Follow TV Tropes


Web Video / TableTop

Go To

TableTop is a Web Video series on YouTube, which is essentially celebrity tabletop gaming hosted by Wil Wheaton. It is part of the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel, and can be watched for free here. It can also be seen on the terrestrial channel TBD.

Each week, Wil and a number of other celebrity guests (ranging from well-known YouTube and television personalities to professional game designers) play a chosen tabletop game. These vary from competitive games like Small World, co-operative games like Pandemic, and Actual Play of Tabletop RPGs like Dragon Age. The show itself is instruction-light, easing new viewers into the game rules and focusing more on the banter and camaraderie that comes from settling around a table and having good fun with friends. The winner of each episode in the first season was granted the Tabletop Trophy Of Awesome (and a bit of masking tape with their name on it). In the second season, the winner received a Certificate of Awesome. Meanwhile, the defeated licked their wounds on the Loser's Couch with the aid of some webshow-budget beverages.

The second season of TableTop debuted on April 4th, 2013. For season three, the creators decided to go independent and started a crowdfunding campaign at The original target of $500,000 for a 15 episode season was more than doubled, bumping up the number of episodes to 20 and funding a spinoff with an ongoing RPG campaign, TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana. Season three premiered on November 13, 2014, and season four began filming in April 2016.

The show unfortunately appears to be defunct; according to an article on The Hollywood Reporter website, in 2019 Wil ended up suing Legendary (the network that bought Geek and Sundry) for cutting him out of the profits of another web-series he hosted for them called TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana. The two sides reached a confidential settlement and the suit was dismissed in early 2022, but it sounds unlikely they are going to be working together again any time soon. Additionally Geek and Sundry is reported to have ceased production on any new material.

TableTop provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The Winners' Wall (Wall of Victory) and the Loser's Lounge (Loser's Couch).
    • Gloom Also has a lot of alliteration.
  • The Ace:
    • Ryan Higa in Episode 3, who wins all three games, rolling a mathematically-improbable ten-brain streak in Zombie Dice and reading Freddie like a book in Get Bit.
    • Bill Prady in the Elder Sign episode, who basically carries the team in a (mostly) one-man war against He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
    • Troy Baker in Unspeakable Words, so much that his success was attributed to receiving help from Elder Gods, as a result of his Cthulhu statue.
  • Agent Scully: In Elder Sign, Wil denies that invoking Hastur led to his run of terrible rolls. It doesn't stop him from invoking the Random Number God.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles:
    • Invoked by Wil chastising Felicia Day in Elder Sign: "You do not encourage the internet to create GIFs involving you and tentacles!"
    • In the Tsuro of the Seas episode, Kevin Pereira mentions that his boat has Japanese schoolgirls and tentacle monsters and that there is censorship involved.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Alison Scagliotti in The Resistance:
    Alison: Everyone's turning to me. I think, because I'm wearing a hat, I'm untrustworthy.
  • Always Second Best:
    • In the first season, Wil comes second-place a lot, taking home the Silver Medal Of Adequacy over five times. He pretty much never wins (except as part of a joint victory or because of a misplay that was completely independent of Wil's initiative). Unless you count Wil beating Phil LaMarr at Rock-Paper-Scissors on the Loser's Couch, after Wil lost worse at Wits & Wagers.
    • In the second season, this gets lampshaded a lot, to the extent that there's a place on the Loser's Couch specifically reserved for Wil.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Invoked in the introduction for Elder Sign:
    Wil: Once the Doom Tokens have been collected, the Great Old One wakes up and devours the world. But more importantly, we lose the game.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In The Resistance, Ashley "Lizzie Bennet" Clements deduces (correctly) that Alison Scagliotti is a spy through nothing more than pupil dilation. Too bad no one believes her...
  • Badass Family: The Mice and Mystics episode has the Wheaton family all playing together. They win the game (well, the chapter at least).
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • Whenever the group loses a team game that pits them against a Game Master or the game itself. For example, during the Pandemic and Forbidden Island episodes.
    • In a non-team-game example, Fiasco ended in misery for all concerned (as per usual) when Bonnie's character revealed herself to be a brutal Mafiya boss who went on to frame, cripple and/or leave the other players for dead, being rewarded with the best possible ending at their expense.
    • In an example from a "team vs. team" game, the spies in "The Resistance".
    • "Shadows over Camelot", with the added twist that the traitor is King Arthur, played by Wil.
    • Yet again in "Betrayal at House on the Hill", in another victory for Evil!Wil.
    • Notch up another win for Evil!Wil, who wins playing as Dracula in Fury of Dracula.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In Dragon Age, the first enemies the party encounters are a group of bandits led by an Avar barbarian... all of whom are killed off by a Shriek Darkspawn.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Castle Panic — "We attempt to hold off a seemingly endless onslaught of trolls, intent on overrunning our defenses and ruining our day. No, it is not Internet: The Board Game."
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • In the Tsuro of the Seas episode, Wil says that the tourists on his boat got great photos of a dragon ... after having been devoured by said dragon and dying immediately afterward.
    • As part of the crowdfunding campaign for Season 3, they promised to do a Cards Against Humanity episode.
      Wil: You asked for it, so this is your fault.
  • Berserk Button: In the blooper reel for Roll For It & Sushi Go, John Ross Bowie calls out Jennifer Hale on her repeated use of the phrase "Sophie's choice", and though he's a lot quieter than in other cases of this trope, he's clearly not joking.
  • Big Bad:
  • Big Eater: Yuri Lowenthal in the Castle Panic episode. Gets a Call-Back in Kingdom Builder where he eats an absolutely massive plate of food over the course of the episode.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Delivered by Grant in the Small World episode when Jenna begins her final-round assault on his Ratmen.
    • By Wil in Star Trek Catan. Cut to Grant on the street outside, hearing it and looking around in confusion.
    • Clare at the end of Libertalia, after Wil's victory.
  • Black and Nerdy: Andre the Black Nerd.
  • Born Lucky: Ryan wins all three games in the Zombie Dice, Get Bit, and Tsuro episode. Exaggerated in the Zombie Dice portion, when he gets almost every brain he needs in his first turn.
  • Born Unlucky: Wil is a decent player but he suffers from some pretty appalling luck in games. Perhaps best displayed in the Stone Age episode, where, not only does Wil fail to roll what he needs at a few key points in the game, but whenever Jesse rolls on the "general store", he consistently rolls three high numbers and a 1, giving every player except Wil a boon of some kind. Wil quips that the dice seem to hate him even when he isn't the one rolling them.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kelly Hu in Qwirkle, as she kept getting "Qwirkle-blocked". After making a big deal out of finally being about to make her first Qwirkle, she immediately gets Qwirkle-blocked again by Meredith Salenger.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: At one point in the "Tokaido" episode, J is faced with a choice between drawing a card to make a new friend, or making a donation to a local temple. He settles on the friend card, who makes a donation to the temple for him, causing him to declare "Friend or Temple? Friend at the temple!"
  • Break the Cutie: Laina in "Cards Against Humanity".
    Laina: [after Aisha has won and everyone leaves] I didn't... I didn't agree to this.
  • Calvinball: Jordan Mechner compares Fluxx with this, which Wil thinks is a perfect analogy.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Wil winning Star Fluxx is generally ignored whenever his losing streak is brought up, as he was handed the victory through no agency of his own by Jordan Mechner making a mistake.
  • The Cassandra: This happens a lot in The Resistance due to the paranoia-inducing nature of the game. It can be hard to establish just who has genuinely deduced something and who is just throwing out accusations.
  • Catchphrase: "Play more games!"
  • The Chessmaster: Bonnie Burton played one brilliantly during the Fiasco episode, manipulating the other three characters in the game to her own advantage, eventually getting the best possible ending for her character at the expense of really bad endings for the other three.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: By some strange twist of luck, Wil has an uncanny tendency to get the traitor's role in cooperative games with a defector. And he almost always wins in them—way more often than he does in other game types.
  • Cliffhanger: Misspent Youth ends with the protagonists successfully fleeing the compound in a stolen car, only to find themselves at the perimeter wall of a city which they now need to sneak into.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Felicia comes across this way due to the hysterical roleplaying she does with Dr. Hannah.
    Felicia: I really messed up when I made Dr. Hannah pick up People [Magazine], because he's much more a Popular Mechanics kind of guy.
    Wil: Oh, come on!
  • Comic Sutra: In the Eldritch Horror game, Pat Rothfuss makes a "missionary position" joke about the Vatican Missionary, prompting Wil to speculate that the "Vatican Missionary" is actually an obscure and risque sexual position, similar to the "Jersey Turnpike" or the "Chicago Fire".
