Instead Of
Insteadof

A hypothetical podcast wherein three friends consider life's real headscratchers: What if instead of with hands, sign language meant communicating with cue cards? How much ranch dressing is too much…on a salad at Macho Man Randy Savage’s house? What are we all, like, even doing here? Think of us as the very best of the replies on AskReddit, because then we can think it too.

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    Ten Dicks I See

    We’re sorry, everybody, but this ‘sode got pretty heavy into wieners. We’re not sure how; they just sort of crept up on us. Maybe it was one of those great cosmic coincidences where the universe is trying to tell us something about penises—you’ll have to ask Josh (he’s been to NASA). Amidst all the chat about different animals’ dicks, we drill down on some penetrating topics, including: Josh, and the bland corpse he will one day leave behind; Tapan, matchmaker to sexless felines; and Mike, who dissolves into a bag of goo live on the air.

    Pairings: six inches of Nerd; Instead Of Uncut; a ball sack stuck to your body for the rest of your life

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    'Tisn't It Gigantic?

    When it comes to procuring maternal love, your hosts are downright experts. As seasoned sons, we're battling it out in the filial trenches every day, grinding those approval numbers, forecasting birthdays, remembering to call. In other words, earning our percentage. Tune in this week to learn how you can achieve the amount of love you deserve when your senior citizen parents welcome more competition into the fold. Later on, we learn a lot about our moms, Josh brushes up on his arm action, Tapan greases a palm or two, and Mike moves into a shitty old underground cave.

    Pairings: car wash skis; ha'p'orths; a substance even more slippery than eels

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    A Line Drawing of a Spaniel

    This episode comes out on American Thanksgiving, a time of year when we gather with family and friends to feast, appreciate each other, and, with a little luck, listen to our favorite podcast hosts. Let us kick off the festivities by saying: You’re quite welcome. Among the many things we here at Instead Of are thankful for this year, the biggest one is definitely pee. We talk about it for hours and hours, and this episode’s no different. We also touch strangers on the elbow, install sprinklers in our pants, kill a dog, and finally get to the bottom of that age-old question: Could Sonia Sotomayor operate on a fish?

    Pairings: the grace of Josh’s presence; food, but for dogs; non-melting ice

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    On the Subject of Romance

    You're a short one, #73, but doggone it, you're just such a good one. On this, our 29 minute anniversary, I need to tell you, #73. I got it bad for you. There you are, all sexy with your irreverent segments and your cute little music cues, and then there's me, quietly listening, occasionally chuckling. Don't make me wait, #73. You know I want to hear allllll about Josh's fetish for Pez shafts. Don't hold back. Show me the way Tapan wiggles his fingers. What was that? Did you say that Mike subpoenas someone? Oh, #73. You're bad ;)

    Pairings: a dedicated Swede; famous feet, I tell ya, tinsel toes!; a temp plate template

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    Anxiety Loves Company

    Here’s a quick test to determine how well you’ll relate to this episode: Imagine you’ve just peed inside your own pants. In public. And they’re khakis. Now, do you... A. Laugh, B. Cry, C. Insist you heard that peeing in your pants is cool now, or D. Shrivel into a shamehusk until you blink out of existence. If you answered D, you’re in for a treat! We confront our teenage anxieties in this one, and along the way we share some downright frightening laughs, get choked by the neck a bit, pull a few teeth, and come out the other side better for it. A real redemption arc in this one.

    Pairings: the arid sinuses of Josh; trademark teeth; the courage to punch your own father

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    Stinkbugs from Above

    Avoiding stink is one of life's great challenges. From our soup factories to our hot bars to the folds of our very jeans, everything smells bad, almost all the time. Join us this week for a special Instead Of: Stink Hunters edition, in which: Josh handles his god damn business, Tapan beats chemistry within a nanometer of its life, and Mike has just had enough.

    Pairings: stink-to-it-iveness; intimate knowledge of your closest friends; a nice cat

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    Home Ruff-alone

    They say that love at first sight is just a myth, a fairy tale reserved for swooning, big-handed teens and hair stylists with big city dreams, and here at Instead Of, we know they're right. Love at first sight isn't real! Deep in our animatronic hearts, we know that a true lifelong, abiding love is always the product of open, honest communication, a profound commitment to realizing the best in one another, and shitting on Mark Ruffalo. Accordingly, we fall in love in this one, in addition to: bootlegging closed captions, building a better monkey, and receiving community rubdowns.

    Pairings: earworm repellent; a handy bottle of All-Purpose Damox; a sick hug

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    EP_SODE S_XTY-N_NE

    Look. We all know that last episode was #68. We also know that next episode will be #70. And here we all are, sandwiched in between. Now, longtime listeners will attest that your hosts are nothing—nothing!—if not gentlemen, and we’re here to tell you: This is a classy episode. Foul language will not be tolerated. Keep your hands to yourself. Impure thoughts? Forget about it. Please, show your three gentle men the respect we deserve and refrain from saying, thinking about, or performing the sex number during this episode. Let’s be better than that.

