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    #-C 
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • The peeing fountain that the Nerd mocks in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Actually a real thing.
    • In his video on Super and Virtual Hydlide, the Nerd frequently reads from a book titled On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt. It's a very real published text.
  • Archive Panic: It is manageable, but after 200+ episodes (and often roughly 10-15 minutes of content per episode, with some being close to 30 minutes) spread over ten years, it's not easy to catch up if you're new or even if you're just rewatching a bunch of old favorites. Although they have been separating entire seasons and putting them on individual videos, so that makes it a little bit easier. He also released a blu-ray with the first 100 episodes with a 'Play All'-feature that will run for 19 hours. Of course, if you count all the non-Nerd content as well, you're not going to run out of things to watch any time soon.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Mike Matei and Kyle Justin, whose guest appearances get heat from viewers who prefer Rolfe to go solo and focus entirely on the games themselves. Kyle got this especially bad with the Ikari Warriors episode from those who didn't like his style of music and singing, and Mike for his screen-hogging disruptions of the Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle reviews.
    • Fred Fucks, as played by Gilbert Gottfried in the Life of Black Tiger video, has been a divisive affair. To some fans, it was great to see a physical representation of a familiar Running Gag and found him to be one of the funniest aspects of the episode. To others, he was too annoying and loud to find funny and found the constant gross-out humor around him cringeworthy. Fortunately, his performance was received more favorably following his passing on April 12, 2022.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the Action 52 review, the whole "TV" version of saying "asshole".
    • The end of his "Star Wars" review, where a buffalo shits through his window and breaks it.
    • The random "ASS!" screamer at the beginning of the Nintendo Power episode.
    • The Nerd pulling out "The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe" for CDi and playing it for about a minute during the Lester the Unlikely episode.
    • The Bullshit Man's cameo in the "Tiger Electronics" episode, which plays out like an honorary episode of James Rolfe's other series You Know What's Bullshit?
    • The Teaser for the first CD-I video is a mini-review of a Donkey Kong doll from the early 80s who appears to be making an obscene gesture with his fingers. It has nothing to do with the rest of the episode and is never brought up again after the theme song rolls. In fact, on the Blu-ray release, it is no longer part of the episode but a separate bonus video.
    • In the Star Trek games episode, The Nerd is attacked by a knife-wielding Klingon at one point, after making a snide remark about them, but as soon as he defeats the Klingon, he just moves on as if nothing happened.
    • In the Atari Jaguar review, The Nerd is attacked by Skylar and later the Atari Jaguar logo for seemingly no reason. After both of their defeats, this is never brought up again.
    • In the opening to his "Game Boy Accessories" review, we see The Nerd lose at a random game, before giving the finger to the camera while spinning a fidget spinner.
    • Returning to the Nerd Room in "Superman 64 Returns" after his talk with Skylar, the Nerd finds four reviewers in his place. He shoos them out and we never hear from them again for the rest of the episode.explanation 
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • The Sega Genesis Accessories episode. The Nerd never actually loses his temper or becomes angry the course of the episode and there is no swearing.
    • The Atari 5200 episode. He never got to properly review the console, as the episode was more about trying to get a working controller for it.
  • Broken Base:
    • Over the quality of his videos, and whether or not they've gone downhill and when. Some feel he's been going downhill since as early as around 2010-2012, but more commonly, he is seen to have been going downhill since 2018, when Screenwave Media started to write his scripts, instead of James himself.note  That said, another portion of his fanbase still enjoys the new episodes.
    • James has mentioned that his Atari 5200 review has garnered mixed reactions. Some people dislike the fact that it doesn't show the games being played (they run, but have no controller input), instead of being devoted entirely to the Nerd trying to get the console to work. Others find it hilarious for that exact reason. Since Rolfe wasn't able to get any working controller input during the course of production, it makes sense that he'd dedicate a large portion of the video to bitching about it.
    • The Toxic Crusaders review. Some fans claimed it to be a funny episode, while it's also the most disliked episode yet. Some find Lloyd Kaufman's antics to be funny and the epitome of Refuge in Vulgarity, while others found it to get tiresome and irritating after a few minutes.
