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USS Exit Strategy
To boldly flee where no one has fled before.

They took Chicago. They conquered Molossia (for about a week). They survived suburbia. Now, it's time for... SPACE!

To Boldly Flee is the fourth anniversary video event of the website Channel Awesome. Continuing from where Suburban Knights left off, one year later, The Nostalgia Critic is depressed over the loss of Ma-Ti. A galactic threat is brewing, beginning with the appearance of a gigantic "Plot Hole" in space and the vendetta of a bitter Turrell. Put under house arrest by the government for breaking copyright laws with his reviews, Critic discovers the wormhole has some connection to mysterious messages being sent by Ma-Ti, whose body may have died — but the "character" is still in the ether somewhere!

He responds by converting his house into a spaceship and blasting off to find him, defeat Turrell and his allies, prove his innocence so he and his friends can keep their jobs, and stop the hole from disrupting space and time. Comedy, science-fiction film parodies, jabs at Hollywood politics, and dramatic moments ensue.

Atop the Fourth Wall: The Movie is a semi-sequel to this film, dealing with fallout of the events of the Plot Hole.

The first of the film's eight parts premiered on That Guy With The Glasses on August 23, 2012, and it concluded on September 13th. The full movie can be watched here.

To Boldly Flee provide examples of:

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  • 90% of Your Brain: In Part 2, it's revealed that Ma-Ti's brain uploading has boosted Spoony's brain usage to 92%, from a critic's standard 5%.
  • Aborted Arc: The entire subplot about SUCKA is forgotten once the cast gets into space.
  • Abuse Mistake: Type B; when Film Brain overhears Mechakara assimilating The Nostalgia Chick, everyone just assumes they're having a good time.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: In-between spaceship battles, computers blowing up and the possible end of the world, we get things like Film Brain trying to cheer Critic up, Luke telling Snob that the critics are like a family and a vlog by Paw seeing what everyone's up to.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Zodd, Turrell, and surprisingly Mechakara go out in a way that almost provokes sympathy for them, although Turrell still manages to make it funny.
  • All There in the Manual: In response to questions about the Turrell/Critic hate, Rob said in the Scooby-Doo commentary that there were originally some lines about how Turrell didn't want to get angry at his own race for what happened in Battlefield Earth and so blamed the Critic for "distracting" him with the review.
    • Lindsay stated on her twitter why Chick reacted so badly to Todd's face and Lupa didn't (because she saw how awful she was and his face shows you his soul), it wasn't brought up in the movie, even though it's clearly the case as Chick gets a lot nicer afterwards.
  • Arc Words: "Remember."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Part 1, Turrell accuses the Nostalgia Critic with the destruction of his home planet, terrorism, stealing valuable goods, and giving his film a bad review.
  • Artistic License – Law: In Part 1, the Critic is put under house arrest, under the orders of a congressman, without trial, for breaking a law that does not yet exist. Turrell tries to get them to add other charges (most of which are valid) but gets blown off.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence
    • What Ma-Ti did after his death.
    • And what the Nostalgia Critic does to save his universe.
    • Also done by the Last Angry Geek, although he descended in the "Search for the Geek" storyline of Heinz's series, "Comic Book Issues".
  • A-Team Firing
    • Both Dredd-Critic and the assorted mooks he fights in Part 4 are horrible shots, able to miss each other at point-blank range when neither is moving. Critic is justified, as he's only been seen to fire handguns in his reviews.
    • Both Turrell and the Critic miss every shot at each other in Part 7 despite using laser weapons and charging right at each other. Yet again, Critic is justified, as he's only had the car lasers since around Part 2, when the ship was built.
  • Author Appeal: Aside from the usual Homoerotic Subtext and expanse of male chest, strangling seems to be a thing. Mechakara to JewWario, Chick to Lupa, Mechakara again to Zodd, and a deleted scene of Todd to Joe. Lampshaded by Reloaded Critic:
    Critic: Okay, seriously, this may be the first time a film series gets a sexual harassment case from a guy. The movie has more man-skin than Leatherface's wardrobe! Either somebody come out of the closet or double-bolt that closet so we don't have to look at it.
  • Avengers Assemble: The summoning of the critics via transporter in Part 2.
  • Bedmate Reveal: How the Last Angry Geek is introduced in Part 1. A scene in the original draft would have hit home with realistic results, as Critic waking up to The Last Angry Geek in his bed (like how he woke up to Spoony) would have resulted in him cowering on the floor because he thought he had been raped again, and the Last Angry Geek having to waste precious time to coax him back to normal.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Referenced by Snob in order to get Luke angry: their plan for Critic is to turn him into an empty but self-important thing that people only take an interest in out of Bile Fascination.
  • Behind the Black: Played with in Part 1 when the Last Angry Geek seems to disappear after his scene... only to jump back up and leave by the door.
  • Berserk Button: For the love of Almighty God, do NOT call 8-Bit Mickey short. Prick finds this out the hard way...
  • Best Served Cold:
    Turrell: It is very lukewarm with a side of mashed potatoes and that gravy that gets a little skin on top that gets stuck in your teeth in spaaaaace.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: General Zodd and Turrell look to be Co-Dragons for the Executor, and Mechakara also features heavily. As of ''Part 3," he is seen working with Turrell to understand how Malachite's Hand works. Ma-ti serves as a secondary villain near the end of the movie.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    • Pulled by Lupa and JewWario on Mechakara, Seven of Eleven, and Robo Todd in Part 6.
    • Chick gets her turn when Critic is being held at gunpoint by Mechakara, knocking the robot out with one of the boots.
    • Then by Linkara in Comicron 1 in Part 8.
  • Big "NO!": Cinema Snob, or should we say Darth Snob, pulls one in Part 6. It's followed immediately afterwards by a Big "YES!".
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    Nostalgia Critic: People of the world! Critics everywhere! There's only one way to officially stop this thing once and for all — we have to make the Plot Hole bigger!
    USS Exit Strategy Crew: (Beat) WHAT!?
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Executor has been destroyed and his threat vanquished once and for all, Ma-Ti is finally at peace, their world was saved from utter destruction, The Internet and the Critics will live on. But the Nostalgia Critic is gone, as is Ma-Ti. While still sad as a self-contained movie, it becomes less harsh after Critic's revived series.
  • Blood Is the New Black: After gruesomely killing Prick, Mickey casually walks back to the bridge covered in blood.
  • Book Ends
    • Part 1 involves the Critic, under house arrest, forced to stay in his house. Part 8 involves him staying indoors voluntarily when he enters reality to prevent his universe from being erased.
    • The first anniversary revolved around a childish fight between The Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd. To Boldly Flee ends with them shaking hands and acknowledging their respect for each other, showing how far they've come.
    • A rather subtle one occurs in the climax of Part 8. The scene where Chicago gets absorbed by the plot hole is shot from the exact same angle as the first shot in The Brawl.
  • Breather Episode: After three intense dramedy-like installments, Part 4 is much more light-hearted. Of course it still ends on a downer with Snob getting accidentally captured.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall
    • In Part 8, The Critic meets The Writer.
    • Chester A. Bum actually complains about a plot-hole in the movie itself.
    • The Critic saying that the audience worked out that Gort was really the Angry Video Game Nerd fairly early on, whilst gesturing at the camera.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Critic's plan in Part 7 was to make everyone think he'd reverted into Dirty Coward characterization so nobody would notice or care that he'd gone into the Plot Hole. Ironically Doug has said he's always hated this trope, so Critic doing it doesn't end up in a Third-Act Misunderstanding followed by Happily Ever After, but him dying and only a couple of people knowing/caring about his sacrifice.
  • Brick Joke
    • When Paw Dugan calls up Linkara to ask for his spaceship in Part 1, Linkara is insulted when Paw thinks he reviews lamps. Then, in Part 6...
    Critic: I knew it. I never did trust Linkara. What kind of freak reviews lamps?
    • In Part 2, when Film Brain asked the Critic where he got the teleporting technology from, he explained he stole it from Dr. Insano. In the finale, when Critic asked where he got the technology to contact CR and JO on the Dream Amplifier blueprints, the Nerd offhandedly explains he stole it from Dr. Insano too.
    • The Potted Plant. It really ties the room together.
    • In Part 3, 8-Bit Mickey suggests a "sexy dance party" after the mission is over. In the finale, he is seen dancing with his shirt off.
    • In Part 6 of the film, Mechakara devours a grenade after JewWario throws it at him, and doesn't push the detonator. In the finale, SadPanda finds the detonator and presses it, killing Mechakara, Zodd, and Turrell.
    • During Part 4 the USS Exit Strategy's laser are down because the Nostalgia Critic filled them with sugar. In Part 8, Luke does the same to disable the The Death Bomb's major weapon.
    • Turrel's first name is Ferdinand, to the surprise of both Zodd and Chick listening in on Mechakara. Repeating the name in disbelief is what causes Mechakara to notice her.
    • Sci-Fi Guy's house gets obliterated in Part 1. In the stinger of Part 8 he is shown alive in the wreckage.
  • Broken Aesop: Part of the whole point of Critic's plot in this was that he had changed and could make his life better, and therefore all the people who'd related to him could get better too. His show's continuation, with his screaming, loneliness and deathseekering flanderized not so much just breaks that message but grinds it into mash.
  • Broken Record: After showing diagrams of technobabble in Part 1, the Critic's computer screen fills up with the word "remember" over and over again. And then explodes. Even after being unplugged.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The Executor refers to the Cinema Snob's assistance in killing the Last Angry Geek as a "very successful Tuesday".
  • Call-Back
    • Nostalgia Critic repeats a few lines of dialogue from Suburban Knights in Part 1, with Last Angry Geek taking the place of Ma-Ti.
    • Spoony giving the Critic a Facepalm of Doom while ranting in Part 1 is a call back to Ma-Ti’s's death scene and is a clue to what is actually going on.
    • Critic's line about always knowing he'd pay for his crimes against humanity is the exact same wording used against him by the Bhargav Judge in the Junior Dream Sequence.
    • To the opening of Suburban Knights: JesuOtaku shows up to the Critic's house saying he's won a car in Part 2.
    • In Part 2, Mickey calls some suits "goatfuckers".
    • In Part 2, Dr. Insano lampshades the fact that he was an alter-ego of Spoony in Kickassia, but in To Boldly Flee he's a separate character entirely.
    • In Part 1, Critic asks Film Brain if he's ever felt forgotten or cast aside, cutting him off before he can bring up the Luke situation in Suburban Knights.
    • Mechakara still has Malachite's Hand from the end of Suburban Knights.
    • In Part 3, everyone was thinking Chick and Linkara had sex. It's a nod back to the after-credits bonus in Chick's "What Women Want" review, where Linkara was thinking he's in love with her and would kill Todd because of it.
    • In Part 4, the Critic dresses like Judge Dredd, the star of a movie he reviewed.
    • In Part 4, Phelous gets unceremoniously killed several times in a similar manner to how he used to end his reviews. (Also a parody of redshirts.)
    • When viewing Spoony's insulting view of Linkara (being someone so afraid of sun he should sparkle) in Part 5, Mechakara's complaint is Linkara's voice is much MORE annoying than that, a call back to Linkara's voice being the only thing to break his cool during his first arc on the show.
    • Also the gag of "Linkara reviews lamps" starts from SadPanda's "Top 10 TGWTG reviewers". The new Atop the Fourth Wall theme says so.
    • Part 6 has Chick coming out of nowhere to knock the other person out and save Critic again, although the stakes are much higher than in the brawl.
    • Oancitizen's frustration over not being able to sing references his cameo in the crossover review of Moulin Rouge!.
    • The Critic's car has a "Don't fuck with Mara Wilson" bumper sticker, a reference to the review of A Simple Wish.
    • In a rather Heartwarming Moment, Film Brain calls Luke Mochrie "Dudley Do-Right" before Luke leaves to confront her destiny.
    • Just before The Cavalry shows up in Part 8, Phelous yells "Doesn't anyone have any bright ideas?" Critic asked the same thing in Suburban Knights, right before Ma-Ti showed up to save the day.
    • In Part 8, while everyone is listing off their most hated plot holes, Bjork instead shouts "I believe in Santa Christ!", a little bit late. This could be why Santa Christ appears later on.
    • In the same montage, Chester A. Bum brings up the fact that a few episodes ago, CR said that only two could be beamed up at a time yet they managed to beam three up.
    • Again in the same montage, Phelous questions why he suddenly appeared behind a shed for no reason while everyone was fighting Kevin Baugh in Kickassia.
    • Ma-Ti mentions that getting goat porn was one of the stupidest quests Critic had him go on.
    • CR says "You did this! You!" to JO, a callback to the Thomas and the Magic Railroad review.
    • Turrell once again quotes Hamlet. Badly.
    • At the "big low-budget independent film coke party," Mickey is dancing topless (and even giving lap dances), a callback to his insistence on a "sexy party" at the end of the mission.
  • The Cameo
    • In Part 1:
      • Line producer and TGWTG show runner Holly Christine Brown has a voiceover as a news reporter.
      • Photoshop artist Jim Jarosz appears as the government agent who announces that the Critic is under house arrest.
      • Doug and Rob Walker's father Barney portrays a high-ranking government official.
      • Brentalfloss is the announcer for the commercials.
      • In a non-person example, the Cheerios 2 box from one of Walkers' earliest sketches can be seen on the Critic's dresser.
      • Doug's wife's hand makes an appearance when Dr. Tease hypocritically slaps Critic for being a pervert. Elisa didn't want to hit Doug for real, so he begged his missus to be the hand double.
    • In Part 2:
    • In Part 4:
      • Benzaie appears as a French language translator.
    • In Part 5:
      • Jillian from Team Snob as an intern.
    • In Part 8:
  • Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: The oxygen supply in the Critic's ship is turned on and off by buttons on the armrests of the command chair, which the Critic keeps leaning on.
  • Cardboard Prison: Literally done with Spoony in a cardboard box in Part 3. Then averted next episode as it turns out to be heavily guarded.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The Death Bomb's design.
  • The Cast Show Off
    • Doug and Lindsay singing "Distraction".
    • From the same sequence, Kyle parodies this trope in that, despite knowing that attempting to sing would blow his and the Chick's cover due to how he's currently posing as The Speechless, he still tries it at several points, with the Chick constantly having to pull the microphone away from him. Played straight though when he forces the issue at the end of the song and manages to sing the final line.
      Zodd: Destroy that fantastic tenor!
  • Character Check: By the time of the film's release, Phelous had retired the Running Gag of dying repeatedly in his own videos, feeling it had gotten stale. Here, however, Walker's script made it his main character trait, contributing to Phelan's dislike of the film as he felt Doug had a poor grasp of everyone else's characters.
  • Character Development
    • In Part 1, Chick and Critic talk about their issues, and outright show they care for each other, something they found hard to cope with in previous crossovers.
    • This plays a substantial part in Part 8. Doug Walker talks to the Nostalgia Critic about how he ended up taking on a life of his own, and his development ends up saving the Channel Awesome universe.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Parodied by the phenomena of Ma-Ti persisting as a character in the canon, even though the actor left.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The painkillers being passed out like Pez in Part 5, which ended up saving the crew in Part 6.
    • In Part 8, Sage enters the mental world Film Brain and Ma-Ti are in... and there, his "psychic powers" actually mean something.
  • Chekhov's Gun
    • The Thermal Detonator that Ed JO invented in Part 3 that had seemingly no use at the time ends up saving JewWario from Mechakara in Part 6. In Part 8 it goes off, destroying the Death Bomb.
    • Sugar in the laser banks. Luke uses this to disarm the Death Bomb, in Part 8.
    • Paw bringing up Linkara's spaceship in Part 1 pays off in Part 8.
    • Turns out that Nostalgia Chick remains a cyborg even after getting shaken out of Mechakara assimilation, allowing her to quickly download the lyrics to a song General Zodd wanted her to sing, allowing her and Oancitizen to maintain their covers as distractions.
  • Chiaroscuro: As the movie's tone gets darker, so does the lighting. Part Seven has a lot of dim scenes, with the only light being focused on whatever actor's face.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Deconstructed.
    • One of Turrell's motivations is the destruction of his entire home world and race, which happened in a Critic review as a throwaway gag.
    • Ma-Ti became tired of being the Butt-Monkey due to the Accentuate the Negative approach to his character and everyone's reactions to it, and seeks revenge by setting up a situation where the Critic will destroy the rest of his site's cast due to his Jerkass nature. However, the Critic turns out to be evolving beyond such simple characterization...
  • Comically Missing the Point: After hearing about a killing spree in Minnesota in which the targets are male 20-somethings who work from home and have ties to the comic book industry in Part 1, Linkara is relieved that he won't be affected.
  • Coming of Age Story: You could easily look at the film as Critic's, as he goes from impatient manchild to selfless adult by the end. Doug agrees with the interpretation on his commentary.
  • Command Roster
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Critic gives CR a Dope Slap after being TeleportSpammed across the battlefield before returning to the ship.
  • Continuity
    • General Zodd, from the "Merry Zodmas" videos, returns.
    • Unlike Suburban Knights, this film acknowledges that Linkara has a spaceship and an evil robot duplicate. In fact, they both play roles in the plot.
    • Critic's selfish behavior in Kickassia and at the start of Suburban Knights comes back to bite him in the ass.
    • Critic isn't over the self-esteem implosion experienced in the Scooby-Doo review, confiding in the Chick that he feels pretty awful about himself.
    • The ending of the Last Angry Geek's Deathstroke review leads directly into his appearance here.
    • Mechakara is continuing his original mission of trying to understand and control powerful magical artifacts — in this case, Malachite's Hand.
    • The spooning-induced awkwardness between Critic and Spoony continues, as Critic gets very squicked out by Ma-Ti Spoony's No Sense of Personal Space and talk of "coming holes". In an earlier draft of the movie, he showed his trauma over it even more, cowering under the bed because of The Last Angry Geek's Bedmate Reveal.
    • And in Part 5, Critic notes that the Chick probably felt sickened by Spoony's naked body too, in reference to the first Spooning With Spoony.
  • Continuity Porn: Like Critic's Scooby-Doo episode, fittingly for what was meant to his Grand Finale. There are a lot of storylines unlike Suburban Knights or Kickassia, and it's a better experience if one didn't just have knowledge of those two movies, but of how badly Critic was feeling in his own episodes, the Spooning with Spoony series, Linkara's issues and enemies, the Chick/Todd/Lupa storyline and where multiple other continuity nods came from.
  • Cool Ship
    • The USS Exit Strategy.
    • Turrell's ship pre-transformation into a house.
    • The masked pilot/Angry Video Game Nerd's ship as well.
    • And the Last Angry Geek's Starfury/X-Wing fighter.
    • The Critic's Mazda3 straddles the line between this and Cool Car.
    • And while the coolness was established in his own show, Linkara's Comicron One makes for a very cool ship itself.
  • Corner of Woe: The first time we see Critic in part seven, he's in the corner and clearly stewing in self-hatred. But because he puts on a Stepford Smiler Dirty Coward act, the others (except Film Brain, and Chick is also concerned) are all too willing to leave him alone.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen
    • A very literal case, according to Film Brain's and Critic's discussion of Ma-Ti's will in Part 1.
    • Also done by Prick, who wrote "help me" on Mickey's shirt in his own blood during Mickey's Berserk Button rampage in Part 2.
  • Creepy Circus Music: Over Spoony's image of Critic. Added onto the perception's wide smile, jerky movements and blank eyes, plus the spooning from before still very much on real Critic's mind, the overall message is disturbing.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The mooks on the baddies' ship are trained only on their own equipment with no backups. When the gunner is killed in Part 4 no-one else can do his job and the ship is defenseless.
  • Cut the Juice: When Ma-ti's messages and star maps appear to be taking over everyone's computers in Part 1, the Critic just pulls the plug out of his. This doesn't work.
  • Dance Party Ending: The special ends as the group of critics party in Ask That Guy's house. It also presents the confirmation of Nostalgia Critic's fate is only known by Film Brain and Sage (other reviewers discover it in later reviews).
  • Darker and Edgier
    • With Critic explicitly self-loathing this time around, a lot of scary moments, Prick's gory death at the hands of Mickey, the Chick's painful assimilation and the whole special being revealed to be Critic's swan song.
    • Lampshaded by Critic when he's Passing the Torch along to the Chick in her following review of Cutthroat Island:
    Critic: It's just like Kickassia! Only with emotional depth and actual sincerity.
  • Deader than Dead: Both Turrell and Zodd seem aware of Critic's Death Is Cheap tendency, so they invoke this; the former wants his body reduced to ashes and the latter wants to torture him until his corpse isn't recognizable as human.
  • Defiant to the End: Zodd disinterestedly prompts Turrell for this, who responds that for once, he has nothing.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Between Obscurus Lupa and Seven of Eleven in Part 6.
  • Deus ex Machina: Gort (the Angry Video Game Nerd) suddenly attacking Turrell's Spaceship after the Critic has run out of ammunition and Turrell is about to attack him.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Mechakara. Also Nostalgia Chick and Todd after assimilation with Lupa the only one capable noticing anything.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Lame R. Prick is killed off by 8-bit Mickey (in a very gory way) in only Part 2.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The OMGWTF-9000 at full power.
  • Disney Death: That Sci-Fi Guy survived the laser blast, as shown in The Stinger.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: This exchange between Critic and Phelous:
    Critic: Are you sure this isn't gonna hurt?
    Phelous: Of course not.
    Critic: 'Cause it looks like it's gonna hurt.
    Phelous: Oh no, no. It'll be like ripping off a bandaid... with a saw.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Epically. The whole cause of the movie is Ma-Ti angry about how he was treated up until his death in Suburban Knights.
  • Dope Slap: Multiple times.
    • Part 4:
      • Sad Panda to Bennett, for "sensing impeding danger" while three guards are aiming their weapons at them.
      • The guard that disintegrated several fellow Mooks with the OMGWTF-9000 gets banged on the helmet by another guard's weapon.
      • After several random teleports and nearly getting killed, Dredd Critic finally ends back on the USS Exit Strategy, and dope-slap CR for all his troubles.
      CR: Bitch!
    • The Nostalgia Chick delivers one to Oancitizen for blowing their cover to Zodd at the end of "Distraction".
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: When giving the Sadistic Choice of being killed by Zodd/Turrell or one of the hostages dying, Critic says this. Turrell completely ignores him, but one wonders what compromise he would have come up with.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Phelous mocks Critic for not being a hero at the exact moment Critic is going off to be a martyr.
    • Phelous also picked the wrong moment to try and take command away from the Critic in part three, as Critic was more than willing to lead the rescue team and very likely get himself get captured or killed.
  • Dramedy: It ups the seriousness from Suburban Knights, but it's still a comedic satire.
  • Dressing as the Enemy
    • In Part 2, 8-Bit Mickey tries this to distract the federal agents and Prick. It doesn't work very well.
    • In Part 7, Nostalgia Chick and Oancitizen try this on Zodd. It works a little better.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In part seven, when Critic is making up his suicide plan in the corner, there's both a coffee cup and a full whiskey glass right by him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Lame R. Prick's fate at the hands of Mickey is entirely offscreen. It was probably for the best, though.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: While Turrell is normally hammy and ditzy, he seems to be the only one to object to having a party while the critics and reviewers are still alive. And so he tries to gun down the Nostalgia Critic. But he fails.
  • Dutch Angle: Intentionally done with Turrell.
  • Dying as Yourself: Just before they're swallowed by the plot hole, several crew members strip off their sci-fi costumes and return to base zero for what they think will be their final moments.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: By the end of the film, the Nostalgia Critic finally finds meaning in his life, the villains are dead and gone, and TGWTG crew and Awesome-verse look to have a brighter future.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In Part 4, Turrell accidentally blows up Venus. The explosion is heard offscreen.
    Turrell: That just blew up Venus! Fuck, they're going to miss that!
  • Easter Egg: In Part 1, when Ma-ti is showing how he got through the wormhole, some text appears on the computer saying "I edited this scene way better than Doug!"
  • Empty Nest: Critic's description of how it feels after Ma-Ti's death is pretty parental-based, echoing Kirk's Captain's Log in the opening to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
    Critic: For me, the house feels empty, like my twenty-six-year-old freeloading Indian child has left for college, never to return.
  • End of an Age:
    • The Cinema Snob thinks so about the age of Internet critics.
    • The film acted as a send-off for the Nostalgia Critic, since Doug and Rob decided they had said all that they could with the character. While they did eventually bring him back, it signalled the end of the Critic's "rant in front of a wall" style reviews in favour of more elaborate videos.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Part 1, Prick's assistant is obsequious, only mildly questions the necessity of SUCKA, and is horrified at the thought of cancelling Smurfs 2, but even he does not like the live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks or its "squeakuels."
  • Everybody Knew Already: Todd confesses his feelings for Lupa. Lupa is not exactly shocked.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Or rather Evil Cannot Comprehend Character Development. Ma-Ti's initial response to the Critic refusing to step out of The Writer's house is a Flat "What"
  • Explosive Instrumentation: Apparently standard issue for the critics.
  • Eyes Never Lie: The end of Part 1 had Critic trying to make light of the situation and fob off the computer explosion as meant for the Chick, but his eyes were fixed on the screen ever since the power came on again and they didn't even stray when she makes disgusted noises at him.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Happens twice in the movie
    • Turrell, Mechakara, and Zodd all recite Shakespeare together as the thermal detonator counts down to detonation.
    • The crew of the Exit Strategy recall their first (and favorite) reviews before standing as a group while the Plot Hole swallows the ship.
    • Critic is at first scared of the Plot Hole consuming him, but then leans his head back with a peaceful smile before he explodes.
  • Faceless Mooks
    • Turrell employs a few on his ship.
