They Ate Sans: The Tragic Story of the ACen 2023 'Sans Undertale' Cutout

They Ate Sans: The Tragic Story of the ACen 2023 'Sans Undertale' Cutout

In May 2023, the Anime Central convention (ACen) took place in Rosemont, IL between the 19th and the 21st. The event brought together thousands of anime enthusiasts for a weekend of typical convention hijinks, including “concerts, dances, educational panels, workshops and signings,” according to their website. But we’re not going to talk about any of that. Instead, we’re going to focus on a cardboard cutout of Sans from the video game Undertale and the bizarre, tragic circumstances that lead to his brutal death.

Our story begins on May 20th, 2023, when Twitter user @atinymarble, the creator of the cutout, posted a photograph of a cardboard cutout of Sans propped near a food vendor, writing, “he’s here at acen.” The idea is purportedly for convention-goers to take pictures with the cutout and post them to social media. That, however, wouldn’t happen in any traditional sense this time.

Two days later on May 22nd, a day after the convention closed, the same user tweeted a photograph of someone holding the Sans cutout in the sky. The caption reads, “to whoever took home a cutout Sans from ACen, please give him a little kiss for me – tell him it’s from mom 🤍 and thanks for playing.” Two more days later on the 24th, Twitter user @ginkgocrown (now suspended from the site) quote-retweeted the post with some devastating news, writing, “I don’t know how to tell you this but people literally ate him.” They weren’t lying and as it turns out, @ginkgocrown wasn't innocent. They were one of an elite group of cosplayers responsible for eating Sans.

marble @atinymarble he's here at acen pepsi SOON Commissions Open! mos.issdaninsiv.www POPTIONS 9:24 AM - May 20, 2023 180 Views 1998nnsiv Vierraber *** Justin whang Retweeted vero@MOMOCON @ginkgocrown I don't know how to tell you this but people literally ate him marble Y @atinymarble - May 22 to whoever took home a cutout Sans from ACen, please give him a little kiss for me - tell him it's from mom and thanks for playing 5:38 PM - May 24, 2023-537.5K Views I

With a little digging, users found that two days earlier on the 22nd, TikToker @young_jetfuel posted a fever-dream of a video revealing what happened to Sans. The video starts with a man in Kazuma Kiryu cosplay, Twitter user @vastamg, playing "Ballin’" on an electric guitar in the comfort of a hotel room. The camera pans to the left, revealing a myriad of cosplay-clad men and women just soaking in the vibes. What’s most shocking, though, is the person in the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure cosplay holding what appears to be the very same Sans cutout from the @atinymarble tweet, only now, he’s got no feet, a missing arm, an orange-stained face and what appears to be bites taken out of his head.

@young_jetfuel #acen #sans #undertale #thugshaker #axelinharlem ♬ original sound – Gorz

The video alone doesn’t confirm that the TikTokers ate Sans, but @young_jetfuel does over a Zoom call, seven months after the incident.

“A lot of my friends are on the spectrum and we’ve grown up eating things like candle wax and chapstick. We’ve definitely all taken bites of cardboard, but this cardboard tasted a little different. I was first asking other people to taste it because it was a little chemically and people didn’t really question it. They’re used to eating garbage because that’s what autism does to you. At a certain point we decided we were going down the Undertale genocide route and that we needed to kill him.”

When asked to describe the taste, he claims this cardboard had a “nicer texture” than normal cardboard, with “a little wax,” likening it to “pencil shavings.” Later on the 22nd, Jetfuel posted a video of the same group of cosplayers walking through a parking garage with Sans. “His arm’s infected,” the man carrying Sans says, “we gave him a dart [smoke] and he didn’t like that, but he likes wings,” he continues.

“My wife (Twitter user @shinybunearycos) carries a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot in her Purse,” Jetfuel explains, “we thought he was a little thirsty.” The carrier then says that Sans “loves living on the edge” and takes a bite out of his head, only to spit it back out onto the pavement, further desecrating the beloved Sans Undertale.

@young_jetfuel #sans #undertale ♬ original sound – Gorz

Jetfuel uploaded one final video of the incident two days later, this one perhaps the most graphic of all. It starts with someone smoking through a hole in Sans’ teeth, making it appear as if Sans is smoking. We then cut to a scene of a cosplayer, Twitter user @gothelton, sawing at Sans’ crotch with a katana, followed by a quick scene of one of the murderers throwing his tarnished body into the trash without a single care in the world. Jetfuel describes this as Sans’ “circumcision.”

Just like that, the Sans cutout was dead and quickly forgotten about. Some people made posts about it that month like a post made to /r/Undertale on May 26th sharing the original tweet, but otherwise, the event fell into obscurity. The tragic death of Sans was forgotten almost as soon as it happened and the cosplay-clad murderers were never brought to justice. Although, that might just be because Sans' creator didn't care.

@young_jetfuel What would Flowey Do? #undertalecosplay #sans #sansundertale #acen #cosplay #sansfight ♬ MEGALOVANIA – Toby Fox

“I thought I was going to get in trouble with the Sans owner and I felt really bad,” Jetfuel says after assuring us that atinymarble was okay with what happened to him. He then tells us more about how the whole thing started, claiming he and his group of regular ACen attendees “just picked him up because he was alone.”

"We [found] Sans next to a Guitar Hero setup while waiting in line. We decided that Guitar Hero is lame and just moved on to grab some tacos from a food vendor. We did not know who Sans belonged to. I don’t think we really cared either if I’m being honest. There was a QR code on the back of him but we didn’t scan it."

It was when the group went to get tacos that the first bite took place. “Hey, Daniel you want a bite?” Jetfuel joked with his friend, pushing Sans’ foot towards his mouth. “He takes the bite,” Jetfuel says, inspiring “a little bit of shock” from onlookers. He confirms that, at that point, they were swallowing the pieces. After tacos and a bit more damage, they took the cutout to their hotel room, where the infamous “Ballin’” video was made. Jetfuel provided us with several exclusive images from the day of the incident which show in graphic detail the damage done to the Sans cutout, including Twitter user @bex_cos taking a big bite out of Sans' dome.

202721 Hello Kitty and Friends ATTACK ON TITA Walte Kitty and F

If we dig even further, we can see deeper into the twisted minds of the cosplayers who tortured and ate Sans. During that same anime convention, on the morning before Sans’ “circumcision,” the cosplayers took part in the fifth annual “lettuce club” competition. The competition involves eating an entire head of lettuce as fast as possible for no apparent reason but glory. The Kiryu cosplayer won the competition and his victory was posted by TikToker Octobernoirevita.

When you think about it, it makes sense that the same man who can eat a whole head of lettuce would eat, or at least be friends with those who might eat, a Sans cutout. Both are unthinkable acts of insanity to the common person, but not to this group of cosplayers. Lettuce was the appetizer and Sans was the main course, giving us what now stands as one of the most bizarre, forgotten internet tales of 2023. Will cardboard cutouts of Sans ever be safe at ACen again after this? Only ACen 2024 will tell.

@octobernoirevita Hosted by the lovely @✨Garbage-chan✨ #lettuceclub #acen #acen2023 ♬ original sound – ☥⛧𝕺𝖈𝖙𝖔𝖇𝖊𝖗⛧☥

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