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"This is not a mean-spirited show — it's about creating things that are initially horrifying and then finding the beauty within, as we can all do for ourselves and those around us — what is going on with the fucking eyes though, Todd!?"

Monster Factory is a Web Video show on Polygon, from two-thirds of the team behind My Brother, My Brother and Me and The Adventure Zone.

Hosts Justin and Griffin McElroy pick a video game and abuse its character editor for fun and profit, typically going for the most outlandishly gonk avatar they can. They then take their monstrosity out for a spin, sometimes utilizing Classic Cheat Codes to add to the chaos (noclip, God Mode, Sequence Breaking, etc), especially if the character editor is too limited to really abuse. The third part of the show is corpsing. Justin and Griffin have no idea what they are going to see, and some of their creations have brought the show to a halt for as much as a minute while they pick themselves up from the floor.

In April 2018, the brothers announced that they would be amicably leaving Polygon, but would continue to make Monster Factory videos for the website on a recurring basis. They made good on that promise in December 2018, returning with a Soulcalibur VI video on their own McElroy channel.


     Games and Monsters produced by the Factory 

It can be watched on the Polygon website and YouTube channel, as well as on The McElroy Family YouTube channel. As of the Hungry-Faced Gil episodes, all Monster Factory episodes are only uploaded to The McElroy Family channel going forward. The series has been on hiatus since January 27th, 2021,note  although Justin and Griffin have not formally announced the end of the show. The boys returned from hiatus in March 2022 with an Elden Ring video and a promise for more.


This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Due to the game's unwieldy interface and it simply crashing several times, the brothers abandon several monsters over the course of the Spore series. Lampshaded when Justin and Griffin are celebrating making an excellent Shrek Expy, before Griffin suddenly says "Oh, were we supposed to make a dog or something?"
    • The original idea for their Black Desert Online character was a man who made a wish on a Literal Genie for good looks, ending up with a gorgeous "Boy Band" face "but he's still working with the same stuff below his neck". Then Griffin makes his skin yellow and mentions a certain Simpsons character...
    • Subverted in Blade and Soul, where the brothers create Succotash and immediately abandon him to play as a 'rat baby'. They launch Rat Baby with a lot of fanfare and are immediately forced to abandon playing as her when they jump her off a cliff and can't figure out how to revive her. They switch to Succotash, and take him for a spin before figuring out how to glide, resurrecting Rat Baby and playing as her for the rest of the video.
    • In their first episode of playing THUG Pro, a mod for Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Griffin and Justin create a character named "Tony Hawk??????", but abandon him halfway through so they can play online as Shrek.
    • The brothers take their time in Fallout 76's character creator ironing out Slime Burger and his narrative arc... only for the game to crash shortly before completion, losing all of their progress and prompting them to hastily assemble Freddy "Slimeburger" Jr. as a substitute.
    • Their first stab at WWE 2K20 was Snack Braff, but after wrapping up his creation, his save file was corrupted by the time they got to playing as him, forcing them to restart the process, this time with Sweet Gene.
    • The boys talked about wood-based Pismokio being the first of several non-humanoid monsters but followed it up with 'human' gymnast jIM jELLY.
  • Alien Geometries: Griffin accomplishes this by using a third-party save hacker on Truck Shepard. At one point, Truck's left cheek clips into infinity.
    • Mehrunes Dagon, when spawned by the console and killed, collapses into this. Justin refers to his twisting, contorted corpse as a "pasta party".
    • When Griffin puts Pismokio's entire body into the lathe in Woodwork Simulator, it becomes a giant horrible rotating hell spiral.
  • Ambiguously Human: Truck Shepard's original form is described by Griffin as "human-adjacent" rather than a true monster, as he doesn't feel the character creator gives enough freedom to be a good candidate for Monster creation. Griffin's attempts to make Shepard clearly monstrous leads to him hacking the game to move his face bones, with results he describes as "too upsetting too fast".
    • The Pebble, a failed clone of Dwayne Johnson, is given a rating of "9 out of human" because he's almost human, but not quite.
