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♪ Dun dunnnn, dun dunnnnn...... ♪

"And welcome to the Oddity Archive, the show that reawakens nostalgia for things you didn't even know you had."
Ben "That Shmuck with the Cardboard Box" Minnotte

In April 2012, Colorado resident and former folk musician Ben Minnotte became the victim of a car crash that left him with neither a job nor wheels, and with a damaged ribcage. Trying to find ways to cope so he could think less about his pain, he decided to look back on his childhood curiosity with technology and make an article about the Max Headroom incident in June 2012. However, he discovered that his humor barely made any sense written, so he decided to make a one-off podcast. But then that was scrapped as well since there's a whole video component to the whole thing. So what did he do? He decided to try his hands out at being an internet Caustic Critic towards this stuff. And, thus, the Oddity Archive was born.

Oddity Archive is a long-running webseries regarding past technology and the odder, often scarier but relatively obscure parts of film, television and music, occasionally making riffs on certain things.

You can find the show on its YouTube channel here. Oddity Archive was featured in the now-defunct site Channel Zero which shut down mysteriously back in 2018.

"Aaaand welcome to the Tropes Related to the Series Archive."

  • Abusive Parents: Ben (as a character, at least) is implied to have these.
  • Artistic License History: In the Bicentennial episode, Ben gives a history lesson in which he states that "Sam Wilson got a paper-cut while signing the Declaration of Independence." The Declaration was written and signed on animal skin, not paper. Rule of Funny almost certainly applies here.
  • Atomic Hate: Several episodes deal with this.
  • Badass Boast: Foul-mouthed Caustic Critic Geno Cuddy's break-in during "Public Domain VHS Distributors" is one.
  • Berserk Button: Ben, at the end of "Copy Protection Vol. 2 (odds and ends)", rants about companies, like the one that made the Cat Sitter video, who underestimate people's competence and who overestimate their own clout. It's a Tranquil Fury, but Ben does seem legitimately upset over it.
  • Brown Note:
    • Janet Greene's "Fascist Threat" is used twice as a method of forcing people to join the Republican Party, because it is just that bad. note 
    • This is also the case with the Italian Dance Party record's rendition of "Arrivederci Roma". It leads Ben to do some... unpleasant-sounding things before redacting his prior panning of the album.
    • Ben seems to regard the musical sting for the Protect and Survive shorts as this, leading him to later dub other uncanny-synth jingles trying to sound futuristic as having "Protect and Survive Syndrome".
  • Call-Back:
    • Max Headroom pops up in "Format Wars" when Ben describes a damaged, skipping CED like watching Max Headroom even when you didn't want to.
      Max Headroom: He's a FRICKIN' nerd!
      Ben: NO, not you, the GOOD one!
    • When he sees that the Clue II: Murder in Disguise VCR game has no logos at the start...
      Ben: What, no scary logo?! Rip-off!
    • The EAS Zombie Hoax video starts with the opening joke from the Max Headroom incident, and the commercial is the 'Max Headroom for Preparation H' gag.
      Ben: I swear, I keep having all these flashbacks lately...
    • And another one in the 2014 Halloween Special/Archive Wares debut episode.
      Ben: As far as I can tell, a massive electric shock. She died instantly. note 
    • When one of the clips from "Intermission" starts playing "Pop Goes The Weasel", Ben is reminded of one of the programs from "Local TV Vol. 2 (Kiddie Show Hosts)".
      Ben: Great, now I'm having flashbacks to "The Magic Garden".
    • Lampshaded in "Number Stations (And Other Radio Oddities)" when Ben makes a joke about the Backwards Music Station being a whale aphrodisiac, harkening back to the duck joke in "Emergency Broadcast Salute".
      Ben: That joke seems familiar....
    • In "Public Domain VHS Distributors", there's a reference to the end of "Copy Protection Vol. 2 (odds and ends)" when Ben explains the conditions of Trans-Atlantic Video Inc.'s warranty, claiming the warranty wasn't good if you smeared peanut butter on the tape.
    • The number for Ben's home shopping network in the "Home Shopping Channels" episode is the DivX phone number, a callback to "Disposable DVDs (DIVX & Flexplay)".
