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Folding Ideas is a YouTube media analysis show hosted and written by Dan Olson (aka Foldable Human). His style is relatively analytical among other internet reviewers, mostly observing works within their cultural context rather than from a fan's point of view. Dan formerly used 'Foldy,' a puppet talking box, to serve as the host of the show, but has since opted for his own appearance in later videos.

His videos are found on his Youtube channel. His videos were formerly hosted on his own website and the now defunct Chez Apocalypse.

When he is not working on his own material, Dan has frequently contributed to Lindsay Ellis' post-Nostalgia Chick work, including filming and co-writing several episodes. He also played a large role in managing H.Bomberguy's 101% charity stream, particularly with regards to the guests who appeared during the stream.


Folding Ideas presents and discusses the following tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: He discusses a prototypical version of this that pervades Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, in which as both a creative and cost-saving decision, the movie mixes and matches its media, flipping between rotoscoped animation, squash-and-stretch animation, colorized footage of live actors, and everything in between. Sometimes it looks impressive, and other times it looks ridiculous, but he finds that the flaws and the ambition are part of the film's appeal.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In his first video on Fifty Shades of Grey, he points out how the best moments of the adaptation are the ones that adjust from the flaws of the original source material, including moments where it calls itself out for laughs. In specific, he points to an early scene where Ana drunkenly calls out Christian's inconsistently possessive behavior. During his summary of Fifty Shades Freed, he admits to liking the joke about Ana admitting to having something to restrain Jack Hyde, noting that it was "funny on purpose".
  • Adaptation Decay:
    • In "Earthsea and Adaptation Sickness", Dan goes into why this tends to occur, primarily using Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin and its TV adaptation as a specific example.
    • Also discussed in his episode of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which ironically suffers from an attempt to do the opposite. One of the biggest changes is the entire backstory to the title character (changing her from an Interpol Special Agent to a Fish out of Water concert pianist), seemingly done as an attempt to make her more relatable but actively working against core parts of her character that could be otherwise Hand Waved ("Why does she know martial arts/combat training/not freak out when a gun's pulled on her/care about the criminal scheme? She works for Interpol.")
  • Advertised Extra: Plushy made it to the opening credits for a while back in season 3 but barely features even in the videos it's in.
  • Ambiguous Ending: invokedIn "Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor", Dan goes over the general purpose of this trope before decoding the example from the film, that is to force the audience to engage the work from a thematic viewpoint rather than a literal one (and often times, the diegetic ending in turn becomes obvious from this route). Rejecting a thematic approach in this scenario will likely just result in nonsensical circles that miss the point, as most online reviewers tend to do.
  • Ambiguously Evil: In his Legend of Chun-Li video, he points out that the movie never really seems to know what Bison's whole goal or scheme is, and that, at face level, he's mostly just engaging in gentrification of poor neighborhoods, which is just the kind of mundane evil regular cities around the world already do without needing a borderline supervillain.
  • Anachronic Order: In "Man of Steel Redux", Dan discusses the film's use of this as how not to do this trope, as not only do the transitions between flashback and present day not always link up or make thematic sense, but the overall arc the style entails is messed up, the most egregious instance being the presenting of a young Clark Kent's internal dilemma of how he should use his powers after a scene of adult Clark putting them to use, essentially resolving its questions and themes before the film even properly asks about them.
  • Appeal to Inherent Nature: Discussed as it applies to entire fictional works, typically ones rife with Unfortunate Implications. Dan notes an increasing use of what he calls the "Thermian Argument" to deflect criticism, namely by justifying elements problematic in the real world with an in-universe explanation (summed up, "You cannot criticize the world because that's just the way the world is"). He argues that it's fallacious since the rules of the fiction are ultimately the will of the creator(s), and since fiction is not real, all that really matters is the real-world implications the work and its creators present.
  • Applicability: invoked Played With. He says part of the problem with The Cremaster Cycle is that it has no metaphor to comment on what it's supposed to be about other than extremely vague ones or made-up symbols which you have to buy Matthew Barney's books or go to his website to understand, yet the creator doesn't let people have other interpretations of his work outside of his own.
  • April Fools' Day: On April 1st, 2019, the channel released "Folding Ideas Pivots To Fortnite" (since titled "Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite"), beginning with Dan announcing that he's moving onto the game as a platform and performing his essay in-game. It's a little downplayed, as despite this, the rest of the video is still a legitimate essay discussing Fortnite's existence as a "games as a service" platform.
  • Artifact Title: Foldy hasn't done a whole lot since 2016. This is mostly due to Dan's Suicide Squad video, which was one of a few videos he did in person after sustaining a shoulder injury while working on an updated Foldy puppet. The surge of popularity and recognition he got from said video prompted him to abandon the puppetry gimmick of the video essays going forward.
  • Ascended Fanfic: Discussed as it pertains to Fifty Shades of Grey, with the intro of his video on the first film extensively discussing its origins and the resulting feedback loops on platforms like FanFiction.Net and e-readers that escalated it into becoming a cultural phenomenon. Dan remains positive on fanfiction throughout the series, but there's recurring discussion of how Fifty Shades nature as a former fanfic left it as a weak and meandering narrative, as well as how Erika Mitchell was given numerous opportunities to fix the series via editing, adaptation, and eventually retelling the first book, but refused to change anything about the series.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Foldy served as one to Dan before he was phased out. Interestingly, Foldy sometimes appeared in videos with the real Dan and conversing with himself; as Dan explained, this choice allowed him to better illustrate when he has mixed, contradicting opinions on certain topics that he could project onto multiple voices.
    • invokedIn part 3 of his series on Fifty Shades of Grey, he brings up how Fifty Shades's rare "rough draft" Twilight fic Safe Haven is from Edward's POV rather than Bella's, signifying that the self-insert character of Fifty Shades isn't Ana, but Christian. Dan even directly correlates how both he and E.L. James in real life are "controlling, demanding, petty, and easily angered."
  • Bad Bossinvoked: In early videos where Foldy was the main host, he tended to frame him as this to... himself. An example from his episode on Earthsea:
    Foldy: I know it's been a long time coming, but it's all Dan's fault!
    Dan: [slumped and lying in bed] I don't feel so good...
    Foldy: Oh, quit your whinging.
    Dan: [vomits into a bag]
    Foldy: Eugh!
    Dan: My heart hurts... I think I'm dying...
    Foldy: Please don't! Who will edit?
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Dan discusses one of the most infamous cases of this trope, Christian Grey. He points out that simply from a narrative perspective, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with having Christian be one since it creates conflict and drama that can propel a story, so long as it actually directly contributes to something. The first film's director and writer understood this and tried tweaking as much of the story they could to tone down and address Christian's monstrous behavior as part of the conflict, with Dan describing the film's Christian as "a bad, needy boyfriend," but far less volatile and frightening.
  • Bile Fascinationinvoked:
    • Dan has admitted to be a proponent of this, seeking out bad content to dissect its place within art and culture at large. The ending of "An American Tail: Fievel Goes to Video Game Hell" has him detail his philosophy.
      Dan: I believe in the value of failed art, art that is driven by carelessness, unchecked and untalented ego, by spectacularly low-stakes greed. It has a tendency to be novel, to be unpredictable in a way that deliberate art never can. This is why it's so much fun to watch bad movies. No one would ever make this game on purpose[...]It is not simply a lack of time or money that produces something like An American Tail: The Video Game, but the profound lack of caring. The end product of that broken process isn't worth playing for its own merits, but it is worth playing because it's worth remembering.
    • Played for Laughs in "Cooking Food On The Internet For Fun And Profit", where during his summation of mass-produced videos of transparently faked "lifehack" content, he gets distracted twice from the sheer absurdity of some of their suggestions (like using bar soap to fill in a nail hole).
      Dan: [whispering] Whaaaaaaat... are you...? That’s not a hack... you didn’t... [back to normal] I’m sorry, I got sucked in there.
  • Breakout Character: Satirized in "The Matrix Reloaded Revolutions", where Foldy recounts the trilogy as being the story of Link. In his summary, he makes the observation that just on its own, Link's character arc throughout the trilogy is ultimately more compelling and emotionally gratifying than the "boring subplot" with Neo.
  • Breather Episode: In between the first 2/3rds of his series breaking down the Fifty Shades of Grey films — each episode being slightly under or over an hour in length — Dan preceded the final part with "An American Tail: Fievel Goes to Video Game Hell", a shorter and much lighter video essay briefly sharing his thoughts on the titular film before delving into its terrible licensed gameinvoked.
  • Call-Back: During the explanation of NFTs, he pulls out his copy of Grey, mentioning the damage he inflicted on it at the end of his "A Lukewarm Defence of Fifty Shades of Grey" series by throwing it into a river.
  • The Cameo: His miniseries on Fifty Shades features several excerpts from the original books being read by several of Dan's friends: Ana is voiced by Crystal Rhoney, Christian by Mike Rugnetta, Taylor by Mikey Neumann, Kate by Lindsay Ellis, Dr. Flynn by H.Bomberguy, and E.L. James/Erika Mitchell by Jenny Nicholson.
  • Cathartic Scream: In Part 2 of his series on Fifty Shades, he takes a few brief moments to scream into a pillow after going over Fifty Shades Darker's nightmarishly tangled mess of a plot.
    • He also starts the video "Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor" with a scream of frustration following a montage of people talking about the film on a purely surface level.
  • Clickbait Gaginvoked: Nearly every major video since late 2016 has had an alternate "Clickbait title" in the description. Just for one example, "An American Tail: Fievel Goes to Video Game Hell" has "THE WORST VIDEO GAME EVER!? [gone wild] [prank][TWIST ENDING] Frozen Elsa Spider-Man"
    • This trend was inverted with his video on Pokémon Detective Pikachu, whose main title is "Is Detective Pikachu Mathematically The Worst?!", while the "clickbait title" in the description is "A Short Review and Discussion of Detective Pikachu and The Broader Subject of Video Game Movies".
    • Played with at the start of his Fifty Shades reviews. What's the clickbait title for "A Lukewarm Defense of Fifty Shades of Grey"? "A Lukewarm Defense of Fifty Shades of Grey".
  • Clueless Mystery: Discussed a lot as a big problem in The Snowman, which may or may not have been affected by its Troubled Productioninvoked. Dan notes how there are so many impossible feats and leaps of logic that by the end, the only suspects that could be definitively ruled out are those that are dead, and that the only reason the killer is fairly obvious has less to do with clues uncovered by the protagonists and more to do with the fact he's introduced and then otherwise doesn't do anything.
  • Coitus Ensues: Briefly touched upon in his videos on Fifty Shades of Grey, illustrating the pointlessness of its sex scenes in the grand scheme of things, in turn highlighting the overall issues regarding the series' plotting. Dan further discusses the matter in "Tuca And Bertie Can't Make It Alone", exploring what "pointless" actually means and using Tuca & Bertie as an example of how to avoid this and use sex constructively as part of the overall narrative.
  • The Comically Serious: Dan keeps a stoic, professional tone of voice throughout his videos, so whenever he makes jokes, they come across as this, like consistently calling the teacher "Goddammit Janice" in "The Art of Storytelling and The Book of Henry" or casually dropping double entendres throughout the Fifty Shades analyses.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: "In Search Of A Flat Earth" is an extensive discussion of this concept at large, beginning as an examination and retort of flat-Earthers in particular, but then delving into other, more actively hostile conspiracy movements like QAnon, the circular logic that makes them so stubborn to refute, and ultimately the self-serving authoritarian motivations that drive them.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Invoked during his stream of Kingdom Hearts III, where he purposefully avoided playing the previous games or reading much material about the series in order to view the final installment without any context. For the most part, he actually enjoyed it, and was able to accurately figure out many of the plot points, either through dialogue clues or general knowledge of storytelling tropes.
  • Cooking Show: "Cooking Food On The Internet For Fun And Profit" is largely a discussion about the proliferation of this video genre on YouTube, what gives it its longevity, the various pros and cons of it from grassroots to corporate scale, and overall why he and many others enjoy them.
  • invokedCreator Backlash: Dan argues that End of Evangelion was Hideaki Anno's reaction to the shallow nerd entitlement and sexual perversion of his audience.
  • Critical Backlashinvoked: Discussed at great length in "A Lukewarm Defence of Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie)", with Dan finding its narrative as being one of the worst movies of the year overblown for what is ultimately a fairly middling movie. Dan presents the movie as having far more creative care and thought than the book it's adapting, with its weaknesses stemming from it being an adaptation of highly flawed source material from which it wasn't allowed to deviate too far.
  • Critical Research Failureinvoked: In his critique of Doug Walker's review/parody of The Wall, Dan points out that Walker's assertion that "Another Brick in the Wall" is shallow and juvenile pandering to lazy teens who just don't want to learn algebra completely ignores the fact that when Roger Waters was in school, it was common for teachers to beat their students. It really was that abusive and dehumanizing. He says that the parody appears to be premised on Walker's assumption that every student has an experience of school vaguely like Walker's own (I.E., like it was in 1980s America), but that's very much not true.
  • Crossover: He did a two-part collab with Movies with Mikey for Christmas in 2020. Mikey's video, "The Trial of Christmas Movies", breaks down and analyzes miscellaneous "Christmas movies" to deduce which is the most "Christmassy", while Dan's video, "Let's Argue About Christmas Movies", breaks down the nature of defining movies as "Christmassy" itself, further discussing the various cultural and social implications of the act.
  • Cute Kitten: Dan has a cat named Amy who often features in the credits of his videos, sometimes with a link to an unlisted video solely containing footage of her. She also occasionally pops up in vlogs, where Dan is prone to succumb to Cuteness Proximity around her.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • His vlog on Justice League (2017) includes such glowing praise as "I didn't hate this movie" and "it shouldn't leave you in pain".
    • In "The Line Goes Up - the problem with NFTs", he notes that Ethereum is a net improvement over Bitcoin, which he immediately clarifies is "not hard — Bitcoin sucks".
  • Depending on the Writer: Discussed in "Everyone Batman Kills in BvS (and why it matters)". The point Dan makes is that the controversial decision to have Batman unambiguously and cavalierly kill isn't de facto a bad or even new decision for his highly flexible character, but that it must be accepted as a truth about the actual text before it can be appropriately evaluated as a good or poor decision, both for the text itself and its place in the larger mythos.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: In his commentary on Postal:
    Foldy: Personally, I don't think [Uwe Boll] is a terrible director. I think he's a mediocre director and a terrible producer.
  • Downer Ending: A couple of his videos end in glum conclusions.
    • "Weird Kids' Videos and Gaming the Algorithm" namedrops the trope:
      Dan: If we're honest, and if we're using the 1980's as an indicator, there's an awful lot of advertisers who are ultimately okay with their ads being bombarded onto toddlers, and plenty of creators willing to churn out low-effort content to facilitate that. (beat), that's a downer ending.
    • At the end of his Fifty Shades multi-part series, he's optimistic that the book from Christian's perspective will show more human elements to the character and have him struggling with his dark side. Then we're treated to an excerpt where Christian is fairly blasé about the fact that he's plying Anastasia with alcohol.
      Dan: (brightly) Nope!
      [throws the book across six wide shots of landscape into a river]
    • "Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite" has Dan conclude that the Marshmello concert means Fortnite is a glimpse of the future: an awful, perpetually monetised, vertically integrated, vaguely hostile future. Then his in-game avatar is gunned down.
    • "Triumph of the Will and the Cinematic Language of Propaganda," being about Nazis and propaganda, was destined to have one:
      Dan: The legacy of Triumph of the Will is muddled because it was intentionally muddled. The party was trying to inject itself into everything—into history, into art, into religion. They made their own movie and had their own critics praise it to make it important…To this day, we continue to use Triumph of the Will as our reference point for the mental construct of the Nazi regime. Which, I want you to think about that. Our idea of the Nazis is deeply informed by a propaganda film produced by the Nazis for the explicit purpose of creating that mental construct. This right here is exactly the image they wanted you to think of when you thought of them.
    • "Line Goes Up: The Problem With NFTs" ends on one of the most brutal downer endings in his entire YouTube career:
      Dan: And that's the pitch; Buy in now, buy in early and you could be the high-tech future boot. Our systems are breaking or broken, straining under neglect and sabotage and our leaders seem at best complacent, willing to coast out the collapse. We need something better, but a system that turns everyone into petty digital landlords, that distills all interaction into transaction, that determines the value of something by how sellable it is and whether or not it can be gambled on as a fractional token sold at a micro-auction? That's not it. A different system does not inherently mean a better system. We replace bad systems with worse ones all the time. We replaced a bad system of work and bosses with a terrible system of apps, gigs and on demand labor. So it's not just that I oppose NFTs because the foremost of them are aesthetically vacuous representations of the dead inner lives of the tech and finance bros behind them, it's that they represent the vanguard of a worse system. The whole thing, from OpenSea fantasies for starving artists, to the buy-in for pay-to-earn games, it's the same hollow, exploitative pitch as MLMs. It's Amway, but everywhere you look, people are wearing ugly-ass ape cartoons.
  • Dub Personality Changeinvoked: Discussed in the follow-up video to his earlier episode on End of Evangelion. The first video was primarily Dan discussing the characterization of Shinji Ikari on a symbolic and metatextual level, specifically based around the original Japanese text, whereas in the follow-up, Dan later realized that there was a much larger breadth of interpretations in part due to cultural translations subtly but significantly affecting how said text was meant to be absorbed. He directly points out how the English dub's Shinji is still depicted as a pathetic loser, but his voicework makes him more pitiable and sympathetic than outright spiteful like in the Japanese version.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Dan expresses this to Foldy during the video on Crank: High Voltage while sharing analogies to describe how unconventional it is for its medium.
    Foldy: It'd be like looking at "Super Bass" and complaining about how poorly it would perform on the adult contemporary charts.
    Dan: No wait, I've got a better one! It's like saying the Mona Lisa is a bad music video.
    Foldy: Yeah! Or that The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a bad how-to-guide on world domination!
    Dan: ...dude. Not cool.
    (awkward silence between the two)
  • Eaglelandinvoked: Dan examines Type 2 of this in "The People Vs. Clark Kent", finding that Man of Steelhowever unintentional — is a perfect encapsulation on 21th century American foreign policy: Supermanthe symbol for truth, justice, and the American way — marches around the globe exercising extrajudicial power in pursuit of a single terrorist cell, eschewing diplomacy or concern for collateral damage, and even if they cross the lines they're attacking their enemies for, it's excusable, because when Superman/America does it, "it's okay. It's worth the cost."
  • Escapisminvoked:
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Invoked and Discussed in his impromptu second part to his video on Source Code, "The Dark Side of Source Code", exploring why upon further examination, the "happy ending" and what it implies for the protagonist is actually deeply worrying on many existential levels.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: The show very broadly analyzes media and/or elements of them and how they relate to culture and politics, but there are also some instances where Dan breaks off from this, from lighthearted and unscripted side vlogs to more educational material, from explaining the 2019 Youtube/FTC COPPA deal to informing viewers on how to contact their political representatives.
  • Le Film Artistique:
    • Dan says that The Cremaster Cycle is probably what most people think of when they hear something's an art(house) film. He sees it as boring and pretentious and specifically chooses it as an example of a bad art film. It also has lots of sexual imagery and a couple of bloody moments.
    • Also discussed with "The Nostalgia Critic and The Wall"; Dan spends several minutes prefacing the video discussing that while Pink Floyd -- The Wall feels at times, dated, difficult to watch, and ambiguous, he finds the metaphorical and symbolic storytelling to be a powerful piece of art, particularly as a reflection of the trauma and overwhelming anger felt by the creators in response to WW2, the political climate of the Thatcher era, and structural trauma from schools to the music industry. This comes in strict contrast to The Nostalgia Critic who reacts to the film as if it's just another pretentious arthouse film steeped in generic symbolism to the point where his analysis of it is so shallow, petty, and just plain wrong that Dan dubs it fanfiction instead of critique.
    • Discussed briefly during his retrospective on Ralph Bakshi before delving more deeply into his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Although his style doesn't necessarily fit the conventions of the trope, Bakshi's controlling personality and single minded vision certainly does. Olson highlights Bakshi's early work (particularly Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic) as a strong artistic statement from an independent, counter-cultural viewpoint, created in response to the animation industry of the time being "safe, bright, unscary, trapped decades in the past, and slowly dying". However, Olson also comments on Bakshi's many quirks and faults as a creator, which would go on to become more evident in his later work as Bakshi's personal life became more chaotic and the pressure of juggling multiple projects made his films decline in quality until he left animation altogether.
  • Fix It in Post: In his "Art of Editing" series, Dan frequently touches upon Troubled Productioninvoked during filming that resulted in major issues down the line.
    • For Suicide Squad, due to a frenzied writing/initial filming cycle, extensive reshoots and re-edits of the film were constantly demanded, resulting in hours upon hours more of footage than the various editing houses knew what to do with. This hasty and poorly-planned development showed, resulting in a bloated, haphazardly assembled, and tonally inconsistent final product.
    • For The Snowman, they had the exact opposite issue, in that approximately 10-15% of the script was outright never filmed by the time it hit post-production. Dan notes that this absence alone demanded the removal or significant reworks of additional connected scenes now existing without context, and when combined with additional issues like needing to dub Val Kilmer's failing voice, the end product is "a complete forking mess" with a barely-coherent plot.
    • "Ralph Bakshi and The Lord of the Rings" goes into great length about its unusual, semi-planned case of this with Bakshi's complicated Rotoscoping process, with the film having to have been "filmed" twice over, once in live action, then redrawn with animation and other stylistic editing techniques. Dan concludes that the end result is very ambitious, loving, and at times brilliant, but riddled with glaring inconsistencies that leave the overall project on the "lukewarm" side of "admirable".invoked
  • Flanderization: In his character analysis of Homer Simpson, he talks about how Homer inverted the Standard '50s Father archetype. Homer became more unsympathetic, but still likable, which led to later live-action sitcoms featuring BumblingDads in imitation of him. The writers of The Simpsons then satirized the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists they helped create by making him even more unsympathetic.
  • Flashback: Dan has discussed the use and execution of this trope a few times, mostly regarding works that implement them poorly:
    • In "Man of Steel Redux", the issue has to do with thematic cohesion; in terms of the film's anachronic structure, the flashbacks are not only placed at seemingly random times and without good narrative reason, they sometimes outright harm the overall arc such a form of storytelling would provide, often presenting the setup to a thematic conflict after its resolution was shown to the audience without significant context.
    • "The Art of Editing and The Snowman" goes into greater detail of what flashbacks are and what they represent, with this film's problem being that it imparts information to the viewer that may or may not represent what the characters are actually learning (and usually in ways that don't make sense for them to learn anyway), making it difficult to assess what characters actually know and whether their actions even make sense.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: One of his overarching critiques in The Problem With NFTs is that Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are serving to perpetuate the same scams and power structures that led to the 2008 financial crisis and that Cryptocurrencies advocates claim they are fighting against.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Discussed with Depression Quest as a case study in how to integrate a game's Central Theme into its mechanics, citing its simple, but effective use of But Thou Must! as helping illustrate the dissonant feelings of inability and detachment found in the depression the story is based around.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Discussed in his video on "Ludonarrative Dissonance", in which he defends the term as a tool for proper descriptive criticism. He also goes into detail as to how video games in particular tend to have its elements compartmentalized rather than being treated as a whole, unlike other media (citing {Errant Signal}'s video of how "cinemanarrative dissonance" between story and cinematography in film isn't really considered a thing), and discusses the implications and potential discussions it brings for all of them.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animalinvoked: Discussed in his vlog on Cats and its inconsistency regarding this principle contributing to its surreal, uncomfortably Squicky atmosphere.
    Dan: Cats has an odd relationship with clothes; some cats wear them, others don't. It's maybe a little weird, but a fairly innocuous theatrical convention that is far from the hardest thing in this film to adjust to... at least, until those cats take their clothes off. Idris Elba's Macavity spends the majority of the film wearing a giant fur coat, and it is impossible to describe just how uncomfortable it is when he suddenly apparates wearing nothing at all. Despite the plethora of cats onscreen who aren't wearing clothes, the act of disrobing shattered the convention. It becomes nudity, and a nudity that feels so bizarrely unintentional that despite it being deliberately recorded, [...] the instinct is to politely look away in embarrassment and respect for Mr. Elba's modesty as though director Tom Hooper had somehow managed to sneak up behind him and steal his clothes.
  • The Hero's Journey: In his video on Annihilation (2018), he briefly mentions not being a fan of The Hero with a Thousand Faces due to it insisting this structure as being a flat, universal truth, though he does find some of its theories on narrative patterns valid, at least as a jumping-off point to play with, as is the case with Annihilation.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Discussed in his video on NFTs; he points out that cryptocurrency and other crypto-related thefts do not involve the kind of "hacking into the system" people think of from movies, but rather tricks like convincing people to give up their passwords. This makes it very difficult to prove theft, because fraudulent transactions made this way look exactly the same as the legit ones, and there's no real structure or set of regulations in place to help.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
  • I Want to Be a Real Man: Discussed at great length in the on Fight Club. Dan explains Jack's motives for starting a fight club and rebelling against society as a means of proving himself as a "real man", then analyzing the film's deconstruction of this notion by showing how it manifests as abrasive, toxic behavior, from implicit misogyny to outright sociopathic misanthropy.
  • Identical Stranger: In "What is Vsauce?", Dan briefly acknowledges that he looks similar to Michael Stevens, although he's unable to replicate his signature Fascinating Eyebrow.
  • In the Style of...: "What is Vsauce?" imitates several characteristics and formatting of the subject channel, from Dan speaking and acting in Michael Stevens' signature mannerisms, to the identifiable but somewhat free-form video structure and editing style.
  • Inferred Holocaustinvoked: His minisode on "The Endings of Bloodborne" discusses this, it being the reason why he argues the game's "happy" ending is also simultaneously its most depressing. Sure, leaving the literal realm of nightmares appears as a much more sensible option than remaining and being enslaved by it, but the game also points out by doing so, you will forget everything you learned in it, including the fact that humanity is at the whim of a destructive Cosmic Horror Story, one that's very likely not going to end well for humanity, even in the "best" ending where you become a Great One yourself. That said, Tropes Are Tools, and this sense of ambiguous futility is what makes the game, as well as other Cosmic Horror Stories so effectively haunting.
  • Inherent in the System: His opinion of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the likes is that, ultimately, they simply can't solve the problems with the modern economic system, as these problems ultimately stem from "what people are doing to others, not that the building they're doing it in has the word Bank on it".
  • Isn't It Ironic?invoked: "10 Love Songs (That Aren't Really Love Songs)" lists a bunch of "love songs" that people tend to assume are Silly Love Songs that Dan's been requested to use in the wedding videos he used to edit, but really aren't, at least in a happy way. Among the most baffling is Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game", whose chorus repeatedly contains the words "I don't want to fall in love", which his clients believed to be ironic.
  • Joke and Receive: In the video "Ludonarrative Dissonance", Dan brings up a clip of {Errant Signal} dismissing the concept of ludonarrative dissonance as incoherent by comparing it to film criticism, where nobody ever speaks of "cinemanarrative dissonance". Dan responds that Errant has inadvertently invented a legitimately useful critical conceptinvoked, and proceeds to discuss Transformers as an example of "cinemanarrative dissonance".
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In "In Search of a Flat Earth", he describes how a lot of people, having left the Flat Earth for QAnon, then leave QAnon for worse groups he describes as "hardcore accelerationists," i.e. doomsday cults who believe it's not their job to wait for doomsday but to cause it.
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: Parodied in his vlog review of Pokémon Detective Pikachu, where he forms a rubric to "objectively" score a movie from 0-100 based on four factors rated from 0-5 and weighting them each for a total sum. "Laughs" is scaled by x0.6, "adventure" is scaled by x0.6, "feels" is scaled by x0.8, while "Haunter" (a Pokémon who isn't even in the movie) is scaled by x18.
    • Some commenters pointed out that technically, the inclusion of the "Haunter" category and weighting it so highly made the review incredibly "objective," which is what Dan set out to do— after all, any person, regardless of preferences, could watch the movie and count the number of Haunters that appear (zero) and arrive at the same score. Where this falls flat is that, obviously, the presence or absence of Haunter has virtually no bearing on whether a person would like the movie, making the final score objective, but useless.
  • Living Prop: Dan cites Christina from "The Book of Henry" as a textbook example of a Prop Character. She only has half a dozen lines in the movie, no one empowers her, nor is she involved into the plot to ostensibly rescue her. Dan points out that really it's a plot to kill Glenn, and rescuing Christina is just the excuse to kill Glenn. But Christina is so uninvolved that she could be replaced with a sack of jewels and the plan would've played out almost identically.
  • Looping Linesinvoked:
  • Lost Aesopinvoked: "Man of Steel Redux" is devoted primarily to discussing how the film greatly jumbles up its many potentially compelling and occasionally well-established themes, mishandling how they're meant to be presented and failing to give them proper development and closure.
  • Male Gaze:
    • He discusses the academic definition (that works are made through the lens of a predominantly male audience) with an interesting twist. Although he thinks Male Gaze's relationship with women and queer culture is important, he instead discusses how straight men are portrayed through the male gaze in "She's Out of Control" and "Sam Witwicky".
    • In part 2 of his miniseries on Fifty Shades of Grey, Dan notes how despite the similar aesthetics and tone, Shades of Grey and Darker make it clear through how they film Christian's body in sexual contexts which was made by women and which by men. Shades of Grey maintains focus on Christian's dynamic body to say "this man is coming to f### you," while Darker is visibly uncomfortable with showing male nudity, focusing more on what he's doing (in the example scene, him working out) than his body.
  • Metaphorgotten: In his video essay about Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, Dan goes on a tangent about one of the most infamously inane debates in popular fiction: does the Balrog monster have wings or not? The longer he goes on, the deeper he gets sucked into the decades-long argument as the music and visuals get increasingly manic.
    Dan: And anyway, if Balrog have wings, why couldn't they just fly the ring to Mordor?
  • Music Is Politicsinvoked: Conversed in "The Man Who Fell to Earth" and "Noosehead". He interprets The Man Who Fell to Earth as being a metaphor about creativity and the music industry, while the Noosehead arc of Sam & Fuzzy has a plot which directly involve the music industry and the idea that True Art Is Angsty and artists must be too.
  • Narm:
    • Discussed in his video on The Snowman (2017). He points out that the serial killer's calling card, a frowny snowman, is faintly ridiculous (adding that it is probably intentional as author Jo Nesbø is known to like to skirt the line of parody in his criminal thrillers), and the movie's attempt to play this element as straight frightening just makes it even sillier.
    • During his review of Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, he's upfront with how its unique animation style manages to be impressive at times, but far less so in others, specifically citing its version of the Balrog — very clearly a man in a goofily-proportioned costume trying to mime enormous size by moving slowly — as an unfortunately silly failure. He also points out how many of the characters are gesticulating all the time — an evident result of inexperienced stand-in actors not knowing what to do with their hands that the rotoscoped animation was forced to preserve.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Briefly touched upon in "Everyone Batman Kills in BvS (and why it matters)", where despite the film trying to avoid this in the final battle with Batman luring Doomsday to an abandoned shore, Dan still counts him as "responsible through negligence for the deaths of an unknown number of security guards, homeless and transient people in the area, because 'abandoned' doesn't mean empty."
  • No Pronunciation Guide: In "The Art of Editing and The Snowman", Dan takes a moment early on to discuss the pronunciation of the main character's name, Harry Hole, and how rather than pronouncing it in the same way as in its original Norwegian ("Hole" spoken closer to "hoo-leh") or translating "Hole" to its English meaning, "Hill", the film completely transliterates it to sound like "hairy hole".
    Dan: I don't really have a point here, but it is very funny.invoked
  • Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used to Be: "A Christmas Story: A Tale of Technological Nostalgia" discusses how the film indulges in highly rose-tinted nostalgia, and how it evokes material objects to invoke responses of an innocent and warm childhood of Christmas memories that is likely a completely fictional construct.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: At one point when discussing the Satellite City crossover in the Nostalgia Critic review of The Wall, he notes that Fennah attempts to critique the monsters in "The Trial" for being underdeveloped and coming out of nowhere, existing just for spectacle. He refutes this by pointing out that most of the monsters in question are pretty obviously just symbolic versions of already-introduced-and-developed characters in the film, but notes that the description is actually dead-on for the crossover itself, where the monsters are underdeveloped characters that come out of nowhere and serve no real purpose other than to look weird.
