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Inside Job is an adult animated Netflix Original Series created by Shion Takeuchi. Alex Hirsch of Gravity Falls fame serves as executive producer on the first season.
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Set In a World… where nearly every single conspiracy theory conceived throughout the ages is unambiguously true, Cognito Inc. is a secret organization pulling all the strings to ensure they remain conspiracies. Antisocial tech genius Reagan Ridley (Lizzy Caplan) stands out among the reptilian shapeshifters and psychic mushrooms just for believing the world can be a better place, but she has to constantly wrangle her paranoid, unhinged father, Cognito co-founder Rand Ridley (Christian Slater) from blowing their cover, and her dysfunctional co-workers, which include D.C. yes-man Brett Hand (Clark Duke); free-spirited yet strung-out biochemist Dr. Andre Lee (Bobby Lee); half-man, half-dolphin, 100% jingoistic super-soldier Glenn Dolphman (John Dimaggio); Cognito Inc.'s Head of Media Manipulation and Subliminal Messages and gossipy PR officer Gigi Thompson (Tisha Campbell); and a snarky psychic mushroom from Hollow Earth named Magic Myc (Brett Gelman). In doing so, she'll discover what it truly takes to rule the world.

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The series was announced in 2019, with a 20 episode order. Part 1 premiered on October 22nd 2021 and consisted of ten episodes. Part 2 was released on November 18th 2022, with a sneak peek released as part of 2022's Netflix Geeked Week alongside the announcement the show would be receiving a second season. However, for unknown reasons, the second season was canceled in January 2023.


Cognito Inc. has declassified the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Reagan's mom was neglectful and constantly criticizing her, while her father is a selfish Entitled Bastard who only used her to make sure he'd have an inside man if he was ever fired, erasing the memory of her only friend to do so. Brett's parents were slightly better in that they were "only" neglectful.
  • Actor Allusion: Rand Ridley's rant during his introduction in episode 1 sounds a lot like Mr. Robot's. Like, Rand, Mr. Robot was portrayed by Christian Slater. Slater's roles in both shows are abusive, tech-savvy fathers whose children repressed the most traumatizing thing he did to them from memory.
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  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Beginning with ROBOTUS, the robot replacement for the sitting president, every artificial intelligence created in the first season goes awry. With the sole exception of Ethics Bot.
  • Alien Blood: The Reptoids are shown to bleed blue blood, most clearly shown when Reagan accidentally causes a massacre amongst them.
  • Alliterative Name: Reagan Ridley and her father Rand Ridley.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Damn near every man in this show is a horny bastard. Andre and Magic Myc regularly engage in orgies and the latter describes himself as "alwayssexual"; Glenn states that violence makes him horny and has sexual fantasies about his co-workers (all of them); J.R. regularly uses the holodeck for sex stuff; Rand had a threesome in space and openly talks about having sex with Reagan's mother in front of her; Rafe Masters strips down in front of Reagan and begs for sex; and Buzz Aldrin is part of a sex cult on the moon and is described as "villainously horny" by Reagan. The main exception is Brett, who usually tries to dissuade women from throwing themselves on him.
  • All Myths Are True: Zig-zagged. Most of them such as Bigfoot, reptilians and the Hollow Earth are, but the last two episodes pf season 1 show that some cryptids such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra are elaborate animatronics.
  • Alternate History: Due to the show's setting being a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink, it's a given that a significant portion of official records about world history are partial or complete fabrications to cover up the truth.
  • Alternate Reality Episode: "Project Reboot" sees the gang trying to find Reagan's father, who is swapping realities around with the titular Project Reboot, a machine that randomly alters a past events and sends everyone to the new reality created. This leads them across multiple iterations of their universe, including things such as the USSR winning the Cold War, dinosaurs never going extinct and Andre becoming a famous TV doctor.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: It's revealed in the Part 1 finale that Reagan used to have a childhood friend called Orrin, who her father erased all memory of from her mind to get her to focus solely on her scientific pursuits. However, it turns out that Reagan was a one-password person like Brett when she was a child, and even after the memory wipe, she continued to use this friend's name as a password for several years without knowing why she felt the urge to do so.
  • An Aesop:
    • One in the first episode, spelled out by Reagan; You can't just wall yourself off from the world (though she was talking about countries, not people).
    • "The Brettfast Club": Having happy memories is great and all, but a Nostalgia Filter is harmful, especially when you try and retreat to an idealized version of your past. It's best to just accept the past with Warts and All and start living in the present.
    • "Project Reboot": You can't just press the Reset Button on a broken relationship if you're unwilling to change; sometimes, the best thing you can do is accept how the relationship has failed and learn to move on and try to be better in the future. Additionally, you never really know what you have until it's gone, and the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • Ancient Conspiracy:
    • The Shadow Council, a cabal of powerful elites for centuries, has secretly been running the world. However, the world isn't as easy to manipulate as it used to be. So they formed Cognito Inc to make the job easier.
    • The Illuminati (run by Oprah Winfrey) are mentioned as a rival organization for Cognito (apparently with a bit more glamor associated with working for them), but both work under the Shadow Council and take their orders from them.
  • "Anger Is Healthy" Aesop: Since his introduction, Brett has shown to be worryingly positive despite having every right to be angry in situations that aggravate him. For example, when he learns that his family recast him in a political advert because they always thought little of him and were always embarrassed to be seen with him, he immediately makes excuses for them. Reagan is concerned by his reaction and encourages him to ruin his brother's political career as revenge. Brett's character arc in Part 2 is normalizing his emotions, learning that being angry and disliking someone isn't going to end the world and it is perfectly healthy to feel those emotions.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • On top of being an evil mastermind who tries to erase everyone's memories, Skullfinger took out the original hardwood flooring in his secret volcano lair.