    • When Ben looks at the Odyssey 2 Voice Module he says that the voice it produces is a lot like Max Headroom to which he remarks "The real Max Headroom, not the hijacker."
  • The Cameo: Techmoan and TheCHR83, among others, appear in interviews in the Episode 200 special, "Behind the Box".
  • Canada, Eh?: Ben puts on a Canadian accent as part of a shoutout to the McKenzie Brothers in "Christmas Special 2014".
  • Catapult Nightmare: A rare audio example appears at the start of "Halloween Special 2013", where, after enduring a nightmare mix of Max Headroom, scary logos, Emergency Broadcast System beeps and the Happy Hamster, we hear Ben rise out of bed and a good plenty of creaking.
  • Caustic Critic:
    • Ben played this up initially, but it would later be toned down quickly, because the pain from the aforementioned car accident affected him too much to continue that attitude (not to mention the glut of similar reviewers making him want to do something more original).
    • Another Caustic Critic drops in on the "Public Domain VHS Distributors" with a....unique take on the UAV VHS distribution house.
  • Censor Box: Almost every written mention of Walt Disney or WGN is blacked out (see You Wanna Get Sued? below). In the "Copy Protection Vol. 2" episode, the contact information for the company behind the Cat Sitter video was blacked out, possibly in retaliation for the failed "KTC" scare tactic (see Berserk Button above).
  • Characterisation Marches On: In earlier Archives, Ben was a lot more irritable and shouted more often. Now he's more laid back, only shouting if something really makes him annoyed.
  • Cold Open: Some episodes open with these.
  • Comically Missing the Point: At the end of "Weather Warnings", warning sirens go off as a funnel cloud approaches Archive HQ. Ben sees this as an opportunity to capture the entire event on tape.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Averted with Ben, who usually tries to find rational explanations for unexplained phenomena. However, conspiracy theorists (and their theories) are discussed (and mocked) in a few episodes.
  • Content Warnings:
    • Ben notes in "American EXXXtacy (and Other C-Band Nastiness)" that guys with girlfriends shouldn't watch it.
    • He issues a more serious one at the beginning of Protect and Survive due to its discussion of nuclear war and its Gallows Humor.
    • Ben will also sometimes insert these into the middle of episodes before potentially offensive or upsetting segments, such as in "Prehistoric Television", where he advises people who are sensitive to Nazi imagery to skip the following part of the episode.
  • Couch Gag:
    • The opening credits are often modified to fit the theme of the episode, such as video effects that mimic the format discussed in the episode or a different theme song related to the subject.
    • Ben's first line in regular episodes is almost always "And welcome to the Oddity Archive, the show that...", the rest changing from episode to episode. "Ben's Junk" episodes almost always begin with "And welcome to a [adjective] episode of Ben's Junk".
    • The picture on Ben's box is almost always something loosely connected to the topic of the episode. Often to the point where the image on the box isn't directly acknowledged in the episode itself. Example 
    • The end card has a credit to Ben Minnotte and a copyright holder for the original content which change every episode.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computerinvoked:
    • A claim from Hell's Bells is put to the test in, well, "Hell's Bells". Ben decides to see if vibrations from a speaker playing loud rock music can really hard-boil an egg, by having a speaker play the entirety of AC/DC's Black Ice—of which he notes is the loudest album in his collection—next to one. To put it bluntly, it doesn't.
    • Ben's Cat Sitter VHS opens with a warning stating it's coated with a substance called "KTC", which apparently damages the VCR if it is copied. He does a series of tests to see if it really does. It doesn't. He also points out the inherent issues with the concept (namely, how the substance on the Cat Sitter tape could possibly get "activated" by a separate VCR dubbing the footage to a separate blank tape).
  • Credits Gag: Can be found in several episodes. Especially notable in "Teknikel Diffikultees", where a good chunk of the credits are misspelled.
  • Cute Kitten: Shown on the Cat Sitter VHS in "Copy Protection Vol. 2 (odds and ends)". Ben notes in the description that he expects the appears of kitties to boost his views.
  • invokedDude, Not Funny!: Used in "1-900-ARCHIVE (Vol. 2)". After Ben riffs on some commercials for sex lines that only feature women, the Archive's "audience" starts booing at him and heckles him for being disrespectful to women.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Episodes 1 and 2 don't feature Ben on-camera, and a few other early episodes had him use another object to hide behind instead of his now-signature cardboard box (he used a mic on Episode 2.5, an LP cover on Episodes 4, 9.5, 14 and 18 and a Laserdisc cover on Episode 16). Until Episode 13 he tended to avoid showing his eyes above the cardboard box (or other hiding object) and until Episode 19 he only made one on-camera appearance per episode.
    • The first two regular episodes show Ben taking on an angry-Caustic Critic persona, instead of the laid-back personality he's known for.
    • The opening credits initially ended with Ben opening a file containing images pertaining to the episode's subject. This was dropped after Episode 4.
    • A quickly abandoned Running Gag was having random bizarre photos captioned as "Your Humble Host."
    • The series' theme tune, "Pavanned", doesn't show up until Episode 6. Until that point, the theme song was XTC's "Senses Working Overtime".
  • Ear Worm: Episode 184 presented the "Top 10 Earworms (to Date)", as voted by the viewers among the various tunes that showed up on Oddity Archive across the years. Ben opens the episode by stating it "may very well be the all-time, single most diabolical episode of the Oddity Archive" before listing the top 10:
    • Honorable mentions (read: Ben's favorites which only got 1-2 votes) were "I Buy at Alexander's", "Go See Cal" (jingles from ads featured in Episode 63, "Local TV Vol. 4: Local Commercials"), "Candy Pants" by Rev. Lionel Davis, "Non-Sectarian" by Roland Steele and "The Shrink" by the Penny Magic Show (all from Episode 165, "Local TV Vol. 6: More Public Access"). The preceding introduction featured "Celebration" (from Episode 39, "QUBE Interactive TV") and the Magnetic Video jingle (from Episode 23, "Scary Logos (and Other Nostalgic Terrors)").
    • #10 was "When You Think (You're Feelin') You're Ready", a jingle from a Crazy Eddie Electronics ad featured in Episode 63, "Local TV Vol. 4: Local Commercials".
    • #9 was "Jiminy" by the Jimmy Fith Band, a smooth jazz instrumental which first appeared in Episode 23, "Scary Logos (and Other Nostalgic Terrors)".
    • #8 was "Day by Day", a track from the obscure "8-track rip-off" Themes from "Godspell" by an uncredited organ combo first played on Episode 55, "Return of the Son of Record Rip-Offs (or: Record Rip-Offs Vol. 3)", which Ben often used on subsequent episodes as "montage music".
    • #7 was Santo Gold's eponymous song from his film Blood Circus, covered in Episode 41, "Infomercials".
    • #6 was "We're Stayin' in Tonight", from RCA's "Introduction to CED" video featured in Episode 92, "Capacitance Electronic Discs (or, CED's)".
    • #5 was "V.D. is for Everybody", the jingle from the PSA of the same name featured in Episode 45, "Public Service Announcements (or, PSA's)", a still of which is still part of the opening sequence to this day.
    • #4 was a Muzak cover of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" which briefly played in Episode 78, "The Death of Analog Television".
      • In Episode 222 ("Record Ripoffs Vol. 11 (80s Hits: Woodgrain & Neon)"), it was revealed that this cover originated on a 1987 album titled Box Office Blasts: Latest Movie Themes, recorded by the Movin' Dream Orchestra for Denon Records and released only in Japan.
    • #3 was "Who Made the Egg Salad Sandwiches?" from an SCTV "Five Neat Guys" faux-infomercial, which appeared as a non-sequitur joke in Episodes 2 and 159, "Emergency Broadcast Salute Vol. 1/2".
    • #2 was "Cyclotron" by Keith Mansfield, used in a Tele1st startup countdown shown in Episode 11, "Pay TV (but Not Cable or Satellite)".
    • #1 was, of course, Ben's own "Pavanned" theme song. "I don't know if y'all are just kissing my ass or it's just the sheer tonnage of times I've played it, but [it] won by a freaking landslide", getting 70 mentions and likes, way ahead of "Cyclotron" which only got 15.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: It's not very pronounced, but when Ben says the phrase "Beautiful Downtown Aurora", the r's in "Aurora" come out sounding like w's.
  • Emergency Broadcast: The main focus of episodes 2 ("Emergency Broadcast Salute, Vol. 1"), 51 ("Weather Warnings"), and 159 ("Emergency Broadcast Salute, Vol. 2"). In the first of those episodes, Ben describes how the Emergency Alert System started as a nuclear attack warning system called CONELRAD before expanding to also report on severe weather; in the second, he puts more focus on said severe weather broadcasts; and in the third, he gives what little information he could find about international emergency broadcast protocols, such as those in Japan and Canada.
  • The Faceless: Ben is almost always shown with a cardboard box covering the lower half of his face. He claims that whenever his full face is shown the camera breaks, and he doesn't want to have to buy a new one.
    • The only times his full face can be glimpsed at are second-long clips in the Oddity Archive Promo (where he immediately covers the camera lens with his hand), the demonic video tape in Episode 9, and the first "Ask the Archive". note 
    • Episode 89.5, "Frequently Asked Questions", begins with the inevitable question "Dude, what's with the box?" His reply:
      Ben: Privacy... And I'm one ugly-ass mother[BLEEP].
    • Episode 210 ("PSAs Vol. 2 (or, Only You Can Prevent PSAs)") shows Ben's upper lip during the intro to the "earworms" segment.
    • Ben briefly shows his full face at various points in Episode 227 following his "Vampess" transformation. He justifies these shots in Episode 248.75, saying the amount of makeup he was wearing made him fairly hard to recognize.
  • Fake Boobs: Ben accuses a woman in a phone sex ad of this trope in "1-900-ARCHIVE".
    Ben: I don't think those are real or implants. I think she just stuffed a pillow down her shirt.
  • Female Gaze: Ben goes to great lengths to unearth an example of this in "Philips CD-I (Compact Disc Interactive)".
  • Foreshadowing: During the "Local Commerical Break" for "Scary Logos (and other Nostalgic Video Terrors)", an Amvest Video clip of Grampa is used, followed by Ed saying, "We might have to revisit that one. ;)" Sure enough, Amvest Video was profiled three episodes later.
  • Gallows Humor: Used often, especially in episodes pertaining to Atomic Hate in a significant way. Ben says in the "Duck and Cover" episode that this kind of "comes with the territory". He'll usually issue some sort of warning prior to its use.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The shadowy screen while Ben is doing whatever it is that "Arrivederci Roma" drives him to do in "Halloween Special 2013 (Part 1 - Italian Dance Party)" can be read as this.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: A blink-and-you-miss-it shot at the very beginning of "American EXXXtasy (and other C-band nastiness)" has a woman posing topless on a couch, her arm concealing her breasts.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "Halloween Special 2013 (Part 1 - Italian Dance Party)", Ben condemns the "Italian Dance Party" for being disrespectful toward Italian music. Deciding he needed to bring "ethnic authenticity" note  to the show, he then begins a rendition of "Arrivederci Roma"... before fumbling on the words and crapping out.
      Ben: I could never remember the words to that damn song, anyway.
    • As revealed in "Conservative Folk Music", the Archive strongly believes in civil discourse. And if you disagree, they'll break your kneecaps.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The theme song from episode 6 onwards, "Pavanned", does not contain any spoken lyrics.
  • Long-Runners: Oddity Archive has been running continuously since 2012.
  • Ludd Was Right: Invoked in several episodes, most prominently in "Going Analog". Not literally, since Ludd would have been aghast at Betamax moreso than Jack Valenti.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • Ben's original song in "Industrial Musicals (or, The Archive Sells Out!)" is a fairly upbeat song about how Ben would prostitute himself out to corporate sponsors in order to get out of his poor financial situation.
    • This is discussed in "Conservative Folk Music", where Ben points out that the promotion of Mutually Assured Destruction in the Spokesmen's "The Dawn of Correction" goes against the song's allegedly "comforting" nature.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: In "Emergency Broadcast Salute", Ben cuts to a clip from SCTV of five guys singing "Who Made The Egg Salad Sandwiches". If you watch the original sketch, the song is just as much of a non-sequitur as it is here.
  • Male Gaze: Most of the sexual oddities use this.
  • Moral Guardians: Mocked mercilessly in "Hell's Bells".
  • Motor Mouth:
    • The voiceover on the Cat Sitter FBI warning bumper.
      Voiceover: TheprogramportionofthistapehasbeencoatedwithanewsubstancecalledKTCtopreventillegalcopying. KTConlyreactswhensubjectedtothemagneticheadfluctationcasuedbytherecordmode. Ifyouhavealreadystartedtorecordthistape, wearerequiredbylawtoinformyouthattheKTCprocessmaydamageyourVCR. KTCwillnotaffectyourVCRintheplaymode. ThetapecoatedwithKTCdoesnotbeginforanotherfifteenseconds. Stop. Recording. Now. Thankyouforpurchasingthisvideo. Enjoytheshow.
      Ben: I guess John Moschitta wasn't available.
    • Ben's summary of Bob Harris (a.k.a. "Santo Gold") in "Infomercials" is spoken rather rapidly, at least by his standards.
    • In one episode, Ben mentions that if the voiceover on an Emergency Alert System broadcast were just as scared as the audience would be of the alert itself, maybe he would care more about it. Cue an EAS alert where the voiceover speaks like this as a side effect of it being scared.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: An accidental one occurs in "VHS Vault Vol. 4 (VCR Games)", when a caption reading "billiard room" appears in front of a Clue II character.
    Inspector Pry: My name... is Inspector Pry.
    Ben: No, it's not, i-it's "Billiard Room", I could see it there right on the screen! Oh, everybody in Clue IS a compulsive liar, so I shouldn't be surprised.
  • MST: The "Archive Riffs" subseries is this, but there are also other examples of riffing on media throughout the regular series as well.
  • Network Sign Off: One episode features a recreation of a network sign-off the for the fictional KLAK-13 network.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In "Number Stations (And Other Radio Oddities)", we're not told exactly what Ben did at the previous year's Oktoberfest, other than that it involved wooden clogs.
    • The audience is also never shown what Ben does after going to bed with "Arrivederci Roma" stuck in his head during the 2013 Halloween special. All the viewers are given is the sound of some kind of metallic weapon, the sound of footsteps on grass, and what sounds like the dumping of a dead body.
    • The "Urinal Cake Thing" from "Local TV Vol. 3 (Public Access)". A Blip exec named George, a New York subway station, the previous summer, and 10,000 urinal cakes. That's all George needs to hear to return Oddity Archive to Blip. note 
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Sometimes used with the more absurd oddities. Often, awkward edits in the source material are disclaimed with text reading "NOT OUR EDIT".
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The Cat Sitter video from "Copy-Protection Vol. 2 (odds and ends)" opens with one of these, claiming the company that made the tape was required by law to warn viewers that duplicating the tape could damage their VCRs. After Ben debunks the copy protection (see Cowboy BeBop at His Computer above), the warning comes across as an attempt at a Badass Boast more than anything.
  • Precision F-Strike: Normally, Ben strays away from harsher profanities in his videos, or censors them. However, the final episode of the "Ben's Musical 'Career'" subseries has an extremely powerful subversion, when he closes the episode by delivering a moral to his viewers.
    Ben: With regards to any creative endeavor: Just. Fucking. Do it. And I'm not gonna censor that F-bomb there, I think I earned that one.
    • An accidental example was with the UAV guy who hacked into the "Public Domain VHS Distributors" episode, who mentioned that UAV "had a little licensey-license with Film-fucking-mation!"
  • Punny Name:
    • "Interstitials" features the (fake) book Don't Mime If I Do, written by "R. Wirst Nitemayer"note , and published by "Munnee, Hungree & Bastards Inc." note .
    • The show's subtitle producer, Ed Itor (say that out loud if you don't get it).
  • Running Gag:
    • The picture on the cardboard box varies between episodes.
    • "Aaaand welcome to the Oddity Archive, the show that [does a verb]."
    • "Join us next time when we [do something interesting, sometimes related to the episode's subject]."
    • The Max Headroom hijacker has become a running gag throughout the series.
    • Connie Francis is also used as a semi-reccurent gag, starting with "Emergency Broadcast Salute".
    • "Beautiful Downtown Aurora".
    • A semi-recurrent gag is Ed the Editor reacting negatively to one of Ben's "history lessons."
      Ben: That means...
      Ed: NO!
      Ben:'s time for another one of my history lessons.
    • It's a gag among commenters to mention that Code Lyoko episodes are almost always in the related videos — which Ben addresses in episode 89.5, saying he doesn't get why and didn't even know what Code Lyoko was until people started mentioning it.
    • In video riffs, flubs by actorsinvoked are often followed by Ben yelling "KEEP ROLLING!"
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Ben discusses this tactic in "PSA's (or, The More You Know, The Less You Understand)".
  • Screamer Prank: Used in "Protect and Survive" as The Stinger.
  • Self-Deprecation: At the end of episode 124, "Useless VHS Tapes":
    Ben: Join us next time, when I release my own useless video! In other words, just another Archive episode.
  • Series Fauxnale: Although the series wasn't in actual danger of ending, "The Death of Analog TV" is set up as one of these, wherein Ben claimed the higher-ups in the geek community got Archive cancelled, as it was "obsolete". Ben soon took to social media to assure fans that the show was not, in fact, ending, and that regular episodes would resume in the near future.
  • Sermonette: The KLAK-13 sign-off also includes a parody sermonette slot titled "Give Us This Day". The slot is hosted by Pastor George Needlesman of the Needmoney Church in Beverly Hills, CA.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: The regular episodes always end with "That's it for today's Archive. Join us next week when we...", the rest changing from episode to episode. Many of the non-regular episodes, especially the "Ben's Junk" episodes, end with "I'll talk to you again soon."
  • Silent Credits:
  • Spoof Aesop: "TV Sign-Offs" features a mock PSA that shows Ben shedding a single tear before dumping trash on a clean floor. The message? "If it feels good... why not?"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the 'Scary Logos' video, Ben refers to this as "Protect and Survive Syndrome."
  • The Stinger: Regular episodes always end with a short non-sequitur clip from one of the media featured in the episode.
  • Surreal Humor: Full of this, especially during the episode about the Max Headroom incident.
  • Take That!:
    • In "Valentine's Day Special (Dating Services)", Ben taped a paper reading "HAPPY NOW, BLIP???" onto the cardboard box. This is credited in the next episode (the third Local TV Special) to having led to the series' suspension from Blip.
    • Blip officially attributed the cancellation to Archive not filming in high-enough quality. This was also mocked in said episode when at the end, as part of an executive-mandated decision to bring in guests on the show (the episode revolves around Ben having to move his show to a local network instead of on Blip, due to them booting him off), Ben calls an executive at Blip to bring his show back. After the exec declines after Ben explains why he doesn't film in high-quality (it's a budgetary and stylistic choice), Ben brings up the Urinal Cake Thing...which leads to the exec promptly giving back Ben his spot.
  • Take That, Audience!:
    • After issuing the aforementioned Content Warning in "American EXXXtacy", Ben says that people watching Oddity Archive probably don't have girlfriends.
    • In "Local TV Vol. 2 (Kiddie Show Hosts)", Ben spends a good while at the beginning cursing the viewer(s) who requested the episode's topic.
    • The Box in the first Halloween Special has the words "SCREW YOU" written on it as an irritated Ben mutters about filming at night.
  • Take That Us:
    • Some of the opening "show that [x]" lines are this.
      Ben: Welcome to the Oddity Archive, the show that metaphorically embodies circling the drain.
    • The official website credits Ben as "Ben (That Shmuck With The Cardboard Box) Minnotte".
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Used in "PSA's (or, The More You Know, The Less You Understand)" during Ben's rant at a child abuse PSA.
    Woman in ad: You can't be my kid!
    Ben: You're right... I'm your worst nightmare. ...Bitch!
  • Toilet Humor: The discussion of the WOWO Emergency Broadcast incident is followed by an underwear commercial, because you'll need new underwear after hearing that broadcast.
  • Vague Age: Ben's age is deliberately kept vague, with the only certain thing being that he was born in the 80s. note 
    • He would semi-confirm this during "Ben's Music "Career" Vol. 1 (The Outsider Years, Pt. 1)", saying that he was 15 throughout 2001 (and also lampshading that he gave away his age), making his birth year likely 1986.
    • He would later confirm his star sign on Episode 197, "Switched-On Archive (Carlosplotation)", which is Scorpio (October 23 - November 21).
    • Ben would outright state that his birthday is (Presumably) November 12, as it was the original date Episode 206, "Benny's Birthday Bash" was uploaded. In the episode he states that he would likely just say that he is turning 29 that year. note 
  • Vanity Plate: The subject of a couple of episodes:
    • Episode 23, "Scary Logos (and Other Nostalgic Video Terrors)", partially focused on logos notorious for scaring certain viewers; the remainder of the episode talks about the FBI warnings often seen at the beginning of videocassettes.
    • Episode 203, "Cheesy Logos", focuses instead on, well, cheesy logos, with logo montages centered around a particular "cheesy" aspect (trumpet jingles, synthesized jingles, logos that try to look "majestic", logos that blatantly rip off other logos, flat-out dull logos). Ben also discussed logo variants and how they used to be unusual and creative, but that nowadays every production has its own logo variants, making them lose their surprise value and become more unimaginative. The "cheesy logos" subject was a compromise between certain fans having requested a "Scary Logos" sequel for years and Ben just not being the type to be scared over logos (on top of his considering "Scary Logos" to be one of his worst episodes), though he did throw the fans a bone with a montage of logos that "used to kinda sorta creep me out as a kid" along with recent finds.
  • Verbal Tic: Ben uses the word "indeed" a lot, sometimes inserting the word several times into a single thought.
  • Visual Pun: Ben makes one at the end of "Captain Midnight/Vrillon" about signal jamming.
  • Voice Clip Song: "Employee Training Videos Vol. 2 (Loss Prevention)" ends with a remix of the music from one of the videos using some of the dialogue from one of the shoplifters.
  • Waxing Lyrical: From "Archive Riffs: Cigarette Commercials", Ben jokingly quotes "Wonderwall" by Oasis when riffing a cigarette ad from a company of the same name.
    Commercial Narrator: Oasis.
    Ben: 'Cause today's gonna be the day that they throw it all back to you.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties:
    • "Teknikel Diffikultees" revolves around the technical difficulties experienced by television channels.
    • Also used in "PSA's (or, The More You Know, The Less You Understand)" to interrupt Ben's rant at a PSA about child abuse.
    • "Special Bulletins (or, We Interrupt This Archive)" has a segment on "weather break-ins" which includes footage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake interrupting an MLB World Series broadcast and KNBH coming back from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake that threw it and all the Los Angeles TV stations off the air.
  • We Interrupt This Program: Episode 190, "Special Bulletins (or, We Interrupt This Archive)", is all about these. Many of the famous ones get covered: the ''Hindenburg'' disaster ("Oh, the humanity!"), the Pearl Harbor attacks, D-Day, the JFK assassination, 9/11, the Port Kaituma shootings which preceded the Jonestown mass suicide, the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt (featuring Frank Reynolds' infamous "all this information!" outburst), Princess Diana's death and Air Florida Flight 90.
  • Wham Line: The Ben's Music "Career" series is pretty topsy-turvy on its own with its details about how Ben's music career came to be, but Volume 3's showing of why he scrapped his West of Elderbush Gulch album is especially noteworthy.
    "I had a classmate who got a record deal...with Epic Records, for his band...and that band was called The Fray."
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: Discussed in "Special Bulletins (or, We Interrupt This Archive)". The intro gets "interrupted" by a brief rant from Ben about how everything is "breaking news" these days, and what he introduces as his "whoop-de-freaking-doo montage" mostly features breaking news interruptions that Ben feels could've at least waited until the next commercial break.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In "Number Stations (And Other Radio Oddities)", Ben wins the lottery, and declares that this episode of the Archive will be the last. Of course, he says this with a good eight minutes left in the episode, so it's no surprise when it turns out he's blown it all and must continue making the Archive.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: When Disney or Chicago's WGN channel are mentioned, Ben often bleeps them out to avoid invoking them directly, and their names are usually blanked out when they appear on screen. Justified in that, as Ben notes in an episode of "Ask the Archive", Disney and WGN can be a bit litigious when it comes to copyright, and referencing either entity directly could result in the offending episode being pulled from YouTube.


Protect and Survive

Ben riffs on Protect And Survive.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GallowsHumor

Media sources: