Microsoft Sam Reads Funny Windows Errors is a series by YouTuber Thunderbirds101. Although by no means the first of its kind, the resulting popularity and subsequent influence within the "Text-To-Speech" community has helped it define and influence an entire generation of text-to-speech video makers, for better or for worse.
The series is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; popular Synthetic Voice Actor Microsoft Sam (With companions, on occasion) reading humorous Windows errors. Some of these are standard system problems, some are more condescending...others tie in with The End of the World as We Know It, meanwhile others make Sam angry due to the errors either taking stuff he likes, such as his IWAY Cookies or his tacos, or messing with his beloved porn with unshmexy pr0nz that makes 2Girls1Cup look tame. Regardless of how things plan out, we can all be sure of one thing - Sam is going to be PISSED.
There are many sister shows to MSRFWE (the most notable is Reads Stupid and Weird Signs, which is actually the series his first video is part of), but all of them are to be referred to in this article.
This series provides examples of the following:
- Big "NO!": When something upsets Sam a lot, he does a rather humorous one: "NO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O".
- But Thou Must!: Many errors have desirable options greyed out, with only the undesirable options left.
- Butt-Monkey: All of the main Speakonia voices. Special mention goes to exterior character Radar Overseer Scotty, as well as Sam himself.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Happened to a degree in the third and fourth seasons, with a greater emphasis being placed on story rather than just classic, random, goofy shenanigans while reading errors. Later inverted in Season 5, which featured a return to the original format.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "GODDAMNITSONOFABITCHPIECEOFSHITMOTHERFUCKINGASSHOLEFUCKFUCKFUCK".
- Darker and Edgier: Seasons 3 and 4.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess what the eponymous voice does in these videos.
- Explosive Stupidity: Sam tries to defuse a bomb with a lighter in Season 15 Episode 8. The results are predictable.
- Follow the Leader: Spawned a host of imitators, and was in itself based off of a pre-established video style which it expanded on during later seasons. Unfortunately, Sturgeon's Law results in the majority of imitators copying the same jokes and, in some cases which we shall not name, the same artwork and concepts.
- Inherently Funny Words: "Taking a dump". Actually, there are a lot of them, like Tacos, Penguins, Diarrhea, Toilet, and the infamous SWAAAAA.
- Jerkass: Sam
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even Sam, under the right circumstances, will drop this trait every now and then help to fight against the various true villains of the series.
- Long Runner: 23 seasons over the span of ten years. Very few internet series can go that far!
- Motor Mouth: Sam does this a lot, like in the aforementioned Cluster F-Bomb.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Sam.
- Synthetic Voice Actor: Played straight as the same basic premise. Subverted at one point where one error is read out by Thunderbirds101.
- Take That!: Several to Windows Vista, the so-called worst OS ever.
- Windows 10 has become a close second in episodes made after its release.
- Toilet Humour: Sam often talks about "taking a dump" (often of the diarrhea variety), and his "diarrhea-infested toilet".
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tacos for Sam, baloney sandwiches for Scotty, and bacon for (obviously) Bacon.
- Verbal Tic: "SOI"
- Vocal Dissonance: Sam is drawn as a stick figure, when he sounds like a bulky guy.
- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: When something goes wrong, there will be a cut to a test pattern superseded by a humorous message. Example:
- DOING SURGERY WITH A CHAINSAW IS TOTALLY SAFE.
Stupid and Weird Signs provides examples of the following:
- Berserk Button: Any signs with poor grammar, especially unintentionally sickening typos. Sam even kills the "King of Poorly Translated Restaurants" at one point after too many nauseating Engrish menus.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Follow the Leader: Just like the Error Series, "Signs" spawned a bunch of imitators as well.
- Lighter and Softer: There is far less plot when compared to the other main series, and each video is mostly just Sam reading a sequence of goofy signs.
- Motor Mouth: In one Reads Stupid and Weird Signs special, he drinks an energy drink that makes him read the signs extremely fast (and too early).
Microsoft Sam Reads Engrish provides examples of the following:
Microsoft Sam Reads Ridiculous Windows Errors provides examples of the following:
- Author Avatar: Blittle McNilsen appears as himself.
- Ax-Crazy: Blittle. Lampshaded by the Mutant Ninja Tacos, who realized that he was 'batshit insane'.
- Bowdlerized: A rare in-universe example in the form of the Soccer Mom Virus. Averted in later episodes.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Sam remarked that Blittle's conquest would've never happened if he hadn't shot him in the first place.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Sam punishes Blittle for (reluctantly) infecting them with the Soccer Mom Virus (because he had a phobia of using swearing, even on the Internet) by attempting to kill him with a ROFL-47. It doesn't work and backfires. Horribly.
- Driven to Suicide: Sam after being trapped in Windows Blittle McNilsen Torture Device Edition. He gets revived later, though.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Diarrhea Death Star. It was too lazy to fire, resulting in Satan's defeat and eventual execution.
- Eldritch Abomination: Linux Shista Satan Edition, Blittle's evil form when he fused himself with Windows Blittle McNilsen Torture Device Edition.
- Evil Twin: Linux Anna to Microsoft Anna.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell
- In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: Blittle stated that the TTS voices are always at each others' throats for no good reason. Sam, however declares that a defining part of the TTS civilization.Sam: If you take away that, you take away part of what makes our multiversal continuum so ridiculously absurd, and that is something I will not stand for. But perhaps, we can lay off the whole killing-each-other-for-no-good-reason thing just a wee bit...
- Memetic Badass: Sam and Chuck Norris.
- Moral Guardians: The Angry Overprotective Parent Society.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Dear God, Blittle.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Mutant Ninja Tacos.
- Satan: The Big Bad of the first season, before being replaced by Blittle (who essentially becomes the second Satan after he fused himself with Windows Blittle McNilsen Torture Device Edition).
Microsoft Sam And The War Trilogy provides examples of the following:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Supreme AI.
- After the End: The Great Final War.
- Apocalypse How
- Big Bad: The Supreme AI.
- Big Damn Movie
- Chainsaw Good: Roflcopter Squad member Chainsaw.
- Death from Above: The Roflcopters, utilizing edited footage from Apocalypse Now.
- Dirty Communists: Played with. The Soviets are the "good" communists, and the Communist Linux Penguin Army are the "bad" communists.
- Follow the Leader: Many, many, many military/war TTS series were inspired by the trilogy.
- Reds with Rockets: Here known as the United Soviet Speakonian Republic.
- Ruritania: The Republic of My.
- Satan: One of the villains.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Roflcopter Squad member Diarrhea, combined with Toilet Humor.
- Take That!: The Supreme AI's mooks are Communist Linux Penguins.
- War Is Hell: A subtle example.