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Picture, if you will, a little boy in Ireland, who consumed various pieces of media in his life, much like you or I. From the famous tricycle scene from The Shining that resulted in him going home early from a friend's sleepover, to the fight scene between Goku and Frieza from Dragon Ball Z, his interests expanded throughout various mediums, such as film, shounen anime, and video games. Later on, that boy grew up, and found some of his favorite internet reviewers like Beatrice the Golden Witch and The Happy Video Game Nerd. Inspired by these reviewers (and after getting particularly incensed at a podcast shit-talking Hunter × Hunter), the boy created his own Youtube channel that focused on his various interests in the visual, writing, and even business aspects of fiction, and soon enough, he found great popularity, even receiving a shout out from a few of those very reviewers. That boy was John Walsh, and his channel was Super Eyepatch Wolf.

An analytical channel that initially focused on anime before branching out to various mediums and topics, what stands out about SEW is that the show and analysis don't focus so much on John's own opinions, but breaking down the mechanics of how shows are created; their appeal; the components that make up those shows; and sometimes even why they've declined, are lacking in appeal, or he feels they're less than good. And whether it be the ending of Naruto, the components of Jotaro's character design, or the evolution of Samurai Jack, he has more than a bit to say about all of them.

Space Jam Two: Battle for Reality, the Fan Sequel from his video Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros is Lying to You, has its own trope page.

Tropes discussed in and applying to Super Eyepatch Wolf

  • Accentuate the Negative: Mostly averted. He has stated that in general he tries not to go after pieces of media, as he'd much rather focus on things he's actually passionate about. He states that his main criteria in making a mostly negative/critical video is if the media's failure has a story behind it, or if he sees a large amount of missed potential. Some examples of videos in this vein are the ones about 2016 adaptation of Berserk and the Junji Ito Collection anime.
  • All for Nothing: A hilarious example was revealed in his appearance in the Best Friendcast. His entire channel was started over an angered response to Woolie lambasting Hunter × Hunter on the podcast, only to eventually learn that Woolie was talking about the old, bad adaptation.
  • All There in the Manual: Far and away his biggest complaint regarding Final Fantasy XV. The game's decision to limit large swaths of the story to supplementary material and DLC causes the story to feel disjointed and uneven, and prevents much of the story overall from having its desired result.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Discussed in What The Internet Did To Garfield, in an effort to explain why Garfield inspires so many horror-based fan works. Wolf theorises that it's because it's so easy to twist the life of Jon Arbuckle into an existential nightmare, with the way he's been stripped of his main character status and original purpose, and has been reduced to a pathetic loser to be belittled by and suffer at the paws of Garfield. And considering the franchise is one of the biggest merchandising empires on the planet and the way Jim Davis has taken steps to ensure the comic will continue even after he's gone, there's little hope of escape for Jon.invoked
    Garfield has always been about a person trapped with a cold, nihilistic being that torments him, and it's been that way for 40 years.
  • An Aesop:
    • Discussed in his Buying a PC With Dell video, which chronicles his frustrations and anxiety over him ordering a new PC that he couldn't get working properly and which he struggled with for months. Ultimately, he feels that if there was any real lesson to be had from his awful experience, it's that you shouldn't be afraid to acknowledge your limits and accept help from other people. He acknowledges that most of his problems came from making an uninformed decision and then trying to resolve it all on his own, whereas if he had asked help from his viewers or other knowledgeable people the whole thing could have been avoided.
    • Influencer Courses Are Garbage: The Dark Side Of Content Creation ends on the message that aspiring content creators should focus on the things they want to make rather than what they feel they have to make. Youtube's system is designed to condition creators into emphasizing analytics and stats as it is, which influencer courses further exploit with vague jargon and outdated information to drain people of money and morale.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • John notes that One Piece has many loose ends that Oda leaves still unanswered, such as: how Blackbeard can use two Devil Fruits when he should instantly die from it, whatever the Eldritch Abomination at the end of the Thriller Bark arc was, and how nobody wears an eyepatch in spite of the work being centered about pirates.
    • John was not fond of many of the events of 2017, with Trump riots, North Korea disputes with America, and Eromanga Sensei getting air time.
    • Repeated again when detailing the early events of 2020: threats of World War III, the global COVID-19 pandemic, and Shenmue III being a disappointment.
  • Art Evolution: Discussed multiple times across different videos.
    • In his Bleach and Naruto videos, he cites both series as negative examples of the trope, explaining how over time the artwork in both series became more stiff, lifeless and plastic compared to the more expressive and characterful art of the series' earlier chapters. His stance on the former would soften over time, though, with him saying in a follow-up video four years later that while the artstyle certainly changed in the later chapters, it didn't necessarily become worse.
    • He addresses this briefly in Attack on Titan, saying that Isayama's artwork was very rough and lacking in the initial chapters, but that over time he's gotten better.
    • He cites Hirohiko Araki's art in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure as a more positive example, with his art becoming both more detailed and loose, yet still highly expressive as time went on.
  • Artistic License – History: While his videos on professional wrestling are very well-researched, his retellings of wrestling storylines occasionally simplify events to make them a bit easier for non-fans to follow. For example: his take on the story of the Golden☆Lovers glosses over the fact that Prince Devitt was the leader of Bullet Club (not just a member) when he first faced Kenny Omega, that Bullet Club had two leaders before Kenny (not just one), and that Bullet Club's members weren't all Americans before Kenny joined (Devitt, in fact, is Irish). Similarly: his recap of EVIL's heel turn refers to Kenta as the leader of Bullet Club, even though Kenta was just their acting leader at the time (their actual leader, Jay White, was temporarily unable to travel to Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Became Their Own Antithesis:
    • In "The Fall of the Simpsons", John argues that this is what made The Simpsons so dreadful after season 8: it began as a ferocious backlash against the cookie cutter sitcoms of the 1980s, as well as a satire of pop culture. But around the turn of the century, The Simpsons devolved into the same cheap gags and narratives of the most cheesy sitcoms that it was mocking.
    • Played for Laughs in What The Internet Did To Undertale. John starts heaping praise onto the Crossverse AU, noting that if you can understand all the complicated worldbuilding, it's a great piece of media... only to realize that he has, in essence, become a Kingdom Hearts fan.
      "I have become everything I once hated... Oh, well."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Mickey plays a few songs, meets a cute girl mouse, abuses animals for about 4 straight minutes..."invoked
  • Brick Joke: The Bizarre World of Fake Psychics opens with the story of 'The Prophet Hen of Leeds', where the 19th century con artist Mary Bateman convinced people that she owned a chicken that would lay eggs with the words 'Christ is coming' on them by writing the message on an already-laid egg, then inserting it back into the chicken. This gets another nod near the end of video, as John discusses how Phony Psychics are still being promoted by the media and believed to this day.
    These people are still shoving their hands up the asses of chickens, and we're APPLAUDING them!
  • Brutal Honesty: When discussing the fixed version of Shinobu and Kira's confrontation in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable and how it's difficult to access due to release circumstances, John admits that one's best bet is probably going to be piracy.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I want to talk...about _________." / "Let's talk...about _________." / "What say we talk...about _________?"
    • "Something _________ starts to happen..."
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The horrible €2,300 Dell PC John bought managed to become a real life example. After half a year of losing his mind trying in vain to fix it, Dell put him in contact with a resolution manager who finally let him return it, along with all the parts he bought for it, for a full refund. He was more than happy to send the machine back to them and out of his life forever... only to recoil in horror as he finds it sitting in his mail again a week later.
    John: I really wish I was joking about this bit, but I am not. I've become frightened the machine has some kind of horrific sentience. I very seriously consider setting it on fire.
  • The Comically Serious: Much of John's humor comes from the contrast between his melodramatic professionalism and the bizarre topics he covers.
  • Cosmic Retcon: During the production of What The Internet Has Done To Garfield, John is highly unsettled that, despite his repeated claims to have "never been a big Garfield fan" in his youth, his mother has photographic proof that he owned a stuffed Garfield toy as a child, thus showing that he was actually a fan to some extent, and this apparently only happened once he started noticing just how much of the world was filled with Garfield merchandise.
  • Creator's Apathy: Discussed and Defied. In his video discussing the ending of Naruto, John notes that while there's a perception that creators get lazy whenever their manga declines, this isn't necessarily their fault and not always the case, since they have long work schedules and frequently put themselves through hell to stay ahead of the deadlines.invoked
  • Creator Breakdown: invoked
    • Discusses this with various mangakas. John states that the oppressive working conditions of the weekly manga grind are fundamentally unsustainable and typically lead to Creator Breakdown, with creators developing severe health issues and/or suffering major burnout in their desperate attempts to keep up. As a result, their work eventually starts taking massive nosedives in the quality of their art and/or storytelling (or they're forced to delegate it to an assistant). He brings this up with Naruto and Kishimoto, with his speculation that the artwork having changed due to delegating it. invoked
    • It's discussed again at the end of "What the Internet Did to Undertale". Toby Fox, the creator and director of Undertale, was caught completely off-guard with how fast the game exploded in popularity. Fox sadly admitted in an interview that "my life has changed permanently and will never change back", even advising certain streamers and YouTubers not to play the game because he was getting sick of the Unpleasable Fanbase and its more ravenous supporters. Even John sounds kind of sad when talking about Fox's frustrations.invoked
    • "Buying a PC With Dell: My Journey Into Hell" is a semi-parodic example for Eyepatch Wolf himself as he suffers emotional and psychological breakdowns over the course of trying to get his new computer working. Given this is an actual event that occurred to John in real life, the video is also catharsis over how he got past the breakdown. invoked
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • The only compliment he can give to Hungry Marie is that if one squints hard enough, it almost looks like a martial-arts Yuri.
    • While he says that the fact that Shenmue III even exists is the most impressive thing about the game quite sincerely, it's also an indictment of how horribly underwhelming it is for something that was hotly anticipated for nearly two decades.
    • invokedAfter fellow YouTuber Atrocity Guide had her video on Breatharianismnote  taken down for not giving a "balanced view" of the subject,note  John resolves to not make the same mistake and offers up some of the "positives" of the movement in The Bizarre World of Fake Psychics:
      Your grocery bill will go down. You will meet some "interesting" people. You will lose weight. Some folk say it "feels nice". Now, it has killed several people-
    • While talking about the short-lived Neru: Way of the Martial Artist in his 2022 Current State of Shonen Jump video, all he had to say was "This manga has fantastic artwork", delivered in a tone that made it obvious that he couldn't think of anything else noteworthy about it.
  • Deconstruction: Discussed in What the Internet Did to Garfield. As John points out: one of the things that makes horror-themed Garfield parodies so uniquely disturbing is that they serve to highlight how mean-spirited the humor in the actual Garfield comics can be (i.e. how most of the jokes revolve around Jon's life being unrelentingly lonely and miserable, and on Garfield remorselessly tormenting him just because he can) by taking the mean-spiritedness to disturbing extremes and removing all of the humor. Even at their most bizarre, they shine a spotlight on the darker elements of Garfield that were always there.
  • Deliberate Flaw Retcon: Parodied in The Fall of Bleach: Four Years Later to make a point about how easy it is to use Revisions to establish a villain was secretly pulling everyone else's strings the whole time. You see, the research errors in his original Fall of Bleach video weren't the honest mistakes of a newbie YouTuber who never expected his video would be seen by millions of people; rather, they were all part of an insidious scheme to destroy the reputation of one of the most beloved manga of the 2000s!invoked
  • Deus ex Machina: Discussed in his Bleach video, and held up as one of the main problems with the storytelling of Bleach, specifically with the fights. He argues far too many of them are solved with the characters showing a previously unknown ability which is conveniently exactly what they need to turn the tide against their enemy, which immediately ends the fight. He compares this to series like Jojo's Bizarre Adventure which put far more emphasis on mind games and the characters needing to develop strategies and using their powers in creative ways in order to win.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil/Digital Piracy Is Okay: John doesn't hold a strong opinion on either when talking about anime, but his overall consensus is that it should only be done as a last resort if legal services don't offer any good quality streams. He has bluntly admitted in the past when piracy is the best bet, such as the Blu-Ray set of Diamond is Unbreakable fixing some of the more egregious animation errors, and old Martial Arts Movies on YouTube that are otherwise in danger of becoming lost media.
  • Doom It Yourself: By John's admission, most of the blame for his problems in Buying a PC With Dell: My Journey Into Hell falls squarely on his own shoulders, for buying an expensive PC while having done insufficient research, and without consulting any of his more technically literate acquaintances before it was too late.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros Is Lying To You, there exist schematics for a trapdoor that Michael Jordan would hide under during select screenings of the movie until his first rampage, where he would jump out of said trapdoor to attack the audience itself.
  • Fix Fic: Actually proposes one for the climax of Shenmue III, rewriting it so that Ryo actually manages a Heroic Second Wind that allows him to land a blow on Lan Di, causing him to choose not to kill Ryo in a moment of humanity. While not objectively "good", John makes the argument it's better on the basis of it being something, giving the story actual weight and payoff that develops both the hero and villain, whereas the actual climax of the game is an incredibly anticlimactic Curb-Stomp Battle that leaves the story basically no different to when it started.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • invoked Discusses this trope in "The Fall of The Simpsons". While he thoroughly enjoys Season 8 and considers it part of the show's "golden age", Wolf believes that it contained early warning signs of the cartoon's future decline that can be seen by taking a closer look. For example, Wolf notes that the plots of episodes were starting to become more outlandish, which he thinks indicates the start of a pivot away from the show's satirical roots and towards the more absurd plotlines many have complained about in the years after.
    • invoked A recurring point in his remake of his video discussing Bleach is that many of the series' creative problems are visible throughout even the early Soul Society arc, which Wolf considers its strongest narrative point. But these problems only grew as the manga continued and Kubo's character writing grew weaker. Special emphasis is placed on the tendency for fights to be resolved by Deus ex Machina and Ass Pull conclusions. Wolf argues that such a thing is a forgivable choice when the series did a mostly decent job of fleshing out the cast and giving a good emotional narrative for the important fights, but it becomes far more problematic as the manga begins to drop the ball on its character writing and the issues with the fights become way more noticeable.
  • Fridge Horror: invoked In his Garfield video, he attempts to understand why there's so much bizarre and terrifying fanworks of the series, and in doing so reads several hundred Garfield strips to catalogue his findings. After doing this he comes to the chilling realization that beneath all the quaint and formulaic gags, Jon Arbuckle's life is shockingly bleak and depressing, with the strips frequently highlighting how much of a loser he is and many of them featuring Garfield tormenting or belittling him. When you remember the fact that Garfield is never actually saying anything and Jon is essentially just talking to himself, it paints an extremely pathetic picture of the guy as someone trapped in a life of perpetual loneliness and misery that has gone on for decades and will likely never end, as Jim Davis has long made preparations for the strip to continue long after his death. John concludes that this is the reason why the various horror-themed Garfield fanworks have resonated so strongly with people, as they simply take the darker undertones that always existed in the strips and exaggerate them to horrifying extremes.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A censor box in What the Internet did to Garfield Lampshades this with Lasagna Cat and its infamous Sex Survey Results ending that includes a completely naked man painted like Garfield.
  • Guilty Pleasure:
    • Seems to regard Fairy Tail as this, describing himself as "Watching it more than any self-respecting anime fan should", and using it as an example of anime trash that's fine to enjoy.
    • In his video about Riverdale, he admits to enjoying it enormously because of how completely off the rails the show has gone while still pointing out several ways he thinks the show is bad.
  • Hatedom: invoked Discussed in the animated segment "Influencer Courses are Garbage: The Dark Side of Content Creation", where John represents it in the form of "Andrew". He notices that "Andrew" is probably really just that one guy in about a hundred people that will hate a work and/or a creator on principle for what is often a somewhat shallow reason (or sometimes merely because he gets a kick of being a contrarian and/or a troll). But once a creator and their work begin to reach hundred of thousands, or even millions of people, they will also attract thousands of "Andrews" too and by this point the "Andrews" tend to gradually become aware of each others' existence and start organising in groups.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: During Michael Jordan's initial rampage after Bugs Bunny's death in Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros Is Lying To You, it's stated in the production notes that the film would've had alternate cuts of various Warner Bros. movies (like The Lord of the Rings, Batman Begins, and Scooby-Doo) playing alongside it where Michael invades and terrorizes their worlds, which is where the "fourth dimensional" element comes into play.
  • Jerkass: He explicitly calls Homer Simpson this when discussing the decline of The Simpsons. Homer's Character Exaggeration of his more negative traits in the later seasons made him too unsympathetic when compared to the earlier Jerk with a Heart of Gold Homer.
  • Jump Scare: Notes that these are more reflexive effects rather than actual horror, since they're easy to do by trailing his voice... darkening the screen... And then saying "Like, I'm not going to, but I could have". So it's ultimately a subversion.
  • Leave the Camera Running: In Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros Is Lying To You, the production notes for Space Jam Two: Battle for Reality stated that the scene where Michael Jordan is floating alone in space after defeating LeBron James and wreaking havoc on the universe was supposed to last 400 years in real time, until that proved unfeasible in the animatic process.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: One of the strengths of Kaiji Wolf brings up is how it frequently averts this, showing that Kaiji is able to not only lose, but lose badly, and with serious consequences.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • invoked Heavily discussed in his video "The Bizarre Modern Reality of The Simpsons", where he notes how the show's massive cultural impact has inspired countless online content creators for nearly thirty years since its inception. Much attention is also brought to the fact that these memes have enabled massive amounts of Alternate Character Interpretation which would be impossible in the show itself due to Status Quo Is God.
    • invoked "The Bizarre Modern Reality of Sonic" similarly discusses the descent of the titular blue hedgehog into cheap joke fodder with the decreasing quality of his games, resulting in an existence as a shell of his former self on the internet. Unlike The Simpsons, Wolf argues that the infamy of Sonic has more to do with the Broken Base than the games themselves, particularly the vast quantity of really strange porn and OCs that are rarely good.
  • Millionaire Playboy: Exaggerated with the character John plays at the beginning of Influencer Courses are Garbage: The Dark Side of Content Creation, Lesly Bestington, who owns a sports car, a dolphin rodeo, a plane mansion, and has four wives and seventeen husbands.
  • Mind Screw: The only way to describe "Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros Is Lying To You". Starting off as an analysis of Michael Jordan and his career, it rapidly spirals into a deeply bizarre conspiracy theory, before, finally, turning into an elaborate Crack Fic.
  • Missing Steps Plan: One of his biggest gripes in Influencer Cources Are Garbage is what he calls the "slot machine approach" to content creation, which is promoted by practically all of them and consists of "post a ton of videos until something goes viral, then build on that". First because it promotes making videos that you think will be profitable instead of content that you want to make, but more importantly because they desperately try to ignore that going viral is completely out of your hands.
  • Motive Rant: Daffy delivers one to Bugs in Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros Is Lying To You when revealing his betrayal.
    Daffy: You wanna know who signed the contract, Bugs? Maybe it's the same person who for years has ROTTED AS YOUR PUNCHLINE!!! Can you even comprehend the humiliation I have endured? The amount of buckshots I've taken to the face for you? And for what?! To be number three next to you and your little... boyfriend?! *insane chuckle* You wanna know "what's up, doc"? How about... your fucking life!
  • Mr. Fanservice: Parodied; John is a handsome guy, and his fans had some... enthusiastic reactions to his face reveal.
    Just Some Guy With A Mustache: Looks like being beautifully made and well-structured doesn't just describe his videos.
    John: That's incredibly sweet! What a nice thing to say.
    Peter sixe: Fuck me daddy~
    John: Uhhh....
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: One of the things he brings up when recommending AI: The Somnium Files is that it was written and directed by the man behind "two of the greatest visual novels ever, and also Zero Time Dilemma".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros. is Lying to You, Michael encounters Goku at the end of the movie, who is portrayed as a static colored piece of promotional art, contrasting against the monochrome animatic the film was depicted as up until this point.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • A more positive version than most examples; in his first video on One Piece he brings up that Oda created a stupid-looking character in a diaper and baby bonnet (Senor Pink) and gave him a heartbreaking backstory that justifies it, but before moving on, he reaffirms that yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, it really is. For context, Senor Pink was not just a top officer to the Donquixote Family, but a man who would end up falling love with a woman and getting married, a son even on the way. However, he kept his work from her a secret, claiming he's a banker. One day when he was out on a secret mission for the Donquixote family for a week, he found out that his son had died the day he left, with his wife leaving him after learning of his criminal association. She then got into an accident that put her into a catatonic state. Heartbroken and grief-stricken, Pink desperately tried to anything to get her to react, only to find to have her crack a small smile when he put on the bonnet and pacifier of his late infant son. He continued to dress more and more like a baby to keep her smiling in spite of the ridicule he endured, and even after her death, he continued to dress this way to honor his late family to keep them smiling.
    • In "What the Internet Did to Undertale", John repeatedly discusses Alternate Universe Fics which are based more on other fan works than the original IP. When John gets to some of the really outlandish ones, he repeatedly has to insist that all of the fan works he's talking about are totally real.
    • Throughout the What the Internet did to Garfield video, he has to stress the borderline insane and weird nature of the ironic fanbase of the titular comic strip, but that's nothing compared to him explaining all the amount of merch the franchise has made, starting..:
      John: Garfield soap, Garfield air fresheners, Garfield teapots, Garfield as a ninja, [...], Garfield web browser, [...], Garfield mug, another Garfield mug, a much dumber Garfield mug, a dumber Garfield mug that's dumber than the other Garfield mug, [...], slightly too many Irish stereotype Garfield!, [...], Garfield prison tray, Sex Garfield, (shot of a strange Garfield bed) MMMMMMMM!, [...], the terribly cursed Garfield Eats!, *sees more odd Garfield merch* W-wha..what is this!?-WHY?! This Garfield jigsaw which for some reason I can't quite pin down puts the fear of GOD IN ME-
    • Also from the Garfield video, John has to preface the section about how he suddenly started noticing Garfield everywhere in his daily life, culminating in his mother finding a photo of him as a child holding a plush Garfield even though as far as he can recall, he was never a fan of the comic, to note that this was a real thing that happened to him and not a joke like Space Jam 2 was.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • John, whose presenter voice is ordinarily so calm in tone that it sometimes borders on being outright serene, suddenly devolves into a shouting rage when discussing the Cup Noodle sidequest from Final Fantasy XV, which he decries as blatant Product Placement with no substance.
    • He really undergoes this when discussing how disappointed and frustrated he is with Shenmue III. John is upset that after waiting nineteen years, the game failed to deliver on anything it promised and left him reflecting on how the story of Shenmue would never be finished.