    Pairings: a Daily Rubble; a signature skateboard; a cocaine pizza

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    A Star Is Corn

    They say the scariest thing about corn is how unhealthy it is to put in your body, so during the month of Spooktober, we here at Instead Of don’t just eat corn. We also drink corn, walk among corn, and in this one, corn spooks us to our respective cobs. So turn up your fog machines, fill those mystery bowls with some corn, and settle in for a terrifying episode, in which: Josh joins a moisture-based fetish club, Mike gets a grip on his priorities, and Tapan’s just trying to share his sunshine.

    Pairings: a nice, juicy corn steak; sun guile; a licensed pediatrician

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    October: The Spooktabucular Month

    It's... different in here. The air is thick, heavy, tinged with the scent of something metallic—copper... or blood. When you step inside, the floor creaks beneath each footfall. A sudden rush of cold air blows your candle out. It's pitch black, and you're too scared to move. You regret shaving your beard directly into your own shirt. The floor creaks again ...pat...pat...pat... and you realize it isn't you moving this time. You close your eyes tight, try not to make a sound. The door creaks slowly shut behind you. It's collection time. Welcome to Episode 67, the first installment in our wildly popular Spooktober Spectabuclar series! In this one, we bring you three tales to haunt your dreams and ruin your life: the Thanksgiving tables are turned on an unsuspecting victim, two cursed cops take on a hell of a job, and one friend has “bad news.”

    Pairings: a spooky nom de Tweet; a stab-proof wallet; a square chip

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    Snobby Lobby: How Big Bike Changed Gears

    We all pass time. Or does time pass us? Either way, if there's one thing humanity's good at, it's passin' time. We're so good at it, in fact, that we came up with a word just to describe passing-time-activities, and that word is "hobby." Pass some time with us in this episode as we explore the wide world of hobbies, including: some riveting discussion on the hands and butts of bicyclists; magicians, and where they are; and the relative merits of finding yourself dead in the water.

    Pairings: a Dickens of philias; wonder; one hand, clapping

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    Marquee Lark and the Funky Bunch

    Like Gilgamesh and Luke Skywalker before us, we return home from our journeys in this one, and you better believe we brought a zesty elixir back with us. That's right, everyone: Mike is back this week, and we're filling a whole snacksack with something spicy to celebrate. This episode's festivities include, but are not limited to: Tapan taking his cruise-dad attitude to the streets, Mike making a powerfully coiffed enemy, and Josh, half in the bag, muling his way to a brilliant business idea.

    Pairings: cheek nuts; stackable surnames; nimble fingers

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    A Note About Notes

    Days like today make you question what's truly real in the world around us. When someone yells for aid and you rush over, how foolish would you feel to find out they're only looking for 'ade, because they need to quench their thirst with a sugary lemony beverage on one of the final hot days of summer? Josh and Tapan face off in their final friendship-off before Mike's triumphant return from across the pond. We discuss the merits of using every nasty feature of your phone and getting your money's worth from a sandwich shop. To top it off, buckle your seatbelt guys and gals, because we're also gonna give you a voyeuristic look into the exciting world of planning travel logistics.

    Pairings: a map of New England; an OtterBox phone case; a lot to drag me away from you

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    Pouch Potato

    Have you heard the news today? Have you truly thought about who might have reported that news, or how it might have been viciously twisted into something barely resembling news when they’re done with it? Today you can call us Rottweilers, because we’re chewing up some stories and spitting them out, poor mangled husks of what they once were. Tapan consults the middle of Josh’s Venn diagram of fashion and internet savviness, Josh challenges Tapan’s patience, and Mike’s international reporting continues.

    Pairings: seventeen championship belts; European toilet etiquette; 47.9% of a footlong sub

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    Warren Pizza

    Hundreds of years ago, sending a loved one across the Atlantic Ocean often meant you said goodbye to them for good. Since then, we've come a long way as a society with a penchant for technological progress. International correspondence being what it is today, you'd think Instead Of would be able to roll with the punches, but our favorite Bogart may as well be on the moon this week, because he's turned in the first excused absence slip this show has ever seen. Josh and Tapan are your only tour guides on this wild ride through the countryside, pointing out such national treasures as 'that pizza place you always walk by,' 'the elementary school where they taught us to write,' and 'the exact GPS coordinates of Josh's private home.'

    Pairings: a 48-hour tape delay; a cool, refreshing lemon-lime beverage; a regular slice of watermelon, obviously

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    White Bird Singing in the Dead of Rites

    There comes a time in every parent's life when their bundle of joy leaves the nest to fare for themselves. In this analogy, Tapan and Josh are the parents, and their fledgling Mike has flown the coop after recording this episode to mingle with the exotic fauna of Europe. This leaves the former goons to fend for themselves, which includes totally wingin' this description. In this episode, we get a look into Tapan's newfound interest in astrology, Josh's experience with zoo soundtracks, and Mike's childlike wonder about the art of magic.

    Pairings: Postpartum antidepressants; cutting edge TV technology; really good aim

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    Sorry, Part II Returns

    The badboys of podcast obscurity are back for part two, and boy do we have a lot of pizza to catch you up on. Here at Instead Of, pizza is our bread and butter, but in this episode, it’s also our cake and our raison d'être. We chew very slowly in this one, savoring every bite of topics such as where cake belongs, algorithm-based destiny, and various breads, including banana. Along the way, Josh meets a friendly bus, mike narrowly avoids scarendipity, and Tapan asks the question on all our minds: “comment j’ai deltaplane?”

