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The Cynical Brit.

AKA Total Biscuit; Total Halibut; Dark Halibut; John Bain.

John Bain, better known by his screen name Total Biscuit, is a British-born creator of YouTube video reviews and commentary. He does fast-paced Starcraft II Multiplayer commentary, first-impression videos of indie games on Steam and other digital-distribution platforms through a series known as WTF is..., and collaborations with other channels, such as co-op playthroughs of Magicka and Trine 2 with the Yogscast guys and a Terraria series with Jesse Cox of OMF Gcata.

During his time with Wow Radio, Total Biscuit hosted a few shows - Dungeon Master (a short-lived non-intensive raid guide), Titan, TB's Show About Videogames and EPIC! - but, in the world of podcasts, he is best known for both his "shock-jock"-inspired persona and Blue Plz, a World of Warcraft weekly podcast, Cataclysm expansion beta (and afterward, published content) playthroughs with commentary, and daily updates of "WoW news and content" through his Azeroth Daily videos. He discontinued his regular World of Warcraft videos as of May 2011 and, although he continued it for a few weeks afterwards, has confirmed that Blue Plz is "done for good" as well. He has also done 27 videos of an ambitious Let's Play for Shining Force III, and had been embarking on a playthrough of DC Universe Online after a handful of beta content videos were well-received on his channel.

As a bit of Trivia, Total Biscuit has been said by the Yogscast to own every game on Steam [1]. Lewis and friends might be right, considering his "WTF..." series and his Steam account's worth. Said amount doesn't account for his non-Steam purchases on Gamer's Gate and Amazon, either: Regardless of the hyperbole, TB is very influential as a gamer, often getting contacted by Indie developers to showcast new games and interviewing triple-A developers alike.

You can find his YouTube channel here, TotalHalibut, and his Web site here. In August of 2011, he created another YouTube channel, TotalBiscuit, which he will use to host exclusively Starcraft II content. He is yet another member of The Game Station.

Not to be confused with Mean Brit [2]. Or a certain OTHER cynical Brit.


Tropes that apply to Total Biscuit:

 Crossing a Watermelon field while playing a female engineer in Guild Wars 2: "Look at that advanced melon technology. No, not THAT kind of melon technology."

TB during his WTF is of Binary Domain: You will notice the camera is sort of jerking off to one side or another - no not like that, jerking off to one side - no, this is not going to sound good regardless of how I say it, let's just abandon that sentence.

  TB: (to Jesse) Stop doing that or you'll break the game. And that's bad.

 Jesse: Is this where you tell me, "I ate steak off the back of a naked Asian woman [for breakfast], then I went and killed a rhinoceros with my bare hands, upon which I took his horn and made a flute- even though it seems impossible. And I did that all before 6 A.M."

TB: Ah, so you do follow my Twitter.

  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't mess with Husky Starcraft -- the guy is responsible for getting TB his YouTube partnership, and the job to provide for his family, or, in TB's own words: "Husky is the reason my family still has a roof over their heads".
    • Has a bit of a trigger finger on banning Fan Dumb -- both his own and that of others. It doesn't matter if you like his videos, you love kittens or you like Ponies -- if you're being a dick about what you like, you will piss him off.
    • Also, don't touch his hat, as Jesse found out the hard way in Terraria.
    • Don't. Diss. Charity! Be it the Humble Indie Bundle or Red Cross. You WILL get shouted at, banned from his channel, and possibly set on fire through the internet.
    • Newest one... Moogles, which make Total Biscuit punch a kitten.
      • Chocobo~...
    • His biggest one yet: Do not, under any circumstance, question TB's morals as a commentator and as a game consumer. Nearly an hour of the fourth GameStation podcast was devoted to a debate/shouting contest between Jesse and TB on this. Jesse had to sleep on the couch.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Male Version. The 6th Podcast has Jesse, TB and Simon respectively, BadassBeards and all.
  • Brutal Honesty: Comes hand in hand with the Caustic Critic trope, don't expect him to soften the blow when picking faults.

  TB (Speaking about Q.U.B.E. - a puzzle game): "A well designed game with a lot of thought behind it... but has honestly the character of your average plank of wood."