    • His review of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing has had a fairly varied reaction amongst fans, due to the markedly different approach where he actually seems to enjoy the game's faults as opposed to his "angrier" style of reviewing. Some people think that the episode was a sign of the series Seasonal Rot during his hiatus and that James seemed less interested and not as genuine in his reactions. Others thought that the episode was downright hilarious, with parts such as the fictional commercial and the ending receiving praise, and that it was even one of his best reviews yet. Going by the massive like to dislike ratio (which is barely 1 percent of the total rating bar), this seems to be a rather large example of a Vocal Minority.
    • "Sega Activator Interactor Menacer" has also split the fanbase; one side enjoys the over-the-top nature of it all, the other side doesn't care for the same feel and doesn't like how the video focuses more on being a parody of '90s video game ads with lots of bottle-smashing than reviewing the products themselves.
    • His movie costing $5 to rent or $10 to buy via Vimeo. One group says that since it was crowdfunded whoever donated ought to receive the movie for free; a portion goes further and says it should be free for everyone like his episodes. Others argued that James isn't obligated to give anyone any special treatment.
    • The ending of his Polybius video; more specifically, ending the episode with multiple jump scares. Some fans feel that James saving them for the very end of the review made them all the more effective, citing how James himself hates how carelessly they're used in big-budget horror movies, while others feel that the inclusion of them at all were just a cheap grab at scaring the viewer compared to the build-up throughout the rest of the video.
    • In early 2018, new AVGN episodes began debuting early on Amazon Prime Video (in the US and UK only) a week before being uploaded to YouTube. Some viewers are fine with the move given that it presumably provides a little extra revenue, provides an incentive to use the service, and the episodes are free to watch within a week anyway. Others are extremely furious about it, calling it unfair to anyone who doesn't have a Prime account or lives outside of the two countries with access to the early uploads.
    • The Chronologically Confused video on Kingdom Hearts has drawn a lot of debate from the fans. Some saw it as a fine video, not out of the unusual compared to other Chronologically Confused videos and appreciated that James focused on a more modern game for a change. Others thought it was really out of place, believing it deviates too far from what the Nerd was known for and saw it as a quick cash grab only made for the then-upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts III. Not helping matters is James in the narrations admitting that he’s never played the games before.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:

    D-H 
  • Designated Hero: In his Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout review, the AVGN knocks Bugs to the ground just for starring in a game that he hates. He proceeds to beat Bugs up for heckling him, and at the end of the review, he beats the ever-living shit out of Bugs and shits on his face just because of the ending to the game. In the Crazy Castle review, Bugs chews him out for this.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience:
    • As his name implies, the Nerd has extreme anger issues. While it is understandable given his job involves him playing frustrating games, it can be argued that his rages are disproportionate to the stimuli and often reacts to mildly frustrating things with colorful profanity and excessive violence, hinting that he suffers from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). His excessive alcoholism probably does not help his mood, either.
    • The Nerd is constantly hounded by outlandish and fictional characters (Shit-Pickle, Super-Mecha Death-Christ, Satan, the Joker, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, etc.) who are all out to do him harm, hinting that he could be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Though considering this is set in the Reviewerverse where literally anything could happen, it is hard to argue whether or not any of it is real or not.
    • As MatPat pointed out, the inconsistency in then Nerd's feces (from watery-diarrhea to thick and playdough like) may hint he suffers from an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's Disease.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Kevin Finn, who played the ninja from the Ninja Gaiden episode and the Glitch Gremlin, became popular very quickly.
    • Fred Fuchs, just a random name in the credits in one of the Dracula games he reviews, proved popular enough that he became the final boss of The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (albeit under the name Fred Fucks). He would even make an actual appearance in the show with the Life Of Black Tiger episode, where he's portrayed by Gilbert Gottfried.
    • Super Mecha Death Christ is beloved for being an over-the-top, politically incorrect portrayal of Jesus Christ whose dialogue mostly consists of shouting "FUCKERS!" He would later be featured as a power-up in The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, along with fellow Ensemble Dark Horse the Glitch Gremlin.
  • Epileptic Trees: The re-review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ends with the Nerd making a surprisingly deep analysis of the game involving morality and Freudian psychology, before concluding "Or you could just say the game fuckin' sucks."