  • Arc Fatigue: In-Universe, the McElroys get increasingly bored and angry through the three-part Spore series, as the only reason they haven't finished the game is because it's so buggy it crashes every time they achieve anything. Griffin admits he doesn't like the game and is only playing it out of spite, and both brothers are struggling with finding good comic material since the repetitive gameplay gives them nothing to go with, instead relying on ironic memes and jokes about repeating their jokes. The brothers don't even get to the end of the game, instead deciding to stop at the Tribal stage and then giving up because of how little fun they're having.
  • Ascended Meme: in Fallout 76, there's a single house that contains four references to the Fallout 4 episode: a single Mr. Handy, a coffee tin in a baby crib, a radroach corpse with a bowler hat and cane, and wooden blocks that spell "Pam". For bonus points, it's located in roughly the real-life location of the McElroy Brothers' hometown of Huntington, WV.
  • Ass Shove: Griffin spends a solid 15 seconds adjusting a gun such that it is slowly embedded up Dr. Sexgun's ass.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Supposedly Truck Shepard's single floating eyeball is his.
    • "This is Dr. Sexgun. Guess where his weakpoint is, it's everywhere!"
  • Apocalypse How: The Final Pam destroys the world of Fallout 4, then "heaven", then escapes into a bunch of other games including Kingdom Hearts III and ruins them before they even came out. Then the bros delete the game from their computer, allowing Pam to escape into every game in existence.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Completely obliterated. Griffin will usually start the video by talking about how hot the default character is before proceeding to ruin them unimaginably. The brothers also make plenty of genuinely gross and horrible female monsters.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Adult Cool is one of the most hilariously misshapen creations the McElroys have made, but his sick jet boot kicks blow Griffin's mind the first time he sees them. Of course, he's still being controlled by the McElroys.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Every iteration of Jaa'm is a different flavor of bizarre than its ancestor.
  • Body Horror: More or less the point of the show. Played for Laughs.
  • Blatant Lies: Borth Sampson looks exactly like Bart.
    • Griffin's explanation for their year-long hiatus before the Elden Ring video? "Sorryyyyy! My computer's been being weird!"
  • Broke the Rating Scale: Usually of the "meaningless comparison" variety.
    • The Sims 4: "Two out of two dads" (in which the household contained two dads.)
    • Soul Calibur 5: "One ALF out of no Alfs" (for Mëlissa, who's actually a relatively normal fighting game character.)
    • WWE 2K14: "9 out of Human".
    • Tiger Woods PGA Tour '08: "+8". (A golf score for a golf game.)
    • Dragon's Dogma: ".800". (A batting average for a baseball player.)
    • Second Life: "Negative 8,000% Approval Rating", which is interpreted in the ending screen as "Reelected".
    • Blade And Soul: "Vape Seed/Vape Tree" (Rat Baby had planted a Vape Seed of rebellion against Big Analog in another player at the end of the video.)
    • Mass Effect 2: "Unknowable," "ERROR," and finally an infinite series of skulls and crossbones.
    • Saints Row: The Third: "5 stars of notoriety".
    • Spore: "As a dog, -80, but as a Shrek, Shrek 5, coming to theaters 2019."
    • Wii Sports Resort: "Football out of curling".
    • Champions Online: "One mug reading: World's Best Dad / World's Sharpest Knife".
    • Conan Exiles: A straightforward "four stars out of five..." for a hypothetical episode of Scrubs.
    • Monster Hunter: World: "8.5 out of A stars".
    • Don Bradman Cricket 14: "LBW out of 10".
    • Fallout 76: "98 percent radiation out of 100. So he's very close to being pure radiation".
    • Bless: "$29.99" - the amount of real money Griffin spent on a virtual dress for Tammy.
    • Star Trek Online: "Phasers set on Thrill. Which is a 6".
    • Avakin Life: "7.yes".
    • Code Vein: "2 out of 1".
