Freelance Astronauts

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Playing games and saying stuff.

A troupe of American LPers, the Freelance Astronauts are four goons who decided to try their hand at Let's Plays from the sub-forums of Something Awful. Within a couple of years, they have become some of the most popular characters of the forum, and one of the most famous LPers from the forum, even with many non-goon fans. They consist of four main members.

They are also joined frequently by guests on Skype, commonly Drakkel, Irregular Hunter, Ashley, PlasmaMan, and Retsupurae co-star Diabetus.

See their stuff here, a list of the majority of the games LPed with links here, as well as their individual video accounts here, here, here, here, here, here [dead link], and one of the first games here (their stuff is spread out all over the place).

Also almost every Saturday they have a stream at 9 or 9:30 (the time can and most likely will vary greatly) PM Eastern US time. You can watch it either on their site or on Ustream

In addition, there is a separate page dedicated towards a one-time gag of theirs, The Tale of Sephiroth Goku the Stampede.

This page needs a better description. You can help this wiki by expanding or clarifying the information given.



Freelance Astronauts provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Action Girl: Dongs REO Speedwagon can look after herself.
  • Affectionate Parody: Despite all the vitriol aimed at anime, the jokes are aimed at specific enough targets to prove they're fans. Also, Maxwell has a Mii of Gendo Ikari.

pipes!: "Watch out for the Anti-Spirals!"

    • Music from Neon Genesis Evangelion plays during some of the battles in the Oblivon LP.
    • A couple of listens to the "Sephiroth Goku The Stampede" sequence contains a lot of well-hidden references to several anime and anime archetypes, considering the whole joke is one enormous anime Cliché Storm.
    • It's established that Maxwell is a fan of anime.
  • Amusing Injuries: Ferr
  • Angrish:
    • pipes! does this a fair amount. Perhaps his crowning achievement in Angrish (as Luigi) can be found here.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Evek questions the physics behind the falling moon in Majora's Mask

Evek: So, they don't take into account any gravity field from the moon, it's just sitting there in the atmosphere?
Ferr: You're a tree. You're a boy who is a tree. And the moon has a giant face on it. No, there is no gravity field.

  • The Aristocrats: Ferr turns the tale of Sephiroth Goku the Stampede into this, making it even funnier.
  • Ass Shove: What Ferr and Evek thinks makes Epona run faster, complete with sound effect.
    • In the Majora's Mask LP, while searching for Lulu's eggs...

Ferr: Do they have to put the eggs back inside of her so she can sing?
Maxwell: It's a plot right out of The Little Mermaid.
Evek: Heh. Open wide.
Maxwell: Fish girl, lost her voice and you need to put eggs inside of her.
Evek: Open wide...
Ferr: Wrong end.

    • Don't forget Asswings!
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In their playthrough of Twilight Princess, the group distract Ganondorf in the final battle by dangling a fishing rod in front of him, which actually takes his attention away enough for Lonk to land a few potshots.
    • Maxwell also suffered from this during their playthrough of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City after obtaining the tiger-striped cab from the Kaufmann's Cabs missions, and planned to park it in one of his larger garages....before he lost interest and went off to roll an SUV through a window.
      • In the LP of Crysis Maxwell stops midsentence to chase some Kiwis.
  • Badass Mustache: Apparently pipes!'s father grew one during the Mass Effect LP.
    • He had optimal mustache.
  • Back from the Dead: Drew the Dreugh
  • Big No: All of the commentators, save Maxwell, after Link in Majora's Mask throws a valuable Powder Keg off of the edge of Snowpeak.

All: NOOOOOOOOOO!
Maxwell: Maybe that's not him.
(Finds a Barrel labeled "Drew's Body Parts")
All: *gasp* NOOOOOOOOO!

    • Another in Oblivion when they find the body of their deceased comrade Tiny Archer, a Kvatch town guard they had shrunken using console commands who had a career in on-the-scene reporting.

pipes!(as Tiny Archer): There appear to be dinosaurs, bipedal dinosaurs coming over the ridge! Back to you Tom.

    • During the Tetris video, pipes! lets out one when Maxwell Adams gets two consecutive Tetrises and throws his board into a tizzy.

pipes!: (over all the laughter from everyone else) HOLY SHIT, NO! NOOOOOOO, THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED!!