  • Content Warning: The show normally doesn't have one, but two episodes have merited them.
    • Wil made a point to note at the start of the Cards Against Humanity episode that it would be outrageously offensive. At the end of the segment, as he walked off-camera he started reciting the Seven Dirty Words.
    • At the beginning of the Fortune And Glory episode, Wil warned viewers about the appearance of Those Wacky Nazis. Even though it's taken almost verbatim from the rules book, a lot of the YouTube comments complained about it.
  • Cosmic Plaything:
    • Sandeep "I feel good about my chances" Parikh in the Munchkin episode, who gets such appalling card draws that he gets stuck at Level 2 for the duration of the game.
    • Wil in Elder Sign, whose dice rolls are so bad that he officially becomes The Load of the team and is the only one to have his character die.
    • Wil, again, in Dragon Age after having utterly horrible dice luck so far, he announces he's walking towards a village another player jokingly suggests he "roll to see if you fall on your face" and he promptly rolls "1, 2, 3" on 3d6. Pretty much one of the lowest possible rolls.
    • In Star Wars: X-Wing, Wil's actually been rolling well all game, and it comes down to him to make the roll that would win his team the game. So, of course, he fails.
    • The good guys in Betrayal at House on the Hill are an in-game example. Especially Michael Swaim's priest character who is deliberately kept on the brink of death by a demon. They are also a meta example, with all the characters (except Wil, for once) having terrible dice rolls after the 'Haunting' occurs.
  • Couch Gag: So many. Wil's query just before opening the gameplay, the stuff on the shelves behind the players (both of these game-specific), the text crossed out and replaced with "Tabletop Champion" on the Season 2 certificates, the picture on the "seal"...
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Steve Jackson created Munchkin. Is it any wonder that he won?
    • Chris Pramas, the designer of the Dragon Age RPG, served as the Game Master for the campaign.
    • Ryan Macklin, one of the creators of the Fate Core system, serves as the GM in the Fate Core episode.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jessica Merizan was stated in the Hare&Tortoise/Council of Verona episode to have a below-average IQ. She's also the one who ultimately won in the end of the episode.
  • Darker and Edgier: "Tabletop After Dark", which Wil has said will be a recurring event. First such episode was Cards Against Humanity
  • Dark Horse Victory:
    • Day[9] and Colin Ferguson, though you can see the latter coming.
    • Andy Hull in Tsuro of the Seas. In the beginning it seemed like he would be the first to lose and there was confusion over whether he was still in the game due to a miscalculation.
  • Deus Angst Machina: In Gloom, since the point of the game is to make your characters as miserable as possible before killing them off.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Jordan Mechner in Star Fluxx, whose cunning schemes are waylaid by a basic lack of knowledge of the actual rules. First, he attempts to claim victory on an expired Victory Condition. Second, he attempts to use the Holographic Projector to claim victory with two of Wil's Keepers, but misreads the instructions on the card (Holographic Projector only works on one Keeper at a time) and forgets that his (Jordan's) Creeper prevents him from winning anyway. This mistake essentially hands Wil victory on a silver platter.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Bill Prady nearly single-handedly won the game in the Elder Sign episode.
  • The Ditz: Whether or not this is her actual personality Felicia certainly acts like one every time she guests. Some of the other players commented on it in the Munchkin episode where she seemed more focused on her outfits than the actual game, though it's said that she may have been doing it intentionally in order to distract the other players.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Betrayal at House on the Hill episodes end with Wil Wheaton's utter triumph, and the Hellgate opening.
    • The Dead of Winter episode ends with the game winning, and Wil having a strained relationship with the rest of the players due to being the traitor. The somber music during the credits drives the point home, not to mention the fact that Wil doesn't say, "Play more games!" at the end of the episode. He just walks away.
  • Enemy Mine: Jesse Cox and Wil playing on the same team in Star Trek: Five Year Mission is treated as this, as Jesse, when he previously appeared on the Stone Age episode, had attempted to invoke a "Beatin' and Defeatin' Wil Wheaton" pact with the other players to makes sure Wil lost the game.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies:
    • Zombie Dice, Last Night on Earth, and Dead of Winter.
    • In the interviews for Pandemic, Wil mentions that naming the diseases is a common thing for both new and veteran players to do, and "one of them is always the zombie plague." Although this also ends up being the only disease they're able to completely eradicate.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Wil, playing a traitorous King Arthur, seriously hams it up after revealing himself in the Shadows Over Camelot episode.
  • Evil Redhead: Felicia and Alison, both gingers, ended up betraying the team in The Resistance playthrough. Lampshaded by Alison herself.
    Alison: Don't trust the redheads. We're all spies.
  • Exiled to the Couch: When Yuri Lowenthal (while on the Confession Cam) compliments his wife Tara Platt on her gameplay and says that she was his favorite player, he jokingly says that if he had said anything else, she would have exiled him to the couch.
  • Extrinsic Go-First Rule: Wil often introduces inventive House Rules to determine who goes first, such as when he let Greg Zeschuk go first in King of Tokyo on account of him having the most impressive beard of the four bearded guys at the table.
  • First-Player Advantage Mitigation: In the Tokaido episode, the players modify the existing rules so that the player going first has to give the player going last one coin. This result's in Wil's character, the Starving Artist Hiroshige (who normally starts with 3 coins) having to pay J's character, the wealthy samurai Kinko (who normally starts with 7), leading to quips about Kinko being the 1%.
  • Foreign Sounding Gibberish: Ryan's Hawaiian chant to repel sharks.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • An unintentional example: in the extended edition of Pandemic, Will shouts "Pandemic wins!" when all of the player figures get knocked over on the board. Lo and behold, what happens at the end of the game?
    • Another (possibly unintentional) example occurs during Fiasco. During John Rogers's description of Club Glamorous, he describes the entrance as a "complete firetrap". Fast forward to the end of the episode...
    • In Eldritch Horror, Wil says, "I don’t know how much I trust (Jessica Merizan's) character Diana. Every time there’s a reformed cultist in this game, they end up being a traitor, which is really weird because this game does not have a defector mechanic." Guess who's responsible for killing off Patrick Rothfuss' character Norman?
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Wil repeatedly (and mockingly) said the name of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named during the Elder Sign episode. He also becomes The Load, and his character is the only one to die.
  • Friend to All Children: Wil is surprisingly chill playing with those kids in the Catan Jr. episode, no salt at all.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In the second season, when the Trophy of Awesome is retired to appear on the Winners' Wall, the name on the trophy changes to something relevant each episode.
    • At one point in the Tokaido episode, Wil complains to the Confession Cam about the other players ganging up on him. J August Richards walks behind him and starts doing exaggerated crying/sad violin mimes.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: A Running Gag in the Chez Geek episode, specifically names for cover bands, mostly courtesy of guests Paul and Storm.
  • Hammerspace: Wil pulls a plastic chainsaw out of the "Mysterious Thing of Wonders" in the Last Night on Earth episode.
  • The Hero's Journey: Andy's Hull's gameplay was compared to one in the Tsuro of the Seas episode.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: The Gag Reels, released the week between episodes.
  • Impact Silhouette: In his intro to Eldritch Horror, Wil says that if he encountered an Eldritch Abomination in real life he would run screaming through the nearest brick wall, leaving a neat Wil-shaped hole behind. An animation of the Owlbear demonstrates at the end of the intro.
  • Insistent Terminology: The lavender cards in the Ticket to Ride: Europe episode.
  • Kingmaker Scenario/Laser-Guided Karma: In the final stretch of Fortune and Glory, Felicia - who was hopelessly in last place - drew a card that allowed her to reduce the value of any artifact to 1. She could use it on Wil to give victory to Ryon. She didn't, because of Ryon playing a nasty card on her during his very first play of the game, handing Wil the win.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Wil used to have this reputation. As the host, he is the person who teaches all the guests how to play, and the player whom everyone else sees as the favorite. And he never won. That is, until late into Season 2 when he actually did start winning.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • When Wil makes a 'fate of the world at stake' pun during the rules explanation for Fury of Dracula, the video editor adds a sound effect of Dracula being staked through the heart.
    • During the Eldritch Horror game, Pat Rothfuss remarks that a missionary who is well-placed to assist is in a missionary position. Wil gives him a disgusted look.
  • Large Ham: Wil Wheaton. Bordering on Chewing the Scenery.
    Wil: Not only did I win I ALSO DIDN'T LOSE!