  • Oireland: While John himself is actually from Ireland (and sports a noticeable Irish accent), he shows some offense when he realizes dubbed Jin is supposed to be Irish.
  • Perception Filter: During What The Internet Did To Garfield, he discovers that Garfield merchandise apparently has this effect on people, to the point you don't even notice when you look directly at it. John doesn't take this revelation particularly well.
  • Power Fantasy: Discussed. In his Hunterx Hunter video, he talks about how most shounen battle manga are designed to be power fantasies first and foremost, with most series built specifically around this concept to provide escapism for the audience. He notes that this isn't necessarily bad in and of itself since power fantasies are quite fun, but it does end up placing a lot of constraints on the narrative and characterization. This is why he praises Hunterx Hunter for foregoing this concept, freeing Gon and the rest of the cast from the typical expectations of the genre and allowing them to be more complex characters as a result.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Sometimes, one of John's Favorite Things videos will touch on a topic that he'll cover in more detail in a dedicated video sometime down the line:
  • Real-Person Fic: In "Space Jam 2", John makes real-life basketball legend Michael Jordan the protagonist of his fan version of what Space Jam 2 should have been. LeBron James is also featured as a character.
  • Reality Subtext: invoked Discussed in Why You Should STILL Read Berserk. John suggests that the famous moment in Berserk when Guts chooses to let Griffith go while he rests from a grueling battle was a reflection of Kentaro Miura's own decision to rest from his grueling schedule after years of dangerously overworking himself; he points out that this moment happened shortly before the infamous "never-ending boat ride" to Elfheim, when the manga began to come out on a less regular schedule as Miura sought a more healthy and sustainable work/life balance. John suggests that Miura chose not to let his ambitions as a mangaka consume his life, just as Guts chose not to let his quest for revenge consume him.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Discussed in "What the Internet Did to Undertale". The video is about the very deep rabbit hole that is fan works based on Undertale, and how they tend to play more off of each other than the game they're based on. At one point, John discusses a web series called Underverse which is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of all of the biggest Undertale fan-universes, and how he has found fan works based on fan works based on fan works based on the original game. John repeatedly throws in a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer on some of the more outlandish works, assuring the viewer that all of the Alternate Universe Fics he's mentioned are real.
  • Recycled Script:invoked
    • In both of his Fall of Bleach videos, John argues that the Hueco Mundo arc heavily recycles its plot from Soul Society. The second video elaborates further by recapping the major beats of both stories side-by-side to highlight just how many similarities there are.
    • While John initially sees the Niaowu section of Shenmue III as an exciting change of pace after Bailu Village, his mood quickly sours once he realises it's just repeating the same plot points as before in a new setting. To wit, Ryo is beaten up by another musclebound thug, and has to spend even more hours gambling to buy another expensive item before another old martial arts master will teach him another special technique that he can use to win. Even the special techniques are the same, with both being variations of the Tetsuzankō.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Combined with Disproportionate Retribution and Misplaced Retribution. In "Influencer Courses are Garbage", Lesly Bestington, John's parody of self-aggrandizing social media influencers, boasts that one of the perks of being a influencer is that the money and power accumulated through his job has allowed him to finally take his revenge on the guy who used to bully him back in high school. Namely by arranging the assassination of said guy's young daughter.
  • Rule 34:
    • Namedropped in The Bizarre Modern Reality of Sonic the Hedgehog, in regards to the Sonic fandom's reputation as a hotbed for weird porn. John argues this isn't as out of the ordinary as it seems; there's porn of just about everything on the internet, and it's a statistical inevitability that a large enough fandom will contain at least a few people with some really niche fetishes who aren't ashamed to indulge in them. The Sonic fanbase just happened to be singled out for it because they were already seen as a laughing stock online for other reasons, and the porn only cemented that in the eyes of outsiders.
      "Think of any fictional property, and I guarantee you people are drawing, animating, or writing those characters fucking. That is Rule 34. Are you a fan of Cuphead? Well, I got some bad news!"
    • The rest of his fandom deep-dives also briefly touch on this subject, as porn is such a universal constant in online fan culture, but What The Internet Did To Garfield really shows how far the rule extends by pointing out that "r/imsorryjon", a subreddit created to house grotesque, nightmarish Garfield fanart, managed to spawn its own dedicated NSFW board named "r/ImReallySorryJon".
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • During the video about Shenmue III, John audibly gets more and more hysterical the more he explains it.
    • Near the start of "What the Internet Did to Undertale" he likens the well of Recursive Fanfiction the game inspired to an abyss, and by the end of the video that abyss is clearly gazing back at him as he struggles to comprehend it all.
