get through it did not help one bit.
  • Parental Neglect:
    • Finger Family Videos explains that the whole reason the infamous YouTube Kids' Channel videos with absurdly bad quality and disturbing themes exist is because of the huge amount of views there is to grab from parents that are letting the Youtube algorithms raise their young children, and thinking plopping them in front of a tablet set to autoplay is a good idea. Needless to say, unless you think things like awful 3D models of Adolf Hitler being made into an Uncanny Valley family to sing along to and Peppa Pig and friends engaged in Troubling Unchildlike Behavior are proper things for a kid to watch, you shouldn't do the same.
    • In The Mouse Utopia Experiment, one of the effects of the phenomenon described as "behavioral sink" on female mice is that they would stop caring for their brood. As a result, infant mice mortality in Calhoun's first "Utopia" experiment went as high as 96%.
  • The Pigpen: Few of the people covered are known to have poor personal hygiene.
    • Christian Weston Chandler is said to smell like "Rotten watermelon" and "body odor masked with gallons of Axe"
    • Jen from the "The Final Fantasy House" is also said to smell terrible and refuses to shower. Instead, she uses perfume to disguise her body odor.
  • The Plan: Sheela devised a cunning three-stage plot to secure the commune's existence. One: place a Rajneeshi as candidate for the local elections and record "racist" comments by rival candidates to be used as leverage. Two, attract dozens of vagrants and homeless people through a charity scam to use them as a fifth column into voting for their candidate. Three: use salmonella to poison local citizens to sabotage the election in their favor. Every part of this plan was an Epic Fail; not only did no one die of the salmonella poisoning, the Rajneeshi votes were thrown out and their candidate was barred from taking the seat even if they would have won due to the obvious voter fraud.
  • Plague Doctor: His Plague Doctors episode explores the historical origins of this topic.
  • Poe's Law: In the Time Cube episode, Fredrik mentions that many initially thought Richard Janczarski wasn't actually serious about his support for Gene Ray's thesis. He was.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Diane from Purr Cat Cafe fits this trope to a T. On top of her antagonistic and unprofessional behaviour towards both clients and staff, she proves completely inept at running the cafe and also neglects to look after the cats properly as well as taking all advice given to her as a personal insult.
  • Poisonous Friend: Jordie Jordan finally proved to be one to his friends on the Painkiller Already podcast who, after they had raised money for his weight loss program that he abandoned, stuck by him after he kept getting into internet fights, and who overall constantly tried to look out for his well being, Jordan hit them with multiple gut punch betrayals in short succession.
    • He would completely flake out on their survival camping trip at literally the last second, as Woody and Kyle had already made the long drive to meet him, and admitted he didn't tell them in advance because he "didn't want them to try to convince him" because Jordie simply didn't want to do it. His excuse video had likes/dislikes turned off, but the comments roasted Jordie on his cowardice and callousness to his friends. This was also the straw that broke the camel's back for Jordie and his friends, as the friendship pretty much ended the moment the words left Jordie's mouth.
    • Earlier, he also supported two trolls attacking both Kyle and Woody (by the names of ObviouslyJesus and ThunderToro), with providing both monetary donations and search optimization advice. This is despite both trolls attacking both Kyle, Woody, and their families, including threatening to rape Woody's daughter and accusing Woody's autistic son of bestiality. When confronted by this, Jordie would claim neutrality in the situation, saying that none of the drama had anything to do with him and that "he could be friend with the both of (them)", thinking he could be cordial with one group of people harassing the second group, who, as mentioned, were his cohosts and friends.
    • And finally, Jordie would outright accuse the PKA hosts, Woody and Kyle in particular, of stealing money from him when no such thing had ever happened and that they weren't really his friends at all; this was after all the time and money they had spent on helping Jordie (which included Kyle having a $5000 bathroom renovation in his own home, completely for Jordie's sake since he couldn't fit into the house's bathroom, and not charging him for the futon he broke with his sheer weight). The PKA hosts couldn't believe what would prompt these kinds of lies from him (unless Jordie presumably felt that he should have gotten more money from the podcast, but never expressed it), and in an unanimous vote, ousted Jordie from his permanent host privileges which he had held since he co-founded the show. His portrait in the subsequent show was replaced with a tombstone to signify that he was essentially dead to them and, while he would make a few guest appearances down the line, none of their relationships ever mended and Woody & Kyle now only look at Jordie's spiraling life with indifference.