  • "Last Supper" Steal: a version of the portrait with Wil in the central position hangs directly behind the Loser's Couch in season two.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: a variant occurs in Misspent Youth, when each of the protagonists allows their wristbands to cut off their right hands, in order to free themselves from the tracking devices the authority uses to control them.
  • Lighter and Softer: Catan Jr., designed for kids and the players other than Wil were all nine.
  • The Load:
    • Wil during "Elder Sign". Out of all the players, he was the only one who caused their character to die. This was lampshaded by Felicia and Wil during the game.
    • Wil seems to fall into this a lot during team games due to his appallingly luck at rolling dice. In Castle Panic he admits that he was "a bit of an asshole" and that he should have followed the same tactic as everyone else: shut up and listen to Tara Platt. In Star Wars: X-Wing, it looks like Wil might finally manage to be on the winning team, but when the final roll comes down to him, he fails.
  • The Loonie: Chris Hardwick in the Dragon Age episode.
    Chris Pramas: I think every group has a player like Chris [Hardwick] who is pretty much going to throw a little monkey wrench into your plans by deciding to say, "Put Fonzie into Dragon Age".
  • Love Triangle: In "Fiasco" where Lily and Eddie are contenders for the same heart (Betty).
  • Mascot Mook: Friendzy the Owlbear, debuting in the Lords of Waterdeep episode, and making cameos every so often.
    • In Season 3, Friendzy has been repurposed, appearing and saying, "Well, actually..." whenever a Tabletop play-through accidentally deviates from the rules as written.
    • In the Dragon Farkle episode from Season 4, Professor Owlbear explains the rules of the game throughout the show. The Professor is bald and talks in a nasal, high-pitched voice, so it's clear he's a separate character.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": During Ticket to Ride, Anne Wheaton accidentally provokes one of these from everybody (including herself) when she slams her fist down on the gaming table and scatters a whole boardful of train-pieces.
  • Million to One Chance: The probability of Ryan rolling ten brains on his first turn in Zombie Dice is near 0%note . Wil speculates that, in order to balance his luck out, somewhere in the universe a planet spontaneously collapsed into a black hole.
  • Morton's Fork: One of these becomes important late in the Shadows over Camelot episode: Wil, as the traitor, creates a situation where there are 11 catapults on the board and each of the other players has 1 health each. Because the players must do something to advance evil on their turn, they can either take a wound and die, or play another catapult and lose Camelot to a siege. The players opt for a suicide pact, giving Wil the victory.
  • Multi-Part Episode: Some games have a first half and second half episode, particularly the Indie RPG episodes.
    • Fiasco has three, including a bonus setup episode.
    • Like Fiasco, Misspent Youth has two gameplay episodes and a setup episode.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In the Last Night On Earth episode, the inventory of the zombie players is listed as, "## zombies on the board", followed by a subtitle: "and Dr. Hannah" (as Felica's surprisingly multi-faceted zombie often wasted his turn doing things other than looking for brains).
    • In this episode, Felicia Day introduces the other players with "I have an amazing set of guests here again, and my brother."
  • No Animals Were Harmed: No Owlbears were harmed in the Lords of Waterdeep game.
  • No Swastikas: Averted in Fortune and Glory, since the game does use swastikas as markers for Nazi enemies. This is part of the reason for the disclaimer at the beginning of the episode. (See Our Lawyers Advised This Trope below.)
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: In the Munchkin episode, creator Steve Jackson incorrectly deducts -4 from his Combat Strength instead of -5 from Sandeep's Electric Radioactive Acid Potion. This leads to him winning that combat with a mere +1 advantage, and the game. It's debated on whether this was a genuine error or a cunning ploy on his part, as the rules of Munchkin state that cheating is legal as long as you are not caught.
  • Not So Above It All: TotalBiscuit maintains a calm persona for most of the King of Tokyo episode, but it drops briefly when he rolls 6 energy dice in a single turn:
    TotalBiscuit: That was a fantas... I mean, that was entirely part of the plan.
  • Not Zilla: As Wil keeps reminding us in the King of Tokyo episode, Gigazaur is legally distinct from a certain other giant lizard that rampages through Tokyo.
  • Obligatory Joke:
    • Wil's wheat and wood puns during Settlers of Catan.
    • The Steam Park episode, which requires players to clean up "dirt" or else they will lose points at the end of the game, features a lot of poop-related puns.