    • In Part 2, it's revealed that the six groups who control the world are Cognito Inc., the Illuminati, the Reptoids, the Atlanteans, the Catholic Church, and... the Juggalos.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Played for Laughs when Rand gives the Flat Earth Society a list of meaningless numbers (that he read of a lotto ticket) as the coordinates to the edge of the Earth. The coordinates in question, in case you're curious, point to a patch of wilderness next to the N15 highway in Cameroon.
  • Ascended Meme: In the Part 2 trailer Reagan is seen swordfighting Keanu Reeves, Conspiracy Keanu is real.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Jeff Bezos is eaten by a Kraken, but nobody cares.
    • During the Shadow Council's death maze both Oprah and Zuckerberg are killed off. Both were rich scumbags and Oprah was stated to abuse her interns.
  • Artificial Hybrid: Glenn Dolphman initially started out as a human, but was turned into a human/dolphin hybrid as part of a Super Soldier project he volunteered for. Cognito Inc has an entire department for splicing human-animal hybrids including, natch, "sheeple".
  • Atlantis: Atlantis is mentioned a few times in the series and can be seen from orbit. Apparently, NASA spends a lot of money photoshopping it out of photos of Earth.
  • "Back to Camera" Pose: One poster has protagonist Reagan stand with her back to the viewer as she looks at a wall full of screens depicting various conspiracy theories.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Considering how many conspiracy theories surround historical figures, politicians, and celebrities, this trope pops up a lot.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Some of the humor is Netflix-related, such as Reagan and ROBOTUS commenting on the platform buying all the seasons of Friends for a lot of money.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Part 2 ends with Reagan having finally achieved her dream of running Cognito Inc., her co-workers finally respecting her and The Shadow Board giving her their blessing and approval for an algorithm to better manage the world. This is at the cost of having to erase the memory and identity of Ron Staedtler, the only person who ever truly loved her, in order to free him from his burdens; giving him a truly happy life away from her and the shadow government.
  • Black Comedy: The show's humor revolves around invoking various conspiracy theories about how evil secret societies are responsible for everything wrong in the world, and plays all of it for dark satire.
  • Bob from Accounting: The weather is actually controlled by Gerald from accounting.
  • Book Ends: Reagan and Rand's first conversation ends up with him yelling "Motherfucker!" as Reagan has someone tase him and drag him away. The first season's first half ends with her "Motherfuck-" when she realises that Rand became CEO in place of her.
    • Following off of that, Episodes 1 and 11 start off the same way; with a Ridley drunkenly ranting in front of the white house before being picked up and taken to Cognito Inc by someone else, leading to an establishing scene of the company in it's current state, Episode 1 featuring Rand, Reagan, and the company under J.R.'s control, and Episode 11 featuring Reagan, Brett, and the company under Rand's control respectively.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Reagan does this a lot to Rand throughout the first season, and she calls out both her mom and dad for their behavior (past and present) in "My Big Flat Earth Wedding." She gives Rand the biggest "Reason You Suck" Speech in the season 1 finale, after she learns that he erased her memories of her Only Friend for his own selfish desires, kicking him out of her place and cutting him out of her life. Sadly, this only lasts a day.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Reagan's cloned hand. In "Clone Gunman", this appears first as a joke, but later, The Gang is capable of using it to access Reagan's secret laboratory. In the Season 1 finale, Rand uses it again to enter Cognito Inc. unauthorized.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In "Ghost Protocol", it's a running joke that J.R. is embezzling money from Cognito to purchase Skullfinger's island lair, something that was hinted at earlier in the season when Reagan and Brett needed to fire someone in order to solve the company's apparent financial problems. Season 1's finale shows that the Shadow Board has caught up to him on that and has arrested him for it, leaving Rand capable of overtaking Cognito.
  • Cloning Blues: The clones of JFK, which cause havoc throughout the company. They're also shown to be capable of mutating into a horrific creature when exposed to fire.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: A major part of the series' premise is that (almost) all Conspiracy Theories and Urban Legends are true, albeit with a few comedic twists here and there. In the first episode alone, we learn that a Reptilian Conspiracy exists, the weather is actually controlled by someone, and that there is a shadowy organization running the world. One of the few conspiracies that isn't true is that the Earth is flat. This is lampshaded when Brett is genuinely confused by the details of the Moon-Landing Hoax, as Cognito has so many conspiracies running simultaneously that he can't keep them all straight.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Most characters. From J.R. disappearing a random person to celebrate Reagan's promotion, to Reagan having a plane shot down because it was dragging an airplane banner her mother had sent to piss off her dad. Only Brett is fairly innocent.
  • The Constant:
    • Rand's attempts to mess with reality and time to find a timeline where he and Tamiko never divorced and Reagan never distanced from him leads him nowhere. It's implied they'll never be all together as a proper family unit, him mentioning that there are times where he manages one, but not both of these relationships.
    • Similarly, Reagan asks for Alpha-Beta to run a series of simulations to view into other timelines to find a timeline where she's able to stay in a happy relationship with Ron and is able to accept her partnership with the Shadow Council, but he fails; every timeline where they remain together and Reagan becomes partner, she ends up becoming abusive and their relationship is only so far from falling apart. Reagan accepts that all she can do is make them both happy separately, giving Ron a new life and identity and wiping his traumatic memories while she takes over Cognito and becomes the most powerful human on Earth by partnering with the Robes.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "Brettwork," the Backhanders mention the disappearance of the head of the Flat Earthers from "My Big Flat Earth Wedding."
    • When Reagan brings Ron to her lab in "Rontagion," it starts producing a robot version of him and references the Bryanbot from "Sex Machina." We even see the remains of it in the corner.
    • In Project Reboot, the alternate universe version of Gigi is finally head of the Illuminati and gets to punish Lin-Manuel Miranda, a callback to "How Reagan Got Her Grove Back."
  • Corrupt Church: The Catholic Church is one of the six societies running the world and is just as involved as the others in making Earth a Crapsack World.
  • Corrupted Character Copy
    • As Brett notes several times, Cognito Inc come off like a version of the Men in Black who uphold the Masquerade for profit instead of peacekeeping.
    • Rand Ridley is a corruption of Rick Sanchez, which is no easy feat to achieve considering that Rick himself is a Corrupted Character Copy of Doc Brown. Like Rick, Rand is a deadbeat alcoholic father that manipulates his family, and the world For the Lulz or For the Evulz. The difference, however, is that there were some lines that Rick wouldn't cross, he has an intense self-loathing of the person he has become and how he's corrupting his family but won't stop, and karma occasionally hits him in the face. He also truly loves Beth, his daughter, and wants her to be happy. Any love that Rand has for Reagan went into him being an Education Mama to become a Mad Scientist that would run Cognito, Inc. and restore his legacy. It was actually to use her as a pawn to eventually become head of the company again. Further straying from Rick’s characterization, Rand is shown to be rather clingy to his daughter and wants to spend time with her despite seeing Reagan as a tool first and loving her second. On the other hand, Rick largely avoids spending time with Beth despite being lonely and loving her dearly. Rand is also more grounded and goal oriented while Rick tries to distract himself from a purposeless existence. Both Reagan and Beth eventually learn to establish stronger boundaries against Rand and Rick after having enough of such toxicity while also, at points, vowing to take down their fathers. Of the two men, it’s Rand who ends up embracing newfound enemyhood with his child.
    • Rafe Masters is a corrupt version of James Bond, specifically in relation to Bond's love life. Bond hooks up with women on the regular, and such relationships tend not to last beyond the film. This is true of Rafe, but in Rafe's case it's because he's a clingy, misogynistic, narcissistic Jerkass to whom an actual conversation with a woman is literal torture. Reagan even tells him right to his face that he's an outdated stereotype who doesn't know how to deal with women.
    Reagan: You are a corny, regressive stereotype, and the only people who think you're cool are dads, or people that didn't have dads!
    Brett: Damn, that is accurate.
  • Currency Conspiracy:
    • In the montage of images in the opening title sequence, two of the images show the $100 dollar bill, one of them normal, the other portraying Benajmin Franklin as a Satanic goat-man with the number 100 replaced with 666.
    • In the first episode, Rand rants incoherent conspiracy theories to a crowd of people in front of the White House, one of which being a dollar bill he had folded to spell "Boobs". Given that he was doing it to get his daughter's attention and he helped run the Shadow Government, it's likely he was mocking the trope.
      Rand: What does it mean?
  • Curse Cut Short: The very last line of Season 1 is one, due to Reagan reacting to The Reveal that Rand, whom she had just tried to cut out of her life, has regained his position as the head of Cognito Inc.
    Reagan: You motherfu-!
  • Cut Short: The show ends on a cliffhanger due to it's cancellation by Netflix after a single, two-part season.
  • Daddy DNA Test: Rand makes a portable gadget for these, to prove that Buzz Aldrin is not Reagan's father. While the results initially name Buzz as the father, Rand and Reagan later realize that a wrong microchip was in the gadget thanks to Brett; after it's fixed, the gadget confirms that Rand is indeed Reagan's father.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Sex Machina" features a subplot about Glenn and Brett swapping bodies, which leads to a look at Glenn's relationship with his ex-wife.
    • "The Brettfast Club" and "Brettwork" are this for Brett, though the former also gives Myc a solo B-story of his own.
    • "Reagan and Mychelle's Hive School Reunion" finally explores Myc's home and backstory and sees him undergoing Character Development.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: When the gang visits a town that's mentally stuck in the '80s due to memory-erasing chemicals, it's made clear that their beliefs are also dated as a result. Andre is repeatedly bombarded with casual racism, which makes him incredibly uncomfortable; Glenn is encouraged to use Corporal Punishment on students when he poses as a high school teacher (with another teacher offering his belt); and one of the kids who takes in an amnesiac Myc insists on being called "O.J.", after his favorite athlete.
  • Deliberate VHS Quality: The opening credits employ a lot of this, since many of the clips shown are meant to look like security footage. The video quality is deliberately grainy and has a lot of tracking lines.
  • Disco Sucks: Apparently, Rand's the one who killed it.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The person that stole massively important files in the two part season finale was Bear-o, a gag character robot, who attempts to destroy the company due to the stress it causes Reagan to work there.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Brett gets forced onto despite his protests by women, including main character Gigi, at least twice in the first season, merely as a part of a gag about how ridiculously attractive he is.
  • Easy Amnesia: Myc gets amnesia after being dropped out of a plane in "The Brettfast Club". After being found by a group of would-be Kid Heroes, he immediately starts mooching off of them and using them to get beer. He gets his memories back when they chuck him off a cliff for being an asshole, and he lands on top of the gang's car.