  • Raised Catholic:
    • Henry Darger was raised up as Catholic and his faith influenced a great deal in his work, mainly In the Realms of the Unreal which revolves around children from a Christian nation waging war against an evil empire.
    • In the TempleOS episode, Terry discusses in a clip how he also grew up a Catholic, but was later an Atheist until at some point he had "revelation" where God commanded him to build the Third Temple of Jerusalem in software format, leading him to become a born-again Christian of unclear denomination who held nothing but disdain for Catholicism, specifically towards the Irish and the Pope. Even then, he admitted on his infamous "I live in a CIA prison" blog post that between 1998 and 2003, he fantasized about leading a Catholic army of Mexicans and Brazilians (who are Catholic-majority peoples) like Dune.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In Noah Antwiler (Spoony), LordKaT gives one to Noah as he eviscerates him for his character, which was originally present in one of KaT's streams and Knudsen recovered for the video, providing context. LordKaT condemns Noah for his bad behavior, which got LordKaT removed from some promising opportunities because of his association with Noah.
    • In Fredrik's live reading on the Channel Awesome documents, he adds in some impassioned reactions, but when he gets to the apology the company made to do damage control, he shows a rare amount of audible anger as he rips them a new one for making empty statements and doing them badly.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated:
    • The Collyer Brothers briefly mentions police often visiting the Collyers' brownstone on tips that one of the brothers had died, with Langley often answering to disprove them. Eventually, however, the one time he didn't answer led to the discovery that both of them really had died.
    • The Austrian Wine Poisoning mentions a German man who suffered liver failure as a result of glycol poisoning from the wine he drank. He was initially reported as the scandal's first death, but an interview he gave a few days confirmed his survival.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: In The Austrian Wine Poisoning, the first few bottles discovered to be watered-down with diethylene-glycol were believed to be isolated incidents... until the wine industry somehow got wind of the secret investigation. Guilty winemakers throughout the country attempted to avoid scrutiny by dumping their tainted wine into the sewer systems. Unfortunately, the huge amounts of diethylene-glycol ended up killing the bacteria used in water treatment plants, causing untreated sewage to flow into local waterways.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome:
    • The Final Fantasy House episode starts out really dark in the first half but beginning with the Suikoden House half, the episode becomes more humorous. Even Fred himself has described the episodes as being a "Reverse Time Cube".
    • Rajneeshpuram follows a similar structure, beginning as a sober account of how a cult was able to gain followers and take over a town in Oregon, before becoming more darkly humorous when the incompetence of Sheela is made apparent.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: While it was yet another case of him refusing to take responsibility for his actions, the titular figure in the DarkSydePhil episode was correct in his claim that YouTube's business model was changing to emphasize viral content whilst simultaneously de-prioritizing regular site users.
  • Samus Is a Girl: An inverted example in the Mother Horse Eyes video, many people who encountered the posts made by _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 thought the person was a female due to the name but the person behind it confirmed it in a Reddit post dedicated to her that _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9 is actually a he.
  • Sanity Slippage: The episodes Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, Time Cube, Noah Antwiler (Spoony), TempleOS, and WingsofRedemption show the gradual degradation of their respective subject's mental state over time, to varying degrees of severity.
  • The Schizophrenia Conspiracy: Terry A. Davis, the creator of TempleOS, was a schizophrenic who believed the CIA was out to get him.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: In the WingsOfRedemption episode, Jordie initially refused a 1v1 with ProSyndicate on the grounds that if he lost, he'd "hear about it for years". Jordie eventually agreed and though he went on to lose the game, the loss itself was unlikely to impact his reputation. However, Jordie ended up making things worse by trying to fix a rematch with Syndicate. Disgusted, Syndicate leaked the private conversation and sure enough, it's still talked about years later, because Jordie couldn't handle the loss.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: For a born-again Christian, Terry from TempleOS had quite the potty mouth. Towards the latter part of his episode, his increasing frustration leads to him dropping a lot of homophobic and racist slurs that Fredrik has to censor (he still leaves "fuck" uncensored).
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: A disturbing example is alluded to in the Final Fantasy House episode: house-runners Jen and Hojo would physically assault each other (quite loudly), and then immediately afterwards have very loud sex. This is used to paint a surreal picture of what life in the house was like.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Rajneeshpuram details the group's descent from a slightly-dodgy religious commune into a bunch of disturbed terrorists. In particular, once the group moved to Oregon, the people went from engaging with the locals and even helping out a bit, to actively trying to kill them or seriously hurt them, to even trying to procure military grade weapons before they were forced out.
  • Slut-Shaming: In Purr Cat Cafe, Diane Kelly openly reveals her ex-employee's history of polyamory and kinks in an attempt to discredit her. Instead, people were appalled and disgusted with Diane for revealing something so private, with all of the backlash directed at her instead.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
    • The Empress Theresa and DarksydePhil episodes detail how extremely egotistical Norman Boutin and Phillip Burnell are.
    • Gene Ray from Time Cube considered himself both the "Greatest Thinker" and "Wisest Human" for coming up with his Time Cube theory.
    • Andrew Rosenblum from GameLife was ill-equipped to handle the unexpected success of the show, and became emboldened to increase the show's production values despite the crew still being in high school at the time. His constant need for more professional quality ended up driving away the rest of the crew, until he landed himself in legal trouble after threatening to kill his girlfriend for breaking up with him. On the night of the Virginia Tech shooting.
    • Though Terry from TempleOS showed himself to be very talented, he outright believed himself to be Solomon's successor because he built his own software to speak with God which he referred as the Third Temple of Jerusalem and as such, thought himself above the Pope.
    • Back during his early days, Jordie Jordan from WingsOfRedemption had a massive ego, and was willing to butt heads with other COD Youtubers. It was his looking down on Syndicate, and bragging that he could play COD Zombies better than him if he wanted to, that would lead to Jordan taking the first big hit to his reputation after losing badly and blaming everyone but himself for it. His subsequent attempt to bribe Syndicate to throw a $5,000 rematch, while subtly implying Syndicate was expected to lose and that Jordan was being generous for giving him an out, only made things worse for himself.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • The Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler video says how she was discovered when one little-known internet user offhandedly mentioned her and her work, which led to more and more people going after her and trolling her, turning her life into what it is today.
    • evilaj2010 releasing the "This is how you DON'T play MGS2" in the DarksydePhil episode was what led to more and more people making other similar videos, thus turning DSP into the butt of jokes that he is today.
    • The Time Cube video says how the people's interactions with Gene Ray and his Time Cube theory led to them targeting the mentally ill and the eccentric for the sake of humor, thus giving rise to websites such as Encyclopedia Dramatica, 4Chan, Something Awful and the Kiwi Farms.
    • In the Austrian Wine Poisoning, had it not been for the unknown man with the German accent presenting the bottle to the police station and informing them about its contents having the chemicals being used to tamper with the wine, the investigation would have taken considerably longer.
  • Sock Puppet: TempleOS mentions that Terry A. Davis once created a Reddit account pretending to be someone else raving about his operating system LoseThos. It was ignored.
  • Sore Loser:
    • Jordie from WingsOfRedemption refuses to ever admit defeat in anything, whether in duels or tournaments. His furious tantrums whenever a match goes sour for him are used by online trolls to harass and antagonize him. Jordie's loss to ProSyndicate in a money match was where this attitude really got him in trouble; Jordie broke his controller, blamed his friend running the stream for setting it up (even though it was Jordie's idea), and started crying. This reaction started his reputation sinking into a downward spiral.