    • The European moon base security force employs several dozen.
    • The mooks themselves look a lot like Hagan's Minions, which prompted Hagan to make a video addressing it.
  • Face Palm
    • Paw gives one when JesuOtaku bursts into the Critic's house announcing that he won a free car in Part 2.
    JesuOtaku: What? I don't check my mail that often.
    • One of the Faceless Mooks has this reaction during the Turrell/Zodd Slap Fight in Part 3.
    • In Part 4, Zodd lengthily massages his brow while Turrell starts pretending they're "fellow critics from the Food Network". And again later, while Turrell is monologuing.
  • Failed a Spot Check
    • The majority of the reviewers don't notice that Linkara is not acting like himself (only CR and Lupa are suspicious), or the continuity differences, due to damage to the Story done by the Hole.
    • Linkara, who unlike the rest of them actually knows Mechakara, totally fails to recognize his fairly distinctive voice in Part 1.
    • Turrell misses the Critic's ship escaping in Part 2 because he was in the middle of ranting that nothing could possibly get past him.
    • Snob doesn't notice that Luke is standing right next to him in Part 7... but given what he's wearing, he has a pretty good excuse.
  • Failed Future Forecast: The film was written with the mindset that the SOPA bill would pass and kill internet reviews forever. SOPA failed to pass in the US Senate shortly before the movie premiered and subsequent copyright bills and law have yet to cripple the internet reviewer scene.
  • Fan Disservice: Spoony recreating the scene from David Lynch's Dune where Feyd-Rautha emerges from a sauna in nothing but an odd leather thong. Those watching In-Universe are suitably traumatized, since Spoony doesn't have the physique of Sting circa 1984.
  • Fanservice
    • Shirtless dancing Benzaie in Part 4.
    • Also, shirtless JewWario in Part 6.
    • And JesuOtaku in a crop top after he is turned into Edward in Part 3.
    • Maybe to the Star Trek fans along with others, but also Nostalgia Chick's look after she's assimilated and turns into Seven of Eleven. She also looks rather beautiful disguised as Ursa.
    • In Part 7, Marzgurl runs around in Painted-On Pants as The Major.
    • The first thing we see of Zodd is his crotch. Even Turrell looked appreciative at that point.
    • Doug-as-Zodd makes some rather... suggestive moves towards the end of his DVD music video for "Distraction".
  • Female Gaze: Benzaie, Spoony, JewWario and 8-Bit Mickey all get shirtless scenes. Plus you have all the Homoerotic Subtext and Ship Tease, all of which typically the female part of fandom likes more than the male half.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences
    • Bennett and Snob do this when talking about the mad scientists disappearing in Part 2. Critic immediately lampshades it and the two confess to working it out ahead of time.
    • When CR and JesuOtaku describe their daydreams in Part 3, they finish each other's sentences word by word. Both of them are fairly creeped out by this.
  • Flanderization:
    • In-Universe; Spoony's perceptions of the Critic, Joe and Linkara as a screechy foul-mouthed manchild, trigger-happy nut job who has never been hugged by his mother and a sparkling-white nerd with an annoying voice, respectively.
    • Linkara worked very hard to keep Mechakara from becoming another Comic Relief Villain like Terl or Zod, keeping him extremely menacing.
  • Flashback Effects: The introductory flashback (with footage from Suburban Knights) has muted and desaturated colors. It also starts as a very small screen that slowly grows bigger, copying the effect from Star Trek III.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Done in different ways to Critic, Linkara, Chick and Snob. Critic's self-hatred makes it easy for Ma-Ti to make him want to go into the Plot Hole, Linkara's egotism about being adored has him making the mistake of letting Mechakara into the story, Chick wanting everyone to believe that she has no time for emotions prevents them from being suspicious of Seven of Eleven, and the Snob's End of an Age talk lets him be an easy target for The Dark Side where infamy is more important than talent.
  • Follow the Leader: In-Universe; Zodd and Turrell decide that the Critic is onto something by converting his house into a space-craft, so have their ship retrofitted to also be a house.
  • Forced to Watch: One of the few times Turrell gets the upper hand on Critic is forcing him to listen to Phelous dying, and promising him that there are other hostages who don't come back to life.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The current storyline (the Holokara Arc) in Atop the Fourth Wall takes place several months after the events of this movie, meaning that whatever else happens, Linkara will be fine.
  • Foreshadowing
    • The screen glitches twice in the opening credits, setting up the computer problems later.
    • In Part 1, Turrell comments that his ship is not as comfy as the Critic's home but it'll do. Part 3 has Zodd convert the ship into an even bigger house than Critic's.
    • In Part 1, Linkara quizzes Paw, serving a quick explanation of who Mechakara is before he shows up.
    • In Part 1 and Part 2, the Executor explicitly wants Critic either dead or locked away in his house because of events he had foreseen. We later see why he's so adamant about this. Sure, Part 8 has the Critic die, but he also saves the universe while doing it.
    • If you listen closely, Mechakara is muttering about disabling the oxygen supply in Part 3; he later takes out the crew this way. There's also a seemingly throw-away gag that demonstrates how easy it is to disable the oxygen from the captain's chair.
    • Critic hides behind the Chick in Part 1 when he's scared like he always does, but is all too willing to dive headlong into danger in Part 4 and stands up against Mechakara in Part 6. Part 7 gives us the reason for the change of character, and it's depressing.
    • The Last Angry Geek talks about how unlikely he is to survive given he's dressed as Ben Kenobi. Sure enough, in Part 6, he faces the Executor and dies.
    • He also metaphorically explains the plot as an unseen hand writing their every moves. In Part 8, the Critic meets The Writer, who fits the description of "unseen hand".
    • While the others seem bored or irritated by Insano's talk on the Plot Hole, Critic is far too interested, especially when Insano says “any outcome could occur, and anything that was impossible before is possible now”. According to Doug, this was the moment when Critic started his “return is not an option” plan.
    • Clodd tells Brad that “you're free to go whenever you like, but just remember when you leave, so does the dream”, shutting the simulation off and leaving him in a dark grid to hammer the point home. This sets up Doug telling Critic that if he enters the real world, the TGWTG universe will cease to exist, which manages to be nicer than Clodd/Brad but puts a lot more responsibility on Critic's shoulders.
    • Critic's rant about the Plot Hole being a cop-out is not quite what the script he sees after says, which is the last example of setting up his evolving beyond what's been written for him. Then Doug comes in to explain what's happening.
    • In a more meta sense, Rob Walker mentioned in previous episode commentary that if they were ever going to end the Nostalgia Critic series, the Critic was either going to be killed off or would Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
    • Out-of-universe, the Chick took over the Critic's usual time slot for the few weeks that the movie was running. After his death, they have a Passing the Torch moment in her review of Cutthroat Island.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Unlike the other specials, this one took its time to get all the reviewers banded together, resulting in several plot threads competing for space during Part 1.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus
    • If you stop at the correct time during the Critic and Turrell's space dogfight, you'll notice that the back bears the Autobot insignia.
    • Subverted, most likely by accident, when the computer hooked up to Spoony in Part 1 flashes through a series of star charts. In the final screen, the scientific-looking notations around the ¨Plot Hole are written in the Star Wars alphabet, Aurebesh. Unfortunately for those who can actually read Aurebesh, it's all gibberish.
  • Freudian Slippery Slope: Film Brain does this after he thinks that Linkara (actually Mechakara) and the Chick were having sex.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe; The Last Angry Geek points out the various plot holes in the security footage of Ma-Ti's "nerd meld" with Spoony in Part 1.
  • Friend or Foe?:
    • During the big shoot-out in Part 4, the one Mook that gets his hands on the OMGWTF-9000 disintegrates more of his fellow guards than the Nostalgia Critic did (and gets Dope Slapped for that).
    • Then he almost hit Turrell when the later teleports on the exact same spot as the Critic. And the exact same thing happens to Turrell again with the guards on his own ship, when he teleports back a few seconds later.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: Served as this for the Nostalgia Critic, both the man and the series. Until the reboot, that is.
  • Funny Background Event
    • When the Critic is introduced in Part 1, a box of Cheerios 2 can be seen in his bedroom.
    • In Part 7 Nostalgia Chick repeatedly has to stop Oancitizen (sometimes forcefully) from singing and blowing their cover.
    • In Part 8, Turrell is too busy being a Large Ham to notice that right behind him Mechakara is vaporizing all of his minions and slamming General Zodd's head into the couch over and over again.
  • Fun with Acronyms: SUCKA: The Stop the Unstoppable Copyright Killers Act.
  • Futureshadowing: Linkara's "magic and sorcery" arc is all about him realizing that he's not as nice as he thinks he is and how he's treated his friends poorly. Lewis has made sure to note that this movie canonically takes place a few months before that storyline (as they were released at the same time) and a big part of it was nobody realizing that the Devil in Plain Sight Mechakara was not Linkara.