  • Elvis Lives: Cognito, Inc. has clones of celebrities (dead or alive) onhand, including Elvis and Tupac (as well as 3pac and 4pac). In the finale, a group of Beatles clones and Avril Lavigne try to fight Bear-O but get blown up.
  • Everybody Has Standards:
    • Reagan's coworkers are all horrified by her biomechanical robot arms, with Myc even telling her that it brings her one step closer to being a supervillain. She just flips the bird with the arms in annoyance.
    • The reptoids are all shocked when they find out that Rand never hugged his daughter and built a robot to do it for him. To the point of essentially giving her what they consider an Unishment for her court sentence.note 
    • The evil real estate agent selling Skullfinger's volcano lair to J.R. is disturbed by his raiding the employee pension fund and planning to use it as an AirBnB, and the janitor mopping up minion blood makes the sign of the cross.
    • Despite their teasing of Reagan regarding her relationship with Rafe Masters, the rest of the gang are immediately put off when Rafe admits that he microchipped Reagan's phone in order to keep track of her.
  • Evil, Inc.: Cognito Inc. runs the world in secret, and they don’t always have humanity’s best interests at heart.
  • Eye of Providence: While not the symbol of Cognito Inc., the Eye of Providence is featured prevalently. Fittingly, the Eye Of Providence appears on a screen in a couple of promotional materials as one of the conspiracies Reagan is watching over.
  • Fictional Social Network: "Sex Machina" features "RightSwipe", a Tinder-esque app that Cognito Inc. is able to purchase at the start of the episode.
  • Flat World: Averted. This is one of the conspiracy theories that aren't true in this show. Doesn't stop people believing it to be true though, especially because Rand eggs them on just for kicks.
  • Flipping the Bird: Reagan's robot arms do this in two different episodes.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Rontagion", J.R.'s Uncle Pennybags costume is subtly wrong, most notably featuring a monocle like Mr. Peanut instead of the pince-nez glasses the actual Uncle Pennybags has. The following episode, "Project Reboot", all but directly states that this was due to J.R. basing his costume after the "original" Uncle Pennybags, as he and Rand are actually from an Alternate Timeline.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In each episode, after the "A Netflix Series" title card, a brief flash of an image can be seen that somehow relates to the events of the episode:
    • "Unpresidented": A picture of the President giving a speech, with a closeup of his neck showing wires sticking out.
    • "Clone Gunman": A trio of John F. Kennedys sitting in the Oval Office.
    • "Blue Bloods": A photo of the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale. Their eyes all look vaguely reptilian, with vertical slit pupils.
    • "Sex Machina": A QR code which leads to an Instagram page called "rightswipeapp," and a RightSwipe profile for a man named Harry Harrison.
    • "The Brettfast Club": A jet leaving behind a condensation trail reflected off someone's sunglasses.
    • "My Big Flat Earth Wedding": A glimpse of the hollowed-out center of the Earth, containing a group of molemen, a Kraken, and a sunken ship. Unlike the previous ones, this one is a still image done in the show's art style.
    • "Ghost Protocol": Various doctored identification papers for celebrities such as Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Princess Diana, and Kurt Cobain. Like in My Big Flat Earth Wedding, their photos are also caricatures.
    • "Buzzkill": A pair of hands holding a clapboard in front of an astronaut in a shuttle.
    • "Mole Hunt": A redacted Cognito Inc document from 1/16/1998 with encrypted text and many redacted sections. The description can be found here.
    • "Inside Reagan": A photo of Ronald Reagan wearing Rand Ridley's memory helmet, next to a machine that reads "Project Jellybean-Ronald." This is also Foreshadowing for the reveal of what happened to the show's other Reagan.
    • Additionally, the intro has a single frame between the shot of ROBOTUS waving and a pile of 100$ bills showing a black-and-white photo of J.R. captioned "Fantasy Golf? Hell Yeah".
  • Friendless Background: Both Reagan and Brett suffered from one of these when they were young children, and it's part of what shaped their personalities as adults. In Reagan's case, she became antisocial and threw herself headlong into her work. In Brett's case, he came to desperately crave the approval of others, and became as agreeable and inoffensive as possible in order to make friends.
    • It's eventually revealed that Reagan's childhood wasn't so friendless, as she had a friend named Orrin. Turns out, Rand wiped her memory of Orrin when she said she did not want to skip the 4th grade so she could continue to be friends with him.
  • Gender-Blender Name: When an amnesiac Myc lands in Still Valley, the town stuck in the '80s, thanks to memory-erasing chemicals, he's taken in by four kids, two of which are Charlie, a girl with a boy's name, and Ashley, a boy with a girl's name. Yes, that's how they're introduced.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In the season 1 finale, the team frees ROBOTUS to fight Bear-O. Andre even quotes the famous "Let them fight" line from Godzilla (2014).
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • The plot of the first episode is kicked off by Cognito managing to get their chosen candidate elected president... only for him to be too stupid to manipulate.
    • A test of memory-erasing chemicals caused a whole town to be stuck mentally in the eighties. J.R. uses this to sell banned products.
    • Rand created Flat-Earthers as part of a bet to J.R., not expecting them to get so violent over proving their beliefs.
    • Rand created Bear-o to be Reagan's friend and make her happy, and it eventually decides that the best way to do that is to destroy Cognito due her job being a constant source of anger and stress. He also made the thing indestructible, meaning the only way to stop it from killing everyone is a password that Reagan doesn't remember.
  • Greed: As Reagan tells the leader of the flat-Earthers, all of the conspiracies in the show exist for a purely monetary reason. There might be a real deep state shadow government secretly controlling the world with plans wrapped within plans, but the end goal of those plans is money money money.
