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"Hi, everyone. TVthony Tropestano here, the Internet's busiest music nerd, and it's time for a description of the TV Tropes article, The Needle Drop."

The Needle Drop is a web/radio-based review show hosted by music critic Anthony Fantano (self-described as "the Internet's busiest music nerd") that was started in 2007 (although video reviews didn't start until 2009).

The music Anthony reviews is within a range of "rock, pop, electronic, metal, hip hop and experimental music", although he often reviews indie or underground albums, with bigger names dropping in due to demand or relative acclaim. Anthony rates projects on a 0-10 scale, with the unique trait of the accompanying adjectives "light", "decent", and "strong".

Anthony has grown infamous for his at-times-controversial scores, and has gained a particular reputation for giving widely praised albums a 6/10 rating (one of the most notorious examples being the universally acclaimed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). To date, he has only given seven albums a perfect 10 in his reviews: Death Grips' The Money Store, Swans' To Be Kind, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, Kids See Ghosts' Kids See Ghosts, Daughters' You Won't Get What You Want, Spellling's The Turning Wheel, and Lingua Ignota's Sinner Get Ready.note 

On the flip side, Anthony is far from a Caustic Critic, almost always discussing albums in a calm, rational manner and often finding things to praise in albums he otherwise dislikes. As such, when he gets genuinely angry, disgusted, or irritated in a review, that's usually when you know that he hates the album. Releases that incur such reactions usually get slapped with a "NOT GOOD" rating rather than given a proper score, often bringing out his snark in the process, or given an arguably worse 0/10 rating. Only six albums have been given this rating — Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, Chance the Rapper's The Big Day, Green Day's Father of All Motherfuckers, Tones and I's Welcome to the Madhouse, Ken Carson's X, and Machine Gun Kelly and Trippie Redd's genre: sadboy — although a few "NOT GOOD" albums have received reviews that are at least as scathing. In February of 2021, Anthony gave his first ever "NOT BAD" rating (to Steven Wilson's The Future Bites), indicating a pleasant surprise from an artist whose work he hadn't previously enjoyed.

Besides Anthony, there are also various cameos by his bizarre roommate/alter ego Cal Chuchesta, who has gained an immense following in his fanbase, to the point of releasing his own mixtape (much to Anthony's chagrin).

He has also has a number of series on his channels besides reviews that includes:

The show used to be highly popular on 4chan's music board /mu/, partially due to the fact Anthony himself was an avid user of the site, and birthed a great Fountain of Memes that Anthony wholeheartedly supported. Nowadays, however, he is a massively polarizing figure there (which might have something to do with him becoming one of the most famous music critics on the Internet), and Anthony has gone on record saying he hasn't frequented /mu/ in a long time.

His YouTube channel can be found here, and his side channel (which contains op-eds concerning music news, responses to articles, and more miscellaneous content) can be found here. Starting in 2020, he also started streaming listening parties and artist interviews on Twitch. His Twitch channel can be found here.

Tropethany Tropetano:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Averted for the most part, as Anthony often goes out of his way to mention the good elements in projects he pans as much as he mentions bad things in projects he praises, which may or may not factor into his overall score (his review of Speedin' Bullet to Heaven has him faintly compliment a few riffs and "Judgemental Cunt", but the overall experience was so horrendous for him he gave it his first 0/10). Even in his "NOT GOOD" series, he often gives at least a few areas of highlight, even if it's faint.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: Cal Chuchesta constitutes the Type 1 variety. This was most evident during the "Cal is dead" arc, where Anthony continued the act, still treating Cal like he was a different person.
  • Appropriated Appellation: One of Anthony's most common nicknames, "Melon" (used affectionately by fans), originated as an insult thrown his way from Zomby.
  • April Fools' Day:
    • The joke episodes that are his PLANNINGTOROCK review and Changing some review scores to "10" were uploaded on this day.
    • 2019 featured a double-subverted Bait-and-Switch of this in his review of Billie Eilish's universally-praised When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which Anthony hyped up as being an album that he would dislike, given the initial thumbnail had him in his red flannel and the tweet linking to the video had vomit emojis included in it. The video itself, however, features him wearing a yellow flannel for the whole video, never once switching to red, and spending most of the review praising the album, even giving it a respectable 8/10 by the end.
    • 2021 gave us a "review" of a fictional Death Grips album called Art Sec. KO that's actually a poorly edited "review" of OK Orchestra by AJR, where he pretends to praise it despite it being incredibly clear he hates it. To top it off, he's wearing a bizarre flannel that's red on one side and yellow on the other.
    • 2022 had a redux review of Playboi Carti's Whole Lotta Red. Beyond mentions of it being a redux, it's actually the same script verbatim as his original review.
    • 2023 saw Anthony review Portals by Melanie Martinez. The review seems normal at first he gives context for Martinez and his past opinions of her, and then he describes the album itself...which according to Anthony consists of her making a hard musical shift from mainstream pop to djent, with a 14-minute opener and experimental prog-rock performances. In actuality, based on the song titles and tracklist he gives, he's describing a 2021 live album by the band Tesseract, also titled PORTALS.
    • 2024 produced a "review" of Kanye West's VULTURES 2note . The video starts with a roughly four-minute long argument between himself and Cal, who's mad about Anthony’s non-review of VULTURES 1. Anthony and Cal then decide to listen to the first track together, which turns to be an old soul sample followed by nonstop fart noises followed by the word "antisemitism" being repeated on loop. The whole thing's a not-altogether subtle Take That! toward viewers who had claimed he was taking a stance on Kanye and his controversies over viewing the music on its own merits, ignoring that the subject matter of the album is, in several parts, about said topics.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In his review of Travis Scott's UTOPIA, while making a recap/reintroduction to Scott's career up to this point and talking about the Astroworld Festival disaster, he makes a comparison to McDonalds, explaining that they're one of the most terrible and exploitative brands on the planet today — plus, the food is "mid".
  • Ascended Fanboy: Anthony works in radio and is an NPR contributor.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: During the "Cal is in Hell" arc, Anthony showcased that he really does love Cal Chuchesta, even admitting to it when he tried to replace Cal with a cat, calling it Cat Chuchesta.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Long after he established his famed "yellow flannel = good, red flannel = bad" trend for reviews, he's (very sparingly) exploited it to screw around with audience expectations:
    • For his review of Billie Eilish's widely-acclaimed debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, he originally advertised it with a fake thumbnail of him with a red flannel, with the initial tweet marked with puking emojis before the link. This was just an April Fools' Day joke; in the actual review, he instead wears a yellow flannel and gives the album a glowing review and a 8/10 score, and the thumbnail has since been replaced to properly reflect the content.
    • Anthony's review of Lil Nas X's much-anticipated debut album, MONTERO, features a thumbnail of him in a red flannel with his face buried in his hands. However, within the first few seconds of the video, he introduces himself with as "Justthony Jokestano here!" and quickly removes the flannel, then proceeds to give the album an overall positive review with a 7/10 score.
  • Breakout Character: Anthony has even acknowledged that a portion of his viewer base is there because they only watch his videos to see Cal, and so has Poppy, of all people.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Cal is a funny, mostly innocent and oblivious guy, but after Anthony gave a bad review to his mix tape, well..let's just say Anthony learned this the hard way in the next review.
  • Broken Record:
  • Broke the Rating Scale:
  • Brown Note: The cover of Born This Way causes Anthony and Cal to throw up. Amusingly, Cal then chose Born This Way as one of his favorites albums of 2011 (so far), and when called out by Anthony on the fact that it made them throw up, he replied by stating that it was the most fun he'd had throwing up all year.
  • The Bus Came Back: While "thatistheplan" shut down around late 2017, Anthony's persona from that channel returns to host the "Top 10 Music Memes" as a preamble to his annual List Week, complete with orange beanie, shades, white tank top, and a huge load of bizarre Stylistic Suck.
  • Catchphrase: Aside from those listed in Mad Libs Catch Phrase and Signing-Off Catchphrase below.
