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Web Video / Simply Nailogical

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Holo, it's me, Cristine, again...

Simply Nailogical is a nail art channel on YouTube which reached notoriety when creator Cristine Rotenberg decided to apply 100 coats of nail polish, spawning the "100 layers challenge" trend. Cristine's videos feature plenty of silliness and her crude humor in addition to genuine nail art tutorials, and she frequently ropes her family and her boyfriend, Ben, into her antics. Holographic patterns are a recurring theme.


Tropes in Simply Nailogical videos:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Cristine's sister Jen, which often leads to humorous argument. Cristine has emphasized that she is the elder sister when Jen has acted particularly immature.
    Pop-up message:
    FUN FACT: I am 27 yrs old
    Jen is 24 but acts 4
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Cristine, Ben, and even Jen all get in their commentary on the more shallow and banal aspects of YouTube culture, and Cristine has made a few videos specifically parodying trends that she dislikes.
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: The "polish porn" music used in the intro to her videos.
  • Canada, Eh?: Cristine and her boyfriend, Ben, are both Canadian and live in the national capital, Ottawa. In quite a few videos, Cristine discusses various aspects of Canadian culture (particularly in how it compares to American culture). To go into greater detail:
    • Glam and Gore creator Mykie noted that when she first met Cristine, she was given the most "Canadian" gift ever: a bottle of (real) maple syrup shaped like a maple leaf.
    • In a video where Ben and Cristine snow-rolled (real) maple syrup, some of the aspects of Canadian culture they talked about were the stereotype of Canadians saying "Eh" (which Cristine admits that she does) and how Canadians spell and pronounce certain words differently than Americans do—including the stereotype of Canadians pronouncing "about" as "aboot" (which both Ben and Cristine claim isn't true).
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    • Another Canadian stereotype that Ben and Cristine have discussed is Canadians speaking and/or understanding French, which they discuss in more detail in a video where Cristine instructs Ben on how to paint her nails (while giving said instructions almost entirely in French). Both Ben and Cristine know French well enough to understand it, but when it comes to speaking in French, they're not "fluent" in it. The couple notes how pretty much everything in Canada is labeled in both English and French, but also note that not every Canadian can speak or understand French—in fact, unless you're from Quebec (where most native Francophones live in Canada), most Canadians speak English as their first language.
  • Catchphrase: Cristine has a few go-to phrases that she's particular about:
    • Her intro, "Holo everyone, it's me Cristine again".
    • Her outro, "Thanks so much for watching and I'll see y'all later, bye!" where she uses a mock Texan accent on purpose.
    • "Bake that shit for a minute" when curing gel polish.
    • "Peel off Simply Peel like no big deal", when doing just that.
    • "We're gonna add a glossy taco because we're gonna add nail vinyls next!"
    • "What do you think?", taken from an embarrassing commercial she did as a child.
    • "Don't fuck with Simply!", a phrase occasionally used in various contexts.
    • "Is it real, HOLO???!" when testing all the products that claim to be "holographic" but turn out to be something else (iridescent, pearlescent, multichrome, color-shift, or just rainbow).
    • "Dab dab dab to make our nails look fab" whenever she uses a sponge to paint a gradient.
    • "BEEEEEEEEYN!" and also "BEEEYN! Is that my tea?"
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Cristine frequently adds snarky subtitles over her cats, Zyler and Menchie (the latter of whom is frequently seen in the background of most of Cristine's videos).
  • Common Law Marriage: Ben and Cristine identify as this—they've been together for a long time and are obviously very committed to each other, but they've explained in some of their videos how they don't really believe in getting married unless you're the religious type (and they both identify as "non-religious"). They've also explained how, in a country like Canada, common-law couples are (for the most part at least) treated no different than married couples (legally-speaking).
  • Covert Pervert:
    • When Ben does Cristine's makeup, asking what to do with some lip makeup, Cristine immaturely quips "You can put it on your di-". Cut to Ben saying "...that's where those lips are going to be later..."
    • When asked to judge between Cristine and Jen's watermarbled bras, Ben remarks that he needs to "see them on before making a decision".
    • When Cristine makes succulent nails, she teases Ben by asking "would you like a succ...ulent?" Before she can finish, he says yes, he would like a succ.
    • When Cristine shows Ben her newly-bought mannequin to ask his help in building it, she covers its naked body as a light "don't look!" joke. Ben then says "I wish you had some real naked friends to invite over."
  • Discredited Meme: invoked The term "holosexual" was coined by Cristine as a big part of her brand as a term for someone like herself who loves holographic rainbows, and even adopted by her fan community. However, she has come to be unhappy with the term and stopped using it, becoming uncomfortable with realizing how it appropriated LGBT+ lingo and "coming out" connotations.
  • Fan Community Nickname: Her fans call themselves "holosexuals" after her.
  • Hidden Depths: Cristine's one of those YouTubers who has a job outside of being a YouTuber—specifically, she's a crime statistics analyst for the Canadian government (her workplace is called "Statistics Canada"). Cristine has stated that, for as much as she loves all the stuff related to YouTube and nail art, she loves her day job and considers being a YouTuber more of a side-job/hobby (although in one video, she admitted that she actually makes more money through YouTube than she does at her day job). In this video, where Cristine paints the nails of her boss from her day job, it's noted how Cristine acts very differently at her day job than she does in her YouTube-videos.
  • Incest Subtext: Cristine and Jen invoke this for comments and lowest-common-denominator clickbait, making comments like "I'll show you later, when we're in bed" and the like in jest. Cristine also invokes this in video titles and thumbnails for videos with Jen, including phrases like "I do my sister"note  and "a kiss for my sister"note .
  • Irony: Ben and Cristine named Menchie after Menchie's Frozen Yogurt—however, both Ben and Cristine dislike the brand's products (they just liked the brand's name). But considered how often Cristine yells her cat's name in her videos, you'd think she was sponsored by the brand.
  • Large Ham: Cristine is always mugging, shouting, and doing funny voices in her videos.
  • Made from Real Girl Scouts: Cristine makes an extended joke of this nature in regard to Johnson's-brand baby oil, and then extrapolates on the company's statement "We love babies", by pretending to read the bottle, in French, no less.
    we love babies
    mothers have confidence in Johnson's babies
  • Male Gaze: Jen invokes this during her first guest appearance, pulling up her shirt a couple of times and exposing her bra, with the intent to boost the filmed video's success. Cristine just points out how normal she looks in comparison.
    Cristine: No, that's not how this works...
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Jen's nail-painting attitude is more insane and needlessly lively about her process than it should be.
    "We're gonna go with some blue...we gonna fuck shit up!"
    "I'm gonna go a little wild with this one [purple]..."
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • A contributing factor to Cristine's freer, more diverse content growth was a bad nail break, documented on the channel, that prevented her from doing nail art videos for a long time.
    • Launching Holo Taco (her own nail polish company) on top of her regular day job, while also sticking to a schedule of at least one weekly video (that she records and edits herself), plus keeping quiet about when she and Ben went to help and support Corinne through Rob's Near-Death Experience got very overwhelming for Cristine, so she had to take a break in late December 2019. But come 2020 with the launch of Simplypodlogical and then being quarantined due to COVID-19 her content has changed again becoming a lot less wacky, showing more about their real personalities while also tackling some topics that Cristine had intentionally stayed away from in the past or even cut altogether when Ben's opinions were getting too edgy. Also notably Ben usually leads Simplypodlogical, while he's only ever done that in one video on their main channel ("Trying Troom Troom Couple Pranks").
  • Running Gag:
    • "Peel Porn" where Cristine plays up the satisfaction of peeling off her old nail polish as erotic pleasure and presents said act as something out of a porno.
    • Cristine's fondness for tea, to the point of obsession. Variation of this include nicknaming Ben "drink slave."
    • Cristine's inability to do watermarbling (including a multi-part series on ways to fake it) and Ben's unexpected excellence in that area. Similarly, she refers to the talented Russian watermarble artists as "witches", and later thinks Ben is one.
    • Her lack of focus on actual nail art, which started during the period where she broke her right middle-finger nail. Subsequent videos either lampshaded the lack of nail art or those that did feature it were treated as surprising. Ben got in on it, too. A later version of her intro changes the phrase "Nail Art Tutorial" to "Nail Art Tutorial (lol)" to acknowledge and emphasize how lacking her nail art content is.
    • Comparing holo glitter to a drug and claiming that she snorts it.
    • "What do you think?"note 
    • "YouTube's going to demonetize my video now."note 
    • "iT's NoT a PrObLeM aNyMoRe!", a line said in a Troom Troom life hack in regard to yellowed nails supposedly being fixed by a hack.
    • Ben and bananas, inspired by the Andy Warhol album cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico when Ben used it as a nail design for Cristine and a nail pastry in a baking collab, and the "boyfriend does my voiceover" video he does is for Cristine' tutorial for pop-art banana nails. Cristine then gets him a shirt to go with it during her Wish exploration. Taken Up to Eleven with a birthday celebration for Ben consisting of a session testing out banana life hacks from Troom Troom and giving him banana nail art in a later video.
    • Cristine proclaiming herself to be a sock when hiding under the hoods of her sweatshirts. This is about as fully-realized as possible when, copying a Safiya Nygaard video, she gets a ridiculous "scarf" that is more like a human-sized knitted tube, and she goes out as the sock she apparently always wanted to be.
    • Cristine's unusual throaty way of barking out her boyfriend's name, sounding more like "BEYHN" than "Ben." This is referenced with one of her merch T-shirts, depicting "Drink Slave Beyn" in a Starbucks logo.
    • "Cristine the Science Queen" whenever she does an experiment-type video.
    • Ben's frequent "shade" toward shallow YouTube culture and specific problematic creators, which Cristine tries to hush.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Cristine's never hesitant to point out when something she does is weird or stupid. Frequently, her commentary text she adds in editing is her putting thoughts into other people's heads and interpreting their emotions as being confusion or dislike for her antics.
    • In a cross with I Hate Past Me, Cristine reacting to her first videos ("who is this bitch and someone please get her a cup of tea!").
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy:
    • Ben is most often the Straight Man to Cristine's Wise Guy. Most of the videos he appears in has him being dragged by Cristine from something ordinary (like calculating taxes) into her antics. The ones that don't have him express clear disapproval or reluctance for her choice of activity. Her sister, however, makes Cristine the straight man by comparison. When Cristine, Jen, and their father are all together, however, they all take turns annoying each other.
    *Jen lifts her shirt*
    Cristine's pop-up text: now u see i'm not even that crazy
    • Ben's brother Matt usually starts out as the straight man, being a very worldly and intelligent man, but he's also a troll and he'll end up joining in on Cristine's antics and they even have their own inside jokes.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cristine says a kids' nail art kit makes results like the "stuff that Melanie Martinez pukes in "Carousel". She also compares Jen's makeup job on her to a bad Melanie Martinez look.
    • When Cristine asks Jen if she remembers a song from their childhood, Jen's responsenote  is definitely wrong.
    Jen: "I want my ass smacked, legs wide, front back, side to side...everything's gonna be all right..."
  • Small Reference Pools: In a collaboration with Corinne from Threadbanger, she does Harry Potter nail art with absolutely no knowledge of the franchise itself.
  • Spinoff: In December 2019, Cristine announced she was feeling burned out after constantly releasing weekly videos non stop for several years and would be going on hiatus on her main channel. A couple of month later however, she announced that due to the positive experience she and Ben had as guests on The Philip DeFranco Show they had decided to create their own spin-off Podcast series "Simply Podlogical" on an alternate channel.note 
  • Take That!: She's made videos parodying and disparaging trends like inane life hacks and supernatural Ouija sessions.
  • Verbal Tic: Calls a "topcoat" a "taco", which occasionally confuses both viewers and guests. She also calls a crayon "craown" because she claims that "crayon sounds weird".
  • Visual Innuendo: In a collaboration with Mykie, Cristine is turned into a dripping holo zombie, which requires gelatin application. Before painting, the gelatin dripping down her face looks very rude, which Ben makes several comments about. When Cristine jokingly asks if he would date her looking like that, he replies "It looks like you've been on a few dates already!"
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: In one episode of Simplypodlogical, Cristine claims that she came up with Zyler's name by using "Tyler" and replacing the "T" with a "Z" because she thought it sounded cooler that way.