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Web Video / The Brain Scoop

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"Is that dead? Is that dead? Is that dead?" Yes, you guys. Everything is dead.
Emily Graslie, host of the Brain Scoop

Have you ever gone to a museum and seen a stuffed animal on the wall? Have you ever wondered how, exactly, you turn a dead animal into a stuffed one?

Well, Emily Graslie, with the help of some flesh-eating beetles and a creepy stuffed raccoon, is going to show you! Join her for a journey through the magical world of museum taxidermy, to learn about everything from wolf-stomachs to skeleton preparation to, yes, the scooping of brains.


The Brain Scoop is a series of educational YouTube videos that can be found here. Michael Aranda created the theme tune and it is currently produced, edited, and directed by Brandon Brungard since Emily's move to Chicago. Produced by Hank Green, co-host of Crash Course and SciShow. She is currently employed as the full-time first-ever Chief Curiosity Correspondent of the Field Museum of National History.



  • Autopsy Snack Time: Emily doesn't eat while dissecting and prepping the specimens, but frequently talks about what she wants to eat or how hungry she is, or compares the texture of the flesh to food like pepperoni slices.
  • Blunt "Yes": Answer about stuffed animals: "Yes, you guys. Everything is dead."
  • Breakout Character: Emily first appeared on YouTube in Hank Green's December 7, 2012 VlogBrothers video in which Hank visits the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana. In the video, Emily showed Hank a wide variety of the specimens in the lab. Because of her ease in front of the camera, enthusiasm, and fan comments, Emily was offered her own YouTube channel.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "It still has brains on it." It comes up at the end of most videos.
    • When Emily debunks something or otherwise says something that might disappoint the viewer, she'll usually toss out the sad trombone noise.
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  • Edutainment Show: Part of the VlogBrothers' continued efforts to create an online empire of entertaining and educational YouTube videos.
  • Haunted House: The Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum might be haunted by ghosts. Or just a creepy stuffed raccoon.
  • Inappropriate Hunger:
    • Emily has mentioned food or being hungry while dissecting or prepping specimens, most notably comparing a thin slice of frozen dead wolf to pepperoni slices.
    Emily: "I want pizza."
    • In "Squirrel McNastyface", the titular squirrel's head is removed and Emily starts swirling its brain with a brain scoop. Michael remarks that the gelatinous brain matter sticking to the scoop reminds him of when he tries making homemade thousand island dressing.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: The Brain Scoop makes biology and taxidermy fascinating through Emily Graslie's obvious love for discovering new things. In "Zebra Bits", Emily was helping Anna Goldman prepare some parts of a zebra from a local zoo that had been in a freezer for a few years. Some parts of it were dried out and had begun to decay, emitting a smell which Emily likened to bad hot dogs. So Anna decided to check this for herself and decided the smell was actually that of good hot dogs.
  • Nobody Poops: According to "Into Peru", traveler's diarrhea and Potty Failure are just part of fieldwork expeditions.
  • No Periods, Period: Lampshaded. Emily mentions in "Into Peru" that the topic of how women on field expeditions deal with menstruation never comes up.
  • That's All, Folks!: "Yeah, it still has brains on it." This sentence is Emily's sign-off.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Discussed. Emily has said on Q&A segments that if Michael or any of her cinematographers happens to catch her vomiting onscreen, it will make it to the final episode because it is part of the job sometimes. Michael even said that he awaits the day when Emily vomits out the sides of her mask.


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