  • Fan Nickname: Bugs Bunny, as portrayed in the Birthday Blowout and Crazy Castle episodes, is called "Bu-kuso Bunny" by Japanese fans on Nico Nico Douga.note 
  • Genre Turning Point: James Rolfe can be credited for creating the first successful web video show whose main purpose was to structure a media review. This has become a basis for not only imitators who created similar shows with angry characters that came in the show's wake, but also the entire video review segment of content that dominates YouTube today, in which a lot of creators cite the show as an influence. The show codifed the Mid-Review Sketch Show and Caustic Critic that was the template nearly all reviewers used for almost a decade and, even when the more modern video essay took shape, the idea of branding as a distinct show with a dominant personality can be attributed heavily to the Nerd thanks to Rolfe's film studies background. Without the Nerd, one can argue that video reviews would look extremely different today.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The show is very popular in Japan. How popular? He made a brief cameo in Psychic Squad!
    • The show is also very popular in South Korea, and practically every episode has Korean subtitles.
  • Growing the Beard: While his 2004-2006 episodes were all good and established many of the hallmarks of the series, it was the move to GameTrailers that was a turning point: The video quality improved, he had a more consistent release schedule, he covered a lot more consoles than just the NES, and his videos got more informative. Plus, this is when the more familiar arrangement of the Kyle Justin theme song (with the drums and more rock-inspired sound) made its debut.
    • In terms of video quality, Bible Games 3 from 2011 marked a turning point for the better, as he began to shoot the videos in HD.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Swordquest review can be rather sad to watch now in light of knowledge that three of the prizes, the sword, the Philosopher's Stone, and the crown, were returned to the Franklin Mint to be melted down. The talisman was also melted down by its winner in order to pay for college, but he did keep the small sword that was attached to it. The only prize that is absolutely certain to still exist is the Chalice, which, according to the winner, is being kept in a bank for safekeeping.
    • One he points out in the Mega Man games review: there once was a time when Mega Man games were so omnipresent that in 2004, the Nerd could crack a joke about there eventually being a Mega Man X20 in 2016 (similar to the Jaws 19 joke in Back to the Future Part II). Fans would have grumbled about Sequelitis back then, not realizing they would eventually mark the end of an era, and Mega Man would go through a long drought period with no new games or media coming out until Mega Man 11.
    • In his Back to the Future game review, he makes a joke about how in the NES version, Marty seems to have contracted a disease that has made him lose control of his legs. Michael J. Fox contracted Parkinson's disease not long after the game's release.
    • The references to Billy Mitchell as the "World Video Game Champion" in the Transformers review has become this after it was discovered in 2018 that he cheated to obtain some of his high scores. Though considering how his famous hot sauce didn't appear to help the Nerd beat the Transformers game on Famicom, it may double as Hilarious in Hindsight as well.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!:
    • Fans mistook his joke review of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest as a serious example of this. He later did a more balanced and in-depth look as part of his Castlevania retrospective, where he acknowledged that the game did have a lot of good qualities, even if he didn't think the overall package stacked up. Predictably, however, there were still complaints that the new review was too negative.
    • Games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Metal Gear, and Top Gun get this as well for people who have actually played and liked the respective games.
    • Just by holding a Mischief Makers cartridge briefly during the title sequence, the Nerd got so much backlash that he had to put up an FAQ question noting that he didn't have ill feelings toward the game and promised he'd never review it.
    • An even bigger example of this was invoked during his Castlevania: Symphony of the Night review, with which he caught plenty of hell for not praising it to the high heavens. To be fair, he did spend quite a bit of time comparing it unfavorably to Super Castlevania IV, but that was mostly because he had a personal preference for the old style of Castlevania gameplay.
    • Some people also disliked his mention of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow or even Castlevania 64, although part of them might have been the factual errors.
    • His Sega CD video earned some backlash from people who genuinely enjoyed the system, even though he qualified that he didn't think the system was terrible per se (certainly not when compared to the 32X), and that most of the non-FMV games were generally pretty decent, although he contended that said games didn't have much that couldn't be done with the regular Sega Genesis. Several reviewers have even posted "rebuttals" on Youtube.
    • He panned the Genesis port of Altered Beast in his 2010 Christmas video, and not soon later people began complaining.
    • A day after his review on Metal Gear got released on YouTube, the video was suddenly flagged for unknown reasons, probably because some Metal Gear fans were a bit angry with his criticism of the game. This is largely because, although many find the NES version inferior, it actually has a devoted fanbase that prefers it over the original version. Its narm factor (The truck have started to move), the fact that the trucks aren't just a trap, the different soundtrack, and the fact that, although unintentionally, it's less linear than the MSX2 version, what with the amount of Sequence Breaking one can do (although you must still kill all of the bosses) are all reasons for this. The fact that the rooftop enemies no longer fly around probably helps as well.
    • While not too many people were upset with his criticisms of the gameplay in Beetlejuice for the NES, his criticism of the game's "bad music" got a much angrier reaction, as it's often considered one of David Wise's best NES soundtracks despite the game's overall questionable quality. In fairness, his actual complaint was that the soundtrack didn't fit the visuals rather than actually being poorly composed, though quite a few disagreed even on this count.
    • James also got some notable heat for bashing the Dizzy games, accusing them of having bad controls and graphics and writing them off as trash. This didn’t sit well with Dizzy fans.
    • Some feel his review on The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask made some poor or misinformed complaints about things that can be avoided or adapted to. For example, he claims you have to do the entire Great Bay Temple dungeon again if you reset timenote , and saying that if you miss the heart container after defeating a boss, you have to beat the boss again.note 
    • The inclusion of Mega Man Soccer in the "Top 10 Worst SNES Games the Nerd has Played" video raised a few eyebrows from fans, as the game wasn't seen as all that bad, if a little mediocre. Not helping matters is that, as the Nerd has not done a proper review of the game, the only footage he has to go off of is him reacting in horror to the bizarre premise, making it seem like that's the sole reason why it was on the list.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • James Rolfe more often than not shows genuine rage when playing the Nerd in some episodes, especially the Dick Tracy review.
    • Mike Butters was the guy seen in the "cutscenes" in the Pepsiman game. According to him, the directors told him to "act bad", to give the cutscenes a campy feel. When Butters reappeared in the same role in the Pepsiman episode, he shows real talent when he explains his character's Tear Jerker backstory.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Making fun of the potential title of the fourth Rambo movie. At one point before the release, the fourth Rambo movie was actually called John Rambo and the title remained as such in certain territories. Lampshaded in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre review and, aptly enough, Rambo review.
    • At the end of his original Back To The Future review, he destroyed the cart for Back To The Future Parts II & III by putting it in his toaster. As of mid-2010, the Nerd has switched to having the "Nintoaster" as his main way of playing NES games, which — as he himself noted in his revisit of the BTTF games — made his actions at the end of the original review look bizarrely prescient. Speaking of his Back To The Future review, go watch it again. He says that he'll never play the game again, that it's his last time. What does he do in 2010? He plays it again for his re-review.
    • In a non-Nerd video, he talks about Street Fighter sequels. He brings up Street Fighter 2010, and adds, "I couldn't tell you where that fits in." As he found out, it fits absolutely nowhere in the original Street Fighter series. In that same video, he talks about both the Mega Man (Classic) and Mega Man X series, and says, "Now if only they made a Mega Man 9, it would come full circle." Guess what Capcom made a couple of years later.
    • He tries to use Guile's Theme to make Street Fighter 2010 feel like actual Street Fighter in his review, only to say it doesn't work. This makes it one of the few exceptions to Guile's Theme Goes With Everything (though it predates the meme).
    • In his Doublevision part 2 review, he mentions how crazy it is that the Colecovision has an expansion module that lets you play Atari 2600 games on it. He says that sort of thing would never happen today due to potential lawsuits, fast-forward to 2013 and now you can hook up a PS4 or a Wii U to an Xbox One. Doubly hilarious because the Colecovision's first expansion module did lead to Atari siccing their lawyers on them.
    • The movie's plot is the Nerd attempting to prove that the urban legend about the E.T. cartridges buried in New Mexico isn't true. Hate to break it to ya, big guy... The cartridges were real in the movie, too, but for a much cooler reason.
    • In his Nintendo Power review, he ponders if they ever gave a rain check to the winner of the contest to star as an extra in the aborted Mask 2 film (not related to Son of the Mask). The last issue of Nintendo Power issued an apology to the winner of the contest!
    • In his 2008 Indiana Jones episode, he proposes that there needs to be a dance that goes "Whip it! Uh! Whip it! Uh!" He essentially predicted the Whip Dance vines.
    • His review of Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure for the Nintendo Gamecube, in which he bashed Universal for authorizing the "shitty exploitation to promote the theme park," got some renewed attention after Universal secured the theme park rights to Nintendo's intellectual property just six months after the review was posted.
    • In the Alien³ game review, he rationalizes the addition of weapons and extra xenomorphs that weren't in the movie because if you only fought one alien with no weapons, the game would get boring quickly. A year later, Alien: Isolation comes out, where the bulk of the game pits you against a lone xenomorph (albeit with other threats in addition) until midway through when you kill the first xenomorph, but the climax of the game leaves you at the mercy of several other xenomorphs at once and while there are an assortment of weapons to use, they're borderline useless against it, resulting in a survival horror that is decidedly not boring.
    • In his review of King Kong vs. Godzilla, Rolfe says that the film deserves to be remade with modern technology. Looks like his wish came true!
    • In the review of Superman for NES as well as the Tiger Games video, he comments on how idiotic an idea it is to make a video game about the stock market. Come 2016, and one of the games for the 3DS's StreetPass Mii Plaza is about the stock market and was praised by reviewers.
    • In the Colecovision video, one of the games he goes over is the Campaign 84, a game about the Reagan-era elections, to which the Nerd says is one of the worst ideas for a video game. Then comes The Political Machine, a game based on the 2016-era elections, which earned solid reviews upon release.
    • The "Beat-A-Game Button" gag, where the Nerd invents a controller to automatically beat any game became funnier after some Nintendo Switch Online games featured "SP" versions, which skip straight to the last level.
    • In the third part of his coverage of bad Ghostbusters video games, he rants about how Hollywood can make pointless sequels to any movie imaginable, yet Ghostbusters 3 has yet to happen. Fast forward to 2019 and Sony has confirmed that Ghostbusters 3 is set for a 2021 release.
    • During the Christmas Carol episode, the Future Nerd says that the Wii was revolutionary for its time, but in retrospect was "like a baby's toy." While the comparison was a Shout-Out to Back to the Future Part II, it does uncannily prefigure the less-charitable views that certain modern gamers now have towards the Wii, seeing it as something innovative for the time, but plagued by overly simplistic games.
    • In The Karate Kid review, he makes up a hypothetical game where there's just one cliff you have to get over, have this be nearly impossible, but if you do it you win the game. Enter Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, a game based precisely on that concept and that went viral due to its notorious difficulty.
    • In the Corpse Killer episode, the Nerd is dumbfounded at how the game, alongside other titles from Digital Pictures, have been re-released on modern platforms, wondering why there's still demand for bad games to get re-released. One can only imagine how he felt when a few weeks after the episode's posting, none other than Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, one of his most hated games of all time, was announced to have a modern re-release!
    • In the Virtual Boy review the Nerd remarks at the end how "nobody gives a shit about Virtual Reality anymore" which stopped being true in The New '10s once VR systems like the Oculus Rift and Playstation VR came out.
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    I-W 
  • I Am Not Shazam: "Star Fox looks fuckin' pissed!"
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Nerd himself. He's a loud and abrasive jerkass but with the horrid games he has to sit through and the constant mayhem they cause in his life, it's perfectly understandable.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: The Nerd supposedly destroyed the two Nintendo World Championship cartridges, two of the rarest and most expensive games ever made (the grey cartridge and the gold cartridge). It's shown in the credits he destroyed replicas, but there are still people who believe he actually destroyed the real things. And just to clear things up, in a later video where Pat the NES Punk reviews The Punisher, AVGN shows the cartridge and reveals that he merely destroyed fakes.
  • Memetic Badass: Around the late 2010s, The Nerd's comeback against the Nostalgia Critic where he said "You're a poopy head!" and threw another pen at the screen, got used in a way of cutting through a scene of something being attacked by a pointy thing causing great damage. This mutated into thinking that the Nerd is stronger than anything and can beat down anyone with just a pen throw.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The Nerd inspired the "angry reviewer" genre, where reviewers would get disproportionately upset at flaws of a work of fiction. The Nerd's comedy, as originally planned by James, was that the Serious Business is what made it funny. For many years, many "angry reviewers" would blur the line between their real personas and "characters", and sometimes openly express extreme emotions over a show or game.
  • Misblamed:
    • LJN wasn't a game developer, they merely published the games from a variety of subcontracted developers. He finally addressed this criticism in his Beetlejuice review, saying he knows this, but that it doesn't change the fact that whenever the familiar LJN rainbow logo appears, he's in for a bad game.
    • After showing a glitch in Drake of the 99 Dragons, he says "Good job, Majesco." Except Majesco only published the game; it was developed by Idol FX, a Swedish company.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Narm Charm: There's no denying that the comedy in the series can come across as cheesy and corny, especially with the high amounts of Vulgar Humor and less than convincing special effects. But that's really just part of the fun.
