Intelligence is a nebulous topic. People describe intelligence as many different things; knowledge, smarts, wisdom, understanding, comprehension. But people seem to universally recognize one fact: Intelligence is stuffy. It's stubborn, it's orderly. So it is, or would be, correct to assume that there would or could never be a "Chaotic Good god of intelligence"...
Vsauce is a group of three channels hosted by me, Michael Stevens and my friends Kevin Lieber and Jake Roper. I, Michael, lead the group and my channel, Vsauce has me talking about the wonders of science and helping explain the answers to scientific questions in an entertaining way, like Youtube's version of Bill Nye the Science Guy. Vsauce2 is hosted by Kevin and talks about awesome creations and "the best of the Internet". Finally, there is Vsauce3 in which Jake talks about fictional worlds and powers. We also answer questions in a scientific way...
...Or do we? Sure, we do talk about science but we also talk about all sorts of geeky and thought provoking stuff. We collaborate with all sorts of YouTubers as well and other celebrities like Adam Savage.
The main Vsauce series are:
- D!NG: Originally titled DONG, Short for Do Online Now, Guys, but changed to D!NG to be more advertiser friendly. This series features awesome websites and online games, often recommended by viewers. Originally ran on Vsauce 1, but was first moved to Vsauce 3, and later moved to a separate channel.
- DOT.: The main series on Vsauce 1note . Questions are answered with a plethora of extra facts thrown into the mix. They're scientifically themed on Vsauce, but more video game themed on Vsauce 3, where the series is called HeadShot.
- FAK: Short for Facts and Knowledge on crazy inventions, mind blowing tech, and more. Only on Vsauce 2.
- Mind Blow: The latest in science and tech and other similar fields. Only Vsauce 2.
- BiDiPi: Build it. Draw it. Play it. The coolest creations from everyday humans. Only on Vsauce 2.
- 54321: Cool facts and riddle challenges that can and will test your brainpower. Only on Vsauce 2.
- GRUB: All about Foreign Queasine and only on Vsauce 2.
- 9bit: A series consisting of nine random gaming facts per video. Only on Vsauce 3. (but has yet to return since June 2013.)
- App All Knight: A series highlighting the best and coolest apps for smartphones and tablets, with each episode ending with the specially honored "App of the Week". Only on Vsauce 3.
- Game LÜT: This series features loot based off of video games such as plushes, board games, and props. Running on Vsauce 3. Also on Vsauce 2, but simply called LÜT.
- Video Game WTFs: A series making fun of video game glitches. Only on Vsauce 3, but hasn't been around since November 2012.
- Mind Field is a series released in 2017, focusing entirely on cognitive science, psychology, and why brains do what they do.
- Michael's Toys, a series on the DONG channel showcasing educational toys, as well as what they were meant to represent.
Hey, Vsauce! Michael here! Where are your tropes?
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: One of the opening gags of App All Knight, where Michael and Jake converse and end up creating a Hurricane of Puns emphasizing the "app" sound in each word. They are subsequently crushed by a rAPPtor.
- Adorkable: All three hosts have their moments.
- Arc Symbol: For all three channels, a brain.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Michael is fond of asking these in video titles to confuse viewers and entice them to watch the video to get the answer. Examples include:
- Ate His Gun: Near the end of "BLOW YOUR MIND!", Michael says he's "made of Vsauce", takes a Nerf gun, and shoots himself through the mouth, causing green "blood" to splatter onto the wall.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Michael will often get sidetracked and start talking about something only tangentially related to the subject in the video's title. Michael justifies it in a TED talk: his goal is to discuss and teach any subjects that he can with the questions in the title only being "hooks" to get the viewer's attention.
- Bald of Awesome: Michael. He talks about awesome things and is balding, although comments and at least one video hint that he's not very happy about losing his hair.
- Badass Beard: Michael, even though since its bushier days, it has slimmed significantly.
Michael: And as always...(Both): Thanks for watching!
- In some videos, Michael talks to the same person at the start as he does at the end. For example, in one video, Bill Nye asks him, "Why did the chicken cross the road?". At the end, Bill Nye returns.
- In many videos, Michael will ask a question, move to new, tangentially-related topics every few minutes, and then return to the original question.
- Jake's "3 paradoxes" video forms a loop with the end seguing into the start. While explaining the butterfly effect, Jake kills a fly, causing him to spontaneously grow a mustache. A knife also materializes in his pocket. He ends up throwing the knife behind him, killing another Jake in the distance. Jake uses this to segue into the grandfather paradox, the last of the three. He realizes that the entire video is a paradox and tries to do his Signing-Off Catchphrase, but disappears from existence before he can complete the sentence. The camera winds up on the ground, in the exact same state that it was at the start. The beginning of the video replays itself, and you already know where this is going... Heck, Jake even used this for his April Fools' Day 2015 video, titled "∞", which was merely the "3 paradoxes" episode looped repeatedly and perfectly for over two hours.
- "What's the Brightest Thing in the Universe?" opens with a tangent about the taijitu, or the yin-yang symbol. At the end of the video, the topic of yin-yang is recalled, linking it to the fact that the brightest things in the universe come from the darkest, and that the brightest cities have the darkest skies.
- Catchphrase: Michael, Kevin, and Jake say, "And as always, thanks for watching!" at the end of their videos. Each channel also has its own opening catchphrase:
- Michael's is "Hey, Vsauce, Michael here!"
- Kevin's is "Vsauce, Kevin here!"
- Jake's is "Vsauce, I'm Jake!"
- Chromatic Arrangement: Vsauce's primary color is green, Vsauce 2's is blue, and Vsauce 3's is purple.
- Couch Gag / Bloody Hilarious: Rarely is Jake able to normally introduce an App All Knight episode without him being killed.
- Creepy Good: This video, in which Michael discusses why things are creepy. You have been warned.
- Crossover: Michael made a video with MinutePhysics titled "Guns in Space", which explains some facts about space, orbits, and guns. At the end, the video links to the MinutePhysics video "What If the Earth Were Hollow?", which links back to the Vsauce video, which links back to the MinutePhysics video, which links back to the Vsauce video, which links back to...
- Cue Card Pause: Happens a lot on Vsauce 1. Michael especially likes making a statement or series of statements, usually about a common assumption. After a pause, he adds, "right?" to cast doubt on whatever he said beforehand. It's never been right.Of course, the Earth is not flat. The Earth is round. Otherwise, travelers would be falling off the edge all the time. Right? Wrong.
Fixed points don't just frustrate your ability to fully mix things. They can also suck... you toward them. They can be attractive.
- Dragons Up the Yin Yang: The taijitu, also known as the yin-yang symbol, is briefly explained at the beginning of "What's the Brightest Thing in the Universe?", and is brought up again at the end of the video. The video ends with a depiction of a black hole consuming a star and creating a quasar, before a border circle appears to form a proper taijitu.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The earliest videos of Michael's channel were VERY different compared to the later ones. The videos were more gaming-centric, featured multiple hosts and a sillier tone (similar to Barely Political's videos), as opposed to the more science-centric and serious videos of later.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: This video where Michael discusses the physics of spinning.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Michael often raises an eyebrow during his videos, and his avatar shows him doing this as well.
- Foreshadowing: "Could You Live Forever?" has Jake having bouts of coughing throughout, and near the end it escalates to where there's blood on his handkerchief. He gets so worn and weak by the end that he just collapses and dies after he says the Signing-Off Catchphrase.
- Freudian Trio:
- Michael Stevens: (Ego)
- Kevin Lieber: (Superego)
- Jake Roper: (Id)
- Fun with Acronyms: Several examples - see the series list above.
- Gainax Ending: "BLOW YOUR MIND!"
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Dong" is a slang term for the penis.
- Humans Are Special: Essentially the theme of Vsauce2.
- Hurricane of Puns:
- From "What Color Is a Mirror?":(Phone): Green, green! Green, green! note
Michael: Gold on, let me just pink [my phone] up. Yellow?
Hazel: Michael, orange you going to come to the concert this evening?
Michael: I red about that! There are gonna be a lot of purple there.
Hazel: I didn't teal you about this earlier?
Michael: Well, look- I have to go brown town first, but I'll be white black.
- Michael ends "Fixed Points" with a series of "four" puns, the last one punning on his own catchphrase ("Thanks four watching").
- From "What Color Is a Mirror?":
- Incurable Cough of Death: Jake throughout "Could You Live Forever?" He ultimately dies at the end.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Analyzed in these two videos.
