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    Critical Role in General 
  • Awesome Music: "Your Turn to Roll" is a hell of a catchy song.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Considering how many crossover works have been made involving the two, it’s safe to say the critters are one to The Magnus Archives.
  • Hype Backlash: While few people take it out on the show itself, many Game Masters, including Matt himself, are annoyed by the "Matt Mercer Effect", where players expect them to run the game exactly like Matt would, or expect that streaming it will mean success.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Critical Role has caused a big Newbie Boom amongst tabletop RPGs, especially Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. Unfortunately, this has caused a lot of people with unrealistic expectations for how the games are played, see Hype Backlash.
  • Misaimed Fandom: One symptom of the "Matt Mercer Effect" is the belief that the players are along for the ride. This is not the case even in Critical Role as it is not as scripted as people believe it. Matt himself has even informed aspiring players and game masters that the players are just as important as the game master.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Played with, in that they're all performed by Matt, but many of the NPCs count.
    • First and foremost among them is definitely Victor, the crazy black powder merchant, popular enough to be revisited later. Matt even dressed as him for the Halloween episode where everybody dressed as their favorite NP Cs.
    • The Sun Tree, who sounds inexplicably like an Erudite Stoner after being centuries old.
    • In an similar vein,note  Henry Crabgrass from campaign 2, who's even got his own fanart and an Eye Catch.

    Campaign 1 
  • Abandon Shipping: Tiberius/Allura, which got hit with 3 major cases of Ship Sinking: Orion leaving the show, Tiberius' death and Kima/Allura becoming canon. Also Matt confirming that the instant Allura knew that Tiberius had murdered the defenseless and unconscious mage, she lost all interest.
  • Adorkable:
    • Keyleth — consider all of her interactions with Kashaw, her attempted performance of "Be Our Guest", her confusion over the purpose of gambling, her total awe at a street magician, her initial reactions to the Feywild, her child-like joy at getting and trying out the Spire of Conflux, and her rather... "inspiring" speeches.
    • Percy in Episode 42, due to the sheer glee in his voice at the thought that the party could steal an airship, and at the beginning of Episode 59, when he's just thrilled to be in the Feywild.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Clarota: Is he a cunning manipulator who deceived Vox Machina all along, only pretending to fit in a little more with the group every passing day, or is it all genuine character growth that is tragically washed away in a psychic tidal wave when he's reconnected with the Elder Brain's hive mind, and his personality was subsumed into the whole? DM's words in the Q&A is that Clarota was indeed evil and only pretending to fit in with the party, but the world of the game is malleable... Matt later clarified in the Campaign Wrap-Up that it might have been possible for the party to convince Clarota to make a Heel–Face Turn, but it would have been very, very difficult.
    • The Raven Queen. Did she take advantage of Vax's death to Vecna to secure her champion, and knowingly cheat the group out of being able to use Greater Resurrection on him? Or did she make the best deal she could offer with the circumstances? Opinions range everywhere from her being incredibly generous and good (if not Good Is Not Nice) to her being a consummate manipulator and the unrecognized/uncaught villain of the campaign with some fans going as far to argue that the group should've fought to seal her away. A further point of contention is the fact that she could have let Vax live out the rest of his natural lifespan without ripping him away from his sister, his lover, and his friends, considering that he was going to be her champion for eternity.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The Chroma Conclave arc goes on much longer than anything previously, and when taken as a whole it encompasses forty-five episodes. It begins in Episode 39, and it takes until episode 55 for the first dragon out of four to be defeated, Episode 71 for the second, Episode 79 for the third, and Episode 83 for the final one. In comparison, the two previous major Arc Villains, K'Varn and The Briarwoods, both had arcs lasting 12 episodes. Alleviated slightly in that it's broken up into multiple sub-arcs, such as facing Grog's old herd and the Feywild, but the main arc still falls into Myth Stall for some.
    • Somewhat-related, Vax and Keyleth's romance. Vax confesses his love for Keyleth in Episode 33, and it's made clear two episodes later that she returns those feelings to some extent. However, the two don't become an Official Couple until Episode 65 due to various issues such as Vex's death making Keyleth's fears of losing Vax intensify and reminding her of what will happen once she completes the Aramente, and Vax's unexpected subplot with the Raven Queen making him pull away from everyone. In fact, many Critters thought they were already together long before it became an official pairing.
  • Archive Panic: Hoo boy. 115 episodes at about 3 to 4 hours apiece plus a handful of specials that are considered canon mean that getting fully caught up is a staggering time commitment. According to CR Stats' infographic, the show up to Episode 100 has more hours of footage than the entirety of The Simpsons. While you can fairly safely jump on at the beginning of an arc, you might still miss out on inside jokes and previous events, leading to the temptation to start from the beginning anyway. Thankfully, by now all episodes are also available in podcast format (with the announcements and break edited out), so if you can bear missing out on the visual acting, hugs and other non-audible cast reactions, it may be more manageable to listen to this version while you're doing household chores or commuting.
  • Awesome Ego: Scanlan has such a high opinion of himself that Matt ruled he can use his bard skills to give himself inspiration dice.
    • Functionally there is a bard ability in D&D 5E that allows this under certain conditions, but Matt lets Sam use it in more ways than the strict rules would allow.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Tiberius. His tendency for what one might call over-preparation tended to divide people, depending on how much of it people are willing to accept as roleplay on Orion's part. Is it in-character for him to be Properly Paranoid, or is it power- and metagaming that slows the game to a crawl for everyone else?
    • Vax'ildan during the Conclave Arc. Some love the character, finding him caring, generous, and relatable to many fans with depression. Others found his behavior to be mean or selfish. Of particular contention are his post-break-up interactions with Gilmore (are they good friends navigating the tricky waters of "we were almost romantically involved", or is Vax taking advantage of Gilmore's lingering affection?); his treatment of Percy and general attitude since "The Sunken Tomb" (justified anger and sorrow, or pettiness and angst?); and his sibling relationship with Vex (heartwarming, protective, and perpetually trying to help despite not always knowing the best way, or increasingly possessive, demeaning, and self-centered?). Launching an attack on Raishan in episode 79, as detailed below, split opinions further.
    • Keyleth. She has a large fanbase, and Marisha Ray is often praised for her acting in roleplay moments, but following Tiberius (and Orion) leaving the group, there are also a fair few fans who aren't fond of the character for several reasons: Her inconsistency in regards to morality and how good the team is (and the hypocrisy that entails), such as when she incinerated a fleeing guard that's stopping to surrender not three episodes after she reprimanded Tiberius for buzzsawing the old woman or her sometimes questionable opinions (such as her distrust against Kima, the Roc situation, or the Clasp deal). There are even some who believe her actions (especially in the Feywild) should have her alignment set at Chaotic Neutral, rather than the Neutral Good she supposedly is. Safe to say, starting from Briarwoods Arc, there is almost no safe place where you can discuss Keyleth civilly without someone bringing up these issues. Post Character Development, she was redeemed in the eyes of much of the fanbase, but she still had her critics.
    • Trinket. A lot of fans (and Laura Bailey) adore him, but other fans (and possibly Sam, as voiced using Scanlan) are tired of The Load (largely because Beastmasters were nerfed in 5E, especially compared to the other Ranger archetype, the Hunter). Scanlan saying "leave the bear" is a Running Gag in the show, but also an instruction repeated frequently in the chat or in comments. Trinket's uselessness in combat has reached the level where Matt has already had to give him several buffs to allow him to keep up, and fans are wondering if Matt will eventually just homebrew an archetype for the Ranger that better utilizes animals.
    • Gern Blanston. Though only appearing for one episode, he's split fan-reactions between either those who find him a hilarious guest who contributed with the introduction of the Broom of Flying or those who find his attitude a distraction to the Fire Ashari plight.
    • Arkhan the Cruel: While many players enjoyed the guest appearance by Joe Manganiello and found Arkhan to be a cool Token Evil Teammate, him being a Canon Immigrant added so late into the campaign divides the fanbase, with some feeling that his appearance took away from the epic conclusion of Vox Machina's adventures to further Arkhan's own cross-universe character arc, not to mention him being a fairly powerful character build. (Arkhan, in a separate stream, once broke the record for highest damage ever seen in a D&D game) On the other hand, it was Arkhan's Canon Immigrant status that helped bring Critical Role into the official D&D multiverse, leading to The Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.
  • Broken Base:
    • During the Underdark arc, Keyleth's distrust of, and outbursts against, Lady Kima sparked a lot of controversy. Some loved it for the great roleplaying and acting skills on Marisha's part (at one point she actually tears up) and felt it was in-character for her (aided by the fact that Vax did an Insight check on her during this which caused Matt to whisper something to him, implying Keyleth has some kind of Freudian Excuse for her suspicions). Others were annoyed because, from a gameplay standpoint, it served no purpose other than to antagonize an NPC who'd been nothing but helpful to them, one who'd recently been tortured at that. This side was also confused at Keyleth suspecting a Paladin while trusting an Illithid. What this side does not seem to realize or remember, however, is that Clarota and the mindflayers were the party's first encounters with them; therefore, they had no idea that all illithids were inherently evil. Other factors include the fact that Kima had endangered the party due to her desire for revenge as well as still being a relative stranger to the party. That, and the aforementioned Freudian Excuse of Keyleth's general distrust towards those of the faith due to events that occurred in her past that as of that time were not revealed to the audience until much later. The debate stopped when Keyleth and Kima ended up becoming Fire-Forged Friends.
    • Keyleth's behavior in Episode 26 regarding a monster Vox Machina were sent to eliminate; she was tired of the constant fighting (along with Tiberius and Percy moving closer to He Who Fights Monsters in recent episodes, at least in her eyes), and instead worked out a non-violent compromise. This divided the fanbase sharply; some believed that this scene went on too long or that it didn't make sense to care about killing some random monster, while others thought that it was a brave (and in-character as well as class-appropriate) move to stop the bloodshed before it escalated. Others just thought Keyleth's opposition to the perceived brutality was hypocritical, considering the questionable deeds she'd done in the past.
    • Orion's departure sparked waves of back and forth discussion on the Critical Role subreddit - while some were sad to see him gone and wished him the best, others were grateful he was gone after all the cheating, metagaming, and perceived attention-hogging, and some fans wanted to know very specifically why he left, especially with little fanfare compared to Ashley. Orion eventually came forward to say he was looking for the right way to explain his departure, confirming that he did leave by his own choice (however hard it might have been to make), and none too subtly told the Redditers to drop it.
    • The negotiations with The Clasp in Episode 42. During the discussion, Vox Machina (primarily Percy, Keyleth, and Vax somewhat) disagreed over whether or not it was worth it in the long run to ally with them in the wake of the dragon attacks. In this case the negotiations ended with The Clasp declaring Vox Machina enemies and refusing them aid. On the one hand there are those that say Percy handled the negotiations rather poorly, and that the portion of the deal allowing The Clasp to be introduced to Vasselheim should have been an automatic deal breaker. On the other hand there are just as many that say that Keyleth and Vax failed to see the bigger picture, and that sticking to their ideals ultimately cost them much needed resources and information. The fact that Seeker Assum went and made a deal with the Clasp later - without the help of Vox Machina - did not go unnoticed.
    • Vex stealing a magic broom from Chris Hardwick's Guest-Star Party Member in Episode 46. Some were fine with it, noting that Vex was still sore over losing the magic carpet and that it was in character for her, while others felt it was in very poor taste (specifically breaking the unwritten D&D rule "Never steal from the party") and that Laura broke character just so Vex could take the broom. Regardless, Matt noted after the episode that Vex had officially shifted alignment to Chaotic Neutral. Laura has stated that she didn't know this was an unwritten rule.
    • The Gilmore situation in episode 57. After Hotis the Rakshasa masquerades himself as Gilmore to attempt to kill Vax, several critters decried it as being too soon following the Orlando shooting that had happened earlier that week and were very angry over the perceived Bury Your Gays (some going so far as to say it invalidated the group's show of support), while others didn't think either trope applied or felt that the outrage was premature. As it turned out, Gilmore was in good assassin-exploding health and remains alive and well.
    • The ending of episode 79 has two:
      • First, during the battle with Thordak, many fans weren't happy Scanlan refusing to use the flute to summon the Brass Dragon, and it didn't help that Sam kept teasing it. Other fans argued that it made sense that Scanlan was holding onto the flute as a trump card, as it could only be used once.
      • Second, the base was further splintered after Vax appeared to break a deal with Raishan to get the jump on her. Some argue that the decision was in-character and understandable, as the group had explicitly already decided to kill Raishan, and allowing her to get the information she wanted from Thordak could make her even more powerful in impossible to predict ways. This side was also encouraged by the fact that Raishan intentionally hit Vax with chain lightning during the battle with Thordak, indicating she was going to betray them after his death, and that Keyleth told Vax over the earrings not to let her touch the Thordak's body. The other side argues that it was a dishonorable and poorly timed decision as the group was already spent and split up at that moment, further encouraged by the fact that Keyleth also said to wait for her to catch up, and the ensuing fight led to the temporary deaths of Vex and Scanlan.
    • Scanlan's argument with the group in Episode 85 caused a ton of debate amongst the fans. Did Scanlan have some valid points, or was he lashing out and grasping at straws? Should the rest of the group done more to defend themselves? And, most divisively, should Scanlan have left? Compounding the issue is the introduction of Taryon Darrington, Sam's second character, in the same episode. One part of the fanbase thinks he's hilarious and promises to shake up the group dynamics, while another feels apprehension about him as a replacement, especially with the unsurety of whether he'll be a temporary or permanent part of the group.
    • Then, episode 99 renewed episode 85's debates, with the return of Scanlan and the setup for Tary's exit from the group. While Scanlan apologized for leaving the group, fans are splintered on whether he apologized for the right reasons (especially after he tried reaching out to the group in disguise and tried erasing Vex's memory when she realized who he was) or if characters like Pike, Percy, and Grog reacted poorly with their rejections (especially with Scanlan's depression and attempts at sincerity). Then there are those who simply lament the loss of Tary after his Character Development and acceptance into the group and feel like Tary offered more potential for fresher development than Scanlan.
