Follow TV Tropes


Web Video / StephenVlog

Go To

StephenVlog is the vlogging channel of Stephen Georg.

Beginning on November 24, 2009, Stephen has kept an ongoing video record of his life since his time as a college student. From lunch with friends to life-changing events like his wedding with Mallory, Stephen's filmed and chronicled just about every little moment he's inclined to share with his viewers. He's also notable for his sporadic meet ups with other fellow YouTubers like Chuggaaconroy, Masae Anela, ProtonJon, NintendoCapriSun, and JoshJepson.

With over 4,700 videos on the channel documenting over thirteen years of Stephen and Mallory's lives, the series is still going strong to this day with no signs of stopping.

Hello, and welcome to these tropes:

  • Anachronic Order: A few months' worth of vlogs from 2018 were skipped (the 'timeline split') so Stephen could make the vlog content current again, and it took until 2023 for Stephen to post the last of them. This means that sometimes events from 2018 were referenced years before they actually appeared on the vlog, such as Stephen imitating the sound of a malfunctioning toilet from 2018 becoming a 'clown alert' on Breakfast Stream well before the vlog featuring the incident was posted.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The titular String of Bad Luck is the following, in order as said by Stephen: a tempered glass shower door exploding and cutting up Hayley's hand and Stephen's foot, Alex nearly getting into a car wreck, and their server at a restaurant spilling their drink.
  • Art Evolution: Once the vlog hit Year 7, the videos have had an upwards bump in cinematography and editing effects, motion-tracking vlog titles, and the endslates evolving into a Couch Gag with varying songs.
  • Art Shift: 9.2.19 (September 2nd: The Game) is a trip to the airport told through RPG Maker.
  • The Artifact: The flip camera used as the logo. A flip camera hasn't been used to record the vlog in years, but it remains the logo, something Stephen lampshaded in a Q&A video.
    • Many younger fans also mistake the logo for a smartphone (which barely existed when Stephen introduced the logo, and he didn't own one for several more years).
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: The ending of Peanut Butter with a History. Stephen does his signing off catchphrase... and the power goes out.
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: Stephen likes the phrase 'my third eye decalcified' when referring to a revelation on live streams that lead him to re-examine his understanding of something - in mocking reference to this term being used by conspiracy theorists, as he explains on one of Proton Jon's streams. He also likes using 'galaxy brain' to half-sarcastically describe acts of genius.
    • When asked to sing songs on streams, Stephen has a tendency to default to the rhyme 'quick / trick' when panicking and unable to think of anything else, which Chaz frequently points out. When asked to sing about one of his friends he also uses 'friend / till the end' a lot.
  • Born Lucky: Stephen's philosophy when playing blackjack is to double down and hit when he has a hand as high as 19, and yet somehow always seems to win because he always gets a card of 3 or less - which drives Chaz up the wall.
  • Buffy Speak: Stephen represents his internal monologue ("my brain thought...") like this, sometimes combined with Simpleton Voice.
    • When trying to explain his panic when Thomas broke into Breakfast Stream: "But door is locked!"
    • On belatedly recognising an object a fan had sent in in mail as a drinking horn: "It horn!"
    • When trying to explain the half-conscious decision of whether to get up and go to the bathroom when comfortable in bed: "But BED!"
  • Calvinball: When Stephen and Mal play "1000 Blank White Cards" against Emile and Masae, it rapidly turns into this. ...Meow Desu.
  • The Cameo: Mother creator Shigesato Itoi makes a brief appearance in Hobonichi Tour, right after Stephen and company finish touring his office in Japan.
  • Catchphrase: In more recent years, Stephen has started saying "...which is exciting," a lot, sometimes meant sincerely, but usually in Sarcasm Mode when commenting on how something has gone badly wrong.
    • Similarly, "'s FINE" to sum up a situation that is anything but. Sometimes becomes a Madness Mantra.
  • Cavemen Versus Astronauts Debate: The legendary Carpet Debate over whether the college dorm's carpet is green (Alex), blue (Stephen) or even black (Dan). It's black, according to an official email response Stephen got.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In the "Potato Boy" Breakfast Stream, Stephen makes a joke about one of the alerts looking like someone who has cut off their fingers...IMMEDIATELY before reading out a donation message (from a while before) from a fan who had just cut off their fingertip in a work accident. Naturally he immediately felt guilty about it.
  • Conversational Troping: Fairly often. A recurring one is Stephen (and his parents) having a much narrower definition of what constitutes 'horror' than most people; Stephen insists that The Mist, The Babadook and Resident Evil (for example) should not count as horror.
  • Cult: Since Stephen, Mal and six of their friends moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to live closer together in 2022, a Running Gag is describing them as a cult (or "the Raleigh Collective").
    • They had been discussing doing something like this for years, and an earlier fan name for it was "StephenCommune".
  • Cute Kitten:
    • Stephen and Mal's cats, Sagan and Kepler. Sagan sadly passed away in February 2020.
    • There's also Rocko, who belongs to Stephen's parents.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Stephen's father and grandmother were the focus of many bonus videos for July 20, 2022:
  • Deadpan Snarker: Stephen's best friend Alex is one, as is Thomas.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Stephen dislikes whipped cream, mayonnaise and to a lesser extent sour cream (whereas sour cream is Mal's Trademark Favourite Food). E.g. in a cooking stream, Mal is adding sour cream to taco pizza and Stephen thinks she's adding too much:
    Stephen: I want to taste something other than sour cream!
    Mal: DISAGREE.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Early vlogs are rife with cuts, as in every second, and Stephen isn't as expressive as he is later on. Most of the time Stephen doesn't say the day of the week and the camera is often facing up rather than forward.
  • Enhance Button: Spoofed in later mail videos (those filmed in 4K and with Dan doing post-production) where Stephen will often ask Dan to zoom in on a mail item he's holding up:
    Stephen: Dan, ENHANCE! (video zooms in)
  • Food Porn: He will often show off whatever he eats, and it more often than not ends up looking delicious.
    • This eventually culminates in a vlog where he jokingly debates whether he should just change the channel to StephenFood.
    • The intro to Favorite Fan Moments #2 (from an April 1st video, Day 859) describes the cast of the channel as "Stephen, Mallory, Minor Characters, This Guy (Alex), And Food".
  • Foreshadowing: The title of the 5.11.17 vlog: "My Appendix". If the vlog seems unusually calm, wait until the 5:10 mark.
  • Forgetful Jones: Stephen's notoriously poor memory (for current things, while often being pixel-perfect on media he experienced as a kid) has become something of a Running Gag over the years.
    • According to the Disc Only Podcast, Stephen was already nicknamed "Grandpa" by Alex in the college days for repeatedly telling the same stories over and over.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Sometimes vlogs get a little bizarre...
    • Day 1585, titled "25", is just one minute and forty-five seconds of weirdness. No intro or outro to be had.
    • Day 1815, "surl" (in all lowercase letters), involves Stephen helping himself to a bag of cereal. It wouldn't be here if it didn't have a dash of Mind Screw going for it.
    • And once again with the vlog for May 27th, 2016, "La Pizza Gelée".
  • Funny Background Event:
    • While Stephen is talking in 5.30.17, Sagan crawls all over Mal in the background.
    Stephen: We have a little bit to do, and then I guess get in bed - you have a cat on you.
    • In A Lot of Yelling, Tim looks at the camera from the kitchen, shows the viewers a box of Cheerios, then casually walks away. Stephen actually found the moment so amusing that he used it as the thumbnail.
    • While Stephen and Mal go down an escalator in Smithsonian, a boy behind them on the escalator notices the camera, flashes a peace sign and does the dab.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Day 196: FDJLSMTPHGBAN
    • Day 356: DAYCDSBANGD (pronounced "day CD's banged")
  • Fun with Subtitles: If what Stephen and co. are saying is had to hear, usually due to wind, he will put up subtitles. On one such occasion, though, the wind was so strong even he didn't know what he was saying. In that instance, the subtitles read "[Presumably something about being cold.]"
  • Genki Girl: Mal's younger sister Karley is enthusiastic about everything she does. Exemplified in Day 956
  • Genre Savvy: In one early vlog, Alex chants "Taco Bell! Taco Bell! Taco Bell!" with the camera on him, then states that Stephen will end up doing a Gilligan Cut from that to the group at Taco Bell. Subverted when Stephen instead cuts to a clip of Alex giving birth.
    Stephen (evil grin): I'm cuttin' to somethin' else!
    • Then Double Subverted at the end of the video when Stephen reluctantly admits that they did end up going to Taco Bell after all.
  • Genre Shift: The July 25, 2021 vlog, in which Stephen gets his hair cut after growing it out during the COVID-19 pandemic, is styled as a commercial for music albums, featuring original tracks created by fans.
  • Gentle Giant: Stephen is 6'6".
  • Gilligan Cut: Occasionally. Example from Day 1447, when Stephen, Mal, Steve, Deb, and Alex are going to see a Christmas-themed Pirates' Voyage show:
    Stephen: I really don't know what they're gonna do with this, because it's supposed to be Christmas-themed, and I don't know how they're gonna do Christmas-themed pirates.
    (cut to Stephen in the car, about to explain how they did Christmas-themed pirates, until he corpses)
    • The earliest example, on Day 3, when five guys (Stephen and his four friends) are walking:
    Stephen: Oh, if we went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, this would be so literal!
    (cut to the five of them eating burgers at Five Guys)
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: He will often say "Doggone it" and similar expressions in lieu of profanity.
  • Happily Married: Stephen and Mallory got married on August 6, 2011.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: To measure the spiciness of foods, Mal uses the pepperoni scale.
  • Hollywood Board Games: On the 2069th day, Stephen, his parents, Mal, Karley, and Kyle play Telestrations, a mix of Telephone and Pictionary where the first person gets a clue, draws it, and passes the sketch to the next person to interpret and draw. Rinse and repeat. The game starts innocent enough, with a "beaver" not surprisingly getting interpreted as "a squirrel holding an acorn". However, soon enough what started as "animated movie" gets derailed to "abortion clinic". As a former art teacher, Mal's drawings are the easiest to recognize. By contrast, Steve (Stephen's dad) draws like a toddler, with everyone bursting out laughing at his interpretations of the cues — he sees a rough drawing of a Kindergarten class and somehow thinks it's an abortion clinic.
    • However, Steve goes on to be inspired by Mal's channel to become an artist in his own right later on.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Later vlogs are titled after a phrase said in the vlog. Bold text spelling out the title will appear as an overlay, one word at a time, when a Title Drop occurs.
  • Important Haircut: July 25, 2021 sees Stephen's hair returned back to normal length after he grew it out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Alex grew a 'beard of grief' after a bereavement and then finally shaved it off in June 2023, returning to a state of what both he and Stephen described as 'College Alex', after a brief experimentation with a Tom Selleck moustache.
  • Insistent Terminology: On Breakfast Stream, the Patreon ticker is always referred to as 'the beans', which started out as something Thomas said in chat.
    • There's also Stephen's names for various figures from fictional franchises (see Popcultural Osmosis Failure).
    • Stephen refers to his preferred cereal as "Brown Square".
    • When streaming, Stephen refers to the Twitch 'hype train' as 'the high pee train' due to how it is rendered as 'hyyyyyypppeee!'
  • Irony:
    • In one of the college vlogs (a point at which Stephen and his friends going to Taco Bell way too often was a Running Gag) he found one of his old online journals, in which his younger self from 2005 states he had just gone to Taco Bell for the first time and would never go there again.
    • His insistences in day zero that he would not commit to doing the vlog for an entire year or that nobody would want to see him for 10 minutes.
    • A Running Gag is that Stephen, the film school graduate and camera / cinematography fanatic, watches so few movies and dislikes going to the cinema. He has a sudden realisation during one Breakfast Stream that he didn't watch a single movie (in the cinema or at home) in the whole of the year 2019. Then, despite 2020 being a pandemic year when everyone was stuck inside, that streak extended to two years...before finally being ended by him watching the terrible Hallmark Christmas movie The Princess Switch.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: If a vlog's title seems weird, its meaning will become apparent in the vlog. For example, "You Are My Restaurant" and "I Have So Much to Say Right Now and All I Can Hear Are Link and Pikachu"
  • Le Film Artistique: Spoofed with "La Pizza Gelée".
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Well, not really episodes, since they're just recordings of real events, but Dan and company took over Day 173, Jarrett took over Day 720, Karley took over Day 956, and Mal and Lindsey took over most of Day 2430. Stephen and Mal rarely appear in those vlogs, with the obvious exception of the last.
  • Mistaken Identity: The Breakfast stream for November 15, 2022 has Stephen encounter someone who thought he was Anthony Fantano, another YouTuber. A picture of the actual Anthony Fantano was shown on stream to point out how different the two look.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Chugga's Ark, which was filmed during the family's Hurricane Florence evacuation, opens with Stephen reassuring the viewers that their situation will get better in time. Then we cut to him in a store wearing an enormous Rocko mask.
      Stephen: I'm still run off of adrenaline from the past few days so... that'll fade. And that'll be good because I really need to relax little bit.
      Stephen: "Gah-bage Day is a very dangerous day!"
    • "My Appendix" starts off with the usual type of StephenVlog content... only to then Smash Cut to late at night, with Stephen (in pain) being driven to the hospital.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Sagan was named after famous astronomer Carl Sagan (whom Stephen deeply admires) while Kepler got his name from Johannes Kepler.
  • Nonindicative Name: Mr. Dyslexic Heart Bear, an occasional Running Gag, who is actually a stuffed dog toy with a heart reading 'XOXOX' in his mouth (and given a creepy voiceover by Stephen).
  • Not So Stoic: Alex is usually very calm and collected, if irritable and snarky. However, in Oh F#$%, The Bread!, when Stephen notes that he smells something burning while they're in the kitchen, Alex suddenly freaks out, giving the exclamation that became the vlog title, and opened the oven in a panic.
  • Opening Narration: "Hello everyone, and welcome to [day]."
    • More often than not, this has become:
      Stephen: Hello everyone, and welcome to... what day is it?
      Mal: [Day].
      Stephen: [Day]!
  • Phrase Catcher: Starting in 2022, on Breakfast Stream Chaz (and eventually Mal and others) say "It was a Thursday" to mock Stephen's habit of digressing at the start of a long rambling story to ponder irrelevant details such as what day of the week the event in question happened on.
  • Picky Eater: Young Stephen supposedly ate almost nothing but Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. Averted nowadays where his tastes are generally open and adventurous.
    • Downplayed with Dan, who has a fair few things he dislikes (including most tomatoes, which Alex finds outrageous because Dan is of Italian descent).
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: A running joke is Stephen being shaky on the characters and plots of franchises such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Avatar: The Last Airbender (despite actually having watched the later) and coming up with his own names such as "Big Friend" for Hagrid or "Boomerang Buck" for Sokka.
  • Potty Emergency: Stephen recounts the time he had to use the bathroom badly, and was held up by being announced prom king.
  • Put on a Bus: Most people from early in the vlog, though justified since the vlog follows Stephen's real life and other people end up moving. A good example is Taylor and Nick, respectively a roommate and friend of Stephen's back in college, who rarely if ever show up ever since graduation.
    • Commuting on a Bus: Some people returned from their bus trip. The best examples are Dan and Alex; the former was a mainstay during college, then was limited to a few visits after graduation, before he moved to Myrtle Beach in late 2016 and started appearing far more often. The latter is a lesser example, as he doesn't live near Stephen anymore but the two visit each other a fair amount, until 2022 when he and Hayley move to Raleigh.
  • Road Trip Episode:
    • Far too many to count, as Stephen and Mal frequently travel around the States for conventions, vacations, or visits with friends. More often than not, Stephen will include Dash Cam footage of the car ride just to show the length of their trip.
    • Several vlogs show Stephen and Mal driving from state to state to visit local video game stores, solely to build up their evergrowing video game collection.
  • Running Gag: Due to the longrunning nature of the vlog, there are more than can be listed. Some examples include:
    • Stephen not knowing what day it is before the vlog begins, leading to an exasperated Mal having to tell him while he is mid-intro.
    • Early on, "white undershirt" vlogs, which were basically Stephen just talking to the camera. So named because he would usually wear a white undershirt in these videos.
    • In the college vlogs, if anybody uttered the words "Taco Bell," Stephen and his roommates would inevitably end up going there.
    • A minor in-joke in college concerning card send-ins (Stephen had asked people to sign full-card land arts from Magic’s Zyndacar set, but people sent other stuff.). Stephen had gotten a second frame from his parents and hung it up on day 300 (when Jarett came to visit). Alex claimed the lower two rows for cards of Denny Walling (and the lowest for ‘’autographed’’ cards of Denny Walling), who played for the Astros as a pinch-hitter. There was then a joke that when people sent cards, Denny Walling would be brought up (including as a Planeswalker card).
    • Whenever Emile is given the chance to sign off the vlog he says something completely different
      Stephen: And now in typical fashion, thank you so much for watching and... [points camera at Emile]
      Emile: [looks at shirt] I spy with my little eye the three sacred treasures.
      Stephen: And it will never never end correctly. It will never end correctly. It will never end correctly.
    • Ever since Pax 2014, Stephen has an animation of an airplane going across the screen whenever he goes on a flight and every time he has Pcull44444's face pop into frame for a second.
    • Any time Stephen is in bed (or about to get in bed) with Mal and says something to the effect of "I'm sure you know what we're gonna do... we're gonna play Pokémon!"
    • Occasionally when someone says something that fits their character perfectly, Stephen will splice in a flashing rainbow background and the voiceover "THAT'S (name)!"
    • "You slopped your dripper!"
    • Stephen losing his Super Bowl bet with Alex, every single year.
      Stephen: Clearly I am cursed, so.
      • This gag was finally broken in the 2017 Super Bowl - which, funny enough, was thanks to a fourth quarter comeback and the first overtime in Super Bowl history. The Patriots had to really work to break Stephen's curse.
    • Haircut Haikus. Eventually retired in 2019, initially in favour of a Haircut Rap.
    • "There are two good/bad things about X. Number one: ...X."
    • Whenever Mal does anything differently to Stephen, he has a tendency to attribute it to 'is that what you do in Wisconsin?' (or similar) in a tone suggesting it's an alien planet.
    • A major but slightly complex one that began in 2018/19 is Stephen and Mal being referred to as Grandpa and Grandma, and their fandom (and fellow LPers) being referred to as 'grandkids'. This started out as Stephen being portrayed as specifically Josh and Tyler's grandfather, but became a general thing on Twitch due to him being seen as a 'Twitch grandpa' unfamiliar with how Twitch worked and always asking his 'grandkids' for tech support. The only exceptions to this in THE LORE are that ProtonJon is Stephen's son, Chuggaaconroy is his brother and Tom Fawkes is his nephew.
    • In Lunch Bunch videos, Lindsey is always shown either in the process of leaving or having just left, something picked up by commenters. Justified as she was the only one with a conventional job and a limited lunch break.
    • Stephen waking Dan up with his guitar.
    • Any time Stephen and Mal celebrate a birthday with Stephen's parents, expect some form of Hilarity Ensues when "Happy Birthday" is sung. Exaggerated during Stephen's 30th birthday celebration, where Stephen's parents have Alexa sing "Happy Birthday."
    • An occasional one is Stephen traumatising Josh for comedic effect, as happens twice in this 2019 vlog and then again in 2023 when he sneaks into Josh's room while he was streaming (and Josh thought he was alone in the house) and startles him by suddenly chiming in to agree with his sentiment about Tears of the Kingdom.
    • There are a number specific to Breakfast Stream. For example, every time Stephen (or occasionally someone else) makes a strange noise, the chat posts "New clown?" and, usually, by the end of the stream Chaz has added it to the randomly rotating series of strange noises that accompany the 300-bit 'clown alert' (so called because the first example was Stephen imitating an Irish clown).
  • Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: Young Stephen watched Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls A LOT, and even now (despite being a former film student) it's his go-to example whenever he has to explain a filmmaking or comedy technique. Ironically, he only saw the trope namer Star Wars itself for the first time in 2018.
  • Scenery Porn: Both of Stephen's Japan trip vlogs feature montages showcasing the gorgeously scenic areas that he and the gang visit, like the Koishikawa Kōrakuen Gardens in Tokyo or the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Emile, while trying to emulate how he thought Masae would react to a horror game they were playing with Stephen and Mal.
    Emile: [dawning realization] ...Did I really just do that?
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase:
    • Starting on Day 495, Stephen ends the vlogs with "Let's meet back tomorrow, shall we?"
    • Occasionally done by guests, with varying degrees of success. If it's Emile, it will never end in success.
  • Signs of Disrepair: The March 1, 2023 vlog has the group pass by a Waffle House with the "u" out, so the sign read "Waffle Hose".
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Oh f*DING*, the bread!
  • Spin-Off: Stephen's Let's Play channel StephenPlays started out this way. In 2016 it was joined by MalMakes, Mal's channel about making videogame artwork.
  • Straight Gay: Chaz and Jeff. Their relationship is rarely, if ever, mentioned, and they often come across as just good friends, though some viewers theorized they were together after some time (and Chaz confirmed this in some comments). The announcement of their engagement, as a result, was very out of the blue to some.
  • Take a Third Option: In the Carpet Debate, Stephen and Alex argue for ages about whether the dorm's carpet is green or blue, then turn to Dan for a deciding vote. Dan declares it's black. Funny enough, that ends up being the truth; Stephen emailed his college a while later to ask what color it was out of sheer curiosity, and they confirmed that it's black.
  • Techno Wizard: Chaz, often described literally as a wizard by Stephen for his ability to seemingly do almost anything with software.
  • That's What She Said: The variation "(Suggestive phrase) was my nickname in high school" occasionally shows up.
  • The Quiet One: Stephen's roommate Taylor barely says anything.
  • Title Drop: The title of a vlog will appear in dialogue at some point during it accompanied by the text flashing up. Often this reveals how an apparently nonsensical title makes sense in context. But not always.
  • Troll: Both Stephen and Alex have trolled each other.
  • Verbal Tic: Mr. Dyslexic Heart Bear has one. Yes he does, yes he does.
    • Stephen uses "one thousand" a lot as a hyperbolic number, e.g. saying he went to college "one thousand years ago" or that something is "one thousand percent true".
  • Very Special Episode: There have been a series of vlogs covering endometriosis and Mal's story about it, from initial diagnosis to her surgery.
    • There's also been similar vlogs discussing Stephen's experience with transient global amnesia (TGA).
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Stephen's aquaphobia is sometimes mentioned whenever they go near the sea.
  • Word Salad: In the early vlog "Pork Dan Get His Y Juz", Stephen and Alex use alphabetic fridge magnets to make the eponymous sentence on their fridge. Challenging viewers to suggest just what "Y Juz" is becomes a running theme in future vlogs.
  • X Days Since: In Breakfast Stream, the conversation frequently segues to Stephen talking about cameras or video processing (causing Mal, and some parts of the chat, to zone out). Mods made a Nightbot chat command for "Days since camera talk: 0", the joke being that it never changes from 0 because it never has to.

"Let's meet back tomorrow, shall we?"