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 [M]y primary goal: to get people in nerd culture to explore highbrow culture.

Brows Held High is a comedy review show about Arthouse cinema. It is hosted by Kyle "Oancitizen" Kallgren.

His signature style usually involves a lot of high-brow intellectual concepts, but explained well enough that they don't go over viewer's heads.

Tropes used in Brows Held High include:

 "That's so hot."

Oan: Ewww.

"I use menstrual blood as makeup in my show."

Oan: Ewww!

"It's a period piece."

Oan: Heh-- [frowns] ewww.

 Jesu: Do I have to Sparta Kick you through a window? [cracks knuckles]

  • Anime Hair: How he describes the hairdo of the Twilight of the Ice Nymphs protagonist. Also complaints about it in the "Utena" review. "Why does everyone have rainbow hair?!"
  • April Fools' Day: The "Eraserhead" review.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Oan quibbles over misplaced Shakespeare texts and inarticulate-sounding voiceovers ("Well, I just don't think that the gentleman from Motorhead is the best chorus...") while the Snob is left cringing at the real depravities.

 Snob: You're concerned about the severed head landing on the family car, but not the incest?

Oan: Well, to be fair, it was foreshadowed.

Snob: WHAT?!

 Oancitizen:Ah yes, Botticelli's "The Birth of R Crumb."

  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Oan's cameo in Atop the Fourth Wall consists of him trying to decrypt a conspiracy consisting of copious amounts of religious, political, and cultural mumbo-jumbo, which ultimately concludes with a nuclear explosion, followed by the Messenger from Angels in America appearing before him and telling him the Great Work is about to begin.
  • Ass Pull: Invoked when he gives a high-brow, symbolic analysis of the scene in Freddy Got Fingered that involves Tom Green jacking off a horse while shouting "Look at me, daddy, I'm a farmer."

 Oancitizen: Perhaps this horse's phallus represents the onset of manhood.

The Nostalgia Chick: And this interpetation...

Oancitizen: Extracted directly from my anus, yes.

 Y Ruler of Time: You sound like a hipster.

Oancitizen: I Am Not A Hipster, good sir!!

      • Although in the Slacker review he does say he "might or might not be a hipster". He likes a lot of hipster stuff, but doesn't feel like he is one.
    • He also doesn't like being called a Brad Jones rip-off.
    • For the character, dead babies.
    • Starting with the What Is It? review, if snails are ever mentioned or brought into the equation, You may be in trouble.
    • Oan screaming his lungs out after The Nostalgia Chick summarizes the ending of Der Himmel über Berlin as "a long monologue" about "time..and loneliness...or something." Film analysis is Serious Business.
  • Big "What?": 8 minutes into Jesu Otaku making him watch Revolutionary Girl Utena. The first of many, as we'll see in due course.

 "WHY IS THIS PINK-HAIRED BITCH A CAR?!"

  • Bilingual Bonus: After hearing the nonsensical first line of Exterminating Angels, Oancitizen asks any viewers who have an idea what it means to send their answers to "merdedetaureau@gmail.fr". In other words, send it to bullshit.

 "<No, really. Why is the film not in Dutch? It's not like there aren't any smart, talented Dutch actors that can play these roles. And I think they would rather do this than shit like Spion Van Oranje! [a Dutch comedy film] And another thing...>"

