There are many different techniques that are employed by abridged series. Here are some of them.
One of the most commonly used techniques are references. This is done by taking a line, a phrase, or even a scene from another media. For example, many abridgers have an episode using the 24 style opening.
Another way references can be used is by noting a character is similar to someone in another series, or modeling their voice after someone from another series. An example of this occurs in Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged episode 2, where the voices of Weevil and Rex are made to sound like Beevis and Butthead. Another example is in the Crazybout version of Higurashi Abridged, where a nameless biker is identified as Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho.
A reference joke does not have to always be spoken. You could also use music from other shows to match what is going on. An example of this is in Yu-Gi-Oh! the Abridged Movie, where the classic Transformers theme music is played when XYZ-Dragon Cannon assembles itself.
The music does not have to be from a series. Littlekuriboh used Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire when there was a flaming twister. It does generally help you use music that goes along with video.
One thing that is important when you use a music reference, is that you must give credit to the creator of the music and give the name of the song. The reason being, that you do not seem to take credit for their work. Also, giving the song name cuts down on the number of requests for the name of the song.
Another way a reference can be used is to mix video from some other media into an episode. This can be a full screen scene or a picture-in-picture set up.
Observational is another technique. Instead of drawing on outside resources, the abridger uses material from the series. Things like pointing out flaws in the plot, mentioning future developments, or how the actual scripting was. Littlekuriboh often points out how events in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series are affected by a "children's card game".
This approach uses the power of video editing. Instead of following the original plot, the abridger makes some changes. The biggest use of this is in Naruto Abridged, when the outcome of a battle and the resulting death was changed completely. A more extreme example of plot alteration would be TeamDattetebayo's Death Note Abridged. In the original version, the Death Note is used by Light to kill criminals; using the Death Note to bring about a perfect world under him. In TeamDattetebayo's version, the notebook kills anime characters and Light is using it so he can become the most popular anime character.
Alterations can also be a half-half thing, such as with Saiyuki Reload The Abridged Series, wherein most of the plots are subtly changed while still remaining true to the character type, even if only barely, such as a woman's voice being so bad it caused her food to spoil and subsequently kill people (including her husband), when in the actual video, her cooking was actually being accidentally infused with holy energy which killed demons and not her husband.
Alteration can also be just cosmetic. For example, in Naruto Abridged, there is a running gag with Orochimaru that he wears odd clothes, such as a "I am Naruto" t-shirt.
Characters can also be altered. One way to do this is to take one attribute of the character and exaggerate it.
Another way is to completely change the character's personality with another one, often one from another series. One example of this is in Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged, where Lumis and Umbra were made into the mooninites.
Techniques Revolving Around Characters' Deaths Edit
There have been many abridgers who use characters who die in the abridged series' as a flaw. Many use Imogen Heap's Song "Hide And Seek", as the background song while the character dies,some complaining about the O.C.
A basic abridged series can be created fairly easily using off the shelf software such as[TrakAxe]