    • "Hi, everyone. Anthony Fantano here, (the) Internet's busiest music nerd, and it's time for a review of the new [artist] [album/EP/etc.]...[title]."
    • "Best teeth in the (fucking) game."
    • "This new [artist] album... it's not good." *explosion*
    • When an artist he respects does a feature for an artist he doesn't: "I hope they got a big, fat check!"
  • Caustic Critic: Although his more infamous reviews often have him painted as this by the public, it's genuinely averted as he tends to be quite calm and collected even with music he dislikes, managing to point out its strengths as well as its flaws. That said, he usually avoids the other extreme, Gushing About Shows You Like, giving a balanced look into both the strengths and weaknesses of the albums he reviews. The two notable times he played this trope straight were the reviews of Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, in which he went into Deadpan Snarker mode, and Speedin' Bullet to Heaven, which he trashed without even trying to be funny and gave his lowest score ever.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Once again, Cal.
  • Color Motifs: It's common knowledge now that if Anthony's got on a yellow flannel, he loves the album he's reviewing, and if he's got on a red flannel, he hates it or finds it bad. He later on introduced an orange flannel, signifying he thinks the album isn't great, but still good, as well as a white flannel, which skews a bit more negatively but can still be anywhere from a 5 to a 7.
  • Couch Gag:
  • Dead Artists Are Better: invoked
    • Anthony has repeatedly addressed this concept following the deaths of various artists for projects he gave negative reviews to, namely Chester Bennington, Lil Peep, and XXXTentacion. Their deaths don't change his opinions on their albums, though he still invariably sees their premature deaths as tragic and pays his dues to everyone involved.
    • Anthony also humorously points out how stupid it is that David Bowie had to DIE to finally win a Grammy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When reviewing bad albums or usually in general.
  • Deal with the Devil: Implied as to be why Cal's went to hell for a brief arc, as he made a deal with the "Damon", later revealed to have been done to "get his mixtape out".
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In his video debating messages in music, Anthony asks the audience "And what about people who're in my position? In every review, do I have to throw in a footnote that says 'Anthony Fantano does not necessarily agree with the ideology of the artist he is currently reviewing in this review?'"
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: Parodied in the "NOT GOOD" review of When Legends Rise, where Cal threatens to whip Anthony with a belt if he doesn't review that album.
  • Doo-Wop Progression: The jingle at the end of all his reviews follow this progression, a fact he lampshades when reviewing In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: His pre-2010-to-2011 videos, recorded with much more meager means, don't feature Cal, and are recorded against a black background instead of in front of his apartment walls as they are in later videos.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • Corey Feldman's Angelic 2 The Core proved to be such a hot messinvoked that by Anthony's own admission, it broke his usual review format, with his video on it instead being a 50-minute long live play-by-play and riff of each track. Anthony later described the album as being so uniquely bad that he struggled to accurately describe through his usual format how badly it fails, and drastic measures had to be taken.
      Anthony: In a way, this record made me as a reviewer feel kind of inadequate. I felt like in order to talk about this album, I had no other option other than to grab my laptop, throw it right here, and just literally play clips off of the record as I just go insane in front of all of you on camera.
    • Anthony's "review" of Kanye West's VULTURES 1 was a much more serious case of this. For starters, it's simply titled "unreviewable 1", with the video's description and Anthony himself at the start declaring the album to be "unreviewable". The rest of the video is Anthony giving a serious lecture over what he seeks to impart through his music reviews — either getting the viewer to consider why they like or dislike the music in question regardless of his opinion, or to promote music he thinks would be interesting for the viewer to try — and why he feels that Kanye West as an artist, ever since his plunge into antisemetism and other hateful, conspiratorial rhetoric circa 2022, alongside his incredibly polarized audiences — who either continue to defend Kanye and/or completely ignore his controversial acts in face of any criticism, or have been completely alienated to begin with — has made him impossibly unapproachable for accomplishing either of those goalsinvoked.
  • Four-Point Scale: He largely averts this, which is actually a factor in why his scores tend to be so infamous. While scoring albums between 0 to 10, he uses every possible point on the scale, itself representing a wide breadth of quality — he only gives a 10 to records he considers significantly flawless, while 0 represents a record completely devoid of any merit, which in turn means a 5 is a record he considers totally average (in comparison to a typical Four-Point Scale, he usually considers a 7/10 as a solid and respectably "good" score). Due to the subjectivity he places onto his own scores, he additionally specifies how strongly he feels about giving them (for instance, he might rate a single album album either a "strong 7" or a "light-to-decent 8").
  • Gainax Ending: The Born This Way review. Anthony decides to take the time to simply stare at the album cover with the audience. After a few moments pass, Anthony and Cal spontaneously throw up. Anthony then looks at the camera with a grin and says, "You can't judge me. I was born this way."
  • Gasshole: Anthony often burps loudly in his videos, especially when hearing particularly bad takes during "Let's Argue" videos.
  • Gentle Giant: Despite his very buff and intimidating appearance, he's a vegan and known for his very kind, calm, and nerdy demeanour.
  • Hidden Depths: Is a skilled bass player; around the late 2000s, he played in a band called Taiga and continues to play it as a hobby to this day.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In his review of Pink Season by Pink Guy, he calls Filthy Frank "a YouTuber famous for playing these depraved, obnoxious, offensive characters because he's too much of a loser to just be himself" right before Cal shows up.
    Cal: Gotta learn to love yourself, buddy!
  • Idiosyncratic Ratings Scale: Anthony uses a 0 - 10 numerical scale when rating albums, but qualifies the numbers with "light", "decent", or "strong". He also uses "NOT GOOD" as its own rating for albums that he didn't have high expectations for and which did end up being complete duds in his opinion, as well as a "NOT BAD" for albums he had low expectations for but was surprisingly impressed with upon listening.
  • Fan Vid: There are a few odd remixes of reviews and livestreams.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Anthony did a short miniseries in his Vinyl Update series where he showed his collection of 7-inch LPs. What did he call said miniseries? My 7-Inches.
  • Jerkass: Anthony to Cal, ten-fold.
  • Large Ham:
  • Laugh Track:
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: Anthony has had a lot of fun with the "___thony ___tano" variations of his name, as have his fans. He's made so many of them that there have even been several shirts made with lists of the mutations.
    • In June 2020, he began regularly replacing his name with statements of racial justice ("Justice for Breonna Taylor," "Demilitarize the Police," "The Reason You See Lawlessness in the Streets is Because of the Lawlessness of Police," etc.), in wake of George Floyd's death.
  • Malaproper: Cal Chuchesta somewho marriages to duh this with evening the moist bassist wards.
  • Mind Screw: His 2014 April Fool's joke had him do two reviews of the same album, but one gives it a 0/10 and one gives it a 10/10. Well the joke itself isn't confusing, the way he delivers both reviews in his usual style makes it hard to tell which of his reviews is serious, which is a joke, how much of it is a joke, and all that.
  • No Indoor Voice: Anthony's default in any of his "RESIST" videos.
  • N-Word Privileges: He has outright stated that he chooses not to have them.
    • In his review of Death Grips' Niggas on the Moon, he never once refers to the album by its name.
    • He once described Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Niggas in Paris" as "the song about them being in Paris".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • His review of Mount Eerie's A Crow Looked at Me is one of the most mature he's ever done, as the album is directly based on the death of the wife of its creator (Phil Elverum). Out of respect, there's no editing gags, no Cal, and no opening joke.
    • Usually, Anthony tries to have some fun with the bad albums that he reviews, but when he gets to a project that is just that bad, his genuine anger for having to sit through it will come through as he talks about it. Examples of this include his immortally scathing reviews of Corey Feldman's Angelic 2 the Core (which he did an MST on instead of an actual review) and Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet to Heaven (which he gave an incredibly rare 0/10).
