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Game Grumps is a YouTube collaboration channel hosted by YouTubers JonTron and Egoraptor in which they play a variety of classic video games while providing commentaries and having a casual conversation with each other. Since its launch in July 2012, the video channel has quickly developed a fanbase consisting of video game enthusiasts and subscribers to the two hosts’ personal YouTube channels.
On July 18th, 2012, both JonTron and Egoraptor uploaded an introductory video to their respective YouTube channels, explaining the launch of their new collaborative series in which they play video games while having casual conversations.
The same day, the pilot episode of Game Grumps was uploaded to the main channel, featuring gameplay of “Kirby Super Star” for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The pilot episode gained more than 368,000 views in less than a month.
Throughout July and August, the channel has released at least 41 episodes that cover a range of classic video games including Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mega Man 7, Goof Troop and Pokemon Emerald. Within first two weeks of launch, the channel accrued nearly 7 million video views and more than 150,000 subscribers.
Between July 2012 and June 2013, Game Grumps released more than 600 videos, accruing more than 197 million views and a million subscribers in less than a year.
On June 25th, 2013, Game Grumps released a video announcing the departure of JonTron from the series. In the clip, JonTron explained that he is moving on to create a new project, though hinting that it will remain focused on the topic of video games. The news of JonTron’s departure was largely met by disappointment from the fans, many of whom took their responses to Game Grump’s forums on YouTube, Facebook and Reddit.
The video also introduced Danny, a member of the comedy group NinjaSexParty, as the replacement for JonTron. That same day, Game Grumps also announced a new spin-off series titled “Steam Train,” in which co-hosts Danny and YouTube animator RubberRoss will provide commentaries while playing classic and new PC games together.
With their reputation as notable gamers on YouTube prior to forming the collaboration, Game Grumps was able to quickly build its fanbase in a relatively short period of time. One of the recurring motifs throughout the series is the hosts’ tendency to sing out their lines during conversations, some of which have been re-contextualized into electronic dance music and mash-up songs featuring video game theme songs. One of the most prominent fan remix artists is YouTuber WaterFlame whose channel features a variety of songs based on short soundbites, punchlines or other audio samples taken from the Game Grumps series.
In addition to remixes, memorable quotes uttered by the hosts have been popularized by the fans. Among the most notable ones is “Seven Asses,” which was originally quoted in the episode “Mega Man 7 – Seven Asses. – Part 8”. In the episode, Egoraptor asks JonTron “How much ass do you think Megaman gets?” in an attempt to keep from spoiling game elements for the audience. JonTron replies by counting up to seven, and finishing with, “seven asses”. A conversation sprouted about the phrase, and how the fan base should “turn it into something”.
Notable episodes have been animated by fans of the series, several of which have been highlighted on the official Game Grumps YouTube channel. The cartoons typically depict stories, jokes and hypothetical scenarios discussed on the show (shown below).
On July 31st, 2013, the GameGrumps YouTube channel uploaded an episode of its spin-off web series “Steam Train” in which the co-hosts extensively discuss a 3D-rendered shock image of a naked man having his genitalia pawed by a wolf, apparently dubbed “The Wolfjob” (shown below).
On the same day, Redditor ParrotLad submitted the photo to the /r/gamegrumps subreddit. On September 16th, a Facebook page titled “Wolf Job” was launched. On September 28th, JonTron brought up the Wolfjob during a livecast session of the 1990 side-scrolling platform game Super Mario World with YouTuber DidYouKnowGaming. (shown below).
On November 1st, Redditor ClassyStache submitted a phone screenshot to the /r/gamegrumps subreddit containing an MMS message of the wolfjob photo purportedly sent to his mother by accident. On December 13th, a page titled “Wolf Job” was created on the Game Grumps wiki. That month, a silhouette of Wolfjob was featured on the 2014 Game Grumps holiday t-shirt (shown below, left). The original image subsequently spread on Tumblr as well, where it spawned several parodies including a Christmas-themed version (shown below, right).