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Web Video / Sam O'Nella Academy

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Hey, kids~ Have you ever wanted to watch a YouTube channel that covers various weird facts, historical events, and other weird, wacky things, in a manner that's both hilarious and surprisingly informative? Well, Sam O'Nella Academy has you covered.

Sam O'Nella is a YouTube channel made on June 13th, 2016, and makes videos about many different facts of life, from obscure subjects such as "why it sucked to be a pirate", to historical events on "non-water floods", to biographies about very strange people, such as Tarrare, the hungriest man in history. In spite of its intentionally low-quality animation courtesy of MS Paint and more humorous approach, Sam O'Nella still manages to be both entertaining and informative about whatever strange topic he talks about. In other words, he's what happens if GradeAUnderA was part of Overly Sarcastic Productions.

His channel can be found here.


Sam O'Nella provides examples of:

  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: A short skit near the end of his "Weird Laws from Around the World" video features two Russian prisoners recounting the circumstances of their arrest. It sounds Russian at first, until you realize it's just Sam speaking random Russian words and pretending it's actual dialogue. What's funny is that, gibberish aside, many Russian viewers found Sam's accent to be pretty good for an American. What's even funnier is that the punchline is actually correct Russian.
    Prisoner A: Suka blyat!
  • Art Shift: Used frequently for comedic effect, such as in his Plant Diseases video when giving the key word about how American Chestnut trees were once plentiful in the south of the mid-atlantic reigon—the key word being once accompanied with Sam's face suddenly taking up the screen and becoming incredibly detailed.
  • Berserk Button:
    • One of his older videos was about him ranting about Swiss Miss Instant chocolate, with how he saw that the way the product was designed so obtuse and backward (can’t cleanly separate the bags, the box itself, how each bag only works for 6 ounces of water/milk).
    • In Dead Body Hijinks, he also mentions his distaste for a children’s book character known as Amelia Bedelia, stating that he “Hates her glassy-eyed face so fucking much.”
  • Black Comedy: Oh, so much. In videos with the names of “Dead Body Hijinks,” “Improbable Tales of Survival,” “Pre-Industrial Surgeries,” and “The Journey of a Beef Cow,” you can expect lots of dark, dark humor. Even more innocuous-seeming topics like “Exotic Animals in Ancient Rome” and “Origins of Phrases” can get extremely morbid, what with the topics of human-vs-beast brutality and African wife-beating.
  • Blood Knight: In the "Banana Republics" video, Dwight D. Eisenhower loudly shouts "WHEEE!!!" when going off to fight.
  • Call-Back: In the "Timothy Dexter" video, Charles J. Guiteau, Joshua Norton, and Michael Malloy are among the people Dexter had statues made of.
  • Corpsing: Happens quite often when talking about more... out there topics.
    • Most notably, he audibly fumbles a bit part-way through talking about the Yule Lads.
    • His video on "Medieval Weapons" includes a Stinger of him cracking up at the line "Saint Jerry the Goatfucker"
    • In his "Animals in Space" video, you can faintly hear Sam stifle a laugh when describing how Albert V "liquified on impact" thanks to his faulty parachute.
  • Couch Gag: Every video starts with "Hey, kids" or some variant thereof.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The men trying to kill Michael Malloy grew so fixated on ensuring he died that they completely forgot about subtlety or how they were going to explain it. When his body was presented to the insurance company, it was obvious he'd been murdered and everyone involved was immediately arrested.
  • Discussed Trope: One of his main categories of topics is to effectively discuss various situations or scenarios throughout history.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Sam's Mass Hysteria video has a couple:
    • "Go play in some dirt you dirty little dirt babies"
    • "One nun began meowing (you know… like a cat)"
  • Does Not Like Spam: Swiss Miss instant chocolate. So much so that it became something of a popular meme on the Sam O'Nella subreddit.
  • Fan Disservice: Parodied in his Pre-Industrial Surgeries video, when he decides to segue into the part of the video everybody was waiting for: things going inside people's eyeballs.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: On the doctor's list of ideas in the Tararre video, some of the alleged options include to "tell him to just quit being a fatass", using a throat cork (which is originally designated as working, but then crossed off), and "give up and start a business making IRL vore".
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Frequently employed along with an art shift for comedic effect.
  • Karmic Death: The men who killed Michael Malloy were all arrested and found guilty of murder after attempting to collect the life insurance policies they'd taken out on him. The coroner was easily able to tell he'd been killed and all of them were sentenced to death.
  • I Love the Dead: "Carl Tanzler also did… you know… that thing eccentric loners do with dead ladies in their house"
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Does this to himself, upon any pun he makes.
  • Made of Iron: Michael Malloy and most of the "improbable tales of survival" stories pretty much fall under this category.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Shiva-Gautama-Christ-Chan (the one true god)
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: The English names of the Yule Lads sound so incredibly silly that Sam had to clarify that he's not making any of them up.
  • Overly Pre-Prepared Gag: Downplayed. He spends the entirety of his video on Daniel Dancer setting up for the "are we human" joke at the end, but the video is not too long and is entertaining enough in the meantime.
  • Only Six Faces: Sam reuses most of his character designs in his videos. Generally, though, his own avatar is unique, as are the protagonists of the stories he retells, such as Timothy Dexter or Tarrare.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Sam’s avatar may have this. Through the series, he’s uppercut a clone of himself (Origins of Phrases), smashed his head against a brick wall (South Sudan), suffered heatstroke in the desert (Tales of Survival), and had his head torn in half by Koko the gorilla (True Stories About Chimps).
  • Rhymes on a Dime: "Swiss Miss, instant piss!"
  • Sensory Abuse: Another common humor tactic to accentuate various lines.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "Scandalous Popes of the Middle Ages," when Sam is describing the Banquet of Chestnuts, he briefly mentions the women at the banquet "scrambling [after the chestnuts] frantically like the cook at Denny's when I held him at gunpoint," an allusion to one of the most infamous scenes from Falling Down.
    • In "The Presidential Assassination Nobody Talks", when Charles Guiteau shouts President Garfield's name in anger, it switches to a scene of Garfield saying that he fells like something odd just happened.
  • Sluggish Sloths: Discussed in the video on Animal Weaknesses, where Sam compares the life of the creature to that of the average college student.
  • Spoof Aesop:
    • Sometimes ends his videos this way, such as at the end of his explanation of the Great Emu War:
      So the lesson here, kids, is that, if you wanna commit mass murder, don't crowdfund; crowdsource.
    • Subverted at the end of the video about Tarrare, when Sam tries to do one of these but can't begin to imagine anything.
      So, moral of the story here is that— No, you know what? Not even I can find anything resembling a moral here. Not all stories have a point to them. Sometimes they're just sad and disgusting from beginning to end. ...And now a word from our sponsor!
  • Springtime for Hitler: What Timothy Dexter's business ventures amounted to, since he was a near illiterate fool. After the American Revolutionary War, there were so many Continental Dollars printed that they were worth less than the paper and ink used to manufacture them. Seeing the veterans trading in their worthless paychecks for a few pennies, Dexter saw an opportunity and bought shiploads of worthless paper. Shortly afterwards, the US Constitution was implemented and the new government had a program to trade in the Continental Dollars for a treasury bond, and he made serious bank with it. Rival merchants take issue with such a crazy man, so they gave him deliberate bad advice in an effort to financially ruin him (eg. selling warming pans to the West Indies, shipping coal to Newcastlenote ), only for said endeavors to come at the right time (eg. the warming pans could be used to scoop molasses, so all the pans were sold for an immense markup; there was a miner's strike, which affected supply).
  • Suddenly Shouting: Eisenhower's reaction to hearing the word "commie" is a little more... zealous than expected.
  • Stylistic Suck: Downplayed. While not necessarily bad, Sam's art is intentionally lumpy and MS-paint like.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Sam is at least 6'3" tall, if his "Non-water Floods" video is to be believed (this can also be proven in his Halloween video, in which he runs around a college campus in a costume and is taller than most of the people he encounters). The Snarky part is self-explanatory, and he has chestnut-brown hair, if his avatar is accurate to life.
  • Take That!:
    • On at least several occasions, he's made jokes at the expense of the mere concept of vore.
    • Among his list of why bending things makes things better in his reason why bendy straws are good, he lists that bending rules gets you a nomination, with a picture of Hillary Clinton on there.
    • In his video on the "Banana Republics", the CEO of one of the companies states that "politics and business are essentially the same thing", at which point an image of Donald Trump can be faintly seen in the background.
    • In his video on "Plant Diseases", when depicting a peasant having a severe trip after eating some ergot-contaminated bread, he claims he can hear Satan's voice, and that he's telling him to invest in Apple.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Quite a few times, in fact.
    • Near the end of the first "Dead Body Hijinks" episode, there's this gem:
    Sam: [...]And just as you wouldn't want some dirty carnies jackin' your stiff-Phrasing!
  • You Are Already Dead: While Phineas Gage managed to forget to die for quite a while after having a massive chunk of his brain blown out of his head, when his brain eventually caught onto the idea that it shouldn't exist, he promptly died.

Until next time, I'm Sam O'Nella, and thank you for watching.


Video Example(s):


When Bad Advice is Good Advice

Timothy Dexter's enemies try to trick him into bankrupting himself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpringtimeForHitler

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