  • Nausea Fuel: Has its own page here.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Invoked on purpose. It's implied by the beginning of his Robocop review that all the Polybius did to him in the previous episode was turn him into Robocop. A little unsettling, but the Nerd doesn't seem to care.
  • Older Than They Think: The fake Sega CD ad at the beginning of the Sega CD review. To younger viewers, it may seem like something silly James made up, but he was actually re-enacting a real ad.
  • Periphery Demographic: He has attracted a surprising amount of younger fans that wouldn't have even been born when his reviewed games/systems were released and in the main focus of the gaming market.
  • Praising Shows You Don't Watch: Some of his fans back when the show premiered on Gametrailers proudly admitted that they rate every episode a "10" before they even watch it.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Some fans have seen Nerdy Turd as this to Shit Pickle. He's only been seen in one episode as a result. He also received a Take That, Scrappy! in The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation where a surprised Nerd claims he thought he flushed him away for good, implying he's never coming back to the main series.
    • While James was busy shooting The Movie in Los Angeles, Mike took over the game reviews for several months in 2012. However, the reception was lukewarm, not helped by his wildly different format.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • It's hard to pinpoint when exactly the Angry Video Game Nerd series first started to decline, but many will agree that once Rolfe started having Screenwave be heavily involved with making new episodes, the show had a noticeable drop in quality compared to the show's golden age.
      • Some argue the first one hundred or so episodes were great, and everything after that wasn't as good. Others argue every episode after the AVGN Movie was when the Seasonal Rot first began though there were still good episodes here and there following the movie.
      • Seasons 12 and on have caught no small amount of flak from long time viewers for among other reasons, the increasing reliance on green screen effects and gags involving the Nerd living out scenarios from the games, the Nerd being at full volume 100% of the time instead of alternating between screaming rage and tired frustration, replacing old video thumbnails, lackluster jokes, and the somewhat repetitive nature of the newer scripts.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: When the show debuted in 2006 and 2007, the premise seemed like a fresh style of reviewing. However, in the immediate midst of its success, it seems that every reviewer has tried to replicate the style, and while there are some good takes on it, there are others that aren't. This can make plenty of viewers later on wonder what was so special about the original run of episodes, ignoring that this show basically invented the entire format. Also, in 2006-7, James wasn't as informative, something seen as essential in review shows heavily influenced by it today. His 2010 and above videos were trying to be a little more educational.
  • Signature Scene: The moment in the Top Gun episode, where the Nerd screams "ASS! FUCK!!!" after failing to land the plane yet again, has become the defining image of the character. The visual was used as part of the title card for a while, it used to be the main page picture for the show on This Very Wiki, and the memorable "ASS!" scream has been used in a few more episodes since its first appearance.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the Christmas Carol episode, the Ghost of Christmas Future segment has James wearing a fake beard. The beard has fake lips that clearly do not move while James is talking, and the beard almost falls off at one point.
    • The Ninja Gaiden review has moments where the green screen is visible, especially around the ninja's hands.
    • This also occurs in the Spider-Man review during the song sequence at the end.
    • During the scene when Boo the Cat fights off the Atari Jaguar cube, the cube doesn't move quite fast enough to cover up the red laser pointer.
    • In the Atari 5200 review, the Trak-Ball controller can be heard moving left and right rapidly while James is playing Super Breakout, coinciding with the motions on screen. While he is looking for things to mock, it does break the illusion fairly quickly, as it shows nothing is actually wrong with that specific controller.
      • In the same episode, the poop that James holds is white, almost looking like it's made of glass, due to post-production issues. Addressed during one James and Mike Mondays episode.
    • In the reviews for the Bugs Bunny games, Mike Matei's neck is clearly visible in a few shots. We also see part of Matei's bare legs and arms and the back of the costume being unzipped in other shots, and near the end of the Birthday Blowout review, as Bugs crawls into the kitchen before the Nerd shits on him, the painted shoes that Matei is wearing are missing.
    • The end of the Alien 3 review uses a green screen to take this up to elevennote , even though it's pretty clearly invoked.
    • The cameo by Board James in the "AVGN Games" episode, is pretty well-done for the most part, showing The Nerd and James on-camera at the same time, and the two interacting with one another. However, if you watch carefully, The Nerd reacts to Board James sitting on the couch, about one second before we actually see Board James first enter the shot.
    • In the Mega Man games episode, the Nerd travels into the past and interacts with his past self. Understandably, Past Nerd and Present Nerd look to be the same age. Most of the green screen work is actually pretty effective, but at the very end, 2016 Nerd looks over (actual) 2004 Nerd's shoulder. It doesn't look good. At the end of the episode, it's obvious that Bugs Bunny is a guy in a costume, but certain shots make it more apparent where you can see the person's eyes through the eyeholes.
    • During the Chex Quest episode, it's painfully obvious that the image of the game was blatantly superimposed onto the TV screen as the blue outlines and light pop up on occasions, and the blue screen reflects off of James’ glasses. Plus the word Video can be seen on the top right corner.
    • In the "Super Hydlide & Virtual Hydlide" episode, the Nerd goes to a store to buy a battery for his Sega Saturn. Looking closely at the signs and the magazines shows that they are mirrored. The signs next to the door also shows that the store is a CVS.
    • In "Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude," after the Nerd dies once again in the Crash Test Dummies NES game at the beginning of the intro, he jostles the controller in anger. You can see the cord flailing wildly, indicating that it isn't actually plugged into anything. Pausing at the right time and you'll even see the loose connector itself.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The Nerd's Anger Management.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • There's a very sizable portion of the "old school" fanbase who complain that the Angry Video Game Nerd isn't "angry enough" in his more recent videos. Either that or they'll complain about the show becoming too "cinematic" or "gimmicky" and will demand the "glory days" of raw, straightforward riffing be "brought back".
    • The new thumbnails for the older videos introduced in January 2019 have drawn criticism for looking like standard clickbait video thumbnails. (Mike Matei defended this by describing how they are forced to use the YouTube algorithm to keep making views.) For better or worse, the thumbnails have been replaced again in May 2022 for a more simplistic approach.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!:
    • There's a small section of people that believe the AVGN ripped off Seanbaby because they reviewed the same games and made "similar" statements. Never mind that their styles are completely different and the "similarities" are problems anyone has playing the game.
    • During a huge rush of angry reviewers around Youtube in the late 2000s, it looked like anybody talking about games on YouTube is an AVGN ripoff. Including raocow, bizarrely. It still comes around every once in a while.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • When reviewing Jack Bros. for the Virtual Boy, the AVGN never touches on how the three titular Bros. are actually demons from the Shin Megami Tensei series, with Jack Frost being its central mascot. While Persona 3 and Persona 4 were still in the realm of Cult Classic in the west before the series exploded in popularity in the 2010s, a lot of his mostly western viewers were left in the dark about the greater significance these three characters had, the video never touching on the greater franchise they were a part of. But to be fair the version of the game he was looking at was in Japanese (due to the U.S. version being expensive and rare) so it's not surprising James didn't make the connection.
    • The Nerd was all set to review Cool Spot and Yo! Noid at the beginning of the Pepsiman episode but was forced to review Pepsiman instead. It would've been interesting to hear what the Nerd had to say about those two games.
    • As mentioned on a James and Mike Mondays episode, James wishes that the Batman & Robin PlayStation game could've been part of the Batman two-part review back in 2008, but he and Mike didn't know about it back then.
    • A missed opportunity is on the Robocop episode, where he doesn't cover the Xbox version (though it also came out on PC and other consoles overseas), a notoriously bad game made by the same people who made Superman 64.
    • The Shrek episode only reviews the Game Boy Color fighting game Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown before launching into a parody of The Wicker Man (1973) mostly built out of old Shrek memes, when the movie series inspired many other unworthy games, most notably the one based on the first movie that was an Xbox launch title (and got a later port for the GameCube).
    • In the Terminator 1 episode some people were disappointed that James didn't look at the Sega Genesis game by "Virgin"(who also did the Sega CD version that James enjoyed) as it's considered one of the better Terminator games.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • The Pong Consoles episode uses an Xbox 360 with Grand Theft Auto IV as an example of modern console gaming at the end.
    • At the end of the Virtual Boy episode (released in early 2008), he states that "nobody really gives a shit about virtual reality anymore." Clearly, he wasn't anticipating the huge comeback virtual reality would make ten years later.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The Paperboy episode for many people was when the Nerd started showing his energy again.
  • The Woobie: Kyle Justin managed to become one in mere minutes, on the same episode where it justifies his day before the camera.

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