  • Gilligan Cut
    • As soon as Ma-Ti's thoughts makes it look like Spoony is a crossdresser, Chick arrives at the Critic's house wanting to get him in a corset and fishnets.
    • In Part 1, Last Angry Geek tells Critic he has urgent business. It turns out to be him needing to use Critic's bathroom after some Taco Bell.
    • In Part 5 Lupa asks Todd in the Shadows to be discreet while spying on Linkara and Nostalgia Chick. Todd assures her he is a ninja. Next shot: "Hey Linkara! Nostalgia Chick! Are either of you doing anything evil or suspicious in there?"
    • And then they outright admit to Turrell that their plans are "evil and suspicious".
    • Also in Part 5, Luke despondently wonders what kind of torture a captured Cinema Snob is enduring. Cut to him lying in a comfortable bed and being fed chocolates by a gorgeous woman.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Seven of Eleven's reaction to seeing Todd's face in Part 6. Strangely, Lupa's just fine after seeing it. Word of Twitter says that when you look into Todd's face, you see your own soul; the Chick was simply horrified by what she saw in herself.
  • Gory Discretion Shot
    • In Part 2, whatever Prick looks like after Mickey's rampage, it surely isn't pretty. At the very least, he lost his hand and nose.
    • Mechakara assimilates the Nostalgia Chick. All we know is that it involved a drill and lots of screaming.
    • Phelous' first death in Part 4 is off-screen but blood-spattering (and very audible), and it goes on for 30 seconds! All his subsequent deaths are on-screen and played for laughs.
  • Grand Finale: On two counts.
    • It was stated beforehand that this would be the last anniversary special to have this kind of scale. As such, it came with the biggest production values, along with having the longest shoot and post-production period. The only other official anniversary special to come afterwards was The Uncanny Valley, a scaled-back anthology series, and a planned ten-year anniversary special that was cancelled due to the mass exodus of producers from the site during the #ChangeTheChannel movement.
    • The special was also originally one for The Nostalgia Critic, with him Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence. It was stated by Doug Walker that this was supposed to apply purely as far as the Nostalgia Critic being a weekly show, and that the character would probably return at some point for special occasions. This was later undone when the show was Un-Cancelled several months later.
  • Gratuitous French
    • "Oui, assassiner"translation shows up in captions for the French language weapons tutorial. And that's not even the correct caption, as the instruction voice is blabbering non-sequiturs such as "I'm not waiting 24 hours, I don't have time for that" and "I have no advice to take from anyone!"
    • Right after that, Turrell shouts "Non, mon Dieu!" "translation
  • Grave Clouds: When everyone's in the field in Part 8, the scene is very bright but the clouds are deathly gray, possibly to signify the loss of Critic but the gaining back of Spoony.
  • Guilty Pleasures: In-Universe, Spoony (or possibly Ma-Ti) considers the last four Final Fantasy games to be guilty pleasures, as revealed in Part 1.
  • The Ham Squad: On the side of the villains, we have Turrell, Zodd, The Executor, and Mechakara who each express hamminess in their own way.
  • Hard-Work Montage: The construction of the USS Exit Strategy in Part 2.
  • He Knows Too Much / Killed to Uphold the Masquerade
    • That Sci-Fi Guy's fate. Of course, The Stinger from Part 8 would suggest otherwise.
    • Also sorta happens to Nostalgia Chick and Todd in the Shadows, except for the fact that they aren't killed, so much as just brainwashed and assimilated.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: The chapter on "Loving Your Joystick" in Tao Ta Kei.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Nostalgia Critic merges himself with the Plot Hole to save everyone else. Would have been the fate of the crew of the U.S.S. Exit Strategy when the Plot Hole swallowed the ship if the Critic hadn't mashed the Reset Button to save them all.
  • Hive Mind: Nostalgia Chick, Todd in the Shadows and Mechakara, post-assimilation.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Turrell uses the Critic’s own footage as evidence against him while speaking to Congress in Part 1. Subverted in that Congress doesn't care about Turrell's charges.
  • Hypocritical Humor
    • In Part 7, Film Brain claims that no-one saw the 2002 adaptation of The Time Machine. His review of the film suggests otherwise...
    • Dr. Tease, as normal, flirts with the Critic and makes plans for sexing him later, but leaves with Block slapping him and calling him a pervert.
    • Lame R. Prick accuses the reviewers of making scatological rants, and later in his rant he expresses pride in his own scatological writing.
    • Turrell calling Critic a girl. Very true, but a bit rich coming from the Sissy Villain who only wears leather.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In Part 6, Lupa evokes this to RoboTodd. Surprisingly, it works... after she promises him a date, anyway.
  • Incoming Ham: Zodd's entrance at the end of Part 2.
  • Inconvenient Summons: In Part 1, Phelous is about to find the cure for cancer, as long as he isn't interrupted, when the Nostalgia Critic's teleporter seize him.
  • Irony
    • That there's so many continuity nods and Call Backs in a story about a Plot Hole messing everything up.
    • Critic telling Ma-Ti that he has been useful and he needs to see it. This coming from the guy who only wanted to be loved throughout his life, and adamantly refuses to see that he was even when his creator is telling him so.
    • Retroactive example: JesuOtaku cosplaying as Edward from Cowboy Bebop. Ed is a girl that looks like a boy. JesuOtaku later came out as a transgender male.
  • Is This Thing Still On?
    • In Part 4, Zodd and Turrell are clearly less than thrilled to realize that they've been panicking over their situation right in front of an open channel to the enemy.
    • Then in Part 6, Turrell quotes the trope name when he realizes he revealed his plan of duping Mechakara into working for him in exchange for the secret of Malachite's glove, a secret nobody knows.
  • It Amused Me: While Turrell's main motivation is revenge and Zodd is just there to keep him on track, they both take great enjoyment in making Critic and the others suffer.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Exaggerated.
  • It Won't Turn Off: Played surprisingly straight for such a formulaic trope. Attempting to turn off the computer getting transmissions from Ma-Ti, Lindsay finds she's lost the ability to. Critic then tries to unplug it, which only delays the process.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Film Brain is sent of a trip to Spoony's subconscious.
  • Kill Sat: Used against That Sci-Fi Guy in Part 1.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: The Critic gets saved in the middle of a battle by a character dressed as Gort. He mumbles "Klaatu, Barada, whatever" and goes on with his mission.
  • Kneel Before Zod: General Zodd's introduction, naturally.
  • Kubrick Stare: The Cinema Snob gives several of these, particularly in scenes when he is with Christopher Clod. Once he becomes Darth Snob, he does this pretty much constantly, as it is the only way his eyes can be seen behind the "sunglasses" in his helmet.
  • Lampshade Hanging
    • The Plot Hole has ripped apart the space-story-arc-continuity, filling the site's story arcs with "pockets of chaos", which explains the footage in Part 1 and every single inconsistency error that's happened in the past five years.
    • Turrell speaks to the Executor as Darth Vader spoke to the Emperor in Star Wars, including the latter appearing as a hologram and the two paraphrasing conversations from the film. However, they also discuss which film they're paraphrasing and who should be saying what depending on such.
    • Oancitizen's arrival onto the ship in Part 7
    Luke: How did you get here?
    Oancitizen: Jump Cut.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall
  • Leitmotif: Critic/Ma-Ti have a shared theme, a sad piece of violin music. It plays during the flashback, when Spoony is trying to explain to Critic that Ma-Ti's inside him, after the Critic/Geek mind-meld, and underscores Critic's redemption apology.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Most of Zodd and Turrell's bickering falls under the definition.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Critic is put under house arrest. So what does he do? He converts his house into a spaceship.
    Nostalgia Chick: But Critic, won't this violate your house arrest?
    Critic: Why? I'm not leaving the house.
  • Love Triangle: The Chick/Todd/Lupa triangle is a part of the plot.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Part 3 gives more focus to everyone else's storylines, while Critic is pushed to the background slightly.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The Distraction Song, a bright peppy pop tune about how the world is ending, so you might as well go out having fun.
  • Machine Monotone: Mechakara, and later Seven of Eleven and RoboTodd.
  • Magical Security Cam: Lampshaded by the Critic after watching footage of Ma-Ti putting his consciousness in Spoony's body in Part 1.
  • Magitek: The USS Exit Strategy is built from Insano's Mad Science but uses magic mushrooms for fuel. No, not those kind of mushrooms.
