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You can run, but are you fast enough?
You can hide, but I will find you.
Close your eyes if you don’t doze off.
Hold your breath so I don’t hear you.
The trail of tears that you will leave me
Will lead me straight to those that fear me.
You can run if I don't catch you,
But the nightmare time is gonna get you.
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A special Halloween event. Six new tales of terror from the tiny town of Hatchetfield, read live by the casts of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday.

After the smash hit of Team Starkid's new Horror Comedy musical The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and its sequel Black Friday, fans were eagerly awaiting Nerdy Prudes Must Die, the third stage show in the Hatchetfield series of apocalyptic events overtaking a very unlucky tiny town in Michigan, as well as Workin' Boys, a Spin-Off Web Video short film (and Defictionalization of an extremely popular meme/in-joke from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals) about Breakout Character Prof. Henry Hidgens, which had been promised as a stretch goal for the Starkid 10th Anniversary Kickstarter.

Sadly, just as work would've started on Workin’ Boys and Nerdy Prudes Must Die, a minor apocalypse known as the COVID-19 Pandemic took over the country in Real Life, and Starkid had to change their plans.

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Nightmare Time is a new entry into the increasingly popular medium in 2020 of "Zoomcasts", filmed Audio Dramas where we can see the performers (and they may have Zoom backgrounds, costumes, and minor props to help set the scene) but most of the visuals are left up to the viewers' imaginations. A throwback to classic Genre Anthology series like The Twilight Zone, each episode is a Double Feature of two roughly hour-long stories set in a (very) Loose Canon version of the Town with a Dark Secret of Hatchetfield, Michigan, promising to slowly build on the "Hatchetfield lore" fans have accumulated from the first two stage shows and point to some sort of overarching Myth Arc for the series.

Nightmare Time premiered with its first episode, "Episode 1: The Hatchetfield Ape-Man and Watcher World", at 7 pm Eastern on October 10, 2020, which can be viewed for free here. The next two episodes were livestreamed on October 17, 2020 and October 24, 2020, before being released on YouTube on Valentine's Day 2021. Episode Two can be viewed here and Episode Three viewed here, with the soundtrack album released a week earlier on February 8.

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Tropes for individual episodes should go on the recap pages. Tropes pertaining to the series in general should go here, on the main page.


Nightmare Time as a whole provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absentee Actor:
    • Kendall Nicole is the only actor in the cast who doesn't appear in the Title Sequence (which even manages to slip in appearances by Matt Dahan and Nick Lang), speculated to be either because she has limited availability due to being a minor, or because the song is being sung to her character Hannah Foster.
    • Jaime Lyn Beatty, Dylan Saunders, and Kim Whalen are absent from Episode 1. Mariah Rose Faith, Angela Giarratana, Curt Mega, and James Tolbert are absent from Episode 2. Kendall Nicole again is absent from both Episodes 1 and 2. The entire cast unites in Episode 3.
    • Jeff Blim, Lauren Lopez, and Joey Richter are the only cast members (with the obvious exceptions of Matt and Nick) who appear in all six stories; of their fellow actors who appear in all three episodes, Robert Manion is absent from "Watcher World", and Corey Dorris and Jon Matteson are absent from "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" and "Jane's a Car".
    • Of the actors who appear in two episodes, Angela and Kim are the only ones to appear in all four stories; Mariah is not in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man", Curt is not in "Jane's a Car", and Jaime is not in "Forever & Always". Dylan is the only actor who does not appear in "The Witch in the Web", and James is the only one apart from Kendall to be in only two stories, appearing in only "Watcher World" and "The Witch in the Web".
  • Action-Hogging Opening: Since the Title Sequence is a pre-recorded video rather than livestreamed, it's significantly more polished than the show itself, with cool animations, outdoor shots, playing with lighting and camera angles, etc.
  • Animate Body Parts: Much of the Theme Tune is sung by disembodied, identical, heavily-lipsticked mouths (reminiscent of the opening song in The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Fans speculated it was the mouth of Jaime Lyn Beatty, but Word of God is it was actually Nick Lang putting on lipstick that matched her shade.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The Title Sequence tries to scare us by showing us Robert Manion with these, which then flicker into other unnatural colors. Funnily enough, the effects that change his eyes are all Tiktok filters.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Title Sequence shows musical director Matt Dahan nervously yanking off his headphones as though startled by Jeff Blim's ominous "Right behind you" while editing the song in his apartment, only to see nothing behind him and ask "Where'd he go?". This doubles as a Development Gag about the circumstances under which this series was made — since, under normal circumstances, Jeff and Matt likely would be in the same room working on the music together.
    • This is a bit of multileveled fourth-wall breaking, since this shot is filled with Defictionalizations of things that originated in the Hatchetfield stage shows — Matt's computer desktop is a Hatchetfield High School logo and he wears a Hatchetfield High letterman's jacket (since when he's the band leader onstage he's technically "playing" the leader of the Hatchetfield High Band), and he has a Wiggly doll on his desk.
  • Broad Strokes: More than any previous Starkid show, this show begs the audience to use that skill much beloved of live theatre audiences and fill in the gaps in the show with their imagination.
    • The musical numbers for this show are Surreal Music Videos that function more or less as Title Theme Tunes for each piece — with the one exception, the musical numbers from the Show Within a Show Blinky's Watch Party in "Watcher World", explicitly called out as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. Jeff Blim said he took the opportunity to play with lyrics that don't literally reflect what's going on in the story and serve more to reflect the story's mood in the abstract.
  • Call-Back:
    • The title of the show is a reference to a small but memorable lyric from the song "Not Your Seed" from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals: "Look what happens: nightmare time." Fittingly, the Nightmare Time theme song opens with the seven notes of that lyric.
    • And it doesn't end there — Matt Dahan's keyboard playing, while mostly improvised, incorprates many Leitmotifs that debuted earlier in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday; often if a character from one of the musicals shows up, Matt will start playing a song they sang.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: "The Hatchetfield Ape-man" Crosses the Line Twice so often that it is often more hysterical than frightening, followed by a hard Mood Whiplash into "Watcher World", which plays on Adult Fear to the extreme. The Mood Whiplash continues as a theme through Season One, like immediately cutting from the Downer Ending of "Time Bastard" to the Big-Lipped Alligator Moment of "Peanuts!"
    • Word of God is an attempt was made for Season One to pair two stories in each episode with contrasting moods, having the first one be somewhat more lighthearted and the second be somewhat more serious and tragic. This is kind of zig-zagged in practice — Episode One follows this pattern exactly, with Crack Fic joke episode "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" followed by one of Starkid's deepest and darkest dramedies ever, "Watcher World". And even that’s kinda averted, since The Hatchetfield Ape-Man has a Bittersweet Ending with Ted dying, while Watcher World has a straight-up Earn Your Happy Ending. Most fans find "Forever & Always" and "Time Bastard" to have a similar pitch-Black Comedy tone, with the real Mood Whiplash only coming in with "Time Bastard"'s extreme Downer Ending. And while the situation in "Jane's a Car" lends itself to Black Comedy much more than "The Witch in the Web", the actual outcome of "Jane's a Car" is one of the harshest Downer Endings in the show, while "The Witch in the Web"'s ending is one of the most optimistic.
  • Corpsing: One of the perks of the way this is filmed, leaving everyone in Zoom's gallery mode by default, is that you can watch actors who aren't currently performing blatantly cracking up at the jokes.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Every episode ends with the Closing Credits playing over a Music Video of some kind made for that episode specifically.
  • Creepy Child: Angela Giarratana is giving off the vibe of one of these in the Title Sequence, complete with Cheshire Cat Grin.
  • Critical Annoyance: The Theme Tune plays a rapidly accelerating series of beeps to give this effect after the lyric "The timer is ticking down".
  • A Day in the Limelight: Basically the entire series.
    • While the protagonist of “The Hatchetfield Ape-Man” is a new character, the story does bring back Professor Hidgens and Ted as main characters.
    • “Watcher World” focuses on Bill and Alice.
    • “Forever and Always” brings back Paul and Emma. Well, it brings back Emma. Paul doesn’t appear in-person at all.
    • “Time Bastard” focuses on Ted and acts as an Origins Episode for the Homeless Man.
    • “Jane’s a Car” focuses on Tom and Becky.
    • Finally, “The Witch in the Web” focuses on Hannah.
  • Delinquent Hair: Fans have done a lot of poking fun at Curt Mega's new "quarantine mullet" and Nick Lang's "quarantine pompadour".
  • Downer Ending: In the same vein of the horror anthologies that inspired it, this seems to be the standard for the show. Only ''Watcher World'' and ''The Witch in the Web'' avert this trope.