    • Demon's Souls: Remastered: The character gets 4.5/5. The game gets a B, for Babies, because it is a baby game.
    • Elden Ring: 5/5 prawns.
  • Buffy Speak: "That's not what face do!"
  • Call-Back:
    • Griffin is delighted to discover a party guest in Second Life who is a poor version of Bart Simpson using the user name "justlikebart".
    • At one point during the first Spore video, Griffin creates a reasonable facsimile of Homer Simpson... and proceeds to claim that it, also, looks exactly like Bart.
    • A Mii version of Borth also appears on the first Wii Sports Resort episode, to similar effect.
    • During Sweeps Week, the boys look around in the Gallery for someone to add to Everybody Loves Raymond (after their plans for Robocop fell through), and are delighted to discover that they could download the Final Pam and add her to the game.
    • The Final Pam is also present in the Arby's witch version of Dark Souls... as the icon for an item. The brothers are not as pleased to see her this time.
    • When creating Slime Burger Sr., Griffin starts turning on every single blemish because it's a time honored Fallout tradition. Justin starts getting worried, because the last time they did that, the Final Pam destroyed the world.
    • When introducing their horribly modded version of Dark Souls III, Griffin admits he's "no Arby's Witch" but did the best he could.
      • Throughout the episode, Griffin accidentally creates characters far too similar to some he's made before - namely, Toucan Dan and Squirtle. After Griffin realizes he's just making another turtle boy, editor Clayton puts in a clip from the original Dark Souls II episode of Squirtle with the caption "I AM INEVITABLE".
  • Came Back Wrong: In Fallout 4, Griffin begins to experiment with just how small a body part of an enemy he can console-resurrect, resulting in skinless, headless mole rat corpses being animated. Justin is justifiably freaked out and says this is going too far.
  • Candid Camera Prank: The Second Life videos take on this feel in the segments that rely on them to interact with real people, especially when the boys go to a "serious political room" and start deploying giant pizza boxes and yelling about granting suffrage to dogs.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Justin invokes this during the Turbovicki vs the Final Pam fight in Monster Mania 2K17 when Turbovicki manages to do any damage to Pam, but later decides that Pam is adhering to the normal rules of wrestling and not using her Physical God powers, possibly reinstating it as canon again.
  • Captain Ersatz: Many of their monsters.
    • "Hi, I'm Dark Vader, and I'm a Star Wars."
    • Borth Sampson. The brothers even give him a 0 out of 10 rating because he's "just like Bart." ("There was no creativity involved.")
    • The Junker.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The brothers are somehow able to use the word 'boy' in such a way that it doesn't semantically resemble any meaning of the word you may be familiar with. Even when the 'boy' is literally supposed to be a male child.
      • There is a video compilation of (nearly) every time they say 'boy'.
      • Truck Shepard, once save game editing turns his chin into a lance extending into infinity, no longer has any dreams of being a "spacefaring kissboy". He also has a "greasy boy" haircut (with a secret haircut hidden under it, as they eventually discover).
      • This is why the brothers immediately decide, when recreating Justin in WWE 2k16, to use 'Rude Boy' as his nickname.
      • The Junker is "a rowdy boy. A dirty boy. Just a rowdy, dirty boy."
      • Griffin complains that he already made an adult in The Sims 4 because he could have made "a house that is all boys".
    • "Just like..."
    • Every time a character looks like they're going to die in some awkward fashion, Justin shouts "Not like this!"
  • The Casanova: Zig-Zagged by Truck Shepard, who is initially described as being a 'kissboy' and practices by pouting out his lips in the Character Creator in his initial "human-adjacent" form (while Griffin provides sound effects). By the time he reaches his "perfect warrior" form, the boys decide he is uninterested in romance as "he still needs to figure out how his face works".
  • Chaotic Stupid: The show's playstyle revolves around this. Best encapsulated by the Dark Souls 2 episode, where the first thing they do is take on an old woman despite the fact that she can literally kill their character with a ladle. (And does.)