    • Downplayed by Kasparov in Deep Blue. He left the venue after his defeat at the hands of the titular computer, and expressed his concerns of foul play by IBM and the Deep Blue team. Although the computer beat Kasparov fair and square, it's true that IBM used some underhanded tactics to create a disadvantage for Kasparov, such as barring him from studiyng previous Deep Blue matches. Kasparov himself came to admit later that he had commited mistakes in his matches against Deep Blue.
  • The Spook: As the investigation in the Austrian Wine Poisoning is starting up, a key moment is someone identified only as "a man with a German accent" walking into a police station, dropping off a bottle that had the chemicals that were being used to tamper with the wine, and walking out without another word. The man in question was never identified, but his mysterious intervention was key for the whole investigation to come.
  • The Stinger: The Purr Cat Café episode ends with Frederick repeating Diane's catchphrase "Meow. Meow. PURR!" after the credits are over.
  • The Stoic: Despite the bizarre, occasionally humorous, and often disturbing content of the documentaries, Fredrik maintains an admirable, almost newscaster-like level of calm professionalism in his voice at all times. He has been compared to a non-comedic Cr1TiKaL for this reason.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Despite being a racist, homophobic, egotistical religious zealot, Terry A. Davis still elicited sympathy from those who watched the TempleOS video due to it becoming clear that he was a victim of his own mental illness degrading his mind and his gradual descent into nigh-incoherence and abrupt death are viewed as tragic rather than karmic.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The Austrian Wine Poisoning deals with the controversy surrounding Austria's wine industry when it was found that multiple distributors were adding diethylene glycol to their wines as a cheap sweetener, which is severely poisonous.
  • Too Much Information:
    • In Sonichu and Christian Weston Chandler, Christine had no filter whatsoever, casually giving away incredibly personal and often embarrassing information such as her ownership of a sex doll that she called "Officer Nasty" and a tendency to soil herself.
    • In TempleOS, Terry A. Davis had absolutely no filter either. He spoke what was on his mind and he didn't mince any words. But then there were times he brought up things no sane human being would admit to in such casual manner, like his homosexual experiences in childhood, incestuous fantasies regarding his niece or the most galling of all, gleefully admitting to murdering people he thought were CIA agents spying on him. Of course, his mental illness made him an Unreliable Narrator, so all of his admissions should be taken with a grain of salt.
    • Jordie in WingsOfRedemption became like this in his episode as well. At first, he was prone to ramble a lot about about his personal life during his Call of Duty commentaries so much so that they resembled vlogs more than playthroughs. Still, it wasn't anything too out of the ordinary... until he decided it was a brilliant idea to upload a video of himself getting a pustule drained by doctors with a big close-up on the infection in his massive belly. And if that wasn't enough, he later shared a story on a group chat about when his rectum was torn apart after a long period of being extremely constipated (even sharing the detail of his grandmother having to insert her finger to break up the turd), after which he required a trip to the hospital.
    • Diane in Purr Cat Café did this to one of her former employees, Kathleen, who calls her out on Facebook for not taking proper care of the cats she’s trying to save and for caring more about the little things like publicity as opposed to their main priority. Diane’s response? Exploit Kathleen for being polyamorous by claiming she has multiple sex partners and expose Kat’s pet play fetish video she made for her personal YouTube channel. The latter in particular is followed by Facebook questions asking why somebody not only obsess about ruining their past employee’s reputation by sharing their personal fetish to the internet, but use their own business page to do so?
  • Trash of the Titans:
    • The Collyer Brothers were the kings of this trope. Unfortunately, the tons of trash they hoarded in their home would be their undoing.
    • Christine Weston Chandler's parents were compulsive hoarders and their house was filled to the brim with trash. This only grew worse after the death of Christine's father and eventually caused the whole house to be engulfed with flames when a faulty wire caused a fire.
    • The titular Final Fantasy House was in absolutely filthy conditions. "Zack", the person who first accounted what was going on in there, described it as smelling of "rotting meat". Apparently the ringleaders, "Jen" and "Hojo", weren't too much into personal hygiene either.
  • The Unapologetic: A recurring vice that plagues many subjects, is their unwillingness to own up to and apologize for their actions.