  • Hands Go Down: In episode 1 a new employee orientation meeting is seen. The person running the meeting asks if there are any questions. When all four of the new employees raise their hands she amends it with "Besides moral ones" and all four of them lower their hands.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Rand nearly gets hit with this in the season one finale. Firstly, Bear-o, the robotic friend he created to make Reagan happy, decides that working at Cognito is ruining Reagan's happiness and tries to destroy the company as well as kill all negative influences in her life, which includes Rand himself. Because he made Bear-o indestructible, the only way to stop it is with a failsafe password Reagan forgot, which leads to a Journey to the Center of the Mind that causes her to realize the password was the name of her childhood friend Orrin, whom Rand deleted all memories of from her mind so she'd be hard-focused on realising her genius potential and eventually become a high-ranking officer inside Cognito that would be on his side should J.R fire him, which is exactly what happened. The only reason this is a "nearly" is because while Reagan decides to cut him out her life as a result of the whole incident, the events of the B-plot meant he still got control of Cognito like he wanted.
  • Hollow World: Earth is one of these filled with sentient mushrooms, mole people, and sea monsters.
  • Historical Figures in Archival Media: Three of the glitched images that appear at the very beginning of the episodes "Clone Gunman", "Buzzkill", and "Inside Reagan" show edited photographs of John F. Kennedy, Buzz Aldrin, and Ronald Reagan in their respective episodes.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Despite Andre being Korean, Brett mistakes him for being Chinese. When he's in Still Valley, all the residents also think he is Chinese (which they use to mean "generally Asian") and constantly throw microaggressions at him. By the end of that episode, he has a raging hatred for the town and just wants to leave.
  • Interservice Rivalry: There are other shadow governments that run the conspiracies of the world like Cognito Inc such as the Illuminati (natch), whose members don't get along, but they all report to the Shadow Board.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: In Episode 5, "The Brettfast Bunch", after being told by Reagan that his nostalgia for the 80s was stupid, Brett tries to get some Nostalgia Max to convince his friends to stay a little longer. However, Brett ends up covered in the stuff, and he's turned into Mighty Nostalgia Max, who tries to trap his friends in the town with him forever. Reagan manages to get through to him by making him remember his actual childhood, not one from a Sitcom, and reassures him that even though he doesn't have a good family, he still has her and the rest of the team. This is enough to get him to stop his attack, and they have a group hug.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In "Inside Reagan", Reagan and Rand (and later Brett) use a device Rand invented for Ronald Reagan to travel into her mind and figure out the password to shutdown Bear-O. It takes the form of a giant web of conspiracy boards. Within there lies a room full of scribbled pictures representing her repressed memories, some that her dad is aware of.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Of the main characters, Reagan (a roboticist) and Andre (a biochemist) wear labcoats as part of their standard outfits.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When the flat-earth pirates hijack the party ship and imprison Jeff Bezos, he complains about how awful he's being treated, using the exact complaints some workers of Amazon warehouses have made about their working conditions. He ends his tirade saying how completely non-ironic he finds this.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • In "Inside Reagan", Rand says "If people knew 9/11 was really caused by—" and then a long Sound-Effect Bleep. He lampshades that he "can't even say that here". Also doubles as Nothing Is Funnier.
    • In "How Reagan Got Her Groove Back", when the Juggalos are "converting" Glenn and Myc to their cause by asking if they ever feel disrespected, Glenn muses aloud that "Our missions do feel suspiciously like B-stories."
  • Lizard Folk: A lot of celebrities and other powerful people are Reptoids, who can shapeshift into human form. They provide Cognito a lot of funding in exchange for them doing nothing about global warming so the world is at their preferred temperature.
  • Love Potion: Inverted. As one of the many, many things that Rand did to keep his daughter focused on science and led her to be the socially inept trainwreck she is now, the Brittany Spears perfume he gave her was actually boy repellent pheromone spray.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: You would think that a company as powerful and as far-reaching as Cognito Inc. would have field operatives to do some of the missions that the main characters find themselves on episode-to-episode, rather than the department heads.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: The Juggalos secretly control global finance, a fact that is baffling even to their fellow secret groups.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: In "My Big Flat Earth Wedding", Myc has to knock himself out after reading Reagan's stress over planning her mom's wedding.
  • Meaningful Name: The show's title. Not only does it refer to the behind-closed-doors shady business Reagan's team have to enact as part of keeping The Masquerade going for the public, but the finale reveals that Reagan herself was an 'Inside Job' for Rand, albeit an unknowing one, as her father deliberately manipulated her into getting a Job at Cognito Inc so he'd always have somebody loyal to him inside the company in case J.R. got him fired, which ended up happening. This included erasing the memories of her childhood Only Friend so Reagan would focus more on her studying, exacerbating the personal issues Reagan deals with by the present day.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: Zig-zagged; the US actually did make it to the moon in 1969, but the astronauts went rogue and formed a colony/sex cult. Since the truth would be too embarrassing to reveal, the landing footage and return mission was faked, with actors replacing Neil and Buzz back on Earth. The end of the episode has Myc breaking the fourth wall to directly tell the audience that the moon landing did happen, just so Buzz Aldrin won't sue them.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The season one trailer implies that the show has an overarching plot about unraveling a conspiracy within the conspiracy about who's really in charge of Cognito Inc., with Reagan and Brett discovering some secret hidden deep beneath the headquarters. While there is a conspiracy that the two of them stumble upon by the end of the season, what's in the secret basement lab isn't it: that particular secret was put there by Reagan at the end of the first episode, and the rest of the gang discovers it in the second (Brett she willingly shows, while the others broke in).
  • Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used To Be:
    • Lampshaded when the gang has to deal with a town perpetually stuck in the eighties thanks to Cognito periodically dosing them with mind-wiping chemicals. Being stuck in the eighties includes the racial attitudes of the time, which Andre has to deal with, and the lack of modern conveniences is a constant annoyance. Even the residents hate it, wanting to go back to the fifties.
    • At the end of the episode, Reagan treats Brett to a night of pizza and watching The Goonies, and by the end, they both end up awkwardly dwelling on the Fratelli family's treatment of Sloth.
      Reagan: So, is their disabled brother just straight-up chained to a wall?
      Brett: Huh. Wow, yeah, that's...that hits different today.
  • Obituary Montage: This shows up in the third episode, with a look back at the Reptoids which were lost over the last year.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Subverted by the gang, who are seen meeting in the dark at first, but after Reagan turns on the light, it turns out to be due to Hangover Sensitivity. Played straighter with the Shadow Board, who wear concealing robes with triangle-shaped face masks (alternating upwards and downwards points) and voice changers, and are always watching... but outside of that still behave like any normal board of directors for a company.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: A fair number of them can be seen milling about Cognito headquarters.
    • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: In the establishing shot, a forklift is seen transporting a Sasquatch in a glass tube, it punches its way out and strangles the operator. He's later seen walking freely through the facility, blowing off a friendly greeting from Brett.
    • The Mothman: A Mothman named Elliot works in Inhuman Resources.
    • Rand activates a bunch of animatronic cryptids in the Part 1 finale, including a Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, and a Chupacabra.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Apparently, the password which Brett uses for everything is "password123", to the dismay of the rest of the team.
    • While searching through Reagan's memories, Brett learns that she also used the same password for everything as a kid: the name of her Only Friend, Orrin. She continued to use it for years even after her memories of him were erased.
  • Plot Hole: Parodied. There are a few inconsistencies in Part 2 with the lore set in season 1. The penultimate episode of the season, the characters explicitly address them and accuse them of being caused by Rand messing around with the timelines. Alpha-Beta calls them Plot Holes that need to be fixed.
  • Pink Is Erotic:
    • Raegan's mom, Tamiko, lusts for younger men and writes an erotic novel that consists of insulting her ex-husband. In her home, Tamiko has a painting of herself with pink flowers that resemble vaginas.
    • Dr. Andre Lee wears pink glasses and a pink shirt, and Magic Myc is a blue and pink sentient mushroom. Both characters are openly obsessed with sex, ranging from attending sex cults to finding orgies, and both are willing to have sex with any being that consents to it.
  • Pokémon Speak: The two Jason Bournes seen in "The Bourne Redundancy" are only shown to be capable of saying "Bourne".
  • Racial Face Blindness: In "My Big Flat Earth Wedding", Myc assumed that Tamiko's self-wedding invite was just her getting married to another woman and he was too racist to tell them apart. It's ambiguous whether this was because she's Japanese or simply because she's human.
  • Rapid DNA Test:
    • Reagan takes a cheek swab of one of her dates and sticks it in a device that determines he's genetically compatible with her in seconds, but he freaks out and runs.
    • Rand makes a Daddy DNA Test device out of junk and stuff from the space plane to prove that he's Reagan's real father, but it takes 30 minutes to determine the result.
  • Reference Overdosed: Much of the humor in the show is made of Shout-Outs and Take That!'s to other media or real-life figures and groups.
  • Regional Riff: In-universe. While in Still Valley one of the casually racist things Andre notes is that every time he speaks, somebody that he can't see hits a gong.
  • Reptilian Conspiracy: A secret society of Lizard Folk (also known as Reptoids) exist within our own, and they are a major source of funding for the company. Among their propaganda efforts to gain more acceptance in society was getting King K. Rool into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Robot Me:
    • The first episode involves the replacement of the President with a robotic doppelganger (ROBOTUS), which naturally goes berserk.
    • Reagan builds one of her ideal romantic partner to practice dating, but winds up dating it for real. The relationship ends when the robot boyfriend builds a robot version of her.
  • Rushmore Refacement: When Glenn is trying to suck up to Reagan to avoid being fired, his Plan B (after she isn't impressed by having a missile named after her) is to carve her face onto Mount Rushmore over Roosevelt's.
  • Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink: As part of the Conspiracy Kitchen Sink, aliens, cryptids, monsters, and futuristic technology of all kinds seem to co-exist.
  • Shock Collar: When the plan to replace the president with a robot fails, Andre just sticks an implant in his neck to shock him on demand.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work. The great Reptoid "group-hug" orgy may seem like gratuitous sex for the sake of sex, but it's actually how a number of species of snakes mate. It's called a "breeding ball"—basically, it's a great, knotted mass of horny, humping, scaly flesh composed of sometimes dozens of snakes' bodies all tightly writhing together.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very much on the cynical side of the scale.
  • Species Surname: Dolphman the dolphin-man. At one point it's lampshaded that this was his name before he became an animal hybrid and how little sense that makes.
  • Status Quo Is God: Defied in the Part 1 finale when Reagan finds out that Rand erased her childhood friend from memory when she was a kid, Rand offers her to hit the Reset Button of the whole revelation by shooting him and Reagan with one of Cognito's memory erasers. Reagan hesitates for a bit but then smashes the memory eraser and tells Rand to get out of her life.