  • Biting the Hand Humor: After viewing Sweet Movie, he accuses several of his fellow reviewers (including his boss) of being sheltered. He can't, however, make an argument for The Cinema Snob.
  • Blah Blah Blah/Freudian Slip: The opening speech to Nine Songs is nothing but proper nouns, the phrase "rock music" and slang for genitalia and/or sex acts.
  • Body Snatcher: For the "Freaks" review, Oan's body is possessed by Diamanda Hagan, who proceeds to dye his hair and paint his face in her usual color scheme and then do the review in a faux-Irish accent. He also feels himself up and comments "So that's what one of those feels like."
  • Brain Bleach: After Ken Park, Oancitizen watches The Godfather to erase the terrible memories.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A lot of the comedy of the show.
  • Breather Episode: The Angels in America and The Fall reviews.
  • Breathless Non-Sequitur "That's right Romero fans, board up the windows and rev up the chainsaws, because we're going to talk about gay porn!"
  • Brick Joke: Diamanda Hagan tells her minion to mail Oancitizen his balls (since he's obviously not using his) at the end of the Ken Park review. Two videos later, the package finally arrives.
    • The time travel duplicate of Oancitizen he stuffed in the closet in his Primer review shows up again (and then gets killed) at the end of the What Is It? review.
    • A very subtle one. When Obscurus Lupa tried to review Gerry (before switching to Hard To Kill), Diamanda Hagan tried to stop her by having her minions find every copy of the movie and destroy it. In his own review of it, he mentions it was hard to find a copy as all the local video stores had theirs stolen by Northern Irishmen in black masks.
    • A little while after he slept with his wastebasket at the end of Trash Humpers, he watched W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism and reached the conclusion that he needed to have sex or turn into a crazed murderer. While calling up candidates, he eyes his dustbin with contempt and says "You used me."
  • Brown Note: arguably some of the movies he's watched, but also Sasha Grey's music, as heard in The Girlfriend Experience review.
  • Buffy-Speak: His early attempts at explaining the plot to Primer results in him just calling everything 'things'.
  • Call Back: His moving announcement was full of them.
    • The mental break during the Eat The Schoolgirl review is the sequel of sorts to the breakdown from What Is It?
    • He refers back to two previous episodes in his review of Nine Songs:

 Lisa: Sometimes when you kiss me, I just want to bite you. And not in a nice way. Like, I want to hurt you.

Oan (as Matt): You're not going to smash my balls with a block of wood then drill a hole through my legs, are you?

Oan (as Lisa): No, that would be interesting.

Oan (as Matt): I could sing The Star Spangled Banner into your ass.

Oan (as Lisa): No!!!

 Roo: {{[[[Go Mad From the Revelation]] hugs self while trembling on the floor}}]

Oan: D'ja like it?

    • Phil Buni does a cameo in Alice.
    • '90s Kid shows up when Oan reviews The Doom Generation and notes that it combines all the worst traits of Nineties Pop Culture.
    • Ed Glaser made two cameos in the review of A Serbian Film, first as his voice to joke about his resemblance to the movie's villain and as the NATO president
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.

    • There is an extended cameo by Rap Critic in the Ghost Dog review, which starts off with RC explaining who RZA is, and he butts in on occasion to explain things that Kyle doesn't get.
    • Kyle himself has become the site's go to guy for cameos whenever something avante-garde is brought up.
  • Camera Abuse: He taps it pretty hard during What Is It?, causing visible glitches in the video.
  • Captain Obvious: The Snob challenging him to "make [himself] useful" and try interpreting Troma-Juliet's dream sequence with the killer penis.
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    • It there anything we can say about Tom Green's love interest in this movie?
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"

  • Corpsing: He tries valiantly, but The Cinema Snob cannot keep a straight face when Oancitizen refers to Coriolanus as "Gloryhole Anus".
  • Couch Gag: At the start of each episode, or even cameo in other reviews, he reads something related, if only vaguely to the movie in question.
    • And by "something", it means that it's not always a book. For instance, the Trash Humpers review starts with him reading the instructions for a box of trash bags.
  • Covert Pervert: Oan hinted that he might be one during his cameo in Diamanda's Emmanuelle 5 review.
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 "Listen, Korine, if I ever meet you in real life, I will end you. I will take apart your camera and feed it to you. You will suffer I SWEAR TO GOD [voice quavers] OUR WORDS ARE BACKED WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS--" {{[[[Inelegant Blubbering]] deteriorates into sobs}}]

    • The modern interpretation of Laertes has a gay dance instructor. ..who looks like Mike Myers in Sprockets.
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  • Damned By Faint Praise / Overly Narrow Superlative: Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is "easily the greatest Canadian film about ostriches ever made."
  • Dead Baby Comedy: Defied, with strong effort, during his Antichrist review, where he mentions that normally he's above that sort of humor, but it's so hard not to make a joke like that when there's an actual dead baby five minutes into the movie.
    • This, by his own admission, is why he's never reviewed a Todd Solondz film.
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  • Dude, Not Funny: In-Universe. He struggled hard to snark What Is It? without invoking this trope, as much of the cast had Down's Syndrome and one member had cerebral palsy.
    • He says he's not even going to try to make a joke during the attempted rape of an Apathetic during Zardoz, though he does pull out of this depressing nosedive by making a joke about a scene immediately after that. "Here, have Sean Connery imitating Donkey Kong!" (Connery throws a barrel).
    • While possessed by Diamanda, he stated that "Freaks" was hard to make fun of, as most of the cast was, well... ...Whatever-you-call-it concludes that it would just be "dickish."
  • Dull Surprise: Invoked by name in Anatomy of Hell.
    • Hamlet the Vampire Slayer:
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  • Fridge Horror: In-Universe. He comes to the conclusion that the orgy in Perfume would have incest and sex with children due to people bringing their families to the execution.
  • Funetik Aksent: After dealing with the cavalcade of outrageous accents in Blood for Dracula, he finally puts up subtitles that transcribe everything phonetically ("What the heck is a 'sackhufbens'?")
    • It comes back sporadically in his Flesh for Frankenstein review. ("Come to Serbia! Try the 'nasum'!")
  • Gag Censor: Just about any time a Censor Box has to be used.
  • Genius Bonus: Due to the nature of the show, he of course likes to slip a few into the reviews. He's even commented on wishing to be listed on this trope in his commentaries.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Delivers this to the camera (re: the Nostalgia Chick) when he's obliged to 'correct' her opinion on a film's message.

 "You! You! Yes! You, Chick, you! YOU should be explaining this to ME!! I am offended! Offended that I have to spell this out for you, I mean DEAR GOD--!!" {{[[[Throw the Book At Them]] hurls book at the wall}}]

    • A positive example to the Snob, who suggests they join forces to corner the grindhouse and the arthouse. ("I knew there was a reason I respected you.")
  • Godwin's Law: Couldn't get past the ending of Jubilee without constantly going back to the fact that there was a short scene featuring what he described as "Old Man Hitler".
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    • Most of Zardoz.
    • Revolutionary Girl Utena reduces him to a cackling lunatic.
    • Eat the Schoolgirl leads him to hogtie Diamanda Hagan in a bathtub and then attempt to dress her up as a snail.
      • Though part of that was apparently the result of being loaded with horse tranquilizers and having his testicles removed, as once the tranquilizers wear off he can't remember a thing.
      • Coincidentally, it was also a nod to Uzumaki.
    • After mailing Oancitizen Freddy Got Fingered, the Chick and Nella go to his hotel room and find a Room Full of Crazy.
  • Groin Attack: In the Zardoz review, Oancitizen takes "The gun is good! The penis is evil!" a bit too literally - he whips out a gun, walks into the bathroom, aims it at his crotch, we cut to black just as the gun goes off...
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  • I Resemble That Remark: The longstanding "Cinema Snob ripoff" charge was spoofed in their crossover together.
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    • ...Along with Kyle and Brad's dodgy acting.
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  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: According to the Revolutionary Girl Utena The Movie review, any time someone is confused by an artistic movie, Oancitizen is teleported to them against his will. Jesu Otaku notes that now that it's known, it's highly exploitable, and he then teleports away from the review, and once back, angrily tells her to not give fans any more ideas on how to misuse the spell. This could also be a meta-joke about how Kyle become the go-to guy for cameos about symbolism and artistic topics.
    • Kyle has sensitive ears and is very territorial about PHWOOLLIAM SHAXPAHR being reviewed by others. So much so, that he gets suckered into crashing Hamlet the Vampire Slayer.
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  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: He has to deal with a lot of nudity in some of his film reviews.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: Todd in the Shadows hovers over Oan's bed at MAGfest, half-hardheartedly waving his arms. Finally, he resorts to just punching him.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: The Anatomy of Hell opens with its female protagonist getting slapped by a random man, who then just stands there looking sullen. Wordless apology, or is she just handing him a stick of gum?
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  • Lampshade Hanging: Points out background noise picked up by his mic in his review of Primer.
  • Layman's Terms: So, Jason Witter replaced the original language of Hamlet with endless pop culture snark?
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    • Freddy Got Fingered - The Nostalgia Chick starts to ask him how this film is "Dada", only for Oan to scream, "THIS CANNOT BE DADA! IT'S TOO NORMAL TO BE DADA! IT'S TOO SHIT TO BE ANYTHING ELSE!!"
  • Le Film Artistique: Aside from the films, and occasional film-within-a-film, in the show, the credits sequence is styled as one, including Gratuitous French credit "Kyle 'Oancitizen' Kallgren Presente:"
    • His film school movie PREtension, a parody of art films.
  • Limited Wardrobe - He wears basically the same clothes in every review.
  • Lost Episode: The Girlfriend Experience (only exists with commentary) and Sh*t TGWTG Fans Say.
    • And now What is It? due to legal reasons.
  • Mary Sue: He calls out the protagonist of Exterminating Angels on this.
  • Memetic Mutation: Invoked at the end of the Twilight Of The Ice Nymphs review.
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  • Mind Screw: What Is It?, both the movie and the 'sketch.'
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's rant about the finer aspects of The Doom Generation to tell us that his words were actually part of the film's marketing.

    • Assuring that his Myth Busters reference wasn't just random. Jamie Hyneman really did work the special effects on Naked Lunch.
  • Not So Different: In the review of The Girlfriend Experience, he 'inadvertently' draws similarities between escort and porn wesites, and being an internet reviewer. At the end of the review, he goes to work on his other job, as a host on webcam site LiveJasmin
    • Possibly the reason some see him as a The Cinema Snob ripoff is that the difference between a lot of his "arthouse" films and the Snob's exploitation movies seems to be purely In Name Only, as they both tend to contain similarly dark and disturbing content. (The other reason is that Kyle is a straight version of what the Snob is a parody of--a sophisticated cinemaphile). This is lampshaded in the Tromeo and Juliet review.
  • Not So Stoic: He very rarely breaks down or goes over the top, making those few instances much more powerful (i.e. his reaction to a disturbing scene in his review of Alice).
  • Obligatory Joke: Has openly stated he will not do some of the obvious jokes, as they would be "Too easy".
    • "Kenneth Branagh plays Hamlet. Emphasis on HAM."
    • "Here's a diagram -- a primer on Primer, if you will. [snooty chuckle] Huzzah."
    • And so, the characters of The Doom Generation "invoke the Power of Three!"
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    • Tideland's deranged beekeeper. "Aaaaand meme in 3....2....1..."
    • When a character in Ken Park randomly asks his girlfriend's mother, "can I eat you out?", Kyle explains that even though it's become cliché, he now has to play the infamous scene from Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.
    • Hamlet the Vampire Slayer:
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  • Odd Couple: With Obscurus Lupa in their Hamlet the Vampire Slayer review; he's a highbrow critic and serious intellectual, she's a cheerfully goofy shlock reviewer who doesn't understand long words.
  • Oh Crap: During the "Otto" review, when he realizes he is about to see a gay zombie orgy.
    • During the Trash Humpers review (bear in mind, babies... don't tend to fare well in these kinds of movies):
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    • Yet again during The Brown Bunny, when he discovers, to his abject horror, that the film is revisiting Gerry.
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    • He realizes one second too late that he's invoked Rule34 and mentioned a Civil War real-person slash fic.
  • Oh My Gods "SWEET HEAVENLY MITHRAS!"
  • One of Us/TV Tropes Trollers: In his commentary for his review of Ken Park, he mentions using TV Tropes to find films to review when he started the show, particularly on the now-deleted Euroshlock page. He has now taken on W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism, Sweet Movie, Exterminating Angels, and A Serbian Film, along with several of the American examples that were on that page.
  • Old Shame: When he posted the old review of The Girlfriend Experience on TGWTG, some comments came in, which he agreed with about the review coming off as slutshaming, and he contemplated removing the review altogether. He did say the intent wasn't to mock Sasha Grey for her adult film work, but the message he meant didn't come across clearly.
  • Overly Long Gag: "TREES!"
    • 55.5555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555...
    • The point in his review of Gerry where he tries to make up background music... a cappella style.
  • Phantasy Spelling: Oancitizen jokes that Mandragora from Twilight of the Ice Nymphs is "also probably a place for people who spell 'fairy' as 'faerie.'"
  • Pass the Popcorn: Admittedly as what he's doing is in fact watching movies him breaking out a bowl of it in a review normally would be considered a normal film watching activity. However he's an arthouse film reviewer which people don't usually associate with popcorn, therefore he uses it in his review of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai to highlight the more action movie aspects of some of the scenes.
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    • He repeats this little gem several times during 'Goodbye 20th Century':
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