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"I'm Rantasmo, and TV Tropes needs more gay."

Hosted by Rantasmo (nee Jamie Maurer), Needs More Gay provides a look at LGBT culture and its representation in the media and various subcultures. The series is hosted on The Backlot (formerly After Elton). It was formerly hosted on Chez Apocalypse until the site was terminated with Blip's shutdown in 2015. It was also on Channel Awesome until he and almost all of the producers left in 2018 following the #ChangeTheChannel controversy.

Works/authors/topics discussed by Rantasmo include:

Needs More Tropes:

  • Agent Peacock: Top 8 Effeminate Badasses.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe:
    • Rantasmo posits that in Superbad, Jonah Hill's character is closeted and actually in love with Michael Cera's character.
    • Fight Club can be seen as the story of a gay man who desperately want to be straight who becomes increasingly destructive until he accepts who he really is.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Rantastero, who is revealed to be a split personality of Rantasmo, tried to pass as straight for years before accepting he was gay. This is revealed in the Fight Club review, appropriately enough.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Discussed in his episode on The Legend of Korra as "queerbaiting," saying that while it's a difficult accusation to make, it's usually easy to tell when it's done. He also defends Korra's use of this as being quite literally the furthest the creators could go with an American animated show aimed at families.
  • Bromantic Comedy: He did a whole video called "Bromantic Comedies Need More Gay", analyzing the gay undertones in movies that focus on (straight) male friendships, such as Superbad.
  • Bury Your Gays:
    • Game of Thrones gets a pass on this because that show kills everyone.
    • He's less accepting of Life Is Strange playing this trope straight with forcing the player to choose between saving their town and letting Chloe die or sacrificing the town so Max and Chloe can be together, especially since the possible romantic relationship between Max and Chloe is only explicit if Chloe dies.
  • The Cameo:
  • Camp: It's about LGBT culture so it comes up.
  • Catchphrase: See the page quote.
  • Caustic Critic: Averted. While there are shows, movies, etc. he shows distaste for, Rantasmo is more analytic and snarky than caustic.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Following the presidential election of Donald Trump, widely regarded to be an enabler of both racism and homophobia, episodes have been lighter on the jokes about gay stereotypes and lighthearted education of uninformed straight people and more on the Serious Business end of protecting what little visibility the LGBTQ+ community is now clinging desperately to now that the United States has taken such a giant step backwards from progress. The jokes are there, but there seems to be a conscious effort to not even affectionately rib marginalized groups now that there's a fear that too many people will take it at face value. The fact that he's broadening his subjects to gender queerness also means he doesn't have the authority to make certain broad jokes as frequently.
  • Cure Your Gays: Discussed in "ex gays need more gay".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rantasmo himself.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: While poking fun at the not-too-subtle homoerotic subtext in Apt Pupil.
    Mr. Denker: "Mein boy, don't you see? Ve are fucking each other"
    (cut back to Rantasmo)
    Rantasmo (in the loudest whisper possible): Do ya get it?? With their penises!
  • Double Standard:
    • Pointed out in his "Male Gaze" video: shots of attractive women in various states of undress are often given gratuitous closeups objectifying various parts of their bodies, whereas those of shirtless undressed men are usually shot with their entire bodies in the frame to make them appear powerful and dominant.
    • Played for Laughs with the "LESBIANS" running gag (see below).
  • "Eureka!" Moment: While discussing the Male Gaze:
    " almost always assumes a man in the role of gazer, and a woman in the role of gazee. Which is not the name of a gay rapper... *Beat* ...yet!"
  • Everyone Has Standards: Rantastero is thrilled to discover the Red Pill note  on Reddit but even he is turned off by their racism.
  • Evil Twin: Rantastero, who hosts "Needs More Straight" episodes.
  • Flawless Token:
    • Discussed in Skins and the Problem of Maxxie. The titular character is virtually flawless compared to everyone else and is a very passive player in his arcs (i.e. just having things happen to him instead of actively doing things), which he takes issue with.
    • Brought up again in his Bring It On episode. He even refers to the "nice, hot, Gay" character as suffering from "serious Maxxie syndrome." He also takes issue with the fact that this movie also features a scene in which a straight woman liberally uses the words "fag" and "dyke" in a supposedly affectionate way.