  • STD Immunity:
    • Subverted when Dr. Andre finally gets into a Reptoid orgy, as he's shown at a doctor getting diagnosed with several diseases with reptile-themed names plus mushroom herpes.
    • Buzz Aldrin claims that Rand infected the Moon with syphilis.
  • String Theory: Reagan makes a conspiracy board while trying to decipher Brett's background in the first episode. She presents her findings with string in her hair. Her mind is also organized this way.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The gang lets ROBOTUS out of his tube to fight Bear-O in the Part 1 finale.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Bear-O was built by Reagan's father Rand for the sole purpose of hugging her and making her feel "safe", but, as the two last episodes show, it's also indestructible and filled to the brim with weapons.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Near the end of "Sex Machina," Reagan finally works up the courage to talk to her "perfect match," Bryan, and reveals everything that she did, including building a robot copy of him that she ended up dating. All things considered, Bryan takes the news well, but ultimately confesses that the whole situation is a bit too weird for him to consider pursuing an actual relationship with Reagan, and gently turns her down. Reagan accepts this, but is still clearly disappointed when she has to call in an extraction team to pick up Bryan.
    • Andre does a Face/Off-style face swap on Brett and Glenn. As the two have wildly different proportions and bone structures, the result is appropriately hideous. He settles for a brain swap instead.
    • Glenn, in Brett's body, initially gets a bunch of freebies based on Brett's good looks alone. However, later on, it's revealed that the same people who initially gave him those freebies were ultimately turned off by Glenn's JerkAss attitude. Meanwhile, Brett in Glenn's body experiences scorn from being absolutely hideous, but Glenn's wife, who can tolerate his appearance, finds his attitude attractive compared to her actual husband and is willing to bone him in the middle of couple's therapy.
    • Andre is a Drunken Master who works best when he's high. He's also a medical doctor and an academic one, serving as the team's surgeon or medic. When sober, he's utterly useless because his withdrawal, Tourette's and OCD take over common sense. In the season finale, Andre confesses under truth serum that because of his drug habits and OCD, he actually flunked medical school. If he can't even locate a boat from longitude and latitude while sober, then he sure as hell can't memorize medical texts or complete physical rotations, and his numerous psychological conditions would make medical training pure hell
    • As a child, Reagan exposed her turtles to radiation in the hopes of making them like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Instead, she just gave them severe radiation poisoning.
    • After participating in the Reptillian group hug/orgy, and likely having unprotected sex, Andre learns he contracted multiple Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
    • All of The Gang get a reality check in "Project Reboot" when they experience their supposedly lives in the new timeline:
      • Andre may have become rich and famous and married to Scarlett Johansson, but due to an accident, he has a horse penis. While that sounds fine (for Andre) at first, having a horse penis is terrible for sex with actual human women.
      • Glenn gets his human face and his wife back and is honored as a war hero, but he realizes almost too late that someone with as much Patriotic Fervor as him can't live in a timeline when the Soviet Union conquered America.
      • Gigi may have always dreamed of controlling The Illuminati, but she is also has hints of being Brilliant, but Lazy. She ends up hating her position once she realizes that she will have to do all the work.
      • The only reason Brett has as much of a spine as he does is due to his time at Cognito. While he has achieved his dream of being a professional puppet maker in the new timeline, he is so psychological fragile that he breaks down at the slightest passive aggressive comment of his work.
  • Take That!:
    • Reagan calls nationalism "politics for basic bitches".
    • Robotus decides to destroy humanity after spending a few minutes on Facebook. He specifically calls out the posts from Florida as being disturbing enough on their own. Mark Zuckerberg himself also appears as a creepy awkward half-Reptoid hybrid.
    • The Pentagon has a recruitment poster listing blindly following orders as a benefit of joining the army.
    • On a background list of Punny Name references to various celebrities who are actually Reptoids, Donald Rumsfeld — who hadn’t died yet during the show’s production — is on there with his name completely unchanged.
    • When J.R. tells Gigi to ensure that Glenn doesn't say anything racist (Glenn hates Reptiods and the gang is at a Reptoid gala to secure a considerable part of the company's funding), she said how it is just like Mel Gibson's Hanukkah's special (a nod to Mel Gibson's infamously anti-Semitic rant during an DUI arrest).
    • After Brett met two members of the many frats he was in, he greeted them with the frat handshake accompanied by the line "Up, down, roofie, roofie, become a Supreme Court Justice", a nod to Brett Kavanaugh and the sexual assault allegation leveled at him.
    • The Reptoid Gala is visually based on the Academy Award ceremony, complete with giant golden Reptoid statues and an obituary for all the Reptoids who passed away.
    • Flat-Earthers are not depicted positively here, with Rand leading them on only for a laugh. In fact, they're one of the few conspiracies that isn’t real in this universe.
    • Jeff Bezos is characterized as a whiny billionaire and a Card-Carrying Villain, and multiple jabs about bathroom breaks are taken at his expense before he gets eaten by a kraken.
    • Still Valley is the epitome of Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used To Be. The town is rife with sexism and racism, with Andre being increasingly annoyed with how everyone calls him Chinese and pointing out that the Running Gag of a gong going off whenever he says anything is pretty demeaning.
    • Rafe Masters is a walking Take That at the typical Tuxedo and Martini super spy. Despite being a skilled fighter, he's absolutely awful at dealing with women, particularly with how he stalks Reagan after they have a one-night stand and she's unable to turn him down. Reagan outright calls him a "corny, regressive stereotype", saying that the only people who think he's cool are dads and people who didn't have dads.