  • Manipulative Editing: In-Universe. Look closely at Turrell's Battlefield Earth review footage and you'll see the first part is Critic asking if there's anything he can do to help before Psychlo explodes.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Turrell, Zodd, and Mechakara give one when the thermal detonator still in Mechakara's stomach goes off and is about to blow up the Death Bomb, taking them with it.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: As always. This edition added Sad Panda, JesuOtaku, Oancitizen, CR, The Last Angry Geek, and Ed Glaser (who had a behind-the-scenes job on Suburban Knights) are joining the cast, among others. That SciFi Guy also joins with a small role, but his character apparently dies half-way into Part 1.
  • Maybe Ever After: Todd and Lupa, leaning towards probably not.
  • Medium Awareness: The Last Angry Geek seems to be aware of the fact that this is a story, as does Dr. Insano.
  • The Men in Black
    • Ed Glaser, a relative of Mike Michaud's and Jim Troken play government agents with these looks and vibe.
    • 8-Bit Mickey tried to use this trope to shake them off. It didn't work, so Mickey had to improv.
  • Mental Picture Projector: The Dream Amplifier.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Lampshaded in Part 1 by the Last Angry Geek after serving as the Critic's Obi Wan and doing so probably won't be great for his health. He's proven right in Part 6.
  • Metaphorgotten: In Part 2:
    Insano: Time isn't a straight line. It's more like a David Lynch movie. It's this wandering, meandering thing that just goes in all directions and if you're very lucky, by the end you'll see some boobies, and maybe some little people.
  • Mind Screw: Ma-Ti's influence makes Spoony's brain readings unreliable and confusing. For example, the attraction to a long-lost sister... was that Spoony's thought, Ma-Ti's, or one's attraction to the other's sister?
  • Mind Rape
    • A "nerd-meld" is a softer version of it, as Ma-Ti apparently planted his character into Spoony without his permission and causes him eons of trouble as a result.
    • The Last Angry Geek's version with Critic is nicer, but Critic was skeeved by the idea of someone going into his brain and Geek treats him like he's fragile afterwards.
  • More Dakka: The Critic's entire battle strategy in Part 4.
  • MST: Unlike the other cast commentaries (like those done by Spoony, Rob and Linkara, which lightheartedly poke fun at the film while mostly talking about behind the scenes info), Brad Jones, Phelous and Obscurus Lupa spend a good deal of their commentary doing this. Both Phelous and MikeJ (who had a cameo in Part 8) have poked fun at the film in later videos.
  • Must Make Amends: After getting messages from Ma-Ti, Critic wants to go into space to "do something right for once".
  • My God, What Have I Done?
    • Said word by word by Brad after he helped the Executor kill the Last Angry Geek in Part 6.
    • Also said by the Critic in Part 8 when everyone gets absorbed into the Plot Hole.
  • Mythology Gag: Doug first got the idea to have Spoony play Turrell in his Battlefield Earth review when he realized how much his and Rob's attempts at the role sounded like Spoony's impression of the similar Large Ham sci-fi villain Baron Harkonnen. So here, we have Spoony as Turrell, but saying Harkonnen's lines.

  • Neuro-Vault: Like Spock and Bones before them, Ma-Ti implanted the essence of his character into Spoony's own mind before he died.
  • Never My Fault: Turrell blames Critic entirely for destroying his planet and species, when in reality it was one of his own stupid race that lit a cigarette and killed everyone.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed
    • Senator Clodd, the senator turned lobbyist from the MPAA is a thinly-veiled version of Senator Dodd.
    • Lame R. Prick takes his name from Texas House Representative, Lamar Smith, who was considered the "champion" of SOPA. His surname, mannerisms and several of his lines are also inspired by from Walter "Dickless" Peck from Ghostbusters (1984).
  • No Sense of Personal Space
    • Chick's up to no good with Todd again, pawing him when he doesn't want her to, and telling him creepily that he just needs to lower his defenses.
    • Senator Clodd also gets rather touchy with The Snob, who rubs his cheek uncomfortably after Clodd touches it.
  • Noticing the Fourth Wall: When the Nostalgia Critic meets Doug Walker, one of the writers, he doesn't react well to the true nature of his existence.
  • Not Helping Your Case: This exchange.
    Prick's assistant: I'm not really much of a medical doctor.
    Prick: Neither are they. They got honorary degrees from the Freudian University gift shop.
    Snob: Is this true?
    Dr. Block: Absolutely not!
    Dr. Tease: I got mine from a cereal box! (earns a glare from Dr. Block)
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Invoked. Turrell says it, the Executor says "You would need a bizarre combination of reviewers, nerds, gamers, and internet personalities to defeat us now." (Turrell adds "And 8-Bit Mickey.")
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Having a horrified Turrell hint that Prick is Not Quite Dead, just really badly mangled, is more terrifying than if they'd shown what happened to him.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: "I just said I watch Doctor Who a lot." "Close enough."
  • Offhand Backhand: At the beginning of the "Distraction" song, Angry Joe shoots a mook that is sneaking behind him without even looking.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: 8-Bit Mickey feeding Prick into a weed whacker in Part 2.
  • Oh, Crap!
    • Prick's nameless aide in Part 2 when he realizes the mind scanner is going to blow.
    • Turrell gives a surprisingly subtle one when he's told the Executor wants to speak with him at the end of Part 2.
    • Ed JO also gets one when she realizes Seven of Eleven!Nostalgia Chick is about to murder her.
    Ed JO: Edward is in deeeeeeeeep shit.
    • Linkara is understandably freaked out when he realizes Mechakara's the "candy gram".
    • Chick and Critic think the person on the computer chat is trying to be a troll by calling themselves Ma-Ti. This is until the message "Ask Spoony, he'd remember." Then they start getting scared.
    • Zodd's reaction when he sees Mechakara's storming through their ship on the security feed.
    • Doug Walker's reaction to seeing Critic in his house.
    Doug Walker: Oh my god...
  • Old-School Dogfight: In Part 7, an alien ship flies after and shoots at a flying car... in space.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: "Distraction", as sung by General Zodd and Chick. He's thinking about Krypton's destruction, and she's trying to protect her friends.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The Plot Hole specifically is a Negative Space Wedgie with random Cosmic Retcon abilities.
  • Out of Focus: Noah Antwiler and Lewis Lovhaug both get large amounts of screen time, but Spoony spends most of the movie in a coma and Linkara spends Parts 1-7 trapped in his apartment... We do see Linkara escaping from the closet in Part 5, though he's still not all that important until Part 8.
  • Overly Long Gag: Phelous' first "death" at the hand of a guard in Part 4.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: What happens when Spoony is unplugged from the brain scanner too soon.
  • Played for Drama: There are no jokes made about Critic's Heroic BSoD storyline and everything surrounding it, Mechakara and the Executor are Knights of Cerebus, and even the previously-just-Black Comedy Chick/Todd/Lupa storyline notches up a few more levels of angst.
  • Plot Hole: In-Universe. A black hole that is central to the story in this special. It is revealed in Part 2 that the battle between Malachite and Ma-Ti created one which is causing all the strange things to happen. In Part 8, the Critic finds it's a wormhole to the real world where Doug Walker explains that it's an actual writing plot hole as well — all he could think of to put on the other side was the real world, and he doesn't know how the Critic will handle the choice given to him there.
  • Plot Twist: When Critic finds himself back in his home after entering the Plot Hole, he gripes about how much a copout that ending was and how it was The Un-Twist. Then the REAL plot twist happens.
  • Police Are Useless: Despite tracking Mechakara down to Linkara's apartment, they obviously didn't do a good job searching the place as they left Linkara trapped in his closet.
  • Postmodernism: Let's see, a Plot Hole is converted into a plot device that both acknowledges that To Boldly Flee is a work of fiction (especially in the aforementioned plot twist) and uses that to comment on various comedy tropes (especially how initially only Lupa notices Mechakara's incredibly obvious Assimilation Plot).
  • The Power of Love: RoboTodd breaks free of his brainwashing in Part 6 when Lupa offers to go on a date with him.
  • Power Fist: Created as gloves for the Critic by Ed JesuOtaku in Part 4. Pity they only have about a minute of power though... Later Used in combination with Tricked-Out Shoes by Obscurus Lupa in Part 6.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Obscurus Lupa gets two in quick succession in Part 6. " Turn on the oxygen. I feel a Cynthia Rothrock moment coming on," which leads to "Get away from her, you BITCH!"
  • Precision F-Strike: JesuOtaku in Part 6. "Edward is in deep shit."
  • Public Domain Soundtrack
    • The Planets by Gustav Holst, featuring "Mars", "Saturn", and "Neptune" at various points but especially "Jupiter". Appropriate, given the setting.
    • Snippets from Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen are all over the place. Particularly noteworthy is the french horn solo of Siegfried's Leitmotiv from, well, Siegfried, which is used here as a Leitmotiv for "the plot." Also cements the allusion to the Force, which also gets a french horn solo for its Leitmotiv.
  • Put on a Bus
    • As always, there are several producers who aren't returning for this special. Among them are Handsome Tom, That Dude in the Suede, and Benzaie. Although all three have cameos off-location.
    • Dr. Block and Dr. Tease are quickly written out in the second part when they are explained to have resisted arrest, shot a police officer, stolen a police car, and driven it to Mexico where they got into another shootout before being arrested.
    • The Nostalgia Critic Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence could also qualify.
  • Rage Against the Author: Contrary to people's expectations (which was most likely the point), downplayed when Critic meets Doug. He's upset at realizing he's a character, and frustrated at having to be on his own, but it's a sign of his Character Development that he takes his world literally being proved as a lie fairly calmly.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Mickey politely asks Prick repeatedly to stop making fun of his height while clearly getting madder and madder. Guess what happens?
  • Random Transportation: When the teleporter is used to get rid the Critic of his tracking anklet, they can't tell where it'll go.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The idea that civilians such as the critics' "Space Research Committee" have access to radio telescope data may seem far-fetched but one of the current models of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence called SETI@home uses the on-line computers of volunteers to process incoming extraterrestrial transmissions.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mechakara's eye glows red when angered.
  • Red Herring
    • When Mechakara declares that the crew will fail and he will win, CR is the only one who does not join in the cheer and looks at him worriedly. A lot of fans thought that it was Foreshadowing for CR outing Mechakara, but it turned out to just be a Funny Background Event.
    • Malachite's Hand itself can be easily viewed as such, since it's practically useless to Mechakara and not even Turrell understood how it works.
  • Red Shirt: Phelous. Lampshaded repeatedly.
  • Restraining Bolt: When the Nostalgia Critic is placed under house arrest in Part 1, he has to wear a tracking anklet (which he calls a "bracelet") that gives him an electric shock whenever he tries to go outside.
  • Retcon:
    • In Part 1, the "security footage" of Ma-Ti's "nerd meld" with Spoony is revealed to be an In-Universe retcon when The Last Angry Geek lampshades that it doesn't make any sense.
    • In Part 2, every continuity error that has ever been and ever will be made in the history of the site is retconned as a retroactive effect of the Plot Hole. Specifically called out is the fact that Spoony and Dr. Insano were the same person in Kickassia even though that's not the case anywhere else.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: The influence of a literal Plot Hole creates chaos for all the characters. A montage of errors includes The Rap Critic having his toothbrush change into a twig, Diamanda Hagan having her sandwich turn into a hand, and Handsome Tom having himself and his desk move to the opposite side of the room. It's also explained that any continuity errors that had happened before the events of To Boldly Flee were also caused by the plot-hole.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: It's pretty clear that at the time the script was written things like SOPA (an internet censorship bill parodied here by SUCKA) and the Tommy Wiseau incident from a few years priornote  were still fresh on the Walkers' minds.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mechakara goes on one against Turrell and Zodd after he finds out that they lied to him about Malachite's hand.
  • Running Gag:
    • That plant in the corner really ties the room together.
    • JO testing her inventions on Paw.
    • Everybody knows that many Bothans died to get the Reviewers information on the Death Bomb... but nobody knows what a Bothan is.
  • Sadistic Choice: Turrell gleefully gives one to Critic; either he beams himself aboard the enemy ship for what certainly wouldn't be a fun time, or he has to listen to his friends getting killed. He obviously takes a third option, but in a slight twist it's still a suicide mission that he only survives because he's not the sole pathetic person in the movie.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: We never see exactly how Mechakara assimilates poor Nostalgia Chick, but we do hear some weird sound effects and, yes, quite a bit of screaming. Somewhat Played for Laughs as Film Brain overhears the ordeal and mistakes it for something else.
  • Screen Shake: Lampshaded in Part 7:
    Phelous: Full impulse! Shields at maximum! And shake that camera more for dramatic effect!
  • Security Cling: Just like before, Critic holds onto the Chick when something is scaring him.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Part 1 references the fact that most of what is featured on the site are more "rants with pop culture references" than actual reviews. Also, Turrell's presentation to Congress is periodically interrupted by commercials, which is how Channel Awesome makes its income. This is, of course, followed by an actual ad break.
    • More self-deprecation in Part 5, in which Doug, Joe, and Lewis play their respective characters the way Spoony sees them: as annoying caricatures.
  • Sequel: This continues the storyline left open at the end of Suburban Knights.
  • Serial Escalation: It's bigger in scale than any of the previous anniversaries. In a more literal example, this special is split up into 8 parts, compared to Kickassia's 6 and Suburban Knights' 7.
  • Shared Dream: One night, JesuOtaku and CR both had a dream that inspired them to draw blueprints for a weapon. Only after talking to each other did they realize they had the same dream, and each drew the blueprints for half of a weapon.
  • Ship Sinking: If you were still shipping it (and some people were) after the stalking, sexual harassment, kidnapping, near-murder of Lupa, and Lindsay outright saying they'd never get together because it'd be too disturbing, Chick/Todd when she reacts in terror at seeing his face and then "breaks up" with him afterwards.
  • Ship Tease:
    • As always, Critic and Chick. Aside from talking about their problems like actual adults, he sneaks a peek at her cleavage and she's delighted to get him into Dr. Frank'N'Furter's costume for their The Rocky Horror Picture Show crossover in Part 1.
    • Critic is also very appreciative of a crazy, weapons-making, Paw-abusing JesuOtaku.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns:
    • While the whole movie has a very dark edge even with them there, Turrell and Zodd don't appear in Part 5, leaving it to have a more somber feeling.
    • Again in Part 6, we only hear Turrell's voice, and that's only for 20 seconds. The rest of the episode focuses on Mechakara.
  • Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Turrell constantly does this. Badly.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: While Turrell is threatening Critic over the phone in Part 1, Critic hears a noise and hangs up on him to go investigate.
  • The Singing Mute: Averted and parodied when Oancitizen gives away their position when he joins in the "Distraction" musical number when he was disguised as the mute Non.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the post-credits scene when That Sci-Fi Guy gets out of the rubble of his house, all he has to say is "Oh man, the landlord is gonna be pissed!"
  • Skyward Scream:
  • Sleep Cute: The critics are knocked out due to lack of oxygen in Part 6 and pass out all over each other.
  • Small Reference Pools: Invoked when Turrell pins Zodd into imitating Oprah Winfrey. All he can think to say is "Uh... that's right, girlfriend! You win a cahh!"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Notably avoided. Santa Christ does not get his usual theme song during his brief appearance at the end, most likely because it would ruin the relatively emotional scene because Critic just "died" and Spoony seemingly did as well, but Santa Christ actually has him in tow, at which point the scene becomes a happy reunion instead.
  • Special Effects Beef Up: The "fans who do FX" recruitment paid off! Compare the previous version of Mechakara with his face ripped open with the professional-grade (and horrific) effect they were able to pull off in Part 6.
  • Spell My Name With An S: From Part 1: "T-u-double-r-e-double-l, what does that spell?"note  "Tigger?"
  • Spoiler: An actual "spoiler alert" on the USS Exit Strategy in Part 4. "Close eyes, cover ears."
  • Stealth Pun: In Part 3, Mechakara turns Nostalgia Chick into a Borg Drone and Film Brain, being on the other side of the door, believes they are having sex. The last thing we see before the assimilation process starts is a power drill. Therefore, he was drilling her.
  • The Stinger: That Sci-Fi Guy is alive (and not even badly injured) after the destruction of his house.
  • Take a Third Option: Instead of letting a (non-Phelous) hostage die or giving himself up to be tortured and killed by Turrell and Zodd, Critic decides to put on the Judge Dredd costume and fight all the mooks.
  • Take That!:
    • Part 1 contains several incredibly blatant jabs at the Internet censorship bill SOPA and its supporters.
    • Part 6 contains a few jabs at George Lucas' writing in the prequels.
    • Also a few jabs at Michael Bay, Adam Sandler and Uwe Boll.
    • In Doug's commentary on the DVD release, he delivers a beautiful Take That! to those who complained about too much quoting and referencing of other movies. Made even better by the fact that it is done in a completely non-sarcastic voice. wouldn't expect us to do that, because, I mean, we almost never reference movies in our career, or video games. Our profession just doesn't allow for that so to do something that has a lot of references to movies, even, I don't know, satirizing them, I think is really just uncalled for and doesn't really have a connection to us, so I can see how people can get really confused and really turned off by that.
    • Later in the commentary, Doug delivers another Take That! to the people who complained about the Judge Dredd sequence going on too long, saying something to the effect of "For those of you who thought that the action sequence dragged on too long, here's back to what you want: Sitting and Talking. Actually, in this scene Film Brain is mixing it up by Standing and Talking. And if that's a bit much for you, here we have... lying down and talking!"
