Loading Ready Run

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Early in 2003, two guys named Graham and Paul figured making a website where they could show off some of their videos would be a good idea.

Several months later, when they remembered the idea, they started work on it. After a couple design concepts, they settled on Loading Ready Run, inspired in name and appearance by the Commodore 64 home computer system from the '80s. See, they're also big geeks.

More than just showing off their few previous works, Graham and Paul decided to make new videos. Lots of new videos. Like, one every week. As well as being big geeks, they also make very poor and ambitious decisions. Despite the thoroughly insane schedule they'd set up for themselves, and even though there was work and school to deal with, LRR has yet to miss a week's update.

Loadingreadyrun.com is based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada -- and is quite possibly made of pure awesome.

From their initial sketch comedy scenarios, they've also created a whole host of Web Original series:

In addition, they post miscellaneous bonus videos on their website, live stream Magic: The Gathering Online drafts, and update two podcasts in the time left over. Even excluding the series without regular update schedules, they really do have a staggering level of output.

Tropes used in Loading Ready Run include:

  • A Day in the Limelight: A recent episode of Commodore Hustle had Tally, Cam, Dale and Kate trying to deal with someone who sent them a crate of bees for Desert Bus.
  • Acting for Two: This was often the case in the early days of the site, especially when the only actors were Graham and Paul. In the Loading Ready Rumble (a battle royale of characters from past videos), 25 characters were played by seven people.
    • RapStar 64K is also rather insane, as only two out of the eight cast members play only one character.
  • Affectionate Parody: Many, including the excellent CSI:CSI - Internal Investigations. Replaced the discovery of a dead body with the stealing and eating of another person's sandwich. Another example would be How To Talk Like A Pirate, which poked fun at old-style informational videos.
  • Analogy Backfire: Overlaps with Sidetracked by the Analogy in the Rapidfire sketches, where Graham's character Jeff tries to explain simple concepts to Johnny's character using complex analogies, and Johnny completely fails to understand.

Graham: So, these (indicating about thirty soft drink cans) represent the 300 Spartans, and ... this (takes Johnny's soft drink can) represents the one million Persians.
Johnny: One - one million?
Graham: Yes.
Johnny: (indicates the lone can) This is one million Persians?

Paul: I've got something to tell you. You may want to sit down.
Graham: (uncomfortable) I... think I'd rather stand... near the door.

James: Is this really how Season Four ended??
Graham: Well... it is now.
All: *look directly at the camera*

  • Broken Aesop: A mild version in Xavier. Xavier is a figment of Martin's imagination which tries to tell him to stop playing video games and spend some quality time with his girlfriend.

Xavier: You need me to remind you that Karen is not a toy. She's not just going to sit on a shelf. If you leave her alone long enough, eventually she's going to run into someone like me...

    • It turns out, however, that his girlfriend's idea of quality time is playing video games. Lampshaded:

Xavier: Oh, Martin. You really don't need me, you know.

  • Butt Monkey: Matt; both in the 'them playing them' videos and in the group in general. Unlike traditional Butt Monkeys, the group defends him if the forums get too vocal with Matt insults, and Matt normally gives as good as he gets. Nonetheless, LRR aren't shy about the trope, and during DB 3 a running gag began where Matt was personally blamed for all the world's problems.
  • Buffy-Speak: In Snakes on the Town:

Graham: We've been waiting for James - if he doesn't get here soon it's gonna be Snakes on James's Face, Applied Liberally and With Force.
(James shows up)
Graham: Way to answer your phone, No-Answer-Your-Phone...

Kathleen: But wait, don't answer yet! You get the sword, you get the reasonably attractive maiden, you get martyred-
Graham: What?
Kathleen: -I mean rich, and famous, all for the low low price of one dragon and one small, slightly evil wizard!

  • Calling Your Attacks: In 'Man Cooking', Calling Your Ingredients.
  • The Cameo: To the shock and awe of all, the group managed to grab two geek-oriented celebrities for cameos in Lock Out. The lucky cameo-ees? Will Wheaton and Tycho!!
    • Yet another cameo, though he doesn't actually appear in person, is Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation as the narrator for the video Save Our Games. And, again, while he doesn't show up in person, he does mention at the end that he's narrator, at which point his Zero Punctuation character appears on screen for a second or two.
  • Canada, Eh?: Had fun poking fun at some typical Canadian stereotypes in Canadaman. In it, the eponymous hero faces off against his francophone nemesis: Jaques Francois.
    • "Canada is Sorry" pokes fun at Canadian stereotypes.
  • Catch Phrase: Graham's "Phunny story". Particularly during LR Rcasts and the Phailhaus.
    • The head of Evil Inc. has "Daaaaamn..."
    • Jangles and Jones have "Ain't no thang" or something like that.
    • Throughout Commodore HUSTLE, Matt says "It's the principle of the matter" when someone asks why he's doing something the complicated way. Paul turns this against him to cheat him out of cookies.
    • In MAN COOKING, Morgan has "Manliness is in direct proportion to largeliness!" and "If your girlfriend likes your cooking, you're doing it wrong!"
  • Character Blog: Whenever a Twitter account is shown during either a regular video or ENN, it generally exists for real (the crew's justification being that it's just easier to make a Twitter account that's fake instead of Photoshopping something together). Special mention goes to RoJo, the robotic game reviewer, Heather Blerd, known spambot, and United 3/4 Inch Wingnuts, a company that sells wingnuts.
    • Gaming blog Sir Fragsalot.com, as mentioned frequently in ENN, is a real website
  • Chekhov's Gag: Every Jonny story so far has ended with the line "...and THAT was when I blacked out". In the third installment he finally explains that this is because he has a crippling fear of heights, and the situations he got into - leaping from one rooftop to another, doing a handstand on the ÜbderKeg Supreme, riding a roller-coaster - all triggered his phobia.
  • Clark Kenting: Exaggerated in Superman and the Concentrated Light Ray, in which Clark goes out of his way to state that he is Superman, but nobody believes him.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Even when playing different characters, the crew always find ways to put Paul in a labcoat, and make James a cop with a bushy fake mustache. Alex's welding goggles seem to be something he actually wears all the time, however...which may even be better.
  • Continuity Nod: Insofar as there is any continuity in the LRRverse to begin with, callbacks to ArMEGAddon come up every now and then. Looks like it caught on after all.
    • These sorts of references to previous videos used to be far, far more common. At one point in time, more than half the videos posted as weekly updates made at least one subtle nod to a past joke. When the series was picked up by the Escapist, it was made was made less self-referential for the sake of potential new fans.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In a somewhat unorthodox way of raising money for the Penny Arcade "Child's Play" charity, they played Desert Bus for almost a week non-stop. Given that Desert Bus consists of driving a slow bus down a dead straight road between Tucson and Las Vegas, without being able to pause or save, in real time, it's not surprising that they considered it a terrible torture.
    • It's WORSE. It constantly turns so you can't take your hands off the controller. And the worst part? If you go off the road, you get towed back to Tuscon, at the same speed: 50 mph...in real time. However, this defeats continuous play, so the crew resets when it happens.
  • Corpsing: Many examples.
    • In their very first video, Graham messes up one of his lines, causing Paul to start laughing. For whatever reason, it wasn't re-shot, but it did fade into a different shot, presumably to allow them to regain their composure.
    • During some of their pre-Escapist videos, such as Morgan's Problem, there was a stinger involving one or more of the crew Corpsing.
    • The Phailhaus's signature cutaway style frequently allowed for somebody to tell a really bad joke, then cut to a different story before the other hosts' laughter got too loud. It was fairly common to see them start laughing though.
  • Deconstruction: Of the words to the Canadian National Anthem in National Anathema
  • Demoted to Extra: Bill, Morgan, Tim and Jer, who each left the crew for their own reasons.
  • Desert Bus for Hope : They made this.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Kathleen's 'completely rational' fear of bears is a particularly notable Running Gag.
  • Fan Service: When the crew attempted to achieve viral success with anonymous YouTube accounts, Kathleen released a video called "I heard you liek tits". Which utterly failed to generate viral fame[1].
    • Ironically, Kathleen's noticeable assets later became a subject of entirely unintentional Fanservice when she forgot to bring her camisole to an ENN shoot. The Escapist's policy on video comment pages changed almost overnight.