    • The whole point of his Buying a PC with Dell video, as the video's narration grows gradually more panicked and disturbing as he continues to have problems with the PC and his frustrations don't seem to ever end as new problems keep coming up.
    • Apparently happened in real life to some extent during the production of What The Internet Did To Garfield due to how omnipresent he suddenly found the titular orange cat in various aspects of his life.
  • Seasonal Rot: invoked He believes this happened to a few series he's covered, such as Naruto and Bleach.
    • In Naruto's case, he feels the core issues were the change in the story to focus more on Naruto and Sasuke's characters individually (feeling that they are way more interesting together interacting), and the fact that the story kept going after Naruto's defeat of Pain despite that feeling like it should have been the conclusion, and from that point focusing more on uninteresting lore and underwhelming villains like Madara and Kaguya.
    • In Bleach's case, he feels the main issue was Kubo not doing a good job of fleshing out future characters (especially the villains) and not giving a really strong emotional component for most of the fights, which exposes other weaknesses, like the fights not being very tactical or interesting and frequently ending with Ass Pull solutions where the characters reveal a completely unknown ability that is exactly what they need to turn the tide. He also criticizes Kubo's world-building as being lacking and not giving the story much room to expand when Aizen was defeated, leading to the dull and forgettable Fullbringer Arc which did not advance anything besides giving Ichigo his powers back, undoing the most interesting thing that happened in the prior arc.
  • Self-Deprecation: John's a lot of things, but arrogant is definitely not one of them, with how many jokes he makes at his own expense. His Twitter bio reads "Youtuber and illustrator, all around terrible human."
  • Sequel Hook: In Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros. is Lying to You, the movie Space Jam Two: Battle for Reality ends with one to a sequel where Neo Michael Jordan encounters and battles Goku titled Space Jam 3: War of the Infinity Beasts. The video then abruptly ends with a message saying "Some parts of this video may have been fabricated for the purposes of entertainment".
  • Shout-Out: In his video about the artistic style inspirations of Cuphead John includes clips and images from Swing, You Sinners!, Wonder Woman (1942), Betty Boop, Mr. Bug Goes to Town, Out of the Inkwell, Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, Steamboat Willie, and other works from The Golden Age of Animation.
  • So Bad, It's Good:invoked
    • Discussed with Tails Gets Trolled. It's a bizarre series about extremely Off-Model Sonic characters teaming up with a variety of others from different universes to violently take revenge on internet trolls (and occasionally get high on weed). Despite the ridiculousness, gratuitous gore, and amateurish artwork, John admits it manages to actually be emotionally gripping.
    • This is also discussed more in-depth in his Riverdale video and his ultimate opinion of the show from season 2 onwards. Specifically, he states that he thinks that past a certain point, it's way better for a piece of media to be bad because there's a certain entertainment factor and enjoyable chaos that you just don't get with more traditionally well-crafted experiences, whereas a mediocre piece of media struggles to have any appeal at all. In Riverdale's case, the show becomes so incredibly nuts, with increasingly ridiculous and convoluted plotlines, as well as shocking and absurd twists that are written only to create moments with little in the way of proper build-up or follow-up, that it becomes incredibly entertaining to watch just to see what kind of insanity the show will delve into next.
  • So Bad, It Was Better: He sees Riverdale as an example of this happening in reverse. During its first season it was a fairly mediocre teen drama, only notable for being based on a famous, long-running comic series and for its often poor attempts to tackle sensitive subjects. However, as the series went on and new writers began to outnumber the old, the show devolved into an incoherent mess filled with serial killers, cults, and downright bizarre plot twists that served little purpose beyond shock value... all of which, John argues, made for a far more entertaining show that he genuinely enjoys watching to see just how outlandish it can get.invoked
    John: There's a chaotic beauty to bad media, and rather than something succeed in mediocrity, I'd prefer to see it fail spectacularly.invoked
  • So Okay, It's Average: invoked Discussed in multiple videos. He states that he actually finds mediocrity to be worse than something being outright bad, because at least something of sufficiently bad quality might be entertaining in its own way, or at least will make it something that people will remember. Works that are mediocre, by contrast, will have trouble appealing to anyone and will likely just be forgotten, which he considers the worst thing that can happen to a piece of art.
  • Take That!:
    • Wolf's not usually one to take his potshots, and even then, they tend to be very light. However, he in his "Favorite Things of 2017", outright calls Logan Paul a "buffoonic idiot [child] doing increasingly heinous things for views".
    • In his "My Favorite Things Summer 2018" video he talks about Street Fighter's 30th Anniversary edition having poor online connectivity. It's let "certain Canadian dwelling cowards run their mouth for too long" (picture of Pat fades into the screen), referencing a joking feud the pair had over their Street Fighter challenge.