    Pairings: bedcrumbs; legit tomatoes; nice, clean teeth

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    When Pigsnakes Fly

    As scientists, we think that mashing two animals together into one super animal is a pretty good idea. As ethicists, we... do our best. In this one, we mash science and ethics up, and, sure, we steal some stuff along the way, but in the end, we'll all be chewing on delicious flavor-blasted snakebacon, and that's what really counts. Meanwhile, Josh heroically saves a human life, Mike nearly ends one, and Tapan solves the age-old problem of having armpits.

    Pairings: pulleys in your pants; a custom car alarm; a sensitive tongue

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    Whisper of a Troll

    Our bones: How much do we really need them? Sure, they keep our organs in and make us human-shaped, but couldn't we do... better? Here at Instead Of, we can always do better. That's why these hoverboots were made for walkin', and that's just what we're doing in this episode. We walk all over science, medicine, propriety, and good taste in this one, and boy do we smash a lot of bones in the process. Along the way, we get in line for a sexy middle-aged rollercoaster, we role-play a play, and we finally have our seminal Serial moment.

    Pairings: a hot dad; a bespoke nickname; a landline

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    Wishbone Thugs N Rooftop Harmony

    Raise your hand if you've ever gotten a haircut. Pretty familiar and relatable, right? Well what if we told you that each time you get a haircut, you morph a little bit—on the outside and the inside. In fact, everything you see and touch and put in your mouth every day has morphed before and will morph again, including you. Especially you. In this episode, we explore the mighty morphin' world around us, which includes: Josh morphing himself up some personal leg boats, Tapan's recipe for morphed chips and salsa, and Mike morphing it up in the streets.

    Pairings: “afoldly,” the word; a personal life; push notifications about burgers

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    Lumberjerks Wanted

    When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, the first thing those people need is a Really Dope Flag. Luckily, here in Insteadovia, we hold THESE truths to be self-evident: That triangular flags are really just pennants--a sub-category of flags, sure, but not the Genuine Article; that your rights to Life, Liber-tree and the pursuit of Sappiness are inalienable vis a vis how your Pee smells; and that no amount of Jerkmurder, however infinite, is enough to break the bonds that tie us all together.

    Pairings: Fore-head skin™; a cool new wang with a bunch of new crime-fighting features; a handful of cream

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    A Gameshow About Nothing

    Here are some questions upon which you might want to ruminate briefly before you hit play on this one: Who are you? What makes you... you? Have you ever, in your whole life, actually witnessed an Italian eat an omelette? In this episode, your intrepid hosts--mere voyagers on this journey we call life--probe the opaque, unknowable nooks and crannies of one another's psyches at depths we've never before explored. In so doing, we not only strengthen our interpersonal bonds, we bathe our dark sides in the brilliant, blinding lights of a gameshow set, for all the world to see.

    Pairings: backbone headphones; nothing; a snack and a Switch

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    Tall Shark Tales

    You can get a lot of things done in a year, and if you're good at counting, it turns out one of those things is recording 54 episodes of a weekly podcast. In honor of The Little Show that Could but Probably Shouldn't turning one this week, we bring back all those old chestnuts you've grown to love over the year: We catch up with frequent guest Dunston the orangutan from the film Dunston Checks In, we fuck up some walruses because they deserve it, and somewhere in there we come up with a business idea or fall down on the ground or whatever.

    Pairings: a smaller mouth; a benevolent puppetmaster; the gall to lie to another human being who trusts you

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    DNA vs. NWO: Dreamworld Tour

    We actually don't know what got into us in this one, but we're gonna get a little punchy, folks. We're sorry to say, but we actually squish someone's body so hard they die in this episode. Yeah. We know. Later on, we beat the crap out of people with root vegetables and topiary, and the thing is... we like it. Everything's fine, we swear, but we do leave beautiful corpses behind about halfway through this one. Hell, we even talk shit about butterflies. Here's one nice thing, though: we have a plan to comfort you as you slip into the cold embrace of death. Enjoy!

    Pairings: all that saliva you keep swallowing; a performance onesie; worldly desires

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    The Whole Restofit: Part II

    Folks, it's gonna behoove you to wear a helmet while you listen to this one. We mean it. We've got cantaloupes fallin' off windowsills, we got people slimin' other people, we got guys stickin' their heads inside pelicans. It's a crazy world out there in Episode 52. Are you strapped in? Okay: In this one, a melon hits the stupiddome, Mike monetizes his first dates, and Tapan improbably learns a life lesson via limited public transportation.

    Pairings: three tickets to Aspen; two big hearts; one convicted criminal

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    The New Old Testament: Part I

    Blood. What would we do without it? Not much, it turns out. Blood keeps our bodies running nice and hot, it fills our engorged muscles, and it provides us our many boners. In fact, you might say that blood gives the whole world a boner. But how does blood work, and what is it? In this episode, your hosts, one of whom is technically a scientist, go hemo-globetrotting around the high pressure world of blood, asking in-cyte-ful questions like: Can you die if your blood is too hot? How do you get new blood? Can blood be in your body and in a cup at the same time? Later on, Mike wears leg bags, Josh leaves his clothes on, and Tapan recaptures the magic... with someone new.