    • The Spoony One: Noah Antwiler was already notorious for being abrasive and extremely aggressive with his opinions but the most notable example was his rape joke towards fellow contributor Jesu Otaku. In a documentary for the Channel Awesome anniversary film To Boldly Flee, Noah remarks that while he regretted the situation blowing up, he wasn't sorry for the joke he made.
    • WingsOfRedemption: Jordie is almost pathologically incapable of owning up to his mistakes, preferring to pin the blame on others and throwing a tantrum when things don't go his way. Even Woody vocally calls Jordie out for having a no apologies mindset, which was a contributing factor in ending his friendships.
  • Uncertain Doom: Most of his internet content creator episodes close on such, noting that the sagas they were involved in has left the creators as unstable wrecks with dwindling finances.
  • Unfortunate Names: In Deep Blue, the titular computer was originally named "Deep Thought", but it was changed to its more familiar name when it was pointed to its creators how similar it sounded to "Deep Throat".
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • In The Spoony One, Noah Antwiler is a profound case of a man who had support many aspiring YouTubers would kill for, yet completely destroys it on his own due to his personality. While there are many instances of Noah's tenuous relationship with his fans, his most notorious example was when he found himself receiving over $5,000 in Patreon donations to help him make more edited reviews and even a feature film. While he vocally thanked his fans in the announcement video, his later actions proved otherwise. He failed to uphold even his most basic promises to financial backers, reviews slowed to a trickle, and he reacted with indignation to fans who were understandably miffed over not getting their money's worth and starting to believe he took the money and ran.
    • In Time Cube, even though Richard Janczarski was a massive fan of Gene Ray, to the point where he travelled across the globe just to meet his idol, Ray still denounced him and his Time Cube fansite. He didn't even care when Janczarski committed suicide after reading his negative comments.
    • In WingsOfRedemption, despite the fact that Jordie's friends did literally all they could to help him with his financial problems, his weight issues, and his possible depression, he still antagonized them and refused to leave his social bubble. Even after Jordie helped trolls belittle his friends' families with financial advice, they still didn't give up on him. The last straw was when Jordie completely bailed on his friends' planned camping trip the night of their meet up. Jordie excused his inability to let them know before their travel to his home as not wanting his friends to try to convince him to go. That pretty much ended things right there, which further alienated Jordie from everyone else.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Terry himself in the TempleOS episode. Because of his mental illness, it's hard to discern when he speaks truth or falsehood like whenever he casually talks about killing people that he suspects are the CIA. Fredrik discusses this when he brings up the Motherboard interview about Terry's past, specifically his psychotic breakdown that lead to him being arrested in Texas. Fredrik points out that the reporter didn't verify any of the details regarding his story and we only got Terry's own account, so we are unsure if that actually happen or it was all made up.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Christine Weston Chandler and her comic both became infamous thanks to one random internet user mentioning Chris and her comic offhand. This led to an influx of views to Chris and Sonichu, turning her life into what it is today.
    • In DarksydePhil, as shown on Phil's Socialblade account, Phil's highest monthly views was at 13 million in July 2011. That month would also mark PandaLeeGames's debut with him in his gameplay videos, and monthly views soon freefalled afterward by the end of the year to barely 5 million, most likely caused by her bellicose behavior and attitude, as evilaj2010 points out, thus leading to Phil blocking him for when he mentioned that and thus him making the "This is how you DON'T play MGS2" video.
    • In Noah Antwiler (Spoony), Spoony was this to LordKat, who ranted on a livestream that Spoony's "BETRAYAAAAL" joke had costed him job opportunities and made him Persona Non Grata in the gaming industry, simply because of his association with ThatGuyWithTheGlasses and Spoonynote . What seemed like a fairly innocent joke at the time and a popular meme with the fanbase ended up straining and ultimately ruining the friendship between the two.
    • In a much more minor case, in the Austrian Wine Poisoning, as news of the scandal spread, Austrian wine was blacklisted. Along the way, Japan and China also banned Australian wine because their names sound similar.
  • Vaporwave: Fredrik discusses this genre of music in the "Vaporwave" episode.
  • Vindicated by Historyinvoked: In the Henry Darger video, when his works were unveiled to the public following his death, the reception towards his works was largely polarizing, with several even accusing him of being a murderer and pedophile due to his obsessive nature and collection of reference images of little girls. Now his works are highly sought-after items worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and public opinion of him has moved away from allegations of murder and pedophilia to a more sympathetic understanding.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Fredrik's voice is quite deep for someone who looks as young as he does.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: In the Wings of Redemption episode:
    • Jordie tried to beg Syndicate for a rematch after his first loss against him, when a potential rematch worth thousands of dollars was on the line. His begging for Syndicate to throw the match for the majority of the money, while Jordie would get the official win and several thousand dollars to restore his reputation, was so repugnant to Syndicate that he released the transcription of their conversation to the public, further ruining Jordie's reputation.
    • After hitting rock bottom with the complete alienation of his friends, his girlfriend and anyone willing to help him lose weight, Jordie opts for a surgery as an alternative to workouts. However, he develops unrealistic expectations about what the surgery would do, thinking his life would dramatically improve after the procedure. Jordie finally manages to have his surgery, but begins having second thoughts when he realizes he is still stuck doing the same things he did before, on top of having a hard time getting accustomed to the new changes.
  • Western Terrorists: Played with the Rajneesh movement in the Rajneeshpuram episode. While led by an Indian guru, they were mostly an American group based on Oregon and responsible for trying to sabotage an election by contaminating the Dalles populace with salmonella, among other things like attempted assassinations and plotting to drive a plane into a building (all of which failed). Rather uniquely for a religious cult, they were entirely motivated by purely political reasons (preserving their commune's existence) rather than religious extremism, and though never actually intended to kill others in order to send a message, they were uncaring whether or not someone died because of their actions. In either case, the salmonella incident is listed as one of the biggest bio-terrorist attacks on US soil, if not the biggest note  even though there miraculously were no casualties. Before this incident, many people feared that violence would escalate between the Rajneeshi and locals due to the former displaying semi-automatic weapons, but nothing ever came to it. Coincidentally, the Rajneeshi were also targeted by an American-born Islamist militant, who also qualified for this trope.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Several of the people covered in the series end up permanently burning bridges with the people they used to be close to, usually unwittingly:
    • 'Chris' Weston Chandler drew an sexually charged image depicting her and her Only Friend at the time, without said friend's consent. Once the friend found out, she called off her friendship with Christine.
    • Noah used to be friends with many of his coworkers at Channel Awesome, including LordKat. However, his unprofessional and unapologetic behaviour wound up destroying not only his reputation outside the network, but within it, leading to things like LordKat's callout during one of his streams.
    • Jordie created a podcast (Painkiller Already) with three of his friends, with the early episodes featuring them (mostly) acting friendly toward each other. However, a while after Jordie started his downward spiral of acting aggressively toward fans and only trying to better himself in short spurts before giving up, the other members of the podcast kicked him out; as of the episode's publishing, if the remaining members mentioned Jordie at all, it is usually in a mocking tone. Kyle is a particularly clear example of this, as he went from renovating his bathroom just to help Jordie lose weight to mocking how sloppily he eats.
  • Women Are Wiser: In the GameLife episode, the group's sole female member Melissa demonstrates a level of professionalism that is largely absent from her male colleagues. This most prominently demonstrated in their coverage of two separate console release parties - while the main cast's camera recording is unfocused and static-laden, Melissa's is clear and crisp. Despite all of this however, she still somehow has some detractors that call her a "Fake Gamer Girl". Despite the fact that most of the evidence shows that, she is in fact, completely genuine with her enthusiasm for videogames.
  • You Are What You Hate: Late in the WingsOfRedemption episode, Fredrik takes a small detour to talk about how the trolling communities and threads that had formed around Jordie quickly started attacking each other, and ended up collapsing into infighting; as the details showed, this was due to the fact many of the people who trolled most enthusiastically proved to have several mockable traits themselves, such as being absurdly irrational, having bad tempers and banning people that esposed views contrary to themselves (the latter of which apparently caused an entire Discord server to degenerate into what even they called a cesspool).

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