  • The Cameo:
    • As pointed out by TB and Jesse in their Q & A video together on OMF Gcata, Simon (a Gnome) and Lewis (then named Zephir, a Night Elf) are literally right there when TB is accepting and recording the "Peacebloom vs Ghouls" quest, back in the days when the Yogscast, Total Biscuit, and OMF Gcata had a friendly rivarly uploading World of Warcraft content as quickly as they could.
    • Simon (Honeydew) decides to finally add Total Biscuit to his Steam friends list during one of his Terraria livestreams.
    • Another one where he cameos during the Yogscast's Earth Defense Force Livestream (audio only as the video is game footage). Notable of reducing Sips to a blithering fanboy.

 Sips: Say my name. Oh please say my name!

TB: Um...

  • TB chats for a while then leaves*

Sips: He probably thinks I'm a weird fanboy now...

    • And now Lewis is a cute necromancer girl followed by 4 meatpatchworked monsters while TB is a furry with a charrzooka and stabby stabby daggers in the GW2 beta.

 TB:Greetings Lewis, how are you today?

  • Catch Phrase: Numerous. Some of the most frequent ones seem to be more along the lines of a Verbal Tic, in fact.
    • "Fire ze missiles!"
    • "Im Working on it."
    • "Yes indeed.."
    • "Sounds reasonable."
    • "That's problematic."
    • "Covered in X!" (a reference to Eddie Izzard's "covered in bees!")
    • "Yes, it is delicious!"
    • "My name is Total Biscuit and I'm here to ask and answer one simple question... WTF is *insert indie game here*?"
    • "My name is Total Biscuit [beat] and I suck at Starcraft 2."
    • "By any stretch of the imagination"
    • "Free X! My favorite kind of X!"
    • "Big fan of that."
    • "Ah, bollocks..."
    • "X is/are the worst thing/things in the world..."
    • "Death to those who play false metal!"
    • "Onwards, for great justice!"
    • "Let us rock and/or roll... whichever comes first."
    • "Lets kick it off, shall we?"
    • "Funny how that works."
    • "I can tell you that for a fact."
  • Catchphrase Interruptus:

  "Onward, for great (*Meat Boy runs into buzzsaw*) ...death"

    • He also reference the trope by name during WTF is Dustforce.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: During the Star Wars Kinect Dance Off and the 14th podcast, TB visibly drinks the least amount of Champagne among the three of them, but looks even more drunk than Jesse (downed his whole bottle, yet only acts slightly more silly than usual) and Dodger (almost finished her bottle and does not look drunk at all).
  • Caustic Critic: At times, but less often than the name "Cynical Brit" would suggest. He's actually quite fair, and often finds something to appreciate even in a game he doesn't like.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Upon going to Paris and witnessing the Eiffel Tower lit up, his reply is this:

  TB: That is NOT energy efficient.

  • Cuteness Proximity: He's not usually a victim of this, but then the Popori appeared. "IT'S A BEAVER!"
    • That said, this trope is possibly parodied for the most part. There have been quite a few times where he said something that isn't stereotypically cute (like the skull in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine) being adorable.
    • One instance of this happened during Easter Day where his twitter avatar became a cute rabbit, followed up by him linking to bunny videos on youtube and posting random cute bunny pictures throughout the day. Subscribers and followers of his Twitter had a Wild Mass Guessing about whether he was momentarily possessed, drunk, sad, hungry for rabbit meat, Trolling, if it was his wife, or if he had a soft spot for bunnies.

 Subscriber: Cynical Fleet currently experiencing bunnies, please try again later.

  • Deadpan Snarker: While playing Magicka with Lewis and Simon of the Yogscast.
    • To be fair, he is this quite often, even outside of his videogaming.
  • Determinator: He can be quite persistent in his efforts to complete a task set before him, be it by a game or by a person.

  I'm not leaving until this is done! I don't care if this is a three-hour freaking video! It's gonna happen!

  "Hold stuff down and you get this combo, called the 'voltic slash' it's got a cooldown right there, two meter range... Two meter range? That's fairly impressive, quite the reach on that guy!"

  "Did I just get killed by an elevator? *Beat* I just git auhg-uhhug... Everything in this game is out to kill me! And is doing an exceptionally good job of it.

  "Nothing is bloody safe in this game!"

 You want hate? You see what the Nazis did, that's hate! Yes I brought the Nazis in. --Total Biscuit, disagreeing with the term "hater" to describe someone who strongly dislikes a game.

 "I FEEL EVERY DEATH IN THE HEART OF MY SOUL"

"Oh, you have a viking, uh, that's adorable... YAMATO CANNON!!! BOOM!! You don't have a viking anymore."

 Guy on twitter, having missed TB's announcements about the assembly in Finland: What's in Finland?

TB: Finns.

 TB: There was no jazz at all! NO JAZZ AT ALL!

  • The Mean Brit
  • Missing Episode: The three lost Terraria videos. All of them had the videos lost (the second and third by accidental deletion on TB's part) but the audio saved, and TB has released the second and third lost episodes (meant to be before episode 32) as an audio podcast. The first one, meant to be before episode 13, has not been released, though.
  • Nausea Fuel: Invoked. He gets motion sickness from playing Datajammers: Fast Forward.
    • See also "WTF Is...TheBindingOfIsaac". He says several times that the game, while fun and very well-made, is absolutely disturbing and disgusting.
  • Needs More Love: Invoked. He thought Section 8: Prejudice was becoming so massively underrated that he decided to feature it a second time.
  • Nice Hat: Why yes he does own a top hat in Real Life, and if there is a top hat to be obtained in a game he'll make it one of his top priorities to get it.
  • One of Us:
    • He mentions Tvtropes on the first episode of the GameStation podcast, as well as dropping trope names in other videos, including the second episode of aforementioned podcast.
    • He's also a registered Troper, mentioning that he reads TV Tropes quite a bit in the Febuary 15th, 2012 Mailbox and references his page (as well as OMF Gcata's.)
    • The third time is during the 14th podcast, where he rather proudly declares himself a Snark Knight.
  • Only in It For the Money: Averted, he thoroughly enjoys doing his work (The Fan Dumb that comes with it, not so much), and is not above doing charity work and donating to charity. Of course he has to earn a living from his work, but money is not the primary motivator.

  TB (speaking of money he earned): "As regards to the money I don't really care, so I went and bought a goat."

  • Podcast:
    • Has done numerous "classic" radio shows and podcasts; the most notable one, also discontinued shortly after quitting World of Warcraft, was "Blue Plz".
    • One of the regular hosts of The Gamestation's podcast alongside Jesse Cox and Dodger.
  • Precision F-Strike: At the end of his video WTF is G La DOS doing in The Ball?, after having struggled with a simple ball-based physics puzzle and (finally) passing it:

  I am the master of my own balls! (sees a ball-required pressure pad) Bollocks.

    • In fact, pretty much any use of profanity on TB's part (outside videos containing "spur-of-the-moment" reactions such as his Hallowe'en special on Amnesia: The Dark Descent or daily VoDs of his raw I Suck At Starcraft stream) - due to its irregularity, even despite his tendency to rant/be cynical - could be considered one of these.
    • Subverted in his Super Meat Boy video:

  TB: You have any idea how difficult it is (*Meat Boy runs into buzzsaw*) to resist the urge to say FFFFFFFFFF''AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!

    • He outright stated during a League of Legends livestream that it wouldn't be going up on his YouTube channel because he was swearing so much. It would go against his personal expectations when it comes to the quality of his videos.
  • Rousing Speech: He's a surprisingly good speaker.
  • Running Gag: Numerous.
    • Total Biscuit's and Jesse's ineptitude with explosives in their Terraria Let's Play.
    • Earlier, he Simon and Lewis had issues with explosives (a spell combination Simon discovered, which they began calling "ARSE Mines" after the keys needed to cast it) in their Magicka series with the Yogscast.
    • There's also the completely unrelated matter of TB describing games he enjoys as simulators:

 Magicka: The premier mage suicide simulator!

Nitronic Rush: The premier car breakdancing simulator!

Limbo: The premier get-stabbed-by-shadowy-spider simulator!

Envirobear2000: The premier bear driving simulator!

Orcs Must Die: The premier orc stabbing and trap placing simulator!

Journey: The premier cloth flying simulator!

