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"You don't have to think I'm right, I could be wrong! I could have come to the completely wrong conclusion about what this evidence suggests. But you can find it. It's out there and it informs your perspective of everything, you know? Maybe some conservatives eat soy and that's fine. In fact, that is the case. I've looked it up and, you know, isn't it all nice? Go to the evidence and maybe together we can all live in a beautiful world, soy or not. And maybe we will be gentler and nicer that way. And if you don't, well, I'll— I'll own you on the Internet."
H.Bomberguy at the 28:39 mark in "Soy Boys: A Measured Response"

Harris Brewis, known online as "H.Bomberguy", is a YouTuber known for his videos about left-wing politics and its intersections with media (usually videogames).

HBomb grew into prominence after a series of videos mocking the strained development of The Sarkeesian Effect, the infamously bad documentary made by YouTube reactionaries. During the early days of his success, Hbomb was one of the few big, truly leftist channels at a time where right-wingers and reactionaries ruled the platform. Since then, he has helped carve out a space for other leftist creators to grow and take prominence, like ContraPoints, Philosophy Tube, Shaun, and Sarah Z.

These days, HBomb's videos can be divided into three different categories:

  • His political videos, which usually involve him giving a "Measured Response" to either a single or multiple videos from right-wing reactionaries on a general topic, while making a greater point on the topic itself.
  • His media analysis videos, which are usually his longest videos (sometimes being feature-length), where Hbomb analyses various games, films, and television shows, which is made all the more interesting by Hbomb's somewhat controversial taste in media.
  • His gag videos, including his Serious Lore Analysis videos, where he gives a Dark Souls-like reading to the lore of games like Sonic and Mario; they often veer off into David Lynch-esque surreality, where the lines between serious analysis, bizarre comedy, and mind-fuckery are intentionally blurred.

As is the case with ContraPoints, humor plays a vital part of HBomb's videos, but whereas Contra has a dark and highly polished sense of humor, Hbomb's humor is more goofy, with a strong streak of Stylistic Suck. He also often streams with his friends, Shaun and Jen, another big channel in left-wing YouTube.

In January 2019, he was recognised by a motion in Scottish parliament, for a 58-hour charity stream which ended up raising a massive sum of money for Mermaids, a British charity supporting transgender and gender-nonconforming children. He is the first online streamer to be so honoured.

Tropes used in H.Bomberguy videos:

  • Accentuate the Negative: He thinks Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an alright game, but his video on the game goes into detail about the differences between it & the original Deux Ex and he finds most of the changes are to the game's detriment, such as hacking being changed from an optional mechanic where you lock yourself into a 10-second wait period that gives enemies free rein on unwary players to a mandatory mechanic where you play a repetitive 20-second minigame which puts the rest of the game on hold. And many of the changes he finds clever (e.g. much-improved stealth being emphasized by the scarcity of resources) are nullified by other design decisions (which in this case is that your health regenerates, reducing the need to play carefully or burn valuable resources against most enemies since any damage you take will be undone.)
  • Accidental Aesop: invoked
    • He believes that The Room (2003) is a close impression of how Wiseau saw an actual breakup. This means it (unintentionally) works very well as a statement about how bad relationships warp your perceptions, with the nonsense characterization, rampant misogyny, and Random Events Plot being a symptom of the fact that Wiseau's viewpoint wasn't healthy or accurate.
    • RWBY's handling of the Faunus plot is so muddled and disoriented that it accidentally makes the point that supressing a civil rights movement is actually a good thing, because they're all evil terrorists who want to bomb cities that largely are apathetic to individual acts of racism.
      Hbomb: The gang gleefully kill dozens of White Fang members, throwing them off a train at high speeds where their remains will be shattered and smashed into a pulp, unburied in a collapsing tunnel covered in monsters and explosives, and then later the only exit from this monster-infested tunnel is sealed shut, trapping any of the survivors inside to die horrible deaths. And sure, maybe they experienced racism and suffering, but they decided to be evil so they got what was coming! If you kill one of these guys your conscience is clean!
  • Achievements in Ignorance: While researching Tommy Tallarico's Guinness World Records, Hbomb (through Kat) reached out to Guinness themselves in regards to Tommy's "Most Prolific Video Game Music Composer" award to figure out how it was verified, as the number on the record did not match the number of games Tommy actually worked on. The end result was that this world record was deleted, because Guinness couldn't verify it after all. The whole time, Hbomb didn't intend to get the record removed, but now knows that he's in trouble with Tallarico regardless.
    Hbomb: Right after we emailed them, asking them where their evidence was, and they said they didn't have it, the record disappeared. Did we... did we just get one of Tommy's records deleted? Oh no!
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Played for Laughs in the New Vegas video:
    [Discussing Bethesda's approach to difficulty in Fallout 3]: "They want you to be able to go on tour of their majestically massive maps, and serious spikes in... s-difficulty would get in the way of that."
  • All Just a Dream: Discussed in his Pathologic video, where he points out how a lot of people feel that this trope ultimately cheapens the experiences of the characters in the story for the sake of a twist, but then the game challenges this line of questioning: the story was all made up anyway, and audiences should know this, so why do people feel strongly when this happens In-Universe?
  • And I Must Scream: Played for laughs in A Second Look at Nintendo Switch, where he gets trapped in the Nintendo Switch.
  • Answer Cut: All over the Fallout: New Vegas video, where he comments about things Fallout 3 did well but weren't executed as best as they could be, then remarking that he wished a game existed that did execute those things better. Cut to New Vegas footage, and Hbomb explaining that New Vegas is that game.
  • invoked Applicability: Discussed in Outsiders: How to Adapt H. P. Lovecraft for the 21st Century. Hbomb remarks that he initially hated the movie Cthulhu, considering it a bastardization of the Lovecraft stories it was a loose adaptation of. He changed his mind after he began to question his sexuality and experienced the sense of feeling alien as a result, which helped him to appreciate the application of the themes of Lovecraft's horror to the feeling of being an outsider.
  • Apophenia Plot: Discussed in his dissection of Sherlock: following the disastrous final episode of the show, some fans became convinced that there had to be a secret fourth episode of season four which would retroactively make the rest of the season good - and that it would take the form of Apple Tree Yard, a BBC drama beginning the week after Sherlock ended. How did they reach this conclusion? Among other things, one version of the show's website led to a 404 error page (as in "episode 4.04"), the leading actress had the last name Watson, Sherlock at one point had the main character say "people always give up after three" and in another scene had an apple tree on some wallpaper, and a promotional image for Season 4 of Sherlock displayed Mark Gatiss holding up four fingers.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kevin!note  He never elaborates on what his rivalry with Kevin actually is, aside from mentioning how white his smile is. The rivalry exists solely to justify using the expensive stock photo.
  • The Aristocrats: Hbomb does the joke in Vaccines: A Measured Response to lampshade the borderline cartoonish lengths of Andrew Wakefield's misconduct and sheer absurdity of the circumstances.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • Subverted in "WOKE BRANDS", after Hbomberguy has revealed the dubious actions of several "woke" companies:
      Hbomb: And don't even get me started on Keurig. Their coffee isn't very nice. [Beat] And also a bunch of labour violations...
    • His acknowledgement of some of the issues with the game that make it hard for many people to get into in the Pathologic video:
      Hbomb: The game's just not fun. It's not interesting to look at, it doesn't feel good to play mechanically, it's frustrating, the story is confusing and wordy and translated from Russian by a mystical rat who only speaks in riddles...
  • Artifact Title: Inverted. His first few "Measured Response" videos used the title sarcastically, as he spent most of them just laughing his ass off at the silliness of the people making The Sarkeesian Effect. Nowadays, the title is much more applicable, as it distinguishes his well-researched political response videos from his other content.
  • Artistic License Ė Biology:
  • Ascended Meme: Fanart depicting Harris as a ferret has been doing the rounds since 2017 (with this appearing to be the earliest occurrence). In his 2021 video Vaccines: A Measured Response, he stops the video in the middle of an animated segment to ask the animator to change his cartoon persona to a ferret.
  • Audience Surrogate: invoked A Discussed Trope in his RWBY video.