    • Part 2 has a couple barbs against Reddit, presented as a hotbed of incel and violent conspiratorial activities. There are also more jabs towards famous people, such as Alex Jones (depicted as a despicable weirdo who's shown naked and on fire at one point, believes in the Flat Earth "theory", and carries around a tape recorder since he's apparently "the only person left who'll listen to [him]!") and Jesse Ventura (as a tinfoil hat-wearing paranoiac).
    • The Roman Catholic Church is one of the six societies responsible for keeping Earth a Crapsack World on the Robes' behalf. They're also introduced at the Power Struggle with "They wear sandals, and create scandals..."
    • "Whoas-Feratu" has Reagan grimly proclaim at one point "If I want to save my mom, I have to do what The Lake House couldn't: Kill Keanu Reeves." In general, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Nicolas Cage, Larry David and Johnny Depp are also revealed to have maintained their good looks by preying on women much younger than them, a clear jab at their tendency to do so in real life, albiet without the bloodsucking part (hopefully).
    • "We Found Love in a Popeless Place" from Part 2 shows that the demon animatronics put in the fake Fire and Brimstone Hell under Rome have been made by Disney Imagineers. Additionally, the TSA is depicted as an outright sadistic and needlessly bureaucratic bunch of bullies who get off on abusing their power over others.
      • Andre also considers being Forced to Watch old Seinfeld clips related to the inconveniences of airline travel as grounds for suicide.
      • This episode also has Ron guiltily confessing among his list of various sins that he's the one who "told Kanye West about politics!"
      • The entire A-plot is one gigantic middle finger towards Catholicism, ranging from their extreme self-righteousness]], their hypocrisy, their obsession with making people feel guilt, and their prudishness.
    • In "Project Reboot", Gigi quit her dream job as "Queen of the Illuminati" after realizing that she'd have to run the Illuminati's Disney Channel division, a job which she regards with genuine horror and disgust.
  • Title Drop: Done by Rafe Masters in "Ghost Protocol" when he believes Reagan’s "death" was an "inside job".
  • Too Dumb to Fool: The president the Deep State backed in the last election proved to be this. This is why they're having him replaced with a robot. When that falls through, they equip him with an implant to shock him on demand.
  • Totally Radical: Glenn goes undercover as a college student to get his classmates to sign up to be drone pilots. His disguise involves a lot of dabbing.
    Glenn: Thanks, bros! Sacrificing yourself to the state is bae!
  • Treated Worse than the Pet: Brett is considered so useless in his family that according to "Brettwork", his family, who ranks their family members, ranks the dog over him.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Overlapping with Monsters Anonymous. The premiere episode of Part 2 has the support group "Anonymous Anonymous", for those whose daily life is affected by living in secrecy or ruling from the shadows. Members have to wear, at least in the beginning, a device that scrambles their faces and voices. Brett convinces Reagan to go there, and so she meets who will become her Love Interest, Ron Staedtler from the Illuminati. The group is led Elliot Mothman and among other members there are Bigfoot, a Slenderman, a Moleman (who actually thought it was Alcoholics Anonymous), and Jesse Ventura.
  • Truth Serum: Andre invented one after he became desensitized to regular drugs. Reagan doses the Gang with it to determine the mole.
  • Two Decades Behind: A test of memory-erasing chemicals has led to the town of Still Valley to be stuck in the 1980s mentally, which J.R utilizes to sell banned products.
  • Ultraterrestrials: Multiple non-human sapient species, some from real world conspiracies and some wholly original, are depicted living secretly on Earth, some employed at, or allied with, Cognito Inc.
  • Villain Protagonist: The main characters are all Department leaders of Cognito Inc., an Evil, Inc. that manipulates humanity on behalf of a diabolical cabal of robbed men. They are allowing Climate Change to persist in exchange for funding from lizard people who intend on taking over the planet, they routinely kill, experiment on and/or Un-person innocent people (even their own employees) for shaky reasons, are orchestrating World War III and so on. Brett routinely asks if Cognito Inc. is evil, never getting a straight answer out of anyone.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In "How Reagan Got Her Grove Back" Reagan has turned into a raving alcoholic mess, like Rand at the start of the show, after the latter takes over Cognito Inc. and vomits in front of the White House gates.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Shadow Board presents itself as this to Reagan in the part 2 finale. They claim everything they have done is for the betterment of humanity, tracing it back to the dawn of man where people protected the populace from dangers they didn't understand. That being said, at the very end they hint at something far more sinister, a project with Reagan as the key piece.
  • Wedding Episode: "My Big Flat Earth Wedding" focuses on Reagan's mother getting married to... herself (it's either for self-empowerment or just a way to piss Rand off). Of course, her father hears of this and hijacks the ceremony with members of the Flat Earth society.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of "Sex Machina," Reagan mentions to ROBOTUS that the extraction team she called to pick up Bryan found no trace of the robot Reagan.
  • Who Shot JFK?: In this series, the act was committed by "Grassy" Noel Atkinson, who did the act because apparently, Kennedy had sex with the alien from Roswell and got pregnant as a result. Have to prevent the eggs from hatching, you see. Reagan and Brett later release a clone of JFK for Grassy Noel to kill, only for the clone to release the rest of the clones and cause havoc.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: At Age 51, Glenn is way too young to be a Vietnam veteran, as the war would have began long before he was even conceived, and ended by the time he started elementary school.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Inside Job

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Manipulating with the Minions

Gigi shows Reagan an example of what she does as head of Media Manipulation -- slowing down a clip of the Minions from "Despicable Me" reveals an audio message to kill one's parents.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / SubliminalSeduction

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