    • A Meta-example: Whenever a YouTube Video receives recognition from TB (via a Like or share on his channel), expect one of the top liked comments to be some variation of "The Cynical Fleet as Arrived" because of the legion of TB fans watching the video.
      • This originated from TB's tendency of 1-base Battlecruiser-rushing on Starcraft II before he switched to Zerg: It got popular enough for the subscriber icons in chat to be Battlecruisers, the subscribers to be named the Cynical Fleet, and the cruisers themselves to be renamed "Biscuitcruisers".
      • A variation of this is "A Total Biscuit army is approaching from the west!", derived from the Terraria in-game message 'A goblin army is approaching from the west/east!'
    • Total Biscuit pronouncing M. Night Shyamalan as Shyamalalalal.
  • Schedule Slip: In regards to his Magicka co-op with the Yogscast; the three had increasingly busy schedules starting after Part 8, and Part 14, a 40+ minute episode, had audio issues that Total Biscuit still hadn't edited out yet when it was released two months after recording.
  • Spoonerism: Mentioned by name in his WTF is... video for Dustforce.
  • Squee: Oh, so very much during his video WTF is Warhammer 40k: Space Marine?
  • Straight Man: To Jesse Cox's Wiseguy, when paired up in projects such as DC Universe Online and Terraria.
    • Hell, he's pretty much the Straight Man to the entire Game Station. Which says a lot about the Game Station.
    • He lampshaded it himself in the Terraria series.

 TB: "You're the funny guy, I'm the straight guy, start singing, dammit!"

Jesse: "I dunno if I'd call you the straight guy! HEY-O!"

TB: *Disgusted Sigh*

 TB: Yo yo! The west side! Lemme - lemme spit for ya... and such.

Jesse: That... that is... no. No. Never - on behalf of the world, no. Don't spit for us.

  • Troll: Towards Simon of the Yogscast in Magicka and to a lesser extent Trine 2.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Discussed in-universe when playing The Binding of Isaac
  • Verbal Tic: Overlaps with Angrish. His version of distinct from others. It sounds like a weird combination of a squeak, squawk and screech.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Initially thinks the Mechanic in Terraria is male.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jesse Cox of OMF Gcata, though he admits that it's a bit played up. A bit, but not very much: he still hates Jesse. Even in front of their TGS associates.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Or more to the point, Why did it have to be puzzle games (or any game that requires puzzle-solving skills)?? TB is Dyspraxic, which according to a comment, is a motor learning difficulty that can affect planning of movements and coordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body, which means it takes TB around twice as long to solve puzzles as someone who doesn't have this.
    • Despite this, he seems to really like Super Meat Boy, which is hard enough already for a person without dyspraxia!
  • We Sell Everything: Discussed and basically ranted about in Part 4 of his Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning livestream.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things:
    • Will never ever post a Minecraft video due to the Fan Dumb: According to TB, once you go Minecraft, you never go back because of never ending fan demand. Funny enough, his wife, Intricacy, had her first Cynical Brit Community News video with Minecraft in the background, even lampshading how she's going against TB's "no Minecraft" rule.
    • Ditto for Heroes of Newerth. TB isn't going to cover it mostly because the community is so horrible, but especially because, when he'd done his first League of Legends video, he received a massive amount of hatemail from Heroes players insulting him and demanding him to cover their superior game instead. Yeah. Not too hard to believe.
    • TB no longer reads the YouTube comments in his videos because of the sheer amount of stupidity that resides there. He used to read them, but blocked them on his personal computer after his doctor told him they had given him stress-related illness. Now, his volunteer mods and his wife read them for him and relay the best and most frequent comments. Whenever he does occasionally read and respond to comments, it is like seeing chum thrown into a shark pool.
    • At this stage, the Skyrim community is nearing this point aswell, as despite having stated on several occasions that he will not do Skyrim content (because he wouldn't be able to live up to the standard for content on his page, and also because everyone and their mother is doing it), he still gets tweets, Facebook messages and YouTube comments on whether or not he will do a WTF is... Skyrim.
  • Younger Than They Look: If you estimate using his voice and the way he looks without his Nice Hat on here and here, it's easy to forget that he's 28 and actually younger than Simon Lane (34), Lewis Brindley (29) and Jesse Cox (30).

My name's been Total Biscuit, and I'll see you next time...

Notes

  1. Not actually true.
  2. Though, if game developing was the topic of a Reality Show, TB would definitely be the Mean Brit
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