  • Character Shilling:
    • Most monsters are talked up as being amazingly strong and cool, although in most cases this is because Griffin is using lots of cheats to make them impossibly powerful.
    • Mëllissa is 'the most powerful fighting game character ever' despite Griffin being terrible at the game. Griffin insists he's only playing when she's winning and the rest is under the control of the bad AI.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In part two of the WWE 2K20 saga, Griffin is pissed that the game offers him "The Rock in a $500 shirt" as compensation for killing Snack Braff. In the next episode, "The Rock in a $500 shirt" is a member of the team Sweet Gene fights (and the one who does most of the team's damage).
  • Companion Cube: The Final Pam marries a Radroach Corpse (and is heartbroken when it despawns) and adopts a can of coffee as a baby.
  • Corpsing: The whole show is pretty much the Brothers McElroy cracking up, but some of the bigger laughing fits include:
    • Dark Souls: Arby's Witch Edition, when they fall off a cliff and discover the "YOU DIED" message has been modded and replaced with "CASUL".
    • WWE 2K20, when Griffin puts John Leguizamo's face on their wrestler's face.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Cyber-Garfield.
    • "The Noid, but for a new generation."
  • Cosplay: Mëllissa is apparently cosplaying Sly Cooper for her girlfriend, despite not really being into the franchise.
  • Deadly Game: Griffin slowly turns Full House into the Decision Game during their second Sims 4 outing.
  • Deadpan Snarker: On the rare occasions they aren't laughing.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: After disabling most of the game world of Fallout 4, The Final Pam ends up back in the unexploded town from the beginning of the game but where everyone is unkillable. The brothers suggest Pam's curse of immortality has rubbed off on everyone in 'Heaven'... before realising that they might be in "the other place, the hot one."
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Toucan Dan says NO to guns.
  • Dom Com: The setting of their Sims 4 house.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: At the end of their Wii Sports Resort escapades, Turbovicki bicycles herself off of a cliff.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Justin Rude Boy Man has full Honky Tonk Man sleeves on both his arms, a Mountain Dew logo on his cheek ("It looks like I got it for free at a fair"), Punished Snake's face in his right nostril, and (briefly) "I'm a Hugger" in yellow text across his chest.
  • Enfant Terrible: Count Beetlejuice-Beetlejuice, despite presumably being born at the start of the game, has committed murder and adultery, knows where to find hashish, is infected with a cocktail of illnesses, and has enough other negative character traits to make every other character in the game instantly despise him.
  • Egopolis: The brothers discover a world in Second Life that was built by Duran Duran for a virtual book signing.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The brothers immediately regret the horrors they are inflicting on Truck Shepard, in particular immediately pulling back from the "swordface" build and trying to return to "a gentle nudge". (They never quite manage.)
    • When making The Final Pam, the boys at first decide to add every option in the blemishes and scars menu, leading to a horrifying bloody mess of a character that they have to tone down for being too disgusting.
  • Facial Horror: The brothers seem to especially enjoy ruining the good-looking default characters, and complain when a random face modification makes a character "start getting handsome again". Particularly apparent with Truck Shepard, where Griffin starts hacking the game to make his face explode with obvious sadistic glee ("I'm going to turn his head into an asterisk."). They'll often start the show by talking about how good-looking the default is, like starting their Dark Souls 3 video zoomed into the default male character's crotch, or gushing about the "handsomest Monster Factory yet - look at this Zac Efron-looking motherfucker" at the beginning of Black Desert Online. This is invariably the high point in terms of hotness.
  • Fantastic Racism: When Griffin creates a Bloodborne character with a ridiculously pinched, high nose, purple skin around the middle of the face and thick white lips, Justin complains that it "looks racist for a race that doesn't exist."
  • Fastball Special:
    • Randyjohnson's entire strategy for dealing with a foe can be summarized as "throw them" or "throw someone at them". Her companion Panpan is specifically designed to be small and throwable, to facilitate this strategy.
    • Turned around in glorious fashion during Monster Mania 2K17, when Panpan takes down Totino's by throwing Randyjohnson at him.
  • Feminist Fantasy: The brothers eventually create D-Bomb as being this sort of character. She is described as "a powerful feminine force".
  • Flawed Prototype:
    • The Pebble is a failed clone of The Rock, but Rock loves him anyways.
    • One of the characters proposed in Final Fantasy XIV is Robert Downey Jr. Jr., an escapee from a clone factory.
  • Flipping the Bird: When editing Borth Sampson's pose, Justin notes the individually-editable finger positions and asks if Griff's going to make him do a lewd gesture. Subverted when Griffin says that just flipping the bird is far beneath his ambitions and spends an (apparently long) period of time contorting Borth into a two-handed O-sign 'penetration' gesture.
  • Foreshadowing: When first creating their Warrior in Black Desert Online, Griffin insists on giving him muscular legs because "you know what you don't expect in a swordfight? Kicks from big meaty legs." Justin wonders if you can even kick in this game. Much later, the bros learn "Chopping Kick" from an NPC and decide to make Borth a "kick-heavy build", dependent on kicking as sole means of attack ("and locomotion").
  • Game Mod: Griffin receives a version of Dark Souls from "an Arby's witch". A version where the text is in Comic Sans, the face button graphics are replaced with the Nintendo 64's C Buttons, a Rupee counter is added to the UI, potions are replaced with Mountain Dew, emoji is added to campfire text, and most of the textures are replaced with 'shiny pizza JPEGs'.
  • Gonk: Every monster.
  • Good Bad Translation: Dark Souls III Extreme Edition features a number of mods that Griffin has implemented, the most obvious of which has run all the text in the game through about 70 different translators and then back to English. The result gives us such gems as:
    Griffin: As we all know the two genders are "Canada" and "Women"! "There is no possibility for a man to have sex!"
    Griffin: What is "Coach Coach Coach"?!
    Griffin: "Unplanned travel agency".
  • Griefer: Invoked in nearly every episode in which Griffin and Justin play games with an online multiplayer component. Griffin's particular brand of trolling is something special.
    • In Second Life, Second Chances: Part 2, The Boy-Mayor runs into a serious political discussion room in Second Life, yelling "I think dogs should be able to vote."
    • In THUG Pro: "hey everyone it's reggie's dad please don't cuss"
    • In Conan Exiles: "hey everyone i'm having a steak party in the woods, i made too much dang steak"
    • In Blade & Soul Rat Baby runs around telling everyone about vaper's rights, only to be oppressively suspended from the chat for minutes at a time for spamming.
    • Bloodborne: Griffin summons another player to help him fight the Blood-Starved Beast, lets her do all the work, and then banishes her right before the Beast is dead because she used a gun.
  • Grossup Closeup: Usually when something sexy or exceptionally horrible happens on the character creator, Griffin shoves the camera right in there.
  • The Grotesque: The monsters. The bros repeatedly state that the show isn't a cruel, pessimistic show, it's intended to be a life-affirming show about creating horrible-looking things and finding a reason to love them despite their flaws.
  • Heaven Above: In their Spore playthrough, they create a horrible abomination and give it eyes facing straight up, to better angrily glare at God for creating him so horribly.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Mëlissa and Trüllbus.
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Justin Rude Boy Man.
  • Hero with an F in Good: In contrast to their usual style of play, the McElroys made Trüllbus the Crime Eater in Saints Row: The Third. You can guess how well that turns out.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Oblivion, Griffin uses a bunch of cheats to give their monster, Chiquita Dave, impossible physical strength and all the magic in the game. He then clones Chiquita Dave fifty times and shoots a fireball at the assembled crowd, and is horrified to discover an entire army of Chiquita Daves blasting him with every powerful spell in the game until Justin explains to him what has happened.
  • Homage Shot: The Final Pam is left for dead by the boys when they say goodbye to her and float her down to the bottom of a lake. While Aeris's Theme from Final Fantasy VII plays in the background. Later, once Pam escapes into every game in existence, she appears again as Aeris... as well as the Sephiroth stabbing her.
  • Hotter and Sexier: "Dicolas Cheney" is this compared to the real Dick Cheney, according to Griffin.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Griffin has an old save game on Spore set on a planet called "Fuckburg". The first thing he does after showing us is blow the planet up.
  • Implausible Deniability: Trüllbus (and, by extension, the Third Street Saints). Aside from the alleged "teleportation device" and guns that shoot Dippy Bars, he also steals cars that Griffin and Justin are pretty sure were his, or under the pretense of "borrowing" them with the intent to return them later, or, in the case of a cop car, by virtue of "basically being a cop by now."
  • Informed Attractiveness: Nate tells the increasingly hideous Nora that "honey, your face looks just as good as the day we met", which makes Griffin lose it.
  • Informed Deformity: Mëllissa and Cid Finalfantasy. Any time the boys use a character editor that only allows one to pick a face without the ability to edit it, while they'll pick the one the deem the oddest and proceed to give the character as strange and bad of an outfit, makeup, and hair as possible, they will always still turn out comparatively normal. The boys never seem to doubt their monster credentials, though.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Griffin feels this way about his 2008-2009-era Mii, in particular its facial hair. Justin, between giggles, calls it 'the worst Monster Factory character ever'.
  • Kayfabe: A lot of plotlines in the show run on this, like Griffin's encounter with "an Arby's witch", and a Product Placement deal with Totino's Pizza Rolls that pays them "exactly four dollars". They will also set things up occasionally in order to navigate a plotline towards a desired outcome, like when they enter "heaven" in Fallout 4 and reunite with Roachie.
  • Killed Off for Real: Cousin Specialagent.
  • Lighter and Softer: After the three-part series on Fallout 4, which gets quite mythology-heavy and apocalyptic, their Black Desert Online video is back to creating a hideous Expy of a cartoon character to create shit in an MMO.
  • LOL, 69: Comes up somewhat frequently in conversation; they do like the sex number. In-game, Crusader Kings III has an Easter Egg when a character's rating in any skill is 69: instead of "Excellent," the quality it assigns to any skill at or above 17, it's instead "Nice." The brothers, of course, are delighted when they discover this.
    Justin: Oh, my God! Game of the Year!
    Griffin: Crusader Kings III! You shouldn't have!
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover:
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Averted. Virtually every character the brothers create will be as muscular as the sliders allow on the grounds that they need big muscles to survive (Griffin seems to find musclemen really funny). This even affects Jaa'm, who has his legs thickened to 'brick shithouse' level.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The entirety of the Conan Exiles episode runs off of this trope given that the game features extremely explicit nudity as a game feature, up to and including penises with full physics that can extend to nearly the character models knees. Half of the fun of this video is just wondering how the hell Griffin is going to censor all of the nudity.
    • And the other half of the fun is Griffin's various euphemisms for "penis", including "bepis", "pebis", "deempis", and "Andie Macdowment".
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • D-Bomb.
    • The Final Pam. Other ideas for her name included "Omega Susan", "Indomitable Pam", "Pam the Existence Eater", "Pam, Who Death Forgot", and "LOOK OUT IT'S PAM".
    • Trüllbus, the Crime Eater.
  • Never Say "Die": Trüllbus' weapons just teleport people to Dairy Queen. The RPG also gives them Square Enix classics. The biplane doesn't have missiles, it has Dippy Bar dispensers.
  • The Nicknamer:
    • Griffin uses console commands to improve the names of Oblivion NPCs, before commenting that it's surprising they got Patrick Stewart on board to voice a character called "Grandpa Piss".
    • Griffin has a habit of referring to things with the names of female musicians and actresses with similar sounding names. This includes his attempts to download a "Dark Souls Meghan Trainor", checking out his character's "Lisa Loebs" lobes in Saints Row 3, and referring to Jefferson Tallpipe's junk as his "Andie Macdowment".
    • Refer to Naked People are Funny above for Griffin's many penis euphemisms in Conan Exiles.