  • Techno Babble:
    • In Part 2, CR, as an engineer, tells the Critic, as the captain, that they're ready to launch in 5 minutes in techno babble... but the Critic doesn't understand a word.
    • Happens again in Part 4 when the transporter malfunctions.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Critic has the USS Exit Strategy fitted with a typical Star Trek teleporter thanks to the gear he'd stolen from Dr. Insano. Naturally, it sees lots of use throughout the film, including a few lampshades and playing with the tropes usually associated with such.
  • Teleport Interdiction: Mocked; just putting Spoony in a cardboard box is enough to prevent teleportation.
  • Teleportation Misfire: Also happens to Dredd-Critic when the teleporter malfunction and he ends up, first outside the base on the Europa moon, and then on the bridge of Turrell's ship.
  • Teleport Spam:
    • Unintentionally invoked by the Critic in Part 4 due to a malfunctioning teleporter.
    • Turrell attempts to invoke this trope himself against the Critic, but fails miserably.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In Part 1, when the others wonder if it's a good idea to casually be discussing a public conspiracy so openly, That Sci-Fi Guy assures them that there's no way the government would pay attention to them, and "May God strike me down" if otherwise. It's not God, but a satellite blows up his house seconds later.
    • Prick also does this in Part 2 by keep making short jokes to 8-Bit Mickey. He ends up getting BRUTALLY KILLED offscreen by the receiving end of a weed whacker thanks to Mickey.
    • Also in Part 2, Turrell does this when he discovers that the TGWTG crew has left Earth, and shortly after finds out about Prick. "Right. What else could go wrong?" Cue Faceless Mook: "Sir, the Executor would like to speak with you."
    • Phelous wears a red shirt when he beams down to Europa to save Spoony in Part 3, but he also argues that he thinks of the red shirts as belonging to the Captains, the way it does in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Paw tries to explain but is quickly ignored.
      Phelous Shut up, Wesley!
    • And finally this line:
      Executor: You would need a bizarre combination of reviewers, nerds, gamers, and internet personalities to defeat us now.
      Turrell: And 8-Bit Mickey!
  • That Poor Cat: Luke hits one when she throws away her lightsaber.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: "The Plot" seems to function this way. It also seems to suggest why the reviewers have so much power; as a group of people who discuss and deconstruct tropes as a living, they've made their own lives into stories.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Not explicitly said, but Critic definitely realizes he's going to be in for a tough time when the team arrives and most of them look like they want to kill him.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: The Zodd music video is as close to a played straight version of the trope as we'll ever get.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In full effect, as explained by Dr. Insano in Part 2. The Plot Hole is responsible not only for all the current story inconsistencies but all the previous ones as well.
  • Title Drop: The title of the series is part of a sentence hung on a wall before they took off.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The Nostalgia Critic is himself a character.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Most of the reviewers. Character Development was a big, contagious thing in this movie. Aside from Critic wanting to be better; Chick makes up with Lupa, Linkara loses some ego and uses his spaceship to protect the reviewers and Film Brain and Kinley become friends.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The final trailer shows the end of the scene of Critic absorbing the Plot Hole.
  • Undying Loyalty: After starting to give a toss about each other in Suburban Knights, it really gets cemented here. Chick actually stops her efforts in stalking Todd on Skype when she sees Critic is miserable, Film Brain also tries to take care of him as well look out for Luke, Critic goes to extreme lengths to keep his team safe and they don't want him to die, and Luke's speech about the online critics becoming a family gets paid off when everyone everywhere complaining about plot holes helps save the world.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Film Brain really sucks at providing emotional support half the time. The other half...
  • Visual Pun: When Film Brain is in Spoony's brain, he encounters Spoony's superego, which appears as a giant, naked Spoony (with one person commenting before that that this is probably how he sees himself). In real life the psychological definition of the superego is the part of the personality most concerned with moralitynote  but the fact that he appears overlarge is because he has a big, e.g. super, ego.
  • Void Between the Worlds: On the far side of the Plot Hole. Metaphorically, at least. As The Writer said, Real Life is a place where The Plot has no meaning, the Conservation of Detail does not apply, and characters exist without serving a greater story purpose.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In Part 1, Turrell tells the Critic that he will "climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow" to track him down.
  • We Need a Distraction
    • Used to first steal Insano's equipment and then to get away in the ship from Prick, both in Part 2.
    • And an epic musical version in Part 7.
  • Wham Episode: Part 8, the reveal of the inside of the Plot Hole, the Critic's choice and the resulting consequences for everyone. It's also one for the Awesome-verse as well, considering that the Critic has ascended to a higher plane of existence, and Doug has announced that the character has been retired in a weekly sense.
  • Wham Line
    • From Part 1:
      Nostalgia Critic: Ma-Ti...?
    • From Part 8 (although it's actually Wham Text):
      By Doug and Rob Walker
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Prick's assistant vanishes without any explanation after he pulls the plug on Spoony, unleashing Plot Holes across the world.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • The Last Angry Geek hints to the Critic that cremating Ma-Ti and stuffing his remains into a cereal can was a mistake in Part 1.
    • There are also a lot of people, including himself, calling him out on his past bullshit.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Part 7 has Critic make it perfectly clear that he wants to die with everyone believing he's an asshole, and Part 8 more or less gives him that wish, with only Film Brain knowing/caring about his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Where It All Began: After the plot hole swallows the universe, the crew, save for Critic and Spoony, reappears at the field where Ma-Ti and Malachite battled in Suburban Knights. The trope is then lampshaded, naturally.
  • While Rome Burns: What "Distraction" is all about, covered in a light and poppy exterior. Best summed up by this lyric:
    So the world's about to end, gonna party with my friends, and ain't nobody gonna say it's not right.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: To Star Trek III, Star Wars, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: No screenwriter is safe from the Nostalgia Critic, not even Doug Walker himself!
    Critic: Okay. Your story sucks!
    Writer: You suck!
  • Wimp Fight: Between Zodd and Turrell in Part 3.
  • With Catlike Tread: Todd's "ninja" method of spying on Mechakara and Seven of Eleven consists of him pounding on the door demanding to know what they are doing.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: The sequence in which Critic sees the real world shows mundane suburbia, but still manages to pull this off.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Due to coming from other works, Terl and Zod are here called Turrell (but it's still pronounced the same) and Zodd. An interesting note regarding Zod/Zodd, is that the altered spelling is only featured in the credits and a sign on the ship maintains the original spelling.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Paw tries to explain to Phelous why he shouldn't go to Europa while wearing a red shirt in Part 3. Phelous thinks it means something else, and that Picard's a better fit.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Film Brain and the Writer both explicitly tell Critic that he's become a good person and has been for a while. He doesn't exactly believe them and goes for (in his eyes) a Death Equals Redemption Heroic Sacrifice.
    • He also gets this in a twisted way from the villains, who all want him dead, captured or locked in his house so he can't do anything to stop them. They wouldn't act that way if he wasn't important somehow.
  • You Bastard!: Critic's innocently delighted face when he sees the real world, and by extension a place where he has free will and doesn't have to be written entertainment, makes one feel intensely guilty for wanting him to be entertainment in the first place. It's got shades of Powered by a Forsaken Child and Sadistic Choice when you factor in that his freedom means not just the deaths but the total erasure of every other reviewer in his 'Verse. The freedom he could have had is literally tantalizing — there not for him to take, but for a moment to imagine he could have taken, which makes his ultimate sacrifice (and even his later return) all the more heart-wrenching. In some ways it feels like the polar opposite of the ending to 1/0: Not the heart-warming peace of "they are free to imagine the very best for you," but an explicit denial of this possibility (barring some serious fan fiction retcons), and the possible implication that the only possible way for any of them to escape the story is for all of them to escape at once.
  • You Have Failed Me: In Part 2, the Executor is not pleased when Turrell lets the Critic escape Earth, but instead of replacing Turrell, he replaces himself with a leader he considers to be a much better fit for Turrell: General Zodd. Although Zodd never really becomes Turrell's boss and they seem to share equal amounts of power on the ship... in fact, Zodd might actually be more incompetent at his job than Turrell is.
  • Your Door Was Open: Quoted nearly verbatim by the Last Angry Geek when asked how he got into the Critic's house in Part 1.
  • You Will Be Assimilated:
    • Mechakara does this to the Nostalgia Chick in Part 3.
    • And they do it to Todd in the Shadows in Part 5.

I... am the Nostalgia Critic."


Lame R. Prick

He literally has to ask tech support where the on button is on his computer.

How well does it match the trope?

3.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / UpperClassTwit

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