    • When explaining how all of the various Undertale Alternate Universe Fics and Recursive Fanfictions tie together, John abruptly stops when he realizes that he's become as obsessed with explaining the Kudzu Plot as a Kingdom Hearts fan.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Viewed the artists of Shonen Jump's Big Three with this mindset; Kubo of Bleach was the technician, with a natural draftsmanship and quality to his art, while Oda of One Piece was the performer, with an organic expression and punch to the characters and scenes. Kishimoto of Naruto on the other hand, while good, never really had the abilities of either, something John theorizes was because of a period in his life that he mentions where he fell out of drawing for a while.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others:
    • In "The Bizarre Modern Reality of Sonic The Hedgehog", he lists Sonic-inspired 90s Mascot with Attitude video game characters... and includes Shawn Michaels in the list.
    • In Space Jam 2: How Warner Bros Is Lying To You, every member of Swackhammer's new basketball team, Monstars Generation Two, is composed of six different incarnations of The Joker... and The Matrix's Agent Smith for some reason. Played with in that Agent Smith comes second, which briefly makes it look like they're gonna bring in other WB bad guys before going straight to piling on the Jokers.
  • This Loser Is You: One of the main points from "What The Internet Did To Garfield" is that everyone wishes they were Garfield, but most people are, in reality, more like Jon Arbuckle than they would care to admit.
  • Troubled Production: invoked
    • Spends the last part of his Final Fantasy XV video discussing the games infamous production and how it impacted the game. Despite the massive amount of promise displayed by the game when it was first revealed, a combination of other projects going on in the company and director Tetsuya Nomura's unchecked creative ambition and tendency to come up with entirely new ideas on the fly (at one point wanting to make the game a musical after watching Les Misérables (2012)) caused the game to spends years flopping around in pre-production. By the time Nomura was moved to be full-time director of Kingdom Hearts III and Hajime Tabata was made full time director, the staff was let with the insurmountable task of salvaging a finished game in just three years, requiring huge amounts of the story to be altered and redone, compounded by the entirely new and untested engine for the game requiring outsourcing. John feels this shows in every aspect of the games design, demonstrating this by noting that the games decision to close on Noctis and Luna together in the afterlife, with the logo being changed to signify this, makes very little sense in the final game due to the little emphasis placed on their romance, but is very likely just a remnant of Nomura's original vision.
    • In his updated video about Bleach, he brings up this topic in regards to the final arc. Where as in his first video he thought the series ended because of Shonen Jump telling Kubo to end the series, he discusses how ultimately the story was hindered by Kubo's declining health and the stress he went through to finish the series.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley: This is one of his main criticisms of the 2016 Berserk anime. The character models are so stiff and lifeless that it is not only distracting, but completely fails to do justice to the characters from the manga with their bland facial expressions and janky animation.invoked
  • Villains Out Shopping: A crucial part of "What Makes a Villain Feel Real" is the nuances of villains. Small touches that make the villain relatable but not necessarily sympathetic. He discusses the trope with Toguro and Yoshikage Kira.
    "As Part 4 goes on, we begin to learn all these bizarre little details about Kira and his life. We know his favorite sandwich: Chicken Katsu on fresh baked bread. We know that he likes a glass of warm milk before bed. We know that he likes to spend his lunches alone in the park and we know that he gets along well with cats and has a disdain for dogs. And none of these details serve to make him any more dangerous or more of a threat to our heroes, so why do they matter? Well, these are the little touches that make him feel alive, these are the nuances that trick our brain into thinking that he's a living breathing person rather than just a cartoon villain."
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: invoked He speculates that this is how Riverdale's writers began to approach the series starting with season 2. He states that while season 1 was largely mediocre, it did at least feel like a coherent and properly planned story that mostly wrapped up by the end, but the cliffhanger of season 1 in comparison to how events go on in Season 2 (in particular regarding the identity and motivation of the Black Hood) show many inconsistencies in-between episodes that give credence to the idea that the writers were just making up the plot as they went along. He states this only escalates in future seasons as the writers seem to operate entirely on creating big shocking moments that would make an immediate impact, while giving no thought to how they tie together into a broader story or how coherent they are with everything that happened before.


Video Example(s):


Dr. W.D. Gaster

As Super Eyepatch Wolf explains in his video about Undertale, despite only having an incredibly brief cameo in a select few versions of the games, where he does nothing, Gaster is one of the most popular characters in all of Undertale with plenty of fanwork dedicated to him.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / EnsembleDarkHorse

Media sources: