The show uploads regularly, with news videos being posted Monday-Thursday, as well as a special "Friday Show" where Phil covers fan-requested stories and stories from earlier in the week that he couldn't cover due to time (originally dedicated to answering fan questions on news stories covered in the week). In April 2016, Phil bumped the show's upload rate to 7 days a week with the additions of two zanier, community-based segments called "NSFW Saturday" and "Sunday Funday". These segments have since been discontinued.
In every show, Phil picks three to five current news/politics/pop culture items and gives each of them a brief (1-2 minute) treatment, with his own, frequently acerbic, opinions and commentary added on. Interspersed with these are recurring segments:
- "Today in Awesome", a Once an Episode segment following a show's first story where he credits the show's sponsor and highlights a list of cool videos that always ends with a Secret Link of the Day
- "BAMFnote /Douchebag of the Day", a less frequent segment where he discusses particularly heroic and/or vile individuals
Each item is accompanied by a link in the description to further details. He often asks questions and encourages fans to answer them in a comments, since he believes that the PDS is less of a show and more of a conversation.
The PDS has become popular enough over its multi-year run that DeFranco has been invited to do news shows at various political events, including the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. It has spun off additional channels, such as SourceFed (multiple daily news videos), SourceFed Nerd (like SourceFed but for games, movies, and tech), and ForHumanPeoples (a variety channel as well as the name of his merch company).
Today in Awesome, brought to you by TV Tropes:
- Audience Participation: Encourages this ten-fold, what with his firm belief that the PDS isn't a show, but a conversation. His Friday shows were formerly dedicated to answering fan questions on news stories covered during the week, but they're now dedicated to covering fan-requested stories. Even during the week, he'll often leave a slot empty in his show and ask for story recommendations via Twitter.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: From the October 13, 2011 show, when talking about collecting items from a car after an accident:Philip: You know, I got a tire jack, I got some magazines, some CDs, 31 condoms filled with semen, and my checkbook.
- Catchphrase: He has opening, Once an Episode, and signing off catch phrases:
- "'Sup, you Beautiful Bastards? Hope you're having a fantastic [day]! Welcome back to the Philip DeFranco Show, and let's just jump into it!"
- For a brief period of time, he added, "Hit that like button otherwise I'm gonna punch you in the throat." He's noted that it's an empty threat, but his fans responded well enough for him to keep using it.
- "I love yo faces!"
- "Don't be stupid, stupid!" (in response to someone exhibiting idiotic behavior)
- Clickbait Gag: "Clickbait Clickbait, Suspending Hypocrites, and Saying Goodbye to SourceFed" features a discussion of clickbait where Phil mentions a cosplayer solely to put her in the thumbnail. He questions if it's really clickbait if he discusses it in the video and ends up astounded by how many times he's said the word until he jumps into the video's actual content.
- Dehumanizing Insult: Philip has called certain people "monsters" or "garbage" when he considers them despicable, which has led to reactions calling him out on his words being dehumanizing. He believes that no amount of human decency should ever be shown towards a thing that clearly lacks it.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- When discussing how young girls actively try to get pregnant to get on the show 16 and Pregnant on the December 8, 2010 show, Phil quips that the show is "so trashy that people waiting in line for Maury are like 'What the fuck...'"
- On the January 5, 2016 episode, Phil covers a story regarding model and aspiring singer Molly O'Malia. As part of a test, he goes around the office showing a picture of O'Malia to his coworkers, asking them how old they think she is. When everyone finds out that she's only fourteen, they all react with horror. note
- Everything's Better with Monkeys:
- Straight use when the show had an iconic news monkey, complete with a squawk during the intro.
- However, it has since been averted; Phil retired it since after discovering that jumping into the story/content of a video as fast as possible helped the watch-through rate and subsequently boosted his videos in YouTube's algorithm, as they reward videos that keep people watching longer.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: He reported on DMX's being sentenced to a year in prison solely to get to say the line "X did not give itnote to 'emnote ", and then unashamedly goes into a long-winded explanation of the jokenote .
- Jump Cut: Frequently used in the editing of his videos to create a fast-paced feel.
- N-Word Privileges: He doesn't have them, opting to say "boys" or "N-words" in exchange for "niggas", even when reading lyrics from a Kanye West song.
- Only in Florida:
- Once per Episode: Recurring segments include "Douchebag Of The Day"/"BAMF Of The Day", "Sexy Time News", and "Today in Awesome". Rarer segments include "What the F*** [X] people?!"
- Product Placement: As he has many companies that sponsor his videos, the start of his Today in Awesome segments are usually dedicated to quick advertisements for his sponsors, usually with some special discount code of his. However, whenever he has to report on a particularly troubling story, he'll not only remove monetization from the video but also remove any sponsor so people won't think he's financially profiting.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Infamously gave one to a commenter who claimed that the 2017 Portland train stabbingnote was a result of "dumb fucks" who were white-knighting and should've stayed out of it unless there was physical assault occurring. Reactions to Phil's telling-off of the commenter were split, with some wholly enjoying Phil's roasting and others believing his words to be harsh and uncalled for.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!:
- Phil stated that in spite of YouTube screwing over his videos by means of mass demonetization and algorithm issues, he would not censor himself.
- It's now regular on the PDS for Phil to take away all monetization on videos covering tragedies or other very serious stories, even rescheduling Today in Awesome sponsors if he has to.
- Phil is also very clear that anyone he is either sponsored by, or endorsed, needs to be credible and legit. When criticism towards Better Help, an online therapy based website, was brought up due to the wording of their legal disclaimers that made it seem like they were not being truthful, Phil removed his sponsorship from them, and requested that he, and an independent journalist be allowed to investigate the issue. Doesn't matter how positive his experience was before, he does not want to sponsor someone/something that is not credible.
- Sell-Out: Phil consistently defies this, refusing to diminish his content or perspective for societal or monetary gain. He vocally refused to censor himself in light of his videos beginning to get demonetized, and in response to a fan asking if he was going to be in the 2016 edition of YouTube Rewind, Philip made a response that greatly implied that YouTube approached him, asked him to make a pro-Hillary video, and kicked him out of Rewind after he refused to do so.
- Shown Their Work: The show prioritizes accuracy far over speed when it comes to reporting stories of immense weight, usually waiting a day or two to solidify as many facts as possible. And even when they do slip up (for example, in the show where Phil discusses the death of Shinee's Kim Jong-hyun, the video accidentally includes the image of a different K-pop singer also named Kim Jong-hyun), they take it very seriously.
- Signing-Off Catchphrase: "As always, my name's Philip DeFranco, you've just been Phil'd in, I love yo faces, and I'll see you tomorrow."
- Stealth Insult: Gives one to a Wired writer for about writing about PewDiePie's perceived racism:Philip: Do your research! I'm a guy on the Internet, you're supposed to be a journalist! Although, to your defense, your Twitter bio says writer at Wired. Not journalist. So maybe it's silly of me to think you've done any work.
- Take That!: Whenever mentioning ISIS in a news story, Phil will always call them by his preferred nickname for them, Goat Fuckers International.
- Too Dumb to Live: During his January 26, 2011 show, Phil showed a video of a man who flattened himself against a railroad track while a train drove over top of him. And thus, the segment we all know and love, "What the F*** White People", was born.
- Tranquil Fury: When probably irked, he can get snide and snarky, but Phil never really raises his voice.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: This is one of Phil's favorite ways to introduce a tragicomic story. As one example: *cuts to picture of explosion* (at 3:09).
- "As always, my name's Philip DeFranco, you've just been Phil'd in, I love yo faces, and I'll see you tomorrow."