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The Rooster Teeth Shorts are a series of live-action shorts that chronicle the adventures of Rooster Teeth Productions. There are currently two complete seasons. The first having twenty episodes, and the second having twenty-two, as well as three episodes of 'Captain Dynamic'. About a year long official hiatus was taken during the fourth season, with a Christmas special to advertise some of their new stuff; shorts started coming out monthly as of April 1, 2013. The episodes have varying sizes, themes and aesthetics, ranging from the "mockumentary" short Dress Rehearsal, taking place entirely in one room, to Hotel Buddies taking place in a hotel in California and using some chickens, metal bits, and mysterious lights.

Tropes include ...

  • Aborted Arc: The Season 1 finale's plotline about Shannon enacting revenge on everyone is no longer addressed or continued.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Burnie doesn't mind Joel's portrayal of him in Super Gus, where he's a greedy bank-robber.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In Scissors, Burnie has this gem:
    Burnie: "Are you seriously suggesting, sir, something sinister-sounding circumstantially surrounding some scissors?"
    Geoff: "...Can you say that again?"
    Gus: "Can you not encourage him?"
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Joel's computer when it gains sentience.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Miles wonders if girls are supposed to like it if you're a jerk to them in Girls Girls Girls. He proceeds to consider stealing the tip jar from the ice cream place he's at.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In Girls Girls Girls, Miles fails to flirt with a "Tiffany". Her thoughts get shown, revealing she wanted to do the same to him as well.
  • Anachronism Stew: A major part of the iBlade story, with people in a modern business office wearing all sorts of mismatched medieval clothes and armor, and having chamber pots and data pads.
  • Arc Welding: The finale of the first season brings together various plotlines, such as Matt spoiling stuff, the San Diego Comic Con incident, Gus's removed eyebrows, Shannon being stuck into a box of ice to be sent to the future, Matt's obsession with conspiracies, Geoff putting rat poison into the coffee, and Matt being run over by his dad.
  • Artifact of Doom: The box with all the devil's souls trapped inside it, the Orb, and The Button
  • Artistic License Economics: The end of the "Failed Product Ideas" short has Chris selling a "Million Dollars, But..." promotional item, which is a literal, real, Briefcase Full of Money. He's sold ten of them, and is pricing them at 39.95. Burnie is not pleased.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: During the latter part of Paper Cut.
  • Ax-Crazy: At the end of Pongo the titular puppet pulls a knife on Joel
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Gus and Geoff in Dress Rehersal (Don't worry it's intentional).
    Ben: Geoff, somebody thought that you were hobo that had wandered onto the set, they didn't think you were acting.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Burnie leans towards this most of the time, coming up with convoluted schemes or just downright abusing his workers. Examples include stealing Gus's beard (somehow) and attempting to fire Brandon for no other reason than to get his sandwich.
    • #1 Boss portrays Gus as this as he attempts to get himself a "#1 Boss" mug.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In Girls Girls Girls, after spending the episode anguishing in his failures of trying to find a significant other and his third hopeful target of the episode's thoughts reveal he is interested in him, Miles goes to ask her:
    Miles: "Uh, I was, I was going to ask you... uh, if you're not busy sometime... uh, could I have some napkins?"
    • Her look of shocked disappointment is very palpable. Even funnier, Miles proceeds to berate himself over how he said the sentence which implies he was never actually planning to just ask her out right then.
    • In "Noted to Death" after Matt finds himself in a Cat Came Back scenario with Joel and he goes to a bar, the viewer (and Matt) clearly expects it to be Joel tending the bar... but nope, it's Chris. But of course, Joel appears right next to him less than a minute later.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Steve Rogers lets out an anguised one in the Captain America: The First Avenger (Parody), after getting friend-zoned.
    • Gus does one at the end of Dev Cycle after finding out that Geoff made the "Diaper Cat" game
  • Big "OMG!": Or perhaps a ClusterOMGBomb in Paper Cut.
  • Bound and Gagged: Gavin's clones (and Ben) in Secret Door.
  • Brick Joke: During Chain of Thought, Nathan's thoughts are nothing but an ominous rumble. It's because he's thinking about the wind outside.
  • The Calls Are Coming from Inside the House: In the Haunted Tales of Mystery, Griffon gets a call from something growling and snarling that's coming from inside the office. Turns out it was just Burnie, who had fallen asleep at his desk with the speaker phone on.
  • Calvinball: Food War
    Joel: See that line over there?
    Jack: ... Yeah ...
    Joel: See, first you say the name of the food, then you throw it at your opponents face, if the food crosses the line and hits your opponent in the face you get a point.
    Gus: Unless the opponent catches it in with their mouth in which case you don't.
    Joel: That's when you enter the double peril zone. In the double peril zone, the point values are doubled, but instead of saying the name of the food you say-
    Gus: FOOD WAR! Then you get a chance to fire it back at your opponent.
    Joel: Right, but if you're able to catch that with your mouth you can put your opponent into double danger overtime, I once took Nathan into a fifth round overtime with a dollop of ketchup, but he swallowed it so he was disqualified.
    Gus: Normally condiments aren't allowed but we were playing by Aussie rules that day.
  • Capture and Replicate: In "Secret Door" Gavin enters a secret closet to find captive clones of himself, which his coworkers have been making. His coworker Ben is also held captive in there, the others claiming they couldn't tell him apart from Gavin because of their British Accents.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Parodied when Jon Graham visits Rooster Teeth and is mistaken for Gary Busey by everyone. Then they realize he's not Busey but Nick Nolte and is promptly kicked out.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • Home for the Holidays: Joel visits his girlfriend's family for Christmas, and discovers her brother is Pongo.
    • Naughty vs. Nice is their Christmas-themed riff on Law & Order, depicting the Naughty and Nice lists as court cases. Both children in the short were put on the Naughty List, the older for being a Big Brother Bully, and the younger for being a Bratty Half-Pint.
    • Their more musically-inclined holiday videos also tend to serve as Product Placement for The Merch.
      • Twelve Days of Rooster Teeth, their version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas", complete with Chris getting possessed and Kyle becoming a zombie and eating Jeremy.
      • Rooster Bells, where they sing their version of "Jingle Bells." Matt Hullum is Jesus.
      • The Reason for the Season: Miles and Jeremy battle it out for best holiday caroler.
      • Rooster Teeth's Holiday Horror, a take on "The Night Before Christmas," in which Chris goes on a murderous rampage, because Santa told him to. He was hallucinating the whole thing while at the dentist.
      • A Rooster Teeth Christmas Carol, in which Gus is The Scrooge.
      • Gus' Annual Holiday Soirée is an animated Gus is hallucinating the meaning of Christmas with the real Gus attempting to put a holiday special.
  • Christmas Special: The War on Christmas: A Rooster Teeth Holiday Extravaganza is their demented take on a holiday show, starting with a fight between Jesus (Matt Hullum again) and Baby Jesus (Josh Flanagan).
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Geoff can't get rid of the devil's box in CrazyDream, it always comes back to him.
  • Clone Degeneration: Hinted at in Secret Door.
    Gus: Oh fuck, We need to keep the original out here so we can make another clone.
    Burnie: Oh right, gotta go from the source otherwise the copy DNA gets bad.
    • And then they grab Ben instead of Gavin.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Geoff and Joel are the most consistent ones, but Burnie and Gus get a fair bit of it, too.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Chris spends the entirety of the Picture Perfect episode not realizing that Matt does not want dogs having sex at all in the photos of Burnie.
    • Gus initially thinks that pranks are good deeds because Matt gave him a pizza... to sit on. Subverted, because all the "pranks" Gus did were done to frame Matt for conspiracy.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Matt, at least in season 1.
    Matt: Black helicopters. Google it.
  • Cool Car / The Alleged Car: Jason's ride from New Old Car.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Most prominent in The Button.
  • Crossover - With Mega64 and Jon Graham, the creator of Arby 'n' the Chief and One Life Remaining.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: In The Ultimate Heist, Mariel not only carries a katana, but also a dagger clenched between her teeth.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Apparently Megan Fox made a pact with the devil, if she gave him her soul she'd be "Super-Hot". SUPER hot!
    • Also in "The Button".
  • Delegation Relay: Chain of Thought.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: Who is utterly horrified at Joel's complete apathy about killing off his friends in exchange for money.
    • The above is more akin to the Grim Reaper, but the literal Devil in Crazy Dream isn't any better... or smarter.
  • Disappeared Dad: Matt's father went on a business trip to London when Matt was four years old, he never came back until the end of Catch. Just in time to inadvertently run Matt over.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Prank King has Gus frame Matt for attempted murder of the President of the United States which gets Matt jailed for thirty years. Then after Matt is released, Gus pies him in the face and runs in circles around him gloating about how he pranked him.
  • Dump Stat: Lampshaded in The Atari Kid
    Gus: Your strength has gone up by 2! Your intellect 3! Your charisma is unchanged but that's useless.
  • Easy Amnesia: Played for Laughs in Paper Cut.
  • Exact Words: Chris technically follows the instructions Matt gives him with regards to the dogs having sex, to the letter if not the spirit.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Frag Dude. It does end with some Fanservice at the end, though. Then it does more Fan Disservice again to finish it off.
    • Gus without his shirt in general.
    • After a long hiatus, it was announced that shorts were returning in the most Gus way possible: him in rolled up denim shorts.
  • Fanservice: In the "Siri: Horror Movie" sketch, Barbara has a brief shower scene. And in "Slow Mo Love", Gavin gets off with Samantha Ireland (the voice of Connecticut in RVB), she in turn gets off with a random guy, and then for those who are into guys, Gav and the guy get off.
  • Foreshadowing: The footage Matt is editing in "Blur" is eventually revealed to be the very next episode "Secret Door."
  • Gag Penis: In the Captain America: The First Avenger (Parody) video, after being told that the super serum will enlarge the rest of his body by displacing the part of his body he won't use for fighting (his penis), Steve suggests they reverse the concept and shrink the rest of his body to make his penis really big so he could fight with it "like some sort of battleaxe". The idea is declined.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot:
    • Invoked and inverted in Dress Rehearsal.
    • Inverted in "Slow Mo Love", when Gavin kisses a guy.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: In Macrowave Time Machine, Chris ends up messing up the time stream causing the world to be under Nazi rule. Every attempt to fix this ends up making things worse, until the world turns into an exploding wasteland populated with Nazibots. He eventually fixes this...sort of.
  • Human Popsicle: Geoff and Burnie's time machine is basically a huge box full of ice.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Nathan inside the Unusual Suspects episode is hitchhiking, holding a cardboard sign that says VEGAS on one side, which he turns around to reveal the other side says NO GAY STUFF when Gus and his entourage approach. The entire episode has its actors do one big Shout-Out to Village People by dressing up as them, which Nathan of course becomes a part of. Even more humorously, Nathan dresses as the Leather Man - the wiki has Glenn Hughes of the Village People in his getup as the trope's picture!
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: The Atari Kid.
  • Ironic Hell: Shown in Will killing in video games stop you from getting into heaven?, Geoff falling into hell for all the deaths he committed in video games keeps falling due to Loads and Loads of Loading.
  • It Will Never Catch On: The entire joke in Many Years Ago...
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Food War. Not that Gus and Joel care, since they eat the things anyway.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Within the Will killing in video games stop you from getting into heaven? video, very fittingly for a gamer, falling into hell is this.
  • Jackass Genie: The magical fish from Fish Wish.
  • Just Friends: Poor Steve Rogers, because the super serum works by increasing the rest of his body's size by making his penis tiny.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Frequently, given how immoral Burnie and Joel are sometimes shown to be. In real life, they're very friendly people.
  • Mexican Standoff: In Stalled.
  • Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back: And they get it back, along with the rest of America in 'Macrowave Time Machine'.
  • Mind Screw: Coasting.
  • Missing Episode: The DMV Episode has mysteriously disappeared from the website. Wordof God says the Texas DMV complained.
  • Mood Whiplash: In Super Strength, Chris goes crazy with happiness upon gaining the glowing Orb. Cut to his tombstone after the Orb gave him cancer.
    • Additionally in Starry Night, where Gus goes out late at night to bury a dead body. He runs into another guy doing so, and the two get married.
  • Mundane Wish: One short has Geoff catch a magic fish that grants him three wishes. His first is for two strawberry milkshakes. When he spills one of those two milkshakes, his second is to unspill it. His last is to wish it wasn't against the rules to eat a magical fish sandwich.
  • Neck Snap: In "Noted to Death", the "twist ending".
