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Tropes associated with Bo Burnham include:
- Appeal to Worse Problems: In "Oh Bo," we get this:
Pull it out, stick it in your mouth, and I bust in the back of ya
Swallow, bitch, there's people starving in Africa
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "It's become a symbol of misogyny, gay panic... fiscal irresponsibility..."
- From 'Rant': "Sadness where there should be joy; hate, and rape, and Soulja Boy."
- Berserk Button: Don't sing along with him during a live show. Just don't.
- Broken Aesop: Love is all about whistles.
- Country Matters: All in the name of punning.
"Go to a vagina orchard / Count one, two, three / Spin that plant around / You got a third whirled cunt-tree"
Also used more blatantly in haiku form "Bono, if you want to help poor people, sell your tinted shades you cunt!"
"My ex-girlfriend had had a really weird fetish. She used to like to dress up as herself and act like a fuckin' bitch all the time."
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Part of his persona.
"And if I were gay / Though I swear I'm straight / I'd make the fellas say "Oh, Bo!"
- Hurricane of Puns
- Hypocritical Humor: Lampshaded in "Words, Words, Words", the catchy chorus of which starts: "I hate catchy choruses and I'm a hypocrite"
- I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Jesus of Nazareth, son of Orflek the Butcher!"
- Last-Second Word Swap: Does this from time to time, often combined with Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion
- Somehow manages to lampshade and play straight SIMULTANEOUSLY in "What's Funny":
"If you're a musical comic, just give 'em a little weird voice inflection
Then take a viagra, and slap 'em with a rock-hard misdirection"
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: A bit complicated. Bo's arrogant, unkind stage persona is partially for effect, but every now and then his reactions with audience members blur the line. He gets pretty nasty with his audience (not just hecklers and shouting idiots) on the "Words, Words, Words" DVD, such as singing "You're not a fucking metronome" when the audience starts clapping along to the beat of a song. At the very least, he's quick to shut them down. Reports vary about how nice he actually is in person, but some of it is just the persona.
- If you really think about it, the way he treats his audience is actually all part of the joke. If you really watch closely you can tell what's all just satire and sarcasm and his real vision of things becomes clear.
- Metaphorgotten: In his PSA.
"Smoking can kill you, just like cancer. So don't... smoke... tumors...."
- Mistaken for Gay: The subject of one of his songs, My Whole Family Thinks I'm Gay
- May be closer to Transparent Closet, considering the line "Even my boyfriend thinks I'm gay."
- Mood Whiplash: Art is Dead, a reflective song that focuses on his own faults and hypocrisy that borders on Creator Breakdown, is pretty jarring in general, let alone when heard in between his other songs.
- More specifically: on the "Words Words Words" CD, the "Art is Dead" track is directly followed by Bo lampshading this and immediately making a hysterical crude joke:
"We got serious there. I think fisting should be called 'uppercunting'."
- No Ending: Multiple times, most notably "Welcome to Youtube", but to a lesser extent "Men and Women", "The Perfect Woman", and "Ironic". Also happens in the live versions of "Oh Bo" (partly justified because the bit about the oboe is hard to replicate live) and "Words Words Words", which just kinda cut off where the studio versions have little codas and fade out.
- On the DVD of "Words, Words, Words", he performs "I'm Bo Yo" as an encore, and abruptly stops in the middle of the last chorus after changing one of the lyrics to "This song's gonna end really awkwardly."
- One of Us: His song "Welcome To Youtube" is a three-minute parade of references to YouTube videos, viral and otherwise.
- Pungeon Master
- Raised Catholic: He went to a Catholic school as a child, and some of his works play off of that in a satirical way.
- Refuge in Audacity
- Refuge in Vulgarity: See the entry under Crosses the Line Twice
- Self-Deprecation: Often, most notably in recent performances of "I'm Bo Yo"; in the final line of the chorus he says he "can really find your G-spot", which is followed by a brief self-indicting remark.
"Oh, but I'm inadequate / Have I gotten that point across yet?"
- "Art is Dead" is chock full of this.
- Sophisticated As Hell: One of his routines involves quoting Hamlet's "to sleep, perchance, to dream" monologue and then, after a beat, saying "Pff, like, WHAT?"
- Stealth Pun: "Because if I'm in the closet, then you are below me / taking the B A T outta "BASEMENT", homie". Unfortunately he ruins the stealth aspect in the live version of the song available on his self-titled album.
- His songs are chock full of them, in fact. "I'm Bo, Yo" is a good example.
- This is essentially his modus operandi. Basically, if you laugh at tons of stuff the first time you hear the song and don't bother listening again, you're doing it wrong.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Several times.
"Maybe it's 'cause of the way that I walk/That makes them think that I like… boys."
"Your mother's breasts sag with such severity that the late, great artist Salvador Dali mistook them for clocks."