    • Anthony is rarely one to become emotional when it comes to songs that have a huge weight, especially if it's from a deceased artist. But it's happened a few times: The first time being in the review for Anderson .Paak's Ventura, where he actually looks like he's going to tear up when discussing .Paak's tribute to Nate Dogg. But it went hard on his TRACK REVIEW for Mac Miller's posthumous "Good News", in particular during the "LISTENING" segment, Anthony is shown breaking down and by the returning segment, he's opening weeping and even struggling on how to discuss the song at all.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • His review of Gold Cobra basically consists of Anthony eating food for six minutes. This gag was revisited ten years later for his review of the album's belated follow-up, Still Sucks, but ran even longer at over fifteen minutes.
    • His review of B.o.B's Ether is him staring at the camera sighing for almost seven solid minutes. He only speaks at the beginning and ending, and during the silent midsection he breaks the silence once to talk to his offscreen wife.
    • Anthony's review of Blarf's Cease & Desist starts off with a typical intro, but then is followed with a supercut of him belching for 4 minutes.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: When discussing music, Anthony generally avoids this notion in his critique. While he does value context, he is primarily a critic of music and prefers to only address controversial background information when it's directly relevant and had an effect on the stuff he's reviewing. The albums he generally considers too entrenched in this (such as Tory Lanez' Daystar, which is entirely about Lanez' criminal allegations, but discussed in a way Anthony found completely dishonest) are most likely ones he avoids formally reviewing altogether.
  • Poe's Lawinvoked: Discussed in Anthony's review of Lulu, the infamous, near-universally maligned collaborative album between Metallica and Lou Reed, which he gave a surprisingly lukewarm-to-positive review. Anthony stated that in addition to genuinely enjoying Reed's lyricism and some of Metallica's instrumental contributions, he admitted to not being entirely sure that it was an album meant to be taken seriously, going on a hunch that at least some of it was a deliberate joke towards listeners to intentionally piss them off, if only because of the particular pedigrees of those involved (Reed, a notorious troll with a history of transgressing the mainstream sensibilities of rock music, pairing up with arguably the most well-recognized and mainstream metal band out there, and neither of them particularly in their prime).
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Cal Chuchesta, Anthony's longtime roommate whose grasp on logic can be at best described as "forgiving", often present by the sides to interject a strange take or non-sequitur to lighten the mood of Anthony's reviews.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: Anthony's "RESIST" videos on his second channel: loud, aggressive, surreal, and—most of all—very fast-paced.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Anthony delivers one towards Cal at the end of "Cal Chuchesta's Fav LPs of 2011 (so far)".
    Anthony: This was... terrible. It was... a bad idea. You're the most terrible person on the face of the planet, you have absolutely no taste, you're an idiot, you're a fool, you're a piece of garbage. I don't even know how you manage to breathe when you wake up in the morning - how do you even have the brain power to feed yourself on a regular basis!? I HATE YOU!
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In-Universe examples.
    • After about three years of releases that Anthony considered mediocre and disappointing, he regained interest in Odd Future with the release of Tyler, the Creator's Wolf and the output of Earl Sweatshirt in 2013. Anthony's opinion of Tyler in particular saw a huge boost with his albums Flower Boy and IGOR, which Anthony praised with respective 8/10 and 9/10 scores, calling the latter "easily one of the best breakup albums of the decade."
    • Anthony was not a Childish Gambino fan early on, giving a scathing review to Camp in particular. His opinions on him started to shift with his lukewarm rating for because the internet, and then fully transitioned to praise with Awaken, My Love!. Gambino's single "This Is America" would end up being #1 on his "Best Singles of 2018" list.
    • Anthony has been notoriously critical of Lana Del Rey since her start, giving her first two albums particularly scathing reviews. He slowly warmed up to her with Honeymoon and Lust for Life as decent improvements, and later gave glowing reviews to 2019's Norman Fucking Rockwell and 2023's Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, in general finding her songwriting as having drastically evolved. It came to a point that in 2023, Anthony did light re-reviews of Born to Die and Ultraviolence on his personal channel, and while he still found the albums inferior to Del Rey's later efforts, he came to find that he was too harsh on them and found plenty more to respect from them with hindsight.
