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Amateur Surgeon is a series of medical based action puzzle games on Adult Swim.com (or to put it simply, Trauma Center with idiots). The series centers around former pizza boy Alan Probe and his life after discovering the world of surgery, by accidentally running over his would-be mentor, Dr. Ignacious Bleed.

The games provide plenty of examples of morbid, gross-out humor with a unique difficulty curve. However, the game manages to have a quite deep storyline behind all the wacky operations. The series goes for more scatological and dark humor, easily seen with Alan's arsenal of improvised medical tools. The most iconic is a pizza slicer he uses as a scalpel.

Tropes used in Amateur Surgeon include:
  • Affably Evil: Most, if not all, the criminals Alan and Bleed operate are this. Some of the criminals, like Claude and Jack, give things to help them in retaliation (chainsaw and organs, respectively)
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Trauma Center.
  • Anti-Villain: Aureola. All the people she attacked were unrepentant criminals, and the reason she did that is to track down her parents' murderer. This is pointed out by Alan himself.
    • Bradley in the second game. He's anything but evil, but he's working for the President. And in the climax, is pretty clear he's on Alan's side.
  • Arch Enemy: Alan has one in Dwayne Pipe, who gives him hell throughout the entire series.
  • Assist Character: The third game features Tag Team Partners, who can grant various abilities, such as healing the patient for a set amount of health, stopping time and even bringing the patient back to life with voodoo magic.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: The premise for the whole shabang. And we should also mention Back Warehouse Doctor, Back Old Folks Home Bathroom Doctor, Back Chicken Coop Doctor, Back North Pole Doctor... the one time Alan performs onscreen in a hospital it's an Abandoned Hospital!
  • Big Bad: Dwayne Pipe, the responsible (directly and indirectly) of all the shit that happens to Alan Probe and his companions.
    • Greater Scope Villain: In the third game. His incarcelation prompted his "son" Hubris to take revenge on Alan Probe and become the new Big Bad.
  • Black Comedy
  • Bonus Boss: Stuporman, the H.O.B.O., and... a secret.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Bradley.
  • Broken Bird: Aureola. Dr. Bleed is a Rare Male Example. Both of them get better.
  • Cain and Abel: A surrogate example with Bleed's students. His former student Dwayne is the faux-pleasant, depraved Cain who betrayed him; while Alan is the cocky but nice Abel who is undyingly loyal to him. Bonus points for Dwayne constantly trying to kill Alan.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The "pizza van" scene, in which Alan met Bleed by running him over due to distractions. In the beginning, it was treated as hilarious, until the climax reveals that Bleed stepped on the van on purpose, wanting to end his miserable life.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The games as a whole. Amateur Surgeon begins as a wacky medical (dark) comedy, but the plot develops to be more dark and serious as the game goes on. The Christmas Special is very much zany and comedic. The sequel is Darker and Edgier, but not lacking the game's Black Comedy. The third game is Lighter and Softer than the previous games, with the serious moments few and far between.
  • Chainsaw Good: Good for getting past that pesky ribcage, anyways.
    • And removing organs like lungs and livers.
  • Chekhov's Skill: More like Chekhov's Lack Of Skill in this case. Alan ends up removing a bug infestation from Dwayne Pipe early in the game without Dr. Bleed there to overlook the surgery, only to find out that he accidentally overlooked the worst one... which ends up incapacitating the guy when he tries to make his escape at the end of the game.
    • The same thing happens in the second game: President Dwayne threatens the life of both Alan and his grandson, but it turns out that Alan has forgotten again to deal with the worst bug in his system, which he uses to blackmail Dwayne into giving up the vendetta.
  • The Cutie: Bradley, oh so much.
  • Crapsack World: Hooo boy.
  • Darker and Edgier: The second game. Is still zany, but the story is far more dark than in the previous game. Still has a happy ending, though.
  • Dramedy: Yes. Believe it or not, of all the gags and parodies, it has a surprisingly dark storyline. At least the first and second games, though.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the second game, after being put through decades of misery by Dwayne Pipe, Alan's manages to rebuild his reputation and reconnect with his family.
  • The Eeyore: Dr. Bleed was this in the first game, but he gets better.
  • Exact Time to Failure: If the clock hits 0:00, the patient dies immediately. Doesn't matter what their vitals looked like at 0:01.
    • Somewhat justified, in that the longer it takes an operation to finish, particularly to fix a life-threatening problem, the less chance of survival. (Complications setting in, and all that.) But this justification is partly subverted, because in Real Life, there is no exact Point of No Return. Not time-based, anyhow.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Junkyard Guts from the first game. You have to remove a magnet from his stomach. And it draws out screws as well. In the last act, he even eats a bomb that was disguised as a sandwich using two pieces of bread.
  • Foil: Alan has one in Dwayne Pipe, his nemesis. Alan is a kind-hearted, clumsy and chubby apprentice who uses his skills to save people. In contrast; Dwayne is a skinny, manipulative and evil sociopath who kills people for thrills. The fact they were both Bleed's students helps.
  • Framing Device: The third game's story is Ophelia and Alan narrating the events of the past few weeks.
  • Generation Xerox: A surrogate example with Alan and Dr. Bleed. Both were fallen graces (caused by the same man), were poisoned and had to be saved by their students, and were able to go back to the top and get better.
  • Genius Ditz: Alan is a goofball, sure, but when it comes to surgery, he's a total pro.
  • The Gift: Alan Probe is a natural genius when it comes to trauma surgery, capable of even performing brain surgery using a lighter, a chainsaw, a pair of tongs, a corkscrew, and a bottle of liquid pain reliever.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The main characters are good, but very conflicted individuals; and the criminals aren't as bad and unpleasant as they're supposed to be. In fact, the only truly evil characters in this game are Dwayne Pipe, and his presumed son, Hubris. And Hubris is very much the embodiment of Stupid Evil, so...
  • Guide Dang It: Unless you know that you can shock the tapeworm more than once each time he pops his head out, (and you need to shock it like 5 times) you are not going to beat 2nd Bleed (file 3, patient 6), because the tapeworm's going to make just too many little bleeding cuts that will drop his heart rate really fast. You need to be careful, though, lest you miss and stop Dr. Bleed's heart instead. If that happens, you're basically screwed... unless you react quickly enough. It's not so much a problem with Joe (file 2, patient 6), because his tapeworm only needs zapped 3 times.
    • The final regular patient, Horrace aka Dwayne, has a millipede crawling around inside him. It makes little bleeding cuts just like a tapeworm does, but it doesn't pop its head out. You have to chainsaw a little ahead of the last cut it makes, then you can deal with the bug queens and Mooks it spawns in the various body cavities.
    • The Bio-Utility Mechanoid, or B.U.M., is the first Bonus Boss you unlock. To even get inside him, you need to gel his red button.
    • Not to mention, you don't zap the scorpions - you chainsaw them.
  • Happy Ending Override: The original Amateur Surgeon has Alan fulfilling his own dream of becoming a surgeon, cleans his mentor's name by imprisoning the true criminal, and gets the girl. Then, the sequel happened...
    • To be fair, though, it ended with a "To Be Continued" segment, so it's not that much of a surprise. Besides, the sequel has a happy ending that actually sticks.
  • Hate Sink: Dwayne "Douchebag" Pipe. Since the criminals in this series tend to be very sympathetic, Dwayne only exists to be a murderous monster with no redeeming qualities. It doesn't quite work, at least for some.
  • Heal It with Fire: One of Alan's tools is a lighter, a respectable cauterization method. Yet this also repairs bones, cuts in vital organs, and metal. The guy is a frickin' genius.
    • In the christmas sequel, it's a match and a can of spray paint. Very precise.
  • Healing Shiv: In the third game, Officer Brutality's special ability is to beat injuries out the victims by whacking them with his police baton.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Bleed and Alan. They're practically father and son.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Case 2, Patient #9: Animal the Cannibal.
    • In the third game, we have Sweetmeat Pete.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: The reason Alan Probe doesn't leave Dwayne Pipe to die. Despite all the shit he pulled on him, he still tries to save him, knowing full well this trope. Could also count as Cruel Mercy, since Dwayne ends up in jail for his crimes.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Alan is 19 years old (in the first game at least), and Bleed is in his fifties. As guessed, the two really mean the world to each other.
    • In the third game, there's Alan and his apprentice Ophelia.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed with Alan, in that his "jerkishness" rangs between saying rude and inconsiderate things (in the first game) or being a bit of a Grumpy Old Man (in the second). Either way, he is a kind and caring man who will risk his own life to save others.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Bleed in the first game. He gets better.
    • Alan himself in the second game.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The moment Dwayne Pipe enters the plot, it's clear that shit will go down, and his horrible deeds are played completely seriously. He still has Laughably Evil moments, though.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the sequel, Alan tells Bradley that they made a video game about him at the height of his fame. Bradley's played it, but laments that he never got the hang of the corkscrew and hopes that if a sequel is ever made they replace it with "something less awful." Then they both wordlessly look at the player. This is followed almost immediately by the level that introduces the syringe, which replaces the corkscrew.
  • Lighter and Softer: Amateur Surgeon Christmas.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Alan becomes this for Bleed. This is better illustrated in the Old Hospital encounter with Aureola:

Dr. Bleed: I understand you mean to take your vengeance. I must admit... I have thought about ending it myself. In fact, not too long ago I deliberately stepped out in front of a pizza van! If it weren't for this extraordinary young man here [Alan]... Well...

  • Luke, You Are My Father: Bradley in the sequel eventually reveals that he is Alan's grandson.
    • From the third game, it turns out Ophelia, Alan's apprentice, is Dr. Bleed's grandniece.
  • Mad Doctor: Alan is pretty much a good guy version of this by the second game.
  • Manly Tears: Bleed sheds this twice in the first game. First when confessing to Alan his greatest failure, and second when he confesses to Aureola he was the one who operated her parents.
    • In the second game, Alan cries after the resurrected Bleed goes back to heaven.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery
  • Must Have Caffeine: Karl of Case 2, Patient #8 suffers from this. Unfortunately, this makes the requirements for beating the level to Nintendo Hard levels. See No Damage Run.
  • My Greatest Failure: The Old Hospital fiasco, in which many, many people died for Dr. Bleed. Turns out it wasn't his fault after all.
  • No Damage Run: Required in file 2, patient 8 (Karl) of the original game (once you get inside him). Karl is a coffee addict, and as a result, his heart rate gets faster as time passes, rather than slower. You have to remove the coffee beans and drain (and suction out) the poison to stabilize his heart rate, then heal all the cuts you had to make. Dr. Bleed warns that the slightest injury (that means any unnecessary damage) will kill Karl. He also dies if you let his heart rate get to 200. Add that to the fact that each patient is a Timed Mission anyway, and you've got yourself a Nintendo Hard level.
  • Official Couple: Alan and Aureola. They're shown to be married in the sequels.
  • Only Sane Man: Ophelia in the third game. While Alan generally doesn't ask any questions and comes off as barely smarter than his patients, Ophelia is constantly shocked and amazed by the situations they get themselves into and is quick to call them out on their stupidity/insanity.
  • Open-Heart Dentistry: Alan is the only source for criminals to get medical care, ranging from lacerations to poisonings. With the occasional extreme body piercing and mechanical restoration.
  • Parental Substitute: Alan sees Dr. Bleed as a surrogate father, and Bleed starts treating him as his son.
  • Poison Is Evil: My God, is it evil.
  • Punny Name: Tons and tons of them. Not surprising considering this company's track record.
  • The Reveal: Lampshaded with Alan's mystery patient in the second game. After Alan leaves the room, the patient tells Bradley to turn the lights on before he leaves, so he can have his dramatic reveal.

President Dwayne Pipe: DUN DUN DUN!

  • Running Gag: Alan seems to have problems when it comes to dealing with exterminanting bugs. Especially when it comes to Dwayne's bugs.
  • Saving Christmas: The plot of the Christmas Edition game. Alan goes to save christmas after he utterly decimated it! (see Turbine Blender below). After crashing his private jet into the North Pole Alan sets about pulling christmas lights out of an elf, reanimating a reindeer carcass with candy canes and coat hangers, and patching up Santa with wrapping paper.
  • Shared Universe: With Spiritual Successor games Amateur Ninja and Gigolo Assassin
  • Shout-Out: One level has the player trying to disarm a bomb, like in Trauma Center.
  • Significant Anagram: Flip the lan in Alan's name and you get... well, at least it's not called Amateur Proctologist.
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: You usually don't want to go to someone named Dr. Probe... And his Mentor is called Dr. Bleed, of all the people. The name of his clinic? "Bleed Everywhere". It's averted in that they're benevolent doctors.
  • So Proud of You: In the second game: A resurrected Bleed says this word for word to Alan before going back to the dead world. A truly emotional scene.
  • Surprise Creepy: Amateur Surgeon focuses on over-the-top surgeries on incredibly wacky characters. Which makes the introduction of Bleed and Aureola's tragic pasts caused by a depraved Serial Killer all the more shocking.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Almost all of Alan's clientele fit into this category, with this trope being what got them to him in the first place.
  • Trigger: Bleed really flips out when someone asks about his past. He gets better.
  • Tsunshun: Bleed in the first game, Alan in the second. They're cynical and surly, but they're also very broken men who had been suffering and can barely cope with themselves. Both of them get better.
    • It's lampshaded in Aureola's case, as Bleed says she has become "mad with grief".
  • Turbine Blender: In the introduction of the Christmas Edition (a sendup of the intro to the first game) Alan Probe, flying his private jet distractedly while reading an article about his rise to fame, collides with Santa's Sleigh. One of the reindeer is sucked into the turbines and shredded, causing Alan's jet to crash into Santa's Workshop.
  • Vigilante Man: The end of the 2nd part and most of the 3rd part of the first game have Alan patching up characters from earlier in the game, who this time are the victims of a rampaging vigilante whose parents turn out to be among the people who died in the Old Hospital fiasco.
  • Wham! Line: From Aureola: "It's not you who I'm looking for... IT'S HIM!" Cue Horrace/Dwayne appearing and showing what a monster he is.
    • From the second game:

The President: *to Bradley* Take him to a little place he can call his own, somewhere out of the way. Then shoot him in the back of the head.

    • Again in the second, Alan doesn't get why the President is so angry with him, 'till he mentions their deceased mentor, Dr. Bleed. Then, Alan realizes that the President is his old archenemy, Dwayne Pipe.
  • Why Don't You Marry Him?: The President says this to Bradley when he's talking about how amazing Alan is. Gets a bit of Squick once known Alan is Bradley's grandfather.
  • Worst Aid: Separating the hemispheres of a woman's brain with a chainsaw, while using a dumpster as an operating table. And she survives... long enough to pay Alan, anyways.
    • You actually have to remove the brain temporarily, destroy some... things (Cancer growths? Warts? Mold?) to cure her mental disorder, then put the brain and skullpan back and heal them both with your lighter.
  • Worthy Opponent: Subverted with Dwayne. Alan mentions that a good nemesis keeps himself young... except Dwayne wasn't a good nemesis to begin with.
  • You Will Be Spared: Napoleon Trotterski says this to Alan after being operated.
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