- Interface Spoiler: Of the Five-Second Foreshadowing variety. Sometimes whenever text appears on the screen, the viewer can predict if more text will soon appear to change the meaning by how it's placed. For instance, in "What If You Were Born in Space?":Michael: Hey. Vsauce. Michael here. How many people are in space right now...
Michael: ...dot com tells us the answer.
(On-screen: howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com)Michael: Hey. Vsauce. Michael here. About 6% of everything you say and read and write is the...
(On-screen: is the)
Michael: ...the is the most used word in the English language.
(On-screen: is "the.")
- "The Zipf Mystery" has Michael signing off as usual... while there is still over half the time left in the video player.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Usually, Michael has no audience in-video to react to his puns, though in "Jurassic World Science", he thanks Jack Horner for laughing and admits he made an overused joke to Chris Pratt.
- Mook Chivalry: Discussed briefly in "Is All Fair in Love and War?"; the trope is thought of as a way to ensure fun and entertainment in fiction. Michael suggests that in real life, humans are no different from the mooks when it comes to achieving certain goals.
- Muppet Cameo: "What If Quicksilver Ran Past You?" is narrated by Gonzo and Rizzo.
- Naked People Are Funny: Apparently, Michael started this video completely naked.
- Nerd Glasses: Michael and Kevin.
- Noir Episode: "What If Quicksilver Ran Past You?" switches between a regular Vsauce video and a narrative starring two detectives, Jake and Matthew Santoro, as they further investigate Quicksilver. There's also muppets.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: Jake has one when he starts to go into an "OVER 9000" joke when talking about a Dragon Ball t-shirt on a GAME LÜT episode.
- Non-Indicative Name: Michael made a video explaining all about Non-Indicative Names, a.k.a. misnomers.
- Occam's Razor: Explained in "Did the Past Really Happen?" as the most well-known philosophical razor.
- Once an Episode:
- For all three channels, the NES cartridge being squished, revealing a coloured goo that corresponds to whichever channel the video is uploaded to. That ended in 2015, when the animations were replaced by a rounded Vsauce logo over some footage.
- Every episode of Mind Blow on Vsauce 2 ends with a couple of offbeat but interesting inventions or discoveries followed by a surreal animated gif.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Michael is fond of making these toward the end of many of his videos.
- Poe's Law: Michael explains Poe's Law in a video asking if the Earth is actually flat.
- Pun: Michael is very fond of puns. For example, in one of his his videos on cannibalism, he builds up to a joke about "getting the cold shoulder". In "Dord.", he explains a story where understanding the puns made from corn onomatopoeias is important (citing The Pun Also Rises), then ends by saying the oldest recorded pun was literally "corny".
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Averted; Michael is very good about giving viewers a sense of scale when talking about space and anything with large numbers, really.
- Self-Deprecation: Giving an example of the (former) hapax legomenon "quizzaciously" (which means "in a mocking manner"), Michael parodies himself.Michael: The parodist rattled off quizzaciously, "Hey, Vsauce! Michael here! But who is Michael? And how much does here weigh?"
- Signing Off Catchphrase: Shared by all three channels; "And as always, thanks for watching."
- Something Completely Different: "BLOW YOUR MIND!" (off of Michael's channel) is just a collection of factoids; it tackles nothing scientific.
- Space Elevator: Discussed in the last few minutes of "How High Can We Build?".
- Special Guest: Hannah Hart from My Drunk Kitchen appears briefly in this video.
- Matthew Santoro and The Muppets appear in "What If Quicksilver Ran Past You?", described on one forum as "a nerdy noir Muppet Christmas Carol" due to Gonzo and Rizzo recapping the event of the Quicksilver video as they did in that film.
- Chris Pratt and paleontologist Jack Horner (separately) speak with Michael throughout "Dinosaur Science".
- Surreal Horror / Nightmare Face / Nothing Is Scarier / Uncanny Valley: All incorporated in "Why are things creepy?"
- Tin Foil Hat: In "Is Earth Actually Flat?", Michael briefly dons one while talking about the "Big Globe" conspiracy. He removes the hat when he goes on to explain Poe's Law.
- The World Is Just Awesome: The main theme of all the channels, but especially the first channel.
- Younger Than They Look: Due to Michael's Badass Beard, intelligence, and receding hairline, you'd think he was around 40.
And as always, thanks for watching.