There are a number of recurring themes during Jonathan Coulton live performances.
When Jonathan plays with Paul and Storm, there is often dialog about one of the performers stealing focus while the other is performing. The classic example is when Jonathan brought a video camera on stage while he performed backup vocals to Paul and Storm's "Nugget Man."
- Sabotaging Nugget Man (Alexandria, VA: 2008-03-07)
- Soft rock medley (Alexandria, VA: 2008-03-07)
- Milk Duds (Madison, WI: 2008-05-02)
Performances of Mr. Fancy Pants are often preceded or interrupted by portions of Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. The first performance of a rickroll was before Baby Got Back during Seattle, WA: 2008-04-26 with Paul, Storm, and Molly.
Soft rock medleys
When Jonathan performs Soft Rocked by Me with Paul and Storm, the middle of the song is often dedicated to a medley of spontaneously-chosen soft rock songs. A working list of list of soft rock medley songs is available.
Water is often used as a comic device during shows. This was most notable as a recurring theme at Portland, OR: 2008-04-25, as evidenced by many of the videos from that night.