  • Nightmare Face: The entire premise of the show. But especially Truck Shepard, whose face is so horrifying even by Monster Factory standards that extra content warnings were placed in the description of his video.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: After making Justin in WWE 2k16 in the usual extreme Gonk MF style, insulting Justin's appearance the whole time, Griffin reveals the character he made of himself, and he looks like a normal handsome character. (Justin starts corpsing like mad as soon as he sees this.)
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Their Dark Souls video starts in the style of a haunted-videogame Creepypasta story; and much later in the video, the brothers start narrating it in the style of a stereotypical Dark Souls YouTube hints video.
  • Paper People: Tony Hawk???? is a very flat skateboarder.
  • Phrase Catcher: Borth Sampson - "just like Bart".
  • Product Placement: Totino's pizza rolls pays the brothers 'exactly four dollars' for doing a video series with a Totino's themed monster.
  • Punctuation Shaker: The brothers' Spore creation, Jaa'm.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • After losing access to Trash Hulk via his death in Fallout 4, but regaining access to the suburb from the beginning of the game, the boys use console commands to summon Nate and use creator features to convert him into Trash Hulk, from memory (and Hotter and Sexier, according to Griff).
    • Turbosusan and Turbojanet.
  • Repetitive Name: Griffin abuses WWE 2K14's Announcer Name feature to have The Pebble introduced (in a voiced line) as "Christopher Christopher Christopher Christopher".
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: When Justin complains he's getting desensitized to how weird-looking the monsters are and needs to reset his palette, Griffin tells him to go and look up "the actor who plays "Dimbo" on The Big Bang Theory" on the grounds that he is this. Justin Googles for this and finds it doesn't give him much.
  • Rogue Protagonist:
    • Unwise use of console spawning commands and attacking protagonist clones leads to a certain number of "evil Chiquita Daves", who later end up casting resurrection spells on the giant Dagon boss the Chiquita Dave army is supposed to be taking on.
    • After having to reset Spore for the second time, the McElroys are shocked to see one of their own creations as a hostile creature. They accuse the game of being haunted shortly after.
  • Rule 34: A standard joke template is for them to comment on the fetish potential of one of the monsters. A variant, which has happened a couple of times, is for one bro to point out that this particular monster is so horrifying that no-one could possibly have a fetish for them, only for the other to point out that now they've said it, there will be.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: When the boys don't just have the monsters running around in their underwear (which is overwhelmingly often what they will do), this is how they dress the characters.
    • The Pebble/Christopher Christopher Christopher Christopher has a feather boa and flares in clashing neon colours.
    • The Final Pam, after cheating to gain access to every outfit in the game, ends up looking "so crisp" in an exotic red evening gown with a feather collar, a pompadour hairstyle and a pair of white-rimmed sunglasses. Justin points out that people's claims of how much customisation Fallout 4 has are wrong, because really there's only one choice, and it's The Final Pam in that dress, that wig and those sunglasses.
    • Mëllissa, because the game didn't give them anything else to work with. Justin suggests that 'jeans and fur' is the new 'leather and lace'.
  • Running Gag:
    • In Bethesda games, they get quite a kick out of the nightmarish noodle people that appear when a person who has been shrunk ragdolls, and are quite disappointed when the bug was patched in Fallout 4.
    • Several games will have one of the brothers point out that a character look exactly like Bart Simpson, regardless of how true it is.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Much of the show.
  • Self-Made Orphan: While the brothers are pondering the origins of the Crime Eater, Justin posits that he killed his parents in an alley after watching Zorro.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: The brothers conclude that at some point during the creation of Truck Shepard, Truck himself became one of these and influenced them to create him.
  • Sequel Episode: "Second Life, Second Chances".
  • Sequence Breaking: The characters don't just look like monsters, they act like them too.
  • Single-Issue Wonk: As Rat Baby, Griffin takes a familiar called "Vape Life" and then gets 'squelched' for spamming puerile gibberish about vaping in Blade and Soul's chat. After this he holds "a protest against Big Analog", demanding the statistics on the health benefits of vaping as opposed to conventional cigarettes, getting him squelched again.
  • Sibling Team: Justin and Griffin.
  • Shrink Ray: One of Griff's favourite tricks in the Bethesda games is to shrink NPCs to a third of their height, usually before killing them to see their body turn into a freakish glitchy 'noodly' mass. In the case of Trash Hulk in Fallout 4 they shrunk him to "quantum-size" and got him stuck in the linoleum.
  • Spiritual Successor: Monster Factory Presents: Just Like Art to Touch the Skyrim, which was Cut Short after Griffin's previous co-host was ousted from Polygon for sexual misconduct.
  • Take That!: To Pacific Rim: Uprising in the final Hungry-Faced Gil episode, when Griffin exclaims, "Yes, baby, Pacific Rim 3: this time we've made it good again!"
    • To Scrubs: Med School in part three of Sweeps Week after Griffin comments that he likes Scrubs too much to want to mess with it.
      Justin: Scrubs destroyed itself in its final season, so I think...
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Cyber-Garfield's goal is to eat all "lasagna JPEGs".
    • Early on in the Sims 4 video, Dark Vader makes hamburgers for breakfast. The brothers run with this by having him eat several in one sitting, neglecting his other needs in the process.
    • Pizza is something of a theme in the show. The Arby's Witch version of Dark Souls is mostly made of pizza, Justin creates a pizza-themed character in Second Life, and Griff's party room in Second Life is also made of pizza.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Monster Mania 2K17 recreates several classic Monsters in WWE 2K17 and pits them against each other in the ring:
    • Borth Sampson vs. Chiquita Dave (winner: Borth)
    • The Junker vs. Toucan Dan vs. Squirtle (winner: The Junker)
    • The Campaign (the Boy-Mayor and Totino's) vs. Toss Team (Randyjohnson and Panpan) (winner: Toss Team)
    • Turbovicki vs. The Final Pam (winner: The Final Pam)
      Patrick (guest commentator): Sometimes your arms are simply too short to box with God.
  • Uncanny Valleyinvoked:
    • Griffin creates a character in Tiger Woods Golf based on scanning a photo of his own face into the game, which Squicks Justin out to no end.
      Griffin: (in falsetto) Hi, Justin, it's your brother. Want to play some ball-chess? Want to play some links of the king's game?
      Justin: I hate this.
    • Griffin does a similar thing in WWE2K16.
    • During customization in Monster Hunter: World, the two are freaked out by the character's incredibly realistic eyes, not helped by the deliberately shiny sheen they gave to her face.
  • The Unchosen One: DJ Slime Time is taking the place of her grandchild, the actual protagonist, who is either dead or missing.
  • Unexplained Accent:
    • The Final Pam has a bizarre, gravelly, vaguely Eastern European accent.
    • Justin does a sort of Let's Play Walkthrough narrator character in numerous videos who introduces himself by a stupid username (usually "ButtMan" followed by a random number) and has a muffled British accent. At one point, Griffin criticises Justin for always playing 'speedrunners' as British.
    • Will Wright has a Cockney accent, which as Justin points out doesn't make any sense since he's pretty sure Will isn't British. Griffin later gives Shigeru Miyamoto a Cockney accent, which makes Justin corpse.
  • Unfortunate Names: The brothers have a giggle at a Black Desert Online NPC named "Buntt".
  • Wild Teen Party: The Boy-Mayor rents property on a server to hold a party, against the wishes of the landlords (not even Kayfabe). In order to get away with this Griffin constructs a 'pizza dungeon' in the sky above the house with a teleport pad in the kennel, without telling the hosts. The hosts actually return while the party is happening, and tell him off for not just having the 'family party' permitted, so Griffin gets them all to teleport to 'Duran Duran World' by deleting the floor.
  • Younger and Hipper: "Daz", an attempt to "update and rebrand Dennis Farina for a new generation."
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: "Matt Groening says, 'Take it to the bank, boys! This one's just like Bart.'"