  • Odd Name Out: Some of the places created in the fantasy world of Once Upon a Time include 'Kahiman', 'Albuquerque' and 'Robot Town'.
  • Off the Rails: in Last Night On Earth, Felicia Day's zombie "Dr. Hannah" allows her to become The Roleplayer to absolutely ridiculous extents.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • In Ticket to Ride: Europe episode, it's pretty obvious that Wil still hasn't forgotten how his wife knocked all trains from the board in her first appearance.
      • It comes up again in the Dread episode, where he describes how the random success/fail test is done by playing a turn of Jenganote  and notes that "This is a game where my wife wouldn't wanna be around this table," after Ivan van Norman almost jostles the table. Then they flashback to the infamous Ticket to Ride scene.
    • Throughout the entire show, Wil does this to himself, insisting that he always loses about Once an Episode come the second season, even when he does have some victories under his belt.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Wil talks with the losers on the couch, then goes downstairs to talk to the winner, write the winner's name on a piece of tape taped to a trophy, award the trophy to the winner, then take the trophy back because they don't have the budget to give everyone a trophy they can keep — but they get to keep the piece of tape!
    • Wil did the same routine at the live games at Vid Con 2012, making this also a Running Gag.
    • The trophy was retired for Season 2 and incorporated into the Wall of Victory, a display featuring all of the previous winners. Even Pandemic. It's been replaced by a "Certificate of Awesome" that Wil signs and gives to the winner... along with the piece of tape.
    • The success of the Season 3 Kickstarter meant that the winners now get their own trophies to keep at the end, proudly engraved with their names... on the piece of tape.
    • In Season 4, the production crew went on a garage sale/eBay shopping spree, buying cheap trophies and then covering the actual nameplates with the piece of tape. Wil makes a big deal of how the trophy is not a used trophy at all.
      Wil: You may think that this is something called The Timothy Award, but it's not.
  • The One Guy/The Smurfette Principle: Episodes in which all of the guests are women or all but one of them are men.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted in the Betrayal at House on the Hill episode, when Wil decides that a group of rampaging monsters are named Steve, Steve, Nigel, Bruce, and unpronounceable-by-humans-so-we-just-call-him-Steve.
  • Orphaned Punchline: From the Loser's Couch segment of the Carcassonne episode: "...And it turns out that the box was filled with bees!"
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope:
    • The Fortune and Glory episode begins with a disclaimer that, since the game thematically takes place in the age of 1930's Cliffhanger serials, the main enemies of the game are, naturally, the Nazis, and that usage of Nazi characters and iconography is historically and thematically appropriate, and shouldn't be taken as approving or condoning their actions.
    • Every so often, a player might perform a bit from a copyrighted song as they're playing. They'll usually only get a few bars in before cutting to Wil going, "Stop! Copyright."
    • In the Legendary episode, there is a legal disclaimer stating that the Marvel characters are simply part of the game, and Geek and Sundry neither endorses nor owns the rights to the characters depicted.
  • Perky Goth: Nika Harper's team of goth cheerleaders in Carcassonne.
  • The Points Mean Nothing:
    • Subverted in Say Anything when Wil randomly gives Jonah three points midgame. Jonah ends up winning.
    • Played Straight with the trophy in season one. The winner's name is written on a piece of tape affixed to the trophy and then torn off because they can't afford a new trophy for each winner on the show's budget.
  • The Power of Rock: During the Dragon Age episode, Chris Hardwick decides that the "Rock" in the Rock Armor spell refers to this rather than stones—so he casts it with a Metal Scream every time.
  • Plot Hole: This can sometimes happen due to the shows being edited for length. The most infamous example is in the Elder Sign episode: the players draw a Mythos Effect that causes all cases that require at least one Investigation die to require an additional Investigation die to solve. What is not shown is the turn when this Mythos Effect is replaced by a new one, leading to much confusion from viewers (and even accusations of cheating) when cases were solved with the standard number of Investigation dice, most noticeable during the game-winning case.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: Catan Junior, courtesy of the 9-year-olds Wil is playing with. "What's Star Trek?"
  • Pungeon Master: Wil is fond of making puns. He frequently gets a Lame Pun Reaction.
    • In the Qwirkle episode, he mentioned that he would have made a pun about the title, if not for the fact that it was a made-up word.
  • Rage Quit: In one episode, Wil threatens to Rage Quit the show if he lost again.
  • Random Number God: Often invoked. In Elder Sign, Wil claims that the dice are trying to kill him. They succeed.
  • A Rare Sentence: Harbour gives us "I am a nihilistic wolf shepherd! I have an anchor and nothing to lose!", which Wil thinks is probably his favorite sentence that's ever been uttered on Tabletop.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Wil mentions in one episode that he hates sweet stuff.
  • Recycled In Space:
    • Star Trek Catan is Settlers of Catan In Space! The rules explanation even recycled the one from the Settlers episode.
    • Tsuro of the Seas is a more complicated version of Tsuro, with the players controlling ships and the dragons being hazards for the players to avoid. Part of the rules explanation for Tsuro is recycled with Wil adding more explanation afterward.
    • Ticket to Ride Europe is (wait for it) Ticket to Ride, done on a map of Europe. Once more, the rules explanation for the first game was recycled. Anne Wheaton also appeared in both episodes.
  • Running Gag:
    • Many episodes in the first season had the losers drowning their sorrows with bourbon, with elaborations involving the fact that they couldn't actually drown their sorrows because they weren't allowed to depict real alcohol use, so the "bourbon" was really an ersatz made of carbonated iced tea and tasted too horrible to actually drink.
    • Ever since Lords of Waterdeep, an owlbear has been showing up in each episode - whether it be peeking at cards or fainting from smelling panda-poop, it'll be there, somewhere.
    • Several individual episodes have their own running gags, such as the A Good Name for a Rock Band running gag in the "Chez Geek" episode, or the running gag in the "Dragon Age" episode about checking which way a door opens before attempting to break it down.
    • Formula D had a number of running gags, from the multiple backstories on how Frogger got his nickname, all of the tragedies that Derek has endured, and of course a running pun-o-meter thanks to both Wil and Hannah Hart.
    • Wil making fun of Felicia's "obsession with poop".
    • Wil complaining about how often he loses, made funnier with the fact that he's managed to win a bit more in Season 2:
      Wil: Lords of Vegas is a high stakes game with sometimes wild streaks of good fortune and soul-crushing defeat. Something I know a little bit about on Table Top.
    • The Catan Junior episode has a running gag about the children being too young to remember the show that made Wil famous.
    • The surprisingly well stocked tavern The Dick & Pickle.
    • During the Eldritch Horror game, Jess's frequent and suspiciously specific reminders that her character, a reformed cultist, is indeed reformed and no longer retains any sympathies with her erstwhile colleagues.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Wil and John do this in the King of Tokyo episode when Greg makes Craig re-roll an energy dice with psychic probe, and the re-rolled dice scores Craig 3 points instead.
  • Say My Name: Wil screams Felicia's surname Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan style after a skillful game of bluffing in The Resistance. Complete with Angry Fist-Shake.
  • Screen Shake: In Star Trek Catan Wil and fellow Star Trek alum Jeri Ryan do a spontaneous demonstration of this.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the Carcassonne episode, Wil presents the Certificate of Awesome to (a cardboard cut-out of) himself and mentions that he was kind of a dick on the Loser's Couch.
  • Shaped Like Itself: From the Tokaido episode. "Tofu is disgusting because it's tofu!"
  • Share the Male Pain: Even the female players in Epic Spell Wars grimace when Wil tells a story about accidentally punching himself in the nuts.
    Emily: I felt bad for him, even though I don't have genitals like his.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spiking the Camera: Felicia in the Elder Sign episode.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Wil saying that season 1's trophy wasn't an old cheerleading trophy purchased by one of the interns from eBay for five bucks. This becomes a running gag in Season 4, after the production crew bought a bunch of old trophies to repurpose for the show.
  • Squee: In Shadows Over Camelot, from Wil, when he finally wins at last.
  • Starving Artist: Wil plays the artist character in the Tokaido episode, and due to poor luck makes very little money over the course of the game. On his last turn, he finds that he can't afford a meal at the inn, and lays his meeple down to represent his character starving to death.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • A dis-proportionally large number of episodes involving games with a traitor mechanic will have Wil end up being the traitor, and he almost always wins when in this role. He wins Shadows over Camelot, Betrayal at House on the Hill and Fury of Dracula by playing the villain, and is only one item away from achieving victory as the traitor in Dead of Winter when the colony collapses.
