The Avocado began in December 2015 as The A.V. Club After Dark, a Disqus community consisting mostly of former A.V. Club commenters disaffected with that site's increasingly acrimonious comment sections. Initially the site focused on "open threads" for general discussion, with occasional threads focusing on narrower topics such as politics, current events, specific films and TV shows, etc. Over time, community users created original content, from weekly discussion threads on specific subjects (literature, video games, history, etc.) to film and television reviews, long-form essays on film and TV, graphic novels, music, politics and history, and even original fiction and a user-created animated series.
In November 2017, due to the community's expanding membership (largely caused by the A.V. Club switching its comment system from Disqus to Kinja, and its subsequent exodus of followers) and an increasing volume of original content, it switched to a separate Wordpress site, re-branded The Avocado.
The Avocado is a home for people who want to discuss movies, TV, or any of a wide range of pop culture while fostering a sense of community where they can share in each others lives. The content is completely user generated and moderated.
Notable featured articles and discussions:
- Ad Space-Recurring feature examining television advertisements, past and present.
- Anime Worth Watching-Semi-regular feature spotlighting anime and manga, some obscure, some well-known.
- Avocado CityA user-created animated series based on the commenters living and defending the city they call home.
- Before Capes Were Cool-Reviews and analyses of pre-2000 superhero films.
- Discount Spinner Rack- "A look at the worst, the weirdest, and the most puzzling of comic book movie misfires."
- The Book NookA weekly thread discussing books and literature.
- Classic CoverageReviews and commentary about classic and cancelled television series.
- Frinkiac ChallengeA weekly game thread using Frinkiac to match screencaps from The Simpsons to quotes from other shows or movies.
- GamesCastPodcast discussing various gaming topics and news.
- How We Got Heresemi-regular series connecting events in American history to modern politics. As of 2021, it's been folded in with the weekly History Thread.
- Let's Read Old Magazines-weekly column analyzing vintage magazines to see how their style and content reflects the mores of their time.
- Millennial Malaise-Weekly feature examining movies "made between the end of the Cold War and 9/11...that also pontificate about what the social, scientific, and economic shifts leading up to the turn of the century meant." Has expanded since 2020 to Post-Millennial Malaise focusing on movies from the early and mid 2000s.
- Muppet Casting-Weekly feature recasting famous movies using Jim Henson's Muppets.
- LGBT Movies-Weekly column on films with a gay or lesbian focus.
- Scene DissectionsSemi-regular article series focusing on a specific scene from a film or television show, explaining its craft and importance (similar to the "Scenic Routes" feature on the A.V. Club).
- SnubbiesSemi-regular discussion of which films not nominated for Academy Awards in a given year deserved to win.
- SpotlightUsers highlight and analyze the work of specific artists, usually (but not exclusively) bands and musicians.
- Weekly Women+ ThreadWhere users discuss women's issues and experiences.
- WTF Asia-Weekly column examining Asian cinema.
Tropes found on the site include:
- Ascended Extra: The Politics Thread began as a relatively low-volume weekly feature (with occasional special threads for specific events like primaries, conventions, etc.). Due to the sheer amount of news during the 2016 US presidential campaign, and a desire to keep political discussions out of the Open Threads, users expanded it into a daily thread. Now it frequently competes with the Open Threads in terms of comments and traffic.
- Hypothetical Casting: The whole point behind Muppet Casting.
- Running Gag: Many exist in the comments section. One of the most popular is to respond to an either/or statement with The Simpsons quote "It can be two things!"
- Spinoff: of the A.V. Club
- Start My Own: Started as a collective of alienated A.V. Club commenters before creating their own pop culture website.
- The '90s: Millennial Malaise, focusing on the decade's films and pop culture. A short-lived series by a different writer called The Paranoid Style in Cinema did this for The '70s.
- The Rival: Other A.V. Club spin-offs like What's On Tonight and The Solute, though they have a lot of overlapping members and it's usually more of a Friendly Rivalry, along with The Leftorium, which spun off into a separate blog due to differences of opinion about the Avocado's political discussions.
- Theme Naming: Some commenters vary their usernames based on upcoming holidays, inserting references to Santa Claus or reindeer in the weeks before Christmas, then switching to New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, etc. themes as the seasons roll around. Avatars can also be changed to match. It gets confusing...
- There Can Only Be One: Frequent bracket-style tournaments on important pop culture matters such as the best super hero, best 8-bit video game, and best TV theme song cause strife among the commenters.
- True Companions: The community is very tight-knit and close, often arranging off-line get-togethers and an annual Giftmas exchange.
- Watershed: Night Thread: The Avocado's open thread that runs from 11 PM EST to 11 AM EST. A poster may deliberately misconstrue an innocuous comments as sexual in nature and therefore sarcastically advise the original poster to save it for the Night Thread, when fewer posters are likely to be at work.