    • Also Maxwell during the Kirby Super Star LP whenever pipes! turns him into another less useful Helper.

Maxwell: Ah-NOOOOOoooo I didn't want that!

  • Big "What?": Also in the Tetris video, pipes! yells out FOUR of these in a row when, after Maxwell gets a Tetris, his screen is filled and he loses.
  • BFG: The Astronauts' opinion of Killer7 improves considerably when Harman's gigantic wheelchair-mounted sniper rifle comes into play.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Frequently, particularly with the mummies/zombies in the 3D Zelda games, and has culminated in a priceless moment where Link cries afterwards. Also...

Ferr: They don't call me Jackhammer Custer[1] for nothing.

  • Brick Joke: Maxwell reveals he stored a couple of military vehicles and helicopters in garages early on in the GTA: Vice City LP shortly before he spends two episodes dicking around in a flying tank. Many, many episodes later, he takes a tank out of one of the garages during a mission...
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Usually Southern U.S. or Bri'ish Coppa.
    • In this video, pipes! and Ferr briefly (and rather inexplicably) do stereotypical Italian and French accents.
  • Butt Monkey: Often Ferr, by way of Amusing Injuries.
  • Catch Phrase: "You got X'ed, son!". Used most often by pipes!, although the others sometimes get in on it.
    • Ferr's, "More lines than a X, son!" in the Tetris video.
    • "My name is X, and I'm an anime!" done in a high pitched voice.
    • "Hey, it's that dog."
    • "Son of a whore!"
    • pipes! has "Oh you fucker!" and occasionally "Oh, you other fucker!" on top of his compound swears.
    • Who's a dick?! Youse a dick!!
    • The group usually gives a collective "'eeey!" whenever they make a discovery after minutes of pointless wandering.
    • Now Luigi is the X-iest!
    • pipes!'s "YOU'VE RUINED CHRISTMAS!" when someone screws up.
    • pipes! loves to toss out "Aww, he thinks he's people", or some variation thereof.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Lemmings and Tetris really turns the air blue. Basically any chance they get to screw each other over will be followed by howls of very imaginative cursing, usually from pipes!.
    • The group's swearing during New Super Mario Bros. Wii was graphed. Due to this, and him being drunk, pipes! held almost 70% of the share.
    • A compilation of quite a lot of the soundfiles arranged here.
  • The Comically Serious/Straight Man: Maxwell Adams, probably.
    • Irregular Hunter.
  • Continuity Nod: During the Wii Sports Archery:

pipes!: Have you learned nothing from JFK? Or are you unable to hit a target that isn't a former president?

Maxwell (a few minutes later): Three days...

    • Also happened earlier in Grand Theft Auto Vice City. Even more fitting, considering that (as Max demonstrated) if you shoot the moon with a sniper rifle, it gets bigger/closer.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The computer opponent quite a few times in the Bomberman videos.
  • A Day in the Limelight: pipes! is Player One in Kirby Super Star while Max plays the helper. Evek has plied his trade in a few episodes of Overlord. Ferr is the one who plays through Oregon Trail and some levels of Overlord and he also takes up Max's mantle as the player in Vice City for a few videos... just in time for The Driver mission, too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Anyone that isn't pipes!, but especially Ferr and Diabetus.
  • Deep South: Expect a hurricane of southern stereotype jokes whenever Diabetus is a guest commentator or posting in the livestream. Most noticeable in the LPs of North & South and Power Stone (the latter through livestream comments).
  • Did Not Do the Research: After concern is expressed about the aggressive pedestrians with guns cheat being unable to turn off, Max just shrugs it off and says that it'll go away when they save and restart the game. Any cheater worth his salt knows this is crap. So, unwittingly, Maxwell turns the rest of the game into a Self-Imposed Challenge. It's implied they didn't know much about the cheats in the first place, since they went for half of the entire LP without using them.
  • Distant Finale: The end to the Astronauts' first Let's Play of Seaman had them warping ahead through a few years of in-game time (1,825 days, to be exact) to see what would have become of their two Seamen if they had been left unattended for that long. Cue one of the most depressing things they've ever filmed: the sign with the Seaman on it that makes up the title screen is scratched and desolate-looking. There are no Seamen in the tank, no eggs, no nothing. The terrarium which is used for growing moths is similarly bare. Even Leonard Nimoy, narrator of the whole game up to that point no matter what had been happening up to that point, abandoned them, the game apparently having nothing to say to the players after so much time passed with nothing but neglect. Ferr was freaked out enough to start apologizing frantically on the spot.
  • Domestic Abuse: During a playthrough of some terrible NES games, pipes! and Ferr theorise this to be Maxwell's masochistic relationship with Nintendo Hard games such as F-Zero GX.

Ferr: You'll go to his door and knock, and he'll open it just a tiny crack and he'll be all bruised up in the face and you'll be like "Are you okay what happened?" and he'll be "I...I fell down." "Did F-Zero do something to you, do I...do you want me to come in?" "No no it's I...this house is a mess I...I have to go." (Beat) ...abusive relationships are hilarious.

Maxwell: I'm noticing that the more American I get, the more victory I have.

Wolf Shirt: Maxwell, if your mom and Ferr were trapped in a fire, who would you save?
Maxwell: Uhhhh, probably my mom.
Everyone: Awwwwwww...

  • Evil Laugh: Ferr, during the LP of Lemmings, after he kills about 50 Lemmings to prevent Maxwell from getting them.
    • And again from Ferr during the Master Quest LP after a rather strange discussion about a train being powered by ground-up mummies.
    • Maxwell also does this during Power Stone 2 after obtaining a powerup that turned his character into a robot, and then he begins to slaughter EVERYONE.

pipes!: That's a horrible laugh, I don't like that!

Maxwell: *after a sweet moment* Ashley's a really nice person, isn't she?

Ashley: *in front of a sitting salarian* I can't tell the aliens from the animals.

Maxwell: *nonchalant* Oh, that's right, I forgot. She's a racist.

    • During their Bomberman LP:

Maxewll: Okay, Evek is black guy, Ferr is white guy, I'm red guy and the CPU is playing as blue guy.
Evek: Well excuse me, he's blue-guy American!

pipes!: See, little Billy's actual last wish wasn't to compete in an archery tournament, it was to hunt the most dangerous game of all.

Maxwell: "It's a point and kick interface."
Ferr: "It's Das Boot!"
pipes!: "I'm gonna kick it into high gear!"
Ferr: "We're kickin' it old school."
...
pipes!: You kicked your way out of the game. ...It kicked you out! Ha ha ha! You just got kicked from the server.

Ferr: Next time they should try to bee good.
Maxwell: Oh, don't bee that way.
Evek: Oh, bee-have.

Ferr: I'm looking up their bee-hinds.

...

Ferr: To bee, or not to bee.

Evek: That is the question.

    • When playing a Japanese cooking-themed homebrew platformer in the intermission of their Wii Sports Resort playthrough, we get a bunch of wok-related puns when they fight a boss that they dub "Wok Man".
    • With Ferr around, this is generally an inevitability.
    • In Crysis pipes! lets loose a storm.

Maxwell: (deadpan, to pipes!) You're gonna go to Pun Jail.

  • Hypocritical Humor: Whilst playing a hacked out the ass file of Twilight Princess, early dungeon in the game:

Maxwell: Let's go ahead and break some sequence here. You open in with a lantern, like this. *Ker-turn into a human when you can't and set a spider web on fire to get into the dungeon* Nnnnah, I'm not gonna break it that badly. *Ker-gets on giant spinny top you can't get into until the fourth dungeon and flies away*

    • Sometime after Max begins using cheats in Vice City:

Maxwell: *driving a flying Cheetah* Okay... now, we can do some legitimate stuff.

  • chuckles from the group*

Pipes: ...I have a hard time thinking "legitimate" and "flying car". Seriously.

pipes!: ...Pavlovianly conditioning you not to stick carrots in the ass. Games within games.
Ferr: Within games?
Doomisland: That's so meta. (he pronounces it meat-a)
Maxwell Adams: I thought you pronounced that "met-a".
Doomisland: Whatever.
pipes!: ...Scraping the fourth wall.
Ferr: What-ayver.

    • And Drakkel thinking dysentery is pronounced "Dis-Sentery" in the Oregon Trail LP.

