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YMMV / The Thrilling Adventure Hour

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Captain Laserbeam: caring superhero who's dedicated to protecting his city, but struggles to show affection toward the Adventurekateers? Or an egomaniac who's so caught up in the thrill of his job that he ignores the pain of the children who idolize him?
    • Sparks Nevada: jaded and put-upon Only Sane Man in a bizarre frontier universe full of murderous robots and crazy aliens? Or a self-absorbed, underachieving jerk in over his head? Interestingly, Marc Evan Jackson, who plays Sparks, believes the latter.
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  • Awesome Music: Pretty much all of the Musical Episode "The Piano Has Been Thinking", especially the medley played as Sparks Nevada rides to Cactoid Jim and the Red Plains Rider's wedding. Having trained singer J. K. Simmons as a guest star doesn't hurt.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Poppins' cheerful song about ripping out the hearts of children and eating them, set to the tune of "A Spoonful Of Sugar".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Cactoid Jim, to the point where the Jefferson Reid universe focuses entirely on Amelia Earhart now because whenever they can get Nathan Fillion on, they'd rather have him play Jim instead.
  • Funny Moments:
    • Everything out of Jib Janeen's mouth. But the theme song where he pretended to be Croach is a particular highlight. You can hear Marc Evan Jackson trying (and mostly failing) to keep singing and not crack up when Tompkins says anything.
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    • Every time Sadie is given a choice, and goes into listing things off.
    • The Sparks Nevada theme song when Nevada is too depressed over the news that he (somehow) impregnated Croach to even attempt to sing along. He even throws in wrong lyrics, replacing "Martian's savage drummin'" with "space-ace drummin'" and "comet bugs in jars" with "comic books in bars." His usual suave line, "I'm from Earth" is replaced with a despairing "aaaaaaaahhhhhh."
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Basically Frank and Sadie's entire relationship.
    • Croach declaring his love for the Red Plains Rider in "Crisis on Infinite Marses Part 1".
  • Ho Yay:
    • Sparks and Croach bicker Like an Old Married Couple, but develop a strong bond that neither of them is ever quite able to articulate.
      • In one of the very first Nevadaverse episodes, "The Agony of the Feet," Sparks is forced to stimulate Croach's egg-sacks in what looks an awful lot like a Ship Tease. Not to mention the extent to which Croach gets a little too into it.
      • Seasons later, Croach gets pregnant and concludes that the baby is Nevada's from the aforementioned egg-sack stimulation. He's more than ready to settle down and raise a child alongside Sparks.
      • The baby turns out to be one of many planted by the shape-shifting Jupiter spy Jib Janeen, part of a species that impregnates by kissing . . . and we never saw him impersonating the Red Planes Rider.
      • Croach and the Red Planes Rider's relationship is initially stymied by their "physical incompatibility." Many fanfiction writers have elaborated on the obvious conclusion to be drawn there.
      • And then there's Sparks and Ginny's Wedding Day. Croach spends the whole episode sulking around and acting jealous. Then he actually interrupts the ceremony, and Nevada asks sarcastically if he's going to declare his love for him—to which Croach responds, "I am, Sparks Nevada" . . . and after a long silence, goes on to say that he's jealous Sparks didn't pick him as best man.
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    • In the Captain Laserbeam universe, "teaming up" is frequently used as an Unusual Euphemism for "dating." Ever noticed the angst Laserbeam and Philip Phathom go through over whether or not they're really "teaming up"?
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • Basically all of the episode "Good Jim."
      • Particularly "I... DON'T WANT... NO TROUBLE... IN MY PLACE!
    • In "The Once and Future Thing", Red is given a choice between leaving to save the past with Cactoid Jim and staying to continue her relationship with Croach. She promptly declares she's tired of having to make these kinds of choices, jumps into the portal herself, downgrades the impending war in the past to a skirmish, and returns a hero.
    • In the final Beyond Belief, Nightmares the Clown's plans to destroy Frank and Sadie backfire horribly.
      Sadie: Our love is the best. Would you care to see our worst?
      Nightmares: I know fear...I'm scared of Frank and Sadie Doyle!
  • Nightmare Fuel: The MurderMen are usually Played for Laughs, but the concept of your closest friends and family suddenly becoming obsessed with murdering or infecting you is a horrifying concept for a zombie parody.
    • The Robbie the Roughhouser transformation is surprisingly disturbing for a comedy podcast. The harmony sing-song isn't helping.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Ultra Admiral Miles Kaward, played by Alan Tudyk, who has only appeared in the episode "Good Jim".
    "But as we said on the last day of the Second Star War: ka-boom!"
  • Spoiled by the Format: Happens sometimes in Sparks Nevada, which has much broader and more continuous story arcs than most of the other segments. Because the cast of each episode is always listed at the start of each podcast episode, it sometimes gives away surprise appearances of characters who don't join the story until more than halfway through.
    • This was hilariously subverted in the episode "Father Reaches of Space", where Nathan Fillion is credited as Cactoid Jim. But when Sparks Nevada and Co. locate him, it turns out that he is being impersonated by Jib Janeen. When the episode is over and the "Special Thanks" are read, the reader issues a little "correction", saying Cactoid Jim was played by Paul F. Tompkins, the voice of Jib Janeen.
  • Tear Jerker: Each segment has at least one moment that can get listeners to feel a little weepy.
    • Sparks Nevada
      • The death of Croach and its impact on Sparks and Red.
    • Beyond Belief
      • Although she's undoubtedly happier with Frank, Sadie will always remember that she lost a lovely future with Basil.
    • Colonel Tick Tock
      • The colonel is never allowed to have friends, by order of the Queen. This causes the people he does consider friends to believe he doesn't care about them.
    • Captain Laserbeam
      • Patrick's turmoil over his father working as a henchman and his desperate pleas with Captain Laserbeam to not hurt his dad.
    • Even the Bucatino Business skits gets a little depressing as Dan Bucatino's life gets progressively worse.
      Dan Bucatino: When life serves you stack after stack of clouds, there ain't no silverer lining than Workjuice Brand Coffee. Every sip makes you stop wanting to cry all the time when you drink it. And then it stops you from breaking down for a while. Until you can be alone. So you can maybe repair your relationship with your wife. Crying don't help. But Workjuice sure does.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Discussed in-universe in the "Phillip Fathom" episode "Love on the Rocks", where one of Fathom's Investigateens, Mayumi, berates the Villain of the Week, The Fishwife, for her M.O. of seducing men into doing her bidding, which Mayumi feels represents women badly.
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