  • Dramatic Wind: Jeff Blim has some blowing on him during his part of the Title Sequence.
  • Eldritch Location: Just as in the stage shows, the sleepy little resort town of Hatchetfield, Michigan just can't seem to catch a break, being haunted by various supernatural phenomena and conspiracies.
  • Ending Theme: Every episode ends with one. Eps. 1 and 3 of Season One have one linked to the preceding story ("One Thousand Eyes" for "Watcher World" and "The Web I Spin for You" for "The Witch in the Web"), while Episode 2's ("Peanuts!") is a deliberate Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Everytown, America: Hatchetfield, although this series continues to add to "Hatchetfield lore" and give us more specific details about what the town is like — "The Ape-Man of Hatchetfield" tells us the town is or at least used to be a well-known resort town with international tourists, and "Watcher World" tells us it's within driving distance of a major Midwestern theme park.
  • Extreme Close-Up: The Title Sequence uses one of Jeff Blim as a Jump Scare.
  • Femme Fatale: Mariah Rose Faith dresses up as one for the Title Sequence.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Matt Dahan's desktop image on his second monitor reads "Hatchetfield High School Music Department", with a (probably non-canon) motto: "Surviving the Apotheosis since 1824".
  • Genre Roulette: The Nightmare Time stories themselves swerve back and forth between the two poles of Horror Comedy, but the soundtrack goes even further, letting Jeff Blim dip into wildly different genres every episode. (Since Nightmare Time isn't a true stage musical, he's talked about having the freedom now to do genres completely unsuited to the Broadway-style singing and dancing traditional for a Starkid show.) "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" is old-timey Big Band jazz, "Time Bastard" is "a James Bond theme song" (a soaring bluesy ballad in the style of Adele's "Skyfall"), "Jane's a Car" is an arena-style Classic Rock anthem, "The Witch in the Web" is an intentionally creepy simple campfire folk song, "Forever & Always" and "Snoozle Town" are both Broadway-style musical theatre pieces (a traditional love duet and an "I Want" Song, respectively), "The Blinky Song" and "Peanuts!" are intentionally cheesy cartoon jingles, and finally "One Thousand Eyes" and "The Web I Spin For You" are both Jeff Blim stretching his muscles to do a Solemn Ending Theme as an experimental, moody indie rock piece.
  • Green Screen: All of the actors have some sort of "spooky" backdrop and/or one appropriate to the location their character is in, with the notable exception of The Narrator Nick Lang, keyboardist and musical director Matt Dahan, and Jeff Blim (who can't because it doesn't work on his computer).
  • Guyliner: Descended Creator Nick Lang appears briefly with a healthy amount of this plus Wild Hair during the Theme Tune. Word of God also says that the disembodied mouth with the ruby-red lipstick in the Title Sequence is his.
  • Halloween Episode: None of them so far take place on Halloween, but they're all Halloween episodes in the sense that they're being released as a special event for October 2020 (in the tradition of the past two Hatchetfield stage shows opening on the week of Halloween).
  • Heroes Want Redheads: There was some joking as soon as Kim Whalen joined the cast in Episode 2 that every single new character she plays (along with her returning character, Becky Barnes) is instantly established as a main character's Love Interest. (Sylvia for Bill, Jenny for Ted, Becky for Tom, and Miss Holloway for Duke.)
  • Improv: The musical numbers were pre-written and pre-recorded, but all of the score accompanying the main dialogue is improvised live by the very talented Matt Dahan.
  • In the Hood: Joey Richter, Lauren Lopez and Curt Mega appear in the Title Sequence as sinister figures in generic black hoodies.
  • Interface Spoiler: Half the fun of an episode is seeing a performer already in costume and guessing who they'll be playing and what role they'll have in the story based on it — and half the fun of that is performers deliberately subverting expectations by doing a quick-change offscreen when people aren't paying attention.
  • Leitmotif: All Nightmare Time stories have the "Nightmare Time riff" as Book-Ends — every story starts with a recording of the opening of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, playing the "Look what happens, nightmare time!" line from "Not Your Seed" on an Ominous Pipe Organ followed by Dramatic Thunder, and every story ends with Matt Dahan's piano underscoring segueing back into that same theme as Nick Lang reads the closing narration. The exception to this is the Grand Finale for Season One, "The Witch in the Web", whose Surprisingly Happy Ending instead ends on the motif from Hannah's theme, "What If Tomorrow Comes?"
    • The episodes also all rely heavily on familiar leitmotif in the underscoring, with each episode having several appropriate Call Backs to musical themes from earlier Hatchetfield shows or episodes of Nightmare Time that follow certain characters and concepts around from story to story. (An obvious example is the opening of "Showstoppin' Number" playing to announce Prof. Hidgens' entrance in any story in which he appears.)
  • Limelight Series: Each story focuses on one or two characters we’ve already met (ex.: Bill and Alice in ''Watcher World''), dealing with relatively-minor supernatural phenomena (as opposed to the world-ending stakes of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday).
  • Live Episode: Part of the appeal of this show is that it's recorded live, with actors interacting over Zoom in real time, with all the warts-and-all energy of a live performance, as opposed to more polished Audio Dramas in the Podcast format.
  • Loose Canon: Defied; in the Q&A at the end of the first livestream, Nick Lang states unambiguously that all Hatchetfield stories are canon. How this is possible when each one is clearly set in a different universe where none of the events of any other Hatchetfield story happened or could happen (aside from ''Forever and Always'' and ''Time Bastard'', which are the only two stories that clearly take place in the same timeline), he continues to withhold.
  • Mini Series: In contrast to the longrunning horror Podcasts Nightmare Time is partly inspired by, like Welcome To Nightvale, Nightmare Time was announced as a "special event" consisting of only six hour-long "stories" released as three Double Feature "episodes", although there's been some teasing there may be a Season 2 if it takes off and if the COVID-19 Pandemic isn't over soon.
  • Montage: All of the musical numbers are in this format, since they're pre-recorded and had to combine footage from actors all recording in their own homes.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mildly so — Mariah Rose Faith shows up dressed in a revealing gown as a Femme Fatale for the Title Sequence, and puts on a similar outfit to play Webby in the Closing Credits of "The Witch in the Web" and of Season One as a whole.
    • There's some mild moments of Mr. Fanservice with Joey Richter as well, including him going fully shirtless to play Konk in "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man".
  • The Multiverse: Black Friday very strongly hinted that the "Hatchetfield universe" is actually one of these, with The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday being Alternate Timelines where the world ended in two different ways. Each of the "nightmares" seems to take place in yet another "alternate" version of Hatchetfield.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Unlike its predecessors The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday, Nightmare Time isn't really a musical at all — it instead cuts from the livestreamed Audio Drama to a Surreal Music Video at certain points, most of which are either a Theme Tune or Ending Theme for the episode and don't diegetically take place at any point in the actual story. (The one exception, "Watcher World", has two musical numbers that take place within a Show Within a Show that is a musical.) This is a bit of a stylistic shift from the stage shows and also enables the production to highlight certain troupe members' singing chops without worrying about what character they're cast as.
  • Negative Continuity: This is made very clear from day one — characters show up in Nightmare Time stories only to have completely different relationships from each other and get killed long before they would've showed up in The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals — or, to the contrary, live long past when they were killed off in TGWDLM — and it's not clear how much they really have in common with their "canon" counterparts. But see The Multiverse.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The second repetition of "Right behind you" in the Theme Tune has a disturbingly long silence followed by Matt Dahan looking up from mixing the song, confused, asking "Where'd he go?"
  • Personal Horror: The mission statement of Nightmare Time, where, as the name implies, every individual story is taking one or two characters from Hatchetfield and forcing them to confront their own demons — and, as Sam Raimi's "rules of horror" would have it, forcing them to grow into their true self and in the process be either punished or redeemed.
  • Post-Processing Video Effects: Jon Matteson's portion of the Title Sequence has a film grain filter passing over it, as though he's Trapped in TV Land (going with the theme of his background being the TGWDLM stage set).
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Nightmare Time is written in a style where rather than having a traditional narrator, the whole show is written as though it were a screenplay meant to be filmed, with Descended Creator Nick Lang providing "narration" in the form of stage directions. Of course, since this script was never actually intended to be filmed, they took the opportunity — as they did with A Very Potter Senior Year — to throw in plenty of visuals that would be extremely expensive and impractical in an actual movie.
  • Reaction Shot: One of the big draws of the original livestreamed version of the show was that with Zoom locked in gallery view, you could catch reactions from your favorite Starkid actor who wasn't in the current scene just by looking over to their window, just like being able to look around at fellow audience members during a live show.
    • The YouTube releases of Episodes 2 and 3 of Season 1 do try to cut down the number of people onscreen at once for a more professional production, but frequently leave a few extra actors onscreen to catch their reactions — at the very least, both participants in a two-person conversation are usually onscreen at once (as opposed to Zoom's default behavior of spotlighting only the current speaker), and frequently one or two extra actors are onscreen as well to give the scene color. Notably, The Narrator Nick Lang is often onscreen as a "third wheel" during two-person conversations, even when he has long stretches where he doesn't speak, just because it's fun to watch the writer/director of the show react to his words being performed live for the first time (which often includes a lot of muted Dissonant Laughter at dark, tense moments).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The only reason this show exists at all is the COVID-19 Pandemic, although the ideas for it come from a thick book of notes the Lang Brothers have been making of "Hatchetfield lore" since they came up with the idea for the universe.
    • In the Q&A Nick Lang threw out a little bit of black humor about how bummed they'd been that Mariah Rose Faith's career had gotten too big to do Black Friday in 2019, and how lucky they were that the pandemic cut short the national tour of Mean Girls, leaving Mariah unemployed and with nothing better to do than come back to her old friends at Team Starkid for this project.
  • Re-Cut: The YouTube release of Episodes 2 and 3 was significantly edited from the original livestream, allowing the creators to address fan complaints like the use of gallery mode through the whole performance and the frequent Bloopers due to mics being muted or unmuted at the wrong time. The YouTube versions instead frequently go to a spotlight mode to show only the relevant actors during various conversations, have been tightened up so most technical glitches are invisible, and have had certain snippets deleted that Nick Lang felt in hindsight weren't working. Most agree that this is a noticeable upgrade in quality, but see They Changed It, Now It Sucks! on the YMMV tab.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Since the score is almost entirely improvised live by Matt Dahan on keyboard, it relies very heavily on Leitmotifs most fans will recognize from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals and Black Friday, reused in different contexts that may or may not be significant. In particular, the Theme Tune to the show is a Bootstrapped Theme from "Not Your Seed" from The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, the "Look what happens, nightmare time!" motif, the lyrics of which are where the show got its title.
  • Rewritten Pop Version: All of the soundtrack versions of the Season 1 songs are an upgrade over the originals, with Matt and Jeff having taken the time to add complexity and polish to the mix for all of the tracks, and several of the tracks having extra passages and extra lyrics added to them. (The most extreme of these is "Time Bastard", which has a whole new verse added to it and whose soundtrack version is a full 4 minutes, 22 seconds long.)
  • Scary Flashlight Face: The actors use this trick to do their best to look menacing in the Title Sequence, which they mostly don't bother with in the actual show.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: A lot more necessary than it's been in previous Starkid musical recordings, given the limited resources and time to record, with most of them done by songwriter Jeff Blim himself. They make a joke out of it by superimposing multiple Jeffs onto the screen as a virtual chorus when it happens.
  • Ship Sinking: Fans developed a Crack Ship between Wiggly and Blinky almost immediately after Blinky's existence was revealed in "Watcher World", only to just as quickly abandon it once it was established that Wiggly and Blinky are "brothers" (the Starkid fandom not being a fan of Incest Yay Shipping, despite the fact that it's not clear how family relationships even work among eldritch deities).
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Well, given that she has red hair and green eyes, Kim Whalen could be tagged with this trope in any show where she has a significant role — but it seems like the roles of Jenny in Episode 2 ("Time Bastard") and Miss Holloway in Episode 3 ("The Witch in the Web") fit this role, where Kim was cast in a role where the story revolves around her character and relies on her being visually memorable in some way (Jenny as the Lost Lenore motivating the whole time-travel plot, Miss Holloway as a glamorous and beautiful new Big Good Shrouded in Myth). See also Heroes Want Redheads.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: Ep. 1 and Ep. 3 both have an awesomely moody and serious one ("One Thousand Eyes" and "The Web I Spin For You"). Ep. 2 swerves in a wildly different direction with this, having had two extremely serious opening Theme Tunes and instead having an intentional Big-Lipped Alligator Moment for an Ending Theme ("Peanuts!").
  • Split Screen: Used by default in the livestream itself, which is just Zoom's gallery view, and frequently employed in the montage musical numbers.
  • Station Ident: A modern version of this — since Nightmare Time is streamed over Zoom, the recording has the Zoom logo prominently displayed in the lower right corner the whole time.
    • A later Q&A included plenty of Biting-the-Hand Humor about how this is an Enforced Plug (there's no easy way to get rid of the "Zoom" watermark on a livestream of a Zoom conference call) and how much the cast actually hates Zoom as a "bad program" they're forced to use for reasons of convenience and expense. (Zoom's various quirks that most of us have gotten all too familiar with in the COVID-19 Pandemic are responsible for many of the Bloopers on Nightmare Time Season 1, especially the ease with which you can accidentally mute or unmute yourself without realizing it.)
  • Stock Footage: The show, having No Budget and having to be made 100% remotely, relies heavily on this for the musical numbers, including the opening and end credits sequences. This includes directly borrowing the Establishing Shot of the "Welcome to Hatchetfield" sign from the Title Sequence of Black Friday.
    • Many fans asked about the really cool abstract skeleton and monster animations in the Title Sequence, only to be told that these are free Shutterstock "horror" animations anyone can use.
  • Stylistic Callback: Jon's Zoom background in the Title Sequence is an abstract backdrop of colored rectangles, resembling the stage set of The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, with his trademark dark suit and tie pretty clearly indicating he's playing his character Paul Matthews. Or Paul 23.
  • Studio Audience: These shows don't have one, so the cast compensates by applauding each other at the end of each story, and taking a Q&A from the online live chat at the end of Episode 1. Nick Lang has encouraged fans to upload Reaction Videos to try to keep the same energy as a live show.
    • One reason these streams are done with Zoom locked in gallery view rather than spotlight view, making us watch the whole cast in their own individual windows even when they're not acting, is to help substitute for a Studio Audience, letting the actors who aren't acting react to what's going on. This is part of the reason each episode is a Double Feature, with the cast split up between the two stories each time so half of them are free to relax and watch the show without waiting for a cue. (Many fans consider being able to watch their favorite actors' reactions while they're "offstage" a highlight of the streams.)
    • It turns out this was more of a technical limitation during the original livestreams than an artistic decision — Zoom's automatic spotlight mode only spotlights the person who is currently speaking, meaning there couldn't be any Reaction Shots at all unless spotlighting was done manually, which the team didn't have time to rehearse comfortably before the show. Nick Lang took the opportunity to Re-Cut Episodes 2 and 3 for the YouTube release to create a more traditional Zoom broadcast, focusing only on the people relevant to a given scene at any moment. This, of course, led to some complaints of the They Changed It, Now It Sucks! variety.
  • Surreal Music Video: Thanks to the limited budget and time to make them, the musical numbers for this show are basically all in this style rather than literally telling a story.
  • Take Our Word for It: The whole show is like this, since it's a hybrid between an Audio Drama and a visual live performance, with very little budget. It's lampshaded by all of the episodes containing significant events that would be very expensive or difficult to actually show onstage even without the COVID-19 Pandemic, that we only get to experience through Nick Lang's narration, Matt Dahan's background music and the actors' reactions.
  • Theme Tune: The show has a banger of one composed by Jeff Blim.
    • Each story also has its own theme tune, with the ones in Ep. 2 and Ep. 3 each having a Title Theme Tune for their opening Title Sequence. (Ep. 1 is the odd one out, with "The Hatchetfield Ape-Man" and "One Thousand Eyes" both serving as Ending Themes, and "One Thousand Eyes" being the only one to have a different title from its associated story, "Watcher World".)
  • Trauma Conga Line: Well, yeah, it's a horror anthology, but Nick Lang has specifically said his ideal for the Hatchetfield series is to follow Sam Raimi's "three rules of horror": The innocent must be tested, the guilty must be punished, and only through suffering can we grow.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: Episodes 2 and 3 of Season 1 were released to the general public on YouTube on Valentine's Day 2021 — an appropriate date given how three out of four of the stories are centered around romance.
  • Vocal Range Exceeded: Jeff Blim's habit of giving himself the high notes comes back — notably in the Theme Tune for Nightmare Time he gives himself the belting high note at the very end of the song, after Mariah Rose Faith and Kim Whalen — both sopranos — sing the "normal" version of the line.
  • Wham Episode: Every single Nightmare Time story is one, each one with a major reveal that in some way upends the Hatchetfield universe.

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