Diabetus: I can't wait to get me some dys-SENTRY from these tortilays! Maybe after I get some dys-SENTRY, I can play some O-raygun Traylay.
Drakkel: Origin Trial.
Diabetus: I only have so many sets of cloth-ing. Look at your mape. Maybe you should buy some soup-lees!

"Whenever the mic input volume meter jumps up into the red, I know I've told a good joke."

Ferr: They're flying pretty close together. Maybe they should give each other some... space.

  • Silence, followed by a hard slap.*
  • No OSHA Compliance: Referenced in Contra. pipes! even suggests that there should be an "Anti-OSHA".

pipes! "This house or building needs to have more death traps." Y'know, at least three pendulums minimum, instead of spreading woodchips on playgrounds...

pipes!: "I died for your sins, you titshitting, fucknutting cuntwaffle!"

  • Planet of Hats: Another Running Gag in the Mass Effect LP is referring to various characters as Space ____. Ashley is Space Racist, the asari are Space Whores, the quarian are Space Gypsies...
    • Shepard is a Space American, after disconnecting the Council's signal.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: During the second part of the final battle at the end of Master Quest.

Maxwell: Get up, I'm not done hurting you.

  • Pungeon Master: Ferr
  • The Quiet One: Evek doesn't say a whole lot. A running gag of sorts in their fans is that he's planning to murder the rest of the Astronauts and take over the stream.
    • When asked this question directly by the stream during the Bomberman LP, he deadpanned "Probably".
    • And when asked a later question on if he would kill either Ferr or Maxwell, he deadpanned "Probably both".
      • Possibly "definitely" during his slow rage buildup in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, caused by being a deadly combination of a) the only one actually trying to play properly rather than dick everyone else over and b) the second-worst player behind Ferr.
  • Quip to Black:

pipes!: Looks like he died of a case of a broken heart.
Everyone: YEEEEEAAAAHHH!

  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Because of job opportunities, the Astronauts have had to move away from one another, leaving Maxwell and Evek the only two left. They do come back for holidays though, which is when they record full LPs.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A lot of their humor disgusts even themselves.
  • Running Gag: Several recurring references and Shout Outs, including "Too close for X. Switching to Y" and "It was a rock...LOBSTER!" (from The B-52s)
    • "Erotic." "What did you say?" "EROTIC!"
    • The Astronauts absolutely hate anyone and everyone in the chat for their Ustream channel and will make numerous uncompromising jabs at them.
      • You can and will be banned for anything.
    • "X up, stupid!
    • "That's what she said!"
    • Whenever a retarded-looking character appears in a videogame, they all give a resounding cry of "HEYYYY YOUUUU GUUUUYS!"
    • Maxwell's relative lack of movie knowledge is mocked considerably by the others.

Maxwell: I think I'll run through this wall now.
Diabetus: Link can... he can fade through solid matter. Just like that guy from Heroes.

Maxwell: Hmm. I miss out on so many references, 'cause, I don't even have cable TV right now, and I, like, haven't even seen a lot of movies...

Diabetus: Dude, are you Amish!?

    • In the Majora's Mask LP: "Asswings!", any time Link teleports with the Song of Soaring.
    • the different uses of the jack lalanne power juicer.

pipes!: Did you know that if you put a sheep in the jack lalanne power juicer you will not only get a glass of delicious sheep flavored juice but also a sweater.

  • Sanity Slippage Song: After a game of Lemmings starts badly, Ferr begins to crack and sings "There's A Hole In My Bucket" as he mercilessly slaughters any Lemmings he can find.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: All of them did this in the game hack of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. It involved the surprise appearance of a giant Bullet Bill that took up 75% of the screen.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Upon getting a tiny mushroom in one of the New Super Mario Bros Wii episodes, Maxwell immediately bolts off, leaving the other three to die.
    • Almost done by Ferr at the end of Chapter 6-7 of Majora's Mask. After an hour of trudging through two Spider Houses, the group is understandably sick of scavenging for Gold Skulltulas. So when Maxwell skips forward to the second day and reveals that the prize changed from a wallet upgrade to 50 rupees, Ferr throws off his headset and proceeds to storm out of the room. He realizes Max made a state save on the first day, though, so he comes back.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Often occurs during quieter moments of gameplay.
  • Shout-Out: Jokes about mythology and other nerdy topics abound.
  • Shovel Strike: In the Postal 2 LP of course, with Ferr naturally bringing up a few puns for such.

Ferr: I really DIG your wife! *shovel strike to the head*

Ferr: Hey, there's some powerups out in the middle of the desert. I bet we can get them and they won't be boobytrapped. In fact I'll just have my knife out when I pick these up. (Beat) Oh. See? Nothing happened. (enemies approach) Uh oh...

Oh. A temple. ...Everyone who's played Zelda games loves water temples.

Maxwell: Every time I see [Signs that a game crashed because of him] I'm just thinking I've won.

Maxwell: Oh hey, it's shooting the shockwave of death! Get the hell out because it's got a one-hit-kill.
Russ: Those are always fun.
Ainsley Mctree: It's like 9/11, but worse...
(Laughter and groaning)
Russ: TOO SOON!
Ainsley Mctree: I feel bad now. I should go.

  • Too Stupid to Live: Maxwell turned Leon Kennedy into this during their LP of Resident Evil 4. He constantly refused to heal until Leon was nearly dead, generally resulting in Leon dying a few hundred times (and when his inventory was full of healing items, to boot.)
  • Trash Talk: Pretty much the only reason you would ever watch the Tetris Smackdown video is purely because of Pipes! magnificent bullet train of trash talk.
  • Turns Red: In Contra...

pipes!: I like as you shoot him you make him more flamboyant.

  • Urban Legend: The others speculate that Maxwell has become one amongst the enemies in Crysis—an invisible monster that comes in the night and hurls Koreans about.
  • Valley Girl: The Astronauts think one came up with the name for the Zelda enemy Like-Like.
  • Very Special Episode: 1:50 to 2:45 of F-Zero GX Episode 4. Of course, Ferr and pipes! ruin the Very Special Moment and hilariously lampshade the trope.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In-universe example with Abominashep, where even the game can't figure out what gender it is.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Maxwell Adams and Blueswearshoes in Online Co-Op on Saints Row 2. No matter where they go, no matter what happens, chaos and destruction follow them. Even walking into a strip club results in them getting mobbed by a gaggle of pimps. Also an attempt at shopping in a store lead to a game of toss the civilian and an ambush by cops.
    • Ferr cannot be trusted around any kind of beverage, as a) he'll end up with the beverage on him in some fashion, b) he'll hurt himself with the can or bottle it's in, or c) both.
      • Ferr: I just gave myself a Gatorade money shot.
  • We ARE Struggling Together!: Their Serious Sam Let's Play. They seemed to spend equal time fighting enemies and shooting each other to bits, especially when Maxwell let them find the Chain Gun early.

Ferr: NO CHAINGUN FOR YOU!

  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Maxwell's "Contra Secret" that he discovered as a child—a glitched part of a level that lets you partially clip though the floor. You can't move anywhere and it serves no purpose, but the young Maxwell was so proud of his discovery he almost sent it in to Nintendo Power.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Doomisland, a fairly regular commentator to the Majora's Mask LP, has not been in any other videos since, and besides from one off-comment joke about it by Maxwell in a later LP, has not been talked about.
  • Why Don't They Just Shoot Him With The Cannons?: Ferr asks this about the airships in New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Evek: Decorative only.

  • With Lyrics: They chant "YOU GOT A THING!" to the tune of the Zelda Item Get music.
  • World of Chaos: Their use of console commands to grow and shrink various characters (among other things) turned their Oblivion playthrough into this trope.
  • Worth It: In the NSMBW Let's Play, pipes! gets on a Yoshi and repeatedly attempts to swallow Maxwell and spit him into a pit. Maxwell escapes by wall-jumping to safety. Eventually pipes! just swallows him, jumps into the pit, killing him and losing the Yoshi. Cue pipes! yelling out "Ha-HA! Worth It!"
  • You All Look Familiar: While lost in Majora's Mask, Maxwell thinks that all Zoras [2] look the same. Ferr calls him out on this.
  • Your Secrets Safe With Me Superman: In the New Super Mario Bros. Wii playthrough, "I'm the William Riker to your Patrick Stewart."
    • They spent a good deal of the Seaman LP calling Leonard Nemoy "Spock".

YHEAAAAY!

  1. referring to Custer's Revenge
  2. and their doors