  • G-Rated Drug: Played for laughs at the end of the "Bret Easton Ellis" video by saying he's going to do some coke...which by that he means drinking a liter of Coca-Cola straight from the bottle.
  • Get Back in the Closet: Comes up a lot, unsurprisingly. A noteworthy example is how the American dub of Sailor Moon awkwardly changed two obviously lesbian characters to cousins.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: In the "Needs More Straight" April Fools' Day episodes.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Discussed in his Gigli and Chasing Amy episode, where he argues that such a plotline can be done well, provided it's framed as a character coming to terms with an exception in their orientation identity. However, most films tend to play it as the love interest being so drawn by the hero as if (usually a man) he "overcomes" her orientation.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun
    • It's quite possible that the review of "The Hole" was written for the sole purpose of the joke "I picked the wrong hole!").
    • He also thinks Sense8 is "sense great!"note  He tries to pull another one at the end of the video, but decides to quit while he's ahead.
  • Male Gaze / Female Gaze: Examines the two in his video "The Male Gaze".
  • Mathematician's Answer: Rantasmo tells Rantastero that the second season of Dante's Cove is exactly as straight as the first one.
  • No Bisexuals: Rantasmo talks about it with his Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, calling the trope by its real life name Bisexual Erasure. It's also discussed in the video about Gigli and Chasing Amy since the female characters in both movies identify as lesbian, but end up in a relationship with heterosexual men played by Ben Affleck. But the word "bisexual" isn't even mentioned, which makes it come across more like a straight male fantasy.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Zig-Zagged. While he does regularly talk about genres and media that could be improved by the addition of gay content, more often than not he talks about things that either already have gay elements, or that just resonate with the gay community. Recently, he's made the move to be more intersectional with episodes about how mainstream media depicts the broader LGBTQ+ spectrum (ie, gender queerness, asexuality).
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Occasionally used this when discussing certain works that seem too absurd to exist, including a movie where Lisa Kudrow raps and the gay porn parody of Twilight called Twinklight.
  • N-Word Privileges: Played with. For the sake of intersectionality, he'll occasionally cover works that involve topics of gender queerness, but he makes it clear in his first video on the subject that he's still a cisgendered man and can only ever approach it as an outsider. Indeed, episodes on the subject tend to be the least jokey, presumably because he doesn't feel comfortable making jokes on the subject.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Billa. You. Guys.
  • Queer People Are Funny: Discussed in both his Hollywood Montros video and his Boat Trip review. He defends the flamboyant, fabulous Hollywood by saying that, while he's a stereotype, people like him do exist and are usually a lot of fun to be around; he's extremely critical of the latter for treating homosexuals as a punchline for gross-out jokes and portraying them as perverts (or even rapists).
  • Rounded Character: Discussed in Skins and the Problem of Maxxie.
    Maxxie is a likable character. He's certainly the most "not-a-douchebag" on the show, he's friendly and well-adjusted and...nice. [...] But from a storytelling perspective, Maxxie is not an interesting character. Maxxie is nice and hot and gay. To be an interesting character, one must have flaws, and despite what you may have heard in high school, being gay is not a flaw. And being hot and having an active sex life is not the same as being interesting. It might not be fair to say that the writers used Maxxie's sexuality as a substitute for his complexity. It probably wasn't a conscious decision; maybe they were even worried about portraying the show's only gay character in a negative way. [...] But this isn't the only piece of media where we see this problem, and it's not just restricted to sexuality. How many times have you seen a character who doesn't really have any real flaws or any real character apart from just being black? Or being a woman?
    In the real world, just as it is on television, it is our strengths that make us likable, but it's our flaws that make us interesting. They're what drive us towards change, towards becoming something greater. Without them, there would be no journey, no beginnings and no endings. And we would have nothing to do but dance in place.
  • Running Gag: In episodes dealing with lesbians (such as Ellen DeGeneres or Magical Girl anime), Rantasmo often introduces the subject with an image relating to the topic of lesbians (such as Ellen DeGeneres), "LESBIANS" in all-caps text, and an ominous dramatic chord.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Discussed in "Designing Women, Female Sassiness, and the Deep Gay South"., though generalized. Sassiness, which Rantasmo defines as using wit and snark to gain a degree of social power, is frequently employed by characters who traditionally lack such social power, which is often women, especially if paired with other traits like age, a large body size, and/or darker skin color. This is also part of what makes such archetypes resonate well with a lot of gay people.
  • Say My Name / Big Word Shout: CUMBERBAAAAAAATCH
  • Screw Yourself: Evil Ghostwriter urges Rantasmo and Rantastero to have sex with each other.
  • Shared Universe: Because of numerous cameos and crossovers, the show is part of the Reviewaverse.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: From The Science of Cruising: "Let me preface this by saying that I am not here to judge, I am not here to endorse. I am a man of science. I observe behavior, I draw conclusions, and I report my findings in an objective and entirely tasteful manner. So, with all that's time to talk about humpin'."
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Discussed in the Hollywood Montrose episode. While Rantasmo says that Hollywood is a horrible, cliched stereotype, he's still a genuinely fun and likable character; he notes that people like Hollywood really do exist, but they are just a fraction of gay people and their experiences, and argues for more representation of different personalities.
    Rantasmo: Hollywood Montrose is a great character the same way that jelly donuts are a delicious food, but neither is very nutritious. It's much better having a full, balanced meal... otherwise, it ends up going straight to your thighs.
    • Discusses again in his episode about "Pete Pan Syndrome," i.e. older homosexual men being flirtatious and juvenile. He argues that criticizing this is just another way of telling people not to be who they are.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: In the Steven Universe review, Rantasmo tricks his way out of fighting a Corrupted Gem by causing it to ponder over whether it represents the loss of identity caused by being absorbed into an oppressive environment.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The April Fools "Needs More Straight" episodes, where straight!Rantasmo talks (or at least starts to) about straight stuff:
    straight!Rantasmo: Stuff like Ultimate Fighting! Oil refineries! Sex with women! Fishing! And Nell Carter!
    Caption: GUY STUFF! (heavy guitar riff, explosion)
  • Transparent Closet: Rantastero, seeing as how he's just Rantasmo's past, closeted self.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In-universe he discusses them with the perception of Gay culture and the works he views, and he points out when they're warranted or not.
    • In Apt-Pupil for example, he brings up how the movie has been accused of homophobia for seeming to imply that homosexuality inherently leads to violent, irrational behavior, and is quick to point out that its themes of obsession with power and its imbalances have more to do with Nazis being a Central Theme of the story, not to mention that both its director and lead actor are openly gay, meaning that reading homophobia into it is a stretch.
    • On the flipside, he'll occasionally play devil's advocate and ponder the implications of certain jokes involving genderqueeness (i.e., whether or not the villain in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a transwoman or a cis man in disguise, or if Lenny Wosniak coming out as a transwoman in the finale of 30 Rock is meant to play her transition for absurdity), a topic he's ironically admitted that he doesn't really have as much of authority on.
    • Also discussed in the "Are LGBT characters 'Forced' Into Games?" video in which he discusses while how critics (while still having fairly decent arguments) often say things like "I'm fine with LGBT characters as long as they're not forced" can accidentally come across as "I'm fine with you being gay as long as you don't shove your gayness in my face".
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Discussed in "It's a Trap!: Depictions of Trans Deception" and how this particular plot device has direct ties into the "trans panic" defense which has condemned multiple real life transgender people and stilted societal progress to normalizing gender queerness.
  • Urban Fantasy: In his Game of Thrones review he admits to being more fond of this genre than Medieval European Fantasy.
  • World of Weirdness: It's set in the Reviewaverse. It can get weird.

But how much gay is enough?