    • In Libertalia, Wil has a sudden burst of good luck in the third round, which he attributes to "Evil-Wil-from-the-mirror-universe" playing for him.
  • Take That!:
    • Wil takes quite a few shots at Vegas and people who don't understand probability in his opening to the "Lords of Vegas" episode.
    • From the explanation of the rules for Betrayal at House on the Hill: "One member of the team is revealed to be a traitor who has lured us into the house to do unspeakable things to us... like make us watch Ghost Rider."
    • In the rules explanation for "Misspent Youth", Wil mentions the 2016 presidential election in America as an example of a dystopian nightmare.
    • In Fury of Dracula Wil asks Grant "What's Van Helsing doing, besides starring in a terrible movie?"
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In episode 3, Wil talks about how he likes Zombie Dice because nobody ever gets out to a huge lead. Cue Ryan getting ten brains on the first turn! Furthermore, Ryan actually wanted to stop at five brains but kept on rolling because Wil and the other players kept goading him into continuing with the belief that he'd eventually wipe out with three shotguns. Which, needless to say, didn't happen.
    • For Elder Sign the team drew Hastur, which is also known as "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." As a result, Wil made a point of saying Hastur's name over and over out of sheer defiance. He kept getting horrible rolls and his character eventually died.
    • Yuri also tended to do this during "Castle Panic", to disastrous results.
    • Near the end of Shadows Over Camelot, Wil tells everyone that he knows how this is going to end (because he always loses). So, for once, he wins.
    • In Flashpoint, after Wil has an okay first turn:
      Wil: The important thing is, I'm helping. I have not f(bleep)ed us yet.
      [Wil rolls to spread the fire, and causes a hazardous material explosion]
      Wil: I just f(bleep)ed us.
    • In Welcome To The Dungeon Hector has one strategy and it's to not die first. He does.
    • Fury of Dracula has several instances of this, including Ify insisting that he can't pull three Dracula cards from the bottom of the event deck in a row (he does), Wil hoping that Lord Godalming doesn't go to Sofia and expose Dracula's current location (he does), and Ify ignoring the fact that a vampire is about to mature because the hunters have cornered Dracula in Spain (the maturing vampire earns Wil enough points to win the game before they find him).
    • Towards the end of the Tokaido episode, Wil decides to use his turn to draw a "Make a friend" card and insists that no matter the outcome, this cannot be a bad move for him. The card he draws lets him complete a painting that he already completed earlier in the game, making it worthless.
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • In the Dixit episode, Wil comments on the fact that he and Leo are in joint last place behind the two female players:
      Wil: Team Dudes! We're gonna suck together! ...Wait, no that doesn't sound right at all.
    • A similar thing happens again in The Resistance when everyone starts suspecting Wil:
      Alison: Where's the Wil I used to know?
      Wil: I don't know. He's seen some things.
      Alison: Like a red spy card?
      Wil: No, no, no! Like he had to sit through a lot of tampon talk before the cameras rolled.
    • In Tsuro of the Seas, Kevin Pereira's response to his boat being eaten by a dragon:
    Kevin: Once again, Pereira gets it in the rear! ...I'm gonna rephrase that... No... ...Aah, it's already done.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: After the player playing the betrayer in Betrayal at House on the Hill reveals his evil plan:
    Wil: And I'm the traitor, bitches!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Wil is winning a lot more in the succeeding seasons than he did in Season 1
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer for Dread, Part 2 managed to spoil most of the plot developments in that episode, ruining the tension that had developed in Part 1.
  • The Vamp: In the Fiasco episode, as John put it, Bonnie took What Could Have Been an empty little club girl, and turn her into an Insane, Machiavellian, Omnisexual monster.
  • Verbal Backspace: Andy Hull after implying that Tabletop wasn't a "real show".
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Generally, the contestants on the show are all friends of Wil. That said, he and Jesse have a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis kind of deal on camera, if the Star Trek: Five Year Mission episode is any indication.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": Jesse Cox invokes this verbatim during the Stone Age episode, in regards to Nika Harper.
    Jesse: I'm sure Nika thinks she's a wizard, but... I think she's more of a witch. With a B.
  • Zerg Rush: Nika's strategy in Stone Age is compared to this, as she consistently uses the breeder to create more meeples for herself without developing agriculture or tool-making.

And until next time: Play more games!