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"In March 2011, all e-book readers will be recalled after it is discovered that e-books are shit."
Stuart Ashen, Ashen's Tech Dump, "God's Source Code"

Self-described "failed psychologist"note  Dr. Stuart Clive Ashen, or simply Dr. Ashen or Ashens, born 16 December 1976, is the premier source on YouTube for reviews of Shoddy Knockoff Products — primarily electronics and toys. He also reviews equally horrible retro British games in a series called Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of (which evolved into a crowdfunded book published by Unbound of various bad, old computer games), and most horrifically of all, really cheap and/or really old processed food. He has also created two small series of comedy videos for the BBC Comedy Extra website, named Ashen's Tech Dump and Back Space.

He has made two crowd-funded films so far. In The Quest for the Game Child he searches for the eponymous knockoff game system, while the sequel Ashens And The Polybius Heist is about gathering a team to steal the only remaining copy of the eponymous urban legend. While the first two films were comedies, as of 2024 he's working on a third one titled Turn Back, which has been announced to be a horror movie instead and not a sequel to the previous two.

Other than movies, he co-starred in the sci-fi webseries/ARG The Proxy, which ran through March 8th-17th, 2012. Unfortunately, the contest aspect, not-so-subtly sponsored by Alienware, was available only for those living in the UK. Regardless, it is available to watch worldwide here. He also appeared in the Science Fiction film The Darkest Dawn and the indie horror film Paper Jam.

His YouTube page is here (his overflow channel is here) and his Twitch channel is here, which is usually live on a Wednesday. He also served as the narrator for Ninja the Mission Force, duplicating the Large Ham British narrator of Godfrey Ho's films. In 2016, he and Internet chef Barry Lewis created the channel Barshens, which is available to watch here.

The works of Dr. Ashen provide examples of the following tropes:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: On Day 13 of the 2019 advent calendars, Ashens opens his door to find that there's nothing inside.
    Ashens: Fucking hell! Unlucky for some...
  • Accentuate the Negative:
    • Being ripoffs of other consoles and generally being really bad, POP Stations inspire a lot of this in Ashen's reviews.
    • The Poundland Special series, as well as the holiday tat reviews, tend to focus more on this than anything.
  • Accidental Misnaming: During the PCP Station LTPS Handy Game review, Ashen accidentally refers to the PSP Go as the "PCP Go", immediately correcting himself after doing so.
    Ashen: (sighs in frustration) It's confused me now.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Chef Excellence the puppet has much darker skin than the model he's based on. Also, his hair is black, rather than the lighter tone on the box. Dan Tomlinson's portrayal of him in The Quest For The Game Child has lighter skin than the puppet version but still has darker hair than the original.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:invoked Numerous.
    • He pretty much popularized the image of kid's show Plucky Comic Relief Noseybonk as a murderous Memetic Psychopath.
    • He (jokingly) implied that Rick Santorum was a Star Wars character.
    • Suggested the Polly Pockets "Cutants" line of toys was the result of Polly turning into a Nazi Mad Scientist, experimenting on animals until she could get ahold of some "roofies" and a few human test subjects.
    • He claims an interactive E.T. toy (essentially an E.T.-shaped Furby) is an Eldritch Abomination similar to the Lovecraftian cosmic horror, even starting the video with a slightly changed Call of Cthulhu quote.
    • Siri is always interpreted by him as a racist, due to being specifically designed for use in the US more than the UK. Even when being questioned about said uselessness.
    • The Wii Fit Trainer as Adolf Hitler.
    • Invoked twice for "Chef Excellence" (with the first example lampshaded by Stuart when he notes that Chef Excellence doesn't have a character to begin with since he doesn't exist)...
      • The Hero: Chef Excellence (stock photo version) is a chef-themed superhero out to stop the evil Chef Ineptitude (Ainsley Harriot) from absorbing the souls of the Chefs Tongue (famous UK health food expert Jamie Oliver), Hair (Gary Rhodes), and Rude (Gordon Ramsay) to form Chef Pestilence (Marco Pierre White). To save the day, Chef Excellence needs to store the Chefs in his patented Stay-Fresh Evil Bags.
      • The Failure: Chef Excellence (puppet version) is a pathetic waste of a man after being replaced on the Stay-Fresh bags by the also-fictional Max Hoffman. He's taken up a fondness for gin as he attempts to reclaim his title through cheap dishes for Stuart, and is prone to fits of psychotic rage whenever Hoffman and/or his bags are brought up. This version appears more.
      • Live Action Chef Excellence: This version is again reinterpreted for the movie and later videos as Chef Geoffrey Excellence, an inept cook who is more out to sell kitchen products than produce food. Quest for the Game Child states he doesn't even know how to cook. Played by Dan Tomlinson. Also called "The Only Version We Have Licensing Rights To".
    • He also believes that the 2012 Olympics mascots are evil demons.
    Ashens: I think that case isn't to protect him from us, but rather us from him.
    • In the 2013 Playmobil advent calendar, he gets a pile of green hay with holes so you can put a pitchfork in it. He interprets it as a creepy grass mask which gradually becomes an otherworldly monster (and later monsters, once he obtains more of them).
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Mentioned in his review of Human Killing Machine: is it about a human who is a killing machine, or a machine that kills humans?
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: In Smiley World Mystery Egg, after tasting the chocolate egg:
    If that's chocolate, then I'm the lead singer of Echo & the Bunnymen. And I'm not.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • In the second episode of Ashen's Tech Dump, he reviews three (thankfully fictional) games, one of which is known as Vinnie the Vole's Existential Nightmare, which made for huge amounts of nightmare fuel when Ashen found out the game consists entirely of the titular Vole wandering around a dark, plain square room. He then freezes with a terrified look on his face, then runs from side-to-side making a beeping noise supposed to be screaming, then runs into the corner, holds a gun to his head, closes his eyes and the screen goes black after a dull electronic pffut sound is heard.
    • The game has been defictionalized, including a ZX Spectrum homebrew flavor. At least one Let's Play channel not familiar with Dr Ashen reviewed it under the impression it was a real game.
    • On his website's forum, Ashen revealed a Facebook message he read on the Vinnie Vole fanpage:
      "There should be a Vinnie board game. As soon as you open the box, there will be a slip of paper that kindly informs you that 'YOUR ACTIONS HAVE DAMNED VINNIE'."
    • This inspired him to make up his own rules for a board game:
      "You open the box and it is full of jewelery and nothing else. Ten minutes after opening it the Police knock down your door and accuse you of stealing it during a burglary you know nothing about, which resulted in the death of an old woman. In court they produce all sorts of false evidence and you end up being sentenced to 10 years. Six months into the sentence you wake up at 3am and see Vinnie silently staring at you from outside your cell door. Then it suddenly comes back to you - you DID commit the burglary, and it was you who pushed the old woman down the stairs. Vinnie points at you and screams and screams until you go mad. The winner is the player with the most counters."
    • The Polly Pocket animal object things are noted to be in a perpetual state of pain and suffering after being fused with inanimate objects via Polly's psychotic experiments.
  • And This Is for...: While crushing a toy Storm Trooper in a press, he turns the handle, every time listing off all of the sins of the Star Wars franchise.
  • Anti Humour: After biting into a foodstuff described as glutinous in this video, "If you were to look up the word 'glutinous' in a dictionary, you would find a written definition of the word, because that's how dictionaries work, they don't have pictures!"
  • Arch-Enemy: The autofocus. Many, MANY times.
    • The crowning example comes during his Open Pandora review, where the camera focuses on a hair on its own lens.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • His review of the Chintendo (or "Ken Sing Ton") Vii showed that it was a simplified NES in design with a Wii controller slapped on, 2D PlayStation 1-esque graphics, weighed nothing even with a small lump of useless metal inside it, and had cost him financially and mentally very much. His reason for giving it a 0/10? No lanyard (when the box said there would be one included).
    • From his review of the Playmobil Blind Bags:
    Ashen: A young boy in a hoodie?! WHAT?! What are you doing here, mate? Look at all these freaks! There are vampires, executioners, and drunk people!
    • In the video where he announces that he'll be appearing at MCM 2015, Stuart was in the middle of some sort of ritual before he started talking about the convention and started recording. As a result, there are three items on the couch: from left to right, a skull with "THEY" written on the forehead, a lit candle placed inside of a Yog-Sothoth candle holder, and a Wii Fit Trainer amiibo (which is notorious among collectors for its rarity).
  • The Artifact:
    • The Ashens intro continued stating "ASHENS.COM" for a while even though he had stopped updating his website in 2016. It was changed to simply "ASHENS" in 2019.
    • Ashen's stylized illustration in his title card depicts him with hair, even after he shaved it off in 2020.
  • Artifact of Doom: He often jokes that certain particularly creepy items, be it from concept or because they look unsettling from the start, are these; from merely murderous dolls to actively apocalyptic things like the Santa heads from the 2012 Christmas Tat video.
    Ashen: One thing that would make us feel better, a nice, welcoming jolly Father Christmas face. Unfortunately, I haven't got any of those, instead I've got these terrifying, dead-eyed monstrosities: Santa Head Decorations! Great for trees, walls, doors and mirrors? I wouldn't let these things near a mirror, they'd probably cause a world-ending supernatural event!
  • Artifact Title: "Poundland Special", when it first began in 2009, began as being mostly items from Poundland, but has grown to include items from Poundworld and 99p stores, as well as items from overseas discount stores that were sent to him, to the point that most of the tat in the newer "Poundland Special" videos is no longer from Poundland. Lampshaded in "Poundland Special 3", where he states "We're really stretching the use of the word 'special'", and in "Poundland Special: Loom Band Pregnancy Wig", where he states "...where every item costs one pound and came from Poundland, except most of the items which didn't come from Poundland, but came from 99p stores, or Poundworld, or in fact, possibly another place where everything costs a pound". Somewhat reversed since 2016, after Poundworld and 99p Stores went defunct, leaving Poundland as the main source for cheap tat once again (though some merchandise can still come from overseas).
  • Artistic License – Space: When looking at the Jeli Baff Ashens says that "Planet Purple" is not a good name for a colour because planets are too large to be all one colour- "apart from Mars, 'cause it's red and rubbish". If you look at a picture of Mars you can clearly see that it is far from being consistently red. A better choice would have been Uranus, which is an almost perfectly uniform cyan.
  • Ascended Meme: After someone did a Gentlementlemen remix of his Retieval Review, he was heard humming it in a later video and put an annotation link to it.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He thinks this is what will happen to Shane in the Camp Rock LCD game.
    Instructions: Help Shane catch the notes to earn points and advance to higher levels!
    Ashen: ...of existence?
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: "Sprue," meaning those little pieces of plastic that come off the mold for a toy or something similar. He himself admits he has no idea how he came to know the word.
    • most of the time, if he needs a unit of time to describe a duration, he'll use femtoseconds (a millionth of a billionth of a second).
  • Auto-Tune: His review of LaDiDa has him turn the Auto Tune up as high as possible because of Rule of Funny. Improvised hilarity does indeed ensue.
  • Bad Impressionists: In "10 Reviews in 10 Minutes 2", his assistant Dan does an impression of Ashen's opening which Ashen himself says sounds more like Dame Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The second Girls' Toys review came out directly after The Proxy. The first thing he says:
    Ashen: Oh, you would not believe what happened to me over the last couple of weeks... I painted a spare room! It was crazy! You should've seen it.
    • Also, the 3DS Mii QR video. the first QR code does give you Noseybonk as promised. The subsequent codes... do not. The one labelled "Excellence" gets you a Mii with a mouth where his eyes should be and a mole or single eye on his chin named "Cylox 7", the one labelled "Godmonster" gets you the Forever Alone face, and the one labelled "Ashens" gives a tall, slender woman with a backwards three on her face named "I AM 3". Also included is a Mentski Mii called HUSSSSSSSS.
  • BBC Quarry: Discussed in his review of the Doctor Who LCD Adventure Game, where he explains that whenever the Doctor actually goes to a foreign planet in the seventies, it usually looks like a rock quarry in Wales — the reason being it literally was, to his understanding.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Anvil-dropped in the Toy Box, Geek Gear July 2016 video. While reviewing the 90s box, Ashen joked about how the 80s box would probably come with the notorious E.T. game after being all pleased with receiving a copy of Link's Awakening DX for the Game Boy. A while later he moves on to the 80s box and find that there is indeed a copy of E.T. in there, and broke down corpsing. After finally regaining his composure, he warned viewers to never ever joke about these kinds of things because they may become true.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Lanyards (wrist straps, like on the Wii remote, not the kind you put around your neck). They set him off because every piece of retro tat comes with one. "They're a waste of the planet. The campaign starts here." Incidentally, his way of getting rid of them seems to be selling them with his DVD.
    • Forms of patronizing marketing also manages to piss Ashen off. He expressed his displeasure at the Flip Video's slogans plastered all over its packaging, and actually refused to properly review a set of Carpenter earbuds due to the pretentious-sounding description on the back of its box, especially with its would/wood pun.
    • He rage quits the Welcome Park app in his PS Vita review after he felt patronized by it.
    Narrator: *Knock, Knock* Somebody's at the door!
    Ashen: OH FUCK OFF! I'm not six years old! *mocking tone* "There's somebody at the door, it's your friend Bob. He's come to tell you about the PS Vita."
    • Don't give Max Hoffman cheese bags to Chef Excellence. Just don't.
    • In his Adventure Time Mystery Bag, he didn't like how Jake is just repaint of Finn's figure.
    • Automated phone systems. He has made two videos (one even using Doctor Who footage which he overdubbed himself) to air his annoyance for them.
    • In his April 2015 Loot Crate review, he repeatedly rages about the box containing a "FUCKING INFLATABLE FUCKING CROWN."
    • Ashen hates the Super-Deformed aesthetic, and bemoans its pervasiveness in collectibles.
    • Ashen goes on a rant in the NES Mini review about the pervasiveness of "retro" collectibles in the UK that are fashioned on consoles like the NES, which were not actually all that successful in that country relative to home computers like the Spectrum and the Amiga (or even competition such as the Sega Master System), and for which therefore there is no strong cultural memory, but which people now think were what were in use in the UK in the 80s.
  • Big Damn Movie: Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child. Followed up with Ashens and the Polybius Heist
  • Big "SHUT UP!": He gives one to the annoying nature screensaver towards the end of the iPhone 5G review (jump to 29:25 for when he has his fill).
  • Bile Fascination: His claim to fame is, In-Universe, a series of video reviews of POP Stations, toys and games, almost all of which are crap. Many of them are donations from viewers.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: During the WLL review, the YouTube staff terminate the video when he mocks the partnership program.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Tends to do this as he skims through uninteresting bits of the text he reads.
  • Blatant Lies: A Running Gag of his. He denotes all sarcastic comments with "...he lied."
    • "<Sarcasm>. Also, I am a crazy liar"
    • Usually points it out on packaging blurb by appending the phrase "And other lies" to the non-existent awesomeness being described.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Nearly every foreign product has manuals filled with this. It's so bad that Dr. Ashen is angry when it doesn't happen. Sometimes even the name is badly translated.
    Ashen: You've probably read the title of this video and thought "Surely there can't be a POP Station called Retieval Mankind's Batman!"
    • It's gotten to the point where he can read them as clearly as properly spoken English, and should probably be considered fluent in word salads.
  • The Board Game: He has reviewed several board game adaptations of computer and arcade games.
  • Body Horror: The Fight Club action figures, which have limbs twisted around the wrong way and faces painted on wrongly. Apparently, it can spread.
    • A knock off Superman figure has flesh tone blades growing out of its arms due to it being a repainted Batman figure.
    • In the Christmas Tat Special 2012 he remarked "There's a fairly thick theme running through this year's special about Father Christmas, and Body Horror." The items reviewed include a starfish-like creature with Santa Claus' screaming face twisted into a dog toy, a Santa Claus on a swing hanging from a rope attached to the inside of his skull and what appears to be a Cthulhu-Santa hybrid.
  • Book Safe: In an early POPStation review he has a hollowed out science encyclopedia with a handgun inside it.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the My Little Pony Mystery Bags video, Ashens describes his friend Andy as "very keen on chemicals, fire and chemical fires". No points for guessing what happens to the items featured in said video.
  • Break the Cutie: After ingesting some Chinese century egg and subsequently sicking his guts up, Ashens is notably bitterer and swearier for the rest of the video. Given that at the time it was, by a wide margin, the worst thing he had ever tasted, this is somewhat understandable.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Poundland Special 3 (April 2010), he tries to test the Packbuster's claims with a LCD game based on Doctor Who. He also claimed that he will review it later, but it took until December 2011 for it to be reviewed. Turns out it had fallen behind a wardrobe. The post for it on also lampshaded its former What Happened to the Mouse? status.
    • In one video, Ashens reviews an ET "furby", becoming increasingly scared of it throughout the video. He eventually removed all the casing. In this Poundland Special, the ET thing can be seen in the background. He REALLY didn't like that thing!
    • Another one that's been going for a while - a single frame of a bald, bearded man popping up in several videos as a Running Gag (see Subliminal Seduction below). It finally comes to a head in Quest for the Game Child: it's YouTube user Mentski, the actor who plays one of the prisoners that beats up Nemesis during the credits. This one has climaxed with Ashens providing a link to the man's YouTube channel at the end of the MCM May 2015 and other stuff announcement video.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Has taken to putting on a John Major-esque "boring nerd" voice when reading out bits of instruction labels, especially those relating to things like safety disclaimers.
  • British Teeth: He makes fun of this trope in his livestream Q&A. He actually has really nice teeth.
    (reading question) "Is it true that British people have bad teeth?" ... I don't know. (feels teeth) ... OW! Oh no it's true!
  • Brits Love Tea: Averted. Ashens has admitted that he isn't fond of tea despite being British.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: In playing the Turbo boardgame with Guru Larry, he manages to come in third place... out of two people playing.
    • Hunger Breaks Hot Pots. He gives the chicken curry a 3 out of 10, but he'd give the beef Bolognese -50 out of a number not understood by humans.
    • Pub Original Ploughman's Lunch snack.
      "If I was to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10, I wouldn't bother; I'll just chuck it in the bin and go home."
  • Buffy Speak:
    • From his Barcode Battler review after he realised the device needed new batteries.
      "This thing eats batteries like an enormous battery-eating thing."
    • In his Deadly 60 blind bag review:
      "If the item pleases me, it ascends to the Shelf of Interesting Items. If not, it burns in the fires of (beat) a fire."
    • After picking up some bread twists in the Chinese Delicacy Special:
      "They're like a knotted-up thing of stuff."
    • In his Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of review of Renegade 3:
      "Anyway now we've established that Renegade 3 didn't so much jump the shark as repeatedly jump up and down on the shark while screaming 'Look at me I'm Mister Jumpy Shark-o'"
  • Butt-Monkey: Dan, who Stuart sometimes brings in for food-related stuff, is very sensitive and typically reacts really badly to bad food, including physically vomiting from a "rotten egg" jelly bean during the Bean-Boozled video. Stuart is completely aware of this.
    Dan: I'm not very good with foodstuff.
    Stuart: I know. That's partially why I've got you in, to be honest.
  • Call-Back:
    • During his first "Video Game Tat" special, Stuart knocks a package onto the sofa, addressed to a "Tom Bishop" starting, well, you know. During the next special, two more letters fall from the sofa, both addressed to a "Tom Bishop". Stuart quickly dismisses both. Returns again in the third special, this time labeled "Running Gag".
    • Also in the 2014 Easter special. A couple of years before he "decorated" some plastic Easter eggs by daubing "PISS ARSE" on them claiming that they were for Easter (then quickly reversing them to say "ARSE PISS" and declaring that this was now Christmassy). Fast forward to 2014 and after similarly "decorating" a felt bunny with the word "FUCK", Stuart feels it just isn't Easter-y enough... until he turns it around to reveal "PISS ARSE" scrawled on the back.
    • In the 8th Pop Station Watch episode, Stuart remarked that the only good thing about the Wii U's name was that if you said it repeatedly in a high pitched voice, it'd sound like a police siren. Cue him doing exactly that a year later in his review of the Wii U.
  • Catapult Nightmare: At the beginning of his "Fortress Guardian" review.
  • Catchphrase: Occasionally teases about making one up, but always decides against it. Two options were "Stay Fresh, Cheese Bags!" and "Thumbs up to Dingoo!"
    • "Let's see what lurks inside."
    • "Rip! Tear! Rend!" in a dull monotone when unwrapping things.
    • "Marvellous."
    • "Well done, lads."
    • "He lied."
      • Another variant of that is, "Oh, wait. I lied."
      • Another is "He lied through his teeth."
    • Early in a review he will make a Captain Obvious comment along the lines of "It's a (thing)" or "It's got a (thing)" in a pained, Dalek-like voice.
    • A skeptical "Hmmmmm" after he reads a line of Blatant Lies product description.
    • Making a *sniff* noise to punctuate how ridiculous something is.
    • "Nought-to-three sad onions."note 
    • "Not entirely convinced by this..." (when talking about a product)
    • "I don't know, and you know what? I don't care."
    • Any videos to do with Chef Excellence will always have "An excellent X" somewhere, be it the video itself, the title or description.
    • "We may never know or care."
    • "Y'know, just like the [real counterpart of the Shoddy Knockoff Product] doesn't."
    • "Mmmmm, cheap and nasty."
    • "It's just like ________, only the same/rubbish."
    • "Dearie me."
    • "...Fair enough", usually after reading out some incomprehensible Translation Trainwreck instructions.
    • "Hello!" to the point where he has it engraved on the back of his iPad.
    • "It's Poundland Special time again!"
    • "Wow, Everything a growing boy needs!" Whenever he reads a long list of features written on a product's packaging.
    • "Blimey, crikey, O'Riley" has been popping up quite a bit lately.
    • "To be brutally honest..."
    • "What a load of old guff/rubbish/tut/bollocks/etc."
    • After winning an easy first level of a game: "I now declare myself Master of the Universe."
    • "Oh my giddy aunt."
    • "...which likely contains a variety of eyelids/anuses/labia/scrota/etc."note 
    • "..looks like the contents of a catheter bag." note 
    • "What more could you/anyone want/ask for?" Usually in a sarcastic tone, but sometimes serious when talking about something actually good.
    • In the Poundworld Closure Special he briefly adopts the catchphrase "You can't argue with value like that!" He then tries to take it literally, and decides that while it is physically possible to argue with it there would be no point in doing so since 'value' is a concept and therefore can't argue back. He eventually messes up the catchphrase and comes up with the new one: "Hats? I don't even dance!", though he immediately abandons that due to it making no sense whatsoever.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: He has a passing resemblance to a bearded John Simm, to the point where the Ashens Action Figure was a modified version of the Master from the new series of Doctor Who (played by Simm)
    • Many have noted his resemblance to Simon Pegg, especially when paired with Guru Larry, who—also noted by many—acts as Ashen's Nick Frost.
    • The Simon Pegg resemblance was visually lampshaded in "An Excellent Newsflash".
    • At the beginning of the live stream Q & A:
    Ashens: ... and apparently I look like Simon Pegg... well that's the first time I've heard that! TODAY.
  • Christmas Episode:
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the early years of the channel, bit characters like the Silver Skull, Chef Excellence (namely in puppet form before the release of the Game Child movie), Noseybonk and the Godmonster of Indian Flats (Ashens has explained that there wasn't much suitable footage of the Godmonster in the first place) made regular appearances in his videos. Since the mid-2010s, these characters have been quietly retired and their appearances had gotten scarcer even by that point. Only Quincy the caterpillar got a proper sendoff (see Put on a Bus) and the grass masks are still involved in the advent calendar videos.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • In the 2014 Easter Special, one of the items shown is a plush rabbit that comes with felt pens for coloring it. Ashens uses uses the pens to write "fuck" all over it (as well as "piss arse" on the back). Due to the pens being dry, he has trouble writing.
    • His review of the Apple Newton has him give one off when he writes in 'Norwich' and it comes out with 'Worcester' instead.
    • Not to mention his displeasure with the FUCKING INFLATABLE FUCKING CROWN.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • During his review of Chef Excellence's "Stay Fresh System" bread bags, Ashen reads on the box that the bread bags do not require a seal, causing him to think the box is referring to the aquatic mammal.
    • When reviewing the Ixo Vino wine cork attatchment, he uses it on a cardboard Tesco Value wine carton and declares the product useless before bringing in a proper bottle of San Lorenzo.
    • While reviewing a Bella Sara blindbag (some All Girls Like Ponies type series), Ashens reads the slogan "Journey into a magical world of horses" on the bag
    I think we all know what franchise they are trying to cash in on: The Avengers.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: In-Universe, in the 2012 Halloween special the Silver Skull reviews a number of horror films sold in Poundland despite not having seen any of them.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: This video has several Call Backs to previous POP Station videos (his experience with Ben Miller playing the Basketball game with his extreme patience, the presence of cheerleaders in the Football game that don't exist in real European football matches, etc.).
  • Country Matters: In his Neo Double Games video, he introduces himself as an "Internet Cunt". This is the only swear word that is used in the entire video.
  • Creepy Doll: Shows up in the "Poundland Girls' Toys Special". His reaction? Kill It with Fire.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Whenever he brings one of his pets onto the show, he tends to act especially cute with them, in a weird way—such as looking for his dog, Oscar ("Where's Oscar-dog? There he is!) so he can poke him, or asking his guinea pig if he's going to going to turn into a god-monster. "Yeees! Are you going to go on a rampage? Yeees!"
  • Cutting the Knot: Almost literally. He uses a pair of bolt cutters on a metal puzzle to untangle it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He doesn't hold anything back against the "products" he reviews. Emphasis on the "Deadpan," too, as he's usually extremely calm-voiced during his inferior product reviews. Also accentuates his skill with Precision F-Strikes.
  • Declarative Finger: Ashens does it often, especially since his own hands get the majority of the screentime.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In 10 Reviews in 10 Minutes 5 Ashens reviews a figure of Artie from Shrek the Third, which when triggered says "I don't know anything about being king!". Ashens and Dan decide that because of this Artie is rude and ungrateful, and that the 'sword clashing' sound effect the toy plays is him being beaten to death with a frying pan.
  • Drinking Game: Dr. Ashen gives one to the viewer in the description of the Barcode Battler video.
    Ashen: Take a shot every time I say "Right", and "...or something". Alcohol poisoning may ensue.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Alluded to in "Poundland Valentines Day Special 2019", when Ashens takes a Valentines' quiz that includes the question "How many times did it take me to pass my driving test?" He answers "Trick question - I never passed, after killing 12 instructors".
  • Drunk with Power: He had a brief power trip after getting his hands on The World's Sharpest Knife (tm).
  • Dual Wielding:
    • He destroys a pair of shoddy headphones with dual-wielded hammers.
    • He brandishes the same two hammers and lampshades the trope before destroying a cheap plastic dinosaur skeleton. However the dinosaur was destroyed after one hit so he ended up only using one of the hammers, much to his disappointment.
    • The dual hammers return once again in order to demolish a dancing Jar Jar Binks. This time they get much more use. Much, much more use.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: By his own account, he's invoked this again and again and has been keeping track with a checklist. This is mostly concerning how people didn't get jokes such as his repeated avoidance of copyright infringement (Considering the YouTube community's troubled history with copyright), or his appearance on The Node.
    • In his review of the POP Station Laden Vs USA, he was clearly beside himself that such an exploitative product exists and is just another POP Station in no way distinguished from the dozens he had reviewed already.
    • Once lampshaded by making a joke about Polish people in his Vita review and remarking "Polish people watching are now going 'hmm' and turning this off; sorry!"
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • His tone and joke delivery were duller and far less energetic in earlier videos. Compare his tone in his PolyStation 3 review in late 2007 to the first Poundland Special in 2009 and the infamous Pizza Snack video in mid-2011.
    • His first POP Station Watch video used the theme for Crimewatch. Subsequent installments replaced the music with a police siren, since Ashens had started avoiding the use of copyrighted material in his videos. This change has met many complaints, since the siren sound is too loud and annoying. It wasn't until 2015 when Ashens finally replaced the sound with orchestrated music.
    • Fans who were introduced to Ashens later in his career would be a bit shocked watching some of his earlier videos. His bitter and sarcastic British humour is still there, but in general he was calmer, he cursed less, and he was less destructive (no hammers or blowtorch).
    • His range of content was also a lot smaller. He used to exclusively review electronics, games, or electronic accessories (ex: the Crabble iPhone stand). Later he started doing his Poundland videos where he often reviewed cheap/bootlegged toys and other household items, then he branched out with those videos and started reviewing action figures (justified since way before YouTube he was an action figure collector). Then came the cheap food specials and blind bags, and finally the subscription crates and expired foods. His reviews on electronic items also expanded from bootlegs to also including real electronics both old and new.
    • Some of his older running gags which are absent from newer videos like Noseybonk, the Godmonster, and Quincy the caterpillar.
    • His earlier videos occasionally had his pet guinea pigs making cameo appearances but the passing of time resulted in them dying of old age. His go-to pet then became Oscar, his poodle, until Ashens had to give the dog away after which there have been no animal companions.
    • His very early reviews are very short compared to later ones, sometimes running to less than 3 minutes, though this can also be attributed to YouTube's video length policies of the time.
  • Easter Egg: The strange sound during when he supposedly fell asleep during his R-Zone review. By playing it on a spectrogram, it reveals a picture of Noseybonk. Proof here.
    • On his Guitar Fever review, if you record the screech and play it on a ZX spectrum emulator you get a special message! (Volume warning!) SPLINK!
  • Easter Special: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
  • Eat That:
    • One of his most popular bits is consuming various dubious edibles on camera, and it's one of his most requested ones as well, since his reactions are generally rather dramatic. Favorites include him eating a giant gummi-candy foot, the terrifying "anti-pizza," and generic boxed wine.
    • His Easter 2012 contains possibly the two extremes of all the "Eat That"s he's ever done: First, there was a "cream egg" so vile, it caused an immediate Spit Take (for which he later apologized, it being rather unprofessional), and a marshmallow bunny that, while it looked horrifying (its eyes were misaligned and it had a random hole in its forehead), he had to admit actually tasted pretty good.
    • And then came the Chinese Delicacy Special, in which he had a century egg, among other things. Hilarity and Squick ensues.
    • Averted in a short video where he opens a bag of jelly babies that was 17 years old. The contents had all turned rock hard and were colored like ash. The inside of the babies looked like it had rotted. He doesn't eat it, of course, although a number of commentators theorised they would actually be safe to eat.
    • Whilst reviewing some old packs of unopened Garbage Pail Kids stickers from the mid-1980s, he eats the free stick of gum from one of the packets. It turns to "rotting dust" in his mouth, and he provides a picture of the mixture of tiny bits of bubblegum and saliva he spat out.
    Ashens: If we've learnt something here today, it's "don't stick 25-year-old bubblegum in your mouth." Whatever makes it bubblegum has long since passed into the ether.
    • He actually nibbled at possibly the ultimate in expired food—a forty-five year-old military ration. The crackers surprisingly weren't that bad. The candy circle on the other hand...
    • Ashens & Dan eat dead insects. Nothing more than needs to be said.
    • Initially defied in The Stinger of his "Worldwide Food" special with Surströmming, a Swedish "delicacy" made from rotten fish. He states he will never eat any, no matter how much he is sent, citing a story about a man who was kicked out of his apartment for opening a can and a friend who had to throw away their carpet and pants after spilling the juice from some on them. In 2018 though, the culinary masochistic doctor finally caved in and tried Surströmming with Barry. And it turns out, the taste actually isn't that bad when properly prepared; it's the smell that's the main bother.
    • For Christmas 2019, He and Dan each compare what they got in their advent calendars each day, and whoever has the worst item must then eat raw spice from the third advent calendar, which contains 24 packs of spices. Day 13 adds a Kellogs advent calendar with 12 portions of cereal. If the loser can guess the contents of today's door is, he only has to eat the cereal. If he guesses wrong, he has to eat cereal with spices on it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Bort Sompson.
    • Referenced in regards to a Fight Club ripoff action figure whose face has been printed wrongly.
    • Also used when talking about a doll from Poundland. After burning it, of course.
    • He used the term again when talking about the Bridesmaid doll in the second Poundland Girl's Toys Special. He said it went beyond "Eldritch abomination" and into "harbinger of the apocalypse" levels.
    • Also, the Interactive E.T. is worse than anything Lovecraft could think of.
    • The "grass masks" from the 2013 Playmobil Advent Calendar turn out to be shapeshifting versions of this.
  • Eldritch Location: The ice field from the Turbo board game is depicted as such.
  • Engrish:
    • If the packaging copy isn't quite written correctly, Ashens will delightfully read it aloud.
    • Done on purpose with his Mivich 7 "game reviews" on HuHa. See, the "console" came from a Banana Republic...
  • Epic Fail:
    • His attempts at building a Christmas cracker from a kit set the sofa on fire and reduced him to a gibbering wreck. And that's before he set off all the gunpowder.
    • In his review/playthrough of the board game Turbo with Guru Larry, he somehow came in third of two players.note 
    • The Apple Newton's handwriting recognition was already long known to be awful by the time he got around to reviewing it, but probably the most egregiously awful result in the video was when he wrote "Stiffkey" and the device somehow interpreted it as "H".
  • Even the Rats Won't Touch It: The Stinger for Poundland Food Special shows his dog refusing to touch the "pizza" "snack".
  • Every Episode Ending: For Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of, each video episode of it ends with Stuart explaining the developer's unlucky fate, followed by him proclaiming "A fitting punishment!".
  • Everyone Has Standards: He refuses to burn Lego products or knock off products that are very similar to Lego. Even if he's very displeased by it, as seen in his review miniseries on the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar.
  • Evil Genius: According to Guru Larry and Wez, at least.
  • Evil Laugh: He uses one to let you know that he may phone you.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of
    • His fake book "Fifty-Thousand Shades of Grey", which is a book that has the phrase "Shades of grey." written 50,000 times.
  • Eye Scream: When reviewing a knock-off Darth Vader action figure with a light-up lightsaber, Ashen accidentally shines the light in his eye when pressing the button before putting in the lightsaber. He does not take it well.
  • Face Palm: His Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review.
  • Faux Horrific: He once reviewed a bunch of figures from the Toxic Mutants/Monsta Fizz toy line, which mostly consisted of a bunch of bizarrely designed Mix-and-Match Critters, aliens, and monsters packaged in jars of slime. At one point Stuart brings out a figure of a normal looking woman that doesn't match the other characters at all, prompting this exchange with Harry Partridge:
    Stuart: We open one up and it's just a woman. That's it, like Marilyn from The Munsters. Is she supposed to be a victim of the other characters?
    Harry: I did scream for four hours when you originally pulled it out of the slime, but that's settled down now considerably.
    Stuart: I tend to do that anyway.
  • Foreign Queasine: The feature of the "Chinese Delicacy Special". Particularly the Century Egg.
    • Averted in the "Worlwide Food Special", where at the end he proclaims that he will never try Surströmming due to all of the horror stories he's heard about its incredibly strong smell, one of which came from his friend.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Stuart enjoys slipping these into his videos. For example, this image appears in the Apple Newton review (at roughly 3:05.)They're headshots of fellow YouTuber Mentski, whom Ashens is good friends with.
  • Freudian Slip: Both invoked and lampshaded in his Game King review, upon stating Game Boy games would not work on it.
    "Oh... I don't know what it is with you people! You're obsessed with sticking things in the wrong slot... hm. Very Freudian."
    • Lampshaded in his Game.Com review, when he accidentally gives away his opinion on the Batman and Robin game before showing it.
    • In his live stream Q&A when he's about to tell a story: "Years ago when I worked at an orifice, sorry office..."
  • Fridge Logic: invokedWhile reading a letter from Peter Popoff:
    "So God wants 25 pounds... God, the omnipotent, omniscient creator-force behind everything in existence, needs 25 quid. (Beat) Maybe he can't meet his mobile bill this month."
  • From Bad to Worse: Frequent in his review of terrible tech.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The company behind some of the Royal Wedding Tat had the unfortunate acronym PMS.
    • Another one is a company called Tronic Ace Technology Ltd. (TAT)
  • Fun with Subtitles: The videos with subtitles sometimes describe his actions pejoratively. MOON MEN
  • Fuzz Therapy: After he gets irritated by the Carpenter headphones in his headset roundup video (see Berserk Button entry above) the video briefly cuts to footage of him playing with poodle puppies accompanied by calming music and the caption "Soothing puppy break".
  • Genre Savvy: When he is about to play "Apache" in the PSP Station LTPS Handy Game review.
    Ashen: It won't be Native Americans, it'll be helicopters, I'll bet ya.
  • Gilligan Cut: After he had opened a package of promotional X-Factor instruments (a whistle, a recorder, and a tambourine), he examines the quality of the instruments, then says "I can't see myself making a musical triptych with these". Cut to exactly that.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band:
    • In his "Video Game Tat" video, He holds up a video game case that would reveal an activation code if he hadn't put a fake Lens Flare on top of it, and annotates on video: "'Obscured by Fake Lens Flare' would be a good name for a prog rock band."
    • From his Matchbox Linkits video: he mentions a figure with undefined limbs as "bumbling along on stumps" which he later adds is also the name of "a really good folk album."
    • In his Worldwide Food Special he says some low-quality tuna spread tasted like "dirty sea water" which he then states would be a good name for a bluegrass band.
    • In his review of the 80's The Incredible Hulk pop-up book, he says the phrase "exciting punching Hulk" and later says it would be a good name for a death metal band.
    • In his Deadstone Valley figures review he suggests the name "Fatal Jawbreaker" for a heavy metal band name.
    • In a variation of this trope, when he finally reviewed Chanticleer Hegemony, he described the game as being more like "Screechy Chicken Nightmare". He then comments that it's a great name for a new branch of KFC.
    • Inverted in Japanese Seafood Special: The Revenge, in which he says that "a hint of shrimp" is a very bad name for a Heavy Metal band.
    • In his Astronaut Space Food video with Barry Lewis, he brings up that both "Freeze-Dried Neapolitan Kebab" and "Third Eyebrow" are good names for a prog rock band.
    • In "Surstromming Taste Test", he gets worried that the fermented fish will make his house smell of death and acid, then quips that "Death and Acid" is also the name of his favourite band.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Subverted during the Bean Boozled episode when Dan gets a vomit-flavored jelly bean:
    Dan: Fucking heck!
  • Guns Akimbo: Mentioned by name when he gives two guns to a knock-off LEGO Star Wars figure and has it dual-wield them.
  • Halloween Episode: Occurs annually, the first was 2010's Obligatory Halloween Themed Video. Then came 2011 which included ghost hunting footage, 2012, 2013, 2014 and a candy themed bonus video, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
  • Harmless Villain: The Silver Skull, as Stuart points out in his checklist. Hideously averted for Noseybonk, however.
  • Helpless with Laughter: Stuart once had to abandon a take and redo the video because he wasn't used to the text on the box during the first take and couldn't read it without bursting into laughter at the sheer amount of mangled, barely-intelligible-at-best English on the box. He tried to continue after gems like "funny laughter key" and "6 act or talk like a fool key", but was forced to give up after discovering that, as a result of translating the Chinese phonetic guides, the box gave nicolas, Marty, Antonio Stella bottom tile, and ji plug pu · melon nai as alternate names for Nicola Amati, Antonio Stradivari, and Giuseppe Guarneri, respectively.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: "Everything Is Always Fine: Violin" is one for his review of the Violin toy. He completely loses it upon reading the Translation Trainwreck rendition of famous violin maker names. In the end, he had to cut the video short because he couldn't continue.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Subverted with the "pooping" cow jellybean dispenser.
    Ashen: Hilarity does not ensue, I want my money back!
  • Hypocritical Humor: After the segment where Harry Partridge does a small review in Ashen's style in the "Ultra-Cheap Action Figures" video.
    Ashen: People appearing in my own videos, trying to steal my shtick... Bet Mike Mozart doesn't have to put up with this.
  • I Call It "Vera": Mocked- in his Archos Gamepad/JXD 7800B review, he jokingly states that his two arcade cabinets are named "Betsy" and "Bertha".
    • Lampshaded in his "World's Sharpest Knife" review where he compares the titular knife to his bread knife named "Billy".
    Ashen: (to the viewers) You don't name your bread knives? God you people are weird.
  • I Have Many Names: The POP Station games often are renamed from one version to the next. Particular note goes to the terrible Street Fighter knockoff, which has been seen in Ashen's videos as:
    Ashen(reviewing 3D Color Games): And sure enough there's the same game as ever. And with various titles as ever, and in the top left this is apparently now called "Immortal Fighter", despite being called "Super Fighter" up there [on packaging] and "Pile of Shit" by everybody who's ever played it.
  • Iconic Outfit: Black suit with red tie (as per the channel logo/avatar). Early on, he was almost always wearing this outfit when he showed up on camera, but as years went on and his on-screen appearances increased (whether on his channel or elsewhere), his attire turned more casual.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After finding out that one of the items he was reviewing was yet another POP Station repackaging, he laments on it:
    Ashen: Oh, dear... I'm not looking forward to turning this on.
    (After getting the packaging over and done with) Right, I'm going to go have a stiff drink or twenty, then I shall return.
    • In the ninth POP Station Watch, he actually has a cheap bottle of gin at the ready on the couch before going over the game.
    • When he starts to review Williams Arcade Classics for the, he gathers all of the booze in the house to prepare himself for seeing the system ruin all of the classic games.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Ashens creates a book called Fifty-Thousand Shades of Grey which contains the phrase "shades of grey" repeated fifty thousand times. He reasons that since Fifty Shades of Grey was so popular, and his book contains a thousand times more shades of grey, then his book will be a thousand times more popular.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Two energy drink brands - "Boobee" and "Pussy".
  • Interactive Fiction: "Who Stole My Sofa?" is one done through a main video with annotations leading to unlisted branches, although there's really only one real ending, with some of the choices leading to the same results, but in different ways, though they are hilarious. It features Stuart on a journey to find who stole his missing sofa, with guest crossovers with KickThePJ, Dan Bull, Emma Pickles, Dan and Phil, and WorldOfTheOrange. Sponsored by Dr. Pepper!
  • It's Personal: The games featured in Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of are mostly ones which Ashen bought as a child and still feels angry about wasting money on.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Ashens drinking from a "Boobee"
    "Squishy boobee! Sticky boobee!"
  • Joke and Receive:
    • While reviewing a Collector's Edition version of Gears of War 3, Ashen comes across a Cog Medal awarded to "Doctor" Adam Fenix (father of series protagonist Marcus Fenix.) Given that Ashen knows how half the cast of the Gears series are all steroided up bodybuilders, he jokes that "Doctor" Adam is probably just another musclebound Rob Liefeld style giant of a man just like his son but in a white coat...only to find a photo of Adam in the same box and learn that that is exactly what Adam looks like. Just without the lab coat.
    • Reviewing video games from a 90's-themed subscription box, he noted they were pretty good and joked that an 80's box would have the infamous Atari E.T. game. Sure enough, he opens the 80's box next and has to cut because he dissolves into laughter upon seeing the E.T. game on top.
  • He has a blowtorch that he's "killed" a bad-looking Draco Malfoy figure, an easter chick decoration, a My Little Pony fake, and a Toy Story Woody Gachapon toy with, along with anything else from a blind bag that doesn't make it onto the Shelf of Interesting Items or into the Drawer of Purgatory.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Sort of. In the Nanodots Review video, at the end after the credits screen, he's messing about with them and using a closeup. "Man, I really hope the magnetic fields from this aren't damaging my camco-*VIDEO ENDS*"
  • Lampshaded the Obscure Reference:
    • He has a recurring segment in his reviews, "Quincy: a caterpillar that sings obscure Beatles Songs"
    • After he parodies a quote from The Room (2003) he says: "Let's begin a video by quoting an obscure film that most people watching haven't seen!"
  • Le Film Artistique: The review of the Valentine's Day Frying Pan that Chef Excellence made in the Valentine's Day Tat video.
    Ashen: Bloody hell. I knew I shouldn't have taken him to see The Artist.
  • Stated word-for-word in the description of Laden VS USA.
  • And twice more during his video of the original Game Boy:
    Ashen: Ah, Tetris, what a game, and something you couldn't possibly (holds up a Tetris 2 cartridge) produce a sequel... to—oh. (tosses it away) Let us never speak of it again.

    (after showing a series of pirated and ripped off games)
    Ashen: But, at least when it came to complex stuff like Pokémon Pinball, it may have been a bulky old cartridge, but they couldn't actually produce a ripoff of that, could they? (He holds up a 19-in-1 ripoff game with the same "Rumble Pak" design as Pokémon Pinball. Beat.) Let us never speak of it again.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: He used an 8-bit rendition of God Save The Queen in two videos; it broke down on its second use in the Royal Wedding Tat Review.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition:invoked Has reviewed several limited editions of video games and the tat that comes with them.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Combined with The Elevator from Ipanema on a few occasions.
    • Thinking about it...thinking about it...thinking about it...
  • Loophole Abuse: Invoked; an art contest he held had, among its guidelines, "no digital entries". So a contestant mailed him a cassette tape.
  • Machinima: One was made in Garry's Mod for the Game King showcase.
  • Madness Mantra: Gary Busey. Gary Busey. Gary Busey.
  • Marshmallow Dream: Subverted in his recording on the JVC Marshmallow headset:
    "Once, I had a dream I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, my wife was missing and everything was covered in blood!"
  • Mascot with Attitude: At one point he said that Chef Excellence's Stay Fresh Cheese Bags sounded like the sign-off of an Eighties mascot — "Stay fresh, cheesebags!"
  • Masochist's Meal: The reviews of terrible processed foods.
  • Mathematician's Answer: In his Bean Boozled Jelly Beans video:
    Dan: How do you eat things for a living?! This is horrible!
    Ashen: Usually I don't put too much in my mouth but you kind of have to put the whole bean in and chew it a bit...
  • Matryoshka Object: Lampshaded in his PlayStation 4 unboxing video, referring to the packaging as going "Russian doll on us."
  • Medium Awareness: He notes at the conclusion of his "12 Days of Tat-mas" video series that the Silver Skull is unlikely to make good on his threat to return because "I get bored of recurring characters very quickly".
  • Mess on a Plate: His review of a canned chicken. What comes out of the tin is a chicken skeleton covered in what morticians call "meat goo," which he jokes must've turned everyone watching vegetarian on the spot.
  • Metaphorgotten: Sometimes with "If you'd do X" hyperboles, he pulls a Bait-and-Switch and instead states what would realistically happen in that situation.
    (Referring to a broken solar-powered toy car) "You could put it on the surface of the sun, and it would melt."
  • Mockumentary: "Ashens: Behind the Tat" is a fictionalized take on Stuart's biography (with claims including him becoming the Supreme Leader of North Korea and having starred in Miami Vice) in the style of VH1's Behind the Music. Stuart himself apparently wasn't involved in its making; it was made by some of the other cast and crew from Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child a few months after its release, and it contains a lot of Biting-the-Hand Humor.
  • Mondegreen Gag: The Reliable Reindeer from the 2019 Advent Calendar sings "On the first day of Christmas, snow-covered trees I see, and a gift, wrapped for me", but Dan mishears it as "On the first day of Christmas, no cardboard trees I see". On day 10, Dan actually gets a cardboard tree, and he's pissed about it.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Discussed in his March Loot Crate review, when examining the Colossal Titan on the Attack on Titan manga.
  • Motor Mouth: His talk at Norwich Gaming Festival 2017 about Hareraiser includes a part where he rattles off all the computers Hareraiser was released on (9 of them) in FIVE SECONDS.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dr. Ashen himself. Anyone?
  • Multiple Narrative Modes: The Pirate DVD Showcase features a pirate copy of Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child, with the description stolen from the Indie Go Go campaign and poorly edited:
    Ashens: "...and together they try to overcome the odds — and all common sense — to lay our hands..." Oh my God, they're in it as well!
  • My Little Panzer: Many of the toys he's reviewed he's speculated to be rather unsafe to actually give to a child, common features being sharp edges, plastic that can easily shatter, LEDs that qualify as Sensory Abuse, etc. The crown jewel, however, has to be the "Space Gun" with a real working laser pointer. Because giving something that can cause eye damage for a kid to point at people is a great idea.
  • Nightmare Face: One particular item he comes across is a Bruce Forsyth mask with a disturbingly blank expression on his face. He then exploits this in the post-logo Jump Scare.
  • Nightmare Retardant: He invoked showed 5 examples as he hosts a website showing old trailers. Examples include puppets, a guy in a wetsuit, and a guy wearing a chicken mask.
  • Nintendo Hard: BlockBuster from the MB Games Microvision. It's a simple Breakout clone, except with a ball that moves faster than Sonic The Hedgehog on steroids.
    Ashens: And... go! *The ball shoots to the bottom of the screen in around half a second and beeps* Piss!
  • No Animals Were Harmed: from the no-money computer building guide:
    No rabbits were harmed in the making of this tutorial, although I did kick the shit out of a giraffe. The long necked, snooty bastard.
  • Noodle Incident: "I haven't been this bored since I was trapped in a room with a potato."
    • "I met a man with a metal ball once..."
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the Human Killing Machine review, when it's revealed that once you defeat Igor, you must fight his dog, who is named Shepski.
    • Does this twice in his Star Wars figure review: once when he mentions that two of Chewbacca's family members are Itchy and Lumpy; and again when he brings up Chewbacca taking up a disguise as a bounty hunter in the Shadows of the Empire saga.
  • Oddly Named Sequel: Pointed out by the dissonance between Oriental Hero and its predecessor, Ninja Master.
    Ashen: Leaving aside the crapulent storyline, we need to take issue with the name. Oriental Hero was clearly written to cash in on the success of Ninja Master, yet completely omits the word "ninja" from the title, thus providing no obvious link.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Done by Chef Excellence in this video, with slightly stronger language.
    • Again with "slightly" stronger language when Stuart tries to prepare beer bread with his friend, when he suddenly realises what he left in the oven.
    • A silent yet perfect example is when he discovers the packet of utterly revolting Creme Egg knock-offs he has just tried has a goddamn MAGGOT lurking within. Sharp eyed viewers may note it wasn't there before the jump cut. Because it was made of rubber and added during said jump cut by a third party, as confirmed shortly after its discovery
  • Only Known by Initials: "CS", one of the games featured in the PSP Station LTPS Handy Game review.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Despite his policies, he's so disgusted by the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft figures that he burns them anyway. However this was right after a rant regarding Mega Bloks no longer being a proper construction toy like LEGO. As he demonstrated with the WoW sets: very few interchangeable bricks are used and instead use specially molded pieces based on whatever license it's based on. So he might have just found a loophole in his policy or he considers Mega Bloks too distant from LEGO to be spared from the torch.
  • Overly Long Gag: The "Charity Video" At the end of the POP Station Watch 4: Fake PSP v2 Review.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative:
    • "Well, I've never been a particular fan of dehydrated mashed potato that you bring back to life with hot water."
    • He sometimes says something like "If you ever need X, this will do the job." at the end of a video, X being something rather specific and unlikely. In the aforementioned mashed potato review, he lampshades this:
    "If that is your situation, you should probably take a long hard look at your life and wonder what the fuck you did wrong."
    • In the Hunger Breaks Chicken Tikka video, he recommends the food to anyone who accidentally kidnapped Liam Neeson's mother, and has Liam Neeson threatening to shoot them in the face if they don't eat one.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Appears often with the blind bag toys. Stuart himself can't stand when they do this, especially when as filler they would usually have one painted figure available and then the same figure but painted a solid color.
    • Exaggerated with four cheap toy vehicle sets which were the exact same vehicles in each set but in different liveries. The sets were; police, fire, military, and construction. Some of these themes made little sense with the included vehicles. (ex: a helicopter and motorcycle in the construction set.)
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": One of his guests revealed the password to God's source code. It's Password.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Ashen invokes this, as well as stating the trope name, trying to get the Tomy Racing Turbo to work.
  • Pet-Peeve Trope: Four-Point Scale.
    "Overall, I give [Karting Grand Prix] 73%. Because I'm a fucking idiot."
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: In two videos, Ashens recognizes a certain theme used in various POP Station games as the Theme Tune for The South Bank Show, a Long Runner of a television series that aims to mix high art and popular culture. In reality, the theme is a Real Song Theme Tune originating from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Variations, which in turn is based on Niccolo Paganini's Caprice No. 24.
    • Likewise, another POP Station plays a badly out of tune snippet of Hello, Ma Baby was recognized by Ashens as the song that Michigan J. Frog sings. The song has been around since the turn of the 20th century.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In the Ashen's Tech Dump episode "God's Source Code", Ashen interviews a man who found the password to access the universe's source code, essentially allowing him to alter reality with his laptop computer. He uses this power to give Ashen breasts and create a booty party. He ends up crashing the universe and rebooting it, but types "Rebooty" instead of "Reboot", so now the entire universe is one big booty party.
  • Precision F-Strike: His review of games based on The A-Team had him swear a few times. He expressed surprise at viewers' shock at his language, not realizing that this was the first time he did so. He uses profanity slightly more liberally now, but keeps it to a minimum.
    "ARGH! Fucking...god DAMMIT!"
    • On his new "Extra Ashens" channel, he did this to show his contempt for Peter Popoff.
    Popoff: In Jesus' name, as God's servant of divine increase and WEALTH TRANSFER, I feel led to ask you to sow a SEED of £25.00, this is the SEED God will use to break the yoke of DEBT bondage and set your HARVEST in motion.
    Ashen: You astonishingly vile fuck.
    " You know what? Fuck you, and fuck your headphones!"
    • In his "Recording Microscopes" video:
    "Science! I fucking love me some science!"
    • When he opens the 80s box in the Toy Box, Geek Gear July 2016 video, after jokingly predicting that he'll find an E.T. cartridge in it, and find that his prediction is true. The last thing the audience hears before a technical difficulty screen was shown was Ashen exclaiming "Oh, fuck off!".
    • In one of the Poundland Specials, he tries to open a pack of cheap gum expecting it to be individually wrapped. He gets really annoyed when it rips open and powdered gum spills all over the sofa.
    "You FUCKING twats!"
    • Upon trying a chocolate bar mixed with bits of Tato cheese and onion crisps, he throws this in during his rant at how awful it is:
    Fuck you, Mr. Potato Man! Fuck you TWICE up the arse!
  • Poke the Poodle: Ashens does this by literally poking his dog, who is a poodle, while checking off a list of tropes on this very page.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The Illegal Activity Special.
  • Press Start to Game Over: Discussed in his "Quickest Game Overs" video and its followup.
  • Put on a Bus: Quincy the Caterpillar Who Sings Obscure Beatles Songs was a recurring favorite in the early years, but he was fired for singing a Monkees song instead (presumably he was dropped to avoid the legal hassles, just like the original version of Chef Excellence).
  • Pyromaniac: Ashen has definitely become one since getting hold of a blowtorch.
  • Rage Quit: Cadbury's Chocolate Machine Money Box fails to dispense chocolates when Ashen puts some 10-pence coins in. He slams the dispenser into the sofa and tosses it to the floor.
    "That's my review of that, then."
    • He does try one more time afterwards, however, and he finds out if you insert the coin just far enough into the slot, not only do you get the chocolate, but also you don't actually have to drop the coin into the machine.
  • A Rare Sentence: From his easter tat special:
    "I'm going to lick a spaniel! There we go, that's something you don't hear on YouTube very often."
    • The first Japanese Seafood Special has this description:
      "A paste of sea urchin gonads" is not something I ever expected to say. Or taste.
    • In the fourth installment of his Game Boy Extravaganza, while playing the "Run! Run! Run!" minigame:
      "C'mon, wavy stick man with my head!... which is not a phrase I thought I'd be using when I got up this morning."
  • Ratings Stunt: In his review of Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition video games, while reviewing the contents of SoulCalibur 5's packaging, an envelope addressed to Tom Bishop falls into view. After discussing Bishop's disappearance, he formulates a self-described "desperate plan to bring in extra viewers (yeah, I said it)": if Bishop does not pick it up in a week, Ashen will break the law by opening the parcel in his next video, and review whatever is inside. This, of course, leads into the events of The Proxy...
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Regardless of what fictional quirks and oddities he has alluded to for his on-screen persona over the years, they all pale into comparison beside the fact that the real life Ashen apparently keeps Double Dragon arcade boards in his oven.
  • Reality Warper: His helmet in the second quickest game overs video.
  • Recursive Reality: At Jurnet's Bar in Norwich, if you remove one of the bricks in a wall, you'll see a figure of a guy removing a brick from a smaller version of the same wall.
  • Retraux: His 75,000-subscriber milestone video is a repost of his very first video review.
    • The title screen for "Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of" is made to look like the error screen from a Commodore Amiga.
    • His Matchbox Linkits review features a song meant to sound it it was from the 1980's but was actually recorded in 2011.
    • He occasionally makes "gameplay" videos of fake 8-bit computer games like a Game of Thrones adaption, a Valentine's Day game where the player has to buy the right products to impress their significant other, and of course: Vinnie Vole's Existential Nightmare.
  • Rewriting Reality: Dr. Ashen meets the man who cracked the Source Code of the Universe in Episode 1 of Tech Dump. Depressingly though, the man was obsessed with spontaneously creating Booty Parties out of thin air.
  • Rimshot: He does one in the Camp Rock LCD game.
    Instructions: Shane is trying to write new songs and hears an amazing one that inspires him!
    Ashen: So what's he do is sample it and call it Hip-Hop. Ba-dum tsh!
  • Running Gag:
    • Whenever he reads something that should logically be pluralized, like "Realistic color and sound effect" or "Ear phone", he adds, "Just the one." He claimed a few times that he was going to stop using it, but it still comes back on occasion.
    • He comedically misinterprets the " Not For Children Under 3" logo note  as "Naught to three Sad Onions". He'll mention if the Sad Onion is Off-Model and dub it under a new emotion.
    • He always mentions how the Street Fighter games that come with all of the POP Station variants consist of men ripping their own arms off and throwing them at each other.
    • Argh! Jump Cut!
    • "[sarcastic comment], he lied."
    • His battle with the auto focus.
    • A less frequent one: smiling and clicking his teeth together whenever his reflection shows on the screen of the tat he's reviewing.
    • In his "Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of" segment, describing the modern fate of the companies that made the games as "A FITTING PUNISHMENT!"
    • Potatoes seem to come up an awful lot.
    • Whenever the Engrish warnings on a cheap piece of tat says that "children must be supervised by adult." Ashen will often ask who this Adult person is and where does he come from.
    • When reviewing things in a range of colours, he will often describe them in terms of flavours rather than the colours (such as describing a set of knockoff Power Rangers figures as 'strawberry, apple, lemon, liquourice and blueberry').
    • "I am going to spend the rest of my life picking this stuff up off the sofa." Or some other similar phrase whenever he ends up with a bunch of shredded up paper/plastic/other substance on the sofa.
    • He deliberately mispronounces samurai as "sam-your-i."
    • If a device plays video, he often uses a footage of him throwing a ninja star and looking at his guilty-faced dog. It became one of the earliest uploads on his extra channel here.
    • Since 2013 he's been describing gross-looking food and drink products as looking like something you'd find in a catheter bag.
    • Whenever a sarcastic "celebration" is called for, he'll put the squeaky Party Light from this video on camera along with whatever is being celebrated.
    • The FUCKING INFLATABLE FUCKING CROWN, which is the worst of the bad Lootcrate items he's ever gotten, has been mentioned several times after when he has low expectations of something, always with the Precision F Strikes. Exaggerated when Lootcrate sends him an entire shipment of crowns as a "thank you" present, complete with a troll face picture, of which Stuart isn't that surprised with.
    • Video Game Tat has a postage package for "Tom Bishop", which was a tie-in to The Proxy, a video that he did. After that, Stuart gets more packages in the other 4 videos.
      • The second one has 2, both addressed to Tom, with Stuart saying
      Ashens: Oh, bloody hell. No! No- Where do those things keep coming from?
      • In 3, the package (just the one) says "Running Joke" on it.
      • The fourth one, surprisingly, doesn't have one.
      • The 5th one has one that says "BUM" on it.
    • Any time a crafts kit for children shows up in his videos, he'll attempt to make it and the result will either be horribly mangled on purpose with Ashen saying "They just never come out the way they're supposed to" or it'll be decorated with several scrawls of the words "Fuck", "Piss", and "Arse". Sometimes, both!
    • Apologizing to headphone users whenever particularly loud or crinkly packaging is being opened.
    • Whenever a product tries to involve an obvious Visual Pun or Stealth Pun as a part of their name or design, Ashens will describe it in nauseating detail and then repeat "Do you see? Do you see?! DO YOU SEE?!" in an increasingly angry tone.
  • Schmuck Bait: In a video he made for Bad Teeth (aptly titled *sic* "DO NOT GOOGLE THIS" which talks about Shock Sites - come to think of it, every single site mentioned in the video is schmuck bait in their own accord), he mentions to never search Google for the term "Melon Wedding". If you ignore his warning and do so, google gives you a webpage owned by Ashens that chides you for specifically ignoring him and googling said phrase.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Temporarily, when the Trekking Burger turns out to be an entire hamburger, complete with a bun, in a can. Stuart even jokingly says that the channel is done, because nothing will ever top that.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Lapses into them when dealing with mundane parts of the review (package opening) or intro on whatever is being ripped off.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • A very large part of his style. He describes himself as a "Professional idiot" in biography sections of his webpages and social network accounts like Twitter. When pressed for his occupation, he insists he is an internet comedian and never brings up his Ph.D.
    • At the end of his Xbox rip-off review:
      "Terrifying thought: You have been watching an idiot talking about a broken toy for over ten minutes."
    • While demonstrating the Seskimo Crabble, his iPhone is playing another video of his which he describes as "some rubbish video made by an idiot."
    • This exchange with the Silver Skull after the Halloween 2012 special:
      The Silver Skull: Can the Silver Skull be in more videos?
      Ashen: No.
      The Silver Skull: Why not?
      Ashen: Because you're not funny and nobody likes you.
      The Silver Skull: That never stopped you.
      Ashen: Good point.
  • Separated by a Common Language:
    • In one of his Poundland specials, he reflects that Americans say "Legos" rather than "Lego" as the plural:
      Ashen: Maybe that's where the "S" from the end of "Maths" ended up?
    • When he mentions football/soccer in his WLL review:
      Ashen: It's difficult having an international audience which is why from now on my videos will only be available in Estonia... maybe not.
    • Despite being British he liberally used both "football" and "soccer" while referring to the sport.
    • He gets confused by the word "ute" (Australian slang for a pickup truck) on the packaging for a set of headphones. He originally assumes it's a German girls' name or a ukulele before finally assuming it might be short for "utility vehicle."
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Chanticleer Hegemony. It wasn't reviewed at the time as it wasn't in the box, but Ashens eventually found out what it was and it isn't half as cool as the game's title. It's fancy talk for "Cockfighting" (not that, the illegal sport). When he finally did review it, he confirmed that it's a City Fighter clone but with chickens.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Who Stole My Sofa", an interactive fiction commercial for Dr Pepper, has him running all over his neighborhood looking for his sofa, which had apparently been stolen. In the end it turned out that he had moved the sofa to another room in the house while he was painting the walls.
  • Shipper on Deck: The Apple Newton.
    Ashen: "Feature Martin do Stuart?" Now you're just shipping. I'm not into that.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Mainly POP Stations. So many that the cover of Ashenthology 1 shows Ashen fighting atop a sea of them.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Smile: To this day, all the comments of his Video Remix Competition announcement video talk about is his expression at the start of the video.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: Though it managed to convince Ashens, the "maggot" in the 2012 Easter special don't look remotely realistic if you have had any experience of real maggots. The fake maggot is a slightly translucent white while real maggots are cream or brown, and the fake maggot also lacks the dark patch on the head which real maggots have. A typical maggot is also about a third of the size of the fake maggot.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: "Hello, I am failed psychologist and internet cunt, Dr Ashen."
    • His reaction to the completely irrelevant plot synopsis for Nightwalk: "Three words come to mind here: 'What', 'The', and 'Fuck'."
  • Special Edition Title: Most of the time the normal opening animation has the semi-silhouetted Ashen on it, the opening beeps and finally Ashen saying "Hello!" as the title turns red and googly eyes appear on his image. On occasion, this animation changes, however.
    • For "Poundland Specials", the googly eyes are changed to pound coins, and Ashen instead declares "Cheapo!"
      • For the "Food Specials", the Ashen image instead vomits and Ashen himself provides the vocal.
    • "Popstation Watch" usually involves a siren and a Popstation circling around Ashen as he eyes the devices with his hands on his hips as opposed to the thinking pose he usually has. Around the early 2012 he implemented a new title that uses a dramatic crime show-esque jingle instead of a siren.
    • The Dingoo episode instead has sudden death metal and hellfire out of nowhere along with Ashen rocking out.
    • "Winter Clearance" specials has a different jingle along with Ashen's eyes roving left and right.
    • Easter specials open with a distinct lack of googly eyes on Ashen, an easter bunny appearing and Ashen holding a basket of eggs. Originally, Ashen merely said "Easter." in a rather bored tone. In 2013 he instead said it in a rather spookily robotic manner and finally he did away with the "Easter." in 2014.
    • Halloween specials usually involve a sudden Scare Chord (which at one point included the death scream from Mortal Kombat II) and Ashen donning a Dracula cape and fangs. Since 2019 he has said "Jump scare." in a monotone voice.
    • Christmas specials have snow everywhere, Ashen sporting a Santa hat, a Christmas version of the normal opening jingle playing and Ashen even saying "Hello-ho-ho!"
    • The later LootCrate videos started opening with a box reading "Lüt Craet", Ashen staring down at the box and asking "Bloody hell, are we still doing these?"
      • For the final Loot Crate video, he said "Well, looks like we won't be doing these anymore."
    • For blind bag videos, a paper bag appears over Ashen's head, as he declares "I can see perfectly!"
    • For videos based on his failed reviews, the intro is stopped with a sudden bike horn sound, with an image of a spring replacing Ashen's head.
    • For his playthroughs of a Bossa Studios Game Jam based on him, the "Hello!" flows into his commentary.
      • In Day 2, the "Hello!" is replaced with Ashens whining, "But mother, I don't want any more toast!" This is followed by him saying, "There. Weren't expecting that, were you?"
      • In Day 3, Ashens instead says, "Well, hello there."
    • In Ashens 10th Anniversary Anti-Spectacular, the "Hello!" is replaced with "It's old!" When we get to the couch, he decides the logo doesn't fit with the special, so a parody of the Universal Studios logo plays, to his satisfaction. Later, while he is discussing the history of his YouTube channel and how he used to host his videos on Google Video, the video abruptly switched to a parody of the Pixar logo, after which Ashens comments, "Yeah, didn't need another title card, thanks for that."
    • Stuart created an Eighties-styled opening and closing as a test, and decided to use them for his more 80s-centric reviews, such as the M.A.S.K. toyline video.
  • Special Effects Failure: In-Universe. Pretty much the whole point of his feature, Top 5 Rubbish Movie Monsters.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": THE GOOSE from the Easter 2013 special.
  • Spell My Name With An S: An old review of a knockoff Minecraft toy replaced V's with U's (possibly due to poor font recognition and translation, cemented by its utterly bizarre spiel on the back), meaning Steve becomes "Steue?" (yes, the question mark is attached to it) and the villager becomes "Uillager."
  • Spit Take: In his Easter 2012 special, he eats a "Riegelein Cream Egg" so vile, he immediately spits it right back out again. He later apologizes for how unprofessional this was, but apparently that egg was really vile.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: He sarcastically uses this trope in response to a Transformers blind bag with a "Boys' Toys" label on the packaging. Being a Doctor of Psychology, he's qualified to speak on the matter.
    Ashen: Look, they're "boys' toys". Know your place, girls and learn how to make sandwiches because you can never have gender roles imposed on you too early apparently.
  • The Stinger: Some of his videos have strange endings after the URL plug. A dance mix "Liquid Filth" in particular achieved minor memetic status among his subscribers.
  • Straight Man: Ashens' friend Dan, who appears (perhaps unwittingly) in many of his videos.
  • Stylistic Suck: His mocked-up homemade Doctor Who opening.
    "It's hard to believe that introduction cost 8 and a half thousand pounds to make."
    • The Silver Skull's attempts to make it big in jazz fusion.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Brief flash frames are interspersed at random in certain videos, and the exact meaning isn't clear.
    • He took to showing flash frames of a weird bald, bearded guy. He turned out to be Mentski, someone who Stuart describes in Terrible Old Games... as, "Bearded Retrospective Idiot and Occasional Face".
  • Subverted Kids' Show: Harry Partridge's Bo-Starr, a blatant parody of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), in Ashen's Tech Dump 4. Also, "Poor Monkey", "Naughty Heffalump", and "Uncle Stories".
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: The 2013 Playmobil Advent Calendar at first seemed to be shaping up to be a straightforward series of videos like the 2012 Lego Star Wars one, but then the Grass Masks start showing up...
  • Surreal Humour: Occasionally indulges in this; in the 10th Anniversary Anti-Spectacular Ashens says YouTube used to be a "little mouse made of tarpaulin that orbited the Earth and beamed down psionic waves that told you about the cheeses of the world".
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:invoked The Pop Stations do this a lot with horrible beeping renditions of well known music. This ranges from songs like "The Entertainer" and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" to the theme from the original Super Mario Bros. and The South Bank Show theme. They rarely go unnoticed by Stuart.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "I'm not recording this, you know."
  • Take a Third Option: His Extra Ashens Blind Bags series consists of reviewing various blind bags or pods (containers that contain a random toy figurine in a series) before deciding whether to put them on 'The Shelf of Interesting Items' or burn them with his blowtorch. He later added extra options such as the Drawer of Purgatory, the Box of Shame, and the Skull of Mystery.
    • In an early review comparing the Creative Vado and Flip Video Ultra camcorders he tells the audience which one he would recommend, he tells the viewers to not buy either of them and just keep their money.
  • Take Our Word for It: Played for Laughs. In the second Poundland Special, he reviewed a pair of Signalex portable speakers that plug into smartphones. Rather than using a copyright-free song so the viewers can hear and judge the sound quality of the speakers for themselves, Ashens impractically plays The Divine Comedy's "Come Home Billy Bird" while the video is muted and has a puppet of Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout express its displeasure of the sound quality by covering its ears.
  • Take That!:
    • His famous no-money computer building guide is one long build-up to a jab against VIA and ATI.
    • Ashen lets you know exactly how he feels about actor Kevin James at the end of his review.
    • After several questions about the Heinz pasta ads YouTube put at the beginning of videos, Chef Excellence made him a plate. Ashen's wasn't exactly pleased with the dish.
      • From the tags on that same video: salt, salty, too salty, too much salt, blimey these are salty
    • He has taken many stabs at U2.
    • At the end of his Game King review, he calls the British royal family an "ugly and outdated embarrassment with no real power behind it." (Comparing them to the Game King unit.) After he says this, a fake Xbox 360 achievement notification pops up reading: "Achievement unlocked: Treason".
      Ashen: Uh oh...
    • In his video reviewing Oriental Hero, as he confesses to "using the power of cheating" to beat the game, the screen cuts to Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan.
    • His video reviewing Star Wars: Episode 1 battle bags, he compares watching The Phantom Menace for the first time to cutting up a damp bin bag full of goo and other unpleasantness, then immediately lampshades it.
    • During the Bean Boozled Jelly Beans video, after Stuart and Dan have both gotten the "bad" jellybeans twice in a row, the following exchange happens:
      Dan: Can we go back to doing sketches?
      Ashen: No, they're too expensive! We have to eat these. It's either this or Let's Plays of horror games where we pretend to be scared!
    • During his review of the Rocket League Mystery Orbs, he talks about how it's a good thing that the game doesn't tie a price to its cosmetic items or how advantages aren't tied to microtransactions, wondering who would be greedy enough to do so. As he's saying this, he slowly brings a Stormtrooper figurine into frame.
    • YouTube's new recommendation algorithmnote  of favoring longer videos has become the new beef of some people, Ashen included. His response to this change? Upload a video of a can of chopped tomatoes being rotated on a turntable to stock music that runs for 12 hours, along with an "apology" message.
    • The ending to "Ashens Halloween Special 2020", where Stuart uses the Spirit Board (AKA Ouija Board) to contact Joan of Arc and ask her what her favorite milkshake was. The board instead spells "THIS VIDEO IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY Raid: Shadow Legends"note , which causes Stuart to push the board away while exclaiming "Oh my god this thing is evil!"
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Invoked by the Dancing Jar Jar Binks review, which consists of Ashens turning the toy on, letting it run for a few seconds, and then smashing it with two hammers for 2 minutes before using his trusty blowtorch on the bits that are too hard to smash.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine: Bought Tesco Value red wine as a comedy prop for his Ixo Vino review, since it's in a carton and not actually openable by the item. He actually tries the drink out of curiosity, and likens the taste to "ink and vinegar".
  • Tastes Like Feet: He uses this trope a lot when he reviews food items. Examples include him describing cheap mallow candy with a rubbery taste as "like eating part of a motor", cheap wine from Tesco is "ink and vinegar", and he describes cream soda as "fizzy phlegm."
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In Self-Assembly Iron-Vehicle Review Ashen mocks the toy's "puzzle" classification by claiming it won't have any instructions. It winds up not having instructions.
    • "Let's hope it's not in any way poisonous."
    • In the Apple Newton MessagePad review, having discovered just how awful the device's handwriting recognition is.
      (Ashen writes 'UAE' in the 'Country' space)
      Ashen: United Arab Emirates. There we are. Even you can't get three letters wrong.
      Newton: June
    • Stuart laments talking up the iPhone microscope's price when he purchased it (30 GBP) as it breaks off while he's trying to attach it to the case. Subverted in that he does successfully reattach it shortly after.
    Ashen: "I shouldn't have set it up saying it was expensive; I set myself up for a fall..."
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: The HaiPad review has him humming this tune during the many loading lags. Later, the Wii U's lags almost destroyed his ability to whistle, he was called on to do it so much.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: He's pleased that the Packbuster packaging-opening tool doesn't have packaging that you would need the tool itself for; you just use the precut notch to pull off a strip and get inside.
  • The Many Deaths of You: For him, it was The Many Quick Deaths of You. He had two videos timing the fastest deaths in video games. One game killed you in less than a second.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Apparently the only way he could adequately review the dancing Jar Jar Binks toy was with two hammers. And a blowtorch.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: In his Onda e-book review, Ashen pronounces "Amazon" wrong a few times, then later reveals he did it deliberately to bait the more impulsive viewers into writing comments on the video expressing obnoxious corrections on the pronunciation before watching the review further. The result was several removed comments.
  • Third-Person Person: The Silver Skull.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    • Whenever approaching a product he really isn't going to like (such as the Poundland food, which he seemed to genuinely fear eating).
    • Whenever he reviews a Popstation, PCP Station, or other cheap knock-off games.
    • Upon cracking open the Chinese delicacy century egg. His apprehension at having to eat it is immediately obvious even without him saying a word.
    • Before he prepares and eats the Hunger Breaks All Day Breakfast he is appalled by the image on the tin and comments that it's "gonna hurt" (while painfully mispronouncing "hurt").
  • Timed Mission: A video where he set himself the task of reviewing 10 items in 10 minutes.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • He seems to like celery.
    • He's fond of Cadbury cream eggs and Kinder Surpise chocolate as well, going by his reaction to them.
    • He's also a fan of seafood, as evidenced by him liking some of the seafood featured on his food specials.
  • Tradesnark™: From Poundland Special 4: "[This fake LEGO set is] from a company called 'Best-Lock—' registered trademark '—Construction Toys'."
  • Trivially Obvious: During his review of the Terminator 1.8 device, he tries to figure out what game "Stone" was based on. He initially guesses Columns, but realizes that Columns had three rows of blocks per falling piece, as opposed to two. He then guesses Dr. Mario, but realizes that there are no special blocks to clear to complete a stage. Finally, he declares, "There's lots of games similar to this. This is one of them!"
  • Unfortunate Implications:invoked
  • Unreliable Narrator: The audio version of his no-money computer building guide.
  • Uranus Is Showing: In his video on the Space Phenomena Top Trumps he sarcastically laughs every time he says Uranus.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: As with most holidays, he does one almost yearly where he looks at Valentine's Day themed junk sold at the 99p store. He skipped 2014 due to the lack of new and sufficiently bad items.
  • Values Dissonance: When looking over a 1961 novelties catalogue Ashens is quite taken aback by how many of these "harmless pranks" involve explosives.
    • In "Stupidly Long Crap Food Special" he's baffled by the US legal drinking age.
    Stuart: [Reading off of a box for Larry the Cable Guy's Beer Bread] "Of course, you have to be 21 or older to drink it." What the fuck? Where does he live, Saudi Arabia?
  • Verbal Tic: Several. Whenever Stuart puts something in his mouth it's common for him to make mumbling noises, usually before having an immediate Spit Take reaction.
  • Viewers Are Morons: He takes offense at the Play Station Vita's "Welcome Park" tutorial program, which has the voiceover of a children's show. He doesn't even give it 10 seconds before he rudely cuts it off.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: At least thrice now - once when he found a maggot (actually fake and put there as a prank) in a pack of nasty-tasting chocolate he was sent, at which point he simply abruptly dropped the packet and ran off, again when he ate a portion of a century egg, and the third time being when he drank a massively expired Diet Coke. In all three cases we were treated to a "TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PLEASE STAND BY" holding slide featuring a vomiting cartoon Ashens.
    • In the Bean Boozled Jellybeans episode, Dan runs off and vomits into Stuart's toilet after both he and Stuart bite into a rotten egg flavoured jelly bean.
  • Waxing Lyrical:
    • When reviewing the Meze 88 Classics headphones, he holds up a gold-plated socket adaptor and says "Gold. Always believe in your soul."
    • Inadvertently done in the Violin — Wonderful sound, Strange shape review when he read out the lyrics to a Korean pop song called Eternal Morning that was printed on said toy's box.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: Various segments of Ashen's Food Specials involve him examining, cooking and even tasting packaged/tinned food and drinks that are years, if not decades, past their expiry date.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?:
    • Right after the announcement of his intention to upload a new video every day during Christmas 2010 for "The Twelve Days of Tatmas".
    • More directly in the 8th entry in that series, in which he attempts to assemble Christmas crackers.
    • Inverted on occasion with "What could possibly go right?"
  • A Winner Is You
    • Oriental Hero ends with some very plain "Mission Completed" text.
    Ashen: There are no words...
  • Why Won't You Die?: Ashens shouts this in Punctuated Pounding form while attacking a Jar Jar Binks toy with a hammer.
  • Word Salad Title: Each of the Poundland Special videos are named with one word from each of the items shown strung together, resulting in titles like "Crawling Beyblade Toilet Vehicle Set"
    • Retieval Mankind's Batman, as well as other POP Station jargon.
  • World of Weirdness: The show is technically set in the Reviewaverse due to cameos. And if you watched Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child, you know his universe is weird.
  • Zeerust: In his Xbox One unboxing video, he comments how the console's slick black square aesthetics looks like "what people in the seventies thought things in the future would look like" and has sort of come to pass.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ashens


Antonio Stella BOTTOM TILE?!

The creators of a violin toy inexplicably translated Chinese phonetic guides for the names of famous violin makers, resulting in some of the most glorious gibberish ever created by a machine translator. So glorious, in fact, that Stuart was forced to abandon the first take and get used to the text so he could do a second take without bursting into uncontrollable laughter.

How well does it match the trope?

4.97 (31 votes)

Example of:

Main / Corpsing

Media sources: