The result of Masochist's Meal taken to its logical conclusion, Hot Pepper Gaming is a YouTube channel started by Vernon Shaw, Erin Schmalfield, and Jared Rosen, in which they review video games after downing, as the name suggests, a hot pepper (their go-to pepper seems to be the habanero, but others are featured occasionally). Or sometimes hot sauce. Or both. Hilarity Ensues. Games and the pepper alike are ranked out of five peppers, and the reviewer caps off the video by downing a glass of milk to begin counteracting the spiciness.
The channel capped off a review of Skyrim Remastered on February 16, 2017 with an announcement that the channel would no longer be producing videos.
We're going to list tropes here. But first, we're going to eat this habanero pepper:
- Battle Strip: A variation during Todd Haberkorn's review of Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
- Big "NO!": The amount of screaming that can ensue is hilarious.
- Averted with the review of Brick Breaker, featuring Andrew WK eating a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (up to 2,000,000 Scoville units). The episode features no yelling whatsoever. Instead, he has difficulty even speaking.
- Again averted when Ninja Brian did a review of Dark. Brian didn't make a sound beyond a few sighs. He didn't even blink. He then rated the pepper as 0/5 and proceeded to use both hands to flip off the camera. Many people suspected he just put the pepper in his mask but he later confirmed at MAGFest 2014 that he ate the pepper stem and all.
- Blatant Lies: "Fun Fact: Chrono Trigger was Akira Toriyama's response to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure."
- Blazing Inferno Hell Fire Sauce: On at least six occasions. One was a straight shot, two had hot sauce on a chip, one had ghost pepper wings, and two were hot peppers covered or filled with the stuff.
- Broke the Rating Scale: It's not that uncommon for a pepper to be ranked in the hundreds or thousands instead of five.
"It's like a Mobius strip! Jesus Christ! Give me the goddamn milk!"
- Egoraptor's consumption of a Bhut Jolokia (Indian Ghost Pepper, approx. 1,000,000 units on the Scoville scale) received an 'infinity pepper' rating, complete with an accurate drawing of a pepper in the shape of a Mobius strip with a ∞ in the middle, surrounded by a golden aura backed by an ethereal chorus.
- Pamela Horton's review of Chrono Trigger has her give the game itself "Infinity out of two" peppers and the pepper "Oh my god out of no."
- Poor Jared gave one hot sauce a "nightmare from beyond space-time", complete with an animated snippet of an Eldritch Abomination roaring at the camera from a wormhole.
- Catchphrase: "But first, I'm going to eat this [X] pepper."
- Cluster F-Bomb: Some of the more hilarious reviews apply liberally.
- Crossover: With IGN's Up at Noon.
- Delayed Reaction: In the Gunpoint review, the reviewer says it's not so bad. Then he looks at the camera and goes "I hate this *BEEP*ing channel."
- The Dreaded: The editor rarely comments on a pepper outside of its Scoville rating and other fun facts. But Szechuan Peppers make him point out that he hates them, and that Jared is right to be a little terrified.
- Eagleland: Type 2 is in full force with the "Burn in Hell, Osama" hot sauce.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The description for Mortem3r (Egoraptor's wife Suzy)'s review of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ends with "We felt bad afterward, too."
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: During Jared's review of Bravely Default, he essentially breaks down into incoherent blubbering, which is subtitled "Incomprehensible ramblings of a mad man."
- Hiccup Hijinks: At least two reviews have had the difficulty unintentionally upped by a long string of hiccups.
- Hot Sauce Drinking: One of the occasions where hot sauce was used featured Vernon downing a shot of it.
- Little "No": Some of the best reactions are this, followed swiftly by a Big "NO!".
- In her Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance review, Erin lets out an adorable yet heartbreaking one juxtaposed with the caption "Erin is a champ."
- Masochist's Meal: Some of the things the reviewers eat on the show is unbelievable.
- Musicalis Interruptus: Used for comedic effect. Whenever the reviewer burps, whimpers, or otherwise stops actively reviewing, the background music likewise cuts out, and then kicks back into gear when the reviewer does. This produces the implication that the review itself is waiting for them, and that they have no way out of this except to finish the review.
- This usual tendency is subverted in the Destiny review. Whenever Jared spaces out as a result of the Szechuan peppers he's eaten, a trippy piece of music plays instead of the usual music.
- My God, What Have I Done?: This tends to be every reviewer's reaction to biting down on a hot pepper and/or drinking sauce.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the Bravely Default review, the editor points out that they directly copy/pasted the spiel from "Burn in Hell, Osama" hot sauce's website.
- Sadist Show: Considering a lot of the reviewers are in very real agony from the peppers.
- Sarcasm Mode: "Oh, drool. How exciting."
- Similar to the Show: Every so often, the show will offer a Hot Pepper Fire Sale instead of a review wherein a member of the game's development team will attempt to sell you on their game... after eating a hot pepper, of course.
- Spit Take: A disgusting variation of this occurs whenever someone chews up Szechuan peppers for their review, and sometimes just whenever a pepper is so hot it makes the reviewer spit.Jared: This bowl is getting disgusting. This bowl is so heinous. It's like breakfast cereal from my nightmares. Like if the Toxic Avenger met Cream of Wheat. That's what this bowl would be filled with right now. My saliva's yellow. I don't know why.
- Start X to Stop X: On a few occasions, presenters have tried to stop the horrible burning evil by eating more chili.
- While reviewing Godzilla, Jared eats more Ghost Pepper Blood, claiming it's to "stem the rage" of talking about the game.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: A common effect of the peppers.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Andrew W.K didn't cry or scream when he ate his pepper (the hottest pepper to date), he would only have long stretches of this.
- Likewise, Jared's review of Destiny featured him eating Szechuan Peppers, which aren't hot per se, they just have very strange side effects, which often caused him to break off what he was saying and stare blankly into the void.
- Tranquil Fury: At the end of Chad's review of Wonderful 101 they try to psyche him out into thinking they didn't hit record. His response is to look at the camera, smiling no less, and respond with "I will—If that is a true thing? Everyone in this room is dead."
Jared: I just scream-vomited... in front a person I respect... and when this is over... I am going to strangle @VernonShaw... with my @hands... Goodnight, ladies and gentlemen... and good luck.(stands up and stalks off camera, Vernon running away in the background)
- Jared had this to say after a particularly harrowing review of Citizens of Earth and being forced to restart the end-promo twice;
- Up to Eleven: WWE Superstar Xavier Woods goes on the show to review Street Fighter V, but notes that originally he was going to review Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. He does both. And eats another pepper. And then for good measure reviews NiGHTS into Dreams... after eating a third pepper!
- Your Makeup Is Running: