Lindsay Ellis

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Name: Lindsay Ellis
Also Known As: The Nostalgia Chick, Nostalgic Woman
Occupation: video essayist, media film critic, author
Medium: Youtube, video essays, books
Works: The A-Word, The Nostalgia Chick, It's Lit, The Whole Plate (essay series), Loose Canon (essay series), Noumena (book series)
Official Website(s): Youtube Channel,
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Lindsay Ellis is a video essayist and media critic who started making videos in 2008 as The Nostalgia Chick, the female counterpart to Channel Awesome's The Nostalgia Critic. In 2014, she left Channel Awesome to focus on her own channel, where she makes more serious longform video essays on film analysis. Many of her most popular videos involve her critique of Disney films, however she is also known for her series on the Transformers Bayverse.

Content Creation Timeline

The Nostalgia Chick

The Nostalgia Chick was a character Lindsay played as part of the larger 'universe' of Channel Awesome/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses characters. Lindsay became the Nostalgia Chick in 2008 after 'winning' a talent search run by Doug Walker.[1] As the Nostalgia Critic's counterpoint, her videos were of a similar comedic vein, though (originally) about media specifically targeted at a female audience. Like The Nostalgia Critic, she had a catchphrase ("I remember it because the dudes don't"), ongoing gags, and interactions with the other characters on the channel. Her first review was Pocahontas,[2] a movie she revisits on her own channel nearly a decade later[3] in a way that showcases the differences between her critique styles then and now.

As time went on, The Nostalgia Chick stopped reviewing purely girl-targeted nostalgic media, and started branching out. This branching out eventually lead to her leaving Channel Awesome and her work as The Nostalgia Chick in 2014.[4]

Eponymous Work

In 2014, Lindsay left Channel Awesome to focus on her own content,[4] and because she felt the Nostalgia Critic 'brand' was not one she felt comfortable with anymore. She started posting videos to her own channel, and with her own creative freedom. Her eponymous work involves longer videos with a more serious (though often still dry) tone. She often touches on films within the context of history or as part of a larger movement; for example, Disney films as part of the corporation of Disney itself[5], Transformers as it relates to Marxism[6] or The Hobbit films and their impact on New Zealand politics[7].

Other Work

Outside of her own channel, she also hosts a literature-specific review series It's Lit! with PBS[8].

Beyond video essays, she's also been involved with other non-critique projects. She created and directed a documentary short called The A-Word (occasionally stylized 'The Ayy Word') that followed her personal journey in getting an abortion and the stigma of abortions in general[9]. Along with her friends Elisa Hansen and Antonella Serra, and under the portmanteau/pen-name Serra Elinsen, she helped write Awoken, a monster romance parody about H.P. Lovecraft's classic monster Cthulhu.[10] The process of conceiving, writing and selling it is chronicled at the Booze Your Own Adventure Youtube series. In 2020, she published her first novel, Axiom's End.

Involvement with #ChangeTheChannel

This article or section needs expansion.

Needs more details about #ChangeTheChannel

In 2018, current and former members of Channel Awesome, including Lindsay Ellis, published a large document detailing various corporate issues including sexual harassment, sexism, improper labor practices, layoffs of sick and injured employees and endangerment of co-workers, among other things.[11] This document and the ensuing events were later named after the hashtag ChangeTheChannel, which was sparked by the revelations therein.

2021 Retirement from Content Creation

In Dec 27, 2021, Ellis stated in a Patron-only post that she regretted being a part of the online community, that she had been traumatized by it, and was stepping away from content creation. Though the goodbye was meant to be exclusive to Patrons, fans posted the essay openly on the subreddit for Lindsay Ellis.[12] Since her announcement, she has not made any more YouTube videos, deleted her Twitter, and has stopped making Patron exclusive video content. As of April 2022, it's unclear how her step away from social media and content creation has affected or will affect her novel trilogy Noumena. Fans of Ellis and her work on Reddit speculated briefly on what her retirement meant for her writing.[13]

Fan Responses

Criticism of Lindsay Ellis ranges from sexist commentary to feminist critique. [14]

I think she got fucked over by being called The Nostalgia Chick (or giving herself that name? Not sure who did), making everyone expect a female Doug. But I don't think that was ever how she was trying to sell herself. Her initial review was a lot more about the subject's content and historical relevance than bad filmmaking. I mean, she led with Pocahontas - you kind of had to infer from the get-go that she was, as the kids today say, an "SJW."

I think trying to brand her as a female Doug screwed her over from the very beginning - it attracted the wrong audience for her and, of course, a lot of fucking assholes. Honestly I think a lot of people turned up because they thought she was hot, and stuck around as long as she was doing more frivolous videos (although again they often were fairly serious despite the comedic bits), but once she started getting ideas and thinking...

She might've been better off if they'd retired the Chick character after her videos stopped being about nostalgia and became more serious, but I'm guessing that was out of her control, and the internet being what it is, who knows if that would even have helped.[15]

Lindsay herself has critiqued her own older work as The Nostalgia Chick, calling it "too nitpicky" and part of an unfortunate trend of online media criticism.[16]

Involvement in Fandom

Lindsay has mentioned an involvement in fandom, specifically writing and publishing fanfiction, at different points in her work, though she has not publicly linked her real name to a fannish identity. She is known to have been in the fandoms for Transformers and Phantom of the Opera. In her published novel series, Noumena, Ellis left references to the Transformers fandom by naming two characters Star and Scream in Esperanto. She also referenced Beast Wars: Transformers and Michael Bay's Bayverse films by quoting "the whole plate."

In a video about her personal journey to becoming a published author, Lindsay credited fanfiction for helping her realise that she was capable of finishing stories:

So I joke a lot about fanfic, but the truth is fanfic is actually really good practice and a good way to decide if that is something that you want to pursue. And I joke about it a lot, especially with the Phantom stuff, but the truth is I was not terribly prolific until I was in college, because I had this narrative about myself that you know, "I just don't finish things, I'm just - I just don't have the attention span. Too bad for me. I guess I'm just going to work in data collection for the rest of my life because I'm 22 and I don't know anything."

But then, thanks to the wonderful world of fanfiction, I actually did start finishing some stuff! You know, it wasn't good, but I finished it.[17]

In July 2020, Lindsay took part in a guest post for The Organization for Transformative Works in which she spoke about how she came to be involved in fandom.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

The year was 2001. I was a rather apathetic atheist in high school in South Tennessee, and I had several classmates who made trying to save my soul into an extracurricular activity. Between my sophomore and junior year, a local youth group paid for me to go on a trip with them to New York for a week of soul-saving fun. I did not find Jesus on that trip, but I did find the Original Broadway Recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera at the now-defunct Virgin Megastore in Times Square. As soon as I got home, I spent the rest of the summer reading Phantom fanfiction, (or, “Phanfiction” har har). The rest was history.

What fandom things have inspired you the most?

I feel like in fandom there’s something for everyone, and it’s often where I’ve found the most interesting and reliable communities. The truth is, getting a start in fanfiction during and after college is the only reason I decided to become a novelist. Having fanfiction as my playground was what made me realize that this was something I was even capable of doing, and through that I began to develop the tools that would eventually lead me to getting published. Took a couple decades, but I got there eventually.[18]

Hugo Award Nomination

In 2019 Lindsay - along with her co-creator Angela Meehan - was a finalist for a Hugo Award in the category of Best Related Work for the video essay series The Hobbit Duology, in the same year and category that the Archive of Our Own was nominated (and subsequently won).

In a tweet referencing this, Lindsay wrote,

We are up against... *checks notes* ... Ursula K. LeGuin and the very institution of fanfiction itself. ...well, it's an honor just to be nominated![19]

In her July 2020 guest post for the OTW, Lindsay also joked,

I suppose my current biggest connection to OTW is losing a Hugo Award to you guys. I’m not salty about that, though. I’m fine. Really.[18]


  1. ^ Nostalgia Chick Winners
  2. ^ Nostalgic Woman: Pocahontas
  3. ^ Pocahontas Was A Mistake, and Here's Why!
  4. ^ a b Farewell Channel Awesome, and a pre-emptive FAQ
  5. ^ e.g., "The Revisionist World of Disney: Mary Poppins, Walt Disney and Saving Mr. Banks"
  6. ^ "Marxism!: The Whole Plate Episode 9", part of The Whole Plate series which examines film and film theory via the Transformers series.
  7. ^ "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Warners (Part 3/2)"
  8. ^ It's Lit! homepage
  9. ^ The A Word
  10. ^ Awoken by Serra Elinsen on Amazon
  11. ^ ChangeTheChannel: A Short Summary Of Events
  12. ^ Lindsay on Twitter: "Goodbye", Reddit. Dec 27, 2021 (Accessed 4/8/2022)
  13. ^ On the status of the noumena series, Reddit. Jan 6, 2022. (Accessed 4/8/2022)
  14. ^ Why do people target Lindsay Ellis so much?
  15. ^ molly__pop on reddit
  16. ^ 400k Q&A
  17. ^ How To Get A Book Deal in Ten Years or Less, Lindsay Ellis, YouTube. Posted December 7, 2019 (Accessed July 10, 2020).
  18. ^ a b OTW Guest Post: Lindsay Ellis, Organization for Transformative Works. Published July 10, 2020 (Accessed July 10, 2020).
  19. ^ Tweet by @thelindsayellis, April 2, 2019 (Accessed July 10, 2020).