Moderator: I understand that in the Internet microcosm what was said are compliments, but in the real world it's considered harassment.

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    • Later,

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  • Fun with Acronyms: In Cruise Vacation, where a happy couple get invited on a cruise by the Freedom Bank International. Turns out they were being arrested for fraud, larceny, embezzlement and copyright infringement, and the cruise was just a convenient (and surprisingly cheap) way of detaining them.
    • Also in this Feed Dump, which also uses the letters "FBI" to explain the supposed roles of the hosts.

Graham: Hey everybody. I'm the Federal Booty Inspector, Graham. Joining me this week is a Federated Beetle Informant, Paul ... and a Fiery Boysenberry Island, Kathleen.

Graham: And now, ladies and gentlemen, Word of the Day: condign
Matt: Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight we condign in hell!

Graham: That's it, mister, you are on a one-Phailhaus timeout.

  • In Mysterious Ways: In The Lich King's New Wrath, where God demands that Joanne get to level 70 in World of Warcraft. Turns out it was all a ruse by Blizzard Entertainment, and the implication is that this happens to everyone.
  • In Space: In Ways to Stay Warm one listed method is a "Space Heater," and a character is show sitting next to one. The next shot is of that same character slowly tumbling across the screen, over a backdrop of earth from orbit while the music momentarily shifts to a more 2001-esque melody. The listed method? "Spaaaaaace Heater."
  • Insane Troll Logic: Graham's explanation of the relationship between time and money in Time is Money. It actually works.
    • Graham once again, this time in Cruising. Gay men use the only men's restroom in the building to "cruise" for casual sex. Everyone should know this, because it's in the school's monthly gay newsletter. Being straight doesn't preclude reading the gay newsletter, because after all, plenty of guys who are gay don't read it. Oh, and lesbians cruise in that restroom too; they can't use the women's room, because it's the only one in the building! That would be absurd.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The first season contained several copyrighted songs. However, this was prior to the existence of YouTube, so the laws were much less enforced and they were able to get away with it at the time, even selling some DVDs. Now they can't even host the videos on their own site. There is one DVD being shared throughout the UK, but the crew requests that nobody copies it or makes a torrent of it, making this the only way to get your hands on the special features for season one. It is possible to find the original videos through internet archival sites, though.
  • Large Ham: Morgan is very capable of this when he needs to be.
    • In Morgan's Problem, the rest of the crew burst out laughing due to Morgan's excessive hamminess:

(everyone starts laughing)

    • And in the Rapidfire II sketches:


Graham: Hey everybody. I'm the Federal Booty inspector, Graham. Joining me this week is the Federated Beetle Informant, Paul-

Paul (alarmed): Who told you?!

Graham: -and a Fiery Boysenberry Island, Kathleen.

Kathleen: I'm delicious and also hot! No wait! No, no, um... I'm delicious and also on fire!

"Until next time remember: there may be better sources for news, but they don't have *while placing a Nice Hat upon his head* this hat."

  • No Animals Were Harmed: Played with in "Ted the Cat" for the Daily Drop, where the standard procedure for failed drops is to hit the unbroken object with a crowbar. The drop falls into the 'unsatisfactory' category, and the video then goes through all the motions of showing the cat being hit with a crowbar... but instead they drop him a second time, where he lands more gracefully.

Alex: Had you going there for a while, didn't I?

Graham: *reads a news story as a song* It's song time!
Kathleen: *excited* Can I sing a song?
Alex: NO!
Kathleen: *pouts*

Johnny Lunchbox: Uh, my name is Bill
Bill: Taken!
Graham: Yeah, looks like you're shit out of luck there.

  • Outsourcing Fate: Shades of this in The Writers Room, where God outsources the writing of the Ten Commandments to the "best theological writers in the business". Played for Laughs, naturally.
  • Overly Prepared Gag: The first Rapidfire video featured this as arguably the point of the video. Pay attention to the clown.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: A large percentage of Time is Money consists of Graham explaining physics by drawing graphs in the air with his fingers.
    • The 'Bed Buggery' sketch had Graham tell Matt that his acting wasn't believable. Subverted in the stinger, which repeated the scene, ending with the two staring at the camera and then a boom mike moving across the shot.
  • Pants-Free: In "Wyyy" and as a closing gag in the Phailhaus
  • Portmanteau: In "The Pub" where The Pub was the Portmanteau Club. Among other awkward entries.
  • The Rashomon: Plays with this trope in the video The Season 4 Finale. In it, the usual characters are gathered as old men at the site's 30-year reunion. None of them can agree on what happened in the Season 4 Finale, each of them proposing their own self-interested version that the others claim is erroneous.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Man Cooking. They did once do a 'vegetarian episode', but it consisted of making a giant mushroom... out of meat.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Overlaps with Painful Rhyme in Rebellin', where Graham and Morgan find every excuse to rhyme their sentences with "Jellin'", making them sound to Paul like "really annoying pod people".

Graham: How 'bout an example of what you're foretellin'?
Paul: Okay, what kind of jackets are you wearing?
Morgan: Oh, we're lapellin'.
Graham: I'm also pastellin'.
Morgan: Nice. (high-fives Graham)
Paul: And those really expensive shoes you just bought? What are they made out of?
Morgan: We're so gazellin'.
Paul: And your computer?

Graham: Intellin'

Paul: And your girlfriend?

Morgan: Ellen Mc-Clellan.

Paul: And where'd you just move to?

Graham: We're dwellin' motellin'.

Tally: Seriously?!

    • And Morgan in the first Whatever Thing, wondering how on Earth the crew managed to stick to their weekly update schedule for three whole years:

Morgan: Seriously, the fact that this site is still in operation may soon cause a rift in the very fabric of space-time.

Graham: She stood there, framed in the doorway like a painting of a woman in a picture frame shaped like a doorway.
Graham: I was confused, like... a really confused thing.

Graham: So this Christmas, give the gift of giving us money in exchange for a song you hopefully enjoyed... We should script these.

Crowthorne: But we also blew up the right embassy!
Kane: Well, and... most of the block. I think the rest of the neighbourhood fell over later...
Crowthorne: Well, these people don't hire us because we're careful, they hire us because we're thorough!

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  • Tell Me Again: Double Subverted in the Bandwidth Exceeded video. Graham walks into his house and is punched in the face by his roommate, Matt. Next scene: Graham and Matt are both standing in the kitchen, and Graham has a bag of frozen peas up to his head.

Graham: Okay, explain to me again... where we got frozen peas. Because I didn't buy them, and I'm certainly not going to eat them.
Matt: My mom brought over a care package, so we wouldn't starve to death like my last roommate did.
Graham: Oh. Next question: why did you hit me?

"Remember, if your girlfriend likes your cooking - you're doin' it wrong!

Both Graham and Kathleen at different times: Well, they are a pretty reliable source...

  • Wonderful Life: The Christmas special It's a Wonderful Game is a silly take on this trope. The protagonist, in a rage about not being able to defeat the original Super Mario Bros. after he had run out of new games to play, wishes that Mario had never been made. The result? "Bring him back! Bring Mario back!"
    • Referenced in the Ways to Avoid Christmas video, in which Matt tackles the angel (played by Paul) before he can convince the protagonist not to jump off the bridge.
  • Word Salad Humor: Used to great effect in Interrupt This Program and Poker Before Dusk, but also employed in MEN.

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  1. primarily because she chose to wear a reasonably supportive bra while shaking her moneymaker. Or moneymakers, as the case may be
  2. well, he calls them a cab