  • Noodle Incident: The "ritual" that Joel performs in Hotel Buddies.
  • One-Steve Limit: Invoked in New Employees.
  • Only Sane Man/Straight Man: This role varies by virtue of the Sanity Ball. Joel swings back and forth between amoral Cloud Cuckoolander and Only Sane Man, other times it's Matt, Shannon, Geoff or Gus.
    • Matt's probably the most consistent straight man among all the shorts.
    • In both his appearances, Jon Graham (the creator of Arby 'n' the Chief) is this. The first short has everybody mistake him for Gary Busey despite the fact they are totally different, and in the second he's almost killed for video game piracy.
  • Pixellation: Blur.
  • Playing Against Type: To a certain extent. Many of the group often act differently from their Red vs. Blue characters. As noted above, Joel, best known for playing Caboose, often plays the Only Sane Man.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Happens in Best Office EVER!. Burnie tells the other employees that they got a new office, but that no one's aloud inside yet because of "work" being done on it, refusing to specify what said "work" is. Naturally, the others assume that he's keeping them out to claim the best office and break in. Turns out there was a gas leak in the building that causes them to hallucinate, and the short ends with Burnie dragging them all (except Blaine) to the hospital.
  • Product Placement: Their holiday shorts are predominantly used to promote The Merch.
  • Razor Apples: Geoff finds one in Haunted Tales of Mystery Jack spots it and warns him in time, only for Geoff to turn it over and take a bite out of an actual shaving razor.
  • The Pornomancer: Joel in Hotel Buddies
    Matt: You should be like, fucking bronzed and put in the Smithsonian.
    • In "Slow Mo Love", it's revealed that the reason people are randomly getting off is because Chris keeps playing an erotic track on a CD player.
  • Recursive Reality: The short Matt finishes Editing in "Noted to Death" is "Noted to Death".
  • Robotic Reveal: Parodied in Captcha'd
  • Running Gag: Craigslist. You can buy anything on there.
    • Catch has Nathan keep throwing a baseball at someone's head. Even if they definitely aren't playing catch with him.
  • Serious Business: Stoppage Time
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Upon finding the Orb in Super Strength, Chris and Marshall's argument about the Orb's true power deviates into whether Sonic The Hedgehog's superpower is super-strength or super-speed.
    Chris: "He's fast, yes, but in order to be fast you must be strong."
    Marshall: "You're telling me that if you went up to Sonic the Hedgehog, you would much rather race him than try a squat competition?"
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Brandon is smoking a cigarette after he has sex with the fax machine. This was possible because he's a robot.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Gus for Kerry.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Joel has some notes for you.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Why would Burnie even want a Henckman Brothers Model 607 Trapdoor?
    • Gus's volunteer trip to the Gulf Coast was totally not a secret vacation to Hawaii.
  • Take That!:
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Burnie and sandwiches.
  • Trap Door: Burnie has one that leads straight into the restaurant beneath them, everyone keeps landing in the salad bar.
  • Twist Ending: Literally in "Noted to Death".
  • Unreadably Fast Text: The credits to "Writer's Balk", which are all lifted from various Asian movies such as Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky and Invasion of Astro-Monster .
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: iBlade headquarters having a fight between the son of the company CEO and his best friend revealed as a 'Deathless' infiltrator, enough for a glance, but back to whatever you were doing before.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Atari Kid.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In the Will killing in video games stop you from getting into heaven? short... Unfortunately for gamers, heaven seems to not discriminate on the matter and will declare you a murderer for all that video game violence.
  • Who Shot JFK?: In Conspiracy Weary, Matt believes, among other outlandish conspiracy theories, that Lee Harvey Oswald found out that The Government faked the existence of Neil Armstrong note , and that JFK shot him to cover it up. Joel points out that the conspiracy theory is usually that someone other than Oswald shot JFK, not that JFK shot Oswald.
  • Wishing for More Wishes: In Fish Wish, Geoff is told by the magical wish-granting fish that he can't wish for more wishes because it's against the rules. Also against the rules is wishing to eat a magical wish-granting fish. But it's not against the rules to wish that it's not against the rules.
  • Worth It: Joel decides having ownership of the Box and also becoming Megan Fox's lover is something he can live with.
  • You Watch Too Much X:
    Geoff: What? I watch a lot of TV.