  • The Oner: "I Can't Stop Watching Contagion" is an almost 16-minute single shot of Dan laying on a couch staring blankly at the camera while footage, mostly from the film in question, is projected onto him.note 
  • Opinion Myopiainvoked: Personally averted and discussed at length during the first video on Fifty Shades of Grey, with Dan specifically dissecting the odd dichotomy of backlash and genuine support within Fifty Shades' phenomenon status. In doing so, he lays out the side of widespread criticisms against it (some valid, some notably less so) but he also explores the reasons for why it ended up getting sincere fans and success in the first place.
    Dan: That may seem unbelievable because the writing is so often just painful, but what do we benefit critically for pretending that no one could sincerely enjoy the material?
  • Overly Long Gag: Done twice in "Line Goes Up: The Problem With NFTs", where Dan spends the best part of an entire minute rattling off a colossal list of the procedurally-generated mascot NFT projects that spammed him on Discord, and again later with a list of various cryptocurrencies/blockchains, scarcely pausing for breath while smattering the screen with examples or logos for every single one.
  • Please Subscribe to Our Channel: Discussed in "The Good News of Like Share Subscribe". Dan posits that it's a necessary catch-22 many YouTubers will have to address and need to work around to grow, and later discusses the consequences/ethics of it. One suggested workaround is "suggestion through obfuscation", turning the call to "like, share, and subscribe" into a joke, creating "Go in peace, my children, in the name of like, share, and subscribe, amen." Dan uses it in its proper context in not just this video, but some future ones as well.
  • Plot Hole:
    • Invoked in "The Art of Storytelling and The Book of Henry". Dan points out that Henry initially planned to carry out the murder plot himself, without adult help—he only ends up passing it on to his mother Susan because he gets sick. However, the plan as originally conceived still relied on an illegal firearm purchase, which he'd No gun store owner will sell to a middle-schooler, no matter how many names he drops. As Dan goes on to say, the writers got tripped up by their outside knowledge of the plot: they knew from the start that Henry wouldn't actually be the one who needed the gun, so they neglected to come up with a Henry-compatible plan.
    • Another example from the same movie is the disposal of Glenn's body. Because the author knows the plan's execution will never reach that far, they don't bother to sweat the details, and handwave it as Henry planning for Glenn's body to fall into the "river" and be swept away from the crime scene. Except the "River" is a creek which is maybe a meter and half wide at most and clearly can't be much deeper than 1 foot, and thus would've never been able to just sweep Glenn's body away. Compounding the issue is that the river in question is in his own backyard so if Glenn's body was miraculously swept away and found down river, the part of said river that connects to his own home (and that of his neighbor who would've been his murderer) would literally be the first place anyone would check for evidence.
  • Pragmatic Adaptationinvoked: Discussed at great length in "A Lukewarm Defence of Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie)". Despite the problematic source material and E.L. James' creative stranglehold on what was allowed to be changed, the filmmakers (at least of the first movie) did the best they could to make subtle but substantial changes in the framing, dialogue, and characterization that makes a decent portion of it much more compelling (as well as distilled of egregious Padding), at least until they had to reach the unalterably problematic story elements. Unfortunately, this is less applicable for its two sequels due to the changed directors and writers who became far less willing to challenge or alter the source material.
  • invoked Propaganda Piece: "Triumph of the Will and the Cinematic Language of Propaganda" is a discussion of the eponymous propaganda film, the somewhat contradictory philosophy that drives it, and the artistic methods used that made it so iconic... a fact that itself was an actual product of propaganda intended to manipulate its audiences to show the supposed grandeur and power of the Nazi party. In other words, how modern audiences view it today.
    Dan: To this day, we continue to use Triumph of the Will as our reference point for the mental construct of the Nazi regime. Which, I want you to think about that: Our idea of the Nazis is deeply informed by a propaganda film produced by the Nazis for the explicit purpose of creating that mental construct. This right here is exactly the image they wanted you to think of when you thought of them.invoked
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality:invoked
  • Protection from Editors:invoked Mentioned throughout his series on Fifty Shades as a persistent hindrance with the films, with E.L. James' death grip on adaptational changes (threatening to encourage a fan boycott if it strayed too far) preventing the films from improving beyond the flaws of their source material. After the first film's writer and director left, frustrated with this constant interference, their replacements were hired specifically to be agreeable with James, essentially making them mere proxies while she herself ran the show.
  • Random Events Plotinvoked: In his series on Fifty Shades of Grey, he describes the original "Master of the Universe Part 2" to be this, mainly due to it being a serial fanfic by an author who became more interested in maintaining online status (i.e. posting a meandering Filler chapter just to show the fic isn't dead) than its actual content and plot. This ended up massively affecting the book and film adaptations as almost none of the redundancies were edited out and reformatted into something more structurally digestible and pragmatic, either because they weren't allowed to, or the creators simply didn't care.
  • Re-Cut: In "The Snyder Cut Does (Not) Exist", Dan discusses the nature of how modern, effects-heavy films are made and shipped in relation to the long-rumored "Snyder Cut" of Justice League (2017), and why, if it really does exist, it would be visibly incomplete and likely not truly representative of what would've made it to theatres if not for Zack Snyder's departure and supposed Executive Meddlinginvoked.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: "Manufactured Discontent and Fortnite" breaks down the various mechanisms Fortnite in particular uses in the name of a "games as a service" model, as well as the many tried-and-true and ethically-dubious psychological tricks that make them work.
  • Reviewer Standard Comparisons: Played for Laughs in "Language of Editing: Basic Cuts", where while discussing Match Cuts and how they can imply metaphorical meaning, Dan gets quietly and uncomfortably pestered by a small devil puppet to remind him of the famous example from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    Puppet: Do you know about that one shot? They do that in 2001. You know, that shot with the bone? And the bone becomes a missile platform? You know about that shot, right?
    Dan: [flatly] Yeah, I know about that shot.
    Puppet: ...okay. [whispering] JUST CHECKING. [leaves]
  • Running Gag:
  • Satireinvoked: Discussed in "Asian Girlz", along with Parody Retcon. His opinion is that satire when done well provides an alternative POV to what it's criticizing or makes it out to be ridiculous. But a lot of people will use the satire label to rebut any and all criticism without doing either of those things.
  • The Scapegoat: The crux of Jamie Oliver's War on Nuggets; in shaming kids for eating chicken nuggets, he argues that Oliver ignores the fact that, coming from largely working class families, cheap, unhealthy food is likely all their parents can afford. Likewise his plan for healthy, freshly made school lunches would drain most school cafeteria's budgets in a month. Intentionally or not, all Oliver does is perpetuate the narrative that poor people choose to be poor.
  • Scenery Porn: The footage he filmed of Lake Minnewanka for his video "In Search of a Flat Earth" is stunning.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: invoked Briefly brought up in his video on the Nostalgia Critic's review of The Wall, when discussing the film itself Dan notes that, after decades of other works that explored similar themes as The Wall, or made use of similar aesthetics directly inspired by its imagery, it can look quite "juvenile" in its use of abstract symbolism by comparison.
  • Sequel Escalation: Most of Dan's videos normally run somewhere between 5-20 minutes in length, with his much more comprehensive "Art of X" videos ranging around 30-40 minutes. "A Lukewarm Defence of Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie)" is a little over an hour, and that's just for a video on the first movie, with the second movie's video being 51 minutes and the third being 46. His video "Line Goes Up - The Problem with NFTs" runs for over 2 hours.
  • Serial Escalation: Discussed regarding Crank: High Voltage, a movie so high-octane that rather than experiencing rises and falls in tension like most Hollywood movies, it simply just keeps getting more extreme and over-the-top in a straight line. Foldy argues that this (likely unintentionallyinvoked) parallels storytelling found in video games where conflict, tension, and pace is generally dictated by the accomplishments and failures of the player, but without the player. In his words, it's "less like a story and more like a speedrun of Quake."
  • Shirtless Scene: Dan has one in his video on Fifty Shades Freed while demonstrating Christian Grey's unfortunate choice of swimwear.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "The Art of Storytelling and The Book of Henry" and discussing how the genre beat of "Child Prodigy helps the family overcome financial poverty" doesn't make sense in the film because the family's doing just fine, Dan awkwardly prattles off "They're fine. They're fine. They're fine," à la Lindsay Ellis and ContraPoints.
    • In "Line Goes Up", he briefly jokes about the fact that NFT project often don't promise what kind of business they'll start to use to expand the collection, but rather, just promise the idea that they'll plan something by naming one of the possibilities a "bi-monthly curated box of snacks", this is a reference to Bojack Horseman, where an episode sees Todd's crazy ideas turn a movie into an increasingly surreal and artistic project until it becomes exactly that.
  • Show, Don't Tell: He brings this up in his video on Fifty Shades of Grey, regarding how the fumbled conflict of Film!Christian Grey's admission of not doing things such as dates and lovemaking isn't actually backed up by anything in the film.
    Dan: There's a lot of nuanced argument over the idea of "Show, Don't Tell," like, we can come up with all kinds of examples where just telling the audience what's going on is actually pretty effective, and then we could get into further debate over whether or not those examples are still supported or themselves support visual or environmental evidence that shows the thing we were being told, and thus it's all a combination of showing and telling, but this... right here: Christian Grey just saying it's a big deal that he's never had sex in his sleeping bed instead of his sex bed. This right here is the poster child for the kind of limp storytelling that leads to getting your writing back from the editor with "SHOW DON'T TELL" written in big red letters in the margin. We are told that this is a conflict, that this is all outside Christian's comfort zone, but that conflict is supported by absolutely nothing else.
  • Slut-Shaminginvoked: "A Lukewarm Defence of Fifty Shades of Grey (The Movie)" briefly touches on this. Dan argues that while there are definitely many valid criticisms regarding the source material, a significant portion of the hatedom mostly uses them as a springboard to dunk on the idea of "mommy porn," or the very concept of erotica that didn't fall into commonly male-perceived views of female sexuality. He theorizes this ironically could've contributed to a portion of Fifty Shades' success, with some of its female fans collectively embracing the novel as a public stance on sexual liberation and defiant pushback of this idea.
  • So Okay, It's Averageinvoked: Discussed in his video on Gamer as, somewhat paradoxically, its biggest flaw. Foldy deems the movie technically competent, perfectly watchable, and lacks any definitive singular problems on its own, but it suffers very broadly from its lack of ambition, both in making the story more efficient and exploring the potential themes of its own world (namely the use of video games to control actual people).
  • Speedruninvoked: Dan has a weekly livestream show on Twitch called "Speedrun Learning Curve" where he as a newcomer to the activity figures out how to speed through bad games. As a culmination of this, he made an appearance on Summer Games Done Quick 2018 to do a speedrun of AMY.
  • The Stoic: Dan generally narrates his scripted videos in a professional, descriptive, and somewhat dry voice 90% of the time. This makes the times where it's briefly Played for Laughs or his composition falters outright all the more notable.
  • Stylistic Suck: The brief scene featuring Hat Dan at the near end of The Nostalgia Critic and The Wall mimics the usual quality of Nostalgia Critic in-between skit with poorly composed green screen and invokedbad special effects.
  • Subverted Kids' Showinvoked: "Weird Kids' Videos and Gaming the Algorithm" discusses the abundance of bizarre, often very Squick-y YouTube videos supposedly meant for very little kids, as well as explaining the rather shady reasons why such videos exist and are allowed to remain on the site despite the fact said children likely do watch them. Notably, unlike most examples of this trope, these videos weren't designed for the purpose of deceiving the audience; the ultimate purpose of these videos seems to be for ad revenue with only a vague care of subject matter, and Dan posits that either there's serious Values Dissonance going on, or they simply don't care.
  • Take That!: As someone who tries to maintain a professional and detached tone in most of his work, Dan often is willing to give fans and creators the benefit of the doubt, but will openly or subtly criticize those that are willfully ignorant, spread disinformation widely, or those who are actively abrasive and abusive.
    • In "Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor", Dan criticizes the Anti-Intellectualism in film criticism that analyzes a movie solely from the literalist view point and ignores metaphor. As he puts it, "the loudest voices in film discussion are incurious, proudly ignorant, and approach plot as a problem to be unpacked and solved." This is immediately followed by a CinemaSins clip.
    • In "Cooking Food on the Internet For Fun and Profit", he mentions that cooking channels are seen as a safe bet PR-wise because it's unlikely that, for instance, the Bon Appetit crew would pay people on Fiverr to hold up anti-Semitic signs (referring to Pewdiepie) or post a video of a dead body (referring to Logan Paul).
    • In "The Nostalgia Critic and The Wall", Dan flatly calls Honey a "data harvesting scam", and Doug Walker's ad for it "uncomfortably overacted".
    • Having invokedonce affiliated with Channel Awesome, Dan's assessment of Doug himself is particularly brutal:
      "Doug wants to be a filmmaker, he wants to make art, but he can't, because he's a fundamentally incurious person who isn't much interested in what other people think or feel and all his ideas boil down to 'What if Batman met Mario?'"
  • Technology Marches Oninvoked: Discussed towards the end of "Bakshi and the Ring", where Dan makes the case that Ralph Bakshi's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is like a 2010s blockbuster movie made with 1970s resources; all these years later, countless effects-heavy movies paint over live actors and place their performances in an animated world.
  • The Teaser: Dan usually does a cold open before his title screen, which is recursively called out in "The Art of Editing and The Snowman":
    Dan: So in the script, I wrote this in a bullet point as "cold open" because I couldn't think of anything in specific, and that's what I do when I script; if I hit a point where I'm not quite sure what to do, I try to just write a sentence or two outside the voice of the script literally describing what needs to happen to join where the script is at to the point that's following it. It's a very utilitarian method, but it helps me get around writer’s block and minimize problems where different ideas will make unstated logical leaps in between. Then the longer I stared at it, the more absurd it became, because, y'know, it’s the cold open to "The Art of Editing and The Snowman", and it just sat there, taunting me, practically begging for a joke or some setup for a pun that would make Joel Schumacher cringe into his seat... and now after building it up, really hyping the hell out of this idea, just like The Snowman, I'm now going to drop this entire bit and never reference it again.
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: Discussed. This is applied to the anonymity of certain Image Boards, with people tending to favor an assumption of white, straight, cis-male default persona. Anyone outside that demographic who identifies themselves as such is seen by the majority as being a demand for attention and consequently "no true gamer", not part of the assumed default. This in turn fuels a sense that their space is being invaded by "others" who cannot be accepted as enjoying the hobby on their own terms.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: The main topic of discussion in his Vsauce video is how the Vsauce that started the channel (A fairly cringey variety series that covered gaming where Michael wasn't even the primary host) bared so little resemblance to thenote  current incarnation of Vsauce (The lavishly produced Mind Field as a flagship show surrounded by many spin-off channels) to the point where it's almost irrational to call them the same channel, but that the change between individual versions of the channel was so gradual that many people didn't even notice.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!invoked: Discussed exhaustively in "World of Warcraft Classic And What We Left Behind", exploring the various dimensions of how World of Warcraft originally began, how it continuously developed, what the 2019 Classic relaunch highlights, and the ways players have responded to it all, with Dan giving focus on those giving this reaction.
  • This Loser Is You:
    • Discusses the use of Shinji as an Audience Surrogate, and how he represents Anno's attitude toward his audience. In the show, he used Shinji to share a journey of healing, while in End of Evangelion, he portrays him as a self-loathing pervert incapable of meaningful action, and who in the end refuses to change.
    • He discusses Sam Witwicky and the implications of Women Are Wiser combined with Male Gaze, more specifically how a lot of movies and shows enforce the idea that this is how men see themselves and how they're supposed to see people like Sam as relatable.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: The brief first impression video on Cats starts with Dan silently walking out of the theatre with a despondent look on his face. It stays there as he walks through the parking garage to his car, and finally as he drives home.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriouslyinvoked: Regarding Fifty Shades of Grey, Dan believes this to be the case with not only actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, but pretty much everyone working on the film including director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel. Unfortunately, in spite of of its highlights of good-to-brilliant changes and technical presentation, it's still marred by the flaws of the source material that E.L. James refused to allow to be changed, resulting in a whole that's less than the sum of its parts. After Johnson and Marcel's departure, with the sequels instead being led more-or-less by James' proxies, the amount of creative talent and effort dropped significantly.
  • Updated Re-release: Nearly 7 years after the original, Dan made a second version of his episode on Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, updating the original script, fixing some of the technical issues of the original, and overall giving it a facelift to the standards and formatting of the show in 2019.
  • Unfortunate Implicationsinvoked:
    • Discussed extensively throughout his 3-part series on Fifty Shades of Grey, picking apart all the harmful and potentially deadly implications it reinforces regarding power dynamics in relationships and kink lifestyles.
    • Also discussed in "Minecraft, Sandboxes, and Colonialism". It starts with Dan pointing out how the most efficient way to get villagers to live where you want them to closely resembles human trafficking, then branches out into examining colonialist patterns in sandbox games as a whole.
  • invokedVideo Game Movies Suck:
  • Video Games and Fate: Discussed a few times not just as a story element, but as a functioning mechanic and tool used in various ways which may serve for or against player interaction and narrative construction.
  • Vindicated by Cableinvoked:
    • Discussed in his video on Book Club, specifically mentioning this as being the proponent of how low-budget/quality movies like Book Club make a quick buck. He also brings up Catwoman (2004), which bombed, but ironically still makes money long after its theatrical release because it bombed, making it cheap enough to be easily sold to any station that needs to fill a time slot.
    • He brings this on his video about A Christmas Story only this time in a much more sinister tone. The movie itself never was successful, but due to Turner Entertainment coming to own the movie's right, and corporate shenanigans lead to this movie being very cheap to license and the movie winding up constantly on reruns on TV led to the movie becoming a "Christmas classic" because it never was successful (Successful Christmas movies like Home Alone or Die Hard having much higher licensing costs). The movie aired all the time as cheap filler for kids, and when those kids grew up, the movie was aired even more because they remembered seeing it in their childhood, starting the tradition of it being aired as a 24h marathon. This leads to point that while A Christmas Story is about nostalgia for a type of Christmas celebration that never really existed because it was a corporate stunt, A Christmas Story itself has become to people fake nostalgia as a holiday touchstone it never was because its omnipresence was itself, a corporate stunt.
    "So, a movie that saw middling reception with its release in 1983 gained new life in 1986 as the functionally free holiday filler for Turner Broadcasting, but didn't really gain true popularity until the maturation of a generation of children who had seen it as children. And those people had seen it as children because it was on TV, where it was a filler movie that stations could readily license, and this synergistic surge in popularity was then capitalized on by TBS, who could afford to air the movie as many times as they wanted, because they owned it. The "tradition" of A Christmas Story, its true roots as a phenomenon of the season, the history of the 24-hour marathon isn't a deep-rooted cultural practice; it's a corporate stunt that's younger than Men in Black."
  • Watsonian vs. Doylist: He details his opposition to what he calls "the Thermian Argument", which is essentially the act of providing Watsonian answers to Doylist questions.
  • Wham Line: In the "In Search Of A Flat Earth" video, the lighthearted but thoughtful critique of the Flat Earth movement suddenly takes a dark turn as Dan crosses over into the second half of the video:
    Dan: "The bottom line is that Flat Earth has been slowly bleeding support for the last several years. Because they're all going to QAnon."
  • World of Badass:
  • World of Symbolism: "Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor" greatly discusses the film's nature as this, going over its heavily ambiguous nature as a call to engage with thematic metaphor. At the start of the video, Dan vents frustration at how most online discussion surrounding the film seeks to actively reject this and question it on a solely literal level, which he argues is completely missing the point.