    • Episode 86 provoked a hefty debate when Vox Machina decided to sneak attack an innocent and unsuspecting target: Tary Darrington. One side argues that Vax's attack was specified as non-lethal, and he was right that Tary had to be taught just what kind of danger he was getting into. In addition, all four involved ambushers were clearly holding back after that (Grog's sneak attack was on Doty, and his turns in combat were spent taunting; Keyleth and Vax's first turns in combat saw them heal instead of hurt; and Percy merely held an action), and explicitly finding ways to test specific stats of Tary's (e.g. Keyleth hitting him with a fireball because "We haven’t really seen him dodge yet, right?"). The other side points out that 88 points of damage in a single blow (Tary only has 106 hit points) is overwhelmingly painful regardless of lethality, and this was all before Tary even got a chance to act. Vex is clearly upset when she finds them all, and Matt is even shocked enough to point out how "fucked up" he thought the situation was. The debate is further complicated with questions over how much was from the characters, and how much was just the players getting revenge on Sam for playing with their emotions.
    • Episode 88 sparked many debates over the Kraken encounter. Did Keyleth essentially abandon Tary and Grog to their deaths just to save Vex and Vax (who was already dead) and thus proves her unworthy of the Aramente challenge? Or did she make a pragmatic decision befitting a leader to save who she could while knowing when they needed to get out? (The cast, for their part, thought it was the right call, but the fanbase has heavy debate.) Likewise, Percy casting 'Friends' on Grog to make him go back for Tary and the last lodestone. Some people feel it's horrifying that Percy forced Grog to risk his life like that, especially after he'd referred to Grog as a brother in a previous episode, while others feel he did what he acted to ensure the mission wasn't for nothing.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Vex and the magic broom she stole from Gern. Liam demanded fanart of them together immediately after the episode aired. Critters have been calling the ship Vroom.
    • Vax and one of his belts that resembles a snake, named Simon. He specifically goes looking for it after he loses it in episode 36 because "all the fanart has it."
    • Percy and grass, after he flirts with an angry lawn in the Feywild.
    • Keyleth and the Sun Tree, since she likes to check in with it whenever the group's in Whitestone. Because its stoner character voice occasionally slips into a familiar southern drawl, fans have taken to calling the ship McTreeleth
  • Complete Monster:
    • Kraghammer Arc: The mutated beholder, K'Varn the Mad, is the Arc Villain of the Kraghammer Arc. After finding one of the horns of Orcus, K'Varn attacked and enslaved the cities of Emberhold and Yug'voril, intending to build up an army to launch an attack on the surface world. K'Varn launches attacks on Kraghammer while having his army capture as many dwarves and Underdark creatures as possible to warp into horrific abominations, his experiments resulting in countless deaths. When Lady Kima and a group of adventurers venture into the Underdark, K'Varn has nearly all of them slaughtered while having his men torture Lady Kima for days on end. When Vox Machina defeats Queen Ulara, to ensure she can't give any information about him to the party, K'Varn kills her from the inside out.
    • Vasselheim Arc: The rakshasa Hotis, a shapeshifter from the Nine Hells, is the second monster hunted by Vox Machina for the Slayer's Take. Disguised as a dwarf, Hotis creates an establishment for the rich named the Velvet Cabaret for the sake of gathering information about who the richest people in Vasselheim are. He then tracks them down and brutally mauls them to death before taking their belongings for himself. When discovered by members of Vox Machina and the Slayer's Take, Hotis tricks them into falling in a river of acid when they chase him down in an attempt to have them be slowly dissolved alive. When they survive, Hotis offers the party a deal to cease hostilities and work as business partners, intending to find an opportunity to kill them in the future. After finding himself at a disadvantage during the fight, Hotis promises to kill the loved ones of the party, including Thorbir's young daughter, all to spite them. After reforming when Vax kills him, Hotis attempts to exact revenge on Vox Machina. Hotis hires assassins from The Clasp to murder the rest of Vox Machina while Hotis disguises himself as Gilmore to lure Vax away from the group and tricks Vax into wearing a cursed robe that will slowly rip off his flesh in case Vax survives. Hotis then attacks Vax, taking pleasure in torturing the half-elf to near death. Despite his limited screen time, Hotis proves to be among the most vicious of minor villains within the series.
    • Chroma Conclave Arc:
      • The ancient red dragon, Thordak the Cinder King, is the leader of the Chroma Conclave, a faction of chromatic dragons with the goal of destroying the system of order within the continent of Tal'Dorei and dividing it amongst themselves. Centuries ago, Thordak was the tyrannical ruler of the desert continent Marquet, regularly slaughtering its residents. When the city of Ank'Harel began to rise to prominence, Thordak unsuccessfully attempted to destroy the city. Hiding in the seas to recover, Thordak destroyed any ships that passed by before being captured and empowered by the necromancer Opash. Thordak then killed Opash and took over the Island of Viscan before deciding to expand his rule. Killing hundreds of innocents in his conquest, Thordak was eventually sealed away within the Elemental Plane of Fire. When Raishan the Diseased Deceiver freed him, Thordak killed the majority of the Fire Ashari, and established the Conclave along with Raishan. Thordak then has the Conclave attack numerous cities in Tal'Dorei, costing countless lives. When Vox Machina leads an army to take back control of Emon, the capital of Tal'Dorei, Thordak attempts to create a volcanic eruption to wipe out enemy and ally forces alike.
      • The ancient green dragon, Raishan the Diseased Deceiver, is a powerful sorceress and the most intelligent member of the Chroma Conclave. Prior to the story, Raishan murdered a group of followers of Melora, the Wildmother, for her own amusement. When a follower laid a deadly disease on Raishan before dying, Raishan pledged servitude to Thordak in exchange for a cure. Raishan establishes the Chroma Conclave, making her responsible for the lives lost due to the faction. When Thordak was sealed away, Raishan disguised herself as an outcast girl to deceive the Fire Ashari into taking her in before freeing Thordak, not caring that Thordak would wipe out the majority of the Fire Ashari. Later, Raishan and the Chroma Conclave destroy the city of Emon, Raishan kicking off the attack by murdering Sovereign Uriel and several council members. After coming to the conclusion that Thordak won't honor their bargain, Raishan betrays the Conclave and offers to help Vox Machina kill Vorugal and Thordak. When the party kills Thordak, Raishan steals Thordak's corpse and multiple dragon eggs, intending to use them to help her attack a different continent in the future.
      • Kevdak is Grog's uncle, and the leader of the Herd of Storms. For years prior to the story, Kevdak had the Herd destroy countless settlements, killing or enslaving as many inhabitants as they could. When Grog refuses to kill a helpless elderly gnome, Kevdak beats Grog to an inch of his life, and exiles him from the Herd, leaving him for dead. During the Chroma Conclave arc, after witnessing the might of Umbrasyl the Hope Devourer, Kevdak pledges servitude to the dragon with the intention of finding an opportunity to kill him in the future. Kevdak then has the Herd take over Westruun, killing any citizens who don't give offerings to either Umbrasyl or the Herd. Kevdak also has the Herd take citizens away from their families, having them work as slaves under the Herd or to be imprisoned and left to starve. When Kevdak finds out that his son Zanror is planning a revolt, Kevdak has him along with Zanror's pregnant mate Worra enslaved with intention of executing them both. When Grog calls the rest of Vox Machina to help him fight Kevdak, Kevdak orders the Herd to kill every innocent civilian in the area, including a little boy, all out of spite.
    • Cult of Vecna Arc: Vecna, the Whispered One, is the mastermind behind the Briarwoods who revived Sylas as a vampire in exchange for him and Delilah going to Whitestone, massacring the de Rolo family and many innocents, all to revive Vecna. Upon his return, Vecna manages to ascend to godhood, killing Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan, before setting off to create a "miracle of terror" to make him feared across the world for more power. Vecna uses the loved ones of Vox Machina as shields, trying to trick them into killing those they care for, while intending to obliterate the city of Vasselheim and all within, wiping out a seat of power for good and condemning the entire world to evil and nightmares. The true villain of the first campaign, Vecna shows why he is the most wicked and monstrous foe Vox Machina encountered.
  • Continuity Lockout: While they try their best to avoid this, because a portion of the campaign was done before streaming, there are times where fans are left in the dark about certain actions taken by the characters. For example, a contingent of viewers started ragging on Keyleth/Marisha for sending Craven Edge, an extremely powerful and malicious weapon, to the Dimension of The Dread Emperor, not realizing that the only reason she did that was because the party killed him pre-stream. Matt generally tries to inform the fanbase whenever he can to try and avoid these type of situations.
  • Crack Ship: People (including players!) have started shipping Guest-Star Party Member Lillith and Percy after a joke at the beginning of Episode 26 and one really, really good piece of fanart, despite the fact that they barely talked to each other during their one encounter in Episode 25.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Clarota is definitely an example because he is a tentacled, telepathic, humanoid spell-caster. Whenever Vox Machina needs to interrogate someone, they basically say "let's sic Clarota on them" and then look away as the mind flayer eats their brains. This is especially the case with the raspy voice Matt uses when role playing him.
    • The Briarwoods, if only to the players - Taliesin notes that Matt has "made them so much worse than [he] ever imagined".
    • Appropriately, Percy himself rapidly became more interesting to certain fans (or more obviously so; he always had that creepy plague mask) as his vendetta against the Briarwoods unfolds.
    • Grog's sword Craven Edge (which, fittingly enough, used to belong to Sylas Briarwood). A sentient, black metal greatsword that ominously whispers in Grog's head about how hungry it is and gets stronger the more it drains the blood from its foes. That isn't even getting into what happens when it's full or when it gets hungry again and consumes the soul of its current wielder.
    • Senokir. Seemingly a trustworthy ally, Senokir's way of behaving and speaking is nonetheless so off-putting and alien that the cast regularly shudders when he speaks. (It doesn't help that his laugh is pure nightmare fuel.)
    • Vecna, full stop.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: From Episode 97. Keyleth dying, and Vex and later Vax freaking out? Very sad. Keyleth proclaiming they're "basically gods", before jumping off of a thousand foot cliff and turning into a goldfish because she thought she was going to hit water instead of splattering on solid rock? Absolutely hysterical.
  • Cry for the Devil: As monstrous as he as, it's hard not to feel at least a little sorry for Thordak when it's revealed that he was enslaved, experimented on, and tortured by Opash during the latter's twisted soul experiments.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Outside of the player characters, Clarota is quite well-liked for being an interesting take on a familiar creature, while also being a complex and sympathetic character. A lot of people ended up shocked and hurt when he betrayed the group and tried to kill them.
    • Gilmore is this to the players, going from a one-off shopkeeper to a beloved regular NPC before the stream began. As soon as he made an actual appearance, he became a big one for the viewers as well. His hilarious flamboyance and prolonged Ho Yay with Vax go a long way toward explaining his popularity.
    • Kashaw and Zahra, the cameo characters played by Will Friedle and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, are both extremely popular. Fans loved Zahra's extremely good roleplaying and her totally badass HDYWTDT defeat of Rimefang, as well as her competitive relationship with Vex which eventually turned into a neat friendship. Kashaw is equally popular for his snarking, his absolutely fascinating backstory, and, of course, his fantastic exit. Fans love them - and the other cameo characters, Thorbir and Lyra - so much that some want the cameo characters to get their own spinoff. Kashaw and Zahra's return from Episode 43 to 45 only made their popularity skyrocket further, and both Kashaw and Zahra have become recurring characters even when Mary and Will aren't available.
    • Piglet, the Goblin Barbarian played by Ashly Burch in the Pathfinder Oneshot became very popular for being a hilarious Badass Adorable, especially taking on a whole adventuring party and not only surviving, but decapitating one of them with a hammer, with many calling for her to appear in the actual show and wanting to see her fight Grog.
    • Jarett has only had a handful of appearances in the show so far, but fans and party members alike love him for being Tall, Dark, and Snarky and The Ace of all the guards at Greyskull. His brief moment of Ship Tease with Vex probably doesn't hurt either. In terms of non-player characters, his popularity at this point is second only to Gilmore. Like Gilmore, Kash and Zahra, his popularity has led to him appearing far more frequently.
    • Viktor. His zany prospector voice, the fact he more or less encapsulates the Cloudcuckoolander quality, was made up on the spot, and his "Character Progression." Matthew Mercer regularly gets applause (as well as side-splitting laughter) from his players for his portrayal of the eccentric black powder salesman.
    • Cenokir the fire genasi jeweler from the City of Brass, due to his slightly creepy, halting voice, his bizarre mannerisms, and his general slippery vibe, has the players declaring him to be their "favourite NPC ever" after his first appearance.
    • Darin de Paul's guest character Sprigg was met with universal acclaim from the fandom, jumping to the top of many favourite guest character lists as soon as his introductory episode was done.
    • Jayne, Liam's player character for Sam's Bar Room Blitz one-shot, was an instant hit due to Liam's creepy portrayal and the fact that she's a cleric of Tharzidun, the Chained Oblivion.
    • Mariya Darrington, Taryon's mother, is well-loved for being a positive familial influence, her shared love of books with Tary, and her excitement at the prospect of adventure.
    • Ever since Matt revealed in the campaign wrap-ups that she isn't a God, a lot of the fandom became fascinated with Vesh, Kashaw's patron. Because there wasn't much of an opportunity for her to be involved in Vox Machina's affairs, a lot about her is still vague and mysterious.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Invoked by Matthew Mercer himself, according to the Q&As. He has stated that he likes to keep some aspects of the world's lore and the characters' backstories vague so that those running their own Exandria campaigns can fill them in themselves. In many cases, (such as the fate of Keyleth's mother and the true nature of Vesh) he does have specific answers in mind, but still wants to leave them open for players running their own games. Even the Tal'dorei Campaign Setting book has some regions that are intentionally left vaguer than others. Similarly, Laura and Taliesin want to leave some of Vex and Percy's children unnamed so that people can play them in their own campaigns.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Before becoming canon, Keyleth/Vax, Percy/Vex, and Kima/Allura were this.
    • Grog/Nahla (the Pre-Stream Nymph) is one not only among the fandom, but the players themselves. Though this one was shot down in the post-campaign wrap-up, where Matt and Travis finally reveal the truth: Grog didn't sleep with the Nymph at all.
    • Kynan/Cassandra started picking up speed after Vax told Kynan to watch over Cassandra in whitestone. Them being close in age also increased its support.