    • Anthony has made it clear that he absolutely despises Steven Wilson, due to considering his music to be too formulaic and very "sterile and clean", especially for someone who is considered a "God of Prog". Anthony has more or less always given Wilson's work very low scores (The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) being a 4/10), considering it to be average at best (Hand. Cannot. Erase. being a 5/10). In 2021, however, Anthony shocked his fans by giving Wilson's new album, The Future Bites, his very first NOT BAD. Not a NOT GOOD, as originally believed, a NOT BAD.
  • Review Ironic Echo: Pulls this in his NOT GOOD review of Imagine Dragons' album Origins; when noting that the final song ends with the refrain "Where did we all go wrong?", he quips that if he was someone working on the album, he'd be asking the same question. He also shamelessly lampshades it by adding a "CLEVER MUSIC CRITIC QUIP INCOMING" caption before said quip and a Laugh Track afterwards, and even pasted it as the description summary in lieu of a short consensus of the review.
  • Running Gag:
    • Cal himself can be considered this, due to his interruptions and his usual surreal commentary whenever he interrupts a review.
    • The tree gag, where a review will at times start off with Fantano walking up to the three outside his home.
    • "MBDTF is a 6/10" or variation of it, something Anthony will poke fun at despite having voiced his annoyance at how prevalent the gag has gone on.
    • Running Gagged: Cal's temporary death has elements of and is treated like this, though he would return from the heap after his revival.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Anthony ends his review of Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet to Heaven by hastily leaving in a huff after giving the album a 0/10, even cutting Cal off when he starts complaining.
  • Signature Transition: Anthony ends his album reviews by saying "Tran-"; the shot then cuts to a different frame of him at his review set or somewhere else in his house where he then says "-sition!" and goes into his outro.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: His official one is "Anthony Fantano...[artist]...[occasionally the title of the reviewed project]...forever."
    • As of late, it is now preceded by "Tran—" "—sition!" (segueing from review Anthony to outro Anthony) and a small outro encouraging Audience Participation:
      "Have you given this album a listen? Did you love it? Did you hate it? What would you rate it? You're the best, you're the best. What should I review next? Hit the like if you like, please subscribe, please don't cry. Hit the bell as well. Over here next to my head is another video you can check out. Hit that up, or the link to subscribe to my channel."
    • A non-spoken example occurs in the description of each review, which always ends with "Y'all know this is just my opinion, right?"
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Most of his videos on his main and side channel are on the serious end with a foot in silly; the videos for the most part consist of his actual opinions, with a few jokes peppered throughout the videos.
  • So Bad, It's Good: This is Anthony's opinion of Corey Feldman's album Angelic 2 the Core, and in his video where he made a tier list of his 0- and NOT GOOD-rated albums, he gave it top tier status.
    I feel like it reinvents bad. It is so bad that, in many respects, it is entertaining, and I respect the hell out of it [...] I think it's gonna take a long time to hear an album that is as gloriously and as creatively and as versatilely bad.
  • Song Parody: The review of The Nostalgia Critic's The Wall opens with Anthony singing a version of "Another Brick in The Wall Pt. 2" complaining about said soundtrack.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Anthony formerly bleeped himself out when he swore. When Anthony first started his reviews he was not averse to swearing, then sometime in 2010 he started censoring any curse words that popped up, and as of 2012, he let the occasional "goddamn" or even the occasional "fuck" slip out without censoring it.
  • Stylistic Suck:
  • Surreal Horror: His reviews of Peppa the Pig and Gunna's Wunna. Though both are humorous as well due to the presence of Cal.
  • Surreal Humor: His editing gags, Cal's segments, and the tree.
  • Story Arc: Implied after the events of the April Fool's "episode" where Cal dies. After Cal dies, Anthony tries to move on, only to be tormented by Cal's screams of terror, crying out that he is on fire. Anthony tries to assume he just misses Cal, until Cal begins appearing on the "Whack Cal Zone" wall screen in the "Tyler the Creator - Cherry Bomb" review. It's finally revealed in both the "Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld - Never Were the Way She Was" and "Blur - The Magic Whip" review that Cal is in hell after making a deal with "The Damon". Since the blur review, Anthony has been trying to banish the "damon" in order to save Cal, but for a while, this hadn't been solved. However, with the help of Creationist Cat and the power of jazz, Fantano freed Cal from hell, and Cal made his triumphant return in Anthony's review of Hudson Lantern's Mohawk.
  • Stunned Silence: The intro to his "NOT GOOD" of Avenged Sevenfold's Life is But a Dream... features the same edited-in title text and opening explosion as usual, but Anthony doesn't say a word. He instead spends the first several seconds silently looking offscreen with a bewildered expression before asking "...what the hell is this?"
  • Take That!: Anthony's typically very conservative and respectful to artists, even when giving critical or scathing reviews of their projects, but his section on Jake Paul's "It's Everyday Bro" in "10 Worst Singles of 2017" is just as much a harsh critique on the song as it is on Jake Paul himself.
    Generic trap beat... terrible rapping... garbage bars... mediocre everything... mediocre people...
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe; a strange inversion in his Caustic Window review. We see Cal booting up his computer, and we hear the Windows 95 startup sound. Cal's defense? "It was a good OS!"
  • Updated Re-release: While it's very rare for Anthony to ever give the idea of a re-review any thought, there have been a few exceptions for varying reasons:
    • His "redux" review of The Life of Pablo specifically addressed the final post-release mix of the album, which he found to be a significant improvement over the original cut he had previously reviewed. As such, he changed his score for the album from a 6/10 to an 8/10.
    • In early 2020, in celebration of reaching 2 million subscribers and partly as a nod to the massive volume of fan requests, he re-reviewed My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which he infamously gave a 6/10 upon release...only to end up giving it the same score and admit that his thoughts are all around exactly the same as before.
    • In early 2021, he did a redux review of Gorillaz's Plastic Beach, having found that his initial review a decade prior was almost immediately outdated even at the time — he initially gave it a decently solid 7/10, but by the end of that year had come to love it so muchinvoked that he put it on his year-end list. Having found that it held up as one of the best albums of the 2010s, Anthony did a re-review that gave it proper justice, and bumped his score for the album up to a 9/10.
    • Played for an April Fools' Day joke in 2022 with the redux review of Playboi Carti's 2020 album Whole Lotta Red. While the video is a new recording, the script is almost completely identical to that of the previous review.
    • In early 2023, Anthony did a redux review of Mac Miller's Swimming, presenting perhaps his most drastic change in tune: he initially (and infamously) gave the album a 3/10 due to disliking Miller's increasingly soft and mellow sound (which Anthony saw as Miller dampening his previous strengths), but in the context following Miller's early death, as well as other posthumous works that Anthony found much more compelling, he gave Swimming another look and found it much better than than he originally gave it credit for, bumping his score to a respectable 8/10invoked. The one-sentence blurb of the re-review's description simply reads "Mea culpa."
  • Vindicated by History:
    • Invoked in his "10 Times I Changed My Opinion On Albums" videos, discussing a point of how opinions are allowed to change over time by discussing personal instances where this was the case, whether it be albums he previously disliked but grew on him, or ones he already liked and found even better. To give the topic a fair shake, the videos also conversely contain some inversions, with some albums he found less favorable since he reviewed them.
    • A downplayed case with Kid Cudi's Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven. Anthony gave the album his first-ever 0/10 in his initial review, which immediately entered it into the ranks of infamy among his fans. However, a few years later, he shared that his opinions have greatly softened on the album — he still doesn't think it's a good album, but his opinion has changed from that of hatred to admiration of the artistic risks Cudi took, especially in light of later reviews he did of even worse material.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Anthony and Cal, mainly Anthony. He absolutely loathes Cal, but during the "Cal is in Hell" arc, he showed to actually miss him and wanted to later on save him.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The ending of the Born This Way review.
  • Wham Episode: While the "Changing some scores to '10'" video starts off like a traditional April Fools' Day prank video, Fantano reveals near the end that Cal Chuchesta had died. Unlike the other stuff in the video, this fact was not part of the joke and Cal was still treated as dead for future videos, at least for a brief Story Arc.

Alternative Title(s): Anthony Fantano