    • Jaune Arc's role as this in the early seasons of the show hampers the character of both him and his partner Pyrrha Nikos. Jaune, in spite of descending from a long family line of Huntsmen, has no clue how Aura (a basic ability that all Huntsmen unlock) works. Pyrrha has to spend most of her screentime explaining these basic concepts to Jaune, leaving her little room to develop as a character in the first Volume. He also criticizes how the emphasis on Jaune is at the expense of the show's four nominal lead characters.
    • Harris jokingly calls Qrow Branwen this. After his introduction in Volume 3, Qrow's constant sarcasm aimed at the self-serious elements of the show make him a joy to watch and reflect the opinions of the viewers who are getting tired of the exposition and just want to get back to the fights.
  • Author Avatar: He bluntly considers Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross to have done this with Jaune and Neptune in RWBY, frequently mocking them for how their characters drag the pacing to a halt in Volume 2 with the dance arc where both of their characters are competing for Weiss Schnee's affections.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: His opinion of the production of Sherlock. The effects and editing are well-done and expensive but don't actually enhance the story. For example, they use Matrix-style "bullet-time" effects, originally meant for incredibly intense fight scenes, for people standing around getting their photos taken at a wedding. Such intense and difficult camerawork should be awesome, but it just ends up wasting runtime that could have been spent telling the story.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • SERIOUS LORE ANALYSIS PART 3, originally titled "IS SONIC 2 AGAINST CAPITALISM?", initially seems to be a satirical analysis of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but then turns into a mix of a surprisingly serious analysis of how gamer comics such as Ctrl+Alt+Del and Penny Arcade are just manifestation of negative attitudes within the gaming community, and a terrifying, somewhat gory, story about Harris coming to terms with how unneeded his Serious Lore Analysis videos are, and how he could do much more. Even though he's still going to do them.
    • A Running Gag in "Weighing The Value of Director's Cuts" is Hbomb starting to sound like he's going to talk about George Lucas, only to abruptly reveal he's talking about a completely different director. Even when he finally gets around to Lucas, he still carries on the gag by sounding like he's going to talk about the re-releases of the "Star Wars" Original Trilogy, only to instead talk about the edits to THX 1138. Ultimately subverted, though, since the Star Wars films are ultimately such a fundamental example of his overall argument that he has to get around to them eventually.
    • In his video on empowerment and sexualisation, he mentions a costume where Bayonetta is wearing a sexy version of Samus Aran's armour, and then points out that there's already a sexy costume associated with Samus Aran...and then, when you think he's about to mention the famous, tight-fitting and famously tight-fitting Zero Suit, he instead says the Phazon suit.
      Hbomb: [zooms in on pauldron larger than Samus's head] Aw yeaaaaahhh
    • In the Deus Ex: Human Revolution video, Hbomb gets so into his rant against hacking minigames that he starts claiming BioShock 2 is better than the original because the hacking is simpler, which causes him to realize that he may be losing it and end the Hacking chapter of the video. On to Lockpicking. How did the Human Revolution devs implement it? They replaced it... with the hacking minigame!
    • "ROBLOX_OOF.mp3" is billed as just that, an exploration into the origin of that particular sound effect. Which is settled in the first 25 minutes. The remaining hour and a half is about the outlandish claims of composer Tommy Tallarico and how credit in video games is, even now, extremely ephemeral.
  • Batman Gambit: Discussed in his "WOKE BRANDS" video. According to Hbomb, the reason companies make ads that are intentionally "woke" or advocate for progressive politics is that they know such ads will cause a backlash from people who won't like it. However, this then creates a backlash to the backlash, resulting in things ultimately ending in a better spot for the company because of the publicity they get. Essentially, Hbomb argues that a brand being "woke" is done because they know that people just can't resist complaining about such ads, and said complaining will ultimately draw more money in the long run as free advertising for them.
  • Beat: All over the place naturally. One particular usage of this trope sticks out in Harris' video about New Vegas, in which he says "pause for effect" when changing the topic to that game from Fallout 3.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Hbomb discusses in his RWBY video why the White Fang conflict really shouldn't have been made into this, as the White Fang are shown to have a legitimate point in how they are treated and persecuted due to their race, but the show can't really admit that they're right (as Hbomb jokingly notes, it would be hard to sell happy-go-lucky merch of Nora saying "Boop" if it existed as part of a setting where people are discriminated against due to circumstances of birth), so instead it conveniently has the White Fang be corrupted by a more violent element which provides the cast moral justification in beating them up.
  • Black Comedy: In his climate change denial video:
    Hbomb: I suppose one thing you could do is just let the ice sheets melt. I mean, the problem would just kind of go away if most of them drowned. [mocking falsetto] "Oooh! Ahhh! Iím dying! Oh, I guess I was wrong! Oops!"
  • Blatant Lies:
  • Book Ends: His Bill Nye vs Pseudo-Science two part series begins with a takedown of Armored Skeptic's video, and then finishes with Armored Skeptic taking down a Steven Crowder video.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: From "Bethesda vs. Critics":
    Hbomb: I could just say "buyer beware", scream "caveat emptor" and run off into my survival shelter filled with backup Bitcoin wallets and posters of Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Ryan Rand, Nand Paulranyn and Skeletor...
  • British Humour: Being English, Hbomb does this often and as cuttingly as possible.
    Hbomb: [as PewDiePie] Just one, tiny, multiple slip-ups, and then all the media had to do was report on it. Almost as if that's their job!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Hbomb himself. He's an extremely goofy, loud, playful man who nevertheless is incredibly intelligent with a strong work ethic.
  • But Thou Must!: One of his main critiques of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is that very few of Adam Jensen's dialogue choices are actually meaningful, with few if any having a meaningful story or gameplay effect. He points to the mission to break into the police station's morgue as an example, where even if Adam point-blank tells Sarif that messing directly with the official authorities in such a manner is both blatantly illegal and highly dangerous, Sarif simply overrules his protest and orders him to do it anyway; there's no difference than if Adam shrugs and goes along with it immediately. He believes that this is the result of the designers being overly committed to a single plot and vision, and therefore not willing to account to potential alternate ideas (for instance, having Sarif take Adam's advice into account and suggest a different route, something which Harris points out that the original Deus Ex was quite good at offering up), resulting in the game asking you a lot of questions to create the illusion of free choice but never really accounting for your answers. He argues that while being on the rails isn't necessarily bad, being on the rails but trying to pretend otherwise is — if players don't have a choice, it's far less annoying to simply make that clear then to give a cosmetic set of "options" that set up a false expectation.
    Hbomb: "Adam Jensen is an ex-cop who doesn't play by the rules, whether he likes it or not."
  • Casanova Wannabe: The subject of mockery in Pick-Up Artists: A Measured Response. Hbomberguy notes that even proponents of so-called "pick-up" techniques admit that they don't work most of the time, and even when they do work, the sex is so unsatisfying for them that the whole exercise is essentially pointless. He ultimately concludes that since pick-up artists aren't interested in relationships or sex and see the latter merely as a way of asserting their dominance over women, they effectively doom themselves to perpetual unhappiness.
    Hbomb: I have a question: If pleasure doesn't matter, and the person you're sleeping with doesn't matter to you because you've pursued a worldview based around thinking so little of them... what's the fucking point? The most damning thing about pick-up artistry is that it doesn't work even when it works. In the accidentally eloquent words of Matt Forney: "Nothing she does can ever be good enough for you."
  • The Cameo: Like Contra, Hbomb often uses other left-leaning Youtubers as cameos in his videos.
    • Dan Olson from Folding Ideas has an on screen appearance in Pick Up Artistry: A Measured Response, where he talks about his attempt to infiltrate a Roosh V meet-up (which ended up with him being the only one there).
    • The composer of the music for the third Ctl+Alt+Dlt video, Patricia Taxxon (before she came out as trans) also has a role as the voice of the masked axe-wielder.
    • Hbomb himself pops up in, among other things, a couple of Jimquisition episodes (once doing a minor joke as a Call-Back to "The Sarkeesian Effect: A Measured Response", one in a more serious role reading out a testimony on lootbox gambling addiction) and doing the "X Seasons Earlier/Later" bits on Lindsay Ellis's "Last of the Game of Thrones Hot Takes".
  • Can't Take Criticism: Hbomb discusses this in RWBY Is Disappointing And Here's Why regarding how showrunner Miles Luna has garnered a reputation as being unable to properly take criticism without perceiving it as a personal attack. While Hbomb agrees with points Miles has made in the past regarding taking criticism (most notably Luna's comments regarding how bad-faith criticism is less likely to work by virtue of not wanting to admit that the Jerkass Has a Point), Hbomb then points out that for all the times Luna has said he does try and find good-faith criticism of the series, he never actually acknowledges it in public and spends more time quote-retweeting bad-faith criticism of the show, leaving a perception that he never engages with good critique and setting a bad example for his fandom on how to handle criticism. invoked
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Pops up with varying levels of seriousness throughout his videos.
    • The Deus Ex: Human Revolution video opens with a short history of the Deus Ex property, and how many times it's had to change hands between multiple companies and their subsidiaries. He wraps it up with a joke that the game industry is "so normal and fine", before juxtaposing the aggressively normal history of the game's production against the anti-corporate theme the original game had.
    • Lampshaded in his video "WOKE BRANDS", where he segues from talking about tactics used by advertisers into how supposedly progressive companies still use exploitative labour practices.
      Hbomb: That's right, I made yet another video to turn out to secretly be all about capitalism. You thought I couldn't do it but I did! [beat] DON'T EVER QUESTION ME AGAIN!
  • Clueless Mystery: A major peeve of his "Sherlock is Garbage" video is how Sherlock always solves the mystery using information or sources that were never shown to the audience.
    Hbomb: "The key to mystery stories, the white-hot burning core of the genre that makes it what it is, is being given information — just enough that you could maybe figure out what was happening—and then having a character show you something about the information you managed to miss, or put the pieces together in a way you wouldn't expect. But to make sure you can't possibly solve it before Sherlock does—because he's supposed to be the most amazing, special boy in the world — they can't risk giving you too much information. So they craft a story in which you're shown basically nothing, and then told, "Bing! It's a legendary serial killer I just made up." "Bing! Someone else told me the answer offscreen." "Bing! It was a fucking boomerang!"
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: He makes two videos ridiculing the negative reception Ghostbusters (2016) was getting on the internet based on nothing but its 2 minute trailer, much of which amounted to little more than complaining about its all-female cast. Harris points out that, even if the movie ended up being disappointing, you should at least watch more than a very short promo before coming to a snap judgment on its quality. He also points out that Ghostbusters (1984) had a bad trailer as well, and those same people had nothing but praise for it.
  • Complexity Addiction: Discussed; one of his main theses in "Sherlock is Garbage" (and, to a lesser extent, his review of Moffat's final episode of Doctor Who) is that Steven Moffat, often out of what appears to be some desire to prove how much smarter than the original source material he is, keeps taking what were simple-yet-effective ideas and bolting on too much plot and gimmickry onto them. In Bomberguy's view, this ends up just tripping him up by resulting in everything collapsing into an over-complicated mess, whereas the original lasts precisely because it's simple but effective.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: In his Sherlock video, he points out that a number of Sherlock's deductions, whenever the series isn't in full-on Clueless Mystery territory, make very little sense: for instance, claiming that a man couldn't have shot himself with a gun in his right hand because he was left-handed, never minding that Watson is explicitly shown to be dexterous enough to write with his left and shoot with his right. Or that learning to shoot with your off hand is perfectly normal.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: In 'Sargon's Petition: A Measured Response', he repeatedly stated how he wanted to corrupt Kevin's mind.
  • Creator's Pet: One of his criticisms of Sherlock is that the story tends to revolve around Holmes a bit too much. Yes, he is the protagonist, but he gets so much focus that most of the other characters end up being underdeveloped by comparison. invoked
  • Cross Through: During "Flat Earth: A Measured Response", Hbomb visits Abigail Thorn to discuss the subject, only to walk in on the filming of her video, "Why Does Britain Still Have A Queen?"... which involves Abby pouring HP Sauce onto her face and into her mouth. Hbomb decides to just reference Abby's video on the subject instead.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: One of his problems with Deus Ex: Human Revolution's cutscenes is that Adam Jensen sometimes does dumb things that force the plot to go a specific way or just make him seem incompetent, but his real issue is actually the opposite of this trope.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: His bigger issue with cutscenes is that Human Revolution's cutscenes basically just stand in for cool challenges that the player could have been doing, but are merely stuck twiddling their thumbs watching Jensen do. Comparing it to a similar mission in Deus Ex which also had a sequence where the protagonist had to set up bombs to sabotage their enemy, but did so in gameplay rather than a cutscene so the player had to be aware of how they would place the bombs, detonate them, escape the ship, etc., Hbomb lambasts Human Revolution for making the player feel like they're taking the back seat in a game that should be empowering them.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • Hbomb starts both his Fallout 3 analysis and his Sherlock analysis by talking about the positives, but in both instances, he can't find much to write home about.
    • In his video about Deus Ex: Human Revolution, he explains that you can go through a side objective to have Adam's hardware swapped out due to bugs that are affecting augmented people, and if you do so, then a significantly later boss fight has to be done with an Interface Screw due to the chip being corrupted by the villains. He declares that he's "very sorry to tell you that you are correct" about it being the smartest thing in the game—going on to say that while the game remembering a minor side-quest and have it come back into the plot hours later is a pretty cool moment, it feels like the sort of thing that should be everywhere in the game, as it was in the original, as opposed to being reserved to a handful of relatively minor scenes.
  • invoked Delusion Conclusion: Discussed during Sherlock is Garbage, in which (among other things) he tackles the infamous Apple Tree Yard theory. Here, fans disappointed in the third and final episode of the concluding season came to believe that there was actually a hidden fourth episode in which it would be revealed that everything that had happened in "The Final Problem" was a dream or a fiction - and went to absolutely bewildering lengths to prove that it would be arriving soon, even insisting that The BBC thriller Apple Tree Yard had to be a cover for the Grand Finale of Sherlock. In the wake of the revelation that Apple Tree Yard was nothing of the sort, Hbomb concludes that Season 4 of Sherlock was just really, really terrible, and he felt sorry for the fans who committed to the theory out of desperation to avoid admitting that the season had been bad. Nonetheless, he makes the point that even if The Johnlock Conspiracy was correct, that still wouldn't make the series good, because wasting hours of screentime and hundreds of thousands of dollars on a deliberately bad episode just to throw people off the scent is a phenomenally stupid way to run a show.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Not getting Doomfist's costume in Overwatch. Complete with Hbomb trying to sing Mad World.
  • Disappointed in You: He makes a point that he finds RWBY, more than anything, disappointing, because there was genuine talent working behind the scenes and the mere endeavor of creating a web series like that, the first original web series of that scale, is an ambitious and respectable goal, which is why he named the video RWBY is disappointing rather than "garbage". He points out the second half of season three as giving a genuine glimpse of what the show could have been if the series wasn't bogged down by poor, constant exposition, trying to imitate other, better shows and if the creators weren't so precious about their creation that they refused to give deeper flaws to their world and characters.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: He argues that many of the issues in Deus Ex: Human Revolution originate from the dev team not really understanding that the "flaws" of the original Deus Ex were intentional: for instance, the rather clunky shooting mechanics were meant to disincentivize combat for uninvested players and push them towards other solutions, and the lack of any kind of Hacking Minigame was born out of a realization that it would slow the game down or get repetitive. He notes that trying to "fix" these issues in Human Revolution results in exactly the problems these ideas were done to avoid.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: invoked He mentions in an aside that he had bleached his hair for a video about Milo Yiannopulous, although he never got around to actually uploading the video.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: invoked Harris bluntly calls Qrow Branwen one of the best characters in RWBY, because his sardonic wit makes for some of the funniest scenes in Volume 3 alone.
  • Enjoy The Story, Skip The Game: invoked His Pathologic video, in which he discusses how incredibly painful and suffering-inducing the gameplay is and how that reinforces the narrative, leading to an experience that is very interesting to learn about, but very hard to actually enjoy firsthand.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: Used for satire in Climate Denial: A Measured Response. Hbomb "does the research" and decides that there is no such thing as a horse because he doesn't like them.
  • Existential Horror: He jokingly refers to Donkey Kong 64 as this in his video on speedrunning, as he considers its character switching mechanic and heavy use of backtracking an exercise in futility that serves as a reminder of the limited amount of time a human lifespan actually is.
  • Fantastic Racism: RWBY's attempts at this with the Faunus plot makes up a significant chunk of his video on Volumes 1 to 3, as he breaks down how the plot fails in every conceivable manner to work on a writing level. As Hbomb made the video during a period of racial tension in the midst of the George Floyd protests, he's blunt in his assessment that the series miserably failed, especially when it came to how the setting has to bend over backward to justify making the White Fang antagonists when they're almost entirely in the right.
  • Faux Symbolism: invoked Spends a good chunk of his Human Revolution retrospective joking about how the game repeatedly brings up symbolism relating to the myth of Icarus, mainly because he finds the metaphor a lot dumber than the game seems to think it is (for instance, essentially naming the antagonist megacorp "The Sun"). He even compares it to the use of religious terms in the original Deus Ex, claiming that it makes sense for Bob Page to create a naming system that positions himself as God, and that it gives Page a Wicked Pretentious vibe that he's so willing to drop Biblical metaphors in reference to his own workstation.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Used repeatedly. Notably, from the Vaccines and Autism video:
    "The evidence against the movement can't get much worse, can it?"
    "That was a joke."
    (Title Card: "Part Five IT GETS MUCH WORSE")
  • invoked Follow the Leader:
    • A Discussed Trope in his RWBY video. Hbomb goes into detail on the various instances of the show taking elements from other anime and shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Soul Eater, with a particular comparison of Ruby's first scene and Spike Spiegel's first scene in the Cowboy Bebop movie (as writer Miles Luna is a long-time fan of Bebop and both scenes share various similarities) as part of a point on how taking a scene from another product without understanding why that scene originally worked only hurts your own product and makes it feel less original.
    • This is lamented in The Killing Joke Movie and the Problem with Comics. Hbomb criticizes the comic books industry throughout the 90s for endlessly reproducing pale imitations of the actually good works of the late 80s by the likes of Alan Moore and Frank Miller. He spends about a minute reciting a litany of such characters, taking special note of the many clones of Wolverine.invoked
  • Foreshadowing: From the ROBLOX_OOF video:
    "[Tommy Tallarico]'s very happy about the fact he was specifically on MTV's Cribs. He says it a lot in interviews and that's what he calls the video he uploaded onto his own channel, and there's no way he would tell an obvious lie like that. Would he?"
    "Foreshadowing is a literary device in whi--"
  • Forgot About His Powers: In his video on RWBY he points out that Ruby displays amazing hand-to-hand abilities in her first appearance, but when it becomes necessary for her to be captured, she's suddenly useless without her weapon.
  • Freak Out:
    • Played for Laughs in the opening of Fallout 3 Is Garbage, And Here's Why when he has a breakdown over how the game journalists of the time only focused on the game's cinematic V.A.T.S system being "badass", provided repetitive footage of said system being used for gratuitous murder with one reviewer even opening fire on an allied character, claims that the player's actions have serious consequences over footage of the Lone Wanderer picking up a fork and getting gunned down, thinking that a game where one of the Signature Scenes revolves around the question "do you want to kill a whole town of people, or not?" has a "deep morality system", and one of the reviewers thinking the near universally reviled ending was good. invoked
    • Also occurs in Sherlock is Garbage where — after it turns out that "a FUCKING boomerang did it" — Hbomb starts screaming in frustrated rage before breaking down into sobbing over footage from the opening sequence of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century.'
  • Fridge Horror: invoked One of the most common ways to obtain more ammo in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is to take other people's weapons. Harris finds/jokes that this has morbid implications when combined with the severe restrictions on how much ammo the player finds in those guns.
    Hbomb: There's something extremely disconcerting about a world full of people who keep a gun on their desk with one bullet in it.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • The entire video on vaccines. Firstly, Harris shows that Andrew Wakefield's paper - the thing which took the anti-vaccine movement from a very fringe crackpot theory to actually mainstream - is based not on hard science, but on the uninformed cognitive bias and opinions of a small group of parents. Then, he goes through how British journalists completely failed in their duty and spread Wakefield's bullshit (and a lot of ableist opinions on autism) to the entire country, resulting in lower vaccination rates, measles outbreaks, and dead children. THEN he uncovers that the whole thing was a scam for Wakefield to set up potentially millions-per-year businesses on top of already getting paid nearly 1.1 MILLION DOLLARS by a lawyer to do the fraudulent paper. And just when it looks like we've turned over every last stone...
    • A much lighter example: ROBLOX_OOF.mp3 starts with Hbomb making the case that Tommy Tallarico either stole credit for or is exaggerating his part in making the "oof" sound in Roblox. It spirals into finding that Tommy is either lying about or exaggerating almost every achievement he boasts about.
  • Gainax Ending: "SLA3" ends with Hareton Splimby repeating Ethan's death speech from CAD while turning off a light switch. Then Loss gives birth to him and Sonic appears before him, telling him "It's time." As Hareton screams "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss!", we're told this is "Happy End".
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Points out how Fallout 3's use of Level Scaling is debatable in how well it fits a game set in a harsh, post-nuclear wasteland, as opposed to a more empowering genre such as a traditional fantasy setting. That said, he does admit that there are some merits to the system, acknowledging that many players enjoyed being allowed to explore the wastelands on their own terms.
    • One of his critiques of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is that while the original Deus Ex placed a lot of importance on feeling like a semi-realistic world, Human Revolution's streamlining of systems results in a world that doesn't hold together very well. He points to hacking as a specific example: nearly every lock in the game uses the hacking minigame, regardless of whether it makes sense for them to, and because all the locks along the critical path need to be unlockable by even an untrained Adam Jensen, plot-relevant doors have pathetic security even if they should logically have the toughest defenses available.
  • Genre Shift:
    • His Serious Lore Analysis 3 video frequently cuts between him critiquing Ctrl+Alt+Del and a horror film in which he is chased through a forest by a masked killer with an axe.
    • His Soy Boys: A Measured Response video suddenly turns into an escape story half way through. What makes this particularly hilarious is that none of it is even commented on in the slightest. One minute, we see him in his room and the next, he's cuffed to a pipe in a garage somewhere and he continues his lecture on soy as if nothing is amiss.
  • Gilligan Cut: Done at the end of Antifeminism vs FACTS, where he says that not even Sargon of Akkad is dumb enough to have everyone he disagrees with banned from academia, followed by a shot of Sargon's petition to get Social Justice courses banned from universities.
  • Golden Mean Fallacy: Discussed in Bill Nye vs. Pseudoscience, when Hbomb shows Armored Skeptic praising the climate change panel in Bill Nye Saves the World for "being balanced" and "avoiding politics." Hbomb points out that "balance" isn't the point or the purpose of the segment, but rather to accurately present the science. One of the experts supported his argument that energy production in the United States could be fully sustainable if not for political barriers, and the other failed to adequately rebut him, meaning that for all practical purposes, the panel wasn't balanced.
  • Gone Horribly Right: How Hbomb presents the Brexit Referendum in Electionwatch 2017. David Cameron's gambit to avoid losing votes to far-right parties by calling the referendum the cost of the referendum succeeding and the pro-Brexit faction taking over the party, both outcomes Cameron had hoped to avoid.
  • Hard on Soft Science: Deconstructed in Anti-Feminism vs Facts and Sargon's Petition: A Measured Response. In both cases, despite the pretense of championing hard facts, Sargon of Akkad's hostility to the social sciences is shown to be simply because he doesn't understand any of the theory or methodology, and doesn't like things he takes for granted being criticized. Of note is the fact he is dismissive of the AAU campus sexual assault survey because he thinks that surveys "are not facts," but believes that a similar study by the US Department of Justice — which is also a survey — is definitive because its conclusions are more favorable to his position.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: When discussing Pathologic's tutorial NPC who gives instructions as to how to play the game, he points out how the tutorial is good for someone who is unfamilliar with Pathologic's survival genre, but considering the point of view of an In-Universe character causes this to become hilarious:
    Hbomb: "The Tragedian is talking past [the Bachelor] to you, so that you know the mechanics, but the Bachelor has no idea why someone is telling him this.
    The Tragedian: "Need I remind a wise man like you of the fact that hunger is sated with food? Food can be found in shops."
    Hbomb: "The Bachelor is having the weirdest conversation of his life."
  • History Repeats: A large portion of his Deus Ex: Human Revolution video talks about how many of the problems that exist in the game as it stands (a long intro and forced tutorial with minimal actual gameplay, a Hacking Minigame that gets tedious quickly, the Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth systems interacting poorly, a plot where characters just kind of vanish and most of the interesting events happen in cutscenes) were also issues that, according to Warren Spektor, also existed in early builds of Deus Ex but ended up being fixed in the final game. Harris makes the point that this isn't the Human Revolution team being incompetent, but really more a sign of how the increasing scale and corporatization of game development makes it much more difficult for people to go back and fix wide-scale problems once they become apparent—meaning that Ion Storm was able to simply cut and replace large swathes of what they had made, while Eidos was stuck putting band-aids on bullet wounds.
  • Important Haircut: As of the intro & outro of "War On Christmas: A Measured Response" video (the rest was filmed in the past with his previous look), Harris now has a new look; a shaven-bald head complete with a full beard. This is due to his receding hairline and being quarantined for Covid-19. It's a tad jarring due to those used to his usual elfin, mop-haired, baby-faced dork look.
  • Insistent Terminology: He pointedly refuses to refer to Andrew Wakefield as "Dr. Wakefield" in Vaccines: A Measured Response, due to him having neither a doctorate degree nor — thanks to his fraudulence — a license to practice medicine.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In The War on Christmas: A Measured Response, Hbomb focuses on a right-wing pundit named Paul Joseph Watson complaining that the word "Christmas" isn't used anymore in Tesco, which Watson argued is evidence of people trying to erase Christmas. Watson focuses on packaging for Christmas crackers at a Tesco, using a photo that Watson himself had taken. However, in Watson's photo of the aforesaid crackers, some of them had "Merry Christmas" written on the wrapper. A Twitter thread about the offending photo also had a screenshot of Tesco's website that mentions Christmas by name. What's worse, this Twitter thread with these contradictions was shown live on-air while Watson was speaking about it, forcing the camera to awkwardly fade back into Watson to avoid his own Twitter feed contradicting him any further.
  • Invincible Villain: A key criticism of the depiction of Moriarty in Sherlock is that he's essentially made too invincibly clever and all-knowing for Sherlock to pose any kind of actual threat to, yet won't ever kill Sherlock because he enjoys messing with him and doesn't really seem to actually care that much about any threat to his criminal empire, with all of this being handwaved away with "he's an Evil-But-Crazy Genius". This simply saps the tension from the show, since Sherlock can never seem to actually get the upper hand against Moriarty yet is never at any serious risk from him either, and Moriarty can be written to do any absolutely nonsensical or ridiculous thing with it being excused with "he's a crazy genius"
  • Joke and Receive: When doing the background research into Tommy Tallarico's "achievements", Hbomb's producer Kat Lo discovered that his supposed Guinness World Records are limited to the "Gamer's Edition", a novelty spin-off of the main series. She jokes that this would be like passing off a TEDx presentation as a TED Talk,note  only for Hbomb to discover that Tallarico had done exactly this, listing a TEDx speech he did in small town in Michigan as a "TED Talk" on his website.
  • Laughing Mad: Done in his climate change denial video.
    Hbomb: I suppose one thing you could do is just let the ice sheets melt. I mean, the problem would just kind of go away if most of them drowned. [mocking falsetto] "Oooh! Ahhh! Iím dying! Oh, I guess I was wrong! Oops!" [chuckling, gradually turning into loud, insane laughter] WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!
  • That Liar Lies: In Soy Boys: A Measured Response, on the subject of Kayla Daniel skewing studies to make it seem like phytoestrogens acts like animal estrogen in the body. We can be reasonably sure, given the scientific evidence, that they don't.
    Hbomb: I did find some studies, but... [sighs] how do I...put this in a way that makes it not sound rude? The studies didn't say anything like what this...lying, liar...lied about.
  • Left It In: A reoccurring joke in the series is Hbomb using a really bad line and then mumbling to himself that he will need to change it later or that the take is bad.
  • Love to Hate: Holds this opinion of Pathologic's prickly prick himself, Daniil Dankovsky. Dankovsky's a jackass who refuses to see the town as anything but a backwater place that deserves a torching, his head inflated to dangerous sizes, and Hbomb loves him for that. In the actual story, Dankovsky is a much more sympathetic character than Hbomb makes him out to be, from his overly idealistic but noble goal to cure death to the fact that he evacuates the town before he orders it to be shelled, because he doesn't want to kill the civilians, he wants to cleanse the earth to get rid of the plague. invoked
  • Malaproper: From Electionwatch 2017: Crack open a boy with your cold ones.
  • Male Gaze:
    • Explored in Power Fantasy, Male Objectification and Lady-Fanservice.
    • His RWBY video includes several quotes, Tweets and segments from interviews with Monty, Miles and Kerry where they make crass jokes about the protagonists and their bodies. Many of these immediately cut to one of the trio noting that Weiss, Blake and Yang were all seventeen at the start of the series, while Ruby was just fifteen.
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    • Done occasionally in Measured Response videos, such as with "Carl of Sad" and "Pajama Watso". In a retrospective video, Hbomb notes that he started doing this because he noticed that his opponents often do this in an attempt to dehumanize their targets, so he was using their own tactic against them. And also because it's funny.
    • Defied in Sherlock is Garbage where he refuses to get Benedict Cumberbatch's name wrong for a cheap joke... except for just once.
      Hbomb: "Benedict Cumber...bad."
      • He then goes on to refer to co-star Martin Freeman as "Martin McBacon".
  • Monochrome Casting: He doesn't dwell on it but Hbomb points out offhand how RWBY's cast starts out almost entirely white despite trying to code the characters as minorities through having them be Faunus. He then jokes that the series does include a lot of black people... while showing the shadow people the show used when it didn't have enough budget to render crowd shots in Volume 1.
  • No Indoor Voice: He delivers his review of No Man's Sky entirely by screaming, in a parody of what he regarded as overblown outrage at the game's features by YouTube reviewers.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked. One of his main points in "WOKE BRANDS" is that the controversies surrounding progressive-leaning ads work as more effective advertisements for companies than the ads themselves. According to Hbomb, the strategy is for a company to create a progressive/left-leaning/"woke" ad or ad campaign, thus encouraging a backlash to it from people who won't like it. However, this then creates a backlash to the backlash, resulting in things ultimately ending in a better spot for the company. Essentially, Hbomb argues that a brand being "woke" is a company pulling a Batman Gambit, because they know that people just can't resist complaining about such ads.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Discussed in the SCANLINE video on VHS technology, in which Hbomb uses the example of Jaws and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) to point out that movies that don't show you everything are actually scarier due to the atmosphere they produce. This is then extended to the medium of VHS itself (and the later Found Footage horror movies that would imitate it), which lent itself well to horror because it was low-resolution, easily distorted and often watched on blurry, inexpertly tuned and low-resolution devices, meaning that the viewer often ended up imagining half of what frightened them without the filmmakers even necessarily trying to freak them out. The lower quality could also disguise the flaws in the special effects whenever the horror elements were on screen.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Points out in his "SERIOUS LORE ANALYSIS PART 3" video that Penny Arcade shares the same lowbrow humor and annoying self-inserts as the much-maligned Ctrl+Alt+Del, with the implication that the latter is merely a more explicit showcase of the toxic aspects of the gaming community. At one point, he even shows that Ctrl+Alt+Del had its own convention similar to PAX.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Hbomb obliquely mentions that Andrew Wakefield, the main subject of Vaccines: A Measured Response is a "gut surgeon", not a psychiatric or immunology expert. He doesn't dwell on the point, however, as the primary issue with Wakefield wasn't his qualifications, but that he was lying his ass off the whole time.
  • Off the Rails: "ROBLOX_OOF.mp3" starts with him detailing the history of the Roblox "oof" death noise and its origins, which ends fairly conclusively around the 30 minute mark. And then he accidentally does a little more research about Tommy Tallarico, the guy in charge of the company that hired the person who originally did the oof noise, and it quickly spirals out of control into detailing the Blatant Lies Tallarico runs on to make himself seem more important than he actually is, which Hbomb remarks about multiple times.
  • Older Than They Think: invoked Sherlock Is Garbage And Here's Why has him wonder out loud if the killer's method of murder in Sherlock's first episode - forcing the victim to pick between two identical pills, one of which is poisoned - is a Matrix reference. It isn't; while the motivation of the killer was changed by the show, the original story had the killer use the exact same method.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: While he's certainly no fan of the way Sherlock adapted Irene Adler, he does think her defeating the title character's Sherlock Scan simply by going naked was clever, especially since the show leaves it ambiguous as to whether it worked because she removed anything that could be used against her or because Sherlock was too Distracted by the Sexy to focus.
  • Oop North: Harris is from Yorkshire, although it's not really obvious from his accent apart from some occasional slip-ups. In his Fallout: New Vegas video, he accidentally pronounces the word "clear-cut" as "clear-coot" and immediately jokes about outing himself as a Northerner. When his mother appears for a brief gag in the "Vaccines" video, her Yorkshire accent is much more noticeable.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • The legendary response to Ben Shapiro advising victims of climate change to 'sell their homes and move' arguably benefits greatly from a long build up to the punchline.
    • After hearing multiple offhand comments about the bad boss design scattered throughout the video, the Deus Ex: Human Revolution video eventually moves to "Part Twelve: THE BOSS FIGHTS", playing dramatic music as it spells out each letter (then backspaces when it puts a typo in "boss") and generally taking its sweet time building up, viewers might prepare for an epic rant about how badly designed the bosses are. And then...
      "The boss fights are bad. Anyway..."
      [Part Thirteen: Level Design]
  • Overly Narrow Superlative:
    • Discussed with the Guinness Book of World Records' business practices. Hbomb mentions that it's already believed in pop culture that the bulk of their records consist of very narrow things, seemingly mentioning this fact just as a joke.note  However, as Hbomberguy points out, this is actually how they make their money: selling increasingly specific records to anyone who is willing to pay for their services, and generating the publicity needed to promote the achievement. This practice is thrown into sharp relief when Tommy Tallarico's record for "Most Videogames Worked On in a Lifetime" is called into question; Guinness' response is not to give the record to the actual record holder, but to recategorize Tommy's record to something even more narrow to ensure that Tallarico still has the record he paid for. What's notable is that even with Guinness cooking the books in Tommy's favor, his "records" are still dubious at best. Hbomberguy's producer Kat Lo asking some very basic questions about one of these records gets it purged from the Guinness World Records database, presumably out of embarrassment that they didn't bother to check if Tallarico even held the records that he claimed he did.
    • Played for Laughs at the end of his Deus Ex: Human Revolution video. He briefly considers it as "the second worst game ever made"... out of a list of four games total: Deus Ex and Fallout: New Vegas precede it, and Fallout 3 follows it.
      "But hey, DXHR fans. Try not to think of it that way. Try and think of it as the third best game."
  • The Peter Principle: Hbomb believes that Steven Moffat has proven himself more than capable of writing great one-shot, stand-alone stories, but has serious problems when it comes to writing story arcs and other more long-form work. As a result, while he's a very good screenwriter, his work as a showrunner is less than stellar. He half-jokingly suggests that Moffat should just spend the rest of his career writing pilot episodes.
  • Pinball Protagonist: One of his main criticisms of Fallout 3 is that the ostensible main character isn't actually driving the overall plot—he points out that the driving engine of the story is your father's choices, from start to finish, and at no point do you get to come into your own and start being proactive. He finds the choices the player character does get to make minor, some variation on cartoonish evil vs basic decency (do you want to blow up a whole town for some money and a nice apartment, or...not do that?), just plain stupid, or all three.
  • Plato Is a Moron: Hbomb criticizes Steven Moffat's approach to adapting Sherlock Holmes as mostly just trying to prove how much smarter and more interesting he is than Arthur Conan Doyle, which comes across as contempt for the source material. In Hbomb's view, this ironically often just proves to trip Moffat up, as his ideas of "smarter and more interesting" tend to just end up as overwritten Complexity Addiction and style-over-substance gimmickry, whereas Doyle usually just focuses on telling a simple, straightforward story with a mystery hook that is often a lot cleverer in its simplicity than anything Moffat manages.
  • Poe's Law: Discussed in The War on Christmas: A Measured Response. Hbomb points out that people who keep pushing the "War on Christmas" narrative have to keep telling more and more outrageous lies about it in order to have plausible deniablility about the things they say so they can't be sued. As Hbomb argues, extreme political pundits have to do this "delicate dance" so as to not actually defame people or expose themselves to legal backlash by hiding behind how extreme the things they say are, to the point that they can claim their words aren't meant to be taken seriously in the event that someone sues them anyways. However, as Hbomb points out, this still allows such pundits to build up a sizeable audience in the same way that Nigerian email scams still work. In each case, while the vast majority of people aren't fooled, those who are fooled indirectly self-identify as the most gullible people, and allow someone to take advantage of them. invoked
  • Political Correctness Is Evil: Deconstructed in The War on Christmas: A Measured Response. Hbomb points out that almost all of the things pointed to as indicative of political correctness attacking the religious elements of the Christmas holiday are either completely normal aspects of the holiday that have been around for a long time or made up entirely. He also notes that a few token changes in language to help some people feel more included isn't Serious Business. Hbomb concludes by arguing that proponents of the "War on Christmas" narrative have to pretend that there's some sinister ulterior motive behind wanting to change a few things about the presentation of Christmas in media in order to avoid having to admit that it's a solution in need of a problem.
  • Precision F-Strike: His Sherlock video contains multiple instances of "Fuck off" or "Fuck you, Steve."
  • Protection from Editors: invoked Discussed in his Sherlock video. One of his central arguments is that the work of Steven Moffat on shows like Sherlock, Doctor Who and others ends up becoming over-written, convoluted and nonsensical simply because Moffat is the one in charge and has no one around him to tell him when an idea is bad, as the only people around him who come close to being in an editorial position are either friends or family members of his. And, by extension, the British media industry is so "incestuous" that the same people keep working together on different projects, meaning that the problem just keeps repeating itself. As evidence, he notes that some of Moffat's best work has been for Doctor Who when Russell T Davies was in charge and he was only given standalone episodes to work on, meaning he had to focus on telling a good self-contained story that, despite some level of creative freedom, nevertheless fitted into someone else's vision of the show instead of being free to let his own ideas spiral out of control.
  • Rage Breaking Point: While most of the criticisms in the "Sherlock is Garbage" video are delivered fairly calmly, albeit with a heavy dose of sarcasm, the scene in which it is revealed that "a fucking boomerang" was used as a murder weapon actually causes Harris to scream in frustration.
  • A Rare Sentence:
    • From the "Flat Earth" video:
      Hbomb: Oh, great, I accidentally went to the shitty side of YouTube. You click on one vegan flat earth neo-Nazi rap...[cut to black] Heh. I just had to say that phrase but it's all true.
    • When discussing Armored Skeptic's response to Bill Nye Saves The World in the Bill Nye Vs. Pseudoscience video, Hbomb states that he personally wouldn't have slut-shamed the ice cream and chuckles upon realizing how that sounds.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Harry delivers a massive one to Graham Linehan in his charity stream announcement video.
    Hbomb: Good job raising awareness for a charity, genius. Please talk loudly and angrily about more people that need support, you fucking trash man! You piss boy! You PRODIGIOUS BUFFOON!
  • Refuge in Audacity: Hbomb pulls this card when exploring more of Tommy Tallarico's lies. He argues that they're so plentiful and obvious they hide in plain sight. When he starts questioning Tommy's Guinness Book World Records, Hbomb figured that Guinness would have at least verified his records, but is shocked to discover that they clearly didn't. Hbomb thus concludes that Tallarico's lies were so audacious that no one bothered to check, simply because they assumed that he couldn't have made it up.
    Hbomb: The more you look at Tommy's weird exaggerations, overstatements of credit, his use of "we" to mean Joey, the more you see it. It starts to take over your mind. You start to ask yourself if even the stuff he couldn't possibly be lying about is a lie. Like, okay. Are those Guinness World Records real? I assumed even if everything else was fake, they would be real, at least. There's no way anyone could get away with such an obvious lie. It would be too easy to check. But it turns out if something is easy to check, no one actually does!
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: His video on Flat-Earthers ends on this note. He believes that the movement is essentially people taking the wrong path to the right conclusion: there are far-reaching conspiracies with nobody's best interest in mind but their own. And the masterminds behind these conspiracies seek to control the media, government, and populace through false information. And the flat-earth movement is right to suspect that the "official" explanation for something can often be badly compromised by the sinister motives of those aforementioned conspiracies. It's just that these conspiracies have more to do with things like war profiteers, polluting companies, and neo-fascist regimes, not airplane companies making up fake flights to throw theorists off their trail, or NASA making "poor-quality" Photoshops of the moon.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Many of his video essays open with him referring to it as anything but a video essay, usually with a self-deprecating comment. He refers to his Sherlock essay as a "primal hallucinatory nightmare", his RWBY essay refers to the "...And Here's Why" series in general as "the increasingly infrequent cries for help my family refuses to believe is my job", and in his Pathologic video he refers to his entire channel as "the assorted mess of concepts that can scarcely be called a YouTube channel."