  • Foe Yay: Percy and Raishan. Their interactions, built on both being clever and trying very hard to outmaneuver each other verbally, the former showing no fear and even being slightly mocking and teasing while the latter slowly growing impressed and amused in equal measure, left the chat jokingly calling for the two to hook up.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Critters tend to throw their support behind shows or games that the players are involved in, particularly Blindspot and Overwatch. There's also a fair bit of overlap with fellow D&D production The Adventure Zone.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In Episode 18, Percy scores three crits in two rounds, and comments "such terrible things are going to happen to me because of all this good luck right now." Matt looks at the camera and nods knowingly. Following the Vasselheim arc, the Briarwoods return to Emon - and every episode involving them since has been one big long Trauma Conga Line for poor Percy.
    • Also in Episode 18, Zahra seems to be very interested in Percy's tinkered weapons, and they trade a few jokes about his "holy hand grenade". Zahra also says they should "compare notes sometime", revealing that she crafted her own staff. In Episode 29 it's shown that the List is part of whatever deal Percy has made with the smoky entity - similar to a warlock pact blade. Zahra is a warlock, so if Zahra and Percy had actually compared notes, he might have realized what had happened to him sooner.
    • Tiberius finally asks Allura out in Episode 24, and gets something of an ambiguous answer. Percy and Keyleth tease him for getting "Schrödinger's Date", because it's a mystery as to whether it will actually happen. In Episode 26, Allura finds out that Tiberius murdered a defenseless woman, and it's pretty safe to say that the date's been cancelled.
    • Critters were playing off the Running Gag about Vox Machina's poor luck with doors, and suggested that the final boss of the Whitestone arc would be a door. At the end of Episode 34, the confrontation with the Briarwoods, Vex nearly dies because she's trapped inside a temple, unconscious, where magic doesn't work...and the doors are closed.
    • Gilmore runs into the party in a tavern in Episode 38, and he greets them by calling out "Well, isn't this the luckiest day for me!" Barely a few minutes later, he learns Vax is in love with Keyleth. Ouch. And in the next episode, dragons attack Emon, leaving him near-death.
    • In the same episode, Keyleth drunkenly protests stopping their pub crawl despite Scanlan's insistence they'll do it again tomorrow because "tomorrow some crazy person will show up at our door and want us to do something crazy and then we'll never have a free night again." This made harsher by the next episode's dragon attacks, which indeed kick off the longest arc yet.
    • In Episode 39, Scanlan is being quite justifiably paranoid about the creepy skull the crew picked up in General Krieg's house, and he says, "What if it's a portal? What if it can send a dragon to us?" Or maybe four! Because that's how many ancient dragons attack Emon at the end of that episode. Good call, Scanlan.
    • The Goblins Pathfinder One-Shot is mostly a hilarious Black Comedy, but when you realize Zedd, the drummer for Scanlan's old troupe, made a cameo, and remember that Scanlan's mother died in a Goblin invasion, the final moments suddenly get a lot less funny.
    • Episode 44 has one where the "Aneurysm" comes seconds after the "Funny". After Vex fails her Reflex Save when checking the coffin, Sam quips "dead. Instant death." Once it's revealed this is EXACTLY what happens, he stops joking.
    • In Episode 56, guest character Kerrek has a private conversation with Keyleth, away from the rest of the party. Both Sam and Taliesan make jokes about Kerrek turning out to be evil and stabbing Keyleth in the back. At the end of the very next episode, something eerily similar to their joke scenario happens to Vax for real.
    • One of Sam's funniest Loot Crate endorsements happens while Taliesin is receiving a whisper for a Nat 20 perception check in Episode 64. Pretty much everybody at the table is laughing, except for Taliesin, who learns through the whisper that Tiberius is dead, and impaled on a spike nearby. Knowing that, and watching Taliesin's face, it's really hard to find the scene funny the second time. Similarly, the cast joke "Lockheed has a better chance of being dead than Tiberius" before going to Draconia. The truth is the exact opposite.
    • What are the chances that Laura would be wearing a Valar Morghulis t-shirt for the session where a member of Vox Machina actually dies?
    • In Episode 84, after reviving Scanlan, Percy, Pike, and Kerrek prank an unconscious Scanlan by dressing him in one of Pike's nightgowns, tying him to the bed, and leaving pudding around. Then Scanlan wakes up in episode 85 and it becomes difficult to find the scene funny anymore.
    • Garmelie/Artagan's comments on the Theater stop being funny entirely after Matt revealed in the Campaign Wrap-Up what the Theater actually does. Turns out they were deadly serious warnings.
  • Game-Breaker: Vax's Boots of Haste were one, by DM Matthew Mercer's own admission. He ported them over from Pathfinder before he fully understood 5E's balance, resulting in them breaking the "action economy" of the game, in his words. He's stated that he'd need to revamp them if they were to ever appear in a future campaign.
  • Growing the Beard: It's hard to pinpoint exactly when it starts (the general consensus seems to be after Ashley re-joins the players and around the Vasselheim arc), but as the show went on, the players started getting better at things like making snap decisions instead of squabbling, throwing themselves into dramatic moments but not letting them play on forever, filling awkward silences with jokes, and just generally keeping the game more interesting. Just compare Keyleth's worries about Kima in Episode 9 to her vision of her own death in Episode 22, or compare both of Grog's fights with Kern the Hammer. The differences are very slight, but the players are definitely getting into a groove. Not that they don't still do things that are Facepalm-worthy. Coincidentally, the show may have started to grow its beard around the same time as Grog did.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In Episode 6, Keyleth ends up pushing a duergar sentry into a lava pool to try to kill him quickly. As she does so, Marisha shouts, "This is the meanest thing I've ever done!" to which Laura retorts "Well, no. Remember you killed that kid that one time." This topic was (mostly) Played for Laughs as a Running Gag in the episode where Keyleth is having PTSD over that... and then the circumstances regarding the child's death are revealed in Episode 10's Q&A: she killed him by accident, snapping his neck while she was trying to save his life. Since then, it was mostly brushed aside as a past event and the party moved on...
      ...Until said event was revealed to have had more consequences than expected in Episode 22 with Keyleth's visit to the Fire Ashari. She reveals that ever since the accidental death, she had been unable to truly focus on her goals to be strong and to have the will needed to survive and that she was afraid of making another fatal mistake. This was preceded by her visit to the Earth Ashari, in the interim between the Pathfinder days and the start of the show, where she had a vision of her own death.
    • In Episode 11, Vax attempts to give a It Has Been an Honor speech before they face off against K'Varn the Mad which Percy interrupts with, "Vax. Screw you. I want my last words with you to be indignant and irritated." It takes a while but in a horrible case of Be Careful What You Wish For, Percy gets his wish in Episode 115, refusing to accept Vax's decision to go peacefully with the Raven Queen.
    • In episode 13, the party debates whether or not to hide the Horn of Orcus from Lady Kima and then ascertain what she really wants it for - fast forward to the Mighty Nein, and a very similar situation creates genuine beef between party members that's even referred to as Bowlgate in the fandom.
    • Near the middle of Episode 24, Scanlan, Vex, Tiberius and Grog go to Kraghammer to pick up a reward they're owed, and they pretend that Vax, Keyleth and Percy - who all remained at the keep - are dead, in order to get a better payout. Marisha even jokingly says "I hope this doesn't come back to haunt us." Well, Keyleth's already had a vision of her death, and by the end of the episode Vax is trapped all alone with the Briarwoods, and it's implied that they've seen through Percy's disguise. It might very well come back to haunt them...
      • Harsher still in an ironic way, as Vax and Keyleth have not died once as of Episode 85 and everyone else has died twice and were resurrected, with the exception of Pike (who died once pre-stream) and Tiberius (who died and stayed dead).
    • Percy kills Clarota with a headshot and gives the epic one-liner "Some people have no sense of fucking honor!" Awesome, right? Yes, until he brings it up almost ten episodes later at dinner with the Briarwoods as an Implied Death Threat. Then you remember that Percy's entire family was slaughtered by traitors, and the line becomes a little more chilling.
    • A common and long-lived cheer in the twitch chat is #NoMercyPercy, for whenever Percy does something particularly awesome. Episode 25 shows us what it looks like when Percy actually stops showing mercy, and it's terrifying.
    • In Episode 33, Vax gives Vex his Cloak of Elvenkind to improve her stealth checks. His reasoning, as he says, is "You almost lost me, I almost lost you." Vax doesn't know the half of it. In Episode 34, Vex comes within a single hitpoint of permanently dying - he almost loses her again, cloak or no.
    • Episode 37 is called "A Musician's Nostalgia," and Geek and Sundry happened to release it on Youtube the same day as David Bowie passed away after a battle with cancer (Monday January 11th, 2016).
    • In Episode 32, Vax tells Percy, "But if you hurt my sister... If you hurt anyone else in this group inadvertently..." as a possible threat and Percy replies, "I would expect nothing less." Then Percy ends up triggering a trap that kills Vex in Episode 44. She was able to be resurrected, but now those words from before bear a lot more weight. Many of Percy's conversations and observations with Vax or Vex also become a little uncomfortable upon review.
    • Similarly, this line from Percy in Episode 44 becomes a lot harsher knowing what ends up happening later in the episode...
      Percy: I'm actually hoping [going to the Sunken Tomb] is the worst decision we make, cos' then everything's uphill.
    • The revelation from Episode 69 that Vex is in love with Percy makes it that much harder to watch her tearful heartbreak during the end of Episode 68 and the beginning of Episode 69. The same situation also makes Percy losing his memory after returning from the Feywild in Episode 64 a lot more tragic. Although it is temporary, he completely forgets the acts of kindness that made Vex realize her feelings for him. It's easy to see now why Vex is so upset during those scenes.
    • Kerrek's attempt to calm down Keyleth in Episode 83 when she was so certain that she found Kima and Allura and he thought she was being foolish: "Sometimes you lose people, and you never get them back." Two episodes later, despite being resurrected, Scanlan does leave the party, leaving everyone unsure as to whether or not he will return. Worse, Keyleth later loses Vax three times – once to the Kracken, once to Vecna, and once to the Raven Queen – and the third time is permanent.
    • Vax asks Scanlan for life advice in Episode 45, asking how he manages to continue smiling despite constantly risking his life. It turns out much later than Scanlan was a lot more traumatized and depressed than he let on, and his and Vax's positions end up reversed in Episode 85. Except unlike Vax, Scanlan's mental state deteriorates so much that he leaves the group. This entire exchange is heart-rending in light of later episodes.
    • Scanlan's misadventures as "The Meat Man", aspiring druglord extraordinaire, become shaded by the later revelation that it was a warning sign of his deteriorating mental state. Scanlan wanted drugs because he was struggling to cope with the escalating danger of Vox Machina's adventures, which culminates in his second death/resurrection and a mental breakdown.
    • When Scanlan returns to the party in Episode 99, Pike has one of the harshest reactions alongside Grog. This gets a lot worse if you've seen the epilogue and campaign wrap-up, which reveal Pike was seriously starting to return his feelings ever since his letter to her, so you can see why she was so heartbroken at the outburst that led to him leaving the party. Even worse, the campaign wrap-up had Sam reveal Pike was probably the only one who could have convinced Scanlan to stay.
    • Keyleth says to Vax in Episode 45, “You do realize that if by some crazy chance, and we all somehow make it through this... domination alive with the Chroma Conclave, and I complete my Aramente, I’ll still watch all of you die. Everything could go phenomenally well, and by becoming headmaster we enter a bit of a realm of mortality where I could live for a very very long time. I’m afraid... every time I look at one of your faces that it’s gonna be the last... and I feel like deep down I know that day is coming.” Her fears come true by Episode 88, because by the end of the episode, she's seen everyone else in Vox Machina die at least once. It gets worse by the time of Vecna's return and the disintegration of Vax which resulted in him having to accept a deal with the Raven Queen to come back. He does, but even if they win against Vecna, he will still die in the end.
    • Scanlan once advised Vax to leave the shit behind. In the ending, Vax leaves the S.H.I.T.s note  behind.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Pretty much all of the interactions between Vex and Percy, including during their time in the Feywild and Ank'Harel, become much sweeter after learning that they had been in love with each other for far longer, at least as far back as near the beginning of the show ever since, for Vex, she received her first custom arrow. As for Percy, he knew for a very long time that he loved her but chose to not act upon those feelings due to his belief that he was unhealthy for her. After they both died and came back, however, everything changed.
    • The same holds true for Vax and Keyleth as they first slowly realized their feelings for each other during the Underdark arc, even though they both didn't realize at first that the same held true for the other. Thus statements such as Keyleth saying that for many nights before going to sleep that Vax's face was the last thing she thought of end up becoming a lot more meaningful.
    • Scanlan's letter to Pike. Pike only reveals part of the letter during the campaign, saying that Scanlan's letter was lovely but she couldn't raise Kaylie alone. In the post-compaign Q&A session, the letter is revealed to be a loving note dedicated to her, stating that everything he's done the past few years has been to please and impress her and that, now that he knows about Kaylie, he realizes instead of chasing a lover he was "chasing a mother for [his] child". Likewise, the fact that, despite him asking Pike to be the savior to Kaylie he's unable to be, he ultimately mended his relationship with her and became a good father to her.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Episode 15, everyone is blase about Keyleth falling off the edge of the airship since she can fly (thanks to Voluntary Shapeshifting) so she's not at risk. Much, much later in Episode 97, Keyleth finally dies in the campaign...from falling damage.
      • Made even funnier by an episode of Talks Machina where Marisha comments “I haven’t died yet, but if I do, I want it to be epic. As long as it’s not embarrassing. I don’t wanna die in some stupid way that has nothing to do with the current situation.”
    • In Episode 18, Taliesin mentions that he's fighting in his pyjamas, so Matt reduces his AC. Taliesin's response is "one day, far in the future, I'm going to find a way to make you pay for that." Episode 25, Percy slaughters the episode's boss, the Broker, in one turn, to Matt's obvious dismay — Matt even says "I kind of feel bad for him."
      • While it is a case of Real Life Writes the Plot note , Taliesin may have gotten his revenge, two years after episode 18, when he was in the DM/Storyteller chair for "Thursday By Night". Vampire Matt was compelled to open a window. Sunshine streamed in and reduced him to ash.