    Pairings: the hole where your spleen used to be; secret dogs; cumin pie

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    Wheel Talk: We're 50

    Before you listen to this one, we have a checklist for you to complete: 1. Sit down; 2. Relax; 3. Drop some acid; 4. Eat hard candies; 5. Keep relaxing, everything's fine; 6. Become a spider; 7. STOP RELAXING. Did you do it? Are you scared now? Okay, then here we go: This week's episode stars Josh, who creeps the shit out of everybody at the grocery store, Tapan, who gets twice as ripped as a human being ever could, and Mike, who gets his mogul ass whooped.

    Pairings: A bona fide extraterrestrial stunt driver; business acumen; a jet black heart

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    The Rest Is History

    According to the latest data, a small cadre of diehard fans in Japan listen to Instead Of instead of other podcasts. Hello, fans in Japan! We're sure you have a lovely country, but we've never been there, so we're not really sure what we're bringing to the table for you all. That said, we hope you enjoy some more of our regularly scheduled hot shit: Josh's pizza man is a blasé faire capitalist, Mike sucks up $1.10 worth of pepper, and Tapan puts an unlikely corporate merger to bed.

    Pairings: superhuman self-restraint; a steel-reinforced vuvuzela; a whistle only ducks can blow

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    Shave a Hedge, Ride a Cowboy60510725

    "Amazza!" he said, surveying the mounds of dirt he'd just finished. "In all my years of dirtboardin', I ain't seen nothin' prettier." But the words were empty, hollow, like the nutrient-poor soil he'd grown up on. The farmer knew the hills of Tuscany better than anyone, knew the embrace of their curves, the sensualities of their dips and rises. He'd been boarding them for nigh on 25 years now, harvesting their life-giving dirt each spring for his summer dirt crop. But it could get lonely up there for a dirt farmer, dirtboarding down the slopes with no one but the dirt waiting for him at the bottom. Standing there, his beautiful, loamy dirt spread out before him, some long-felt but heretofore unacknowledged need churned up within the farmer like so much roiling dirt and flashed across the surface, and just like that he knew: He had to leave the dirt behind.

    Tune in this week to listen to your intrepid hosts talk about dirt a lot, in addition to: robots that have the legal authority to buy pizza, decorating your home on your grandma's dollar, and the sad, sad world of competitive lawncare.

    Pairings: genuine mania; electrodes for strength; the knowledge that owl pellets are 68% dirt

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    A Coalition of Dunces

    In sane times, Josh feigns crimes; in strained rhymes, he pain-dines on primetime slime: pasta fagioli. Ghouls wanna be him, but can he swim? His cookie skim 'bout to send him to prison, so tune in, ladies and gentlemen, The Jesus of Cola has risen.

    Meanwhile, we make coke, glue stuff to our cars, and rob a bunch of children.

    Pairings: nerves of steel and a giant appetite; scruples; not being Josh's friend on the internet

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    Golden Date Road Warriors

    A lot of veteran podcasters will tell you that the key to nailing the follow-up to your cliffhanger episode is to not immediately let go of the cliff and fall to your death, but, hey, we've only done this 45 times before. Cut us some slack while you listen to this one, in which: jigging Josh jeers jaunty joggers, Tapan's tryst-talk topic triggers tremendous titters, and Mike pukes all over the place.

    Pairings: impulse control; copy-paste immunity; a shitty potato no one likes

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    Tai Chew

    Right around 1991, Al Gore invented the internet, and since then everything's gone downhill: first Mufasa died, then there was Woodstock '99, and eventually the Zune was available for purchase. That downward spiral culminates in this very episode of Instead Of, in which Tapan's WiFi fails like so many of our nation's small businesses. Nevertheless, we manage to put our signature funk on this one: Mike keeps his eye on the sky, Josh takes the "stop" out of "bus stop," and Tapan pelts his friends with fruity flavor until they fall.

    Pairings: floss, you animals; proper thumb posture; James John’s stolen aromas

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    Penny Lenin

    According to Cole Porter, birds, bees, and, yes, even fleas do sex. Now we know what you're thinking, and the answer is kind of: Water fleas reproduce asexually, but cat fleas... cat fleas bang each other. And if you’ve ever met a cat, you know cat fleas are good at it. Your three hosts are considerably less good at sex than a flea is, which won't be surprising after you hear this one. Episode 44 finds Mike as the walking, talking result of receiving your sexual education from Chris Rock, while Josh finally gives the proletariat a chance, and Tapan's haunted by a ghost in a machine.

    Pairings: No friends; hair goggles; a nice, long drag on a refreshing classroom cigarette

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    Chocolate Train

    The turducken, popularized by legendary TV carnivore John Madden, is a favorite holiday tradition over at Instead Of HQ. Here's how it works: you take a chicken, the smallest of the fowl, and you ram it into a duck, the second biggest one, then you ram that whole package into a turkey, famously the most receptive of the game birds. Then, we're guessing, you ram the whole thing down your gullet. In this week's episode, Josh rams his turducken of vehicles straight to the ocean floor, while Tapan channels Wilhelm Wonka by sharing his Swiss chocolate, and Mike finally accepts how bad he smells.

    Pairings: a tongue glove; more pints of Diet Coke than blood in your body; a sense of decency

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    49% Invisible

    When you really think about it, 42 is a pretty dope number. Jackie Robinson wore #42. Lewis Carroll got high on the number 42. Douglas Adams said 42 is the answer to all of life's questions. Our meager contribution to 42's impressive oeuvre is rife with fraud, extortion, blackmail, and blasphemy. That's right, folks... we're going corporate. Welcome to the Shark Tank, where Josh's money makes him other money, Tapan puts two teenaged embezzlers on blast, and it turns out Mike is the second coming, brought to you by T-Mobile.

    Pairings: A delicious bowl of cotton; a delicious bowl of cocaine; a delicious bowl of kryptonite

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    Alibite to Eat

    Longtime Instead Of listeners have witnessed several traditional elements of the show wax and wane over the weeks: from the Quizno's chat of the early days, to the grocery store anecdotes of our teen years, to our bread and butter: never following up on anything we say. But now a new tradition has taken the reins, and in this one, it brings Josh to his knees. After that, Mike becomes a robe guy, Tapan shotputs cow dung, and we fly just close enough to the sun.

    Pairings: shoes that are also planes; "Rocks;" the second one in the 2-pack

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    Hair Metal Today, Gone Fishin' Tomorrow

    With the latest Marvel flick hitting theaters soon, we decided to take our own crack at leaving the best part of the pod until after the credits roll. Welcome to your weekly box office bonanza, where this week shit literally gets real. That's right, we interact with the outside world live on the air, and boy do we learn some lessons. Tapan learns the subtle, supple delights of holding a Tide pod against his bare flesh, Mike learns how to strip for fitness and profit, and Josh learns why you shouldn't approach your heroes in the bathroom.

    Pairings: Platt-level jowls; the fastest horsecar this side of the Mississipp'; rhythmic cleansing

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    Romantic Mergers & Acquisitions

    Spring, as is so often said, is the season of rebirth, of new love. It's sunny again, plants are bangin', animals are going to town on each other. The stink of love is in the air, and we here at Instead Of HQ are your trusty SARS mask. To that end, we spend a lot of this episode matchmaking: we weave the tragic tale of star-crossed lovers from opposite ends of our contact lists, Josh gets fresh with Malcolm Gladwell, and we invent a service to help overly friendly gamers creep each other out, probably.

    Pairings: a keyboard splash guard; shame; a 10-episode commitment

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    Zoo Streak: Snorigins

    Picture this: Apartment interior, dusk. Josh, leg broken, wheels into a long, thin shadow. Lights from the building across the park shine like half moons in his binoculars. Outside, the neighborhood is alive with the sounds of children falling down, of leather hole-salers hawking their holes, and tape measures snapping back too fast. On the evening breeze, he catches the scent of flank steak sizzling on a neighbor's Xbox; his stomach rumbles, and he remembers the stipend. The stipend that never came. Now picture this: shoes that go backwards and forwards at the same time. That should give you an idea what this one is like.

    Pairings: a CPAP machine; a functioning turbo button; some sick riffs to rick at the bar later

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    Wear the Sidewalk Trends

    There comes a point in every podcast host's life when we must each ask ourselves: What is my price? How much does the one human soul I get... cost? It's something to chew on as you listen to this one, in which Tapan shamelessly panders to you, buying and selling your love like so many pocket combs, while Mike and Josh spend their pod money like normal people: on their ears and bladders. Later, Josh falls down too much, Mike lives vicariously through hobbyist magazines, and Tapan, well, Tapan sucks a piece of cheese right off a fork.

    Pairings: a hopper full of balls; a gross orange; training wheels for skis... training skeels?

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    Travel the World and the Seven Sneeze

    We're takin' you to school in this one, everybody. This episode is kind of like Khan Academy or Coursera, but stupid. If The Magic School Bus and Sarah Palin had a baby, it would be this episode. This episode is a lot like the film Back to School, but less educational. We cover all the hot topics: how many oceans there are, the months of the year, and basic bookshop tessellation. Mike gets intellectually dominated throughout the show, while Josh tells a grim K-Pop fable, and Tapan finds himself awash in the deep, blue waters at the end of his 20s.

    Pairings: three more brains; Loo Powder; all those rare candies you've been hoarding

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    Tyger Tyger, Burning Rubber

    The Urban Dictionary defines "passion" as "when you put more energy into something than is required to do it #intense #bliss." By that definition, we waste a lot of energy on our passion projects in this one: Josh builds a needlessly complicated analog version of Grubhub, Mike delves deep into the forests of Valenwood to uncover some essential Bosmer lore, and Tapan finds the perfect marriage for his three great loves: prescription muscle relaxers, paternal instincts, and Stone Cold Stunners.

    Pairings: Immunity Sand™; a cow map; detailed notes

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    Back Inaction

    Pain. Suffering. Pizza. Death. Of course, we all grew up learning that these are the four pillars of the Diamond of Life, but how often do we actually put them into practice? This week, we dive deep into the Tao of Tapan, revealing, among other things, the core tenets of the doctrine: how not to compare your life to the Holocaust, how to steal an election, and how to chop a pizza in half with your bare hands.

    Pairings: cyclobenzaprine; a seaworthy vessel; low voter turnout

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    Domestic Eating Animals

    In this one, we start by discussing what we would do if we got 25 minutes of our days back, which is a question you may also ask yourself by the end. Later, Mike uses tissues wrong, Tapan goes off on water slides, Josh gets in on the mozz stick racket, and we answer the best listener question we've ever received.

    Pairings: a waterproof hippo saddle; a good umbrella; more time

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    Low Steaks Hoarse Trading

    Longtime Instead Of listeners will recognize a theme in Episode 32. Yep, you guessed it: in this one, two out of your three hosts throw food at people, while the other trains them to pee. Concurrently, Tapan commits bland theft auto, Mike finds his life homie in the fourth grade military, and Josh quacktracks right on through his green light.

    Pairings: a goddamn Dilly Bar, of all things; $25 and no fear; some lozenges

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    Yoguy, Your Ghoulfriend's Here

    Wedding season will be here before you know it, and here at Instead Of HQ, the bells are a-chimin'. That's right, we're getting hitched (again), and, this time, to more than just furniture. Incidentally, Josh resurrects a catchy little ditty from his past in this one, while Mike drinks a spoonful of downward dog, and Tapan banishes him to the Boreanaz Zone.

    Pairings: a smartphone and a shovel; Mithril™ by lululemon; a spit valve

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    Shoeston, We Have a Wobblem

    In this, the 30th installment in our series, we bring to you, Dear Listener, timeless stories: stories of loss, of redemption, of striving for perfection in an imperfect world; the types of stories that are woven into the fabric of our very lives, the songs etched onto our bones... and in so doing, we reveal some meager slice, some obstructed view, of the essential nature of humanity. Then Josh gets these bitchin' rocket skates and Tapan pulls a sick wheelie and Mike gets pregnant at laser tag.

    Pairings: a silky Johnny; a 300-outlet surge protector; one weightlifting glove

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    Keys, Limes, Pies

    After 29 episodes, you’d think we’d come up with some new stuff to talk about, but here we are: it’s 2018 and Tapan’s still inventing sports drinks for shut-ins. Yep, we’re just a handful of snacks lookin’ for a good time in this one—Josh accepts a dare to contract botulism, Mike rubs Ragú on his clients, and we adapt Mark Z. Danielewski’s avant-garde horror masterpiece for kids.

    Pairings: A custodian's key ring, Walk the Line; love for your natural penis

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    Beet Baby Jesus

    Well, folks, it’s that time again: January 3rd, 2018. In this one, we’re writing checks our asses will almost certainly cash. Tapan wants to be the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy?', Josh finally figures out how to impress his parents, and Mike plays a very spiritual game of Undercover Boss.

    Pairings: a tall, refreshing glass of beet juice; a first edition holo Charizard; a virtual toaster

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    BREAKING: Statue Refuses to Change Position on Amateurs Fighting

    Here at Instead Of we pride ourselves on keepin’ it real, which is why we’re solving the fake news crisis with our fists in this one. Tapan knocks Mike’s toilet paper anxiety out cold, Mike throws in the towel on prom, and Josh finally punches Tapan in the face.

    Pairings: a Costco card; a name tag; and will somebody please get this poor rabbi a parachute!?

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    First Annual Instead Of Gift Sift

    Jingle Bells, Tapan yells, takes us down a peg, the temp of veal makes Mike squeal and Josh is a dunk tank, hey! That’s right, folks, it’s time for our first Instead Of holiday special. Also, Tapan gives new meaning to the phrase “like father, like son,” Josh gets his comeuppance, and Mike shuts the fuck up.

    Pairings: an adorable puppy with a big red bow on it; Weird Al’s virtuoso accordion classic “Angry White Boy Polka;” some sort of penis cloth

    Brought to you by Kepler, the cutest dog on Instagram: @kepseattle

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    The Land of Cheese and Money

    Instead Of has spread love and shedded red blood over whack crackpot tall tales with a lack of tact like a smack-talking mack daddy Jack Black attracting flak racking up fat stacks in a blackjack comeback to bankroll his black Cadillac.

    Tapan aims blame at gaps in lame names on maps of lands with bland crap that sounds the same. Josh chimes in with prime advertising rhyming within and stumps his cohost chumps with talk of frumpy Trump's fair jeering at bear hearing. Mike's depressing confession raises pressing questions over his ongoing solitary obsession.

    Brought to you by Munchies, kind of.

    Pairings: hustle, flow; opinions about cheese; the paw-dacity of hope

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    Pop Stocks and Two Thousand Dollar Apparel

    Here at Instead Of, we don’t like to think of ourselves as smut-peddlers. That said, in this one we direct the most rule-heavy porno ever filmed at sea, Josh terrifies you to orgasm in the world’s most existentially horrifying theme park, and we—very sexily—fire Tapan as show CFO. Tune in next week to learn about a cool dog who everyone really likes.

    Pairings: a 2-liter of cotton candy Faygo; shitty clothes and shoes; a fashionable bicep workout

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    Look Ma, No Handles

    We ain’t cheesin’ this week, folks. We ain’t cheesin’ one bit. We’re coming at you crust-first with another classic Instead Of foodie episode. Josh flings cat food all over his apartment, Mike has the tiniest, fluffiest Thanksgiving, and the boys stumble into Seattle’s most delicious underground fight club.

    Pairings: Something to push the poop and guts out of the worms before you eat them; no robbers at all, ever; a cat!

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    Harder, Better, Faster, Monger

    Just a fair warning, everybody: We do some crimes in this one, and it gets pretty hardcore. Tapan takes his driving talents STRAIGHT TO JAIL, Mike is rude to someone who WORKS WITH CHEESE, and Josh learns to play the SOUSAPHONE.

    Pairings: An odorous Limburger; a sound-proof condom; incredulity in spades

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    Mike's Inappropriate Love of Horses

    We get our druthers this week, and you know what that means: Slander! Libel! Thumb-fives! Just kidding, what we really do is invent a really personal and cruel version of Baggage, catalog the fauna of Florida, and read our very first on-air advertisement (its great you’ll love it).

    Pairings: transatlantic floaties; a secret handshake; a record deal for Tapan, hot damn

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    Early Moth Gets the Warm... Chili

    Sup, ya jerks! In this one, Mike gets a weird boner for a dragon, Tapan hiyups it up at The Moth, and Josh literally stalks an iPhone X. Here’s a fun listening challenge: can you detect the subtle undertones of incontinence running throughout the episode?

    Pairings: Official Instead Of chili gloves; a Spamburger; blood red contacts

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    Sealing the Neil

    Hey, it’s week 19! In honor of this, our milestone 19th episode, we just kind of happened to nibble on a couple of nostalgic topics, including: that old chestnut where you fall off a Razor scooter, getting stung by a bee in the face, and baking desserts against your friends way before Paul Hollywood, piercing as his gaze may be, ever laid eyes on anybody’s bake.

    Pairings: the hottest new position in the sex game; no shirt, $12, and a ride to Target; shawl pain ointment

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    Kona Is Sorbae

    Special shout-out to all our Mandela Effect fans—we really bump it up in this week’s timestream! Tapan goes on a one-dog adventure in a seven-horse town, Josh is definitely way smarter than Adam Sandler, and Mike is literally the only person who gets to have a cliffhanger in the post-credits sting (stick around, they’re great).

    Pairings: a pair of righteous danglers; Pepto Bismol (please send it c/o Josh); seriously, all you need is a potato

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    Crashablanca: The Fall of Masculinity

    As the old saying goes, it’s not how many times you fall down that counts, it’s how many times in a row. We’re up to some classic highjinks in this one: Tapan’s on his geisha grind, Josh pulls a great prank and we all laugh, Mike tells a non sequitur about clowns, and we learn just what the heck Black Sabbath was talking about all this time.

    Pairings: Heaven and Hell; an infrared jammer; some gum I guess?

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    Race Issues: Cramping America's Style

    Five hours is a long time, but not long enough for Mike to come up with anything to talk about this week. Instead, Josh proves himself the bellend of the ball, Tapan chokes on some warm roughage, and three marginal on-air talents get in especially hot soup with an Uber driver... live!

    Pairings: gobs and gobs of Biofreeze; tact; that sweet, sweet PSL you publicly eschew but secretly crave

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    Now Enjoy Some Wieners (Talking)

    This is one of those episodes where we give away some really choice IP for free, so come take a bath with us this week! Josh tells a fucking fascinating story about elevators, Tapan accidentally becomes The Bachelor in real life, and Mike gives the world’s least knowledgeable TED Talk. Oh, and we basically do a table read for Click 2.

    Pairings: human dignity; an acid guy; more time

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    The Bubble with Grandma

    Well, folks, it’s hot out there this week, and we're hosing each other down like so many elephants in the circus of life. When they make this one into a movie, Josh’ll be played by Harrison Ford, the irony of which is almost as delicious as Tapan’s new signature dish: (and we quote) “handheld... omelette... hash.” We’ll let that concept germinate for a moment. Meanwhile, Mike imagines a future in which we grow vegetables for later consumption, and we all take a lovely trip to Josh’s grandma-themed mind palace.

    Pairings: 100% more mozz stick; a whirlwind of butterflies to pee on; immense wealth

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    The Mattrix Refrigerated

    We'd like to welcome you to the show today with a reading from the Gospel of Right Said Fred: "With my hand upon my heart / Just one slowdance / I'll rescue you, rescue you / La, la, la, etc." That's right, we're getting our groove back this week. The lyrical complexities of a Lou Bega song literally melt our brains, Mike really puts the F in Riot Fest (he's sorry), Josh pimps Xzibit's life, and Tapan's Fred Stoller impression is coming along quite nicely.

    Pairings: Lightning Rod, by Martha Stewart Living; a bedside flautist; salsa :-(

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    Remember Part I? Part II

    Welcome to the riveting conclusion to Remember Part I?: Remember Part I? Part II. Settle in, 'cause we're about to answer all those burning questions that've been eating at you since yesterday. Questions like, "Will those dolphins be okay?" and, "What did they talk about again?" It's also Disappoint Your Family Week here on Instead Of, and we're really getting in a festive mood. Tapan ties the knot with a four-poster, Josh's hubris is the entire ocean's undoing, and Mike successfully tricks Tapan into thinking Sisqo is a time-traveler, putting the final nail in the coffin that is his master plan.

    Pairings: a seasoned falconer; a sexy new wax job; a mattress topper (trust us)

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    Remember Part I?

    Autumn's almost here, and you know what that means: it's rutting season in this one. Josh fathers a freshman class, Mike begets a sports league, and Tapan, well, Tapan just needs two hands. Tapan and Josh make uncomfortable irl eye contact throughout most of the episode, in which Josh gets his hair cut on Broadway, Tapan's like Memento if he didn't get any of those tattoos, and Mike plans a wedding that only Johnny Utah himself could pull off.

    Pairings: Abstinence education; ginkgo baloba; aqua socks

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    Stenhouse of Horrors

    Hi, folks. This is the first thing we ever recorded--a glimpse into the salad days, back before Quizno's bought our souls like so many Baja chicken subs. We were young then, just three cash-poor goofballs with microphones and a big dream: to one day eat the sun.

    Pairings: a Tapan Jani original; the rest of the Light Brigade; a sexbot, obviously

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    Kernel Pleasures

    You'll smell us coming this week, 'cause we're starting some Orville Redenbacher beef. Your 'corn's subgourmet, Orv. At other times during the episode, we meet a very stylish and handsome monkey, Master Joshua gets saucy and we love it, and Tapan's worried about his brain grammar. Hey Dan in Cleveland... you're welcome.

    Pairings: a 12 foot wing span; 50% more taps; a seat

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    Macarena & Cheese

    Like the litch who used to be Keith Richards, we're just up there doing our best in this one. We get to learn so many cool things about Josh, including that he wrote an incredible jingle about a revolting sandwich. Meanwhile, Tapan accidentally broadcasts that soulful Motown sound, and Mike gets a sneak preview of DJ Breakfast Food's latest mixtape.

    Pairings: a snifter full of Hennessy; Velveeta products; a nice, big bullwhip

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    The Old Man and the Pool

    Get all punchdrunklove-y dovey with us this week, as Mike threatens to punch Tapan, Tapan threatens to fight Josh, and Josh buys everybody presents. We re-live the moments leading up to Josh's conception, Mike gets some of the sweet, bloody attention he craves, and Tapan encounters a no-scoping urinal alpha the likes of which haven't been seen in this realm for nigh on a thousand moons or more.

    Pairings: cardiovascular endurance; a real, functioning proton pack; some SPF 30 is probably good enough

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    An Ocean of Blame

    You know that difficult-to-identify-yet-undeniably-present feeling of unease and despondency you get while listening to this one? That's totally normal--it's Malaise Week! Tapan keeps it one hundred with the youth, Josh's hairline... does its best, and Mike almost dies on an island. But it's cool, 'cause we're all gonna die eventually.

    Pairings: at least 20 Solo cups; the black magic Brian Urlacher has performed on his hair; yes, a whoopie pie

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    Little Blue Corvette

    You're gonna want to bundle up, folks, 'cause we're breaking the ice in this one. Tapan's spitting hot fire with yet another grocery shopping anecdote, Josh makes his directorial de-"Blue," and we keep on Rollin' with a riveting round of the hit audio-only game "Painstakingly Describe That Yoga Pose." Hey, at least we don't talk about Quizno's this time.

    Pairings: R1, R1, CIRCLE, R2, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT; Joe's Garage; anything but Schindler's List

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    2002: A Toast Odyssey

    This week we polish off a hoagie with a side of hot tomatoes, kn'a'm'sayin'? Tune in for more of the classic sandwich-related gags you know and love as we continue our quest to rebrand Quizno's, lower our mind-buckets into a deep well of psychological torture, and fucking nail our first Instead Of lighting round. You're gonna need to wash your hands after this one.

    Pairings: Seriously, soap and water; the cake; The Jackie Chan Grill™

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    Thrid Time's a Charm

    A bunch of wienerslavs come of age over pineapple upside down cake in this one. Listen, rapt, as we psychoanalyze Josh's sepia-toned childhood, debate the eternal unknowability of New England, and meticulously plan our first Instead Of inside joke.

    Pairings: Wet Wipes; a real, live parrot; tortilla chips

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    Ice Cream Pant Job

    There’s a storm a-brewin’ this week, as our heroes dive deep down a black rabbit hole to ponder some of life’s enduring mysteries: How much is too much to ask of your delivery driver? What, exactly, is our place in the universe? Are there some dessert-related wounds that never heal? Tune in and soak up some of the sweet, lugubrious funk we’re giving off in this one.

    Pairings: laundry detergent; short-pants; Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard

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    O.J.'s Midnight Ride

    In which three intrepid friends stumble through the inaugural episode of their wildly successful podcast, learning along the way Josh's elementary school was live-tweeting in 1995, that two-time NBA slam dunk champion Zach Lavine offers a surprisingly deep vein of conversational ore from the shoulders up, and that a certain beloved dinosaur would make a terrible Jigsaw.

    Pairings: any of the Naked Guns; a sweet kick-flip; peanut butter, jam

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