Complete World Knowledge
"The metaphysicians of Tlön are not looking for truth or even an approximation to it: they are after a kind of amazement."
- The Areas of My Expertise - Primarily a parody of Poor Richard's Almanack. It deals largely with hoboes.
- More Information Than You Require - Primarily a parody of The Book of Lists. It deals largely with mole-men and presidents of the United States.
- That Is All - The conclusion of the trilogy. It deals largely with Ragnarok, the coming global superapocalypse, and sports.
Known for their absurdist sense of humour, bizarre running jokes and high degree of cohesion between volumes, absolutely deadpan writing style, and sheer breadth of subject matter, ranging from cheese to axolotls to aliens to hoboes to mole-men to celebrity status to zeppelins to lobsters to ancient and unspeakable ones.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
- Berserk Button: Sports.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Historical In-Joke
- Homage: Frequent subjects include Doctor Who, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Watership Down.
- Little-Known Facts: Pretty much the whole point.
- Long List
- Mockumentary: In book form!
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Inverted. Each books starts with a reminder that John Hodgman is making this up. Although he has insisted that one blurb on the back of the first book, a letter of praise from a magus of the Church of Satan, is, in fact, genuine, although Hodgman himself is not a Satanist.
- Running Gag: Various forms of Ancient Conspiracy, Masturbation, eels, and Benjamin Franklin are jokes that carry across the entire series, so far.
- Satire, Parody, Pastiche: A pastiche of almanacks in general, frequently parodies of specific ones, and occasionally satirical on various subjects.
- Shout-Out: Usually to Jonathan Coulton (often in the form of a Take That), members of They Might Be Giants, Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell, Jon Stewart, and other American intellectual types.
- Shown Their Work: Ironically enough
- Take That: Frequent attacks on Jonathan Coulton, Benjamin Franklin, and Nick Nolte. Hodgman and Coulton are actually great friends, but Hodgman seems to genuinely dislike Franklin.
- Weasel Mascot
- Viewers Are Geniuses: Read these books. Then take a year's worth of university courses. Then read them again. It's a wholly different experience.