    • Keyleth buys a raven mask from Duskmeadow in Episode 20. If you take the plot of the campaign as a whole, this looks like brilliant foreshadowing for her falling in love with Vax and his fate as the Raven Queen's champion. But this was a completely random decision at the time, so it's a total coincidence. In the same episode, she and Vax go Undercover as Lovers.
    • In Episode 23, Scanlan says that he'll someday marry Pike and she'll be the mother of his children. Then it turns out Scanlan is already a dad in episode 38.
    • In Episode 26, Scanlan uses Seeming to turn Vox Machina into cows, and as the episode goes on he realizes that Seeming is not a concentration spell - it lasts for twenty-four hours. He's used Seeming exactly once before, in Episode 17... but he never dispelled it, meaning that Vox Machina would have technically been bright green for all of their first interactions with the Slayer's Take.
    • In Episode 4, Marisha jokes about how hilarious and awkward watching her friends flirt with her boyfriend is every time the PCs flirt with an NPC (like Grog's pre-stream liaison with the nymph or Vax's "arrangement" with Gilmore). The shoe's on the other foot now that Vax has confessed his love for Keyleth.
    • As if Scanlan's legendary rampage through a manor in Episode 31 wasn't hilarious enough, Episode 60 sees "Lady" Vex inheriting the burned-down manor when Percy makes her a Baroness. Even the players are quick to point out that technically this means that Scanlan burned Vex's house down.
    • Every scene where the party is picking on Garmelie becomes so much funnier after The Reveal that he's an Archfey.
    • When Keyleth speaks to the Sun Tree about the cancerous tree in the Feywild, she accidentally says there may be a man living in named Fenthras, before correcting herself, as that's the name of the bow they were looking for. Turns out she was right about there being a man living inside, when they meet Saundor who lives inside the tree.
    • Happens to the players: it takes them about two hours to realize they still had Seeming cast on them during the fight in Episode 76, meaning Vax kissed Keyleth while Keyleth looked exactly like Vex.
    • Tary's first appearances involved being the Butt-Monkey to Vox Machina, including them sneak-attacking him and beating the crap out of him until he broke down in tears with his story. Then came Battle Royale III, where he paid them back and won.
    • Scanlan and Tiberius' "master class in wasting spells" back in the Underdark involved a Counter-Counterspell. Against Vecna, Scanlan manages Counter-Counterspell multiple times, single-handedly saving the party from total annihilation.
    • Scanlan was created when Sam asked Liam what was the lamest character and Liam said, "probably a gnome bard". Scanlan goes on to become a crime lord, the Champion of a god, and an instrumental part of defeating Vecna.
    • Tofor Brotoras, dragonborn paladin of Bahamut, is said to be dressed in an asexual robe that looks like a robe and a suit at the same time. Many asexual people have adopted dragons as a symbol for their community. There is also overlap between asexuals and nonbinary/gender-nonconforming people, and J'mon Sa Ord (actually the brass dragon Devo'ssa) has been referred to by Matt Mercer with they/them, he/him, and she/her pronouns.
    • Percy's little pouty tantrum over the party getting a golem (because he had wanted to build a robot) in episode 53 becomes this with Tary and his robot companion, Doty.
    • More on the Black Comedy side: In episode 44, Laura is the first cast member to lead the rest into making fun of Purvan Suul, a former Champion of the Raven Queen. Minutes later, Vex gets hit with necrotic energy, partially thanks to her greed, and dies instantly. This led to Vax making a pact to save her, eventually becoming Purvan’s successor as the Champion. Talk about instant karma!
  • Ho Yay: Now has its own page.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • A relatively minor example with Vex'ahlia, who has been paired with Percy, Keyleth, Grog, Zahra, and Jarett with varying degrees of popularity.
    • Likewise, Percy's been shipped with Vex, Vax, Pike, Keyleth, Lillith, and Raishan, as well as, occasionally any or all of the above.
    • Even Keyleth has been shipped with plenty of other characters. Namely Vax, Vex, Pike, Grog, Raishan, and Kashaw, just to name a few.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Anna Ripley served as a scientist for the Briarwoods, creating an acidic compound to distil Whitestone ore into residuum. When Percy de Rolo attempted to kill her, she took interest in his gun, a weapon never seen until Percy made it, and recreated one of her own. After being imprisoned for attempting to leave the Briarwoods, Ripley manages to convince Vox Machina to free her in exchange for her assisting them, successfully escaping the party the first chance she gets. Vox Machina later finds out that Ripley was using the gun they confiscated from her to spy on them, hiring a crew and obtaining two of the Vestiges of Divergence from under Vox Machina’s nose. She also manipulates Kynan into working for her by taking advantage of his resentment for Vox Machina when they rejected him. When Vox Machina chases after Ripley, she lures them into an explosive trap, badly injuring the majority of the party, before ambushing the party, resulting in her successfully killing Percy. Brilliant and manipulative, Ripley proved to be one of Vox Machina’s most dangerous enemies.
    • Arkhan the Cruel is a Paladin and Highlord of Tiamat the Scaled Tyrant. Embracing the doctrines of Tiamat, Arkhan finds himself allying with Vox Machina where he forms a cheerful alliance to bring down the wicked god Vecna before he can dominate all Exandria. Showing himself a skilled and tactical fighter, Arkhan reveals his intentions are less than benevolent after Vecna's defeat when he pretends to try to destroy Vecna's remaining hand. Instead, Arkhan severs his own and attaches Vecna's to the wrist, escaping under the noses of a dumbfounded Vox Machina before intending to use the hand to unleash Tiamat to bring order to the universe, even if she must destroy it first.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • After some of the acts the Briarwoods have committed during their time, #FuckTheBriarwoods is a popular line.
    • #NoMercyPercy, which started as a catchy hashtag, then got way too accurate, and then became #NoMercyMercer briefly for the Sun Tree. The Mercer variant picked up steam again with the whole four-dragon affair.
    • After Tiberius first cracks it out in Episode 6, "I encourage _______". Fill in the blank with anything you wish to encourage.
    • Whenever the Twitch stream experiences technical difficulties, the chat begins to chant "A STREAM IS EARNED" in reference to the Androsphinx's Arc Words.
    • "Wheres Larkin?" became a popular joke after Vax/Liam was the last one to realize that the NPC Larkin was actually Raishan in disguise.
    • "Raishan shot first!" became one after Matt confirmed on reddit that Raishan did intentionally attack Vax with chain lightning when there was no reason to, and to justify Vax, Vex and Keyleth attacking Raishan in Thordak's lair.
    • Fans started joking about Critical Role's "writing team" in reference to many moments of surprising serendipity or accidental foreshadowing, such as Tary giving Vex a limited-time revivify coin that went unused in its intended battle, a few minutes before Vex became the only one around to resurrect Keyleth after her cliff jump. Eventually, a commercial for the show had Matt and Marisha discussing that episode's script. Now the fans, cast, and crew will praise the writing crew after a particularly poignant moment.
  • Narm: In Episode 8, Keyleth suddenly - and jarringly - gets on a Holier Than Thou soapbox in regards to Lady Kima, taking offense at the "murder" of a duergar king - who was trying to kill the party and had tortured Lady Kima (and was implied to have raped her on top of it), not to mention the torture and starvation of the prisoners they find. Keyleth then goes on to complain about how Kima's "righteous crusade" was likely to end in corruption. While Keyleth's background of seeing corruption in religion justifies her Nay-Theist attitude, the fact that her sudden rudeness comes seemingly out of nowhere defies the willing suspension of disbelief. Also counts as Unintentionally Unsympathetic, given that the king was, well, evil - not to mention Keyleth holding the Idiot Ball earlier in that same session and committing the Accidental Murder of a weak, starving dwarven prisoner (by picking him up in her maw while she was a saber-tooth tiger) hardly leaves her in a position to judge anyone.
  • Narm Charm: Because every piece of dialogue on the show is improvised — except for some short pre-written descriptions by Matt — flubs, errors and silly dialogue can't be edited out in post-production, and this can cause dramatic moments to become unintentionally funny. Examples include Keyleth screaming "AND NOW LOOK HAPPENED!" during an otherwise tense debate about party communication, or Percy flubbing one of the names when torturing the Briarwoods' carriage driver for information about his family or musing "Life needs things to live," as if he's imparting wisdom. These errors are usually forgiven, though, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, viewers understand that the game is improvised, and are very forgiving. Sometimes, in cases like Keyleth's, the scene is intense and well-acted enough that the errors are only minor blips in the tension; or, in cases like Percy's quote, the players lampshade the error and use it to wring a joke out of the scene. Moments like these also make moments of insanely good improvisation — such as Keyleth's verbal beatdown of Raishan (and the later speech during their final confrontation) or Percy's "You're at the bottom of my List" scene — that much more impressive.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • On occasion, Scanlan continues to point out that Tiberius did not contribute at the start against K'Varn.
    • Within one episode, Sam became fond of reminding Orion of the time he took a telekinetic buzzsaw to an unconscious old woman. Marisha gets in on it too: in the charity episode with Vox Moronica, she actually plays as the old lady Tiberius killed, although she doesn't reveal it until the end.
    • Percy will never escape yelling "Your soul is forfeit!" at the Broker when he finished him off. In addition, even he jokes about how all the evil talking items seem to want a piece of him. He's encountered at least three.
    • Traumatic accident or no, Keyleth will never escape murdering a child. Nor will she escape faceplanting in lava.
    • Marisha is very tired of being told to "read her spells" after a few misinterpretations that hindered the group; she has a lot of spells to memorize, and some of them rely on Matt's interpretations.
    • Matt will never live down pronouncing "sigil" wrong (as "siggle") for the first twenty or so episodes - especially from rest of the cast.
    • Scanlan teases Percy about saying "Life needs things to live" throughout Episode 63, and long after.
    • It takes Liam an embarrassingly long time to figure out that Larkin is Raishan in disguise, and he hasn't lived that down yet. Fans demanding that Vox Machina find out where "Larkin" went has become something of a minor meme.
    • Marisha trying to reassure the rest of the cast with "No, it’s fine! We’re gods!" right before Keyleth instantly dies in episode 97 will be echoed forever, especially by Travis.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now with its own page.
  • Porting Disaster: Three episodes (Episode 31: Gunpowder Plot, Episode 33: Reunions, and Episode 35: Denouement) have suffered from this in the process of getting put up on Youtube. In particular, Episode 31 was delayed by over half a week, which left a lot of European fans unhappy (especially because Geek and Sundry were very quiet about the issue outside of several tweets), and Episode 35 was released with crippling sound glitches that made the second half of the episode unwatchable for many. Again, the lack of real response from Geek and Sundry left European fans bitter, some claiming G&S were deliberately taking their time with the episode so that they could get more fans to subscribe to the Twitch channel and access the rebroadcast.
    • Episode 63: The Echo Tree has sound glitches throughout that makes it sound like it's a skipping record. While the previous three episodes have been mostly corrected by being uploaded in two parts, this episode has not.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • While it's a laughable thought to anyone getting into the show now, Percy didn't have a lot of fans in the show's early days. Despite his crazy inventions, he came across as the Ridiculously Average Guy of the party during the Underdark arc, never having much of an opportunity for roleplaying moments and playing more of a support role in battle. Opinions started turning around the Slayer's Take arc, where Taliesin's amazing improv skills and penchant for great one-liners began to show, along with Percy contributing more significantly to fights. Then the Briarwoods Arc happened, and he quickly became one of the most beloved characters in the party. It may have helped that, with Tiberius' departure, Percy had to fill the void of The Smart Guy, a role he turned out to be incredibly good at.
    • Trinket was derided by many fans because he caused spellcasters to waste spell slots attempting to transport him and because he isn't very effective in combat. After episode 45, Vex acquires a magical item that is able to store Trinket, allowing him to be transported easily and to be used sparingly in combat situations where he's more effective.
    • Taryon Darrington. His manner of introduction made it impossible for him to escape being labelled a Replacement Scrappy for Scanlan, and his Upper-Class Twit and Fake Ultimate Hero personality didn't exactly endear him to fans. This first impression was probably Sam's intention from the beginning. By the end of his arc his more sympathetic traits showed themselves and he underwent Character Development, and his performance in the third Battle Royale oneshot didn't hurt either. He outright won, against powerhouses like Keyleth, Percy and Grog! He was rescued to such an extent that many fans wished he'd stayed with Vox Machina permanently. Taryon was rescued even in the eyes of his player Sam, who revealed in the campaign wrap-up that he originally expected Tary to die within a few episodes, but instead he became just as popular as the rest of the characters.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Upon the revelation that Taryon is gay the chatroom for episode 94 instantly began demanding for him to meet and hook up with Gilmore.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: Tends to happen sometimes during the livestreams with the viewers constantly trying to "help" the players via spamming the chatroom to remind them of rules and racial traits. To some, it can be quite annoying, while others believe that it's better than sub-hyping and posting memes in that at least they're talking about D&D. The cast often lampshades it with the catchphrase "your fun is wrong".
  • Squick:
    • Kashaw thinks the harvesting of the Rakshasa is this.
    • Episode 75 and 76 has this for the twins when the rest of Vox Machina is disguised to look identical to them - because their love interests, Keyleth and Percy, now look exactly like their sibling. Worse still, Vax actually kisses Keyleth on the mouth while she looks like Vex, though only because Liam (and everyone else) forgot. Eww.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Several fans were disappointed that Clarota turned out to be Evil All Along, as having a Token Heroic Orc of that species was considered very original on Mercer's part.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A few fans were disappointed that Vex'ahlia's death in episode 44 didn't stick, as they were interested in how the group would have coped throughout the rest of their journey, particularly Trinket. This repeats pretty much every time one of the characters dies and is resurrected, which was why Vax's outcome in the finale struck a chord with people.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Keyleth falls into this often, being portrayed as The Heart when many of her actions show otherwise. While her pre-stream killing of a child (that was chained to the Arc Villain) was arguably not her fault (as while playing tug-of-war with someone who has a metal collar around their neck is undoubtedly a stupid thing to do, the Dread Emperor is the one who kidnapped and chained said child to begin with), her picking up a badly wounded dwarven prisoner - killing him in the process - was, due to Keyleth stupidly not bothering to check on him first. Additionally, her actions involving the Clasp only made things worse, with Keyleth (as well as Vax) putting heavy-handed moralizing and ego above taking care of the refugees that were suffering from the dragons' attacks. Later, her actions in the Feywild - blatantly ignoring repeated warnings not to mess with anything (and thus contributing to Percy's blindness) was bad enough, but her "prank" of not wanting to heal Percy's eyes because "it would be funny" came off as spiteful and cruel rather than humorous. Furthermore, her tendency to put herself on a pedestal to lecture the team (while stonewalling any arguments she didn't want to hear) and near-constant immaturity often caused her to be seen as less of a quirky, socially-awkward ball of sunshine and more of a petty, self-centered womanchild who rarely learned from her mistakes. Not to mention that her complaints against the amount of killing Vox Machina does is usually in favor people or creatures that try to kill them first, causing her to look like a short-sighted Hypocrite. She does get much better as time goes on, but for some it was too little too late.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: In a conversation following "Battle Royale II", Mercer theorizes that this is why many of the fanbase don't like Keyleth; she's socially awkward and constantly doubtful, standing out heavily against the rest of the party who are largely stone-cold and confident. While every member of the party is very insecure and troubled, Keyleth is the only one who never bothers trying to hide it, which can come across as Wangst with how often it comes up.
  • The Woobie: There's lots of them of many kinds.
    • Kynan, the Vox Machina fanboy in Episode 23 - especially after Vax nearly makes him cry. Vax even uses one of luck points to convince him to come back when he's ready. It's even worse after Episode 68 where he returns, betrays Vox Machina by working for Ripley, and then switches sides to join them at the last minute. After the fight, he's so guilt-ridden and traumatized he can barely speak.
    • Desmond, that poor, poor carriage driver. He spends several hellish years working for the Briarwoods, and then Vox Machina captures him after Percy shoots off his fingers, and then he's attacked by invisible stalkers. Kid can't catch a break.
    • Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan don't talk about it but they've had a rough life. They were sent to their father who had them educated and so forth, but he was a very cold parental figure and the rest of the elves were little better, with Vex feeling more affected by the cold reception than her brother. Eventually they ran away and decided to return home to their mother, but it turned out that she was killed in a dragon attack. They both struggled to survive and had only each other to lean on as they learnt how to be a Ranger and Rogue respectively. They're all each other had until they became close with Vox Machina. Things get even rougher for them after Vex is killed temporarily and Vax bargains with the Raven Queen to save her life in exchange for becoming the goddess's champion - after he'd spent weeks slowly moving towards devoting himself to Sarenrae. Even worse, as time went on, the relationship between the twins has become strained as Vex's personal demons are brought to light and the walls that she had made for herself start cracking, while Vax is either unable or unwilling to see his sister not being the strong person he had assumed her to be for the longest time and is always slightly off target when he tries to help. There is also the fact that whereas Vex is pursuing a goal of forgiveness, Vax is instead now following an oath of vengeance. On top of all that, Vax's life will end with the villainous Vecna's, so his mortality is no longer ignorable.
    • Keyleth was thrown out into the world by her people once she learnt enough to do the Aramente, a destiny that was forced upon her since birth, and only because her mother never returned. Due to everything that has happened to her thus far, she doesn't even know if she's worthy to become the Headmaster of the Air Ashari. Which was apparently exacerbated by accidentally killing a child she was trying to save. Then there's the fact that she has a vision of her own death as revealed in episode 22, and that in episode 40 she witnessed through a scrying spell the devastation wreaked on the Fire Ashari village of Pyrah by an ancient red dragon - Thordak the Cinder King - escaping the Plane of Fire. It gets even worse when she reveals to Vax that her greatest fear is seeing the people she loves die, leaving her alone while she continues to live for centuries. Keyleth essentially also has a breakdown in Episode 56 and confides in a local blacksmith named Kerrek that she never wanted her abilities nor her responsibilities, wanting to go back to the blissful and ignorant life she once had. Then there's Raishan, the dragon responsible for Pyrah's destruction, and Keyleth having to form an alliance with her nemesis to take out Thordak despite her desire to kill the Diseased Deceiver. By Episode 88, she has seen all of her friends die at least once. Even worse, after meeting the elderly gnome Sprigg, her greatest fears resurfaced including what would be the biggest one: her fear of forgetting everyone with the passage of time. Losing Vax right after they defeated Vecna destroyed her emotionally, to the point that she says when they reunite for a moment a year later that she'll never get over him.
    • Good lord, Percy's an Iron Woobie. He's clearly traumatized by what the Briarwoods did to his family, and the strange affliction of his spirit certainly isn't doing his health any favours, but as of Episode 27, he's determined to track the Briarwoods down and get his revenge at last. Some of his actions, such as his...conversations with Desmond or Vock, might push him into Jerkass Woobie on occasion. Episode 44 serves as a breaking point for Percy as he accidentally ending up killing Vex'ahlia in the tomb of the Raven Queen champion. He's constantly feeling guilt, wanting to make it up to Vex and her brother after the former is resurrected. Plus, in Episode 57, he has a long talk with the Raven Queen, thinking that he is so broken that he believes that he is beyond redemption, especially due to the things he's invented in addition to his more callous actions throughout. At the same time is all sort of hilarious considering that a role Taliesin once played is possibly the Trope Namer for The Woobie.
    • Scanlan, despite his usual attitude and cheerful demeanor, is also no stranger to this. His mother had died from a goblin attack, and he never knew his father. So he never got to grow up with the joys of having a family. Then in episode 38 he discovers that a woman he slept with during his own travels eventually gave birth to a daughter named Kaylie, who grew to despise him due to him never returning. Scanlan, upon meeting Kaylie and realizing the connection they share, realizes just how much of a horrible person he is and that he wants to make it up to his child so very much. In fact, ever since the two choose to make amends, with Kaylie having him promise to come home alive, Scanlan has found himself unable to go back to the way things used to be, and he is now in a position where he has to value his own life with the risk of losing everything, including his daughter, should he fall and die. This results in a Heroic BSoD and him abandoning Vox Machina after he was revived a second time.
    • Kashaw is a Jerkass Woobie, despite his pretty surly demeanor. He's had a ridiculously tragic life, what with the goddess he's married to murdering everyone he knew when she consummated the marriage on his fifteenth birthday, and ensuring he must serve as a countering channel of positive energy to balance her as long as she exists.
    • Poor Tyriok the mapmaker, in his second appearance, loses his way in the Frostweald, gets turned to stone by basilisks, then resurrected without his arm and with all his precious maps turned to stone. Not to mention that Grog loves to pick on him - by telling him that a dagger Vax gives him will make him infertile, for example. Luckily, he seems to bounce back from it.
    • Sprigg appears in episode 105 as an eccentric and comical old gnome... wracked with guilt over running away when the rest of his former party was killed by hobgoblins, living alone for 37 years, and slowly forgetting everything about his former life, even his own name.
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    Campaign 2 
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Following the reveal in episode 8 that Nott is in between 6 to 9 years old (which, for a goblin, is technically "child-bearing age" due to their shorter life spansnote ), many Critters were understandably squicked-out at the prospect of shipping someone that's essentially in their mid-to-late teens with fully grown adults. Episode 49's reveal causes Abandon Shipping for a different reason: Nott, in her past life as a halfling woman, is Happily Married.
    • Yasha/Beau shippers took a hit after Yasha's backstory involving a deceased lover and Yasha's culture expressly saying that her people bond for life was revealed... but it went right back up with the release of Yasha's playlist, where Ashley implies that Yasha has feelings for Beau and is wrestling with them.
    • By episode 108, it was BeauJester shippers' turn to take a blow, as Beau admits her crush on Jester was fleeting and that her feelings for Yasha go deeper.
    • Episode 114 sees Caduceus reveal that he isn't into romance at all, something the Critter fandom wholeheartedly embraced.
  • Adorkable:
    • Caleb quickly reveals himself to be this when it comes to books: upon buying two new tomes, he starts bouncing with excitement and refers to the books as his "new friends".
    • Jester is easily the most Adorkable so far, with a high-pitched voice, excitable demeanor, and an almost childlike enthusiasm for mischief.
    • Rather unconventionally for a goblin, Nott lands firmly in this territory on account of her squeaky, unsure voice and her just generally being a twitchy, anxious disaster of a person.
    • Once Essek warms up to the Nein, it becomes painfully obvious that they're his first real friends, and his attempts at jokes are endearingly awkward.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Nott's confession in Episode 11, notably the tone she uses when she says she "needs" Caleb to get stronger. Is she more pragmatic than she lets on and is mostly using Caleb so he'll one day transform her from goblin to something else? Or was it simply the charm spell affecting her tone? Some fans take a third option and suggest that while she's relying on Caleb to change her, she genuinely cares about him. Episode 13 dispels any concerns about Nott and Caleb's relationship: Nott sees herself as Caleb's mother and wants to protect him, hence why she wants him to get stronger, and Caleb, having already stated it before, sees her as a little sister.
    • Ulog entered this territory as of his suicide-bombing of the High Richter Episode 12. Is he a tragic figure driven to extremes by his wife's unjust imprisonment, or a terrorist no better than those he's fighting?
    • The Gentleman ended up getting a bit of this after he rejected Jester's claim of being his daughter. Some wondered if he simply doesn't care for Jester and her mother, if he's trying to distance himself from them for their safety, or if he legitimately is completely unaware of the possibility he might be her father. This does eventually get resolved, however: while at first he himself was unsure of the truth and acted nonchalant about the situation, he does, at Cadeuceus's insistance, reconcile with Jester, admitting that he didn't want to admit it because it wouldn't be right to call himself her father after a life of never being there for her.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Avantika's power over the ocean ends up meaning nothing, as Caleb counterspells it immediately, and she's unceremoniously killed by the Plank King shortly afterwards due to some terrible rolls on her part and incredibly high rolls by the PCs.
    • After being built up as The Dreaded for an entire arc, Vokodo was dealt with decisively in one fight without posing much of a threat (Beau did more damage to herself punching his super-heated hide than he did to the Nein), and the information on his history from Caduceus' lucky Divine Intervention gave the Nein enough ammunition to make him cower in fear.
  • Arc Fatigue: A number of Critters have been worn thin by the Vokodo/Rumblecusp Arc, seeing the party’s extensive pre-fight preparations and desperate search for allies as nothing more than pointless procrastination. The risk of staying on the island too long, slowly chipping away at the characters’ memories and valuable spell components, doesn’t help things either.
  • Archive Panic: As of summer 2020, Campaign 2 has hit its 100th episode, most of which are still 3-4 hours long - and given the current character levels, it's likely this Campaign will end up getting twice as long as the broadcast part of Campaign 1 (short of a TPK, of course). Unlike with Campaign 1, the panic effect on new viewers is mitigated by the short "Critical Recap" videos (up to episode 88) and blog posts (episode 89 onward) that provide general plot information for each episode. There are also podcast versions of each episode avaiable (with the announcements and break edited out), so if you can bear missing out on the visual acting, hugs and other non-audible cast reactions, it may be more manageable to listen to this version while you're doing household chores or commuting.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Presumably in response to the backlash that occurred over Caleb and Beau's argument in Episode 21, both Caleb and Beau spent the next episode trying to figure out how to apologize for how they handled the situation, and near the end of the episode both did so, and attempted to improve their relationship going forward.
    • One of the biggest complaints about the campaign was the lack of overarching plot or villain, with many of Matt's attempts to create one ending abruptly due to bad rolls on his end. Obann successfully tricking them into unleashing The Laughing Hand, forcing the group to flee, along with the implications that they didn't actually kill him finally gave the campaign an interesting Arc Villain.
  • Awesome Music: Episode 44 and onwards, "Your Turn To Roll" is showcased in the second opening intro video here.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Beauregard. On one hand you have people who think she's a fun, interesting character whose attitude and world view make for a stark contrast with Keyleth and the rest of the party. It doesn't hurt that she's proven to be no slouch in combat either. On the other hand, some feel her Jerkass tendencies and lack of social skills make her too grating and unsympathetic of a character to really root for, and hope that she goes through a character arc that has her become more likable. The fallout of Molly's death has helped some of her detractors soften up on her. That, and later moments that occur end up making a LOT of her past "abrasive" behavior much Harsher in Hindsight.
      • Some of Beau's detractors simply come from the fact that her player, Marisha, has been a base-breaker since the first campaign.
    • Mollymauk. Some people enjoy the character for his charm, his general aesthetic and his genuine concern for those he cares about (the entire carnival, and Toya in particular, following the death of Kylre). However, others see Molly more as smarmy than charming, feeling he doesn't pull off the mysterious stranger persona anywhere near as well as Fjord or Shakäste; in particular, his tendency to not really give anything away about himself makes it harder for the rest of the party to really forge meaningful relationships with him. However, with Episode 14 and 15 delving into his backstory and why he is the way that he is, a lot of his detractors seem to have come around on Molly. Molly's death in episode 26 more or less did away with this issue entirely, with Molly now being seen as one of the most likeable characters of the campaign.
    • Caleb. While some fans like the character for his endearing humility, social awkwardness and friendship/sibling-like relationship with Nott, others find him too similar to Vax (as both are quite broody characters). They also take issue with his unwillingness to share some of the information he finds out about the party's magical items, which leaves distribution up to him, rather than the party as a whole. His detractors believe this paints him as too distrusting of the rest of the group, though his supporters argue that is the point of his character, and creates more potential for Character Development. Much like Molly, the reveal of his backstory has significantly lessened the divide, but his overall personality remains divisive.
    • Nott. On one hand she's the Team Mom who treats the Nein (especially Caleb) like surrogate children and wants to help them succeed whilst struggling with her own issues. She's also genuinely fun to watch, and while she makes mistakes, she tends to do so not out of mean reasons, but out of impulsive and nervous reasons that most of the characters can understand. On the other she has a habit of sticking her nose into other people's affairs where it doesn't belong, refuses to listen to the party and repeatedly violates their boundaries and has impulse issues and rarely thinks things through which cost Caduceus his life when she hit an enemy with an explosive arrow with his unconscious body in the proximity. Fortunately Jester was there to revive him. She nearly killed Caduceus a second time during a later fight the exact same way. Her backstory does at least help the issue, but she remains very polarizing.
  • Broken Base: Aside from the obvious divide of those who like this campaigns greater focus on characters and more sure footing in the web show format vs those who preferred the first campaigns better group dynamics and arcs, there is debate over the story of this campaign, or rather, the lack thereof. As is mentioned elsewhere on this page, most of the story arcs have been about half the length of Campaign One’s arcs. Avantika and Lorenzo’s deaths seemed to come about halfway through their respective arcs, cutting them short. The Nein have also seemed to actively avoid plot hooks, such as continuing the Knights of Requital storyline or the war with Xhorhas. The debate there is whether it works because it is fittingly in character, or whether it just makes them feel aimless. Obann offered a nice change of pace, but once that arc was finished, similar issues from the previous arcs arose.
  • Catharsis Factor: Two moments stick out, both entailing the deaths of major villains.
    • The death of monstrous, baby-eating, hero-killing oni Lorenzo at the hands of Caleb. After the literally campaign-altering tragedy he inflicted upon the Nein by way of killing Mollymauk, witnessing Caleb - who was among the party members closest to Molly before his death - inflict arguably the most viscerally horrific death in the entire campaign upon Lorenzo was satisfying on a truly primal level.
    • Obann's final death, after spending months ahead of the Nein and using Yasha as a puppet for so long. Watching as Yasha personally guts the demon is immensely satisfying.
  • Complete Monster: Lorenzo, leader of the Iron Shepherds, is a sadistic oni who enjoys nothing so much as causing pain. Capturing his victims, Lorenzo breaks them physically and psychological with mental and physical torture to sell them for profit, even eating children himself. Upon being challenged by the Mighty Nein, Lorenzo brutally kills one of their number, Mollymauk, choosing to let the dwarf Keg go on as to carry that pain with her for the rest of her life.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • In Episode 9, Frumpkin is taken out by just one kick from a crownsguard, causing him to once more disappear until Caleb resummons him. The funny part comes in when Travis does a hilarious impression of how the guard would relate this story to his colleagues:
      Travis: "You guys, I kicked this cat today, and it fucking evaporated."
    • In the sponsor plug for Episode 12, Sam's Surfer Dude persona "Brody Slater" is revealed to be into FATAL, which sends the entire group into cringe-laughter.
  • Die for Our Ship: In Episode 118, Jester interacts with an ancient magical device that sucks away a little bit of her life force as Equivalent Exchange, making her appear a few years older. Later in the same episode, Fjord and Jester have a heart-to-heart that leads to their First Kiss. Angry shippers immediately lashed out at Matt, claiming that he was somehow showing favoritism to Fjord/Jester by lowering the age gap between the two of them, and even that Fjord's affections had predatory overtones because of Jester's youth— never mind that the event was the result of a random encounter that Jester chose to interact with (beating Yasha and Beau in a game of rock-paper-scissors to do so), that Jester was already an adult (in her early twenties at the start of the campaign), and that she and Fjord have had Ship Tease since the very first episode. Matt pushed back on Twitter, pointing out that toxic and demanding shippers cause the cast to pull back from fan engagement and are a big reason Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Shakäste, the campaign's first Guest-Star Party Member and consummate badass, became an instant fan favorite on equal account of his amazing voice and his being played by Khary Payton.
    • Critters instantly fell in love with Enchanter Pumat Sol, he of the four magical clones and vaguely inexplicable Canadian accent. Despite being the complete inverse of Victor the Black Powder Merchant, it already seems as though good old Pumat is falling into a similar beloved niche. Love for Pumat is not limited to the viewers alone; The cast seem to constantly find reasons to frequent his shop in-universe as well.
    • Kiri, the little kenku girl that the Mighty Nein saved from gators upon arriving in the Labenda Swamp. Matt contrasts her innocent coos and hilarious voice mimicry with a heart-wrenching story about dead family members to great effect. Just like with Pumat, the players are just as invested in the character as the fanbase.
      Ashley: "We all love that bird. I will protect that bird with my life."
    • Nila, the Firbolg Druid guest character from Episode 27 and 28, had tons of fanart after only one appearance, due to her being both a hilarious Fish out of Water Cloudcuckoolander and a genuinely kind Team Mom (something that, Liam points out at the end of the next episode, the Mighty Nein desperately needed after the darkness of the last few episodes).
    • Dani Carr, host of Critical Recap gets this for being The Cutie, and her infectious excitement in narrating the events of the previous episode.
    • Ashly Burch's character Keg became a fan favorite pretty quickly due to her role in the Iron Shepherds arc, especially after Beau managed to bed her and after the letters she left for the team following her leave. A number of fans want her to return and become a permanent member of the main cast, much like Kashaw and Zahra before her.
    • After initial concerns about Jester's mom in relation to Jester's upbringing, once the Mighty Nein finally met Marion she became well-loved for her sweet, genial demeanor and for her sincere love of Jester. The fact Marion's line of work isn't shamed is often appreciated, too.
    • Chris Perkins's guest character Spurt is both one of the funniest characters in the entire show, and by far the shortest-lived, not even counting his proclaimed lifespan of eleven days.
    • Judging by the amount of people on Twitter and Youtube asking for her to be a permanent cast member, both due to Reani's chemistry with the group and being played by Mica Burton, Reani's become this among the fans.
    • Essek became one for being a friendly face in the Dynasty and memetic reasons note  but his popularity shot up as the Mighty Nein began to make a conscious effort to get to know him. Him showing an Adorkable side and showing how much he respects the Nein helps.
    • The Syphilis Bandits, partly because of the Running Gag of their repeated run-ins with the Nein and partly because they cross into Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains. The fact Molly tried to help them, even after the group tried robbing them a second time, is also endearing.
    • A patch of crabgrass near Molly’s grave who Jester speaks to using her Speak With Plants amulet and names Henry. His adorable voice and strong feelings on consent probably contributed to this.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Lawrence from The Song of the Lorelei One-shot being Tary's former teacher and lover from campaign 1.
    • One theory relatively tossed around is that the woman who brought Lucien/Molly back from the dead is Astrid. The fact Veth/Nott was also brought back from the dead by a woman who was a powerful mage has drawn speculation it could also be the same woman, if not Astrid. The reveal that a mysterious woman helped guide Beau's father to the land he used to start his wine business also has people theorizing that she might be the same woman too, and in Episode 92, it turns out that the woman in Beau and Nott's backstories actually is the same (though she isn't Astrid)!. However, this was Jossed when the woman in question was revealed to be Vess Derogna of the Cerberus Assembly in episode 114.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Closer to Ambiguously Evil is Sexy, but the Gentleman and Ophelia Mardun are both very attractive and very shady. While they aren't opposed to the Mighty Nein, it's quite obvious that they're nowhere near good people.
    • Captain Avantika, with her Pirate Girl appeal, sexy accent, and flirtatious attitude towards Fjord, is considered very sexy by the fanbase despite the fact that she wants to unleash Uk'otoa just for the sake of gaining power.
  • Foe Yay: Early on, some took to shipping Beauregard and Mollymauk when Taliesin and Marisha revealed in Q&As that the two of them instantly hated each-other, seeing the potential for Belligerent Sexual Tension. This mostly died down once Beau confirmed her Incompatible Orientation to Molly as a lesbian, although their rivalry still continued up until Molly's death.
    • History repeated with Taliesin's character, as Yasha's first impression of Caduceus was less than positive, but Caduceus was as unfazed as ever. This also lost steam as both characters grew to understand each other, and after episode 46 confirmed that Yasha's still grieving over the death of her wife Zuala.
    • An interest in Nott/Fjord has somewhat risen due to their mutual insults and jabs ranging from Vitriolic Best Buds to With Friends Like These...; while also punctuated with moments like Nott eyeing Fjord's muscles during a Shirtless Scene in episode 76.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In an early episode, when discussing Molly's (fake) backstory, Beau guesses, jokingly, "you killed your whole family!" Not so funny now after Beau hears Caleb's backstory in Episode 18. Going back to watch this moment, you'll notice that Liam freezes when she says that.
    • When the group splits up into three groups to infiltrate a house at the end of Episode 12, Sam jokes that Matt actually has a fourth parallel subplot he's keeping track of that none of them are aware of. Come the end of the episode, this turns out to be completely true in the worst way possible.
      • In the same episode, Nott suggests that rather than Molly disguising himself as a leper, Caleb could burn him and his clothing to portray Molly as a burn victim. Caleb’s not too happy with the plan, however, and we find out why later on - because as a teenager he was brainwashed into burning his parents alive, and is still traumatised.
    • Nott drinking and getting intoxicated? Extremely funny thanks to Sam's performance. The revelation that Nott drinks to get away from being a goblin? Not as funny in hindsight.
    • Nott's extreme loathing of water? Sam makes it a laugh riot every time. The fact that Nott hates water because she was drowned as Veth? Horrifying.
    • When the Mighty Nein first met the Gentleman, Laura Bailey was actually absent, with Jester being played by the DM. Matt comments that it's very difficult to play her as she's so unpredictable, there's no telling what she would do in this situation. Travis jokes, "She'd prolly run up and just give him a hug." Yes, Jester likely would have run up and hugged the Gentleman if she knew then he was her father.
    • One of the areas in Xhorhas is called the Coronas, referring to the halo around the sun, which is known for being fatal. The players have fun with this, but then the very fatal COVID-19, the coronavirus, broke out at the end of the very year the M9 visited the coronas.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Beau gets arrested by the Crownsguard in Episode 2, "A Show of Scrutiny", and it's treated much the same as any other time a character played by Marisha was taken to jail, with Marisha herself saying that jails are not Beau's favored terrain. Flash forward to 63 episodes later, however, and she reveals to Yasha that the reason why is anything but humorous: Beau's first love Tori who "showed her the ropes" was left to rot in prison while she herself was released. And she never saw her again. OUCH.
      Beauregard: She kind of showed me the ropes. She was great. She was my literal partner in crime for a little bit. And also who I got busted with. So we were both arrested together and the next morning my dad was there and busted me out of jail, paid bail, and I think made some sort of arrangements with the guards. I don't know. Who knows what happened to her. I don't think she's dead. She was one tough bitch, so. But I'm sure she hates me for forever, wherever she is.
    • After the group meets the Knights of Requital, an anti-Empire resistance group, Nott suggests turning them over to the authorities for a bounty. After the reveal of Caleb's backstory in Episode 18, we know this discussion must have made Caleb very uncomfortable, as he used to be part of a group that exposed and executed rebels.
    • In Episode 18, when Jester explains the unlocked ability of the dodecahedron to increase one's luck, she humorously relates the anecdote in which Caleb, while entranced by the object, told his parents he loved them and asked if he made them proud, while crying. Just earlier in the same episode, Caleb revealed his history privately to Nott and Beau, in which he murdered his own parents due to false implanted memories of them being traitors to the Empire.
    • Nott trying to take the letter of recommendation to the Soltrice Academy Jester got for Fjord becomes this due to Episode 18 when it turns out what happened in Caleb's past.
    • Beau and Caleb's brief "argument" about the bowl at first glance paints her as judgmental and confrontational just for the sake of drama. But what she was arguing about wasn't the bowl itself or that she didn't really care about potential fallout from those involved, but the idea of Calianna's agency being taken from her. Something that Beau knows all too well considering her entire history, as it paints her argument in a much sadder light.
    • In episode 16, the party splits up and Caleb jokes that "...the Mighty Drei also sounds very cool." considering that as of the end of episode 26, with 3 of their party are captured, and Mollymauk killed, they are down to three party members + Keg.
    • Jester pranking the temple of the Platinum Dragon in Episode 31? Hilarious. But on the following Talks Machina, Matt explained something that makes it a lot less so. She painted the statue of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, in bright primary colors. Chromatic colors. AKA the colors of Tiamat, one of the Betrayer Gods and Bahamut's sworn enemy. If Jester had been caught, her punishment might have been severe, as she could have been seen as an anti-religious cultist.
    • Episode 34 sees Yasha's return, as Ashley's back for one episode! However, her last time piloting Yasha was Episode 25, and Episode 30 had Matt show her utterly devastated at Mollymauk's death. Now she returns, and her closeness with Mollymauk is replaced with not particularly liking Caduceus, a severe change in relationship dynamic. She's still seated next to Taliesin, so their at-the-table in-character interactions are going to be quite awkward for the foreseeable future...
    • And speaking of Yasha, her Cool Sword the Magician's Judge is known as the blade of an executioner. While it is a powerful weapon, it makes her old title of "Orphan Maker" a little too apt.
    • Reveals about Yasha's backstory in Episode 46 make Beau's earlier flirting with her a lot harder to look back on. Turns out, Yasha does love women, but she was already married in the past. Her wife Zuala was killed, but her tribe doesn't believe in "till death do us part", so Yasha still very much considers herself married. Not that Beau could've known that at the time.
    • Also in Episode 46. When Yasha awoke to Molly's grave, she said, "It happened again". Not only has she lost her best friend but she's also lost her wife. It's little wonder Yasha's afraid of losing the rest of the group.
    • All of Nott's aquaphobia, after Episode 49 reveals why she's afraid of water. Particularly the bathhouse scene in Episode 9, in which Fjord and Beau hold Nott under water and she comes out saying "I’ll kill you all!"
    • In Episode 8, Caleb suddenly jolting awake and screaming, "TAKE THEM OUT!" is played for laughs. According to Word of God, Caleb was actually referring to the experiments where Trent shoved crystals into his arms.
    • All of the jokes the fans and players have made about at least one of the party members turning out to be evil turns into this after episode 69 where. Yasha ends up being forced to serve Obann (who is heavily implied that she made a deal with to kill her tribe as revenge) and The Laughing Hand with her nearly killing Fjord.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • In Episode 35, Jester gives Nugget the Blink Puppy to her mother to look after temporarily while the Nein go to meet with Marius, telling him to treat her mother as "home" for now. The Nein's task at the docks went south fast and ended with them forced to steal a ship and flee Nicodranas, and the guards having seen them steal the ship will make it very hard for them to return. Nugget was left behind, but Jester's actions earlier ensured he'd at least have a happy home, and Marion said she'd always wanted a pet.
    • Nott's Mama Bear tendencies, once it's revealed she's really a mother.
    • In Episode 41, Jester asks Nott if she's ever kissed a boy and Nott reluctantly says yes and states you never forget your first kiss. Though she says her first kiss was done on a dare and plays down its importance, she ultimately admits it was a good day. Episode 49 reveals she was recalling her first kiss with Yeza, her eventual husband.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • A common fan reaction to Molly's death in Episode 26. To be fair, he's come back once before...
      • These fans were mostly vindicated after episode 111, where Molly’s grave was decidedly empty and his body wandering Eiselcross with the Tomb Takers - though who’s brain is in the body is still ambiguous.
        Fjord/Travis: We could get User One, User Two, or the admin profile.
    • Some people are convinced we haven't seen the last of Captain Avantika, despite the rather swift and brutal way in which she was dispatched by the Plank King in Episode 43. It helps that Matt seemed to avoid outright saying that she died during his recaps in the two following sessions. This was both Jossed and Confirmed in sense in episode 112, when Avantika did in fact reappear...as an undead water monster.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When asked about his relationship with Nott, Caleb shoots down the implication of their relationship being parental by stating he views her as a little sister. Nott later states she sees it as parental, but with her as the parent. Gains an additional level of hilarity with the knowledge that Nott is a mother.
    • In episode 13, after their first encounter with a Kryn Dynasty soldier in the sewers:
      Jester: This is wars between empires, do you really care?
      Beau: I don't care about wars between empires, I just like having more information.note 
    • In Episode 29, which happened to air on Travis' birthday, Brian FaceTimed Travisnote  and got the GenCon audience to sing 'Happy Birthday' to him. Travis said that his one birthday wish was for the Mighty Nein to "kick some fucking ass!" Well, they did. They kicked unholy amounts of ass. To cut a long story short, they tore apart an entire slavery ring without suffering any casualties, setting free all the slaves said ring had in their compound, and they killed someone that Matt was planning on making an Arc Villain.
    • Episode 49 gives a Call-Back to Episode 21, where Nott introduces herself to Calianna as "Bren". As "Bren" is Caleb's real name that he had never told to anyone, Liam spends a solid minute staring at Sam looking incredibly bewildered and confused. On Talks Machina, Sam confirmed that this was a complete coincidence.
    • When Jester finally meets Yeza, she realises that real relationships are somehow different from the ones she read about... which are all from smut. After Nott is turned back into Veth, she and Yeza end up doing it just as much as they do in actual smut.
    • Speaking of Nott, one of the first things Sam says is "I'm sticking with this fucking accent for the next 2 years." Nott is turned back into Veth just a little over 2 years after that... but Sam goes right back to the voice anyway.
    • Speaking of callbacks across the whole season, episode 3 had a notable chain-of-whispers sequence where the gang managed to mangle a single sentence - fast forward to 2020 and the premise has been expanded into Narrative Telephone, with far more room for mangling.
      • The review segment of Narrative Telephone episode 4 has Sam deliberately trolling the whole Zoom channel by setting up a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl puppet behind him, which only drops out of view when he turns to see it. The ruse is revealed in the most hilarious way possible when the amateur puppeteer, one Mrs Quyen Tran-Riegel, fails to slip out of the side door completely unnoticed (the puppet nearly gets stuck in the door!), turning it into the Critical Role equivalent of the well-loved Prof. Robert Kelley viral video.note 
    • The Explorer's Guide to Wildemount was, according to an insert in the book, written around the time of Episode 50 of the campaign, and so doesn't take into account later developments on the show. One tip it offers for accommodating players who may not be interested in the Empire/Xhorhas war is "with a little bit of creative tweaking of the setting, you could create a Wildemount campaign where the war has been called off or never even happened!" The former ended up being more-or-less exactly what happened.
    • The whole final arc of the previous campaign becomes this with the revelation that the Traveller is actually the archfey Artagan. Vecna spent so much time and put so much effort into becoming a god... and Artagan does it with the faith of a little girl.
    • Also from Narrative Telephone, everyone mimicking Liam's Caleb accent leads to Midsommar getting mentioned a couple of times. Fast forward to episode 100, and the island of Rumblecusp turns out to be home to a Cargo Cult much like the one in Midsommar.
    • All the way back in Campaign 2 Episode 3, the party kept misinterpreting Matt's words when he described a local rumor in the town of Trostenwald about an island known as Crooked Stone that sits in the middle of the Ustalochnote  as being cursed because a witch had supposedly lived there over a century ago. Despite Matt repeatedly informing them that there was no witch and only the ruins of a building there now, the party kept trying to insist that there was, in Sam's words, "a full hut with a witch inside". Matt threatened that if they wanted to will a witch into existence so badly, he'd throw one at them. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount would be released over a year latter, and has a story-quest hook written that involves the lake becoming cursed due to some kids having visited the island on a dare, finding an actual witches amulet in the ruins and tossing it into the lake, where it's magic is turning the animals residing in the lake into aggressive undead skeletons. If a party retrieves the amulet as part of their investigation, its owner may come looking for them. Thanks Nein!
    • In 2020, the gang taking a break at the same time that season 4 of The Masked Singer led to speculation that Sam Reigel was secretly taking part in that show, as Baby Alien. After that was Jossed, Matt waited till the last quarter of the year to spring on our heroes an Eldritch Abomination, in the form of a disturbingly baby-faced creature borrowed from Kingdom Death, making it literally a baby alien.
    • Stephen Colbert, who famously played D&D with Matt in the Red Nose Day special, once joked about Lee Pace attempting lines in the old Elvish as the result of the Sindarin and Noldorien elves having different languages. Fast forward to Narrative Telephone season 2, and Mica Burton as Reani attempts to deliver part of it in Elvish, which led to Matt making the exact same reference.
    • There's a lovely short-range one (qualifying for CMoA) in episode 123, where Sam's opening bit is as a D&D-themed motivational speaker who imparts his wisdom and his mantra to all the guys - who end up rolling the most natural 20s in the show's history.
  • It Was His Sled: Nowadays, it's nigh-impossible to get into Campaign 2 without the subject of Mollymauk's death being spoiled, given its iconic status and the effect it had on the campaign going forward.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Beau can be an obnoxious and blunt person who steps on the toes of others, but she came from an abusive home where her parents often neglected her, resentful that they didn't have a son. She rebelled against her parents by stealing from them and becoming a criminal, which they reacted to by having the Cobalt Soul effectively kidnap her to "beat her indiscretions out of her" and disowned her. Once they finally had the son they always wanted, they burnt their bridges with her. Beyond that, until she met the Nein, she never had any friends, partially due to her own abrasive personality from a lifetime of abuse and neglect.
    • Nott has a tendency to stomp all over her friend's boundaries and meddle in their lives and is extremely self-centred and impulsive to the point it causes multiple problems for the Nein including accidentally killing Caduceus.note  The Woobie part comes after episode 49 where she reveals she was originally a halfling named Veth who was bullied a lot growing up outside of Yeza, her first love whom she married & had a child with. One night, she and her family were ambushed by goblins and to make sure her husband and son got away, she lured the goblins away & killed some of them. Once the survivors caught her, they drowned her and had a hag curse her to reincarnate into a goblin form which she hates and is gradually eating away at the true Veth. This doesn't completely excuse her nearly restarting the war between the Empire and Kryn just to break the curse, but it gives some explanation.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships
    • Yasha, after only one episode. Beau and Fjord both show interest in her, and she has an established friendship with Molly. Then there's the Crossover Shipping with Grog.
    • By the second episode, Fjord, too, has seen a lot of shipping—with Yasha, as mentioned, and also with Caleb, Jester, Beau, and Molly.
    • Jester as well, not helped by her being The Tease to nearly everyone.
    • As the character with the most focus on Archive of Our Own, Caleb has the most diverse shipping range to date (Molly, Fjord, Jester, Caduceus, Essek, and also Astrid and Eodwulf).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Taliesin?/Is this Taliesin?" quickly became one in episode 27. To the point even the cast ran with it in-game.
    • Caduceus is just happy to be here, or anything along those lines has become a meme due to the sheer almost dull reaction Caduceus seems to have when encountering things, even when its clear he is really happy or excited.
    • The Metagaming Pigeon.
    • Uk’otoa (Uk’otoaaaaa).
    • Saying "Mollymauk is fine" has become somewhat of a meme on tumblr.
    • Taking any word that begins with "f" and changing it to "fj".
      • "Fjorgot", because of how Fjord's memory can occasionally seem to be swiss cheese.
    • The chair.
    • After Episode 49 had two characters reveal the name they'd been using up to that point was not their original name, it's become common to jokingly ask "What is X's real name?!" of anyone, such as Frumpkin or Brian W. Foster.
    • "HOT BOI" whenever Essek is mentioned.
    • Any comment about bread will ring in a chorus of "I LIKE BREAD!" from the chat.
    • I've noticed that there are exactly 2 types of Jester fanart.note 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • After The Reveal of Caleb's backstory, nearly the entire fandom agreed that Trent Ikithon needed to die. To elaborate he put Caleb and two others through brutal, abusive training while they were only teenagers, asking them to murder traitors to the empire as part of it, culminating in planting fake memories in their heads that their parents were traitors and having them kill their parents as their final exam.
    • Lorenzo screams over it in-universe and out by graphically killing Mollymauk as a warning to the Nein.
  • One True Threesome: "Widofjorester" combines the ships of Caleb, Fjord, and Jester all into one. Also "Beauyester" for Beau/Yasha/Jester, and "B/A/E" for Bren/Astrid/Eodwulf.
  • Paranoia Fuel: After Episode 29 & the death of Lorenzo, Matt revealed at their GenCon panel that Lorenzo had been using his abilities as an Oni to stalk the remaining members of the Mighty Nein throughout the Iron Shepards’ keep since the previous episode.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: The more popular ones are Widomauk (Caleb/Molly), Beauyasha (Beauregard/Yasha), Widofjord (Caleb/Fjord), Fjorester (Fjord/Jester), Widojest (Caleb/Jester) Clayleb (Caduceus/Caleb), Fjorclay (Fjord/Caduceus) and Shadowgast (Caleb/Essek).
    • Beauregard and Jester have several competing ones: Beaujester, Lavorregard, Jestergard, and Sappheau.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Given Molly's popularity, Caduceus was somewhat regarded as this for fans who saw Molly's death as wasted potential. This became less common as Caduceus became more integrated in the group.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Molly's Blood Hunter skills have been often ridiculed and he's usually considered the weakest character mechanically. Between his dual-wielding style and unique class feature (a Cast from Hit Points damage buff) Molly takes several turns to gear up properly for a fight, which combined with Taliesin's indecisiveness of committing to ranged or close combat means he rarely gets to shine during a battle. It's telling that Molly ultimately dies due to his own class feature knocking him out before Lorenzo killed him, since otherwise Molly would have been able to receive healing.
  • Ship Mates: Early in the campaign, a decent network formed between the 3 most popular ships at the time (Caleb/Molly, Beau/Yasha, and Fjord/Jester), since it paired up everyone in the Mighty Nein (with the exception of Nott - who was often regarded as Everyone's Baby Sister due to Sam's vagueness about her age). Later on this network drifted due to various factors like Molly's death and Caduceus' introduction, Yasha mourning her dead wife, Nott's revealed husband and child, Beau's secret romantic feelings for Jester, and a variety of smaller pairings that developed over time. In a interesting reversal, Two of the original ships: Fjord/Jester and Beau/Yasha, have become canon with the Fjorester kiss and the Beauyasha date. In another interesting point, in an recent episode, Lucien ( who has the same body as Molly) comented on Caleb's atractiveness, however the tension between the groups makes this couple VERY unlikely
  • Shocking Moments:
    • The ending of Episode 12. The group's second infiltration goes wrong when the High Richter returns and catches them in the act. Just as she's about to arrest the group, Ulog tackles her and uses a magical gem to blow them both up. And that's not even the most dramatic part. As the group is leaving one of the spires in the Trispire district explodes, several figures are seen jumping down, pursued by some very powerful mages, and as the group is fleeing through the sewers they run into a heavily wounded soldier wearing black, insect-like armour... the same kind used by the Empire's enemies according to The Courting of the Crick.
    • The reveal of Caleb's backstory in Episode 18 left all the viewers in shock.
    • The end of Episode 25. To account for their players' upcoming long absence, Fjord, Jester, and Yasha are captured and stolen into the night by what appear to be either slave-traders or bounty hunters, with a silence spell leaving the rest of the group sleeping soundly and none-the-wiser.
    • Episode 26 took the end of 25 and hit us hard. Due to poor dice rolls and bad strategy, Mollymauk was killed by the Iron Shepherds. Considering they no long have a cleric, and are far from civilization, Molly might just be the first permanent party death.
    • Episode 29, live at GenCon 2018, where the Nein (plus Cadeucus Clay, Keg, and Shakastë) managed to completely dismantle a notorious and entrenched slaver ring in their own stronghold and over the course of a single night. Plus they rescued all of their missing party members, Nila's family, and three others without any of the Iron Shepherds' captives dying.
    • Episode 35. The Nein show a horrifying moment of synchronization when they come together to scare Algar away from Nicodranas for good, going so far that even Nott is horrified at the rest of them; they half-intentionally release the enslaved Marid powering the city, possibly crippling its economy and dooming its sister city Port Damali to the same fate as said Marid goes to release its friend held there; Fjord shows a dark side of his abilities by using necromancy to pull the spirit out of a guard he killed as a sort of thrall; and at the end of the episode, what was supposed to be a simple task making contact with someone ends with the killing half a dozen criminals in the middle of the docks, stealing a boat, clashing with the guard, fleeing the city on said boat with only one man who can sail (likely as wanted criminals), and nearly stranding/killing Clay.
    • Episodes 42 and 43; episode 42 ends with the party interrogated on Avantika's ship for breaking into her quarters the night before. When Vera, Avantika's second, reveals that she is able to locate items magically (such as the journal stolen by the group), Caleb immediately reacts by setting the ship ablaze with Wall of Fire. This leads directly into the next episode, where, in the ensuing brawl, Fjord summons a demon to attack the crew and Caleb obliterates several of them instantly with a fireball. Finally, after everyone is dragged in front of the Plank King, Beau and Fjord through a series of clutch rolls successfully set up a situation where Avantika is prevented from lying (and thus can't really defend herself) when being directly interrogated by the Plank King for treason, leading to her summary execution (and the party's banishment from Darktow for breaking so many laws to get there).
    • Episode 45 starts off like a Breather Episode, with the group meeting a stowaway with a Tastes Like Diabetes personality, who stole a magic clockwork orb. After fiddling with it a bit... they end up teleported to an ancient mage's extradimensional lair. Poking around even further, they end up face-to-face with a dragon! Who deals 55 damage with its Lightning Breath. The Nein barely escape with their lives, but as they leave cute little Twiggy GETS THE HDYWTDT ON THE DRAGON!
    • Episode 56 is, for the most part, just wrapping up the party's time in Asarius and preparing to receive their favor from Queen Leylas. Then, as they are standing before the Royal Court of Xhorhas, Lady Zethris' retainer rats them out for attacking Kryn soldiers at the border when the Nein first arrived in Xhorhas (having been present for that raid himself), prompting the Queen to have them arrested. Then Caleb manages to roll a high enough Persuasion check to convince one of her guards to retrieve the Dodecahedron from Jester's bag. The moment he reveals it every jaw in the room drops, every sword hits the floor, and the Queen starts to cry. She immediately rescinds her order to have them arrested, takes the Dodecahedron (which she refers to as "giving hope"), and states that while the Nein may be no friends to the Dwendallian Empire, they are all now considered the heroes of Xhorhas! Matt wound up having to cut the session early because he wants Taliesin to be present for the scene to come after this pronouncement (he was unfortunately sick that week).
    • Episode 69 Obann has tricked the Mighty Nein into allowing him to free The Laughing Hand a Humanoid Abomination that serves The Crawling King, to make matters worse he ends up brainwashing Yasha to fight for them, with the group powerless to help her as they're forced to flee for their lives.
    • Episode 72 has quite the doozy; After once again being stripped of his abilities and spells by Uk'otoa due to his continued defiance on releasing the third seal, Fjord finally has enough and puts his patron's money where it's mouth is by threatening to kill himself to deprive Uk'otoa of the final orb and his only other mortal servant. Fjord even goes as far as to drive his falchion three inches into his chest to prove that he's not fucking around, scraping some vital organs as he does, before hurling the blade itself into the lava inside the Kiln. Thus, he has become the only character to willfully or otherwise get rid of their class entirely, as he is now no longer a Warlock due to severing his connection to Uk'otoa. He also finally comes clean to the rest of the Nein about himself and drops the accent he was affecting from Vandren. To quote Taliesin, Fjord managed to out-do Percy on defying one's evil master out of sheer spite.
    • Episode 83 drops perhaps the biggest doozy yet. The Mighty Nein, with help from Yussa and their new ally Allura Vysoren finally uncover the truth about the Angel of Irons. It turns out that the Angel of Irons is a front for Tharizdun the Chained Oblivion. Vecna was an ascended god, but this is an ancient being of destruction, whose great purpose is to destroy Exandria and all life upon it. And it has its eye on Yasha.
    • Episode 102 is probably the biggest one post-COVID hiatus, and fulfills a massive Chekhov M.I.A.; After the Nein meet with Vokodo on Rumblecusp and come to the conclusion that it is enslaving all of its "worshippers" and wiping their memories as a way to force them to serve it and sacrifice all of their worldly possessions to it, Caduceus uses a greater restoration in the hopes that it it will restore Viridian's memories and autonomy. The plan works out perfectly, and she reveals that she's been trapped on the island for 25 years… and that she's actually from Tal'Dorei and that her real name is Vilya. Keyleth's mother who supposedly died during her Aramente was in fact dumped out on Rumblecusp, used her Druidic powers to restore the leg that she lost in the water elemental plane, and now remembers the entire life she lost and the family she left behind. Suffice to say, the whole cast lost their minds, especially Marisha, given that none of them (bar Sam who saw the theorizing in the chat) had any inkling about this reveal at all.
    • The ending of Episode 111: Mollymauk is Back from the Dead and seemingly leading the reformed Tomb Takers on an expedition to the ruins of Eiselcross.
  • Signature Scene: Molly's grave is becoming one, with numerous fanworks and even the official Mighty Nein Intro using it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: One of the larger points of criticism of Campaign 2 is that many of the subplots and arcs are being rushed through far faster than the comparative arcs of Campaign 1. This seems to be as a result of the story being more open and less focused then Campaign 1 was.
    • General reaction to the death of Molly is that, while it was not at all anyone's fault and was just sadly the luck of the dice, it wastes the interesting plot points set up regarding Molly's past that Matt and Taliesin clearly were excited to explore. While they can still be explored, Molly not being around to be part of it means that any impact of the plot points is somewhat pointless to many since Molly can't be there to react or experience it. That said, Taliesin is not adverse to bringing back Molly if it comes to it.
    • The Knights of Requital subplot during the groups time in Zadash ends rather abruptly, despite the group investing a lot of time into helping out with them. They attempted to frame the High Richter, and the attempt goes horribly wrong, ending with Ullog sacrificing himself to kill her, and it just ends. While it makes sense the group would be concerned with not getting caught, it feels almost as if the plotline was setup to be more important, but because of the outcome of the High Richter's estate, Matt was forced to end it early. Not helping is that the group is faced with a serious issue of the person taking the High Richter's place being similarly corrupt, and the group being concerned with the other members safety, only for The Gentleman to just take care of the issue, allowing the group to get away with the issue with no strings attached. It definitely is a bit of a anticlimactic ending to an arc that seemed to of been set up for bigger plans, and the overall impact it in theory had goes unmentioned for the most part in the long term.
    • The Iron Shepherds were built up as counterpart arch rivals to the Mighty Nein, particularly after Lorenzo killed Molly. Instead, they are killed off only a couple episodes after being introduced, without much fanfare, and all kidnapped party members are rescued after only a couple in-game days with no casualties. Almost all the party members end up fine in the end save Molly, who was Killed Off for Real, and Yasha, who rightfully is upset and leaves for a while to deal with it.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Their death happened due to random bad luck, but Molly's popularity among the fans who liked his unique home-brewed class abilities, his charm, his ostentatious aesthetic, or his mysterious backstory meant that their demise relatively early into the campaign garnered this reaction.
    • Lorenz was an interesting villain, with not only a powerful group of allies, but was also an Oni. He easily is the most standout villain of the campaign until Obann almost a year later. Sadly he is only around a few episodes before dying, removing an interesting villain.
  • Ugly Cute: Nott is considered to be unconventionally adorable by the fandom.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Algar may have been a Stalker with a Crush towards Jester's mother (who had told him "no"), but the sheer Trauma Conga Line he gets put through makes it hard not to feel a little bad for him: his bodyguards are killed in horrifying ways, he gets knocked unconscious and revived, ending the fight a terrified, broken mess, and that's before Fjord cuts his hand off, the Nein debate whether to leave him alive to his face, while he's bleeding out, he's interrogated via Beau's Extort Truth and finally forcibly shipped off to Marquet with Jester forging a letter in which he confess to sabotaging the city. We also find out that his enslaving of the water genie was mostly just part of his job.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Essek. He's responsible for the war breaking out between the Empire and the Dynasty because he stole beacons and gave them to the Cerberus Assembly to further the study of Dunamancy and his desire to understand it further. Because of his selfish wishes, thousands have died on both sides and although he's remorseful for this, he's made no effort to try and fix things. The Explorers Guide to Wildemount still classifies him as Neutral Evil, but because of Protagonist-Centred Morality, his actions are being somewhat rugswept and covered up.
    • Nott. After the reveal of her true identity as Veth Brenatto, she behaved desperately at times during the Xhorhas arc, accidentally killing Cadeucus as a result during the fight in Episode 55. She also offered to potentially restart the war between the Empire and the Dynasty, a suggestion that was made out of fear and desperation which sat poorly with some fans.
  • The Woobie:
    • Caleb, after his backstory is revealed in Episode 18 and expanded upon in episode 49. Born Bren Aldric Ermendrud, he went to the Soltryce Academy to become a wizard and was recruited by Trent Ikithon along with his childhood friends Astrid and Eodwulf to undergo special training to become a Scourger. During this time, Trent was abusive and cruel to them, including experimenting on them in various ways as well as forced him to execute traitors and who Trent considered disgusting people. Prior to graduating, false memories were unknowingly planted into Bren's mind about his parents speaking of revolution and overthrowing the empire, and to graduate he was to murder his parents. He put a cart to their door and set their house aflame, and as he heard his parents' dying screams, he broke. He spent many years in an asylum until one day his mind was cleared of the false memories and he fled.
    • Yasha, after her backstory was revealed in Episode 46. Born to a tribe in the Xhorhas Wastes, she was designated the name Orphanmaker and married to a mate whom she had no interest in. In her tribe, she met Zuala whom she married in secret and when they were exposed, Zuala was executed and would have executed Yasha as well had she not fled. There is a huge period of her life where she remembers nothing until she came across an altar of the Stormlord, who pulled her from the depths of hell. Throughout the rest of her travels after meeting the Nein, she loses her best friend Mollymauk and ends up learning what happened during the gap in her memory, forcably dominated by Obaan and remembering the times they had spent together during that gap in her memory and is forced to watch from within her own mind as her body acts without her control, to the point that she's forced to murder countless people in the Zadash Cobalt Soul branch, as well as fight the Nein and nearly kills Beauregard, something that had it succeeded, would have likely ended with her Driven To Suicde as per Ashley Johnson.
    • Jester, not that she sees it that way. She grew up a shut-in due to her mother's career as a courtesan. Because of this, she had no friends growing up outside of the Traveler, who was only there from time to time. One of the very few times that she was able to be out and about, she got herself exiled from Nicodranas due to playing a prank on an influential lord. Throughout her travels with the Mighty Nein, there's been plenty of traumatic moments that have left her a lot more fragile then when she first started.

    Vox Machina Origins 
  • Author's Saving Throw: After complaints about the lack of Percy and Pike in the first series of Origins, future instalments were announced using panels of the pair.
  • Broken Base: The absence of Pike and Percy within the first mini-series. Some argue that adding them would make for an unfaithful retelling (Pike and Percy didn't join the party at the beginning of the campaign, which the comic is adapting) while others argue that creative liberties should have been taken to include them and how excluding those two doesn't give the full details of the origins.
  • Complete Monster: Iselda is a higher-up within the criminal organization, The Myriad. Wishing to advance further in the ranks, Iselda attempts to take control of the swamp port city, Stilben, away from a rival criminal gang, The Clasp. Iselda has Zeth, an alchemist living within Stilben, brew a dangerous poison, Aqua Caedes, and have it pollute the swamp, sending infants and ill people who live within the swamp's vicinity into a vegetative state. Iselda then has Zeth trick the residents of Stilben into believing that it's a curse that can be appeased by sacrificing those who were affected by the poison to the shark-speakers. After fleeing from the party during their first confrontation, Iselda makes a plan to kidnap Vax and use him as bait for the rest of the party, intending to use his life as a bargaining chip to get the party to join The Myriad. During Vax's escape, he finds out that Iselda is using the souls of those who fell victim to Aqua Caedes as ingredients for a curse to kill every person who came into contact with the swamp water around Stilben in an attempt to wipe out its entire population.

    One-Shot Adventures 
  • Adorkable: Aff is eager, excitable, and somewhat naïve. This is only exacerbated when they get high at the party.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Mac and Buddy from "Adventures of the Darrington Brigade" - while their wildly contrasting specialties mean they really do rely on each other in combat, their respective personalities gives the impression that Mac's been using Buddy to get mercenary gigs for quite a while.
  • Author's Saving Throw: During late 2019, the American fast food chain Wendy's sponsored a full one-shot episode where the Critical Role team ran a promotional game released at New York Comic-Con as a marketing joke. Critters were quick to pile on to the CR team, pointing out that Wendy's subscribes to some... questionable labor practices. It didn't take long for the crew to get the message and apologize, donating their promotional fees to groups fighting to change said questionable practices. Parts of the fanbase considered the matter forgiven but not forgotten.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The theme tune for UnDeadwood is chillingly beautiful.
    • The theme for Cinderbrush, which sounds especially legit for the young adult horror genre (considering the whole thing mutates into a Stealth Parody eventually).
  • Critical Research Failure: Sam Riegel has been guilty of this a dozen times - looking up the subject matter online during the Club of Misfits game, knowing fuck-all about cars when acting as DM for the street-racing-inspired Crash Pandas game (where he outright admitted it up front).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Buddy from "Adventures of the Darrington Brigade", intended as generic Dumb Muscle but turned out to be brutishly endearing. He gets one more appearance in Narrative Telephone season 2, as opposed to his life bro Mac getting just a cameo.
    • Hanako Hayashi from "Shadow of the Crystal Palace", an exotic far Eastern take on the Final Girl trope who's even become the subject of a Pub Draw.
    • From Doom Eternal it would be a tossup between Phyllis the Pain Elemental and Mancubus, a more kill-happy Expy of Buddy.
  • Genius Bonus: From The Night Before Critmas - the fighting starts and Chutney (Travis), the oldest of the Christmas Elves, claims he "hasn't thrown down like this since 1756", heavily implying that he's old enough to have participated in the Seven Years' War.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Pathfinder Goblins adventure, Special Guest Phil LaMarr rolls a good enough stealth check that Matt declares him as "vanished from time and space". Fast forward to the Call of Cthulhu adventure, and Phil's character is lost to an alternate dimension.
    • This meeting of Stephen Colbert and Joe Manganiello took place between the end of Campaign 1 and the Red Nose Day one-shot. Capo found Arkhan before the Mighty Nein ever did!
    • In Cinderbrush, Taliesin's character is not only able to cast hallucinatory spells but deal in more mundane hallucinogens - fast forward to episode 97 of the Mighty Nein campaign, and Caduceus puts Beau on a True Sight-induced Mushroom Samba.
    • In Honey Heist 3, a parody of Charlie's Angels, The Mole turned out to be Bearsly. The 2019 Charlie's Angels film ended up using a similar twist.
    • In the main campaign, Jester (Laura Bailey) is pressured with the decision to sacrifice both her hands just to restore Nott to her original halfling form. Fast forward to the Doom Eternal one-shot, and Laura plays as the Mancubus, who has no hands.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Watching the beginning of the one-shot The Night before Critmas during Christmas 2020...Note for future generations 
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