    • KEVIN, in the "Measured Response" videos.
    • Often Hbomb will make an Incredibly Lame Pun or some other deliberately terrible joke and immediately apologise for it.
      Hbomb: Bram Stoker, more like Gramsci Stoker. Doesn't really work, does it...
    • Hbomb knocking something over and shouting "Oh, fuck!"
    • The credits of his videos tend to run over slow-mo footage or out-takes of something (often an item used or referred to in the video) being smashed around on the floor of his studio.
    • Hbomb's obsession with defending the Star Wars prequels. In the second "Scanline" episode, Shannon Strucci even forces him to sign a contract that he'll keep his prequel discussion to a minimum.
    • Pressing a big red button causing the phrase CITATION NEEDED to come up in big red letters, accompanied by dramatic music, anytime someone makes a dubious claim without citing a source. In Soy Boys: A Measured Response, he pulls the button out in anticipation, only for the person in question to actually give a source this time.
    • "Horses aren't real" has now come up in several videos. In his vaccines video he ends up having to say "putting the cart before the...squid".
    • Whenever Shaun voices a quotation in videos about games, it's shown on-screen as a text bubble from a skull, which Harry shoots immediately after.note  This is the case in Fallout: New Vegas Is Genius, And Here's Why, where a revolver is used, and in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is FINE, And Here's Why, in which the skull is blasted at point blank with the GEP Gun.
    • Also in the New Vegas and Deus Ex videos: "[short spiel about how the franchise is amazing and a timeless classic]... so the developer went bankrupt!" Punctuated by the developer's logo falling off its hinges and then detonating. The Deus Ex video promises to use this gag about 12 more times.
    • Throughout the New Vegas video: "[insert companion name], NO!" Usually whenever Veronica does something reckless, but she earns herself the inverted version of the gag too ("Phew, thank you, Veronica").
  • Santa Clausmas: Discussed in the video The War on Christmas: A Measured Response. It's noted that Christmas is still widely celebrated in the UK, despite more people there identifying as irreligious or atheist than Christian, simply because it's such a huge part of British culture. And as a result, the diversity in Christmas ads is not some nefarious plot to defame Christianity, it's just an accurate reflection of what British Christmases look like.
  • invoked Scrappy Mechanic: He believes that some of Pathologic's frustrating decisions, such as the slow walking speed and horrible combat, are necessary elements to get across part of the game's point. On the other hand, he can't say the same of quest items being dropped on the floor without notification if the player's inventory is full, pointing out that it doesn't provide the same immersion and that it's just frustrating and time-wasting to deal with the slow walking speed from getting from point to point without carrying the critical quest item to actually make progress.
  • Separated by a Common Language: Frequently poked fun at; when Hbomb uses a Britishism, he offers a "translation" for American viewers.
  • Sequel Hook: Outsiders: How To Adapt H. P. Lovecraft In The 21st Century promises at the end to take a look at a similar work to Cthulhu, by which the story is about queer people who struggle to find their place in society: Night in the Woods.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • His "soy boy diet" experiment, which involved him replacing everything possible in his diet with soy products or soy-based substitutes, comes to the astounding conclusion that soybeans are just a kind of bean that you can eat. If you want.
    • The RWBY video ends on this note, as it ends on Volume 3 (released after Monty's untimely death). After Harris breathlessly talks about how good Volume 3's second half is and how great the show can be when its firing on all cylinders... he sadly notes that following Volume 3 the series began a slump in quality from which he feels it will never fully recover.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The re-occurring gag of him being hit in the face by sausages is a Shout Out to his friend, Lindsay Ellis.
    • The thumbnail for his Vaccines and Autism video is a parody of the Re-Animator VHS box art.
    • His RWBY video has a few:
      • The end of the anime intro has Harris in the same pose as Vash the Stampede in the end of the Trigun credits.
      • His 3D animation scene is a reference to the church scene in Kingsman: The Secret Service (he even calls it out).
      • And during said scene, there are several notable video game characters in the background, including Tracer, an NCR Ranger, Donkey Kong, and The Bachelor, The Haruspex and an Executor from Pathologic.
    • During the intro of "ROBLOX_OOF.mp3", after discussing the increasing prevalence of the Wilhelm Scream throughout cinema, Harris says "Getting in on someone else's in-joke kind of risks ruining it, but I wouldn't know anything about that," followed by a clip from Home Alone 2 of Marv getting shocked, with Marv's scream replaced with the Wilhelm. This is a nod to MandaloreGaming, who has a running gag of playing Marv's scream in his game reviews during clips where someone gets electrocuted.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: In "Climate Denial: A Measured Response", he plays a clip of Ben Shapiro suggesting that, if climate change does indeed result in rising sea levels flooding coastlines, the people who live there would "just sell their homes and move". Smash Cut to Harris hacking his way through a wall in a "Here's Johnny!" Homage to demand to know who's gonna buy their homes in this scenario. And then for good measure a quick rundown of many other problems climate change will cause, making "just move somewhere else" a highly impractical suggestion.
  • Sincerity Mode: He pauses in the middle of his video on vaccines to sincerely say that everyone should have a colonoscopy at some point just to be safe, as bowel cancer is fairly common and treatable if caught soon enough.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: "Kevin", a child (represented by a stock photo of a laughing boy) who Hbomb loathes with a passion for reasons unexplained. Apparently he became a Running Gag mostly so that Hbomb could feel like he'd got his money's worth for the stock photo.
  • Snicket Warning Label: About 30 minutes into "ROBLOX_OOF.mp3", the question of where the eponymous sound effect actually came from has been answered, and Harry tells the viewers that the video is over and they can click away now. "invokedDon't look at the run time. D— don't worry about it." This chapter of the video is called "The End (Normal People Stop Watching Here)" even though the video as a whole is nearly two hours long. After about a minute of "just chilling out", Harry decides that the "normal people" have now left and starts talking about the fact that Tommy Tallarico has explicitly taken credit for the "oof" sound and claimed it was "for" Roblox (both of which had at this point been established as false) and the rabbit hole this took Harry down about Tommy taking credit for other people's work, which takes up the rest of the video.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: Hbomb's rendition of Mad World involves him mumbling every second line.
  • So Okay, It's Average: invoked His video on Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a funny case of this, in that he explicitly acknowledges that he neither loves nor hates the game (unlike the topic of most of his "[X] is [Y], and Here's Why" videos). However, rather than the usual case of this trope where the topic is average and therefore uninteresting, he actually considers Human Revolution to be a very intriguing work in large part because it's neither a masterpiece nor a disaster, having a lot of very strong moments and ideas but ending up too constrained by its restrictive development and Troubled Production to fully realize them in the same fashion that the original Deus Ex was able to.
  • Stepford Smiler: According to his Serious Lore Analysis video, Sonic the Hedgehog is one. According to Hbomb, Sonic is The Hedgehog because he's embraced the identity of the Sole Survivor of Robotnik's tyranny. Yet, Sonic's devil-may-care attitude is a result of "dealing with the utmost depression he feels, fighting a near-impossible battle as he copes with the loss of his race" and knowing that he'll never have a wife and kids.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: The third Serious Lore Analysis video argues that readers hated Ctrl+Alt+Del in part because it was an accurate representation of gaming culture presented in a way that was obnoxious and unflattering. Hareton Splimby notes that other, more popular gaming webcomics had similar elements to the ones that were commonly criticized in CAD, just presented in a more tactful way.
  • Stylistic Suck: He tends to leave in flubs, mistakes and errors throughout his videos, often (deliberately) misspells and mispronounces words, and makes very little effort to hide how cheaply his videos are being produced. This helps to differentiate him from the sort of alt-right guys he often criticizes (especially in the earlier videos), who tend to take themselves way too seriously and try very hard to look cool.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Parodied in his Nice Try, Paul video, which suddenly ends with the ominous image of Jeremy Corbyn after Hbomb threatens to take away choice and freedom from The UK.
  • Take That!:
    • In his early videos, Davis Aurini was the biggest source of mockery on his channel and more or less the embodiment of everything he disliked about anti-SJW internet culture. Harris mocks him less after Aurini's fall from relevance, but may still reference it as a Call-Back.
    • Several of Hbomb's videos have been centered on some of the stupider things that Carl "Sargon of Akkad" of Swindon has said and done. #FreeSargon: A Measured Response caricatures him right on the thumbnail, even. As with Aurini, however, Sargon's relevence has also declined, and he rarely merits a mention in Hbomb videos anymore.
    • In response to Graham Linehan's campaign to withdraw National Lottery funding to the charity Mermaids, which supports gender nonconformity in children and young people, Hbomberguy ran an epic 58-hour charity stream marathon in January 2019, where he battled to complete Donkey Kong 64 to 101%. The announcement of that stream portrays Linehan with increasingly goofy and cartoonish photoshops of his face, mocking him for trying to remove support for children who need it, pointing out that his efforts will likely fail once the National Lottery realizes that there aren't any actual concerns and it's just one online personality using their fanbase to try and take down the charity (they did end up failing), and then remarking that making such a massive push for it will only lead to more people being aware of Mermaids, and thus get them more support.
      "Now tons more people know about Mermaids, and want to support them just to spite you! Good job raising awareness for a charity, genius! Please talk loudly and angrily about more people who need support! You fucking trash-man! You piss boy! You prodigious buffoon!"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: invoked
    • One of his biggest gripes with Sherlock is how Moffat makes Sherlock Holmes the center of the universe, to the point of flattening all of the other characters around him. He particularly laments James Moriarty — described by Hbomb as "one of the most memorable characters in all of literature" — being turned into a walking, talking gay stereotype who exists entirely to have sexual tension with the main protagonist, and Irene Adler — the star player of one of the most popular and enduring Sherlock Holmes stories — becoming a "kung fu dominatrix"...who exists entirely to have sexual tension with the main protagonist.
    • In his video on RWBY:
      • He feels this way about main protagonist Ruby Rose, noting that the start of the series sets up Ruby as a mechanical prodigy who becomes close friends with a guy (Jaune) who uses an antiquated weapon. Harris notes that the show could easily have Ruby and Jaune bond over upgrading his ancestor's gear to suit him and both could grow from the experience... only for the show to forget Ruby's engineering skills outside of one token line per Volume. To make matters worse, when Volume 4 finally sees Jaune get an upgrade, it's done by a one-off blacksmith.
        Harris: The main character, who theoretically should be the most interesting, is a lady in a nice outfit with a cool gun. That's a really low ceiling to put on a story.
      • Harris similarly criticises the show for the handling of Team CFVY. Despite a lot of pre-release material for Volume 2 hyping up Velvet's role in the plot and the fan contest to design her, CFVY are barely in Volume 2 and just show up as a Deus ex Machina to resolve the threat of the finale. Harris assumes that conflicts in the writer's room between Monty Oum, Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross (or the dance arc) led to CFVY's role being drastically reduced.
    • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution:
      • He has this view of Purity First, noting that their hardline anti-augmentation stance actually has a lot of good points brought up in the game. For instance, augmentations provide natural advantages, pressuring people to get them to remain competitive in work environments, but also require people to take drugs to avoid their body rejecting them. This has the result that people who aren't willing to fundamentally alter their bodies get fired, and people who do get the augs are now trapped in their jobs because they need to maintain access to the anti-rejection meds or they'll die. Additionally, augs are very costly to develop, meaning lots of resources go into it when they could go elsewhere, and costly to purchase, which means that only very wealthy people tend to reap the benefits of it. He notes that this works pretty well as a metaphor for many societal issues (wage slavery, worker exploitation and dehumanization, classism, frivolous big-tech endeavors, for-profit healthcare) and raises rather valid questions over whether augmentation in its current form is a good thing. But Purity First, the loudest voices against augmentation, seem to care mainly about hating it on principle out of the belief that it "isn't natural"—a ridiculous argument that would cast modern pacemakers and hearing aids as evil and is framed as a form of Fantastic Racism, meaning that the actual serious critiques of the system are largely drowned out by the cavalcade of Fantastic Slurs.
      • He also laments how Isaias Sandoval has been handled not to his full extent. While Sandoval does have some plot moments in his favor, such as the surprisingly emotional direction that his encounter with Adam can possibly go, but Harris does criticize some missing bits that could have been done. It's harder to get attached to the resonant dialogue scene when he has very little screentime prior, said little screentime has no effect on the confrontation, neither does Adam's treatment of his brother Ezekiel Sanders, and the outcome has no story consequences.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: invoked
    • Hbomberguy remarks that Sherlock is "very good at making you think it's about to get good", having a wide variety of story threads that all seem to be going somewhere interesting. And then the fourth season ends and all of it comes to nothing, leading to a lot of fans to attempt to cobble together a theory about a secret conclusion that would make their viewing experience worthwhile.
    • Part of what frustrates him the most about RWBY is that the setting has lots of good ideas and potential story beats, but the main writers consistently fail to execute them properly (for example, the conflict between Ruby and Weiss over Ruby being the leader of Team RWBY when Weiss wanted the position is quickly resolved by a professor lecturing Weiss on her attitude). At one point he notes that "RWBY is a really fun show to write a wiki about."
    • One of his criticisms of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is that there are a lot of places where a player's choices about how Adam handles things could have interesting effects, but don't. For instance, he points out that during one mission where you have to break into a police station, you can choose to lie or sneak your way in, or abandon subtlety and brutally slaughter your way through the entire building without even trying not to get caught on camera—but there are no consequences either way, despite the fact an augmented human committing a huge massacre logically should cause quite a lot of personal and political fallout. You won't even lose out on a sidequest given by a cop later.
  • This Loser Is You: The Halcyon Dreams video ends with the conclusion that we are much closer to the forgotten Rick Dyer than the beloved Don Bluth.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Harris loves Twizzlers and Chicken McNuggets. He gave up on the latter after doing the nutritional research for The Soy Boy Diet, causing him to jokingly say that soy ruined his favorite food.
  • Transplant: The Angry Games Smasher, which he uses in The No Man's Sky Rant, originally appeared in Folding Ideas.
  • The Tyson Zone: Played With. In "ROBLOX_OOF.mp3", Hbomb has reached the point where he can no longer tell whether one of Tommy Tallarico's outrageous statementsnote  is a lie or a joke, which Harris call "The Tallarico Event Horizon".
  • Unexplained Accent: The "Pick Up Artistry" video features Lindsay Ellis reading excerpts from a book by Roosh V (an American of Armenian and Iranian descent) in an odd, vaguely German-accented voice for no discernible reason.
  • Visual Gag: Frequently, but of particular note is the one in "A Short Horror Film", which is lampshaded with "add this to my TV Tropes page."
  • Wiki Walk: Harris effectively documents himself doing this in the 'Oof' video, going from a straightforward look at the origin of a famous meme to looking up multiple absurd lies made by someone who was tangentially related to his original point.
  • Written by the Winners: The whole point of Halcyon Dreams: The Legacy of Dragon's Lair is a defiance of this. Rick Dyer's ambitious project to create a fully-immersive adventure on a voice-operated home console is largely forgotten because it failed and ruined Dyer financially. Hbomb insists that Dyer's story is worth telling because accepting that talent and innovation can fail is important for anyone embarking into new creative territory.
    Hbomb: If we can learn to accept that it's okay to try and fail, that people who fail are worth being remembered and appreciated, then maybe we can all at least learn to enjoy the humanizing experience of failure. Together.
  • Wrongfully Attributed:
    • A big part of his Halcyon Dreams video is based on disposing the myth that Don Bluth was the main creative force behind Dragon's Lair and instead spends most of the time exploring the story of Rick Dyer, the man that actually came up with the ideas behind the game.
    • He also mentions, in the second Scanline episode, that he feels bad about everyone treating the first one like it was entirely him and acting like Shannon Strucci was barely involved.
    • Much of the first half of ROBLOX_OOF.mp3 is spent deconstructing Tommy Tallarico's claims of taking credit for creating the titular "oof" sound, when all available evidence strongly points to the sound having been created by sound designer Joey Kuras, who simply happened to work for Tallarico's company at the time. Much of the rest of the video is shown highlighting the vast amount of Kuras' work that Tallarico has falsely taken credit for.
      Hbomb: It's ALWAYS Joey!